Category Archives: Lifestyle

Brunch at Hally’s Parsons Green

Going out for brunch is probably one of my favourite past-times in the weekend, so I love finding out about new good places to visit. One of these new places I recently was told about is Hally’s Parsons Green. Hally’s opened in June 2013 on New Kings Road and says it’s a “A Californian-inspired hangout– all about innovative, fresh food, expertly-made coffee & a relaxed vibe.” So this long weekend I braved it through the rain and wind on my bike (and got soaked in the process) to meet some friends for brunch at Hally’s. I was told it was “epic” so as you can imagine I had high expectations.

Turns out a lot of people seem to think it is epic because there was a bit of a wait to get a table when we got there, but we were able to shelter from the rain inside and the staff was friendly in looking after us to get us a table as soon as possible. I love the casual, white and beach house style design of the café and don’t even get me started on those pastel paint-dipped vintage style chairs.

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Hally’s Parsons Green is open Monday to Sunday 8am to 6pm and during the week they serve breakfast daily from 8am and lunch from 12 to 4pm. However of course I was there for the main event that is their weekend brunch. Their (8am-4pm) brunch menu changes weekly is full of great dishes like; healthy granola, eggs benedict, american pancakes, smoked salmon with cream cheese and of course a full breakfast. We got coffee, fresh mint tea and fresh juices while we caught up and made our mind up on what to eat.

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In the end we all had the same food craving. Can you guess? Yep…. it was the avocado on sourdough with chilli, lemon and rocket that we all wanted. However we were hungry girls so we added some sides!

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….just to prove there was a-whole-lot of avocado underneath that rocket salad!

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Mine was with the poached eggs and chorizo. Amelia had the same but with bacon instead of chorizo and Krystle got her eggs scrambled and also with chorizo! The rocket salad on top of the avocado was really refreshing and we were all amazed by how orange the egg yolks were - think that means they are very organic/free range eggs which is nice!  We probably didn’t need all those extra sided but oh boy was it tasty :)

We had a fabulous time at Hally’s and think I will definitely be back to try some of the other dishes on the menu! Have you been to this little brunch/lunch gem in Parsons Green yet? Check it out – it’s epic ;)

Hally’s
60 New Kings Road
Parsons Green
London, SW6 4LS
www.hallysparsonsgreen.com

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Dom Pérignon Rosé Creative Combustion at Magazine Restaurant

Back in March Dom Pérignon invited nine of the world’s most innovative chefs to a three-day ‘Creative Combustion’ workshop in Paris that saw each creative talent inspire the other to create their own Creative Combustion Rosé Paradox Menu around the latest Dom Pérignon Rosé 2003.

One of those chef’s was Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lange from London, who is head chef at The Magazine. The Magazine is a stunning restaurant in Hyde Park based in the Serpentine Gallery that has been on my list to visit for a while. The setting is bright and modern and the menu is fusion food with heavy Japanese influences.  Following the Dom Pérignon  Paradox experience, Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lange created his own Rosé Paradox Menu, which will be introduced at his restaurant, The Magazine for the month of September. Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lang says about his creation: “A fun, explosive menu inspired and  created by combining global flavours.” The other night I was invited to try this beautiful new menu accompanied of course by plenty of Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003. Here are some photos of the night!

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Before sitting down at our table we all admired the restaurant while enjoying a glass of Dom Pérignon and some delicious canapés; an aubergine beef tartare spoon and a crab donut style bun. The aubergine beef tartare was so good, I may have had a few of those spoons.

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Once seated at our table, the head chef Oliver ‘Ollysan’ Lange (and creator of the menu) welcomed us and spoke about his inspiration for all the dishes. First up was an Amuse Bouche which was a little pastry style cone filled with something tasty. Terrible I know but I can’t actually remember what it was. Next up was a plate of Sashimi Hamachi Ceviche Style with Scallop Crisp and Mango.

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How beautiful does this plate look? It was almost too pretty to touch. This was maybe one of my favourite dishes of the night, I love ceviche and sashimi and this fresh combination with the mango was delicious and it literally melted in your mouth.

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Then it was sushi time. I love sushi so this selection to share was right up my street. The selection was: Big Volcano Roll // Spicy Tuna and Crispy Ginger // Smoked Trout and Shiso Roll // Surf’n Turf Roll // Salmon Nigiri and Saikyo Miso. All equally as delicious!

