Category Archives: england

Poppy’s Place, Parsons Green, London

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Where?

Located at the Lillie Road end of Munster Road, Parsons Green, this new little cafe-diner is as kooky as it is tasty. Nestled on the corner of Bronsart Road, the glass facades provide a light, airy space which won’t induce Sunday morning hangover claustrophobia.

Poppy's Place, 255 Munster Road, Fulham, London SW6 6BW, United Kingdom

The Decor?

Poppy’s is beautifully decorated with white wooden walls and flooring giving it a beach-like, summery feel perfect for a summer’s day treat. A rustic, duck-egg blue cabinet houses a delicious spread of jams and breads (even crayons for your tots), while the vintage server at the front is bedecked with tea cups that little girls dream of. Cute wooden tables are adorned with beautiful fresh flowers in coloured glass vases and lab-like stools complement the uncluttered vibe.

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The Grub?

The menu is varied and affordable and the quality of food, top-notch. Nothing on the breakfast/lunch menu exceeds £10 which is a pleasant surprise versus some local joints so if you’re after a bargainous, slap-up brekkie, take your pick. There’s something for everyone here, from smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and a choice of sides such as grilled bacon or chorizo to bacon baps, porridge with winter fruit compote or greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit.

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The Lunch?

Lunch options are equally diverse from house burger and macaroni cheese to a range of toasties, salads and baguettes. Steak, horseradish and rocket is a personal favourite. There’s even a Little Munsters Kids’ Menu including fish finger sandwiches, chicken wedges, baked beans on toast and boiled egg and soldiers.

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Dinner too?

Open until 11pm, the dinner menu also includes a range of mouth-watering dishes, from fresh catch of the day to ribeye steak (sourced from premium Lake District Farmers, this is the priciest dish on the menu at £25). The only health-warning of note is that you’re likely to become a regular if you visit this place. After a mouthful of these goodies, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more.

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Details:

Address: 255 Munster Road, Parsons Green, SW6 6BW

Telephone: 0207 920 6420

Nearest Tube: Parsons Green

Website

5 Of The Tallest Buildings In The World You Need To Visit!

1. The Canton Tower, China

Also known as Guangzhou Tower (Chinese: 广州塔), The Canton Tower is a 600 metre tall multi-purpose observation tower in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou, Guandong, China. The tower became operational for the 2010 Asian Games and briefly held the title of tallest tower in the world, before being surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree in 2011. It’s now the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world and is lit by seven thousand LED light fixtures which change colour across the entire height of the tower. A beautiful kaleidoscope of colour against the night sky.

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2. The Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The world’s tallest man-made structure, the 829.8 metre high Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds the official title of ‘Tallest Building in the World’. It was also the location for the current Guinness World Record for the highest base jump in history! Designed as the centerpiece of a large-scale, mixed-use development including 30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 7.4 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall and the 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake, the decision to build Burj Khalifa is reportedly based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil based economy to one that is service and tourism based. Great attention-grabbing strategy!

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3. The Empire State Building, New York

An 103 storey skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, The Empire State Building is an impressive 443 metre high. The world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years until being overtaken by the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970, The Empire State Building is currently the fourth tallest skyscraper in the US (after the One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower) and the 25th tallest skyscraper in the world. The views over New York are breathtaking, its distinctive art deco style belying its timeless appeal.

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4. The Eiffel Tower, Paris

The iconic iron latticed Eiffel Tower, named after its engineer, Gustave Eiffel and located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world. Standing some 324 metres tall, it held the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second and an observatory on the third. With views over one of the most romantic cities on Earth, it’s pretty clear why it’s such a popular proposal spot…

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5. The Shard, London

Also referred to as The Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, The Shard is an 87 storey skyscraper in London that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. Its privately operated observation deck, The View From The Shard, is a popular spot for tourists and Londoners alike. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Shard is currently the tallest building in the European Union, standing at an impressive 309 metres. As London’s highest viewing platform, The Shard is a wonderful place to take in over 1,000 years of the capital’s history. What’s not to like?

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Mews of Mayfair, London

Where is Mews hidden?

Tucked away down the dimly-lit alley of Lancashire Court, this classy brasserie come bar is cosy-chic combined.  A stone’s throw from Berkeley and Hanover Square, the cobbled courtyard comes alive with business folk winding down with a cocktail or two after a hard day’s slog. Whether sinking into the deep leather sofas in the cocktail lounge illuminated by 18th century chandeliers, or sitting nestled in the narrow outdoor alley under the stars, there’s something for everyone.  

What’s on offer?

