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!



Sashimi convert at Yashin Ocean House

Dining with the Husband, Non Michelin Restaurants

Yashin ocean house, in South Kensington, is based entirely around seafood.  It’s offers head to toe dining from roe to flesh to skin.  For someone like me this is a little bit scary, I’m not too keen on fish, especially the raw fishy kind!

So I took a deep breath and we walked in.  The restaurant is really bright, it’s elegant and contemporary, the main attraction is the volcanic stone counter where the well renowned chefs are on show for everyone to see.  There are seats at the counter to get a front row view, there is a terrace, great for people watching and there is also more formal seating areas which is what I opted for.

IMG_1526 Chefs at work

I had won a competition with sauce communications to sample the terrace menu. Which was a great opportunity for me to try sashimi for the first time.  I have eaten at the Fat Duck, at the beginning of my culinary journey, and the sound of the sea dish was my least enjoyable dish to be honest.  Four years on I am a lot more adventurous and hoping to get over my dread of raw fish.

We started with some sparkling Sake.  Mio which comes in a beautiful blue bottle.  It’s low alcohol, sweet, refreshing and very easy to drink.  A great alternative to champagne.


Sparkling Sake


Lucky number 7 place setting

Our first dish was cod cheek with chilli amazu.   This was really delicious, a great start to ease me in.  The sweet and sour amazu was really good and greedily slurped up by my hubby.


Cod Cheeks with chilli amazu

Next was a Miso Cappuccino, miso soup with ginger tofu foam.  I’ve never eaten tofu, it was an odd texture, not how i had imagined.  Almost like a hard boiled egg/jelly texture.  It was nice and the other flavours were great.  The soup and the foam were lovely and I loved the presentation and it’s great to have tried something new in such an interesting way.


Miso cappuccino

Moment of truth……… the Omakase Sashimi without soy sauce.  When it arrived at the table it really was a show stopper, presentation is fantastic!  I know the dry ice theatrics have been around for years now, but I always get excited when I see it, I love the table theatre and it makes the whole meal an experience.


I followed my husbands lead, salmon first, he said this would be the one I least enjoyed.  I dug in, and chewed and realised that what I was eating was really not as bad as I had imagined.  We worked our way round the dish and ended with the tuna, I’m actually converted! The tuna was really good, I really enjoyed it.


Omakase Sashimi

The experience was like eating a Charcuterie board, none of the fish was overly fishy, all the little jellies, dressings and sauces accompanying the fish were all so delicious.  It was a great experience, such a fantastic restaurant and I felt quite proud of myself that I had conquered my ‘fear’ of eating raw fish.  I really liked the restaurant and I would definitely go back here.  Great service, beautiful decor and amazing sashimi.