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Friday, 25 October 2013

Oaka, a unique Pan Asian Hotel & handcraft real Ale restaurant

oaka Restaurant Mansionhouse
Oaka is a unique combination of Pan Asian cuisine with hand crafted real ales by acclaimed Peterborough-based Brewery Oakham Ales. Beers go amazingly well with Pan Asian cuisine and really emphasis the flavours. We started our dinner by a “little” beer tasting. Feel free to speak to the Bar Manager who will give you some great tips and beer/dish combinations!
A little beer tasting...
We ordered some dishes from the “GAP GLAM” menu. GAP GLAM can be translated as ‘beer food’, like Tapas or Mezze if you want. Ideal to share with friends as it comes in small plates are really open ups appetites !
The plate that came rather rapidly to our table was colourful and so beautiful to watch…a food painting ! We were surprised with the strong flavour of the heavenly Beef £6.90 which is fried slices of air-dried beef marinated in palm sugar and coriander, amazed by the light vegetarian tempura £5.60, amused by the soft-shell crab £6.90 and spiced up with the dragon scallops £6.90.
A selection of GAP GLAM starters
A selection of GAP GLAM starters
Thai-style spicy prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce£3.50
Thai-style spicy prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce
Traditional Mieng kum :  platter of small parcels made from piper sarmentosum leaves, filled with roasted coconut, shallots, lime, chilli, shrimp, ginger, peanuts and topped with palm sugared sauce
Mieng kum : platter of small parcels made from piper sarmentosum leaves, filled with roasted coconut, shallots, lime, chilli, shrimp, ginger, peanuts and topped with palm sugared sauce
The atmosphere at Oaka restaurant was fantastic, and the service so friendly and attentive. The main courses did not disappoint us and were equally delicious. We ordered the marinated raw tuna with a blend of shoyu, wasabi and green onion £9.80 which was so fresh ! Congrats to the Chef for coming up with the perfect combination of wasabi and soy sauce.
Oaka Restaurant - Pan Asian cuisine
The “piece the resistance” was the Tenderised pork belly slow-cooked with soy sauce and sake £12.80 accompanied with a steamed Thai jasmine rice £2.90. The pork was so tender, so delicious and the sticky sauce was to die for !
Oaka Restaurant - Pan Asian - kennington
Same can be said for the chicken Kua noodles, Ribbons of rice noodles fried with chicken, egg, spring onions and light soy sauce £7.80. This dish was so comforting with so many great flavour combinations… We were completely addicted to it !
Oaka Restaurant - Pan Asian - Kennington
If you still have space for some sweets than go for the rice pudding and fresh mango or the chocolate ice cream…teamed up with a dark beer of course !
Rice pudding & fresh mango at Oaka Restaurant - KenningtonChocolate ice cream with dark beer at Oaka Restaurant
I can honestly say we had a wonderful evening and it was all down to the great food and service. The restaurant is only a minute walk from Kennington tube station so easy to get to. I can easily predict Oaka will soon become a destination restaurant in itself !

Best London rooftop terrace Bars

The Trafalgar: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London SW1A 2TS
Caxton Terrace at the St Ermins, a small terrace on the first floor, the view is not amazing but the service is warm and professional. After your drink, I strongly recommend you to dine at the Caxton Grill – delicious grill !
St. Ermin’s Hotel, 2 Caxton St, London, SW1H 0QW 020 7222 7888
Radio Rooftop Bar at the newly opened ME London is definitely THE place to be this summer. Located on the 10th floor, the view is impressive, overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames. The atmosphere rather trendy with a Sex & The City feel that you won’t be able to miss so Ladies, get your high heels out !
ME London, 336-337 The Strand,London WC2R 1HA
The SkyLounge at the Double Tre by Hilton Hotel, Tower of London, impressive views across the London City skyline with The Shard, the historic Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral,… The place is busy with City Boys & Girls, trendy but relax atmosphere. They do not take reservations so first come first serve !

