Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

Monday, 18 September 2017

Afternoon Tea in London at Barbecoa Piccadilly


Barbecoa Piccadilly London Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea at Barbecoa Piccadilly

It's no secret that I love English afternoon tea. I've had it quite a few times over the years. It had been quite a long time since my last one, and after all my trips in the last months, I finally made it to Barbecoa Piccadilly to sample their fare. That's the thing about proper English afternoon tea: It is not something to be had every week. It's a very indulgent meal that is worth every calorie.

Traditional English afternoon tea consists of a platter of finger sandwiches, scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream, a selection of tea cakes and pastries, and, of course, a fabulous selection of tea.

Afternoon tea originated in England, and it was a ritual for the upper classes back in the day. The tea was light, and it was served between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. To this date, many people around Britain cherish this old tradition with a twist. The difference is that nowadays, people have afternoon tea in hotels and restaurants and at home whereas it used to be served only in palaces and castles.

My ideal time is mid-late afternoon, which is the perfect time for an afternoon tea. After a busy Saturday in London, we stopped at Barbacoa in Piccadilly. This venue is conveniently located in the heart of London and is a beautiful space in which to relax and enjoy this very British tradition.

An afternoon tea ceremony should embrace style, and Barbecoa's afternoon tea has a nice feel to it. The very classy decor, gorgeous teapots, cups, saucers, cake forks and knives, sandwiches platter, elegant cakes, and tiered pastry stands make it an exquisite treat. Barbecoa offers both classic afternoon tea and Barbecoa afternoon tea. What is the difference? For Barbecoa afternoon tea, instead of the traditional sandwich platter, the staff members provide a sample of some of their savoury dishes. We ordered one of each for research purposes, obviously! They were nicely presented and very tasty.
Afternoon tea in London  at Barbecoa Piccadilly
Barbecoa Afternoon tea platter



The Barbecoa delightful savoury platter was filled with a Wagyu beef slider (miniature burger), a light and snappily crusted crab tart, Goat's Curd & Honeyed Almonds, and delicious croquette (love them!) served with kimchi mayo.
Afternoon Tea sandwich platter
The traditional sandwich platter, we had egg and cress with smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh cucumber, the very delicious coronation chicken, pastrami, and American mustard, which is always a winner in my books. The sandwiches were nice but not exceptional. The scones were served with the sandwiches, cakes, and pastries, so by the time we ate them, they were cold, which was a shame. Nevertheless, they were light and well-risen and had a golden-brown top. The jam had a soft consistency, bright colour, real fruit flavour and a light, spreadable texture. The clotted cream was thick, rich and fresh.
Afternoon tea,  Barbecoa Piccadilly, London
Afternoon tea at Barbecoa Piccadilly



Afternoon tea at Barbecoa Piccadilly
Afternoon tea at Barbecoa Piccadilly
The cakes and pastries were delectable! We had carrot cakes with walnut, canneles bordelais, Rhubbard custard tart, chocolate brownies, lemon meringue pie with a twist (brown butter and yuzu), vanilla creme fraiche, pana cotta with orange jelly, chocolate and salted caramel macaroon, and choux pastry filled pastry cream and apple. Quite a large spread!

The service was polite. Our waiter was Grace, who was very kind and helpful. Our teapots were replenished when we asked.
The location is excellent, and the menu is reasonably priced. We had the sparkling afternoon tea (J. Laurens Cremant du Limoux ‘Les Graimenous')  at £38 per person (September 2017). I didn't need to eat dinner that evening!

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Barbecoa Piccadilly
194 Piccadilly,
St. James’s,
London W1J 9EX


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Afternoon tea at Barbecoa Piccadilly


Disclosure: I was invited to review Barbecoa Piccadilly and was a guest at the restaurant. The views I present here are my own.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

kikkoman at SushiSamba London




The Kikkoman brand is famous for its slow fermented and complex soy sauce and now has a couple of new additions to its Teriyaki range. To celebrate the new range and its new website, food bloggers and journalists were invited to a special meal at SushiSamba in the iconic Heron Tower. The restaurant is located on the 38th Floor of the building which features truly breathtaking views of London.

The meal was a delightful combination of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian dishes created especially for the occasion by the head chef.
A unique sharing menu was seasoned with Kikkoman’s famed soy sauce, and, we got to taste the brand new additions to Kikkoman’s family of Teriyaki sauces. They are perfect to help reproduce some of the dishes at home and add a Japanese flair to barbeques at home.

We started the evening with a couple of cocktails which each had the addition of Kikkoman soy sauce in them.  Recently, thinking out of the box is a favourite theme of the food scene and using cupboard products in unusual ways is gaining momentum.

