Parcafé at The Dorchester

I am loving The Dorchester’s latest offering; Parcafé.  This little gem of café can be found next to The Dorchester Ballroom on Park Lane and is the most luxurious coffee shop you will find.  With coffee created for you by South London roasters Alchemy (in the most envy-making, stand-out yellow La Marzocco coffee machine) and a variety of fresh juices, salads, pastries and THE most delicious red velvet cupcakes (selflessly tried and tested by me, youuuu're welcome), all freshly prepared at the hotel each morning.  Beautiful bouquets of flowers are also available to purchase, created by The Dorchester’s resident florist, and their scent, combined with the coffee is almost too heavenly.  Oh, and did I mention they serve home-made fudge?  I know.  I’m moving in too.  See you there...

Parcafé at The Dorchester Hotel: 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1

'An Afternoon With Audrey' at Le Caprice

The National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Portraits of an Icon,’ the must-see exhibition celebrating Audrey Hepburn, teamed up with Le Caprice this Summer, and with only a few days left to go, I was thrilled to be invited to ‘An Afternoon with Audrey.’  For an amazing £35 pp, my girlfriend Kalita and I were spoiled with a delicious lunch (with a glass of bubbles, naturally) at the iconic London restaurant before heading to the gallery to enjoy over 70 images of the beautiful and elegant Audrey, taken by all the photographer greats; Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn.  


With images spanning from her chorus girl days, to being one of the world’s most famous actresses and fashion icons, to her admirable philanthropic work in Africa in her later life, Audrey truly deserves her title of 'icon.'  A stunning wall of vintage magazine covers, original film stills and truly special archival material (such as her old, pink ballet slippers worn in the 1940’s, below) add to the whole experience.

An Afternoon with Audrey’ is available Monday-Friday between 2.30pm-6.30pm until October 18th. To book call 020 7629 2239 and quote ‘Hepburn.'

Hotel Chantelle

I was really excited to be invited to brunch at the new Hotel Chantelle behind Selfridges, having heard fantastic things about its famed New York’s outpost in the Lower East Side. Named after a World War II safe house, Hotel Chantelle is not an actual hotel.  Confused?  I was too. Hotel Chantelle is a ‘relaxed,’ but actually a strictly chic, restaurant with a late night bar set across just the one floor, with two outdoor terraces and a healthy wash of graffiti by the renowned, and super cool, New York street artist Bradley Theodore, who I had the pleasure of meeting.  There is, for your guidance, an enforced ‘dressy chic’ dress code, which may well result in putting off the very same London crowd they wish to attract, but I would ask you, even if in your forced finery, to venture in to taste the food – it’s worth it. 

With live jazz from the dapper Dandy Wellington and over-flowing Bellini's (surely what a good Sunday is all about?!) my friend Kalita and I settled in to what soon revealed itself to be, an EPIC brunch of EPIC proportions.  Advertised as having an American and French inspired fare, the imaginative menu (featuring a glorious Holly Golightly image) full of beyond unique recipes would make you assume it had been created by someone completely buzzed… Full English Breakfast Pizza anyone?! 

We were assured by the talented chef, Seth Levine, that he was not actually the ultimate stoner, and that his ‘molecular gastronomy, comfort food and haute cuisine,’ menu was all just down to his whimsical Willy Wonka’esq imagination!  Not a smashed avocado on toast in sight, I tell you!

Kalita and I were both soon presented with an assortment of delicious (and at times, potentially heart attack inducing) dishes that included Thyme Pomelo Brûlée, Frosted Flake-Encrusted Brioche French Toast, Baked Alaska Waffles (these were amayyyzing!) and Lobster Benedict. Forget ‘dressy chic,’ they should encourage diners to wear elasticated trackie-bums before rolling them home!  I'm intrigued to try the lunch menu next.

Hotel Chantelle is open seven days a week between 11.30am-11:00pm.
Late night dining will be available between Thursday and Saturday until 3am. 
Weekend brunch will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm


Jimmy Choo's 'Choo Hound' Launch

This summer Brazilian artist Rafael Mantesso and his Bull Terrier, Jimmy, collaborated Choo to launch ‘Choo Hound,’ a capsule collection of leather accessories featuring playful images of his Bull Terrier Jimmy. The collection included tote bags, purses, cosmetic bags and iPhone cases, not to mention the limited edition leather dog collars which sent the Lapdogs of London into a frenzy. 

