Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Winter Tropics

Hat- Topshop
Jumper- H&M
Necklace- Dorothy Perkins
Skirt- Dagmar
Bag- Sophie Hulme

Monday, 28 January 2013

Red Accents

Hat- Topshop
Coat- Cos
Shirt- Cos
Skirt- 5 Preview
Bag- Topshop
Shoes- Dorothy Perkins 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Josê

Patatas Brava

Josê had been on my list of restaurants to try for a long time yet until a few weeks ago I never quite made it there. Why? Well as most of us I am a bit of a creature of habit and spending a lot of time in central London a journey southward can seem like a lot of effort especially if you don't know if the trip will be worth it. I am also a bit of a novice when it comes to Spanish food, the selection of tapas i had sampled at Barrafina were of course great but my knowledge and enthusiasm for this cuisine was still rather limited. However the minute I walked down Bermondsey street, just a stones throw away from London Bridge station, I was already enchanted by its location and regretted that I hadn't explored this part of London before. The whole street feels like a little village in the shadow of the city and its tall glass buildings, with a variety of pubs, restaurants and little shops lining the street . Exactly this distinctively un-London atmosphere is what I also loved about  the restaurant itself. Located in a beautiful corner building Josê's tiny space, just a few high stools and tables in a  darkly lit room with an open kitchen that allows you to watch the chefs at action, had a real feeling of authenticity and a genuinely warm and vibrant atmosphere, very seldom found in London where sleek concepts sometimes make the eating experience a little too polished and impersonal. Once sat down the service proved exceptional, the Spanish staff more than happy to recommend dishes from the constantly changing and seasonal menu. Tapas classics like patatas brava (fried potato chunks served with a  tomato sauce and delicious aioli) and pan con tomate (fresh tomato and garlic on soft bread) were  despite their simplicity in ingredients exceptionally flavourful  and dare I say at least in my opinion better executed than at Barrafina. Rather than sticking to classic dishes however they also use British ingredients to create moorish dishes like the salt cod croquettas which are traditionally filled with ham , showing great creativity by the kitchen. It was a real joy sharing and tasting a variety of dishes, decently priced and portioned, that encapsulated the flair of the Spanish cuisine perfectly and really did make me forget about the cold just outside the door. This little bit of Spain in London offers the perfect setting and food to escape the British winter and has truly converted me to tapas.
Pan con tomate
Salt cod croquettas

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Shades of Purple

Hat- Topshop
Jumper- Topshop
Necklace- ASOS
Skirt- Topshop
Shoes- H&M

Monday, 21 January 2013

Iridescent

Hat- H&M
Dress- Topshop
Earrings- ASOS
Shoes- Emma Go 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Top 4 London Desserts


As many of you may know by now I have a very committed sweet tooth, the dessert for me as much an indicator of a restaurant's cooking ability as a main and something I always look forward to, rather forgoing a starter and leaving that little bit of space for the sweetest and in my opinion best way of finishing a meal. However sadly despite London being filled with countless restaurants, a good dessert is not that easy to come by, many merely seeing it as an afterthought on the menu or playing it safe with   dessert classics like tiramisu, chocolate fondant or a creme br?lée, all of which are rarely done well and rather unspectacular in the flavours . However I have found a few exceptional dessert creations, sometimes in the most unlikely of  places, that are imaginative, tasty and beautifully presented and every time see me leaving on a sugary high! 

