Category Archives: Food

Portman Village is having a Bake off and Street Festival! – 23rd July 2014

Portman Village Photos

Calling all cake lovers, Portman Village, Marylebone is celebrating summer and the nation’s love of baking with the PV Bake-Off and Street Festival! Not to be missed this is going to be a fun-filled day for all the family. The event will take place in Portman Square Gardens on Wednesday 23rd July from 4pm and the event will see the head chefs at some of the London’s best restaurants compete to be named Best Baker.

Reigning champion of the Great British Bake Off, Frances Quinn, will be judging to determine the winner in categories including Tastiest Cake, Best Biscuit and Best Decorative Cake. A showcase of the areas array of international cuisine, competitors are also required to submit a dessert from their native country.

Also joining the competition will be head chefs from Home House, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill Hotel, Lanes of London, The Thistle Marble Arch and Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, as well as Portman Village’s designers, beauty therapists and shop owners. Sweet-toothed guests can then decide whether they agree with the judges’ decisions, with free samples of all entries available for tasting.

Raising awareness for West London Day Centre, a local charity for the homeless, the Portman Square Gardens will open its gates free of charge from 4pm – 7pm. In addition to cake tasting, visitors can enjoy a host of themed games and entertainment, such as ‘Pin the Beard on Paul Hollywood’.

The celebrations then continue around the corner in Portman Village, with an array of exclusive discounts, freebies and prizes, as well as late night shopping and beauty treatments. Happy hours, and live music by the reputable London GIGs on New Quebec Street and Seymour Place will ensure the party continues until late.

Follow a trail of specially designed, limited edition cocktails at the local bars and restaurants, all inspired by sweet-treats, and visit the boutiques for a glass of bubbly and some nibbles. With offers on food and drink, experience one of the competition winner’s full menus at their Portman Village restaurant for an exclusive rate.

For more information visit www.PortmanVillage.com 

A Trip to Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe, London

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May was a bit of a quiet month for me, and so it went a bit quiet on the blog front. However my little hiatus is over and i’m back! Missed me? Well I thought i’d kick off a new month with a short account of my trip to London’s first and only cat cafe.

I first heard about Lady Dinah’s on Timeout, after a successful kickstarter campaign Lauren Pears was able to realise her dream of opening a cat cafe in London. Lady Dinah’s opened its doors in February and is already fully booked until October. It seems there are a lot of cat lovers on London.

I visited Lady Dinah’s for the first time last week and was not dissappointed with the experience. The cafe had a lovely lovely vintage feel and we enjoyed playing with the cats. There was a five pounds cover charge per person which i guess goes to the upkeep of the cats.

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The cafe  was decked out in white chairs and tables and decorated with cat inspired furnishings. I had expected the place to be overrun but there werent more than 4/5 cats around at a time and they had lots of places to lie, scratch and play.

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After we sat down one of waiters came to take our order. I opted for the guinness chocolate cake and Ewa went for a slice of red velvet. Tea was served in the prettiest china cups.

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A lot of people I told about the cat cafe worried about hygiene but that was never a problem, we were asked to wash our hands before entering and antibacterial wash was provided on all tables.

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Overall I really enjoyed my visit, if you are a cat lover then this is the ultimate experience.

Date for your tastebuds – Feast Food Festival – Sat 17th May

feastAttention tastebuds the Feast is back! Feast In The Fields all dayer returns to London Fields on Saturday 17th May for it’s first summer outting – ‘Handcrafted In Hackney’.

The festival will feature some of  London’s favourite street food offerings including; Thank Cluck, Polish Deli London, Better Health Bakery, Tacu Tacu, 7 Bridges Deli, and Square Pie.

In addition to the great food & drink on offer, there will be something for the whole family to enjoy with; street performers, cookery demonstrations, eating competitions and games for the kids (of all ages).

WHAT: Feast In The Fields all dayer

WHEN: Saturday 17th May

TIMES: 12pm-4am

WHERE: London Fields Brewhouse, Railway Arches 369-370, Helmsley Place, E8 3SB

PRICE: Entry £4

WEBSITE: http://www.feastinthefields.co.uk

 

Free breakfast and lunch in Victoria today and tomorrow

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Today & Wednesday this week, Mark Hix’s Fishdogs food truck will be popping up in London’s Victoria and serving breakfast and lunch, for free! A breakfast of cinnamon doughnuts will be served from 8.30am and a Fishdog lunch is available from 12pm.

This lovely treat comes courtesy of Nova, Victoria – set to be London’s most exciting new restaurant quarter. The free breakfast and lunch will be first come, first served while stocks last. To claim a free meal, people simply need to tweet with the hashtag #FishdogNova or show one of the promotional flyers being given out at Victoria and St James’s Park stations.