To celebrate the collaboration Jimmy Choo’s Creative Director Sandra Choi, alongside Olivia Palermo, co-hosted an adorable tea party at the newly opened Ivy Chelsea Garden (now a firm favourite of mine.)  The entire garden had been transformed by the brilliantly creative Polar Black Events, with the monochrome style of the collection reflected in the setting’s aesthetic, complete with a central doggy fountain!

A traditional, yet quirky, afternoon tea was served, which included delicious iced dog-bone shaped biscuits, Slush Puppies (of course!) and paw-print lattes.  Adorable!! 

Below:  Despite many of the fashionista guests attending with their gorgeous canine counterparts, there was really only one guest of honour… internet sensation Tuna, the chiweenie (Chihuahua and Dachshund, who knew?!) from L.A with over one million Instagram followers (@tunaMeltsMyHeart) who was at the time 'summering in London!' Tuna, you really did melt our hearts… LOOK AT THAT SWEET LITTLE FACE!!

Below:  The amazing shoes and handbag I wore for the event... Swooooon!! 


Tried and Tested: Molton Brown's Rhubarb and Rose Collection

To celebrate the launch of the latest, deeeeelicious, good-enough-to-eat Rhubarb & Rose Collection, Molton Brown has enlisted the help of Tommy, Britain's youngest Michelin starred chef Tommy Banks, raised near West Yorkshire’s famous ‘Rhubarb Triangle,’ the area where Molton Brown sourced their new, luxurious bath and body products' rhubarb from.  Tommy has created two amazing recipes, both featuring rhubarb and rose, to help bring the new fragrance to life.  Creating two amazing and wonderfully sweet recipes, Tommy’s delicious Frangipane Summer Tart and a refreshing Rhubarb and Rose Cocktail would be perfect for any summer lunch (as long as I didn’t ruin them by making either myself…!)

Frangipane Summer Tart


For the Shortcrust Pastry
750g plain flour
375g unsalted butter
300g icing sugar
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks 

For the Frangipane
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
4 eggs, beaten
40g plain flour
1 tsp almond oil 
For the rhubarb jam
850g rhubarb, chopped
300g sugar
15g pectin  
For the rose glaze
100g caster sugar
100g water
20g dried rose petals  

1. To make the pastry, rub together the dry ingredients until they resemble the texture of breadcrumbs. Slowly add the egg and yolk to form a smooth paste.
2. To make the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar. Slowly add the eggs while stirring. Fold in the almonds and then the flour. Add the almond oil.
3. To make the rhubarb jam, slowly bring the ingredients to the boil. Simmer gently for half an hour on low heat. Test the jam on a cold plate - if it sets when cold it is ready. If still runny return to a simmer for 5 minutes then test again.
4. To make the rose glaze, dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the rose petals and bring to the boil. Strain through a fine sieve. 
5. Now assemble the tart. Thinly roll the pastry over a 10 inch tart case. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes at 170°C. Smooth the rhubarb jam over the base of the tart case and add the frangipane batter. Cut 1 cm chunks of the extra rhubarb and push into the batter for a decorative finish. Return to the oven for 45 minutes at 165°C.
6. For the finishing touch, remove from the oven brush with the rose petal glaze.

Delicious Rhubarb and Rose Cocktail


For The Cocktail
50ml vodka
50ml rhubarb juice
50ml egg white
20ml lemon juice
25ml rose syrup
8 ice cubes for shaking 

For The Rose Sherbet
50g rose sugar
5g citric acid 
Makes one 6oz/17.5cl
martini glass

1. To make the rose sherbet, combine the ingredients in a blender and blitz to a fine powder.
2. To make the cocktail add the vodka, juices, egg white and rose syrup to a cocktail shaker and vigorously shake for ten seconds.
3. Open the shaker, add the ice cubes and shake again until the shaker tin has frosted on the outside.
4. Strain the cocktail in to a martini glass and dust the top with rose sherbet.

