When I think “West End”, the hustle & bustle of soho and the theatre immediately come to mind. However, even though I’m partial to a show and a meal, I’ve never succumbed to the traditional “pre-theatre dinner”… until now. Like many people (I can imagine), I normally don’t like being offered a limited menu or eating at awkward times – but MASH completely changed this!

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After watching the first half of The Cursed Child, we made our way to MASH on Brewer Street. If you’re a fan of double puns, you will love the fact that MASH stands for “Modern American Steak House”, on top of their infamous “mash potato with onion and bacon” on offer.

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a sneak peak at the normal menu

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We started with the salad and charcuterie to share (unlimited bread was also given to us). The salad was dressed deliciously and the nuts were honey glazed, a lovely surprise.

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I chose the Uruguay Rib-eye and George had the American Steak. Even though MASH serve the finest cuts of steak such as Wagyu on their norman menu, we weren’t expecting anything special from the £22 two-course menu (when the average price for a London steak will cost in excess of £30). However, the American steak won me over! It was packed full of flavour and very tender, my Rib-eye was slightly fatty in some parts but generally an incredibly tender piece of meat. We sat there in silence, beaming from ear to ear, trying to make it last as long as possible.

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The absolute highlight of the meal for both of us was the creamy spinach. I have never had anything like it. In many of the steak-houses I have eaten at, creamy spinach is normally a delicious wilted spinach, garlic and cream concoction. MASH, however, added cheese into the mix and it was almost impossible not completely inhale it. The portion sizing of the sides was suitable due to the richness of both the spinach and the mac and cheese, but this is one of the reasons I will definitely be heading back here soon! Two two-course pre-theatre dinners (at a reasonable time) in the heart of Soho and a bottle of wine (including service) came to £75, it doesn’t get much more of a steal than that.

Next time you’re thinking pre-theatre and you’re in the mood for steak, you know where to go!

 

 

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when fad diets are plastered across media outlets across the nation for that one week holiday. The time of year when sunny weekends are spent in pub gardens or reuniting over a BBQ with the friends you see twice a year at New Year or in summer. The time of year that many people spend most of their year longing for, including me!

After finally finishing University, I headed to Croatia for a well-deserved break with my best friends.

In one week we packed in so many experiences. However, there is only one place to start;

The Old Town

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Dubrovnik has gained popularity by being one of the filming locations for the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones. It’s easy to see why the producers chose Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The gothic and romanesque architecture combined with the quaint side streets that are littered with lanterns, restaurants and galleries exude romance and mystery.

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Bars

Just a note on Buza Bar – the “bar on the rocks” that everyone will recommend to you if you go. For us, Buza Bar really wasn’t anything special. Its location was ideal, in The Old Town and just off of the Ancient City Walls overlooking the ocean. However, they weren’t serving any cocktails, any rose wine or any champagne, we only had a choice of beer or red or white wine which some may find quite limited. The wine was pricey and served in individual mini bottles with a plastic cup instead of straight from a normal bottle in a wine glass. I understand the safety of having glass near a cliff, but seeing as half of the seating isn’t even directly next to the view, it seemed like a rip off. Just a heads up!

However, there IS a bar with a sea view that I would highly recommend. The Cave Bar in Lapad was the highlight of my trip.IMG_5166

The drinks were the same price as Buza Bar (around £6-7) for a cocktail. However, the drinks were stunningly made and the views were incredible, additionally, the seating isn’t cramped together. The Cave Bar earns its name from the interior design of the bar, which is built inside a cave.

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There aren’t many seats inside, but to be honest, we found it more rewarding to sit outside and just visit the interior to take photos.

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Food

One of our lovely meals out in the Old Town was in a square that we stumbled upon (a short walk from Buza Bar). There are many restaurants in Dubrovnik, I’d say 80% of the establishments in The Old Town were restaurants and bars, most offering seafood and pasta dishes. You’ll be able to find lobster and other delicasies in Dubrovnik if you do your research!

