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.

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.  

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.




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!


Me & my Mummy


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.

Gorgeous outdoor pool at Penny Hill Park


Beautiful roll top bath

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





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



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.

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.


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



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


A fantastic Birthday Brunch with my mum at One Aldwych


We took the kids to The Big Easy


Had an alfresco lunch at Cha Cha Moon


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



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.

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!



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



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


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


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.



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



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.


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!



Birthday brunch date with Mum at One Aldwych

Brunch, Dining with Mum, Non Michelin Restaurants

It was my mum’s birthday, I traditionally take her for afternoon tea for her birthday treat but I thought I’d try a brunch with her this year. It was a lovely alternative to afternoon tea.

I had a reservation for midday at One Aldwych’s Axis restaurant. My mum and I had previously eaten at the Indigo restaurant, the second of the restaurants at One Aldwych. We had the pre theatre menu before crossing the road to watch the lion king. The food was really good then so I had high expectations for brunch.

One Aldwych is a contemporary, luxury hotel. We walked down the marble stairs and were greeted at the front desk. We were shown to our table and were really pleased with the temperature. It was a ridiculously hot day and we really appreciated the cool dining room.

We were one of the first tables to be seated but it quickly filled up. Guests were predominantly women, but it gave the dinning room a lovely atmosphere.



Brunch is fantastic value, three courses for £30 and unlimited Prosecco as you dine for £15, you can see why it was so popular.

For first course I was torn between the blueberry pancakes and the tomato salad. I decided on the tomato salad and was very pleased with my choice. It was presented beautifully! A colourful variety of tomatoes with strips of grilled courgette and a dollop of goats cheese. It went great with the focaccia bread. Mum chose the freshly made blueberry pancake. It was delicious but I wanted to save the sweets until after the mains.

We both opted for the English breakfast for our main course. I try to eat reasonably healthy so a fried breakfast is a real treat, only usually eaten when I have an overnight staycation.

There was a choice of eggs. I chose overdone and they were perfectly made to my liking. Mum chose poached and these had the perfect runny yoke. I then proceeded to tell my mum how to make the perfect poached egg. Boil the water with a splash of vinegar, create a whirlpool then drop the egg, then put a slice of bread in the toaster, when the toaster pops the perfect runny yoked poached egg is ready! I saw it on TV years ago and it did work.

I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast, the bacon was cooked how I like it, slightly crisp. The sausage was really fat and succulent and the eggs were perfect for my preference. The only thing lacking that would have made it perfect were baked beans, but as I’ve experienced baked beans aren’t generally served with a ‘posh’ breakfast. I did get hold of some brown sauce to douse it in though. And the tomato was cooked really well so there was some moisture from that.


Next was the moment I had been waiting for, I was given the cutlery and let loose on the dessert buffet. There were pistachio crème brulee, banoffee puddings, fruit jellies, fruit tarts, salted caramel brownies, hummingbird cake, bread and butter pudding, a selection of fruits and huge jars of strawberry marshmallows and toffee popcorn. The buffet was constantly replenished and the chef was stood by ready to explain all the tasty treats on offer.


I was actually quite reserved with my helpings, we were offered a second helping but I didn’t have much room after the huge breakfast. I really enjoyed the desserts, especially the hummingbird cake and the crème brulee. It’s such a great way to end the brunch and it has that element of afternoon tea.


I actually declined a top up of the prosecco and we ordered our teas and coffees. My mum was presented the petit fours topped with a candle served on a plate with happy birthday written in chocolate. This was a really nice touch. I love it when restaurants do this, it makes my mum smile and it’s a lovely end to a fantastic meal.


This was a wonderful Saturday afternoon experience and there was a strategically placed card on the table to advertise all the hotels other offerings. One that caught my eye was the Charlie and the chocolate factory afternoon tea. I do love afternoon tea and this would be a perfect one to bring the kids along to. So I think that will be my next reservation at the One Aldwych………….

Disclaimer: This meal was complimentary as a result of winning a Twitter competition. My opinions are completely unbiased. Service and food is fantastic at both the Indigo and Axis Restaurants.