The Studio – A Culinary Danish Affair

 

Copenhagen has placed itself on the map as being a leader when it comes to Michelin star restaurants, not only for the quality but also the quantity.  It is said that it is the city with the most awarded stars restaurants in the entire world, which is pretty unbelievable when you think about it. 

I had done my fair share of research before I arrived in the Danish capital but the choices seemed to be endless, making it a hard decision to pick one and then deciding whether I wanted to eat a truck load of courses during the day or just before calling it a night. Of course I had my eye on Noma – the 2 Michelin star eatery wowing the critics and once named the worlds best restaurant 3 years in a row, however that has now closed to my utter disappointment and re opened as a spin off called 108.

Finally I came across The Studio, which was situated one floor up on the waterfront with lovely views, in a Tiffany green multi-story complex, which also houses the Standard and was set up by Claus Meyer – who happens to be the co-founder of Noma.

The head chef at Studio is Torsten Vildgaard, who hastrained at a restaurant called Tinggarden north of Copenhagen, and then at restaurants Norrebro Bryghus and Extra. However his formative years were spent in a intense eight-year stint at Noma (there it is again!) where he worked as sous chef and head of research and development before he moved to Studio. In his new kitchen, he gained a Michelin star only four months after opening and believe me, after enjoying this high level culinary experience, I can really see why this was awarded.

 

So it was decided that lunch was the way to go. 9 courses, which does seem a lot, but these are tasting dishes which means they are very small mouthfuls of food but in some cases extremely rich on flavours. 

It is a smaller scale restaurant which sits 40 diners and the 9 course lunch menu is available on a Saturday for 1000 DKK (approximately £120.00) I didn’t fancy drinking too much as this tends to fill me up rather quickly, so just opted with a glass of white called Pouilly Fume. 

Jerusalem artichoke/ cep / pineapple weed

Sorrel / Fermented creme fraiche/ dried caviar

Churro / cheese / truffle

The staff were very tentative and welcoming, and each chef brings the dish to your table explaining the ingredients, which I thought was a winning touch.  The first couple of course are litereally a bite size each, followed by the most incredible tasting bread with salty butter, ‘the main courses’ and then the mind blowing desserts to finish with.  

Scallop ceviche / raw onions / elderflower 

Monkfish /celeriac / apple 

Lobster / passion fruit / chilli 

Duck / grapes / lavender

Apple / coriander / olive oli 

Almond / cep/ balsamic apple vinegar

Everything was timed at a steady pace and nothing was out of place – the execution was completely flawless and the food… well this was out of this world. Playful, unique, experimental and the presentation on point. So many bizarre pairings of ingredients but they worked deliciously well! 

A few more after meal treats

The restaurant itself is minimalistic and contemporary in style, designed by team duo Christina Meyer Bengtson and Ulrik Nordentoft. I really liked the layout, as sometimes you can feel so overwhelmed by over the top designs and trying to cram too much furniture in.

I also got a chance to meet with the chefs, who were all super lovely to chat with and genuinely interested to know what I thought about the food and my overall experience. Very important to ask these questions in my opinion! 

A big thumbs up to the Studio and chef Damian Quintana for making this such a memorable and special Nordic experience for us, I couldn’t recommended it enough – this is the place you want to be visiting when in Copenhagen! 😉

A Prosecco & Pizza fuelled brunch @ Bunga Bunga

Stop everything!!! 

Yes put that down, yes that TV remote, magazine, phone, cup of tea.. no wait not the hot cuppa you can kelp a hold of that one for now.

Right, now that I have (hopefully) your undivided attention, I can go onto begin about that crazy time I was at Bunga Bunga Covent Garden for their latest addition…..The Matinee Brunch.

Im sure by now you’ve heard me speak about Bunga and the brand, if you have bothered to read my other posts (only kidding!), I speak very highly of these venues across London and below are some of my reasons why.

