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?