Foxlow, Soho

The much more chilled, baby sister of Hawksmoor, Foxlow has the same fundamentals – good food, great drink, all sourced to the highest standard. They have a few now, Chiswick, Balham, Clekenwell and Soho. This is based on my experience in the Soho branch!!

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I booked a table via opentable.com, I’m lazy and really do hate to talk to strangers on the phone unless I have to! It’s super easy to do and reliable. My sister and I booked in for Brunch at 11am. Everyone knows by now that I LOVE brunch. It’s probably my favourite meal, just edging out Afternoon Tea. It’s more relaxing, full of great food and every now again a glass (or bottle!) of bubbles or a spicy Bloody Mary.

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A mixture of large and small tables, low and high, leather chairs, wood and tiles all give a very cool, relax feeling. Plus it has massive glass windows, giving it a lot of natural light, but still somehow managing to give an almost intimate feel.

I arrived a little early, and with my sister running a little late, I ordered myself a Vietnamese Coffee. These are a small obsession of mind – slightly sweet, creaming, strong, iced coffees! Though this was not entirely what I got here, it was still lovely, and strong; two very important factors for my morning coffee. It was more of a Frappuccino style, blended rather than over ice and not as sweet. I’m not sure if they used condensed milk or not. But it was £3.65 and like I said still tasty!

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When the Big Sis arrived, she ordered tea, though we quickly realised that both of us wanted something a bit stronger. We resisted the bottomless brunch as we both had places to go that afternoon, it was a hard choice I can tell you now! We went for a bottle of their prosecco, Nino Franco, at £28 a bottle it wasn’t the cheapest thing we could have chosen but it was delicious. And we felt very fancy having bubbles with our brunch!

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I went for the Fried Chicken on Croissant Waffle with a Fried Egg! Didn’t your mouth just water reading that! All of their chicken comes from Castlemead Farm. They are all free-range and well looked after which I always think is a bonus when restaurants do this! It shows they care about all aspects of their place, not just making money. It came with sausage gravy but I was offered maple syrup when it arrived – I couldn’t say no to that! It was amazing!! The chicken, which in past experience can be incredibly dry when fried, was moist and almost fell apart soft. The gravy was thick and so flavourful, though I only had a little as, like I said, maple syrup was offered! For me this was one of the best brunches!

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My Sister, feeling greedy, and knowing she was going out to the football after went for the Full Breakfast! And at only £9.75, it was a bargain for the amount you get. Fried egg, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and toast! All cooked to perfection.

The service was really good to start but as they got busier they didn’t pay us too much attention. We had to go find someone to ask for the bill. However, when I first arrived they were lovely and very welcoming!

I would highly recommend hitting up this Soho restaurant for brunch! I don’t think you can go to wrong.

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Why I love Pop Up!!

I know it is probably one of the best marketing ploys of the 21st Century but I love going to a pop up. Firstly, 90% of the ones I go to are in London, I don’t live there now but I read and follow so many other people which publicise these events. I know London has a lot of them, and with so many to choose from, they don’t tend to get as horribly crowded. And they really do try to outdo each other which is great for us consumers!

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The reasons why…

They are always different! I love to travel (if you hadn’t guessed!) and I find a pop up in an area I know and love, can give me that same sort of feeling when I find a cool bar, or a great place to eat in a new city. Even if they are in the same location as ones I’ve been to before, the set up always makes it feel so special. It always helps that they tend to be on roof tops and therefore we go when it’s sunny. And sunshine will make even the worst day that much better.

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Everyone is always so happy – because it’s new and you have to want to go (and stick out the queues sometimes!) people are always so happy and bubbly. Even the servers that have probably worked 12 hour shifts for the last 5 days are loving life and so excited, which let’s be honest makes me way more excited.

The effort that some of these guys go to just amazes me, they can work months for just a few days or weeks of an event. It’s incredible the details they think of, from an idea they create themes, ensuring all of it flows, from the to the hall way leading to it to the tables you sit at, to the outfits for the staff to the colour scheme to compliment them.

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Food – yes it tends to be a little pricey but it’s always great! These hard workers bosh out perfect snacks every time. And I love when a pop up is based entirely on food – I went to Bloodies Kitchen pop up in Selfridges for some cookies and milk (yes you read that right!). It was a little expensive but it was worth it. Going with a couple of friends for a pure sugar high is such fun. It has now changed to someone making roll up ice cream right in front of you; and yes it’s also AMAZING!

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If you have food you must have drinks…and much like food it can be expensive. But it’s always so much fun getting something I wouldn’t normally get – frozen margaritas anyone? Small side note and slightly annoying thing is 90% of these places serve their drinks in plastic! It’s a pet hate of mine, I understand why they do but either way would be nice to have glass.

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The views you get are always unique. Whether you are on a roof top or a boat the views are always a drawing point of the event. Rainbow Afternoon Tea on the Thames, passing some iconic buildings while munching my way food so incredible food will go down as one of the best experiences ever! Oh and with bubbles!!

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There are two down sides –

Sometimes they just aren’t done well. I’ve recently had this, where the event was just poorly organised and we ended up missing the sun on the roof. That reason we came!

You wish they would stay like that forever! Sometimes a day, a week, or even a summer just isn’t enough! But that’s the beauty they will always make you want more…

 

Have you been to any this Summer? Did you enjoy them? Or just find them over priced?

