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Thursday
Jul122012

Koffman's

My trip to Koffman's was an unusual one for me. Unlike my normal meticulous researching of everywhere I intend to dine, for Koffman's I did nothing and thus showed up with no knowledge of the place, or the Chef whose name it bears. Perhaps this is was because I didn't think it would be particularly interesting, ( fancy hotel, famous chef - standard for London, I'm much more interested in places like Pitt Cue or Dabbous with a bit more personality), or more likely I'm getting lazy. The only reason The Boyfriend and I ended up there on a Monday night was because, six months or so ago at a charity function auction The Boyfriend had bid on a dinner for two.

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Friday
Jun152012

Admiral Codrington

 

There was one reason, and one reason alone that I went to the Admiral Codrington and that was The Chuck Wagon. An amazing combination of bacon infused cheese, and breaded fried burger. Reading about it here, I ended up salivating onto my iPhone, making it difficult to call The Boyfriend and yell down the phone that I had to go to the Admiral Codrington right now. Obviously, that didn't happen, but three days later we ended up at this oh so hyped-pub.

 

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Tuesday
Jun122012

Di Paolo - Gerrards Cross

To find out that Trip Advisor's No. 1 restaurant in the South East was literally up the street from my parents house in Gerrards Cross, was confusing as well as intriguing. Gerrards Cross has a collection of restaurants ranging from the supremely bad to the very mediocre, so the arrival of Di Paolo,  a restaurant that had beat the Fat Duck, the Waterside Inn and even the famed Dabbous to the number one spot, turning up in the town, was an interesting turn of events. 

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Thursday
May312012

French Bubbles

I'm not sure how French Bubbles opened without me knowing. I normally keep a firm eye on Hot Dinners New and Coming Soon section, and pay specially attention to restaurants opening in the neighbourhood, Covent Garden. And yet somehow, within the past couple of months (I assume it was that recently but to be honest I have absolutely no idea when it did actually open and I can only hope that it hasn't been here for all of the two years The Boyfriend and I have been here), a casual cheese and wine shop opened within a five minute walk of the house.

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Saturday
May262012

Top 10 for Sunshine Drinking

Inspired by the past five days of sunshine we had last week, which I'm praying will return and continue indefinitely here is my list of top places to soak up sunshine and alcohol. In no particular order...

 

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Saturday
May052012

Beginner Wine Course at Wine Spirit Educational Trust

This post is long overdue. Its been at least six months since I received my Level 1 in Wine certificate from the WSET, and six and a half months since I've been far more confident with wine lists. Up until that day I showed up for the first of three evening classes in London Bridge, I knew next to nothing about wine lists.

I maintain this isn't entirely my fault. Knowledge of wine is built up over time, and I'm still in the "Early Twenties" category. Being female doesn't help, despite a decrease in wine menu sexism, more times than not the wine menu is handed to The Boyfriend. Part of it of course is my fault, pronouncing " House white", is much easier than "Les Forêts"(Note:lay for ay), when you know nothing about French and I should pay more attention when wine is ordered for me.

Thee beginner class is aimed for poeple like me - those who point randomly at the menu rather than attempting to pronounce something, or those whose first question is the waiter/sommelier is "what do you think?" and then agree immediately at the first suggestions regardless of price. Or those who throw the wine list at their dining companions like its a ticking time bomb.

Its basic, and comforting to be surrounded by those who are equally clueless. In fact its encouraging. When smelling and drinking the wine its lovely to not be the only person calling out "But I can't smell the blackcurrents I can only smell roses", instead the 18 or so other people who were on the course would pitch in "Fabreeze! its just like Fabreeze", "I'm tasting rice pudding! or " Eugh why does it taste like dust?!". It made the whole thing a lot more fun.

Each week we tasted wines, and on the last week we sat a thirty minute multiple choice test. The first week was on the principals of wine and wine tasting, the second on food and wine matching, and the third on responsible drinking along with our exam. There was a tiny bit of homework, but it wasn't compulsory and didn't take more than 15 or so minutes.

It was, as I said, basic, but left me with helpful tips for future wine drinking (Example: if your eating Italian food, order Italian Wine. Obvious maybe, but something I'd never really thought about before), and has left me a lot more confident with a wine menu. I'd love to go back for round two, the intermediate course, and will once I get the chance.

The Beginner Course in Wine costs £140. More information is available on their website.

Thursday
May032012

Meatmarket

 

As a child growing up in deepest darkest Ohio theres probably two foods that define my childhood more than any other - funnel cakes and corn dogs. Both sold almost exclusively at Sea World or Six flags - ie. the best places in the world. This means that they were exclusive, special and eaten on the some of the most enjoyable days of each year. They're also completely ignored outside of the culinary haven that is the Mid-West, so when I discovered that MeatMarket (aka the new MeatLiquor) was serving corn dogs the only thing that could have made me happier was if funnel cakes miraculously appeared on the menu too.

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Wednesday
Apr252012

Aurelia

 

It's no secret that I love La Petite Maison, Il Baretto,  Roka and Zuma. Whilst the combination may seem random they all have one thing in common - Arjun Waney as a backer. The man has something of a Midas Touch when it comes to restaurant, all have great food, lively atmosphere and attentive service (aside from Il Baretto). It is sad that there is not that many restaurants in London I can say the same about. Aurelia is the fifth to join the crew in London, elsewhere Zumas and LPMs are popping up everywhere, so its nice his attention is back to the capital.

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Sunday
Apr222012

Cut at 45 Park Lane - The best value steak in London?

When newspaper critics review restaurants I always take their price guide with a pinch of salt. The reviewers, normally eat three courses, rarely order the wines at the cheap end of the scale, and rarely do the cost-benefit analysis many dinners do when they look at a menu. The cost of Cut is pretty expensive according to the papers, at an average of £130 (The Independent + Guardian). On the face of it this makes Cut more expensive than dining at Le Gavroche. So when The Sibling's family birthday dinner at Cut, came out at incredibly good value, it was a bit surprising, in fact I think it might have involved the best value steak in London. 

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Friday
Apr202012

Machiavelli - Round 2

 

Its been a while since I wrote about Machiavelli, odd given of all the restaurants I frequent in London, Machiavelli without a doubt feeds me the most. I go on average a couple of times a week - if I'm getting takeaway for lunch, for a mid week dinner with a friend, or if The Boyfriend and I fail to get brunch on the weekend and end up starving and in desperate need of food.

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