The Antithesis of Tanya’s Cafe – The Cereal Killer Cafe, a trip down memory lane, a ride down nostalgic boulevard. This cafe evokes childhood memories in every sense, the food, the decor, membrobilla and the playlist. You can eat your favourite cereal that you haven’t had in 20 years while watching an episode of Clarissa, listening to the likes of All Saints and the Spice Girls. The whole experience takes you right back to way back when – school mornings, old boyfriends, collecting and swapping toy obsessions. Do you remember the toys you found hidden in the depths of a cereal packet?
The menu includes 120 different types of cereal, over 30 variations of milk as well as toast, pop tarts and cereal inspired cakes, such as the lucky charm cheesecake. You may be coming here on a wild goose chase, with your heart set on having a specific obscure cereal. Or you maybe more open to something new, a cereal cocktail? The owners Gary and Alan Keery have developed a range of different cereal mixtures including, ‘unicorn poop’ or ‘Orange you glad you didn’t order milk.’ I don’t want to ruin the surprise of what these actually contain – both are the perfect, crazy blend of a number of different cereals with toppings and the perfect flavour milk to make the whole bowl come together in perfect harmony.
More than just a cafe, a homage to all thing cereals and your childhood!!! These guys are trend-setters a porridge cafe is opening next and I have rumours of a crisp cafe! I love London!!
As with every trip, restaurant research is key. There is nothing worse than being in an incredible destination and ending up at a sub-optimal restaurant due to lack of planning. Although sometimes by chance I agree it can all fall into place.
Forte Dei Marmi, on the Tuscan riviera, which crazily immediately reminded me of Miami. With its super straight coastline and long, deep beaches and the fact everyone cycles everywhere!
MareChiaro really is a special place, renowned for its delicious food right on the beach. Upon arriving in FDM on our girls only weekend, we soon realised the options for beach side dining are mind-blowingly endless, so I really would recommend knowing where you want to go in advance.
This Italian gem is simultaneously traditional and elegant, we were led through the inside of the restaurant to the beautiful candlelit, beach terrace. On taking our seats the super chic owner informed us this was a restaurant specalising in olive oil and proceeded to hand us the olive oil menu!!!!!
The menu is full of fine Italian favourites; ravioli with a Parmesan mousse, macaroni with a cheese sauce (macaroni cheese!) Spaghetti in a bread and cheese sauce – are you seeing a theme here?! As in Italy where pasta is normally fir the first course, before the main course, the portion size was lovely i.e not so large that you are left feeling wildly bloated afterwards. My favourite was zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta in a tomato sauce and also the beef carpaccio. All of these dishes are served with a different, appropriate olive oil.
This is a restaurant that takes food seriously, they are passionate about Italian food and olive oil (rightly so!) You really can taste the love and care that has gone into each plate. Mostly the menu is all dishes that you will already know, nothing wildly new but at MareChiaro these classics somehow taste a million times better than anywhere else. As for the Olive oil, I tried one of the strongest on the menu, the depth of the flavour was intense and certainly made dipping some fresh Italian bread in it more than a pleasure.
I will go back to Forte Dei Marmi just for MareChiaro.
On Approaching E.B.C you may not exactly recognise it as your standard English beach side fish and chip and hut and that is because it is anything but standard. From the outside you could be forgiven for thinking it looks like a bizarre, large, brown, irregular shape which mildly represents a wave. Designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick, the building has won over 20 national and international awards for its design and architecture. E.B.C regularly appears in different versions of the top ten beach restaurants in the UK, beating many in the more traditionally popular spots in Devon and Cornwall. This old fish and chip hut has been spectacularly transformed. Inside I kind of had the feeling of being in a cave, but a large bright, white cave with wonderful sea views.
The menu does that lovely thing of strongly nodding towards traditions like fish and chips and burgers but punctuating the classics with some slightly more adventurous dishes like a seafood risotto or pearl barley risotto. The food is uncomplicated, with a promise of the fish being caught locally and all other produce where possible from the immediate surrounding area.
So I chose something on the less traditional side and by chance my amour chose the super traditional option. I had pan fried sardines with seared beetroot tomatoes and olives and he had traditional beer battered fish and chips accompanied with pea puree and tartar sauce. My sardines were delicious, the fresh beetroot tomato sauce was full of flavour, setting the sardines off perfectly. I was offered a bite of the fish and chips to which I obliged, honestly incredible the freshest fish in the lightest non greasy batter physically possible, a good portion of peas, with a great dollop of tartar. You know normally after you eat fried food, that sleepy, really full feeling comes over you, not with this fish and chips, the best fish and chips I have tasted in forever. Luckily the portion was rather large so there was no excuse for me not to dig in. I really enjoyed my sardines but the fish and chips were truly next level.
Desserts follow the same idea as the mains from a traditional sticky toffee pudding to an apple and pear tartin. As well as a large display of fresh cakes and biscuits. We shared a caramel slice, a dreamy end to our trip to the seaside!
