Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Kate and Chelsie's Must Try Of The Week: Jean Paul Gaultier Tattoo Coca Cola Cans


Diet Coca Cola by Jean Paul Gaultier Night & Day Cans

Jean Paul Gaultier is the newly-appointed director of Diet Coke, and since then he has been hard at work designing his own innovative twist on Coca-Cola's bottles and cans.These fabulously designed featured cans are part of Gaultier's new limited edition collection entitled


'Day' and 'Night'; which incorporate all the design elements of his signature fragrances. The 'Night' design (picture left), is a feminine seductive corset based on the one worn by Madonna on her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. Whilst the 'Day' design (picture right) features the Breton stripes that are trademark to the Gaultier brand.
It is of no secret that in recent years Coca-Cola has become increasingly involved with designer collaborations and as a result the bottles have been transformed into both collectable items and fashionable must haves! Jean Paul Gaultier is the latest in an impressive line of designer predecessors who include: Matthew Williamson, Gianfranco Ferre, Marni, Karl Largerfield and Robert Cavalli. The cans and bottles are available across Europe at select retails from July-September 2012.
We found these cans in a small cafe in Bruges, Belgium. These cans were priced at 1.20 Euro each.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Volupté, Afternoon Tease!


The Oxford dictionary defines the word 'burlesque' as: A variety show, typically including striptease. In reality burlesque is so much more then that; it's an art, it's glamours, it's empowering, it's a symbol of femininity and most importantly it's fun.

The origins of burlesque began in 19th century British music halls, where the term referenced theatrical entrainment. In the 1860's curvaceous, undressed women were introduced to keep the audience interested, in Victorian England women desperately tried to conceal their body shape so the prospect of beautiful young ladies appearing on stage in very little was extremely endearing. In the same year, Britain's Lydia Thompson became burlesques first star and helped to bring burlesque to America. In the late 1860s her burlesque band 'The British Blondes' became New York's biggest theatrical sensation grossing over $370,000 in their first season! The 1920's saw the rise of film and radio, so in a bid to compete strip tease was introduced to offer something both film and radio could not.


However, to avoid total nudity and the unwanted attention that it would bring from the authorities alongside pleasing their audience burlesque ladies would cover their privates with flimsy underwear and use 'pasties' to cover their nipples. Moving forward to the 1940's Hollywood was emerging with a glamourous, sexy image giving rise to the 'pin up girl'. In this era, burlesque nightclubs began to emerge with new, more enticing routines and costumes. The most prominent examples of these were Lili St Cxyr with her onstage bubble bath act, and Evangeline the original Oyster girl. The 1950's paid homage to the female form, were the hourglass figure was in style and the corset was back in full fashion. It is argued, that traditional burlesque origins can be seen in Marilyn Monroe's famous screen acts which combine both comedy with teasing. In the burlesque world Miss Monroe had her own imitator, Dixie Evans who would reveal more than Monroe while dancing with a Joe di Maggio dummy. In recent times the burlesque world has been undergoing a worldwide revival, as the scene is exploding with gorgeous women like the iconic Dita Von Teese.

Tucked away in the home of burlesque itself, you will find Volupté near Chancery Lane in central London. Like us, allow yourself to be transported back to the golden era of Burlesque.



Having no previous experience with the world of burlesque, I was not sure what to expect and dare I admit a little nervous. Approaching the front door we were welcomed warmly and directed to Volupté's incredible Bon Bon bar for pre show drinks! The bar is completely unique and one of a kind; smothered with pick and mix for purchase, candy trees that looked oh so delicious doted on the bar, a highly skilled bartender eagerly awaiting to create your wondrous cocktails with only the freshest ingredients and a box filled with elaborate nipple tassels! Moving away from the bar itself, your treated to old school music, black and white silent TVs showing a host of classics including Betty Boop and an incredible atmosphere created by the excitement oozing from hen parties, couples and friends dressed in vintage attire.

In need of a refreshment we asked the bartender to suggest some cocktails for us because the choice is so vast. We tried cocktails from the 'Show Stoppers' section; I chose the sweet 'Porn Star Martini' which contained Stoli vanilla and Passoa teamed with passion fruit puree and vanilla sugar accompanied with a shot of St Evremond champagne. Chelsie selected 'French 77' which is comprised of St Germain elderflower liqueur shaken with fresh lemon juice and a dash of sugar crowned with champagne. The drinks we enjoyed at Bon Bon bar are the best cocktails we have tried worldwide to date!

At Volupté you are beckoned for afternoon tea per booking rather then as a whole, ensuring that from the onset your service is of the very highest standard. Afternoon Tease is served downstairs, were the theme is transformed with the helping hand of memorabilia typical of the golden buresque era. Dotted around the walls you will see framed pictures of both fictional and real burlesque icons and a secluded area equip with a dreamy backdrop, an inviting settee and bird cages- a perfect photo opportunity! Our waitress guided us to our reserved table that was the perfect combination of beauty and intimacy. A novel touch that both Chelsie and I were fond of and had previously not experienced was the deliberately muddled vintage chinaware. As the room began to fill up and our afternoon tea orders were taken; I found myself growing increasingly excited with the anticipation of what we would be instore for us!