 

  1.  Attention to detail – this is across the board with every venue
  2.  Fun atmosphere – next level
  3.  Service – the staff are always vibrant and and happy

This was my very first time visiting the Covent garden location and once again I was totally wowed by just how ridiculously cool it is. I bought my wonderful friend Yvonne to join in on the craziness as she was well up for the challenge (good girl!). When you first walk in, its actually part of Bunga Tini which happens to be another bar/restaurant on the top floor. Downstairs is where it all happens…

We were whisked away underground and greeted with loud noises of harmonious singing voices, a flamboyant stage, loads of people already seated (yes it was busy) and disco balls with flashing lights.

It had already began and I hadn’t even had a glass of bubbles yet!

Once seated we were greeted with a very smiley waiter who worked his way through the menu and explaining how it all works. It simple for me – food and just pass that prosecco please 🙂 So as it is a bottomless brunch, you can imagine that the bubbles were flowing at an extreme rate. I must of seen at least 40 bottles pass my head at some point – no not for me! But you get the jist of just how generous they are throughout the 2-2.5 hour sitting. 

After listening to some awesome sounds, it was then over the to the band on the stage, where the curtain was drawn and the karaoke screens were fully displayed. I then realised that it was us that had to be involved.. err not quite merry enough for all this just yet… but luckily a few other punters were straight up there hogging the microphone and belting out the classics we all love.

In the midst of all of this, the brunch items were being bought to our table. Starting off with a number of small plates of warm brioche bread, the creamiest of burrata surrounded with lush home made tomato jam, antipasto of meats and salamis, added with some vegetarian quiche which I’m sure wasn’t meant for us but the extra touch was gladly welcomed!

After all this it was then onto the massive metre pizza which consisted of three tasty types like creamy spinach, mozzerella cheese, tuscan sausage etc etc on top of an very nice miniature roman pole stand and wooden flat-board. I love how it was presented so beautifully but it was slightly on the difficult side to see Yvonne over the top of it hehe

When I’m out to a restaurant, I always like to find out what the bathrooms are like – I know, very strange but this can make or break you know! The women’s of course was separate from the mens although to wash your hands was in this rather amazing fountain, which I thought was far too fancy for the toilet – any hoo!

Not to mention that they have some very unique rooms for hire if it takes your fancy for a large soiree in mind. A choice between the lavish Emperors Box, The tipsy Disarano boat or the swanky Martini Lounge.

So whether you are up for an Italian feast, next level over the top entertainment or a mountain full of endless bubbles, this might be something to add to your list of ‘Brunches to do’. 

PS – dessert consumption was missed due to us eating through everything at a snail pace (and maybe consuming a little too much prosecco) hard to believe but there is a lot of food – trust me!!! (go large)

 

The Martinee brunch welcomes you every Saturday afternoon @ £44.00 per head

 

Waxy Lemon’s Rolling stock BBQ

Sunday afternoon, East London, Sunshine, BBQ’s – Need I say more?

After finally getting around to posting this, I couldn’t help but feel emotional that the UK summer is now coming to a close… but hey, its been a pretty jam packed one with lots of glorious holidays abroad and plenty of memorable events, so one mustn’t complain too much. 

…….So back to that one fine bank holiday weekend afternoon where BBQ’s were in and the grey skies were never to be seen (well for most of it anyway)

I want to firstly say a big thank you to Devante and his astute team for putting on the goods and also inviting me along – I’m talking delicious burgers, cool beverages and well, tequila?!

Lets not get into that part just yet shall we 🙂

I had invited a couple of friends to join me, which was rather lovely that all of them could make the effort and come down as the money raised from the event was going towards a good cause (always what I love to hear) and even though the sun only had a glimpses of rays, the drinks were flowing nicely and the smell of hearty bbq food was lingering in the air.

The venue itself is rather cool if I might add. For those who are familiar with the area, you may have heard of it.. so does Rolling stock bar ring any bells? The venue offers alfresco and indoor space, there is also a kitchen, DJ booth and some very creative artwork on display. It gave off a real lively vibe without seeming too hipster nor trashy. 

As part of the deal we were offered a bottle of vino on arrival – white or red or you could opt to have the bucket of beers and of course, one big juicy burger with all the trimmings.

On the menu, was a few options of mega good looking burgers. I decided to go for the jerk after inhaling all of the spices before eagerly awaiting its arrival to the table. It also included a generous side of chips, beautiful corn on the cob and crunchy slaw. My friends had a mixture of the Waxy lemons burger which was beef with red onion marmalade and the veggie, vegan option which meant the menu was very accommodating to everyones needs! 

