London Daily Photo: DD

LDP 2014.09.22 - DD

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London Daily Photo: Ladbroke Grove

LDP 2014.09.21 - Ladbroke Grove

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Review: Pont Street Restaurant at Belgraves Hotel

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Before making my rez for Friday night din-din at the Belgraves hotel’s Pont Street restaurant, I skimmed the web for a few reviews. Ouch! I’m not sure whether what I came across was egregiously snarky or if Pont St subsequently got its act together, but my experience was way better than those I read about online.

Despite the cringe accompanying my perusal about Pont St, I was curious to see if sleb chef Sophie Michell could pull off a successful go in the wake of Mark Hix (who used to have a resto here). I reckon she has.

I very much enjoyed my starter dish of salt and pepper squid with kaffir lime, lemongrass and sweet and saffron aioli (£9.50) – not sure it was necessarily benefited by the saffron though. My main of lobster trofie with a bisque sauce and bone marrow (£25.50) was a treat as well. Dessert – a plate of “doughnut balls” filled with salted caramel and served with a (slightly too melted) small vanilla milkshake on the side (£6.50) – satisfied.

I dined with Kemey (we both found the restaurant a smart choice for a quiet date night) and was impressed with the yummy stuff on her side of the table. A side of truffle mash (£4.50) was particularly moreish. We enjoyed a glass of Cote du Rhone (sorry forget the label but it cost about £8 for a glass) each which went down a charm with most of what we ate (I should have gone with something else for my robustly flavoured main, but that’s my bad and I wasn’t up for more than one glass of wine to be honest).

Portion size was right, service was on the ball, the dining space was pleasant and comfortable (the hotel’s upstairs bar where Kemey and I met up was an especially plush setting to do just that), prices were reasonable considering the address.

Pont Street is located at the Belgraves hotel, 20 Chesham Place, SW1X 8HQ. Find out more at pontst.com.


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London Daily Photo: Headless

LDP 2014.09.20 - Headless

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Basel on a Budget (OneTravel)

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Coming from London, where the cost of living is high and the local currency is strong, I usually find when I travel that my money gets considerably more mileage than when at home. That wasn’t the case in Switzerland though, where prices (and standards) are generally higher than what you might expect across the rest of Europe.

During a recent (and very fun) city break in Basel, I discovered that with minimal effort and a bit of thrift that an amazing time could be had without breaking the bank. Here are some tips on making the most of a visit to Basel (without paying the most for it).

Read my complete post at the OneTravel blog.

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London Daily Photo: King’s Road

LDP 2014.09.19 - King's Road

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Good Stuff

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Good Stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy.

Fresh Pasta Masterclass with Giovanni Rana

I had a blast during the recent Giovanni Rana pasta making class (previously previewed here) at this popular Italian brand’s Regent’s Place restaurant (17-19 Triton Street, NW1 3BF). Yes, the actual man himself, Signore Rana, was on hand for the occasion (and gave an approving “ottimo” to the tortellini and ravioli I made) along with his lovely daughter in law Antonella. The lunch that followed was delish. I loved my plate of cappelletti and was super impressed with the wine list). The restaurant is well worth keeping in mind if you’re in the Warren Street/Euston Road area. I certainly intend to visit again.

Castello Pop-up Cheese Shop

Danish cheese makers, Castello, has launched a pop-up “cheese concept store” in Shoreditch after successful stints in New York, The Hague and Copenhagen. Located at 132 Commercial Street, E1 6NQ and running until Friday 24 October, the shop has more than 30 varieties of cheese (some otherwise not available in the UK) to taste and buy alongside a range of accessories, wine, beer, and cider. There’s a fresh deli counter too and a calendar full of tastings, Q&A sessions and more. I enjoyed nibbling my way through the shop – really liked the Creamy White and Extra Creamy Danish Blue.

Great Sherry Tasting 2014

After having to miss last year’s Great Sherry Tasting, I was glad I was able to wrangle a bit of free time for the 2014 event (held again at The Westbury). I was even more chuffed that I got to sit in on a “Cream Dream” tasting led by Beltran Domecq, president of the DO Jerez Consejo Regulador (wow). “Exploring the quality and diversity of sweeter sherries” further established that fact that I’ve expensive taste! I loved two sherries in particular from the session: Tradicion’s Cream VOS 20 Year Old and Gonzalez Byass’ Matusalem VORS 30 Year Old. Both have a rich nose, balanced taste and strong, lasting finish.