The show began a little differently from what I was expecting; we were treated with an introduction to our afternoon tea frolics by a gentleman called David the Bear. David who was dressed with a remarkable likeness to the 'Village People' humorously warmed the audience up with jokes, a very unique rendition of Justin Timberlake's 'Sexyback' and of course an introduction to our first burlesque lady. The first act of the 'Afternoon Tease' was a cabaret performance. In which we were serenaded beautifully with dare I say some additional tongue and cheek humour thrown in! The wonderful thing about Volupté is the intimacy of your seating; because you are so close to your burlesque beauties you truly feel a connection to the performance. As the lady sang, she made her way around the numerous tables, and even went as bold as to demand a spanking from one of the gentlemen in the audience!

The following act from the cabaret was our first true experience with the world of Burlesque! The lady came onto the stage with a divine, flamboyant Union Jack costume. The music began to play 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen, and as the music flowed so did her routine which in turn got the audience atmosphere buzzing. The routine was a delightful mix of naughty, playful humour in which she captivated her audience. The grand finale involved a tasteful strip to reveal to us all her Union Jack nipple tassels and thong; with a rainfall of glitter! I really enjoyed my first burlesque act, and I found myself contemplating asking her after the show where I could purchase some Union Jack tassels! The performances at Volupté operate in 15 minute intervals which meant it was afternoon tea time and a much needed opportunity to have a chinwag about the performances we had just seen!


Our waitress Rachel smiled warmly as we were presented with our cute two tiered afternoon tea. Rachel talked through the different items on the stand, before we were left to indulge. Afternoon Tease includes all of usual afternoon tea favourites, the selection of finger sandwiches included the following: Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill on Whole Grain Bread, Honey-Roasted Ham and English Mustard on Walnut Bread, Egg Mayonnaise and Cress on Basil Bread, Chicken and Avocado on Caraway Bread, and Roasted Beef and Horseradish on Beetroot Bread. The food had a homemade feel to it, which can be a nice alternative to the offerings at hotels. Our favourite sandwich in the selection was the chicken and avocado; which was bursting with freshness alongside having flavours that complemented each other very well. We enjoyed our savoury part of the afternoon tea with a flute of Picasa champagne and refreshing glass of still water.

To welcome in Act 2; David the Bear returned to the stage dressed in a delectable sailor outfit and introduced to us all the next act a magician. This act involved a considerable amount of interaction with the audience, as he bedazzled us with time travelling tricks and the ability to freeze water! Alas, we were not given the secrets to his tricks but it was very enjoyable. We were then treated to another burlesque act, which differed greatly to the first as we saw the lady transform from a geek chick similar to Sandy from Grease dressed in pink, to a true Rick James Superfreak!



The mouthwatering scones and desserts were awaiting us during the interval. Keeping inline with the homemade theme, we were treated to freshly baked, warm fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The desserts were comprised of: chocolate shots, cherry Bakewell slices and lemon tarts with passion fruit. A special mention must go to the desserts as they were just heavenly, especially the chocolate shot! Kate and I prefer to enjoy our tea with desserts which we did on this occasion, the tea selection is impressive with the following options available: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Lapsang Souchong, Peppermint, Assam, Ceylon Tea, Chamomile, Apple and Mango, Red Fruits, Rose Congu, Green Tea Sencha, China Jasmine Green Tea, Japanese Cherry (Green Japanese Sencha flavoured with natural cherry). I selected the Rose Congu, and Kate selected the refreshing Apple and Mango tea. We must say that we really enjoyed the novel combination of delicious dinning and entrainment.

At Volupté there is a special item on the 'Afternoon Tease' menu that Chelsie and I indulged in, and as a result of our love for it we strongly urge you to try the alcoholic tea! We tried the Hot Toddy, which is served just like regular tea, but has a distinct kick to it! The varieties include:

Hot Toddy - Scotch, Cinnamon, Cloves, Orange, Honey, Gunfire


Lapsang Souchong Tea, Dark Rum


Amarettea - Di Saronno, Earl Grey Tea, Double Cream


From Russia With Love - Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, vanilla syrup, coffee


La Choco Noisette - Di Saronno, Frangelico, vanilla syrup, hot chocolate.


The final part of the show welcomed back David the Bear with no dress change, much to our dismay and our final burlesque act for the afternoon. The final act heavily incorporated the spirt and glamour of the Moulin Rouge with her beautiful feather adorned outfit. The lady once again sang to us, but this time combined both dance and burlesque undressing. This final performance was a sensual ending to our Volupté experience!




