On The Bab opened just after I stopped working in Covent Garden, which was unfortunate timing as I love a bit of Korean and always looking for a nice casual lunch spot that’s not too expensive. I wondered past yesterday and thought why not – a quick couple of snacks with my sis to keep us locked up til dinner.
In the past I’ve found the London Restaurant Festival a little overwhelming.. ridiculous I know but there’s so much going on, offers, events and tours and being someone who struggles with the smallest decisions, it all seemed too much. Until this year that is!
I was invited by the lovely Sheepa at Zomato (also of Food That Makes You Smile) to experience one of the restaurant tours that are arranged by the LRF, with the aim of #RestaurantHopping – experiencing a variety of venues with a small dish and a drink in each, around the same area. It’s a great way to go to places you may never have been, and tick 6 restaurants off the list in one night.
Set up as a result of a background in the catering business and a love of the Basque country, Donostia Social Club is the baby of Paul Belcher, and is a fab little street food van and events catering business, with a a more permanent site at Pop Brixton.
Having had a lovely meal at Covent Garden’s The Ivy Market Grill when it opened, I was keen to go back and try out more of the menu, and what better occasion than a Sunday? We booked at 12 which was unfortunately too late for the majority of the brunch menu, which stops at 11.30 (nice one Lesser), but there was still lots of good stuff to choose from, namely a very delicious Bloody Mary to kick off. Not as good as The Bloody Oyster a couple of weeks ago, but savoury and spicy, and exactly what I wanted.
There are always new bits and pieces popping up on the South Bank, Bleecker St Burgers is present and correct (thank God), the Snog bus is still there in all it’s highlighter-pink glory, but the best I’ve been to lately is The Bloody Oyster! Its a converted vintage double decker, crowd-funded to serve oysters, cocktails and bloody Marys to the wanderers of the South Bank, complete with old piano named Pearl. So far so hipster. But the quality of the ingredients, the friendliness of owners Ben and Ed and the general unpretentiousness of it all is incredibly lovely.
I’m actually not really a fan of mojitos, but following an excellent evening of making them myself courtesy of Havana Club and lifestyle blog Where’s Jack at their mojito masterclass, I can now make a pretty good one and will actually do so on a more regular basis!
Everyone likes a gin garden, and the one that’s popped up in Mayfair’s Quaglino’s is blooming marvellous (sorry). Full of beautiful flora and fauna it takes over the central bar in the impressive dining room giving it a summery and other-worldly feel, and is the first and pretty much only thing you notice.
Meat. It’s all about meat. Not life (well, sometimes) but in this unassuming basement on the Piccadilly side of Soho it is most definitely all about meat. I remember when Blacklock launched early this year, to a flurry of social media activity from the most respected food bloggers and Instagram stars. Although the hype has died down (a bit, not completely) they’re still always busy and for good reason. I’ve been a few times and this is a kind of mash-up of the various visits.
Having got married at the beginning of July (my excuse for recent blog-neglect), and following weeks of wedding obsession and constant attention to detail (not necessarily my forte), once it was over I was extremely pleased to down tools and head off to Italy. A 16 day extravaganza of hot sun, beautiful cities and beaches, and above all cheese, wine, pasta and anything else in sight that I could consume. Oh, and spending time with new hubby..
Spending the afternoon at Wimbledon is pretty high up on the list of things to do on a nice summer’s day that are somewhat more pleasant than being in the office. Luckily, I had the opportunity this week to have lunch at The Gatsby Club with the lovely folks at Compass and Restaurant Associates, and sample some of their fabulous offering.