One type of food I don’t have very often is Lebanese, I’ve been to one Lebanese restaurant before and I really enjoyed that so I was excited to hear about a new restaurant launching in Belgravia called Abd El Wahab. They already have some popular branches in the Middle East so I was excited to see what they had on offer.
Upon arrival we were given a glass of Prosecco and made our way to the table where Sam and I were sat with some other bloggers. The restaurant decor is elegant and modern with a unique green nature wall.
The Lebanese culture is to share lots of mezze dishes together, so to start we shared a range of hot and cold starters such as stuffed vine leaves, fattouch salad, sausages and baba ganoush. The fattouch salad was very fresh with peppers, tomatoes and crunchy toasted bread pieces. Lebanese food wouldn’t be complete without some hummus, this was deliciously creamy and served with fresh warm bread, it was hard to stop myself filling up on just this. Another very tasty dish was the cheese rolls, the crunchy filo pastry complemented the soft creamy cheese so well.
Next up was the mixed grill, this was definitely my favourite savoury dish. The chicken was incredible, it had been marinated with spices and was served with crisp tomato flatbread, potato and marinated lamb.
We then moved onto desserts, sampling an array of fruit and baklava’s. The baklava’s were sweet with a crispy pastry. The maamoul flake was the star of the show, it looked a bit like a cloud with candy floss on top. It had a floral taste of rose and a sugary sweet taste from the Ghaz El Banet (Lebanese cotton candy) which went really well with the crunchy biscuit base.
Plate restaurant and bar is located in the modern and stylish M by Montcalm hotel in Shoreditch. I recently visited to try out their new after work deal, for only £10 you can get unlimited ribs and wings! This is on every Thursday from 6 – 730pm. Pair the ribs and wings with some cocktails or wine and it’s a brilliant way to celebrate that it’s nearly Friday and to have a catch up with your mates.
When you arrive at the hotel the bar is immediately to your right hand side. There’s some sofas and chairs downstairs and lots of seating and another bar upstairs. Upstairs they also have an open plan kitchen so you can see the chefs hard at work.
I met a group of bloggers and Instagrammers near the bar and we enjoyed some Prosecco and wine. We were then served the ribs and wings covered in a spicy sauce and topped with chilli, they were sticky, spicy and succulent. The ribs were cooked to perfection with the meat falling off the bone. You’ll most likely end up making a lot of mess but it’s so worth it. There’s also bowls with lemon to wash your hands in. Once you’ve finished they’ll keep bringing you more tasty ribs and wings, until you’re way too full for anymore.
I had a great evening and really enjoyed the ribs & wings, (seriously craving some right now) and for £10 it’s a pretty good deal!
The deal is valid from 6 – 7.30pm on Thursdays
Plate also serve a range of British dishes with a French twist, serving food throughout the day to snack or share, or you could just pop in for a coffee and cake.
For more information about Plate Restaurant click here
I’m obsessed with Gin so when an invite to Brockmans press for gin event landed in my inbox I immediately accepted. An evening of gin, food and live music, what could be better?
Upon arrival we were handed some lacey black eye masks and a wrist band with 4 pull off tabs, throughout the night we were served 4 gins. We received our first gin of the night, the Perfect Serve which contained Brockmans Gin, Fever Tree, Blackberries and Pink Grapefruit, this was so refreshing and fruity. We were then shown to our table, Sam and I were sat with around 8 other people. The table was beautifully decorated with flowers, a mysterious box and a menu of the gins and small plates.
When everyone was seated, the talented singer Tony Bowen performed for us. Throughout the night you could request songs you wanted him to play and there was a big screen displaying all of our #PressForGin tweets. The guest who posted the most on social media got to win a year’s supply of gin! They even had a GIF booth, where you could take boomerang photos and send them to your mobile.
Our first small plate was Cassia Bark smoked aubergine and courgette terrine with goat’s cheese sorbet, this was a light and tasty dish. When you finish your dishes and drinks you can press the Press For Gin button, I seriously need one of these in my house! The tables are served in order of who pressed the button first but make sure you don’t press twice as you’ll be moved to the back of the queue.
