British

British-Restaurants

Visitors to London love the city because of all it has to offer: the history, the culture, the shopping and the pace and range of excitement with its events and new openings. This city never stops.

As a Londoner, sometimes it’s difficult to keep up and yet the thrill of never being bored is one of the reasons why I could never live anywhere else.

So when you step into Harrods Georgian Restaurant on the 4th floor, a place where there is a feeling that time stands still, you experience something unique that allows you to relax and simply take in your surroundings.
The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

The Georgian opened in 1913 and still retains some of its original features. If you look up, you will see the details that made me feel we were onboard the Titanic at one point. And recently The Georgian has been refurbished under the guidance of bespoke interior designer, Christopher Guy Harrison, who sought “inspiration from the elegance of the 1920s and 1930s [so] the room fuses modernism and classicism to create the perfect environment for guests.”

I particularly love the ballerina-inspired chairs, which are just beautiful. If you visit the Georgian, take a look at details on the back of the chairs and see how the legs are crafted to convey the legs of a ballerina. Exquisite craftsmanship.

The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

I’m no stranger to the Georgian restaurant but last week was my first visit without Little Man when I wasn’t also in too much of a rush. I met up with Angie and as usual time ran away with us. The conversation just flowed and I felt like I was in the perfect setting for it.

But with such a rich historical context, it is easy to assume that the menu may be lacking in contemporary dishes. This is very much not the case.

Wilmer Valderrama

After receiving our glass of Champagne Rosé each …
The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

… Angie enjoyed her seared tuna carpaccio with …
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… aubergine purée, caponata dressing and baby basil cress whilst I …
Harrods Georgian Restaurant

… indulged in the foie gras terrine with smoked duck breast, rhubarb and cucumber chutney and a truffle muffin. This starter was sublime and whilst I don’t usually eat bread before my main, I couldn’t help but finish off the muffin. The rhubarb and cucumber chutney also gave the dish a special touch. The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

For main, Angie ordered the delicious and very healthy looking Georgian native lobster salad with courgette flowers, Minus 8 ice wine vinaigrette and candied black olives.The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

And I thoroughly enjoyed my smoked Scottish monkfish with shaved parma ham, cantaloupe melon and yuzu gel.
The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

I also had to have a side of truffle chips, which were irresistible and a real treat. 
The Georgian Restaurant, Harrods

Before having to pull myself away from such a gorgeous lunch, Angie ordered a mint tea whilst I had a coffee when these petit fours arrived at our table. I tried to practise restraint after such a satisfying lunch but I simply couldn’t resist. The mini éclair and mini cream cake were both divine. I’m not surprised this place is also popular for afternoon tea. Harrods Georgian Restaurant And as I left Harrods, walking through one of the most renowned shopping destinations in the world, and stepped onto busy as usual Knightsbridge, returning to my fast paced life, I carried the feeling of the Georgian restaurant along with me throughout the rest of the day: relaxing, indulgent and effortlessly timeless. Chelsea Girl

 

Disclaimer: Angie and I were invited to try the lunchtime menu, which I would happily return to enjoy all over again with some friends or my family. The whole experience from the staff and setting to the food and ambience was a real treat. 

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

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