Volupte ‘AfternoonTease' begins at 2.30 and finishes around 5pm, Kate and I feel this is a truly perfect place for an alternative gathering with the girls on a Saturday afternoon. The Volupté afternoon tease experience combines great entrainment with quintessentially English cruisine- which we adored. 

Volupte ‘AfternoonTease'caters for all dietary requirements but notice should be given prior to attendance.

There is no official dress code for Afternoon Tease! Guests can and indeed do dress up in their feathers and finery; which we think is brilliant!

Afternoon Tease! @ Volupté runs from 14.30 - 17.00

Tickets for Afternoon Tease! are £42, this includes full afternoon tea and a table for the afternoon.

You can book tickets either online using the links below, you can also email Volupte's reservations team on reservations@volupte-lounge.com or you can call them on 0207 831 1622. Please don't contact Time For Tease to make your reservation.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Frankenstein Bar, Edinburgh


Located in the beautiful, yet historical capital of Scotland, Edinburgh you will find the quirky, one of a kind 'Frankenstein Bar'. The bar is conveniently located near to the popular tourist stop, 'Greyfriars Bobby' which is a small tribute statue to the true story of the loyal Skye Terrier and not far from the Royal Mile.

Frankenstein as the name implies is based on the central infamous character of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel. The bar is contained within a converted church, and is comprised of three levels; the main bar on the ground floor is full of atmospheric dark wood panels, elaborate decor including giant TV screens playing cult horror classics, booths and stools occupying the floor and even 'the original shocker machine' electric chair! The second bar is located at basement level and the third occupies the gallery, offering both seating and great views down into the main bar. Going beyond the obviously cool setting, that is a must for any horror addict, Frankenstein offers guests both an impressive selection of delicious drinks and hunger quenching food made from only the highest quality ingredients including; main meals, light bites, burgers and sandwiches, salads and sides and desserts!




Kate and Chelsie's Experience 
Last month Kate and I visited Edinburgh to attend the fabulous 'Fringe Festival' which is held annually throughout August. After one of the performances, we were looking for a location to enjoy some cocktails to kick start our evening; when we wondered past Frankenstein. We were initially drawn to the bar out of curiosity, when we saw a larger then life shackled statue of Frankenstein himself looming in the entrance! As we entered the bar we were taken aback by the decor surrounding us; which is nothing short of amazing and the great atmosphere which was aided by the classic old school hits being played. 

Kate and I took minutes to decided on our first cocktail; as I approached the bar I was impressed with firstly the vast selection of alcoholic drinks available and how friendly the bartender was when preparing our drinks in front of me. I selected the classic Long Island Ice Tea and Kate selected the very sweet Dune Bug; our cocktails were very tasty and perfect to sip on whilst talking and taking in the ambience. However, all of sudden the bells began to ring thunderously throughout the bar, there was chilling insane laughter and as we looked up in suspense; Frankenstein himself suspended in the air began to be lowered down and terrifyingly woke up! This continued for a roughly ten minutes; but was actually very enjoyable to watch. On completion of our drinks, we embarked on round two suggested by the bartender Dr Frankenstein (pictures) which is the bars very own creation comprised of midori, peach schnapps, orange and pineapple with wild berry vodka.  Kate and I mutually agree; if you visit Frankenstein you must try this drink! Feeling delightfully content we left the bar, and would heartily recommend a visit. 


www.frankensteinedinburgh.co.uk

Friday, 17 August 2012

Upcoming Events: Foodies Festival, London


We would like to share with you all the details of 'Foodies Festival' a truly delicious event starting today and ending Sunday at  Battersea Park, London (Chelsea Gate, North Cariage Drive, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ).

This truly is a fantastic opportunity for you to indulge in your cooking fantasies regardless of your ability! The festival combines a mixture of masterclasses from top experts in the Food and Drink theatre, and enteratinment with live music on the stage. Alongside this, visitors will be treated to live cooking demonstrations from Michelin starred chefs and popular household names who will prepare thier favourite recipes for you to recreate in the comforts of your home. Chefs include: Ed Baines, Levi Roots, Martin Blunos, Rachel Green and Cyrus Todiwala. Visitors will also be able to sample and buy artisan food from over 100 exhibitors.  

Dates for your diary: Friday August 17th 11am-7pm, Saturday August 18th 11am-7pm, Sunday August 19th 11am-7pm. There will be limited tickets avaliable on the door each day.

Kate and Chelsie Recommend: Arrive early if you wish to register for seats at the festivals masterclasses!




The Chef's Theatre Line Up

TV and Michelin-starred chefs whip up their favourite dishes live in the Chef's Theatre. Every hour, on the hour, top chefs take to the stage to pass on their hints and tips to inspire you to cook their dishes at home.


