FIREZZA FOREVER.

Pizza

Pizza parties are the best kind of parties. Especially when the pizza is pure piping hot doughy perfection and the Prosecco is flowing. Last night saw the opening of Firezza’s first proper restaurant. With a killer location on Dean Street, this is going to change the game for pizza lovers in London. 

Creamy buffala mozzarella, juicy sun blushed tomatoes, drizzly garlicky pesto, freshly picked basil and the crispiest crunchiest bread came together in unison to make wonderful little bitesized bruschetta canapes. I gorged on about 12 of these before we even sat down for dinner. 

The pizza may not have been round but it certainly was perfection. I doused every slice in all the chilli oil and chilli flakes and ate until it hurt. I’m still dreaming of that mozzarella, please just take a couple of moments to appreciate how creamy it is. I mean come on. 

The freshly filled and dipped cannoli at the end of the evening pretty much made my week. This stuff is like crack. Actual Italian, pastry dessert crack. 

All of these elements and the copious amounts of booze meant this was pretty much the best party ever. Get your soon to be fat asses down to Firezza ASAP for some sensational carby goodness and trust me on this one, have the cannoli. 

Yes Firezza, I’ll be back. Soon. I promise. 

BELGO & BLOOM. 

Belgian

You may remember a while back I was invited to the Belgo Holborn launch party and spent an evening learning to love mussels whilst downing yards of beer? You can read about that wonderful night here

Belgo has opened its doors once again, this time in Kings Cross and they’re sharing a brand new space with shiny new kid on the block, Bloom Kitchen & Bar in the newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Hotel. Last week I was invited down to get reacquainted with Belgo’s unique cuisine and try out some of Bloom’s delightful gin based cocktails. 

We started the evening at Bloom, a fancy hotel bar with a gin menu fit for a king. Bloom pays homage to the famous artistic set, The Bloomsbury Group; a collective of bohemian writers, poets and intellectuals including the likes of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. 


The drinks menu is a treat. Split into 3 sections; starters, mains and desserts, we were spoilt for choice and chose our pre dinner aperitifs very carefully. Cocktails aren’t usually by beverage of choice but when they’re gin based I can make an exception.
After drinks we swanned on over to Belgo for a three course meal and a large selection of beers to wash it all down with. Belgo has become famed for its rope grown fresh mussels, that are (always) grit free and fully sustainable from the Shetland Islands. Not to mention their 52 strong Belgium beer selection that will impress the snobbiest of beer drinkers. 

Our trio of starters came in the form of Cheesy Croquettes, King Prawns in Garlic Butter and Belgo Potted Patè. The Cheesy Croquettes being the winner of all three dishes, obviously. As anything cheese based and deep fried cannot be beaten. 


For mains we were served Belgo’s Famous Moules, Fries and Sliced Serloin. The serlion was a little chewy for my liking but the Mussels at Belgo never disappoint. Delirium beer was the perfect accompaniment to this course. The cute little pink elephant is LIFE. 


For dessert we scoffed our faces with Homemade Waffles and Ice Cream, again not usually something that gets me excited but these really satisfied my after dinner need for something sweet. 


The restaurant is visually pleasing, with quirky feature lighting, big banquette seating, reclaimed wood booths and eclectic artwork. The setting is perfect for after work dinners, group bookings and with it being a hotel restaurant it’s also not an initimadting placing to dine alone. Floor to ceiling stained glass screens break up the restaurant creating smaller intimate dining areas so it’s even got date night written all over it. 


If you fancy 2-4-1 cocktails at Bloom Kings Cross just show this voucher from 12 noon Monday – Sunday. You’re welcome.

DELANES DO LA PT. 1

American, California, Los Angeles

So I’ve been back a while now and I’m still seriously suffering from the LA blues. There’s a California shaped hole in my heart and nothing, not even Tesco Finest Prosecco is helping to fill the void. As I lay on my bed, listening to the rain splattering on the window, I’m going to take some time to talk to you about potentially the best 9 days of my adult life. 

