A short while ago I revisited The Bloomsbury, a hotel which I used to consider to be one of the greatest hidden gems in the heart of London. The reason for my return was to visit The Bloomsbury Club Bar. I’ve always been a huge fan of this bar where I have tried some of the best cocktails in London.

Thing is, this place isn’t much of a secret now especially after its revamp – and I for one am very pleased.

We started the evening  inside, perched on stools, where we tried cocktails such as: The Roger Fry; Vanessa Bell; Duncan Grant; Desmond McCarthy; Lytton Strachey; and of course Virginia Woolf. As the various concoctions flowed, so did the stories. And each drink was as distinctive as the next. Conversations with the mixologists are definitely something I’d recommend here. You’ll be enraptured by what you hear.

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury HotelThe Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

After, we moved outside onto the terrace where the fairy lights sparkled and it felt like we were ensconced in our own private cocktail world. Here we heard more stories that inspired the other cocktails we tried: The Clive Bell; E.M Forster; John Maynard Keynes; Leonard Woolf, and still we were all enthralled while our tastebuds enjoyed a literary adventure of a lifetime.

Here is the full menu to give you the fuller flavours of The Bloomsbury Club Bar’s fantastic range of cocktails.

mixing

The Bloomsbury Club, Dalloway Terrace, The Bloomsbury Hotel

The whole experience was wonderful as I would have expected. And all I can say is if you are in the West End looking for a bar that serves great cocktails and has a special atmosphere then I have no hesitation in recommending The Bloomsbury Club Bar. I’m just so pleased their secret is finally out and I’m so sure the Bloomsbury set would have had a most fabulous time here.

The Bloomsbury Club Bar, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN.

The weekend is here! And if you’re still trying to decide on what to do, here are a few suggestions …

1. If you’re currently planning a wedding and are looking for something different for your big day, A Most Curious Wedding Fair “is the bridal event for the expressive, style savvy, design-loving and fashion-forward couple.” It’s taking place on Saturday and Sunday and to find out more, here is their website.

2. If you are a mummy or a daddy and are looking for something to do with the kids this weekend, the London Mothers Club are holding a big event at Broadway Bar & Grill in Fulham on Sunday. It’s A Family Affair and as well as children entertainment, there will also be mummy pampering. As for the dads, there will be plenty of street food and drinks for them to enjoy. Here is the event’s website for more details.

3. Watch the Boat Race along the river or head to Bishop’s Park from noon on Sunday 6th April where there will be a large screen to watch the race on and beer tents. Find out more here.

4. Head to the Chelsea Town Hall on King’s Road for the vintage fashion fair, Frock Me. It’s absolutely gorgeous to walk around and if you love vintage, you’ll be in for a real treat. Here is Frock Me’s website.

5. And finally, pop down to La Brasserie on Sunday 6th April 2014 at 6pm for their bar cocktail competition, which is being judged by the comedienne Helen Lederer. After the competition there will be La Brasserie’s regular Sunday evening cocktail masterclass which costs just £10 and gives you plenty of delicious cocktail fun. Here are more details.

So apparently it’s National Margarita Day today, which means I cannot let this Friday end without a post on Chelsea’s very own tequila bar, Tonteria.

TonteriaLocated in a basement on Sloane Square, Tonteria is a must-go for all tequila fans. My first visit was with a tequila aficionado from Mexico, so she knew exactly what she was looking for. I, on the other hand, am not such an expert on tequila brands but having tried a fair amount of margaritas around the world in my time I consider my tastebuds well-trained. 😉

TonteriaThe tequila menu at Tonteria is long; I hadn’t realised there was so much to tequila. But in the end, my friend and I decided on her favourite tipple, Don Julio, which we didn’t knock back as a shot. Instead we sipped the tequila as if we were savouring a fine whiskey; that’s how it’s done in Mexico.

Tequila at TonteriaThe margarita menu also spoils you for choice and I can wholeheartedly recommend trying something from it. The margaritas we tried had the right balance of flavours and bite.

Margarita at TonteriaA railway track also runs around the ceiling of the bar, delivering tequila shots to tables of which there are a few. But there aren’t so many tables that you could just walk in and nab one, unless it’s obviously a quiet night. So I would recommend booking a table, especially if you want to grab a seat and try Tonteria’s food menu. After around 10pm, the bar/restaurant turns into club when the tequila vibe takes on a whole other meaning, the Sloane Square way.

