Bubble Magic | HEMA

May 24, 2016

riley beau dawson

Last week I visited HEMA in Victoria to grab a few toys for my nephew Riley. The retailer has recently come onto my raider due to their great quality homeware, so I was keen to try their children's accessories as they're such great value. 

Along with a giant inflatable fish and dragon kite, I threw a bubble trumpet into my basket without much thought. The little gadget allows you to blow into it and create hundreds of iridescent bubbles without getting sticky hands. 

With the sun finally gracing us on Sunday there wasn't much wind for the kite, so we ended up running around the garden 'playing bubbles'. I just had to share these  pictures on the blog as they look truly magical and remind me of how the simplest things in life can bring the greatest pleasure.  

 baby with bubbles 
bubble trumpetbubble trumpet

HEMA design every single one of their products in-house, meaning each item is exclusive to them and is great quality as it isn't bought in as cheap stock to resell. 

Personally, I think it's the best £2 I've ever spent. 

hema bubble trumpet
baby bubbles gardenhema baby products

The Rose Room | Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea Review

May 16, 2016

the rose room
Haven't got a ticket to The 2016 Chelsea Flower Show? Fear not, as throughout the month of May The Rose Lounge will be serving a bouquet of delicious new desserts. 

A few weeks ago myself and two dear friends Tanya and Candy visited The Rose Room for afternoon tea with a Chelsea flower show twist, and I have to admit the venue has become of my favourite spots in London due to its dreamy decor, friendly staff and stunning food. 
  
The rose room

Offering beautiful floral inspired desserts, cocktails, tea and displays alongside the daily performance of a harpist the restaurant instantly transported to a blossoming spring garden. Having settled down on plush pink sofas we enjoyed a selection of infused tea including Rose Bud and Bulgare which began our garden-inspired experience with an aromatic sensation. 

The Rose Room afternoon tea  Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea

Being located inside the Sofitel St James hotel, there was a subtly French touch to our afternoon tea. A selection of finger sandwiches were served alongside freshly baked homemade scones served warm with Devonshire clotted cream, rose scented strawberry jam and lemon curd. 

We couldn't resist trying The Chelsea Flower Show Cocktail (50ml vodka. 10ml elderflower syrup, 15ml fresh lemon. 10ml rose liqueur and rosé champagne) which was light and refreshing with subtle botanical kick - the perfect compliment to the herbaceous savoury treats. 

Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea

We then indulged in the beautifully delicate limited edition pastries, which included:

The Poppy velour: a vanilla sponge cake with a heart of strawberry compote, poppy mousseline cream and a pink chocolate spray on a poppy seed crunchy base.

 The Rose tartlet: sweet pastry tartlet shell, filled with rhubarb and grenadine compote with rose water cream petals.

The Daisy macaroon: macaroon filled with daisy diplomat cream, decorated with chocolate daisy flowers.

 The Jasmin religieuse: choux buns filled with jasmine diplomat cream and icing. 

Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea

The Chelsea Flower show desserts will be available for the month of May at The Balcon and on the pastry trolley with the afternoon tea in The Rose Lounge, whilst the cocktail will be served in The Rose Lounge and St James Bar. You can read my dinner review of The Balcon here (spoiler: the food is phenomenal). 


Gilgamesh | Restaurant Review

May 11, 2016

Gilgamesh Resturant Review  

Last month Russell and I visited the internationally famous Pan-Asian restaurant Gilgamesh to review their new set menu. 
Located in Camden Stables Market the restaurant is probably one of the most easiest recognisable places in the city thanks to it's unique decor and host a celebrity fans that are regularly papped outside.

Gilgamesh Resturant Review

Gilgamesh Resturant Review Gilgamesh Resturant Review

Upon first impressions, I have to admit we weren't wowed by the interior. We felt it is overshadowed by its sister restaurant Shaka Zulu (read my review here) and with a view of a railway track and a rather dirty fabric roof it wasn't the glamorous venue we had envisioned. 

The new three course £55 set menu included a sharing starter of edamame, Salmon sashimi, prawn spring rolls and their famous duck and watermelon salad. The sashimi was served over dry ice which gave a buzz of excitement and provided some great picture opportunists. If you're planning visiting Gilgamesh you have to try the duck and watermelon salad, which honestly was out of this world! 
Gilgamesh Resturant Review Gilgamesh Resturant Review
Gilgamesh Resturant Review Gilgamesh Resturant Review

 By the time our main course arrived the venue was glowing orange with indoor heaters making it rather hard to photograph our dishes, so please excuse the poor quality snaps. 