I had been completely overwhelmed by the unadulterated chicness of St Tropez, a million miles from the popular song ‘Welcome to St Tropez’ with my particular favourite line being ‘too much money in the bank!’ Which most people around here really do.
The iconic Club 55 is a perfect blend of elegance and that St Tropez chicness, mixed effortlessly to create a dream like ambiance.
Firmly grounded on Pamelonne beach, the very first beach club in St Tropez and by far the best, in my opinion in a league all of its own.
Upon entering on a Saturday lunchtime in late June I was greeted by a wash of white and natural wood, with bronzed, perfumed bodies eating, chatting and laughing idly.
I have an obsession with the use of fruit and vegetables as decoration and centre pieces. When I see this in a restaurant, it is a good sign. On every table there was a large piece of irregular wood laden with crudites -fresh, raw whole vegetables; tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, artichokes, carrots, mushrooms.
The French as a whole, with Club55 very much included, just get it right. They keeps things so simple but do simple so well! To start we had hard boiled eggs, served in their simplistic form with the shells on and a perfectly salted anchovy dip to accompany. It tasted divine, seriously how can a hard boiled egg with a sauce taste so good and I loved how it was served with everyone peeling their own eggs and cutting as they so desire. We were in a sharing mood/ wanted the opportunity to try as much as much as possible. We had a number of different salads including nicoise, mozzarella and tomato and a goats cheese with lots of fresh fish, grilled and served with lemon. I know I have mentioned simple numerous times already, but it really does go to show how that can win through, especially when you have high quality fresh ingredients. Whatever you are eating it just tastes better when you are beach side with the sun shining and right in the middle of the best beach club on earth.
A true experience, weather you are a regular or more a once in a lifetime type of client. This place has been open for over 60 years and still has all the glamour and cool that you would expect from the top spot in the South of France. Eat the most simple food, prepared and cooked to perfection in an absolutely stunning environment.
An English bank holiday in Suffolk! Southwold to be precise, affectionately known as Notting Hill by the sea. When visiting a new place there are always certain things that you simply have to do/eat/drink. Southwold is no different. You simply must take a stroll on the pier. Artist Tim Hunkin has created a number of wild and wacky slot machines an. simulator rides, there are no prizes, except the experience you have. You must have fish and chips, you must try the local Adnams beer and you must enjoy an afternoon tea. For this I would suggest Magpie bakery, the sea salted caramel brownie in particular. So say you have fish and chips on the promenade at lunch then mid afternoon you start to asses the dinner possibilities. The options are quite wide, after politely diving into 4 different gastropub/hotel vibes to check the menu and vibes. I count myself as officially being able to say if you go to Southwold you must go to The Lord Nelson, it is synonymous with the town. I would go as far as to describe it as its very own heartbeat.
From the moment you walk in, you feel welcomed and excited by the vibe. Winner of many Pub awards, The Lord Nelson sits in the centre of Sassy Southwold and right on the coast. The kind of place where if the walls could speak, the book would be epic. Early May Bank holiday the pub was bursting at the seams, instead of being annoying this just seemed to add to the atmosphere. However with regards to eating, you need a table to eat and the way you get a table is by swooning in on one when and however you possibly can. Reservations or queuing mean nothing to Nellies. We played a tactical game of working out who were furthest along with their meal, who are competitors were and what zone they were marking. This seemed to work and after one drink, we had a table for 2 in the snug. The menu is traditional, wholesome pub food, with all the favourites including; fish and chips, venison sausages, curries and burgers.
To start I had the soup of the day, freshly picked asparagus from the field down the road, delicious! For main I had beef chilli nachos. Ok so not entirely authentic to Mexico but so wholesome and tasty I really didn’t mind. The standard Chilli con Carne was also a great option served with rice, sour cream and a separate plate of extra nachos. The burger was insanely large with a brioche bun, my favourite and the fish and chips seemed to go down a storm as well. As I was considering finishing on a high, I heard hushed tones from the table next to me, ‘they do awfully good desserts here.’ Sticky toffee pudding it was and very true, an awfully good dessert.
A trip to Southwold would not be complete without a visit to The Lord Nelson, I can’t image what more you could want from a Suffolk pub on a bank holiday.
‘A gastronomy revolution is occurring in Brighton,” a place to shake up the Brighton restaurant scene.’ These were the kind of exquisite reviews I had heard. So I was all too happy to skip through the cobbled Lanes of my favourite seaside city to see if I agreed.
Located in Meeting House Lane and only a couple of roads back from the English channel. We were 10 minutes early for our reservation, super rare for me and a bit annoying for the restaurant – it is bijoux and 4 of us trying to find a spare space to stand was awkward. I will never be early again! However, it did give us the chance to watch the flawless team of chefs at work in the open plan kitchen with seated bar. This was the perfect introduction to the restaurant, we didn’t really need to see the menu after we had seen each dish being prepared with the up most precision and care!