We stayed at The Mondrian on Sunset. Home of LA’s prestigious Skybar. It was oh so fancy. 

I’d say we spent the majority of our time eating and shopping. I also spent s lot of time taking pictures. Let me start by talking you through the food… 

Jon & Vinnys Jon & Vinny’s is an essential if you’re visiting LA. It’s a relatively casual but always busy and always amazing Italian on Fairfax. Have the vodka pasta, it’s addictive, definitely have a pizza – we went for the LA woman – and go wild with sides. It’s worth going in a group and sharing (like most places in LA) because everything is so good. We shared the brocollini, Zucchini and Arugula salad (AKA courgette & rocket) and a burrata toast. The wine is really good, they’ve got a little wine shop just behind the restaurant. It’s called Helen’s, it has a neon pink sign and the rosè is blush, what more could you wish for? Must book. 

Smorgasburg Great vibes, amazing food and cute little market stalls. Have the Shrimp Daddy garlic butter Shrimp, it’s worth the wait. You’ll see people chomping down on caveman style turkey legs, lavish looking lobster on polystyrene plates and live sea urchin. This is a step or 2 up from Street Feast or Dinerama and of course the sunshine doesn’t hurt. Go early, prepare to queue (or get in line as the Americans say) and try as much as you can.  Walk in Obv. 

Pizzeria Mozza Best pizza in town. Hands down. Order the squash blossoms if they have them and the truffle mushroom pizza is incred. Wine is off the chain and not too expensive either. We didn’t have starters because we’d pretty much spent the entire day eating but they looked insane. INSANE. Must book. 

Joan’s on Third Cute kitch deli / cafe with lots of nice things to buy and take home. Instagrammable as hell and pretty good for celeb spotting. This is where the cool, attractive people come for lunch. You’ll feel uber LA sat outside chomping on your salad and slurping your juice. The soup is good too. We ate here for lunch and then dinner one day. It’s that good. Walk in only. 

Chateau Marmont Have breakfast/lunch/dinner outside – you’ll never feel more old school LA. Celeb spotting is guaranteed. I had the Huvevos Rancheros and mother had gluten free blueberry pancakes. We were in our element. Must book. 

The bar is separate to the hotel, you need to book that too. Wear your premium clothes.

For those of you that are interested, here’s a sneak peak inside the Chateau…


Sugarfish Sushi Supposedly the best sushi in LA. We only had sushi once so I couldn’t judge. The wine was cheap and delicious. This is no frills but was packed and definitely delicious. Walk in only. You will have to wait. 

Polo Lounge & Cabana Cafe @ The Beverly Hills Hotel A plants on Pink Instagram dream. Very expensive. Definite celeb spottings. Amazing complimentary nibbles with your wine at Polo Lounge. Whispering Angel rosé is the most perfect blush. Book the Cabana for lunch if the weather is nice. Go to the gift shop! Must book.

Pink Taco Great deals on a Tuesday. Cocktails served in pineapples. Not the best tacos ever but good vibes and good value. Probably a good idea to book but you don’t have to. 

Alfred Coffee The best coffee. There are a few, visit as many as you can. Killer branding and even more killer pastries. 


Alfred Tea Room 
Cutest tea establishment in the world. Fact. 

That’s it for part 1, hold tight for part 2…

LUTO SUPPER CLUB.

Filipino, London

Last night I experienced two culinary firsts. My First supper club dining experience and my first ever taste of Filipino food. 

Luto‘, simply meaning ‘to cook’ in the language of the Philippines, is the name of the monthly supper club I was fortunate enough to attend yesterday. After three weeks of ‘January’ deprivation and pure health I allowed myself to devour a five course feast without even a smidge of guilt. 
The evening was filled with an abundance of heavenly flavours, textures and five of the tastiest dishes I’ve had in a long, long time. January health kick or not. 