The extensive cocktail menu offers many a zingy delight from the classic Cosmopolitan to the exotic Chilli Cuddle for the more adventurous-spirited. The food menu is equally pleasing, with a range of delicious bar snacks such as Smoked Salmon Scotch Eggs and Cheese Boards to heartier meals proper such as Fish and Chips, Guinea Fowl Leg and Scottish Ox Cheeks.  Prices range from £5-18 for bar snacks to £9-18 for mains with a South Devon 1 Kilo Double Rib Steak for a hungry twosome at £65. 

Special Features?

The basement lounge is the ideal spot for after-dinner drinks, with DJ decks built into a grand piano and glass beaded nooks that are easy to sink into. Open until 1am Wednesday to Saturday, whiling away the wee hours here is the perfect way to round off the evening.

If it’s a private room you’re after, the upstairs space is perfect for a canapé party of up to 40, a seated dinner for up to 28 guests or a snazzy meeting spot for presentations.  With antique maps adorning the walls, surround sound, wifi and a hidden 50” screen, this an an imperial experience no client will forget!

For a more decadent affair, La Cave Private Room is situated opposite Mews Art Gallery and can accommodate up to 15 guests for lunch and dinner, or 25 for a standing reception. Doubling up as a wine boutique, La Cave mixes cosiness and sophistication to perfection, the dark wood and brown leather seating set off by the wine and champagne which lines the walls. 

And finally…

I’ve always thought that Mayfair embodies the ideal man – powerful, understated and elegant. Mews is an example of all three.

Contact:

Website: Here

Address: 10 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, London, W1S 1EY 

Tel: 0207 518 9388

Email: nfo@mewsofmayfair.com

Las Bravas, St Katharine Docks, London

Where is it?

Tucked away in St Katharine Docks between Tower Hill and Tower Bridge, Las Bravas brings high-end, affordable tapas to London. Having opened in March this year, it’s not surprising it’s received rave reviews on Trip Advisor given the quality of the food and staff.

What’s the food and decor like?

The restaurant is top-end shabby-chic, with cosy enclaves for the winter months and full-length windows running dock-side. The menu is diverse, ranging from Foie Gras and Brioche with Serrano Ham and Lamb Chops with Rosemary Alioli to Fried Baby Calamares and Smoked Sardines.

What’s the damage?

Prices are very reasonable. Ranging from £5-10 a dish, the food is beautifully presented with charming service that’s rare to find.

Why go?

If you’d like a taste of Spain without breaking the bank, I can’t rave highly enough. This place is the tops.

Details:

Website

Address: Saint Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

Tel: 0207 481 1464

Nearest tube: Tower Hill

Barossa, Parsons Green

Where?

Neatly positioned on the New King’s Road, a stone’s throw from Parsons Green tube station, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Barossa is another mainstream cafe.  Not so. An independent Coffee House & Australian Kitchen, the understated facade of the cafe belies its character.

How eggcellent is it?

My first encounter was the result of months of sibling raving and suspicions that said sister might have over-egged the pudding, so to speak.  I must say, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  The eggs were cracking as promised with a Bondi Brekkie feast complete with smoked bacon, corn fritters and poached or scrambled eggs.  Now I’m a regular, I like to mix up the egg treats – whether benedict, florentine,or royale, I am yet to be disappointed.

Healthy alternatives?

I’m a particular fan of the sourdough toast which is an unusual addition to the fry up, giving it a healthier taste you wouldn’t associate with a naughty treat.  If you’re looking for something lighter, there are various options on offer, from avocado on toast with tomato and feta, to toasted banana bread or granola with greek yoghurt and blueberry compote.

Scrummy lunches?

If it’s lunch you’re after, you’re spoilt for choice.  With a delicious range of all day sarnies, from the classic BLT or a sausage feast, to crab cakes with chilli and lime or the superfood salad with chickpeas, quinoa and feta, there’s something for everyone.

Tea for two?

Thirsty for coffee or tea – you’re in for a treat.  A range of loose leaf teas are served in funky see-through tea-pots which sit atop your mug and are activated by pressing southerly while coffee beans are sourced by Caravan Coffee, roasted by hand in small batches daily and stamped with a frothy heart or leaf.  

Sweet tooth?

For a sweet accompaniment you can choose from a fluffy freshly made muffin, a slice of red velvet cake or other fondant fancies a guilt-ridden glutton might term ‘terribly light’.

Best bits?

Best features of Barossa? The large glass fronted facade, the delightful window seat, the range of artwork on sale and the fantastically friendly staff who give their local competitors a run for their money. If that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, there’s also the option for hire for after-hours events, lunches, meetings and parties for up to 70, complete with canapé menus and even a wedding cake package. Tick, tick and tick.