Pergola on The Roof

What I love about London is all the unique pop ups you get in the summer! As I don’t actually live there now it’s hard to squeeze them all in, but don’t worry I do find away! 

With an afternoon free when visiting my family for a weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with a friend and go to one of these lovely places! 

First on the list was Pergola on the Roof. Situated just past Westfield Shopping centre in West London and both of us based that way it was meant to be! Also helped by the fact it was a gorgeous sunny day (annoyingly though sunglasses were forgotten!) we headed up. We didn’t have a reservation but they do have a few seats available for walk ins. They obviously aren’t as swanky as the reserved ones, just being garden folding chairs but still in did us perfectly. Like I said annoying we forgot the sunnies, the stones reflected a lot of light so I did spend a lot of time squinting at my friend! Thankfully she didn’t take too much offence to it – well I hope she didn’t!! 

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Obviously the first place to start is the bar! After lots of debating we ordered two frozen margaritas…what they don’t mention is you can only get that from the main bar, frustrating but as it wasn’t busy not too irritating. They were pretty good, alcoholic slushes, what’s not to love?! Down side though, and yes we know why it’s the case, but they were served in plastic cups. When it’s around £8 a drink you would think that you would get at least a hard plastic glass but unfortunately not. This bugs me not because no one really likes drinking out of them but they aren’t exactly great for the environment. Maybe something they should think about for next year…or even their winter event! But let’s move on from that, they were refreshing which was exactly what you want on a warm summer day in London. 

After drinking and chatting food was going to happen. Starting with Breddos Tacos, we ordered a couple of Tacos (obviously haha) to share. And man, they were good! We didn’t look amazing while we ate them, but what are friends for but not to mock you while you try not to drop your food everywhere.

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With the second drink in hand we then moved on to 8 Horton Square. Describing 20170507_143625themselves as Mediterranean Food Shack, you really can’t go wrong. If we are honest though, we wanted chips, picky food is what we were after but with Salt n Sauce only serving them with their fish – I don’t think they had prepared for being so busy as they did have just chips on their menu! And with Patty &a Bun being so busy we went to 8 Hoxton Square. And oh we were delighted! With them doing deep fired baby potatoes with probable the best mayo ever we felt like we had landed the jackpot. Safe to say we got our own massive bowls and polished them off easily. I think we will actually need to head to their actual restaurant to try some more of their food soon…maybe when pop up season is over! 

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The atmosphere was perfect – lots of young people with friends, family lunches and definitely some first dates going on. It felt relaxed, yet energetic. There was a buzz that you only get with day drinks in the sun. 

Head up, and don’t forget those sunglasses! 

 

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

It’s been one of those weeks at work…long and stressful. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this but when I am stressed I just don’t sleep. This just makes the days longer, harder and more stressful, it becomes a vicious cycle. So I have a lot of Help Beverages – aka COFFEE!! As The Boy would say, I have a slight addition but hey it’s social acceptable to drink coffee so it doesn’t count.

The problem is my job has been active, making me hot and bothered, coffee doesn’t help so along came the bright idea to make cold brew…

Cold Brew has (apparently!) more caffeine in than your regular cup of Joe. Between this and the fact that it was cold I feel like I’m on to a winner here. It took 24 hours from start to finish but it’s a super simple 24 hours.

I went for the 1:7 ratio of coffee to water.

I used coarse coffee grounds, the ones I used are the same level of coarseness as my French Press.

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Ingredients

100g Coarse Ground Coffee

700ml Cool water (not super cold), think room temperature.

Method

Weigh and mix the water and coffee in a large bowl or jug. Leave to soak for 24hours.

Strain through a muslin cloth or coffee filters to get separate the coffee and your cold 20170420_150220brew. I left mine to hang overnight. You don’t have to but I like to make sure I get out every drop possible

Bottle and refrigerate – told you it was simple! It keeps for up to two weeks!

When drinking dilute your coffee with water 1:1 ratio. You can have it black with or without ice, with milk, regular or nut, or even add syrups! Basically play around with it and have it your way!

Also don’t forget you can use your used coffee grinds as face scrub or as compost! Don’t go wasting them!

Four Winters – London

When you’re friend loves ice cream you obviously have to find a new place to take her each time! Thankfully for me the Meringue Girls, who I’m absolutely in love with, where doing a collaboration with Four Winters. So my mind was made for me – Meringues and Ice Cream, with a Christmas theme, perfect!

 

Four Winters have just opened a new store in Soho, London which made the perfect location for a stop before the theatre! So a bit about them…they use the best ingredients they can and change their flavours seasonally. I believe they started in the Jordan and their first store in the U.K. was Kensington! They use liquid nitrogen to freeze the cream right in front of you whisking it to a smooth ice cream in the beautiful KitchenAid.

The Soho store was great, the lady was so friendly and didn’t mind my one hundred photos and questions! I obviously went for the Meringue Girl’s mince pie colab and my friend went for a smore. It was amazing! So smooth! And with a whole mince pie in you couldn’t wish for more! I highly recommend going before it becomes too popular as I can see it taking a while to make each one!

Sorry this was short, been getting ready for Christmas and holiday! Off to Cuba now (literally on the plane!) have a great Christmas!