Where to Eat in London: Sketch

Sketch | European | All-day Menu | Mayfair | Website
– reservations available –
Sketch is arguably as tasty on the eyes, as it is the tummy.
As soon as you walk into the exquisite hallway, you know what to expect.
The decor is eclectic and rich – Sketch and it’s various rooms were designed by artists.
A restaurant that used to house the HQ of Christian Dior wouldn’t be expected of anything else though, no?
So what was the food like?
I didn’t think the food could be any better than the decor, I find that a restaurant usually excels in one or the other.
So as we were lead to our table in The Glade, I was certain that our afternoon lunch had climaxed already. Yet Sketch surprised me. We ordered their opulent (and largest) ‘Sketch Afternoon Tea’, to celebrate my friend’s graduation – nothing is more deserving of a luxurious lunch than 3 hard years at university. It comes per person, or there is a lighter version for two – we choose the ‘lighter’ version, as the menu seemed quite intimidating. Selections of beautiful cakes, scones, sandwiches and macarons fit for Marie Antoinette, layered the cake stand. Every bite was full of delicate, yet distinct flavour, leaving us wanting more. This is certainly no ordinary Afternoon Tea.
Eating at Sketch is an experience as much as it is a delight.
Taking into consideration the decadence and price, it certainly isn’t an everyday treat though.
However if you have the chance to go, snap it up, because bookings are taken months in advance.
Sketch lived up to it’s reputation – the food and surroundings were magnificent.
I’m already trying to figure out what to celebrate next, as an excuse to visit!

Where to Eat in London: Fabrique Swedish Bakery

Fabrique | Swedish Bakery Cafe | Hoxton | Website
– reservations not available –

Who would have thought that one of the best Swedish bakeries in London would be located in the railway arches underneath of Hoxton station? The setting is contemporary, and might seem a little odd, but ultimately adds character to the store. It’s also pretty easy to find – just exit Hoxton station and turn right, within less than a minute you will be gazing at Fabrique’s big red doors, ready for some Fika.

The artisanal bakery is the first outside of Stockholm, making Londoners very lucky indeed. Offering Swedish coffee by Johan & Nyström, and a large selection of buns, flapjacks, brownies, rolls and more you won’t be left lonely for choice. There are only a few tables to sit at, but most customers are on the go, so there’s usually the odd table to hijack with a friend or two. My friend and I visited on a Sunday afternoon around 3pm and whereas there were a few people sat at tables, we found a seat out front and enjoyed a Cardamon Bun and an Earl Grey tea with ease. It might seem odd that I choose a Cardamon Bun rather than Fabrique’s famous Cinnamon Bun, but actually I’d tried the latter before and wanted to try something new instead. Whereas their Cinnamon Buns have earned rave reviews, and I did enjoy mine, I loved the Cardamon Bun even more. I also now go back weekly for their sourdough rye rolls – honestly the best sourdough I’ve ever had. The staff are lovely, very helpful and always up for a chat.

Fika is open Tuesday-Sunday until 6pm.
You can find out more on their website, here.

 

Where to Eat in London: Dishoom

Dishoom | Bombay Cuisine | All-day Menu | Shoreditch | Website
– reservations available –
 
If I told you there was a Bombay Cafe in East London, you’d probably think I was crazy.
Well I may be a little weird, but I’m definitely not crazy, because right in the heart of Shoreditch is Dishoom.
Drawing inspiration from the elegance of the old cafes in Bombay, Dishoom is as beautiful inside as the food is delicious.
We stopped for brunch on a Saturday morning, around 10:30am.
It wasn’t busy but there were a few couples and groups dotted about.
Breakfast is served until 11:30am on weekdays, and 1pm on weekends (possible hangover cure?).
The inside of the restaurant is spacious and gorgeously decorated in a rustic Bombay-inspired manner.
We were sat by a very chilled matradee and served by a friendly waitress, both whom matched the atmosphere.
I was enticed by the variety of food on the breakfast menu, especially when I saw the Indian inspiration.
I’d heard that the ‘Spicy Chai’ was amazing, so I ordered one for myself, whilst the fiance had the ‘Breakfast Lassi’.
He went for the ‘Full Bombay’ and I filled up on the ‘House Porridge’ & ‘Fire Toast – we were both impressed.
Whereas I was intimidated by the spicy scrambled egg, the fiancé said it was “the best [he’d] ever had.”
We both enjoy our food (probably more than the next person), so after we both said we’d be back I knew it was a hit! Next time I definitely plan to have the ‘Chocolate Spicy Chai’ and the ‘Sausage Naan Roll’ (an interesting sounding take on an English staple), or the ‘Bombay Omelette’ – if I’m feeling brave (I can’t handle spice). The prices were reasonable and the food amazing. I’ll be trying out the lunch (I may have already arranged a date with a friend) and the dinner menu soon.
Check out Dishoom’s website here.