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Calamari HAD to be done at least once on this trip (okay, it happened twice), nothing beats fresh seafood on holiday.

Beaches

Top Beach Tip – Take waterproof shoes for the beach. I noticed sea urchins in shallow water often and most of Dubrovnik’s beaches are either pebbly or rocky, so beach shoes are definitely useful.

We managed to squeeze in a boat trip to the Elaphiti Islands, which many companies will advertise as the “three-island boat trip”.

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In all honesty, if you are in a group or if you have the money to spend on a private boat, I would do that instead! We had a blast, but I feel like I have to warn people about cheap boat trips in case they feel disappointed. We visited Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep. Lopud is famous for its sandy beach, which is a rare find in Croatia. There isn’t much to do on Lopud apart from lounge around on the beach or visit the botanical gardens, but it’s definitely worth a day trip.

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Lopud Beach

Copacabana Beach in Babin Kuk is a beautiful beach with views of the mountains, the scenery was by far my favourite. We also passed some tourist shops on the way to the beach with prices slightly cheaper than in The Old Town.

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Copacabana Beach

Lapad Beach was on the doorstep of our accommodation. Next to the water, Lopud is lined with high-quality restaurants and rock platforms to lie on if you don’t fancy the pebbles. Moving away from the beach, you will find an extensive range of restaurants and bars – many of which are much cheaper than The Old Town.IMG_5035

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Banje Beach is probably the most famous in Dubrovnik as it’s the closest to The Old Town. We enjoyed cocktails and food service to our sunbeds. As the day starts to end, the beach-goers head home as the bar turns into a popular nightclub.

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Banje Beach

 

I hope I’ve inspired you all to visit Dubrovnik some day, it’s even a great place for a long weekend break. My next stop is Bali…Stay Tuned!

Where is everyone going on holiday this summer?

Hello, fellow foodies!

The last four weeks have been the most intense of my university life. I can finally say that as of Monday I will be done with my degree and done with university. I can’t wait to be a graduate and have time to blog again. Here are my top recommendations of the week, they’re going to include some of the best places I have eaten at over the past month. Enjoy!

The Orange, Chelsea

English classics with a twist

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Rabbit pie with asparagus. This dish was rich and tender with articulate presentation, far more artsy than your standard steak and ale!

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Tender lamb rump with potato puree, new season onion and wild garlic. This was my dish, I’ve never had pink lamb before but it was beautiful.  

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I wish I had picked this! Gnocchi with smoked garlic cream. Rich and heavenly.

Il Borgo, Kensington

A slice of Italy in London, the wall art and fish tanks will keep you looking around the room, rather than your phone!

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After craving gnocchi since visiting The Orange, I had to have the gorgonzola gnocchi at Il Borgo. Definitely worth a visit just for this.

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Calamari will always be a personal favourite, especially when served with aioli.

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Laduree, Covent Garden

Macarons are a food of the gods, the vanilla and salted caramel ones blew me away! Thanks to my bestie for getting me these for my birthday. Macarons used to scare me because I thought they were all marzipan flavoured for some unknown reason, but low and behold they’re not, and they’re awesome.

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Pix, Soho

This is something for a fun Friday night. Instead of going out for a normal meal, go to Pix in Soho and pick and choose exactly what you want to eat, the tapas style portions are so much fun and it’s great for sharing and conversation!

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With the same idea in mind as Yo Sushi, you pick as many tapas portions as you want and pay at the end. Tapas with the long sticks are £3.50 and small sticks are £2.50. It’s easy to rack up a big bill in here if you aren’t watching what you are doing, so be careful!

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The truffle oil, artichoke and parmesan toast were my favourite, closely followed by the prosciutto and quails egg. This is a great spot for people who love picky food or just want a light dinner.

So there we have it, those are my top foodie picks from the last month. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to visit these places, because they were all to die for.