After feeling so full up we were offered a round of tequila shots, which honestly sounded like a good idea at the time….(come on, we’ve all been there), however this may have created a little bit of a party atmosphere which was then quickly scuttled inside and just in time for the DJ to break out into some house tunes. (including the obligatory dance moves)

I don’t think i’ll need to carry on from here as we all know how the story goes or ends 😉 lets just say that plenty of fun was had, lots of yummy food indulged and a few too many raspberries were sipped, but this is life and as they say, it is here to be lived.

If your interested in getting in touch with Devante Malone please contact him at the below website, he is the founder of Waxy Lemons, a culinary pop up brand serving innovative and delectable dishes made with everyone’s taste in mind. 

www.waxylemons.co.uk

Phone: +44 7960 821 822 
Email: info@waxylemons.co.uk

 

Mr Fogg’s Tavern – A Very British Brunch.

Not breakfast, not lunch…..

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Mr Fogg’s Mayfair location, an of course there are there other charismatic venues, such as Bart’s, Maggie’s, Bunga Bunga and Cahoots. Surprisingly enough I have never stepped foot into the ever so quaint British pub – Mr Fogg’s Tavern. You know you’ve arrived when you are greeted by a beautiful array of bright blooms (including my fav – sunflowers) and once that door is ajar its fair to say that there is no lack of creativity what so ever going on inside! 

I absolutely adored the traditional Union Jack flag bunting covered on the top of the high ceilings…and that wasn’t the only thing hanging down, it was literally covered in all sorts of fascinating bits and bobs – mostly antiques. Its really hard to stop yourself from glancing up every five minutes. Seriously so much going on. 

Now time to focus on the all important feast of a brunch….

(Bear in mind that this menu is still fairly new and did launch a month or so ago, its just taken me a forever in a day to get my A into G and actually write this review – sincere apologies on that front) 

We were greeted with small starter plates (or boards) to share around the table with my new blogger pals and I must say I was a little taken back by the look of the frogs legs. Maybe its just the thought of it which makes me feel unsettled but have no fair, this is actually really chicken and tastes pretty damn good. I would say a little sparing on the meat side of things but as a starter all can be forgiven. Accompanied with chunky roasted sweet potatoes (you just cant go wrong with this one) and banana sauce – I say what?! As I was super curious, I gave it a few dips and I was very impressed with the combo of flavours going on.  A definite one to try. 

Next was the honey roasted beetroot and goats cheese croquettes. The name itself is basically a done deal. Anything with beetroot and goats cheese together is not even a question – give it to me, all of it!!!! Also indulged from the table and not to be missed from the equation, was the crispy herb tempera prawns with spicy dip. As Roald Dhal would say, Scrumdiddlyumptious! 

For the main course, I was really craving something rather light and as I was going off to a festival not long after. The lobster and avocado salad with zesty dressing caught my eye while a giant (or what seems) plate of succulent, glistening, golden Han hock sitting nicely on a bed of creamy mash whipped past the table. It’s honey and ginger smells flowing around the room. Of course me being me, I just had to try a teeny tiny mouthful. 

Sadly, I had to exit before the desserts were bought out – shock horror I know. But to make up for missing out, I got to taste a few punchier than punchy refreshments. All gin based which I love, extra fruity and very much hit the spot!

Speaking of gin, if you don’t mind the tipple, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Up the stairs is a thing they call the parlour, filled with a botanical lab that smells incredible and is decked out in the cutest furnishings you’ve ever laid your eyes on. I’m hoping next time around I might get lucky enough to be invited along on to the gin safari that I’ve heard so much about! 😉

 

Address58 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4EA

Phone020 7581 3992

 

Brunching over East @ Dirty Bones

 

Im always so delighted to be invited to a restaurant or bar that is situated in Shoreditch because if I’m honest I’m always far too busy or a little lethargic to venture over that side of town, so when something like this pops up its the perfect excuse to visit an area that I’m particular pretty fond of. 

