Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

Oh I do love strawberries! Aside from the fact that they are sweet, juicy and delicious, a whole cup contains just 43 calories which means that I can snack on them until I feel completely stuffed and not have to feel guilty about it in the slightest!

From May until October the British strawberry season comes into full swing and with a plentiful supply available the price per punnet reduces. This means that I can afford to buy fresh strawberries more regularly which makes me a very happy (and more healthy!) bunny.

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

I’m clearly not the only one with a fondness for the humble strawberry either. Did you know that there’s an industry body whose sole purpose is to represent the berry growers here in GB? They’re called British Summer Fruits and they fund the Seasonal Berries programme; a year-round campaign which shares the latest information and facts on berries. A few weeks ago their team held a special event at the recently opened, sassy as hell restaurant StreetXO in Mayfair to celebrate strawberry season. Yes, I did just call a restaurant sassy, you’ll see why in a minute!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

In what can only be described as a dream afternoon for a foodie like myself, I was allowed into the Street XO kitchen to hang out with the chefs and watch them in action. I had a go at making some of their fabulously creative signature dishes myself… or at least I chopped up the odd strawberry and used a thermo mixer whilst the chef did all the complicated bits… but hey, I helped!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5 Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5 Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

All the dishes had been reinvented for the day to feature the star of the show, the strawberry, in order to showcase it’s versatility. As it turns out strawberries aren’t just for smoothies and desserts, there’s a lot more that you can do with these beautiful red berries!

So let’s talk about StreetXO. I feature food on my blog A LOT but what you probably don’t know is that I’m a proper geek about it all. I’m fascinated by molecular gastronomy (the sort of thing Heston Blumenthal does where he uses science to play around with the taste and texture of food) and although taste is obviously key, I also love finding restaurants that create theatre and drama and give you an experience whilst you’re there. StreetXO has it in spades with an in your face, unapologetic punk vibe to the decor and chefs with mohawks wearing straightjacket buckled whites.

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

The restaurant is the brainchild of David Munoz, Madrid’s only three time Michelin star chef. He’s been described as the ‘enfant terrible’ of fine dining for his highly creative, sometimes wacky take on cuisine. Reviews of the restaurant that I found online were incredibly mixed with some high brow food critics calling it ‘style over substance’.

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5 Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

It certainly has style. My friend and I started off at the bar for a cocktail and were more than a little baffled by the choices. They all sounded fun from their names, but we weren’t entirely sure what we were ordering because we hadn’t heard of half of the ingredients!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

Watching the cocktails being made was entertaining in itself, with each one seemingly more outrageous and theatrical than the last! One arrived in some kind of glass bubble topped with unicorn candyfloss, whilst a G&T arrived in a comically oversized wine glass. There’s a reason behind the theatrics, apparently the huge glass allows you to appreciate all the aromas. I just found it really fun to watch!

Then there’s the food. The portions are quite small and I got the impression that you’d ideally need to order 3 or 4 to fill you up (I was sharing each plate with two friends so it was a bit hard to get a true sense, but I shared 5 dishes and could have eaten more). This makes it an expensive place to eat, probably around £75 before drinks – ouch!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

The food though was downright delicious and a total surprise to the senses. What looked to be a rather unassuming salad was my highlight of the menu. Every mouthful was an explosion of different flavours and I found myself wanting more which believe me is something I’ve NEVER said before about a salad!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

Who knew that strawberries would work in a savoury salad either? Try that one at home kids, it’s a belter!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

Then there was a the pekinese dumpling with crunchy pig’s ear, strawberry hoisin, Ali-oil and pickles. Despite wincing at the thought of eating a pigs ear (OMG that sounds awful doesn’t it?) I decided to be brave and ended up enjoying the first so much that I had a second. The best part for me though was watching the chefs assemble the dish. Although there are regular tables for seating, you can also choose to sit at the bar and from there see the whole production line as they create their artistic masterpiece before your eyes.

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5 Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

So what can I say? I’m not a qualified food critic, I’m just a regular ‘eat out for a treat when I can afford it and then feel kind of naughty for spending so much on a plate of food but hey it was fun and I’ll do it again next payday’ kind of girl. And all I can say about StreetXO is DAMN I had fun eating there!

