Thursday, 27 November 2014

Le Chalet "on the roof" at Selfridges

I have a little obsession with all things Christmas so when I heard that the roof top at Selfridges has been transformed into a ski style chalet come resturant I had to see what all the fuss was about!

Table booked and we were good to go (unfortunately prior to our reservstion we were moving in slow motion which resulted in a mad dash to find a taxi and a typical London traffic jam but we made it, just!!) 

Anyway all the rushing and stressing was forgotten as soon as we pushed through the ancient glass doors of Selfridges....

Only one lift leads to Le Chalet so make sure you find the right one!! (Just opposite the Chanel fragrance counter)

Hopping into the lift the Chrismtas music started to play and we were whizzed up to the roof where a sparkling corridor of fairy lights guided us to a cosy Christmas hideaway 


Distressed wood and evergreens pop up from every corner, while fairy lights adorn bare tree branches adding to the Christmassy feel! 

 Snuggle blankets grace every seat just incase of a cold snap!

We took our seats and indulged in a little mulled wine while we scoured the menu. After all that rushing around we had missed breakfast and we were starving!

I caught sight of a foundue whizzing past me and quickly grabbed the waiter and ordered up a batch to share! Well it would be rude not to 

The steaming hot blue cheese with buttery garlic bread looked great but unfortunately the bread was so hard I was afraid for my teeth!

The boy was very excited for the spit roasted pork but they were out (at 1:30 on a Saturday??) so he opted for the Buttermilk chicken schnitzel while I had the short ribs 

This photo doesn't do it justice, the portion was enormous and overall tasted ok.

Sadly for the schnitzel it was deemed to be the runt of the litter - looks a little sad don't you think?? 

Shiny little potatoes with rosemary salt 

And some chili seasoned broccoli on the side 

After a disappointing start we held out hope for dessert and opted for their "special" Eggnog snow egg

And he went for the Apple streusel with custard

I think I won!

Overall I think I was more taken with the decor and overall anticipation of Le Chalet, the service was clumsy and not what you would expect.

**mini rant - the bread with our fondue created a serious amount of crumbs over the table which went uncleared for our entire meal along with used side plates and empty drinks bottles as our meal progressed. Maybe it's just me but I was getting pretty tired of playing Tetris with the table ware in order to fit everything in as the waiters continued to set down our next courses. At one point the boy actually stacked some plates and handed them to the waiter but even this didn't prompt anyone to clear the table! Ok sorry rant over**

My opinion?? 
Great novelty factor for a Christmas tipple but it is pricey (mulled wine is £8) so maybe just the one for the view! 


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Home sweet home

A few weeks ago I moved into my new flat and began cheating on clothes with furniture and home accessories! For the first time ever I have been ignoring the need for the latest skinny jeans and been scouring the internet for the perfect lampshade or blanket box! Due to this new addiction I have been neglecting the girls a little so I thought what better way to catch up without leaving the flat than to have a little flat warming! Ladies only, sorry boys!

I invited too many people to fit comfortably around a dinner table so instead of a sit down meal I opted to making a little spread of savoury and sweet nibbles to go with the slightly insane amount of wine I had stocked up on.

Lets start with some feta and pomegranate cucumber cups! 

Pretty easy to make - basically chop a large cucumber up into slices around 3-4cm thick and then scoop out the fleshy middle (don't go all the way through!)

Next whip up some feta with some dill until it is smooth and creamy, then stuff it into each little cup

Pop some pomegranates on the top and a little sprig of dill to garnish

Add a little crumble off feta at the end just before serving 

Next up grab some pre-rolled puff pastry (why anyone makes their own puff pasty is beyond me! Very impressive but sooooo time consuming!)

Grab some spicy chorizo and layer it up like a little overlapping blanket on the pastry leaving a gap around the edge and try not to eat all the chorizo (oops forgot to take a photo of this part!!)

Using the greaseproof paper roll the pastry into a swiss roll nice and tight

Then get cutting - it normally makes around 20 little swirls

Line up these little guys on your baking tray leaving space between each as they will expand in the oven

Whip up a little egg wash (like my mini whisk??) and then pop them in the oven at 200 degrees for around 15/20mins until they are golden brown

Pile them high on a plate and you are ready to go

Assemble some salmon and dill blinis 

Last of all I attempted to make some yummy coconut cream filled meringues, unfortunately trying to get used to a new kitchen and utensils its all got seriously messy and I couldn't risk my camera getting covered in cream so no pics but the finished product wasn't too bad!! 

Delicious thick double cream

Toast some coconut to help release all that flavour and fold it into the cream (let it cool a little first or the cream with go really runny!)

A little bigger than bite sized but tasty and they went down a storm with the girls!

Food prepared and glasses standing to attention  

Wine decanted 

After a flurry of activity all day trying to get everything ready the girls finally started to arrive (although everyone got slightly lost!! Maybe it was my directions??). The wine flowed and the food disappeared along with some amazing treats brought by some of my friends including a gorgeous pumpkin bread and some coconut and lime macaroons!

