Saturday, 19 April 2014

Chisou x Nyetimber Tasting Event.

When an email landed in my inbox inviting me to a tasting event with Nyetimber at Chisou, I immediately responded with a big fat yes. Nyetimber are probably the most famous producers of British Sparkling Wine, while Chisou are a fantastic little Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge, and as a lover of all things British and Japanese, I quite literally sprinted from the office to the event on Monday.

Henry met me there, and we sat down to four empty glasses in front of us and a menu with the pairings. We started with the 2009 Nyetimber Rose, paired with a Spinach salad. Nyetimber’s vineyards were the first to be devoted exclusively to the holy trinity of Champagne grapes: chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir. All of the grapes are produced on the Nyetimber estate, whereas many wine producers use grapes from different estates to make their wines.

Nyetimber and Chisou tasting event
Now when this arrived Henry and I looked at each other and just went 'we're being given a plate of leaves...' but oh my goodness, I have never had a plate of leaves so good. It doesn't look impressive, but the taste was just sensational, I never ever thought I'd be praising a plate of spinach, but the yuzu and soy dressing just made it incredible! The Rose was also delicious, probably one of the best Rose's I've ever had.

Spinach salad with Yuzu and Soy dressing

Nyetimber Rose 2009

Next up was Pacific amaebi head crispies with matchajio (green tea rock salt). I wasn't so keen on these, they were very salty and it creeped me out eating the eyes and I only ate half the body and left the head and eyes. The eyes were just so beady and I felt like they were watching me and crying out 'Nooooo! Don't eat me!". So Henry finished them all off while I sulked at him being so cruel.

Pacific amaebi head crispies with matchajio
Pacific amaebi head crispies with matchajio

Chisou Knightsbridge
Next on our list was my favourite dish of the night; Wild Alaskan dive caught scallop carpaccio, dressed with yuzukosho and ponzo sauce. Aka, scallops. They were the most delicious scallops I've ever had, they just melted in your mouth! With this we had the Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2007, which I wasn't very keen on, so once again, Henry finished it off (as you can probably tell by now, he's a greedy bugger). 

Nyetimber Sparkling Wines

Chisou and Nyetimber tasting event

Chisou Alaskan dive caught scallop carpaccio, dressed with yuzukosho and ponzo sauce
Chisou Knightsbridge London

Now the next sparkling wine was my favourite, it tasted like a sweet dessert wine, it really was something special. I wasn't so keen however, on the sea eel, aka, unagi (think Ross in Friends). I've had conga eel before which was very bony, so I was worried this would be too, when in fact it was the opposite...slimy.

Nyetimber and Chisou tasting event

Nyetimber Demi-sec NV

Chisou sea eel

Chisou Japanese restaurant sea eel

The best thing about tasting events is you get to taste foods and wines you wouldn't usually try, I found two wines that I really love (the Rose, and the Demi-sec), and I really really loved the scallops and spinach salad. It was a lovely evening with other bloggers and our friends, and it was fantastic to find out more about Nyetimber and the way they produce their sparkling wines. Did you know that the seam of soil they grow their grapes in is the exact same seam of soil that the growers in Champagne grow their grapes in!? It's chalky soil and runs right under the English Channel and through Kent and East Sussex - who knew! 

Find me: Twitter | Email | Facebook | Bloglovin | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram

* This was a blogger event and was therefore complimentary.

Monday, 14 April 2014

A 'Bodega Street' Birthday.

On Saturday I had my 23rd birthday celebrations. After weeks of trying to figure out what to do, Diego kindly suggested I join forces with him as his birthday is the week before mine. So Saturday afternoon we headed to La Bodega Negra with around 150 people to celebrate growing another year older. The drinking started at 2:30pm (best frozen margaritas, ever), the eating of Mexican food started shortly after, and then the lorry full of Magnum ice-creams arrived while the DJs pounded out some epic tunes. Then a total ruckus broke out when the Mariachi Band turned up and some serious dancing went on.

I wore my Princess Polly 'Tra La La' dress that I bought when I was in Australia a few weeks ago (I added the belt), but sadly dropped chocolate down it quite early in the evening which made for a very awkward stain. Sad times. 

La Bodega Negra soho private party

La Bodega Negra Soho Mariachi Band
La Bodega Negra Tropical Frozen Margarita

La Bodega Negra Mariachi Band
La Bodega Negra Menu
After a lot of drinking, and a disaster when the chocolate from my ice-cream fell onto my dress, we decided we needed to line our stomachs before the next influx of drinks. We just got some Corn Chips and Churros to share between a few of us, which were absolutely delicious! Although the Churros could have done with some more chocolate sauce instead of a measly little amount at the bottom of the pot.

La Bodega Negra Corn Chips

La Bodega Negra Churros
My face when I discovered the chocolate stain on my dress... Dani found it pretty funny, until she noticed she'd also dropped chocolate all over her jumper. HA! 