The beauty of a supper club is that essentially everyone’s enjoying the same incredible meal at the same time. Throw your fussiness out the window for one evening and allow yourself to go on a flavour adventure with no barriers stopping you from trying new things and experiencing flavours and textures you wouldn’t usually enjoy. There is of course a vegetarian option and you’re asked to state any dietary requirements at the start but I can guarantee that by dining this way you’ll fall in love (or at least happily tolerate) an ingredient you would otherwise avoid.

We were given snacks to nibble on whilst our first course was prepared. Crispy pig skin puffs for the meat eaters and fried kale for the veggies. This did a good job of tiding us over until the real food arrived…

Dish 1: Mussels “Bicol”

The meal begun with mussels – something I’ve ordered many times in the last year or two since deciding I like them. These were big juicy ones swimming in a hot, gingery, coconut broth with crunchy ribbons of veg and a generous topping of spring onions. Divine. Pretty much converted the mussel hating friend I was with too – result. 

Dish 2: Smoked Mackerel Arroz Caldo 

Up until yesterday I wouldn’t necessarily have referred to myself as a mackerel fan; this dish may have changed my mind though. Unlike anything I’ve ever eaten before, this was a culinary adventure to the unknown and I can safely say I’ve never eaten anything like it in my life before. What I can only describe as a savoury rice pudding was topped with a sprinkling of burnt crispy rice, smoked flaky fish, oozy gooey egg yolk, heaps of garlic, crispy onions and a whole load of other stuff that brought this dish together in holy matrimony and created a complete and utter taste sensation in my mouth. As well as being next level tasty, this dish did that thing with textures that reminds you you how well creamy and crispy and crunchy and oozy and gooey really do go together.  

Dish 3: Beef Short Rib, Aubergine, Peanut

Fall off the bone meat, soft and sweet aubergine, crunchy salty peanuts – this dish was the holy fucking grail. Without a doubt the best thing on the menu and absolutely ridiculously scrumptious. It was a beast of a main course, It’s what death row meals are made of and it made me want to cry with happiness after depriving myself of so many delicious things for so long. This dish will make you reconsider any dietary requirements you have and would make even a vegetarian jealous. (Which it literally did because there was one on our table, pretty certain he tasted it. Bad vegetarian.)

Something I almost forgot to mention (and mentally slapped myself on the wrist for doing so) was the charred cabbage side that accompanied the main. It was a complete and utter game changer. All cabbage needs to be charred, literally all of it. Why would you even consider having it any other way? 

Dish 4: Condensed Milk Tart & Kalamanasi

Dessert. Usually that part of the meal you regret and wish you’d never eaten when the little voice in your head starts whispering ‘did you really need that?’. 

For our fourth course we were served a crème brûlée style pie with a citrusy, zesty mousse like spoldge on the side to cut through the incredible, sweet, creaminess of the tart. So yes at a matter of fact, you really do need a dessert. In fact, you need two…

Dish 5: Coffee, Rum, Mango

The perfect way to end your meal. A second dessert. It’s your post meal Coffee, night cap & ice cream all rolled into one. It is just sensational. 

In the feedback form we filled in at the end of the night I scribbled FUCKING PHENOMENAL across the 4 lines requesting my opinion, likes and dislikes about the meal. That is all they really needed to know. 

The vibe is great, everyone’s super friendly and it’s a completely different experience to what you’re used to. Foodies rejoice, this is the future of dining… 


The Luto supper club happens one Sunday a month at Brunswick East cafe in Dalston. You’d be a FOOL to miss it.

LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. 

Brunch, Cafe, coffee, Healthy, Liverpool

It’s not often I’ll write a blog post whilst I’m sat in the actual restaurant I’m writing about but I’m just so inspired and in love with this place that I can’t help myself. (That being said I do have four hours to kill until my train and it’s the third time I’ve been here in two days).

