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

Italiano brunch weekends @ Theo’s Simple Italian

Who would have thought, that somewhere in the depths of Earls Court would be a Rustic Italian restaurant (located at the Hotel Indigo) associated with the well respected British chef, Mr. Theo Randall, also well known for his restaurant residency at the Intercontinental in Park Lane and his 17 mammoth years at Hammersmith’s, Riverside Cafe.

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When I was invited along to come along and preview the newly created weekend brunch menu with a group of other bloggers, I was beyond ecstatic. I know this is going to sound cheesy but its not everyday you have the opportunity of viewing a pasta masterclass (ravioli con cime di rapa to be precise) by the chef himself and on top being able catch up with plenty of blogger friends that I hadn’t seen in such a long time. Brilliant.

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The restaurants decor is certainly one to speak highly of, with beautiful open bay windows, leather booths, retro black and white floor tiling with funky chandeliers, make it a welcoming place for all the avid foodie or a nice family dinner. 

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With the masterclass, Theo was very clear and concise about the way to create ravioli using an Italian Imperial cutter machine (which is his fav I believe) and by quickly running it through, over and over again, then rolling it out until it was  thinner, elastic and had a texture very similar to that of play dough. He demonstrated on how to cut the ricotta filled ravioli into nice square yellow parcels and it was so obvious to see just how passionate he was when it comes to Italian cooking – he made it look so simple!

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After the glasses of bubbly were given out around the room, we were invited to sit down and enjoy the anticipated 4 courses on offer and by this point I was famished and ready to go in hard.

The menu was designed with sharing in mind, which I find it generates a social atmosphere amongst the dinner table, whether it be with friends or family I always believe this way is far more preferable for interaction.

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First out to the table was the alumi Mista e Burratina. a plate of deep red displayed Bresaola del Piemonte, Salame Napoli, Finocchiona Fiorentina, Speck del Piemonte and centred with delicate, fresh Burratina Pugliese. Served with rocket, roasted tomatoes and warm, salty focaccia bread. All a winning combo and undoubtably something you could just find yourself scoffing all day long.

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Next we had the Ravioli di Ricotta e Erbette which as spoken about earlier, is ricotta cheese wrapped in ravioli parcels. This dish was precision plus – cooked to al dente and nicely flavoured on the palate. Also bought out was the Pappardelle with Beef Ragout which took my fancy but as I am a big lover of all things cheese and without sounding too biased, the ricotta filling for me is always a winner. 

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Next on the agenda was the Taglierini Pescatore. This is a dish to appreciate if you love seafood and like me I am a massive fan of any dish bursting with gorgeous shellfish and especially if it is mixed with a light tomato, garlic based sauce. (Something I tend to favour over the rich and creamy)

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And just before I thought to myself, there surely cant be more.. well there was! 

 

Moving away from the pasta theme and out came the Tagliata di Manzo – a layered dish of chargrilled Bavette beef, cooked medium rare with borlotti beans and finished off with rocket and roasted tomatoes. I’m not the greatest fan of beans in a dish (unless it’s edamame) but the beef was so succulent, which had my golden seal of approval. 

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Lucky last was the Sea Bream with Grilled Vegetables. I. Love. Fish. I include it in my diet almost everyday. And why wouldn’t you. It’s not only low on calories but its full of vitamins, iron and calcium. This dish felt like it was prepared straight from the family home in Italy and was plated with loads of mediterranean yumminess – no complaints about that one! 

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At the last quarter of the brunch it was time for Dolci (Sweet and Luscious) and of course, one must not leave the table until desserts are consumed. 

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Plates of tiramisu, sultana cake with drooped pears and soft chocolate cake (with vanilla gelato) were placed around the table for everyone to share and taste. I certainly had a soft spot for the choccy cake and almost had the whole slice to myself (I’m hoping know one was paying attention to me being such a scoff bag!). 

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So intrigued to know how much all of this costs? Would you be surprised if said for a cool £35.00?! This includes a glass of prosecco thrown in there as well. Absolute steal to the amount of food consumed. 