Strawberry Season Seasonal Berries StreetXO Event 5

StreetXO is situated at 15 Old Burlington Street, W1S 2JR and you can book at StreetXO.com
For more information on all the wonderful berries available across the year and facts on their health benefits visit www.seasonalberries.co.uk

LovedByLaura

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Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

A few weeks ago I received a most egg-sellent invite from Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre. Get this – they wanted me to visit them for the evening to taste test (i.e. stuff my face with) the Easter treats on offer from Thorntons, Marks and Spencers and John Lewis this year.

I’ve been trying my best to eat healthily since Christmas since that turned into an all out no holds barred assault on my waistline. The thought of turning down a room full of Easter chocolate though? Not a chance! I decided to have the biggest cheat day in the history of cheat days!

I turned up to the Queensgate offices with a couple of my blogging friends and we soon found ourselves face to face with a table choc-full (pun FULLY intended) of Easter treats which was ours to demolish!

First we had to crack (sorry another pun – I can’t stop myself now) how best to dismantle all the treats. I confessed that my usual at home method involves wrapping my refrigerated egg in a bit of kitchen roll and then crushing it on the floor using my knee! I LOVE the satisfying crunch! Since we didn’t have any kitchen roll to hand, however, we settled for a not all that much less violent fist smashing technique. We made a LOT of mess and ate a LOT of chocolate. It was, quite simply, the BEST way to spend an evening.

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

The Easter 2017 Chocolate Gift Guide

I picked out my favourites and have put a little gift guide together below to help you match your Easter chocolate to all the people in your life!

For the foodie

When normal Easter Egg chocolate just won’t do, you need the gourmet version!

Lemon Meringue Pie White Chocolate Egg | Thorntons

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

My absolute favourite egg of the night is this beautifully presented showstopper. The chocolate itself contains delightfully chewy pieces of lemon zest and the centre has yet more of these, beautifully balanced by light and crunchy meringue bites. Being that it’s white chocolate, this one is very sweet but it’s utterly delicious, you’ll just probably find yourself needing a little lie down afterwards!

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

Butlers Easter Egg Collection | John Lewis

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

There are 5 eggs featured in this gorgeous gift set. I loved that each one had it’s own texture as well as flavour to keep things interesting, including Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Crisp, White Chocolate and Mixed Berry, and Almond and Orange.

For The Children (and Young At Heart!)

Laid Back Lamb | Marks and Spencers

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

How adorable is this one? We felt bad for pulling off his arms and legs, but the chocolate was thick and tasty so we soon forgot. Poor little lamb! This one is a hand decorated milk chocolate hollow egg so is suitable for children and avoids being too rich.

Spiketail the Dinosaur| Marks and Spencers

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

My nephews go nuts for anything with a dinosaur on it, so I’m pretty sure they’d think that milk chocolate Spiketail is the best thing since sliced bread. He comes complete with candy coated speckled eggs which are rather yummy on their own – bonus.

For The One That Like Things A Little Dark

Dark Chocolate Quirky Bunny | Marks and Spencers

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

This one is a little piece of art! I found the chocolate a bit too bitter for my taste (I have got a very sweet tooth) but my friends ranked this in their top two from the evening, so I had to include it.

Which Came First? | Marks and Spencers

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

This egg looks really posh but has a hidden sense of humour! The lighter side is made from single origin Ecuadorian milk chocolate and the darker side is Dominican Republic dark chocolate. Opening the egg reveals a hidden surprise inside – a golden chicken!

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

The egg looks completely solid but is actually hollow, which disappointed me initially because I am a greedy guts, until I found that the chocolate is really rich and so not something that you’d want to eat in a huge slab!

For The Traditionalists

Happy Jackson ‘Awesome’ Milk Chocolate Easter Egg | John Lewis

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

This is your classic Easter Egg chocolate – the one that you eat half of and then put away for another day, only to return half an hour later to polish it off! I love Happy Jackson stuff too, the packaging is just always so cheery!