Contact:

Address: 277 New Kings Road Fulham, London, SW6 4RD

Tel: 0207 751 9711               

Website

Nearest tube: Parsons Green

The Piano Bar, High Street Kensington

What do the critics say?

If you like cocktails, cosiness and live music, read on.  Quoted as being ‘one of the best nights out in London‘ by Edward Sullivan from the Evening Standard, The Piano Bar is nestled behind a single black door opposite Kensington High Street tube station.  With live piano playing six days a week until the clock strikes midnight, this wee place is a hidden gem.

What’s the vibe like?

If you favour flamboyance over minimalism, this may not be your bag.  Characterised by its cosy bistro interior, The Piano Bar is understated, continental chic with the real treasure lying in the gastronomy, cocktails and musical magic.  Like me, you may find yourself staying far later than planned, mesmerised by classics like ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ as you make your way through Vodka Martinis and Risotto Balls.

What of the menu?

The menu includes a range of treats from the Charcuterie Board to the mouth-watering Roast Pork Belly & Apple Slider on a Homemade Brioche Bun, with prices ranging from £5-10 for the Weekly Menu and £12 for the Buffet Menu (which must be ordered in advance). 

Do you need to book?

The only red flag is to book a table to avoid disappointment.  With no cover charge and a pretty special ambience, it’s no surprise The Piano Bar is popular. And if you get to hear Nick Reeve (aka the Pianoman) play, you’re in for a treat.

Contact:

Address: 106, Kensington High Street

Nearest tube: High Street Kensington

Website

Tel: 0207 938 4664

Hours: 

Tuesday-Friday, 5pm – midnight

Saturday-5pm – midnight

Sunday – 6pm – 11.30pm

Live Music:

Tuesday-Thursday 6pm – 11.30pm

Friday 6pm – midnight

Saturday 6pm – midnight

Sunday 8.30pm – 11.30pm

At a Career Crossroads?

Unsure about which way to turn professionally?

If you’re at a career impasse and free tomorrow eve, buy yourself a ticket to Escape the City’s talk with Louise Cox-Chester and Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley.

Who is the speaker?

Cox-Chester was a Director of several City banks and headed up a global team advising on over £50bn of assets. She attributes practicing mindfulness for the last 18 years as the greatest tool to help her manage life and be more effective, and has subsequently set up her own businesses that train on mindfulness at work.  Incongruous, impressive or all the above?

Who are Escape the City?

For those of you not in the know, Escape the City are top of the range career connoisseurs who connect people with exciting non-corporate career opportunities. Products of top corporate jobs themselves, they understand what motivates us, Generation Y and what may also drive us to look for more.. Whether a job running a winery in Argentina or an opportunity to buy into a desert island in the middle of nowhere, they offer refreshing opportunities a-plenty.

How do I find out more?

For more information, check out their website here.  They host regular talks led by successful entrepreneurs who have shifted path and made it – informative and inspiring, they provide a great opportunity to meet like-minded people wondering if there may be more to life… Go on, hop aboard.  You won’t regret it.

Buy your ticket here.

 

The Troubadour, Earls Court

One of my favourite venues in London, the Troubadour is a cafe-bar-restaurant-club extraordinaire you have to visit at least once.  With pots, pans and all sorts of trinkets hanging from the beam-lined ceilings, this is a fantastical hubbub as magical as Alice’s Wonderland.

Music, you say?

Located at 263-267 Old Brompton Road and established in 1954, The Troubadour is one of the last remaining coffee houses of its era in London, with a club room in the cellar which has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.  Steeped in artistry befitting its name (a Troubadour was a lyric poet or performer from the High Middle Ages), it continues to host live music and poetry, mainly by performers who write their own material.  The performance area downstairs remains an intimate space for 120, with a cosy underground jazz club feel, dance floor and cocktails served until the early hours.

What’s the cafe like?

The ground-floor cafe is a spell-binding affair which caters for every taste bud and budget.  From The Brompton Burger and chunky chips to ‘The Troubadour Trio’ – a scrumptious spread of hummus, taramasalata and pumpkin dip with pitta bread and crudités – you will not be disappointed.  The jungular garden nestled at the rear of the cafe is but another feature to enjoy on a warm summer’s eve.

What’s the Wine Shop like?

