A Visit to Brompton Food Market

I’m not great at new year’s resolutions. At best I consider pressing reboot, rather than making a list of promises to myself because I know I don’t have much willpower or stamina when it comes to shifting gear so suddenly as soon as it hits January 1st. It hasn’t been a dry January and I haven’t bought a Nutribullet. But saying that, I am a big fan of goals and giving myself goals such as the winter run series and a shopping trip at the start of next month has meant I’ve been going to the gym more often than usual and watching what I eat.

One of the ways I’m making sure I eat properly is to make sure I shop properly. I’m trying harder to plan what I buy so I don’t end up grabbing whatever is most convenient at the end of the day. Shopping properly also means I have more chance of picking up quality ingredients which obviously means a tastier supper.

Recently, I learned about Brompton Food Market in South Kensington. It’s round the corner from the wonderful al fresco strip of restaurants on Exhibition Road and it fits nicely with the locale.

Brompton Food Market

Brompton Food Market is about “the produce; carefully sourced from around the world with seasonal fruit and veg kept in perfect condition, rare breed meat, aged and cut with knowledge and care and sparkling fish straight from the boats in Newlyn Harbour.”Brompton Food Market

And when you take a look around, you can see quality oozing from the shelves and counters … Brompton Food Market

Brompton Food Market

Brompton Food Market

Brompton Food MarketBrompton Food Market

Brompton Food Market

Brompton Food Market

Brompton Food MarketI love that there is a juice bar …

Brompton Food Market

… and that you can enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat amongst the produce.

Brompton Food Market

Out back there is also a wonderful gem, a secret garden which isn’t so secret amongst the locals. It’s a really fabulous spot which seems to be popular in the winter and I can imagine it being a great place to hang out during the other seasons, especially summer.
Brompton Food MarketBrompton Food Market are also about to start holding events. The first one is a Burns Night Supper on January 23rd which sounds great. Co-owner and chef Luke Mackay will be preparing a four-course menu which starts with some Champagne and canapés as a preamble to the dinner.

For more information about this evening and future events, here’s the store’s website.

Chelsea Girl

Brompton Food Market, 33 Thurloe Place, SW7 2HQ. 0207 584 4491.

Things To Do In London This Weekend: 16th – 17th January 2015

1. Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the Science Museum is something I’ll be checking out this weekend. And if you’re interested in photography, you’ll probably want to go along too.

You’ll discover 200 “extraordinary highlights from the collection of the world’s oldest surviving photographic society, by some of the greatest names in photography.” I just can’t wait to be in a room surrounded by so many stunning images.

2. Catch up on the Best Picture Oscar nominated films for this year. They include American Sniper, which is on general release in the UK from Friday 16th January 2015.

Boyhood, which is available on DVD from 19th January 2015. So you can pre-order now.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is available to watch on DVD now.
The Imitation Game, which is still on at some cinemas to watch.

Selma, which is on general release from 6th February 2015. But you can watch a preview of the film on Monday 19th January 2015 at a special Cineworld screening. So it’ll probably be worth booking a ticket now.

The Theory of Everything is now on in cinemas to watch.
Whiplash is also on in cinemas to watch.

3. Pop into The Cadogan Arms and enjoy their January Blues offer of 2 courses for £15 and 3 courses for £19 with selected dishes on their à la carte menu that are highlighted in blue. Here’s one of my reviews on dining at The Cadogan Arms. The food’s good!

4. Make the most of the January Sales. There are still up to 50% – 70% off sales in stores along the King’s Road and on Duke of York Square. I’ve already picked up a few pieces and I think I may go back for a few more.

5. And finally if you’re looking to feel like a new you for the new year, I recommend trying the Synaesthesia treatment at the Lush Spa on King’s Road. Here’s a review I wrote a while ago and I still remember how good the massage made me feel. It’s amazing. You’ve got to try it!

LUSH Spa King's RoadChelsea Girl

Mr Fogg’s Tipsy Tea

Last weekend Catherine and I headed to Mr. Fogg’s  for afternoon tea. If you’ve already read Catherine’s post you’ll know that this is somewhere we’d both been planning to go to for a while. But given that we’ve both had the busiest year, we’ve never managed to fix a date until now.

Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

After wandering off-piste in gorgeous Mayfair, you find yourself stepping inside one of the most charming bars I’ve been to in a long while.

The details of Mr. Fogg’s journey around the world in 80 days are imprinted on every piece of the bar’s interior. From the clock to the hint of the hot air balloon as well as various other clues that demonstrate an impressive attention to detail that makes you believe Mr. Fogg could have actually been here.

Foggs - Interior

Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

As for Catherine and I, we were here for Mr. Fogg’s Tipsy Tea and if you’ve been to Barts or Bunga Bunga, you’ll know that you shouldn’t expect the norm from the guys behind this place. And wonderfully so.Mr. Fogg's Tipsy Tea

The Tipsy Afternoon Tea starts as it means to go on, with a delicious cocktail served in a tea cup – as an aperitif. Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

There is a range of cocktails to choose from the menu and I had to go for the Belvoir Castle tea, simply because I loved the idea of Champagne arriving in a milk jug. That’s right, I could dictate how strong I wanted my cocktail to taste by how much Champagne I poured into my cup.

Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

My idea of heaven.

Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

The Belvoir Castle included jasmine tea infused Tanqueray No.TEN gin with rose liqueur, pomegranate juice and a splash of cherry purée, topped with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs champagne and a mist of Harry Brompton’s London Ice Tea.

