Claridges 

Since when did my friends start getting married?? (also this now seems to be considered normality-*gulp*)

I was blown away by how amazing the whole Claridges experience is (helped by the fact her granny got married here in the 1950s- very nostalgic and special). The staff were incredibly helpful and polite. My favourite was ogling the gorgeous, elegant and sophisticated décor in every room.

It was a magical day from beginning to end. The hotel just oozes class. It was the perfect place to toast the wedding of my school friend Rhiannon and her husband Ed.

It was great to sit alongside my best friend (since aged zero).

Starter – Scallops

Mains: Cornish lobster risotto

Main: Angus Fillet with Roasted Parsnip and a side of butternut squash mac & cheese

Desserts: I chose a very warming oozy chocolate fondant

Hazelnut praline parfait with chocolate crumb

Petit-fours- choccies and marshmallow flumps

It was lovely to pick through all their wedding photos, to see old friends and eat/drink beautiful food and wine.

I didn’t want the day to end.

“To the bride and groom” *Cheers

LLM

xx

Sushi Eatery, Soho

Sushi is quickly becoming one of my favourite lunchtime options, but it is not easy to find in London if you want both cheap and good quality.

Although I do not work close enough for this to be a lunchtime treat, it definitely was worth having a boring lunch to go there for an amazing dinner. For a Tuesday night it was fairly busy – this place must be an absolute goldmine, the tables are turned very quickly and there were diners solo, in couples and groups. They try and fit everyone in, imagine a jigsaw puzzle mastermind meets a waitress- this is the situation here.

When you walk in from Frith Street, you will be met with a few tables upstairs (nice enough) but my friend (who recommended this spot to me) asked to eat downstairs, at first you think everyone is sat crossed legged like in a school assembly hall (albeit with the luxury of a cushion) but actually the low table to floor ratio is deceptive as you are seated in zashiki-style. This traditional style eating space has been customised to allow a cut-out area beneath the table which allows your legs to hang. It was not the most elegant of entrances by me, at 5’8ft and wearing a skirt I tried to fold myself into the seated spot- which once into is very comfy it just takes some wriggling to get there. I did see a very tall guy do this with much better flow than I managed (I am happy to try again, practice makes perfect). The tables seat approximately 6 to 8 people so expect to share your table if you’re in a smaller group and it gets busy (which undoubtedly it will do).

You will not go hungry! 

We had the set price menu which included up to 6 rounds of cold sushi (you can choose up to 6 sushi dishes in one round), one hot round of dishes (including: dumplings, katsu, beef or chicken teriyaki, sweet potato tempura, edamame, king prawn tempura, wasabi calamari etc). I have included in the header photo a snap of how you order, very handy tick box system. 

The bill will not break the bank either. Ours came to £41 for two with service (no alcohol- it was a school night at the beginning of the week). It is very reasonable (handy for those who might still be feeling the effects of buying presents and splurging on too many mulled wines over Christmas).
Some photos:

Our first round of sushi rolls and sashimi (my favourite were the soft shell crab rolls!!) 


The hot food selection


As a heads up, they only take cash as payment. There is a handily positioned cash point around the corner on Regent street.
This is one, of two Dozo eateries in London, the other is in South Kensington. Might have to try this one out and see if it’s as good.

LLM

xx

Padella

I have been wanting to try this restaurant out for too long. It is now easily one of my favourite lunch spots, if you’re not partaking in the January healthy eating fad head down here for some winter comfort food at its absolute best. There will more than likely be a queue but honestly the dishes are worth the short wait (be estimated our wait time to be roughly 20mins ish).

The portions are not huge and we watched two girls and a couple share three plates between the two of them- this seems more sensible looking back (it’s hard not to be greedy when the menu looks as good as it does). It is very reasonably priced especially for the quality – the fussiest of eaters would be pacified by the concise menu.

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We were really lucky to get a spot at the bar as you walk in. The view of the kitchen space is fantastic and you feel part of the production.

I chose the 8 hour shin beef ragu which was delicious. It also arrived hot with lashings of parmesan on top.

