Sometimes you just need to escape London and enjoy some good old English countryside for a few days… Earlier this year, with just that in mind my close friend Lily and I jumped on a train to the Cotswolds for a girls’ weekend at The Fish Hotel!
Indulging my love of shepherd’s huts, we had booked a Hilly Hut for our weekend escape, and as we drew up to it, I have to admit I squealed with excitement… Especially when I saw this view…
We had both been busy at work, and were so looking forward to a weekend of laughter, long country walks, delicious food and so much fun! We took a half day away from work and ran to the station and before we knew it we had arrived at Farncombe estate, home to The Fish, Dormy House and Foxhill Manor in their 400 acres of beautiful countryside.
I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone who has read this blog before that I love shepherd’s huts, but I was so excited to stay in the Hilly Huts at The Fish for a few reasons… Firstly, they’re much more luxurious than those I’ve stayed in before, with their own hot tub, they’re a little more secluded and I didn’t have to try my hand at camp fire cooking every evening!
Each Hilly Hut has a very, very cosy double bed which you’ll struggle to get out of each morning, and is filled with cute little touches like a vintage radio and phone so you can call reception or the restaurant whenever you like.
After a few long weeks at work and generally needing a little R&R to reset, getting out of those cosy sheets even after a longgggg evening snooze!
Everything you could need is in the hut… And everything else is contained in this handy little folder!
We both loved the way that the design of the hut absolutely made the most of the space; with a bedroom area, complete with areas to store your tea mug (which is very important when you’ve pulled the TV out after dinner and you’re having a girly Bridget Jones viewing session!), hangers to hang your dresses for dinner and books in case you’ve forgotten to pack a country essential.
A little tea or coffee making area – perfect for that morning cuppa when you want to drink in more than the view…
…and maybe clamber back into that bed…
Though I think the most special part of the huts is the peaceful and very private outdoor area. We didn’t have the weather for it the weekend we visited The Fish, but I can imagine that this little table is a perfect place for breakfast, whilst taking in the views and planning your day’s adventures.
Hutong is a restaurant that is fast becoming a place of very happy memories for me. The first time I visited, Andy and I had a really fun evening with Angie and Charles, as we watched the sunset and toasted to friendship. Then, after Andy passed his exams, a winter trip to Hutong was booked and we toasted to new beginnings! And now? Time to celebrate Hutong’s fifth birthday!
Last week, the night before all the rain, we were greeted at Hutong with smiles and a crystal clear view out over London.
Happy smiles as we saw the tables we had occupied before, and looked at the beautiful wish tree taking centre stage in the restaurant.
One thing that I always appreciate at Hutong is the little touches, like lanterns instead of simple reserved signs adorning all the tables around us. I wouldn’t usually choose an early dinner setting, but there was something a little magical about having this view pretty much all to ourselves from our window side table…
To cheers to Hutong’s birthday, I ordered a Chinese Lantern cocktail. Made with mandarin, Aperol, passionfruit, plum bitters and topped with Champagne it was a perfect cocktail for a celebration! To complement Hutong’s 5th birthday set menu, there’s a 5th birthday cocktail menu to match. The cocktail menu is made up of the most popular cocktails of the last 5 years, so you can guarantee they’re all delicious!
As we enjoyed our drinks and also drank in the view, our waiter kindly explained the Hutong birthday menu. It’s a real treat of a menu, as it takes you through some of the absolute highlights of the past five years. I was so pleased to see a couple of our favourite dishes from our previous menus on the 5th birthday menu, and became even more excited for the meal to come.
Hutong is famed for its Northern Chinese cuisine, with intense spices and flavours, as well as some dishes which you might consider to be quintessentially Chinese. To start the experience, Head Chef Fei Wang has selected four dumplings – braised mushroom with black truffle, cuttlefish and shrimp with squid ink, steamed cod fillet with tonburi and prawn with XO sauce.
My favourites were the prawn and XO sauce and the steamed cod, but I could have eaten far more than just four of these delicious little parcels!
The other sharing starter was bamboo shoots, served with homemade chilli oil. I hadn’t had this dish before, but really enjoyed the texture and the subtle spice of the oil.
