Thursday, July 15, 2010

London Eateries

So here I am, on my second day in London, reviewing some of the restaurants and cafes I've visited so far.

For breakfast yesterday, we went to Richoux on Brompton Road. It's right opposite Harrod's and is decorated in warm reds and dark woods. I loved the fact that classical music was playing throughout. Some famous ones were Boccherini's Minuetto and Vivaldi's Winter.. I had strawberry waffles with syrup and loved every bit of it. I also had fresh cranberry juice. I was in the mood for Bircher muesli so I ordered something called "muesli with fresh fruit and nut". That was the one thing that disappointed me. It was basically a fruit salad or strawberries, grapes, melon and pear slices set upon a base of muesli. It was DRY.

I've found the perfect London substitute to my usually late lunches: afternoon tea. Yesterday we had afternoon tea at the Dorchester. Tea is served at the Promenade, which is the hotel's lobby. The flower arrangements are beautiful. Yesterday they were peach and cream and white. I love white roses. The sandwiches were melt in your mouth scrumptious! That was my favorite part. I also tried their Jasmine Dragon herbal tea which was very nice. They served a strawberry jelly with yogurt between the sandwiches and scones/pastries. When you make a reservation, they ask you in advance what food requirements you have and we said vegetarian. They were prepared for us when we came and had a selection of vegetarian sandwiches ready.

We then went to Laduree at Harrods. Beautiful pastel shades and a scrumptious (yes I love that word) display of sweets. What kind of ruins the place is that it's frequented by people from the Arabian-Persian (diplomatically correct ;) )Gulf, who primarily want to see/be seen/show off/ and generally look absolutely weird. Lines of "exotic".. garish, in my opinion, cars are parked outside the cafe and other foreigners are constantly seen taking pictures of them. I saw a mat, hot pink Qatari Lambo Murcielago today.. emmm... what? AH, I better remind myself that this is a FOOD BLOG and not a social commentary. SO, going to the food at Laduree.. I tried the macaroons after hearing they were like heaven. (so far, my favorite is Paul's macaroons).. I tried the vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and raspberry macaroons. Loved the raspberry and vanilla best!

I then met up with a friend and we walked over to The Terrace on Knightsbridge which is by the Sheraton on Lowndes Square/Sloane Street. I ate olives a la Provencal and she had a sandwich. They brought the wrong sandwich at first and then took half an hour to bring the correct one. Their fries were good though, friendly staff, and the place is perfect for people watching on the street if you don't really want to be seen yourself.

For dinner, we then went to Artisan at the Westbury Hotel Mayfair. Lovely restaurant. Everything was amazing, creative, lovely, delicious, and simply wonderful! The menu is pretty interesting. The cuisine is modern European and everything has a creative take to it. They bring lots of appetizers, canapes, and palate cleaning things that are on the house. I tried a mini foie gras burger.. (first foie gras for me.. tried not to think of what it really is...) I also tried a tomato and basil milkshake. There was also trout stuck on something like those pop up wire photoframes. We all had a fillet of sea bream as our main course. This was cooked perfectly. As a starter, I had smoked salmon, caper, and tartare terrine which I loved. My other dinner companions had spring onion and mushroom veloute... which is a soup. The staff bring you bowls with sprigs of leaves on them and then pour the soup from a sort of transparent teapot. We were too full for dessert but the restaurant did give us mini chocolate giveaways which I have yet to eat.. saving it for when I really get the munchies!

Day 2's restaurants were as follows:
We had breakfast at Harrod's Georgian Restaurant/Terrace Bar.. I've always wondered, is it the same thing or two different things? So yet again I was in search of the muesli I've been craving so bad and ordered a home made granola.. (oats, milk/yogurt, fruits, raisins..) DISAPPOINTED yet again.. the only places I've had perfect bircher mueslis or muesli in general are Qatar's W hotel breakfast and Bahrain's Ritz Carlton. Tried making my own once but it didn't work out somehow...
Anyways, I've had breakfast @ Harrod's Terrace Bar before and I really like their eggs florentine. I became an eggs florentine person the last time I was here in London.

For our afternoon tea/late lunch we went to Brown's Hotel in Mayfair on Ablemarle/Albemarle (sp?) Street. If you'd like their "tea-tox" you need to order it at least 24hrs in advance. Tea-tox is their "detox" version of afternoon tea which is low-fat, low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb. We ordered two tea-toxes and one normal one.. as you can imagine, we started eating more of the traditional, normal, full fat tea food than the detox one. Although, kudos to Brown's, their tea tox was GOOD! there was a nice selection of sandwiches, namely tuna, cucumber, and salmon on rye and brown breads. There were cucumber, carrot, and capsicum sticks served with hummus, and the desserts were the most creative of all. Jellies and mini tarts, and little cake slices but all healthy. They also bring two large, round cakes on a tray and serve you slices of those but we were too full. One of those was a Victoria sponge which looked fab. I love Victoria sponge. The traditional tea was also really goood. Nice sandwiches and mini scones. If I'm not mistaken, clotted cream tastes like butter... I had a hibiscus tea there which was very nice, and as you leave, the staff present you with tiny sachets which contain the dried tea leaves of the tea you had.

For dinner, we visited Via Condotti on Conduit Street.. it rhymes doesn't it? Via Condotti, the Italian restaurant is right opposite the Westbury Mayfair where Artisan is. Via Condotti, the actual street in Rome that the restaurant is named after, is one of my favorite places on Earth <3. The restaurant had such a warm and friendly feel to it. The walls are orange, the flooring wood, and each table has a little flower pot and candle. Their spaghetti pomodoro is phenomenal!

So that's it! ALSO, is amazing for making reservations! SEE FOR YOURSELF.
ciao. x

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