Tag Archives: London

2012 – 2014! Re-Re-RECAP!

15 Mar

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Yes, this is a random man.  Well actually it’s a waiter who decided to take a selfie when we asked him to take a group photo.  But hopefully his face has made you laugh (no shade!) which means you forgive me!

I know it is late.  And yes, it is inexuseable.  So, without making saying much else (because I know you luuurve me), I’m going to quickly bring you up to speed on what’s happened over the last year and a bit…

1. We are still ALIVE and KICKING!

The LWB family are very much still in action, eating, travelling and gisting as per usual 🙂

2. Where have we been?

Well, we have eaten in quite a few restaurants.  Here’s a  brief run through and please note, unless stated, it is safe to assume that the experience was gooood! –

December 2012 – Aubaine, Heddon Street: Yummers way to end the year

January 2013 – break: we were musing and strategising for the year ahead

February 2013 – Bread Street Kitchen: an intimate and carb-heavy affair courtesy of Gordon Ramsey

March 2013 – The Rembrandt Spa & Hotel: pure R&R at its finest daaaaahling

April 2013 – Bills, Covent Garden: an intimate catch up for the April lovers

May 2013 – Bistrotheque followed by dessert at Duck & Waffle: amaaaazing date!  The sun was shining, the weather was sweet, the gist was juicy and the ladies were looking luscious!

June 2013  – Karaoke and dinner at Firecracker: all I need to say is You don’t have to call…..  It’s OK guuuuuurl.  Coz I’mma be alright toniiiiight!  There’s never a dull moment when you mix heels, cocktails, music and a good Chinese meal.

July 2013 – The Modern Pantry:  The weather was on our side, the waiter was on our side and time was n our side.  FABULOSO!

August 2013 – 3 Course: We ventured into North London and what a glorious treat we had.  Everything at this restaurant was served as part of a 3 course meal.  Safe to ay, no one left hungry!

September 2013 – Cambridge: 2 Year anniversary day trip to the picturesque University town.  It was an amazing day filled with sightseeing, interesting facts about one of the best universities in the world and of course gorgeous girls and juicy gist!

October 2013: Kopapa: the afternoon may have been wet and windy, but LWB always keep it client! Ay papi!

November 2013: Cut at 45 Park Lane and Taste of Christmas 2013: We finally managed to hit one of the restaurants at the top of our hitless.  Hoorah!  The food was good, though a little pricey (as to be expected), the service was great and the girls as ever, TURNT UP!  We also attended Taste of Christmas, which this year was held in November and in a new venue – Tobacco Dock.  Verdict: Not as good as previous years I’m afraid.  The layout was really poor, and due to the outdoor set up, it felt like we were suffering everlasting cold.  We love spending crowns on new things, however i’m not sure our 3 year love affair will stretch to a 4th…

December 2013: Ice Skating at Canary Wharf Ice Rink, followed by Dinner at Jamie’s  Italian, Canary Wharf: it was an excellent way to close 2013 (wow I’ve said that twice in the same blog post. Chei!) but it really was.  And no-one fell.  That may or may not be a fib.

January 2013 – Plum & Spilt Milk: Wow! 2014! We saluted the new year with an intimate dinner in Kings Cross (no funny jokes please!)  Yummy food, sexy setting.  Delicious

February – Citrus, The Sheraton Hotel London: The glam roll was set and we dined in the lovely Italian restaurant in the heart of London.  Only comment – they took aaaaages to bring the bill.  Grrrrr!

WOOHOOO!  I’m up to date!  And guess what?

3. We have brunch Club today!

I have a brand spanking new laptop so there really is no excuse.  Watch this space for the next post boo boos! And in the mean time, enjoy the montage of pictorial experiences below

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For Ladies Wot Brunch… At Christopher’s! I know I know it’s late(!)

17 Jun

SHAME ON ME!  YES!  It has been too long!  And it is unacceptable!  I promise to do better…

So without further ado, herein begins the backlog.  First Stop – November!

