Orchid 54 Bar and Bistro Review

April 14, 2017

Orchid 54 Bar and Bistro is a charming bistro and bar serving exceptional food in the heart of Enfield. Russell and I were invited to review the venue last month and were blown away with the quality of the food on offer. 

With a menu of British seasonal dishes with a French influence, the restaurant offers fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere - who would have guessed such great food was on offer in an otherwise ordinary high street! 

charlotte clarke

The restaurant is under the consultancy of Chef Ade Adeshina, the Head Chef at The Petersham Hotel Restaurant, who has bought his signature 'simple, seasonal and sensational' style to the menu. 

Orchid 54

After a warm welcome from the waiting staff Russell ordered the squid ink crab tortellini with prosecco sauce to start. This beautifully delicate dish featured a wonderful sauce that enhanced the sweet flavour of the crab whilst the al dente squid ink pasta offered texture and colour. 

Orchid 54

For me, choosing a starter was hard as I was torn between the beef tartare (which I had seen pictures of on Instagram prior to dinning) and the seasonal options on offer. Having asked our waiter for recommendations I decided on the locally sourced seared pigeon breast with sage gnocchi, which I certainly didn't regret. The pigeon was cooked medium and the glaze of the sauce was mesmerising! The gnocchi was a little dense but all was forgiven as the sweet, nutty flavour of the pigeon was remarkable. 

Orchid 54

Russell followed with an 8oz Creekstone beef fillet with shallot jus and fries which was cooked to perfection. We think the picture speaks for itself... this classic combination was executed exceedinly well. 

Orchid 54

I tucked into a rich dish of calves liver, crispy bacon and parsley mash for my main course. Packed with flavour this was a plate of comfort food that's both special and satisfying. Paired with a good glass of red wine, this dish is one you will remember and are sure to keep coming back for - my mouth is watering just typing this! 

Orchid 54

After such a heavy meal I didn't have much room for dessert so ordered a selection of cheese with grapes and crackers. Russell however indulged in an oozing chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream...

We had a wonderful evening at Orchid 54 and wished it was a little closer to Epping - if you live locally to the restaurant you are very lucky indeed! The service was friendly, the food was exceptional and the price point was extremely good value for money. We'd both recommend the bistro for a relaxed evening meal as a couple or a snug family dinner for special occasions. 

If you visit do let me know your thoughts, this little gem tucked away in the high street could be easily missed, but is not so easily forgotten once experienced. 

Authentic Thai Food in London | Thai Silk Review

March 04, 2017

Situated a stones throw from Southwark Station tucked away in a romantic side street lined with twinkling fairy lights is the best Thai restaurant I've ever dined in.

Offering so much more than the classically understood Thai green and red curries, Thai Silk is the type of restaurant you return to again and again for comforting yet refined food.

Russell and I knew as soon as we walked through the door we were in for a great night. With authentic décor featuring giant Buddha’s and a lustrous red and gold colour scheme, the 100 cover restaurant and bar has an inviting atmosphere despite its large size.

Thai silk london

After being shown to our seats we spent a while flicking through the larger than average menu choosing what to eat. Don't let the pictures on the menu put you off - the food here is good. Thai cuisine offers complex flavours that combine hot, sour, sweet and salty, and the dishes at this restaurant menu showcased this beautiful. 

The chefs here have created a traditional yet innovative menu, and to ensure the food is as authentic as possible around 80% of the ingredients are shipped directly from Thailand. We noticed we were given a fork rather than chopsticks which was a good sign (traditionally food in Thailand is eaten with cutlery, not chopsticks).

Thai silk london Thai silk london

I played it safe ordering the Chicken Tom Kha, a hot and sour soup made with coconut milk, as it's a dish I know I enjoy. Ordered with sweet coconut rice, I usually put both into one bowl and eat it like a curry. This soup is packed with herbs and spices, blended with coconut milk and stock, and loaded up with mushrooms and chicken. 

Thai silk london

 We ordered the Kao Phad Subpraround (Pineapple fried rice) because we saw the show stopping dish featured on Instagram before our visit. Served in half a pineapple the rice is loaded with prawns and fruit. Don't underestimate this dish as a side, it could easily be eaten as a main! 