Yutaka Yuzu Citrus Seasoning

Yutaka brand’s yuzu seasoning adds zest to a range of dishes and drinks. I’ve really enjoyed having a bottle at hand in my kitchen for concocting new recipes or just bringing some zing to otherwise humdrum meals. Look for it at Sainsbury’s priced at £2.99 for a 100ml bottle.

 

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London Daily Photo: Arrows

LDP 2014.09.18 - Arrow

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What Would You Say to Your Younger Self?

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Someone working on the PR side of things for insurance and investment management group, Legal & General, emailed me recently to see if I’d like to take part in L&G’s “What would you say to your younger self?” campaign and blog some advice to my younger self. I said sure – which led to thinking about all sorts of stuff … namely that, despite a bumpy road and all sorts of messes, if what I’ve done over the years has led me to where I am today then so be it. Life is good.

I’m 42 years old. So there’s an amble bit of ‘younger self’ behind me. Certainly, four decades of living has amounted to plenty of mistakes big and small. I screw things up less often than I used to, but I’m still capable of pulling a doozy now and again. I’ve seen my share of setbacks as well as lots of surprises. As a kid back in Georgia, I never would have guessed I’d end up living in London, for example. And blogs didn’t even exist when I was growing up.

Still I must admit I’m generally happy with my ‘station’ in life. I reckon to a large degree the ups and downs of life (especially the downs) all shaped the person I’ve become and directed me toward my current situation. More than anything, the mistakes, disappointments and surprises are what’s led to me being me … and to having a wonderful girlfriend, living in an amazing city, regularly doing in large part what I want to do for a living, travelling the world … and so on. I don’t know if I’m lucky or just have a positive attitude, but life has turned out alright for me.

So .. if there were some magic mirror or time machine or whatever device to allow me to impart advice to my younger self, I’d probably not tell him much more than to just hang in there and trust his (my) gut.

What would you say to your younger self?

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London Daily Photo: Chelsea Bus Stop

LDP 2014.09.17 - Chelsea Bus Stop

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Yayoi Kusama | Pumpkins at Victoria Miro

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Victoria Miro gallery has opened a new Pumpkins exhibition of works by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Comprising of two elements – a new body of paintings and large scale mosaic pumpkins which will be on show only until 4 October plus major new series of bronze sculptures will be on display in the gallery’s outdoor water garden until 20 December. I got a gander of it all last night at the private view – and wow! If you can take the time simply to mill about Kusama’s bold and pleasing sculptures and to have a close up peek at meticulous efforts of her paintings and mosaics, you will be glad to have done so.

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From my perspective, the show comes across as an attempt to set an apt tone for autumn and the few fun months which lay ahead (from mid September until New Years, I’ve always found London to be as happening a place to be as anywhere – especially with respect to art) as it is a testament to the decades of consistent work by Kusama. Since her youth, the artist has felt a deep affinity for pumpkins with their “charming and winsome form” and “generous unpretentiousness”. I like that … a lot … and reckon charm and generous unpretentiousness is something art lovers in general and the London gallery scene specifically should certainly welcome as we roll toward the end of 2014.

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Victoria Miro is located at 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW. The full Yayoi Kusama | Pumpkins exhibition runs until 4 October with the artist’s new series of bronze sculptures remaining on view at the gallery until 20 December. Find out more at victoria-miro.com.


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London Daily Photo: LFW

LDP 2014.09.16 - LFW

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Transport for London Goes Contactless (OneTravel)

LDP 2013.03.18 - One

From the 16th of September, passengers of public transport in London can use their contactless payment cards to pay for travel on buses, tram, DLR, London Overground, most local National Rail services and the Tube.

For some time now, London Buses have accepted contactless payment and now the rest of the vast Transport for London (TfL) network is to offer the option.

Read my complete post at the OneTravel blog.

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London Daily Photo: Elusive/Chagall

LDP 2014.09.15 - Elusive:Chagall

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The Victoria, Mile End: Everything under (and on) One Roof!

