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SNOG frozen yogurt take home mini pots

SNOG at Home

September 10, 2014

Now you can enjoy a SNOG in the privacy of your own home. Frozen yogurt giants SNOG have just launched a brand new range of mini SNOG pots that you can enjoy at home. If like me, you love frozen yogurt but sadly don’t live near any SNOG outlets then you’ll be delighted to hear that you can pick up one of their refreshing and delicious pots at a supermarket near you.

They come in three fruity variants; Summer Berry Berry Slam, Berry Blue Acai Burst and Passionfruit Pip Pop, each made with a combination of yogurt, exotic fruits and crunchy sauces. And at only 130 calories per pot they’re practically guilt-free. SNOGs all round!

www.ifancyasnog.com

Posted by Kate Pigden at 13:28 pm | Comments »
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Hutong Mid-Autumn Moon Cakes

Mid-Autumn Festival at Hutong

September 10, 2014

We’re at that funny time in the year when there is nothing to celebrate quite yet, the summer is almost over, Halloween isn’t here yet, we can’t get excited about bonfire night and don’t even mention the C word (to clarify that is Christmas…in case you thought otherwise).

How about the Mid-Autumn festival then?  You might not have heard of it, but it’s celebrated in China on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar during a full moon. Celebrating the legend of Chang’e, the moon goddess, and Houyi, the archer, Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for gathering, thanksgiving and praying and families come together to make offers to the moon and think about friends and family who live far away. It’s also a time for eating moon cake, the circular shape of the cakes represents reunions – sounds like our sort of celebration, family, friends and food.

To mark the festival, Chinese restaurant Hutong has a special dedicated menu running now until 5th October. The 4 course, 8 dish menu courses including: Seafood dumplings in spicy broth; King prawns with Sichuan chilli and ginkgo nuts; and Sichuan-style double-cooked Iberico pork loin. Hutong’s magnificent take on the Mooncake will be the culmination of the celebrations, accompanied by lychee sorbet, believed to bestow good fortune and a happy life on the eater – so get eating…lots of it. There is also an optional drinks pairing with each dish, including the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ cocktail.

So head to Hutong to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival and why not give your that friend or relative who  you haven’t seen for ages a call? 

www.hutong.co.uk

 

Posted by Emily Gray at 10:31 am | Comments »
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The Honor Oak gastro pub in Forest Hill

The Honor Oak Review

September 9, 2014

South London’s newest dining experience, The Honor Oak, has recently opened its doors after an expensive refurbishment with the aim to restore it back to its former glory days as a popular community hub in South East London. Whenever a pub opens that bids farewell to the days of the old man pub I breathe a sigh of relief; mustard walls, brown curtains and sticky bars are banished here in lieu of classic moss-coloured walls, hand-cut silhouettes for decoration and industrial looking light features.

The menu keeps true to British flavours with Chef Robert Radcliffe in the kitchen drawing on his 10 years' experience in some of London's finest pub dining establishments, while the bar offers a selection of local cask ales, craft beers and cocktails. 

The Seared Scottish Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Crisp Pancetta and Wild Mushrooms makes for a really tender and well-cooked starter although it was perhaps a little on the salty side. You can watch your food being prepared in the open plan kitchen as mains like the Broccoli & Stilton Tart, Chicory & Apple Salad are cooked. The Roast Cod served with Parsley Mash, Braised Baby Gem and Mustard Sauce was an amazing main; a good blend of flavours and perfectly cooked flaky fish.

Unfortunately on the night that we attended they didn’t have the fruit purees required to make their signature cocktails but the resident mixologist whipped up a delicious Tropical Punch and Cosmo which did the trick just fine.

We ended the night with the Dark Chocolate Mousse, Poached Pear and Raspberry Milkshake; a delightful trio of puddings served on a slate. The mousse was more reminiscent of a truffle than a mousse but had such a delightful, indulgent, creamy texture that no complaints can be made. Lemon fans, prepare your taste buds for the Lemon Posset served with Lavender Shortbread, as it will fulfil all of your citrus desires in a creamy lemon custard-like dish filled with zest.

Although The Honor Oak is situated in the bustling area of London’s Forest Hill the venue boasts an outside terrace, perfect for relaxing and even al fresco dining. In fact, if taking a break from the lively hustle of the neighbourhood is your aim, then you are spoilt for choice; whether you want to grab a drink in the fully refurbished bar, while away the afternoon catching up with friends and getting stuck into their menu or simply try to catch the last of the summer rays in the garden, it's time to make this the gastropub of choice.

www.thehonoroak.co.uk

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 17:05 pm | Comments »
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Celebrity magician Dynamo

There are a lot of things you can do under the stars, namely star-gazing, but you can also play the long-established game of Chovgun. For those of you not in the know it is a traditional oriental polo activity played at night with only the sparkle of the stars and moon to guide players.