Love Thy Neighbour is a brand new cafe/bar hidden at the top of Bold Street in Liverpool’s city centre. I’m not from round here but I do travel up north for work occasionally and I can guarantee I’ll find an excuse to come back here on every single trip.

We stumbled across it whilst researching potential food suppliers for work and couldn’t believe our luck when we walked inside. Every single thing about it is perfect. Think Palm Vaults but bigger, cooler, quieter, less hipster and full of northerners. There just isn’t a better formula for a winning concept.

There are five things I’ve always said I’d have in my very own cafe; plants, a pink neon, amazing crockery, good lighting and Instagram friendly tables (previously marble but now that’s been done a million times, bleached wood is in favour). This place has it all. And more. 

There are a few things I’d like to point out before I get started.
1. The ceiling: Plants on plants on plants. Couldn’t love this more if I tried.

2. The wine list: Two whites, two rosés, two reds. £3.95 for a glass or £15.95 for a bottle. I know I’m up north but come on. That’s incredible.

3. The cocktails: They’re all healthy. Now there’s no excuse. 

On my first visit I just had a coffee. My colleague ordered the Wild Loaf Sourdough, Smashed Avocado & Poached Egg and I was very jealous. My caramel latte was served with a matcha energy ball (possibly a freebie for my over enthusiasm) and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. 

FOOD ENVY. 

Later that evening I came back for cocktails. We had one Cucumber & Rose Collins and a Zubrowka Vodka & Fresh Press Apple. They were served in huge glasses which made me stupidly happy. Nothing annoys me more than tiny martini style champagne/cocktail glasses that hold nothing more than a gulp. Healthy cocktails are a bit odd but these were weirdly enjoyable. And strong. Really strong. 

And here I am now, back again for breakfast. Killing time but also having the time of my life. I was the only one in here for a while and enjoyed the serenity of it all but slowly the place got busier as the people of Liverpool came in to soothe their hangovers in the best way possible. I obviously went for the avo toast as I hadn’t stopped thinking about it since yesterday. I’m going to point out that my avocado was ever so slightly brown on this occasion, not something I’ll hold against them but something that I did notice unfortunately. 

The staff aren’t pushy or intimidating, everyone’s extremely laid back and friendly. The music is super chilled and the vibe is perfect. Have I mentioned that yet? ITS PERFECT.

Find a reason so go and visit. Make it happen. I know I’ll be using every excuse under the sun to come back. 

HACHÉ X HOLBORN.

Burgers, London, London Restaurants, Pop Up

Haché. Posh burgers. Really, really good posh burgers. Somehow I’ve missed out on sampling one of these delights in all my years of burger tasting. This week I got to experience the Haché x Holborn pop-up and I’ll never look back. 

Although a little hard to find, hidden in the basement of Holborn’s famous Hush Brasserie is Haché Holborn. A high end burger joint gracing this central london venue with its presence for just two precious months. This isn’t your ordinary burger restaurant though, this is the kind of place you eat your burger with a knife and fork and you sip your wine out of proper wine glasses. My kind of place if you know me at all. There’s no kitchen roll on the table to wipe up sloppy burger juice dripping from your chin and there’s no danger of over ordering in this upmarket patty palace. 


The menu is super simple: Two snack options and four burgers. 

We started with both snacks; Harlequin Olives and Pitta with Black Garlic Hummus. The smoothest hummus I ever did try and fluffiest pitta in the land. I made little canapé sandwich bites with the olives and pitta and dunked them in the hummus because I’m weird like that and it was honestly amazing. 

You’ve got four burgers to choose from, although you’d be a fool not to go for the Steak Le Fumé. A) Because it’s comes in a smoked filled dome and B) Because it’s bloody incredible. All the burgers are made with steak meat – see what I mean about high end? And you’ve got a choice of three sides and three sauces. So simple, so effective. The fries dipped in the Bernaise pretty much sent me over the edge of happiness and halfway to heaven. 

