Last week I visited Salon Sloane on Holbein Place, just around the corner from Sloane Square tube station. There were quite a few reasons for my excitement: I’d heard so much about the great team at the salon who included the fabulous Kelly (the salon’s Chief Operating Officer) who I was thrilled to be seeing again after quite a few years. Another reason why I was looking forward to discovering Salon Sloane was because of its imminent move to Pavilion Road.

Pavilion Road deserves an entire post to itself because it is fast becoming a thriving neighbourhood hangout in Chelsea.

Diagonally across Sloane Square when you step off Symons Street …

… you can find UK’s longest mews lined with boutique stores and artisan food …

… along with this beautiful courtyard where you can enjoy Granger & Co, April’s Café and soon KXU (KX’s pay as you go gym, which is also very exciting).

In September, Salon Sloane will be moving to Pavilion Road and after being treated to a fabulous haircut with a fringe that is constantly being complimented, I am very certain the salon will be a great addition to this fabulous road. The staff are so friendly and just like the rest of Pavilion Road, Salon Sloane’s expertise excels.

With Cosmetics à la Carte and Sarah Chapman a stone’s throw away from Salon Sloane it looks like Pavilion Road is fast becoming as much a beauty destination as it is foodie for the locals.

Thank you Ivan for my haircut. I can’t wait to see you guys soon again.

There are many layers to London’s beauty. One of them are the culinary journeys you can take without having to leave this fabulous city.

A few weeks ago while London was basking in the heat of the summer’s sun I visited Eneko; a new modern Basque restaurant nestled inside the elegant One Aldwych hotel.

While I chose a glass of Champagne to start our five-course brunch with, OH chose the G22 by Gorka Izagirre served exclusively at Eneko. This clean and complex wine was a delight to try so much so I had to order a glass for myself later on.

And while Little Man tucked into his kids’ menu …

OH and I started our brunch with the beautiful Traditional Talo, made of crispy corn talo, heritage tomatoes and basil emulsion. It was fresh on the palate and as tasty was it was picture perfect.

Next on the menu was the Cerdito Caliente “Hot Hog” which involved Iberico ham and mushroom duxelle in a Basque muffin. This probably wasn’t a dish I would have looked at ordering but upon taking the first bite it was one I enjoyed instantly and had no problem finishing.

The next course was a lighter and just as flavoursome Egg Yolks Tempura with creamy potatoes and confit vegetables while …

… the fourth course allowed for a choice between three dishes:

The Txuleta (below), which OH ordered. Organic Rhug Estate rib of beef and spring onion salad …

The duck breast with green Gernika peppers, which I enjoyed thoroughly …

… with some chips on the side.

And monkfish with garlic, chilli and parsley, which also sounded great.

The fifth and final dish on the Eneko’s brunch menu is the Torrija; a Basque vanilla sponge, with caramel crumble ice cream, which was so good and the perfect ending to this most wonderful meal.

While OH enjoyed his vanilla sponge dessert, I chose the rose marshmallow with strawberry sorbet – which isn’t on the set menu.

The whole experience at Eneko was such a pleasure. The friendly staff were fantastic especially with Little Man patiently sitting through our five courses (and some exploring thrown in). I’ve never taken an iPad to a restaurant or pulled my iPhone out to entertain so this was Little Man’s biggest restaurant challenge, which he excelled at. I was so impressed especially as it’s so easy to lose track of time with Eneko’s stylish and airy interior.

Eneko, 1 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BZ

*We were invited as guests of the restaurant but hand on heart Eneko’s weekend brunch menu is real treat. 

I love it when time flies, you catch up with a friend and it feels like only yesterday when you were laughing and letting the meandering conversation make its own way into the evening. The other week that’s just what happened with one of my nearest and dearest friends and on the night we were perched comfortably on stools along the bar of Chicama; a Peruvian restaurant along the King’s Road.

Over the years we’ve experienced a few firsts together: going to the Orange store in Notting Hill to pick up our first mobile phones on our lunch break; visiting Puglia for a girly holiday when we were both single before we met the men we now have children with; and countless London discoveries as we made our way through our twenties. So it felt like old times when we met at Chicama and discovered this Chelsea gem together.

She recommended the Pera Verano cocktail which she had started the night off with … and I loved it. Beforehand, I’d also tried the Barberola cocktail with Barsol Pisco, rhubarb and cherry – their signature cocktail.

Small plates were spread out throughout our evening and we both enjoyed every dish we tried.

Padron peppers

Tapioca marshmallow with ocopa sauce

Sea bass ceviche, grilled corn, heritage tomato, pickled onion

Fried aubergine, plantain miso, pecans

King prawns, tosted almonds with yuzu kosho dressing

Black rice

And the evening ended with the sign of another fabulous night; an espresso martini with orange coffee liqueur.