Hix’s Fishdog van can be found just off Victoria Street, between Westminster City Hall and 62 Buckingham Gate.

London food discovery – The Biscuiteers Bakery and Icing Cafe, Notting Hill

The Biscuiteers - Notting Hill
The Biscuiteers – Notting Hill

I first discovered The Biscuiteers Icing Cafe and shop when I was looking for gourmet biscuits to give a friend for her birthday. The Biscuiteers is a boutique icing cafe and bakery on Kensington Park Road. The Biscuiteers Icing Cafe first opened their doors in 2012 and as well as selling bespoke biscuits they also host drop in icing sessions, children’s icing parties and teach icing courses if you want to recreate your own bespoke biscuits.

After telling a friend from work about my discovery we both decided to make our way down to Notting Hill one  Sunday afternoon to check out the cafe.

The cafe itself is quite small and is filled with delicious biscuits of all shapes and sizes. We sat down towards the back and started by ordering some hot chocolate to warm up from the cold. We were greeted with the sounds of a children’s icing party that was taking place below. For 15 pounds we were allowed to choose 3 already baked biscuit shapes each and were presented with an array of coloured icing and sweets to decorate. You can see our efforts below and I must say that we both had a really good time. My attempt at icing the dog didn’t go very well but I was quite proud of my iced man.

Once we we finished icing our biscuits they were taken away to be baked before we they were presented back to us to take home in a cutest little box (I gave my boyfriend mine as a present). If you are looking for something to do in London on a rainy afternoon I recommend you pay them a visit!

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Our biscuit shapes
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Icing classes at the Biscuiteers Cafe
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Inside the Biscuiteers cafe
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Lobster shaped biscuits
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A biscuit man called Lars
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Iced biscuits by lanky girl
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Iced cup and fish
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Biscuiteers rocket iced biscuits

The Biscuiteers,

194 Kensington Park Road
London
W11 2ES

London food discovery – Cafe Phillies, Kensington

It’s March already! This month is going scarily fast, February was a fantastic month for making some awesome discoveries in London. Early in February I met a friend for brunch in Kensington. The last time I was in Kensington was to reviewFFionas Restaurant so it was nice to come back and see what else the area had to offer.

Cafe Phillies is a small all day cafe/bistro situated off Kensington High Street and with a decidedly neighbourhood feel and a bit of a European twist. We arrived just before lunchtime and found it buzzing with locals catching up with friends and others working on their laptops in a corner.

We both ordered from the breakfast menu. My friend chose the benedict which is two soft poached eggs on top of a toasted muffin & hollandaise sauce and spinach. Whilst I chose scrambled eggs, thickly cut bacon on toast – both dishes were simple but well prepared and very tasty.

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Scrambled egg, bacon on toast
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The Benedict at Cafe Philles

If you do find yourself in Kensington anytime soon do stop there for a bite to eat.

Café Phillies 
2A Phillimore Gardens
London W8 7QB
020 7938 1890

A review of Bistrotheque Restaurant, Bethnal Green

credit: https://plus.google.com/photos/at/106624747873245070749
credit: https://plus.google.com/photos/at/106624747873245070749

I am not quite sure how Bistrotheque managed to escape my radar for so long. When my date told me he was taking me to a nice restaurant in Bethnal Green my first thought was er….Bethnal Green..seriously? Oh dear.

Bistrotheque is a French style restaurant housed in an old warehouse hidden down the back streets of Bethnal Green. It is popular with the East End fashion pack and in true fashionista style there are no signs on the front to tell you its there (probably why it had escaped my radar for so long).

We dined early on a Monday evening and found the restaurant quiet. Bistrotheque is decked out in utilitarian chic with a painted concrete floor and brick walls, Crittall windows, industrial drop lighting, marble-topped tables and black bentwood chairs. It also has an open kitchen which is nice for those of us who like to see how our food is prepared.

Now for the food, for my starter I chose the charcuterie while my date went for the steak tartare. Both nice enough to start with. Next the main courses. I was torn between going for the longhorn rib of beef with portobello mushrooms and the whole wild sea bass and salsa verde. As it turns out I made the wrong choice. I didn’t end up enjoying much of the fish as it was filled with the tiniest bones, after almost choking a few too many times I abandoned my sea bass and joined my date tucking into his beef haha! The longhorn beef was adequate but for 32 pounds I would have expected to be blown away. Still it’s not all negative, we both chose creme brulee for desert which was delicious.