Thai silk londonThai silk london

Our wild card order was the Panaeng Gae (Massaman curry with lamb shank) which turned out to be our favourite! Having never ordered Massaman curry before I learnt it is traditionally made in southern Thailand, with influences from Malay and Indian cooking. Made with dried-spice curry powder of cinnamon, cardamom, peanuts and bay leaves along with curry paste it offers a complex flavour as well as a consistent, gentle heat.

Russell and I couldn't get over just how good this dish was! The lamb shank fell off the bone, the sauce was thick and rich and the addition of peanuts and new potatoes created the perfect meal. After sampling this dish I feel ignorant for not knowing more about Massaman - I'll certainly be ordering this over a Thai Green curry in the future!

Thai silk london

We didn't have room for dessert for finished our meal with a side of Koong pao chu Chee, charred grilled tiger prawns with a mild curry sauce. The prawns were HUGE and packed full of flavour! If you're willing to get your hands dirty this dish rewards you with big flavour.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Thai Silk, everything from the service to the food were spot on. It's a place to enjoy good food at reasonable prices mid-week or kick back and relax come Friday with friends. We can't wait to go back for another Panaeng Gae, it honestly is xxxxx.

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant Review

February 26, 2017

The Petersham Restaurant offers panoramic River Thames views from every table, superb service and seasonal menus.

If you're looking for a restaurant with wow factor, classic old age charm and a touch of exclusitivty, this it it. Every table in the 70-cover restaurant can take in floor-to-ceiling views of the famous bend in the River Thames and surrounding Petersham Meadows.

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

 The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The Petersham Restaurant in Richmond recently reopened following a complete refurbishment. Russell  and I were invited to the venue for a complimentary lunch over Valentine's weekend so we could experience the new atmosphere for ourselves. 

The new design of the restaurant, which sits within the 4-star Petersham Hotel, is inspired by the colours of the early morning, misty river vista. With crisp white table cloths, vintage mirrors and plenty of natural light streaming in, the light and bright space was filled with both families and couples enjoying the refined yet uncomplicated food. 

crab lasagne

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The seasonal menus, designed by head chef Ade Adeshina, feature local produce in a modern yet unfussy British style. 

Seafood dominates the A La Carte menu and the steamed lasagne of cornish crab starter caught my attention. Served with Lilliput capers and a tarragon butter sauce this elegant dish allowed the subtly sweet crab to shine by elevating its flavour with salt and cream. 

Russell ordered the sautéed scallops served with banana plantain, black pudding and parsnip purée. Earthy parsnip, rich black pudding and scallops are a classic combination, however the addition of plantain (possibly inspired by the head chef's Nigerian background) enhanced the sweetness of the seafood. 

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

For my main course I chose the duo of Brechin beef which featured fillet and Jacob’s ladder, potato Anna and bordelaise sauce whilst Russell chose the roast chicken supreme with roast carrot, eryngii mushroom and choy sum. 

Eating next to such a magificent view was such a relaxing and energising experience. We honestly felt like we were 100 miles away from London (and all of our worries) and totally relaxed in the restaurant - it almost felt like we had been away for a weekend of indulgent food. The service was faultless and during our time at The Petersham we didn't once have to look around to grab a waiters attention, which is a rare statement to make. 

 poached pear view

chocolate three ways
 The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

We finished our wonderful meal with the impressive poached pear with port wine mousse and lemon sponge and 'dark chocolate three way', a combination of soft mousse, rich brownie and indulgent truffle served on a chocolate crumb. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at The Petersham and would recommend the venue if you're looking for a classic yet relaxed venue for special occasions. It's certainly not short of a marvellous view and gave us a refreshing change from high rise window seat views of London's cit

Well Dressed Plates | Tony Rodd | Review

November 20, 2016

When Tony Rodd invited me to sample his food at his new pop-up I was pretty flattered.

Tony was a finalist in the 2015 series of BBC's MasterChef and is currently the moustached man behind the Well Dressed Plates pop up at Strongroom (in residence until the end of the year).
tony rodd

The venue has long been synonymous with music given its 30 year old recording studio and music producing community based in the neighbouring buildings.