Whilst catching up and sipping cocktails, the festive cake stand arrived. The cakes and pastries were all very good but …
Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

… what really won me over were the sandwiches. With afternoon tea, I’m used to my expectations being met or sometimes let down. But in this case they were surpassed. The fig and walnut sandwich was a clear favourite for both of us. Outstanding.Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

And I couldn’t help but sneak in one more cocktail before leaving, the Catherine of Braganza as a nod to my present company. ;) This cocktail had Green Tea infused Tanqueray No.TEN gin, steeped in a teapot with Cointreau liqueur, crème de apricot and orange marmalade. Another good choice.

Tipsy Afternoon Tea is available on either Fridays or Saturdays and we were there on a Saturday. The room had a great buzz in a lounging around and drinking delicious cocktails kind of way. All the seats were taken and by 5pm the bar was already starting to get busy.
Mr Fogg's Tipsy Tea

If you’re looking for an afternoon tea with character or a good excuse to drink delicious cocktails or enjoy tasty cakes and sandwiches, I have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Fogg’s. It’s a refreshing change.

 Mr. Fogg’s,  15 Bruton Lane, London W1J 6JD.

Disclaimer: The afternoon tea was complimentary but without a doubt my opinion hasn’t been swayed. This is a great spot to try and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Last week I was invited to try the latest menu at Stelle di Stelle in Harrods. The concept behind this wondrous pop-up involves five of the best restaurants in Italy which take up residency at Harrods for a month each from September 2014 until January 2015. The restaurants have 13 Michelin stars between them and I was lucky enough to be able to try Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Féolde’s menu from Enoteca Pinchiorri which has 3 Michelin stars.

So what did Julie and I have for our delicious catch up?

We started with some beautiful cheese and ham, paired with a glass of Ferrari Maximum Brut Trento Doc. Light and tasty, this was a perfect start to the meal.

stelle di stelle at harrods

The next course included chestnut mousse with pancetta, pine nuts and rosemary along with a glass of Ferrari Maximum Brut Trento Doc. This must have been the lightest mousse I have ever tasted. Its airy texture matched the deep flavours of the other ingredients. Pure sensation for my tastebuds. Even the olive oil danced around my mouth as I savoured each spoonful.

Stelli di Stelli at Harrods

Another fantastic dish followed. Octopus cooked in olive oil with pumpkin cream, coffee pearls and watercress sprouts which was paired with a glass  Rosso di Montalcino Doc San Polo 2012.

The coffee pearls were an elegant touch to this sumptuous dish. Apparently the octopus had been cooked three ways by the time it had reached the table and again, each mouthful arrived with a depth of flavour and texture that could only be the result of careful preparation.

We were both very much enjoying our meal.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Poached egg with Alba white truffle and Grana Padano cheese fondue was next on the list, with a glass of Giulio Ferrari Trento Doc 2002 to go with it.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

I don’t think I have a favourite dish on this menu as they were all sublime. But if I had to pick, this would come close because poached egg, white truffle and cheese fondue prepared so delicately. I really tried to take my time with this one …
Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

The next course – and at this stage with three more courses to go – I didn’t feel overfed but instead excited to experience the next adventure. The next course involved fusilli al ferretto with artichokes, scampi and liquorice powder, paired with a glass of not wine but Birra Moretti la Rossa.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

To translate, a delicious glass of beer. I’m not a real beer drinker and would never think to pair my pasta with a glass but this totally worked. There was so much flavour in this glass of beer as there was in each glass of wine we had tried so far. There were layers and depth, just as there were with each dish too.Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

The penultimate course included a rack of lamb topped with garlic and thyme, accompanied by polenta and Cavolo Nero and paired with a glass of Poggio Al Tesoro Mediterra Igt Toscana 2011.

Admittedly I have never been a fan of polenta and I really don’t think I would ever order it in a restaurant. But by now I completely trusted the menu and I knew if there was a time when I would enjoy it, it would be now. And I was right.

The lamb was also something to savour, cooked perfectly and full of flavour.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Finally the dessert came along with bread, chocolate, oil and salt and a glass of Giovanni Allegrini Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico Doc 2010.

This dish is apparently based on a popular children’s favourite in Italy but obviously this more refined and sophisticated version arrived with a few surprises such as the soft chocolate pouring out of the chocolate casing as well as the taste of the olive oil upon the crispy bread. This isn’t your nuttella sandwich idea of a dessert. It’s something more delicate and if you especially enjoy sea salt chocolate, you will enjoy this.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Julie and I were amongst the last to leave Stelle di Stelle which you can find on the lower ground floor of Harrods, next to the fine wine section. So I had the opportunity to snap this photo to give you an idea of the beautiful design of the restaurant.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

The whole evening was a real delight and whilst we dined in Knightsbridge, I really did feel like I had embarked on a culinary adventure. Always my favourite kind of meal.

Chelsea Theatre: Stacy Makishi’s Vesper Time

The latest SACRED season has kicked off at Chelsea Theatre and on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th, this King’s Road theatre sees the return of Stacy Makishi with her world premiere of VesperTime.

Vesper Time – Stacy Makishi

What strikes me about VesperTime is the influences of Moby Dick, Hitchcock and Bjork’s album Vespertine that apparently create a striking performance where rock concert meets subversive sermon.

If you’ve read my previous reviews on productions at the Chelsea Theatre, you will have noticed that the element of surprise is very much at work when you walk through their doors. And each time you leave feeling moved.

VesperTime was developed with the support of the National Theatre Studio and commissioned by Chelsea Theatre and Colchester Arts Centre.

For more information and tickets, see Chelsea Theatre’s website.

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