21 August 2014

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Blog Reviews from Why waste annual leave?


Foreign Lands, Fine Food, London Landmarks & Married Life.

  1. Just a few weeks ago, when I heard about this chocolate afternoon tea, created in conjunction with top British chocolatier, Paul A Young, it was not a question of whether to go – it was just a question of when. How fortunate then that my good friend (and fellow chocoholic) had a birthday falling just in time. Tea, cake and birthdays – a decade on and still a winning formula. In the open, airy and relaxed lounge environment of the Park Room, Grosvenor House, large windows treated us to sunny views of Hyde Park. The staff were genuine, attentive and efficient. No pushy turnaround times and the mention of my friend’s birthday did not go unnoticed. Various menus were available but today, we were all about the chocolate. There were a range of teas on offer but neither of us glanced at them after spotting the Madagascan cocoa nibs specialty tea. A fountain of crushed cacao beans infused in water gave an exquisite and explosive lingering, cocoa aroma – nothing short of a delight to the gullet. I drank the entire pot. Oh yes I did...

  2. Left to my own devices, I may not have made it to this exorbitantly lavish 3 Michelin star meal. It would have been an insurmountable challenge to see out the meal without wondering which flights I could book for the same price. Fortunately for my tastebuds, on this particular day, the weighing up of opportunity costs was snatched from my hands after my sister declared that she wanted to go to Restaurant Gordon Ramsayfor her birthday. And who am I to disappoint? Sat alone at the table (having turned up early for the first time in my life), I re-hydrated with a passion fruit nectar from France. This was the most delicious passion concoction since the fresh juice I guzzled by the gallon on honeymoon in Zanzibar...

  3. We are living our Argentinean dreams vicariously through Cau, a new restaurant on the vibrantly saturated Blackheath dining scene – a Buenos Aires culinary experience with only 3 branches in the country, one of which is near my marital home and the other near my childhood parental home – is this some kind of sign? The issue, however, is this. The name is by no means cryptic. Cau is wordplay on cow and given that neither of us eat beef, we were concerned about whether we would have any place being in an establishment like this or indeed whether we would even be allowed through the doors. Reassuringly, a quick sweep of the website starts to tickle the tastebuds and we spot many items we can eat in amongst the cow options for the rest of you! We also spot a small-plate tapas –style option. This proves ideal – it is only the 1st week of January and we are entering the post-Christmas “healthy” eating phase of the new year...

  4. I’ve only eaten at one Gordon Ramsay establishment before – this was a set menu lunch at Maze a few years ago and I remember feeling decidedly underwhelmed. Petrus, however, had been highly recommended so we decided to treat ourselves. The service was faultless – all the attention and precision that one anticipates with a Michelin starred establishment but without any of the pretence or intrusiveness that really gets my goat. There’s nothing I hate more than being watched the whole time while I try to kick back and relax! The food was impeccable with a seemingly endless number of courses– no matter how many you mentally account for, bonus treats always seem to turn up. I’ve only photographed desserts (you’ll have to remember this was in my pre-blogging days) but a baked Alaska is something I have always wanted to try and where better to start than here – the perfectly chewy but crispy meringue combined with the cold creamy ice cream was a delicious explosion of textures, temperatures and tastes in the mouth but I had serious dessert envy...