Date Night: Blacklock Soho

I’m back with a topic I love to talk about… Food!

Last week ended in celebration and as with any, it involved copious amounts of alcohol and ended with me carrying home a food baby. Oh the joys of gluttony!

As I ‘hinted’ in my last post, I love finding and exploring new spots to eat, in, and around London, and I’ve had Blacklock on my ‘To-Do’ list ever since my colleague recommended it.

Hidden away on a back street in Soho, Blacklock seems inconspicuous, I actually walked past it, before realising what seemed like a closed shop, was actually the entrance to a softly lit basement restaurant.

As soon as we walked down into the basement it seemed like we had entered a modern day Game of Thrones dinning room. Dark wooden tables, wooden beams, candlelight, meat galore on every table, while cool music was playing in the background.

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Quote: Let’s talk about chops baby. Let’s talk about you and meat. 

We had to wait a while before being seated so one tip from me to you, would be to book beforehand, but it’s not a major biggie as the food is well worth the wait.

Once in, we were given amazing service. It was refreshingly nice that the waiters and waitresses remembered our names and gave us a personalised service… it’s so rare these days so extra points for them, because I’ll definitely be returning.

As this was our first time, we were recommended to go ‘All In’. This gave us a chance to taste all the meat they had to offer – think pork, steak and lamb cutlets, along with a tray of entrees and two sides.

One thing I hadn’t noticed until after we left, was that we were never asked how we’d liked our meat cooked. Quite peculiar, but, it definitely worked in their favour as they know how to cook the meat pieces to perfection. It was delicious. Not too rare and bloody, but not at all tough and chewy. To be honest with you, I think Blacklock produced the very best steak I’ve ever had.

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Blacklock All In. Pork chops, Steak, Lamb cutlets all on Flatbread.

As you can see, between two people, we really shouldn’t have been able to finish everything there, but we gave it a good go anyway.

Everything was was cooked amazingly. The simple flavours blended well too. I was stuffed. But, not stuffed enough lol.

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Sides: Courgettes with Stilton Cheese and Sweet Potato.

We also opted for dessert – their freshly baked homemade cheesecake, topped with fresh fruit. A perfect palette cleanser, as it wasn’t sweet at all but had a pop of flavour from the fruit.

Sadly, I didn’t snap very much at all while there, but hopefully that’s a sign of how much I was enjoying the food.

I didn’t think I’d love Blacklock as much as I did, but it was a lovely last minute date-night destination that did not disappoint.

 

If you’re ever in the Soho are and decide to head down to Blacklock, let me know what you think x

P.S. I know there’s a lot of happening in London right now, but that doesn’t mean we should stop living our lives and live in fear of what ‘could’ happen. Live and Love.

#PrayforLondon

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Life Begins with a Bottomless Brunch

Living Hygge is something we’ve all become obsessed with.

Enjoying life’s simple pleasures may take on different forms to different people, but since taking on the responsibilities of being a proper adult, enjoying going out and exploring has become one of life’s pleasures for me. After all, life shouldn’t begin and end with work.

Bottomless brunch has been on my cards for a while, which is why I sought to find the best bottomless brunch in the city… well one of the best according to Time Out.

Villandry ticked all the boxes for me and after looking at the menu £35 a pop seemed like a great deal, especially as this bottomless brunch features never-ending prosecco!

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Sitting right in the middle of Great Portland Street, Villandry stood out in all it’s glory, it was so pretty.

I was greeted by very welcoming staff and sat my pretty table for two waiting for my Mr to arrive.

Considering they seemed to have very strict booking rules, the staff were very understanding as we were about an hour late (the booking supposedly lasts 2 hours, but I think they don’t mind how long you stay depending on how busy it is), but they assured me that time only starts from when the first prosecco is poured – result!

Once bae and I were both seated, we scanned the menu and ordered food pronto – by this point it was about 12:30 and we were both starving.

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I opted for poached eggs and avocado on rye bread he and a Full English!

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My boyfriend is not a big drinker but as he didn’t drive and we both caught the tube into central London, he let loose and had like 5 glasses one after the other –  literally never seen him like that.

The staff were really friendly, and kept topping up our glasses, it was a bit insane, especially as it was so early. The only time I’ve ever had ay alcoholic beverage at that time is on holiday.

