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  1. Meldlar in Chelsea, The Ledbury in Notting Hill and Hedone in Chiswick are among my favourites in London. Closer to your hotel and as a starter: Pollen St Social / Little Social / Social Eating House. http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/restaurants/london/ Gymkhana / http://www.gymkhanalondon.com/ Benares http://www.benaresrestaurant.com/ Trishna http://www.trishnalondon.com/ WildHoney http://www.wildhoneyrestaurant.co.uk/ Alyn Williams http://www.alynwilliams.com/ Bubbledogs & kitchen table http://www.bubbledogs.co.uk/home Scotts http://www.scotts-restaurant.com/ Hawksmoor http://thehawksmoor.com/ Goodman http://www.goodmanrestaurants.com/home Bar Boulud http://www.barboulud.com/london/ The Square and Le Gavroche are also near. You can easily walk to Marylebone, Soho, Knightsbridge - Lots of areas nearby. All sorts of great food at all price points. I also enjoy a drink in the basement bar at Fortnum and Mason, The new bar in Selfridges (if you are shopping) looks quite nice - 2850 isn't far either. The Masons and The Guinea Grill are not bad for a pint. Drinks are always interesting in Sketch and food ranges from afternoon tea to 2* Gagaiare food. Try the sampler in South Kensington for wine and nibbles (its a wine shop) or go to Apereo in the ampersand hotel for good food and drinks - there is another good cheese shop La Cave a Fromage very near by that you can eat in. Ten minutes walk from here you can eat very good Spanish food at Cambio De Terico. Coffee at http://www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk/ Dose http://www.dose-espresso.com/about.html Many good places many are terrible..... There are so many places to choose from.
  2. http://m.catererandhotelkeeper.co.uk/Article.aspx?cat=news&id=349966 The AA awards from last night.
  3. <p>On our most recent trip to Frascati we decided that we would head into Rome for lunch. I considered all the usual options but settled on Metamorfosi.</p> <p> </p> <p>Getting to the restaurant from Frascati is not too difficult. You get the train to Termini then a bus from Termini. It takes an hour or maybe less. So that’s what we did. </p> <p> </p> <p>We arrived at the restaurant and made our way inside to be told that they were closed and would be open that evening. I had booked online a few weeks prior to our reservation, so I showed our confirmation email. There was an awkward moment while the restaurant people decided what to do with us, but happily they invited us in apologising for the mix up. </p> <p> </p> <p>So, after a slightly odd start, we were shown to our table and gifted a large glass of champagne each. A very good way to make things right.</p> <p> </p> <p>There are a few menu options at Metamorfosi. The prices range from about €35 to €100. I would have gone for the biggest menu but that was not available. Menu "Gustando the classics" was available so that’s what we ordered. We did ask to switch the meat main course so the we got Wagyu beef “per-fumé” with hazelnuts mushrooms and tarragon and Squab in fig leaf foie gras and apple. </p> <p> </p> <p>I don’t write notes so pardon my lack of detail. It was the end of July and now is late September....</p> <p> </p> <p>Bread came in two services and was good. I particularly liked the olive oil ice cream served as butter. The bread was good.</p> <p> </p> <p>Amuse was Chicken with curry spices and tiny herbs. </p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>Raw Piedmontese Fassona expression of the moment. Very good. I love raw food. Pure and clean. Nuts and herbs to add flavour and texture.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>Carbonara egg 65°came with fried pasta and pork skin. All very good.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>Spaghetti Masciarelli mussel powder and perfumes of the sea was next. No photo but it was as described, with plenty of kitchen trickery to add some real flavour. Quite spicy-hot, if recall properly.</p> <p> </p> <p>Squab in fig leaf foie gras and apple. This was not mine but my share was really good.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>Wagyu beef “per-fumé” with hazelnuts mushrooms and tarragon was mine and was very, very nice.