When I’m asked if it’s worth visiting The Shard, my answer is always – go for cocktails or a meal, and take in the view for more than a time slot, and drink in that magical view like that. Hutong is on the 33rd floor of the Shard, which might not be quite at the top, but the views are perfect…
Next to arrive at your table is the roasted Peking duck, served with homemade pancakes, plum sauce…
It’s a really special dish, as not only is the duck wonderfully cooked, served with crisp skin and tender, slightly fatty meat beneath, but the chef comes to carve the duck at your table! We loved watching the chef being able to artfully slice the duck into perfect, pancake sized portions!
Getting a little more excited for this course with each careful cut…
Served with paper thin pancakes, just waiting to have cucumber, duck and plum sauce drizzled all over them!
Preferably, if you ask me, also served with a cool glass of white wine, too…
Oh, it’s been a little quiet round here hasn’t it? Sometimes life has a habit of just running away with you, and that’s how it’s been round here for the past little while. I’m going to try and start a little monthly update, called Pages of My Lifestyle Diaries to round up all the little things that go past in a month (or longer as the case may be!)
Ok maybe long while. But still, you get me. I’m still going to be tapping away and writing up all my recent adventures, some of my favourite recent meals in London, but I thought I’d give you a whirlwind tour of everything…
Summer officially started a long time ago (anyone else frazzled to a crisp in London?), but just before it did, on one drizzly weekend a very good friend and I escaped London for some long overdue r&r at The Fish; we’d booked a beautiful little Hilly Hut for the weekend and delighted in hours spent in our hot-tub, watching Bridget Jones with some bubbles in the evening, long delicious dinners at Hook, and walked it all off with a long walk to the gorgeous little town of Chipping Campden.
I’m so excited to write all about our amazing weekend – and it’s quite a long post so I didn’t want to publish it until I had captured all of the magic of this country hotel. I’m actually already looking at a return trip to stay in their brand new Hideaway Huts – yup, the shepherd’s hut addiction continues, it’s not just limited to Wriggly Tins…
Fully rejuvenated – and pretty prune like after spending as much time as humanly possible in the hot tub – we returned to London for a busy couple of months.
At the end of June, Andy and I booked the most last minute trip I’ve ever booked and hopped across the channel for some hot summer sun in the Bordeaux region. Think long lazy afternoons by the pool, wine tastings galore, staying in chateau (with the added bonus of a very cute resident puppy!) and exploring the old town of Bordeaux. I’m not sure that I’m a last minute booking convert, but it certainly was such a fun, relaxed trip and one that I’d do again in years to come. There’s so many places in France I want to visit (oh hello Provence!) and it was lovely to be able to tick somewhere off.
I’ve also started a new little side project (because apparently I’m incapable of sitting still for too long..!) called Weekends From London; an account, and maybe soon to be more (!), dedicated to all the amazing places you can visit just outside of London and further afield, to help you maximise your annual leave and weekends! I’m loving looking back at all the amazing mini-breaks and weekends away, and curating my list of places I can’t wait to explore! Join me on Instagram and share your adventures with #weekendsfromlondon to tell me where you think the best places to weekend are!
Way back in May I was lucky enough to visit RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time with The Dorchester; I know it’s super belated but I’m still going to put together a post all about our morning there and why you should try and visit next year if you haven’t been before!
I’ve not been feeling as inspired by the London restaurant scene as I had before, but I’ve still come across some absolute gems of new restaurants and new menus. Some favourites have been Bar Douro, as well as the Umai Sushi Saturday menu at Sake no Hana (which I actually tried with Angie last year but never quite got round to writing up!) I’m really excited by the Mary Poppins afternoon tea at Aqua Shard, the newly opened Hide restaurant and the Ukiyo Brunch at Aqua Kyoto – all of which I’m trying to find dates to book asap! There’s also a very pretty new opening in Clapham, called Pi, which looks ideal for an easy date night.