It seems like so long ago that we had our penultimate brunch of 2012 in one of my all time favourite brunch spots in London: Christopher’s.  Set in London’s trendy Covent Garden, it was the chosen location for the rainy Saturday afternoon.  Our darling Esther was fully in charge of organising affairs and worked her magic touch, securing us a private dining room in the glorious, 3 story building.  All that was left was for us to turn up, drink up, eat and GIST!

Gist!

Aha!  I may skim on some of the other areas, but the gist section is very much still alive and kicking mi dahlins!  With 25 of us present, there were so many hilariously funk-tastic conversations taking place I could barely keep up.  But these were the ones which made my little ears ping…

Nigerian PRAYAAAH!  With a large number of the women being Nigerian, and conscious of Church the following day, talk soon got to our individual experiences and in particular prayer styles.  Now, for anyone who may not be in the know, a lot of Naija Churches are exuberant – with lots of colour, music and pastors decorating each service.  Which is fabulous because we are colourful, musical beings in search of spiritual fulfillment.  One particular Church and their “die-by-fire” prayer point resonated with the ladies.  The aggression and force with which we make our supplications known to God did cause a cheeky giggle around the table, with re-enactments of bobbing heads and raised voices to illustrate.  But hey, it definitely works.  The Kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent take it by fooooorce!

How does one get a date?  Ha!  This is a serious question!  And both the singles and married shared personal experiences.  From accepting all invitations to weddings, even if they didn’t know the couple getting hitched(!) to looking turned up all day every day –boom pow pow! – every woman had a strategy, with lots of evidence of success.  Are you still single?  Did you bag your guy/gal using a ploy?  What’s the secret?  They do say sharing is caring…

Don’t call my baby “babe”.  Seriously.  This was one of the funniest stories shared on the day.  One of our babettes recounted how she had to check a fellow friend who slipped into the casual bad habit of calling her boyfriend “babe”.  Now to some it’s fine and to others it is NOT!  It all depends on the social connotations attached to the term of endearment.  But if it’s viewed as a word akin to my sexy-babylurve-alicious, then if you don’t stop calling my boo boo “babe” we about to catch a case.  Point Blank Period!

Food

scrambled eggs and salmon

fishcakes

blueberry pancakes

eggs benedict

fruit salad

strawberry daiquiri

There is nothing more to say other than magnifique!  The location is excellent (directly opposite the Lyceum Lion King theatre), the service is great, the price is right, but it’s the food at Christopher’s which has really captured our hearts.  My personal favourite has to be the blueberry pancakes, accompanied with maple syrup and blueberry compote, which I oooooobviously ordered on the day.  Small, yet rich, moist and sweet, they hit the spot and then some.  I just adore them and would recommend them to everyone!  If you’re feeling a little greedy, I’d advise you order both the blueberry pancakes and pancakes with bacon to get the best of both worlds.

The eggs florentine were also cooked to perfection, hollandaise not too tart, poached eggs the right consistency and flavoursome, and english muffins home made to perfection.  Mmmmmmm!  Another firm favourite were the fishcakes, again home cooked.  Now a problem I usually have with fishy lil’ fishcakes is that there’s always too much potato!  Certainly more potato than fish.  But the day’s offering was nothing like that.  The flakes found inside the golden butter breadcrumbs were so tasty and fell apart at the touch of the fork.  It was emotional!

To wash down the several plates of food, were the bespoke cocktails made.  From virgin daiquiris to extra strong mojitos, we had a jolly good time with our very own bar and barlady positioned outside the dining room.  Clink clink!

Overall

If I had to sum up Christopher’s in three words, they would be We Loved It!  Yes!  And our visit that day lived up to my high expectations.  The chic ambiance, attentive and pleasant service and gorgeous food all added to the wonderful brunching experience, which was partly why we ended up spending 5 hours there!!!  No joke!  Given it’s wonderful credentials and great location, it really is the go-to place for a great meal with the girlies after a Saturday of retail therapy, the prim and proper establishment to meet the potential in-laws for the first time, or even your central London haven for some good food on a Sunday afternoon.  So make sure you check it out.  You never know, you might even meet us there too…!