Friday August 17th 2012

12:00 Casillero Del Diablo Food & Wine Matching
13:00 Andy Cook – Savoy Grill Gordon Ramsay
14:00 Andy McLay – Le Caprice
15:00 Levi Roots – the maker of “Reggae Reggae Sauce”
16:00 Andrew Kojima – MasterChef Finalist
17:00 Steve Gadd – The Rookery
Saturday August 18th 2012

12:00 Casillero Del Diablo Food & Wine Matching
13:00 Ed Baines – Randall & Aubin
14:00 Clare Smyth – Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
15:00 Ben Tish – The Salt Yard
16:00 Martin Dickinson & James Cornwall – J Sheekey
17:00 Mickael Weiss – Coq d’Argent
Sunday August 19th 2012

12:00 Casillero Del Diablo Food & Wine Matching
13:00 Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi – Caldesi Cookery School
14:00 Alex McKay – author of “Everybody, Everyday”
15:00 Sean Burbridge – Petrus Gordon Ramsay
16:00 Gary Lee – The Ivy
17:00 Kevin Love – Hinds Head at Bray


Masterclasses

Want to become an aficionado but don't know where to start? Hourly, Food and Drink Masterclass Theatres will give you the knowledge to impress your friends by taking part in tastings and samplings.

Food Masterclass Line Up

Friday August 17th 2012

11:15 Fine Moroccan cuisine from Exotic Tagine
12:15 Ella Fletcher - Blueberry Hill Cakes
13:15 Marvellous Middle Eastern food with Terra Rossa
14:15 Lovely Lebonese food with Bethany Kehdy
15:15 Perfect pie making with The Posh Pork Pie Company
16:15 Pumpkin seeds and other tasty treats with Karantania Deli
17:15 Traditional Jamaican street food with The Backyard Company

Saturday August 18th 2012

11:15 Fine Moroccan cuisine from Exotic Tagine
12:15 Decadent delights and decoration with The Cake Parlour
13:15 Marvellous Middle Eastern food with Terra Rossa
14:15 Lovely Lebonese food with Bethany Kehdy
15:15 Perfect pie making with The Posh Pork Pie Company
16:15 Pumpkin seeds and other tasty treats with Karantania Deli
17:15 Traditional Jamaican street food with The Backyard Company

Sunday August 19th 2012

11;15 Fine Moroccan cuisine from Exotic Tagine
12:15 Brilliant bakery with Ed Kimber (The Boy Who Bakes)
13:15 Marvellous Middle Eastern food with Terra Rossa
14:15 Lovely Lebonese food with Bethany Kehdy
15:15 Perfect pie making with The Posh Pork Pie Company
16:15 Pumpkin seeds and other tasty treats with Karantania Deli
17:15 Traditional Jamaican street food with The Backyard Company

Drinks Masterclass Line Up

Friday August 17th 2012
11:30 Beer & food matching with Melissa Cole, author of “Let Me Tell You About Beer”
12:30 Unlocking the secrets of champagne with Charles Metcalfe
13:30 Wine tastings from Casillero Del Diablo
14:30 Loire Valley wines with Charles Metcalfe
15:30 Portuguese wines brought to you by Charles Metcalfe
16:30 A delightfully enlightening expedition through the most unusual world of Gin, and Hendrick’s in particular
17:30 A wonderful history of alcohol in medicine, with cocktails from Kamm & Sons

Saturday August 18th 2012

11:30 Beer & food matching with Melissa Cole, author of “Let Me Tell You About Beer”
12:30 Unlocking the secrets of champagne with Charles Metcalfe
13:30 Wine tastings from Casillero Del Diablo
14:30 Loire Valley wines with Charles Metcalfe
15:30 Portuguese wines brought to you by Charles Metcalfe
16:30 A wonderful history of alcohol in medicine, with cocktails from Kamm & Sons
17:30 A delightfully enlightening expedition through the most unusual world of Gin, and Hendrick’s in particular

Sunday August 19th 2012

11:30 Beer & food matching with Melissa Cole, author of “Let Me Tell You About Beer”
12:30 Unlocking the secrets of champagne with Charles Metcalfe
13:30 Wine tastings from Casillero Del Diablo
14:30 Loire Valley wines with Charles Metcalfe
15:30 Portuguese wines brought to you by Charles Metcalfe
16:30 A delightfully enlightening expedition through the most unusual world of Gin, and Hendrick’s in particular
17:30 A wonderful history of alcohol in medicine, with cocktails from Kamm & Sons


The next and final foodie festival of 2012 is taking place in Oxford, South Parks. The festival is  headed up by Michelin-starred chef Gary Jones of Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons. 
Dates for your diary: August 25th, 26th and 27th

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Kate & Chelsie's Must try of the week: Charbonnel et Walker Union Flag Fine Chocolate Selection

This box is priced at £22

Undeniably, this has been a fantastic year for the United Kingdom. Earlier this year the country was busy preparing for both the Queens Diamond Jubilee and London welcoming the world for the 2012 Olympic games! In honour of this very special year, Kate and I would like to share with you these deliciously patriotic handmade chocolates from one of the countries oldest and best chocolatiers; Charbonnel et Walker. 