Last weekend, we popped to Cocktails in the City to soak up some sun, some cocktails and try out some new bars we hadn’t visited! To regular readers and friends, it will come as no surprise that we loved the Cahoots and Mr Fogg’s pop ups but also finally tried cocktails from Nightjar – I’m definitely going to make an effort to visit the bar now! I had such a fun girls’ night at The Polo Bar at The Westbury thanks to the lovely Binny; I loved meeting some new blogger friends as well as saying hello to ones I’ve met time and time again. I haven’t had a proper girls’ night in so long and it was the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful Chelsea flower show inspired cocktails over lots and lots of laughter – and delicious canapes from one Michelin star Alyn Williams.
In other cocktail related news, we’ve recently visited the new Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in Fitzrovia, which is just beautiful. I loved all of the cocktails we tried, as well as the decor and fun atmosphere – it’s such a fabulous addition to the local area and one I can’t wait to visit again, soon!
The reason for everything being a little quiet? Well, as you may or may not know, I’ve been training to be a solicitor for the past two years, and had run into qualification – i.e. me applying to be a qualified lawyer and I’m so excited to be starting as a qualified solicitor in September! It’s been 7 years since I started my law degree, did my LPC and then my training contract – so, yay – finally!
Afternoon tea is well known as a London institution, a little indulgence to treat yourself and some friends to – especially with a glass of champagne! But with so many options in London for afternoon tea, it can be a little tricky to find one that is that little bit extra special (or some might even say a cut above the rest…) or even just a little bit different. The new 45 Park Lane afternoon tea manages both – their CUTCakes & Tea was one of the most fun and delicious teas I’ve tried in a while – and it doubles as a beautiful place to cool down in all this heat!
Though I’ve been lucky enough to stay at The Dorchester and visit a few times for special drinks, afternoon tea and events, I hadn’t popped my head into their London sister hotel 45 Park Lane before, so I was excited to finally meet The Dorchester’s more contemporary sister. I was immediately struck by the more boutique feel of the hotel, as well as the beautiful art that hung on the walls. As I walked through the lobby I saw CUT, the hotel’s signature steak restaurant by award-winning Wolfgang Puck, the venue for our lovely afternoon tea at 45 Park Lane.
As I arrived and was greeted by friends like Angie and Alex who I had had the pleasure of meeting before, as well as new friends, a cool glass of sparkling Californian wine (J Vineyards, ‘Cuvée 20’) was placed in front of me – a very welcome treat on a very warm day!
CUTCakes & Tea is a twist on a classic, British afternoon tea and has been inspired by CUT’s American heritage, and from the childhood memories of executive chef David McIntyre.
As the savoury selection came out, there wasn’t a cucumber in sight; instead a plate filled with Black Truffle Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Bisquet, served with honey-jalapeño jam, a tuna tartare ‘Sandwich’, served with ripe avocado and ginger, a lobster Po’Boy in a homemade brioche bun and a wagyu beef slider with garlic aioli were served to each guest. My absolute favourite was the truffle grilled cheese; it sounds so simple, but grilled cheese will always have a very special place in my heart! Though a close second was the tuna tartare sandwich; a fresh, light option that was so flavoursome.
I really liked that the tea wasn’t as dainty or as ‘feminine’ as some other teas in London; it would be a great experience to bring Andy to, as well as going with a group of friends.
After a little pause, the Sweet American treats are served – and this is where the tea comes into a life of its own. To start, a strawberry milkshake is as pretty as it is delicious – and served with a cute little pink straw and a strawberry, it’s a feast for the eyes, too!
Instead of the traditional serving on a cake stand, the sweet treats are served on a sharing plate in the middle of the table, ready for everyone to dive into. Oh, and before you ask – yes, those really are cake pops! Pink lemonade, cookies and cream and New York cheesecake in flavour, they’re light, delicious and utterly moreish!
I thought I’d slipped straight into a 90’s American film when the chefs explained what the sweets were – and I certainly became a small child again, as I was so excited to dive into these beauties!
My favourite was the Graham cracker s’mores… Mainly as I instantly felt like I had been transported to the Parent Trap!