Happy National Margarita Day! *clink!*

I’ve been thinking about my fashion posts recently and how I could make them more interesting and more me. And then, this morning, I had a flash of inspiration. Given that my most populated blog category is cocktails, it just makes sense for me to merge the two: fashion and cocktails. After all, when hitting a bar for a cocktail or few, it’s important to be wearing the right outfight, yes?

So here is my first cocktail-inspired fashion outfit for the Black Velvet. Some of you may already know that this Guinness and Champagne cocktail is one of my favourites. It’s a must-have with oysters, if it’s on the menu but even on its own, it’s a very smooth and luxurious-feeling drink.

From a girly perspective, I’ve always found Guinness to be AMAZING when my head is feeling out of sorts in a PMT way (sorry guys!). In the 1970s, Guinness used to be served to new mothers in hospitals, so there must be something chemical that works to help us ladies feel better. And what better way to indulge in a bit of comfort drinking than to include Champagne into the mix.

At J. Sheeky and The Wolseley, Black Velvets come in silver tankards but if you’re not looking for an accompaniment to oysters, you can of course drink them from Champagne flutes. Here’s one I sipped at The Aubrey Doyle Bar in The Kensington Hotel.

And here is my suggestion for a Black Velvet inspired outfit:

1. Stripy Velvet Boat Neck Dress at Orla Kiely

2. Daytime shoes: Harriet Ballet Flats at French Sole

3. Black and Gold Friendship Bracelet at Links of London

4. Evening shoes: Black Ghillie Shoes at Vivienne Westwood

5.  The Pippa shoulder bag by Modalu at Harvest

I hope it inspires! x

When Peter Jones switches on its Christmas lights, there seems to be a sudden charm to the cold bite of winter. I could even say that this is one of my favourite times of the year and not just because I love lights, which I do. Did you see how many photos I uploaded from the Battersea Park Fireworks?

I also love winter menus and indulging in heartwarming cocktails to nourish the soul.

Last night, I popped into The Botanist to try their new bar menu which had piqued my interest. Bar menus are a fascinating concept because most of the time, they’re really not that good. Yet, we excuse their subpar quality because they’re not supposed to be proper meals. They’re just a bit on the side.

However, like anything in life, when we do come across something decent – it stands out.

When I tried The Botanist’s new bar menu, one particular dish stood out for me: the soft shell crab burger with smoked chilli salt.

Want a closer look?

I love soft shell crab anyway. It’s one of my favourite dishes but I’d never had it in a bun, which totally worked. For the bf, this burger reminded him of Barbados: has anyone else tried the fried flying fish in a roll over there?

The breaded oyster slider with lime and chilli aioli also tickled my tastebuds. I had forgotten that it was on the menu and was both confused and intrigued by what I was enjoying. Again, this was a new experience for me because I had never tried oysters cooked. In fact, I remember frowning upon a bunch of Sydneysiders in Australia who were telling  me about one of their favourite dishes: oyster mornay. How dare they ruin a perfectly good experience by placing the oysters under a grill and covering them with breadcrumbs and cheese? Why would anyone do that? But now I take those thoughts back. Well, perhaps not the cheese bit. But I totally get how cooked oysters can taste delicious – and in a bun.

The other two sliders that accompanied the breaded oysters were a cheeseburger and pulled pork with jalapeno relish.

But if burgers aren’t you’re thing, there are also chilli beef and chicken satay skewers on the bar menu.

I would say that my preference out of these two would be the chicken satay, which was more succulent.

The bf and I also sipped a few cocktails between us. To start with, the bf picked one of the Winter Warmers: the Winter Fairytale, which consisted of Courvoisier, Goldschläger cinnamon liqueur, cranberry, lemon juice and rose petal marmalade – served hot.

And whilst this cocktail tastes nothing like a Hot Toddy, it has a similar soothing effect to it. It’s ideal for the cold winter months ahead and it also tastes very good.

My first cocktail was the King’s Road Buccanner – but of course. And the ingredients included Diplomático Reserva Rum, Grand Marnier, chocolate and orange bitters.

If you like rum and cocktails with depth of flavour, then you might want to try this one. I really loved it.

Other cocktails consumed last night included the Sloane Ranger, which is very refreshing.

The Honey and Fig Collins – ideal for cocktail lovers with a sweet tooth.

And the Autumn Cobbler, which includes Ioyr Old Tawny Port, Somerset Brandy, Cointreau, apple and orange. Admittedly, I’m still getting my head around this one but the bf said he enjoyed it.

There were plenty more cocktails to try, including the Tinkerbell which is made of Tanqueray gin, kummel and a splash of absinthe. So if you get to try any of them out, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Enjoy! x

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