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

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?

Date Night at Mai Thai

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I’m not even gonna lie, it’s been a while since me and the babes had ‘date night’.

Sure we like to chill at home, put on a movie, Netflix, order in pizza, but in terms of going out, it really hasn’t been at the top of our agenda as both of our schedules have been busy and at the end of a long day at work, we both just want to chill.

Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant. Work, my blog, my next steps in my career – nothing seems to be going the way I want, so, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some quality time together, by ourselves, outside the house and just eat and talk.

Plus as it was just payday, we thought we deserved a little treat.

My boyfriend lives a few minutes away from Wimbledon, so we headed down there. It really is a good spot for finding nice spots, I swear there’s always something new when we go.

We actually planned to go Franco Manca but EVERY time we plan to go there’s always a bloody long line outside, like, is this just me?

Anyway, we ended up finding a small Thai place called Mai Thai, which is kinda ironic as on the same day I uploaded a throwback picture to Instagram, of me drinking a cocktail on Patong Beach  wishing someone, anyone, could just #takemeback

As soon as we entered Mai Thai it felt like we were back in Thailand, the decor was so oriental from the lamps, to the wooden furniture and even the waiter staff who greeted us in Thai – it was so cool because we knew how to greet them back!

The food was all kinds of yummy. and the price was even better  as we paid  £38 for everything, although we knew that we could have eaten the same thing in Thailand for about £10 but hey ho, it’s all about gaining new experiences and living in the moment right.

We ordered fishcakes and Prawn Tempura for starters, I had egg fried rice with prawn and cashew stir fry and Earl had Thai noodle couple with Pork. The food was nothing but amazing and so, so filling too!

I was really hoping for a Mai Thai cocktail but, unfortunately they don’t sell any, and I really didn’t want to chance it on a horrible rose so I stuck to lemonade and Earl had a Lemon Iced tea which had a cinnamon kick.

We had a good night, the food was so authentic, and I had great company, so I’ll definitely remember Mai Thai whenever I feel like escaping to Thailand again!

We’re on the hunt for some new places to visit in London, so if you have any bars, clubs, cafes etc in mind, send them over 🙂

See you on my next one x

 

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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Exploring Borough Market

I’ve lived in London all my life and as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised how much I take my city for granted, which is why I made exploring London one of my not so new New Year resolutions.

At the beginning of the year, my boyfriend and I made a pact not to travel anywhere abroad (Although, I really don’t know how long this will last though, as we’ve both been roaming the travel websites lol) As a result, I decided it would be a good time to explore London and visit places that I’ve heard people always talk about, and experience these places for myself.

As a self proclaimed foodie, there was only one stop that I had in mind!

Borough Market
I can’t believe I’ve never been!

I’ve heard people talk about Borough Market many times before, and I’ve heard nothing but good things… especially about the food, so I thought it was about time I got my arse down there.

I’m a major fan of Shoreditch, so I began my day there. My first stop  obviously involved coffee, and as Shoreditch has a lot to offer in this area, I was really spoilt for choice. I ended up having brekkie in a little gem called All Press, which was just opposite Barbour & Parlour – another great eatery if you know the area.

After a few snaps around BoxPark and a full belly, I got myself on a bus and soon found… or rather smelled Borough Market!

It was all hustle and bustle despite it only being a little past 12, but I was ready.

There was so much happening at once, and while I’m not a fan of crowds, which is one of the main reasons I hate going into London, there was so much happening, so many smells to take in and people around that just wanted to get involved.

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When I first got there, I didn’t know where to go, I ended up going with the crowd and literally walked from one end to the other, without looking at anything!

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After deciding on how to tackle the market, I went in again, looking at everything, tasting and trying different foods and of course taking pics. The colours were amazing, and there were foods from all over the world being offered.

The only thing I could compare it to was the market in Barcelona – La Ramblas… however I found it had less variety.

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Walking through was so strange. The market is quite tourist driven, and people from all over the world had come to taste foods that originate from their countries lol… I guess its all about the experience, ay.

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Borough Market offered, everything from food, delicacies, flowers, plants, haircuts and pampering, just EVERYTHING!

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I could have eaten everything! Just look how good the food looked.

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This Tomato and Pesto Focaccia was delicious, cannot go wrong with a bit of pesto!

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I loved that you could see the stall owners prepare the foods right in front of you – mouthwatering!

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Im not a big cook, but I could imagine how tasty this fish would have been… I’m a sucker for any type of prawn dishes.

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After about 2 hours of roaming and tasting, I left with some Italian goodies, and some good Gouda cheese!

Borough Market did not disappoint, but I do feel I need to go again, as I have a sneaky feeling I missed a few things.

I hate that it’s taken me so long, but I highly recommend visiting the market if you love food, plus, because it’s near a lot of other places like BoxPark and Spitafields market, it can make a good day out in Central London.

I think the next thing on my list is doing a London Food/ Coffee tour!

Have any of you guys visited Borough Market, if so did you love or loathe it? Also, do you have any recommendations on where I should visit next? X