Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurant. Show all posts

Sunday, 12 March 2017

London, Northbank revisited


It's been almost two years to the day from my first proper meal at Northbank in London. I remember it so well. It was a great meal with lovely company.

This year, we (CookSister and I) went along to try their new menu from Head Chef John Harrison, who is originally from Lancashire. John took up residence at the end of last year. He is a classically trained chef and has worked in many prominent places in and around London.

John's repertoire is mainly modern British with traditional French influences, and we learned that his favourite ingredient is crab. If you have never been to Northbank, you are missing out on great views of iconic London architecture and fantastic food. Northbank is ideally located on the north side of the Thames by the Millenium Bridge. A stone's throw from the City of London, it overlooks South Bank Shakespeare's Globe, and it has magnificent views of the Shard. Not bad, hey?

Northbank is celebrating ten years in business this year. The owner, Christian Butler (ex-Adam Street and Baltic) is from Cornwall, and the menu is created around the Cornish fishing influence and displaying ingredients from Christian's hometown of Falmouth and surrounding areas. Fresh fish is delivered daily from boats off the Cornish coast straight to Northbank.

On the evening visited, the service was very charming. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly. The bar is well stocked, and we had a creative and a classic drink to start with. Mine was a Manhattan!

The next time you are strolling by the Thames and fancy a drink or two and a delicious meal, stop by Northbank; you won't be disappointed.


The Dinner at Northbank

Soft and pillowy Blini topped lemony smoked salmon pate - Full of flavour

Roasted Scallops and Enoki Mushrooms with Truffle Butter and Tarragon
 Roasted Scallops and Enoki Mushrooms with Truffle Butter and Tarragon - the scallops were quite big and cooked to perfection with a crunchy topping - lots of textures - love it!

Truro Black Pudding with Crispy Duck Egg Yolk, Potato and Mustard Mousse

Truro Black Pudding with Crispy Duck Egg Yolk, Potato and Mustard Mousse  - what a fantastic choice by Cooksister! and beautifully presented and tasty!

Braised Cornish Lamb Neck with Crisp Sweetbreads
Braised Cornish Lamb Neck with Crisp Sweetbreads and Carrot, Pistachio Crumb  - another beautiful plate - the lamb was incredibly juicy and tender; sweetbreads were delicate, creamy morsels with a crisp case. The pistachio crumb was a nice touch! 

Lemon Sole and Prawns with Glazed Mash and Slow Cooked Leeks

Lemon Sole and Prawns with Glazed Mash and Slow Cooked Leeks -
Fresh light Sole, the prawns were excellent and plump - I love mash, and this one was terrific with the addition of leeks, so seasonal!

Cauliflower, Leek and Smoked Bacon Gratin - a special mention here: This side dish is fabulous!  Please try it and be amazed! Simple but sooo tasty!

West Country Cheese Slate with Fruit Chutney
  My choice: West Country Cheese Slate with Fruit Chutney, Water Crackers and Grapes - love cheeses and this platter didn't disappoint.
Rhubarb Crumble Soufflé with Poached Rhubarb and Custard

Rhubarb Crumble Soufflé with Poached Rhubarb and Custard - a  grand but delicate soufflé with a soft centre  rhubarb pieces and the silky custard was rather delectable.
Highly recommended!

One Paul’s Walk, London EC4V 3QH
t: 0044 (0) 20 7329 9299

Openings hours
Monday:  12pm–12am
Tuesday:  12pm–12am
Wednesday:  12pm–12am
Thursday:  12pm–12am
Friday:  12pm–12am
Saturday:  12pm–12am
Sunday - Closed

Disclosure: I was a guest of Northbank. All opinions  and words are my own.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Southern France, Vaucluse -Provence-Côtes du Rhône escapade

Orange - Provence


Orange is an agricultural commune in the Vaucluse Department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France in the heart of the Côtes du Rhone. A city of art and history, Orange is outstanding for its extraordinary historical culture.

On arrival, you can see the Roman heritage all over, with the Arch of Triumph (three arches) standing majestically over the city.
A stroll around the old town with its narrow streets, restored buildings, and ancient shady squares with water pumps make you feel relaxed and ready to get up-close to history.

The Ancient Roman Theatre in Orange
Part of UNESCO World Heritage is the famous Antique Theater built in the early days of Christianity. It is the only Roman theatre in Europe to have a well-preserved stage wall measuring 37 metres high and 107 metres long. Nowadays spectators attend various cultural events including operas and concerts. The day I visited they were preparing for a concert. It's open all year round.
Facebook: Le Theatre Antique d’Orange

Other places to visit in Orange: Musée d'Orange (ancient civilisation),
Colline St. Eutrope a pleasant walk up this hill which is rewarded by a panoramic view of the city.

Restaurant La Table du Verger 

A short drive from Orange is a delicious restaurant; La Table du Verger at Mas des Aigras. Sylvie and Chef Alain Davi are the owners of this former stone farmhouse snuggled in the green belt just outside Orange.
The restaurant is a hidden gem serving seasonal cuisine with fresh and mostly organic produce with a Provencal flair. Specialties: Scallops, light Aquitaine caviar cream, grilled slab of breaded bass with flax seeds, home-baked rose macaroon, and its lychee purée.

