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.
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.
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.
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..)
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.
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!
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!
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.
I love finding new and fun restaurants and recently I discovered this little gem in Covent Garden! Over the last few years Homeslice Pizza wowed Londoners with their pizzas, selling slices on the streets and at food markets from their mobile oven. But in March this year they finally found a permanent home and opened their Homeslice Pizza Restaurant in colourful Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden.
The formula at Homeslice is simple; Pizza, Beer, Wine, Prosecco! BOOM :)
The cosy 50-seat restaurant menu is simple; they only offer about 5- 7 pizza choices a day. The classic Margarita is always on the menu but the other pizzas change regularly but think toppings like pork belly, courgette & artichoke or bone marrow. Yummm…..
Pricing is just as simple because a slice of pizza, a glass of prosecco or wine or a pint are all priced at £4 each, eat in or take away! Or you can go all out and order the massive 20-incher, which will feed you and 2 of yours friends easily for only £20.
I had booked a table for me and six of my girls (yes they take bookings for groups between 5 and 10 people!!) and whilst trying to decide what pizzas to order, we got stuck into the prosecco and wine, which they offer on tap. My kind of place….
To start us off we ordered 2x of the 20 inch pizzas to share and they even let us have half half toppings on these enormous thin-crust pizzas.
It all looked and smelled delicious so we couldn’t wait to dig in!
At Homeslice you eat pizza the best way, with your hands! They only offer paper plates and napkins and no cutlery so you just have to get your hands dirty.
After quickly demolishing those two massive pizzas, we decided to get another two. I mean at £20 a pizza it’s just too hard to resist and we just loved getting stuck in with the pizza cutters haha.
With our bellies very full of prosecco and pizza we were happy girls!! The waiter was very impressed with our pizza eating efforts and said we’d set a new woman vs pizza record. Hmmm I’m not really sure that was a compliment but hey we will take it anyway ;)
The staff at Homeslice Pizza are super friendly and service is quick, without making you feel rushed. Homeslice is perfect for a fun casual night out with friends and I will definitely be visiting again!
On Friday night I had a lovely evening out in Soho! Why? Because I took one of my favourite people for a night out at one of my favourite restaurants in London. So Erin + NOPI (oh + also throw in some singing, dancing and sparkles) = a perfect evening.
NOPI is all an-day restaurant in Soho and is the first proper restaurant by Yotam Ottolenghi (my favourite chef) who is behind the amazing Ottolenghi delis around London and three very wonderful cookbooks…which I all own.
The restaurant is on Warwick Street, just north of Piccadilly Circus and as soon as you walk in you are welcomed by the friendly staff and a glamorous and stylish looking dining room. It has a modern design that looks expensive without looking too formal; white tiles, marble floors and lots of gold finishing touches.
Also just like his deli’s, the restaurant features a large counter area displaying some of the delicious starters and side dishes. The restaurant is split between two levels; the basement houses two large sharing tables that have prime views over the working kitchen for a more low-key vibe and the ground floor is a more traditional dining room. This is where me and Erin were seated at a lovely table. Oh and yes NOPI accepts bookings, which is a huge bonus and so hard to find in London these days!
The menu is only one page and simply divided into the sections; vegetables, fish, meat, sides and nibbles. Ottolenghi’s cooking is known for combining Mediterranean, Middle-eastern and Asian cuisine using exotic ingredients and the unusual combinations of flavours and textures. At NOPI is designed for sharing and the restaurant suggests that diners choose 3 dishes per person. We had an early booking and didn’t have a lot of time before our show (or time to umm and ahhh over which delicious dishes to chose from the menu for that matter) so we opted for the easy option; a pre-theatre menu! This gives you 5 dishes to share at £21.50 per person or £25.50 per person including dessert. While we waited for our food to arrive we sipped on prosecco and enjoyed the lavosh crackers, black bean and ginger hummus nibbles!
We didn’t have to wait long because the service at NOPI is fast and soon our table was filled with many of the sharing dishes. Our sharing starters was the roasted aubergine, burnt butter with tzatziki (my FAVE) & roasted beetroot, pistachio salsa with goat’s curd.
For the mains we loved the twice-cooked baby chicken with lemon myrtle salt, chilli sauce. It is super moist on the inside but with a deliciously crisp charred skin! We literally picked every last bit of meat from the bones – so good. Next up was the baked cod, with squid ink venere rice and the spiced gurnard wrapped in banana leaf, with a pineapple sambal. Can you see what I mean about the interesting combinations of ingredients? It all tasted truly amazing!
The great thing about sharing dishes is that it leaves you with some room for dessert! We both drooled over the sound of the peanut and roasted caramel ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanut brittle option that we decided one of those to share just wouldn’t do. I was too afraid that when it arrived I wouldn’t want to share it so we opted for the same dessert each to avoid a sharing fight haha.
