Tag Archives: London

The Ivy London

I first heard about the restaurant ‘The Ivy’ 12 or 13 years ago and since it has been on my radar as a place I would like to try. After we got back from Amsterdam my sister and I were set to take a Gin making class in London (‘Buffington’s was to be my creation!). However, I had multiple problems when trying to book the class. First, the payment system, then whether I would even get the ticket on time (I couldn’t just pick it up) and then whether or not we would even be able to catch the last train home! It was obviously not in the stars! My mum then suggested we all go up to town for dinner instead.
The first restaurant that popped into my head was naturally the Ivy! I managed to get a last booking and put it on the calendar! Since I was free that day I decided that I would go up a little early and have a wonder around the shops. We would then we would all meet later at the restaurant.  I made my way up and my first stop was Harrods, obviously. I love to look around Harrods, not just for their beautiful pieces but simply to people watch. The species of human that walk around are astonishing.  After hitting a few more of the shops I finally made my way to The Ivy.
Who can resist a good Bathroom selfie??
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Dress // Blazer – Zara (similar) // Bag // Sunglass // Boots
Blazer – Zara (similar) // Top – Zara // Bag // Trousers – American Eagle (similar) // Boots Steve Madden (similar)
The Ivy has been around since 1917 and is in the West End, by many of the theaters. It recently went through a renovation but still has the art deco feel! I love the coloured glass and that it just has an old timer’s classic feel to it (they take your coat and pull out your chair for you!). We were sat right away and made our way thoroughly through the menu. After a round of drinks (good ol’ Gin n’ Tonics) we put in our order.
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We started with the Giant Tiger Prawns for an appetizer. From there it was onto Crab Macaroni, courgette, ricotta & pea Risotto, double pork sausages (bangers and mash) for everyone and a cheeky second drink (dirty vodka martini).
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Now, no matter how much you eat, there is always room for dessert! My sister always says regular food goes to your stomach but dessert goes to the heart, not what our dietician mother wants to hear!
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For dessert we got an array of things: Chocolate pudding soufflé (my favourite!), sticky toffee pudding and Bramley apple crumble pie.
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With full bellies we strolled slowly back to Waterloo to catch the next train home.
Lots of Love,
Buffy xx

Maltby Street Market

Sooooo it has been a while since my last post. Where did I leave off? Yes, leaving Pharmacy 2. My friend and I were still a little peckish as we left Pharmacy 2 and previously she had mentioned Maltby Street Market to me. We decided that we would have a quick stop by on the way back to her flat since we could make it on the way.

On the way over we stopped by the Imperial War Museum to check out some of the outdoor displays.

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Maltby Street Market is located over by Tower Bridge at LASSCO Ropewalk and definitely worth a visit. As you walk up you start to smell all the rich aromas of the different foods cooking…Heavenly!

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It’s a short narrow street chock-full with people and bursting with all sorts of different food and drink stalls. I would recommend you go on an empty stomach (dangerous but oh, so much more fun!) so you can try the large variety of foods on offer. We made our way down to the end of the street taking in all the foods available and trying to decide what to have.

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I was very tempted by the bad brownies but managed to stay away (i’m not sure I would next time).

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We finally made it to the end of the street and after great debate of what to eat we made our choices. My friend settled on One Love Kitchen which has authentic Caribbean street food. She had a jerk chicken wrap.

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20160320_101136I went with the original comfort food and had a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon from the The Cheese Truck and let me tell you it was good!

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20160320_101546 20160320_102240There are also some little side antique shops to check out as you make your way through the market. Also, my friend told me there were a couple of good gin places if gin is your drink of choice (it’s mine!). We didn’t have time to pop into any of those but I have added it to my list for next time.

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This reminded me of the Wand Shop 'Ollivanders' in Harry Potter

This reminded me of the Wand Shop ‘Ollivanders’ in Harry Potter

I would love to swing by the market in the warmer months with friends, get a few drinks and some food, find a table, catch up and just watch the world go by (I love to people watch).

Have any of you checked out Maltby Street Market? If so, what did you think? And do you have any other Market recommendations?

Lots of Love,

Buffy x

Brunch for the Borrowers – Pharmacy 2

*Warning – long post and lots of pictures…grab a snack (and maybe even a cuppa’ if you’re feeling particularly British)!

