Bo Zin


Magical Marrakech. If you are looking for a traditional slice of Marrakesh in the middle of the sprawling medina Bo Zin is not for you. Situated on the outskirts of the city, you need to be driven there. This is most definitely a restaurant but a restaurant where the party atmosphere is just as important as the food. The resident DJ along with some live musicians will possibly  make you want to eat and dance simultaneously. A little theatre while eating never hurt anyone.

The menu is described as fusion, just fusion in general, with no actual cuisines mentioned. This was perfectly illustrated when the first thing I saw on the menu was Chinese fried chicken croissants. To start we attacked a range of sharing plates which included spring rolls, fried chicken croissants, tuna tartar and cheese and spinach briouates (traditional Moroccan pastries.) Being in Marrakesh I had visions of delicious fresh mezze, this was more a selection of canapes from a London drinks party, pretentious but annoyingly still delicious! The menu for main courses was no less eclectic than the starters. Thai noodles, Roast beef, black cod and a tagine of cod.  Being in Marrakesh, I felt compelled to go for the tagine of cod with charmoula spices and a fondue of vegetables. With such an eclectic menu I could picture my tagine not exactly being up to scratch. However, this couldn’t have been further from the truth, the tagine was full of flavour the fish tasted fresh and meaty and there was definitely no skimping on the portion size.

We ordered a few desserts for the table and these were accompanied by bongo drummers at our table and the DJ turning up the beats, we were eating and dancing around/on the table. Bo Zin is the epitome of fun a restaurant in a nightclub, a nightclub in a restaurant. The menu is varied and eclectic, the music is live and loud. Perfect for a celebration and big groups ready to dance the night away.


At the end of last year I visited Mexico, spending time in Mexico City and Tulum. It is such an incredible country, steeped in history, tradition and food that makes you never want to leave. One of the highlights of my trip – I know how real nachos should taste!

Sure London has quite a few good Mexican restaurants, La Bodega, La Taquiera and Chilangos. All of these are fab in their own right but all with their own London slant. Mestizo is honest to Mexico, it has the sweetest fragrance of authenticity. Situated almost at the bottom of Hampstead Road, flanked by Regent’s Park and super close to Warren street. There are not too many other reasons to come to this part of Hampstead Road. So if you are ever in the vicinity (getting a train from Euston or Kings X or treating yourself after Barry’s Bootcamp) you simply have to pop by for a real taste of Mehhicoooooooooooo

So back to the topic of nachos, I know what you may well be thinking a nacho is a nacho right? Yes but no. A typical portion of nachos in England are some super salty triangle shaped crisps or even Doritos, served with a pot of salsa, something that resembles guacamole and grated cheddar cheese. However, in Mexico the nachos are baked fresh and often served just with a fresh guacamole of avocado,lime, coriander and garlic. The freshness here is key, a lot of the time the guacamole is made for you at your table. This was the first place outside Mexico where I had tasted real nachos. The guacamole wasn’t made at our table but for a moment I was back in Mexico. Mestizo also do a version with added chicken and chorizo, always a hit with the meat obsessed gentlemen.

In Mexico one of the most traditional dishes is chicken mole. Chicken in a chocolate sauce. Mestizo is the first place in the UK I have found to serve this dish, a true mark of its authenticity. After much deliberating we decided to order the acclaimed ‘Taco Tray’ which is for a minimum of 2 people. You have the choice of four different fillings as well as all the extras and condiments which come as standard. These include, avocado, sour cream, fresh coriander, a choice of salsas and chillis, cheese and black beans. The slow cooked pork was completely melt in mouth and the chicken and chorizo was a carnival of flavours. The tray is large and wholesome, the tray is fresh and delicious, you simply have to order the tray! At £14 pp it is an absolute steal. I find it hard to imagine you will be able to resist one of the 280 tequilas to wash down your tanatalising tacos. We also went for a sharing dessert, not that it was particularly needed. Crepes de Cajeta – crepes in a hot, caramel sauce served with vanilla. It was a special treat to myself for finding the best Mexican restaurant in London.

This is not the prettiest restaurant in London, it is not a ‘place to be seen’ (although David Guetta, Sienna miller and Robert Pattinson are all fans. This is one of London’s secrets that shouldn’t be a secret but you are glad that it is! Hands down the most authentic Mexican restaurant in London and I defy you to find better, friendlier service at any other restaurant.

When you have that Mexican craving, run to Mestizo, you will arrive there quicker and have an optimal appetite. It is perfect for everyday and also a great for a celebration, they will make a fuss of you with sombreros and tequilas GALORE!

Calcot Manor


We needed somewhere beyond special in the Gloucestershire side of the Cotswolds to celebrate the last few days of a best friend’s unmarried life. Calcott Manor seemed to be the obvious choice. Located in the small village of Tetbury, it is surrounded by rolling countryside and known for outstanding food and a tranquil spa. This manor ticked all the boxes. After a slightly stressful, sticky drive from the city, I quite literally fell into the arms of Calcott. It is the kind of place where you feel instantly relaxed and very much at home.