The taste of Charbonnel et Walker chocolates are so incredibly divine that the brand has been endorsed by the Royal Warrant as chocolate manufactures to Her Majesty The Queen. Charbonnel et Walker is renowned for its dark chocolates, made from the finest dark couverture which results in an unforgettable richness and silky taste. Kate and I simply cannot get enough of them; we have a feeling you might just feel the same!

This striking Union Jack box is filled with Charbonnel et Walker's finest signature milk and dark chocolates. 

For More Information On Charbonnel et Walker Click Here

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Afternoon Tea At The Four Season, Park Lane


Chelsie: The Four Seasons Hotel: London at Park Lane is a stunning five star hotel surrounded by the lush greenery of Hyde park in the heart of Mayfair. The fundamental principles behind all Four Seasons Hotels is continual innovation, remarkable expansion and a single-minded dedicate to the highest standards. The Four Seasons: Park Lane hotel is no exception to this mindset having undergone a  two-year refurbishment programme. This programme has seen the bedrooms reconfigured making them even more spacious then before, all public areas have been given a new zeal of life alongside a rooftop extension added to house the new state of the art spa facilities.

We were particularly keen to try The Four Seasons afternoon tea served in the Amaranto Lounge. The Amaranto Lounge, has been designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon who is responsible for Four Seasons projects in cities including Paris, Florence, Geneva and Washington DC. The decor of the room includes dark French marble, classic timbers and rich red upholsteries making this a beautiful setting for a spot of afternoon tea. Confirming the hotel's single-minded dedication to the highest standards; The Four Seasons has recently been presented by the critically acclaimed Tea Guild an award of excellence. This award is in recognition of their outstanding quality and consistently high standards in afternoon tea service.


The afternoon tea available at The Four Seasons is an unprecedented combination of extensive choice and attention to the detail. Guests are able to select from the following afternoon tea options: 'La Dolce Vita' which is The Four Seasons signature afternoon tea incorporating the very essence of delicious Italian cuisine. The 'English Afternoon Tea' which as to be expected is quintessentially English, the 'Vegetarian Afternoon Tea' and finally a 'Cream Tea' which is a lighter alternative to a full afternoon tea.


Kate: From the moment we approached The Four Seasons front doors, we were greeted with kindness and exceptional service. We were guided through the front lobby to the Amaranto Lounge for our afternoon tea fix. Our table was immaculately presented, with beautiful flower adorned tableware, and tea accessories including a tea timer used for perfecting the brewing time and a strainer. As we sat in the big deep black chairs, accompanied by a plump pillow for our backs I felt overwhelmed with excitement for what the afternoon tea would entail!

Our waitress Ermelinda talked Chelsie and I through the different afternoon teas available, offering expertise and insight throughout. Undeniably, the extensive range of choice available made selection a little tricky. After much deliberation I selected 'La Dolce Vita' and Chelsie selected 'The English Afternoon Tea' both accompanied with a flute of Louis Roederer Champagne. As we sat in our chairs, admiring our surroundings our attention was turned to the beautiful music being played live by the Four Seasons pianist. Ermelinda, informed us that the pianists would play for the entire afternoon tea seatings and in total there are four different pianists.


At The Four Seasons tea selection is a subject of great importance, with a great deal of knowledge and interaction involved. The tea menu is extremely comprehensive with dedicated categories including: vintage and unique blends, bespoke Amaranto blends, teas, hot chocolates and coffees. Ermelinda returned to our table with a wooden box filled with different see through bottles containing numerous teas on the menu. Chelsie and I were encouraged to open the different bottles, and become acquainted with the different teas as we were provided with insight into the different tastes, qualities and background. I had a lot of fun selecting my tea in this manner, and picked the  Mango Oolong tea which is both refreshing and sweet, with a scent of ripe mangos. A special mention must go to Chelsie's selection. Chelsie's tea was selected from the vintage and unique list, and is called 22ct Gold Tchaba Rose. This tea has a light delicate perfume, with a soothing, refreshing taste; the best part? The high grade white tea is infused with 22 carat gold leaves and rose petals which glitters like pixie dust in the sunlight. In line with our personal preference we elected to enjoy our teas with our desserts.


Chelsie: Our afternoon tea arrived on a modern circular stand, and because Kate and I had selected two different teas each tier was an infusion of both. The top tier contained warm traditional, golden raisin and cranberry scones from the English afternoon tea and for the Italian tea sweet brioche filled with Apricot Jam. The thick clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam for the English scones were neatly presented on the bottom tier. The middle tier was beautifully presented with The Four Seasons's chiefs personal signature; fresh flowers scattered across our savouries. The tier contained the following sandwiches for the English tea: Organic free range egg and watercress in a brioche roll, tea smoked salmon with lemon and black pepper mayonnaise on caraway seed bread, cucumber and truffle cream cheese on raisin and vanilla bread, salt beef, pickle and English mustard mayonnaise on brown bread and roast chicken with sage mayonnaise on Rosemary bread. The Italian selection consisted of: tomato mozzarella and basil bruschetta, focaccia al formaggio, bottoncini with Parma ham and robiola and vegetarian fritto mist.