Most people refer to the East as hipster and full of youngsters, which it is, however some of the coolest establishments are located just north of Liverpool Street and there is something for everyone ranging from food markets, eccentric bars, stylish coffee shops, pop ups, clubs & live music venues.

In saying this, I wanted to finally let you know about a brunch I was asked to review in the heart of it all, which would be the all American restaurant and cocktail bar called Dirty Bones. (wicked name)

To start of the brunch soiree, I ordered the Dirty Mary drink and if you can take one guess as to that what that might be referring to, then yes you would be right to say its a take of the Bloody Mary. An essential morning item with no explanation required. 

The menu has quite a fascinating selection which is what I enjoy about coming to places such as these because they aren’t your stock standard range of food courses and you know how I am when it comes to food and originality – cant get enough of it. 

To order, I had the chicken waffles which probably most of you know by now is a rather ravishing fried egg, golden waffles with a shot of maple and two decent sized legs of fried chicken. I understand this is not healthy by my standards however this is becoming quite the brunch dish of choice lately and to be honest, sometimes we just have to not be so hard on ourselves and appreciate a naughty treat once in a while. Also with this dish I will point out that the chicken is slightly pink inside, so please don’t be alarmed by that or let it put you off the dish completely as its totally fine!!! 

Nick and I shared some melted cheesy fries which were without the truffle, although I would have preferred this but I have to keep the boy happy. He had the steak and eggs which is quite a hearty dish for brunch but I suppose if its the middle of the day then its acceptable on this occasion. The steak itself was juicy and tender and the eggs I believe were cooked ever so nicely.

 

After a noble amount of food I was still feeling on the thirsty side so opted for a post brunch soother called the Lexy. This is a vodka based cocktail with prosecco, lemon and strawberry puree.

 

But this wasn’t all folks..!

 

After the waiter swayed us to try the caramelised banana waffles, we both looked at each other and thought why not, if we share it wont be as bad and hopefully without having to undo the top button of the jeans!! C’mon we’ve all been there. 🙂

Its set in quite an old building with classic architecture but I just couldn’t work out if it used to be an old pub until I did some digging and found out that its a Grade II listed heritage building. Fancy Fancy.  They also have decks set up which are used on the weekends for late night drinking and I hear some table dancing goes on after the supper has ended – oh I say! Its a bit of a climb to reach the loos so don’t leave until the very last minute, but all in all its a generally cool place to come and eat, whether it be morning, midday or evening. The staff are undoubtably welcoming and seem to be having a great time which is just as important that they are having as much fun as the customers are! 

 

Address: 1 Club Row, Shoreditch, London E1 6JX

 

Italian Dessert decadence in South Kensington

It’s about time that London finally had some dessert bars popping up around the place (something I believe the city lacks so much there of) so when I was asked to come along and try out the cutest little establishment to hit South Kensington, it was very much in my best interest (and for my readers of course) to find out just what is on offer at Trevi Italian Tiramisu.

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I was greeted by the very welcoming shop manager, Fiammetta who was busy displaying all the beautifully decorated Tiramisu desserts in the window front. We took a seat while I admired some of the creative photography decked from wall to wall which I was told symbolises some historic places and events that happened many moons ago in Italy.

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The outside of this quaint cafe features some petite vintage tables and chairs covered by bright blue leopard cushions and an off white shading canopy to keep you covered in case you fancy a treat rain, hail or shine. 

Just for a little bit of history behind it all…the shop owner, interestingly enough is a movie director, actor, producer and screen writer born in Rome and has partnered up with the great master pastry chef Gaetano Giordano who brings his original recipes of Tiramisu from generation to generation and also belongs to a successful family of pastry chefs from Rome.

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Fiammetta being the managing supervisor, has an astounding knowledge of all items on the menu including the ingredients which she tells me are all from Italy giving it that unique authentic touch. While speaking to her she expressed just how important it is to keep the authenticity when it comes to quality and where the ingredients originate from. I have to say that I agree with her when it comes to all cuisine types right across the board! 

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We were given a number of delicious Tiramisu desserts to try and each indulged are in alphabetical order. I adored the way they were presented in clear miniature square shaped cups (and just the right size trust me!)

