A fancypants dinner at Nobu Shoreditch

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]rasshaimase!” that is the greeting that Robin and I encounter as we walked into Nobu, inside their new Shoreditch location. Rewind a few weeks back, I had made dinner reservations for the day after our wedding anniversary. My only excuse is that sometimes there is too much information going into my brain and therefore, things slip from time to time. On a rainy, dreary night after work, I made the short walk to Willow Street and met the husband inside the hotel lobby bar. That sounds very Mr and Mrs Smith, but the reality was not quite the same (I ordered a lychee juice for one thing) and I had made the very fashionable booking time of 6:30 for dinner (look, I like eating early) 😉 This meant that we pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves…however not for long, for this is Nobu.[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18358″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18354″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18353″ img_size=”1000×1500″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1516887312516{padding-top: 120px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 200px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #f8f3f0 !important;}”]

Thanks to our early booking, we have our pick of tables and nab a cosy corner booth facing the restaurant. My bag is whisked away and swapped with a wooden cloakroom tag before I even register to say thank you and led to our table by the hostess. An Armani clad server soon nips over and patiently explains the menu to us Nobu newbies

Cold, Hot, Sushi & Sashimi and then the Shoreditch Specials

Going on her advice we order a couple of items from each section[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18349″ img_size=”1000×1500″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18345″ img_size=”1000×1500″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1502784172204{padding-top: 30px !important;padding-right: 60px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;padding-left: 60px !important;}”]From the Cold selection, we pick the yellowtail tuna sashimi and the seafood ceviche, to cleanse our palates before moving onto the hot food.

The sashimi is divine; as fresh as the sea it was plucked from- and the best I’ve ever had. The waiter brought it to our table and said that the chef recommended placing a leaf of coriander onto the morsel of fish. The jalapeno gave it a gentle kick on the tongue- such a simple, but delicious plate and turned out to be my absolute favourite choice of the entire meal. Brutal Simplicity- my old employers were onto something there.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18341″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18343″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1516887345820{padding-top: 120px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 200px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #f8f3f0 !important;}”]Under Hot food, we ordered the Black Cod in Miso- perhaps Nobu’s most well known dish- tiger prawn tempura, and crispy rice squares with spicy tuna.

Tiger prawns- delicious. What’s not to love about juicy prawns in a light tempura batter?

Black cod in miso? Lovely. Sticky, sweet sauce (maybe even too sweet at times) marinated over a plump and juicy piece of cod. I can see why it’s a signature dish.

The crispy rice? Meh. Wasn’t a fan of the texture (it stuck to my teeth) but the spicy tuna that accompanied it? Delicious.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18352″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18342″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1502784661245{padding-top: 0px !important;padding-right: 60px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 60px !important;}”]

Each Nobu location has their own specials, and Shoreditch isn’t any different. We chose the Chilean Seabass with creamy Yuzu sauce and Truffled Honey. So special, it needs fancy Cap Lock titles! Seabass is probably my favourite fish-and my preferred method of eating it is steamed. I had some reservations at first, as this dish sounded busy, but the end result was good.

The sauce, so rich and creamy with a touch of tangy yuzu, the meaty portion of fish adorned with shavings of truffles and honey and sprinkled generously with chives. It is certainly not a side dish- the generous portion size meant that after all our small bites, I couldn’t finish my share and let Robin eat the rest.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18339″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1502785359512{padding-right: 60px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 60px !important;}”]

I know…we still aren’t done. We couldn’t come here to Nobu and not try their sushi. We chose the scallop nigiri, the Nobu House Special roll and a Soft Shell Crab roll.

The scallops were delicate and sweet; the slices of raw scallop were almost melt in your mouth.

The rolls here are wrapped in lettuce? cabbage? I’m not sure which vegetable leaf, but this clever addition gives the roll a crunch, without compromising on taste. I enjoyed both roll selections- to be honest, the sushi menu is fab- you can’t go wrong with any choice here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18338″ img_size=”1000×1500″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18337″ img_size=”1000×1500″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1502786051464{padding-right: 60px !important;padding-left: 60px !important;}”]

AND THEN…dessert.