The variety doesn’t stop there, with the neighbouring Wine Shop providing a calm alternative to the fast pace of the cafe and club next door.  Available for private parties, it was also awarded the ‘Best Argentinian Wine Retailer of the Year’ in 2010.  Wine-tasting evenings and Troubadour Feasts are superbly hedonistic events involving a several course dinner based on a chosen region or country in return for paying a fixed fee and the promise of meeting new and interesting people (The Troubadour tends to attract engaging sorts).

Do they do private parties?

If that’s not enough for you, The Troubadour Gallery is an elegant room perfect for use as a private party room for drinks for up to 70 guests or a buffet lunch or supper for up to 50 people.  Located on the first floor, it is designed in classical fashion with wooden floors, large windows and high ceilings.

Not sure it’s your bag?

If you’re an artistic soul who enjoys the eclectic, visit The Troubadour.  It’s one of a kind.  And if you’re a touch nutty, wear a hat on a Tuesday and you’ll get a free dessert!

Contact

265 Old Brompton Rd, London SW5 9JA

Website

020 7370 1434

Music Gigs: £5 for advance online bookings / £7 on the door

Poetry Evenings: Mondays Fortnightly 

Hours: 9am-Late  

Duck & Waffle, London

Balancing atop the 40th floor of London’s Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle’s unique food and panoramic views give other city haunts a definite run for their money.

Inspired by broad European and British influences, the restaurant offers feast, fizz and fun 24/7 – from breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner through to late night menus.  And when I say 24/7 – it literally is open all night.  The all-day menu is served from 11am to 2am; the late night menu, from 2am until 6am; and breakfast, from 6am to 11am – hardly your average post-Disco venue.

With prices being generally medium-range (brunch or breakfast averages at about £20-£25 per head), it’s pretty affordable given its vertical appeal and designer vibe.  Though tempting to opt for your typical choices for breakfast or brunch, the restaurant’s name-sake dish – the duck and waffle – really is a must try.  Consisting of confit duck with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup, it might sound stomach churningly rich, but is a real treat for the taste buds and a great sharing plate if you want to balance it off with your standard fry up; with other unusual dishes including BBQ spiced crispy pig ears, bacon wrapped dates, spicy ox cheek doughnut and pollock meatballs with lobster cream.

Finally, if you’re on the hunt for a great private room with outstanding views, the restaurant has possibly the best in the capital.  With capacity for 20 people and a minimum spend of £1,000, it’s pretty reasonable value when all’s said and done.

So if you’re not vertigo afflicted and want to experience unrivalled, panoramic views with dishes and choices to match, Duck and Waffle it up.

Contact

Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Phone: 020 3640 7310

Website

Del’Aziz, Fulham

Nestled behind Fulham Broadway station on Vanston Place, Del’Aziz is a sensory experience extraordinaire. Like stepping into a Moroccan souk, this restaurant/cafe is a treasure chest of colour, texture and whispers of faraway lands.

Dimly lit come evening with candles galore and a variety of spacious sharing tables to choose from, the relaxed deli area is the perfect place for a laid-back date while the elegant restaurant offers the more traditional dining experience.

Tagine-tastic

With Eastern Mediterranean and North African roots, Del’Aziz boasts a host of exotic dishes from Persian shish and mezze platters with fresh tzatziki to couscous and slow cooked tagines served in beautiful terracotta pots.

Pricing

Prices range from £5 for a small mezze dish to £8-15 for most bigger plates, with meal deals including a Sunday burger, fries and a glass of wine or beer for £10. Pretty reasonable for an unusual joint with unique selling points a plenty.

Cocktails, Jazz ‘n’ Belly Dancing

The cocktail menu is extensive, with Mojito Night every Thursday and Friday in the Fulham and Clapham branches (£3 a pop until 11pm).  For music lovers, there’s live jazz every Thursday from 7:30pm while the more risqué amongst you may enjoy the belly dancing displays most Friday and Saturday nights from 9:00pm. The Clapham branch also boasts the atmospheric downstairs Zahra bar, with club nights every Friday from 10pm till late.

Fit for Kids?

If it’s a tot-friendly outfit you’re after, the children’s menu for under 8s is a snip at £5.50 for chicken fillet with saffron rice or chicken nuggets with chunky fries.

Other Branches

Whether you want to eat-in, take-away or are looking for ready-made canapés, full-on dinner party delights or part or exclusive hire of a kooky venue for a special occasion, Del’Aziz covers every base.  With branches in Bankside, Bermondsey, Swiss Cottage and Clapham, this is an escapist adventure I would recommend to all.

Contact 

Address: 24 – 32 Vanston Place, London SW6 1AX

Website

Nearest tube: Fulham Broadway

Email: reservations@delaziz.co.uk

Tel: 020 7386 0086