French

french-restaurants

On the penultimate weekend before Christmas, the OH and I took Little Man to meet Santa on Duke of York Square. This wasn’t his first visit but this is the first year he’s understanding the buzz around Christmas – and he now knows who Santa is. Last year it was just all about the twinkly lights, which of course is one of the reasons why this is my favourite time of the year in Chelsea.
Duke of York Square Christmas Tree

Much to my delight and relief, Little Man listened carefully to Santa who talked about his journey around the world on Christmas Day. It was the quietest Little Man had been all day and it was a real delight to see him soak up the festive spirit. I also love what he’s asking for Christmas – of all the toys and books that he adores, he’s asking for a foodie treat from Santa: an ice cream cupcake. 🙂

Duke of York Square Santa's Grotto

After visiting Santa we strolled through Duke of York Square, past more twinkling lights and across Sloane Square to …

Sloane Square Christmas Lights

… Côte. This was my very first visit to a Côte restaurant which we chose out of convenience in terms of location and because I found out they had a kids menu. Plus, we are always in Comptoir Libanais and I thought maybe we could have a little change.Cote Sloane Square

The interior is so much bigger than I’d imagined. Adjoined to Sloane Square Hotel, the restaurant stretches round to make it more than three times the size of what you see from the street.

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As we waited for our food to arrive, I did some people watching as Little Man and OH took a stroll around. There was a real mix of diners here: locals and guests staying at the hotel. It had a very relaxing atmosphere which I really liked.

Cote Sloane Square

Eventually the food arrived and …

Cote Sloane Square

… with his beer, the OH had a ribeye steak that he ordered rare.

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I had the pork belly dish with some potato dauphinoise, which I realised is very similar to the dish I ordered two restaurant visits ago. I clearly need to be a tad more adventurous with my food. Though I must point out, I loved the succulence of this version. The meat was so soft. Gorgeous.

Cote Sloane Square

Little Man had sausages and mash which he enjoyed too.

For dessert, OH had the crème brûlée … Cote Sloane Square… whilst I had the apple tart with a glass of dessert wine.

Cote Sloane Square

Little Man had some ice cream but ended up stealing most of the crème brûlée instead.

After a satisfying meal, we ventured back outside and into the land of the twinkling lights. And for this reason I would recommend grabbing a bite to eat on Sloane Square or Duke of York Square. This is such a beautiful time of the year in Chelsea. Soak it up while you can.

Cote Sloane Square

Chelsea Girl

Le Pain Quotidien has opened a new restaurant in Chelsea, along the Fulham Road – on the stretch between Beaufort Street and Edith Grove.

I’m a huge fan of LPQ and as soon as I found out they were opening I was very excited. The LPQ on King’s Road is always busy and it’s a great spot to take time out and enjoy some good hearty French food. Plus, I also think this part of Chelsea (the middle bit of Fulham Road) has limited offerings when it comes to good coffee.
Le Pain Quotidien Fulham RoadSo when I was invited to review lunch at the new LPQ, I leapt at the chance. After all, I normally find myself rushing around at lunchtimes or sitting in my office and grabbing a few minutes to devour something I had just picked up on my way back. But instead when the rain was pouring last week and the general mood wasn’t typical of summer, I decided I wanted to take a break and enjoy a leisurely-ish lunch.

Admittedly this restaurant is much smaller than the one on King’s Road. But it also has outdoor seating and there is a spacious basement with booths and plenty of room for little feet to move around if they’re feeling restless, which I’ve realised is always blessing.

For lunch I had the tartine and soup deal. And on my bread, I enjoyed proscuitto and fig with some cheese which was wonderful. The soup I chose was a vegetable special which was perfect for a rainy day.
Le Pain Quotidien Fulham Road

What separates this LPQ from the others is the evening menu here. This restaurant closes at 11pm and I’m looking forward to visiting for supper because I’m intrigued about what the menu will be.
Le Pain Quotidien Fulham Road

But for now, I’m very happy with LPQ being one of my regular lunch and coffee stops especially because the staff are very friendly too.

Chelsea Girl

Disclaimer: I was invited to review LPQ on Fulham Road as a guest. 

It’s been over a year since I last visited La Brasserie. I remember it clearly, sitting at the bar, ordering a cocktail and thoughts about when to start planning for a family drifting through my mind. Flash forward to 16 months later and a lot has changed – though thankfully not everything. Not my appreciation for good food and cocktails.

Over the weekend, the OH and I popped into La Brasserie for lunch. The place was busy. It was buzzing and I very much appreciated the opportunity to review La Brasserie when there was a lot going on. You get a real feel for the place, if you are new to it.

To celebrate our return, I ordered La Brasserie Martini, which included Belvedere Vodka, elderflower cordial, Château de Bligny Champagne with a twist of grapefruit – and I loved it. It felt light and yet moorish. It was the perfect balance of substance and style.