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Recently renovated and reopened under new ownership, The Victoria brings a taste of farm-to-table dining and hopeful community spirit to Mile End. I had lunch here about a week and a half ago and really enjoyed it. Here’s quick look at a few of this pub’s many highlights.

I’ll keep this review short ‘n sweet. There’s lots to love about this pub:

A grownups only dining area (don’t worry family folk, this is an addition to plenty of kid friendly seating areas); a downstairs speakeasy; a fine selection of beer (I appreciated my bartender recommended pint of York Brewery’s Yorkshire Terrier); good food (I approve the crave-worthy Messy Hog Burger and an assortment of “British tapas”); and (believe it or not) fantastic coffee compliments of its very own in-pub cafe, The Gentlemen Baristas.

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The pub is part of the Yummy Pub Co portfolio and receives much of its meat, produce and ingredients from sister outlet and farm-to-table pub, The Grove Ferry Pantry Pub & Inn in Upstreet, Kent. But from what I could tell during my lunch, The Vic’s doing an impressive job on its own with chickens on the roof laying fresh eggs, and an assortment of veggies, fruits and herbs being grown to soon to used in its kitchen.

Mile End, here’s an all rounder to claim as your local. I’m definitely intending to keep an eye on all the goings on at this smartly updated watering hole.

The Victoria is located at 110 Grove Road, E3 5TH. Visit the pub online at thevicmileend.co.uk.


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London Daily Photo: UCL

LDP 2014.09.14 - UCL

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XE Currency App Even Comes in Handy When You’re Offline (OneTravel)

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The XE currency app enables travelers to “convert every currency on-the-go” by offering “live proprietary exchange rates and historical charts” to make calculating prices and exchange rates fast and hassle free. The app has seen more than 25 million downloads since its release, including my own. I use this app all time.

As an expat (American living in London) doing freelance work, I get paid in dollars, pounds or euros depending on the gig. XE’s app and website helps me keep accurate track of the money I make. And when I’m traveling in a country where I’m unfamiliar with the local currency, XE is one of my most regularly viewed apps.

Read my complete post at the OneTravel blog.

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London Daily Photo: Portobello Notes

LDP 2014.09.13 - Portobello Notes

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Did Madrid: Más Favor!

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A mid August weekend in Madrid did Kemey and I both a world of good and turned out to be a fantastic way to celebrate her birthday in style. Being there for the Fiestas de la Paloma ensured the city was just that much turned on and revved up for fun. But I reckon anytime of year is an excellent time to explore this spirited Spanish city.

To help you better browse the posts I’ve published about our amazing weekend in Madrid, here’s a list with links to all of them:

Did Madrid

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Thanks!

Muchos gracias to Sarah Canet and Naiara Garro for their excellent recommendations and to the folks behind the incredibly insightful resources of spain.info and esmadrid.com.

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London Daily Photo: Pelham Street

LDP 2014.09.12 - Pelham Street

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Did Madrid: Too Hot? Not!

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So, Kemey and I ‘did’ Madrid in mid August. And in our rev up for the trip we got a lot of “it’ll be too hot!” and “nobody’ll be there!” Was it hot? Oh sure, but it was a dry heat. And the nights (when this vibrant city really comes to life) were absolutely lovely. Obviously, I wouldn’t have wanted to be digging ditches in the noonday sun, but sightseeing, bar hopping, shuffling through museums … all that stuff … these were all wonderful. The flamenco got a bit sweaty to be honest – but it was a good sweat. As for all the Madrileños leaving town, it didn’t seem like that to us. We were in town for the Fiestas de la Paloma (part of Kemey’s planning – I can take no credit). As one of Europe’s biggest street parties, lots of people reckon it’s the most important festival in Madrid, if not the whole of Spain. We had a blast wriggling our wee hours way through the neighbourhood of La Latin – nexus of the celebrations – and being part of the festivities.

I thought it was important to address the ‘visiting cities in august’ issue with respect to our recent experience in Madrid. I’ve certainly found myself in the past arriving in summer dead zones where everything but tourist attractions were closed as well as the converse of being somewhere at the height of a season to realise everybody else in the world had the same bright idea of going there and jamming up an otherwise chilled out place to create a less than ideal destination whatever one’s pursuits. But the Madrid we visited a few week’s back was as awesome as we had hoped it would be.