Holdsworth Spring Meadow Milk Chocolate Easter Egg | John Lewis

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

This one would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent. The egg is made from finest 33% milk chocolate and is presented in a lovely keepsake terracotta pot containing a packet of wild flower seeds.

Foil Wrapped Eggs in Carry Case | John Lewis

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

This is a lovely selection of eggs that would be perfect for an Easter Sunday hunt! There are classic hollow milk chocolate ones for the children, but every so often you’ll also come across a yummy hazlenut praline surprise too.

For The One Who Doesn’t Like Easter Eggs

Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre Easter Chocolate Gift Guide

Sweet Shop and Fruit Mousse Chocolate Selection Boxes | Thorntons

These aren’t your average selection box chocolates, they are full of fruity spring flavour combinations that you might not expect. I wasn’t sure whether I’d like a chocolate flavoured with pineapple until I tried one and then had to hold back from eating the other three in the box! Highly recommended if you like fruit. Pretty sure that these must count as at least 2 of your 5-a-day too. #WishfulThinking

So there you have it – my selections for Easter 2017. Which one takes YOUR fancy?

LovedByLaura

Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples, but all views expressed are my own because being the kind soul that I am I basically I ate ALL the chocolate so that I could provide an honest review. I know. I’m like the next Mother Theresa or something.

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AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

Okay okay I know that Pancake Day has been and gone but please don’t put away your frying pan away yet as I have the perfect recipe for healthy (ish) gluten free blender pancakes that you need in your life all year round!

Last week AO.com very kindly sent me a Nutribullet Smoothie Maker* to have some fun with and as a bit of inspiration directed me to Jamie Oliver’s recipe for blender pancakes. I loved the idea of being able to whip up a no fuss, all in one recipe and his blueberry pancakes looked delicious but the main ingredient was banana. Try as I might, I just don’t like them!

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

I got to thinking that if I couldn’t use bananas, was there something else I could use instead? A bit of Pinterest and Google searching later and I’d hit upon my magic ingredient for blender pancakes: apple sauce! I know it sounds a bit weird but trust me – somehow it really works!

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

The following recipe is my adaptation of the Apple Oatmeal pancakes recipe by CookieandKate.com. She had noted that her version was a little bit hit and miss when other people tried it but I think my recipe is pretty much foolproof.

Put it this way: Whenever I’ve cooked pancakes in the past I’ve always manage to stuff up at least the first couple in some way; either I used too much batter, got the pan too hot or didn’t get the batter consistency right. With my apple sauce recipe though I managed to make 5 evenly cooked, fluffy American style pancakes straight off the bat. See? I couldn’t NOT share it after that!

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Healthy(ish) Apple Sauce Blender Pancakes

Ingredients

90g porridge oats

240g jar of apple sauce

1 egg

3 tbsps melted coconut oil (plus a bit extra for the frying pan)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp agave nectar (or you could use honey instead)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  • If you have a milling blade attachment for your blender, blitz your oats to a fine flour first, otherwise skip to the next step.

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

  • Add all of the ingredients to the blender, then whizz the mixture until it’s completely smooth.

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

  • Add a quarter to half a teaspoon of coconut oil to a frying pan on a medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warmed up, spoon a fifth of the batter mixture into the pan (if you have a set of cup measurements then use the 1/3 cup to make this really easy).
  • Cook the pancake until bubbles start to appear and pop, which will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • At this stage carefully loosen the edges of the pancake, then flip it over and cook the pancakes for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • If needed, add some more coconut oil to the pan and then cook the next pancake, and so on.
  • Finally, stack ’em high, add whatever toppings you fancy and then get stuck in!

Spiced Baked Fruit Topping

Maple syrup and fresh fruit work brilliantly well as toppings (so does a big dollop of ice cream!) but as I’ve been feeling the cold this week I decided to make a warming spiced baked fruit mix. Just imagine the cosy, almost festive smell brought to your kitchen as the tangy fruits slowly release their juices and soak up the cinnamon and nutmeg – this is definitely one to try when the weather is a bit miserable!

