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?

 

Kew Gardens Orchid Lates: Valentine’s Day Done Differently

Happy Valentine’s Day lovies!

Today people around the globe celebrate love *hubba hubba* and as I love, LOVE, I thought I’d share a cool Valentine’s date night idea that you can enjoy tonight with your bae or your gal pals, if your owning single life.

I’ve lived in London all my life and I’m still finding new things to do and places to explore.

Kew Gardens has been on my list of things to since forever, which is why my boyfriend and I visited as a pre-valentines date.

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As of late finding a date-night destination which doesn’t consist of food, drinks and a film has been a complete myth, which is why we opted for a date night with a difference.

Think culture, arts and a botanical garden, and the obvious choice for us was taking a visit down to Kew Gardens latest botanical installation – Orchid Lates.

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We joined Kew after dark for an intimate night viewing of tropical flower displays inspired by the vibrant, colourful plant life of India.

Set in the Princess of Wales conservatory they had pop up food and drink options also inspired by Indian culture as well as a stalls which included Henna and drawing.

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For me this date night was everything and I’m not exactly the most in touch with nature. But, having the chance to stroll around a haven of flowers and plants, my boyfriend and I were left to our own devices, bantering, laughing and enjoying the scenery – it really just took us back to the basics – we talked about everything and nothing, and of course posed with ALL of the flowers.

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So, if you’re still on the hunt for something to do today or any other day throughout this month of lurrv, miss the hustle and bustle of touristy attractions and consider Orchid Lates, it’s on until the 2nd March – trust me you’ll love it.

Enjoy today and let me know what you’re up to today, I’d love to know x 

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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

Blogmas: Festive Fun at Swingers

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘Swingers’? 👀 😜

Well just keep reading…

Last week I took my boyfriend on a lil adventure through London for his birthday. On our travels we saw the awesome Christmas on Oxford street, the hustle and bustle of people getting their gifts and even went ice skating at Somerset House. However, our destination was right next to the Gherkin building.

Discreet and tucked away, neon lights directed us to Swingers –  the crazy golf club.

I had heard so much about this place, I knew I needed to sort out a birthday surprise for my boyfriend here, even though we’ve both never played crazy golf.

As usual we were running late so when we arrived we were directed straight downstairs (peep their wall of ‘fame’ lol), put our coats in the free cloakroom (very nice touch) then we were shown to our crazy golf guide, who assured us it’s not actually that crazy – who would’ve thought!

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Let me just say, downstairs was amazing. I don’t know how they made such an intricate course all of which is underground…

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After picking the right size golf club we set off on the Windmill course. We had nine holes to get through, but bearing in mind we’ve never played before, our guide clarified the rules.

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Each hole has a number next to it which is the recommended amount of tries you should use to get the golf ball in the hole. However, whatever number of tries you take on each hole, you write on the scorecard, unless it’s over 6 tries. So for example if you try 17 times on a hole that recommends only 3 (yes that did happen) you only count 6. Hope that makes sense …

Anywho… once we had that clarified all the technicalities, we started around the course. It was seriously so fun, and what made it that lil bit better is the guides came around to bring and take orders for cocktails – because what makes crazy golf crazier? – Alcohol!🍸

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After whooping my boyfriends ass, we set off for some more drinks and food inside the venue, the cocktails were exceptional as there was a nice choice of unusual flavours, while there were a few pop up vans and a communal seating area which allowed you to discover a plethora of street type food.

Overall, my boyfriend loved the surprise and as we are both quite competitive it was a great way to enjoy an evening together doing something very different.

So, if you’re like me and all about giving people surprising experiences then this would be a great Christmas gift for someone who loves to have fun, book this, I promise they’ll love it, we’ve decided we’d definitely go back!

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Happy Blogmas 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?

Girls Night Out: The Night Jar

Can you tell I’m loving life right now?

I recently started a new job, and the girls in my office decided to welcome me into the team by taking me out on the town – lets call it an initiation – on a Thursday night too, bearing in mind I’m normally in bed by 9 latest, I felt like such a rebel!

They decided on a place called Night Jar on Old Street, which I had heard of before from my boyfriend, but never really thought to explore as it wasn’t somewhere I felt I’d enjoy, as its a jazz bar, but I went with an open mind.

Now, if you like to explore London like me and often venture down to Old Street and Shoreditch sides of London, then you’ve probably passed a little door situated in between an off license and a cafe – otherwise known as the portal to Night Jar.

The door is so inconspicuous, I’ve never noticed it before and to be honest I doubt anyone would.

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However, once I passed through the threshold it was like being transported back into the 1920’s.

As soon as we entered, the smell of the city air was gone, and the warmth from the world below as well as the sweet cocktails welcomed us.

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After getting down the steepest set of stairs and into the basement, we were shown to our seats, by a lovely waitress who reminded me of Kat Von D -she had the most awesome tatts. Planted in the cosiest of corners on old cushioned wooden chairs we were given a cute humorous menu with beautifully and enticing themed drinks ordered according to; pre-prohibition, prohibition, post-war and Night Jar signatures… so plenty of choice!