**They also spice up the dessert selection according to chef creativity, seasonal products and festivities**

Classic – if you’re a big fan, then I’m guessing this one is a no brainer 🙂 swirling with traditional flavours, this variety will never let you down. 

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Amaretto – Im not a huge lover of this distinctive flavours so hard to give my honest opinion however it is the only Tiramisu on the menu that has alcohol if that takes your fancy.

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Strawberry – always love a bit of fresh fruit and colour to a dessert, this one is mixed with mascarpone and cream and is rather easy on the palate.

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Pear, Ricotta & chocolate – this had to be my favourite of the lot. topped with sprinkles of chocolate (dark) and beautifully cooked pear, the main ingredient is the ricotta which makes it a lot less sweeter and in my opinion, means more to put on my spoon! (and the belly)

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Mixed Berries – This one had a lovely fluffy custard taste which I fancied terribly and of course the berry texture and favours were a nice touch.

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Profiteroles – probably the most decadent of the bunch, is possibly also the richest in flavours so would recommend sharing! Absolutely divine!

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Trevi also offers a number of other sensational delights including the traditional Naples dessert, Baba au rhum. Appearing more to the likes of a sponge cake, is made with rum, saturated in syrup and filled with cream. Surprisingly its not overpowering in liquor taste so don’t be frightened to give it a whirl!

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After all of this I must be honest and say that I have never been the biggest Tiramisu fan however after letting my guard down and trying these desserts I must say I am highly impressed with just how good these really do taste and as some would say, now converted. 🙂 Of course all desserts can be accompanied with a freshly grinded cup of coffee or rich Italian-style hot chocolate, or even purchased to make one’s dinner even more lush! Not only that, they are open every day to welcome you with a smiling face and open arms. I guess that’s just an Italian thing 😉 

www.trevitiramisu.co.uk

Evans & Peel – reporting back, over & out!

 

When I was asked to review a ‘hidden’ bar, I really had to think about how I was going to approach this one…

Of course, I want to tell the world about just how awesome this place is without trying to give too much away, as after all it is an underground speakeasy nightspot and its all a bit hush hush. 😉

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ANYWAY all of this aside, I guess I should crack on and tell you about ‘my’ experience at this mysterious Earls Court location.

One of the biggest drawcard here for me, is that it is very rare to find such a unique place over this side of town. Im talking about the West in particular. Shoreditch seems to have taken most of the quirky ones and I should mention that Barts are pretty exceptional over in Sloane Avenue but thats about as good as it gets over this side of town.

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The name for a start is brilliant. They call it Evans & Peel Detective Agency.

No I’m not kidding but its not what you think..

OR IS IT. 

I can tell you that there is a ‘detective’ theme around this so be prepared once you’ve rung that little door bell and told to come down those low lit stairs. When I mean prepared, I’m meaning that its all about having an open mind. Remember this does have an immersive side to it but DONT be caught off guard because its all just a bit of fun and having a laugh at the end of the day 🙂

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Inside, my first impressions were how much bigger it was as to what I had actually imagined in my head.  Its pretty deceiving from the outside which is probably why its called a speakeasy in the first place but when you are underground, you cant help but feel like everything is so much smaller and cosier. That intimate kind of feeling which I will mention now before I forget – its a great place to take someone on a date. Its fairly dark inside, with mood lit candles, wooden mismatched furniture and a long bar to perch on in case your intrigued by how they make their ‘potions’.

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We were lucky enough to be nestled into a snug little area – like a cubby hole…. but not really. I invited my friend Emma along who doesn’t mind a cocktail or 5 and the good thing about bringing a friend is that its likely they are going to have different tastes to you. In Emma’s case she loves whiskey – me not so much. I prefer vodka or gin based cocktails, nothing overly sweet and please no Cosmos or Pornstar martinis on the menu. It’s been done to death 🙂

We decided to get some snacks in as there is nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach (lets be responsible adults for once!)

I started off with the usual suspects which contains egg white – I’m a big fan of it. I know it sounds a little weird but it really does make the cocktail that much fluffier in texture and I loved the combined raspberry fruity flavours with that went with it. 