La BrasserieThe OH ordered the Chelsea Fizz, which he thoroughly enjoyed – not least because it was very refreshing.

La Brasserie For starter, I chose the St. Jacques which involved seared scallops, pea purée, red pepper coulis and crispy pancetta …

La Brasserie

… whilst the OH ordered the escargots (six snails in shells with garlic and parsley butter).

La Brasserie

For my starter, I loved the combination of the juicy scallops with the crispness of the pancetta. This dish was all about texture as much as flavour. As for the OH’s starter, I had a nibble. The snails were very tasty with a tinge of earthiness to the flavour. And I loved the garlic buttery taste.

For our next cocktail, I ordered a julep. Sorry, I can’t tell you exactly what was inside. I hadn’t taken the recipe down, thinking it would be on the website. But when I’m back there, I’ll update my post with the details. Why? Because I absolutely loved it and would recommend it (along with the other cocktails, hands down).

La Brasserie

As for the OH, he ordered the Bison Grass cocktail which again was fabulous. The cocktails here are consistently very good and if you live or work nearby, La Brasserie is definitely worth popping into. There’s also Happy Hour if you’re feeling slightly cautious. (You won’t regret it.)

La Brasserie

For our mains, I had the Dover Sole (Meunière) with new potatoes and a side of onion and tomato salad. The fish was kindly boned for me and presented impressively very tidily. I enjoyed every morsel of my lunch and I was reminded why this place was unsurprisingly very popular. This is where you go for reliably good food.

La Brasserie

In the meantime, the OH ordered the rib eye steak which he thoroughly enjoyed. I had a taste with the bearnaise sauce, which was excellent!

La Brasserie

La Brasserie

Finally, for dessert, we both had a special treat from the restaurant: a chocolate mousse with crushed hazelnuts and a very thin biscuit layer inside. It was divine. So good and the perfect way to end the afternoon …

La Brasserie

… with a double espresso (for him) …

La Brasserie

… and a glass of Amaretto (for me) …

La Brasserie Whether you’re a devout fan of French food or not, La Brasserie will deliver on quality dishes and cocktails. And I for one, can’t wait to return for afternoon tea which La Brasserie has just started this year. It’s supposed to be amazing! Impressive cocktails and afternoon tea? Sounds like my idea of heaven …

La Brasserie, 272 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2AW.

Disclaimer: We were guest of La Brasserie, which didn’t influence my opinion in any way. So all I have to say is a big thank for such a delicious meal. It’s been a pleasure to write this review.

 

I was saddened when news of Oriel closing down had broke. It was a Sloane Square brasserie, a Chelsea institution, expected to be on the corner of Sloane Square forever.

My memories of Oriel started with my first cappuccino experience at 14 years old and with my best friend as we revised for our geography GCSE. Gosh, that sounds so pretentious now but back then it was an experience, an adventure, a taste of something local and yet different. A world of its own.

So when Oriel finally closed down, I didn’t think anything could ever take its place. No one would be able to live up to the nostalgia I had for the location. But I was wrong – thanks to Jeremy King and Chris Corbin’s Cobert. As soon as I learned that the guys behind The Wolseley were behind Oriel’s replacement, I felt reassured.

So yesterday afternoon I popped into Colbert for lunch to finally give it a go. I’d been waiting all week!

When you arrive at Colbert and step through the front door, you have the choice of being led into the bar area or the dining section. Oriel too was spilt into two different sections but with Colbert, more space seems to have been given to the dining area, which is a great thing.

The tables don’t seem so crammed together anymore. There is a sense of space which allows you to take in the ambiance and décor, which could easily transport you to Paris without letting your imagination work too hard.

As for the food, the bf and I started off with Fines de Claire oysters – like we usually do at The Wolseley.

And had a steak sandwich and fries each to follow.

For drinks, I started off with a glass of wine …

But when I saw a table order their second martini during lunch, I decided to follow suit and order one with a lemon twist.

… whilst the bf enjoyed a couple of beers.

Colbert Chelsea officially opens today and the place is already buzzing. And whilst there were admittedly some teething problems with the service and the matter of the lost peppercorns, I have no doubt that they’ll be smoothed over quickly.

When diners arrived at the next table, they were very happy to see a member of staff. He had been transferred from The Wolseley which has impeccable service and which is a great sign!

So all in all, I think Colbert could be a great win for Sloane Square. I for one can’t wait to return and next time, I think I’ll try the bar. 😉

 

Posters of three of Karl Lagerfeld’s photographs are being given away for free at the Little Black Jacket exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. You can just help yourself!

Fines de Claire oyster starter at Colbert on Sloane Square, which officially opens tomorrow.

Little fluffy clouds over Chelsea.

Healthy breakfast at La Brasserie.

Love.

Spotted this pretty bag at Ted Baker on King’s Road.

A guilt-free hot dog!

And now, just counting down to Homeland! 😀 x

 

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