The Stag – Hampstead, London

One sunny weekend recently we went for a walk, a very long walk, from Finsbury Park to the top of Hampstead Heath and down to Gospel Oak. Towards the end of our walk we ended up in a pub called The Stag for a late lunch/dinner.

As it was a sunny day – the large beer garden in the back was heaving with people and so we sat inside which was also buzzing with people at the bar coming in from the garden to order drinks etc. We chose a little booth and table (the only free space as it was rammed).

We shared the Scotch Egg, the Beef Carpaccio and the Beef Rib with Slaw.

IMG_3964

We weren’t really sure what to expect as none of us had eaten there before and we were pleasantly surprised. The food was all delicious and presented very well.

IMG_3967

Definitely recommend if you are in Hampstead Heath and looking for a place to eat in the area.

IMG_3965

 

http://www.thestagnw3.com/

Advertisements

The Harwood Arms – Fulham, London, UK

My friend from school, Caroline, (who I have known since I was about 10 years old) came to visit London for work and so we decide to go for brunch. She was recommended The Harwood Arms in Fulham by a friend of hers and so we went.

It is a quiet, bright, airy pub with a friendly vibe. Great for a catch up with friends since you are able to properly hear each other without music blaring in the background.

We wanted everything on the menu, but decided to get three starters to share and then our own main each.

20160702_130000
The mini wood pigeon sausages with prunes which went surprisingly well together.
20160702_130004
The whipped chicken liver with crispy skin which was so smooth and creamy.
20160702_130021
The black pudding scotch egg was lovely and the yolk was still a little runny.
20160702_132144
Monk fish tail with white bean broth
20160702_132149
Roast lamb with broccoli and goat curd
20160702_132155
Roast duck breast with potato galette and wild mushrooms

We then ordered a main each. I went for the monk fish, Caroline the lamb and her friend the duck. It also came with a side of the creamiest, richest mashed potatoes to share.

Everything was cooked to perfection and you could tell the food was properly cared for and looked after while it was being prepared. It was well priced and the service was great. I cannot fault anything. Try it for yourself.

20160702_132208
Creamy mashed potatoes

20160702_122756

http://www.harwoodarms.com/

Madison – St Paul’s, London, UK

Madison is an absolutely awesome roof top bar in the city that has the best view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is perfect for a post work summer sunset drink outside.

We recently went for dinner there for Kuda’s birthday. It was my first time eating there and I was intrigued to find out what the food would be like.

20160708_193816
Burger and chips
20160708_193927
Lobster roll and chips

The bar is really nice but I think the set up of the restaurant is really oddly placed in the middle of the bar with people standing around waiting to order drinks or just standing and drinking around you. I feel like maybe it should be a little more secluded as a restaurant area.

The food was really nice and it was well priced – it was nothing mind blowing – but still really nice and I could not fault any of it. I think that maybe because it was all served on individual heavy wooden chopping board it gave a bit of a posh pub grub feel to it.

Most of our group ordered the burgers which were all cooked perfectly and the patty big enough for the brioche bun so it looked great too (my pet peeve if a restaurant serves you a shrived up, dried up meat patty hidden somewhere in the massive bread bun). I ordered the lobster roll and the lobster was cooked and sauced wonderfully and then placed in a brioche roll. Their chips are perfectly cooked but I think the obvious highlight of the side dishes was the mac and cheese. It was maybe my highlight of my meal. It was intensely cheesy with a crunchy top from being baked.

Unfortunately the service was pretty awful from seating us to serving us to billing us which was surprising as the restaurant wasn’t full.

20160708_194330
The cutest mayonnaise jar ever.
20160708_193955
Lamb wrap and chips
20160708_212308
The stunning view. This was a Friday night on a sunny day so it was incredibly busy and there was a DJ playing music out on the roof.

The views are so stunning and I think they definitely make up for the over-priced drinks. 100% worth a visit on a sunny day!

20160708_213931

AirBrush_20160708221049

20160708_215440
Still a gorgeous view as we were leaving in the lift.

http://www.madisonlondon.net/menus/

The Thomas Cubitt – Belgravia, London, UK

The Thomas Cubitt, based in between Sloane Square and Victoria Stations, is named after the famous Belgravia Architect and is one of the four Cubitt House Group’s locally run gastro pubs which are famous of their seasonal dining room menus using and their vibrant pub atmosphere.

We had heard great things and as we were working in the area we decided to try it out!

It was a Thursday evening and the pub downstairs was packed with people chatting away excitedly to friends and colleagues. We walked through and went upstairs into the dining room where we were seated at our table.

The dining room was dimly lit and cozy. The menu had an emphasis on British produce and is it ever changing based on what is in season. Our waiter was fabulous. He talked us through the menu with a sense of passion (which I personally love in a restaurant) and he even recommended a wine for us that would go well with all of our dishes.

20151112_215945
The seabass with parsnip crisps
20151112_220007
The fillet steak with a mini scotch egg and pomegranate jus

20151112_220043

20151112_220051
Pigeon

I ordered the pan fried seabass, Jack had the steak and Sandra adventurously ordered the pigeon and we shared some vegetables and fries between us.

The meat and fish were perfectly cooked and they each came with their own quirkiness which made the dish exciting and definitely not your usual boring-bog-standard-pub-grub.

20151112_220108

20151112_223937

We ended the meal with a cheese board to share which we were talked through by our waiter and we nibbled on this as we finished the rest of our wine.