About 30 minutes after we had eaten we decided it was time to go. Too much prosecco had been downed and we were actually acting like a couple of fools. Plus, we wanted to have a walk around Oxford Street. To be honest I think they were surprised we were leaving so early.

All in all I would rate Villandry an 8/10. The mood and atmosphere was spot on, the waiter ensured neither of our glasses were even half empty, but I have to say the food let the experience down – as it looked lovely but it was just OK – I would say The Breakfast Club is better quality. I also noticed that a few groups who came in after us, were served before us, which I feel is plain rude.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a nice picturesque spot in London to hang and have a good time with the girls this is the place, but if you’re looking to chow down on a nice brunch with prosecco being very much an after-thought, this place isn’t for you.

I would love to try another Bottomless Brunch just to have something to compare Villandry to…Have you been to any nice spots for brunch?

 

Blogmas: Meet-Up with the Girls!

For me the festive period has always been a time for indulging in food, spending time with family and celebrating with friends.

So when the ‘Blogging Queens’ (yes that is the name of our Whatsapp chat lol) finally organised a meet up that has been in the works  for nearly a whole year I was totally up for it!

After going back and forth with how to spend out first official meet-up we decided to hit up Winter Wonderland – is there anything more Christmassy?!

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Like any day out it ended up with food, and my girl Shannon Kara found us a beautiful, spot for us to chill, chat, and eat at a place called Black & Blue on Mortimer Street.

Hit this place up if you love freshly grilled prawns or a juicy steak, fruity cocktails and picturesque settings.

Peep the pictures to see the amazing food and don’t forget to check out my fellow blogging gals:

Shannon Kara
Yves Child
Laura Living Life
Natalie Onoita

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How have you been spending your time in the run up to Christmas? x

Box Park Croydon + MEATLiquor

Who’s got those midweek blues?

I know I do. I had an amazing weekend and I’m looking forward to this one coming. Not that I did anything spectacular, but it was super chilled – I actually had a well overdue lie in on Saturday – and even ventured out to my hometown, Croydon.

Whenever I mention Croydon to people, they’re never really sure what it has to offer, except the very drab, Whitgift centre *yawn*

Very recently though, it is undergoing a facelift and last week opened its very Box Park.

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Now this is a BIG thing, almost revolutionary for drab ole Croydon. If you didn’t know, the only other place in London to have a Box Park is Shoreditch.

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I really didn’t know what to expect and I may be a little biased, but it is 100x better than the original Box Park. There’s way more eateries, cool coffee places, my favourite donut place called DUMDUM’s and a huge seating area for everyone to come and eat drink and chat together – overall it just seems like a great chill spot… and it’s right on my doorstep.

During my visit with my dad and sister, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We wanted to explore somewhere new and came across MEATliquor and as it was brimming with people, it was an immediate yes.

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With a 30 minute waiting time to be seated, we headed to the bar and ordered some cocktails.

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I didn’t know much about the restaurant but I must admit, their cocktails were really good, for just a burger joint. They had a good variety to choose from, but what I didn’t like is that they were all named with a dark twist  – how does Fallen Angelita sound to you 😖 lol #notfeelingit

And after looking around it all made sense. To me the restaurant decor was meant to resemble something between purgatory and a butchers. There were skulls and bones painted on the walls, red spotlights and those plastic hanging flaps to replace doors (have no idea what they’re called). So, if you’re not into this kinda thing, it’s defo not for you (and I don’t blame ya).

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30 minutes seemed to whizz by because before we knew it we were seated and our food was in front of us. Served on a big yet organised platter it was time to chow down!

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As you can see we actually went in with the food and while it wasn’t the most succulent burger, we chose a mixture of what they had to offer.

The mixtures of flavours and foods was a great twist on popular greasy American food with a soul food flavourful spin.

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I went for a bacon cheese burger, hippie chips (sautéed onions and melted cheesy sauce on chips) and Onion rings. We also had another side of chips with blue cheese 😷, deep fried mac and cheese (the treadmill is calling me lol).

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To be honest the food did hit the spot, but I wouldn’t say its the best there is to offer.

It was genuinely a nice day out with the family, but I personally wouldn’t go back to MEATliquor as it’s just not my scene. I will, however, be going back to Box Park this Friday!

Have you tried MEATliquor? What’s your verdict?

Summer Dining at Aubaine

Hello you beauts,

The past week has been absolutely lush in London.