This guy was rocking the dance floor with some serious Dad dancing. No clue who he is, but he didn't seem impressed when I tried to mimic his moves. Note the chocolate stain on the bottom of the dress. *sob*

Around 7pm we moved on to Archer Street. We were supposed to go next door to the club part of Bodega Negra, but I was in desperate need of DJ Daza and a bit of Archer Street fun, aka, 90's and 00's cheese. On our way down Old Compton Street we walked past two men in underwear and hats. Naturally we had to go and get photos with them. We started dancing in the window with them and the manager told me off for wearing my coat 'take it off darling!'. We attracted a bit of a crowd...tourists stopped to take photos and videos. Awks.

After that excitement, about 15 of us went to Archer Street and had an absolute blast! I downed cosmopolitans and danced on the tables, before being asked by the manager to 'pretend to be sober until 10pm'. Awkward. I think I gave it away by dancing with no shoes on? 

Archer Street Soho Cosmopolitan cocktail
I was very happy with my birthday serenade though. However I was very disappointed that DJ Daza didn't join Amy and I for One for Sorrow like he usually does. Sad times.

I was so happy that so many of my friends from different social groups came along! My besties from back home in Guildford, my old work friends, my clubland friends, and some blogger friends! Mina and Melanie came to the Bodega Negra part, then Hannah came for the whole night. I've been following this girl's blog since the beginning, and with our shared love for Perth and Australia in general, it was so great to finally meet her! She's just as crazy as I thought she would be.

There are so many photos of me with my hand down my dress it isn't even funny - I kept putting it in my bra to make sure my credit card and cloakroom tickets were still there! This photo is purely in here for the hair though. THE HAIR! #cozimworthit 

An absolutely awesome day/night, that as always ended at around 3am eating Eggs Benny at VQ. Huge thank you to everyone who came. Happy birthday me! isn't actually until Friday, but as it's Easter Weekend I had to celebrate a week early.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

London Bloggers Brunch at The Providores.

Last year I helped organize a Surrey Bloggers Brunch for all of my fellow Surrey bloggers, so this year I did a London one. Earlier this morning 12 fellow bloggers and I went along to my favourite brunch place, The Providores, for a feast and a chat. It was so lovely to meet so many bloggers that I've been following for ages, and the food as always was incredible!

As I'd had a heavy night the previous night from my birthday celebrations (more on this tomorrow!), I went for something savoury as I couldn't face my usual sweet French Toast. It was good though as it gave me the excuse to try something new! I had the 'Fry up' which consisted of sourdough toast, two poached eggs (both beautifully runny), bacon, tomatoes, mushroom, and then I added avocado to it. It was probably one of the tastiest breakfasts I've had in a long time! 

The Providores Breakfast
The Providores London Brunch
Before our meals arrived we were all given a small pot of 'brown rice porridge' to try, it's one of The Providores' new creations, and it tasted very much like rice pudding. It was quite nice, but not my idea of an indulgent brunch.

The Providores Brown Rice Porridge
I was a really bad host/blogger and hardly took any photos! I was so tired, I really didn't plan it well haha. Luckily I think some of the others took some, so I'll nab those when I can ;)

A huge thank you to everyone for coming and to The Providores for being so kind and hosting us there! It really is a great place for breakfast and brunch, and isn't too pricey - we all paid around £15 each which included our meals, drinks, service charge, and tip.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

MEATLiquor, London.

I know I know, I'm really late to the party on this one. But I finally got there. Last week at work some of us decided we needed meat. It was lunchtime on Friday, so we headed to MEATLiquor for our meat. And some cocktails too. It was my first time there, and it was awesome. You go inside and it's all dark and moody, and feels a cross between a club and a theatre. 

Meatliquor London Cheese and Bacon Burger Review

The Meat

The burger patty was meaty and juicy, just the right size, with crispy bacon and cheese oozing out - delish! The bun was ok, I love toasted brioche buns so much, however I did feel they were quite greasy at MEATLiquor. 

Meatliquor Summer of Love Cocktail

The Liquor

The cocktails were absolutely fantastic! I had the 'Summer of Love' which is made from Finlandia mango vodka, fresh lemon juice, muddled ruby red grapes, passion fruit, and savvy-b. Served long. It was really sweet and fruity, which I love as I can't actually stand the taste of alcohol, but this just tasted like fruit juice!

Meatliquor London Review Burgers and Fries

The Fries

Eh. I wasn't too impressed with the fries. They were nowhere near as good as Honest Burger or Patty & Bun, they were just a bit plain and bog-standard really. The cheesy fries made me feel a little sick, I just can't do cheesy fries.

I do love how you get all of your food on a tray, it's a total novelty and makes it a really fun and casual way of having lunch. I also love the interior, it just feels like a fun place to be having a cheeky Friday lunch during the lunch hour. We all loved it and the other two said their cocktails were amazing too! Apparently there's usually a large queue outside, but there wasn't this time so we just walked straight in. 

Meatliquor London Restaurant Review
I really loved my MEATLiquor burger and cocktail, but in future I wouldn't bother with the fries, the burger filled me up enough anyway. It's a great burger restaurant though, as I find many decent burger joints are just over-size takeaway places who don't have enough seating, MEATLiquor isn't like that, it's big enough for far more people than other gourmet burger places.

Definitely head down if you're a fan of burgers and hot dogs - the guys next to us had hot dogs and they looked mouthwateringly good!