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Surprisingly the bar nibbles were absolute class. Definitely not so great for the waste line but lets be real, I’m not about to sweat it out in a spin class. (mental note to go to the gym at some point).

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We grabbed the shotgun strippers which consisted of moorish crumbed chicken bites and came with shots of hot sauce. Always a favourite while on the turps. (thats slang for drinking)

The Nacho average which I can assure you was not average, one little bit. In fact it came out in a very large vintage cooking tray and was loaded with all the goodies – topped with pulled chilli pork, sour cream, jalapeno’s and plenty of spunky salsa.  

And lastly which I almost regretted ordering was the M&C on steroids. Yes, you read this right. Basically a mountain of sublime creamy macaroni cheese, bacon bits and truffle oil. Now you cant argue this one. Its heaven in a bowl. 

 

Now back to reporting of the nights sipping’s (there are a few) 

Simple Sanguine – a lot of citrus and very sharp, mixed with blood orange, elderflower, mezcal I found this quite intense and one of the drinks that gets better the more you drink it.

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Michael Corleone says hello – I quite liked this one. An Italian biscuit infused bourbon – a serious take on the old fashioned and the fact that you get a yummy biccie to go with it, is a double win! 

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Time coord negroni – decorated with a piece or orange peel hanging on the glass with a peg. Quite the touch and Emma tells me its pretty good.  Vermouth, Campari, bitters – you know the score. Not my thing but we all have preferences!

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Balsamic fix – bacon beef salt and celery bacon? Sounds weird I know but I did quite like the flavours going on here especially when your mouth hits the salty bit on the rim of the glass. 

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G Minus 6 – Gin, lemon, pisco and soda but without the tonic! Another easy one on the palate – a good one to end the night. 

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Clover breakfast club – a beautiful fruity concoction of english breakfast tea infused, gin, raspberry jam, lime and topped with some type of dried petals. A very pretty drink. 

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Scandinavian leather – came in a huge glass, filled with passionfruit, vodka, lemon, Swedish liquor and topped with an open passionfruit. A very easy tipple to drink!

 

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Well now that I’ve given away a little too much, it really goes without saying, this place is wicked and a must to check out. A cool set up, pleasantly welcoming, with staff who are super friendly and take their cocktail making deadly seriously.

www.evansandpeel.com

 

 

“I offer you this challenge here and now to accept this undercover case and report back with all the findings”. 

Yours truly,

Detective Steph 

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Flamingo Yoga Brunch – A very unique Supper club experience!

A short time ago back in January, I was invited along by Tabl to a very exciting supper club combining yang and yin style yoga and the most gorgeous vegan food I have ever laid eyes on. Hosted at a very homely location in Hackney called Reva Studios, with the lovely Emmy as our yoga instructor and Kali cooking using her magical plant based ingredients to serve up a magnificent feast for us all! 

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I arrived early on location to get in a few snaps before everyone else arrived and I have to say the place was totally admirable. Set in an East London type warehouse, the open plan home was decked out with sleek white floors, gigantic sturdy wooden posts and fairy lights displayed with yoga mats positioned neatly all over the floor. There was plenty of natural light where the communal eating table was placed for brunch and tastefully decorated in generous greenery.

It certainly felt like a very relaxing environment to let go of all those stresses and a very fitting setting for a yoga class. 

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Once all had been welcomed, Emmy started of the 75minute class of Yang and Yin yoga with some breathing techniques followed by nourishing yin poses to release and unwind. This type of yoga is especially designed to energise and refresh. Ending with some guided meditation and leaving you feeling in a blissful mind set. I sadly didn’t get a chance to take any photos due to being so in the zone at the time to even think about picking up a camera! But for anyone who enjoys practising yoga, you should definitely try one of Emmy’s classes. I felt very calm and collective by the end of the session and had managed to work up my usual appetite – now wheres the food? 🙂 

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Once seated around the table, we were all ready to tuck in to the 5 courses on offering. I am not a vegan nor a vegetarian but I still enjoy eating it from time to time, especially if its as tasty as what I was about to get stuck into! Its actually quite amazing what can be made with meat and diary free ingredients! 