My only complaint (and there literally is only one), is that my burger was ever so slightly overcooked and not pink and juicy like I’d requested. Didn’t really matter though, still tasted bloody amazing. 


The drinks menu is just as simple as the food menu. One white, one red, one craft beer, one shake and a selection of soft drinks. Just how I like it, not too much choice and quality everything. 

The atmosphere in this place is almost better than the food, it’s teeny tiny, cosy and so well lit I wished I’d brought a date. The lighting and the music was something I commented on all night and the celebrity photos on the wall on the way to the toilet (errr hello Spice Girls) absolutely made my night. 


I mean it, this place is seriously worth a visit. It’s romantic as hell too, so if you’re into burgers but don’t fancy taking your date somewhere that doesn’t have cutlery then this is the one. You better get there quick though, it’s only open until December 23rd. 

THE DINER. 

American, London Restaurants, Mac N Cheese

The Diner. You all know it. They were one of the first American style restaurants to serve up classic USA inspired guilty pleasures and although chilli cheese fries and hard shakes have served them well over the years they’ve gone and got themselves a new menu. 

After months of research stateside The Diner is back with lots of shiny new dishes; all epitomising the ultimate American dream. I was invited down to check out these heart attack inducing plates of stodge and boy oh boy I enjoy myself.

We started with Bellini’s – not so classic American but a good way to start a meal nonetheless. Shortly after we were presented with our Bacon Jalepeño Tater Tots and Freakshow Chicken (AKA Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips served with Franks Hot Sauce). Doesn’t get more American than that right? The tater tots were served with what I’m sure what a puréed potato & horseradish dip. Carb on carb in it’s absolute highest form. I’m a sucker for any kind of Buttermilk/buffalo/hot sauce combo and although this wasn’t a new dish, it was a trusted one and it went down a treat.

Mains came in the form of the Pulled Pork Taco Salad Bowl (not new but OMG) and the Diner Meatloaf (slabs of meatloaf wrapped in bacon & served with creamy mash & tonnes of gravy. Looked a bit like prison food but warms you from the inside out kind of food. The mash and gravy combo was so creamy I was actually dipping my cheese fries into it. More carb on carb action. 

Our sides came in the form of Cheese Fries, Corn on the Cob and Mac ‘n’ Cheese. All yellow / beige and all great. Totally not necessary but great. 

For dessert we sucked up our morals and tried the Trumpshake. Yes. Donald Trump in milkshake form. Probably the best kind of Trump if you ask me.

After an evening of carb loading amd guilty pleasures I felt well and truly stuffed. If you want to get fat like the Americans and be gluttonous for an evening then The Diner is your spot. There ain’t no healthy options here and it was probably the best place to spend World Vegan Day. Enjoy y’all. 

B.Y.O.C. EAST

Bar, Cocktails, East London, London, London Bars

A little while back you may recall I went to the launch night of B.Y.O.C. Soho and had a seriously good night. We were served up incredible food by James Cochran and a lovely man called Marvin made us cocktails all night long. Well, it’s happened again. B.Y.O.C. East has launched and it’s just as amazing as its Soho sister. 

On Wednesday evening I took one of my faves out for a hump day treat to celebrate the launch of east London’s coolest new venue. We were served up a menu of small bites created by the genius that is James Cochran, were inundated with bespoke cocktails made by my favourite B.Y.O.C. mixologist Marvin and a had the sort of evening that makes me appreciate London and the fact that I get invited to such amazing places. 

The main attraction at all the B.Y.O.C. bars is of course, the cocktails. If you don’t know the deal then let me explain. You bring a bottle of your chosen spirit and your own personal mixologist spends the evening serving you up all kinds of delights. And they really are delights. 

We wanted to give them a challenge so we brought a bottle of Aperol. I went from hating to loving there stuff pretty damn quickly. 

The cocktails may be the selling point but to me the food is the best part. Every single bit of it. We were presented with four simple dishes: 

East London Toastie 

What makes a Toastie from the East End? I’ll tell you. Eel. Smoked eel to be specific. Something that sounds gross but tastes great. Also something I ate FAR too much of. 

