This is by far my favourite time of the year in Chelsea. The Duke of York Square and Sloane Square Christmas lights bring this end of the King’s Road to life in a way that’s quite magical. And just as excitingly there is now Chelsea Christmas Shopping Weekend on 3rd and 4th December to look forward to. With complimentary horse and carriage rides along Sloane Street, plenty of Champagne and Prosecco flowing in the stores and not to mention the elves, live singing and gifts when you shop on Duke of York Square, Pavilion Road and Sloane Street. If last year’s inaugural event is anything to go by, this weekend is going to be so much fun. The atmosphere will be buzzing especially with a two-day food market to look forward to: gourmet gifts for Christmas anyone? Yes, please!

Ahead of this weekend, I had the privilege of arranging a taste of Christmas evening with a few of my favourite bloggers: Angie, Emma, Aftab, Hattie and Jaime.

Duke of York Square Christmas

We met at Partridges where we enjoyed glasses of Partridges’ own Champagne and the most delicious canapés.

Duke of York Square Christmas

Admittedly with my sweet tooth I was drawn to try the pumpkin pie first as well as the pecan pie, which were both amazing – so much so, I’ve already been back a couple of times to pick up smaller pumpkin pies to take home. The OH had to try them too – they’re sooo good.

Duke of York Square Christmas

After a catch-up and a conversation with John Shepherd who owns Partridges and curates Saturday’s Fine Food Market for Duke of York Square, we headed to L.K.Bennett where we enjoyed more fizz and a look at their gifting collection.

Duke of York Square Christmas

I absolutely loved the #LKBxBoyarde leather stickers, which I’m definitely getting very soon. Watch this spaceDuke of York Square Christmas

And the scented candles looked like the perfect gift for the long winter evenings.

Duke of York Square Christmas

After L.K.Bennett we moved onto Liz Earle where a session of wreath-making took place. And as everyone got stuck in, I sat back and listened to the Liz Earle team telling us about their wonderful ingredients. This year as part of their Christmas Collection, Liz Earle have a special Sweet Orange & Clove Cleanse & Polish which sounds divine.

Duke of York Square Christmas

To end the evening we dined at Gallery Mess for a taste of their Christmas menu.

Duke of York Square Christmas

For main, I ordered the Barbary duck breast with mulled red cabbage, clementine and star anise jus, which was outstanding. I particularly liked the smoky taste of the charred clementine which really added to that sense of Christmas and the meal being winter fuel. The duck was faultless too.

Duke of York Square Christmas

And for dessert I had to have the chocolate fondant which didn’t disappoint. The salted caramel ice cream was the perfect match for the gooey chocolate centre. Truly delicious.

Duke of York Square Christmas

Angie’s stone bass and Aftab’s broccoli & blue cheese soufflé also looked very tempting. And I had a try of Aftab’s Christmas pudding which was wonderfully moist.

All in all it was a great evening with old and new friends – and the taste of Christmas on Duke of York Square was the perfect appetiser for this weekend’s event. I really can’t wait. Maybe I’ll see you there? 😉

For more details on Chelsea Christmas Shopping Weekend click here.

The whole evening was complimentary and I also received a gorgeous gift from L.K.Bennett but these are my honest thoughts: the food and drink all evening was very good and my wardrobe has plenty of L.K.Bennett pieces. My opinions really didn’t need any swaying. I just can’t wait to buy some stickers to go on my cross-body bag, which I will share on here as soon as I do. x

It’s not usual I dine out on my own. It’s been done but not frequently. But the other week when I visited Harrods to review Mango Tree, I had lunch alone and it felt like a real treat.

Of course, the glass of Laurent-Perrier rosé helped a lot and so did the people-watching which I find Knightsbridge so interesting for. Mango Tree, Harrods

But as much as I was enjoying a moment of time out, I realised not long after sitting down that it’s really difficult to keep me quiet. While I waited for my dim sum starter to arrive I found myself talking to the lady on my left. She was a jewellery buyer and as our conversation meandered I realised this was one of the reasons I used to love travelling abroad on my own: you always get to meet interesting people along the way because there are more opportunities to speak to them.

Eventually the dim sum arrived and I suddenly quietened down as I enjoyed tasters from the main menu which included Wagyu beef, prawn with white truffle oil as well as prawn and chives.

