Time Out listed The Botanist as one of the top places to go for Afternoon tea in London, so we headed there with high expectations. A glass of champagne accompanied a delicious selection of hand cut, tiny sandwiches - cucumber, egg and smoked salmon. Two gorgeous melt in the mouth scones and a Victoria sponge cupcake each - break into the centre and jam oozes out.
If you are looking for a classic afternoon tea - then head to The Botanist.
However, if you are looking for good service - give it a miss! Having had the most fantastic service at Bob Bob Ricard the same week - I was expecting roughly the same at The Botanist - but received nothing like it.
We arrived ten minutes early for afternoon tea and were told we would have to wait before placing our order. Making us feel stupid, just sitting there without a menu. We then ordered our afternoon tea with a waiter, asking him to make sure that there were no nuts in the cakes. He came back ten minutes later telling us that as they didn't mill their flour on site, this couldn't be guaranteed - Please, Mr Waiter, point us to a restaurant which does mill it's own flour - as that is something I want to see. Finally he accepted our order!
45 minutes after placing the order, I asked another waiter where our afternoon tea was - he took our order again. Turns out the other waiter had gone on a break without passing on our order. So roughly 3 hours later, we had finally finished our tea.
Check out The Botanist at www.thebotanistsloanesquare.com
Venue: Lovely, traditional setting 4 stars
Food: Amazingly delicious 5 stars
Service: minus 1 - Explained above
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
I've always fancied being in a Poirot. The romance and drama of helping him discover the murderer onboard the Orient Express has always appealed. Poirot plays his role as detective in a glamourous, old fashioned world.
So my trip to Bob Bob Ricard helped me to satisfy some of these dreams. I went along with two female friends (one Kosher) for a slap up meal and a gossip.
On entrance we were greeted by attentive staff who kept us stocked up on Prosecco and who were always at our beck and call. Certainly the service of a time gone by.
Bob Bob Ricard is a restaurant based on an old railway carriage, with booths reflecting the theme. Very Orient Express.
It really is a bit of a feast for the senses, as well as the tummy! There is a fantastic little button that allows you to order champagne on demand. We pushed it, but nothing happened - disapppointingly. I'm not sure what i was expecting, but no free champagne gushed from the ceiling or suddenly appeared infront of us.
We went straight to the main courses - and I chose the crabcakes. The test of a good crab cake is quantity of crab vs other filling, and i wasn't disappointed. This was a crab filled cake. Try the bubble and squeak too - classic British cooking that doesn't disappoint.
Dessert was a creme brulee - nothing exciting, but tasty. I think i chose the wrong dessert, as one of my friends ordered the strawberry souffle which was a fantastic dish. A little hole is made in the top and the waiter pours in a sugary strawberry sauce.
I would definitely go back - and would recommend dinner there to anyone. Many were tucking into afternoon tea when we were there which looked fantastic. I'd love to go back and give it a try.
Venue: 5 star - absolutely fantastic, nothing like it
Food: 4 star - good food but limited menu
Overall: 4 star - give it a go
Monday, 12 July 2010
I enjoyed a delicious evening at The Chamberlyne in Kensal Rise on Friday night. If you've never been, it is one of my favourites. We were seated outside in the sunshine and went straight into our mains.
All of us went for the steak which is a bit of a house speciality and comes with a choice of chips, mash or new potatoes. Obviously I went for chips. However, my friend went for the mashed potato - which is apparently to die for.
As I suffer from a nut allergy, it's always a pleasant change to go to a restaurant and be told that I can eat any dessert off the menu without a problem. One of the main reasons I love this place. The Banoffee pie was enormous - like a brick - and so deliciously creamy and sweet. Highly recommend their homemade desserts.
The only downside to the night was when the waitress was unable to divide a bill in half and tried to charge us for the meal twice...but not everything can be perfect.
Food: 4 stars - Pretty basic British food, limited choice but well cooked
Venue: 4 stars - sitting outside in the sunshine was perfect. Not so great on a cold day though as the dining room is quite small
Overall: 4 stars - worth another trip
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Next July I am going to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends. So, it suddenly dawned on me that if i lose a lb a week I could actually lose a good amount of weight. So now i'm going to try and aim for small changes that can mount up to make a big difference.
Climbing the stairs and not taking the lift
Walking to the train station and never taking the bus
Swopping sweet for savoury
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Spent a lovely afternoon yesterday supporting Mimi @meemalee at the Masterchef Live competition. She cooked up some delicious dishes - a typical burmese breakfast dish and blueberry shortbread. Yummy. Well done to @IrenaRibena for winning!