The super creamy peanut butter ice-cream with the chocolate sauce and the salty peanut brittle was delightful and gone in seconds so it was definitely a wise choice to get two because I wouldn’t have been too happy about sharing this treat ;)
When at NOPI I always tell people, ensure you check out the bathrooms! This may sound weird but they definitely are worth a mention. The toilet washing room walls are completely covered in mirrors set at different angels; which shows your reflection back at you into infinity, and beyond. It always gives me the giggles, especially when I can’t find which door is the exit again!
At the restaurant you can also buy signed copies of his latest cookbook; Jerusalem. I got this book a few month’s back and it’s filled with so many amazing recipes; I certainly recommend it!
Our final bill came to £88 for two which isn’t cheap but for the service, the amazing food and having used Ottolenghi’s recipes quite often myself, I know how expensive some of the ingredients can be – so I do feel you are getting what you pay for. It’s just one of those feel-good restaurants were you can be certain to enjoy a tasty meal. If you are ever in London I definitely think you should check it out and then I’d love to know what you thought! It’s one of my favourites and I for sure will be going back again and again :)
After the dinner it was time for the singing, dancing and sparkles part of our evening. Don’t worry it was not us performing (even though Erin did put on her sparkly blazer for the occasion) – we were off to see the musical ‘A Chorus Line’ which is currently showing at the Palladium Theatre in London. A Chorus Line is Erin’s favourite movie so I got her tickets for her birthday so we could see the show together.
A Chorus Line is about seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. It provides you with a glimpse into the personalities of the performers as they describe the events that shaped their lives and why they became dancers.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with musicals but I have to say I LOVED this show. It was not too ‘musically’ and the dancing was fantastic. We had a great evening out!
Hakkasan restaurant in London has been on my ‘to-visit’ list ever since I moved to London, so when one of my best friends recently asked me what I thought might be a fun venue for her girls night birthday celebration dinner, I (selfishly) suggested Hakkasan! Bookings can sometimes be a little hard to get but luckily I was able to score us a table for 8 on a Saturday night. OK our booking was for 6.30pm which is a little early but we just thought, as glass half-full kinda girls, that this would allow us more time to enjoy the cocktails at the bar afterwards!
Hakkasan Hanway Place was founded in London in 2001 and quickly became famous for its high-end modern Chinese cuisine. Since then Hakkasan has received Michelin stars and has opened further restaurants in London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills and Mumbai!
Our booking was for Hakkasan Mayfair and upon entering I was instantly impressed by its sexy, dark interior and realised this is definitely one of these places in London where the cool people hang out to ‘see and be seen’ and that night that included us!
The a la carte menu is extensive and filled with many delicious dishes. Note that eating out at Hakkasan is not cheap, but if you are not up for splurging then the great thing is that they also have a Taste of Hakkasan menu. Reasonably priced at £35 the 3 course menu offers you a selection of small eats, mains and desserts to choose from to give you a taste of Hakkasan’s signature dishes without a huge price tag. As a group this sounded like a winner to us so we ordered some bubbly got our night started!
For the small eats you can you can choose between steamed, fried or vegetarian dim sum. I love a good steamed dumpling so that was an easy pick! The basket came with three delicious dim sum; scallop shumai, morel mushroom crystal dumpling, and Chinese chive dumpling. Yumm….
For my main I had the steamed chilean seabass in osmanthus flower wine with a chilli garlic sauce. The fish was perfectly steamed and was soft like butter and the sauce was spicy but creamy at the same time. Each main course comes with the main flavour dish + a bowl of white rice + a veggie dish (we got garlic & ginger bok choi).
Choosing the dessert was a little trickier because the chocolate orange pot sounded amazing but a selection of macaroons is hard to resist! In the end the chocolate pot won out, and boy am I glad that it did. It was INCREDIBLE!
Normally the mix of chocolate and orange isn’t my favourite but everything about this dessert was divine. A bitter chocolate mouse comes with spiced oranges, orange sorbet and a salted chocolate and cardamon sauce. The best bit; the mouse contains pop rocks!?! Remember that candy that creates a fizzy reaction when it dissolves in your mouth? Yup that was in the mousse which made it so fun and different to eat.
One of my friends got the selection of macaroons which she said were delicious but unfortunately didn’t live up to her expectations (..meaning Ladurée still rules in this department). What was nice though was that the macaroons were served on a bed of edible cacao nibbles…which we all happily tucked into!
Then after a successful and delicious dinner it was time for….you guessed it, COCKTAILS!
The bar upstairs at Hakkasan in Mayfair is buzzing with engery, dark, fun, a little sexy and the cocktail list is to-die-for! We ordered a selection of their signature lychee martinis and some espresso martinis to party the night away…
CHEERS!! Me and the beautiful birthday girl.