The food was captivating, with intense freshness and flavour in each item. I really liked how the traditional favourites in the English afternoon tea were given an innovative twist through the different ingredients used; this was most evident with the smoked salmon sandwich. As we talked and enjoyed our food, Ermelinda's service was expectional. Ermelinda was always within close proximity to assist us with any questions we had, to offer additional refills or even to provide us with clean plates when we moved on to our scones.

On completion of the savouries, our eyes lit up when Ermelinda returned with our delicious looking desserts and our choice of teas. Desserts for the Italian tea included: Cannolo Sicilliano, torta caprese, cannoncio cream and pistachios, bigne San Giuseppe with candied cherries and soft torrone. The English desserts consisted of: lemon meringue pie, seasonal fruit tartlets, caramelised blueberry cheese cake, white chocolate and rhubarb compote pannacotta and gianduia cream eclair. Kate and I fell in love with the entire collection, we are unable to name a favourite but trust us The Four Seasons is undeniably our favourite location for desserts! This truly was the perfect finishing touch for our afternoon tea, and I honestly enjoyed every minute of the experience.

Kate and I cannot recommend this afternoon tea enough! This afternoon tea has the complete package, a fantastic location, exceptional food, an extensive range of tea choices and highly attentive service. Afternoon tea at The Four Seasons will be an unforgettable experience regardless of the season, and is perfect for a birthday treat, anniversary, baby shower or just because you deserve a little indulgence!


For More Information On Booking And The Four Seasons 

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Summer Cocktails At L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London


Located in the cosmopolitan Covent Garden you will find the highly desirable L'Atelier restaurant, and elegant La Salon Bar. These credits to London are operated by the critically acclaimed French chief Joel Robuchon. La Salon bar is located on the top floor of L'Atelier; the bar is intimate, modern and stylish with a secluded outdoor terrace which can be found through the sweeping doors.

New for summer 2012, L’Atelier has been hard at work researching and exploring ways in which to give their beloved guests an original and exciting cocktail experience, that is unmatchable elsewhere. The 'secret' behind these new cocktails? Undeniable freshness, resulting from only the finest products used to make their drinks whilst offering a new twist on the much loved classics. With this in mind, We could not think of a better location to celebrate both the success of the London 2012 Olympic games and our London summer!

We would like to share with you all, three drinks from the brand new summer edition menu that sound absolutely divine!

The Aviation No.3
This drink originates from two different schools of thinking on the original Aviation recipe… hence the No.3! One recipe called for Violet Liqueur and the other recipe left it out. In honour of both of these
L’Atelier is using fresh blueberries to yield the drinks colour which the Violet liqueur would have, without taking away from the taste of the other recipe. The drink has all the wonderful characteristics that the Gin, Maraschino Liqueur and Lemon Juice originally intended the drink have. To enhance on these flavours the drink is topped with a Lemon foam which balances the drink perfectly with each sip.

Mai Tai
'Maita’i roa ae!' These were the words first said at Trader Vic’s in 1944 when our next drink was first created. In Polynesian the words mean The best, out of this world’ and that is how the Mai Tai got it’s name. Unfortunately due to the original rum being now unavailable,

L’Atelier are using a blend of three aged rums from around the world including the younger version of the original Wray & Nephew. Flor de Cana from Nicaragua, Bacardi 8 originally from Cuba but now based in Bermuda, and the original Jamaican Rum, Wray & Nephew over-proof. These three together with Orange Curacao, fresh Lime juice, Orgeat, and Angostura Bitters allow you to see why this drink has been so famous and popular for so long.

Aperol Sour
If you are looking for something to get your evening started, or a fan of Italian Aperitif, then L’Atelier Aperol Sour might just be your answer. L’Atelier uses a base of Aperol, Campari and Yellow Chartreuse shaken with fresh Lemon and Pink Grapefruit and a touch of egg white. The amazing freshness and balanced bitterness makes this the perfect summer aperitif.

LE PETIT MENU DU SALON

Available from 12:00 – 22.30 (last order)
L’Atelier also offers guests an intimate selection of food, again made from the finest ingredients with a distinct taste that will leave you perfectly content. The food available consists of savouries with both Foie Gras baby burgers and crispy Langostine with Basil Pistou included on the menu, alongside a range of delectable desserts. 

