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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Casino Royale Night at Tramp.


Tramp is one of the most famous nightclubs in London. As soon as I told my mum I was going to a party there she instantly told me about how in the eighties Tramp and Annabel's were the private members nightclubs where all the stars went. A London institution, it's the place where Princess Anne danced the night away in her youth, and where Joan Collins and Liza Minelli both had their wedding receptions. Michael Caine claimed to frequent Tramp every night in the seventies, and Keith Moon from The Who even danced naked there....and no one batted an eyelid.

That's what Tramp is most famous for; being a place where celebrities could let loose without worrying about being photographed or kicked out or judged. With it's impressive frescoed ceilings, wooden paneling and chandeliers, it looks like one of our normal private members clubs but with a twist. There's a dance floor and a DJ booth in the middle. 



The theme for the night was 'James Bond/Casino Royale', so the girls and I got all dressed up and headed down to Jermyn Street to meet Kiran. Tramp is located right behind/under Fortnum & Mason, and as you descend down the stairs, past glass cases of Cartier jewellery, the history of the club seems to envelope you as you're welcomed in to the den of hedonistic excess. 


The champagne flowed (mainly as it was cheaper than anything else - a single G&T was £17), and the music pumped. There was a casino table in the centre of the restaurant and bar, with people crowded around. The entire place was packed...on a Tuesday night. 







I left at a time suitable for a school night, around midnight, and after taking a couple of quick end-of-the-night outfit selfie at ROSL, I headed home to bed, and found Dylan fast asleep wrapped up in his blanket with his red dog. My parents spoil him far too much. I took a photo of him and then he promptly woke up, and leaped towards me to give me a great big sloppy lick, his tail wagging furiously.

H&M dress / Primark limited edition lace heels / Old clutch




A fabulous evening in a very special place, I feel very lucky to have partied in such an institution. Also, can you believe that after months of no clubbing posts, I've posted two in less than a week!

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Chai Wu at Harrods.


I spent the whole of Monday really looking forward to a nice relaxing evening at home, then Henry messaged asking if I was free to review Chai Wu with him. He knows I can't resist Chinese food, so naturally I said yes almost immediately, despite the fact I didn't have my camera with me, so apologies in advance for phone photos.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods Sashimi


Chai Wu only opened last week on the fifth floor of Harrods, it was interesting to dine here as it was only last month I was dining in Harrods' basement pop-up, Stelle di Stelle.

The idea behind Chai Wu was to create a modern Chinese restaurant that will bring fine dining to the famous department store, who's usual offerings are designed for families and those just stopping to grab a bite to eat inbetween shopping for Chanel handbags. Similar to Stelle di Stelle, this is more of a destination dining experience rather than a spontaneous late lunch.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods


The restaurant is nestled amongst the mens sportswear, and if it wasn't for the window I was sat opposite, looking out over it all, I would never have known. The restaurant feels very separate to the store, it doesn't feel as though you're in Harrods at all until you glance out of the wooden window and spy women forcing their partners into buying clothes they don't want.

I arrived on-time, and as usual, Henry was running five minutes late from a boozy lunch. Boozy Henry arrived and we did our usual forceful high-five and loud 'HOLA/Bonjours', much to the horror of the staff. I'd already ordered a cocktail before he'd arrived, the Passionfruit Kiss, however I never got to taste it as it never arrived.

Henry ordered a cocktail and it arrived a few minutes later, so we just shared it (again, much to the horror of the staff) as mine had seemingly got lost along the way. We perused the menu and everything looked pretty amazing, but we weren't sure what to go for so asked the staff to bring us what they thought we ought to try. I'm not sure if this was a blessing or a huge mistake, as what proceeded can only be described as a very satisfactory gluttonous feast.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods Interior


We started with venison puffs which reminded me very much of Hakkasan's, aka, delicious.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods venison puffs


Then we moved on to the impressive, or as Henry called it, melodramatic, sashimi. Just look at it!

Chai Wu Harrods sashimi


After being spoiled rotten with the incredible sashimi, we then tucked into the dim sum platter. Prawns, scallops, caviar, truffle...it was a fine dining sensation.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods Dim Sum Platter


After the tasty seafood came cocktails (the cocktail menu is pretty good) and even more tasty seafood, this time in the form of sushi. And what sushi it was. I devoured far too many pieces and by this time was well and truly full. 

Chai Wu Harrods Lobster and Caviar Sushi Rolls

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods cocktails



But then the main courses arrived.

