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Brunch party at The Shed

The Shed in Notting Hill is bringing you something to add to your calendar each Saturday to kick start your weekend: a brand new Brunch party, lasting all afternoon with live music, cocktails and more of their fresh, delicious and seasonal dishes.

Drag all your friends out of bed, and bring them along to The Shed to bathe in the glorious weekend sun, which will stream through the open French windows and skylights, making for a perfect start to the weekend. We can’t quite think of a better hangover cure if you had a heavy night out the night before! If you fancy embracing the hair of the dog, you will find on the menu The Shed’s very own innovative cocktails, alongside Bloody Mary’s featuring their own green tomato vodka…

With a live band playing, the weekly Brunch parties will provide a rustic, relaxed but still stylish setting to catch up with friends now it’s the end of the week.  Enjoy delicious food, including British bacon, reared by the brother of the restaurant owners in the beautiful rural confines of Nutbourne in West Sussex, in dishes such as bacon mallard breast served with a corn fritter and poached egg with broad bean. Scrumptious. 

www.theshed-restaurant.com

Posted by Georgia Carnegie at 12:16 pm | Comments »
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New dishes at tapas restaurant Opera Tavern, Covent Garden.

Enjoy a summer evening of fresh, new and original tapas dishes at Opera Tavern in Covent Garden.

Specialising in modern Italian and Spanish-influenced tapas since it’s opening in January 2011, this smart and beautiful bar and restaurant will experience a series of chef takeovers this summer, bringing with them new and exciting dishes for customers to test and enjoy.

James Cornwall, Head Chef at Covent Garden’s J Sheekey Oyster Bar, will move into Opera Tavern on the 14th July, which is the perfect opportunity for you to plan an evening of theatre and good food, in whichever order you choose. The tapas bar and restaurant is just opposite the Drury Lane Theatre and seconds from the Opera House. What better excuse to plan a perfect evening with friends?

This new chef will bring with him four tapas sized dishes of his own creation, offered alongside the Opera Tavern menu. His philosophy is inspired by his childhood growing up in New Zealand where simple dishes were created from quality ingredients, and he greets his kitchen with the same ideology: that quality ingredients and low-fuss preparation is a recipe for exciting and unusual flavours. We look forward to all that he brings to Opera Tavern, come mid-July.

www.operatavern.co.uk 

Posted by Georgia Carnegie at 09:00 am | Comments »
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Serene Yoga, Coq D'Argent's

Get Serene: Rooftop yoga

June 27, 2014

The glass ceiling is officially a thing of the past! As of next month, the City’s female yoga bunnies can salute the morning sun high above the Square Mile from the stunning roof garden of the Coq d’Argent. Yes, this summer the restaurant has teamed up with international wellness and networking community SERENE Social to offer outdoor yoga classes where you can practise your postures in full view of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Gherkin.

It all started in New York where ladies are currently getting their asanas on 18 storeys up by the rooftop pool of Soho’s The James hotel while sundowner yoga is starting imminently on a LA helipad. London's Vinyasa flow classes will run Thursdays 8-9am after which guests are encouraged to mix and mingle over breakfast from the Coq kitchen. So if you’ve mastered the downward dog, crane and dolphin and are curious as to what the ‘coq’ might look like, there’s only one way to find out.

From July 3, tickets £25 or £15 for SERENE members, BYO mat.

www.serenesocial.com

 

Posted by Emily Gray at 16:46 pm | Comments »
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Dining at London hotel The Lancaster London

Fancy something a bit different to sipping a Cosmo sitting at a bar after work? Lancaster London has launched a Shisha Tent for all to enjoy over the summer, offering a selection of Shisha flavours, from apple and grape, to blueberry, rose and mint.  

Sit back and relax in the beautifully patterned sofas, or lounge over the sporadically placed cushions in a variety of exotic colours. The décor of woven rugs and jewelled lanterns encompassed in shisha smoke brings a Moroccan-Arabian atmosphere to what would otherwise be a plain white marquee, and is a very chilled but suave alternative to jumping on the tube to go home and lounge on your sofa after your working day.

Tell all your friends and colleagues to join you for some traditional Lebanese cuisine alongside some Lebanese coffee or fresh juice, since the parlour can seat up to 80 people and is open until the early hours of the morning. And don’t worry about getting chilly late into the night, as there are discrete heat-lamps hidden within the marquee.

Open to hotel and non-hotel guests until the 1 November, this is definitely something not to be missed this summer. The evenings are getting lighter, and your usual go-to for a glass of wine is becoming busier with parties going for evening drinks, so the Lancaster London’s Shisha Tent is the perfect alternative. 

www.lancasterlondon.com

Posted by Georgia Carnegie at 10:32 am | Comments »
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Mussels at Simply Fish, Camden

Simply Fish: Review

June 26, 2014

Simply Fish – it’s in the name: simple.