Such a perfect night :) Finally feeling settled in to my new home 


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fera at Claridges

What do you get for the man who doesn't like presents??  This is the dilemma I was faced with on the boys birthday so I planned us a little lunch date at renowned chef Simon Rogan's new gem - Fera at Claridges. 

After a bit of a hectic morning we found ourselves running a little late so we hopped into an Uber and  made it in the nick of time to the splendour of Claridges.

A truly traditional luxury hotel full of 1920's glamour Claridges is one of my favourite places in London, a little spot of people watching with afternoon tea is an afternoon well spent in my books!

I was surprised to discover Fera hidden away behind copious amounts of heavy velvet curtains

we wandered our way down a little curved corridor

and into reception area which opens out into the vast ballroom now transformed into a stunning modern space

A little birthday treat awaited the boy at our table courtesy of Mr Rogan himself 

We settled into our seats and spent a few minutes taking in the decor, a little rustic/modern theme was clear with a focus on lots of natural materials and muted earthy colours including the gorgeous emerald green place mats and plates.

The menu arrived with a flurry of waiters pouring crystal clear still water and whipping our napkins aloft before falling across our knees as they explained the food options available.

At the lunch sitting they offer 3 indulgent options - The set lunch menu, A la Carte and of course the Tasting Menu (+ an accompanying wine option). While we decided we were treated to a few savoury treats to wet our appetite

Served on a little slice of nature itself these bite size morsels with cream cheese were amazing! Unfortunately I have no idea what was in these as I was distracted by the wine when the waiter was explaining but they tasted so good I was slightly gutted the boy didn't give me his!

We decided on the Tasting Menu (of course) but gave the wine selection a miss after the slightly blurry evening following our wine experience at Story! We plumped for some white wine instead which was just enough!

Our first course arrived quickly with two little mouthfuls of Stewed Rabit and Lovage - delicious! Although I wanted a little more!

Following on from the rabbit we had mackerel, oyster and seaweed treats served among a jumble of smooth stones straight from the beach!

These did taste great but the seaweed was quite strong along with the salty oyster.

Our next course was a little pot of smoked roe and red cabbage. We weren't  so sure about this one but the trick is to make sure you get a little bit of cabbage in each bite, otherwise the roe can be a little overpowering.

Soon the plates became a little larger and we moved on with some cauliflower dumplings with turnip, onion and oxalis.

This was delicious! The dumplings were soft and fluffy and melted in the mouth!

Raw veal and oyster truffle with kohlrabi and apple

This was a definite hit with no a crumb left behind!

 Next  up I got a little  excited about the prospect of Lobster! (my favourite food in the world!!)

This artistic masterpiece was Native Lobster,  kale leave in hyssop cream with crispy pork and sunflower seeds.

At this point I didn't think anything could top the lobster but I as I happily sipped my wine and did a little people watching the next course made its way to the table, and I wasn't disappointed!

John Dory with grilled leek, crossness and bourage leaf and razor clams

I adored this course! I didn't realise how much I liked leeks! They always reminded me of soup my Grandmother made in the winter when I was little but I haven't really bothered to ever cook with them myself! They were really delicious and I loved the texture in comparison to the amazing razor clams.

The last of the main courses arrived with a rich Goosnargh Duck with chanterelles and watercress with celeriac brussel tops 

Truly amazing

A dangerously calorific little cheese course added in for good measure!!

Gooey cheese with tasty hot bread and freshly whipped butter! Certainly not a necessary course but oh so worth it! It was his birthday after all!!

Now on to dessert.......

Two smoking pots arrived in full glory at the table feeling rather like a science experience!!

Chocolate malt nitro, prune and dandelion served in an ice cold glass pot! It was all very exciting and made for a lovely little display but I didn't particularly enjoy the flavour, a little to complicated for my taste!

I pinned all my hope on the final dessert......

Black saison, blueberries and fennel with beer ice-cream!

Delicious! After our adventures in Bruges I actually loved the beer ice-cream, a few weeks ago I probably would have given the boy my ice-cream as I thought I hated all beer! Well we live and learn! 

Lunch was rounded off by a stunning little assortment of sweet treats including mini macaroon, little jelly cubes (technical term obviously!), chocolate truffles and two intriguing little green christmas trees of deliciousness!! 

Perfecrtly formed shiny little macaroons 

Neither myself or the boy could work out what these were but we both agreed 100% that they were amazing! 

Not a single morsel remained!

All in all it was a wonderful lunch in a stunning setting. The boy reported that it was the perfect birthday present (points for me!!) and we started to plan our next foodie adventure! The list is so long!!

The birthday wasn't quite over so we headed over to London Bridge to meet up with some friends for drinks and dinner (although we certainly didn't have any room left!!!)


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