Duck Salad and Sea Bass. I picked at these as my belly felt as though it would burst, and also, I really really wanted to save space for dessert. I had my eye on their chocolate sphere.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods duck salad

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods sea bass



At 7:50pm the waitress informed us that she needed our dessert order as they had to close at 8pm. Erm, what. A restaurant closing...at 8pm...eight. pee. em. Ok, fair enough, we ordered the chocolate sphere and finished our cocktails. The sphere arrived and dramatically the chocolate melted away before our eyes to present a moreish gigantic scoop of vanilla ice-cream. The warm chocolate melted into the ice-cream and we tucked in despite our bodies telling us desperately to stop.

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods chocolate sphere dessert

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods chocolate sphere dessert

Chai Wu Chinese Restaurant Harrods chocolate sphere dessert





Overall the staff were delightful and the food was sublime, and whilst I had entered the restaurant ravenous and ready to eat a horse, I left completely beaten and on cloud nine from such a wonderful culinary experience. If you make sure you sit facing away from the window, dining at Chai Wu is a must for those who enjoy high-quality Chinese food. We left holding our bellies and wondering, what the dickens had happened to my passionfruit cocktail?! 

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*We received our meal complimentary in return for Henry's journalistic talents. As always my views, and his, remain horrifyingly truthful.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Sake no Hana Umai Saturdays.


Sake no Hana is one of my favourite restaurants to go to with friends. While sister-restaurant Hakkasan is all moody and atmospheric, Sake no Hana is full of light and space, and it's also right opposite the club so I can just run across the road from one to the other. The food is exceptional, and it's just a really cool place to go for food or even just for drinks. I first blogged about Sake no Hana in 2012 (see here), and also posted about attending a Sake Class there in 2013 (see here)

Sake no Hana lunch


This weekend I went along with the girls to experience their new Umai Saturdays, a lunchtime experience which allows you to share a number of dishes at a more accessible price point than usual. For £37 you get five courses with two matching sakes, one of which is a favourite of mine, Mio, a gorgeous sparkling sake that tastes a little like sparkling fruit juice (aka, it's very drinkable). 

Sake no Hana Umai Saturdays

Mio Sparkling Sake at Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana Umai Saturdays menu



The restaurant was absolutely packed, and we even bumped into the lovely Angie and Ashleigh! After a quick catch-up we parted ways and all took ours seats, and the fun began. We started with a lovely light White Miso Soup with wild mushrooms.

Sake no Hana white miso soup umai saturdays

We then moved on to my favourite course of the whole lunch, thinly sliced sea bass sashimi with a chilli, citrusy dressing and topped with crispy fried leak, and succulent seared rib-eye beef with a sesame and wasabi sauce. Both of these dishes just made my tastebuds zing and tingle. 

Sake no Hana seabass sashimi umai saturdays

sake no hana beef



Then it was time for the sushi. I don't eat salmon so the girls shared my salmon sushi between them, but the Spicy Tuna Maki and Spicy Pepper Maki were delicious! The Tuna was a little too spicy for me, so three rolls was the perfect amount, but I could have easily eaten an entire plate of the Pepper Maki!

sake no hana sushi rolls umai saturdays



Finally we had our main courses. We ordered pawn tempura, the char-grilled salmon, and the Sukiyaki to share between us all. They all arrived and we all looked at each other with our mouths hanging, it looked sensational! 

Because the Japanese love odd numbers, the prawn tempura came with three pieces...but there were four of us. This is the one thing I dislike about Japanese restaurants, they always bring things in threes, not even in fives, so it always means that someone misses out on trying something. I felt awful and really disrespectful, but asked for an extra prawn so we could all try one, and they very kindly brought us two more. It was definitely worth it, they were so meaty and light and just the perfect choice for a Saturday afternoon.

sake no hana prawn tempura umai saturdays

That's the great thing about this lunch, nothing is heavy, everything is so light and fresh that it doesn't fill you up to the point you feel sick. It fills you up to the point you think 'Oh, I'm full, but I've had just the right amount, I'm at the right feeling of full'. 

sake no hana char-grilled salmon umai saturdays



I was assured by the girls that the salmon was excellent, however the real showstopper was the Sukiyaki, a dish of sliced rib eye beef served with vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms. The dish is served on a hotplate at the table and topped with a huge ball of candy floss, the waiter then pours a hot sauce over the candy floss and it all dissolves into the dish. 

sake no hana Japanese sukiyaki GIF

The lid is then put back on and you wait 5 minutes while it all cooks. Then - ta-da! It's beautifully cooked and ready to dish out and eat...

sake no hana japanese sukiyaki


For dessert we had the Apple Tarte Tartin and the Sesame Pana Cotta. If there are two of you eating you get one dessert of your choice between you, if there are four of you you get two desserts - you can choose two of both or one of each like we did.

sake no hana japanese apple tarte tartin

sake no hana japanese sesame pana cotta


The Tarte Tatin was my favourite, it was quite sour but so moreish! The pana cotta had just a hint of sesame but it wasn't overpowering at all, a very refreshing option of you ate too much of the sushi earlier. The sorbet on top was probably my favourite part of the dessert, I just love sorbet!

sake no hana mayfair


sake no hana restaurant mayfair

We had such a lovely afternoon, and as it had been a while since we all caught up we spent the whole time in a world of our own giggling and chatting excitedly. I feel so bad for the people who were sitting around us! One of the loveliest lunches for a long time, and all of us left feeling very satisfied and happy. Thankfully as the club was just across the road, we hopped in my car and I dropped the girls home before heading home myself.

