All posts tagged: fine dining

Tim’s Birthday at The Slaughters Manor House, The Cotswolds

In January we decided to get away to The Cotswolds for a night for Tim’s birthday. Ever since we got the car last year, it has been so nice to just hop in and escape from London for a night or two at the weekends, and we thought we’d treat ourselves with a stay at The Slaughters Manor House. It was a fairly easy two hour drive from South London and the perfect wintery day – crisp blue skies with a chill in the air. And I just fell in love with the place from the moment we pulled up the driveway. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the Cotswolds, with beautiful sandstone architecture and projecting gables. The Slaughters Manor House is in Lower Slaughter, a quaint little village four miles south west of Stow-on-the-Wold, built on both banks of the River Eye, lined with picture-perfect cottages. As soon as we arrived, we went for a stroll… At the west end of the village there is a 19th-century water mill, surrounded by sheep and ducks, housing a …

Fine Dining at Two Michelin-Starred Don Alfonso 1890, Sorrento

There are some restaurants you visit that you just know you’re going to remember every little detail of forever, as it really blows you away. That happened in September at Don Alfonso 1890 in Sorrento. Tim and I were in Italy for my friend Kelly’s absolutely stunning wedding, and we had a day to ourselves afterwards before heading back to Blighty. We thought we’d treat ourselves to a luxurious date night, at Don Alfonso 1890 which is around a 20 minute drive from the centre of Sorrento. It’s a family-run business for over 40 years, and upon arrival we were introduced to Livia Iaccarino, pictured bottom-right. She was wearing some very cool sparkly multi-coloured trainers under a long skirt, and was one of the most charming and polite people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a restaurant environment. We would soon learn that those shoes were an analogy for the whole dining experience. Don Alfonso 1890 was modern yet old-school. The decor was clean and fresh with bright tones of pinks and purples, adorned …

Dinner at Le Moulin Brégeon, Loire Valley

Earlier this month, my sister-in-law got married in France, in the middle of the countryside in the Loire Valley. Some of our family members were staying at a hotel called Le Moulin Brégeon nearby, and we spent an evening with them, the night before the big day. You would never guess the hotel was there unless you already knew about it. And that’s no exaggeration – the turning onto a narrow country lane is barely signposted. But that seems to be how the owner, Jonathan likes it. The 19th century water mill is a stunning retreat, and he doesn’t seem to have any problems booking up the five luxury suites, adorned with fine art and antique furniture of the region. As you pull into the driveway of Le Moulin Brégeon, you know that you’ve discovered somewhere special, with a plethora of animals greeting you, from the owner’s gorgeous cat and dog, to the chickens and ducks (many of which regularly sneak into the house, to be chased out by the kitchen staff – it was like something from …

Review of The Witchery, Edinburgh

This post is a tricky one to write. Because it’s probably the first since starting this blog at the start of last year, that’s not exactly positive… As you may have read on here, we spent the May bank holiday up in Edinburgh as a present for our first wedding anniversary and had a wonderful time. We’d been particularly excited about our booking at The Witchery, a restaurant we’d heard great things about. According to the website, it was established by James Thomson in 1979 in the near-derelict basement of an Old Town building, Boswell’s Court. Since then he has acquired and restored further parts of the building, plus an adjacent one, and they now are home to the Witchery, the Secret Garden and a collection of nine unique suites. Upon our arrival, we ventured down a narrow alleyway, and stepped into the intriguing world of The Witchery, with its gothic yet cosy décor. We were seated at a lovely candlelit spot tucked away in the corner, and we were very content! There were two …

A wonderful evening at The Ledbury

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of dining at The Ledbury. It was four of my friend’s 30th birthdays (one of them including Tim!) and Matt had managed to get us a table at this incredible restaurant, one of very few to have two Michelin stars! Chef Brett Graham has won countless awards since beginning his career in Australia at the age of 15, working in a fish restaurant. At The Ledbury he is joined by Head Chef Greg Austin, also from Australia. For dinner, the restaurant offers a Tasting Menu or a four course meal, and we decided on the latter. The quality of these photos won’t do these exceptional plates of food justice, but it really didn’t feel appropriate to get a big camera out – our phones had to do! I ordered the following: First Course: Hand Dived Scallops, Ceviche, Seaweed and Herb Oil, Frozen English Wasabi Second Course: Warm Bantam’s Egg, Celeriac, Dried Ham, Arbois and Summer Truffle Main Course: Iberico Pork, Purple Carrots Baked in Hay, Mustard and Trompettes Dessert: Warm Chocolate, Tartlet with Malt …

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Yauatcha, Soho

You may have seen me raving about Yauatcha over the past six months or so. Tim and I visited the new City location when it launched last year and we had a fantastic time – it even made my ‘Top 5 Restaurants of 2015‘! We’ve got quite a few holidays planned for this year and couldn’t really take any more time off to go away for New Year, so we had a think about what we could do in London. We decided to go for a nice dinner together and try out Yauatcha in Soho. I’d been excited for ages, as I’d seen their ‘festive menu’ on their website which included barbecue rib eye beef, spicy scallop and gingerbread parfait. I’d even e-mailed them in advance to make sure they were serving it on New Year’s Eve, which they confirmed they were. I was then very disappointed to learn, once seated at the restaurant, that this menu was only for groups of 4 people or more. This really wasn’t made clear on the website, it …

#FoodieFriends – Dan’s Trip to Tom’s Table

A big thank you to Dan for sharing his experience of the Tom Kerridge pop-up at Harrods!… I’ve wanted to go to Tom Kerridge’s incredibly popular Gastropub ‘The Hand and Flowers’ for some time, however given they don’t follow the usual ‘book-a-month-in-advance’ policy of most restaurants, Tom is clearly a believer in the old proverb that ‘good things come to those who wait’ – the next dinner reservation they have is in August at time of writing! So when my parents noticed that Tom was doing a pop up restaurant in Harrods, we jumped at the chance and managed to snaffle a booking. We had no idea what to expect as it was vague on detail, and transpired to be a temporary mini counter style restaurant set up in the food court. When I say mini counter I mean it – there were maybe 30 covers in the place but the area the chefs were cooking in was incredibly small, as you can see in the picture below. I know when I cook properly I …