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

(Umm, so yeah confession: I got a phone call whilst cooking and being a Chatty Cathy I kind of forgot about the fruit in the oven, hence it looks a wee bit more charred in my photos than it should be! It still tasted delicious but it was an absolute bugger to clean the tray afterwards so I suggest setting a timer and checking on your fruit every so often to avoid the extra washing up!)

Ingredients

Small tin of pineapple chunks

Small punnet of cherries

2 Granny Smith apples

1 1/2 tbsps Canderel Sweetener

3 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 lemon (juice)

1 tbsp Agave Nectar (substitute with honey if necessary)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions

Prehead the oven to 150 degrees celcius.

Slice the apples into wedges and pop them into a roasting/baking tray. Add the lemon juice and make sure that the apple slices are all covered.

Remove the stones from the cherries and them and any other fruits that you fancy to the tray.

Sprinkle the spices and sweetener over the mix, and drizzle over the Agave Nectar and then finally add the melted coconut oil. Toss everything together until it’s all well coated, then bake it in the oven for an hour. (Check on things after 45 minutes in case your oven is more powerful than mine.)

Once ready, dollop a big pile over your pancakes. If you’re feeling really indulgent and want to kick things up a notch, add some natural yoghurt, honey or even ice cream to the party!

AO.com Nutribullet Healthy Blender Pancakes Recipe

I love hearing what you think of my recipes and seeing your creations so if you try my healthy blender pancakes please do tag me to let me know how you get on! You’ll find me on Instagram and Twitter as @lovedbylaurac

LovedByLaura
Disclaimer: The lovely people at AO.com sent me the Nutribullet in order to experiment with healthy blender pancakes recipes.

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How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Masterchef Australia seems to have an obsession with making showstopping desserts which I know because I have an obsession with watching Masterchef Australia! There’s one in particular which has a super impressive wow factor yet is actually quite easy to make when you break it down: Chocolate Bombs.

The basic concept of a chocolate bomb dessert is simple:  it’s a chocolate sphere that you either break open with a spoon or, even more impressively, pour a hot sauce over, watching the chocolate slowly melt away to reveal a hidden surprise inside. This can be whatever you want to fill it with. Ice cream… a whipped mousse…cake… sweeties… or OOH even a ring for a lucky few! 😉

I decided to have a go at creating my own Masterchef inspired chocolate bomb desserts at home because a) I like a challenge and b) I got to play with vast amounts of chocolate! I was so pleased with the results that I thought I’d share the what I did on here as a little Valentine’s Day inspo.

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

You can either incorporate the chocolate bombs into a romantic dinner at home or, as I will likely be doing, scoff one yourself in a Treat Yo’Self moment whilst wearing your comfiest pyjamas and singing along with Bridget Jones to “All By Myself!” (Joke. Well kind of…the cats will be there too!)

Anyway, these look WAY harder to make than they actually are. You just need a smidge of patience, a few bits of equipment that you can easily pick up and strong willpower to resist the urge to eat the chocolate before it gets to the bowl.

Oh and the best part? Quite a lot of melted chocolate gets leftover which you can make into chocolate bark – so this makes two delicious treats for the price of one!

Here’s how:

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts

You will need:

  • A chocolate thermometer (I use this one from good old Amazon but Lakeland do one too here!)
  • Silicone large half sphere moulds (again I got mine from Amazon – yay for Prime!)
  • 400g milk chocolate
  • Dr Oetker Gold Shimmer Spray (available in the baking aisle at Tesco’s)
  • A filling of your choice (I used Dime Bar Ice Cream and Popping Candy)
  • Caramel Sauce (you could make it yourself, but I use Tesco Finest Salted Caramel Dessert Sauce because it’s a lot easier!)
  • A selection of cupcake sprinkles / nuts / dried fruit for your chocolate bark. Again whatever you fancy!
  • 4 digestive biscuits
  • A knob of butter
  • A handful of raspberries
  • Edible flowers (I used violas which are a common garden flower that you can pick up a bedding pot of from any garden centre or DIY store and sometimes even the supermarket)

Prep

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Finely chop 100g of the chocolate and roughly chop the other 300g.

Line a baking tray with cling film.