Florence, Italy: Pizza and Gelato Making Masterclass


Kate: In late spring this year Chelsie and I visited the beautiful city of Florence, in the Italian region of Tuscany. Florence has an incredibly rich history, with its most prominent mark taking place in medieval Europe. The city is widely accredited as the birth place of the Renaissance, and even in the present day the architecture and art that became synoptic with this era is proudly embedded everywhere in the city.

As you walk along Florence's bustling streets, you will be in constant amazement at the sights you are beholding but that doesn't mean your other senses are safe from being captivated by the city. Being that you are in Italy, food is an integral part of the lifestyle and the mouthwatering aroma coming from the pizza stores not to mention the beautifully presented gelato (ice cream) is too good to resist! Chelsie and I are both avid fans of pizza and gelato, and seeing as we were in the home of both it seemed a fun and great idea to attend a masterclass so we could finally recreate them authentically.




Chelsie: Feeling terribly excited we met up with our fellow masterclass members in the centre of the city. The masterclass is held in a private workshop, which is spacious, clean and most importantly has a large marble table for pizza creating. Every member of the masterclass was given a little booklet listing the recipes and a step by step guide, an apron to borrow, and complementary water as our pizzaiolo (pizza chef) proceeded to demonstrate and describe to us the secrets of creating Italian pizza.

After our demonstration we were split into smaller groups, and allowed to create our very own pizza from scratch. The intimacy of the groups, allowed a great atmosphere amongst the masterclass as we really got to know one another, and exchange stories of our travels. The first stage of the pizza making involved creating the dough, before you can begin to stretch it out and create a wafer thin base. I did find this stage rather tricky, but our pizzaiolo and assistant were always close to hand to aid us or offer valuable insight during the process. 


Kate: When we had our bases made, we could decide the all important toppings! The masterclass provided us with copious amounts of fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato sauce and other toppings which was a really nice touch. On completion of our pizza, we then headed to the traditional Italian oven to bake them! I really enjoyed, how throughout the pizza making the whole masterclass mingled, meaning we all got to try each others creations and comment accordingly. In total we made two pizza's each, the first pizza I made was Calzone (which is a folder pizza) and the second salami adorned.

The final stage of the masterclass entailed gelato creating! This stage due to the nature of gelato creation was not as interactive as the pizza making, however this part was extremely informative as we were educated in the history of gelato making, the development of different flavours, and the heating and freezing techniques employed to ensure the taste of your gelato. On this occasion we were given delicious rich, smooth chocolate ice cream to enjoy alongside a glass of Italian red or white wine. At the end of the class we were all presented with a named certificate for successfully completing the course.


Chelsie and I really enjoyed our masterclass, and we would strong recommend this for anybody that loves to cook, and embrace the Italian culture. The class is fun, achievable and a great experience for all those taking part. The best part? Tucking into a delicious pizza, made all by yourself! 

The activity Includes:
- Pizza and gelato lesson with a famous local chef
- Use of apron and cooking utensils
- All ingredients for pizza and gelato making
- Dinner with wine tastings (soft drinks for children)
- Graduation certificate


Duration: 3 hours
Available:
 Monday Wednesday Friday at 18:00

Friday, 10 August 2012

London: Graphic Bar


Graphic is an ultra-trendy Soho bar located in Golden Square just two minutes from Piccadilly Circus, Carnaby Street and Regent Street. Keeping in line with the evident urban, modern vibe that oozes from the bar, Graphic frequently showcases well known urban artists. At the moment they are hosting Eine's notorious 'shutters', which is defiantly worth a peak! 

If like us you are fond of Gin, look no further. Graphic has one of the most extensive gin collections in the UK, making the bar un-missable if you are looking for that thirst quenching Gin and Tonic or Gin Martini. Undeniably, a trip to Graphic to kick start your evening would not be complete without trying one of their tasty, trademark gin-based cocktails served in customised paint tins! There are five different paint tin colours available, offering guests the following cocktails priced at £7.50 each: 

-          Yellow: Tanqueray, Maraschino Dry Cherry Liqueur, fresh lime and pineapple juice, Peychaud bitters and Fever Tree Ginger Ale
-           Red: Beefeater, Briottet Mixed Berry Liqueur, fresh raspberries, lemon juice, lemon bitters and cranberry juice
-           Green: Hendricks, fresh cucumber, mint, lemon juice, lemon bitters, apple juice
-           White: Whitley Neill, Briottet Peach Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, orange and cranberry
-          Blue: Martin Millers gin, fresh lime juice, orange bitters, and Fever-Tree ginger ale

On this occasion at least We decided to paint the town BLUE! 
The ultimate paint tin in the Graphic collection is the 'Gold' Tin. The Gold paint tin is filled with premium spirits and delivered to your table accompanied by Spandau Ballet's 'Gold' blasting out of a boom box. For those of you feeling delightfully indulgent for a small fortune Graphic can arrange Tony Hadley himself to perform 'Gold' whilst you enjoy your cocktail! Alongside the quirky paint tins available, Graphic also offers an extensive range of drinks including: Graphic shots, classic cocktails (including Mojito and Margarita), white and red wines, champagne, beers and spirits. The cocktails available at Graphic are made with fresh ingredients, ensuring a deliciously divine taste with each and every sip. 