Overall, the atmosphere at Chicama was lively; the staff were friendly and the restaurant itself was a real beauty. I’ll definitely be going back again.

Chicama, 383 King’s Road, SW10 0LP, London

It has been a while since I visited Haché on Fulham Road. Not since its stylish refurb had I set foot in here. But recently I was invited to pop in for a review and I accepted, unbeknownst to me how much had changed since the last time I dropped by.

Along with the more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing interior, I discovered that the burger menu had changed. Steak burgers are now a feature and my OH chose the Steak Fumé which arrived with caramelised onions, smoked bacon, gruyère cheese and Haché coleslaw. Its theatrical arrival in a smoke-filled dome was enough to capture anyone’s attention and gauging OH’s reaction, the burger was very good too especially …

… with a side of truffle fries.

As for me, I opted for the Steak Le Truffle burger which was topped with truffle shavings, truffle aioli, caramelised onions and Gruyère cheese. It was divine.

My side was a bowl of kale salad to add a healthy balance and I enjoyed it very much too.

Little Man went for the chicken goujons burger with fries and although he didn’t give the bun a chance he was a big fan of everything else he tried.

Overall, it really felt good being back at Haché and as I sipped a glass of gorgeous Kir Royale I wondered why it had taken us so long to return. I guess sometimes we slip in and out of habits; Haché was always one of the places we popped into before catching a film at the cinema across the road. It was almost a weekly event until Little Man came along and now he’s old enough to go to the cinema (today we watched Despicable Me 3), I feel that we will definitely be visiting Haché more often – not least because I’d like to indulge in another one of those steak burgers.

And another reason to return is for their breakfast menu (here). After our usual family Sunday mornings at the gym this menu looks so good.

Haché, 329-331 Fulham Road, London, SW10 9QL

A couple of weeks ago I attended one of Grace Belgravia’s #gracetalks. This one was on anxiety and depression in young people. If anyone has read or seen 13 Reasons Why it’s evident why young people are suffering more than ever in silence: from cyberbullying to increased pressures on self-image because of social media. The statistics on depression in young people are astounding: around 80,000 young people in the UK suffer from severe depression. But with campaigns such as Heads Together and celebrities such as Professor Green helping to raise awareness through their own projects, there is hope that the silence is starting to break.

But as much as mental health is a topic being widely discussed the reasons that brought me to this talk were more personal. Last year a friend had taken his life; the third man I’d personally known to do so. And given that I am also a mother to a beautiful boy who is full of charisma and energy, there was so much I wanted to understand too.

Grace Talks takes place inside Grace Belgravia’s stunning Atrium; a gorgeous space always dressed in beautiful art.

And for this talk there was a panel of three experts: Registered Clinical Psychologist Adriana Giotta, renowned Vedic Meditation teacher, Jillian Lavender and Lady Clare Milford Haven, Founder of The James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Trust, which raises funds for and awareness of anxiety, depression and suicide amongst young people.

During the evening we listened to the fascinating facts around the physical development of the brain in adolescents. Did you know when teenagers are tired their prefrontal cortex (front part of the brain) shuts down and their angry, more reptilian part of the brain takes over? With pressure on exams starting earlier than before and the integral role of social media in young people’s lives it’s no wonder teens are tired.

Throughout the evening we heard a very sad personal story and from it there was so much to be learned and take away to ponder on. There were also useful pointers; try to numb the uncomfortable feelings, you also numb the good feelings. And what are the signs that someone’s in trouble? Look for change in their behaviour and if you see something, try to connect with them and talk. It’s easier said than done. I still remember a niggling feeling I had over a Facebook post I saw and to this day I really wish I had asked the question, ‘are you ok?’ It haunts me like I’m sure plenty of other questions haunt other friends. I guess that’s why 13 Reasons Why has been so successful: it touched a nerve.

Going back to the Atrium at Grace Belgravia and the brave discussions that were taking place, this #gracetalks also opened my mind up to so many questions and viewpoints I hadn’t considered as a parent yet. But at the end of the night, what was the big nugget I took away with me? The importance of connecting. My little boy is three and I already know how important connection is for good behaviour. What I now realise is that working on this connection is just as important when the boy starts growing into a man because the more connected you are the more there is a chance for communication and identifying a change.

Thank you to Grace Belgravia for allowing me to sit in on this talk. It really opened my eyes.

For more information on Grace Belgravia’s events, see here

Grace Belgravia, 11c West Halkin Street, London SW1X 8JL

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