Because, no matter how full you are, there is always, always room for dessert (or just a separate stomach)

So, by now it was creeping close to 8:30pm- peak dinner time. We knew they would need our table back by then, but hey, I ordered dessert. Deciding to share a Golden Ka- a golden spherical ball of chocolate filled with passionfruit mousse and mango- it was presented onto our table and before I could even go ‘oooooh, ahhhh’, a server had poured hot chocolate sauce all over it and I watched it melt in front of me. That was the only moment I felt rushed- but it was a brief one.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”18335″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”18336″ img_size=”1000×1500″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1516887417450{padding-top: 200px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 200px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #f8f3f0 !important;}”]I had a brief glimpse at the bar, next to the restaurant. Apparently, it has the largest collection of Japanese whisky in the city. So, there you go whisky lovers. The bar wasn’t as busy as the restaurant, so you could easily walk in after work for a few drinks and bar nibbles without needing a reservation.

Overall, my first Nobu experience- great! It’s not going to be a regular occurrence, but for a special occasion, absolutely. The service was brilliant, the food was lovely- especially the sushi- and you know what? For one evening, I felt like a cool young thing.

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A Sushi Samba date night

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f, like me, you have a tendency to sing “SAMBA DE JANIERO” whenever Sushi Samba’s name came up, then welcome to the club. This fusion restaurant combines Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cuisine- the sushi comes with a South American twist, and the grilled meat is flavoured with a bit of Japanese flare. Sunday night was the third lucky attempt at coming here for dinner; previous tries were always cancelled to the point I wasn’t confident we’d even make this reservation.  Like the last time we were dining in this very building at Duck & Waffle, it was a hot summery day outside and I melted into a puddle. The end. I met that husband of mine at the station, made the short walk to the Heron Tower and passed the red velvet rope towards the glass elevator up to the 38th floor.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”17955″ img_size=”1000×1500″ alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”17938″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1516892075543{padding-top: 150px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 185px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #f8f3f0 !important;}”]

The menu is split into a lot of categories, so it was a little bit confusing where to start. There are Starters, Small Plates, Raw, Robato, Large Plates, Samba Rolls and a selection of nigiri and sashimi as well as a few Amazonian specialities.  In the end, we picked a little something from all over the menu to share between two.

For starters, we ordered the Lobster Taquitos and a tangy Scallop Seviche…

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I loved the lobster taquito

The maize shell was crispy and light, the lobster filling rich with just a smidge of guacamole to compliment the whole little dish. A drizzle of lime on the top is recommended for a sharp, citrus contrast.

The ceviche was a ‘safe’ order; back in Bali, this was on nearly every menu and the Sushi Samba one brought me back on holiday. The scallops were tender and sweet, swimming in a bath of citrus juice, pickled mandarins and shiso and oddly, a topping of crispy noodles. It made a nice contrast of textures in every bite, but I wouldn’t have missed it if this wasn’t there.

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We shared two sushi platters; the Samba London which comes with an assortment of rolls. There’s crab and tuna, salmon and prawn, and on the side wasabi mayo and a sweet soy reduction. The cuts of seafood were so fresh and tender and just lovely little bites in the summer heat.

The second platter was an assortment of nigiri omakase.

Omakase means chef’s selection, so until it’s served you don’t know what kind of sushi is on it’s way. A fun, risky little game! For ours, we had salmon, seabass, tuna belly, eel and I think red mullet. The seabass was excellent; clean and fresh like the ocean. However, I passed on the mullet and kindly let Robin have it instead 😉

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This beast of a dish, right here 

…this is the El Topo. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Portions of nigiri topped with salmon, jalapeno, melted mozzarella, shiso leaves and sprinkled with crispy onions. Jalapenos and mozzarella on sushi? I know. But, it works. Cheese and rice! 

