American Buffalo at Wyndham’s Theatre

At the start of this year I made the conscious decision to go to the theatre more in 2015. Theatre is my first love and for one reason or another my visits slowed down over time. So a couple of months ago, I started booking tickets and as soon as I learned about Damian Lewis and John Goodman appearing in American Buffalo at Wyndham’s Theatre, I booked my ticket for the first night possible, which was last Thursday.American Buffalo at Wyndham's Theatre

Wyndham’s Theatre has been a hit and miss place to watch plays for me so I went along hoping, really hoping, this wasn’t going to be one of those ‘miss’ experiences.

After all, Damian Lewis, John Goodman? I love those guys. Plus it was a David Mamet play. Expectations were high and after watching Antigone with Juliette Binoche last month I really wanted a reason to fall back in love with the stage. So was it any good?
American Buffalo at Wyndham's Theatre
It was very good and after all I’ve just said, surprisingly good.

American Buffalo develops with the witty, sharp dialogue that you can only expect from David Mamet. The lines were slick and the characters were affecting and engaging in their own way.

Damian Lewis looked like he had stepped out of Carlito’s Way, oversized sunglasses included, in his role as “Teach” Cole whilst John Goodman was well-drawn as the tender yet scheming Don Dubrow. But the biggest surprise of all was Tom Sturridge who I only mention now because when I booked my ticket I had no expectation of him at all. I’d never seen his acting anywhere so I assumed he would be at best ok. Tom Sturridge was the surprise of the evening. His acting talent was superb, flawless and very convincing as the ‘junkie’ Bob. He broke my heart every time he spoke. You could hear the years of pain that makes Bob who he is.

But American Buffalo isn’t what you expect. It’s full of laughter, heart and most of all, it explores the friendships between three unlikely comrades.

If you can get a ticket, do. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Chelsea Girl

Hermès Wanderland at Saatchi Gallery

If you have any spare time between now and 2nd May 2015, I urge you to visit the Saatchi Gallery for an exhibition that is truly full of wonder and surprise.

Hermès Wanderland is pure escapism whether you are an ardent fan of Hermès or someone who has been secretly longing for a trip down the rabbit hole ever since you picked up a copy of Alice in Wonderland.

Hermès Wanderland at Saatchi Gallery

From the moment I stepped into the exhibition I couldn’t help but be in awe of every detail in every room and on every corridor.
Hermès Wanderland at Saatchi Gallery

Even more , I’ve had to think carefully about which photos I was ready to share from the exhibition because I do think the less you know about Hermès Wanderland, the more you will get from it. But from the two photos I have selected, I hope I have conveyed another exciting concept from the exhibition, that the visitor is immersed in the art. You walk through it and you become part of it which is reflective in what is described as flânerie: “that wonderfully liberating art of urban wandering”, which is “second nature to Hermès.”Hermès Wanderland at Saatchi GalleryFor more information about Hermès Wanderland, if you can’t resist, see Saatchi Gallery’s webpage here. And one last note, the exhibition is free. Now there’s no excuse. ;)

Chelsea Girl

Lunch at The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The word on the street is that this glorious weather we’re having isn’t just a blip. We’re talking months of sunshine ahead of us … or so I hope (if I haven’t just jinxed it).

So it only makes sense to mention King’s Road’s latest restaurant opening, The Ivy Chelsea Garden which boasts the largest restaurant garden in London and which I visited last week for lunch.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

Stepping inside you can only be impressed with the renovation of the building. Both Joudie and I had grown up along the King’s Road and so the restaurant’s former interior as Henry J. Beans was firmly imprinted on our minds.Ivy Chelsea Garden

But every inch of The Ivy Chelsea Garden feels like a transformation. From the bar … Ivy Chelsea Garden

… to the gorgeous inside seating area, which differs in style as you walk around. The whole place has a light and airy feel about it and you truly feel like you have been transported off the King’s Road and into a world of its own.Ivy Chelsea GardenAs for the garden, neither Joudie or I remember the original garden looking so big. The outside space feels like an absolute delight to walk around and …

Ivy Chelsea Garden… there are even quieter nooks to sip a glass of something special in.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

As for lunch, I started off with a glass of Prosecco whilst Joudie ordered a Bloody Mary with Sipsmith Gin. Ivy Chelsea Garden

Joudie ordered the tuna carpaccio which I think was the winner amongst our starters. Ivy Chelsea GardenI chose the crispy duck salad which I thought was ok but nowhere near as good as the tuna.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

For main, we both ordered the whole lemon sole with a side of zucchini fritti. Ivy Chelsea Garden

Ivy Chelsea Garden

But the highlight of my lunch had to be the diary-free panna cotta, which was a set coconut cream pudding with chilli infused shaved pineapple. I’ve been mourning the loss of panna cotta in my diet since I discovered I was dairy intolerant so I was more than pleased to see this dish on the menu, which passed with flying colours.

