The Bletchley – Cracking codes in SW1

One of the things I adore about London is the variety of activities to choose from and how each experience is so unique and different from the next one. In particular, these so called ‘hidden’ bars and secret pop-ups…

Now you’re talking my language.

It has become an increasingly popular trend in Europe and one I think will never die out. After all, its all about getting amongst the next best thing and London certainly rises to the occasion. 

…..Which leads me to talk about my next ‘underground’ secret experience, tucked away in the beautiful western suburbs and just shy of the Worlds End (pretty close to the market in fact but you didn’t hear any of this information from me) you’ll find a random door which leads you down to dark staircase and straight into the Bletchley Park bunker… well not quite but be prepared to put your agent hat on and ready to crack some codes. 

After their huge success with the Breaking Bad bar ABQ, its not a wonder that their next venture is the talk of the summer, so I wanted to see for myself, what all the fuss was about. 

For those that aren’t up to speed, Bletchley Park was the central site for British code breakers during World War II. It housed the Government Code and Cypher School and also featured on the Imitation game film when computer pioneer, Alan Turing and his team helped to shorten the Second World War by cracking the Enigma code. 

Firstly, I will point out that we were able to use the WW2 Enigma machines (very cool) which took a little bit of getting used to, but you must read the instructions carefully (not like I did) none of this fiddling about and pushing all the keys (I know its rather tempting).

You will be greeted with a pre cocktail, a pencil, paper and a a bucket of test tubes full of all sorts of concoctions. Oh and of course, how can I forget, a rather unfitting military green jacket that you must wear at all times 😉 apart from being slightly too big on me and not very suitable on a sweltering hot day, I thought it was pretty stylish attire. 

Without trying to give too much away, you will be asked a number of questions along the way (be prepared with plenty of imagination) which will be both in person and over the radio. You might be asked what your favourite colour is or favourite cuisine type, but I will leave this one a mystery so you can complete your mission without too many complimentary clues. 

I can say that you will be given a few cryptic beverages throughout the mission (cracking codes is seriously thirsty work) and you might meet some friends along the way (there a friendly bunch down there) and I can definitely guarantee an awesome time no matter what age you are! 

You can purchase your tickets here – www.thebletchley.co.uk

******Special thanks to Agent Orange (Emma) for completing this mission with me – I couldn’t have done it without you!*******

The Blondoner’s May Playlist

A little late on this one this month (apologies!) but I promise the wait will be totally worth it 🙂 

Starting off with a little tech house including one of my favourite Hot Since 82’s tracks to date – the remix of Music is the Answer. Absolutely loving the vocals in this track including the originals!

Included is the latest from Alt J which is a typical track from them – a very catchy tune with Joe Newman’s reverberating voice, plenty of guitars present and a hint of electronica. Can’t seem to stop playing this one!

I also threw in a few tracks that were huge in Australia and personal favourites of mine including the Presets this boys in love, Pictures by the ever cool Sneaky Sounds System and who couldn’t forget D.A.N.C.E by Justice. I will always remember seeing them at Parklife in Brisbane on the hill and remembering just how insane they were live. Some of the best festival moments right there!

And last but not least, one of the tracks close to my heart by Tube & Berger called Surfin’. A very chilled number which is great to listen to while sitting on a beach watching the waves roll against the soft sand. 

Track list below otherwise you can find in the right hand side bar of the main page. xx

 

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

The Blondoner’s April (Birthday) Playlist

I love April.

Just because its generally the month when the weather begins to warm up, the flowers begin to blossom, Easter time is just around the corner and of course the all important – my birthday 🙂

Sooooo for this month I thought about doing a playlist which is upbeat, a little risqué, gets you up on your feet and generally makes you feel happy! (well it does for me anyway) Some of the tracks I have picked are those that I either heard at an after party, raved to at a club or a day festival back in the early 00’s and every time I hear them, the good memories always come flooding back in. Awwww

One of my all time favourites is Loneliness from a very cool German producer called Tomcraft. I used to make the DJ play this track almost every Saturday night at a club called Quest on the Gold Coast – of course, he wouldn’t play it until right at the end which I didn’t mind as it was the best way to end the night! 