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Then, my favourite dish of the night, straight from the Robato menu…

The simply named ‘Lamb Chop’

In a red miso and lime marinade, this was grilled to sticky, sweet perfection. The meat was tender and juicy, with chargrilled sticky bits on the sides. It was very rich, hence one portion was enough for two to share, but omg. Barbecue recreation needed asap.

For next time, I think I’d lean heavy into the Robata menu rather the sushi because what I sampled was so delicious. Perhaps one day I’ll order the Kobe Beef Ishiyaki at an eyewatering £1000! (48 hours notice needed) Yikes. But also, ballin’

Let’s talk about pudding.

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Getting dessert when you’re lactose intolerant, can be tricky. Literally every pudding on the face of the earth feels like it’s made of dairy.  I tend to stick to something ‘safe’ when ordering dessert, like a fruit salad. However, the mark of a good restaurant is their seemingly simple dessert items.

The Kudamono Exotic Fruit Salad is as exotic as it sounds; watermelon granité, with rambutan, mangosteen, dragonfruit, and mango, with a smidge of green tea gel, cherry crisps and a yuzu/ginger syrup. The dish has a little wow factor, served in a bento box with a small cocktail shaker of watermelon granité. Again, I’m taken back to Bali and my daily watermelon slushies! Robin ordered the Chocolate Banana Cake- lovers of sticky toffee pudding (and who doesn’t love sticky toffee pudding!) will go bananas for this.

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So, SushiSamba sampled at last!

For a date night spot, it’s unbeatable. You have beautiful views (we spent the waiting time between dishes trying to work out where our house was) and if you time it correctly, a very lovely place for a sunset dinner! (our reservation was at 7pm and we caught Golden Hour- so I reckon an 8pm booking would be the ticket)

Prices are on the higher end of the scale but not shockingly so; our sushi platters ranged between £12-25 per platter, for instance.

Service was attentive; the server looking after us noticed neither of us were drinking and offered to substitute the vanilla rum ice cream in Robin’s dessert for plain vanilla (fyi, it was only because it was a school night and an early Monday start!)  That attention to detail amongst many other tables was impressive.

So will I be making a return to Sushi Samba? Definitely!

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Broadway Market + Hackney City Farm

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his weekend, my best friend Ismay flew over from Dublin for a super quick visit- which is a Good Thing because I don’t think my waistband can keep up with the pace at which we ate everything in our path. The weekend plan was simple; loose and casual with some food thrown in- which is my specialty. As we walked through London Fields with just a denim jacket for warmth, seeing bunches of yellow daffodils blooming everywhere made me so happy and relieved that dreary Winter days are almost over. It lifts everyone’s moods. Tie in the beautiful weather with an infinite choice of food from Broadway Market, tiny animals at Hackney City Farm and a stroll through Brick Lane, made a pretty perfect Saturday.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15860″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15861″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”15872″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”15887″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15878″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15877″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1516898591776{padding-top: 80px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 90px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #f8f3f0 !important;}”]

Hot food, fresh vegetables, flowers, cheese, bread, vintage clothes- there’s everything under the sun for sale.

But my favourite eats of the bunch? The fried dumplings at the market stall run by Bep Haus, and the King Prawns at Fin + Flounder.

The dumplings were crispy with a little bit of a chargrilled taste with a juicy filling. Sprinkled with soy sauce and a splash of sriracha, I could easily have had another portion (for £3.50)

Fin + Flounder are a brick and mortar fishmonger down the street, but the stall beckoned us over with their lobster mac and cheese and crab cake brioche buns. For £6, we shared a pot of fat king prawns with fresh and crunchy coleslaw.

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Leaving behind the bustle of the market, we walked (pretty much) in one straight line with the sole intention of getting a bagel. It was only by chance that I remembered that Hackney City Farm was on the way, and it would make a nice detour because little furry animals are my most favourite beings in the whole wide world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15852″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”15849″ img_size=”large” css=”.vc_custom_1516898645332{margin-top: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1516898676372{padding-top: 100px !important;padding-right: 40px !important;padding-bottom: 115px !important;padding-left: 40px !important;background-color: #f8f3f0 !important;}”]

The farm is free to enter, but heavily relies on donations to keep it running- just pop some money into the tin by the gate!