And as much it was an American inspired afternoon tea, no afternoon tea is really complete without scones! And just like at The Dorchester, these were fluffy, light and wonderfully warm – and served with decadent cream and wonderful, fruity jam. I wish I had one to tuck into now as I write this…
The other sweet treats included a truly 5* ‘cheeseburger’ macaron (which made me oh so excited for my upcoming trip to Paris and reminded me of our afternoon tea at Le Meurice!), a cola cake and caramel corn cake which had the perfect salt/sweet balance – I could easily have had more than one! And finally, a peanut butter and jelly twinkie, my first taste of this American treat!
When we booked our weekend in Bruges, it was about ten days before we were meant to go. Which for me, is entirely unheard of! So our itinerary wasn’t nearly as planned as I would normally choose… But after a weekend wandering around beautiful Bruges, here is our two day itinerary for Bruges!
Where to Stay
I’d had my eye on Hotel de Tuilerieen as the place I’d like to stay in Bruges for a while, and when they had rooms available for our weekend away, it didn’t take my long to book!
I booked a gorgeous Royal Executive Room, which was full of character and situated in the historic wing of the hotel. The room was spacious and made a perfect place to come back after exploring beautiful Bruges.
Even if you’re not staying, the bar is the cosiest place we found in Bruges, and we loved sitting here with a glass of wine or a hot chocolate to warm up!
Travelling to Bruges couldn’t be easier; just hop on the Eurostar from St Pancras (preferably after a stay at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in one of their lovely suites!), switch trains at Brussels. It’s only an extra hour or so from Brussels, so if you wanted to make a longer trip it would be great to do Brussels, Ghent and Bruges all at once. 1898 The Post in Ghent has me wanting to hop on the Eurostar as fast as I can!
Where to Eat
Most importantly… Where to eat! We were so pleased with the wonderful meals that we had during our weekend in Bruges. I’ve heard similar thoughts from foodie friends who have spent some time in the city, so it seems that there are plenty of foodie gems to uncover when you visit!
At lunch time, there is a culture of simple set menus which are served at very reasonable prices. If you’re on a budget, this is the time you can splurge a little, since even the more expensive restaurants have really well priced lunch menus. Our favourite was Le Chef et Moi Bruges. A simple restaurants, with pretty interiors and a delicious menu.
Run by a lovely couple, expect friendly service and simple and delicious food. If you can snag a table at the front of the restaurant you’re also in for a perfect spot for some people watching!
For dinner, amble along the canals and you’ll see so many romantic little restaurants. As always, if you can stray a little away from the tourist hot spots, you’re likely to find better restaurants – and since Bruges isn’t huge, it’s definitely easy to do. At Hotel de Tuilerieen, we found the concierge very happy to recommend some great restaurants.
Our favourite dinner spot was De Pepermolen, a gorgeous little canal side restaurant, where we managed to snag their last dinner table! As soon as we sat down, warm little cheese bites were laid down on the table. Utterly moreish and delicious!
For starters, langoustine with home made pasta, served with an incredible sauce…
And duck liver pate, served with warm home made bread.
For mains, we both ordered roast deer, with a rich sauce served with mushrooms. The deer itself was tender and perfectly cooked, and the mushrooms added an extra depth to the dish.
This year, instead of booking a lovely dinner in London, we decided to do something a little different. We had stayed at Wriggly Tins almost two years ago, and always said we would return… So when it came to choosing somewhere to visit for our anniversary weekend it was an ideal place to return!
Fast forward a month or so, and fast forward through the snow that no one really expected, and we were on the train to Wriggly Tins, eager for our return.
This time, we had booked Barrow, the brightest shepherd’s hut of them all. Barrow is the cheeriest of all huts, with its friendly, welcoming and very yellow exterior – especially when a gorgeous bunch of daffodils are left on your arrival. Just in case there wasn’t enough yellow..! The last time we stayed at Wriggly Tins, we had a wonderful weekend in Barrow… And I was excited to be able to see our first Wriggly Tin from our hut window.
It was just before the clocks changed when we stayed, so it was almost completely dark when we arrived that first night. Whilst camp fire cooking is a real treat, we’d known that we wanted something simple for supper and so brought a chilli I had made at home to heat up on our indoor fire. A night of cribbage, stoking the fire and planning our weekend… Before heading to sleep, cosy in our little shepherd’s hut and ready for a weekend in the Hampshire countryside.
