All posts filed under: Dinner

Dining at The Forest Side, The Lake District

I’m becoming acutely aware that every time I try a new tasting menu, I say it’s one of the best I’ve had. But the tasting menu at The Forest Side really was spectacular, and I think a big part of this was down to the freshness and seasonality of the dishes. It boasts a superb kitchen garden within the grounds of the hotel, which I wrote about in my previous post about our stay (you can read here). This extended to all of the food and even drinks at The Forest Side. Upon arrival, while most people were sipping coffees and tucking into Afternoon Tea, we got started on the cocktails! I kicked off proceedings with a Flowering Currant Margarita, with blanco tequila, flowering currant, cointreau and lime. It was stunning! I stupidly didn’t write down what Tim ordered and looking at the menu it’s impossible to work out what it might have been – the menu and selection of foraged ingredients is vast! Those cocktails went down very nicely (and rather quickly!) so we …

VOC’s new small plates menu in King’s Cross

I’m loving discovering the new bars and restaurants tucked away in little streets and courtyards around King’s Cross where our new office is. Just over a year I reviewed VOC Restaurant, just a stone’s throw from the station in Varnishers Yard. During my last visit I was impressed by the cocktails and the steaks were very tasty – the restaurant was being positioned very much as a ‘grill’ style venue at the time. Last week I was kindly invited back to the restaurant to try the new menu. While it still has big meaty dishes on the menu for main courses, they have recently introduced a big selection of new ‘small plates’, which are categorised into ‘from the sea’, ‘from the land’ and ‘from the field’. This time I visited the restaurant with my friend Kelly and we tucked into a wide selection of dishes – Garlic Pan Fried Prawns with garlic, chilli and garden salad, Sea Farer Batativa Scallops with dutch gin, baby greens and tomato salsa, Five Day Air Dried Crispy Duck with …

Cocktails and Platters at Brick & Liquor, Tooting

There are more and more new bars and restaurants opening in my local neighbourhood of Tooting, and I couldn’t be more excited by the prospect. One of these is Brick & Liquor. I say it’s new, it actually opened in October last year but shamefully, I’ve only just got around to visiting. I think the reason for this is that I just saw them as a ‘bar’ and I will usually meet friends for drinks somewhere central (very few of my friends live around my area). Tim and I will regularly go for meals in our local establishments but not usually just for a drink (which is why we still haven’t visited The Little Bar yet, also on our list!) Brick & Liquor is owned by David Layton, who has run venues for major brands across London for 12 years, but this was his first independent venture. Seeing the opportunity in up and coming Tooting, he decided on a derelict spot on Mitcham road, which used to be a news agent which had been lying …

Learning about Soy Sauce with Kikkoman at Sushisamba

How much do you know about soy sauce? If you’re anything like me, then probably not a lot! I love it, and happily pour it over stir fries and sushi (mixed with a little wasabi). But I was embarrassingly ignorant about the story and history behind it. I was recently invited to an event by Kikkoman and I was excited to learn more about it, and banish my soy-related ignorance. Not only that, but the event was hosted on the 38th floor of Heron Tower at Sushisamba, a Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian restaurant which had been on my list for some time but I’d just never got around to visiting. Upon arrival (after getting rather giddy and excited by the glass lift journey to the top – I know I’m late to the party but I challenge anyone not to get excited by it if you’re a Sushisamba lift virgin. Unless you’re scared of heights, then it’s probably not for you!), we were greeted with cocktails. With Kikkoman soy sauce in them. As regular readers will know, I’m …

Serious Steak at The Kitty Hawk, Moorgate

I recently visited The Kitty Hawk for dinner, in the heart of the city. It describes itself as an ‘all-day destination for those with a love of food, drink and discovery, infused with a heady blend of London cool and New York glamour’ with five bespoke dining experiences under one roof: The Bar & Kitchen, The Restaurant, The Coffee Bar & Patisserie, The Bar and The Private Dining Room. We were led downstairs to the main restaurant – I was a little bit scared for my photos when I saw the lighting, but luckily I happened to be sitting right next to a spotlight. I loved the decor and open plan kitchen. A really nice feature of The Kitty Hawk is the complimentary artisan bread, butter and herb-infused oils, which are prepared for you bespoke to your tastes at a little trolley next to your table. I chose to have thyme in my oil, with onion bread. The restaurant also provides complimentary still or sparkling cucumber water, another nice touch. The menu at The Kitty …

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 …