Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Eve at The Delaunay

For the last decade or so, my mum and I have had a Christmas Eve tradition of treating ourselves to a fancy Christmas Eve breakfast. In the past we have indulged at RichouxFortnum & Mason and Cecconis, to name a few. This years choice came highly recommended and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint!

After walking up and down the Kingsway, finally I found it tucked around a corner... (a native Londoner? I hear you ask) On arrival I was greeted by the hostess and taken to my table where my mum was sat sipping on a cup of coffee.. I had expected to see a glass of champagne in her!

After plenty of um-ing and ah-ing (I am rather indecisive when it comes to food) I settled upon, yep you guessed it, my favourite of Eggs Benedict while my mum choose a Delaunay special- the Viennese breakfast.

When my breakfast arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the size of it- two organic perfectly poached eggs, sat on top of thick cut ham and an English muffin topped off with a vibrant hollandaise sauce! Although I struggled to finish it, (very good value for money I might add) I was truly satisfied and set up for Christmas Eve festivities!

The Viennese special consisted of Smoked Ham, Salami, Artisan Gouda, Boiled eggs and fresh Figs- a very continental twist and one that my mum thoroughly enjoyed!

As well as the delicious food, the service at  The Delaunay was impeccable and the atmosphere was full of festive cheer! My mum and I enjoyed it so much that we have vowed to return next Christmas Eve, and guess what? I may actually have something other than Eggs Benedict!

Hope you've all had a happy holidays!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sweet Treats and Tea at Fortnum and Mason

With the hectic time that is life lately, I haven't had  much of an opportunity to post anything to my slightly neglected blog, so forgive me as this post should've gone out weeks ago! 

Back in October during half term break, I went for a wonderful afternoon tea at London's famous Fortnum and Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon.

Fortnum and Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Room

Although I have been to a number of afternoon teas before, this one was a little different as I opted for the high tea- replacing traditional finger sandwiches with the British classic of Eggs Benedict! Served on a muffin with thick cut British ham, the eggs were cooked perfectly with the most vibrant of yolks and creamy hollandaise! 

Next up was the selection of sweets! Scones, macaroons, eclairs and chocolate yumminess!

There were two types of scone- plain and fruit (the latter is which I'm more partial to) which were served with Somerset clotted cream and a selection of preserves. Traditional raspberry is always my favourite- fruit scone, layered first with cream then topped with raspberry jam, delicious! I also tried lemon curd on a scone for the first time and I have to say the bitterness of the curd mixed with the sweetness of the cream was a combination to die for! The selection of sweets from the cake carriage were just as satisfying - from a rose flavoured eclair to a chocolate and gold leaf cheesecake! I was in sweet treat heaven!

Of course all of the above was washed down with Fortnum's traditional afternoon blend tea!

With such wonderful menu choices, the scummiest of cakes, the high-end setting and marvelous atmosphere (made even better by a musical interlude from the in-house pianist) Fortnum and Mason really know how to deliver an exquisite afternoon tea experience!

I am already looking forward to my next afternoon tea experience and thanks to the lovely Angie from SilverSpoon London it shall be at Claridges

Until next time...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A Very Special Christmas

With Christmas soon approaching, KellyRebeccaEmma and co-host Sam have festive fever for this month's travel link up! 

At first I wasn't too sure if I was going to join this month's link up as apart from a magical Christmas spent in Orlando Florida when I was 9 and a sunny beach Christmas in India when I was 16, Christmas for me has pretty much always been the same. Traditionally I spend the day at home in London with my small, but very treasured family. Of course there is plenty of food, followed by the British tradition of watching the soaps on t.v, topped off with a round of Trivial Pursuit or two.

However, I got to reflecting back on last Christmas, and although tinged with some sadness, it was quite possibly one of the best Christmases I've had. Having grown up in London and seeing / hearing about the number of people that have to spend Christmas alone I have always wanted to be able to give my help at Christmas where it is needed. So, along with my mum, I donned my Santa hat and spent the day volunteering at St Luke's Community Centre in Islington.

We spent Christmas eve prepping! My mum worked with the kitchen team (I wasn't much use in there) while I worked with the other volunteers to wrap presents, set the tables and decorate the hall. The music was playing and the Christmas atmosphere kicked in!

What came to follow the next day was something so special, something that showed the rel meaning of Christmas.

The guests began arriving from midday, some on their own, others with a friend or two. There were elderly guests whose relatives lived far away, young international students who were away from home and those that simply didn't have anyone else to spend Christmas with. 

The day was spent eating a delicious Christmas dinner made by the great kitchen team, cracking crackers and reading jokes, testing our knowledge with a well crafted quiz and getting to know one another for the first time. 

Spending my time listening to the stories of older generations and laughing with the guests really was a moment that I will always hold dearly. 

Without a shadow of a doubt the highlight of the day was when Santa Claus himself made a surprise visit! Handing out a present to every guest in the room, there was an overwhelming feeling of genuine happiness and the smiles that covered everyone's faces were a joy to see and be a part of!

Once Santa had worked his magic, there was dancing to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin classics, mince pies and a good old fashioned sing song!

On a more personal and sadder note, that Christmas day was the last I got to spend with my dear nan as a few weeks later she passed away. But if there is one photo to sum up the feeling of that day, this one just has to be it...

My mum and nan xxx

As Christmas approaches this year, take a moment to think of those who are less fortunate than yourself, those who can no longer celebrate Christmas with us and make the most of spending time with the people you hold nearest and dearest in your heart- I know I will. x