Crispy Cauliflower, Cucumber, Peanuts & Spiced Yoghurt.

If you know me or this blog at all then you’ll know Cauliflower is my thing. My favourite vegetable (when cooked right) and the thing that excites me most on a menu. If you read my last B.Y.O.C. post then you’ll also know the last time I ate James Cochran’s Cauliflower I claimed it was the best I ever had. This was just as good. I just don’t know how he does it.

Smoked Cod’s Roe, Seaweed Cracker, Radish.

Didnt sound hugely appealing to me but definitely tasted it. I was on a table with a vegan, a veggie, someone who didn’t eat fish and a mayo phobe. I ate the entire plate. All of it. Every single cracker. 

Jamaican Jerk Buttermilk Chicken, Pickled Scotch Bonnets, Corn Nuts, Coriander.

Jeez Louise. This was just delightful. All the best things; crispy, spicy, juicy, hot, tasty & oh so moorish. 

All in all this place is a hell of a lot of fun. Even if you’re not into cocktails you’ll leave drunk and happy. I couldn’t praise the place more highly. 

The highlight of my evening was probably the moment I was handed a Sunpat jar to drink my cocktail from, that was a real winner. 

£25 per person. 2 hours. Food not included. 
Enjoy. 

BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH: LONDON. 

Bottomless Brunch, Brunch, London, London Restaurants

Bottomless Brunching in London, it’s something I get asked about pretty much on a daily basis. It’s hard to know where to go when there are so many and you don’t want to make the wrong decision. Bottomless Brunching = commitment. 

I’ve not done them all but I’ve done a fair few and I’m working my way through the best (and the worst) this glorious city has to offer.

The best: Hotbox 

If you read my blog post about brunch at Hotbox you’ll know I’ve already found the winner. Nothing can compare and I challenge any of you to argue it. Read this for details. 


£25 for unlimited Bloody Mary’s & Prosecco. Order a la carte. 2 hours. Shoreditch. 10/10.

Just because I’ve found the best doesn’t mean I’ll stop the search. You’ve got to keep going…

The worst: Bad Egg

I may as well get this bit over with, the bottom of the bottomless, the worst of the lot and the place I don’t recommend and certainly won’t be returning to any time soon… Bag Egg. 

Bad in the name, the service and most importantly, the eggs. Don’t serve me over cooked poached eggs, get aggy when I want a refill and make me sit on an uncomfortable chair for 2 hours and expect me to come away happy. Barely even got an apology either, was not impressed.

Good Bloody Mary’s though. 

£35 for unlimited Bloody Mary’s, Prosecco & Mimosas plus 3 items off the menu. 2 hours. Moorgate. 5/10.

The cheap one: Cabana 

Brasilian basic brunch in Brixton. Read all about it here

Unlimited Tropical Bellinis & Bloody Maria’s for £14.95. Order a la carte. Brixton & Islington. 2 hours. 7/10.

The one with the dessert: Shackfuyu

Don’t go if you’re only interested in getting pissed. This is one of the more civilised brunches; they weren’t overly keen on me having 2 drinks on the go at once and it’s also only a 1.5 hour sitting. The food though, is insane. 

Order the Corn, the Aubergine, the Korean Wings and obviously enjoy London’s most Instagrammed dessert, the Kinako French Toast with Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream. To. Die. For. 

£35 for unlimited Prosecco & Pineapple Sake, 2 small dishes, 1 big dish and a dessert for the table. Soho. 1.5 hours. Sunday only.  8/10. 

The extravagant one: Flesh & Buns

The best thing about this brunch? Unlimited small plates. That’s the hook here. All the Korean Wings you could dream of. There just isn’t a better offer. You get a cocktail on arrival, unlimited Prosecco OR wine, nibbles, their signature flesh & buns AND a dessert. Plus, there are 2 menus to chose from and the food is insane. It’s got a banging atmosphere, the service is good considering how busy they always are and although it’s one of the more expensive ones, it’s totally worth it. 

