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Entries in Outdoor Dining (9)


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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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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Canteen Covent Garden

Harrods,  nine "amazing" courses prepared by Thomas Keller, the six-michelin starred chef, widely regarded as the best in the world, for an impressive £250 a head. For many, that was the highlight of the year. For a ten day period London's foodies, and I'm sure the odd banker or two, enjoyed what many described as a once in life time experience. This was the pop-up to end all pop-ups. On the other side of town, The Boyfriend and I dined at a slightly less glamourous pop-up, in the oh-so exclusive Covent Garden, where we ate one course, at a cost of a £18 a head. Yes, The Boyfriend and I we were some of the hundreds of other people who called a little too late and thus will we be sentenced to dream about the meal we missed until the fanfare dies down. Given the reviews I'm not optimistic that this will be soon 

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Istanbul (4) - Park Samdan, Reina

Our dinner post Kanaat at Reina was less exciting. Reina is one of those places that it is good to see and be seen. Its in Ortakoy part of an upmarket strip of nightclubs and restaurants near the first bridge. The Boyfriend, his friends and guidebooks all seem to have a similar opinion on Reina – they love to hate it. They hate the occassionaly chavvy and over the top-ness of the place, the pretentiousness , overpriced drinks and service, and the crowds, the mix of gold-diggers, too old businessmen and tourists, and yet people, including The Boyfriend and his friends go there a lot... We visited on both a Monday and a Thursday and on both times the place was packed.

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Istanbul (1) - Zuma

So The Boyfriend and I had four days in Istanbul. For The Boyfriend this is no excitement, being an Istanbulli and all. For me this would be the highlight of my year. Now I know its pathetic to go all the way to Turkey to eat in a restaurant that I could technically eat in in London. I accept that. I judge myself. I judge others who do the same. Will I eventually end up as that person who leaves the UK and only eat in restaurants where they recognise the name? I hope not and I have a long list of reasons that attempt to justify heading to Zuma in Istanbul on one of our four nights. 

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Opera Tavern - Waiting for doom

How do you deal with the impending end of the world? Simple. You drink wine and eat cheese. Obviously we were on a limited time scale, with only one and a half hours till "Rapture", which put La Cave Du Fromage in South Ken out of the question and La Fromagerie too. So Opera Tavern it was.

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When I heard Laduree was opening in Covent Garden I almost jumped up and down. It was proof that God does listen to me when I ask for things.  So a Saturday or two after it opened, The Boyfriend and I rolled in to check it out.

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Coq D'argent

Finally Britain is warming up and so, The Boyfriend and I are determined to make the most of this weather by eating and drinking outside as much as possible. Sadly, London is a city that makes this a pretty difficult challenge. My list for outdoor restaurants is a small one; 
The Chelsea farmers Market - is the obvious place for sunny weekends, if you can be bothered to queue, but gets cold and quiet at night. The Boundary - again if you can face the queue, is a good option but really slows down past nine pm. 

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Often The Boyfriend goes to the office on Sunday mornings. Often The Boyfriend leaves his apartment devoid of any food. Often The Boyfriend loses his spare set of keys and sometimes, he accidentally locks the door as he leaves. This sometimes leaves, me starving stuck inside the apartment, with only juice or tea to provide calories. This is what happened on Sunday.

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