Russell chose the slow cooked beer short ribs with parsley and chive potato for his main dish, which was cooked to perfection. I opted for the Thai yellow vegetable curry on the waiters suggestion and was pleased with my choice as it was delicious and filled to the brim with tofu and vegetables. 

We also ordered a side of pak choi fried with garlic and ginger which gave a much needed crunch to our dishes and a bowl of chicken Singapore style noodles, which unfortunately was so drenched oil it was inedible (for a £12 side-dish this wasn't what I expected).  

Gilgamesh Resturant Review

Dessert looked utterly beautiful when it arrived at our table. Russell tucked into a deconstructed yuzu meringue tart whilst I enjoyed a burnt milk panna cotta with pistachio sponge and lime sorbet.

The service at the restaurant was attentive and friendly, however we couldn't help noticing that many of the waiters and bar staff who weren't busy were walking laps of the restaurant whilst chatting to each other, which was a little off putting as they would squeeze past our table every 5 minuets. 

Although the set menu might seem like a steal for £55 each at such a notorious restaurant, once you add drinks, sides and a 12.5% service charge the bill is likely to come close to £200. We couldn't help but feel that our money would be better spent elsewhere, so I'm sad to say we won't be returning in the near future, although it was a wonderful experience and will be a great talking point with our foodie friends. 

Win a Case of Wine

May 06, 2016

Californian Chardonnay

To celebrate the first sunny weekend of the year I've teamed up with Premier Estates to offer my readers a little treat to welcome the warmer weather.

We're offering one lucky reader the chance to win a case of 6 bottle of Californian Chardonnay, which recently won a Bronze Medal at the World-renowned IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Challenge).

California and Chardonnay unite to make this smooth easy drinking wine with ripe fruit flavours of melon and orange with a hint of butterscotch on the finish. This is easy going enough to sip on it's own and is the perfect wine chilled as an aperitif.

Perfect with light, delicate food such as shellfish, steamed fish, chicken or pasta with spring vegetables, it really is the ideal summer drink.

To enter the competition, please favourite/like the featured tweet on my profile and follow @premestateswine. All those who enter must be 18 years old or older. Premier Estates Wine will provide a case of Californian Chardonnay (6 x 75cl) to the winner, along with free delivery. Winner announces via Twitter on 13th May 2016.

Photo Diary | Old And New

May 05, 2016

freak shake london

To continue my attempt to post weekly photo diaries including snaps old and new, here's the latest addition. 
 
Last week I attended the River Island AW16 press day and indulged in the most calorific milkshake I've ever laid eyes on. Complete with pretzels, doughnuts and whipped cream, freak shakes are set to hit London this summer and be the next big foodie craze.
  
steak tartare london

Round the corner from me at work is Hixter Bankside. They offer a great value early bird menu that includes the best steak tartare I've ever eaten. Their chips weirdly and wonderfully taste of chicken, too - if you're in the area treat yourself to lunch and you wont be disappointed. 

nix and kix 

Nik and Kix are my new obsession. It's a non-alcoholic drink which isn't fizzy (soft drink fans rejoice) which also includes cayenne pepper offering a satisfying kick after every sip. The peach and vanilla is my personal favourite - I've been told it makes an interesting twist on a Bellini when mixed with Prosecco.

black farmer cheese 

One of my favourite food brands, The Black Farmer, has released a sweet mature cheddar cheese, and boy is it wonderful! It has the depth of flavour you would expect from a mature cheese with a delicious sweet finish. It's unlike anything I've ever tasted before and slightly addictive - you've been warned (FYI, I wasn't a fan of the Stag Crackers despite their Best Taste award). 

minimalist me design

At a press day last week I was gifted this sweet silk Morse code bracelet featuring the word 'luck'. Hand crafted by Minimalist Me Design, it's perfect for every day wear and would be very well received as a thoughtful gift.

british rhubabrb recipes  

British rhubarb season is upon us, and as it's the only thing ready to harvest on my allotment we've been stewing up an abundance in our kitchen. Our favourite mix so far is with lavender and vanilla bean paste - the smell it emits is scrumptious!