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St. Patrick’s Day is almost here and all week the exquisite 11 Cadogan Gardens hotel has been celebrating with a special set menu that started my week off on a perfect note. I met up with Emma who wrote a gorgeous post about the evening, which you can read here.

We started with a glass of Champagne; even more appreciated because it was a Monday night. But the set menu does come with a glass of Irish stout or cider to accompany the carefully chosen Irish dishes.

Our meal began with cream of leek and potato soup, accompanied by oven roasted Dublin Bay prawns. To describe the succulence of the prawns as a wonderful surprise is an understatement. Along with the silky and flavoursome soup, the prawns were a burst of delight as soon as they entered my mouth. Oven roasting may just have to be the way forward with prawns. They were heavenly.

For main, Emma chose the slow cooked neck of lamb with colcannon potatoes; a traditional Irish mashed potatoes dish made with cabbage.

My choice was the Guinness braised beef cheeks which was beautifully cooked. The tender beef was full of deep flavour and I couldn’t leave any of it on my plate. It was divine.

As for dessert, we both throughly enjoyed the Guinness and pear crumble with Jameson whiskey cream. The cream’s rich flavour alongside the texture and depth of the crumble made this a perfect finale to the evening.

But of course, no St. Patrick’s Day celebration would feel complete without a glass of Black Velvet. It’s been an age since I’ve tasted what was once a favourite cocktail so it was a real pleasure to sit in 11 Cadogan Gardens’ refurbished bar and remind myself of why I loved it so much.

As always, it was a fabulous night catching up with Emma and given how much I love this hotel it was an honour to try such a gorgeous menu. Happy to raise a glass to St. Patrick here any day.

(Emma and I had the pleasure of being guests of the hotel’s restaurant. My thoughts above were only under the influence of the fantastic food and drinks we enjoyed.)

11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2RJ

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.

A short while ago I revisited The Bloomsbury, a hotel which I used to consider to be one of the greatest hidden gems in the heart of London. The reason for my return was to visit The Bloomsbury Club Bar. I’ve always been a huge fan of this bar where I have tried some of the best cocktails in London.

Thing is, this place isn’t much of a secret now especially after its revamp – and I for one am very pleased.

We started the evening  inside, perched on stools, where we tried cocktails such as: The Roger Fry; Vanessa Bell; Duncan Grant; Desmond McCarthy; Lytton Strachey; and of course Virginia Woolf. As the various concoctions flowed, so did the stories. And each drink was as distinctive as the next. Conversations with the mixologists are definitely something I’d recommend here. You’ll be enraptured by what you hear.

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury HotelThe Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

After, we moved outside onto the terrace where the fairy lights sparkled and it felt like we were ensconced in our own private cocktail world. Here we heard more stories that inspired the other cocktails we tried: The Clive Bell; E.M Forster; John Maynard Keynes; Leonard Woolf, and still we were all enthralled while our tastebuds enjoyed a literary adventure of a lifetime.

Here is the full menu to give you the fuller flavours of The Bloomsbury Club Bar’s fantastic range of cocktails.

mixing

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The whole experience was wonderful as I would have expected. And all I can say is if you are in the West End looking for a bar that serves great cocktails and has a special atmosphere then I have no hesitation in recommending The Bloomsbury Club Bar. I’m just so pleased their secret is finally out and I’m so sure the Bloomsbury set would have had a most fabulous time here.

The Bloomsbury Club Bar, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN.

I’ve always been a fan of The Bloomsbury Hotel and consider its bar and terrace undiscovered gems in the heart of London.

Well, that’s what I thought a couple of years ago because since my last visit there have been developments that have completely transformed both spaces and now there seems to be plenty of chatter about this West End hotel.

The al fresco space which is a minute’s walk away from Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road is now called the Dalloway Terrace.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

And when you consider Bloomsbury’s literary heritage, it makes sense that The Bloomsbury Hotel would name its finest feature after the most prolific character from one of Bloomsbury’s former residents, Virginia Woolf. In fact, to this day Bloomsbury is still considered one of the literary capitals of the world with Bloomsbury Publishing and Faber & Faber still residing within this beautiful area.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

So when I was invited to a bloggers afternoon tea which would be hosted by Angie, I was very excited to join EmmaLauren, Katie, Honey, Jess, Ben, and Mehreen.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

I knew it was going to be a chance to catch up with a few of my favourite bloggers as well as an opportunity to get to meet some new faces. And after plenty of mingling and Champagne …

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

… we all took our seats to enjoy a new afternoon tea experience with the weather on our side.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

I’m not so much of a big tea drinker maybe it’s because I don’t think soya milk suits tea as it does coffee. But I do love non-milky tea and so I ordered their white tea, which I enjoyed.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

As for the menu, The Bloomsbury Afternoon Tea was inspired by original recipes from the 1920s and 1930s which have been given a modern twist by the hotel’s chefs.

I had a gluten-free version of the menu, which was the first time I had tried a gluten-free afternoon tea. Admittedly, it has made me reconsider cutting out wheat so drastically and for my next afternoon review I am planning on opting for the original menu for fear of missing out again.

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

But all in all, the whole afternoon tea experience was a true delight. So much so, the …

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

… conversations meandered into the evening when we left the terrace and made our way down the stairs, past the twinkling lights and live jazz music – and headed into the hotel’s bar which is another gem in itself. Unfortunately, soon after this photo (below) was taken the battery in my camera ran out so I have no photographic evidence of the wonderful cocktails served here.

Still, I guess it gives me another reason to return …

… along with the wonderful oasis set in the heart of the West End, that is the Dalloway Terrace.

*Thank you Angie and Dalloway Terrace for a gorgeous afternoon!

Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN.

Chelsea Girl
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