2014 – My year in restaurants

Afternoon Tea, Brunch, Dining with friends, Dining with Mum, Dining with the Children, Dining with the Husband, Food Festival, Michelin Star Restaurant, Non Michelin Restaurants, One Michelin Star, Pop Up Experience, Three Michelin Star, Two Michelin Star

2014 has been a year of amazing restaurant experiences for my husband and I.  Halfway through the year I decided to start documenting my meals on WordPress to share with fellow foodies and to remind myself of the delicious plates of food that have been sat in front of me.

January
The year started off with my birthday meal at the Midsummer house.  As we approached the restaurant, walking over the bridge, the beautiful fairy lights looked magical.  The food I encountered was also magic.  I loved this restaurant, it was very romantic and felt special, the food was incredible and a perfect destination for celebrating my special day.  I loved the BBQd beetroot.  

February
Birth month for my husband and we dined at the Ledbury for his special day.  The service was amazing we had the tasting menu.  We were actually allowed into the kitchen and got to meet Brett Graham who was very welcoming to us.  

We also got to celebrate Valentines day in style at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.

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March
I took my Mum for Mother’s Day to The Skylounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Tower of London.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, and the champagne and cocktails went down a treat!

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Me & my Mummy

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April
We celebrated our wedding anniversary and stayed at Penny Hill Park and we dinned in their 2 Michelin Star The Latymer.  This was an incredible evening away, the hotel upgraded our room, the spa is the best I’ve visited and to have this incredible restaurant located in the hotel made it perfection.

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Gorgeous outdoor pool at Penny Hill Park

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Beautiful roll top bath

May
We ate at the highly anticipated Fera, hubby was desperate to get a table for the opening week but had to settle for the opening fortnight.  I loved this meal.  I loved the excitement in the dining room, I loved the way Simon Rogan presented us one of our courses and I loved that it’s so much like L’Enclume (another of my favourite restaurants).

During May I also experienced the John Lewis Garden Room pop up restaurant, twice

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And attended the ‘too many chefs’ event at the Drapers Arms in aid of action against huger.  10 chefs, 10 different courses.

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I also had a catch up with a dear friend at the two Michelin star restaurant Hibiscus. We ate from the amazing value set menu and had such a lovely time before we knew it we were the last two people in the restaurant.   I loved the ‘Pork Pie’ dish.

June
We attended the best food festival London has to offer, Taste of London.  I have been to most of the London food festivals this year and in my opinion this is head and shoulders above the rest.

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I also had a fab girly night at Shaka Zulu, Camden

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I attended a meet the makers event at Bread Street Kitchen with Gonzales Byass Sherries.

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July
A fantastic Birthday Brunch with my mum at One Aldwych

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We took the kids to The Big Easy

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Had an alfresco lunch at Cha Cha Moon

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I made marvellous macarons at Jenius Social, which was really good fun, and hard work too!

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August
I visited the lovely Tamarind of Mayfair, where I had my first taste of lobster in the form of a masala and I particularly enjoyed the Papdi chaat.  This is a fantastic restaurant the staff are lovely, it’s like being in your local Indian, but they have a prestigious Michelin Star.

This was the month I also faced my fear trying Sashimi at Yashin ocean house and actually enjoyed the experience.

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One of the best and most underrated restaurant I visited this year was Launceston Place.  I was certain this would get a second Michelin star as the food and service we received certainly deserved it!

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September

I dined 100ft high in the sky with L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
London and Alyn Williams at The Westbury.

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I also experienced a kitchen takeover Glynn Purnell at Nathan’s Outlaw’s at The Capital

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October
We visited the sophisticated Alyn Williams at The Westbury, my second experience of Alyn Williams’ food but with my feet firmly on the ground.

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Booked almost a year prior to the visit we eventually visited Tom Kerridge’s famous pub The hand and flowers.  It was great and the food was fantastic particularly the desserts.

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Drakes restaurant Woking was a lovely treat and with no expectations I was very pleasantly surprised.  Great feel to the dining room and fantastic food really liked way the cheese course was presented.

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November
This was a casual month where I dined with friends.
I dined at the The Fish & Chip Shop, Islington and it definitely is the best fish and chips I’ve had.  I loved the quirky decor too.