Stage 1 – Tempering The Chocolate

Okay here’s the science bit! You have to be quite precise at melting and setting chocolate again in order to get a nice shine and a pleasing snap. This is called tempering and is just that – you bring the chocolate to some precise temperatures so that the crystals contained in it are broken down and then reformed in a controlled way.

To do this, pop the 300g of roughly chopped chocolate into a bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan half filled with hot but not boiling water. Make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the bottom of the saucepan. Using your thermometer, raise the temperature to 45 degrees celcius, then take the bowl off the saucepan and set it down.

Pour one third of the chocolate into a seperate bowl and set it aside somewhere warm.

Add the 100g of finely chopped chocolate to the remaining two thirds of melted chocolate and stir constantly until the temperature drops to 28 degrees celcius. This can take a bit of time, but if your kitchen is warm and you find that it gets stuck before it gets down to this temperature, my cheat method is to put it in the fridge, keeping the door open and continue to stir until it gets there!

Finally, add the reserved third of chocolate back into the bowl and stir until it reaches 30 degrees celcius. Congratulations – you just tempered chocolate!

Stage 2 – Making the spheres and chocolate bark

Now comes the fun part! Pour your tempered chocolate into the spheres, rotating them until each has been lined.

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Then turn the sphere tray upside down over the bowl so that the chocolate all drizzles back out again, leaving just a thin layer in each sphere. The thinner it is, the more likely your bomb will melt away theatrically when you pour over the hot sauce later!

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Pop the sphere tray in the fridge to set.

Pour all that excess chocolate into the lined tray, then add whatever toppings you like. I went for crumbled honeycomb, decorative edible stars and popping candy. Then pop this try in the fridge and leave overnight to set.

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Stage 3 – Assembling and decorating your chocolate bomb desserts

Heat the caramel sauce and keep it hot and ready to pour.

Melt the knob of butter in a small saucepan and crush the digestive biscuits into a fine crumble. Little by little, add the butter until your digestives are coated but still crumbly. Using a spoon, add a pile to each plate and spread it out artistically! Sprinkle over some popping candy, then add a few edible flowers and raspberries.

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Next, warm a saucepan on the stove and then lay it down upside down so that the base is facing upwards. Then very carefully, pop out two of your spheres. Don’t worry if the edges crack very slightly. Fill one half sphere with your chosen surprise. Then, take the other sphere and place it for a few seconds on to the base of the saucepan, so that the edges start to melt. Then top your filled sphere with this one, and gently press down to seal them together. Run your finger along the join to smooth it out.

Make your other spheres, then spray each with the edible paint. This looks swanky but covers a multitude of sins!

How to make wow factor chocolate bomb desserts at home

Carefully place each sphere onto your prepped plates, then serve the chocolate bomb desserts immediately with the hot pouring sauce!

The Next Day…

…well now you can scoff all that chocolate bark can’t you?

Happy Valentine’s Day for next week everyone, whether you’re single, loved up, or somewhere in between!

LovedByLaura

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A Foodie Weekend In London | Travel

This weekend I spent a lovely relaxed weekend in London with my friend Oliver exploring the city and discovering hidden gems that I couldn’t wait to share with you!

(Spoiler alert: Most of my recommendations are food related as per usual!)

We stayed at the Citizen M Hotel in Shoreditch (nearest tube Old Street) which was a really fun base for our travels. Because it’s in the financial district most things shut down at the weekend so it’s a peaceful place to escape to after a busy day. However Kings Cross is only 2 stops away so you can be back in the thick of things within 10 minutes!

As you venture deeper into Shoreditch things start to get less formal and more colourful. Trendy coffee houses and bars are popping up all over the place to sit alongside traditional pubs and cut price Bangladeshi restaurants.

A Weekend In London | Travel

We took a wander around the corner from the hotel and found Boxpark. It’s a pop up shopping mall made up of shipping container units which house an eclectic mix of boutique and luxury stores (including Diptyque) as well as an abundance of street food vendors.

(Bear in mind that the shops open at midday on a Sunday. We forgot this – oops!)