So here, we have Larry (or maybe Clover?) the Donkey. Larry takes part in the Nativity every year at Westminster (be still my heart!) Clover came along in 2011, because he needed a pal. Don’t mind me, that’s just my heart breaking in two.

There’s also the two pigs, who really were happy as pigs in poop napping in the corner, as well as goats, chickens, and a herd of geese. It’s such a lovely little spot to come to. My favourite bit? Spying a fluffy black and white cat bum poking out of the hay- it was just the farm cat having a snooze with the Nanny goat and her kids.

Obviously, my heart strings were being pulled left, right and centre. Definitely come if you love animals more than humans too.

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Onwards, we continued. Winding through pretty neighbourhoods, the not so pretty Bethnal Green Road, and then eventually the jackpot.

Brick Lane.

Brick Lane, where we especially came for bagels.

…until we saw the huge queue snaking outside the door and immediately went naaah

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Shoes | Dress (similar) | Jacket

Rather than queue, we went for tea, because my legs hurt and I needed refreshment to keep the grumpy goblin at bay, you know?

It was super lovely being out in the sunshine. It was even lovelier having my best friend with me again. Food, sunshine and cute animals, I mean? If I could have written down what would make an awesome day, those are pretty much the Big Three.

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sketch

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t doesn’t seem that long ago that I had waved goodbye to this familiar face as she moved home to Dublin. I won’t lie, it’s been an adjustment not being able to pick up the phone as and when I’ve wanted to- even the dinner trips to sample everything London has to offer have dwindled. In short, it just ain’t been the same!

It was only a quick weekend trip to London for Ismay and we had set aside one evening for doing what we do best- eating. This time, in the pink palace that is the Gallery at Sketch.

Oh, and a sleepover, because old habits never die.

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After lumping suitcases, packets of Tayto’s and Barry’s Tea at my flat, we had just enough time to squeeze in some shopping on Oxford Street (late night Thursday’s, woop woop!) before making our reservation at Sketch.

Up the stone steps, pass the hopscotch floor and towards the curtained wall with the quirky pottery by David Shrigley on display (that briefly made me consider a smash and grab job)

As you walk through the dimly lit foyer of Sketch, and pass the decoupaged fairy tale that is The Glade, it’s an explosion of pink as you walk into the Gallery.

Plush pink velvet seats and pink walls, lined with framed sketches, and a warm glow from the little lanterns on every table. It’s playful and pretty and if there was ever a place to have your cake and eat it too, it’s here.

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This being Sketch, service was excellent. I relaxed my alcohol ban for the night, and had one cocktail (I know, rocking) and that velvety vanilla martini concoction was worth every sip.

So, I said that Sketch was playful.

There’s a paper pop up of forks as you open your menu.

The kooky David Shrigley dinnerware matches his artwork on the wall.

And, the toilets. I don’t think there’s a toilet anywhere quite as famous. It’s like a disco had a baby with a spaceship. Egg shaped pods instead of cubicles, and space beeps and blips as you shut yourself into one of the pods.

…also, there’s a boy side and a girl side. We learnt this the hard way.

(but really, who pays attention to the colour of lights anyway?)

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Anyhoo, food time.

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We split our starters…and main. There’s no kind of boundary when we go out to eat together, call it family style or ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours’ mentality. I don’t understand people who won’t share- you need to maximise the taste sensations!

Leeks and razor clams and foie gras terrine (with shards of Dulcey chocolate , oh em gee) started our meal off on the right track. The razor clams were beautifully presented within the clam shell, within a leek. The foie gras, usually a dish I find too rich, wasn’t so on this occasion. The shards of chocolate added a nice sweet-and-salty combination too.

I didn’t take a photo of the razor clams because at that point, an older gentleman and his lady friend sat at the table next to us and I decided to go blogger incognito. Three years of blogging and I still get bashful when it comes to taking pictures of my food in public. Oy.

But, the moment passed when it came to mains!

