A must in shoreditch! Went here a couple of weeks ago with a friend and would highly recommend!
Last weekend I went back to Ireland for a weekend break. This is an annual thing we do to get away from the hectic world of work and babies (not mine) so this year we decided to go to The Europe Hotel in Killarney, Co.Kerry. Kerry is beautiful and this is where my Dad grew up, but since my granny passed away 5 years ago I haven’t really been as connected to the town so it was special to me to go back and soak up the memories as well as pamper myself of course!
We left pretty early on the Saturday to make the most of the day as we had only one night and appointments at the ESPA. As soon as we drove through the gates of the hotel I could feel the sense of relaxation waving over me!
As soon as we checked in and dropped our bags to the room we went for a processco lunch with an amazing view in the hotel restaurant. I had fresh prawns and crab on Irish soda bread washing it down with some bubbles of course!
After lunch, and to burn off our bloated bellies we went for a walk around the grounds which was amazingly breathtaking however I did nearly fall into the water, but that’s just a typical me thing to happen! 😂
Then it was spa time, we quickly changed into our bikinis and practically ran down to the spa to get our relaxation on!
No word of a lie but this is definitely the best spa experience I have had to date and would go back in a flash! The treatments start off at ~€115 for 50minutes and honestly worth every penny! I went for the deep muscle massage. With the spa area there is a relaxation room, heated loungers, steam room, sauna, ice mountain and the best is the outdoor heated pool. I didn’t take a photo myself but here is one from their photo archive
I would go back alone just to sit in this heated pool all day, and what made it more beautiful on that day was that the mountain tops were covered with snow, it was unreal! We spent hours here and talked about what we would do for the evening. Seeing as we were spending the money to stay at the hotel I thought it would be best to stay around the hotel and soak up the atmosphere 😍
So after showering and semi getting ready we headed down to the brasserie restaurant where there was an hour wait list so of course we had a few Hendricks while we waited.
For dinner we had roast duck and the traditional fish and chips (I forgot to take a picture of the fish and chips because I was obsessed with my own dinner haha!
Now for the dessert. We had to wait a half hour to let the dinner settle but we both knew we were going to indulge and rightly so, we had had a hard day of pampering ourselves 😝
Dessert: chocolate croquette, served with peanut semi fredo and glazed banana. Dessert: posh style bread and butter pudding served with ice cream and a delightful fresh butter cup flower. After dinner we went to the residents bar where we had a few more Gins and whiskies chatting by the open fire before “turning in for the night”😂😂
The next morning we had planned to go to the gym, but that clearly went out the window and just about made it down for breakfast which by the way was my idea of heaven with a quality buffet breakfast not the standard crap you would normally get at a standard hotel. Yummy freshly brewed coffee, greapefruit and juice and of course PANCAKES!
We headed off around 12pm so we could go for a walk around muckross gardens. So, summing up the bill:
1 night stay at The Europe Hotel for two people.
- Golf side view bedroom (breakfast included): €260
- Lunch with Processco : £60
- Spa Treatments (2): €230
- Mini Bar Processco (obviously): €9
- Dinner (Main and Dessert): €80
- Evening Drinks: €60
Be prepared to spend at least €350 per person but trust me it’s worth every single bite, sip, step and penny! 5 star hotel gets earlie girl stamp of approval.
so, if you didn’t know already I have an eateries to do list (a want, rather than a need but that’s a minor detail). Recommend by a friend, I jotted down on my list and last weekend decided to go and try Brickwood Cafe in Clapham Common. Just a few doors down from the Alex, it’s a great place to start off your Sunday chilling.
I was happy enough to go with what came up first and so after about 15 minutes we were seated. The staff were very friendly and seemed very genuine too. The menu was inticing and brought together by their oz/kiwi inspirations.
As you can see it looks delicious and correct it tasted amazing. Literally ate every last bite. The only thing which was a let down was the time wait for the food. Now in fairness they did tell us it was going to be a 30minute wait, but by the time it came to us, it was 45minutes. I did manage to squeeze in two coffees while I waited but it was just the only thing which put a small damper. Imagine if there was a hangover on the cards. 😱
Anyway, I was super impressed with the food and the atmosphere and then staff were lovely and friendly. Also loving the recycling vibe with cardboard menu boards, pegs and the ceiling covered with recycling bags.
Finally, made it down to Sylvan Oak (Instagram: @sylvanoak Twitter: @SylvanOak) for an Earlsfield fine dining experience on Thursday evening with a few of the Earlsfield ladies!
This restaurant has been opened for probably a year now, and when I was living at the other side of Earlsfield I would walk past everything thinking “I neeeeeeed to try this place” but because it’s on the fine dining side of things I was always putting it off for “an occasion”but as one of the girls shared her “eating to do list” with me recently and Sylvan Oak featuring on this list, I decided to take advantage and book a table, the occasion being… Pay Day!
From the moment I walked in, the staff were super friendly, offering me a choice of tables to choose from (the window of course) and rattling off the menu with recommendations and descriptions of how the dishes were assembled.
I’m not going to lie, I had studied the menu inside out so I knew what I was getting even before I had arrived, but there were some additions to the menu which nearly swayed me to the indecisive mode!
They have a set menu of two dishes at £32 and a selection of three at £38. I decided to go for just the two (with a thought of potentially going for dessert too, depending on how my belly was after dinner)
Head chef for the evening was Lewis Russell.
We went for a bottle of Malbec red wine for £24 which went down a treat and here’s my food selection choice.
For starter I opted for the pulled pork Bon bons served with piccalilli, honey & mustard gel, rocket & coriander.
