Month: January 2012

Burns Night at Vinopolis

Phil, please stop, you’re too funny – whoever the heck Phil is. You see, I know Phil because his name was written on his placemat at the Burns Night celebrations at Vinopolis last week. But the thing is, Phil scuppered me somewhat by not turning up. I was sat on a round table of 10 with my guest to my left, but on my right was a big gaping space where Phil and his friend were meant to sit. Naughty Phil. But enough of him, let’s talk about the people that did turn up and more importantly the food and drink we consumed on the evening. A champagne reception was followed by a cocktail of Chivas 12 year old with apple juice and monin cinnamon. We were ushered into the joining room to enjoy a short bagpipe parade before being seated at our table for the evening in the vast function room set in the arches of an old Victorian railway viaduct. Sound impressive? It was. We snaked past the tables full of suited and …

Endellion, Watergate Bay

“Turn next left and you have reached your destination.” Thank god, I was getting ready to rip the sat nav off the dashboard. The soft and huskey tones of the woman giving us directions was starting to grate on me. If only I could have changed the voice to, say, David Hasslehoff or David Attenborough, everything would have been ok. But no, we were stuck with the extremely irritating generic option. Don’t get me wrong, I think sat nav is incredible in the way that it (mostly) gets you from A to B with minimal effort, but after a few hours, I was glad to turn it off. Our destination, by the way, was the picturesque Watergate Bay in Newquay, Cornwall. I say picturesque but I didn’t actually know this until the following morning when I woke up. For when we arrived, it was dark, cold, windy and exceptionally rainy. We were due to eat out in Newquay that evening but as soon as we stepped inside Endellion, one of the luxurious eco pads nestled …

Tamarai, Drury Lane

When War Horse first opened at the New London theatre, I was desperate to go. But for some reason or other I never made it. Fast forward almost three years and I had almost forgotten that the production was still running. That was until last week when I visited a Tamarai restaurant a few doors down on Drury Lane. Feeling slightly envious as I walked past the crowd of theatre goers, I walked into Tamarai and down the stairs into the dimly lit restaurant where my friend was waiting for me at the table, fanning herself manically. For a mid January evening, it was mild outside and rather hot inside. I was at Tamarai to try out the £15 for three courses set menu. Usually when I see such an offer, I recoil and attempt to avoid at all costs but after some hardcore investigation (ten minutes on google), I was convinced to try it. So I did. And it was really rather good. The waiters are the shy but efficient and extremely pleasant kind …

Penks Queens Park

Looking to buy a flat has been a long and very laborious task. London is a big city and over the last year we have found it exceptionally hard to pin down one area where we really want to set our roots. But I’m pleased to say that after what seems like a lifetime, we have found it. The area in question? The lovely leafy Queens Park. We have spent the last couple of weekends walking around and sampling what the area has to offer. Of course the first test was brunch. And having seen Penks made it into the top brunches in London list on Time Out recently, it was only fair to pay them a visit. As we walked through the door at 10am, we were greeted by two staff and an empty dining room. I was slightly confused as the Salusbury café across the road was considerably busier and I had found nothing online about this place. Still, we persevered with Penks and enjoyed a leisurely brunch. The menu consists of the …

Coffee at Dock Kitchen

If you were lucky enough to be in London over the weekend, you may have noticed how utterly stonkingly good the weather was. It was cold but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as the sun beamed down and brightened up my days. We decided to make the most of it on Sunday by hopping on our bikes and cycling down the Regents canal to Dock Kitchen where we enjoyed a cup of coffee on the deck before heading home via Lisboa Patisserie on Golbourne Road to pick up a couple of Portuguese tarts for dessert that evening. I could get used to life around here. Dock Kitchen is a fantastic space situated across from Innocent Towers on the Regents canal. Home to designer Tom Dixon and chef Stevie Parle, Dock Kitchen serves a range of seasonal dishes that have been inspired by the chefs travels. I have never been for dinner or lunch but after seeing a number of plates over the weekend, we’re now planning a date to go back and enjoy …

Konditor & Cook hot chocolate

There are some things in life I just can’t explain – the fact that I’ve never done a post about the hot chocolate from Konditor & Cook is just one of those things. I first came across this hot chocolate when I worked at the Grays Inn Road store four years ago. I worked as a sales assitant for a month between jobs and had a great time. Not least because part of the training meant that I was able to spend 1/2 day in the kitchen at The Gherkin with the head chef. I was put in the savoury kitchen, rather than helping the bakers but I was able to see the effort and precision that is put into baking and decorting the large range of cakes that are on sale across all stores. Each store has it’s own kitchen where the cakes are baked freshly daily. It’s a big operation and you can sure tell. But back to the hot chocolate. It’s thick and creamy without being too rich and chocolatey without being …

Gospel Brunch at Altitude 360

The weather last Sunday may have been cloudy and overcast but the views from the 28th floor of the Millbank Tower were astounding. We arrived at 12pm and were shown to our table for brunch. But this was no ordinary brunch; this was Gospel at Altitude 360. As I stared out at the London skyline, picking out recognisable buildings and areas, we were taken by surprise as three gospel singers clad in long red gowns approached our table and started singing. Not normally one for audience participation (I’d rather be invisible); I was silently panicking as I saw them approach, having just watched two tables nearby enjoying a soulful rendition of Happy Birthday. But worries of embarrassment soon diminished and I felt very welcomed by the soft and joyful tones. We were asked if we had any requests. Sister Act immediately popped into my head as I had spent a lazy evening over the Christmas period watching it and I sent them away with a request to sing a song from the film (as I’m …