With highs of 34 degrees, I’ve been living it up as much as I can, and hopefully this week will be no different – fingers crossed☀️

When the suns out, I’m up for having a good time, as long as I’ve got some water and a twister ice lolly at the ready I’m good lol! (random side note: what’s your favourite summer ice lolly?)

After spending a lazy day, chilling in the park with my family over the weekend, my boyfriend and I wanted to make the most of the hot weather, so we headed into Wimbledon.

I occasionally take trips into Wimbledon, but, I’ve never really had the chance to explore Wimbledon village, which is why we headed up there in search of some good food!

The boyf and I had a lovely stroll, looking for something that tickled our fancy, bearing in mind we weren’t THAT hungry, after picking and nibbling on picnic food.

We always pass a place called the White Lion, but annoyingly it’s always packed, so we decided to venture a bit further and ended up at a place called Aubaine.

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Aubaine is literally the prettiest restaurant I’ve ever been to – offering fantastically laid-back couture French inspired atmosphere, that was chic and sophisticated.

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“Aubaine is a true blend of cosmopolitan style and French cuisine. Combining the elegance of a Parisian salon with the relaxed ambience of a Provençal bistro Aubaine serves both simplicity and style.
Superb food, urban yet rustic interiors and personable service give Aubaine an air of relaxed sophistication and an aura of chic. Evolving from the quest to find perfect French bread in London Aubaine still holds true to its philosophy of simple luxury: “simplicité c’est beauté”.”

This description literally hits the nail on head. 

When we arrived, bae and I received the best hospitality and customer service (if customer service is as important to you as it is to me, you’ll love Aubaine). We were shown to our seats and then given enough time to talk between us, and decide what we wanted to order.

Due to one too many rum punch’s at the park, we both decided to have a virgin cocktail -their virgin Mojito was so refreshing, just what I needed after a day in the sun!

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Serving french cuisine they had a set menu to commemorate Bastille Day, along with their normal menu. We ordered off their set menu, as it was only £15.50 each, for two courses.

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I’ve always had a sweet tooth, so I got a main with desert, while babe got a starter with main.

We have a rule that we can’t order the same thing – so we get to try more things on the menu lol – anyone else do this? 🙈

He started with beautiful Salmon Rillettes, Asparagus Salad and Crostini which was really nice and light, yet packed full of flavour – nice for a hot day, where you really don’t want to feel heavy or full.

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Soon after he finished, our mains arrived. He went for the Braised Duck Leg whereas I went for the ‘safe’ option of steak, rustic chips and peppercorn sauce – so adventurous, I know!

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I never really know how to order steak as everywhere cooks it slightly different, but I went for medium, as I really didn’t want to see blood on my plate. The texture was perfect and not tough or chewy, but, I did spot a bit of blood🤐🤐 😷.

Nevertheless, all our food was cooked just how we ordered it and all the flavours complemented each other seamlessly.

Next up was desert, my favourite course!

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To be honest, I was very disappointed, as on this menu there were only two options – chocolate eclairs and macarons – two things I wouldn’t normally order, but opted for Macarons – I needed to embrace the French theme after all, and what can I say, of course they were tasty.

Aubaine was a really lovely dining spot, nice for a quick lunch or dinner with your after half, especially as their decor has a lovely romantic air. The set menu was so affordable, but I would definitely go again and order off their normal menu. 

Do you have any summer dining recommendations, I would love to know?

Sunday Brunching: Côte Brasserie

This weekend my sister celebrated her 16th birthday (I’m actually getting old 😖 😫). After a busy week for both of us – with her going to her leavers prom and me getting wasted on Friday after a LONG week at work, we decided to be ladies who brunch.

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I’ve always headed to Battersea Rise when I’m on the lookout for cool eateries, no matter if i’m feeling in the mood for American style pancakes, a tasty fry up or want to try something new, I know it’s a foodies safe – haven.

This time we decided on brunch at Côte Brasserie, a cute understated restaurant situated on the corner of Webbs Road.

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Inspired by the brasseries of Paris, Côte Brasserie offers all-day dining, serving authentic French classics as well as British faves made from great quality and fresh ingredients.

With an empty stomach and breakfast on our minds, we arrived just before last orders were taken – 1pm on weekends and 12pm on weekdays.

