Tag Archives: nightclub

Sea Containers

Mondrian has arrived in London!  A familiar name we all know and love. For me, the brand conjures memories of an epic stay in Miami celebrating Art Basel many, many moons ago. This one is decidedly more Southbank than South Beach, but sits proudly on the water, the mighty River Thames. Housed in part of the old Sea Containers building, the new hotel has an understated nautical theme, and vibrant river views from its new ground floor restaurant.

We went to check it out on a blazingly bright afternoon for lunch.

Sea Containers From Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge Treacy Black Felt Hat

Sea Containers Dining Room

Sea Containers Dining Room Crest We Serve

Never take pils on an empty stomach.

Never take pils on an empty stomach.

There’s quite a bit of seafood on the menu, which is no problem for me! We ordered a selection of starters, then shared a chicken and a sea bass.

Raw scallops with cilantro, espelette pepper and drizzled with Arbequina olive oil

Raw scallops with cilantro, espelette pepper and drizzled with Arbequina olive oil

Crab salad on toast, with pickled peppers & citrus aioli

Crab salad on toast, with pickled peppers & citrus aioli

Oven-roasted Lamb Meatballs with soft sheep's milk cheese, cucumber and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette

Oven-roasted Lamb Meatballs with soft sheep’s milk cheese, cucumber and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette

Smoked and Roasted Corn-fed Chicken with  charred lemon vinaigrette

Smoked and Roasted Corn-fed Chicken with
charred lemon vinaigrette

Shredded Kale Salad with apple, pecans, avocado, yoghurt, chilies and a dill vinaigrette

Shredded Kale Salad with apple, pecans, avocado, yoghurt, chilies and a dill vinaigrette

Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass  with citrus, salsa verde

Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass with
citrus, salsa verde

Sea Containers Lunch Apple Pie

The desserts were great, and they even let us order a crème brulee off menu.

Sea Containers Lunch Creme Brulee

Sea Containers Faces

Sea Containers Faces Smiles

The sun was setting as we finished lunch (damn you, winter days!), so we headed upstairs to the rooftop bar, Rumpus Room, for the view – and ended up staying a little bit longer than planned.

Rumpus Room Signage

Rumpus Room Area

Rumpus Room Bar

With unobstructed views across the pulsing heart of London’s business and financial district, the rooftop terrace is no doubt going to be a popular al fresco destination this spring and summer. Have fun, people!

Rumpus Room Outside Rooftop Bar

Rumpus Room View

Rumpus Room View Rooftop Thames

Rumpus Room Drinks Table

The drinks were impressive (aka exceptionally strong) and before we knew it, we were all a bit sozzled.

Rumpus Room Drinks

Rumpus Room Rooftop Silly face

The only thing I would say if you visit Rumpus Room (and you aren’t expensing it to the bank you work for) – check your itemized bill before paying. The service is attentive and pleasant, but they definitely added extra items to our check that we didn’t order. Other than that, go forth and enjoy!

Nothing Wrong at A. Wong

Lately, my guy’s had his heart set on one thing, and one thing only.

It took a lot of planning and persuading, but his persistence has finally paid off…

He managed to book a table at A. Wong for an evening of their famed dim sum! So we met up with some pals to satisfy the fire in our bellies!

AWongEntrance

There was a momentary pause for disappointment upon finding out the dim sum menu is somewhat limited for dinner – but only until spotting all the other tempting dishes on offer.

We took what dim sum was available, which turned out to be amazing!

Pork and prawn dumplings topped with pork crackling

Pork and prawn dumplings topped with pork crackling

Clear shrimp dumplings, sweet chilli sauce and citrus foam

Clear shrimp dumplings, sweet chilli sauce and citrus foam

Crispy prawn won tons with sweet chilli dip

Crispy prawn won tons with sweet chilli dip

AWongHappyFaces

The more people at the table, the more dishes you can get away with ordering!

Which put happy faces on at least two of us.

What followed was a series of fantastic contemporary Chinese plates – sending our chopsticks clicking all around the table!

Crab and seafood filled in braised leaves, shallot powder, cockles

Crab and seafood filled in braised leaves, shallot powder, cockles

Chef Cheng's prawn-stuffed chicken wings with black bean sauce

Chef Cheng’s prawn-stuffed chicken wings with black bean sauce

Crispy chilli, caramelised beef, pickled carrots

Crispy chilli, caramelised beef, pickled carrots

Sichuanese aubergines

Sichuanese aubergines

Stir-fried market green vegetables

Stir-fried market green vegetables

Dong Po slow-braised Blythburgh pork belly

Dong Po slow-braised Blythburgh pork belly

AWongLambchops

Xinjiang barbecued lamb with cumin, chilli and sesame

Xinjiang barbecued lamb with cumin, chilli and sesame

Although someone was very pointedly still protesting the lack of dim sum.

