British

British-Restaurants

A girl can treat her guy and I personally love spoiling mine. On this occasion I decided to take the OH to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal for his birthday lunch where … Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

… before we were seated, we enjoyed aperitifs at the Mandarin Bar. The OH ordered a Gibson Martini in honour of World Martini Day and I had a glass of Moët et Chandon Rosé. Sitting in the salubrious environs of this low-lit bar, we weren’t prepared for … 

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

… Dinner’s dining room. Our seats by the window extended our culinary experience into Hyde Park where we could admire the lush scenery. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Already impressed, we were then blown away by the personal service from the maître d’ who treated us to a glass of Champagne after graciously apologising for the power cut which scuppered our last visit. In fact throughout our entire lunch, we felt very much at ease with the staff at Dinner. We laughed as the OH tried and tested a couple of wines and the conversation flowed with the rest of Dinner’s team. Two Michelin stars aside, this is easily one of the most down to earth restaurants I’ve ever been to. It was an absolute delight from beginning to end.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

As for the food … Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

The OH had the Frumenty (c.1730) dish, which included a grilled octopus, smoked sea broth, pickled dulse & lovage.Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

And I had to have the Meaty Fruit (c.1500), mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled bread, which I absolutely loved.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

For my main, I then had the chicken cooked with lettuces (c.1670), which included grilled onion emulsion, spiced celeriac sauce & oyster leaves. I tend not to order chicken when I eat out. For some reason, I don’t feel like it’s an exciting dish to order because I like to go off piste if I can and also because a lot of the time chicken tends to be overcooked. But we were at one of the Worlds Best 50 restaurants and I knew I couldn’t go wrong here. The chicken was deliciously tender and I savoured every bite of it.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

For main, the OH ordered the roast Iberico pork chop (c.1820), which also included smoked hispi cabbage, confit onion, apple & mead, Robert sauce. And he loved it!

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

My choice of dessert was the Sambocade (c.1390). I’ve always been curious to try a cheese cake that wasn’t made from cow’s milk so I was excited to order this dish which involved a goats milk cheese cake, elderflower & apple, roast figs & smoked candied walnuts. This is definitely one for goats cheese fans, which I am most certainly one. And I particularly enjoyed the roast figs that accompanied this dessert.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

The OH chose the classic pudding at Dinner, the Tipsy Cake (c.1810) which also included a slice of spit roast pineapple. YUMMY! Food envy finally caught up with me here. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

As much as we savoured each dish, we also relished in the notion that there was a story behind each of them. The numerical accompaniments to the name of each dish are years. This satisfied the culinary geek in the OH and this piqued my storytelling interest. But the fact of the matter is that you do end up leaving Dinner feeling that you’ve only scratched the surface of what is wonderful about this place.

Yes, the service is fantastic …
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

…. and everything you try tastes great … Dinner by Heston Blumenthal… but if you can catch a glimpse of the kitchen, which is open for passersby by to look into, or if you can take your time to research the origins of each dish, you may start to grasp the real essence of Dinner where history and modern technology meet in the middle for a culinary adventure.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

Last week I was completely stuck for ideas on where to treat OH for Father’s Day. I’d already booked a fantastic place for his birthday which is next week and I was feeling perhaps I should go for an entirely different mood – something fun but yet still foodie. In the end an inspired moment lead me to book our tickets to Taste of London. After all with so much choice around, surely there’d be plenty for him to enjoy and then some, I thought.

Taste of LondonOf course when you arrive at Regent’s Park you find yourself spoilt for choice. The range of restaurants, retailers and drinks stands is enormous. And you either wing it and try as much as you can or you head straight for the ones you know you want to try.

Taste of LondonAs for me, I knew which stands I wanted to try because I like using Taste of London to test out restaurants I’ve been meaning to visit for a little taster.

One of my favourite dishes was by far José Pizarro’s octopus with creamy potato, pimentón and egg caviar. The octopus was cooked in a way I’d never tried before, melt in your mouth succulent. Just beautiful. So much so, I can’t believe I’ve not yet visited any of José Pizarro’s restaurants. Something I want to fix as soon as possible.

Taste of London

Another big win for both myself and OH were ROKA’s baby chicken with lemon, miso and soy as well as lamb cutlets with Korean spices.

Taste of LondonOur Little Man was along for the ride and even he gnawed away at the lamb as much as he could. ‘Spicy’ he yelled at one point before he kept on gnawing.

Taste of London

Another dish we tried was the award-winning Draper’s Arms pork belly with gooseberry, fennel and crackling. What struck me most was the surprising burst of flavours you don’t expect to go with pork as well as the array of colours when you dig in. I loved the gooseberry touch especially. 
Taste of London-7

Marcus Wareing’s Tredwell’s was also on the menu. The OH had the pulled pork slider which he remarked on its sweetness as a pleasant surprise.

Taste of London

… whilst I had the chicken liver mousse, bacon jam and toast. But I didn’t get to enjoy this as much as I could have because Little Man’s fingers were all over it. He wasn’t too keen on the mousse but of course he loved the toast, which he felt compelled to dip into the chicken liver more than a couple of times. All a bit messy in the end.

Taste of LondonNeither OH or I had anything sweet, which is so weird – for me, anyway. But we did enjoy a few drinks. Amongst them were Kold Cocktails’ mojito.

Taste of London

If you’re a regular at Duke of York’s Saturday Fine Food Market you may know Kold Cocktails very well.

