Month: March 2017

Dinner at The Slaughters Manor House, The Cotswolds

You may have read that in January we stayed at the stunning ‘The Slaughters Manor House’ in the Cotswolds for Tim’s birthday. While we were there, we had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, headed up by Chef Nik Chappel, originally from Yorkshire (woohoo!) and who started out as an artist. Nik’s menus have a focus on fresh local produce epitomising the best seasonal dining, but as you’ll soon see, they’re also beautiful to look at, with some really unusual flavour combinations. We started our evening with a drink in the lounge upstairs, with one of the best barmen we’ve ever encountered – we told him we both love gin and what sort of botanicals and flavours we like, and he created bespoke cocktails for us! The drinks menu opened with “the icy tinkle chimed, ‘gin o’clock’ the room murmured.” This was my kind of place!! We were really torn between the two different tasting menus, the 6 course and 8 course. From our experience these menus don’t usually differ very much – the latter usually just …

A Retro Chicken Dinner at The Holy Birds, Liverpool Street

Tim is literally chicken-obsessed, I’ve mentioned it many times on this blog. I’ve never seen another human be able to devour one so quickly and so thoroughly – not a scrap is left on a bone! We were recently invited to a new restaurant in Liverpool Street called ‘The Holy Birds’ which is completely centred around, you guessed it, birds – chicken, duck, pigeon and so on. I love the concept! Their French, free range birds are brined for 24 hours, and air dried for 12 hours, to give them a delicious depth of flavour. We visited recently mid-week and we loved the decor and style from the moment we walked in the door, with its cool 60’s retro vibe.It was set up by brothers Gerry and Jon Calabrese, of The Hoxton Pony and Wringer + Mangle, both venues which I’ve previously visited and enjoyed. The Holy Birds is a large venue with a big bar area and a spacious restaurant adorned by a beautiful Murano glass chandelier, a perfect spot whether you’re looking for …

Beef and Sushi at Benihana, Chelsea

I first came across Benihana during a work trip to the US a few years ago, but I’d never had a chance to visit. Then there was the infamous ‘Beni-f*****g-hana’ scene in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street where DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort declares war on the restaurant chain. I love that film, and that scene in particular had always stuck with me. So when I was invited to review the Chelsea venue, I was intrigued and excited to see what all the fuss had been about for so many years. Benihana is a Teppanyaki restaurant with a number of locations around the world. Rocky ‘Hiroaki’ Aoki opened the first Benihana restaurant in 1964 in New York City. It’s largely known for the exciting spectacle of the chefs cooking fresh meat and fish right in front of diners with knives, eggs and all sorts being thrown in the air and food being (purposefully!) set on fire! It attracts a mixed crowd – when we were there, the clientele was largely families with kids entertained by the …

Italian-Japanese Fusion at Bella Cosa, Canary Wharf

Japanese and Italian are not typically two cuisines you would think of combining. On paper they’re completely different! So I was really intrigued by the menu at Bella Cosa, an Italian restaurant with Italian management, but a Japanese chef! A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to a private dinner at the restaurant to discover how this unique fusion of cultures and food would work. Bella Cosa is close to Canary Wharf – it’s a 15 minute walk from the main square or you can get the DLR to South Quay which is just 5 minutes away. Immediately I was blown away by the setting. The restaurant is right on the river overlooking the twinkling lights of the city to the left and the spectacular O2 to the right, with many a private yacht dotted in between. We started off the evening with champagne in the lounge area overlooking this view – a number of canapés were served (Cannoli, Ricotta, Walnut & Beetroot powder, Black Ink Chips, Mascarpone, Salmon Roe, and Pane Carasau, Bresaola, …