As we woke with the sunrise the next morning, Andy jumped down to start the fire and warm up our little hut, as I lay in bed and read my book. With no electricity and very little phone signal at Wriggly Tins, it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down, relax and read for hours on end.
Barrow really is a little hut that is full of a lot of sunshine! As soon as you open those double doors, you’re greeted with sunshine yellow all around. On the left, the cosy double bed at the top of the hut, with a seriously snuggly duvet to keep you warm during the night… Patterned curtains to keep the morning sunlight out to let you sleep in on your weekend away…
You’ll be amazed at how well the space is used, since under the bed are drawers to store your many clothes, as well as an under bed cabinet for suitcases, cooking equipment and storing outdoor chairs!
And little pieces of decoration to really make your hut feel homely and sweet…
There’s a table which folds away to give you a little more space during the day, when you’re moving around… A small bench to allow you to enjoy your morning cuppa with a little more comfort… And even a wardrobe hiding beside the bed! Whether you’re there for a weekend or a week, you’ll certainly have enough storage even if you don’t pack light!
And to complete your little hut, there’s a kitchen cupboard with all of your basic essentials, and crockery too! Wriggly Tins even cater for the wine glasses! Finally, at your door, a mini stove to heat the tin as well as to cook on, with a small oven and a kettle (because everyone needs that first cup of tea before lighting an outdoor fire!)
I like to pack a pair of flip flops for dotting around the tin – and making any quick dashes to the cool box for a top up of wine! Otherwise, my Dubarry Galway Boots are a staple for this country getaway.
Living in South London, whenever something new opens I’m usually one of the first to be excited about it. So with the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station meaning that many new restaurants are opening, I was more than a little excited to see it! When I heard that Vivek Singh had opened a new Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea, Andy and I were really looking forward to visiting.
Fast forward to one weeknight evening (a new found pleasure!) and I wandered into the new development, enjoying the last of the early spring evening light, admiring the new hair salons, restaurants and watching people empty off the river boat, coming home after a day of work. Instead of my usual running-late-dashing-off-the-tube weeknight arrival, I was early for our dinner reservation and so stopped for a quick glass of wine and some people watching as I waited for Andy.
As we arrived at Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea I was immediately taken with the gorgeous interiors; a wonderful combination of rustic walls, industrial style stairs and wine racks, and stunning plush seating that extends all the way down both sides of the restaurant.
We were sat nestled into one of the cosy banquette style tables down one side, as we admired the restaurant and peered into the slightly open kitchen. Our friendly waiter came to offer us a cocktail as we looked at the menu and settled in for what was going to be a lovely evening.
For me, a mango sour made with mango triple sec, Havana rum and lime which was a wonderfully refreshing start to the evening, and served in a gorgeous short cocktail glass.
Andy opted for a toast to last year’s Mexican adventure with his Mezcal Verdita, an Indian twist on classic sangria, made with fresh pineapple, chilli, black pepper, verjus, curry leaves and mezcal.
Served in two separate glasses in order to separate the pineapple juice and the mezcal, but best enjoyed together!
Vivek Singh, at Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea and his other restaurants, has a unique style of cooking Indian cuisine, whereby he marries Indian spices and flavours with Western techniques to create wonderful, moreish dishes. Our waiter encouraged us to order a few starters to share between us, and never being one who needs encouragement to try as much of the menu as she can, Andy and I set to choosing a few dishes.
The tandoori chicken breast tikka, served with red chilli and fenugreek and corriander chutney was a firm favourite; full of flavour, with tender chicken and a light chutney to add even more spice.
The char-grilled pork rib with chilli honey glaze and curried yoghurt was equally as delicious; the meat fell off the bone and was perfect when paired with the yoghurt. In fact, I hadn’t had ribs cooked this way before but I would definitely order them again!
In a desire not just to enjoy the meat dishes on the menu, I insisted (much to Andy’s dismay at not being able to have another meat dish!) the pink aubergine cooked with sesame, tamarind and peanut crumble; soft aubergine with a slightly sweet taste – I could have had this dish again and again.