The interior was very minimalistic and sophisticated, complemented by rich burgundy and grey hues for a light yet moody atmosphere, perfect if you want to escape the outside world for a few hours, and if you’ve got a tender headache and need a calm atmosphere to co-operate lol.

The staff were all very friendly and accommodating, so we got the drinks in…tea! Am I the only one to think that tea always tastes better in a tea pot? I can just never get it right at home.

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The breakfast menu had quite a small selection but covered all the bases, but after scanning the menu I ended up getting an Full English Breakfast – very adventurous, I know – but after such a busy weekend I just needed ALL the food!

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What I loved is that I got to pick what type of eggs I wanted, normally cafes give you the choice between fried and scrambled, but this time I went for poached…ooh lala! My order also came with the option to choose what bread I wanted to be toasted.

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My sister ended up going for the more brunchy and picturesque option of Eggs Royale -which looked amazing. After about a 20 minute wait, our food was served.

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The portions were just right, but, of course we couldn’t go to a brasserie without trying something even remotely french, so we ordered a pain au chocolate and a croissant which were served warm, making them melt in the mouth. No one likes a hard pastry.

Côte Brasserie was the ideal choice for Sunday brunch, especially if you don’t feel like queuing up for The Breakfast Club, which is a more popular choice a few doors away but had a waiting time of 2 hours 😐.

The staff’s attention to detail and overall customer care was 💯 , and the food was not only delicious but also very affordable with our bill coming in at under £30, they also offer a gluten free menu, great if you want to brunch with friends who have different eating requirements.

For me this restaurant was definitely one of the best I’ve been to for breakfast/brunch and an overall great experience, so I would rate it a solid 9/10!

Looking for somewhere to brunch? Try Côte Brasserie.

N.B. – To avoid disappointment, I would advise to book a table in advance as it got quite busy, while we were eating.

See you on my next post x

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Thailand Adventures: 5 things you need to do in Phuket

For 10 beautiful days, I was living a life of luxury in Phuket, Thailand ‘The Land of Smiles’ and I loved every minute of it. The weather, the people, the culture and of course the food (ugghhh guys you need to try Tom Yum Goong) gave me a life refresh I was in dire need for.

If you’re planning or have already planned your summer getaway and Phuket is on your brain you won’t regret it.

Phuket is a popular destination in Thailand and there really is so much to do, perfect for every type of personality, so I thought I’d fill you in on 5 things you NEED to do during your time there.

A Day Tour
After arriving at your hotel, it can be a bit daunting to actually go out and explore, as you have no idea where to go. A day tour can be the perfect remedy to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and see the real Thailand, not just the atmosphere in your hotel. Depending on who you book with, they’ll show you landmarks, beaches, and places to shop, and should stop off at certain points for you to enjoy and explore for yourself. On my day tour, the most memorable locations were a view point where could see the coast and visiting the beautiful temples in Chalong.

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Elephant Trek
Going on an Elephant trekking experience is a MUST! It truly was a life changing experience, I can’t really explain my own feelings as the whole day was unbelievable, but it was amazing to be able to touch, feed and ride such a majestic creature. SIDENOTE: Find a reputable company that properly cares for its animals.

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Thai Massage
You cannot go to Thailand and not get a massage – there’s a massage parlour on EVERY road! However, if you want to spoil yourself, there are more romantic massage experiences where you can go on another island and spend the day. Whether you opt for an actual Thai massage or not is up to you. It’s a relaxing experience that’s really nice to do with your other half or your bestie, and is a treat that nicely ends your thai holiday with a bit of pampering and relaxation.

Island Tour
Thailand is surrounded by picturesque islands. Take a speedboat tour to Phi Phi or James Bond Island and go snorkelling – it’s absolutely amazing how many fish surround you, an underwater camera won’t do it justice! Picking a good all round tour is vital though, so try and find one that stops off at different islands along the way, giving you plenty of snorkelling opportunities and gives you a chance to explore the little islands, to get the perfect pic or just lay on the beach, until it’s time to go to the next one.

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Street Food
Do I really need to say any more. The local food is tastes amazing and is super cheap.  Opposite our hotel we had scoped a family run open ‘restaurant’ (it wasn’t really a restaurant) and the food was delicious, I fell in love with their Tom Yum Goong soup which is meant to be a Thai favourite. If you love seafood you won’t be at a loss either, as many places have fresh sea food that’s delivered every day, so you can pick what seafood you want before you sit down and they cook whatever you choose. Phuket also has a great nightlife and they definitely know how to party, so if you like to let loose on holiday and have a little drink, Thai’s pull no punches when it comes to alcohol and they are known for a strong mojito – does it get any better?!

