Archive For The “European” Category

Savini of Milan – at home in London – restaurant review

Savini of Milan – at home in London – restaurant review

Discerning diners in Milan and the great and the good from the rest of the world will know of Savini. It will likely have been the venue for their international business meetings, smart lunches, family celebrations and perhaps a marriage proposal or two. It is, in short, a restaurant of impeccable pedigree and holding the…

Read more »

Luton Hoo to Stay – hotel review

Luton Hoo to Stay – hotel review

Luton Hoo is an English country house and estate with easy access to London. But what is a ‘hoo’? The unusual name “Hoo” is a Saxon word meaning the spur of a hill. Luton Hoo is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, but a family called de Hoo lived on the site for four hundred…

Read more »

La Mancha, Chiswick – restaurant review

La Mancha, Chiswick – restaurant review

[This venue is now closed] The name La Mancha will be familiar to all in West London and many from further afield. It was a veritable culinary institution in Putney but it’s found a new home, and to my mind a better one. La Mancha is, in fact, a history-rich region of central Spain, south…

Read more »

Canela Café at Seven Dials – restaurant review

Canela Café at Seven Dials – restaurant review

Yes, if you look for them, there really are seven dials and they are affixed to a column at the intersection. A blue plaque commemorates the spot where Beatles manager Brian Epstein had his music management company, NEMS – North End Music Stores. The plaque was officially unveiled in 2010 by the late Cilla Black….

Read more »

Donna Margherita, Lavender Hill – restaurant review

Donna Margherita, Lavender Hill – restaurant review

This classic Italian restaurant is on Lavender Hill. The street’s name comes from the lavender that was once grown in market gardens around here. After the opening of Clapham Junction station just up the road in 1863 the surrounding area was built up with terraces of cheap housing for the workers who moved there from…

Read more »

Olive Tree, Southampton – restaurant review

Olive Tree, Southampton – restaurant review

This was my first visit to Southampton but finding good food wasn’t going to be a challenge: I had a recommendation!  A French/Seafood restaurant called Olive Tree. But I knew nothing of Southampton. Southampton became a popular spa town in 1740 after the discovery of a spring of chalybeate (mineral-rich) water. It became a popular…

Read more »

Hotel TerraVina Dining – restaurant review

Hotel TerraVina Dining – restaurant review

Hotel TerraVina is a gem. It’s a well-appointed house – well, it seems like someone’s home (read the accommodation review here). A line of colourful wellies in the hall welcomes the arriving guests. The rooms are individually designed and the beds are the best I have ever slept on! One might not want to leave…

Read more »

Travels & Tapas in Basque Country – travel review

Travels & Tapas in Basque Country – travel review

We have likely heard of it but if pinpointing this region on a map was a capital offence then it’s probable a few of us would be hung; but mention San Sebastián and more people will say that they know about it, and usually with regard to tapas. It’s an attractive seaside city and municipality…

Read more »

Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master – bar review

Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master – bar review

Vermouth has been ubiquitous in and on cocktail bars since mixed drinks became popular more than a century ago, but many of us have no idea what it actually is, apart from being the bottle that stands at the back collecting dust. Now it’s enjoying something of a revival since the days of the ubiquitous…

Read more »

Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho – restaurant review

Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho – restaurant review

Mele e Pere opened in the heart of Soho in February 2012, but that neighbourhood dates back centuries. In the Middle Ages, what is now Soho was known as St Giles Field, land belonging to the Convent of Abingdon, with its leper hospital. In 1536, the land was taken by Henry VIII as a royal…

Read more »

Stuzzico in London’s village – restaurant review

Stuzzico in London’s village – restaurant review

Talk about London and it’s likely a conversation about financial hubs (yes, even now after Brexit), the bustle of Oxford Street, the draw of Theatreland and the Tower of London will ensue. But London is actually made up of villages which remain far more charming and welcoming than the thronging thoroughfares more familiar to tourists…

Read more »

Le Garrick: Steak with je ne sais quoi – restaurant review

Le Garrick: Steak with je ne sais quoi – restaurant review

Le Garrick restaurant and wine bar is conveniently located in the heart of Covent Garden in London’s West End. I am no stranger here even though this neighbourhood has a wealth of restaurants of every culinary hue. It’s a timeless treasure and became one of my favourite restaurants after that very first visit. As I…

Read more »

Forty Dean Street, Soho – restaurant review

Forty Dean Street, Soho – restaurant review

Dean Street is in the heart of Soho, central London. It runs from Oxford Street south to Shaftesbury Avenue and has a long and colourful history, as has much of this neighbourhood.  In 1764 the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a recital at number 21. Admiral Nelson lodged here the day before setting sail for…

Read more »

The Balcon, London – classic perfection – restaurant review

The Balcon, London – classic perfection – restaurant review

The Balcon is a truly memorable restaurant set on Waterloo Place on the corner with Pall Mall. This wide thoroughfare is in fact an extension of Regent Street with all its smart shops. It’s a small area with a host of statues and monuments that honour heroes and statesmen of the British Empire and various…

Read more »

Côte – Dinner in Kingston – restaurant review

Côte – Dinner in Kingston – restaurant review

This is a lovely spot on the River Thames and well patronised by shoppers during the day and socialisers in the evening. But despite its modern façade, Kingston has history and how a lote of restaurants such as Côte. It belonged to the king in Saxon times, as its name suggests, and was the earliest…

Read more »

Le Garrick, Covent Garden – restaurant review

Le Garrick, Covent Garden – restaurant review

Le Garrick restaurant and wine bar is conveniently located in the heart of Covent Garden in London’s West End. It’s a little gem and after just one visit has become my preferred restaurant, my dining establishment of choice and a place I am almost loathe to promote for fear I won’t get a table next…

Read more »

Mele e Pere, Soho – restaurant review

Mele e Pere, Soho – restaurant review

Mele e Pere is a little cracker of a restaurant and I am almost reluctant to publicise it any further for fear that the prices will go up and the chances of me getting a table will go down! This is an authentic northern Italian, casual dining restaurant smack in the middle of the very…

Read more »

Iconic Kettner’s of Soho – restaurant review

Iconic Kettner’s of Soho – restaurant review

 [This restaurant is now closed] Kettner’s, I used to feel, seemed somewhat out of place in this corner of the great metropolis. It’s a genteel establishment and that’s not for which this corner of town had once been noted. This old Soho had evolved from a bolt-hole for religious-refugee Huguenots to the haunt of far…

Read more »

Jim De Jong – Say it with flowers …and cheese – travel review

Jim De Jong – Say it with flowers …and cheese  – travel review

Rotterdam is fast becoming known for food. It’s the Netherlands and it might be a bit of a cliché, but, yes there is cheese. Chef Jim De Jong was challenged to make a menu composed of Holland’s most iconic staple, and his creations were stunning. Jim has his culinary focus on seasonality, freshness, and vegetables,…

Read more »

Brooklands Hotel for dinner – restaurant review

Brooklands Hotel for dinner – restaurant review

Brooklands is rather unique. It straddles contemporary design and the historic connections that its very name evokes. One might not be familiar with Brooklands Hotel but almost everybody will have heard of the Brooklands Racing Circuit. The restaurant is called 1907 and that doesn’t refer to seven minutes past seven in the evening. It’s the…

Read more »