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

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Basque brunch at Eneko, London

Eneko at One Aldwych

Last year one of the best meals I ate was at Eneko by three Michelin-starred chef Eneko Atxa whose culinary inspiration comes from his hometown of Bilbao, with this in mind Chef Eneko has created one of London’s first and finest  Basque brunches.  Having just got back from the Basque Country myself, where I ate my weight in food and more, I was elated to sample more of this fabulous cuisine back home.  I loved Eneko the first time, read here,  but would I still love it the second time round?

It's an exciting menu with some of the dishes from the main menu and some new intriguing and stimulating dishes.  The kind of menu that makes you want to discover more and taste Basque cuisine.

The brunch menu at Eneko at One Aldwych is divided by four Basque culinary styles – Euskal Azoka (street food), Gallinero (eggs), Txoko (classics) and Asador (grill).

You can choose a la carte or tasting menu which consists of 5 dishes, tea and coffee at £50/head plus drinks.

We decided to go a la carte with three courses and bottle of delicious bottle of Cava Mas Macia from Penedes, a fresh, creamy and lively  Cava with intricate flavours of stone fruits, apple and some nutty, yeasty notes. Good acidity and a long, savoury finish.

The wine list is made up entirely by Spanish wines including four from Eneko’s family winery, Gorka Izagirre.

Food options are intended to be mixed, matched and share.  There's something for everyone. Brunch at Eneko at One Aldwych is available every weekend. Great way to spend with family and friends around the table, with good food, drinks, excellent and knowledgeable service.  The place is casual and yet elegant.

Our meal was delicious, and we lingered over the food not wanting the brunch ever to finish, but eventually it did.   Yes, I still love this place! 

Brunch at Eneko

Golden Mary / Spiced vodka, golden tomato juice, celery foam

 Oxtail on Milk Bread / Slow-cooked oxtail, Idiazabal cheese  and
Cerdito Caliente “Hot Hog” / Iberico ham, mushroom duxelle, Basque muffin

Egg Yolks Tempura - intense vegetable confit and the most incredible  bright yolk

Egg Yolks Tempura / Creamy potatoes, confit vegetables

Txuleta / Basque-style  juicy and tender prime rib of beef, excellent spring onion salad and skinny fries

Salted caramel mousse, cookie crumble - great textures every bit as delicious as the description!

Pineapple sorbet and foam, sweet celery ribbons - intriguing, refreshing and tasty

Saturday 11.30am-2.30pm
Sunday  11.30am-3.30pm
Book : or call +44 (0)20 7300 0300
Walk-ins are also welcome.

Eneko at One Aldwych
One Aldwych
London WC2B 4BZ
T: 020 7300 0300

Disclosure: I was a guest of Eneko at One Aldwych. All views are my own. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A stylish stay at The George Townhouse, Warwickshire

I love living in London, such a vibrant city. But  I understand the need to get out of the big smoke. I am a big fan of the English countryside; it's so lovely and calming.   A road trip in and around the Cotswold has been on the cards for a while. Two weeks ago I adventured on a solo trip to recharge the batteries and have a 'me time' without the noise of the big city. 

I drove through the Cotswold little villages and towns and arrived at The George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire. I was thrilled when I arrived and saw my room.

The George has been in the neighbourhood for years.  Located on the edge of the Cotswold in England is an ideal place to spend time, relax and explore the area. 

The George got an extensive makeover in early 2016 that included all the 15 en-suite bedrooms. Found right at the heart of Shipston High Street, it stands at three and a half stories tall that make it the tallest structure on that stretch of land. It is a  Georgian townhouse  with 18th century features, which gives it a casual and yet an elegant look.


The rooms at The George Townhouse have been decorated using only high-quality materials and craftsmanship. They have a luxurious feel to them while providing comfort. All the rooms have an en-suite bathroom, and breakfast is included in the room rate. 

My room was at the top of the building and overlooked the town's church tower. There was a crystal carafe with brandy waiting for me!  There was also a beautiful Spa Box just next to be most amazing free standing Victorian bath.  Little details that make all the difference.  

My room was well appointed. Crisp white bedding 100% cotton, the room was spotless. It was very welcoming, comfortable, roomy and airy.  One thing I missed in the room was a folding luggage rack, the chairs in my room were so beautiful that I didn't want to rest my suitcase on them.

There was complimentary, water still and sparkling, tea, hot chocolate  and an excellent Nespresso machine and coffee pods.  Crisps and biscuits were on offer as well.


The Spa box!


Eating  at The George Townhouse

The George Townhouse serves meals from breakfast to dinner. The ground floor you will find the parlour, where you can eat your first meal of the day. Lunch can be eaten in the garden room or in the swish dining room. Most of the food served at The George Townhouse is sourced locally. 