Saying goodbye to the Summer Holidays

St Paul
Having a glass of Champagne in front of St Paul could not have been surrealist ! Yes, London, you still surprises me after all those years ! I discovered the old town of Toulon one sunny morning with my Mum… time seems to have stopped and the architecture reflects the past of the city wonderfully.
Velden, Austria
The beauty of Velden, the Monte Carlo of Austria in Carinzia is a little gem…
Faaker see, austria
A little boat trip on a sunny day on the lake Faaker See in Austria. The colour of the water of this lake is just mind blowing !!
Summer Memories
I don’t know about you but this summer has gone like a blink of an eye ! I have been to France and to Austria and now back in London and ready to tackle the long Autumn / Winter ahead of us.
I had some incredible memories of my holidays this year… Let’s check out some of my favourite moments :
Ile de Bendor
Going to the Ile de Bendor is always a special moment, but this year even more… I met with Emily my wonderful wedding planner at my wedding venue… do you like the view ?

Luxury Mandarin Bar Hotels

The bar is offering a list of Champagnes and wines but most excitingly a long list of classic and contemporary cocktails. I found the Mandarin Bar perfect for pre-dinner drink or post-dinner drinks, meeting up with friends or why not for a date ! It can get extremely busy though but Marco, the Assistant Bar Manager is always there to assist me when I need a seat !! The Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental London in Knightsbridge is one of those high profile bar where is it good to be seen and see.  However, the service is excellent, warm and professional. The interior is chic, contemporary and the catwalk bar design will make you feel like a celebrity.
I tried the classic Mayfair Martini with a touch of sage and a Negroni ! Which one is your favourite cocktails ?

A Shade of Grey at The Brown’s Hotel

A Shade of Grey Cocktail
The Shade of Grey cocktail is an exotic mixture of Chade Vodka, Akashi plum sake infused with chilli, fresh passion fruit and lemon juice served with a Lady Grey macaroon. The Donovan Bar at The Brown’s Hotel introduced a new cocktail to their already extensive list…”A Shade of Grey” cocktail in reference to the bestselling Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James. This glamourous bar is recreating the passion shared by the now world famous fictional couple. This stylish and contemporary furnished bar offers the perfect setting for guests to relax and indulge….
The Donovan Bar is now more than ever the place to bring your other half for a trendy yet romantic drink. Best seating in the Bar you would ask me ? “the naughty corner” of course, a banquet seating area surrounded by some of Terence Donovan’s most risque photographs !

The best kept secret in South Kensington…Aubrey Bar & Restaurant

I won’t lie, I absolutely loved the Aubrey Bar for pre-dinner drinks ! The place is discreet and incredibly glamorious, perfect for a romantic evening or a date… Due to the location the crowd is trendy and young (well…from mid-thirty!).
Ask Alexandro, to prepare some cocktails, he won many competitions and he is passionate about mixology. Alternatively, the Bar has a selection of Champagne to choose from : Veuve Cliquot, Dom Perignon, Ruinart…
The Aubrey Restaurant compromises memorable surrounding for parties and romantic dinners. Leather seating, parquet floors, chandeliers and velvet fabrics bring a very quintessentially British touch to the restaurant.
The Michelin-starred Head Chef Russell Ford created an exciting menu featuring fresh and top ingredients with a modern British twist.
We started dinner with the hot cherry tree smoked salmon, a quenelle of salmon tartare, pickled cucumber to balance the creaminess of the tartare, Avocado Puree & Rye Toast £12.00. The intense smoked flavour coming from the cloche enhanced the taste of the salmon…absolute perfection !
The seared Scottish West Coast hand dived Scallops, apple julienne & toasted hazelnuts £13.50, were incredibly delicate and the caramelised celeriac complemented the dish impeccably.