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Firstly, we were served green Mimosa or coconut water for those being extra healthy, followed by small plates of chick pea tortilla chips, salsa and the most incredible guacamole dip I have tried to date.  The chips were also highly rateable, so much so, that we asked for seconds just so we could finish off that classic avocado based dip of goodness. 

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Following from this was a very interesting dish consisting of charred cauliflower and sesame tostadas. I feel a theme coming on here..! But in all seriousness, this was extremely tasty, bursting with loads of lovely flavours topped with spring onions and a touch of chilli oil. Oh stop it!

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The next course, which I thought had to be the main due to its well portioned size, was called the Corn Congee and this was my favourite of the lot. I loved the texture of the aubergine, combined with seaweed, peanut chilli oil and toasted tempeh. I’ve never had this before and I couldn’t get enough of it. Absolutely scrumptious and very nicely presented on the plate. 

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Next it was bowls of fresh, vibrant slow roast beet and Pepita salad. Plenty of lush green and deep purple colours swirled around the ceramic bowls, were a delightful touch to the end of the meal as well as being light on the tummy. 

And last but not least, the all important dessert!

Chocolate, pistachio cream and brittle. Say. No. More. If you have ever tried a vegan chocolate cake or cheesecake, you know exactly what I’m talking about here. Absolute on point, heavenly, moorish, get in my mouth kind of dessert. The pistachio cream was DIVINE and I’m not afraid to say that I could have gone for seconds. Oops. 

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I have to say, I was blown away by the quality of this brunch. You can tell that a lot of thought and passion as well as creativity has gone into the planning of each dish and one thing is for sure – you can tell the ingredients are mega fresh and everything is made right from scratch. It was also great to meet a friendly bunch of people and an ideal activity whilst being on a bit of a health kick. (and fun of course!!!)

Thank you to Tabl for giving me this opportunity to participate, I always love and look forward to unique experiences in London and this is certainly one of them worth doing. 🙂 

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If this is well up your street then you are in luck! They have another brunch event happening on the 14th May and this will sell out quickly. Click below for more details – 

https://emmyyoga.com/yoga-brunch/ 

Also check out some pretty wicked events on Tabl – they have some of the best supper clubs going on in London right now & that is a fact! 

Shout out to Kali Cooking & Emmy – you can find them both on twitter @EmmyYoga @Kalicooking 

A festive treat at River Cottage Headquarters, Devon

So its Christmas, and you’ve already stuffed your face continuously for 4 days straight. Its only fair to say that one has had well over their quota for the festive period right? Ahh wrong!

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You know what I’m talking about here; sitting on the couch, slothing about while being surrounded by the aromas of cheese, biscuits, Quality Street sweets and decadent chocolates from Fortnum in Mason…. OK I’m guilty as charged! However it still didn’t mean I was missing out on an opportunity to visit the charming River Cottage and seeing as though I was in the area, it was only natural that I’d say yes. 

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Located in the beautiful Devonshire countryside just outside of Axminister, the only safe way of getting down to the farm house is by tractor and float which you are able to ride on the back of. This is not the most glamorous of entrances however I wouldn’t really recommend trying to walk down the uneven muddy hill unless you don’t mind the outdoor ruggedness or getting your favourite shoes ruined. 

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On our arrival we were taken to a cutest little yurt style tent that had large bundles of barn hay as seats to perch on and colourful bunting hanging from the trellises. We are given a small glass of Kingston warm apple brandy to sip on while our host spoke about the itinerary for the afternoon. Also being served some delicious canapés and one of which was battered parsnips – a first time for me and rather moreish! 

For those of you that aren’t too familiar with River Cottage, its very well known for being on the TV – particular with cooking! Its located near the village of Musbury in a provincial 17th century farmhouse, has a cookery school, restaurant, a huge organic veggie/herb patch worth mentioning and over 66 acres of beautiful lush green land. It has also been graced by many famous faces and is owned by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

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I was also lucky enough to have a quick tour of the site including the famous ‘kitchen’ with that gorgeous wooden table and dreamy old-school appliances on display. The decor is all very rustic and bodes well with the farmhouse theme. 