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Maybe this was because of the Paloma festival? Maybe so many locals have been feeling the effects of economic doom and gloom that they had a staycation this year? Maybe Madrid’s such a big and happening city that an out of towner simply wouldn’t notice any difference? Maybe lots of visitors for abroad filled whatever void might have been left by a locals’ exodus to the beach? I don’t know. I had only been to Madrid once before, about a decade ago around Christmastime. During this last trip, the city seemed much more alive than my first time, but not necessarily overrun by too many tourists or anything like that.

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The mood at The Roof at the Hotel ME Madrid was one of pleasure as usual in any case. Kemey claimed to have had her best meal of the year there. And I must confess I adored every last bite of my over the top Kobe beef and foie gras hamburger! Just as over the top was the view from The Roof with pretty Plaza de Santa Ana just below and the vast spread of Madrid spanning outward from this popular little square.

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Anyway, while I’m fessing up to the weekend’s indulgences …

More amazing activities on our own admittedly touristic trail of this scenic city included mandatory stops at the Prado (I couldnt’ get enough of this museum’s amazing collection) and the Reina Sofia Museum, if only for the chance to see Picasso’s stirring Guernica up close for ourselves. Our afternoon zoom through town with Madrid Segway was an embarrassingly good time. I had no idea how much ridiculous fun riding a Segway could be.

One indulgence to brag about was our fabulous hotel. We could not have been more pleased with the comfort, service, and location of five star Hotel Hospes Madrid. I’d love to stay there again and have no qualms recommending it to anybody looking for a quality place to stay.

One more post in my my Did Madrid miniseries to follow soon!

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London Daily Photo: BADC

LDP 2014.09.11 - BADC

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Did Madrid: Lunch at Botin, the Oldest Restaurant in the World

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Restaurante Botin was founded in 1725, which according to the Guinness Book of Records makes it the oldest restaurant in the world. Such a claim to fame ensures a steady flow of customers coming in and out its rustic wooden doors – the vast majority of whom are holidaymakers from abroad. As is the case, the Gonzalez family who keep this culinary marvel in operation could probably rest on their laurels, serve some schlocky semblence of traditional Spanish food, and still have vacationers queued up to pay just to say they’d been there. Nonetheless, the family reckons the restaurant is not just some monument to how things once were but a vital benchmark of Madrileño cuisine. Specialities include suckling pig and Castillian lamb – both roasted in the restaurant’s original wood fired oven.

Spending our morning dancing flamenco, Kemey and I had worked up a most appreciative appetite for the hardy and historic lunch that followed. Like our flamenco class, our time at Botin had been arranged through Insider’s Madrid, which offers an exclusive Botin Experience: a “a guided tour of the restaurant, its history, its art and its anecdotes” along with a “Classics of Botin” menu and a few extra treats as well.

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To be sure I went with the suckling pig as my main course. It was gorgeous … as was everything else (Manchego, croquetas, roasted peppers with cod, scrambled eggs with morcilla blood sausage and potato, etc) that I ate. Pescatarian Kemey went with a vegetarian assortment of dishes with roasted hake as her main. She love it. The Rioja flowed, a yummy range of desserts and coffee followed. Service was old school and prompt. The setting was ancient but far from decrepit.

As filled with selfie taking tourists as it was (Chinese, Japanese, French, American and Canadian during our lunch) Botin somehow retained an authentic air. I supporse nearly 300 years ago when Botin began, the scene there would have been just as ‘out-of-towner’ as it is today. Probably even more so considering that going out to eat is a relatively modern luxury.

Through Insider’s Madrid, we secured a reservation at the “Hemingway table” where the great author himself preferred to sit when he dined here. The table is upstairs and round the corner from the dining room’s main entrance. A reporter at the time covering the Civi War, Hemingway liked to sit with his back to the wall.

More posts in my Did Madrid miniseries to follow soon!

Botin is located at Calle Cuchilleros, 17, 28005. Find out more at botin.es/?q=en.


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London Daily Photo: Upside Down Under

LDP 2014.09.10 - Upside Down Under

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Did Madrid: Flamenco Soul

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Our visit to Madrid was for sure a foodie escapade. But there’s much more to Madrid than tapas bars (and that’s a lot for a gourmand like me to get my head around). Without doubt the most memorable experience Kemey and I shared during our weekend away was our own private flamenco lesson. Olé? Oh yeah!