Dinner at Sketch 4Dinner at Sketch 5

I ordered the mint lamb croquette, served with a little salad and a single lamb cutlet. I mean, cotelette. It came with a teeny little jug of gravy. Ismay ordered the Black Angus sirloin steak, that also came with a little jug of gravy. Teeny tiny jugs of gravy for the win! It also came with sweetcorn puree- I liked it, she didn’t.

We shared an order of french fries, because when french fries are offered on the menu, you must get them.

We skipped dessert, deciding instead that a cup of tea at home was a nicer option then of course spent ages in the space egg loos taking mirror selfies because, what’s the point in going to Sketch if you don’t?

The bill was settled, and we took a walk along Regent Street- looking all Londony and patriotic as the sun went down…

Regent Street Flags

Once home, the blow up bed was blown up, the tea was brewed, the jammies went on, and a Netflix show was put on (Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra stand up, it won’t disappoint)

Even though I had to be up early in the morning, because builders and doctor appointments, it felt good to cram in some BFF time. To have unfiltered conversations, to be as gross as you really are, to whinge, to whine, and listen. That beats any trip to any fancy restaurant.

And as this post goes live, she will be up in the air, flying back to the Emerald Isle. My stories and gripes will have to be stored up for another time. My life of building work and specialists will resume, until my Whatsapp alert pops up and I see the word “Mans…” and then everything is okay again.

Sketch
9 Conduit St, London, W1S 2XG
T: 020 7659 4500

Ismay’s last night in London

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]kay, this is a slightly longwinded opening but here goes! Travelex entrusted me with a challenge- what would I do with $150 (Aussie) dollars in London for a day? Weh-heh-ell! The first thing that sprung to mind was eat. Eat all of the things and walk all of the cobbled paths in this fair city. But then, real life jumps up and utters a Professor Umbridge style *hem-hem*

My best friend Ismay left London this week. It was in the pipeline for a little while, but her departure date was confirmed all of a sudden once someone was able to take over her old flat. A weekend plan of rambling around London all day suddenly had to be pushed aside and a midweek evening was all we had left to hang out and make the most of it. Two outstanding items on the London bucket list- visit The Shard and Sky Garden.

Tartan Blanket Scarf

 

We’ve been BFF’s since we were gangly expat kids riding our bikes up and down the street after school, in Brunei. We went through all the typical rites of passage as teenagers; the sleepovers, dodgy fashion, school exams…and then we earned our adult stripes together here in London. In short- she’s never been that far away from me.

However, life as a third culture kid prepares you for one thing; the never ending cycle of saying goodbye to your friends, when their parents were transferred to another far away land.  Its never really goodbye, but more of a see you later.

So, I asked her “What do you want to do on your last night?”

And that was how we found ourselves up in the sky…literally. Our first stop of the evening would be for a drink at Gong, the Shangri La Hotel bar on the 52nd floor of The Shard building.

feather

Miss Selfridge Fur Coat

With my $150 budget (which is about £76) we decided earlier to forgo the View at The Shard tickets and to instead enjoy the same dramatic view from the comfort of a cosy window seat and a cocktail. The bar is so high up your ears pop in the elevator on the way up.

When you walk into the first lobby (yes, first!) of The Shangri La Hotel, you’re escorted to the elevator where you ride up to the 35th floor of the main hotel. From there, you take the next elevator up, up, up into the Gong Bar. We didn’t have a reservation but arrived early enough that we were seated within 10 minutes by a very glamorous hostess.

I ordered a Romeo and Juliet- Dodd’s gin, raspberry puree, Earl Grey tea, and a splash of citrus-Ismay the Bermondsey Bubbles- Jensen’s Bermondsey Dry gin, rose liquor, creole bitters, topped with champagne. Our bar snacks were kept topped up (very, very important! other bars take note!)

London Night time View 2

Shangri La Lobby London
Gong Bar Shangri La Hotel London
Cocktails at Gong Bar Shangri La London
View from Gong Bar Shangri La Hotel London

When it came to paying the bill, I used my Travelex Cash Passport. You use it just like a normal debit card, and pay with a pin number. Travelex sends you the card, you register it online, and top it up with money as and when you need to. Very handy for travellers and much easier for you to control your expenses!