Happy Friday!

Chiltern Firehouse is renowned for it’s affiliation with celebrities and high flyers. Unlike some other top end restaurant’s in London, Chiltern Firehouse has no dress code but “smart-casual” is preferred – it’s entry policy is more based upon who you are rather than what you’re wearing.

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We started off with champs as we ogled over the wine menu. Something I was unaware of before I arrived was the “hidden garden behind the mirror” … but more on that later. Now for the bit you’re all waiting for, the food!

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Bacon cornbread with chipotle-maple butter 

The menu is packed full of wicked and wonderful unique creations. You’ll be able to find certain ‘classics’, but they’ll be combined with flavours to create dishes that I doubt many people will have experienced before.

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My starter was a “steak tartare” – packed with chipotle and hot sauce to add a spicy twist to this classic

I seriously could have eaten more of this, I loved the spicy kick.

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George had “Hay-roasted pigeon with walnut mole and yoghurt” – beautifully presented

I was nervous to try pigeon for the first time. Nevertheless, I’m never one to shy away from experimenting with food. All I can say is that it reminded me of a rare duck breast, but with a faint gamey taste – it wasn’t unpleasant by any means.

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The ‘Alice in Wonderland-esque’ “drink me” bottle was filled with BBQ sauce, combined with the dill on the toast was a unique fusion of flavours.

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“Aged beef fillet with mushroom caramel and roasted onions” 

My beef fillet had a hint of “oak-smoke” on the crust, which gave it a blackened outside and a perfectly rare interior, just the way I like it! Unfortunately, it seems like they left the whole “wow factor” of the plate down to the texture and quality of the meat (which in all fairness was incredible). However, the onions were a little too vapid for my liking as big bold flavours are my thing and the mushroom caramel didn’t add too much either, but they made my plate look charming nevertheless.

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George’s slow-cooked lamb with artichoke was beautifully tender.

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The meal was finished off with a bang as they brought out my chocolate pudding (of course I chose the chocolate pudding) with a personalised “happy birthday.”

After all of the wine and lovely food, we carried our drinks down to the loo’s (yes, the loo’s), which aren’t unisex but both contain mirrored doors that lead to a hidden garden.

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 Head out here for “Cigarettes and men” 

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The heated outdoor area made us feel like we were on a street in Bali and the soundproofing added a wonderful serenity to the area as we sipped on our Malbec’s.

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Thank-you Chiltern Firehouse for making my birthday extra special!

Hello everyone, I’m back on the blog after a few weeks of focusing on intense of Uni work and this one’s a real corker!

What’s better than chocolate? Chocolate dipped in chocolate of course.

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‘Said’ is an exquisite chocolatier on Broadwick Street in Soho. The scent of cocoa, coffee and indulgence hits you as you walk through the door.

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Here comes the fun part! Said’s infamous melted chocolate mecca will make you lose your mind.

Choose your preferred hot drink or sweet treat including the popular “chocolate cup” (yes, thats purely a cup made out of chocolate) and have it smothered in melted chocolate. This really is a chocaholic paradise.

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There’s no embarrassment here, as you take a cheeky look around the shop you’ll notice everyone else licking their cups clean, so go ahead! At the bottom of the cappuccino was a glorious surprise, even more melted chocolate.

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I felt like I had been transported into Willy Wonka’s world where everything is edible and there are no limits to how extravagant you can make your order. However, if overindulgence isn’t your thing, then they offer unique individual chocolates such as “black tea and mint” for the adventurous foodies.

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Beware, Said is extremely popular and we were lucky to arrive before a queue started forming out of the door. Similar to a few niche places in London, you may have to wait a while for service due to it being so busy but it will be well worth it.

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So, if your mouth is dribbling and all you can envisage for this weekend is drowning in chocolate, then head to Said.

If you want to visit: 41 Broadwick St, London W1F 9QL