The Bar at The George Townhouse

Aperol Spritz
Twice baked cheddar soufflé, spinach & grain mustard sauce - it was very lightevenly risen and slightly wobbly, the creamy sauce with mustard worked very well with the cheese and spinach
8oz. Todenham farm rump steak, triple cooked chips, peppercorn sauce, served medium-are and no blood running, excellent  and quality meat! The peppercorn sauce that accompanied the steak was very tasty.
My dessert: Espresso Martini - It had to be done!
Stolichnaya Vodka, Tia Maria & Espresso Coffee

Breakfast is  served from 8 am to 11 am, and it's a serious affair The menu is quite comprehensive. There's something for everyone. From a full English which consists of Todenham Farm sausages & dry cured bacon, roasted flat cap mushroom, grilled plum tomato, black pudding, dripping beef toast, baked beans, two of eggs of your choice & toast; to  eggs Benedict, toasted English muffin, poached egg, ham & Hollandaise  to a much lighter option Fresh fruit salad and granola. 

The breakfast buffet is beautifully presented with fresh local bread, croissant, toasts, fruits, cereals, fresh fruits, juices & more! 
 Buttermilk pancakes, smoked bacon & maple syrup

The staff at The George are from the nearby neighbourhoods, young, polite and enthusiastic.  They can provide you with information about places to visit while you are in town. The next time you are in Shipston-on-Stour or in the vicinity, be sure to drop by The George Townhouse whether you are going to stay for the night, have a glass of wine, or dine in.

The George Townhouse press

For bookings:

8 High Street,
CV36 4AJ

Rooms rates (2017)
From £100-£200 during the week (depending on the chamber) and from £140-£250 at weekends on a B&B basis and including VAT
Standard rooms from £100-£130 a night
Superior rooms from £120-£140
Deluxe Rooms from £140 to £160 per night
Deluxe Plus from £160 to £180
The Suite from £200 to £240 per night

Disclosure: I was a guest of The George Townhouse. All views are my own.

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.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Holy Birds

The Holy Birds
Holy Negroni at The Holy Birds
Holy Negroni : Beefeater 24 Gin, Campari, White Port topped with an almond and
orange foam
Uptown Manhattan and Babycham
Uptown Manhattan:
The smooth flavour of Wild Turkey washed with Extra Virgin
Olive Oil combined with the sweetness of maraschino played
off against Lillet Blanc and the crisp celery, notes makes for an
unusual but balanced twist on a Manhattan. - Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, Lillet Blanc, De Kuyper Marasquin, celery bitters and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Back in the day we went to The Library at The Lanesborough hotel where Salvatore Calabrese, The Maestro,  was concocting some very lovely Lavander Martini. It was a very enjoyable experience.  Fast forward  I've now been to his son's place where the cocktail menu is created by Salvatore, The Maestro himself.

The Holy Birds is a commercial establishment located in London’s Petticoat Lane Market. The two-floor bar and restaurant has an interior design that was inspired by 60s Danish modernist movement, very much to my liking. You might feel like you went back to that era as soon as you enter the door.  Play attention to the reception table, lots of colourful 60's phones.

On the ground floor of The Holy Birds, you’ll find a cocktail lounge that serves late-night refreshment. The interior design is a combination of personalised design and mid-century decors. It features a top of the line sound system that is used during performances of live acts and in-demand DJs. More often than not, they play music that has been inspired 60s era.

On the second floor is the restaurant that specialises in poultry. Its menu consists of dishes made from free-range birds that include ducks, grouses, wood pigeons, pheasants, quails, and chickens. It is said to be the first of such restaurant to be established in London.

The Holy Birds is the first time that the Calabrese Brothers collaborated with their father, Salvatore Calabrese, who is a world-renowned mixologist. The maestro started working in the industry in the 60s and has developed designer cocktails since then. The Holy Birds is just one of the bars in London that offers these cocktails.
downstairs bar

This is just one of the ventures of the Calabrese Brothers in the London bar industry. Their company was also responsible for other successful establishments in the city, such as the award-winning Hoxton Pony in Shoreditch and Hoxton Gin. Another recent project of their business is the Wringer and Mangle restaurant and music venue in London Fields.

The meal

Wings with soy sauce and Dijon mustard and crispy chicken skins

The snacks were on pint at The Holy Birds,  well seasoned chicken wings

Beaujolais, France 2014
Serious Cru Beaujolais, soft and juicy, with hints of raspberries, strawberries and violet

Heritage carrots, roasted parsnips, curd & curry oil salad, a very tasty and divine salad
Roast duck breast - succulent, well prepared and perfectly cooked

The Holy Birds buttermilk chicken burger with hand-cut chips and
Celeriac remoulade (off picture)  a majestivc burger with juicy chicken and so much flavour.
Chocolate & sea salt Baked Alaska - how gorgeous does that look?  Sweet and chocolaty
Hot chocolate pudding with Kirsch & cherry sauce- I just love the chocolate and cherry match always a winner!
The service was very amicable and polite. It wasn't a very busy evening when we had dinner there. It' a quite sizable place  - I am sure they can cope.

Disclosure:  I was a guest of The Holy Birds. All opinions are my own.
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