Finally, for a lighter taste, the ceviche of black bream with mango and pomegranate. Ideal for a palette cleansing dish in between our other starters.
We were fortunate enough to meet the chef himself in between courses, and heard all about his new menu and restaurant before he nipped back into the kitchen!
Decisions for main courses weren’t easy… And ended up being fish dishes for both of us. Char-grilled pollock with yellow lentils and bitter melon chutney, which was perfectly prepared with creamy, lentils – and even better when eaten with naan bread!
Waking up on my birthday looked a little something like this… Champagne for breakfast, pastries from the local patisserie and a newspaper in bed. Happy birthday to me! Every year I vary as to whether I want to do something big or just a small celebration for my birthday, and this year I opted for a small lunch with friends. Unusually, I was a little late in organising…anything… But I knew exactly where I wanted to go, Sorella, the latest restaurant from Robin Gill, who also owns The Dairy.
Once I had fully indulged in champagne and breakfast at home, we walked across Clapham Common to Sorella to meet Angie and Charles to continue the birthday celebrations! Sorella Clapham is very relaxed, with rustic interiors, cool metal chairs and a gorgeous long bar which is perfect for enjoy an aperatif before your meal. This year my birthday fell on a Sunday, meaning I’d had the entire weekend to celebrate – but it did mean that we had a slightly earlier lunch as Sorella closes at 3pm on Sundays.
Being a fan of sharing style meals (mainly as you can try more of the menu that way!) we opted for a selection of antipasti to start, rather than individual primi. I loved the menu and was happy to try anything (read: I would happily have started at one end of the menu and tried every dish until I reached the end!), so we started with 20 month matured proscuitto, which was paper thin and utterly moreish.
A bowl of crunchy sourdough, served with incredible olive oil that itself was a taste of Italy… So good that might have had to ask for a second basket of bread…
Next to arrive was the Jersey milk ricotta with black olive and parmesan, which a really creamy, soothing dish. Even though Becca couldn’t be with me on my birthday it was lovely to have a little taste of Jersey!
A little taste of ciccheti to add to our selection… And Sorella Clapham’s truffle arancini were gorgeous; crisp, flavoursome… I could have done with a second round of these!
Onto more substantial courses, Mr S ordered the rib of beef served with cavalo nero which looked like it had been perfectly prepared and cooked. By this point we had all agreed that Sorella was an absolute hit…
Angie and I often gravitate towards fish when we’re out, and at Sorella it was no exception. The crab linguine served with fennel and chilli was just gorgeous; a light sauce, al dente linguine and beautiful crab, it was a really gorgeous dish. Not to mention I absolutely loved the plate on which it was served…
Andy, like Mr S, opted for something a little more substantial. ‘Lady Hamilton’ cod with squid ink and chard – oh and a side of crispy potatoes!
I couldn’t resist trying a little and loved the texture and flavours of this dish.
It’s not a birthday without dessert (and another glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne!) so we ordered a couple of dishes to share. The tallegio cheese, served with sunflower seed biscuits and pear which was a real hit around the table.
Our second dish was the pump street chocolate mousse and fennel gelato, which was less successful. The chocolate was lovely, but none of us particularly enjoyed the fennel gelato, or its combination with the chocolate.
That Sunday feeling: the feeling of being totally relaxed, having nowhere to go and nothing pressing that needs done. That sense of calm. I thought it was a feeling reserved purely for Sundays, but it turns out, that you also find the same feeling at The Pig Hotel (part of Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels), specifically at The Pig on the Beach, as I discovered when Angie and I visited for a weekend last month.
Angie and I have been lucky enough to have some amazing experiences together, like brunch on board the Belmond British Pullman, but we were excited to tick off a Weekends From London adventure that we had both long wanted to visit. The Pig is a collection of five country escapes in England, though there are plans for more which I’m very excited about, which could also be said to be restaurants with rooms. Angie described The Pig as cosy luxury, which I completely agree with.
We’ve been saying we’ll do a weekend for a long time, but for various reasons it had never quite worked out. But over Christmas, I noticed that there was one weekend in the first part of 2018 where there was just one room available at The Pig on The Beach… A short WhatsApp conversation with Angie later and we’d booked to stay in the Bothy at The Pig on The Beach!
