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Summer at the Sky Garden

What
The Sky Garden hosts live music summer sessions

sky

Where
Sky Garden
1 Sky Walk,
London
EC3M 8AF

Experience
Do you ever spend time looking for the perfect summer drinks venue? Then look no further. The Sky Garden has gourmet food, the most spectacular sweeping panoramic views of London, and a garden oasis. It has been my hot-spot place to recommend for the last year and has now excelled even my expectations by hosting live music sessions featuring artists, band and DJS from ALR music all summer.

My city-girl friend Steph had only a few more days in London before she moved to the countryside so I asked her to join me for the opening night of live music at Sky Garden. It could not have been a more perfect end to her London adventure. We walked around the 360 degree platform while listing all city sights viewable from the three storey floor-to-ceiling windows, while surrounded by tropical foliage and sipping prosecco. We watched three bands who played a perfect blend of soul and funk which secured our place on the dancefloor by 9pm.

If you want to take dining to the next level (level 35, 36 and 37 to be precise) then book a table before the music session at one of the restaurants in the sky. Sky Pod, Darwin Brassiere and Fenchurch Restaurant offer all day dining hidden within the highest rooftop gardens in London. The Sky Garden is a true dream-land. Take a seat, sip a cocktail, enjoy the music and take in THAT VIEW!

Cost
Summer Sessions are free
Reserve an exclusive sofa area here

Rosa’s Thai Cafe – Victoria

 

What
The much loved Rosa’s Thai Cafe has now arrived in Victoria.

rosa

Where
25 Gillingham Street
London
SW1V 1HN

Experience
If, like me, you are a long-term fan of husband and wife owned chain Rosa’s Thai Cafe then you will be excited about their new opening in Victoria. Before the grand opening, I was invited down to sample the menu.

I met my pal Gethin at Victoria station and took the stroll down the beautifully affluent West London streets to a quiet corner building. We were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and a seat in the corner of a very relaxed, but bustling, cafe.

The kitchen ovens had not yet been installed but the party menu did not disappoint. We ate Fresh Soft Rolls, soft rice paper rolls of fragrant herbs and vegetables joined by salty peanut sauce and a spicy sweet chilli dipping sauce. Shortly followed by Spicy Beef Salad – Yum nuer yang Char-grilled sirloin on spicy leaves with mint & chilli dressing. Every mouthful was fragrant, spicy, light and definitely moreish.

Rosa’s Thai Cafe serves up homemade helpings of authentic Thai food with a dash of London charm. If you want to try to rustle up a Rosa’s at home Saiphin Moore’s first book ‘Rosa’s Thai Café The Cookbook’ is on sale and is definitely worth a look!

Cost
Fresh Soft Rolls £6.25
Spicy Beef Salad £12
Rosa’s Butternut Red Curry £10.25

Wine in the city

What
A boutique wine bar, sourcing wine directly from vineyards all over the world, Humble grape aims to bring amazing wine and simple, high quality food to customers in London City.

Humble-Grape-Fleet-Street-to-open-its-doors-in-May-20161

Where
Humble Grape
http://www.humblegrape.co.uk/
1 St. Bride’s Passage,
London EC4Y 8EJ

Experience
Humble Grape is on a mission ‘to make wine socially inclusive and approachable by anyone’ and is successfully doing so by creating a relaxed ambience in a beautiful location. Shying away from the typical wine cellar feel of barrels everywhere, they use champagne racks mounted on the walls throughout to subtly allude to the theme of the restaurant.

We arrived on a buzzing Wednesday, and were kindly seated, while our enthusiastic and knowledgeable waiter went through the wine and food menu.  He was keen to find out what our normal go-to wine was and why. I said a dry white and he listed a number of wines, all of which sounded amazing, before we narrowed it down to a white from The Islander Estate in south Australia. It was the so delicious, full of Lemon, honey and floral notes with a hint of spice from the French oak. We enjoyed several glasses of this alongside the Iberia secret: two generous cuts of pork shoulder served with a red pepper puree and roast potatoes and the Piscivore platter; a mound of galician-style octopus, mackerel pâté, white crab salad, home cured salmon, brown bread, focaccia.  Both were heavenly and more than enough for two people. As we were watching our waistlines, we shyed away from desert and instead had two (no doubt calorie filled) glasses of Alimant- Laugner Rose Cremant, which was a delicate Provence Rose, which was definitely worth spending some extra time in the gym for.  Humble grape is beautiful and such a find for the city, the staff are so personable and the owner James is so passionate that every guest has an amazing time and hopefully discovers something completely new that they like.

