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

When the first signs of A Wanted Man started to appear on the King’s Road I was intrigued. An espresso canteen was promising. After all, it’s not an easy task finding good coffee along King’s Road.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

So when I was invited in to try this relatively new establishment I leapt at the chance. And what I discovered inside impressed me very much.

A Wanted Man

Firstly, A Wanted Man is more than a coffee bar. It’s a place to go for a great all day breakfast or lunch menu. And they serve cold-pressed juices too. Their Green Velvet with pear, apple, spinach and kale was a real hit.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

I was really spoilt for choice when I was reading through their menu and after much consideration I chose the Annie Get Your Chickpea Aubergine Salad with yoghurt dressing and chunks of sourdough waffle.

This was absolutely delicious and also very satisfying. It’s exactly the type of food I love making at home but with the added twist of the cumin and fresh mint which I enjoyed along with the waffle.

And the rest of the menu is something I definitely want to explore more: A Fistful Of Oatmeal Pork Risotto and The Avocado With No Name are at the top of my savoury list whilst the Rich Man, Poor Man’s Pudding which is their take on the French-Canadian classic with maple syrup, toffee, almond and brown sugar served with an espresso shot is a very tempting indulgence.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

This time round however I chose this gluten-free and dairy free cookie which I savoured along with my …

A Wanted Man, King's Road

… soya flat white. What a delightful end to my lunch.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

Thing is, you’d think the experience would end here.

Maybe somewhere else but A Wanted Man also has a Browhaus brow bar and Ministry of Waxing salon upstairs.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

So after my gorgeous lunch, I headed upstairs to look around.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

This (below) is where the waxing takes place and Ministry of Waxing are pioneers in the practice of safe waxing, a message they’re keen to spread.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

And here (below) is where I had my eyebrows threaded and tinted. I really enjoyed the natural lighting and also the details that make you feel as if you’ve just stepped onto the set of a Western. This is a place where you can enjoy the surroundings whilst being pampered. I don’t think I have ever had such a relaxing threading experience as I’d had here – if threading and relaxing can be placed alongside each other.

A Wanted Man, King's Road

A Wanted Man is a breath of fresh air to the King’s Road. True, they serve great coffee, have a gorgeous menu and provide wonderful service with the brow bar. But its appeal is more than that, there’s a quirkiness that I love and it’s matched by the quality of what it offers.

A Wanted Man, 330 King’s Road, London SW3.

Chelsea Girl

I’m not quite sure why it’s taken me so long to write this post especially as I visited Exhibitionism at Saatchi Gallery on the first day of its opening; at 11am, the first walk-in time slot.

What’s more, I absolutely loved the exhibition which I’m keen to see again before it ends in September.

Thinking about it, it’s probably because I’m not what you may consider a bona fide fan of The Rolling Stones. I appreciate their classics and their legacy but I don’t think I’ve ever bought any of their music. So I wasn’t sure what I could say about the exhibition.

Perhaps I’ll start with … So why did I enjoy it so much?

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square

As much as Exhibitionism is about The Rolling Stones, it’s also about the integrity of music. We get to see the showpieces over time, from the instruments to the costumes and in one section an actual 3-D show performance of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction that makes you feel as if you’re front row at a live show. It is amazing.

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square

And of course there is the local nostalgia from The Rolling Stones’ early days when they lived on Edith Grove, which is very close to where I live now.

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square

The authenticity of their first Chelsea digs is also testimony that these musicians struggled at the start of their careers. And the romantic in me imagines their passion for music driving them to their global success spanning decades as it continues to do so today.

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square

There’s a glimpse into the way they work and throughout the exhibition there are chances to hear their different sounds. After all, an exhibition about rock gods needs to have some music. And fans of The Rolling Stones have plenty to delight in.

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square

Throughout the exhibition there is an element of the wow factor, so much so you feel like there’s a need to return to appreciate the full spectrum of what The Rolling Stones have achieved.

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at Saatchi Gallery on Duke of York Square

But what I got most of all from Exhibitionism is the level of energy these musicians still have. Whether it’s from their live shows or the excitement they create in their fans, one thing is for certain: there aren’t many music groups that can keep up with these guys. And it’s no wonder why.