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The main dish of the Creative Combustion menu is Pigeon with Brioche and Mushroom Essence. This dish is from Nenad the 2 star chef from Switzerland who also took part in the workshop. Pigeon is not something I eat every day of the week so it’s really nice to have something different when you’re out. If you haven’t had pigeon before, you should definitely try it next time you spot it on a menu. It has quite a rich, gamey flavour to it – a bit like dark chicken or duck. Hard to describe really, but just try it and let me know what you think! This dish was definitely delicious and a favourite for many of the guests that evening.

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For dessert it was back to sharing. Now I very much like my desserts so my sharing partner that night probably wasn’t lucky to have me on his side ;) The three desserts as part of the menu (from top to bottom in photos) are: Fromage Blanc with Pomello and Almond // Poached Apricot, yeasted Miso crème and vanilla // Beetroot, yoghurt and blackberry.

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I am normally more a chocolate dessert kind of girl but have to say these desserts were deliciously refreshing.  My favourite was the poached apricot with the citrusy fromage blanc a close second! Together we certainly emptied those 3 bowls pretty quickly.

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We all had an amazing night – great food, incredible champagne and a gorgeous setting. What more can you want? The menu is perfectly crafted to be enjoyed with the dark jewel that is the Dom Pérignon Rosé as “Dom Pérignon Rose 2003 adds freshness and vibrancy to the protein-rich textures and accompanies the discovery of each flavour.”

The Paradox Dom Pérignon Rosé Creative Combustion Menu will be served at The Magazine exclusively throughout September. Price per person is £250, including a glass of Dom Pérignon Rose Vintage 2003 to accompany each course. So if you are looking for something really special in September this would make a pretty amazing option!

Pre-booking through Magazine Restaurant only on:
Tel: 020 7298 7552
www.serpentinegalleries.org/restaurant

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Secrets to Summer Confidence!

Even though it feels like summer has already finished in London I am seriously hoping that we’ll still get some hot and sunny weather for the next few weeks before autumn officially arrives. SimplyBe is currently running a campaign about ‘summer confidence’ and how to feel fab when at the beach or soaking up the rays by the pool. They did a survey in the UK and found for example that 70% of women feel self-conscious about their tummy whilst on holiday, and 18% of women admitted to crash dieting and doing extra exercise prior to their break. Something we all can relate to right? Below are some interesting statistics and tips on how to feel confident and fabulous this summer.

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Shop the Simply Be plus size swimwear collection

The theme behind the info-graphic is summer holiday confidence. The tips cover swimwear, beauty and lifestyle as well as providing statistical insights into women’s holiday confidence. At Simply Be, we believe that every woman should love their body just the way it is; these secrets give advice on how to feel fantastic on and off the beach. The data, which was gathered from a survey of 1000 UK women, provides added information on how women feel on holiday in terms of body confidence and the measures they take to make themselves feel more confident.

To find the perfect swimwear for your holiday, check out Simply Be’s swimwear collection.

Have you still got a beach/summer holidays planned this summer? I don’t unfortunately so am crossing my fingers and toes that there are still some summer days to come in London as my Turkey holiday tan is fading fast…

*sponsored post

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Healthy, Lifestyle, Shopping

Jose Tapas Bar – Bermondsey Street

Located on the trendy Bermondsey Street is José Pizarro’s Spanish Bar, Jose. This place had been on my list for a long time and now that my office moved to the London Bridge area it made it the perfect sense to go and check it out one night after work for drinks and dinner. Jose Tapas Bar is a genuine, slightly rustic Spanish bar serving up a range of traditional tapas dishes and daily menu specials.

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Jose doesn’t take reservations because the bar is quite small and it does get very busy. However the staff are super friendly and efficient at getting you in as soon as they can. Just be aware that this doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get a seat because most of the customers are standing up, putting their plates and drinks on strategically placed barrels. We arrived on a Thursday night around 6.30pm and waited for about 20 min before we got a spot in the bar. While we waited at the entrance way though we consumed some Prosecco to kick off the night.

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Now onto the food. We got a little over-excited about all the delicious food so ordered quite a bit! The dishes at Jose are traditional Spanish tapas (meaning no major modern twists) but they are all of exceptional quality.