And how could you forget Max Linen’s mega summer anthem – Flashback. The lyrics in this track are top notch – ‘I went to the DJ, some guy named knuckles. Something like that, I don’t know; And I said to him “Hey! Wheres my wife? Where is my wife?” 

You can find a list of the tracks below or in the right hand side bar which are found on Spotify. 

Enjoy!

 

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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Latimer wine tasting at the Royal Academy of Arts

I love wine.

There is no denying that fact.  So when I was asked to join an exclusive wine tasting event through my lovely friends at the Golden Network, I could hardly resist. 

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Hosted at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts inside Keepers House, there was a certain ooze of class and sophistication when I walked through the grand doors to a white open spaced room. Boasting an array of paintings by numerous artists and draped clothed tables topped with bottles of wine, waiting and ready to be judged by many. 

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More importantly, you must know that this was a portfolio of wines on showcase by Latimer Vinters and to give you a bit of back ground about this company, they were founded back in 2013 to offer private and trade clients access to the finest wines at the most competitive prices. They are based in London and specialise in a number of wines from regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, The Rhone Valley plus a number of sought after wines from around the globe. 

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I meet Chris, who works in sales and purchasing and I asked him what his favourite region of choice was. He advised that Burgundy was at the top of the list, although Bordeaux was not too far behind it. He also told me he admires the wines of the Northern Rhone and a fine German Riesling. I must say I massively agree on the Bordeaux wines – it was one of my most memorable wine tasting experiences to date. 

Now on to the wines. I bought my friend Clara along with me who is also a lover of wine. Shock horror 😉 we also were due for a much needed catch up so it was all about killing two birds with one stone. As they say. 

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The list we were given was lengthly – three pages to be exact. Yes thats right – ALOT of wines to get through. But this doesn’t give you an open invitation to get plastered and drink them all….does it 🙂

Well you could, if you can handle it, but for people like me, wine still goes to my head only after a few so its probably a good idea to sip that water in-between and not make an embarrassment of yourself, if you know what I mean.

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These days I don’t find myself drinking a huge amount of white wine. Over the years my palate has most certainly changed and I don’t mind a drop of the full bodied red, especially during the winter months or paired with some rich dark chocolate to nibble on.

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Since I am a born and breed Kiwi, it seemed rude not to try the Greywacke Sav blanc from New Zealand. As expected it was bursting with fruity notes and I gave it a generous 6/10 (without trying to be too biased in my decision making process). I was bold enough to try a couple of the chardonnay’s and one that stood out in this collection for me was the Chassange Montrachet 2013, Clos St Jean. Still a tad dry but bearable for a person who has never ever been a fan of this grape. 

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On to the selection of beautiful reds and I had my eye on a couple of good looking wines from Bordeaux – well of course darlings!!! A stand out was the Ch. Haut Mallet 2014 – smooth, easy to drink and extremely reasonable on price.  

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Clara discovered a delightful Pinot Noir called Nuits St Georges, Cru Les Murgers 2013 which made me twinkle. Twinkle?! I have to say, this is the type of wine that will drag you in and leave you longing for more.. 

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After enjoying the best part of the evening, we were then advised that in the room next door, there was also a small selection of champagnes to taste as well as sweet wines and some appetising cheeses.  Unfortunately we were a bit slow getting to the bubbles and I only got to try the Pol Roger 2014 which was most pleasant with some creamy blue cheese. 

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Before I knew it, it was almost 10pm and I couldn’t believe how much the time had just flown by (time flies when you’re having fun). A thoroughly lovely evening once again by the Golden Network and ten points to Latimer for putting on an elegant event with a fantastic choice of many types of wines. 