Mango Tree, Harrods London

I also had a taste of the fried starters and loved every single one. They included lobster popcorn with spicy mayo (delicious!), duck, sesame prawn spring rolls and mixed mushrooms & vegetable spring rolls. I couldn’t finish everything on the plate especially with the anticipation of my main course so admittedly I took the rest away with me and enjoyed the rest later.

Mango Tree Harrods

By the time my main arrived – a taster of the spicy chicken and …

Mango Tree, Harrods London

… and the succulent and tasty beef massaman, the jewellery buyer to my left was ready to leave. And as we bid each other a good afternoon, I tucked into smaller portions of dishes that were recommended to me on Twitter. I’d been to Mango Tree in Belgravia before and whilst I thought the meal was fine, I preferred this lunch by far. I guess in some cases it’s about knowing what to order and at Mango Tree, these two dishes are winners.

Mango Tree, Harrods London

To top off the good food and great setting, the staff were really helpful and kind. Of course I was there to review and they were looking after me but I also did quite a bit of eavesdropping and noticed how courteous they were to the other customers which made me feel very comfortable being there.

This is definitely a place I’d recommend if you’re looking for a special treat.

Mango Tree, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL

I love seeing messages from Emma come up on my phone. They always seem to arrive at the perfect moment and they always make me smile. One of the last messages I’d received was an invitation to Emma and Angie‘s joint birthday lunch at the Michelin-starred Marcus restaurant at The Berkeley. What a great way for two fabulous foodies to celebrate their special days, I couldn’t wait to be there.

Lunch started with an amuse-bouche: foie gras that melted in the mouth. And we all decided to go with the lunch menu with the sommelier’s selection.
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

The Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine David Levin, Loire Valley, France 2012 was paired with …

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

… the poached sea trout with trottolino pepper and buttermilk.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

The next glass that was poured was the Ribeiro Godello, ‘Cepas Velhas’, Godeval, Galicia, Spain 2015, which went very nicely with …

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

… the salt baked celeriac with hazlenut and truffle, which I absolutely loved.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Next was the cod with sweetcorn and clam …

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

… followed by the fallow venison with heritage carrot and glazed fig.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Every single dish and wine pairing was spot on. And needless to say so was the company which also included Aftab and Lauren.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Before we moved on to dessert, we swiftly devoured the cheese platters which gave us a taste of everything we could want.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

And eventually we reached the chocolate with clementine and rosemary …

chocolate

… followed by a final taster.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

The dining room was busy when we first arrived and by the time we had finished we were the last table left. Still it felt too soon to head home so instead, we popped into The Berkeley’s Blue Bar for one more drink. I had a glass of Laurent-Perrier rosé while I also had my eye on …

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

… Emma’s toffee martini …

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

… and reminisced at the sight Aftab’s Porn Star Martini which used to be my cocktail of choice at one point.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

I absolutely love those lunches that can go on for hours and into the evening. Something that’s so easy to do when you’re with these guys. One of my favourite moments during our meal was one of our many toasts – when we raised our glasses to ‘blogging friends’ and then unanimously decided to toast ‘to friends’. Such a special afternoon.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Marcus, The Berkeley, Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL.

I started this blog for purely personal reasons and because I had an idea for a story based in Chelsea. I decided to follow that classic piece of advice, ‘write what you know’ and let it lead me into the blogosphere. What I hadn’t expected when I started clicking on ‘publish’ was that I would meet so many fantastic people on my journey and make some dear friends too.

One of them is Catherine from Lux Life blog. Catherine was one of the very first bloggers who I met when I started King’s Road Rocks. It was in the days before Little Man so there were plenty of bar reviews and bumping into each other in basement nightclubs. And over the years as the London food and drinks scene evolved, one thing stayed the same: Catherine’s love for Australia where she spent some time growing up. So it was of very little surprise to hear Catherine announce she was moving to Perth this year.

To raise a glass to Catherine’s exciting new chapter, Angie, Emma and I met with the lady herself at Coya. It was my first time at this Peruvian restaurant in Mayfair and I absolutely loved it. The food was great – Emma’s cherry dessert was the highlight as well as the plum sake – the atmosphere was lively and it was a great place to see Catherine off – on a high note. And from Catherine’s Instagram, you can see she’s having the time of her life!

Here are a few snapshots from the evening …
Coya, London

Coya, London

Coya, London

Coya, London

Coya, London

Coya, London

Coya, London

… I’d definitely recommend giving Coya a try.

Coya, 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW.

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