I was wearing my favourite L.K.Bennett dress.
One, Two…LYCHEE ;)
We had a brilliant night out and I definitely want to go to Hakkasan again soon! Maybe next time I will check out the Hanway Place location. Even though Hakkasan may not be the cheapest night out in London, I feel it’s worth the price-tag! The food is amazing, it is fun, a little sexy and because of the mood lighting I think it would make for a great date venue. Now all I need is a date to take me there ;)
During the recent long Easter weekend, I escaped London for a few days to explore cool and trendy Copenhagen with my flatmate. You can see pictures and can read a bit more about our adventures here. But because we are both very much foodies, we pretty much just spent our days eating and drinking our way around the city. As promised I thought it might be a fun idea to share my recommendations of where to eat when in Copenhagen. Disclaimer; I do consider myself to be a huge expert on the subject but we did do quite a bit of research before going there and we met some lovely cool local Danes that told us about all the new and happening places to go!
So here just some quick reviews of the places we enjoyed eating at that I would say deserve a visit if you are ever in Copenhagen.
1. Cafe Kalaset
We went here for brunch on our first morning in Copenhagen. With brunch being my favourite meal, I had done my research and this place had some great reviews. It’s an adorable little cafe (underground) that is cosy and unique with mismatched shabby chic furniture and old radios on the wall. Apparently in summer it is popular with people sitting outside on the pavement whilst enjoying their meal but we opted for inside, seeing it was freezing and SNOWING outside!
We both ordered the scrambled eggs with bacon which was delicious. Kalaset is known for their amazing “mormor” brunch which is a HUGE plate filled with eggs, sausages, bacon, eggs, fresh fruit, breads plus yogurt with muesli and you can help yourself to their homemade jams and nutella. So if you are hungry, definitely opt for that one! We ended up having some serious food envy seeing people eating that around us and I think if I am in Copenhagen again any time, then that breakfast has got my name all over it!
Barburrito is a newly opened mexican restaurant/bar in the centre of the city and like most places in Copenhagen it is a bit of a mission to find. But when you do find it (we walked past it about 4 times before finally realising it was downstairs…) it is worth it. The restaurant has a small, intimate and fun vibe and they serve delicious mexican street food and even better (strong!) frozen passion margaritas!
We especially loved the snacks of crispy pork skin and plaintain nachos, both served with (one of my favourite things in this world) guacamole! For the main event we were in the taco mood so we shared a selection of the different taco’s on the menu. All were amazing, fresh, tasty and non-greasy, but they are rather small so if you are hungry I’d say order at least 4-5 each.
We went to this trendy Pizza restaurant in the Meat Packing area of Copenhagen for massive hangover brunch after a night out. I blogged about our brunch at Mother in more detail here. But aside from their amazing brunch this place has some delicious pizzas on the menu and because of the fun, relaxed vibe I think this is also a perfect restaurant to drop in for dinner before hitting the trendy bars around the area.
They are famous for their wood oven baked sourdough pizzas and affordable prices. My friend in Copenhagen also recommended this place so if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner – I pretty don’t think you can go wrong with visiting Mother!
This place was not on our list (or even radar) until one of the friendly owners at Barburrito told us (over a margarita) that this was the coolest new place in town we just had to visit. So we took his word for it, made a booking and a few nights later arrived at the restaurant to be in for a culinary treat!
Oliver & the Black Circus is located in an old building on a pretty cobblestoned street in the city but when you step inside you are greeted by a dark, modern but welcoming interior. The restaurant is all about a down-to-earth (and more affordable) approach to upscale cuisine. They only do a set menu of 3 to 5 dishes where you can mix and match as you please; you could have a three desserts if that’s your thing! Aside from the electric vibe (including DJ) and fantastic service, did I mention they also mix up some delicious tasting cocktails?
We went for the three course menu (295KR) and I very much enjoyed my Danish caviar starter, lamb main and chocolate (duh easy choice) dessert! The food was spectacular in both taste and presentation and we left the restaurant a few hours later as two very happy girls – ok maybe the handsome barman and his great tasting cocktails had something to do with that too…. ;)
A great little day trip to make while you are in Copenhagen is visiting the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Save it for a day when the weather forecast is saying sunny skies, so you’ll get to soak up the sun overlooking the water at the Louisiana cafe!
Denmark is well known for its open-faced sandwiches and at the Louisiana Cafe I had their smoked salmon, celery and pickles on rye bread version and my flatmate the terrine of root vegetables, cabbage and cream of carrot open sandwich. YUM! The museum has different exhibitions throughout the year but I think the museum is worth a visit even if it’s just for the excursion on the train (approx. 30 min), walking around the gardens overlooking the water and of course a visit to the lovely cafe!
