Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Darcy's Restaurant St Albans

It's always a good sign when I don't have time to take pictures of the food, as I'm too busy eating...but that's exactly what happened when we visited Darcy's restaurant in St Albans.

It's the second time we've visited and the second time was just as good as the first.

We began with cocktails downstairs in the bar area, then headed upstairs for the main meal.

We started with a sharing platter of Duck Gyoza, salt and pepper squid and miso soup - a really good start to the meal.

I then opted for the special fish dish which was pollock wrapped in chorizo and my other half went for the meat special, the pork belly.

Finally, to finish off the meal, my dining partner chose the dark chocolate and honeycomb bomb, which looked amazing. A massive cone shaped chocolate creation.

Chocolate bomb
I chose the After Eight dessert cocktail - mint baileys mixed with mint choc chip ice cream. Incredibly decadent, but worth visiting just for this!
Another great meal thanks to Darcy's - we'll be back!
Take a look at Darcy's here: http://www.darcysrestaurant.co.uk/

Chocolate and Coffee tasting

Chocolate and coffee..the perfect combination?

I was thrilled to be invited to the Lindt and DeLonghi coffee and chocolate tasting in London a couple of weeks ago, as who doesn't love that combination.

The event was held at Kettners, in one of the private rooms upstairs, which was a bit of a bonus as i'd always wanted to see inside this old London staple. On arrival we were greeted with Cherry Espresso martinis which had been designed for De'Longhi by Rebecca Seal - so good.

I'd always had a fondness for Espresso Martinis but if you use a cherry vodka, rather than a plain one...you have a delicious cherry flavoured Espresso. Give it a go!

Once settled in the tasting room we were introduced to Robert Henry, expert Barista from De'Longhi and Stefan Bruderer, Lindt's Master Chocolatier, who led us through the tasting process. Pairing decaff coffees and regular coffees with the range of Lindt chocolates, we were shown how the two complement each other perfectly.

Pairings included:
  • Lindt Excellence White Vanilla with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Long Black
  • Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy with Brazil Fazenda Passeio Long Black
  • Lindt Excellence Dark with a touch of Sea Salt with Brazil Cerrado Decaf Espresso
So give them a go at home!
The new De' Longhi Primadonna S range machines were on display throughout the event and used to give us our delicious coffees. Such lovely looking machines. I've already got a De' Longhi espresso machine in blue in the kitchen, but i'm already adding these to my wishlist - mint green please if anyone is thinking of buying me one!

It was a great event which led me to think about chocolate as more of 'an event' - why not pull out some bars when entertaining guests and see which pairings they like best.

For further information on De'Longhi and Lindt pairings, visit the new pairing website: www.lindt-excellence.co.uk

Monday, 29 April 2013

Bill's restaurant - St Albans

My friend first introduced me to Bill's, when we met for a drink in Covent Garden. Great place to meet friends, in a fun environment.  I loved it from the first visit and have returned on many an occasion. I've also tried the one in Soho.

So, I was excited to see the new St Albans venue open recently and my husband and I went along to give it a go. The new restaurant has replaced the rather short lived restaurant, Baroque, on Chequers Street, right in the centre of town and just down from Jamie's Italian.

The restaurant mirrors the other Bill's restaurants in London, with the same quirky set up, menu and buy from the shelves. We went on a Tuesday night, and it was already packed with a variety of people...proving its initial popularity.

Staff were friendly and helpful - nothing was too much trouble. So we started our meal in a good frame of mind.

We ordered a Bill's Burger and the mac n' cheese and weren't disappointed. We split both and there was certainly enough! Great food, lovely drinks and great service.
Delicious burgery-ness

The mac n' cheese

Bill's Beer

Pink lemonade
Bound to be a favourite in St Albans.

Visit: www.bills-website.co.uk for further information