The highlight for us was finding Dum Dums Donutterie.

A Weekend In London | Travel A Weekend In London | Travel A Weekend In London | Travel

It’s the home of the Zebra Cronut. These babies are layers of croissant and chocolate croissant dough, filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache. They are every bit as delicious as they sound!

A Weekend In London | Travel

If you go to Harrods food court you’ll spot Dum Dum’s cronuts there for £4 a pop, but head over to Boxpark to eat them fresh in store at a snip of the price!

…you might even get invited behind the counter to have your picture taken!

A Weekend In London | Travel

(Excuse the blurry snap, my camera was clearly distracted by all the doughnuts and decided to focus on them!)

Back at the hotel it was time to check in. I knew I was going to like Citizen M as soon as the lift opened and stepped out into the reception area where I was greeted with the sight of funky lights, leather seating, pop art cushions…

A Weekend In London | Travel A Weekend In London | Travel

…rows upon rows of Penguin classics on one shelf, an assortment of fashion books and all sorts of pop culture figurines.

A Weekend In London | Travel

There were plenty of food and drink options…

A Weekend In London | Travel

…and lots of spacious seating areas and technology hubs.

A Weekend In London | Travel

We decided we’d better see if the rooms lived up to our expectations which had increased tenfold since arriving…

A Weekend In London | Travel A Weekend In London | Travel A Weekend In London | Travel

…they did!

A Weekend In London | Travel

Straight away Oliver made a beeline for the Ipad and was in his element using it to play about with all the room controls. You could change the room temperature, the TV, electric blinds and even the lighting to every hue in the rainbow!

A Weekend In London | Travel

The rooms are not the biggest, but are very cleverly designed to maximise the space. The walk in shower room felt very spacious though and came with luscious scented toiletries and a huge waterfall showerhead.

A Weekend In London | Travel

The rooms were £129 for a Saturday night and I was really impressed with what you get for your money. Breakfast wasn’t included but there were complimentary bottles of water and a free library of movies to watch in the room, plus two drink vouchers redeemable in the hotel bar.

Suitably impressed, we headed out into London in search of a good foodie spot for lunch and I knew just the place to head to!

A Weekend In London | Travel

Regent Street gets pretty unbearable and overcrowded on a Saturday afternoon, but if you slip off down the side street Foulbert’s Place you’ll find yourself in Carnaby. It’s a brilliant place to shop and you actually have a bit of elbow room! It’s also here that you find Kingly Court tucked away; a courtyard surrounded by 3 floors of restaurants and bars.

A Weekend In London | Travel

After much deliberation on which type of cuisine to try we settled on Le Bab, London’s gourmet kebab restaurant.

A Weekend In London | Travel

We shared some Mutton Meatballs with Arabic sauce which were flavourful and fragrant whilst partaking in some rather delicious cocktails.

A Weekend In London | Travel

For my main I had the Paneer Kebab – BBQ paneer (cottage cheese) with a beetroot puree, crispy onion, pickled rainbow chard stem and curry mayo.

A Weekend In London | Travel

It’s best eaten rolled up in the flatbread- fingers are totally allowed! I loved the balance of flavours and didn’t find it at all lacking despite it being a meat free kebab.

The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering from street to street, peeking in luxury shop windows and spending our imaginary lottery wins. Before heading back to the hotel I had a hankering for some champagne so we stopped off at Searcy’s Champagne Bar inside St Pancras Station. Again, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds in the main bars and don’t mind a tube ride then this is a good place to try.

We ended up doing a Champagne taster menu where 3 champagnes were paired alongside 3 flavours of Joe & Seph’s popcorn in cute little miniature cartons. Isn’t that just the cutest idea?

A Foodie Weekend In London | Travel

The following day involved yet more food. Oliver’s parents were in town so we met them for lunch at Mac & Wild (which I’ve reviewed previously here.)

…and due to the fact that I probably consumed two weeks worth of calories in a day and a half, I’m now off to eat a Weight Watcher’s Chicken Curry! Totally worth it though!

Have you been to London? What are your favourite places to visit? Do you have a favourite restaurant?

LovedByLaura

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