Tomorrow will see incredible helium filled globes lighting up the grass pitch at Ham Polo Club to set the scene, as the night begins with a huntsman dressage display and parade of the teams before the main polo event begins.

This black tie event will be a glamorous evening - a combination of City meets the Fashion & Art World - to raise awareness and support fantastic children’s charity, War Child, for those children affected by war. Dynamo will also perform a 20 minute set sure to baffle and bewilder guests as they try to discover his tricks.

The Chovgun Polo takes place 10th September at Ham Polo Club.

For tickets email: info@twilightpolo.com

www.chovganpolo.com

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 10:46 am | Comments »
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The World's First 800ft High Sleepover at the Shard London

So you’re single, living in London and dating, but are you dating to the best of your ability? If thumb twiddling over a dreary dinner whilst inquiring about their job sounds all too familiar then we need to introduce you to activity-based dating site doingsomething.org, who focus on taking the awkwardness out of dating. Would you rather meet your beau to be during a ping pong championship at a rooftop party, getting your downward dog on for yoga pub dating or through an obligatory blind date your mum organised for you?

How about at the world’s highest sleepover? For 10 hours guests will have free roam of floors 69-72 in the Shard where there will be performances from Sofar sounds, a midnight feast from Pizza Pilgrims, literary readings from the London Literary Salon and the chance to gaze at the night sky thanks to the telescopes provide by the Royal Observatory. Ample opportunity to snuggle up to any hotty that catches your eye!

We have teamed up with www.doingsomething.org to give away evening tickets to this event on the 13th September, just click here to enter!

www.the-shard.com 

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 12:05 pm | Comments »
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Dim Sum Platter Yauatcha

Yauatcha: Review

September 8, 2014

Yauatcha on Broadwick Street is celebrating its 10th birthday with a month of secret dishes on the menu focused around the four iconic offerings that it is known for: the Chinese kitchen, teahouse, patisserie, wine and cocktails.

As we can’t resist dim sum or a reason to party, The Handbook went over to celebrate last week, when the secret dish was a dim sum platter. We headed downstairs to the main area of the restaurant and for a Tuesday night it was packed, the atmosphere was upbeat, with loud music, dark corners, bright leather chairs, constant chattering from the other diners who all looked up each time to see who else was sauntering in to dine (it’s that sort of place) whilst a tank of exotic fish running the length of the bar commanded all attention.   

Being slightly overwhelmed by the extensive menu we told the waiter to bring over whatever the chef felt liked cooking that night, which we then realised was potentially a risky move;  but with our life, well supper in their hands we sat back with a Hakka, the Hakkasan signature cocktail, a muddle of vodka, Akashi-Tai sake, lychee, coconut and passion fruit and waited.

They played it relatively safe starting us off with their best-selling dish prawn and bean curd cheung fu, a soft rice noodle roll with a crispy centre and the secret platter of dim sum; wild fungus and pomegranate, a spicy lamb and fig dumpling and our favourite, a creamy lychee scallop puff, we only wished there was more than one of each!  

This was followed by crispy aromatic duck and what they got right (along with it not being dry) was the amount of pancakes, because most places never give you enough – you’re normally presented with quarter of a duck and 2 sheets that look like they might disintegrate if you so much as look at them but not at Yauatcha it was like our basket was never ending.

Next up was ribs and ribs seem to be their thing, (Kim Kardashian was dining on them Hakkasan, their sister restaurant the same night), they were big hunks of tender meat glazed with sticky syrup.   They were accompanied by a spicy Singapore stir fry vermicelli which was bursting with prawns and squid.

We finished with coconut and blueberry macarons which were beautifully light with a  creamy filling, they are also currently offering ten new macarons for £10 throughout the month. This week it is the turn of the tea house with Senior Bar Manager Eder Neto, I could tell you what they are offering but I think it would be a much better idea if you just took a trip there yourself to find out.  

www.yauatcha.com

Posted by Emily Gray at 10:36 am | Comments »
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LINDA EVANGELISTA, NAOMI CAMPBELL, CHRISTY TURLINGTON

Girls! Girls! Girls!

September 5, 2014

Time to rub shoulders with some of the world’s most beautiful women, photographed shoulders that is, as an exhibition opens displaying the likes of Naomi Campbell, Dita Von Teese and Rachel Weisz in chic black and white photos.

