After being so good in January (after the overindulgence of the festive season) I always find that when February finally rolls around, I'm ready to eat everything again! Sure, it's great to start the New Year with 'goddess-like' goals of only ever eating greens... but let's face it, food makes us happy and in the winter months we all need a bit of comfort! This month, I headed back out to try a few of London's favourite foodie places to nourish my body and soul again. Feed me, February!
Top of my list of foodie places to visit was Heckfield Place. OK, it's not London, but it's not too far out of London either if you fancy a Sunday drive followed by a delicious Sunday lunch. I had heard so much about this new hotel opening and it did not disappoint. The first thing I noticed was that the staff were all wearing sneakers, which I think contributed to the overall, relaxed vibe at the hotel. It makes sense, doesn't it? If you're working on your feet all day, but you're feeling comfortable, you're going to be friendlier and happier! I fitted in well, as I was wearing my comfy Converse trainers. Weekends are for relaxation and who wants to be surrounded by the clacking of high heels? Such a great decision by the management!
We had a lovely lunch at the hotel's restaurant Marle, which was surprisingly quiet. I had the cauliflower and gorgonzola soup, followed by the gnudi with spigarello and white truffle butter. My partner, Rob had the River Test trout, which was also delicious. It's good to see another UK hotel championing a locally sourced and homegrown menu where they 'strive to give their diners the excitement and immediacy of food served straight from the earth'. Our waiter had warned me that my choices for starter and main were quite similar and a bit of a beige, stodgy combo... she was right. It didn't matter though, as I loved them both. I adore winter desserts, and to complete the perfect meal, I was delighted to share Marle's blackberry bakewell with Rob.
One of Heckfield's team kindly offered to show us around the hotel after our meal, as they thought it might encourage us to stay next time. I have to say, I would love to stay, as it's such a beautiful property with an incredible collection of artwork and photographs. Just my cup of tea! Afterwards, we went for a stroll around the stunning hotel grounds, which are peppered with fountains, lakes and woods. The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
'Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food' (Hippocrates) is Farmacy Kitchen's fabulous, foodie motto. This Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant in Notting Hill is a favourite of mine, as they serve delicious, comfort food which is pretty good for you too! It's a fab place to catch up with a friend for a chai latte made with coconut milk, or for Farmacy's famous 'golden milk' spiced with turmeric, black pepper and cardamom. On this occasion, I had the house pancakes for brunch, which are made with buckwheat flour and served with seasonal fruit (poached pear), coconut 'yoghurt', caramelised pecans and maple syrup. OK, not super healthy, but there are plenty of other healthier options if you wish and it's all delish! A 'must do' when in Notting Hill/Bayswater.
The Harwood Arms
This local pub in Fulham has been on my radar for some time, as it's London's only Michelin Star pub. We chose February 14th, Valentines Day to visit The Harwood Arms, as price-wise, it's more of a 'special occasion' kind of pub than your regular pie and a pint boozer. We were pleased to see an exceptional wine list, with my favourite NZ wine - Paul Pujol's 2011 Prophets Rock, Riesling being the obvious choice. Rob and I have similar taste, which often means we go for similar things on the menu - and on this occasion, we both chose the same starter and main, which was devilled crab tartlet with a salad of fresh herbs and sea trout on toast with mussels cooked in cider and sorrel. For dessert, Rob went for the rhubarb, but I WON by getting the lemon curd doughnuts with Earl Grey cream, which was a delightful bowl of mini, sugary balls. It must be love, as I shared one with him.
Andie Moore is a London based destination and lifestyle photographer writing about travel, hotels and destination weddings.