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For Ladies Wot Lunch… At Gilgamesh

18 Oct

August 25 was the wet Saturday afternoon on which the Ladies Wot Brunch took Camden by storm. Between the group, we’d been on holidays, attended weddings and had experienced exciting changes in our lives and so, a girly catch up was required! The venue chosen by our fabulous VVR Adaeze was Gilgamesh, one of The Stables’ most frequented, lush restaurants: fitting for a bunch of pretty princesses like us!

Booking

As a result of our uber organised VVR, booking was a straightforward process. The date was chosen, the restaurant was called, the menu was designed and prepayment was made to ensure that we had a smooth, cashless lunching experience.

Gist!

From designer iPad cases (lush!) to dream wedding destinations, wives and side chicks accompanying their man on the same holiday and hair dilemmas, we discussed it all and then some!

Here are some highlights…

Natural Hair, it’s a choice! A lot of women nowadays have decided to take the chop and revert back to their natural, wonderfully woolly locks. Amongst the African community however, this is not always an easy transition and surprisingly, many people feel that going natural is just a bit strange. The ladies shared stories of perplexed mummies, aunties and grannies asking their daughters why they had cut their hair or when they planned to relax it, which in itself is hilarious! The funniest thing is that natural hair dilemmas are not exclusive to Africans, and our lovely Sally shared her sister’s (who has gorgeous, thick, curly, blonde hair) experiences with us. Apparently, there are pressures all round on both black and white women to wear slick hair. But thank God our women are beautiful, with equally beautiful hair, and whether they choose to wear is short and curly, or long and luscious we love every single style 😉

Wedding photos on Facebook…? The simple answer is NO! How ironic that every single one of us had ooh’d ahh’d and saved many wedding pictures that we had seen on Facebook, yet when it came to the thought of our own wedding albums being posted on the popular social networking site, we were violently against it. The general consensus was that weddings are intimate affairs that should be shared with nearest and dearest and whilst Facebook is a great and easy way to share photographs, the risk of opening private albums for all and sundry to view was a little more than most were prepared to do. I personally join this school of thought. You won’t even sniff my wedding photos on the Book of Face…!

Don’t eat and you get to join the cool kids! We heard a bizarre teenage story about a popular school full of popular adolescents (namely now some of our wonderful adult Ladies Wot Brunch today) who at lunch time had an interesting way to pick who sat on the cool kids’ table. The jocks (popular boys) would only pick the young girls who didn’t eat much to join them. Why? Well, it wasn’t (just) because they were slim, beautiful, young girls. It wasn’t because they were consciously counting calorific content in their chosen meals. No. In fact, it was a lot simpler than that. They chose this particular group of girls to join them so that… they could lap up the remainder of their food for them! Ha! Talk about eating a balanced meal! But it was a well-balanced equation: Slim hot girls, well fed young boys. Everyone’s happy!

The wife, the husband and the lover go on vacay! We were told a true story about a husband, wife and kids who all went on holiday together, you know, as you do. But what the mama of the house didn’t know was that the hubby’s side chick was also on the same plane, in the same holiday resort and even on the same hotel corridor as the remainder of the family. And please believe she received the same rights and attention as the First Lady did. Such stories continue to annoy and disgust us. What I was very happy to hear however, were the acute punishment plans that my chicas have developed if, God forbid, such a situation were to happen to them. Men, especially men dating/married to any of the Ladies Wot Brunch, what is in store for a cheating rat is not, I repeat NOT PRETTY! Biko! Please, for your own sake, don’t do it!

Food

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As to be expected, the food did not disappoint and there was something to please everyone. From the salmon sushi appetizer and stir fry entrée to the monkfish curry with extra chillies for those who liked their food hot and spicy, we were very happy with the flavours, textures and presentation of the well cooked meals. As the set menu changes regularly, it’s definitely worth checking out the latest goodies on offer which promise to tickle your taste buds.

Service

The service on the afternoon was commendable. We had a number of waiters and waitresses assigned to our large table meaning that attention to detail was paid and particular food requests were met. The bar staff was also awesome, mixing up fruitiful, alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails for us to ensure the merry mood at the table was maintained.