Stunning shots of super-photogenic femme fatales like Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Christy Turlington will also be featured among the 50 photographs which can be bought from the website – so when you say you’re taking a supermodel home with you…it won’t be a lie!

The exhibition is open to the public from 16th September - 25th October 2014.

www.thelittleblackgallery.com

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 13:09 pm | Comments »
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Bobo Social

Bobo Social: Review

September 5, 2014

Last week was National Burger Day and with burgers being one of the most important food groups as we all know, we thought what better way to celebrate than with a quick jaunt to new burger place Bobo Social on Charlotte Street.

It’s brought to you by Jacinta Maddison and Michael Benson (Sticky Fingers, Palm Court Brasserie and Supperclub London) and is serving up a winning combination of burgers and small plates. Bobo stands for Bourgeois Bohemian and as such the restaurant is kept simple;  wooden floors, a mix of communal and small tables and neutral colours juxtapose with gilded mirrors and twinkling lights, whilst food is served on mismatched crockery. There were a few teething problems such as bannisters coming away from walls and locks in the bathrooms not quite locking, but I’ve been ensured that these are being taken care of because no one wants to be the one caught sitting on the loo by another guest.

But let’s move on as a dodgy bannister never got in the way of a good burger. They’re made with rare-breed beef from Sussex, and are cooked in a Kopa Charcoal Oven with the wood used varying day to day. On the menu you’ll find burgers served with chorizo, lobster and crab burgers and a mushroom and truffle burger as well as specialist burgers with the likes of kangaroo.

We went for the Peanut Butter – a rare breed beef burger topped with Monterey Jack, maple drizzled cured bacon, red onions, BoBo sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and the piece de resistance rich, slightly crunchy, salted peanut butter, it was lathered on and boy was that one hell of a burger, it oozed in all the right places and yet the buttermilk bun still held it all together – perfection.

We also went for The Debauchery – Wagu Beef, Ogleshield cheese, confit Shitaki mushrooms, bacon mayonnaise, truffle  and onion compote and shaved truffles, yes it sounds a terrifying rich, but it wasn’t the flavours all came through but you didn’t feel like you were going to have to diet for the next month. With a name like The Debauchery I was expecting something a little bigger, a little more impressive on the plate, but then I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover nor a burger by its size. Chips in bacon dripping were wonderful as were sweet potato fries coated in truffle salt although there unfortunately wasn’t a hint of truffle.

We finished with the elderflower and raspberry jelly which was covered in a shot of champagne and the dark and milk chocolate mousse with salted caramel- the mousse was a delicious but needed more salt if it was to be called salted caramel.

Bobo Social, it’s relaxed, it’s fun, it’s the sort of place to leave your manners at home and get stuck into pretty great burgers. 

www.bobosocial.com

Posted by Emily Gray at 10:32 am | Comments »
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Oyster Festival at Bentley's Bar and Grill

Clear your diary because on Wednesday 10th September Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill is ready to welcome you in style; guests that make bookings on that day will be welcomed with live music and a complimentary oyster plate, complete with a Bloody Mary shot. The half a dozen oysters will vary from both rock and natives, served raw and cooked, including ‘Rockefeller’, Tempura, Garlic baked, ‘Catalan’, and just on their own with classic dressings such as shallot, tabasco or just a squeeze of lemon.

If you think that sounds delicious but had no clue that you could have oysters in such variation then Bentley’s regular shellfish and oyster masterclasses, running throughout the year, are for you. Shuck and eat your way through British and Irish oysters, followed by a refreshing glass of fizz and a three course lunch with paired wines – oh did we mention the goodybag?

The next masterclass takes place 13th September, tickets cost £120 per person.

www.bentleys.org

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 15:03 pm | Comments »
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Eclipse club Chelsea

Thursday, it is pretty much the weekend, it’s an extra night to go out and if you do accidentally/on purpose stay out well passed your bed time, you only have one day in the office to get through whilst nursing your hangover. With that sorted, what are you plans for tonight? You don’t have any yet? 1) Why not, shame on you 2) We have just the thing for you.

Eclipse Chelsea is holding another ‘Walton darlings’ tonight where all girls get a complementary glass of Champagne on arrival. You don’t have to have any special code, no secret password, just turn up et voila, free Champagne and who can say no to that?  Sorry guys this isn’t one for you, although if you’re taking someone out and payday seems a little too far away…

After your Champagne, order a Watermelon Martini and dance the night away to London Beats who will be DJing, they even have a set of Bongos. You’ll normally find them in Barcelona but they’ve decided to come over and play in London. 

Thursday night plans: done. 

www.eclipsebars.com

Posted by Emily Gray at 10:27 am | Comments »
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