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Another place I visited was The Remedy wine bar, a fantastic little gem. Real cosy place offering great  charcuterie and cheese boards and quality wine.   My friend and I had a fab evening here. I will definitely be revisiting in 2015 for more catch ups with friends.

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We attended Taste of winter for the first time.  Had loads of fun and I tried food from Kurobuta London and it is a restaurant I look forward to visiting in the new year.

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I also attended a SPIES event at South Place Hotel and had a fantastic magical mystery evening.

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December
For the second year running I enjoyed a festive afternoon tea with my friends at the Conrad Hotel, Westminister.  With free flowing champagne for £45 I think this is an absolute bargain! I’m sure to be back again next December.

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So that’s a round up of my year, what a great year it has been too!  Thank you to my hubby for taking me for all these incredible meals and thank you so much to all the restaurants for the incredible food and service received.

Here’s to 2015!

 

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Purnell’s Outlaw Kitchen Takeover

Dining with the Husband, Michelin Star Restaurant, One Michelin Star, Pop Up Experience

Nathan Outlaw and Glynn Purnell were the hosts at this unique kitchen takeover at Outlaw’s at The Capital. The evening was held to celebrate the successful book launch of Glynn’s debut ‘Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales’. It was the perfect opportunity to try out Glynn’s cuisine in London as his Michelin star restaurant, Purnells, is located in Birmingham.

We arrived to a very busy bar, this night had been a sell out so we just loitered in the Lobby. The front of house caught my attention checked us in then showed us to our table, we were given a table right next to the ‘thrones’ where the chefs would be appearing.

The room filled up and the excitement grew. We were given champagne and canapés of smoked fish cakes, crab & cheddar tarts, and Duck ham & fig chutney.

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Canapés of smoked fish cakes, crab & cheddar tarts, and Duck ham & fig chutney

Whilst everyone was tucking in the chefs could be seen through the window to the kitchen, it was very exciting waiting for them to make their grand entrance. When Glynn and Nathan walked into the dining room all the diners applauded, they welcomed their guests, before hosting a Q&A session together.

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We see you! Nathan Outlaw & Glynn Purnell

Only a few questions were asked, one about if media had played a big part in their success, another asked for advice for aspiring young chefs and I plucked up the courage to ask simply what were their favourite restaurants. They were very comical, especially Glynn, he is exactly how he appears on Saturday kitchen and had the whole room laughing. It was like watching celebrities, and to me chefs are celebrities. I’m a foodie and these chefs are my idols, they’re very talented and I appreciate their art.

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They headed back to the kitchen to prepare nights dinner.

First course Beetroot mousse, horseradish crumble & Salted beetroot.  Such a pretty plate, gorgeous colours and loved the textures.

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Beetroot mousse, horseradish crumble & Salted beetroot

Second course Curry cured salmon, spiced mango, cauliflower, coriander. Salmon isn’t one of my favourites but the flavours in this dish were amazing! Surprisingly delicious.

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Curry cured salmon, spiced mango, cauliflower, coriander

Third course Slow cooked neck if lamb, scorched leeks & lettuce, pickled cucumber & tomato.  Wow, the meat was so tender and soft and melt in the mouth perfection.

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Slow cooked neck if lamb, scorched leeks & lettuce, pickled cucumber & tomato

Dessert Lemon meringue pie.  Beautiful blow torched meringue and a gorgeous ice cream accompaniment.

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Lemon meringue pie

Whilst enjoying the coffee and petit fours the two chefs worked the room. They made an effort to go to each and every table and thank their guests. I had my menu signed and hubby had a photo with Glynn.

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A very proud Hubby and Yummy Brummie

As expected the food was amazing, my highlights were the beetroot with horseradish and the lamb neck. It was such a pleasure and privilege to meet both chefs. Since this event last week Nathan was the winner of the AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year Award 2014-2015 and Outlaws Fish Kitchen in Cornwall was awarded a Michelin star, not a bad week for Nathan and his team! What an achievement and very well deserved too.

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Delicious breads

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Happy customer

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Sommelier in front of the ‘thrones’

The restaurant is located a stones throw from Harrods.  While we were sat I spotted a Swarovski crystal covered Mercedes, which later appeared in the news, only in Knightsbridge hey!

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The infamous Swarovski crystal covered Mercedes