OMG! What a match! Frustrating until the 83rd minute, disheartening until the 87th minute and thrilling from the 88th minute onwards, thanks to Drogba’s goal!

Then we went into extra time – followed by penalties, which made my heart race even more. But Petr Cech saved two goals and Bayern Munich’s goalie only saved one. And at that point, Chelsea became the Champions of Europe 2012!! Did you see Abramovich’s face??

I watched the game at The Hollywood Arms after doing a recce around the other local Chelsea pubs in the Chelsea Beach area. From 5.30pm onwards, they were already busy: The Kings Arms, The Goat And Boots and even The Sporting Page who had taken their benches out to make more room inside.

When we arrived at The Hollywood Arms, the tables were also either taken or reserved so I took a look upstairs.

The tables upstairs were also booked up but when we enquired, we heard that there was a booking cancellation and were given a table.

This is also where The Hollywood’s Sunday film screenings happen: a different film each week with free popcorn.

So with over an hour to go, we settled in and ordered some food and drinks with our Saturday papers in hand. Nice and chilled.

I had the mackerel salad.

And the bf had a burger.

And I started the evening sipping Vodka Sodas.

As the room started to fill up, we were told that there was a booking error with our seats and were offered a booth downstairs. At first my heart dropped because no-one likes being moved (especially when the seats were being given to fans of the opposing team, 😉 ) but I also knew that to get a booth downstairs when the pub was already so busy was also a great bit of luck. After all, we hadn’t booked in the first place.

So we moved downstairs, in time for the start of the match where the atmosphere was rocking as everyone watched the screens, gripped.

And after a dramatic game, Chelsea won!!

So it was time to celebrate (with jägerbombs of course!).

Yum!!

Unsurprisingly, we were the last ones out and as we left the pub I managed to grab a few pics of the venue. This pub is one of my locals and I love what they’ve done with the recent-ish refurb.

When we stepped out onto the streets, Chelsea fans had taken over. I could see a crowd heading for Valmont whilst cars with Chelsea flags beeped along the Fulham Road and fans waited at the bus top.

I heard that it was getting quite messy around Fulham Broadway but in Chelsea, the atmosphere was electrifying.

Well done to the boys in blue! I do hope Di Matteo is given a contract to sign this summer. Goodness knows, he deserves it!

So now the countdown to the Chelsea FC Victory parade begins! The parade is due to start at 4pm from Stamford Bridge’s West entrance. It will then head towards Hortensia Road and onto King’s Road. It will then make its way towards Eel Brook Common and after a short stop, it will head towards Parsons Green where it will end.

So who’s going to be there? Maybe see you later!

 

Hollywood Arms on Urbanspoon

Yesterday I popped into The Markham Inn for a drink, after being out of town for a couple of days.

It was a rare gorgeous Sunday afternoon and Chelsea (FC) were playing. Arriving back onto home turf, I headed straight for Chelsea’s Farmers Market – The Market Place is one of my fave local hangouts. But as expected, it was packed and there was a queue.

So I made a beeline for The Markham Inn with the intention of staying for just one drink: a Dirty Martini.

And this has got to be easily the best Dirty Martini I have had in Chelsea – hands down. Each sip was heaven in a glass: pure bliss. Not only had the barman taken my order with reassuring confidence (I love ordering my favourite drink, not having had to look at the menu and for the barman to say “I can do that”. – Believe me it doesn’t happen that often.)

But this Dirty Martini was divine, so of course I wanted another. And given what time it was, I felt the urge to grab an early supper too.

So we picked up our glasses and made our way round to the back of the bar and sat in the dining room area.

Along with my second martini …

I ordered fish and chips.

The batter was wonderfully crispy and the fish was firm but silky. The chips and pea purée were also very good.

Meanwhile, the bf enjoyed his burger with a beer.

The last time the bf had a burger, it fell apart in his hands. So the fact that this one didn’t and that it tasted “extremely good” with its sweet cured bacon and brioche bun was a bonus.

I skipped the dessert menu and opted for an Espresso Martini, which I ordered without the espresso gomme. I don’t like my martinis too sweet.

All in all, I had a gorgeous Sunday supper as locals filled the front part of the bar. This was the perfect way to end the weekend.

The Markham Inn on Urbanspoon

I’m so thrilled to be writing this post right now because I’m very excited about The Little Black Gallery‘s second home at The Imperial Arms.

Tamara Beckwith and Ghislain Pascal have teamed up with Iain and Amelia Heggie to bring us some of the best photography in London as well as the best street food in association with Eat Street. Yes, that’s right, the street food scene has moved West!

Last night was the launch party to celebrate this fantastic collaboration and all I can say is hats off to The Little Black Gallery for spearheading this venture. Why?

Well, I’ve always thought The Imperial Arms was a missed opportunity. I’ve tried many times to give it a chance but it’s never won me over until now. What’s changed my mind?

I love the attention to detail …

And of course, that means the photography which adorns the walls …

This pub now oozes style whilst at the same time, it is very inviting …

And as for the food? A big win!

The Bowler, which specialises in meatball dishes, will be serving up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings whilst other members of the Street Food conglomerate will be setting the menu on Friday and Saturday nights.

I tried a couple of The Bowler’s dishes and I could instantly see myself coming back for more. The meat was both succulent and very tasty: real melt in the mouth experience that tingled the tastebuds.

I also crept upstairs to watch The Bowler in action as each meatball burger was handcrafted with plenty of care and attention. Very impressive.

And the result?

Very, very, good!

And who would have thought that a meatball could be made up in so many different ways?

What’s so exciting about The Little Black Gallery and Eat Street working together is that I’ve been looking for something with a bit of edge for a while on the King’s Road. You know, that element of sexiness and deliciousness under the same roof?

Well, I’ve found it at The Imperial Arms and if you follow me on Twitter, just don’t be surprised if you see quite a few photos coming from here! This pub is so on my radar now.

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

UPDATE: If you’re looking for 2012 New Year’s Eve ideas, click here!

And now for my original 2011 post …

Right now, I’m figuring out my plans for New Year’s in Dublin. Right now, all I know is that I’ll be staying at The Westbury Hotel, which is the sister hotel of The Kensington Hotel: a local fave for scrumptious cocktails!

The Westbury in Dublin

Then I realised, I haven’t blogged about New Year’s Eve on the King’s Road. True, there are just a few days to go but I bet there are a few peeps out there who are finally getting round to sorting out their plans like me (or am I alone on this one?).

So here are a few local options for NYE:


At the time of writing this post, there were 22 tickets left at £30 each. You can buy your tix here!

Whatever you decide to do, have a fabulous time and Happy New Year!! xox

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