From the minimal décor of block wooden benches and tables to the concept of the menu – choose the fish, the way you cook it, the sauce and sides. Simply Fish is all about keeping things stripped back and minimal.

When we arrived at the Camden branch – the other being in Shoreditch- we were the only ones there, which instantly panicked me, some people get anxiety about small spaces, crowds, spiders, well mine is empty restaurants, I  clam up, don’t know what to say, where to look. After a while though the restaurant slowly filled up, but we did notice three tables come in and look at the menu and then leave – perhaps fish isn’t their thing.

We began with a few small dishes, choose the salt squid to start, it’s the most popular starter and rightly so, chilli prawns had just the right amount of spice and a steaming bowl of Cornish mussels in coconut sauce rounded things off.  

Their menu which lets you choose the fish, the way it is cooked, the sauce and the accompaniments is a simple process. Plus with 8 fish, 6 cooking methods, 8 sauces and 11 sides you can keep going back as that is a lot of possible combinations (I tried to calculate it but soon gave up, just take it from me it’s a lot).  I was tempted to choose a random combination (battered hake?) but with the waiter’s recommendation went for the typical pan-fried salmon with hollandaise salmon and sweet potatoes, the fish was full of flavour and they certainly didn’t skimp on portion size, it was perfectly good but I wasn’t enamoured, I didn’t want to rush outside and tell everyone that they just had to try it.

What did bowl us over though were the puddings a deconstructed passion fruit cheesecake and the most decadent chocolate fondant, just thinking about it now makes me a little too happy – these were the dishes that would keep me going back to Simply Fish.

Simply Fish isn’t trying to be the fancy London fine dining restaurant as the name and location suggests; you might not take the in-laws,  but would you take a bunch of friends and you would see how many combinations you could create. 

www.simplyfish.com

Posted by Emily Gray at 12:24 pm | Comments »
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Sashimi Platter from the Wellness Menu at the Buddha Bar.

Buddha Bar Wellness Menu

June 25, 2014

Still not quite ready to sport a bikini on the beach in August? Still snacking on your 3pm chocolate bar in the office, or just feeling a bit sluggish and in a rut with your diet? We all know how hard it is to discipline oneself into a good shape and take the time after a long day at work to pick the right ingredients for a well-balanced meal… Which is why Buddha Bar in Knightsbridge has created a bespoke Wellness menu, specifically for those of you who want to live and eat more healthily.

Launching on the 1st July, just in time for a last minute detox before you jet off to the Mediterranean, the Wellness menu has been meticulously designed by the restaurant with the help and input of leading health expert, Jacqueline Harvey. You can have faith that whatever you choose off the menu will be beautifying your insides, since Harvey has over two decades experience as a health expert, and has written books and won awards as recognition of her position in the world of well-being.

Naturally, the menu incorporates the vibes of the restaurant into its new dishes, which will thus prove to be not only greatly nutritional carrying health benefits, but also elegant and stylish. Why not try a starter of Wakame and cucumber or prawn pomelo and grapefruit salad, followed by a main course such as steamed sea bass covered in delicious goodness. You’ll be channelling your inner beauty in no time at all, and that holiday couldn’t come sooner…

www.buddhabarlondon.com

Posted by Georgia Carnegie at 14:31 pm | Comments »
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The American Diner located in Kingly Court.

As an American I have some pretty high standards when reviewing an American diner like Stax. This new restaurant situated in Kingly Court got its name from the 1960s Memphis based record lable, Stax Records. Located on the first story, it's hard to miss the red and white, front-porch style of this Southern-inspired joint. 

We were greeted by a friendly staff and the ‘Beyoncé of Kingly Court,’ who sang and danced as she brought us some refreshing Mint Juleps -  an iconic Southern drink composed of Bourbon, mint and brown sugar. Whisky Lemonade, and Bourbon Sweet Tea are a few of the other drinks offered on the cocktail menu as well as a steady selection of beers and wines.  

Next we shared the Graceland, a creamy milkshake fixed with peanut butter, banana and Rum then topped with whipped cream, Oreo crumbles, caramel drizzle and a cherry on top. Stax also creates some other crazy-good shakes and floats made with homemade ice creams, available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.

For starters we snacked on crunchy Cajun popcorn shrimp and battered pickle spears served with Ranch dressing. The portions were perfect to share between 2-3 people, and came out piping hot. In short time, our entrées arrived. Even though their burgers are supposed to be some of the best in town, I was craving an American favorite so I ordered the chicken and waffles. Placed before us was a crispy serving of lightly seasoned fried chicken placed on top of a fluffy waffle with a side of thick sweet syrup. It was simple, but well executed and would even put some U.S. recipes of this signature dish to shame.