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I literally had no idea what to pick. I hate strong drinks and often opt for more fruity options. In the end I chose an interesting concoction of:Havana Club 7 Year, Falernum, Fresh Pineapple Cocnut Blossom Nectar, Grilled Rice Powder, Roasted Feijoa, Fresh Lime, Banana Bread Beer, Peanut Butter Ice (yes peanut butter ice!) – otherwise known as LEI LANI VOLCANO.

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What I loved was our waitress was very thorough and informative, after each of our drinks were chosen she made sure it would be something we enjoyed and even went as far to describe how we’d experience the taste, just incase we wanted to change our mind.

We had a direct view of the bar, so it was great seeing the bar staff, making each drink to perfection – even for the other tables – it was so interesting to see how much thought and precision goes into each drink, it truly is an art.

Once our amazing drinks arrived we all got to sipping. They just looked so lush, pictures really don’t do them justice!

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I am such a lightweight that I couldn’t even finish my cocktail, but it tasted amazing and had an interesting nutty after taste which was so unique.

From this moment it was the beginning of the end form me as I was ready to go home lol, but the girls wouldn’t allow it, after all, Thursday is the new Friday right?! So we decided on a sharing cocktail (they said it’s for 4 people, but the portions are very generous so they could have done for about 12!)

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As we all had slightly different tastes, a drink called the Green Dragon, seemed a perfect fit. Served in a giant wooden pineapple, with ginger liqueur, dragon fruit, strawberry wine and much more, we got to drinking again.

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From what I can remember, it had a very oriental taste and was quite fruity, so it was right up my street. With the live band setting up we stayed and enjoyed a few jazzy tunes, got to know one another (my cheeks have never hurt so much from smiling before), but for me that was it for the drinks – I was thinking how the hell am I going to get up for work tomorrow :/

Feeling merry and slightly glazed over, I left a very happy customer.

For me a good night out consists of good conversation, great company and brilliant, food & drinks and they were all surpassed.

I can confidently say that The Night Jar will definitely be seeing me again.

Drinks are quite pricey (£40 table deposit & we each paid £30 fro our drinks), but as it was a one off treat, it’s a nice retreat for quite evening with close company, carefully mixed drinks that are not watered down, no drunks and cool interactive music – what more could you want?

Have you heard of The Night Jar? Will you booking a table soon?

An Evening at The Sky Garden

Living in London, I can honestly say I’m never at a loss for things to do, which is why I recently found myself at the Sky Garden!

I’ve heard so much about London’s highest public garden so knew I needed to experience it for myself.

Sitting in the middle of Landan city on Fenchurch street, I automatically assumed it would cost a fortune to enjoy the experience – but it’s actually free…you’re welcome🤗 😏

To get tickets, you do have to book at least 3 weeks in advance (yes 3 bloody weeks 😱), however, the experience is worth the wait. (side note: the tickets give you a maximum of 45 minutes up in the Sky Pod, but there’s no time restrictions once you’re up there)

The sky Garden offers great views of the London skyline, the perfect reason to snap a few hundred pics, an amazing bar and superbly rated restaurant that always seems to be booked up – so try and book it if you have the chance.

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The boyf and I decided to visit the Sky Garden at night, and booked our free tickets for 7:30pm. Our plan was to take pictures of the sun setting but it was a complete #FAIL the sunset at around 6:30pm.

When we first arrived we had to get all the boring stuff out the way, we queued, had our bags checked and searched and then we were allowed in the lift.

The lift took us all the way up to level 36, which really has nothing on the Burj Khalia, but once we got out, we were greeted by an incredible view.

We didn’t know what to do, so we headed straight to the bar. The Sky Pod Bar had a great vibe. At the time we visited the venue was dimly lit but situated in the middle was a beacon of beverages and plants on a bar that couldn’t be missed.

We put in our order – I ordered the Elegant Fizz a fruity concoction of elderflower, pear, lemon and prosecco (£12.50)- because I’m a lady and Earl ordered his usual – Old Mout Passion Fruit and Apple Cider (£5.75).

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The craftsmanship that goes into mixing each drink is simply amazing, I didn’t even get a picture because I was literally hypnotised just looking at the barman in awe.

After sipping on our drinks we decided to explore the ‘garden’ as it was getting very dark, very quickly – que lack of pictures lol.

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To be honest, the garden aspect of the Sky Garden, was disappointing. From the pictures I saw online, it looked like an enclosed yet open greenhouse, however, it wasn’t like that. It seemed like there were just a few pot plants scattered around lol.

That’s maybe a little bit of an exaggeration, but there wasn’t much of any plants.
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As we continued to walk around the garden, we were faced with different beautiful views of the city, and it was truly breath-taking, quite romantic too!

As we made near full circle, we decided to go outside and get a few snaps. It was really the most awkward thing as everyone inside just watches you take selfies while they sip on champagne, but we did manage to get a few good pics, but whenever we go out we never get a good full length picture, so we ended up asking a girl to take a picture hoping for a good one lol -she didn’t do too badly.

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After endless pictures we decided to call it a night.

The Sky Garden wasn’t all that I thought it would be, in terms of the actual garden and forestry, but it was definitely an experience to remember. The different views of London made it an unforgettable experience.

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So, if you’re looking for a date night destination or even a place to drink with your pals this is a great venue to consider, especially as it’s free entry and the drinks are relatively affordable. Hopefully I’ll be visiting again soon!

Have you been to the Sky Garden? Recommend any other great venues?

 

 

 

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

 

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?