Our rooms were beautifully decorated with real country elegance.  After a quick freshen up it was straight to the Conservatory Restaurant. There is another dining option which is slightly more casual – The Gumstool Pub – a menu packed with all the classic British favourites such as shepherds pie, fish and chips and the Calcott burger. If the conservatory food is anything to go by, I’m sure the Gumstool does more than justice to those  British classics.

The Conservatory is for fine dining and we definitely dined finely. The menu was mainly British inspired, with some interesting European touches and good use of seasonal produce and ingredients from the surrounding area. I had been recommended the scallops to start, sauteed and served with Jerusalem artichoke, bacon jam, white balsamic and treviso. They certainly did not disappoint. For main, I went for the daily special, a fresh Salade Nicoise with strips of tuna steak. If I do say so myself, I make my own mean Salade Nicoise, out of habit always using the canned version. This salad blew mine off the table, it was super fresh and had the right balance of egg, potato and tuna, and speaking of tuna, the steak was tender and cooked to perfection. I will probably never make my own Salade Nicoise again! The finale, my favourite,  a dark chocolate torte and Calcott’s was rich, strong and bitter, exactly how it should be. the Mille Feule was another highlight much lighter!

A wonderful country retreat, you don’t always need to leave England to have a holiday, sometimes the best ones are the British ones!





The Summerhouse


The sun is shining in London! You are re-considering your love affair with the city, especially after previous days of torrential downpours. Where can you make the most of this city when the sun comes out to play? Where can you dine al fresco? Is there a restaurant that takes you on a mini-holiday? Yes yes yes! The Summerhouse is all of the above. It is located literally on the canal in Maida Vale, just moments from Little Venice. Can a single restaurant really elicit the feeling of being on holiday, I hear you cry? I would say The Summerhouse on a sunny day is as close as it gets. As soon as you step inside, you could be at any magical beach-side restaurant. The decor has a strong nautical theme. I love the black and white photographs of people having a blast on the beach. The overriding vibe is relaxing and simplistic.

Seated at your hopefully waterside table, admiring the boats occasionally floating past and blocking the buildings opposite, you have to have some kind of reminder you are still in London. You will cast your eyes over the menu, if the ambiance and decor so far has not taken you to your special holiday place. Then surely the menu will tip you over the edge. Fish, of all varieties, calamari, smoked salmon, popcorn shrimp and chowder make up the starters. For mains, the fish really gets going – baked whole, shellfish linguine, fish and chips, fish pie, I think you get my drift.  I chose the seabass for two people baked in salt  and served whole, simple, with potatoes and greens. It was delicious, high quality and as fresh as though I was on a Mediterranean beach. One of my party who ordered the fish pie described it as ‘THE BEST.’ To tide you over after placing your food, expect a basket of fresh focaccia and real butter, such a treat!

Order a Knickerbocker glory for dessert, in keeping with the holiday spirit. You won’t be disappointed! The cheese board is also most appealing, I enjoyed a wide selection of cheeses and high quality biscuits.

So here it is, the place to come when the sun shines, your very own riviera in London – the London Riveria! Sit back, waterside, watch the boats go by and sample some of the best fish in town.

Chotto Matte

A catch up with friends I haven’t seen forever, somewhere new and fun in Soho, the classic age old question?

Chotto Matte. It opened late in 2013, from the owners of Nobu and ping pong and I guess this fits nicely in the middle. Soho restaurants more often than not – QUEUES and can only seat 12 people, refreshingly this is neither. You can make a reservation and the restaurant is set across 2 large, gapingly modern floors. It kind of has a nightclub feel inside, everything is glass, dark and conceptual with splashes of neon modern art.

What about the food, I hear your cry? Well it is a fusion (course it is) Japanese and Peruvian, which is new to new to me and I am pleased to say is one of the most glorious of mixes. The menu is built for sharing, they recommend 3 dishes per person, I would say you may need 4. The menu ranges from standard sushi and terreyaki dishes to far more interesting concoctions. I had the most delicious vegetable tartar, is that even possible, YES! Dishes I had never heard of , nehi? Try them it’s fun, a new fusion to London where I guarantee you will learn something, eat beyond delicious food and be surrounded by a super buzzy atmosphere AND you can make a reservation.

The fusion fashion is ON!


Located just off Highbury Corner, not a place you would neccesarily expect to find this sort of restaurant but GO! I have been in Italy this summer and when ever I go to Trullo I feel like I am back in that great county. Trullo has a beautifully crafted menu with high quality, delcious food. The beef ragu was a stand out, absolutly divine! Definatly one of the best Italians in London for its pure authenticity, go with who ever or whenver, perfect for a low key meal or big celebration, do you get the picture, I love it!

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