Last week I was invited to try the latest menu at Stelle di Stelle in Harrods. The concept behind this wondrous pop-up involves five of the best restaurants in Italy which take up residency at Harrods for a month each from September 2014 until January 2015. The restaurants have 13 Michelin stars between them and I was lucky enough to be able to try Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Féolde’s menu from Enoteca Pinchiorri which has 3 Michelin stars.

So what did Julie and I have for our delicious catch up?

We started with some beautiful cheese and ham, paired with a glass of Ferrari Maximum Brut Trento Doc. Light and tasty, this was a perfect start to the meal.

stelle di stelle at harrods

The next course included chestnut mousse with pancetta, pine nuts and rosemary along with a glass of Ferrari Maximum Brut Trento Doc. This must have been the lightest mousse I have ever tasted. Its airy texture matched the deep flavours of the other ingredients. Pure sensation for my tastebuds. Even the olive oil danced around my mouth as I savoured each spoonful.

Stelli di Stelli at Harrods

Another fantastic dish followed. Octopus cooked in olive oil with pumpkin cream, coffee pearls and watercress sprouts which was paired with a glass  Rosso di Montalcino Doc San Polo 2012.

The coffee pearls were an elegant touch to this sumptuous dish. Apparently the octopus had been cooked three ways by the time it had reached the table and again, each mouthful arrived with a depth of flavour and texture that could only be the result of careful preparation.

We were both very much enjoying our meal.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Poached egg with Alba white truffle and Grana Padano cheese fondue was next on the list, with a glass of Giulio Ferrari Trento Doc 2002 to go with it.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

I don’t think I have a favourite dish on this menu as they were all sublime. But if I had to pick, this would come close because poached egg, white truffle and cheese fondue prepared so delicately. I really tried to take my time with this one …
Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

The next course – and at this stage with three more courses to go – I didn’t feel overfed but instead excited to experience the next adventure. The next course involved fusilli al ferretto with artichokes, scampi and liquorice powder, paired with a glass of not wine but Birra Moretti la Rossa.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

To translate, a delicious glass of beer. I’m not a real beer drinker and would never think to pair my pasta with a glass but this totally worked. There was so much flavour in this glass of beer as there was in each glass of wine we had tried so far. There were layers and depth, just as there were with each dish too.Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

The penultimate course included a rack of lamb topped with garlic and thyme, accompanied by polenta and Cavolo Nero and paired with a glass of Poggio Al Tesoro Mediterra Igt Toscana 2011.

Admittedly I have never been a fan of polenta and I really don’t think I would ever order it in a restaurant. But by now I completely trusted the menu and I knew if there was a time when I would enjoy it, it would be now. And I was right.

The lamb was also something to savour, cooked perfectly and full of flavour.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Finally the dessert came along with bread, chocolate, oil and salt and a glass of Giovanni Allegrini Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico Doc 2010.

This dish is apparently based on a popular children’s favourite in Italy but obviously this more refined and sophisticated version arrived with a few surprises such as the soft chocolate pouring out of the chocolate casing as well as the taste of the olive oil upon the crispy bread. This isn’t your nuttella sandwich idea of a dessert. It’s something more delicate and if you especially enjoy sea salt chocolate, you will enjoy this.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

Julie and I were amongst the last to leave Stelle di Stelle which you can find on the lower ground floor of Harrods, next to the fine wine section. So I had the opportunity to snap this photo to give you an idea of the beautiful design of the restaurant.

Stelle di Stelle at Harrods

The whole evening was a real delight and whilst we dined in Knightsbridge, I really did feel like I had embarked on a culinary adventure. Always my favourite kind of meal.

On Sunday I went to Harrods for lunch with Sunny in London. Our precise destination was the Marchesi Café, which is a pop-up restaurant that is part of Pradasphere: the Prada exhibition on the fourth floor. Marchesi Café at HarrodsThe Marchesi Café in Milan is part-owned by Prada, so it makes sense that the whole Prada experience is completed by either a lunch or an afternoon tea when going to visit the exquisite exhibition.

Located along which would normally be the Georgian Restaurant, the Marchesi Café evokes a sense of being on the continent. Marchesi Café at HarrodsWith shelves of sweets lined up along the wall, there is a timeless beauty to the space.

