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Tuesday
Jan242012

Hand and Flowers - Worth a detour



"Excellent cuisine, worth a detour"- that's what two of those red stars in the Michelin guide actually mean. And yet I would imagine most people, headed to the Hand and Flowers in Marlow, were actually going under the three star guise of "deserves a special journey". I certainly was when I visited last Saturday. My reluctance to travel for food was over thrown by the undisputed appeal of the infamous eatery - the first pub to receive the two star accolade and a lunch menu that's as competitive as the average pub down the street.The set lunch menu,  is a bargain at £15 for two courses but involves no choices, so a fussy eater would be thrown on to the a la carte - not such bad thing, as its also incredibly reasonably priced. Its nice to see that the doubling of stars, hasn't meant similar price increases.

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Tuesday
Jan242012

The 10 Cases

Wine bar. Constantly changing wines and seasonal food. Reasonable prices. Interesting menu. Two minute walk from The Boyfriend's apartment. Why it took me at least four months to walk those two minutes, and take a seat at on of The 10 cases six or so stools I don't know. Maybe because despite the interesting concept,  they never buy more than 10 cases to ensure a consist turnover of offerings, 10 cases just didn't seem that interesting. 

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Tuesday
Jan172012

Winter Wonderland at the Berkeley

1)  How much would you have to be paid to sit outside in the middle of winter to watch a film?
2) Or would you actually pay for the privilege? 
3) If so, how much would you pay to watch a movie outside in the middle of winter that you've already seen before?
4) How much would you pay if it is Bridget Jones' Diary Two? 
5)  Are we back to question 1?
Well, the good people of The Berkeley Hotel are banking on the fact that you will answer yes to questions 2, 3, 4 and that your price will be £55 a head. Last Sunday The Boyfriend and I said yes, and visited their "Winter Wonderland". 

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Sunday
Jan082012

Automat  -


The Boyfriend and I have a bit of a tradition, its a relatively new tradition tradition but still , of getting a long drawn out boozy lunch on New Year's Eve. Over Bob Bob Ricard, last year's location, we were in search of some other relaxed, moderately priced, cool restaurant.  This year it was Automat an upmarket diner in the heart of Mayfair - a restaurant that has been on my eat list ever since I heard about their Truffle Mac and Cheese and the invite only club downstairs

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Sunday
Jan082012

Two and a half days in Marrakech



Where we stayed.... Riad Aguarzame 


I have something to confess. I am an addict - a trip advisor addict. I cannot stay anywhere unless it has been thoroughly researched on Tripadvisor. Only if the good people of trip advisor like it. Most of the time so will I. That is how I found Riad Aguarzame - not the most beautiful of all the Riads in Marrakech, but not exactly bad looking - it was service that set it apart. Weirdly, I had failed to do any proper research for our short trip to Marrakech - normally I like to have a schedule, restaurants booked and maps printed but with Marrakech everything was so overwhelming all my good intentions fell by the wayside. 

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Thursday
Dec292011

Where to eat in St Foy en Tarentaise

 Having visited St Foy every year for the past decade and suddenly realising that there was absolutely no literature about where to eat in this rapidly expanding town - it was time to make the ultimate guide on where to dine. Please note - all prices for dinner are estimates and include significant amounts of alcohol and that bookings in high seasons are a good idea - think a couple of months in advance for La Colonnes or a year in advance for New Years Eve.

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Wednesday
Dec142011

The Balcon - As chic as Chanel?

Thistime last year, The Boyfriend and I headed to Brasserie Roux, as apre-Nutcracker pit stop, and ate a selection of rather uninspiring food intheir grand but empty dining room. This time, we headed back to visit their newversion – The Balcon, as a pre-Nutcracker pit stop and found it to be a verydifferent experience. They've clearly tried to make the place cool - it'sinspired by "Coco Chanel's 1920's Paris apartment". Theyare possibly under the misguided view that if they throw the words "CocoChanel" in a restaurant blurb, the place will automatically become the new"scene" place. Last time I checked Ms. Chanel was known for the2.55, the LBD and tweed suits but not her interior design skills.

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Wednesday
Dec072011

Da Mario- a neighbourhood find

 


Good neighbourhood restaurants aren't easy to find at the best of times. In Central London, its a bloody nightmare. In Covent Garden I assumed it wouldn't be possible. Surprisingly, I found one.  Da Mario is an unassuming little place, from the outside and from the inside, but with an almost perfect Urbanspoon rating, it seemed to be worth a shot. 

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Wednesday
Dec072011

Delaunay- a formula that works



The Wolseley, in my opinion, is a flawless restaurant. I love the nostalgic air the place has, the never-misses-a-beat service, the old school charm, the well executed dishes and the beautiful dining room.  There is something about it that puts me into a PG Wodehouse frame of mind. Amazing, given in fact this is actually a young restaurant. 

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Monday
Nov282011

St Moritz - Where a fondue is a fondue

Last Tuesday, The Boyfriend and I, attempted to go to MeatLiquor, only to find out they had run out of hamburgers. How this happens in a restaurant dedicated to burgers, I'm not sure. Disappointed, freezing and starving, we headed to Soho, hoping to head to one of the many great reservation-less restaurants. Instead of heading to our usual haunts (Princi, Barrafina, Polpetto etc.) we ended up at St. Moritz, a place I'd wandered past at least a dozen or so times and always been intrigued by . It turned out to be the solution to all our problems that night. For just over an hour we left London and ended up in Switzerland, in a kitsch, rustic chalet. Everything, seemed authentically swiss including the music, but thankfully not the wine.

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