Fiskebar pretty much translates to ‘Fish Bar’ so I am sure you can guess what the star ingredient is on the menu at this restaurant; that’s right FISH! Fiskebar is a set in an old fish processing area in the hipster area of Copenhagen and has a very modern and upmarket look and feel about it. It’s fancy but not stuck up and you can either book a table or eat (and drink) at the bar which is in the middle of the restaurant. Also loved the big fish tank feature. The menu is focussed around serving quality, healthy and fresh fish and shellfish.
Because we had a late booking at Fiskebar, and had indulged in quite a few naughty snacks that day already, a light and healthy dinner was just what we needed. We both loved the sound of the seared scallops with fennel in a sauce of langoustine and watercress so we each got that as medium sized dish. We then also decided to share the baked cod that came with Jerusalem artichokes, a sauce of skyr and wheatgrass plus full grain porridge with mushrooms and chives. Instead of dessert & coffee we opted for espresso martini’s which were incredible – the best we’d had the whole weekend!
However, as much as food was delicious we did find that we had to wait a very long time for our food. Compared to the amazing service we’d received at other restaurants in Copenhagen, on our night at Fiskebar the service was rather poor. Maybe our experience is a rare one because most reviews I’ve read all rave about the great service at Fiskebar.. Therefore I still added it to my list of places to visit. Go here for excellent seafood in this popular hot-spot area (oh and make sure you have one of their espresso martinis…yum!)
On a sunny Easter Monday morning we found ourselves in a great cafe by one of the Copenhagen city lakes, sitting outside (with blankets) ready to fill our tummies with Cafe 22’s extensive brunch offering!
For only 98 KR (£12) the weekend brunch at Cafe 22 gives you unlimited access to a massive buffet that allows you to stuff yourself on a selection of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes, hot wings, meatballs, warm liver pâté, yoghurt, pasta salad, green salad, cold meat, cheese, tuna mousse, smoked salmon, egg and mayo, muesli, ketchup, maple syrup, jam, nutella, butter, croissants, cakes and bread. See I told you it was massive?
The crispy bacon was my absolute favourite and I admit that I went for seconds, ok maybe even third rounds at the buffet. It’s fair to say I didn’t need much more food the rest of that day haha. Luckily a walk around the lake presents itself naturally post-brunch. This way you can burn off the platefuls eaten and take advantage of the Danish picturesque scene; swans and ducks swimming, cyclists pedalling and passersby walking and running along the lake. Definitely worth a visit even if just to enjoy a coffee lakeside but trust me the brunch is pretty darn amazing.
Aside from the many great restaurants this city has to offer, I thought I’d also quickly share some other things you should definitely treat yourself to when in Copenhagen.
First up, a hotdog! Turns out the Danish love a good sausage. Now that is convenient, because so do we haha. A Danish hotdog stand called a pølsevogn can be found on almost any major street in Copenhagen. Visiting these hotdog stands is great for a shopping refuelling stop or to simply enjoy one after a few too many cocktails late at night. Our favourite stand was by the Stork Foundation on Strøget right in the city centre. You can have your sausage with a white bun, on its own and choose a selection of toppings or go all out and have your sausage grilled and wrapped in bacon. Naturally we tried all the options!
Another thing the Danish love? Hot chocolate! At every cafe the menu will offer you a wide selection of hot chocolates; with cream, chilli, marshmallows, chocolate dunking squares and the list goes on; pretty much whatever your little heart desires; they will have it! We treated ourselves to a luxury creamy hot chocolate at Cafe Dan Turell to warm up after getting caught in a bit of snow storm. We felt a lot warmer and happier after all that chocolate that’s for sure!
Now New York is mad for the cupcake and Paris is passionate about the macaroon, but in Copenhagen the flødebolle is the top treat! The name translates as ‘cream bun’, though it’s not a bun and doesn’t contain cream. Rather it’s a biscuit base topped with soft meringue and coated in chocolate. What it also is = DELICIOUS. I just loved these!
I tried a coconut coated flødebolle and also one that was covered in nuts and had a small amount of caramel twirled into the meringue mixture. International calories don’t count right?? I got mine from one of the many Lagkagehuset bakeries in the city but I think most bakeries sell them.
We certainly had a our fair amount of unhealthy food during this trip but we also loved the many Joe & the Juice bars in the city. These days London also has four Joe & the Juice bars but with the store concept originating from Copenhagen, there is literally one on every street corner. Why we love Joe & the Juice? Cool decor, tick. Yummy and healthy juices, tick. Unbelievably hot danish boys making the juices, TICK! Enough said…
I hope you enjoyed my picks of where to eat in Copenhagen! Of course there are many more amazing places to visit and this is just a selection of places we actually went to. I’d love to go back to Copenhagen again sometime soon so if there’s somewhere else you’d recommend definitely leave me a comment!