Food & Drink

Lunch at The Ritz – Affordable fine-dining

I have always lusted over photos of afternoon tea at The Ritz but I could never justify going. There just wasn’t a special occasion, well, special enough.

Until we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. I booked an extremely affordable deal through Bookatable.com – the Star Deal consisting of three courses and a glass of champagne for only £49 per person.

From the traditionally dressed porters opening the door to the antique furnishings, chandeliers and fine art adorning the walls, The Ritz is quintessentially English. Old English, that is.

The Ritz London Voucher Discount Deal Lunch Restaurant London

We were seated in the restaurant by a waiter who wasn’t particularly welcoming but pleasant enough. As it was a weekday the restaurant was relatively busy but we seemed to be the only ‘tourists’. The restaurant is breathtakingly beautiful, opulent, decedent and everything you would expect for such a fancy dining experience.

Lunch at The Ritz London Affordable Deal Luxury Restaurant Anniversary

I wore a tulle skirt with a respectable knee-length, teamed with a pale blue crochet blouse and low block heels. Jonathan wore a suit as he had just met me from work, although regardless of this a suit is necessary with the dress code.

Quite often when you book a discounted deal with a restaurant, they make a fuss and you have to request the details and/or separate menu. However, this was not the case here. As soon as we were seated a different waiter arrived with a glass of champagne for each of us and our set menu, which had a good variety of options. The service from this moment on was impeccable; classical dining service to reflect the fine-dining experience.

Var Salmon The Ritz Restaurant Lunch London Special Deal

For the starter we both selected the Var Salmon with beetroot, horseradish and orange. The presentation was exquisite, arty even, and the combination of colours, textures and flavours were simply amazing.

Navarin of lamb The Ritz Lunch Restaurant London Special Offer Deal

For the main we also both went for the same dish, Navarin of Lamb served with caramelised shallot, peas and goats curd. Don’t let the small portion size fool you, this was incredibly filling and the lamb the best I have ever tasted.

Cherry Souffle The Ritz London Lunch Restaurant Special Offer Deal

For dessert Jonathan opted for the Cherry Soufflé and I had the lemon mousse. I am a dessert girl but the mousse was a little too sweet for me. At the end of the meal we were served complimentary canapés, including a delightful mini macaroon that was just divine.

I fell in love with the elegant, decedent nature of The Ritz and yes it is pretentious but it is a wonderful dining experience. Definitely look on Bookatable.com for a deal too as it makes fine-dining affordable.

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Decadent Chocolate Truffle Torte Teacup – No Bake Recipe

Love seriously rich, decadent chocolate? Then you are in for a treat. It’s sickly sweet and super easy to make – my fave combo!

Chocolate Truffle Torte No Bake Recipe

I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food website – it requires only a few ingredients, takes hardly any time to make and requires no baking. It’s really as simple as that.

And to serve? I set the torte in these pretty vintage style teacups – perfect for afternoon tea!

♥ Decadent Chocolate Truffle Torte, BBC Good Food – Link

Healthy Takeout Alternative – Spicy Prawn and Spinach Curry

If you’re looking for a light, fresh and seriously delicious curry, then this recipe is perfect. I found it on Ruth Crilly’s (A Model Recommends) YouTube channel and absolutely love it!!

My Spicy Prawn & Spinach Curry ready to be served.

What I love about this curry is that it’s really simple to follow, quick and easy to make and contains some of my favourite ingredients: coriander, garlic and chilli! It’s also full of healthy goodness and smells amazing.

This dish can be adjusted according to your own personal taste. I adapted it slightly by stirring in soya yogurt before the spinach and prawns went in (the light version may curdle) and by adding chilli powder in addition to the fresh chilli’s to make it really spicy. This reminds me of a cross between a Thai curry and an Indian curry!

If you’re not a fan of hot and spicy food, leave out the chilli. The same for the yogurt – leave this out if you don’t want your curry creamy.

For Ruth’s recipe you can actually follow along and watch how she makes it on her vlog or you’ll find the full recipe and method below the video. – Link

Gyms Kitchen – Eat Clean, Train Dirty!

Gyms Kitchen We just came back from a lovely dinner at Gyms Kitchen in East London. It’s good and I mean seriously good!

We had a mixed grill of lamb chops (I’m not usually a fan of chops but these were so tender), chicken wings and butterfly chicken breast with brown spicy rice and salad. I tried the chilli sauce and loved it, you could really taste the fresh chills and coriander! I also had the teriyaki sauce which was definitely my favourite! My boyfriend had the pesto sauce and said it was good – so there is definitely a selection to suit all tastes!

We shared the blueberry pancakes for dessert which came with honey and peanut butter. So, so good!!

I also must mention the mocha frappe shake I had (it can be a protein shake) which was far better than any Starbucks frappe! They were also great with changing it to soya and decaf for me, coupled with just generally excellent customer service.

I definitely recommend browsing the menu on their website as it shows the protein/fat/calorie content etc for each item – and don’t forget to try the pancakes!! Also, when we walked in Arg from TOWIE was ordering his food, so if you’re a fan of TOWIE, you’re likely to spot a few in there!

Lastly, if it’s your new year’s resolution to stay fit and healthy, take a trip to Gyms Kitchen for a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner or just pancakes and a shake!

www.gymskitchen.com 

You are what you eat – Food intolerance test

Today I used my Groupon voucher for a Bio-Electronic Regulatory Food Intolerance test. I held a handpiece while the therapist used a probe to connect different food types to an acupuncture point on my finger.  I must add that before this process took place the therapist gave me an electric shock, which was more uncomfortable than any actual physical pain- followed by varying different food substances tested to see how my body reacted to each one.  The Daily Mail have an article ‘Put your food intolerance to the test’ explaining the procedure in more detail.

The results? Well according to the lovely therapist I have the most food intolerances she has ever seen.  This doesn’t suprise me at all, particularly as I suffer from terrible IBS and have done for the last few years.  Blood tests, food diaries and medicine didn’t help so hopefully this will.  I left with a chart on what foods tested very intolerant and that I should avoid (for example certain fish, cows milk, olive oil, lactose, various fruit etc) and others that I shouldn’t eat/drink too much off – including white wine!!

If you struggle with IBS or similar symptoms, I definitely reccomend this.  Although do remember your body needs a balanced diet so don’t cut everything out!

Fashion Afternoon Tea in Style – The Mandeville Hotel London

For my 24th birthday yesterday I booked us afternoon tea at The Mandeville Hotel in Marylebone London. The Mandeville Hotel Afternoon Tea London Mens Tea

We were seated in a contemporary but chic lounge area with soft and sunken sofa seats and a table set up with Zandra Rhodes beautiful, butterfly bona china.  Then came the menus; I had the fashion pink tea and Jon went for the men’s tea.  Apparently the men’s tea is becoming very popular for stag weekends in London!

We were provided with a selection of savoury and sweet options from the menu and asked to select a tea option; I went for the rose bud tea and Jon had green tea.  After our waiter explained the stand of food in detail, we were ready to tuck in.

The stands really are a piece of art and so beautifully presented. The fashion tea includes scones and clotted cream, cupcakes, pink meringue and a selection of sandwiches while the men’s tea consists of a steak sandwich, mini burgers and cognac fudge, amongst other items.

For a modern, fun and stylish take on the quintessentially English afternoon tea, head for The Mandeville.  Understated and modern luxury, perfect for both men and women.

The Mandeville Afternoon Tea, £26.50 pp – Link