As if we weren't already full, ‘Beyoncé of Kingly Court’ then brought us The Duffin Sundae, a delicious buttermilk and nutmeg duffin (doughnut and muffin hybrid) with French vanilla ice cream, butterscotch and fudge sauce with whipped cream and The Dough-bro, a dense fudge brownie doughnut with butterscotch sauce and French vanilla ice cream. It was certainly a sweet ending to a very satisfying meal. 

Next time around I'll be sure to sample the Onion Blossom - an onion that's cut into the shape of a flower then battered, deep-fried and sprinkled in a variety of spices. Keep in mind this cosy space is more suitable for smaller parties and is a perfect place for a casual date night or even takeaway. Stax Diner also serves brunch on weekends with an impressive menu that  includes buttermilk pancakes, French toast, coconut honey granola with yogurt and poached eggs on muffins with hollandaise. 

It's definitely safe to say that Stax satisfied my craving for some classic American comfort food, and I highly recommend it. 

1.7 Kingly Court, Carnaby, W1B 5PW

Opening times are Sunday to Thursday, 8am – 11pm; Friday and Saturday, 8am – 1am. 

www.staxdiner.com

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 11:40 am | Comments »
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250th anniversary of the Ruinart Rose at The Goring Hotel

Goring Champagne Pop Up

June 24, 2014

Let the Goring Hotel transport you back to 1764, the year Ruinart produced its first ever Rosé champagne.

The beautiful 5-star family run hotel, located just behind Buckingham Palace, has transformed its gardens into an enchanted world of 18th century décor, complete with an atmosphere that will take you straight out of central London and to a world of rolling green hills, dusty pink roses and intricate greenery.

Celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ruinart’s Rosé by sipping on a glass whilst soaking up the late June sun, and smell some of the alluring vials of scent offered to the guests in the antique apothecary. An artist will also be milling around the garden amongst the flowers and décor, to draw your portrait in true 18th century style, which you can then take home to treasure forever.

Escape the bustle of London and the modern day rush, and cherish the carefully created gardens of The Goring, meticulously specific to the celebration of this special 18th century champagne.

The pop up salon will be up until 3rd July.

www.thegoring.com

Posted by Georgia Carnegie at 17:20 pm | Comments »
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Exclusive Fitness Retreat at Jumeirah

So it’s summer and for the a millionth time we promise ourselves to get buff and bronze for the months ahead of revealing our untoned winter body but yet again we have fallen at the first hurdle. Boring gym sessions? No thanks. Go for a run in London, are you mad? An exclusive Fitness Retreat that promises to equip guests with ‘take home’ tools to enhance physical and mental performance and support ongoing wellness. I’m listening.

Jumeirah Carlton Tower is offering an exclusive weekend of fun activities like Thai yoga, boxing, self-defence classes, massages and nutritional workshops. Attendees will also get to enjoy two nights at the luxurious Jumeirah Carlton Tower as well as a private dining experience in The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant.

Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Fitness Retreats are available 11-13th and 25-27th July 2014. 

www.jumeirah.com

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 16:43 pm | Comments »
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Lounge area of Rum Island.

Escape To Rum Island

June 23, 2014

Summer is officially here - and so is the city's hottest new destination. 

Floridita opens an island inspired retreat located underneath the restaurant’s iconic sweeping staircase. The late-night Soho hotspot is known for housing the most extensive rum selection in Europe and its new space, suitably named Rum Island, will offer a cocktail menu celebrating the liquor's versatility.

Guests can sip on libations like the Watermelon Punch, a concoction created from Brugal Rum, watermelon, Aperol Liquer, cranberry juice, lemon juice with sugar and served in a hollowed watermelon, or the Navy Sangria, a nautical tribute with a Brazilian twist combining Pusser’s Navy Rum, Mandarine Napoleon, sugar and fresh fruits. 

To complement the tropical refreshments, Executive Chef Sascha Rieb has created a barbecue influenced food menu using vibrant Latin-American flavours. Starters include chargrilled pork belly with lime mojo, sweet Guindilla chillies and barbecued chorizo sausages. Main dishes include a selection of smoky barbecued burgers and for dessert, Rum Island offers fruit infused sorbet with exotic flavours such as Mango and Blood Orange. 

The bar is open from 25 June until late September from 5:30 pm to 3:00 am, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Soho. The venue can also be hired for exclusive private bookings. 

www.floriditalondon.com

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 16:03 pm | Comments »
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