Cocktails

London-Cocktails

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

Last week I was invited on a tour along Sloane Street as part of London Craft Week.  Alongside the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition What is Luxury? – which I sadly missed,  this #LCW15 tour sought to seek out the meaning of luxury by giving us a personal experience with brands renowned for their luxurious status.

Our first stop was Louis Vuitton where we were guided through the history of the brand, from the founder’s humble beginnings to the current designs that still reflect LV’s core values and designs.

Sloan Street Tour - Louis Vuitton

We learned how travel was at the heart of Louis Vuitton’s brand and that if something could not be transported, LV could not make it.

Sloan Street Tour - Louis Vuitton

We discussed the intricacies of Louis Vuitton’s current designs that have been borne from the original details which the brand is renowned for.

From this diamond crosshatch design which originally derived from the interior of Louis Vuitton’s first travel case … Sloan Street Tour - Louis Vuitton

… to the floral emblem that is recognised when you look closely at LV’s signature design, the concept of luxury was explored in the light of details, the quality of materials and a personalised service which LV excels at.

A walk along Sloane Street and our next stop was Fendi …
Sloane Street Tour - Fendi

… where we discussed fur coats, which Fendi is renowned for.Sloane Street Tour - Fendi

This bag also caught my eye at Fendi. Isn’t it fabulous?

Sloane Street - Fendi

Our next stop along Sloane Street was Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel where we stopped for a cocktail at The Rib Room’s bar.
london-jumeirah-carlton-tower

I enjoyed a Sloane Street Vespa as we listened to Penelope from Fox & Squirrel enlighten us about the history of Chelsea, which I found fascinating. I’ve lived in Chelsea all my life and there is always something new to learn about this area. The latest nugget that impressed me was that Andy Warhol used to stay at the Carlton Tower and drink his cocktails in the bar. I hadn’t realised this hotel had such a history.london-jumeirah-carlton-tower

Our final stop on the tour was Smythson and being a true stationery geek, I absolutely revelled in being here and learning about the history of this place. So far, we had discussed leather, fur, local history and now it was time to talk paper.

Sloane Street Tour - Smythson

Here, we learned about Smythson’s Panama Diary innovation. Based on the idea of the flexible nature of the Panama Hat, this notepad was revolutionary. The thin paper allowed the writer to use a fountain pen on both sides of each sheet whilst men could now carry their notepad in their breast pocket or back trouser pocket; something we take for granted, but revolutionary nonetheless.

Sloane Street Tour - Smythson

Luxury exists at Smythson again in terms of quality and like Louis Vuitton and Fendi, also with true personal service. Embossing leather cases as well as personalised stationery which Smythson offers did excite me because given I have more digital gadgets I actually know what to do with, I still revel in the quality of good paper, a beautiful notepad and something I can write in and treasure.Sloane Street Tour - SmythsonAs the tour ended and Angie and I set on our way to grab a drink nearby, I looked back at the afternoon and appreciated the chance I had to listen to the personal stories of these luxury brands.

Chelsea Girl

Cherry blossoms are one of my favourite reasons to love spring. So when I was invited to try another season of Sakura at Sake no Hana, I leapt at the chance.
Sakura at Sake no Hana

If my visit last year was anything to go by, this was an opportunity to enjoy dining in a beautiful environment whilst tasting an inspired menu. I knew I couldn’t miss it.Sakura at Sake no Hana

Sakura means cherry blossom so until June 20th, Sake no Hana has been transformed into a gorgeous cherry blossom garden. And during this time, a limited edition Sakura menu allows diners to enjoy dishes and cocktails inspired by cherry blossoms. Doesn’t this sound heavenly?Sakura at Sake no Hana

Our meal started off with the Violet Risshun, which is a gin-based cocktail of two parts to represent the start of spring as well as the period when the season is in full bloom. Sipping this cocktail was effortless. It was both smooth and refreshing. I loved it.Sakura at Sake no Hana

Fiona and I then had a bowl of white miso soup each …

Sakura at Sake no Hana

… followed by a dish of sesame spinach with cassava chips … Sakura at Sake no Hana

… whilst the bento box included a range of sashimi, nigiri and maki.

Sakura at Sake no Hana

Like the signature Sakura cocktail, dessert came in two parts:  Cotton Cheesecake with cherries, cream cheese and cherry sorbet …  

Sakura at Sake no Hana

… followed by Cherry Blossom macarons, which I enjoyed with a flat white. There is cherry tea on the menu too, which I have tried before and which I remember enjoying.

Sakura at Sake no Hana

But the reason why I ordered the coffee is because I wanted to see if Sake no Hana’s coffees were as good as their cocktails. Good coffee in London still feels like a novelty so I was happy when my flat white arrived tasting rich in flavour and feeling velvety as I sipped it.

Sakura at Sake no Hana

If you are in the St. James area and are in the mood for spring then I recommend Sakura at Sake no Hana. Sake no Hana’s cocktails are consistently very good and I have always enjoyed eating here!

Chelsea Girl

If you’ve read my original Kurobuta post, you probably know how much of a fan I was of their King’s Road pop-up. Flashforward to less than a year later and Kurobuta has found a permanent home on the King’s Road.

Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

I was always planning to visit the new restaurant but I guess I was also bracing myself for a change in style. After all, the location was once the slick Sushinho and so I think I ended up holding off for a short while. But word of mouth soon caught up with me and I realised that I was a fool not to check it out at least.
Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

Stepping inside, I discovered a place transformed. Kurobuta hasn’t lost its edge, which I was so excited about. Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

A glimpse of the artwork …
Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

As for the food, it is still great. If you haven’t already tried the Jerusalem Artichoke Chopsticks with Truffle Ponzu Dip then I urge you to. Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

The cocktails are also very good. Sadly Kurobuta’s website doesn’t have its drinks menu on it (or perhaps I can’t find it), so I can’t tell you what this is. But the likelihood is you’ll like anything you order. It’s a good-looking menu.Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

This is OH’s beer with the frozen top which he always loves. Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

The other dishes we had this time round included the Tea Smoked Lamb with Smokey Nasu and Spicy Korean Miso,
Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

Kombu Roasted Chilean Seabass with Spicy Shiso Ponzu, Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

BBQ Kurobuta Pork Ribs with Honey-Soy-Ginger-Glaze, Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

And of course the obligatory BBQ Pork Belly in Steamed Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy which I don’t think I could ever get tired of.Kurobuta, King's Road, Chelsea

The mochi ice cream is always a lovely way to end the meal here; refreshing, flavoursome and I just love the texture.

Kurobuta, King's Road, ChelseaI’m starting to feel like this is an exciting time for the King’s Road with regards to restaurants and bars, and Kurobuta is definitely one of the reasons there is a renewed sense of optimism in the air. I love it.

KB Chelsea, 312 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UH.

Chelsea Girl

 

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