Overall

I don’t think I need to recommend the restaurant to anyone. The mere fact that we ended up spending 9 hours there is enough approval (Yes! From lunch to Saturday evening drinks… we were there and welcomed another honorary Brunch Club boy!). It is a great venue, full of great people. Great food, great drinks, a great ambiance, great staff and plenty of inspiration for great conversation make it a great North London hang out. And if you fancy an alternative to Shaka Zulu, the South African restaurant and bar next door, then Gilgamesh is worth a whirl. Go geddit! A huge thank you goes to Adaeze for meticulously organising our wonderful August get together. Mwah!

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Rukorah Special… At Roka

16 Jul

You may have heard about my lovely Ruki, one of my oldest friends (I’ve known her since I was born!), who also doubles up as my girl crush – she is THAT faaabulous!

As a cultured lady about town, Ruks is always on point with the restaurant recommendations and is one of my main restaurant go-to-gals.  Despite our disgustingly incompatible diaries, we always make time to catch up and have a girly laugh and decided to make it a monthly Must Do!  I’ve coined our catch ups the Rukorah (Ruki+ Deborah) Special!

A few months back, I blogged about our impromptu trip to Byron and our next catch up had to be documented.

Ruks took me to Roka, a Japanese restaurant on Charlotte Street, London.  The spot is uber cool, and I wouldn’t expect anything  less from my Ruki.

On arriving at the venue, it was clear we would be in for a good night.  The vibe in Shochu, the bar upstairs was crazy, sexy, cool and the dimmed lighting and animated din of savvy conversation in the restaurant downstairs set the mood.  To add the final cherry on top, as we waited for our meal to arrive, we spotted Emma and Matt Willis dining across the way, looking lovingly into each other’s beautiful faces.  Awww!

We went for the Tasting Menu to ensure we sampled everything and it was a real treat.  I liked some things more than others, but overall, it increased my appreciation for Japanese food and in particular, sushi (before, I wasn’t a huge fan!)

Food aside, as always, the evening was full of laughter, gist and cocktails.  I cannot wait for the next Rukorah Special with my Ruki Mama!

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My Public Love Affair avec L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon!

10 Jul

So a friend and I went to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon on a whim a coupla weeks ago.  We needed somewhere to eat near Holborn and it was the first suggestion.  Thank God we heeded this piece of fabulous advice!

Everything was on point – from the 3 layer fois gras, port reduction and parmesan foam amuse bouche (amaaazing!) to my mini fois gras and beef Robuchon burgers (deeelicious)  I lapped up every single thing that was presented to me like a french piglette!

I must apologise to my dinner date who was not amused by the random noises I made whilst lapping EVERYTHING up; it came from a place beyond normal dinner etiquette…  The food is seriously out of this world!

Apart from the world renowned purée potatoes which had me squealing like a giddy little girl, my favourite dish of the evening was dessert – Chocolat Tendance – Creamy Manjari chocolate, bitter chocolate sorbet and Oreo cookie crumb.  I don’t think there are any non-orgasmic-related adjectives to describe the culinary delight.  So I’ll just say it.  It was orgasmic!

Without sounding like the star-crossed Joël Robuchon-obsessed diner that I quite obviously am(!), I would strongly recommend the restaurant!  From the amazing food we ordered, to the plethora of in-between-surprises such as the pre-dessert raspberry coulis, pancotta and butter crumble cup and post-dessert petit fours, the evening was a foodie’s dream. I can’t comment on the price as I was lucky enough to be treated, but whatever it costs, it would have been well worth it.  2 Michelin Stars baby!  I’ll definitely be returning…

Délicieux!

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PLEASE BEAR WITH ME!  SEVERAL POSTS TO COME SHORTLY!!!