With an extensive beer and cider menu featuring both local and international microbreweries, my dinner companion (an old university friend) was pretty impressed.  
london blogger

Upon arrival Tony greeted us with a giant smile, eager to talk us through the menu. He is clearly passionate about the produce he uses and explained in a friendly East End accent that he was busy in the kitchen over the next few days experimenting with new flavours to refresh the lunch time specials for regulars.

The first thing we noticed about the menu was the price - surprisingly very reasonable! The second was that there are loads of vegetarian and gluten free options, something pop-ups in particular don't seem to offer much of. 
Well Dressed PlatesWell Dressed Plates

As a massive brunch fan I ordered the poached eggs, asparagus, ham and hollandaise to start whilst my friend opted for the smoked Trout on Fennel, Beetroot and Pickled Apple Salad.
Both dishes were delicious, and although the flavour combinations were traditional each featured a beautiful presentation and slight flavour twist that elevated it. Next time I would switch my order to the trout as the combination of fresh dill, sharp apple, earthy beetroot and liquorice fennel was addictive.
Well Dressed Plates 

Following Tony's suggestion we ordered the Pork belly and chicken roulade for our main courses. The pork was served with roast fennel, the creamiest mash ever made, apple puree and port sauce - I honestly could have eaten again, and again, and taken some more away to eat again later. 
 Well Dressed Plates

The chicken and mushroom roulade with mash and asparagus is known as the signature main course dish. The smooth texture was unexpected and the salty addition of prosciutto ham seasoned the plate beautifully. Again, the super creamy mash was the star of the show - I don't how he made mash so tasty?! - whilst the asparagus offered a crunchy and clean cut through. 

After all that food we couldn't handle a heavy dessert so decided to share a British cheese board complete with grapes and gherkins.

If you're looking for a relaxed evening give the pop-up a visit; it's atmosphere, food menu and beer selection aren't to be missed. I can't wait to go back for date night with Russell. 


Ascot’s Festival of Food and Wine Race Weekend with Lavazza Coffee

October 30, 2016

ascot men
Last month Russell and I were invited to Ascot’s Festival of Food and Wine Race Weekend by Lavazza Coffee.

With more than 40 market stalls offering racegoers a unique day we spent our Saturday indulging in fabulous food alongside the final days of Ascot’s Flat season. 
ascot lavazza
ascot outfit ascot mens suit

Ascot is just a 50 minuet train ride from Waterloo station, with the race track just a 5 minuet walk from the train station.
We picked up our tickets at the entrance and headed straight to the The Furlong Club located in the King Edward VII enclosure for a coffee and cake overlooking the green.
Because the enclosure is upstairs it offers unsurpassed views of the action before, during and after each race. With seated balconies facing both the Parade Ring and Course offering shelter from the unpredictable British Weather the private bars, seating and atmosphere in the enclosure made the experience extra special. Being able to sit down to enjoy a leisurely drink and watch the horses ensured the long day in heels was comfortable, a God send I'm sure any lady who suffered at the mercy of her heels will appreciate.
King Edward VII ascot mens outfit

As it is the premium enclosure at Ascot men are required to wear a jacket, a collared shirt and a tie. Russell decided to go all out, wearing a dusky purple suit which gained a lot of attention and compliments.
Women are encouraged to wear fascinators or hats - though it isn’t mandatory. I decided to make the most of the occasion and wear a small fascinator, as aside from weddings and Christenings there isn't much chance to wear one now-a-days.  
ascot red dress
charlotte and russell dovey ascot cocktail

After meeting Yasmin and Matt, our companion adventure couple, we started to pick horses for the six races. We all really got into it and things got a little competitive - especially because Russell and I picked a winner for 5/6 races (pot luck, we promise!). 

Half way through the day we recharged our batteries with a very strong Lavazza Espresso Martini at the Bit and Bridle bar and made our way around the many food stalls downstairs.
charlotte russell dovey
King Edward VII ascot red dress

Although the weather wasn't on our side the day was the most fun we've had in a long long time, and we can't wait to book tickets next year!

If you've never been to the races before give it a go! Trains run regularly from Waterloo and it's a great excuse to get dressed up - you never know, you might win a few races and get hooked like us.