11693921_10153773124509479_2388705637726065942_n

We had a really great experience all around – A must try if you are in the area.

http://thethomascubitt.co.uk/

The Hill – Haverstock Hill, London

Jack and I had a Saturday day out at the London Zoo recently which was so lovely. We fed a Giraffe, had Monkeys and Lemurs jumping around us and over our heads, and we were faced up close with a Pygmy Hippo and a big Silverback Gorilla. It was really interactive compared to how I remembered the zoo to be.

After the zoo we took a stroll to the top of Primrose Hill and took in the gorgeous view, before we headed off for dinner at The Hill in Haverstock Hill.

It is a gorgeously traditional British pub with old vintage furniture and fireplaces, but as it was a nice day, we sat at a table outside for drinks and dinner.
IMG-20150718-WA0025We both got the Hanger Steak with came with fries (£17 each) and shared a side of Caesar Salad (£3.5). The steak was beautifully cooked and very tender and the fries were still hot and crunchy and the salad crisp. The food was really good and I really liked the location, the service, and the vintage interior.

A must try if you are in the area.

http://www.thehilllondon.com/

The Freemason’s Arms – Wiswell, Lancashire, UK

20150816_140257

 

20150816_140322
It was Jack’s Grandma’s birthday recently and as they live up in Lancashire (and it was a birthday to celebrate), she chose a lovely gastropub called The Freemason’s Arms in Wiswell for a Birthday Sunday Lunch with the family.

From the moment we stepped out the car and walked up to the pub that was tucked away on a quaint little street, I warmed to it straight away. As the sun was out, we sat outside for a drink before we went in to choose from their interesting Sunday Lunch menu.20150816_142612
IMG-20150823-WA0009

 

IMG-20150823-WA0043Inside was cozy and decorated in a very old traditional British Pub style – with fox heads and stag heads, oil paintings, fire places and antique-looking dark wood furniture.

They brought us some bread, still fresh and warm from the oven. One was quite fluffy and made with herbs and olive oil and the other was more of a seeded rustic chewy bread loaf. Both was so good that I couldn’t help myself but eat them.
IMG-20150823-WA0013

 

IMG-20150823-WA0016For starters everyone had the cod except for Jack and his Granddad who had the pea soup.

The pea soup was so green under the cheese fondue. It had bits still which made it taste very rustic and freshly made. The fondue over the top gave the soup a little bit of an extra creaminess to it.

The cod came served on top of some very sweet melon with a slice of Iberica ham placed on the top of it all. The waitresses then came back around with some little see-through glass teapots with the broth of the ham which they poured over the top of it. Who would have thought that all these flavours would have married up so well together? But they did! With the smokiness of the ham and the sweetness of the melon together with the subtle flavoured fish – it was delicious.IMG-20150823-WA0015

 


IMG-20150823-WA0025For the mains everyone ordered the Aged Beef except for Jack’s Granddad who ordered the Organic Duck (what a rebel). I didn’t try the duck but it came very well presented. The duck looked very tender and with the Hong Kong twist of Pak Choi and XO Broth, I’m sure it tasted delicious.

The sirloin beef was cooked perfectly (still pink in the middle) and it came with lots of goodies as the trimmings. There were green beans and carrots (which weren’t soggy and still had a crunch), carrot puree (which added a little sweetness to the dish), mashed potatoes (extremely smooth and creamy like a puree), roast potatoes and a large yorkshire pudding (which were both perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside) – plus it also came with a side of cauliflower and cheese for everyone to share. I was very impressed.

IMG-20150823-WA0040

 

IMG-20150823-WA0019

 

IMG-20150823-WA0039

 

IMG-20150823-WA0041

 

IMG-20150823-WA0024

As you know, I don’t have a sweet tooth, so I chose the cheese for my third course. The board of 7 Lancashire cheeses came with a menu of all the cheeses on the board in order, a palette cleanser of what tasted like apple juice, a variety of crackers and bread, raspberry jam, syrup apricots and grapes. It was a delightful experience to try them all.

Everyone else had the Sticky Toffee pudding which, although I didn’t try any, I was told it tasted amazing. IMG-20150823-WA0042Patron Chef Steven Smith has created a Sunday Lunch menu has a modern twist to it which was absolutely divine and partnered with the quaint traditional British pub atmosphere and fine dining service, you can definitely understand why it has won numerous awards. A must try if you can!IMG-20150823-WA0028

http://www.freemasonsatwiswell.com/

The Great Roast Dinner #4: The Fox and Anchor – Farringdon, London

There is something about a Sunday pub roast that reminds me of my university days. Perhaps its the days when dining rooms and living rooms were converted into bedrooms and when eating at the local pub on Sunday with a big group of friends was a lot more comfortable than eating on our laps.

Sian is visiting from Dubai at the moment and she’s been missing a good old English roast dinner, so last Sunday we went for one.

IMG_4773

We initially decided to go to The Red Cow for our Sunday Roast, as we had heard that it was one of the best roasts in London, but they did not have any tables (so next time we shall be booking beforehand!) and recommended for us to go to The Fox and Anchor just around the corner.

IMG-20130902-WA001

IMG-20130902-WA002

We all ordered the scotch rib of beef which came with duck fat roast potatoes, green beans, roasted carrots, and a large yorkshire pudding with a dollop of horseradish cream on the top (£15.50 each).

The beef was very rare, which lucky for me, is just the way I like it. However, I did consider the fact that some people might not like it that way… and what would they do?

The yorkshire pudding was delicious and I smothered it with gravy, let it soak for a bit, before eating it all up! The carrots and beans were lovely and sweet and although I didn’t have any, Sian said that the potatoes were really good.

All in all it was a nice meal. No frills, nothing fancy, but it definitely did the job!

http://www.foxandanchor.com/