Who else can’t believe it’s May already? Where has the time flown? Well, it goes without saying that this is one of my favourite months of the year. With two bank holiday weekends, how can it not be? So here are my suggestions of what to do locally this month …

1. Why not kick off May with a Cinco De Mayo party at Barts this weekend?

CINCODEMAYO

2. And later this month, there’s of course Chelsea’s event of the year, The Chelsea Flower Show which will be running from 21st until 25th May. Here are some photos from two years ago and last year. Also, don’t forget that there is also Chelsea in Bloom (more photos) and Chelsea Fringe also happening this month.

3. And whilst The Chelsea Flower show is on, from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th May (12pm – 8pm every day), The Botanist will be running an Oyster and Joseph Perrier Champagne Bar in Sloane Square, complete with daily performances from a string quartet. You can enjoy champagne by the glass, by the bottle, or as a cocktail.

4. The Great Gatsby will open at Curzon Chelsea on 16th May but you can buy tickets from 3rd May. I cannot wait for this film to be released and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it represents Baz Lurhmann’s return to form. Check out my post with a video interview of the director himself.

5. If you’re an aspiring designer, fashionista or budding entrepreneur, Jean Queen Donna Ida Thornton is set to hold a Careers Day on 3rd May. Donna will be available all day from 10am – 4pm to answer questions at Donna Ida Head Office near Notting Hill. Donna will be joined by a host of Donna Ida girls who will also be happy to answer any questions (including Online Content Editor Amelia Kanaris and Graphic Designer Kate Gorbunova). To join Donna and the Donna Ida girls you can visit their Head Office on Friday 3rd May from 10am – 4pm at Phoenix Brewery, 13 Bramley Road, London W10 6SP. Nearest tube is Latimer Road.

Finally, just to warn you, my posts this month will be a little thin on the ground. This month is going to be craaazzzzy. Well, maybe not that mad but enough to occupy a large chunk of my blogging time. But whilst posts trickle through in May, they will return to normal by mid-June. So keep your eyes peeled for updates on new posts on my Twitter feed or Facebook page. Enjoy May and have two awesome Bank Holidays!

Last Friday, I dropped by The Admiral Codrington to meet with its chef Fred Smith and to finally taste his popular burger. It was lunchtime and the pub was already filling up.

For starters, I ordered the chilli squid. I had only meant to try a few as a taster but the flavours were so unexpectedly enticing, I managed to polish the who bowl off. I truly recommend this dish.

For main, of course, I had to try the burger this time.

I will elaborate on this delicious choice later when I tell you about my meeting with its creator.

The burger came with fries and for dessert, I gave into temptation to taste the rhubarb crumble, which was indeed a great dish.

And the whole meal was washed down with some still water and a glass of obligatory bubbles!

The Admiral Codrington isn’t just about the burger as you can see from my initial post on the pub’s restaurant (here). But with such a buzz about the Ad Cod burger, I decided to focus my Q&A with Fred Smith on the local’s meaty favourite.

 

CG: Your Twitter bio states your journey for a perfect burger. When did that begin?

FS: About 18 months ago when I was in Manhattan. I was inspired by the quality of burgers over there. It then took about six to eight months of experimenting: getting the right flavours and combination of ingredients.

 

CG: Outside London, where is your favourite place to go for a burger?

FS: The Shake Shack in the US and Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village, NYC.

 

CG: Where did your journey as a chef begin?

FS: When I was 18, I started working at Ransome’s Dick restaurant in Battersea. I also worked for Stephen Terry at The Walnut Tree in Wales, who incidentally once ran this place too. After some time in Australia, I worked at the Brown Dog in Barnes, later moving to the Duke of Wellington in Marylebone and I’ve been here at The Admiral Codrington now for two and a half years.

 

CG: So essentially, you’re a bit of a London Boy?

FS: I grew up in Clapham and spent a lot of time hanging out on the King’s Road, going to Peter Jones and spending time in Chelsea with my friends.

 

CG: Where are your favourite places to go in Chelsea?

FS: The Botanist, Foxtrot Oscar, Medlar, Barts and Tom’s Kitchen.

 

CG: What is your favourite cocktail?

FS: A Manhattan, which I once had at 21 Club in New York – where the drink was invented. I also like an Old Fashioned and a good G&T.

 

CG: Now, your burger. There was an infusion of smokey flavours. Did you put anything into the meat?

FS: That would be the bacon but no, I didn’t mix the bacon into the patty. I don’t like it when a burger has a slice of crispy bacon on top of the patty so when you bite into the burger, it falls out. I grilled the bacon between the patty and the cheese so it becomes part of the burger.

 

CG: It was so good and all the way through, I was trying to figure out where the flavours were coming from. (*Just to add, the burger has a real depth of flavour, so complicated yet so simple. I loved it!*) … So what about the rest of the burger?

FS: The bun is a brioche bun but not a typical brioche – not overly sweet. It’s more to reflect the American styled bun which has a bit of sugar in it. The caramalised onion creates a bit of an onion chutney. There is also shredded iceberg lettuce, mustard and pickles with cheese and of course the bacon and patty.

The construction of the burger is also important: you must be able to pick it up.

 

CG: And so your final word on the perfect burger?

FS: Keep it simple.

 

I just want to say thanks Fred for taking time out to meet me and for a great lunch. I’ll definitely be back!

The Admiral Codrington is located on 17 Mossop Street, London, SW3 2LY. www.theadmiralcodrington.co.uk

Admiral Codrington on Urbanspoon

1. London Cocktail Week kicks off on Wednesday 7th October and runs until Friday 16th October. But to take part you have to make sure you buy an official wristband, which you can do here. I so can’t wait!

2. Cycling and cupcakes (as well as Pierre Herme macrons and great coffee) with Bikeminded on 8th October. For just £5, you can enjoy the delicious treats of their cake and coffee cruise around Kensington and Chelsea. You also receive valet parking for your bikes and RBKC officials to halt the traffic for you.

If you’re tiniest bit nervous about cycling on the road, you’ll be well looked after! You can book your place on the tour here and you can find out about Bikeminded’s Halloween Ghost Tour here.

Also, check out this video of the last cake and coffee cruise!

Bikeminded: Cake and Coffee Tour from Nielsen Cerbolles on Vimeo.

3. Don’t miss the London Restaurant Festival from 3rd – 17th October. You’ll find amazing deals and events at great places to dine. Check out the festival’s website for more information.

4. The Decca Years: The Rolling Stones 1962 – 1071 exhibition at Proud Chelsea runs until 23rd October. Don’t miss the images that document The Rolling Stones’ first flush of success!

5. The Late Night Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in association with Veuve Cliquot at Bart’s. From cocktails in teapots to special-tea cups and fancy dress, this is guaranteed to be a fabulous night!