Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

I met one of my cousins for lunch on Wednesday – we were meeting at Raoul’s and the weather was still amazing so I walked through the park to Lancaster Gate and then took a bus to Clifton Road. I decided to have the pasta with asparagus and truffles instead of my usual eggs. I went home after lunch and did some work.

That evening a friend took me to Restaurant Story in London Bridge. It was a small place but every table was full. There were two set menus: one for six courses and the other for ten courses.

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We decided to go for the six courses but wanted to try the scallops on the ten-course menu, and our waiter said that they were quite flexible that way and added the scallops to our order.

The waiter then placed a candle on our table. It reminded me of the nursery rhyme ‘Wee Willy Winkie’. He also brought over some starters which weren’t included on the menu, such as these flowers with herbs:

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Our waiter told us they were best eaten whole, so that’s what we did. They tasted like… flowers. With a little bit of flavour but mostly they tasted like flowers.

He then brought us grilled corn with butter and ‘rabbit sandwiches’ (yes, real rabbit):

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We were then given a basket of fresh bread. He told us that while we were eating our starters the wax from the candle was dripping into the plate below and we could dip our bread into it and eat it. The candle wasn’t made from real wax, it was made with beef dripping!

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It’s not something I would normally eat, but I tried it.

The portions that followed were small. The scallop dish was really small:

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The main course (wild duck) was a ‘regular’ portion. They brought the uncooked pot to us before they started preparing it so we could see what it looked like.

Before our almond and dill dessert, our waiter brought over some Brie with truffles – it wasn’t on the menu but I had to have it.

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We then had our almond and dill dessert:

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It doesn’t look like much but it was fantastic!

So by the end of our six courses (which turned into eight courses) we were very full.

The weather turned on Thursday – there was a definite nip in the air. That morning I went to meet a friend of mine who was getting her hair done at Aveda on Westbourne Grove. Everyone in London is so busy that I told her I would just sit with her while she had her hair coloured and cut. We were there for about three hours and by then it was lunchtime so we went for sushi. We went to Suzu on Hammersmith Road, close to her place. I’d been there with her before and the food is always excellent. By the time we finished lunch it was time to pick the kids up from school. I went with her, met the kids and then went home to do some work. It was 4pm by this time!

That evening I met up with a friend for a drink. We met at Selfridges and then went to one of the pubs in St Christopher’s Place. I had two glasses of red wine and was home in time for dinner. My first night in! My cousin and I had spaghetti and watched ‘Friends’.

It rained all day on Friday so I decided I’d stay in and catch up on some work. The thought of venturing out didn’t appeal to me at all! I pottered around, did some work, watched some TV. It was just what I needed.

That night I went to stay at a friend’s place. I went over, had a drink, and then we went to Pizza Pomodoro for dinner! I hadn’t been there since 2010 (or maybe even 2009) and the place has not changed at all. We had the garlic bread and garlic mushrooms, and then I ordered an American Hot pizza (or whatever they call the equivalent). The pizzas were smaller than I remember but still tasted great! And the live music was as good as ever… After dinner we decided we’d have dessert and a drink at the Lanesborough. We ordered the cheese platter and the cheesecake! It was a chilled out fun evening and wasn’t too late.

The next morning we woke up and decided we’d go for breakfast. We walked down South Audley Street and into Mount Street Gardens. I didn’t even know this place existed! There was also a beautiful sculpture which reminded me a bit of The Godfather.

'Fire' by Nic Fiddian-Green

‘Fire’ by Nic Fiddian-Green

We also passed a beautiful church.

Church of the Immaculate Conception

Church of the Immaculate Conception

Church of the Immaculate Conception

Church of the Immaculate Conception

We walked to Bourdon House in Duke Street, home of Dunhill. Again, I didn’t know this place existed – it’s a Dunhill store and retreat for men: barber, spa, private cinema, bar/lounge, cafe, humidor. Another hidden gem (well, not anymore)! We ordered some coffee and the Eggs Benedict. As my friend doesn’t eat meat, he asked them whether they could do the Eggs Benedict with Cheddar cheese rather than ham – it was the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had.

After our late breakfast I went to Raoul’s to meet one of the girls for lunch. Of course I couldn’t eat (initially) so sat with her while she had her eggs. For dessert we decided to share the French toast and then moved on to Baker and Spice for another coffee.

We had a big night planned on Saturday – me, my cousins and some friends were going to Brasserie Chavot in Conduit Street for dinner and then to Annabel’s for some dancing. I loved the atmosphere at Brasserie Chavot but the service was really slow. For starters I ordered the crab mayonnaise with avocado, and for my main course I had the beef ribeye.

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Both courses were excellent. I was too full for dessert.

As I mentioned, the service was so slow that by the time we finished our meal it was 11pm. Our plans for dancing at Annabel’s were thrown out the window as the two married couples decided it was ‘too late’ and that they needed to get home. That left three of us – we ended up at the Polo Bar next to the restaurant and we had a bottle of wine. The bar shut at 1am but it took us ages to find a cab (it was raining again)!

On Sunday I had lunch with a schoolfriend at ASK Italian next to Gloucester Road Station – a steaming bowl of creamy pasta and glass of red wine was in order. We caught up over a couple of hours and I walked back home (after buying an umbrella). I was home the rest of the day.

That evening my cousin and I went to Stick & Bowl in Kensington High Street for dinner. I thought we’d walk there as it’s not even ten minutes away but my cousin wanted to drive. We got there, spent fifteen minutes looking for parking, dropped the car back home and then walked back! It’s a cheap, quick Chinese restaurant and I’ve been going there for almost thirty years. My mum used to take me when I was younger, and I used to take my brother. I hadn’t been there in ages. Hot and sour soup, black bean chicken and rice – perfect for a cold Sunday evening. And we were home in time to watch ‘Downton Abbey’!

I love my life.

To read more about London, click here.

2 thoughts on “London: October 2013 (Part 2)

  1. LagosMum says:

    You DROVE to Stick n Bowl?!

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