Our Friday morning Flamenco session was booked through personal guide service, Insider’s Madrid. We could not have been more pleased with the class. Our instructor, Alicia Laborda Buhigas, was a kind and patient teacher … and an absolutely phenomenal dancer. Wow! It was a treat alone just to see her in dramatic, poised action! Helped fellow dancer Anna Krust (assisting with rhythm and taking our photos) and guitarist Sergio Muñoz, Alicia encouraged us to show her our “flamenco soul” while imparting her dance wisdom to us.

The hour long private session was held in a small studio at Amor de Dios, a highly regarded school for flamenco and danza española. Indeed, the more I’ve learned about Amor de Dios since making our booking the more I’ve come to realise that this “espacio emblemático” is the place in all of Spain to study flamenco. Just being there was something of a thrill – and it’s not like I’m any sort of dance aficionado or anything.

Approaching the school (situated atop the bustling and homey Mercado de Anton Martin), we couldn’t just hear but actually felt the thunderous and rhythmic clap of the studious stomping above; it was as if an elevated train was passing overhead, rattling in synch with all the goings on throughout the city. Before heading off, we got to poke our heads in one of the school’s larger studios for a quick peek at a class. What a sight … and such a glorious racket! I loved it – especially spying a glimpse of the intense concentration in all the couple of dozen or so dancers’ faces.

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The class was a hoot – and super fun way to experience the allure of Spanish culture. The steps we learned were pretty basic, which was perfectly appropriate for me and my two left feet (Kemey enjoyed it immensely as well and reckoned it was ideal for us as a couple). However, I got the impression that Alicia could have more than kept up with the best of dancers and would make a fabulous mentor for any bailaor or bailaora, whatever the level (or lack) of expertise.

We certainly worked up a hearty appetite during the class – and just in time for lunch too which turned out to be a feast of excellent and rather historic significance … but more on that tomorrow.

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Later that weekend, Kemey and I caught an early evening dinner show at Las Carboneras Flamenco Tablao (arranged through Insider’s Madrid as well). Dinner was, honestly, a bit on the meh side but nothing to be put off by. For what it’s worth, the sangria quenched and the service was lovely. Besides, the only real reason to go was the extraordinary live music and dancing – all well worth the time and money! From what I can gather, you can really go astray with a lot of the flamenco shows in Madrid, but Las Carboneras is among the best and most authentic. As I’ve alluded, I’m hardly any sort of authority on dance, but my spirit was roused by the performances. Kemey and I both left beaming and impressed and gleefully charged up for night out on the town.

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For details about Insider’s Madrid go to insidersmadrid.com.

More posts in my Did Madrid miniseries to follow soon!

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7 Sensational Wine Bars in London (OneTravel)

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Want to be the toast of the town during your next visit to London?

Keep this septet of wine bars in mind! Cheers.

Read my complete post at the OneTravel blog.

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Did Madrid: Top Tapas Tour

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Hitting the ground eating, the first ‘big thing’ Kemey and I did during our Madrileño weekend was join up with Madrid Food Tour’s Tapas, Taverns, and History Evening Walking and Tapas Tour. Quite a mouthful? Indeed! But not just in name given all the excellent food and drink we had during this evening saunter through the foodie heart of Madrid.

With the tour, we hit five of Madrid’s most historic tapas bar. I am so very tempted to divulge our itinerary and wax poetical about each of these marvellously evocative and cosy nooks. However, that might spoil the fun.

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Discovering each bar ‘for ourselves’ as the night unfolded made the night such a delight. The vermouth on tap, the homemade meatballs, some of the best blue cheese I’ve ever come across, the Hemingway trivia … we gobbled, guzzled, slurped and soaked up so much amazing atmosphere during this hop! I believe we ate and drank a little more wisely than we would have if we’d just rocked up to any of these places on our own (even if we had done loads of research beforehand). More so (and I kinda hate to admit this but), I reckon at least one of the bars (which I absolutely loved) simply would have been off our radar all together had we not been part of this tour.

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Our guide, Luke Darracott, was clued in and passionate about Madrid – and as affable and quick thinking as we could have hoped for, doing a great job accommodating the interests of his small group (just six of us in total, all nice folks too). The tour provided a fun opportunity to get a feel for the city on a limited schedule, cop a slight buzz, and – most importantly – eat some excellent tapas!

