Thursday, 16 October 2014

Lunch in the Clouds

As I'm writing this, it seems like an entire lifetime ago that me and Millie, and our mothers flew up to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower in a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory-esque all glass lift, but our meal was just too good not to share.

Our mothers have been such close friends for years, Millie and I went to school together every day too, so it was only natural we would become great friends.
We went to London to see the wedding dress exhibit at the V&A where we chose our future dresses- look out Kate Moss, there are two copycats hot on your tail.

My only job was to find somewhere for lunch, I have a list as long as my arm of places I want to eat, how could I possibly choose?!
Earlier in the summer I went to the Taste Of London food festival, which I went to after speaking to head chef, Dan, due to our D&W reservation being cancelled.

Visiting Duck & Waffle was what we were going to do!

We stared at the menu hungrily, everything was just so enticing... hence the smorgasbord of dishes that are about to follow..

Fillet of beef carpaccio with truffles, foie gras and parmesan started us off, slivers of delicious beef hidden under salty parmesan snow.

Bacon wrapped dates, need I say more? These were one of my favourites.

Scallops from Dorset with elderflower, apple and caviar, light and refreshing after the dates.

Isn't Dan a genius?
Look at this, look at it.
This is the spicy ox cheek doughnut, rolled in paprika sugar..

.. Crammed full of tangy ox cheek and served with sweet apricot jam.

Tempura prawns perhaps? I can't find these on the menu, but these were a tad nondescript.

Millie's choice, smoked mozzarella, served with crunchy crystallised sage leaves and granola, so much more delicious than it sounds.

Foie gras creme brulee, served with lobster and brioche. What a creation!
This was lovely, but ever so rich! We shared between four and that was a struggle!

Then the showstopper, the main event, the big cheese, the restaurant's namesake. The duck and waffle.

Come on, beauty shot..

This is a dish put together by the Gods themselves, sweet and savoury all in one bite, amazing!

Whilst our mothers had coffee, we had pudding.
The waiter warned me against ordering it, but I was defiant, determined to prove him wrong by ordering the spiced tomato sorbet to accompany our shared coconut and raspberry sorbets, which thankfully he put in a separate bowl because it was certainly an acquired taste.

Just look at the views!

After some retail therapy, and some much needed exercise, we went to Madison for mojitos before sleepily getting the train home.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Amsterdam Weekend Day 2

When I last left you, we were snuggled in fluffy floor length dressing gowns, padding around the hotel room in slippers and looking forward to our downy bed. 
I was zonked, a 4am start had knocked it out of me and I was hoping for a lie in, I was wrong because Mum had plans.

We had a leisurely breakfast then strolled over to the Rijksmuseum, for some culture, popping into some antique shops on the way.

One of those little white houses in the picture came home with us. They are copies of the gable houses that line the canals in Amsterdam and were given out on business class KLM flights from 1952.

We weren't used to seeing so many people on bikes, several near crashes occurred, most of them our fault.

There was just so much to the Rijksmuseum, you couldn't possibly do it all in just one day.

But I did spy my dream pirate ship..

... And the weapons that I would use to make badly behaved sailors to walk the plank, I mean just look at those pistols!

We found a lovely little Italian tucked away, literally tucked away, with two minute rickety tables balanced precariously on the cobbles.

But sometimes, the best places are diamonds in the rough, because we had incredible spaghetti vongole, with a free glass of rose, despite the fact nail polish remover might have gone down more easily!

Suitably stuffed, we ambled through the quaint streets, until we saw a decadent patisserie, where we forgot all about the spaghetti and the breakfast.

We napped two to go, hopped on a double decker train, which would have looked more fitting in a hunger games movie and headed to The Hague, where my godmother lives.

We spent a lovely night enjoying their company, then on the Sunday, when in Rome, we cycled to the beach and had lunch on the sand (on some beanbags, which were on the sand).

A lovely weekend for some mother & daughter & godmother time!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Amsterdam Weekend Day 1

Last Friday, mum woke me up at the crack of dawn, 4 am to be precise, to get dressed to go to the airport. 
We were having a mother/daughter trip to Amsterdam!

Once we'd checked into our lovely little hotel, 717, we took a stroll around in an attempt to get our bearings, which proved to be a little difficult in 27 degree heat, so we went for a tour around the canals.

I actually left my camera in my room this day, in my excitement to go out an explore.
We found a couple of blocks of streets with lots of restaurants, where we stumbled upon this little gem, a minute tapas restaurant, with no name, and about five tables.

We started off with globe artichoke, peppers and onion,

Battered courgette, grilled peppers and onions,

Closely followed by an enormous plate of paprika squid,

Which would have been amazing if the jelly like bits had been taken off,

But these, these were so good, razor clams in some sort of pesto (I can't read Dutch), if a little overcooked,

Seeing as it had cooled down, if only by a few degrees, we tried to walk off our lunch by doing a little retail therapy,

It seems that cheese is quite popular in the Netherlands, so much so I must have become a little overwhelmed because I found this on my phone;

Amsterdam is so lovely to just amble around, looking in little individual shops and pouring over their beautiful clothes.
All this ambling became thirsty work, so we found a little bar on the side of the canal, and ended up having a Heineken (as it's brewed in Holland) floating on top of the canal,
I mean how is this for a relaxing view?

We finished off our drinks and continued on our quest for food, this time, supper.
Mum and I are really big on our asian food and we found a little Thai restaurant (again, I don't know the name, helpful!)
They squeezed us in and gave us a starter as a surprise, coconut, peanut something or other, we didn't understand and it wasn't on the menu, but the best bit about it was was all the ginger packed inside it!
The waiter told us to wrap the leaf up like a parcel and pop it all in at once, mum and I eyed each other dubiously, but did what we were told, it was amazing!

Next was the usual line up of hors d'oeuvres that you get eating asian food, chicken satay, tempura butterfly prawns and spring rolls, all of them delicious.

We finished off with an extremely spicy green curry, then headed off to visit Anne Frank's house, where I, understandably, didn't take any photos, but it's worth a visit.
The queues go around the corner during the day but if you wait until an hour before it closes you'll get in in no time at all!
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