We were then treated to a surprise performance by a very talented lady who swung from the ceiling in the middle of the tables and tied herself in knots, she captivated the whole rooms attention. After this fabulous performance we hit the press for gin button and were served our second gin of the evening, the Gin-Tiki which comprised of Brockmans Gin, falernum, lemon and almond. This was definitely my favourite gin, the lemon went so well with the smooth Brockmans gin. It was paired with the second dish, which was Tomato and Liquorice tea, silver langoustine stock cube with squid ink gnocchi. I was a little unsure of this one as I wasn’t sure about squid ink, but the gnocchi was tasty. We were given a teapot to pour tea over the stock cube which created a soup-like dish, it was such unique dish, something I’d never seen before.
To gain our third cocktail we had to solve a mystery, each gin-tiki cocktail had a letter on a scroll, we had to work as a team to unscramble the word from these letters and unlock the secret chest in the middle of the table. It took us a while to work this out but we managed to open the chest. It was full of magical potions, essences powder and foam to create our next drink. There were instructions on how to create this cocktail, it was full of a mix of flavours and sweet powders. By this point in the evening people were starting to feel the effect of all the gin, with people dancing around the room and enjoying themselves. The dish to compliment this cocktail was the almond crusted oxtail bon bon with pickled blackberries, gin aioli and micro coriander. This was my favourite dish of the night, it was so tender and flavoursome, I could have eaten so many of them!
We were then ready for our final cocktail, the bleeding heart with Brockmans Gin, ginger, vanilla and kombucha. I really enjoyed this gin and once finished you could eat the cherry (at least I think it was a cherry) once you bit into it it popped and you could taste a sweet flavour with a tang of gin. This was served alongside our final savoury dish of the night which was Duck heart and gin cured duck breast yakitoris. These arrived on skewers and I enjoyed the duck breast but thought the duck heart was a bit too fatty for me. We then queued up at the desert table and tried some smoking meringues, jelly and salted chocolate ice cream which were all insanely delicious!
If you love gin then definitely try and get some tickets to one of their events, it’s a very exciting and unusual night and you get the chance to try so many amazing cocktails!
Brockmans run events throughout the year, this event cost £25 through Design My Night, which is pretty good value for 4 drinks, small plates and entertainment!
I’ve never been on a skiing holiday before, the idea of skiing kind of scares me a bit, I have terrible balance and would probably fall over a lot. Saying that, I’m always jealous of people’s skiing holiday photos – staying in cosy chalets and being surrounded by beautiful snowy mountains really appeals to me. So when Talented Talkers invited me to a Club Med bloggers event learning to ski at an indoor centre in London, I thought I’d give it a go. The bloggers invited ranged from people who had never skied before to those who hadn’t been skiing for years.
Upon arriving at Chel-Ski we were taken upstairs to the alpine bar for a mocktail, it’s important not to drink before skiing as if you do have accidents whilst drunk then this can invalidate your travel insurance. After our mocktails we were taken back downstairs to put on our ski boots. Chel-Ski has two slopes with three people to one slope, with some instructors to help. The slope was mechanical so once turned on you can either be pulled backwards to the top or slide down the slope towards the bar.
We started off at the bottom of the slope holding onto a metal bar. The instructor then turns the slope on and the slope pulls you backwards. The first time he did this we all hilariously started trying to walk back down with our skis on, they immediately turned the slope off. The instructors explained how to position our skis and we had a few attempts being near the bar. Being close to the bar made me feel safer as I knew I had something to grab onto. The instructors then said we were ready to go to the top of the slope. They turned the slope on and we were all slowly pulled back to the top of the slope. Once at the top I was pretty nervous, but the instructors were very reassuring and even held my hand for a bit to help pull me down the slope. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be and I enjoyed a lot of it.
The one thing I found confusing was the positioning of the skis, the instructors did explain this well but I have terrible coordination and ended up being pulled backwards when I wanted to ski down the slope. The other thing I didn’t expect was how much hard work it would be, my calves were already hurting after 10 minutes. I couldn’t stay on the slopes for very long as my legs hurt too much. However, I did enjoy this lesson despite being pretty nervous, I think it’s a great way to learn before you commit to going on a skiing holiday. Also, a few of the bloggers said it’s a lot easier skiing on the snow than the slopes here which is great as I found the mechanical slopes a bit confusing.
After our session we got a bit of time to watch the other bloggers skiing and some of them were very impressive. There were a few falls but everyone was fine and they said it didn’t hurt much.
My favourite part was definitely apres ski, this is the main reason I’d love to go skiing. Getting cosy in the warm, drinking a few cocktails and enjoying some fondue sounds like my kinda holiday.