Visit Madrid Food Tour online at madridfoodtour.com.

More posts in my Did Madrid miniseries to follow soon!

Posted in Did Madrid, Drink, Food, restaurants, Spain, Travel, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

London Daily Photo: Ladbroke Grove

LDP 2014.09.09 - Ladbroke Grove

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Did Madrid

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Kemey and I are both enthusiastic fans of Spain. It’s very much one of our preferred destinations for holidays and city breaks and is a country we both know fairly well. However, Kemey had never been to (but always very much had wanted to visit) its dynamic and dignified capital. So back last month, to celebrate her birthday, we headed to Madrid for a long weekend of food, fun and flamenco. Like me, after my initiation to the charms of this magic place some years ago, Kemey was wowed. To be sure, our magnificently Madrileño weekend won’t be our last!

Over the next few days, I’m going to blog all about the fine time Kemey and I had in Madrid. But before I get started with any rapturous rave about what makes this city tick with such potent and beguiling style, I reckon I should lay down a few basics for ya and send out a few gracias too.

British Airways

We’d booked this trip (flight and hotel) at the beginning of 2014 via British Airways’ annual January sale (the flights were actually with Iberia). Considering the quality and location of our hotel (the fabulous five star Hotel Hospes Madrid near Retiro Metro station), the booking was exceptionally good value and well worth the wait! Come 2015, I’ll certainly be keen to look into what’s on offer for more savings.

Driven A to B

Getting from our east London flat to T5 at Heathrow, we took new point-to-point corporate car service, Driven A to B. Car was plush, driver was friendly and the ride was smooth. We took ‘em on our way back home after our return flight too. Driven A to B provides a cost effective, point to point car service on a pre-booked and ad hoc basis. Drivers are PCO licensed, fully referenced, CRB checked and smartly presented in shirt and tie. Vehicles in fleet include Mercedes E class, BMW five series, Audi A6, the Passat and the Ford Galaxy. The vehicles are never older than three years and are tracked 24/7. I’m more than happy to recommend the service.

From the airport in Madrid, hopping on the Metro into town was a breeze (fairly quick and very affordable too). On our way back though, we took the Exprés Aeropuerto coach from Plaza de Cibeles as it was super close to our hotel and only about €5 per person (it was Sunday too with virtually no traffic on the highway).

Insider’s Madrid

So much of the fun we had in Madrid came compliments of Insider’s Madrid and the amazing access granted by tapping into its expert knowledge base. Founder Joanna Wivell and her small team of Madrileños “who share a passion for the real Spain” helped make our weekend a foot stompin’ blast that was filled with happy memories. More on Insider’s Madrid to come …

Madrid Food Tour

Our time touring the city’s best tapas bars with Madrid Food Tour proved an especially delicious way to grab a more than generous bite and quench our thirst in this most savoury of cities. More about Madrid Food Tour to come …

Madridcard

For instant access to loads of attractions coupled with more than decent discounts, roaming around town with a Madridcard in each of our back pockets turned out to be a super smart and money saving move. The “essential sightseeing pass for visitors to Madrid,” the card includes entry to more than 50 museums (with priority admission in many of them) and amazing discounts in shops and restaurants.

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Muchos gracias to Sarah Canet and Naiara Garro for their excellent recommendations and to the folks behind the incredibly insightful resources of spain.info and esmadrid.com.

More posts in my Did Madrid miniseries to follow soon!

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London Daily Photo: Kensington Church Street

LDP 2014.09.08 - Kensington Church Street

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Miss Behave’s Gameshow at London Wonderground

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Miss Behave and her glamourous assistant Harriet (aka a rather thickly bearded Harry Clayton-Wright) wedge a full-on and eclectic variety show into a wacky gameshow demanding out of (and sometimes even on top of) your seats audience participation. It’s at once arbitrary, absurd, inane, and asinine … not to mention astoundingly fun! Ya got two more opportunities to catch Miss Behave at the London Wonderground. If you’re keen for camped up and mildly dirty entertainment, you’d be wise to book your tickets now.