The new additions to Kikkoman's Teriyaki family are the BBQ Teriyaki sauce, Teriyaki sauce with roasted garlic and Teriyaki sauce with toasted sesame - all perfect for a marinade and quick sauces for BBQ to add that Japanese flair to your dishes. For those that are cutting down on gluten or are coeliac,  there's also gluten free teriyaki marinade.  No-one misses out on good flavour.

The meal at SushiSamba


Edamame and sea salt
Maiz Cancha lime spice ( corn)
Crispy Wagyu Taquitos with Avocado and shichimi mayo

Bolinhos de Bacalhau, cod, lime, shichimi togarashi mayo, aji Amarillo, purple Peruvian potato crisp

thanks Rosie handmodel @alusciousnes

Tuna Ceviche, pomegranate Leche de Tigre, Maiz Morado, wasabi peas, basil


Sushi


Assorted Nigiri: yellowtail, salmon, shrimp, aji panca, lotus
Soy-Marinated salmon (Ezo)
Tokyo Sky Tree: spicy bigeye tuna, tempura crunch, lotus root, aji panca spiced mayo


Robata


Poussin
Kikkoman soy teriyaki, Japanse-style mayo, Yuzu Kosho
Hamachi Kama, lime, soy sushoyu


Churrasco Rio Grande, rib eye, chorizo, waguy picanha, cassava flour, vinaigrette and Chimichurri paste.

sides: coconut rice with chives , Peruvian corn micro coriander

Dessert
Chocolate banana cake
maple butter, plantain chip, vanilla and rum ice cream


The evening was a great intro to the new Teriyaki sauces and also showcased the soy sauce in a new and innovative light.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Kikkoman at this event. All opinions  are my own.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

A luxury stay at One Aldwych, London



Being a tourist in the city where you live may sound strange, but it is, in fact, an enjoyable experience.  Seeing the sights with a fresh pair of eyes, spending time discovering new places and participating in activities that you otherwise wouldn't know or have a chance to do.

London is full of hidden gems. You might pass in front of a building and not even pay attention, even though it's in a very busy and touristic area.  Covent Garden is one of these places, lively, historic and peppered with theatres and the extravagant Royal Opera House. It's located on the border of the West End between St Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. A former fruit-and-vegetable market in the central square of the area, it's nowadays a popular shopping area and famous tourist stop.

One of the most distinguished places to stay in the area is One Aldwych, built in 1907 for The Morning Post Newspaper, it is one of the most important Edwardian buildings in London. Designed by successful Anglo-French architects, Mewes & Davis. It has about 15 theatres within walking distance and a plethora of shops and restaurants including the fantastic Eneko and Indigo, which are both parts of the hotel.  Other places within easy reach are famous art galleries such as the Tate Modern, Somerset House, National Gallery, and South Bank, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the city of London, the financial heart of the UK.

The lobby of the hotel is an indication of what to expect throughout the hotel. Gorgeous architecture, classy and sleek interiors and excellent service. One Aldwych has 105 guestrooms and suites. Two suites even come with their own private gyms!

The hotel houses two restaurants : see my reviews  Indigo and Eneko dinner and Eneko brunch.  Yes, you guessed I am a fan of this place!

Deluxe room at One Aldwych

My room had all the mod cons you would expect of a luxury 5-star boutique hotel.  It's so elegant!  The bath products were divine!  The bathroom featured a power shower and a beautiful bath with white orchids everywhere and the white fluffiest towels and robes ever! Don't' forget the powerful hairdryer - a paramount amenity for everyone.

The huge double bed was extremely comfortable with crisp white linen and fluffy pillows. My room came fully equipped with working wifi, Samsung televisions, plenty of lights scattered around the room, digital-on-demand in-room entertainment & a CD player, with B&O sound speakers. The bathroom was great with shower and bath very swish decor. The toiletries were  amazing!  I had everything I needed in my deluxe room.


 



Breakfast can be served at the Indigo or room service - they make sure you don;t miss out on anything!

room service at One Aldwych
Breakfast in my room at One Aldwych

The room service was excellent and very elegantly presented. I choose the English cooked breakfast. It was very tasty and look at the colour of those eggs!
I also took the time to go to the theatre just a 3-minute walk from the hotel, a perfect stay in London!
a drink at the exclusive guest bar at One Aldwych

One Aldwych has a magnificent pool, an 18-metre chlorine-free swimming pool with underwater music as well as a steam room and sauna. The fully equipped is available 24 hours a day and is stocked with Technogym equipment for all you gym bunnies. Personal trainers are available by appointment.
@onealwdych

 A small video to show the room and a bit of the One Aldwych


For rates and exclusive offers head to onealdwych.com 
1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
 
A perfect stay in Central London!

