Mercer Barcelona

Mercer is a gem of a hotel, inlayed in the stonewalled streets of the Gothic quarter in Barcelona. The first indication of a promising hotel, is when they serve you a sophisticated alcoholic… Continue reading

Lasarte

Lasarte was a complete surprise for me, MD had arranged it all in secret and whilst my initial reaction to lunch at a 3 michelin star restaurant the day before the worlds number… Continue reading

Lyon

Why would you not take a direct train from London to Lyon passing fields of sunshine yellow rapeseed and glimpses of the jade coloured Rhone? Lyon has been on the travel wishlist for… Continue reading

L’Etage

L’Etage is the perfect date night dining venue. It is conveniently located in the centre of town, but accessible only by an inconspicuous door next to the main restaurants up a cavernous stairway… Continue reading

Ninth

We visited Ninth in Fitzrovia on a sunny afternoon, and it was brimming with relaxed customers enjoying the selection of fine wines by the glass and plates to share. We begun with delicious… Continue reading

Galley

Strolling down upper street from a  date at The Sampler,  and up, and down again, we finally decided on Galley as for our spontaneous dinner out. All started well with a garnished G&T… Continue reading

Hedone

Hedone; you wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew it was there. Inconspicuously nestled on Chiswick High Road somewhere between Domino’s and Chiswick’s best kebab, I have been passing it daily wondering… Continue reading

Jensen’s

Of the dozen or so gin distilleries in London, here’s three reasons to visit Jensen’s: The gin is good, truly good. Traditional, dry and balanced, it’s perfect straight up or mixed with one… Continue reading

The (new) Tate Modern

      Herzog & de Meuron used a perforated brick lattice to enhance the dynamism of light and geometric form in the new addition to the Tate Modern building.

Bonhams

Bonhams, one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art harbours a secret that its daytime bidders have been privy to for months… a sophisticated restaurant headed by Tom Kemble that… Continue reading

Scholium Project

Back in April, we went to a very special tasting at the Sampler in Islington. We’d long been fans of the Scholium Project, wines produced by Abe Schoener, an ex philosophy professor turned… Continue reading

Clove Club 4

The World 50 Best list came out a few days ago. No surprises for me, expected that Osteria Francescana would beat El Cellar de Can Roca (though still cannot wait for my reservation… Continue reading

Pastry Class in Paris

It all started in July 2015. I love eating out and wish that I was extracting more from our meals for my cooking at home but the secret is, I hate cooking. I… Continue reading

Aulis

Walking through the bustling streets of central London, swivelling past tourists in building anticipation as I wonder where we could be going (hopefully for dinner)… MD kept it as a surprise but he… Continue reading

Chapeau!

At the end of a residential street in Bloemendaal (a small town 25 minutes by train from Amsterdam), proudly sits a two Michelin star restaurant that warmly welcomes local regulars and tourists alike.… Continue reading

De Librije

MD leans towards me in the silent carriage of a train from Amsterdam airport. “We’re not going to Amsterdam baby”, he says with a sense of mischief and glee. Yes he pulled, what… Continue reading

Macellaio RC Exmouth Market

An Italian butchers that serves only steak from Piedmont and tuna from Sicily, the idea being the warm-blooded red meat fish will come together in tantalising pairings. We were sat at an undersized… Continue reading

The Ledbury

A restaurant in the World Top 50, scored highly by Andy Hayler, and awarded two Michelin stars… expectations were high for The Ledbury. We had some snacks to begin, presented on the fancy… Continue reading

Bistrotheque

The steak tartare is really the only thing worth talking about from our Valentine’s brunch at Bistrotheque. The Eggs Royale were cold and served with a sharp hollandaise. MD enjoyed the pancakes and… Continue reading

Lavinia

What is the first thing we did when we arrived in beautiful Paris at midday on a sunny Saturday? Nap. Specifically, a long, indulgent nap in the sumptuous bosom of the hotel bed.… Continue reading

Hotel de Nell

Hotel de Nell is in a quiet neighbourhood of the 9th arrondissement of Paris. It is a pretty hotel as expected from the Design Hotels. The airy rooms let in light from the… Continue reading

Silex

Silex, in Latin refers to any hard rock, commonly flint. It is also the name of one of my favourite white wines. Didier Dagueneau was frequently quoted as determined to produce the ‘best… Continue reading

Fera 3

Our night at Fera (surprise from MD) was our first meal out of 2016. There was a spangly Christmas tree of silver umbrellas, guarded by giant nutcrackers standing tall. It was our third… Continue reading

Lyle’s 2

Ah Lyle’s… we were drawn to its minimalist décor, local produce and seasonal tasting menu a few months ago, but it just fell short of expectations. The first problem was the gin; Dodd’s… Continue reading

Three Favourite Reds Under £30

Thanks to MD, I’m used to some rather tasty, but very pricey wines. I do subscribe to the idea that wines don’t have to be expensive to be exceptional, but those wines take… Continue reading

