1 April 2016

Pinch, punch


So it's 1 April and I've resolved to make another set of resolutions. The first is to draw a line under March. Not because it was awful - it was the complete opposite, in fact - but because I know I'll never find the time to write up all the amazing places I went to. Having a boyfriend who's new to London and loves exploring comes in handy for content but I have a list of places to share and I just know it's never going to happen.

So instead, here's a record of where I've been the last couple of months:
  • First dates at The Natural Philosopher. Kneeling at the altar to order a cocktail is certainly one introduction.
  • Then on to Peg & Patriot where I made P try some English sparkling wine (being French, he's always going to choose champagne). This was also the day before I flew to Cambodia which may possibly explain how my cards and money stayed in Heathrow whilst I made it halfway around the world without them...
  • Second dates at Sager & Wilde.
  • And (average) seafood platters at Boundary's rooftop.
  • Before a last cocktail at the Ace Hotel.
  • Girly catch ups with Sophie at Bellaria in Fitzrovia - burrata, venison parpadelle, sheep cheese and beetroot ricotta and Death by Chocolate.
  • Learning all about Regal Rogue vermouth at Rev JW Simpson.
  • Lobster rolls at Fraq's Lobster Shack. Decent but not as good as Burger & Lobster and skip the fries.
  • Strong cocktails at Joyeux Bordel before introducing P to hippie fries and deep fried pickles at MeatMission.
  • Mezcal and Mexican at La Bodega Negra. The softshell crab tacos, the ceviche and the quesadilla have my vote. 
  • Mother's Day at home with my mum and lunch at the second best pub in the world.
  • All day drinking at Radio Rooftop Bar. Soaking up the first of the spring sun with Bloody Marys and lashings of champagne.
  • Before a wander round the Venturing Beyond: Graffiti exhibition at Somerset House. And a stop off at Dandelyan for the concrete sazerac.
  • Next up, lunch at Polpetto with Emma. That rabbit parpadelle. Those courgette fries. That softshell crab. That squid ink and cuttlefish risotto. That rocket and proscuitto pizzette. Oh man, I die.
  • And onto the Steve McCurry exhibition to see the iconic 'Afghan Girl'.
  • A midweek feast of the 11 course tasting menu at Roka Aldwych. My favourite dishes were the wagyu tartare and the fat, juicy scallop. The sashimi platter with lobster and scallop tartare was to die for but the matcha green tea ice cream? Not so sure.
  • Playing dress up at Burpleson Air Base. I played Chief of Counter Measures Bessie Crowley in Secret Cinema's production of Kubrick's Dr Strangelove. We were taught how to identify Communists (lactose intolerant, one foot smaller than the other and the inability to pronounce the colour blue) and tasked with recalling the B52 bombers before it was too late. A stellar performance from the entire cast and that attention to detail. Astounding. 
  • Then a hungover brunch in Brixton village before dinner at MeatLiquor and a raucuous night at BYOC. Book a table, take your plans and bring your booze and watch as your own barman whips up cocktails just for you. We took mezcal, rum and kummel and our man Lloyd couldn't have been happier. One of the best nights yet.
  • Followed by another hungover brunch at Old Bengal Bar. Oysters and gravdlax and hake, oh my. They do bottomless prosecco too (although we abstained on this occasion; the Bloody Marys were just what we needed).
  • A midweek stop off at Duck & Waffle. We devoured the foie gras creme brulee, yellow fin tuna, Jersulam artichokes and meatballs and mopped eveything up with the goats cheese bread. Man, I love this place.
  • A Bank Holiday Friday trip to the zoo to see the lions, tigers but sadly no bears. The horny armadillos, baby sloths and otters more than made up for it, though. Word to the wise: prebook tickets (or buy them in the queue) and skip straight to the front.
  • Then a very early morning for a surprise trip to Bordeaux! We stayed at the beautiful boutique La Cour Carree
  • And ate our bodyweight in amazing food. From delicate dishes at Michelin-starred Le Davoli to veal carpaccio with caviar and a whole table of cheese at L'Oiseau Bleu
  • A vineyard tour and St Emilion wine tasting complete with Petrus, Pomerol and Margaux in the picturesque medieval village. Followed by feasting on burrata, cheese and meat and more Margaux in a tiny wine bar back in Bordeaux.
  • And a last lunch of steak tartare and foie gras at La Brasserie Bordelaise, warmed by armagnac from 1983 and 1989 to take us home.
  • And finally, a whistletop dinner at Dishoom in Shoreditch. Ducking out of the rain, we wolfed down masala prawns, gunpowder potatoes, lamb kebab and of course the black daal with a cheese naan. A perfect way to beet the bank holiday blues.
Told you it's a lot to catch up on, didn't I? Having a food-loving boyfriend is doing wonders for my figure (not) but who can resist introducing him to some of the best places in London.

I'm going to sign off on a promise, from now on, to pick the old blogging malarkey back up. There's some good stuff coming up, just you wait.
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