Cocktails

London-Cocktails

One of my favourite rituals with Little Man is to go out for a bite to eat. We usually go à deux and usually to Sophie’s Steakhouse because this is the only place where he doesn’t have a problem with the children’s menu. So we’re here almost on a weekly basis.
Sophie's Steakhouse

Last week however, we made a couple of visits. The second was on Sunday so we could enjoy a family roast. My self-interest was to also try the prime rib which I’ve heard so much about. Except that whilst it all started off as usual, quite normal, and very pleasant … our linner took a surprising turn.

Sophie's Steakhouse

Little Man’s roast chicken arrived ok with roast potatoes and vegetables, which all looked good to me.
Sophie's Steakhouse

Problem is, when he saw the prime rib, he wanted what mummy was having. He usually does. But normally he’s fine with me having steak frites whilst he has haddock and mash. The prime rib however was something he hadn’t seen before. It was in a different league and there was no way he was going to be stuck with the chicken when the grown ups were having this gorgeous piece of meat and Yorkshire pudding.

This was food envy on another level. And thanks to OH working with me to create distractions so I could eat my roast, I discovered something very impressive. The thick juicy meat was very tender. It was so easy to eat and it now makes sense why Sophie’s is so popular for roasts too. The Yorkshire pudding was crisp and golden …
Sophie's Steakhouse

… whilst the roast potatoes were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Just how I like it. Sophie's Steakhouse

And of course, the added bonus of having a roast at Sophie’s is their margaritas. Sophie's Steakhouse

Eventually Little Man simmered down and by the time his ice cream arrived, I had successfully finished my prime rib without him batting an eyelid. Next time though, I think I’ll skip the chicken and go for his usual which never fails. I’m definitely returning for most roast linners at Sophie’s.Sophie's Steakhouse

Sophies Steak House, 311-313 Fulham Rd, London SW10 9QHChelsea Girl

 

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

There’s something about a bank holiday weekend only feeling complete when I stop by Sophie’s Steakhouse for a cocktail.

In this case and perhaps in the light of a wonderfully intense week of Chelsea in Bloom I decided to have the Orange Blossom special, which includes Cognac, Grand Marnier, orange mist and rosemary syrup.

I do love the odd drop of Cognac and I’ve never considered myself a Grand Marnier fan. But this cocktail really nailed it for me. Full of depth and flavour, I really enjoyed it.Sophie's Steakhouse cocktail

Chelsea Girl

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