We all headed upstairs to the alpine lodge for some drinks, food and to play some board games. I tried some Tartiflette, a French dish with creamy potato, onions, cheese and bacon – it was so delicious and comforting. Throughout the evening we drank a lot of Prosecco and feasted on chocolate fondue with marshmallows and strawberries. I also got the chance to check out Club Med’s resorts through their virtual reality headsets and their skiing holidays look incredible!
I’d highly recommend trying indoor skiing, it’s a great way to give it a go and see if you like it. Even if you aren’t great or feel nervous the first time, you can always come back for some more lessons.
4 Sotheron Place, London SW6 2EJ
You can read Club Med’s post about the event here.
Have any of you been skiing before?
*Thanks to Club Med & Talented Talkers for organising such a fab event, the photos are all from Fordtography*
The ideal home show is an amazing place for interior design and inspiration, offering a selection of products from sofas and hot tubs to smaller accessories. The show is located at Olympia London, the building is massive so there’s a lot of stalls you can visit, you can easily spend the whole day there. They also have talks running throughout the day with four different stages you can visit. The super theatre offered a range of talks about the home with talks on property, money saving and decluttering. Feel good stage is all about healthy living and fitness and the foodie stage is where chefs demonstrate how to cook some lovely dishes. The drinks station offers information about Gins, Wines and Craft Beer along with demonstrations on how to make some tasty cocktails. I visited the feel good stage for a talk by Online Health Coach Max Lowery and Calum Best, about why exercise isn’t the be all and end all for weight loss.
Here’s a small selection of some of the brands that were there:
Furnish Your Home
Furnish Your Home sell a range of stylish home furniture such as chairs, lighting and dining sets. The designs are very sleek and modern, my favourite piece was this pink sofa, I absolutely love the style and colour! I also really liked this ruby coloured lounging chair Pure-Ex
I love the pastel colours and retro design of these products, one day I really want to buy a pink Smeg fridge, although spending over £1000 for a fridge is a lot of money.
The Eat & Drink festival is also on at Olympia London at the same time and entry is free with Ideal Home tickets. They served a huge range of food such as German sausages, curries, burgers, cakes and cookies. Sam and I tried poutine which is chips, gravy and cheese curds, we really liked it when we visited Canada and it’s a delicious comfort food. If you fancy a cocktail or beer there’s plenty of bars to choose from and they even had a gin bar!
Royal wedding cake competitionWe had a really good time at the Ideal Home Show, if you’re renovating your house or just looking for some finishing touches then it’s definitely worth a visit. I’d also recommend having a look at what’s on before you go as they have some really good talks going on. Having the Eat & Drink Festival on at the same time was really good, you can get pretty hungry after walking around for ages looking at all the amazing interiors and homeware.
You can find out more about the show and book tickets on their website here.
Nearest tube: Kensington
Have you been to the Ideal Home Show before?
*I was invited to Ideal Home Show by Furnish Your Home, but all opinions remain my own*
Pop up events in London are super popular and it’s even better when a pop up goes permanent, as it makes it a lot easier to get tickets. This is what happened with ABQ, they started out as a temporary pop up in 2015 and they’re now permanently based in the Hackney area. So, on Wednesday evening, I headed there for an evening of cooking cocktails in an RV – Breaking Bad style!
Upon arrival you get changed into a bright yellow lab coat. There’s also Goggle’s and masks available. They have around eleven cocktails to choose from. I went for the martini which you have to make in pairs, as six of us choose this we all made it together. They also have another cocktail which is a minimum of four people, the rest of them you can order by yourself. On Sunday’s you can make a Bloody Mary cocktail.
For my second cocktail I went for the ABQ breakfast which was a mixture of rice crispies, almond milk and kahlua. It also comes with a side of orange juice and vodka. You use the dry ice to infuse your drink with cinnamon.
I really enjoyed the experience, the RV was a lot of fun and the music was really good too! The cocktails weren’t the best that I’ve had but that’s probably because your making them yourself. It was fun making them though and seeing how everyone else’s cocktails were made. I loved mixing the cocktails with dry ice and creating the bubble foam for the top of the drinks.
If you’re a Breaking Bad fan then you’ll love this place! There were a few people there who hadn’t seen it so if you just love cocktails and want a fun night out then it’s worth a visit too!
Price – £32.50 gets you two hours in the RV which includes two cocktails and a welcome drink. I’d recommend booking a slot on their website as when we visited it was full.