For Ladies Wot Dine… At Rhodes W1

19 Jun

May 25 2012 saw the Ladies Wot Brunch switch it up for the second time, and on this evening, we became Ladies Wot Dine.  The venue chosen was W1, Gary Rhodes’ Marble Arch Brasserie located in the trendy Cumberland Hotel.  After our encounter with him at the Taste of Christmas event in December last year, I thought it would be great to pay the restaurant a visit and see just what Mr. Rhodes had up his sleeve…

Booking

Making a reservation was a bit of a kerfuffle (oh dear!)  As their online reservation system takes bookings for up to 6 people, I reverted to what I knew best and I called up.  However, after several attempts and several minutes waiting for someone to pick up, I employed plan C: email.   Hoorah!  They responded and after a brief email trail to confirm time, party and prices, the reservation was complete.

Gist!

It had been a while since we’d had a dinner date, and so the catch up conversation was fun and varied.  Amongst the group were brides and bridesmaids to be so the wedding and dating topics were popular.  Here’s a snippet of what we gossiped about –

Let’s get hitched…  Oh wait!  I’m already married!  Sadly, this story is not as surprising or uncommon as it used to be and amongst the group there were several stories of friends and acquaintances who had met the guy of their dreams, courted, accepted proposals only to discover the so called Prince Charmings were either already married or about to become betrothed.  A particularly nasty story about a beautiful young woman who met the man of her dreams, was whisked on luxurious holidays and finally got the big fat ring was shared.  We ooh’d and ahh’d until we heard the climax – the young woman whilst preparing for her own wedding, received a wedding invitation to her said fiance’s other wedding!  She never heard from him again.  It’s a strange situation: if it seems too good to be true, does it become a nightmare?  Or as women, can we afford to believe and trust in men who propose just like that?  As a traditionalist and a woman of faith, I think it’s still safe to believe in love and the sanctity of marriage.  And if in doubt, get on your knees and pray!  Bind such devilish, lying monsters out of sight!

Three strikes and you’re out!  OK ladies, how many of you have a 3 strikes and you’re out policy with guys?  I didn’t before but I do now!    I shared a funny story from my archive: I met up with someone, who on paper seemed like the business – fit, cute and well dressed, and he took me out for some sumptuous cocktails and delicious dinner.  As the evening and conversation developed I soon became aware of the three strikes which would eventually render him out of the game! 1) Lack of ambition.  This may not be a big deal for some, but it’s mighty important to me and all the women I know.  A man who is constantly finding excuses to be distinctly average is sooooo underwhelming!  Urrrgh!  2) A certified alcoholic.  Can I just say, as a lady I never get drunk: only wavy(!)  Anyhoo, as we swapped war stories, for every PG rated experience I had, the guy had an XXX rated story to compete!  Bearing in mind that the guy was not a spring chicken, an old drunkard is just disgusting for goodness sake.  Urrrrgh!  3) Mama’s boy.  Need I say more?  *pulls hair out* Urrrgh!

We debated over which was the worst strike to try and get over: some said they could deal with a Mama’s boy (although my personal opinion is that of you accept his Mama’s boy status, you are therefore consenting to a life either in the kitchen in front of the stove or in the bedroom on your back!), whilst others said that perhaps he just needed a steer in the right direction.  Either way, when you’re out, you’re out.  NEXT!

Rastafari sex slap!   How far this is true, I don’t know (please enlighten me if you know more) but we were told about the alleged Rastafari belief that sex is a strict act for the purpose of pro-creation (OK, correct) so much so, that women are not supposed to express their enjoyment (whaaaattt?!)  Apparently, if a Rasta’s woman makes the mistake of moaning or groaning during the act, she’ll receive a resounding slap to reward her audible efforts.  Yikes!  If this is true, this is sooooo strange!  And if it’s not, well it’s still a funny fib!  Hehehe!

Food

I’ll keep this brief because for the very first time EVER, I don’t have anything very nice to say!  Overall the food was really average (with the pointer violently tilting towards sub-par).  I was really disappointed as I expected so much more from the charismatic chef’s kitchen.  My lamb thingy was just yuk – tasteless and chewy.  The papardelle and pork cheeks smelled really bad and the fish of the day was so bland it was not funny.  On the other hand, all starters – salmon, scallops and squid – were ok but nothing to right home about, and I was also informed that the pan fried salmon and chorizo sausage risotto were tasty, although the chef was given specific instructions to make it extra spicy which ultimately influenced the taste.  The ice cream trio was nice, but then again, it’s just ice cream.  Meeeh!  The overall winner for me was the Pimms cocktail, however I don’t know if the credit can be attributed to the restaurant or actually the hotel’s bar staff.