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Next was a cheese course. Blue cheese and white chocolate as a lollypop and port gel. My preference is cheese. Good cheese, little or nothing with it. This was ok but not a replacement for a proper cheese course.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>Dessert was White chocolate with caramelized bananas and Armagnac. Not my favourite flavours. It was in no way unpleasant but I would have chosen something else. Petits fours were good although I have no idea what they were!</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>We opted to take the wine pairing. It was ok. Nothing amazing. I had a couple of fantastic wine pairings in London at Medlar and Hedone on the day before this trip so they had a hard task following this pair. If you ever go to Medlar or Hedone the wine pairings are excellent, well worth asking for. I would advise caution in terms of the wine pairing at Metamorfosi. The wine list is good. If you have much money or excellent wine knowledge you will be fine, do your own thing, otherwise ask for advice based on the cash you want to spend. The wine pairing is not terrible; although I feel it could be more interesting and the list might offer better value.</p> <p> </p> <p>Metamorfosi is good. The prices are very reasonable (especially the set menus) by Rome standards and the food is very enjoyable. I think it would have been a more enjoyable experience if the restaurant was busy. I don’t quite know what happened with the not open at lunchtime problem. We did get fed very well though and the champagne made amends nicely. After lunch we went sightseeing and visited a few bars we knew from past visits. A personal favourite being AI TRE SCALINI, not far from termini or the Coliseum and a nice little place.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>If you walk toward the coliseum you will find a small square where you can sit outside in the evening sun (if you can find a bar that is not too annoying – they can be a bit odd) and listen to the music and enjoy the life. </p> <p> </p> <p></p>
  4. I was thinking I might try one of the menus with paired wine, if I make it there. I will be on public transport from San Sebastian so I may not make it. I thought it might make a decent day trip.
  5. The Good Food Guide is out and L'enclume is top replacing The Fat Duck. http://www.thegoodfoodguide.co.uk/news/top-10-uk-restaurants The Michelin Guide is due towards the end of September (25th I think) but if last year is anything to go by, who knows when the news will break. Predictions?
  6. MaLO


    I went back to Frascati at the end of July. Inevitably we did many of the things we enjoyed on previous visits with the addition of a walk to Grottaferrata for lunch. We looked at Taverna Dello Spuntino and it did look very tempting but was a bit pricey for our lunchtime requirements and we had just walked about three miles in 100 degree heat. We settled on Osteria Furlani. It was very busy and very reasonably priced. We had a plate of grilled vegetables to share and a pasta each and it was all delicious. Grilled Vegetables Pasta - pancetta, lardo, tomato Pasta - speck and coutgette It is well worth giving this place a try should you be in the area. Very good pasta, amazingly drinkable wine for E4 a litre. I had hoped to get a taxi back to the hotel as it was the same walk in the same heat but up hill all the way. There were no taxis. I think I may have had a calorie neutral lunch. We also had a very nice lunch at Zaraza in Frascati. I will add a bit more another time.....
  7. Try Bar Boulud or goodman for a burger, there are lot less expensive burger options too. A ginger pig sausage roll is a great thing.(Marylebone or Borough market and other places) Lunch at Pollen st social is a bargain although the booze is a bit pricey. The Dairy in Clapham is quite new and looks good. Zucca or Jose, Bermondsey St - not far from Borough market. Cassis or Apero cold be worth a look. I ate well in Apero very reasonably. Tasting lunch at Hedone. Sit at the counter. A bit over budget but have a modest breakfast and dinner you are in for a treat.
  8. Has anyone tried L'Atelier in Biarritz? http://www.latelierbiarritz.com/site/ Or any other choices (without a car) in the area?