Taste of London

They’ve been away for a couple of weeks because they’ve been at a few foodie events including this one. So I’m looking forward to seeing them back in Chelsea soon.

Another drink I enjoyed was the Chase Rhubarb Gin Fizz. I love Chase vodka and this was another refreshing drink I needed for this warm Sunday.

Taste of LondonAll in all Father’s Day was a success. And if today was anything to go by I think father and son already have a shared passion. They’re both true foodies, that’s for sure.

Chelsea Girl

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

There’s a new’ish restaurant in Chelsea that I’m excited about. It’s The World’s End Market which I’d looked into a few times before visiting and have always seen a good buzz in the evening. Curious, I had it on my list of places to check out. But before I could organise myself, Fiona from London Unattached kindly invited me to go along with her for lunch and review it.

Neither of us were disappointed.

The World's End Market

Inside, the interior stays true to the pub features of the original building which is a great thing. I’ve visited this venue over several years and its style has always changed but this is the first time in a long while since it actually feels authentic.

Bright and spacious during the day, this is a great lunchtime spot. Fiona and I were the first people to arrive (always great for photos) and by the time we left, this space was lively and filling up with folks lunching.
The World's End Market

And for foodies, there’s plenty of food porn to ogle at.The World's End Market

The menu itself is impressive and it took Fiona and I a short while before we could actually decide on what to have. The World's End Market

A glass of Prosecco always helps. 😉

The World's End Market

For starter, I chose and very much enjoyed the tuna tartare with a poached egg on top. The fish was wonderfully fresh and meaty, it made me realise how rare it is to find good seafood when dining out. You really have to seek it out.
The World's End Market

Fiona had the salmon carpaccio with horseradish, shallots, lemon and truffle oil, which I had a taste of and it was equally as fresh and flavoursome. Top marks. The World's End Market

For main, I had the skate wing which is the best I’ve had in a long while. Tasty and meaty, the skate arrived dressed in lemon caper butter with a salsa verde on the side; and there really wasn’t much left after I’d finished with it. The World's End Market

Fiona sang the praises of her lovely fillet steak. (Here’s Fiona’s review for the full low-down.)The World's End Market

And for dessert, I thought given that it was Shrove Tuesday and I was preparing to give up a couple of treats for Lent (I’ve already failed on the added sugar attempt), I thought I’d dive in and go for a slice of red velvet cake with my soya flat white. That was my excuse anyway. 😉

The World's End Market

Fiona had the chocolate fondant, which looked like a great way to polish off a meal. Slight food envy there.
The World's End Market

It goes without saying that I’ll be back. The burgers look fantastic (Truffle Burger, anyone?) and I think this would be a good spot for breakfast too; not to mention the cocktails. So much to choose from, I’m just pleased The World’s End Market is so close by.

The World's End MarketThe World’s End Market, 459 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LR

Thank you Fiona for inviting me and to JPR Media for arranging our review.

Chelsea Girl

As the temperature starts to dip and winter nips at our ankles, I can’t help but think back to Bumpkin’s winter menu tasting and feel warm inside. Bumpkin Winter Menu

Except, our evening didn’t take place inside but outside in Bumpkin’s beautiful garden with pretty lights and a welcoming warm ambiance.

The warmth also came from a couple of delicious cocktails which kicked off the evening. This one here is the Plum Pudding, which includes fresh plum, plum liquor, Vanilla Vodka and Disarono Amaretto. It was heavenly and so I took my time with each sip to savour the flavours. Bumpkin Winter Menu

For my starter, I had the Sloe Gin Salmon with English caviar and cucumber which I very much enjoyed.

Bumpkin Winter Menu

And for my main I had the Highland Venison, Savoy cabbage, crispy bacon and game chips which was tasty all over. I tend to fear that food envy may strike me at any point but during this evening, I was very happy with my choice.

Bumpkin Winter Menu I was also pleased with the mac and cheese, which I’m sure I’ve already written somewhere that I don’t normally order. But if it’s there on the table, in front of me, how could I resist? 😉 Bumpkin’s mac and cheese is definitely worth trying, for the record.Mac

Bumpkin Winter MenuAlong with my main, I enjoyed a glass or few of this lovely Pinot Noir. I wish I could wax lyrical about the merits of this fine bottle of wine but sadly for my limited knowledge, the sound of my tastebuds doing a fine dance was too loud for me to take in any of the sommelier’s expertise.
Bumpkin Winter MenuAs for the other dishes on the table, they included this fine looking burger … which apparently passed The Mayfairy test.

Bumpkin Winter Menu

These scallops, which were available as a starter or main, almost triggered my food envy … Bumpkin Winter Menu… as did this Salmon Wellington.

Bumpkin Winter Menu

To complete the meal, I thought I’d end on a cocktail note and so I ordered this Apple Crumble, which included 8 Pampero Rum shaken with apple juice and butterscotch schnapps. It was so good and it felt like I was sipping a dessert …

Bumpkin Winter Menu

… but of course, I couldn’t resist pudding itself and so I tried this Warm Vanilla Sponge with gooseberry jam and toasted almond ice cream.

Bumpkin Winter MenuThe evening was delicious and the company was divine. And yet again I left Bumpkin with that warm feeling inside.

BUMPKIN CHELSEA, 119 Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NR.

I attended a bloggers dinner at Bumpkin. My words are all true. The dinner and drinks were delicious. 

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