The Haig Club

Sometimes I cannot believe my luck.  Last week I was invited for dinner at the Haig Club, David Beckham’s pop-up member’s club inside London’s iconic Wellington Arch.  The retired footballer, who launched the single grain Scotch whisky last year with UK drinks giant Diageo and music mogul Simon Fuller, welcomed guests to the illuminated Hyde Park landmark throughout the week, everyone enjoying a modern interpretation of the brand’s original ‘clubman series’ of advertisements from the 1920’s.  The pop-up was unbelievably chic – I couldn’t believe the level of detail that had been created for only such a short amount of time! 

Nikki Tibbles flowers exuded an incredible scent around each room and each course of our meal (cooked by Brett Graham, Mike Robinson and Alex Harper, of the Michelin starred Harwood Arms) was enjoyed alongside a different Haig Club cocktail created by Sweet and Chilli in collaboration with the whisky’s global ambassador Ewan Gunn.  


After supper we were treated to MORE whisky (this time piping hot cocktail) outside on the Wellington Arch’s terrace (what a view!) before a whisky tasting back inside.  What followed, from what I remember, was a mojito-making lesson, and a… ummm… I think another cocktail class?!... Ah yes, I drank an Old Fashioned... Forgive me, but by that stage everything was understandably hazy!...  Thank goodness there was a car waiting to take me and my new Beckham-signed bottle of Haig Club home before I fell asleep in that cosy ol'whisky snug!


Taking inspiration from the izakayas of Japan. Piers Adam and Scott Hallsworth’s latest venture is Ramusake, a vibrant Pan-Asian style member’s restuarant SLASH late night bar on South Kensington’s Old Brompton Road.  Having been made an honorary member, I headed down to have dinner and check out what is rumoured to be a little bit of Shoreditch in South Kensington. 

Seductively decorated, with low lighting and dark interiors, my friends and I begun our evening with a delicious cocktail (the first of many as it turned out…) created by the brilliantly friendly and talented mixologists. In fact, it must be said, everyone working at Ramusake was extremely friendly, relaxed, and unpretentiously cool (no more so than hostess with the mostess Elbe, a real gem.)  

Our dinner consisted of several small sharing plates (I highly suggest you order the sweet potato and soba-ko fries, beef fillet tataki, tuna sushi pizza and tea-smoked lamb chops!) and copious more cocktails amongst tables filled with some of West London’s finest.  I chose to go mid-week when the club was naturally quieter, but I am looking forward to returning on one of Ramusake’s weekend member's events, where awesome DJ’s are frequently hosted alongside rambunctious, sake-fuelled crowds.

Ramusake:  92B Old Brompton Rd, London, SW7 5LR (020 7842 8518)

Membership is £250 per year and includes complimentary entry after 11pm and first pick of table bookings (contact:



The Launch of The Grill at The Dorchester

Last week I was invited to the launch of The Grill, the recently refurnished and stunningly re-imagined restaurant at The Dorchester

Before myself, and the beyond gorgeous (inside and out!) Emily Johnston of Fashion Fois Grois, attended the much-anticipated party (and more to the point, sampled the delicious menu!) we were both blissfully pampered at the Carol Joy’s salon.  We were both treated to voluminous blow dries (Emily assured me “the higher the hair, the closer to God”) and manicures (in a room which could actually compete, and possibly win, against me in an Essie Polish count!) in this hidden oasis. 


Once in my dress (I wore a pale pink Huishan Zhang dress which unzipped at the front to make an unusual crop-top dress), I joined Emily at The Grill ahead of the other guests so we could have a look around the sparkling new venue, see the detail of the new design, and meet the team on their first night.  

First established in 1931, The Grill quickly became an iconic, ‘go-to’ venue for the finest grill food in London with regular customers including royalty, statesmen and celebrities alike.  Now with a timeless yet vibrant new interior, courtesy of French interior architect Bruno Moinard, the restaurant and its charming staff are ready to welcome in a new culinary chapter, under the reign of Head Chef Christophe Marleix, Alain Ducasse’s protégé.

An amazing, hand-blown Murano glass chandelier hangs prominently in the centre of the room (right) adding some serious, majestic drama.   Another special and defining feature of the room are its pivoting wall panels which rather theatrically manage to create an entirely different ambience and mood by transforming the light from day to night.  Thus, the restaurant not only provides a romantic, cosy venue for dinner, but also the perfect light and bright breakfast location too.    