La Table du Verger at Mas des Aigras, dinner with neighbour winery

Restaurant La Table du Verger
Mas des Aigras, Chemin des Aigras, 84100 Piolenc
T. +33 (0)4 90 34 81 01

Sainte Cécile Les Vignes and e-bike ride through Côtes du Rhône Villages

Sainte Cécile Les Vignes, market day
20 minutes drive from Orange is Sainte Cécile Les Vignes, a charming Provençal town. The day I visited was market day in front of Mairie (Town Hall). I had a brilliant guide, Clémence from, who showed me around the market and guided the e-bike tour. The lively atmosphere and beautiful produce on sale made the adventure so unique.  I couldn't resist and bought some truffles* , lavender, spices, and local honey. If I could, I would have bought more, but by now my suitcase was too heavy!
* - remember that extra packing tip here (jar, rice and  kitchen towel) to transport the truffles

It was a bright sunny blue sky kind of a day, and after the market, I experienced one of the most remarkable activities on this trip, a 25 km e-bike cycling tour around Côtes du Rhône Villages. Riding through the little roads around olive groves, vineyards and lavender fields was very pleasing to the eye, and the different smells of the countryside flora was a delight on the nose.

Côtes du Rhône





Château des Quatre Filles

The first stop at Château des Quatre Filles wine estate in Sainte Cécile for wine tasting.

We paid a visit to local artisan Jacqueline Ducerf, an artist who works with ceramics and gold leaf to a very high demanding clientele both commercial and private.

Jacqueline Ducerf has been residing in Cairanne since September 2013, in a lovely house with magnificent views of the Laces Montmirail and Mont Ventoux. The house is her residence, workshop and exhibition venue. Jacqueline showed me her studio and new pieces she's been working on. She began her career running painting workshops for children, teens, and adults. The purpose of the workshops was to promote creativity and reinforce confidence.
work of Jacqueline Ducerf

Jacqueline Ducerf

Her primary business activity is the decoration of glass and porcelain, producing unique or small series (glasses, cups, plates), ornamented with patterns created by using precious metals, gold, platinum, bronze or colored chandeliers. 
Jacqueline is incredibly creative and enthusiastic about her work. It was a pleasure meeting her.

Jacqueline Ducerf
330 route d’Orange 84290 Cairanne
Tel: +33 (0) 6 87 03 02 32

Picnic at Domaine Rouge-Bleu and wine tasting
Domaine Rouge-Bleu
By now I was starving, but luckily our next stop was Domaine Rouge-Bleu for wine tasting and a picnic lunch overlooking the vineyard. Domaine Rouge-Bleu is also a very modern bed and breakfast in a secluded rural area of Rhone Valley.

Our picnic had all of the characteristics of Provencal table fare paired with
Domaine Rouge-Bleu wines. It was a well-deserved reward after so much cycling.

Domaine Rouge-Bleu
 Le Petit Alcyon, La Bouillon, 84290 Sainte-Cécile les Vignes
Tel: +33 (0) 7 61 00 47 92 –
FB: Domaine Rouge-Bleu

Lavender field on the way back to Sainte Cécile Les Vignes

Domaine de Cabasse

Last night of this adventure! Dinner and overnight took place at Domaine de Cabasse, wine estate, hotel, and restaurant, in the vineyards on the foothills of the village of Séguret.

I really enjoyed my stay here. The well-appointed room was clean and large; the bathroom was modern and spacious. My room overlooked the vineyard. It is a very peaceful location and a superb base to explore the surrounding areas, as well as the winery.

The last dinner in the Rhone was outside in the terrasse.

White asparagus soup - delightful creamy cold soup with truffle oil - excellent star for a balmy evening meal

Terrine de La Maison with onion confit - lovely coarsely chopped meatloaf  kind of pate this Terrine were served at room temperature. I really liked the texture and very well seasoned terrine.

Strawberry tart with vanilla ice cream and cocoa nibs. That was a very refreshing finish. I particularly liked the addition of cocoa nibs.

Domaine de Cabasse, wine estate

Domaine de Cabasse
Route de Sablet, 84110 Séguret
T. +33 (0)4 90 46 91 12 - -
Facebook: Domaine de Cabasse

How to get to Vaucluse, Provence
By train  from Paris to Avignon, Toulouse and Nîmes
For more information, destinations and costs:
Twitter : @voyagessncf_uk / FB :
 Instagram: @Voyagessncf #Voyagessncf

Marseille, Montpellier and Nîmes

More information on the region: 
Twitter: @ProvenceGuide / FB: Vaucluse Tourisme en Provence
The view of Village of Seguret from Domaine de Cabasse, wine estate

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Other related posts:

Planning your trip: Rhone Valley
Previous adventures: Southern France, Savour The Drome
                                    Southern France, food and wine adventure in the Ardeche
                                    Southern France, Experience the Gard

Disclosure: I was a guest of Vaucluse Tourisme on this final leg of the press trip. As usual, all views are my own.
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