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Manzanilla olives £3 // Salted Marcona almonds £3 // Jamón Ibérico 100% Corn Fed £12. The Ibérico ham and other meats at Jose are all from Maldonado, one of Spain’s most esteemed artisan producers. I think this was one of the best ham I’ve ever had in London (or maybe even Spain for that matter..)

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Croquetas £6, which were perfectly crisp-outside and creamy-within // Deep flavoured Tortilla £4 // Charred salty Padrón peppers  £5  // and Patatas Bravas with a creamy aoili and a spicy tomato sauce £4.

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 Chorizo cooked in wine £6 – I looooove chorizo! // The Pork Cheeks in a red wine and tomato sauce £9 – this pork was melt in your mouth incredible. One of my favourite dishes of the night!

Now after all that food we weren’t really planning on having dessert but we’d been standing near the kitchen and been having a great chat with the lovely wait staff, so they surprised us with two desserts on the house. Now how could we say no to that!

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The desserts that night were Rice Pudding and Turrón Mouse (£4.50 each). Turrón is a Spanish nougat made with almonds, honey, sugar and egg white, traditionally served at Christmas. The Turrón mouse was so smooth, nutty and rich so even though we were incredibly full from dinner, we pretty much licked that little glass clean!

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I would seriously recommend a visit to Jose Tapas Bar in Bermondsey to everyone. Amazingly good food and the service was fantastic in this small, cosy and buzzing bar! I tweeted this photo of me with the staff during dinner  and when we were paying the bill Mr José Pizarro himself came out to say hello and to ask us if we’d had a good evening. I couldn’t believe it! What a night :) I will definitely be back and also can’t wait to try his full sized restaurant (also in Bermondsey) called Pizarro.

Jose Tapas Bar, Bermondsey
104 Bermondsey Street
SE1 3UB, London
Twitter @Jose_Bermondsey
www.josetapasbar.com

  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurant Review

Turkey Holiday Photo Diary

Warning, very picture heavy post coming up!  But as promised here are some photos from my holiday in Turkey back in July. We spent 3 days in Bozburun, which is a very quiet fishermen’s town in the Marmaris area and then we had 4 days of luxury at the Kempinski Hotel in Bodrum.

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Breakfast at our hotel in Bozburun, simple but waterside breakfast was fantastic way to start the day // The town of Bozburun is very simple and quiet but the water in the area is some of the bluest I’ve ever seen // One day we went on a day trip boat for about £15 which even included a boat BBQ lunch and we spent all day cruising around in the water and stopping every 30 minutes for the required cooling down swim. Absolute bliss!

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One day in Datca (before catching the ferry to Bodrum the next day). We did another boat trip there for the day and enjoyed a delicious fried squid dinner on the boat in the town. I always crave fried squid when on summer holiday, it’s one of my favourite foods.

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And then we arrived at the absolutely stunning 5 star Kempinski Barbaros Hotel in Bodrum. This hotel is nestled on the cliffs overlooking pristine Barbaros Bay, located on its own private bay towards the magnificent Aegean Sea offering you the most luxurious holiday escape. The hotel has everything you need -and more, like a stunning outdoor and indoor pool, a private beach, Turkish spa, a marina to moor your yacht (if only..) and four amazing restaurants. We pretty much spent our days here relaxing either by the pool, beach or marina and had the biggest buffet breakfasts and yummy dinners.

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Night out in Bodrum town. Because the hotel is quite far out of the town we only really made it there one night for some shopping (some great fakes were very tempting!) and dinner. Bodrum greeted us with a stunning sunset as we walked around the pretty white old town. Dinner was outside in the courtyard at Kocadon Restaurant where the food was fantastic and the service lovely. We had a lovely night sitting outside drinking Turkish Rose and went back to the hotel  feeling very rosy and happy ;)

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The last day soaking up the sunshine! I actually got a pretty decent tan this holiday so was very happy about that :) All these photos were taken on my iPhone5 because I was travelling light and therefore didn’t have space for my DSLR in my hand luggage. More photos can be seen on my instagram @dutchessroz. I definitely loved Turkey and would love to go back again to explore more of the coast! Have you been to Turkey before?

  
2 Comments | Posted in Lifestyle, Photography, Travel