Cost
£60 for two sharing plates and a bottle of wine

Swan Restaurant – A Midsummer Night’s Dream Afternoon Tea

What
To coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and Emma Rice’s staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe Theatre, Swan has launched A Midsummer Night’s Dream themed afternoon tea worthy of the fairy queen herself.

SWAN_MSND_TEA_1

Where
Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe
21 New Globe Walk,
Bankside,
London,
SE1 9DT

Experience
I strolled easterly along the Southbank to Swan restaurant on a sunny Wednesday afternoon to experience a magical Midsummer Night’s Dream themed afternoon tea. I arrived early and was shown to a private room overlooking both the glistening Thames and inside Globe Theatre grounds which has been transformed into a fairyland forest. I knew to expect something very special indeed.

The white clothed tables were decorated with playful crockery designed by illustrator Annika Wester who mimics themes in the play. When other guests had finally arrived we were all served a Love Potion cocktail. The separate potion contained Earl Grey infused gin, honey from the London Honey Co and blackberry puree. I was encouraged to add my potion to a half glass of prosecco and fresh blackberries to create a magical (very boozy) mix.

The menu has been cleverly designed to incorporate the food and characters in Shakespeare’s famous play. I started with a dainty herb fed lemon chicken sandwich with pea flower. Pea flower being the flower from which Oberon’s love potion is squeezed. The filling was rich and creamy. I enjoyed the brioche casing too, although I think the love potion struggled to work its magic.

Afternoon tea is nothing without a good scone. Plain and mulberry scones sat proudly on top of the three tiered tea trays. I picked a mulberry scone remembering how Pyramus and Thisbe agreed to meet under a mulberry tree. My scone was well risen and so light. I covered it in jam and polished it off.

I had to leave earlier than the other guests so I didn’t get to try the other dishes including duck egg mayonnaise sandwiches with asparagus, smoked salmon with grape mustard and a dill pancake, strawberry delice with elderflower meringue, and hibiscus and apricot dessert shots. I was encouraged to take home a dreamy wild mushroom and whipped goats cheese tart which I ate on the way home.

I have organised a work trip to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the end of June and cannot wait to return for an afternoon tea. The entire, very unique, experience was bewitching from start to finish.

When
The tea will be available Monday to Saturday from 11.30am – 3.30pm, and Sundays from 2pm – 3.30pm.

Cost
£24.50
£29.50/£32.50 (with a glass of Prosecco/Champagne)
£33 (with a love potion cocktail)
£39.50 (with 90 minutes of unlimited Prosecco)

Rose Oil Massage AT HOME with Spa by Car

mas
I didn’t think last weekend would pan out as it did. I had the best I have had in ages, mostly because I saw lots of friends and drank lots of delicious booze. I was also treated to one of the best, albeit most painful, massages I have ever had. In the comfort of my own bedroom!

Claire-Marie from Spa by Car rocked up to my flat in perfect time on Sunday. I had made sure to sleep off my hangover as much as I could before welcoming her into my home, armed with all the equipment she needed to work her magic on my tired and stressed body.

I gave her a few minutes in my room to set up her workstation and when I walked in, my room sounded, looked and smelled like a spa. It was magical!

I had opted for the rose oil body massage, which I was expecting to be so relaxing that I would maybe fall asleep during the treatment, but as Claire-Marie made her way down my body, by the time she got to my thighs I was in for a lovely shock. It was at this point I realised she was giving me a deep tissue massage. And boy did I need it. “Are you in pain?”, she asked. I was, but it was a great pain and one that I could cope with, so I murmured a response that reflected that. She carried on and reached more pain points in my body.

I knew I was stressed, but I didn’t realise just how much my body needed this. When the hour was up I asked Claire-Marie a few questions, to which she answered by letting me know that she was responding to the needs of my body – I could feel this. Usually when I go for a massage, the treatment is the same on both sides, but Claire-Marie was pushing and prodding differently in the areas that needed it most.

Although I definitely didn’t sleep during the treatment, I ended up with a feeling of rejuvenation and immediately booked a course. What’s more, I didn’t even have to leave the house and I curled up on the sofa afterwards feeling relaxed and happier than I was when I had woken up.