During the entire dinner, our waiter was attentive to all our needs and made sure to recommend wines with each of our dishes. At that stage, I was already in heaven with all those smells, colours and flavours !
For the main course, we decided to go for the Beef Wellington £34.00 and the Chateau Briand (for 2people) £68.00 as the beef used by the Chef is dry aged for 28 days, from Yorkshire, a rate breed of Longhorn. The meat was astonishing : tender and so flavoursome. The best meat I ever ate in my life ! The puree was creamy and the presentation of the dish in those little casseroles fantastic.
Oh, Oh ! I can already hear the vegetarians…but do not worry, the Chef created a special vegetarian menu to cater for your requirements…. Check out the menu online !
The Pastry Chef made me the most happiest girl in the world when a selection of deserts arrived to our table… Lemon drizzle cake with crème fraiche, Blueberry Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Warm Chocolate Fondant, Vanilla Ice Cream £6.50. The deserts looked appetizing and were yummy ! I can confirm…everything was gone within minutes. I must book an Afternoon Tea shortly to try more of his marvellous cakes !
If you are not too much in a hurry, head back to the Bar for some digestives after your dinner…
Aubrey Restaurant offers top cuisine to its dinners from A la Carte to Pre-Theatre Menu with 2course at £19.50 and 3course at £22.50.

An unexpected posh bar at the Holiday Inn Villach

Divino's Bar at the Holiday Inn Villach
The first time I travelled to Austria and my boyfriend told me “Tonight, we are going to the Holiday Inn for a drink” I was a bit…perplexed, not exactly the place I had in mind for a romantic evening. I could not have been more surprised, the Divino’s Bar at the Holiday Inn is a very chic bar offering a wide selection of cognacs, wine and cigars. The décor is rather masculine with mainly dark woods and leather seats but very intimate with a soft lighting. Divino's Bar at the Holiday Inn Villach
Divino's Bar
The view over the Drau River is beautiful especially during summer when the terrace is open. After a long day visiting Villach and the Carinthia region, Divino’s Bar is a fantastic place to relax.

A magical afternoon at The Milestone Hotel

The Milestone Hotel during the Festive Season
We were quickly seated in the Park Lounge, a very traditional English tea room, only featuring around 6 tables. Crisp white napkins, table cloths, sliver teapots and delicate china setted the theme of our afternoon tea : traditional and classic.
Park Lounge serving afternoon tea
Christmas at The Milestone Hotel
We opted for The Milestone Champagne Afternoon Tea featuring a generous glass of Champagne, a fantastic selection of finger sandwiches such as smoked Scottish salmon and cream cheese, free-range egg mayonnaise and Hampshire watercress, roast ham and English mustard, mull of Kintyre cheddar and tomato and cucumber. Very classic selection but perfectly in line with the traditional setting. My favourite was definitely the rounded shaped chicken mayonnaise with chopped almonds!
Sandwiches selection
Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Milestone Hotel
Two delicious plate of pastries were served with sweets including a wonderful chocolate brownie ! Seasonal pastries such as minced pies (not a fan but my guest definitely loved them), a Festive Cupcake and a Christmas cake with a gorgeous fushia marzipan were prepared for the occasion. Not forgetting the joyful mini tartelette of fruits, the éclair and the classic sponge cake which completed the sweet plates.
Tea pastries
When we thought we were finishing our plates, our waiter bring us some freshly baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream and preserves. The scones were just coming out of the oven so still warm, delicious! What could we have asked for ? More Champagne ? Tea ? “No problem Mam’”. They obviously didn’t want us to leave too quickly so we obliged…
Afternoon Tea at The Milestone Hotel
From the sandwiches, pastries and scones, everything was delicious and perfect. Coming to The Milestone Hotel for afternoon tea is truly an experience that you won’t regret trying !
Afternoon Tea booking from 3.00pm to 6.00pm, to book call +44 (0)20 7917 1000.
Christmas at The Milestone Hotel
The staff is lovely, so be cheeky and ask them if they have a moment to show you around. You will be blown away by the hotel’s luxurious bedrooms.