£39 or £46 for a cocktail on arrival, unlimited Prosecco, white wine, red wine and small hot & cold dishes. Nibbles & dessert for the table AND their signature flesh & buns. Covent Garden. 2 hours. 9/10.

The simple one: Jones & Sons 

Simple, tasty brunch dishes and flowing Prosecco. Plus, the great thing about this place is, you can keep ordering meals throughout your 2 hour slot. The catch is you have to wait for everyone at the table to finish their course before ordering the next one but go in a small group or with equally hungry/greedy people and you can really make the most of your money. 

£27 for unlimited Prosecco OR Bloody Mary’s OR Bucks Fizz OR Bellinis & unlimited brunch dishes. 

The one with a Sunday roast: New Street Grill 

The best thing about this place is the Sunday Roast. You can also get a fancy selection of brunch/lunch dishes and it’s all super premium. Bottomless Prosecco and a banging Sunday roast  = life.  

2 courses for £20, 3 for £25 & unlimited Prosecco for £15. Liverpool Street. 2 hours. 7/10.

Dirty Bones 

I expected this to be incredible and come in a close second to Hotbox. Even though it was pretty amazing it still didn’t come close. It’s got all the right components but the food just doesn’t cut it. Brilliant service and great vibes but the brunch itself needed improvement. Great mac n cheese though, can’t fault that. 

£19 for unlimited Prosecco. Order a la carte. Soho. 2 hours. 7.5/10.

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and that you’ll be sipping on some bubbles by Saturday. Enjoy… 

NEW @ CAFE ROUGE. 

French

Right, so. Cafe Rouge. Not the kind of place I usually visit I know. To be honest it’s actually the kind of place I’d usually turn my food snobby nose up at but that being said I’m not one to turn down an invitation to dinner. This week I visited the Canary Wharf branch and had a three course French feast. They’ve got new items on the menu that really appealed to me and I was actually pleasantly surprised…

For my starter I went for French Onion Soup (or Soup À L’Oignon) with gruyère and croutons. 


My aunty makes a mean onion soup so my expectations were high, it wasn’t as salty or cheesy as hers but that being said I ate pretty much the whole thing and enjoyed it.

My guest for the evening had the smoked & cured Salmon Rillettes with pickled fennel and chargrilled sourdough bread.  You can see it poking out in the background behind my soup. It was nice but not my kind of starter. 

Main course was a whole lot more exciting. My Beef Bourguignon was THE ONE. 

This is one of my all time favourite dishes. Slow-cooked Beef in red wine with smoked bacon and mushrooms served with roasted carrots, herby mash and crispy onions. All the best things. The beef was soft, melty and rich, the mash was smooth, soft and creamy and the crispy onions added the perfect bit of texture. My side of spinach was also bang on. 

My guest had the salmon option for main. Yes, salmon again. Twice in one meal. 

Double salmon may be an odd choice but the Skin on salmon fillet served with buttered spinach, croutons, lemon and beurre noisette was actually a really nice dish. 

Our brilliant waitress Assa picked our wine and our dessert for us. She told us she’d surprise us and that we wouldn’t be disappointed. She wasn’t wrong… 

We were presented with the Tarte Aux Pommes; a warm apple tart with Tarte Tatin ice cream AND a pretty impressive cheese board to go with my first red wine of the season. French artisan cheese,  baby figs, grapes, celery and water biscuits. The BEST way to end any meal. Especially this one. 

Atmosphere was a little shoddy but I blame that on it being a Monday. The manager promised us that on a Thursday and Friday the restaurant is buzzing and that summer is their busiest time due to their huge terrace lookimg out onto the Thames. The views are incredible and the food is a damn sight better than I ever remember. Don’t judge a book by its cover…