Exhibitionism runs until 4th September at Saatchi Gallery on Duke of York Square.

Chelsea Girl

I love books. Books are my passion. I buy more than I can read and I still have so many yet to be opened from my days as a bookseller, as I worked my way through uni. and shortly after.

So you can imagine my delight when I found myself organising a bloggers event that was to start at Taschen on Duke of York Square.

After some bubbles and a catch-up with a great crowd that included Angie, Suze, Fiona, Emma, Lauren, Aftab, Matilda and Tania, the manager of Taschen (Nolan Browne) led us around the store to explain the background of Taschen’s unique publishing ethos and the wide array of titles in the store.

And as I listened to Nolan telling us about Benedikt Taschen’s agenda to create a greater accessibility to the wonders of art in publishing, I started to think back to my initial purchases as I built my book collection. It was Taschen that published the first Magritte book I bought and I remember picking up this two-book Van Gogh publication (below) from a store in Besançon where I studied for my third year at uni. It was also Taschen that published the first interiors book I bought. And to this day I’m still picking up titles I feel I need in my collection. Thing is, whilst Taschen provided an entry point into the world of art and interiors for me they also publish some of the most exclusive books you can get your hands on – and I want them all!

Taschen Books

Nolan talked us through Taschen’s limited editions …

David Bowie at Taschen, Duke of York Square

… and Sumo books that are sometimes accompanied by limited edition prints. I meant to take a photo of the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) book which is something I would love at home. If you’re a Muhammed Ali fan, I urge you to visit the downstairs of Taschen’s store to discover a book that was printed with such care, you’d find the same craftsmanship at the Vatican.

Taschen, Duke of York Square, London

The start of the evening satisfied the book-nerd in me and it also gave me ideas for future gifts. There’s a gorgeous publication on tree houses which is perfect for someone I know who loves architecture and of course tree houses. 🙂

After a tour of Taschen, we all popped over to Manicomio. We could have hopped, it’s so close. And our night here started with a gorgeous vodka-based cocktail called Jagged Wood; a nod to Exhibitionism at Saatchi Gallery which is a must-visit exhibition whether you love The Rolling Stones or not. It’s very impressive.

Manicomio, Duke of York Square

And as we waited for our starters to arrive, we were pleasantly surprised by the shots of truffle soup that were served to us. I love truffles and I savoured the thick texture of this soup. It was a great preamble to our meal.

Manicomio, Duke of York Square

For starter I had the yellow fin tuna which was gorgeous too.

Manicomio, Duke of York Square

And for main I ordered the chicken tagliata with asparagus, artichoke and onions which I had with a side of …

Manicomio, Duke of York Square

… rosemary potatoes.

Manicomio, Duke of York Square

Dessert was the buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb, which I absolutely loved.

Manicomio, Duke of York Square

As usual Manicomio didn’t disappoint and it was great to finally experience this place in the evening. I’ve always been drawn to Manicomio for lunch or a glass of wine in the afternoon because I love their terrace. So it was a treat to discover the nighttime buzz inside the restaurant.

There is so much to look forward to over spring/summer on Duke of York Square, which I’ll be sure to cover on here. But to give you the heads up, here are some dates for your diary …

  • Chelsea in Bloom – 23rd to 28th May
  •  Strawberries & Screen for the Wimbledon semi-finals and finals  – 8th to 10th July
  • HRH The Queen’s 90th Birthday & Commonwealth Market, which will include a street party style occasion to mimic the Queen’s own celebrations at the Mall  – 12th June
  • The BFG Dream Jar Trail’s arrival into Chelsea, which will excite any Roald Dahl fan – 8th July to 31st August

Maybe I’ll see you around?

Chelsea Girl

I remember first visiting the Pagoda at Battersea Park with school. It was such a big thing for our teacher. We had to take our shoes off when we reached the top of the steps and I was in such awe of these golden statues.

Flash forward to today and I still love crossing Albert Bridge and walking along the river, through Battersea Park. It’s one of my favourite spots and here’s a glimpse of my last visit on 360°. 🙂

Chelsea Girl

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