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If you’d like to know more details about Latimer and their services you can head over to their website:

http://www.latimervintners.com/ 

E: wine@latimervintners.com 

 

Golden Network

http://www.thegoldennetwork.co.uk/

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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

Brunching at Bronte – new kid on the block!

Introducing……

Bronte, located on the Strand, is a hop, skip and a jump from the very famous landmark known as Trafalgar Square and right in the heart and soul of the city. Only recently opened, its pacific style menu and beautiful interior decor by British designer, Tom Dixon, quickly drew my attention and I was most thrilled about having the chance to review their eye catching brunch menu. 

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I invited my friend Emma along, who is a fellow foodie, born and bread Australian and knows a good thing when she’s seen one (hence why I asked her to join me). And without sounding too obvious here, this was reviewed on a Saturday since brunch is purely designed for the weekends.. but hey its good to point these things out in the beginning.  

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When I first arrived to the restaurant, my first impression went a bit like “wow wee, this is very upscale” followed by a lot of gazing… lets just say it was most pleasing to the eye.

The interior was 100 % me all over. With pretty pale pinks, deep forest green leather booths, custom made chairs of tweed and valiant lighting, it almost was a little on the retro side and channelling the 1970’s look if you like. 

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On top of this, it’s a very sizeable venue ,that seats up to 250 people. This includes the outdoor covered in patio, the front chic cocktail bar and the downstairs which is where we were seated. (and also has another long bar). There is even room upstairs which can be hired out for private events. 

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Now on to the best part – the menu! I was ready to eat a horse at this point so being able to squeeze a couple of dishes in was looking pretty realistic. 

One thing to notice about this menu is that there are a fair few items that have a lot of healthy elements to them. For example, I order the chia and quinoa porridge – big fan of both of these ingredients and with the berry compote on top, followed by a dash of almond milk, it was so much better than I had imagined. I dont mind porridge but it can be very dull and stodgy, unless of course you get creative with it. I’d have to say that this was a cracker. I loved every mouth full and it was extremely filling plus very healthy on the hips. (I probably didn’t need that second dish)

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They also have a very fine looking smoothie and juice menu and since I was being a good little girl, I was keen to try something non-alcoholic, with nutritional benefits, so the Kiki Ping was chosen (love the name). 

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Accompanied with that, was the banana French toast. THIS. WAS. MIND BLOWING. Have you ever had thick slices of banana loaf, topped with sugar cured bacon, ginger jam, rhubarb and greek yoghurt?! I didn’t think so 🙂 I actually cant even describe just how scrumptious this really was. In fact my pictures don’t do it any justice. We are definitely talking top 10 here. 

Emma went for a slightly different taste on the palate –  savoury and perhaps more traditional for a brunch. 

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Opting for the smashed avocado, creamy poached eggs with wilted baby spinach, heritage tommies on crusty sourdough; she told me that everything on the plate was perfectly cooked and would be an extremely likeable dish for most. 

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I was fairly intrigued with the truffled wild mushroom which was dressed in white miso and and plated with some more sourdough bread. Definitely moorish in my opinion, but you cant really go wrong when it comes to truffles. The strong intense flavours are just so enticing, its a bit like my love for chilli. I just don’t know how I could cook without it! Or is that life without it…

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Feeling ridiculously full to the brim, the only thing I could possibly fit in was a flat white coffee, while sitting back and realising just how pleasant that experience really was. 

 

 

 

Now before I go, you’re probably thinking that this place sounds mega pricey but you would actually be very wrong. The prices are seriously so reasonable and equally justifiable to the quality of every dish. Head Chef Andrew Lassetter has done an outstanding job creating a wholesome yet creative menu and for that, I would willingly come back here and eat again. 

 

Bronte – gladly serving you for Brunch, Lunch, Dinner & Cocktails

 

 

1xceukwb

The Grand Building
1–3 Strand

London, WC2N 5EJ

020 7930 8855
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