So 64 Degrees is all about sharing plates. Unlike a lot of its counterparts in London and further afield who also adopt the sharing/caring option this menu is concentrated – 4 fish, 4 meat, 4 vegetable options to choose from. If there is 4 of you, I would suggest one of each. The menu is creative and seasonal, thus ever changing. A few of my stand outs were mackerel ceviche with radishes, pomegranate and a light citrus dressing. The rib of beef was drop dead divine and the potato dumplings were unusual and addictive. (We had to double order.) I loved how the dishes came slowly, as they were ready, rather than all at once. It gave us time to savour and enjoy each dish while it was still utterly fresh. It also stops you from plate piling, mixing all the flavours and feeling full too quickly!
This restaurant is a foodie’s heaven, I would go as far as to say the most exciting restaurant in Brighton right now and value wise, it is a great deal!
If you live close by it is a perfect mid week treat, for those visiting Brighton it is a must eat and should be top of your list, book ahead! I have heard a rumour they have a second outpost coming to London soon, you didn’t hear it from me!
I had heard too many whispers about H and C not to be bursting at the seams excited. I had tried to get a reservation most weeks for about 3 months. With only 20 covers, you can understand why it is tricky. Six people, 6.30pm, Warren Street on a Thursday in March. An unlikely location, sort of no man’s land, which makes H and C stand out even more – a diamond amongst coal.
I was so overwhelmed by this restaurant that I feel anything I write will not do this gem enough justice. Owned by an Israeli couple, the wife ex Ottolengi. The menu is ever changing but a fusion of all the best Middle Eastern cuisine. To start, we chose the shared mezze which, in most cases, is fairly standard. It is always delicious but never an ongoing talking point. Not here, sure ok, the favourites all make an appearance, hummus, falafel and olives but punctuated by fresh salads with added fruit and nuts and perfectly heated pitta that tasted like it was fresh from the Middle East. For main, after much deliberation, I went for beef brisket dumplings served with pistachio and pomegranate; quite simply, this dish blew my mind. I wanted it to last forever, I wanted to eat it at every meal time. The meat was tender and perfectly placed in delicious dumplings that were not too heavy and the pistachios and pomegranate worked harmoniously to add the extra wow factor to the dish. I realise I am passionate about food but this was honestly one of the best dishes I have ever tasted. Other highlights were the lamb shawarma brick and the rabbit. Exquisite!
Dessert is also a must despite how satisfied you feel. Again, changing daily but there is always an interesting fruity, nutty creation which will complete your H&C experience in exactly the right way.The perfect place to go with anyone you want to impress or someone you cherish, or someone you don’t particularly cherish. Larger groups are tricky owing to the cosy size and better to savour every moment amongst a smaller group. This really is a special place where you can feel the high level of love that goes into every aspect of this restaurant and honey is the perfect name, so SWEET!
Do not be scared by the name, Flesh and Buns is the mastermind of Japanese restaurant royalty Ross Shonhan (ex Head chef of Nobu and Zuma) This is his second London restaurant, the first Bone Daddies a ramen bar in Soho.
Flesh and buns is dedicated to the HIRATA BUN – a Taiwanese steamed bun that is served DIY with different meat and fish. This is different to any other restaurant in London right now and is something new and fresh if you think you have had enough of the London scene or simply want to remind yourself what a treat the London scene truly is.
To start you can choose from your standard sushi – ish options, all wonderful but not Nobu. For the main event you can choose a range of different meats and fishes, all of which are served with the most tantalisingly sounding sauces you ever did hear – chicken with yuzu kosho rub or seabass with coriander miso. Each of these comes with a Japanese salad and you need to order the hallowed buns separately. They are delicious, packed with flavours and new sensations.
The restaurant is filled with a fun vibe and was overflowing on a cold Tuesday night. Where isn’t in London? One more thing you HAVE to order the S’MORE for dessert. Based on the popular American desert the Japanese twist here is green tea flavoured Chocolate and it comes with your very own table top fire to roast the marshmallows. I need one NOW. The perfect place for a catch up with friends, a fun date or even a large party.
Every foodie/blogger has done a delicious review of Bill Granger’s first restaurant in this hemisphere. It is now firmly established as a key staple on the Notting Hill scene and the place for; breakfast/brunch/lunch/linner/dinner.
The queue is all part of the fun (kind of) as everyone from Notting Hill and the surrounding area gallops towards the hallowed doors with the friendliest/flirtiest hosts.
Once seated at whatever time of day you are in for a treat. A few stand outs for me; the BLT, it came with aoili, need I say more?! For more dinner vibes the chicken and slaw, simple yet delicious and for desert the peanut brittle is a popular choice. I also love the passion fruit shortbread as an afternoon pick me up. Bill has well and truly conquered Billbourne Grove.