A little more about our gorgeous room… Well, it’s more like a tiny little thatch cottage all of its own. The Bothy is set away from the main hotel building, along a winding little bath and through a gate. It’s actually right beside the kitchen garden, where many of the delicious vegetables served in the restaurant are grown, meaning you have a beautiful countryside view when you throw open the windows in the morning.
The room itself is round, with a gorgeous, large bed in the middle, a bathroom at the back, and a little TV cabinet and mini bar in front of the bed. I loved that even the fabric of the cushion covers had been chosen to fit in with the cosy, countryside feel.
The room itself isn’t huge, but the pitched ceiling gives a wonderful sense of space – though if you’re booking this room make sure you’re with a close friend as there are no doors to the bathroom; it’s a little open plan!
Speaking of the bathroom… There’s a gorgeous tub, with Bramely products as well as a double shower, if you’re on a romantic weekend away.
Though I think the best part of the bath is that it’s right in front of the fire, which the lovely staff kindly set for you each night.
I have a very soft spot for Robert’s radios, and I was very excited to see one in our beautiful Bothy!
I think the Bothy has to be one of my favourite rooms in England! Lime Wood, the sister hotel of The Pig Hotels, has long been on my Weekends From London list, but after a stay at The Pig on The Beach, it’s even higher up my list of hotels to visit!
Tucked away in Knightsbridge, a short shopping-laden wander away from Harrods, live The Capital Hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels. The Capital Hotel, as well as being a boutique hotel, is also home to Outlaw’s at The Capital, a Michelin star restaurant serving impeccably cooked British seafood. But Outlaw’s at the Capital isn’t the only jewel in Nathan’s crown: with a two Michelin Star restaurant, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, and one Michelin-starred Fish Kitchen both in Cornwall, it’s little wonder that I jumped at the chance to visit Fish Kitchen – and to meet Nathan himself – a couple of weeks ago as Fish Kitchen traveled from Cornwall to London for the night.
I’m a huge fan of Cornwall, having gone to university in Devon and spent many weekends visiting the nearby county, as well as having spent a magical weekend at The Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth. The fresh fish caught in Cornwall’s bays is some of the best in the UK, which is a little hard for me to say having grown up in Scotland!
We were in for a very special evening since not only was Nathan in the kitchen, but he was also accompanied by Tim Barnes,Head Chef, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, and Andrew Sawyer, Head Chef, Outlaw’s at The Capital. The menu for the evening was all in the sharing style of Fish Kitchen.
The first few courses were served all at the same time, giving us a selection of sharing style starters for the table. First to arrive at the table was smoked cod’s roe dip, with smoked paprika and olive oil served with a crusty, light sourdough. A dish – and bread – so good that we kept asking to keep it on the table when our waitress asked if we were finished!
To toast to the evening, and to Fish Kitchen, our glasses were filled with 2014 Annie’s Anniversary Brut from Camel Valley sparkling wine, Cornwall’s largest vineyard, and also a vineyard that is family run.
To open the evening, Nathan came out of the kitchen to tell us all a little more about Fish Kitchen. The restaurant is in an old fisherman’s cottage – a little piece of history that I really appreciate. Regular visitors will know that I always appreciate hotels and restaurants with a little character and history and this certainly seems to fit the bill!
So instead of white linen tablecloths that you might expect from a Michelin star restaurant, Fish Kitchen has opted for a more relaxed vibe and serves all f their dishes family style. Next to arrive at the table was pickled herring served with red onion, orange and chili dressing.
Cured brill with cucumber and watercress, served almost like a ceviche, made for a lovely light dish to contrast with the strong flavours of the herring.
The crab fritters were my favourite dish of the evening; light, packed with crab meat and full of flavour.
Baked scallops are always a favourite of mine; on this occasion served with lime butter and wonderfully cooked.
The monkfish tandoori, always a favourite at Fish Kitchen, served with cauliflower pickle, had a a wonderful char on it from being cooked at a very high heat, though I’d have a preferred a little more kick in the spice.