The best part of the night was the entertainment. It turns out that Bistrotheque has its own choir! Not many restaurants can say they have that. The choir performed two songs one of which was Nirvana’s ‘Entertainer’! We certainly were entertained and it did kind of make up for some of the disappointment on the food front.

Overall l, I enjoyed my visit to Bistrotheque, it definitely is a unique dining experience, however I’m not sure the food lives up to the hype.

Longhorn rib of beef, shallot and red wine butter, portobello mushrooms
Longhorn rib of beef, shallot and red wine butter, portobello mushrooms
Whole wild sea bass, salsa verde
Whole wild sea bass, salsa verde
creme brulee
creme brulee
Bistrotheque house choir
Bistrotheque house choir

Discovering the Secret Salon at Lasso, Maltby Street Market

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Secret Salon at Lassco
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Maltby Street Market

I am always happy when I discover a hidden gem in London. For this discovery I have to thank a dear friend who happens to be mad about swing dancing. Most people have heard of Borough Market but have you heard about Maltby Street Market? Situated off Tanner Street in SE1 it is a small stretch of road where the choices of food are a tad more artisinal. St John’s restaurant also have a pop up bakery there which is worth a visit. Last Saturday afternoon we braved the wind and rain to pay the market a visit. The Secret Saloon is based in Lassco  an antiques and furniture salvage shop where you can find all sorts of curiosities to decorate your home. From 2pm -4pm on Saturdays one of the spaces in Lassco steps back in time with swing dancing and a live band playing hits from singers such as Edith Piaf and Ella Fitzgerald. Swing dancing is not mandatory and lots of people (myself included) were happy enough to sit back and be entertained. It felt like i had discovered a little part of bohemia in London.

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Swing Dancing at Lassco – The Secret Salon
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Fantastic live band at Maltby Street Market

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During a quick break we took the chance to have a look around the rest of the market and enjoyed tucking into some delicious buttermilk waffles from Waffleon.

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Gorgeous pastries at Maltby Street Market

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The guys from Waffleon

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Waffleon Waffles – Maltby Street Market

If you find yourself brave enough to venture out this February then definitely pay the market a visit!

A Review of Afternoon Tea At The Wellesley Hotel, knightsbridge

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The Wellesley Hotel, Knighstbridge

First blog post of the New Year!

So in my last post I talked about how I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging in January….

However, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Wellesley Hotel for some afternoon tea. Trying to find a place for afternoon tea close to Christmas is a bit of a mission. So we took a bit of a gamble with The Wellesley but it definitely paid off! The hotel is a fairly new addition to Knightsbridge and is situated next door to the Lanesborough Hotel. Decorated in an art deco style this place is all about detail, elegance and luxury.

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The Wellesley’s impressive marble floored entrance

We arrived on a windy and wet Sunday evening to be greeted by staff  at The Wellesley and were shown to the beautiful  Jazz lounge. Not having had the chance to check the rooms out before we had booked I was blown away by the opulent and luxurious interior, especially the larger than life chandelier ( bling bling)!

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The Jazz Lounge at The Wellesley Hotel

After we had settled into our seats the waiter explained to us the various types of tea and we were given the chance to  test their aromas. I opted for a black tea which had vanilla notes. This proved to be a good choice to counter the sweetness of the pastries.

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Vanilla Black tea

Courtesy of the chef we received a surprising and very tasty extra, a strawberry pannacotta.

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strawberry pannacotta
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Lanky Girl getting ready for some delicious pastries,
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Afternoon Tea and pastries at the Wellesley

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The afternoon tea was pretty extensive – we enjoyed a selection of homemade finger sandwiches,  assorted pastries, warm raisin & plain scones  homemade preserves & clotted cream. While we took tea we were quietly serenaded by a pianist.

For 35 pounds we thought the afternoon tea at The Wellesley was definitely worth every penny. Staff were very attentive and we had as many refills of our teapot as we needed. We couldn’t even finish the array of pastries that we were given, luckily we got to take the rest home in a goody bag!

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Wear a Festive Jumper and Get a Free Burrito from Chipotle

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FREEBIE ALERT! Throughout December Chipotle Mexican Grill will treat customers wearing a cheesy festive jumper to a free Buritto, Bowl, salad or tacos. The offer is only available during the 4pm -6pm.

 

Chipotle restaurants in London  are:

114-116 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0JR

101-103 Baker Street W1U 6HQ

181-185 Wardour Street W1F 8WF

334 Upper Street N1 0PB

92-93 St Martins Lane WC2N 4AP

40 Wimbledon Hill Road SW19 7PA