I had a blast at last night’s show. I laughed a lot. I screamed at the top of my lungs a few times (and was encourage to do so). I (along with everyone else) threw things at random strangers. And I got a huge kick out of Miss Behave and Harriet’s antics as well as the ace performances by cabaret acts Earl Okin, Matt Hennem, Kalki the Hula Girl (wow!), and Paul Morocco. The gameshow schtick brought out an especially cheekily competitive side to just about everybody (several hundred people?) in attendance, but in the end it was made clear that everyone there was a winner for being part of such a raucous good time.

The next (and final) two performances of Miss Behave’s Gameshow are Saturdays the 13th and 20th at 9.30pm.

London Wonderground is part of the Southbank Centre site in London, SE1 8XX. The venue entrance is situated on the Thames Walk, just next to Hungerford Bridge and directly below one of the two pedestrian bridges from Embankment. Please note that you cannot access the venue from Belvedere Road.

Find out more at londonwonderground.co.uk and stillmisbehaving.com.


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Far North Foodie Adventure in the Faroe Islands (Great British Chefs)

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Chris takes us on a journey through the very scenic and serene Faroe Islands, a tiny island nation that’s also one of most fascinating places for food he has been to!

I’ve never been anywhere quite like the scenic and serene Faroe Islands. Getting a tasted for this most distinctive destination during an early August visit, I can say this tiny island nation was one of most fascinating places for food I’ve even been to as well. Not entirely sure where I’m talking about? Don’t worry. You’re certainly not alone. When telling people that I was heading to the Faroes, something along the lines of “Now where’s that again?” proved to be a typical response.

Read my complete post at Great British Chefs.

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London Daily Photo: Lea River Boys

LDP 2014.09.07 - Lea River Boys

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Good Stuff

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Good Stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip or savour – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy.

Pilsner Urquell Tankovna at Draft House

Draft House’s Seething Lane location has started serving Pilsner Urquell delivered fresh and unpasteurised direct from the Czech Republic from its own Czech made copper tanks. Aaaaah!

Curry Dave

Ocado recently started listed the Curry Dave range of Indian flatbread pizzas. Essentially naan with some spicy stuff on top, flavours include chicken korma, chicken tikka masala, chicken madras, and a vegetarian sweet potato with spinach. Dave himself came down from his base in Glasgow earlier this week for a UK launch party here in London. I was there and very much enjoyed sampling his range of currizzas. I liked the price too, which (at the moment anyway) is one pizza for £3 or two for a fiver.

Pulled Chicken at KFC

The last time I was asked to eat an “ultimate burger” I was on a boat sailing round the Faroe Islands. For a much different – and considerably more accessible – experience, KFC (UK) has this week launched its own Ultimate Burger as part of its new slow cooked Pulled Chicken range, “the biggest overhaul to its menu yet” since opening in the UK a half century ago. The burger features “two mini chicken fillets, layered with cheese, southern style coleslaw, slow cooked Pulled Chicken and Apollo lettuce, inside a sweet brioche bun.” I gave it a try at the outlet on Whitechapel Road a couple of days ago. Was it tasty? Yeah, but I reckon any future visits to an outlet of this chicken frying mega chain would see me sticking with an order of the Colonel’s Original Recipe. And as said in my KFC Me miniseries back in May, your local KFC probably shouldn’t be seen as ‘anything other than a place to have an occasional treat.’ Other items in the Pulled Chicken range include a Pulled Chicken Twister and The ‘Lil Wrap.

Billie’s Cafe

Last weekend Kemey and I were in Brighton for a wedding. Before heading back to London, we stopped at Billie’s Cafe for what turned out to be an awesome breakfast. Billie’s Famous Farmhouse Hash (£8.10) was a mighty mound of “sausage, bacon, baked beans and mushrooms pan-fried in butter with homemade hash browns and topped with a fried egg and grilled cheese” which tasted great and kept me going until well into the evening. I substituted the beans for bits of black pudding – an excellent idea if I do say so myself. Kemey was equally satisfied with the All Day Jumbo Vegetarian Breakfast ($7.25). The setting at this three decades old “neighbourhood institution” was quaint and homey; service was too.

Posted in Beer, Drink, england, Food, Good Stuff, London, Pizza, restaurants, Shopping, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

London Daily Photo: Our Bus!

LDP 2014.09.06 - Our Bus!

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