Dinerama

Last week I did something I don’t do often, but when I do there is a lot of gin consumed… I went out with my colleagues. And I am so glad I did,… Continue reading

Inextinguishable Fire

It’s fireworks season, and to celebrate my friend took me along to see someone set themselves on fire. As we filled the hall, a man was standing very still in his pants. Slowly… Continue reading

Clove Club 3

We kicked off our meal with cocktails; a well-made Monkey 47 gin and tonic for MD and a ‘blood and sands’ for myself. An apparently classic cocktail (though this was my first), the… Continue reading

Priorat

In late September we took a Renfe express train from Barcelona up into the hills and slopes of Tarragona. Several hundred years before the Romans arrived, the Phoenicians introduced the grape to this… Continue reading

Sergent Recruteur

In April last year we had our first weekend away together. MD kept the destination as a surprise, but he knew if it was anywhere other than Paris, I would have been disappointed.… Continue reading

Azurmendi

We devoured the tasty (if expensive) foams of Martín Berasategui, we relished the challenge of 24 unrewarding courses at Mugaritz and made it to the final stop on our restaurant tour of the… Continue reading

Mugartiz

Mugaritz, at the time rated number six in the world, located in the idyllic Basque countryside about 20 minutes from San Sebastian, is renowned for its creative 24 course menu abundant with unusual… Continue reading

Hotel Claris

MD and I stayed in a duplex room at Hotel Claris in Barcelona after spending the day at a vineyard in Priorat. This post is slightly biased as MD and I weren’t on great… Continue reading

Shiori

I recently learned that my favourite Japanese restaurant, The Shiori has closed. MD first brought me to the tiny restaurant in December 2014, and we returned a handful more times, but I never… Continue reading

Martin Berasategui

Foams, foams and more foams. Popularised by Ferran Adria and often critiqued recently for being passé and unnecessary fuss, Martin shows us how its supposed to be done…. Okay so I could have left a little… Continue reading

Bilbao Airport by Santiago Calatrava

A series of photos from our Spain trip, courtesy of MD, of Bilbao Airport [“the Dove”] designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Rythmic, repetitive structures of glass and concrete play with light, reflection… Continue reading

Laser Hair Removal – my experience

I started going to Pro.Skin Clinics for laser hair removal. They charge a flat rate of £49 per body part. I was driven to laser hair removal after years of bikini waxes, in the… Continue reading

Garrus

Garrus, is like no rosé  that I have ever tasted. Its light colour hints at the bone dry luscious texture with a mellow oaky fruitiness. MD suggested that I see if the hotel in… Continue reading

Kitchen Table 2

Second time round and I know the drill: Perch on a stool with a glass of champagne in hand, perusing the various hotdog toppings whilst you wait to be shown through the back… Continue reading

Hotel de Tourrel ~ St Remy

Twenty kilometres south of Avignon, set against a picturesque backdrop of tall verdant trees and luscious lavender fields, lies the sun-drenched village of St Remy. The light and colour of the enchanting setting… Continue reading

Sin Qua Non

I had my first taste of this cult Californian wine when MD brought a bottle to dinner at Tom Aikens in September 2013. We had a 2006 bottle of ‘Raven’, 90% grenache and… Continue reading

Clove Club 2

The Clove Club is a very trendy place. Located in Shoreditch Town Hall, with an open view kitchen and preference for organic pinot noirs, one reviewer dubbed this delightful restaurant a ‘foodie hipster… Continue reading

Fera

The taxi had not yet rolled to a complete stop and a stranger in a top hat was opening my door to help me out. This was Claridge’s. The “Very-Important-Diner” treatment continued as… Continue reading

Noma

“Noma”; we said to the taxi driver, assuming it to be notorious to all who dwelled in proximity to the number one restaurant in the world. “Address?”, was his response. And indeed, the… Continue reading

Cracco

The restaurant feels formal, perhaps a bit stiff. It’s very quiet. But when you are served the ‘wine Bible’ life seems altogether brighter. First up was an array of colourful tempura crisps with… Continue reading

Live at Montreux!

‘Bring yourself, a passport, and hand luggage’ were my instructions. So of course, my first questions is well ‘what do I pack, what’s the weather’? Immediately followed by ‘wait, don’t tell me I’ll… Continue reading

La Locanda del Notaio

Climbing up the mountain between Lake Lugano and Lake Como in spirals and labyrinths we made it to this little country mansion with a one-star Michelin restaurant. It was possibly the first time… Continue reading

BAK

Amsterdam: canals, coffee shops, and sex shows. Not the first place that springs to mind as a gastronomic destination, but in fact holds some really promising restaurants. BAK is situated on the top floor… Continue reading

Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens grew up in a culture of food and wine. At 26 years old as head chef at Pied à Terre, he became the youngest chef in Britain to achieve two Michelin stars.… Continue reading