The rest of my evening was spent collapsed in front of the TV. A really delightful way to spend a Saturday. The girls and I can highly recommend Umai Saturdays, it's the perfect way for friends to gather and spend a few hours socializing and eating. You can reserve a table via Opentable, or email reservations@sakenohana.com

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*Our meal was complimentary, however as always this does not influence my views in any way.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Barts & Boujis.


It's been a while since I last had a night out, and even longer since I last blogged about one (see here for the last)! On Friday night the girls and I put on our dancing shoes and headed to South Ken for a night out, strictly girls only. We have quite a lot of gents in our friendship group, so it's very rare that us girlies go out by ourselves without them! 


We started with cocktails at Barts, who do the most insane cocktails ever, they're amazing. The Charleston Crumble and Jazz Singer are my favourites. The Charleston Crumble tastes like Rhubarb Crumble in a cocktail glass, and the Jazz Singer is basically a Pornstar Martini but with just vodka and no champagne (aka, it contains less calories). Bella and I are thinking of having another joint birthday party this year and maybe hiring it out, we just need to see how much it costs first :/ 

Barts Bar London Cocktails




Barts is a tiny little room hidden in an apartment building, with an eclectic style and myriad of unusual trinkets. It's very relaxed and you can either start there with cocktails before going to a club, or you can stay there the whole night! The music is brilliant, and it's just a nice chilled place to go. 

After cocktails half the group left as it was freeeezing cold and raining when we got outside (basically the perfect weather for a night in), so the five of us who were still up for dancing headed up the road to nightclub, Boujis. Thanks to The Pink Fox being amazing as always, we had our own table just for the five of us, with bottles of vodka and mixers to keep us up dancing. We love getting a table because it means we can put all our coats and bags there instead of the cloakroom, and we're guaranteed a seat for when our feet are sore! 

Boujis London

Boujis Nightclub London

Boujis London Belvedere Vodka

Boujis London girls night out

Boujis South Kensington




We had such a fun night! Sometimes you just need to put on some lipstick and high heels, go out with the girls and let your hair down. Sadly we didn't end up in VQ like usual, we were so tired we all just headed home after. 

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Healthy Living for 2015.


I eat out a lot. And I mean, a lot. Before my blog I used to eat out 2-3 times a week anyway just with friends, but these days I get quite a lot of opportunities with my blog to review restaurants and the like, so I end up eating out probably 4-5 times a week :/ naturally this equates to a very unhealthy diet. 

I try and balance my diet as best I can with organic Greek yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, a healthy salad for lunch, and reasonably healthy snacks inbetween (although I do have a penchant for crumpets and Pret's dark chocolate and sea salt). But lately I've noticed I've put on a bit of excess weight, which is probably down to over-indulging far too much over the festive period, but no doubt eating out so often doesn't exactly help. So when Legal & General asked me to have a think about how I'd like to make my 2015 healthier it really got me thinking.

With my holiday back to Australia in just eight weeks (how has it come around so quickly!?), I need to watch what I eat to make sure I can actually fit back into my bikinis and summer dresses. Plus, I don't want for me to get over there and for my friends to be all like 'bitch you gained weight, you're hella chubs now...' rather than 'zomg we've missed you so much!' because they would say that, I have no doubt about it.

So how am I gonna do this? Well. I'm going to make better choices when it comes to picking items off the menu. I have a tendency to go for meat, I love meat. But I also love fish and seafood, so I'm going to make a more conscious choice to go for the fish option instead of the meat. I'm also going to only have two courses instead of the usual three plus loads of bread and butter, and I'm going to cut down on the amount of cocktails I drink. Did you know a Long Island Iced Tea has 800 calories in just one glass!? One glass.

Last year I briefly tried juicing, but I really didn't like the fact it took out all the fibre from the fruit & veg, so as well as watching what I eat when eating out, I'm also going to be testing out the Nutribullet that Legal & General have kindly sent to me. The great thing about it is that rather than taking out the fibre it just mushes everything up so it's drinkable, skins, pips, stalks and all!

Exercise-wise I'm just going to continue what I started from the Kelloggs Campaign, kettlebells and walking. I did Yoga in 2014 for about six months during my lunch-breaks at work, and although I really enjoyed it, sadly I had to stop as work got so busy I wasn't always able to go.