  9. How much are you planning to spend per person per meal - or total per meal without booze?
  10. Had an excellent dinner at Medlar a few weeks ago. We ate Ajo blanco with scallop, apple, celery. A similar dish featured on the recent Simon Hopkinson programme so I was happy to give it a try. Tripe with polenta, fennel, tomato and gremolata. Tripe being another of those ingredients that don't commonly feature in many UK restaurants. This was a very tasty plateful, tender and meaty. The polenta was also very good. I generally dislike polenta but this was excellent. We also tried seabream carpaccio with tempura prawn, sauce vierge and cucumber. I do like raw food. Delicate and fresh, this was very nice. Foie and prune terrine with brioche was also good. Rich, sweet and very indulgent. On to mains. I opted for 55 day middlewhite pork with carrot purée and cider sauce. This was quite a plateful. Assorted cuts and preparations, good vegetables and a good sauce. Different textures and very good flavours made for a very nice plate. Ballotine of rabbit with roast leg, potato terrine and sauce nicoise. Not mine but the bit I tried was very nice. Next came a board of Comte from Bernard Antony Desserts were elderflower jelly with roast apricot, gooseberry, yoghurt sorbet and hazelnut crumble. Quite a welcome light fruit / acid flavour and pleasingly cool Lemon curd ice cream with blackcurrant compote and meringues also made an appearance and was very nice on a hot evening. And finally Pine kernel and cherry tart with clotted cream An excellent meal. The food at Medlar is simply very good to eat. The cooking is good and the portions generous. It is one of those places where everything on the is menu appealing too. We also had a wine pairing that was equally impressive. Really excellent service, really good food and wine. The photos are not great but it was getting dark and I didn't want to use flash. There was enough flash from the thunderstorm outside!
  11. First try of the Clove Club for lunch a week or two ago. We got there a bit early so had time to have a look around the area. Not been around this part of town before. I don’t know what it’s like in the evenings but there was not much going on. There were a few bars setting up but looked to me like they were trying a bit too hard to be cool with mismatched furniture and recycled old tat. There was a street market on Hoxton St (I think) that had a few stalls doing food or drinks and a whole lot of cheap clothing and other junk. Not particularly impressive. I may not have seen the best of the area as I was only there for an hour or so. So off we went to lunch. The menu at lunch time is set up with firstly snacks, then two choices over three courses. We asked for one of everything as it all read well and we would share. Happily the kitchen sent us out a plate each of each course. We had snacks Buttermilk fried chicken and pine salt Radishes with sesame and gochuchang Wood pigeon sausages with ten bells ketchup Starters were Mantua melon with house cured meats and rocket Grilled Mackerel tartare, gooseberries and English mustard Mains. Fried red mullet, courgette, potato and Indian spices Confit Barbary duck, new seasons corn and runner beans For dessert we had baked meadowsweet custard with raspberries And a sheep's milk yoghurt mousse with blackcurrant, beremeal and verbena. All in all it was good. The food was nicely cooked and presented. Service was casual and friendly. It was good value for money and I would happily go back.
  12. If you enjoyed this back then you might like this too. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/the-trip-televisions-odd-couple-take-a-romantic-new-journey-to-italy-8590711.html
  13. I have no idea why the cheese pic is at the end. It is great cheese though so perhaps it is quite proper that the cheese hogs the spotlight!! Oh, i didn't mention the compressed water mellon and caviar either....................
  14. Sunday lunch at fraiche is my new favourite thing. Excellent food, great wines, brilliant service. To eat - spiced pecans first. Next; mussels in a light creamy sauce with yuzu,and herbs. Hens egg slowly cooked with a couple of preperations of cauilflower followed. Very, very delicioius. Russet potatoes came with feta and watercress and truffle. Monkfish with olive and blood orange was beautiful. Black faced lamb with leeks, salsify and shallots. This was marvellous too! We each had some cheese. James keeps a great cheese trolley. Two different desserts. Mine was pear. The other was passion fruit and coffee meringues and other good stuff We had nice wine, Elena Walch cab sauv, a reisling and other good stuff too! Very decent prices too. A great Sunday lunch. Food and service was fantastic. If you have not been you should give it a go!
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