Service

Again, nothing much to say here apart from POOR!  I was shocked and outraged at how bad the service was.  During dinner, we received minimal attention and the staff only came over when asked to.  The food was not nice, and some of the Ladies had to send their meals back to the kitchen and settle for fat fried chips.  When the bill arrived, with a hefty £60 servce charge and the “service charge is optional” note at the bottom, I requested a new receipt without it.  The waitress, Laurie’s response was short and rude – “it is not optional,” she snapped “as we have dedicated many members of staff to your large party.”  Except, they had not.  So why was she talking crap?  She proceeded to quite openly report us to her manager, all the while pointing her finger and pursing her lips in disgust at our table.  On further inspection of the receipt, I noticed we had also been charged for the food sent back to the kitchen, and again I requested some assistance.  This time from the manager.  He wasn’t much help, and quipped “the chef says the food was alright so we cannot remove the charge”.  What a numbskull!  Of course the chef would say the food was good, but who cares what he thinks?!  He is not a paying customer.  We are!  And it was not to our taste.  We reverted to the point about the staff not attending to our party during the meal, which if they had done, they would have realised how unsatisfactory we found our meals.  Eventually, we managed to negotiate the service charge being waved, but it meant that some of the Ladies around the table ended up paying in excess of £40 for chips, a few drinks and rudeness.  Can I just add that Laurie made sure she snatched our cards to stuff into her card machine, and once complete, threw them back at us.  Seriously.  She is the epitome of everything that is wrong about the service and hospitality industry and writing this is making my blood boil all over again.  Grrrr!

Overall

Hey hey!  You’ve guessed it!  I will NOT be encouraging anyone to return to W1 – Brasserie or restaurant.  The food could have been so much better, but it’s the service which completely destroyed what would otherwise have been an ok meal.  Luckily for us, we had lots of cocktails and conversation which ensured the evening was not a complete wash out.  Gary Rhodes, if you are reading this, can I make one itty bitty request please?  Don’t worry about offering us a free meal, or even a discount for another day.  Can you please just get rid of Laurie?  She is really going to give your restaurant a bad rep!  The end.

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Two Ladies Wot Dine à la française

15 Apr

As I’m sure you have gathered, I love food, I love dining and I love my girlfriends, so whenever I’m able to combine all three variables, I am one happy bunny!

I recently had dinner with my darling-ette and fellow Lady Wot Brunches Feyi and what a fabulous time we had!  We went to Coq D’Argent on 1 Poultry, Bank (do you get it?  Coq + Poultry = chicken theme!) for some catching up, business chat and of course a good old goss!  The food on this occassion was an added bonus!

Coq D’Argent is a French restaurant, with plenty of good French fare on the menu.  From the themed lift which takes you to the top floor, to the wonderful service and fun and flirty atmosphere, as a slick City worker, you would appreciate it.  As a non-City worker, you’d also find a certain charm in the restaurant which is small enough to accommodate the intimacy required for a dinner for 2 and yet not too big to become a mass haven for wannabe cool cats (you know the type that always want to be seen, talking loudly and obnoxiously about absolute sh!t!).  I’d been craving snails since our trip to Paris, so when I spotted them on the menu, I jumped straight at the opportunity!  Yummy!  They were seasoned and cooked very well, although it took a little while to work out how to get them out of the shell!

The highlight of the meal I think were the desserts.  Not only were they ridiculously well presented and decorated, they tasted soooo good!

Contrary to what the title suggest, we did NOT receive all our food at once and instead, it came out in a staggered but appreciated order.  If you’re based in the city, or fancy a bite to eat in the Capital’s business district, make sure you pay the restaurant a visit.  We loved it!

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