Event: Make Your Own Pizza @ Pizza Express

Make Your Own Pizza Blogger Event, at Pizza Express

Last week Pizza Express were very brave and allowed 20-odd bloggers to make their own pizza.
I don’t think any of us had any clue where to begin, even so what we lacked in knowledge we made up for in enthusiasm. 
The special event was to mark the arrival of their new Summer menu, which is released today!
The Summer menu features some amazingly light and healthy options, as well as their classics.
This includes a Leggera pizza for less than 500 calories, and a salad for less than 300 calories!
Whether you’re watching what you eat or not, you have to admit that’s impressive.
We arrived and were seated with a drink from the bar and a menu to peruse.
I chatted with some of the other bloggers and nibbled on some sea salt almonds.
Everyone was very friendly and pretty eager to get down to the pizza making.
So we donned our hats & aprons and were shown step-by-step how to make our own Leggera pizza.
After shaping the dough and adding sauce, we were let lose to choose our toppings.
I choose a veggie friendly cheese, tomato and pesto selection.
About 20mins after being sent to the ovens, it was the moment of truth!
My pizza was delicious, if I do say so myself, and it also managed to fill me up.
Now as for the salad, I’m not a big salad fan, so when the new Leggera salad was put in front of me I was shockingly surprised. As well as lettuce it includes mozzarella, beetroot, butternut squash, cucumber and avocado. This salad isn’t just a few lettuce leaves and some dressing, it’s a masterpiece! Ok ok, so I didn’t eat the leaves but I demolished half a plate of the other stuff. I think Pizza Express has done really well in choosing these for their Summer menu – they’re light, healthy and won’t make you feel guilty. I also loved the addition of gluten-free bases/items to the menu, as it’s something I personally look for.
Will I be visiting Pizza Express this Summer? You bet! 
I’m trying to eat healthier lately so this will be a treat that I won’t feel bad about.

Photo Diary: Burgers, Bleach & Bling

Follow me on Instagram: bloomzy
The last couple of weeks before my holiday have been busy, busy, busy.
I’ve been working a lot and enjoying my internship at Finchittida Finch.
Of course I’ve also managed to pack in a few fun things.
I’ve been meeting old friends and treating them to the delights of London.
I made a stop to Bleach, to be a hair model, where I had the red in my hair re-done brighter.
Tatty Devine held a workshop and I tagged along, and I made a neon ombre elephant necklace.
The odd bottle of wine, hot chocolate and burger helped to keep me going.
I finally received my Tatty Devine name necklace, which I’m utterly in love with.
I also attended the Benefit Fake Up event in Spitalfields, and met some lovely fellow bloggers.
After trying to cut back on spending I caved and bought a cute iridescent phone clutch from Primark.
I got to enjoy cuddles from a cute sausage dog at my internship this week; distracting but adorable.
At the end of the week I was sent some Manuka Doctor goodies, which I can’t wait to try out!
Finally, I’m off on holiday!
I’ll be skiing it up in Chamonix, France until next weekend.
Have a lovely Easter everyone!

Where to Eat in London: Fika

Fika | Scandinavian | Lunch/Dinner | Brick Lane | Website
– reservations available –

I’m a pretty big foodie, if you hadn’t already guessed, so sometimes I like to post about food in London. This is an ongoing series (you can find the series here) as my love for food and discovering new bars, restaurants etc. continues to blossom. Lately I’ve decided to do special feature posts for places that really stand out to me. Today is Fika – a Swedish ‘Bar & Grille’ that has an amazingly relaxed atmosphere.

I’ve been before for Fika (Swedish for coffee break), when I had tea, gorgonzola & ginger biscuits. We were so impressed that I decided to take my fiancé back there for a post-Valentine’s Day meal. This time we had lunch and a very special treat of Semla, which is a traditional sweet roll eaten at Lent. It’s basically the Scandinavian version of Pancakes for Pancake Day, so I wanted to reserve a couple and enjoy it. The roll is very much like a bread roll (spiced with cardamon seeds), but hollowed out and filled with almond paste & whipped cream. It was certainly something different, and I didn’t dislike it, in fact it was nice as it wasn’t too sweet, although I think I would have enjoyed it slightly more if there had been extra almond paste – but it’s a favourite of mine, so I’m biased.

Before our Semla, we indulged in some lunch where I had Swedish Meatballs and the fiance had Lax Planka Salmon both of which were wonderful, and full of flavour! The meatballs came with the oh-so Swedish traditional accompaniment of mashed potato, red wine sauce and lingonberry jam. You might think that the lingonberry and red wine would counteract each other, as they’re both strong flavours, however both complimented the other, and the dish, very well. The portion sizes were perfect and left me feeling full, but not enough that I couldn’t fit in something sweet.

Fika are offering Semla for the whole of February, but you’ll need to book.