LLM

xx

Dishoom

A couple of years ago I visited the Covent Garden Dishoom and to be honest- I do not know why I haven’t been back, we had an incredible dinner and it is in the heart of theatre land. There was a small wait for the table but the Bombay coladas in the bar downstairs made up for this. Although, I have heard rumours of people queuing much longer than we had to, fortunately one of the perks of being a paralegal is the early finish and I think we arrived a smidge after 5:30pm. For dinner (after 5:45pm) bookings for groups of 6+ are allowed otherwise it is a queue situ.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is BRUNCH, do not be put off by “having an Indian for breakfast, that is a weird thought” – NO, believe me its phenomenal!! There is Naan better than Dishoom in my book for breakfast/brunch (sorry couldn’t help throwing in a poor joke).

We ate at the Shoreditch branch- FYI enter on Boundary street and not from Andina road side (it has a very cool covered veranda outside- ask when you arrive if you would like to sit here rather this to the main restaurant). The décor is great with large low hung old-fashioned ceiling fans, old mirrors, chandeliers grouped together and wooden tables. The staff are very friendly, I would recommend booking for breakfast or lunch as soon as you can grab a friend to join you.

Now the main event- THE FOOD- its really super! We went to town and chose to each try the bacon/sausage naan. The bacon naan is “a Dishoom signature dish, and deserving of all its accolades” according to their menu. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We shared a house porridge, (Organic porridge oats cooked with milk, banana and sweet Medjool dates. A never-ending portion: if you wish for more, you need only ask). This must be the best veggie friendly breakfast around.

We may have also shared a fire toast, chunky slices of bloomer bread are buttered and thrown onto the grill where they become char-striped. Served with home-made preserves: pineapple-pink-peppercorn jam, and tangy orange marmalade with star anise.

I cannot recommend Dishoom enough!

Dishoom locations: Edinburgh, Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Carnaby and Covent Garden

LLM

xx

 

 

Saint Paul de vence 

If you like art and French cobbled streets then this is your idea of heaven. The whole place is beautiful from the shutters on the buildings to the cobbles beneath your boots. 


One of my favourite all time favourite restaurants is now the Colombo d’or after this trip. The waiters, artwork, food and wine are all first-class. 

Some of the modern art in Saint Paul de vence galleries

One of my favourite all time favourite restaurants is now the Colombe d’Or after this trip. The waiters, artwork, food and wine are all first-class.  

Overall, I give this spot a big thumbs up.


LLM 

xx

Som Saa

Som Saa, 43a Commercial Street, London E1 6BD (020 7324 7790). 

Thai food is definitely one of my favourites and Som Saa is full on fantastic from the bar at the entrance to the beautiful flavours packed into each dish and on top of that the staff are extremely attentive. I rang earlier in the day to try and blag a table for three (you can only book for tables of 4+, top tip go as a four if possible because you don’t have to share a big table with other diners and you get sat in a bench style booth- so grab your best mate and boyfriends or whoever!)  It’s reccomended to pick four or five dishes between two on the menu but make sure you leave room for dessert, tamarind grilled banana and salted sugar palm ice cream. It was absolutely worth the five star rave reviews!  I had a lovely evening catching up with family over some great food& wine. 

Tamarind chicken 

Beef curry (also tried the special of the day a duck curry, this was gobbled pre- photo!) 

Pork neck curry 

Dessert -sated sugar palm ice dean and grilled banana 

LLM 

XX

The Ivy Market Grill, Covent Garden

img_8131Once you battle your way through the crowds and swarms of just about everyone, their dog, neighbour and singing ventriloquist you make it to possibly the best Christmas decorations and tree in Covent Garden, scrap that in London! I loved it. A beautiful, multi-coloured magical entrance immediately catapults you into a world of luxury. Through the glass doors you are greeted by exceptionally friendly and welcoming waitresses & waiters.

This place is one of the good’uns.

The food is exceptional too- the truffle arancini balls and zucchini fritti are not to be missed (*caveat these were gobbled being I could take a snap). Also if you like a particularly punchy bloody mary that brings a great fireball to your belly with a sort of wake up/pick me up you may be in need of if you’ve had a few too many at the Christmas party the night/s before this bloody mary will be your best friend.

Steak Tartare

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Eggs benedict, chips and bloody mary

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Simply the best Christmas dessert around!

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Food was heavenly – the Christmas take of the classic Ivy’s Chocolate Bomb is phenomenal – secret christmas pudding is revealed when hot sauce is poured over the top- effortlessly cool. One for the marzipan lovers out there- by this point we were all very full but made room to share this between all of us. It would be rude not to try something that looks this yum!