Marchesi Café at Harrods

To start off lunch, I enjoyed a Champagne cocktail …

Marchesi Café at Harrods

… whilst Sunny enjoyed a Kir Royale.

Marchesi Café at Harrods

And of course, because it was a Sunday afternoon water was also being sipped at the table.

Marchesi Café at Harrods

For starter, I had a fennel with anchovies and orange salad. There were some capers in there too. And I really enjoyed this salad, which was light as well as delicately tasty.Marchesi Café at Harrods

Sunny tried the mozzarella and tomato salad, which looked really good. It’s been a while since I’ve had mozzarella and I bet it was a delicious choice. To find out, you’ll have to see what Sunny says about her experienceMarchesi Café at Harrods

For our main … and I’m just throwing in this photo because I loved how the mains arrived … Marchesi Café at Harrods

I had one of the veal dishes which came with mashed potatoes and peas.

This dish was light and seemed simple but as with all good Italian cuisine, the simplicity allows for the quality of the ingredients to shine through.

One of my favourite dishes ever is a drizzle of truffle oil, shavings of pecorino cheese and pasta. Simple and very tasty.

So yes indeed, simplicity is key with good Italian dishes.
Marchesi Café at HarrodsFor my side, I had an artichoke with parmesan cheese …

Marchesi Café at Harrods… whilst Sunny had a risotto with saffron for her main and …

Marchesi Café at Harrods

… a mixed salad on the side.Marchesi Café at Harrods

For our second cocktails, we both had a Spritz: Prosecco and aperol, which I absolutely loved. I could have easily had a second.Marchesi Café at Harrods

But to go with dessert … a selection of pastries (filled with jam, rice pudding and apple) …Marchesi Café at Harrods… as well as truly delectable creme caramel …

Marchesi Café at Harrods… we had a glass of Champagne each. But of course!

Marchesi Café at Harrods

With great company, wonderful surroundings and a carefully thought out menu, the afternoon was pure delight.

It was the perfect preamble to a fashionable treat: Pradasphere, which will be the subject of my next post.
Marchesi Café at Harrods

Marchesi Café, 4th floor, Harrods.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you may have seen quite a few Ladurée related tweets and/or photos last week.

This was because of the Style The Cyclist competition which Harrods and Bikeminded have launched together.

The media launch took place at Ladurée, first thing last Thursday morning.

And at the event, bloggers and journalists were asked to take part in a Pinterest activity that would reflect the actual Style The Cyclist competition.

We had to each pin items of clothing and accessories from Harrods’ collection onto Pinterest boards that were set up for us – to create a stylish outfit that we would wear cycling.

The Clothes Whisperer will be one of the competition's judges

Lady Velo

Beauty And The Dirt and Coco's Tea Party

For The Young Dude and London Cycling Campaign

And as we pinned and chatted amongst each other, along with members of the Harrods and Bikeminded teams, we were served breakfast.

 

Here is the board which I created. What do you think?

The full details of the Style The Cyclist will be released next week but I can reveal that in order to take part, you will need to have a Pinterest account set up by the end of next week (18th May 2012).

Also, the prizes are fit for any aspiring stylist. Not only will two winners receive £150 worth of Harrods vouchers but the chosen outfits will be photographed by a fashion photographer and will be included in both Absolutely Magazine and the Harrods Magazine. So it’s a great opportunity for any budding fashionista who is trying to build their portfolio!

If you want to be the first to find out more about the competition, Bikeminded will be releasing the details on Pinterest on Wednesday 16th May and on Thursday 17th May, the news will spread to Twitter, Facebook and their Blog.

And if you find the competition half as fun as we did at the launch, not only will you have a fabulous dream outfit but you will most probably catch the Pinterest bug by the time you submit your entry – if you haven’t already!

*Just to add, Bikeminded are a social media client of mine who I’m providing consultation on this campaign for. I’m also involved with some of their other projects. But they have not paid me to write this post. I cycle, I love clothes and I have a contained addiction to Pinterest. So, it’s a real no-brainer: if I’m excited about this competition then a few of my readers might be too.*

I hope you enjoy the competition and if you’re entering, good luck! x