Spa by Car is great. Claire-Marie is great. I loved it and I would highly recommend, particularly if it will help you by fitting around your busy schedule. I know where I’ll be going, or should I say ‘be staying’, for my massages in the future.

A 60 minute rose oil body massage costs £60

Mojitos on London’s Answer to a Beach

Where

La Terrazzo at Number 90 Bar & Kitchen

bar90.jpg

What

Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s newly opened Mexican style Terrace space for canal side cocktails in Hackney Wick.

Experience

Pop up’s in East London over summer are hardly something new, but I think the team at Number 90 Bar and Kitchen have really hit the spot for the perfect watering hole for those long summer afternoons. La Terraza is a Mexican style terrace bar that is now open Wednesday through to Sunday for the rest of summer. I’m not sure about you, but when I hear the word Mexican my brain switches straight to Margaritas and Guacamole, and this is exactly what you will get. Saturday’s see La Terraza offer “Bottomless Frozen Margaritas” for £20 (time limits do apply), giving a nice summer alternative to London’s new favourite pastime – the Bottomless Brunch. The Frozen Margarita’s come in classic, strawberry, and my personal favourite, the deliciously sour and refreshing Passionfruit. If cocktails aren’t your thing, there are also both Mexican and Local craft beers on offer – as well as tequila (obviously!!!). The food is described as “Mexican Street Food” – think taco’s, nacho’s, quesadillas and also a delicious Mexican style tortilla pizza, all fresh, flavoursome and with a bit of kick if that’s what you are into.  And it wouldn’t be Hackney if they didn’t have a calendar full of various DJ’s, live music and entertainment planned (including Open Air Cinema’s, Yoga, and a Cricket Eating Competition?!).  Despite not having the white sandy beaches you may see in Cancun, Hackney Wick’s canal is the best you are going to get in London…and after 2 hours of bottomless Margaritas – who’s going to notice the difference?

Cost

Tickets for 2 hours of bottomless frozen margaritas are priced at £20 and are available to purchase in advance by emailing laterraza@number90bar.co.uk

Mexican Street Food – Priced from £5

Address

90 Main Yard, Wallis Road
HACKNEY WICK
E9 5LN London

Bodeans – a perfect marriage of meat and beer

Where

Bodeans, Covent Garden

http://www.bodeansbbq.com/site/coventgarden

bodeans-big.jpg

What
Following the success of Bodean’s five other restaurants, they have opened a new haven for all meat lovers in Covent Garden.

Experience

A night of meat and beer would not normally be my first choice, however when I came home and told Jack that we had been invited to a five course tasting at Bodeans, his enthusiasm seemed to suggest not going wasn’t an option.

We arrived and were greeted with a background on Bodeans and their beer selection. Whilst this was being explained, it dawned on me that not drinking tonight was not a viable option. I ran through the possible excuses in my head for not drinking and decided that claiming pregnancy would be a little crazy and I decided to suffer the Thursday hangover instead.

Decisions aside, the food arrived and it did not disappoint. We started with a chargrilled chicken and avocado salad paired with a golden ale from Kona brewery in Hawaii. It was a delicious and a surprisingly light start to evening. We then had an amazing farmhouse ale as we munched on their award-winning pulled pork and house slaw. Much to my zippers relief, another lighter option arrived of swordfish and mango salsa paired with a tropical IPA. Things then moved back into the Deep South with baby back ribs and seasoned fries. They were delicious, and luckily we were sat with less greedy people that meant that they had three ribs each and we had ten. Jack had suggested putting some bones in my bag to ensure he got his fair share, but luckily it didn’t come to mixing carcass with my lipstick. The piece-de-resistance was a warm chocolate brownie and ice cream, paired with a dark stout from a Local London Black Cab company.

Having eaten five courses and drank five new beers, most of which Bodeans alcohol buyers pride themselves on being from independent breweries in Southern US states, I left Bodeans feeling full, satisfied and educated. The staff have a real passion for craft beers and pairing it with the meats in a way that you would normally only imagine with wine pairing. My recommendation is to go, it’s great, even if your idea of eating half a cow, isn’t a dream come true, there are a lot of lighter options and a lot of good beers.

Cost
£50 meal for two

Address

25 Catherine Street

WC2B 5JS