Do you have any plans to live healthier in 2015?

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Fenchurch Seafood & Grill, London.


Last night Jasiminne and I went to 20 Fenchurch Street (aka, the Walkie Talkie building) to test out their new high-end-high-rise restaurant, Fenchurch Seafood & Grill. We'd been looking forward to it for weeks, with the latest London craze of restaurants with incredible views over the city, we wanted to see how the views compared to Heron Tower (Sushisamba and Duck & Waffle) and The Shard. 

Now, I haven't been very well lately. The past few weeks have flashed by in a haze of various antibiotics (the persistent cough that's caused my asthma to get worse has finally gone after four months) and being horribly sick. My body hates antibiotics, absolutely loathes them, and even now I've finished the final course, I'm still feeling the effects (hello constantly-starving-hungry-stomach-cramps). That coupled with a sickness bug means I haven't been out at all since NYE. Yep. It's been tough, I missed five birthday parties and brunches this past weekend, so to say I was excited about finally getting back to normal and eating out again is an understatement.

London Skygarden Fenchurch Street


After going through airport-like security, we zoomed up to the 35th floor of the Walkie Talkie, and entered into what looked like an airport terminal...but with much better views. Straight away the Shard is directly in front of you.

View of the shard from london skygarden


Sadly we couldn't go outside onto the balcony as it was closed - boo. But anyway, we took some snaps and wandered around before walking up the steps, past the garden, to the restaurant. The garden was....underwhelming. Maybe I've been spoiled, but I thought the gardens at Singapore's Changi airport were way more impressive (hello, their airport has a waterfall and a sunflower terrace!). It doesn't feel like you're in a public gardens, it feels as though you're surrounded by lots of plants in a London skyscraper.

view from london skygarden

Fenchurch Skygarden

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill


Anywho, we got to Fenchurch Seafood & Grill on the 37th floor and took our seats overlooking the front of the building. Oh. There's no view here? Nope. No view. The most expensive restaurant in the building and you don't get a view unless you sit on the right hand side of the restaurant. Disappointing or what. We looked at the menus and things started to look more positive. Their cocktail list looked awesome, but the wine list was even more impressive, not only did they have a Hungarian Tokaji wine on the list, they also had a Cape Mentelle Semillon Sauvignon (Aka, one of the best SSB's to come out of Australia).

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill Cape Mentelle wine

I instantly forgot about the cocktails and ordered a glass of Cape Mentelle while we perused the food menu. I ignored my sickly brain telling me to go for the lighter sea bass, and ordered the Loomswood duck breast. Jasiminne ordered two starters to come as mains - the scallops, and the salt-baked heritage beetroot. We chatted and gossiped while we waited for our food, when a gorgeous amuse bouche of venison tartar arrived.

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill venison tartare

It was so good Jasiminne asked to cancel her two starters and have it as a main, sadly they couldn't do that, so they kindly offered to make her an off-menu steak tartar instead. As the starters were on their way, we decided to eat them anyway.

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill scallops


The scallops were beautiful, although not as beautiful as the fresh ones I had at the Crab Shack a few months ago. The beetroot wasn't the best in the world.

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill duck


My duck with chicory tarte tatin was heavenly, tender, and full of flavour, but the portion was absolutely humongous. I could barely finish it all, and naturally I had to save space for pudding.

Jasiminne raved about her steak tartare, but once again the portion was far too big (although maybe our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs when it came to the starters).

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill steak tartare


As we were both so full we opted to share a dessert, the St Clements Posset. In-between mains and pudding a really refreshing palate cleanser arrived, which would actually have made a really delicious dessert! Passionfruit mousse. Oh. my. So so good.

Fenchurch Seafood and Grill st clements posset


The St Clements Posset was delicious, and the perfect ending to what was actually a very decent meal. The food was flawless, but sadly the view was lacking considering the price.

So, would I recommend eating here? Yes. You must go simply for the experience and to try the divine food.

Would I return? No. Probably not. I feel as though I've done it, and in future I'd like to try somewhere else, like City Social or one of the Shard restaurants.



Fenchurch Street Skygarden


The view from Skygarden is pretty spectacular, but it definitely isn't a garden, it doesn't feel like an escape, you very much feel as though you're in an airport terminal or city skyscraper. There's so much steel and glass everywhere. I do really want to visit in the daytime though, I think it might look less 'space-y' in the natural daylight.

If you want to visit the Skygardens in the daytime I think it's quite booked up, but you can always book in to the very reasonably priced Darwin Brasserie on the 36th floor as a good way to see the gardens with queuing. I've also heard the food there is excellent, too!

Have you been to the Skygarden yet? What do you think?

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