Reese's peanut butter sundae @ MeatLiquor
Meat Liquor may be more for its burgers that see many queue around the block but I urge anyone that makes it inside to leave a bit of space for the little known dessert options here. Yes, it isnt exactly easy to still fit anything after fries, the infamous dead hippie burger and the addictive deep fried pickles but believe me this sundae is worth being rolled out for. As a bit of a sundae connoiseur I have my fair share of rather disappointing attempts at this American classic in more than one restaurant in London. However this sundae ticks all the boxes. Peanut and chocolate ice cream, slightly salted peanut brittle, chocolate sauce and as crowning glory a Reese's peanut butter cup which in itself has addictive qualities, this is one hell of a sundae 
Ginger cake @Workshop Coffee Co.
If they do one thing exceptionally well at Workshop Coffee it is their flavoured mascarpone (something that appears on their equally inventive brunch menu via coffee and truffle flavoured variations) and which works a real treat in this unusual dessert. Combined with the warm and gooey ginger cake, the raspberry mascarpone and hot toffee sauce create a rather addictive flavor combination that still isn’t too heavy with the tangy mascarpone and zingy ginger cutting through the richness of the indulgent hot toffee sauce. It may not be ingredients one would immediately put together in a dessert but here they work so well that I can safely say it is one of the best I have sampled in London! 
 Baked Alaska @ St John's
At St John's they like to do things a little different. From their locations, one right in Chinatown, one in a  former smoke house, to their menus, desserts here changed constantly to allow the chefs to be truly creative with seasonal ingredients- St John's restaurants are really one of a kind. Though their rather meaty mains menu has never seen me have a full meal there, the desserts i have tried have consistently impressed, always perfectly executed and taking on classic desserts like an Eton mess, spotted dick or in this case the backed Alaska but giving it a creative twist that make them far from average. The Alaska, far removed from the 70's cheesy dessert everyone knows it as , here really is a work of beauty. With a soft meringue shell that melts in the mouth and filled with chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, on an almost slightly bitter chocolate biscuit base, this is as close as you will get to dessert heaven. Being not a massive chocolate fan I was a little hesitant that it would be too rich or too sweet but using high quality, high percentage chocolate and with the light meringue shell this is a perfect marriage of flavours rather impressively presented. A real dessert show stopper. 
Apple pie @ Chicken Shop
Apple pie is an absolute must try here and currently my number 1 dessert obsession. It’s not only the indulgent way the waiter brings out the whole pie form to serve you up a humongous slice fresh onto your plate or that you get a pint of cream AND vanilla ice cream to appropriately drown it in. No, its the pie itself with just the right apple to crust ratio and a hint of cinnamon that makes this the ultimate comfort food that will make you come back time after time. And yes the designated pie waiter knows my face by now but trust me he  will know yours soon too. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Embellished

Hat- Monki
Jumper- H&M
Top- Topshop
Dress worn as skirt- Topshop

Monday, 14 January 2013

Deep Purple


Hat- Topshop
Earrings- H&M
Dress- Cos
Clutch- Klear Klutch
Shoes- Margiela for H&M 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Made In Camden


Cinnamon roasted pumpkin with fried goats cheese & roast fennel
Camden isn’t exactly known for its culinary options, far from it I am usually filled with horror thinking of the hygienically questionable market stalls selling Chinese food with even more questionable ingredients. That is why I was a little perplexed to hear of Madein Camden, a stones throw from the tourist hell of the market, being included in the Michelin bib Gourmand category. The bib gourmand basically denotes great food for decent prices (the closest I will get to trying Michelin starred food on a student budget) and with only a few others picked alongside it in London meant that Made in Camden had achieved very high praise indeed. The food served here is hard to categorize and as someone that hates the term fusion ( it being a word that became so fashion in the restaurant scene that I don’t think anyone quite knew what it meant anymore) I hesitate to label it just. However Made inCamden does rather successfully fuse unusual flavours and cooking methods from all over the globe in each of its small dish options. This results in incredibly inventive but at the same time far from overcomplicated and pretentious food. Portions are actually decently sized, minute tapas style dishes that easily rack up a bit of bill a major pet hate of mine, and each dish that I sampled (2-3 are recommended per person) introduced me to a completely new flavor experience. Simple ingredients, for example cauliflower,  are made the star of the dish, the cauliflower here served with creamed tahini and pomegranate molasses, completely elevating a rather bland vegetable into something quite special. In actual fact me and my friend stuck to the vegetarian dishes all evening which all delivered in inventiveness and taste, healthy and light yet strong in flavor, this is the kind of food that makes eating your five a day fun. Dessert was as good, as a bit of meringue fiend I had to try their take on Eton mess (fittingly called the MIC mess) which was a beautifully light concoction of white chocolate cream, crisp meringue, pistachios and rhubarb. With a regularly changing and seasonally based menu Made in Camden is a great place to test your palate and a real gem that is worth seeking out,  sometimes the best places to dine in London, hidden in the most unlikely locations. 

Wild mushroom tempura with citrus ponzu dip
MIC mess

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Royal Blue

Hat- Monki
Dress- Topshop
Shoes- Emma Go
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