We were utterly spoilt with various, mini dishes from The Grill, including yummy scallops, utterly delicious fish and chips (a must!) and little pots of their signature blue lobster chowder and several different flavours of sweet soufflés (the rum and raisin is OFF the scale… I maaaay have had two... Ok three, but in my defence, they were really freaking small, OK?!...)  If these dishes were anything to go by, trust me, this restaurant is one to check out - and it will certainly be seeing a lot more of me! 

Below:  With Matthew Williamson's Communication's Director Rosanna Falconer.

Below:  With Louisa Preskett and Marissa Hermer.


Artisan Chocolate Masterclass at Alain Ducasse, at The Dorchester

It’s not often I get invited into the kitchen (my friends and family feel safe in the knowledge that the best thing I make for dinner is reservations!) so to find myself in the famous kitchen at The Dorchester, in a stark white apron with a glass of champagne (is that not normal?!) was really amusing for everyone I know.  I am not a great cook, and if I’m honest, I eat to live, not live to eat.  I usually eat out at restaurants or, in direct contrast, forage amongst the kitchen cupboards and fridge, picking ferally at whatever I may have acquired at recent supermarket dashes that isn't a magazine or chewing gum…! 

So what convinced me to step into the kitchens of Alain Ducasse?  One simple, yet powerful word… Chocolate.

Five years ago Alain Ducasse, the king of French fine dining, alongside Nicholas Berger, Alain’s head pastry chef, decided to make chocolate - but not just any chocolate.  Positioning themselves as craftsmen, the men managed to preserve the tastes and characteristics of each bean, using traditional vintage machines and time-tested methods, eventually resulting in the 2013 opening of the first bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturing facility in Paris.

I was invited by Nicolas Berger, Exécutif Chocolatier at La Manufacture de Chocolat, to an exclusive, hands-on master class where I was to uncover the secrets behind artisan chocolate-making.  Using the finest chocolate imported directly from La Manufacture in Paris, I accompanied Nicolas in creating a range of indulgent puddings (a tarte fine au chocolate and the restaurants signature, and incredible, soufflé) and several bars of chocolate.    

I am not going to lie, the creation of the chocolate puddings was agonizing. I am well known for my incorrigible sweet tooth and it took every ounce of maturity and restraint in my body to stop me from launching myself into the giant pans of melted chocolate.  I gave the rolling, stirring, piping and decorating a go (embarrassingly, yet unsurprisingly, my varying attempts stood out like sore thumbs amongst the others), and learnt the best methods to melt, mould and work with chocolate. It had indeed been an incredibly interesting afternoon, but lets not kid ourselves here… the best bit was undeniably sitting down in Alain’s beautiful restaurant afterwards, alongside Nicolas, and devouring the fruits of our labour with dark chocolate ice cream.  Heaven.

 “Everywhere in the world there are tensions—economic, political, religious. So we need chocolate.”    Alain Ducasse

Places for chocoholics on this workshop are now available to purchase and will be taking place on the 7th of February and 7th of March 2015.  £150.00 pp

Marcus at The Berkeley

The long established Knightsbridge restaurant, ‘Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley Hotel’ underwent a massive, shiny new renovation and reopened earlier this year as ‘Marcus.’   I was generously invited to the two Michelin starred restaurant for lunch, and of course asked DG to accompany me (this would make a well received, swanky change from the usual Pret à Manger lunch I have been known to regularly treat him to...!) 

The staff at Marcus could not have been more welcoming or helpful, in fact, the whole restaurant, despite being very elegant, with crisp white table clothes and chic place settings, is particularly unfussy, relaxed and comfortable.   After a welcome glass of champagne we were presented with the most delicious and beautifully presented food (decorated with tiny, bright flowers) and all accompanied with various delicous wines recommended by the most charming of sommeliers (left).

I wish I hadn’t eaten in a week (or had any afternoon plans!) as I could have happily camped out there all afternoon!  DG was in heaven, tucking into courses of frogs and snails (sans puppy dog’s tails) whereas the puddings (all three of them, due to my indecisiveness!) were obviously this sweet toothed gal’s highlight!  A real treat of a lunch and I really recommend you making a booking for an upcoming special occasion… Even if that special occasion is that you just sooo happened to have cancelled all your meetings and work for the rest of this afternoon and are feeling purposefully peckish!

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London. SW1X 7RL