With our evening tipple downed, we headed onwards into The City, towards the Walkie Talkie building. With a last minute reservation at Fenchurch Grill, we crossed the river and made our way to the second lovely view of the night- The Sky Garden.

We had a delicious meal- the Fenchurch Grill does fish really well. I had crab beignets with my cod. CRAB. BEIGNETS. We were so stuffed, we skipped dessert and chose to wander around the vast atrium instead.

Cod and Crab Beignet Fenchurch Grill Skygarden

Fenchurch Street Dining London

Amuse Bouche Fenchurch Grill London

Skygarden Bar London

View from The Skygarden

I dont know. If this was any other ordinary night of the week, there’d be more laughter, but it was tinged with a little sadness. I knooooow Dublin isn’t far, but there’s just something really weird knowing that, whoa. This is it, the end of an era.

This is what a bobot looks like

As home time approached, we gave each other a  quick hug goodbye, and a typical “See you later!” I made my way to the tube station. Her black cab headed South. I had that sad feeling in my belly, the same one that appeared every time I had to say goodbye to a loved one growing up abroad.

I got home, into my PJ’s, and like most nights, scrolled through Twitter before bedtime. And then, I nearly spat my water out reading that Amber Rose tweet to Kanye West. I started typing furiously into Whatsapp to Ismay and it twigged. You are never too far away to enjoy a well placed eggplant and pointy finger emoji message to your best friend….

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Thank you Travelex for contributing towards our last London adventure!

blogger night out with KiTTi app

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]irst off, I don’t think I’ve ever (or will ever) get to do something fun with as great a hashtag as #GLAMCLAMMEATSLAM. Secondly, as my night panned out, it was more Meat Slam and no Glam Clam. I’ll get to that part soon. Last week was the busiest times for Christmas nights out over the festive period. I didn’t really have an Christmas office party this year, but luckily I had a wonderful time planned with some favourite blogging friends- thanks to Santander who treated us ladies to a night out to test out their new app, kiTTi.


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Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

With ten blogger mates to organise, we sorted our night out using the kiTTi app- you each pay in some money into it, Santander sends you (or designated person) a debit like card, and on the night you use that to pay off your cocktail tab or food bill. Zero time wastage when it comes to paying up at a restaurant and the poor waiter has to make their way down the table as each person fiddles around with their cards or money. Easy peasy! One pot, one card. There really is an app for everything now.

We started the evening off with an early dinner at Q Grill in Camden with everyone arriving in festive sparkles…except meeeeee! I had come straight from the cinema so was in my faithful Jamie jeans from Topshop. However, I did wear an old Matthew Williamson top, so, pick your battles etc.

However *finger flexes*

Food.

With a Plum + Lychee Smash at my side, it took ages to decide what I wanted from the menu. In the end, I decided on the bourbon chicken wings for starters, and a smoked beef hash with sweet potatoes for my mains.

The wings were sticky and sweet and even though I asked for the smaller portion, I had 5 huge wings served on my plate! They give you a little bowl of lemon water to rinse your fingers with afterwards. They were so worth the finger licking mess- definitely recommended!

My mains, I went for the smoky beef hash. In fact, my side of the table all ordered the same. Clearly we were all on the same page for comforting, buttery mash potato (and meat) I had a side of sweet potatoes- again everything was so generously portioned that I couldn’t finish my meal. Ok, lies. I did, because mash potato everyone!

To walk off the food comas, we chose to walk to Tufnell Park towards the The Dome where The Glam Clam part of our evening was to happen.

And that’s where my night ended.

Can I get a sympathetic nod from all the office managers out there who receive that out of hours call from the office? I ended up heading not towards the sequinned glamour of London’s finest Drag Queen acts, but to Shoreditch, to the office, where I ended up spending the rest of my evening.

Thank you to Erica and Katy for letting me use their photos! (and to Santander for helping us out with this Blog Squad night out!)