British

British-Restaurants

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

I’ve been to Belgraves Hotel a few times for drinks but never to eat. Having met the gorgeous chef Sophie Michell a couple of times, I’ve always been meaning to. Her bubbly personality and warmth are infectious and as soon as I was invited to review her restaurant, Pont St, I leapt at the chance. Pont Street

The evening started with The Belgraves Breeze, a signature vodka cocktail with blackberries and cinnamon liquor for me and …

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

… a vodka martini for him.

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

Together the OH and I enjoyed the crudités …

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel… crispy squid …

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

… and seabass ceviche. Fresh ingredients in abundance, perfectly seasoned, we felt we chose well with the starters.

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

The OH and I both ordered a glass of Sancerre.

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

I sipped mine with my slow roasted pork belly, poached quince and savoy cabbage, which I had with …

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel… truffle & parmesan hand-cut chips.

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

The OH had the coconut fish curry with hake, squid, mussels and prawns that came with some rice and coconut & chilli sambel.

Pont Street Belgraves Hotel

We were at Pont St on a Sunday evening. The atmosphere was very relaxed and I think the diners around us were staying at the hotel. But Pont St doesn’t look like it’s just for hotel guests, not least because I know locals pop into the bar upstairs too. If you’re looking for somewhere good to eat that is away from the sometimes chaos of Knightsbridge or if you’re simply looking for somewhere off Sloane Street to try then Pont St is a good spot – especially if you love fish.

Disclaimer: The evening was complimentary for the purpose of the review and hand on heart, this hasn’t swayed my opinion. I have seen a not so tasteful review online which was written a year and a half ago and all I can say is that since Pont St was first reviewed the restaurant has most probably upped its game. After all, another review from the same publication gives Pont St 7/10.

Pont St, 20 Chesham Place, London, SW1X 8HQ

Chelsea Girl

There was a time when The Ivy felt like a bit of a closed school. I remember my first full-time job working at a literary agency and all the agents holding meetings at either The Ivy or Soho House. The former especially had an element of mystique for me. I loved hearing the stories that had arisen out of long boozy lunches and I still remember the tale of a friend of mine having had a meeting with his TV producer boss when he tried to take off the lid of a pie, only to see it fly into the handbag of a TV commissioner. He had to sit throughout the entire meeting hoping she wouldn’t have to reach into her bag.

The Ivy West Street

Flash forward to many years later and it seems as if The Ivy is springing up everywhere: Chelsea, Marylebone and soon, Kensington High Street. You may wonder if The Ivy’s brand is running the risk of losing its magic. I did but from what I’ve experienced at The Ivy Chelsea Garden and most recently The Ivy West Street, I don’t think it is.

A few weeks ago, I met up with some wonderful blogging pals: Angie, Catherine, Suze and Kelly for a Sunday afternoon lunch at The Ivy West Street. It was my first time here, so there’s very little I can comment on with regards to the refurb. But as interiors go, this place is pretty sumptuous. It’s different to The Ivy Chelsea Garden. It’s cosier and there’s a richness in the details of the restaurant.

The Ivy West Street

But as much as the bar and restaurant appealed in style, I was still keen to find out how the food fared.
The Ivy West Street

We skipped starters and went straight for the mains. I ordered the classic shepherd’s pie, which I …

The Ivy West Street

… accompanied with a glass of red wine.The Ivy West Street

The other dishes also caught my eye, all for the right reasons …

The Ivy West Street

The Ivy West Street… and I think everyone was pretty pleased with their choices.

For dessert I chose The Ivy tasting plate which included the sloe gin fizz jelly with lemon sherbet along with a chocolate sponge and ice cream selection, which I had …

The Ivy West Street

… with a soya flat white.

The Ivy West Street

As usual with these gorgeous ladies, there was plenty to talk about and not enough time. But with the time we did have, I enjoyed every minute.

The Ivy West Street

The charm of The Ivy West Street is found in the friendly staff, the simple yet satisfying menu and the design of the restaurant.

The Ivy West Street

And when you step outside, into the West End, it’s difficult not to look back at the beautiful art deco building and feel as if for a short period you had stepped back in time. A wonderful experience.

The Ivy West Street

The Ivy, 9 West St, London WC2H 9NE

Chelsea Girl

 

It’s taken me a while to visit Rabbit but I finally made it a couple of weeks ago. Rabbit is the second restaurant belonging to the Gladwin Brothers who also own The Shed in Notting Hill, which I feel I have to visit now if it’s anything as good as Rabbit – which I hear it is.rabbit sign

Stepping inside, you can see the rustic influence of the Gladwin Brothers’ West Sussex roots. And I can only imagine how amazing the food on their Nutbourne Farm is, judging from what I tried at Rabbit. Rabbit on King's Road

Before walking into Rabbit, I had no idea about its concept or its menu. In short, think very good British food served as small plates – tapas style. I only realised this when our starters had arrived. Kristen and I decided to share a couple of dishes. So of course when they arrived we realised that mouthfuls on the menu obviously meant mouthfuls – so we ordered another two. Still, given the richness of their flavours I was altogether impressed.

One of the mouthfuls we ordered was the mushroom marmite with confit egg yolk, which was amazing. When the dish had arrived, I had forgotten what we had ordered so the tasty punch had a wow factor.

Rabbit on King's Road

For my main, I had the Nutbourne lamb with aubergine, courgette, peas and chickweed which was really good. Though the next time I visit I think I’ll also order a vegetarian dish as a side now that I understand the menu. 

Rabbit on King's Road

Kristen had the veal stogies, which were good too. But again next time another dish would balance out the density of all that meat. Rabbit on King's Road

There were a few highlights to my first experience at Rabbit, one of which was definitely the sparkling wine which the Gladwin Brothers make themselves. I don’t think I have ever tasted sparkling wine this good. There’s a wonderful complexity to the flavour which leaves a lingering floral taste. It’s sublime. Smooth and just wonderful.
Rabbit on King's Road

Rabbit’s desserts also get top marks. Kristen and I shared this pudding with a great array of textures as well as more richness in flavour. Unfortunately I can’t remember what it’s called and Rabbit’s seasonal menu has now moved on since my visit. But I promise it was really quite special and we devoured every single bit.
Rabbit on King's Road

I guess when it comes to British food and especially countryside cooking, small plates aren’t the first thing that spring to mind. Common associations are normally Spanish or more recently Italian food (with Polpo’s popularity), so I feel quite naive when I look back at what we ordered – especially as there are so many other interesting-sounding dishes to try. But given Rabbit’s menu is based on fresh seasonal produce, I feel like this restaurant will continue to keep me on my toes even after my next visit.
Rabbit on King's Road

 

Rabbit, 172 King’s Road, London SW3 4UP

Chelsea Girl

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