Tag Archives: countdown

The London Restaurant Interiors Tour – Part 1

25 Aug

Imagine if an events company offered a tour of the most beautiful, interesting or quirky restaurant interiors in London. The possible locations would be endless and it’s difficult to select a Top 10. Thus, I’ve decided to blog countdowns throughout the year: an evolving and expanding list to which others are welcome to contribute.

Whether you prefer dining in themed eateries, quirky diners, intimate supperclubs or sat upon the swaying deck of a boat restaurant, there are enough gorgeous, innovative and opulent choices to ponder and assess.

To kick off the ‘tour’, I suggest we take a virtual walk around a tourist-friendly combination of familiar, central and interesting hot-spots before future lists expand to encompass some of the more brow-raising decors gracing the Capital.

#1 A pit stop to Momo in Regent Street’s Food Quarter is must for a brief sojourn from London life. With its copper tables, dark wooden panels, amazing arches, colourful upholstery and pretty tableware, the heart of Morocco comes to the heart of the English Capital.

Selected wares are available to purchase from the Mo Cafe, next to the main restaurant, but do not endeavour to haggle with the waiting staff; it may look and feel like a bonafide souk but it’s most certainly not. Attempting to negotiate a 2-for-1 deal, or suggesting they throw in a couple of fake Rolex-style watches for an extra quid upon receipt of your dining bill, will only result in confused looks from fellow diners and staff!

#2 One of the most ornately decorated cafés in London is the stunning cafeteria found in the V&A Museum. With exquisitely painted ceilings, globe lighting, stylish columns and attractive arches, it’s a beautiful spot to indulge in Afternoon Tea during a visit to the museum.

So pleasant is this venue, you may find yourself turning into one of their exhibits. I never want to leave whenever I’m there and half expect the cleaner to give me a quick dusting at the end of the evening and hang a sign around my neck stating: Double-Chinned Tea Lover, 2013. A Greek artefact often seen in areas serving cake.

#3 Of course, we can’t mention the ornate without a nod to Gilgamesh in Camden Stables Market. Featuring more wooden carvings than an Indonesian street market, the panels tell the story of the Sumerian King and demi-God after which the venue is named.

Immortalised in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest stories ever written, the King goes through a series of adventures that require bravery, courage and wisdom. Entering this venue will require the same three skills; the excellent Pan-Asian food and gorgeous cocktails aren’t cheap so don’t go if you can’t face a hefty bill without wanting to chuck yourself onto one of Gilgamesh’s spears!

#4 Competing in the over-the-top carvings stakes is neighbour Shaka Zulu, also located in Camden Stables Market. Try to resist the temptation of turning up in fancy dress; no matter how much a loin cloth may complement the venue’s tribal interior and the scantily-clad fire eaters it houses, I assure you that entry will be denied and your bits will feel quite a chill as you stand in your cloth trying to negotiate with the bouncers at the door.

#5 Flamboyant doesn’t even begin to describe the decor of Turkish-Mediterranean eaterie Sarastro on Drury Lane. Modelled on the Victorian curiosity shops of yesteryear, expect to find more than your mind can dream within the confines of this unusual restaurant!

Fellow food blogger Mint And Rosemary visited the eatery last week and was welcomed by a large figure pointing a giant erection towards her. This was not the manager or a registered sex offender running amok: it was a statue forming part of the decor. Fertility God? Possibly. It might be worth considering a Depo-Vera shot or a vasectomy before you visit, lest you tempt fate.

★Part 2 of my Top 10 will follow soon but please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments box★

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Top Things of The Week (July 22nd – 28th)

28 Jul

#1 London Anniversary Games

Getting to see Usain Bolt run 100m, after missing out on the Olympic final, was nothing short of exhilarating! I loved his victory lap afterwards; he threw his shoes into the cheering crowd and sent his fans into a frenzy, which I managed to catch on video.

I’ve been supporting Athletics since childhood and was a fan of Mr. Bolt long before he became a household name so this was a great night that I’ll always remember.

#2 Myddleton House Gardens in Enfield, North London

I cannot believe I was born and bred in North London yet never knew of this amazing oasis hidden in the borough of Enfield, created by owner E.A. Bowles, a self-taught botanist and philanthropist who lived in the house during the late 1800s until his death in the 1950s.

The gardens span eight acres and are breathtakingly beautiful. Walking through its different areas was genuinely awe-inspiring: the range of plants, vegetables and mix of sculpted and wild areas are a marvel.

There’s also a carp lake and the stables have been converted into a lovely cafe where you can enjoy, among other things, locally-sourced ice-cream and Afternoon Tea. What’s more, a visit to the gardens is FREE, as is on site parking.

A must-visit experience!

#3 Baked Alaska at Plum + Spilt Milk
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Baked Alaska is one of my favourite desserts of all time – so much so, I used to think that if I ever found love and got married, this would be the dessert on my big day.

Well, I haven’t found love and probably never will, but at least I know where to go to enjoy a perfect Baked Alaska in London: Plum + Spilt Milk in the Great Northern Hotel in the heart of King’s Cross.

#4 Fried Courgette at Tinello

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Chef Federico Sali provided an Italian feast at his restaurant Tinello. All the food was delicious, particularly a rich Chicken Liver Parfait on Toast but his simple dish of julienned courgette, deep fried in a light, perfectly seasoned, gloriously crispy batter was so moreish, I was in danger of becoming addicted.

I started eating them non-stop like popcorn and just couldn’t stop! In the end, I had to ask for the bowl to be removed from my line of sight lest I fill up too much before a main course!

#5 A Halloumi Brand Sharing My Name
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It’s not often I get to see my surname written anywhere beyond my own personal identification documents or mail, so discovering I share my name with a Cypriot Halloumi brand was such a pleasant surprise – and the cheese tastes great! 🙂