Disclosure: I was a guest of One Aldwych for review purpose. All views are my own.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Champagne + Fromage, melting Camembert in Brixton

melting Camembert at Champagne + Fromage ©Rosana_McPhee

Champagne is, in essence, a sparkling wine from the Champagne area in France. These fine wines are produced from grapes from the region and under the strict rules and regulations of the appellation, which includes secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, the much-loved bubbles.

Lately, I have been trying some delicious Champagne and food pairing. My latest champagne adventure was at my local  Champagne + Fromage in Brixton. They have a new addition to their menu that features melting Camembert with different and exciting toppings, each one paired with various champagnes.  Their champagne cellar contains only bottles from small growers, and family run businesses who produce limited and small quantities of quality champagne with great care.

Some of the baked Camembert we tried






Montbelliard sausage and wholegrain mustard baked camembert, mixed leaf salad and new potatoes.  Corsican Ham & Red Pepper Jam, The Pesto & Tomato is very popular with the Italians

Other options are Garlic & Herb, Figs & Thyme, Basil & Sun Dried Tomatoes and Truffle all paired with champagne - they have all the pairings sorted, so you don't have to!  With about 17  different toppings - 3 sweets and 14 savouries, the menu rotates regularly, so you have interesting choices every time you visit it.






Champagne+Fromage serve excellent charcuterie and cheese boards with all the trimmings and for the brave  - Like me! - Escargots with herb and garlic butter- It was the perfect meal.  Despite the unusual pairing, the acidity fo the champagne cuts through the fat of cheese making the perfect match!
Homemade Fondant Au Chocolat ©Rosana_McPhee

We finished lunch with a great and gooey Homemade Fondant Au Chocolat and an espresso.

This new Camembert menu is a great  comforting addition to their repertoire. Worth a try.

Please ask permission to use the images - thanks
Disclosure: I was a guest of Champagne+Fromage. All views are my own.

Friday, 21 April 2017

NOLA inspired food at The King & Co


Po'Boys


It's no secret that one of my top wanderlust places to visit is New Orleans, so the invitation to taste some NOLA inspired food was very welcomed by yours truly. The King & Co is a local pub near where I live, in the boarders of Brixton and Clapham. 

The kitchen is often taken over by different chefs and cuisines. This April & May the kitchen has been taken over by Division 194 with a menu inspired by New Orleans dishes. Running daily, the pop-up showcases the trader’s tempting NOLA snacks & generously-stuffed Po’ Boy sandwiches using quality British ingredients, as well as a brand new Saturday brunch specials &  Sunday roast with all trimmings. 

Po'Boys are a traditional sandwich from Louisiana. It always consists of meat, which is usually sloppy roast beef or fried seafood which can include shrimp, crawfish, oysters and crab. The meat is served on a baguette-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust and fluffy centre. It's said the Po'Boy  was created in New Orleans in 1929 to feed striking tram workers.

Our tasting of NOLA in London


We started with a delicious trio of NOLA-style starters:


Deville Burford Brown egg and popped pig skin - this dish is such a delectable combination of textures and tastes.


Cauliflower cheese bombs  were remarkable & smoked chilli ketchup was my favourite sauce/dip of the night.  



 Finger licking buttermilk-fried chicken nuggets & a very tasty aioli



Followed by delicious crisp and sticky Chicken Wings confit'd in duck fat, fried until crisp, tossed in pickled chilli butter and served with blue cheese dip,

The Po'Boys

Po'Boys

Beef shin ‘debris and bone marrow gravy sandwich and the NOLA-style shrimp were both were tasty, superbly generous filled and very nourish.

The drinks choice on the night was a pub tap takeover from  Berkshire-based Siren Craft Brew (sirencraftbrew.com). It was a brilliant and diverse array of beers.
Some of the beers we sampled:
Cask:
Broken dream - breakfast stout - hints of coffee and cocoa beans
Half Mast QIPA - tasted like a boozy squash - light
Keg Beers:
Soundwave , west coast IPA - soft and light - perfect for beginners  quite elegant - great for non-beer drinkers.
Yu Lu, loose leaf pale ale, Sour  and tea-like after taste.
Undercurrent , oatmeal plae ale  we had that with our starters - toasty taste
Ryesing Tides, Rye IPA - we had this with  chicken wings  - it has a sweet liquor  taste.
Bourbon Milkshake, Imperial Bourbon milk stout -  it went down very well with dessert.
Acid Jam, Imperial Kettle sour blend, smooth and sour  easy drinking.
Maiden, aged barley wine - wine / light beer type of drink. -  quite high in alcohol 11.6%

Dessert was a decadent and rich 72% chocolate mousse, salted peanut praline, creme fraiche  - Delicious!
Division_194  will be serving fabulous food at King & Co until the 4th June 2017.

 More at thekingandco.uk and at division194.com

Disclosure: I was a guest at this dinner. All views are my own.
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