Sunday morning we made the trek to Lambeth to try out brunch at the new Pharmacy 2 restaurant located in the Newport Street Gallery. Apparently a few years ago Damien Hirst opened a restaurant with the same style and concept in Notting Hill that was very popular, so this is something of a relaunch after the original closed down. 

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We had a relatively early reservation (11am) because when we called to book it was nearly full. It is set upstairs in an Art Gallary (I’ve got some pictures of that coming later in the post so do keep on reading). Being a pharmacy style restaurant, everything is very sterile looking (duh!).

The way upstairs

The way upstairs

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Coat (Similar here and here) // Boots (Similar here and here) // Bag

It is not a very big restaurant, quite small actually but we were seated immediately. I think we beat the brunch/lunch crowd because, thankfully, it was almost empty when we got there. The entire space is decorated with things to do with pills, other medicines and general hospital/pharmacy/Doctor paraphernalia. You must take a moment to look around – especially at the bar!

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On to the food and my friend and I’s experience; ours was a little strange and I bet you are wondering why I called it food for the Borrowers (if you are not familiar with the Borrowers they are very tiny people that live in the walls and floors of an English house. It was originally a book, that was then made into a TV show, I think, and then a movie. Another great afternoon read/watch with your cuppa, but please, finish this first).

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To start, we both ordered a brunch item (after being told lunch items were not available till later-fair enough), tea and water. We asked the waiter, before not knowing lunch items were not available, if we could order a side of the creamed spinach to share. That was when we were told lunch was not available but he would check if he could make an exception for the one item (they said yes). We told him thank you and then went onto wait for our food and catch up some more.

Both brunch items came out. I ordered the creamed mushrooms on focaccia with pecorino ramsons which was delicious. My friend ordered the crushed avocado on toast with chilli and Portland crab and it was only just large enough to fill a Borrower. It was probably about 5 bites of food. I understand small plates (I love Tapas) but at 12.50 (pounds not dollars) I think it was a tad overpriced. She did say it was good but not £12.50 good! Now we were just waiting on the spinach….we kept waiting….and waiting. Finally, we were both finished eating but decided to ask if the spinach was still coming. That was when we were told it was never ordered. We told the different waiter that our original waiter came back out and told us the kitchen was going to do it for us. He informed us that no, it was not put in or ok’d. All just very confusing. With that we were asked if we wanted a dessert/pudding menu with which my friend replied (and I love her for this) “Yes, I’m still bloody hungry”.

Fococcia with Mushrooms

Fococcia with Mushrooms

Avo on Toast with Crab

Avo on Toast with Crab

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When ordering dessert we were told they were very small and to both order one. We both went for the Willies Peruvian Gold chocolate mousse with Honeycomb. They never came out. After waiting 25 minutes or so we asked someone passing if they were coming (we didn’t want something like the spinach happening again). With that the 2nd waiter brought them right out and apologized for the wait and told us he was taking them off the check. The desserts were great! Definitely give the mousse a go if you check this place out.

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We asked for the check and what was funny was when it was brought out it had the creamed spinach on it! We had them correct it (it was a little awkward after they were adamant it was not put in the system) and they brought out the corrected check which again had and extra item we did not order on it. That is when the 2 waiter scrupled up the bill, did some counting in his head and said ’12 pounds”. We both looked at him confused. He said he totaled everything (minus the dessert) and halved it! For 12 pounds we could not say anything about the portion size or wait times.

Both my main and my dessert was very good. I think some items (cough cough crab on avo toast) are over priced and obviously there was major confusion with the ordering at our table but it was an interesting restaurant (lacking some atmosphere) to try out…even if just for the decor!

We made out way down to the gallery that displays some of Damien Hirst’s art collection. On show was Power Stations by John Hoyland (ended 10th April). Make sure that if you go to Pharmacy 2 to eat you leave time to walk around the gallery. It is a very open and airy space – really nice to walk around! We had a wander, stopping to discuss the different pieces of art, before heading off to Maltby Street market because we were both still hungry.

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See what the Maltby street market was like in my next post. Hint: definitely give it a try if you are in the area!

Lots of Love

Buffy xx

London Town – Drinks in The Loo

Hi Everybody,

My friend took me for drinks in the toilet….sounds weird right?! Well, keep reading to find out why anybody in their right mind would want to do that….

Let me start by saying sorry I have been MIA. I didn’t realize how long it had been since my last post! Back in March I headed over to England for a few weeks to see my family and friends, specifically to surprise my sister, who never saw in coming! It was so nice to be back home for a bit. The first weekend that I was back I spent in London with a good friend of mine from school, or as the Americans say “high school”. I headed up Saturday afternoon and the first stop was wedding dress shopping; she had an appointment booked so I met her there and after we headed off to lunch.

