Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Bourne to Brunch

"Dan, remember the pub that used to be opposite three corners playground? Well... you wouldn't believe the revamp it's had!" My mum, two months ago, talking about what I knew when I was growing up as Leonards, but what many people now know as the Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings!
Clerkenwell is a place a very close to my heat as it's where I lived for the most part of my life. Over the past decade Clerkenwell has realised it's potential and has become a great hub for many new restaurants and bars and witnessing it's growth in popularity has been a rather nostalgic experience for me! So of course, as a former Clerkenwell resident I took my mum's advice "you must go and see it for yourself" and one sunny Saturday morning headed to my old neighbourhood for brunch and Bellinis! 

The exterior on a glorious Spring day
Fortunate enough to get a last minute reservation, my friend Sara and I were seated up at the bar: the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere and admire the bright and quirky interior. The mismatched furniture and ornaments provided a welcoming environment and make B&H buildings a rather unique place to eat, drink and be very merry!
photo taken from brightshinynews.com
The menu itself is a brunch lover's idea of heaven- with everything from French toast done three ways to eggs with a slight a twist... As some of you may have realised by now I am a fan of all things eggy, so therefore decided to opt for their twist on the traditional Huevos Rancheros- named instead as Huevos Benedictos. A delicious dish of chorizo combined with avocado, topped with poached eggs and served with bĂ©arnaise sauce all on top of an English muffin.

Huevos Benedictos
Of course there was only one perfect accompaniment to this dish- a seasonal Bellini. After deciding not to go for the bottomless option (it was hard to say no) we each had a single Bellini and enjoyed every sip!
Just look at the temptation of that jug....
Not only was the food, environment and of course company great but the service from the staff was second to none! It's very rare (but of course understandable) that wait staff will have the time during an afternoon rush to indulge in conversation with customers, however the welcomed chattiness from the staff here was definitely the icing on the cake for a place that is clearly Bourne to do brunch! ;-)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Afternoon Tea at Claridges

It feels so good to be back on my laptop writing blog posts instead of school reports. With an exceptionally busy term at work my blog had to take a little bit of a breather..but I'm happy to be back writing about all my recent deelightful doings...

In my life, the only thing I have ever won is a colouring competition when I was 8 years old, and when I say won, I mean came second! So, it comes as no surprise that when the lovely Angie selected me as her Birthday Competition winner back in November, I was over the moon! As the competition was cake based the prize involved the sweetest of treats.... Afternoon Tea at Claridges

My winning gluten-free chocolate cake!
Claridges, a name that a number of people are familiar with... Renowned for their impeccable service, stunning art-deco interiors and of course their award-winning afternoon tea, which has been a number 1 'must do' on my list for years! As the prize was afternoon tea for two there was really only one person to share this with- my mum. So, on a typical rainy February day we headed to Claridges and I'm happy to report that it did not disappoint! 

From the minute we entered the famous doors we were treated as if we were the only two people there. We were sat in the main part of the foyer, with  a perfect view for people watching (spotted- Thandie Newton!) and handed a glass of their house champagne, Laurent-Perrier Brut, NV. What followed next were a selection of traditional sandwiches (so tasty that we had two lots each!)

Easy to drink Laurent-Perrier and delicious sandwiches
We were served smoked salmon scones, duck egg mayonnaise on perfect white bread, a very traditional cucumber and cream cheese sandwich as well as Dorringotn ham and a corn fed chicken sandwich served on tasty thyme and walnut bread! 

Now normally sandwiches are the highlight of my afternoon tea (I can never get enough), however what came next was a trolley of perfect pastries that looked almost too decadent to eat...I said almost!
To accompany the sweets there was only one choice of tea, the bespoke Claridge's Blend, created exclusively of course for Claridges. 

Among the pastries was an amazing rose-water and raspberry macaroon that had the perfect amount of chewiness, with the subtle flavour of rose coming through as well as raspberry cream topped off with fresh raspberries...always good to have an element of my five a day ;-) 

Served freshly baked was a choice of scones- fruit or plain accompanied with Cornish clotted cream and their famous Marco Polo gelee, a delicious jam. Again, we were replenished with more scones and I managed to squeeze in just one more to complete a most wonderful afternoon tea experience.

Not only was the tea one of the best, if not the best, I've ever had, the service was absolutely faultless and even if it was just for a mere two hours, my mum and I felt like absolute royalty! 

Thank you again to Angie Silverspoon for this exquisite prize... My mum and I are already planning our return!

Where is your favourite place for afternoon tea?