AWongTalking

Desserts hit the table, and our jaws dropped in awe.

Never are Chinese puddings this sexy!

Merengue Snowball, lychee granite, mango puree and lime sorbet

Merengue Snowball, lychee granite, mango puree and lime sorbet

Tobacco smoked banana, nut crumble, chocolate, soy caramel

Tobacco smoked banana, nut crumble, chocolate, soy caramel

AWongMelting

AWongSpoons

We were elated to meet the chef and owner, Andrew Wong, who stopped by for a post-meal chat. It’s clear he has a real passion for innovating traditional Chinese cuisine and making it appealing to the modern London diner.

AWongChef

AWongPetitfours

And after that melody of desserts, there were plenty of smiles around the table.

AWongTable

In fact, we were all in such high spirits that we fancied an after-dinner boogie down at the disco.

BoujisLap

B2

B1

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It’s great to live in a city where any night can become a party. And this evening was good ’til the last drop.

 

 

Hen Do Tea Party

I cannot believe my wedding is in 5 weeks!

All the RSVPs are in, the honeymoon is booked, and I’ve had my final dress fitting. Time to relax, spend the weekend pampering myself with spa treatments, and meditating about wedded bliss.

Oh, wait a minute – not if my girlfriends have anything to do with it!

The big day that I thought would never happen is finally here:

My bachelorette party!

Saturday began with my darling friend Lia (isn’t she darling?) grabbing me for a shopping date and bistro lunch.

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A happy little salad and two happy bloody marys, then darling Lia hailed a cab and whisked me off to a secret destination in Soho…

Which turned out to be Dean Street Townhouse – where all my chirpy chickies were waiting to surprise me for my hen do afternoon tea!

How jolly British!

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I was so happy to see all of my hens – especially one who had just fluttered over from the US!

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What wedding diet?

Let the bride eat cake!

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And sip tea!

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A spiffing afternoon with the ladies!

After tea, the girls kindly accompanied me home to mine – where the scene was set with fairylights and candles, a cheese board, and lots and lots of bubbly!

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I donned my festival-themed accessories and shimmied into something a little more rock chic for the evening ahead.

Which was mainly drinking lots of champers and cuddling.

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Eventually, we prowled out into the London nightlife scene – kicking things off at our first stop, Maggie’s.

(Which was essentially like partying at home because this little 80’s club has been my bunker since I was just a Chelsea newbie).

I marched in and took the reigns – or drumsticks, in this case…

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I can’t show you more because us rockstar gals like to keep a low profile on our nights out.

But suffice it to say, with friends as gorgeous as this, it was quite a mischievous night carousing until dawn.

Oops, I guess that’s what happens when the hens fly the coop!

Dinner & Dancing to a London Beat

“What have I missed?” is my first thought whenever I return to London. I immediately want to make up for lost time. So I didn’t miss a beat hitting the town on Saturday night.

First item on the docket: some honest British nosh. And for that, it doesn’t get more genuine than English celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge. The concept here is to redefine the identity of British gastronomy, reinventing historic dishes with Heston’s molecular tweaks. Ensconced in the ruby-red decadence of the private dining room, we got stuck in with some classics.

tab table table7

Two signature plates are the Meat Fruit and the Tipsy Cake. The Meat Fruit is an iconic dish that dates back to Tudor times. Blumenthal’s interpretation of it translates to the richest, silkiest paté – disguised as a tangerine in a dimpled orange gelatin complete with a stem and leaf.

Meat Fruit (c. 1500)

Meat Fruit (c. 1500)

Mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread

Mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread

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Spicy Pigeon (c. 1780) | Ale & artichokes

Spicy Pigeon (c. 1780) | Ale & artichokes

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The Tipsy Cake is a cushy brioche bun soaked in alcohol and served with spit-roasted pineapple. It is probably one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted.

Tipsy Cake (c.1810) | Spit roast pineapple

Tipsy Cake (c.1810) | Spit roast pineapple

After a scrumptious dinner, we all spilled into a pair of black cabs and rumbled down the street to Ruski’s Caviar and Vodka Tavern. Like a plethora of London’s themed nightclubs, it’s contrived. Blatantly so. It’s a pastiche of a Soviet Russia theme. Supposedly, there’s a thoughtful Art Deco-ish design in there somewhere, but you’d never find it through all the fog machine haze hanging in the air. The place is absolutely steaming – from the unventilated smoke of sparkler fountains, from the dank basement humidity, from uncorked teen spirit.

But the music is great – and it’s thumping through the whole place, and everyone is energetic, so you get swept up in all the furor.

And you drink a few potent shots delivered in a Russian space helmet.

And you dance!

rusk rusk2 Rusk3 rusk4

rusk5 rusk5.5 Rusk6 rusk8 rusk7 rusk11

It was an excellent evening partying with my comrades.

London, it’s good to back.