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My time in Phuket was a dream (I’ll be sharing more about what I got up to in my travel series) and there’s so much more to do than my list of 5, but I was so glad I did them. Of course there’s more options like hiring a motorcycle (if you decide to brave the Thai roads I applaud you) or visiting a tiger sanctuary, and just taking time out to visit Patong beach.

Time flies when you’re having fun, so if you can, plan a few excursions before you arrive in as it’s definitely worthwhile, and you may also find cheaper deals which is always a great thing!

Have you visited Thailand, what was your favourite thing to do?

 

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How to Rejuvenate your Life After a Messy Weekend

Hey you lovely lot, you may be wondering where I’ve been over the past week, although I’m sure many of you haven’t even noticed my absence in the blogosphere, but after a mini unscheduled break (000ps!) I’m back at it!

For the first time in forever, I went on girls weekender with my cousins and in all seriousness, it’s taken me a whole week to recover – saying that I still feel a bit stiff.

We took a trip to Southport for a yearly event called Caribbean Weekender and to say the least, it was a crazy 72 hours.. smh

After three days of non stop drinking (I’m not actually a drinker at all), binge eating (at ridiculous times too) and a couple hours sleep, you can only imagine how I felt when I got back to my safe haven – home.

By the time I sat down in relaxation mode, it’s as if everything hit me at once. I caught the flu, my voice had gone, I felt tipsy and my body was aching at the peril of the terrible mattress I laid on and from all the dancing did (I’m not painting a pretty picture am I? I did have a good time though, I promise) but, I needed some major TLC.

So here’s 5 simple steps in which I rejuvenated my LIFE! (A bit dramatic, I know)…

First on my list was getting back into a skincare routine. While I was away my skincare routine went completely out of the window and combined with all the alcohol I consumed, my skin was dehydrated, dry and felt really grainy, which is why I made a point to exfoliate my skin in the morning, and moisturise using Simple Rich Moisturiser, cleanse again at night and then go in with Polar Night Cream, a really intense and quite rich moisturiser that regenerates the skin, which I received in this months Birchbox

 

How to rejuvenate your life after a messy weekend

What skincare are you loving at the moment?

As I mentioned, my body and bones were shot, and my whole being really needed revitalising. If you haven’t heard of Australian Bodycare products, please get to know! Their skin wash and body lotion, infused with Tea Tree Oil, really refreshes the body, which helps on mornings getting ready for work, and it smells refreshing too. Also sent in this months birch box has been Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation, which I mainly use on the weekends after gym as the scent is calming and relaxing, and the foam feels nourishing against the skin – love!

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Who else is loving their Birchbox this month?

Drinking alcohol leaves you feeling dehydrated and also quite shite, so I always make sure I drink loads of water throughout the day. Over the past week I’ve limited my coffee intake to just one a day while I’m at work, but I’ve swapped my usual teas for lemon and honey green tea, which has helped soothe my throat and I’m better for it – adding a slice of lemon and a few paracetamols helped too!

The problem with having a messy weekend is returning to work! Lawd, it’s the worst, but it has to be done. I really wanted to get a full body massage before making my dreaded return, but I just didn’t have any time, so to make up for it I just chilled with a Timeless Truth Eye Mask on, which ‘woke’ me up and reduced the puffiness around my eyes.

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Using my Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist. Oh my gahhd- this stuff is beautiful. It smells divine. I like using this when I feel crusty, as it hydrates the skin and gently refreshes you.

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Lastly, I kick a horrible hangover with FOOD! I know you’re all probably fans of a greasy fry up – I am too, but when I was away, I was eating a fry up every day lol. When I got back home, all I wanted was some fruit and veg…honestly! I just wanted to feel human again. But on a real note, the best way to my heart when I’m feeling down is scrambled eggs, salmon and an Avocado – did you know they make you happy?

After following these easy revitalising tricks for the last week, I have felt somewhat alive again lol. Getting wasted really is a chore, how do you kick a really bad hangover and rejuvenate yourself? 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram & Twitter too x