Once seated next to the floor to ceiling windows with the sun baking through, our drink orders were taken and we were treated to some homemade slices of oven warm bread and scrumptious pumpkin dip, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. A small starter of delicious mini meatballs topped with tomato and melted cheese was delivered soon after. I choose to drink a glass of rose as I’m still not quite ready to leave this wine to the side just because it is winter! Although don’t get me wrong, I still love my red over the colder months! 

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For the two courses, we had a small introduction by the head chef, Gelf Anderson. Its always nice to know what you are putting into your body and since almost every ingredient is organic and from the farm, its knowing that the quality is there, that gets me excited for whats about to come!

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For main we were served a generous sized piece of ham glazed in honey and mustard with cabbage and leek, the creamiest of mashed potatoes and roasted tasty beetroot paired with apple. The ham of course, melted in your mouth and if I wasn’t so greedy, I could have gone for seconds! 

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And for my favourite course – orange and cinnamon steamed sponge with boozy custard. Now I’m not a huge fan of warm custard but when the flavours are this good, nothing is a problem – it was divine! 

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Finishing off with some chocolate ganache, it was fair to say that I was completely stuffed! 

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A thoroughly enjoyable experience – one that I highly recommend if staying out that way or even passing by (they have a canteen as well!) I want to thank Dave & Emma and my lovely boyfriend for organising this because I really didn’t think I would be able to manage with the amount of food binging over Christmas break…BUT it was possible and definitely one for the memory bank! 

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A new speakeasy arrives in the hood (SW6 I mean)

 

Only just recently have I noticed quite a few very cool entertainment venues popping up around the neighbourhood, in particular cocktail bars, with plenty of quirky-ness and originality. Im speaking about Fulham, which is in my part of town and a happening area for young people, possibly well off and most likely to be of Australian nationality (note that this is not the reason why I live here!).

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When I first heard about Hanger SW which is the latest steak house to arrive at the top of North End Road, I had no clue that, downstairs in the basement there was a secret hidden speakeasy bar called Below the Cut. Possibly why it is such a secret bar, is there is actually no way of knowing unless your eating in the restaurant Hanger and need to use the loo.

Now this can be tricky, especially if its brand new to the area and you don’t fancy being out hawking on the streets to drawing in too many large crowds of people  – I totally get this which is another reason to keep it nice and exclusive and hopefully by word of mouth, the locals will have it on their radar to check out.

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And this is where I come in, to tell you all about this charming retro venue, even though its kind of a bit hush hush but you get what I mean here.

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I had the opportunity to try out some of their impressive cocktail list. Fairly minimalistic but who needs a list 10 pages long – too much to choose from can sometimes be worse in my opinion. 

The bar food had a generous offering and we were able to tuck into a few bites of their menu while sipping away. 

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The pork fritters, which were highly recommended, weren’t actually featured on the menu but were incredibly fluffy with a nice crumbed texture and lovely spices. 

We also dug into some hand cut rosemary chips, and a good old favourite – salt and vinegar squid! 

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The cheese steak slider which was basically a massive burger, was cut in half and easily enough for one person as an evening meal so recommend to share with friends if you are wanting a small snack to munch on. All the bar food comes from their restaurant upstairs which is focuses on steak and chargrilled cooking.  

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Cocktails tried and tasted –

Moon river – gin, lemon, cointreau, peach, vanilla & egg white (love a good egg white cocktail)

Royal lady – vodka, infused with lush rhubhard and prosecco (definitely loving the rhubard flavours at the moment)

G&T Vesper – Birchalls earl grey infused Sipsmith London dry, Skyy vodka, martini bianco, BTW tonic syrup, grapefruit (not as strong as the original but just as bitter – very smooth on the palate) 

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The cocktail menu is designed with an edge, with plenty of creativity and flare, fitting in well to the speakeasy theme. The bar itself is lined wall to wall in old records, stacks of old library books, old fashioned lamps and my favourite, the bright cocktails and dreams neon sign to greet you in the stairwell. 

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Im very pleased that something like this has finally arrived into the area. A refreshing change from the pubs and sports bars that are featured in Fulham at present. Definitely a great place to come after work with friends or a great starting point for a night out on the town. 

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461 North End Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1NZ

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