Starting to feel very festive.

LLM

xx

Fish!, Borough Market

I won’t be shell-fish and keep this one to myself.

I love any restaurant that you can see into the kitchen, it gives dinner an extra level of anticipation. I love being nosey most of all and viewing all the dishes before picking my own. It gives me a sneaky preview of what’s to come (like a film trailer). The dining experience is simple but not underwhelming. Lots of excellent dishes makes the menu difficult to choose from. The central location in Borough Market means all the restaurant’s produce is from a stone’s throw away.

We weren’t sure how hungry we were to start with so we had a few starters and then decided to see if we were tempted to explore the mains on the menu afterwards. We tried the smoked haddock arancini, these were super and had been recommended by a friend, great for a couple as there were two per portion. We dived in and ordered half a dozen oysters (a new experience altogether for me). The only way I can describe eating oysters is like drinking a big gulp of the sea awash with a red wine and shallot vinegar chaser. All in all a good experience. Then we shared the calamari (very good!) with a seafood salad (very average!).

Next, we had found our sea legs so continued on…

As a main, I continued the haddock theme, it was served with a poached egg and wilted spinach (obviously with a side of chips). My wonderful companions chose the scallops with black pudding (beautifully paired together and very delicious) and the skate wing with black butter, capers and mash. A sign of good food is it shut all three of us up (not for too long but the effect was noticed).

Then because we were on a roll, we decided to push the boat out and hit up the desserts (safe to say none of us could move afterwards). The sticky toffee pudding and cheese board (with quince jelly – my absolute favourite) were divine.

I would rush back here in a heartbeat. Great company (you will have to pick your own), menu, atmosphere, location and value.

After a night of catching up with the girls all that laughter – I think I pulled a mussel (or maybe I over ate!)

LLM
xx

For more details: http://www.fishkitchen.co.uk/

Gails Artisan Bakery

How to start the weekend the right way? Pop down to GAIL’s for some yummy just about anything. The counter is a mezze of cakes, quiches, stuffed cheesy croissants, cinnamon swirls, sausage rolls and much much more.

Best bit- the deliciously strong wake up coffee.

Worst bit- have to fight your way for a table (*do not be instantly put off- there are a few extra seats past the counter and for the brave there is a terraced area outside).

I need to go back and purchase their sour cherry and currant sourdough (the tester on the counter left me wanting more).

More details: 87 Lauriston Road, E9 7HJ

Opening Times

Monday to Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays: 8am – 7pm
Please note that we don’t take bookings, just pop in and find a table.

LLM

xx

Forest Bar on the Roof, Selfridges

Just past the Chanel perfume counter is an express lift that takes you up to a beautiful rooftop bar. A beautiful setting for dinner or drinks- this place takes some beating in my book. Immediately you are greeted by a festive foliage with a dreamlike atmosphere and disco ball lit arch alleyway.

image1-4Beautifully dressed ladies greet you as you come through the arches and take you to your table or to the bar as we wished to sample the cocktails first before sampling an array of delights from the dinner menu. image1-3The autumnal theme is evident in the main restaurant area as thin logs line the back wall, these glimmer in bronze and metallic gems with disco balls sporadically spread throughout the dining area. Delicate fairy lights cover the ceiling and street lamps create a warm glow. Cosy throws are casually hung across the backs of the chairs and scattered cushions entice you.

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The pop-up offers a range of Christmas-themed cocktails including the Fancy Nogg, Spicy Cane and Gingerbread Choctail. I however, sampled some older classics including but not limited to: a white russian and an expresso martini to welcome in that friday feeling. Our waiter was very kind and attentive matching our meal choice to a great bottle of wine.

The hardest part of being here is deciding what to eat on the delicious menu. My friends and I sampled the swiss cheese fondue with garlic toast (instantly warming and perfect winter comfort food), the beef burger (with additional spicy avocado), steak and ale pie, highland venison and because we fancied treating ourselves we chose extra decadent sides.

How could you resist the truffle chips or baked cauliflower cheese?

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Overall it was a sparkling night and a great location for an intimate dinner or a large scale christmas friends gathering.

For more information see their website here. SELFRIDGES, 400 OXFORD ST, LONDON W1A 1AB

020 7318 3287

LLM

xx