Lunch was at Dandelyan Bar at the Mandrain London at Sea Containers (a mouthful I know). We just popped in for a quick drink and bite to eat before heading back to her flat. We shared the celeriac & Smoked Chicken Flatbread as well as the Rice Paper Vegtable Summer Rolls. Both delicious and easily enough to fill you up (I suggest you take a look at their cocktails menu because it had a great variety and everything looked good!).

Dinner, that evening, was at a Vietnamese Restaurant on Kingsland Road, a great Restaurant that was very reasonably priced. After that we headed back over to London Bridge area as my friend had made reservations to have drinks in an old underground toilet/loo. Sounds pretty weird but who doesn’t want to visit an old underground public toilet that has been made into a bar!? It is called the Bearmsendy Arts club (no clues that it is in fact a loo!). It was a really cool space with exceptional drinks, make sure to look down while you are in there as you can still see the outline of where the toilets were! It is a strange thought while having  drink but just adds to the interesting space and atmosphere.

With jet lag setting in for me, after a few rounds we headed back home for the night. If you are in London I definitely recommend checking out the Bermondsey Arts club.  Do make sure to book in advance because I believe they only take reservations and the location is not very big, but it is well worth the effort!

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Coat // Boots (another option) // Dress (similar, similar, similar) // Purse // Necklace

Make sure to check back for my next blog post. We Headed to Pharmacy 2 and although not a cocktail bar in a loo, it was an interesting experience!

Lots of Love,

Buffy xx

Bob Bob Ricard…

My husband (Corey) and I always try and find a new (fancy/different) restaurant to try whenever we venture back over the pond to good ol’ England. Last time it was his pick – Hawksmoor Seven Dials in Covent Garden (very good!). This time it was my turn to choose and Bob Bob Ricard was top of my list, it had been for about the last 4 months! I was excited not only to try the Russian inspired British menu it had on offer but also wear the new dress Corey had got me for my birthday.

We took the train up to London, looking as elegant as possible (as required), and made our way to Piccadilly Circus.

Train station

Coat // Boots // Black Tights // Clutch

Here is a you can see the dress better:

Maybe - me

Dress // Blazer – Zara (old) similar here // Earrings – Chloe & Isabel

DRess detail

Jewelry

Bracelet – All Saints (old) similar here

Bob Bob Ricard (BBR) was nestled between side streets right past the Golden Square (a historic square in the heart of soho). We were immediately greeted and sat as we walked in the dimly lit entrance way. Our table was a small booth close to the bar and it, of course, had the signature “Press for Champagne” button which I did end up pressing (cheeky – how can you not?). The interior of this place was ornate with a strong Art Deco theme. One word – Beautiful!

the bar by our table

the bar by our table

This was the table we sat at

This was the table we sat at

What followed was a great meal with some really tasty cocktails and drinks!

We started with -18 degrees Voht-kah (said in a Russian accent) shots before really taking a good look at the menu.

Shots

Shots

Menu

Apéritifs were ordered – I had a dirty Martini and Corey had a glass of white wine.

Me & Martini

When the starters came we dug right in. We over ordered and so there was so much to choose from – Waldorf Salad, Sea bass Ceviche with avocado, oysters, and Truffled Siberian Pelmeni (a Russian inspired dish of dumplings filled with crab and lobster).

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad

Dumplings

Dumplings

Oysters

Oysters

Ceviche

Ceviche

Starters

For mains I ordered the Lobster mac and Cheese and Corey had Filet Mignon Rossini (served with Foie Gras and truffle gravy). We then shared the truffled mashed potato and crushed peppered sweet corn.

Mains

 

Us

In between all the deliciousness I pushed the “button” and received a lovely glass of champagne while Corey decided to try the “oyster martini.”

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Cheeky champs Oyster drink

Pudding consisted of the BBR signature Chocolate Glory (to share) and one last cocktail – the passion fruit & Elderflower martini. Sadly the video I took of the Pudding will not load on here but here is what it looks like.

Glory_Landscape

Last cocktail

Last cocktail

After dinner we headed to London Bridge, over by the Shard, to meet some friends for one last drink at a local pub before taking the last train home!

Overall a great night! Thanks for reading.

Lots of Love,

Buffy xx