Ivy Chelsea GardenThe Ivy Chelsea Garden is a great addition to the King’s Road and a beautiful place to dine. Although, I wouldn’t be entirely honest if I didn’t mention that I did experience some teething problems with the albeit friendly service. Hopefully this is all down to ‘early days’ because I’m already planning my return.

The Ivy Chelsea Garden,  197 King’s Road, London SW3 5ED.

Chelsea Girl

Girly catch-up at Sake No Hana

There is something about Japanese food that makes it ideal for a girly catch-up. Whether it’s for lunch or supper, it feels quite symbolic to share plates whilst sharing news, secrets and the latest in box sets/TV downloads of which I have so much to catch up on.

Last week I was invited to lunch at Sake No Hana where time stood still for a couple of hours and along with two other fabulous women, Alix and Joudie, I had the most delicious and fun time.

Sake No Hana

Saka No Hana is part of the Hakkasan restaurant group, so you can imagine the quality of the ingredients and the style in which they are prepared are very carefully considered.

And don’t you find that when the food is that good and the conversation is flowing, you can just keep on talking and eating as the plates keep on arriving? You’re not limited to three courses to punctuate the conversation. The afternoon or evening can just roll on.Sake No Hana

By the time our final platters had arrived, we were all satisfied yet ready for more. And because I enjoyed everything so much, it’s difficult to highlight my favourite dishes of the afternoon. If I were to think about it carefully, I would say the beautifully fresh sashimi, the sesame spinach with cassava chips and the sushi with the pear centre have stuck with me. But then again, if I think again so have the lobster tempura and sesame fried aubergine with fig.
Sake No HanaI’m planning on returning to Sake No Hana quite soon for Sakura at Sake No Hana, which I can’t wait for. From April 20th until 20th June, Sake No Hana will be alive with cherry blossoms. I wrote a post about it last year, which you can read here. Doesn’t it all look so beautiful? Their special menu is fantastic too.

Sake no Hana, 23 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HA

Chelsea Girl

Startisans on Duke of York Square

There have been a lot of exciting developments along the King’s Road for foodies – and the arrival of Startisans at Duke of York Square is no exception.

Opened now for a few weeks, Startisans is a pop-up indoor market that is packed with variety because every day is different.

One day you may find scrumptious marshmallows like you’ve never tasted before …

Startisans Duke of York Square

… which are sat alongside gorgeous homemade lasagne.Startisans Duke of York Square

Another day you may discover Vegan Sweet Tooth’s cakes and tarts, which are so divine. If you think you need to compromise on taste with vegan food, think again. Vegan Sweet Tooth has made me realise that dairy-free does not have to be uninteresting at all.Startisans Duke of York Square

Or, another day you could discover these Turkish wraps from Istanbul Lahmacun which I swear by. I’ve had the lamb wrap, which was not only tasty but also very satisfying. I’ll definitely be back for more when they return.

Startisans Duke of York Square

According to Startisans’ website, the definition of a Startisan is “an individual or group of individuals that have created a start up business specialising in artisan food.”

This means you’ll come across Eat ‘N’ Mess’s cakes which are a veritable treat if you can try them.
Startisans Duke of York Square

And what I also love about Startisans, apart from the truly delicious daily offerings, is the fact that start-ups have a platform to show off their goodies which focus on quality because of their small-scale operation.
Startisans Duke of York Square

But the main reason for me writing this post is an observation I made whilst walking along the King’s Road a couple of weeks ago. I spotted people with lunches in their plastic supermarket bags and I thought, if only they knew about ‘this place’. For the same price, they could send their tastebuds on a culinary journey and discover something both tasty and brand new. Makes lunchtimes a lot more interesting!Startisans Duke of York Square

Startisans is open 7 days a week and is definitely worth checking out.

Chelsea Girl

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