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It was really great to be a part of such a special afternoon and I would like to especially thank Theo for being ever so kind to invite us into his restaurant, as well as being so humble and to happily share his knowledge of cooking with us – it was a real treat! 

Address: 34-44 Barkston Gardens, Kensington, London SW5 0EW

View 94 – Riverside.

As Putney is an area I like to call ‘my side of town’ it seemed most appropriate to say yes to a review of View 94 and their brand spanking new autumn menu…. located on a very tranquil spot of the jetty, at Wandsworth riverside Quarter pier.

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Rewinding back about 8 months ago, one chilly Sunday morning, I was strolling past and spotted what I thought was a new restaurant and remember peeping into the windows for a nosey and thinking, this place actually looks pretty alright, I must make a point of keeping a look out for when it is all finalised – I’m oh so keen to check it out.

So there you go – it finally happened. 

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The restaurant is divided into two different areas. Firstly you will step inside the lounge bar with ceiling glass doors, exposing plenty of natural sun light. The large bi-folding doors are opened during the summer months, with the option of having heaters on and blankets supplied during the more chillier times if you dare to dine outdoors.  The bar itself serves a whole range of wines, cocktails and beers and while I sipped away on my lime caprioska cocktail, I got a really good sense of the place and an overall relaxed vibe to it. 

………..Which of course is just what you want after a hard day of work! 

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After all the peeps had arrived, we were ushered up the spiraling staircase, to the top level where we were greeted by polished timber floors, a sprawling open plan floor and wrap around windows displaying panoramic views of the Thames and adjacent leafy Hurlingham Park.

The space had a lovely fresh feeling to it – just like being near the seaside! 

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The menu for the evening was a choice of three delightful courses from the a la carte menu and I will quickly mention that there is also a tasting course option if you;re feeling extra hungry.  Antonio Sanzone, who is the award winning mastermind behind all the dishes incorporates his Italian roots and I’m told that every dish has a story behind it. If I could describe the menu, it would be a mixed fusion of modern European cuisines. 

Right, tets tuck in!

So firstly the red and white wines were poured around the table and what I must add here is that almost all of the wines on the premises were entirely organic, biodynamic and hand-selected by the lovely Maitre D’ Cristiano Morini. Well done on that front. 

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An apéritif of Antoni’s take on ‘fish & chips’ was served up first and accompanied with a very flavoured mushy pea and mint foam on a crystal blue coloured plate which seemed rather fitting with the theme. And basically what I was eating was a batter of chips covered in scrumptious batter (yes looks can be very deceiving) which was down the hatch in a matter of seconds. Goodo.

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My dish of choice and no surprises here at all – the beef tartare with cured egg yolk and centred in a delicate Reggiano crown, was slightly different to the traditional tartare but I am always always up for trying experimental dishes. Life would be ridiculously boring if you didn’t! 

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For the main, it was all eyes on the lobster moka risotto with spring onion puree and finished off with a drizzling of shellfish cappuccino in a cute miniature coffee cup blender. Now me being extremely caffeine sensitive and all, I did have a mild moment of panic but I was rest assured that it was more the flavours described than the actual strength of it. Again another avant-garde dish, which I loved because I could really see how much effort and passion had been used to create something that was really significant to the chef. 

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Finishing off with the desserts, I decided to go for something I wouldn’t otherwise choose and that was the mince pie with pear with cinnamon sorbet and a unique Jamaican rum scent. Sounds rather festive doesn’t it and might I add, completely lush and very presentation plus! 

Not only was this dish a stand out for me, the plate it was displayed on was actually quite amazing and the Jamaican scent was rather extraordinary and nothing quite like I had seen before. It was in an actual perfume bottle and with a few quick sprays, the cameras were clicking as we were all pretty impressed with the creativity behind this one. 

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All I can say is that I’m definitely lucky enough to have experienced a tip top evening such as this, filled with fresh, original dishes, gorgeous first class surroundings and lastly, some terrific company.  

Anyway the photo evidence is clear, so you be the judge. 🙂

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Riverside Quarter Pier, Prospect Quay, 94 Point Pleasant, London SW18 1PP

Bookings: 020 8425 9870

www.view94.com

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