All posts tagged: restaurant

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 …

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, …

Steak, Cheese and Churros at Bar + Block, King’s Cross

We recently moved offices from Covent Garden to King’s Cross and I’ve been so impressed by the range of new bars and restaurants which have opened up in the area. It’s a total foodie heaven! So when I heard about a new steak restaurant opening up a stone’s throw away from the office, I just had to try it out! Tim and I visited early evening on a Friday and as you can imagine, the bar was packed with people enjoying a post-work tipple (or two!) as well as tourists visiting the capital. What wasn’t clear from the restaurant’s website was that it is actually based within a hotel and this is something I’m often a little hesitant about. From the restaurant you can actually see through to the hotel’s reception – ordinarily this might sound a bit off-putting, but with the decor and ambience, it just worked! There are butcher’s style floor tiles, cosy red-leather booths, bold retro chairs, a marble-topped Chef’s Table, where guests can pull up a stool to experience the‘Primed + …

Mum’s Birthday Dinner at Norse, Harrogate

Since Mum has been living back in the UK, she’s had a rather impressive social life with friends who have been amazing! But something she rarely gets to do is go out for a fancy dinner. Getting dressed up and going out to a nice restaurant was one of my Dad’s favourite things to do, and something which has been notably absent in Mum’s life since he has been gone. So in December I though I’d treat Mum for her birthday to go out for dinner in one of the nearby towns in North Yorkshire. The question was, where would we go? She had always been amazed by the tasting menus Tim and I had been fortunate to experience, so I was over the moon when I discovered a restaurant in Harrogate which offered just that. Norse restaurant, led by Head Chef Simon Jewitt, is located within Baltzersens, a Nordic cafe in the centre of town on Oxford Street which transforms into a fine dining restaurant in the evening. As such, it has a relaxed …