The fun and relaxed environment of Graphic makes the bar not only ideal for drinks but also to enjoy some home made food. The food menu available at Graphic is intended to please every pallet by offering both classic and contemporary dishes. Kate and I really enjoyed our trip to Graphic bar and heartily recommend visiting! 


See our Review on Social and Cocktail  its a great place to find amazing bars in London and Edinburgh 
They also have loads of information on all different types of cocktails so check it out !


Graphic 
OPENING TIMES

Monday-Friday 09.30-00.00
Saturday 12.30-00.00
Sunday CLOSED (Available for Private Hire)

Booking Is Advisable

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

National Afternoon Tea Week 13th -19th August




Celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week (13th to 19th August)
 In venues in London and across the UK
Afternooontea.co.uk is offering a range of afternoon tea's with
 25 % Off so now is truly the best time to indulge in a 
scrumptious afternoon tea!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Ladurée Saint-Honorés

Ladurée Saint-Honorés


We would like to introduce you to this beautiful cake from the Laduree Boutique located inside Harrods (Knightsbridge, London). We mutually agree this is one of the best cakes we have ever tried! The delicate taste of the rose cream on the top combined with fresh ripe raspberries perfectly compliments the entire cake. 

The Laduree Saint-Honores is just one of the spellbinding cakes available in the Laduree store, with dinning options including both take away and dine in. Kate and I enjoyed ours in the elegant surroundings of the Laudree store. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Upcoming Events: London Cocktail Week October 8th-14th 2012


Its back for 2012! Put the dates in your diary, might be worth booking the 8th-14th October off work...wristbands are available NOW from www.londoncocktailweek.com.

London Cocktail Week, the UK's largest drinks festival, has announced a partnership with Seven Dials, Covent Garden, in a move that will bring the event's seminars, pop-up bars, tastings, parties and master-classes to the heart of the West End for the first time.
The new Covent Garden hub is expected to bring 20,000 cocktail lovers together to celebrate the capital's unrivalled cocktail culture. As before, the festival will provide a platform for more than 150 industry-hosted activities, from Monday 8th October until Sunday 14th October, located in the bars, shops, hotels, streets and event spaces around Seven Dials.

Major drinks companies such as Bacardi Brown-Forman, Diageo, Pernod Ricard UK and First Drinks, as well as many boutique brands, have already committed to hosting events.

The new West End hub also means most London Cocktail Week participating bars - offering £4 cocktails - will be within walking distance, while a complementary Routemaster bus service will ferry festival-goers to venues further afield. For 2012, the number of bars is being deliberately restricted to around 100 sites to ensure the best-possible quality mixology is on offer.

Hannah Sharman-Cox, Festival Director, said this year's London Cocktail Week was already shaping up well with events including major product launches, special pop-ups in collaboration with some of London's foremost retailers. Other significant events will include 'An Audience with...' series of interviews with high profile figures and the unveiling of 
Drinks International's 50 Best Bars. There will also be several large-scale trade-focused pop-ups at Seven Dials hosted by drinks brands. 
She said: "London Cocktail Week acts as a unifying platform for different brands and drinks companies to celebrate contemporary cocktail culture in London. We're now in our third year and thrilled by the level of support we're already seeing from the drinks trade. The 2012 Seven Dials hub is a perfect pedestal to celebrate the capital's cocktail culture and will gain unprecedented attention for everyone from top mixologists to those who just love consuming great cocktails."

Festival-goers need a wristband to qualify for £4 cocktails at each of the participating bars and to gain entry to events around Seven Dials, many of which are limited capacity. Wristbands will cost £4 each though are free to members of the drinks industry (proof of employment required). Everyone wanting to participate will need to register online from August onwards.
London Cocktail Week 2012 will take place during the week of October 8th-14th. This year the lovely folk of LCW have developed a new partnership with Seven Dials to create a new hub in the heart of London. They’ve also deliberately reduced the number of bars to around 100 to ensure the best of the best bars and therefore drinks are showcased throughout the week.



As always there will be events and workshops happening throughout the week for the on-trade and the off-trade. The participating bars will have drinks offers on all week, and there will be the usual busses to run people out to the bars that are further afield free of charge. Further details will be published on their website closer to the time, so keep an eye out!

You’ll need a wristband to participate in the week. Registrations for these will open in August when they’ll be a mere £4. Make sure you submit your details before October when the price will rise to £10. Either way it’s very much worth the price, but you may as well pick them up sooner rather than later!



See www.londoncocktailweek.com and www.sevendials.co.uk for info on events, participating bars, hotels and restaurants. And don’t forget that the weekend (13th and 14th) is also RumFest