Melt in your mouth experience, these pulled pork Bon bons oozed so much flavour and all of the ingredients just blended so well together.
For the main course I went for the (fresh in that day) fillet of John Dory served with cardamom carrot purée, samphire, sautéed potatoes and spring greens.
The fish was cooked to perfection and the cardamom carrot purée was such a good accompaniment.
One of the ladies opted for this babary duck breast served with seared foie gras, celeriac purée, tender stem broccoli, duck fat roasted potatoes and cherry jus. This looked absolutely amazing and the duck looked perfectly cooked with the right amount of pink shining through.
We noticed the table next to us ordered desserts and they did look amazing however we didn’t have enough room to fit it in (sad face) but if I were having a dessert, it definitely would have been the lemon meringue cheesecake served with meringue shards, lemon curd and lemon sorbet. If it’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s .. I’m a sucker for lemon desserts. This dessert was also recommended to us by our server who said it is the best lemon cheesecake he has tasted and he’s worked in a variety of Michelin star restaurants. In saying that, we couldn’t as we were stuffed but i know ill be bringing my parents the next time they visit, so dessert will be consumed in the near future.
I would probably give a 5* rating on this place as everything was flawless from service to food and ambience. It was definitely a good way to end a Thursday evening! Check it out if you get a chance.
Until next time,
This morning I decided to head up to MUD in Tooting Broadway. How did I find this place? I Googled places to brunch around south west because I felt I needed to try more and BOOM! For my Earlsfielders, only a 10 minute bus ride (44,270, 77) or a 20 minute walk.
I am getting quite into the habit of saying everywhere I go is my new favorite brunch place, so I will try and refrain this time (but, seriously it’s going to be hard when you see the pictures)
It’s a nice cozy atmosphere with seating for around 30-40 people including the garden area. It was a nice morning, but I didn’t want to sit outside the back as I wanted to soak up the atmosphere inside.
You know when you go somewhere and from the first step into a place you’re like “Yup, this is it” or “Oh I dunno, but i’ll give it a try” or the extreme of “I hate this place, let’s go”! Well, I got the “Yup, this is it” vibe! The front of house staff were extremely friendly and accommodating to my request to sit inside which came available quite soon after and I ordered a skinny cappuccino straight away and then tucked in to look at the menu ( I purposely didn’t preview before I came here as I wanted to surprise myself – random!)
So I decided to go for the Smashed Avocado. They have about 7 or 8 items on the brunch menu (excluding side options) which in my opinion is a great call – especially now I know what I know in terms of the taste and portions. So anyway as I was saying, I went for the Smashed Avocado and a side of potato cakes (sure, I said why not, it’s Saturday!)
While I was waiting for my food, I was trying to read my book but I couldn’t concentrate, not because it was noisy or anything but because I was just getting too distracted by my surroundings, taking in all of the furnishings from the open brick walls to the exposed copper pipes which gave it a real Williamsburg, NYC feel (coooooooooooooool bro).
When my food arrived I nearly fell off my seat by (a) the presentation and (b) the amount of it that was in front of me! OMG – Look at it like!! #eyesbiggerthanbellymoment
Potato Cakes – I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this and they were only bloody delicious weren’t they! (£.200)
I don’t often leave food on my plate, I was that girl that friends mothers loved as I used to eat everything on my plate and I still do, but today I just couldn’t, it was so filling. Now don’t get me wrong, I practically cleared apart from a couple of crusts and 1 potato cake but still like…. it’s me!
When my plate was cleared away, I could barely get the words out of my mouth to say it was amazing because I actually was just so impressed with it. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for too long as I had my own cooking to be doing as I am going to a BBQ later, but trust me I WILL BE BACK, and I will be bringing troops!
Total Bill for 1 person: £12.30 – HOW GOOD IS THAT LIKE?
FYI – I noticed a lot of people come in and get takeaway coffee and pastries, so if you can only drop-in and go, there’s plenty for you to takeaway with you!
Right, back to the kitchen I go!
Have a good weekend and enjoy the sunshine
I’m backkkkkkk…. I’ve always wanted to go to Edinburgh and 4 years after moving to London I decided to make use of the domestic travel options and make a weekend of it. So for the May bank holiday weekend myself and my friend jumped on a plane after work on Friday and off on our #EdiGirls adventure we went.
Now in true #EarlieGirl fashion I had to make an itinerary to see what I could discover both from a culture, dining and social perspective and thanks to Time Out, I was able to track down some real Edinburgh hidden treasures to try out.
We kicked off the weekend on the Saturday with a trip to The Pantry which I was super excited about as it looked from the website to be something right up my alley. It definitely lived up to my expectations anyway and the staff were super friendly. The décor was a mish-mash of every style which is totally rocking the brunching industry at the moment.
I wasn’t feeling very meaty that day so I opted for the “Vegetarian Anonymous” which consisted of mushroom, poached egg, tomato, guacamole full of coriander which I was impressed with, halloumi …. and hashed vegetables, forget the hash brown, we have discovered a new breakfast treat. This dish came in @ £8.50 which I reckon is similar to London prices.
I also grabbed myself a peppermint tea which I had to take a photo of as I loved the fact that it was served in a cup and saucer. Again, totally mish-mash and love those teapots too.
Keira had the traditional Eggs Benedict with ham – I bet your mouth is watering up now just looking at this dish. The thing I couldn’t get over was the fact that it was served with proper ham. She loved it, and this dish came in @ £9.00.
Total for the two of us was £20.50. Can’t go wrong for a filling brekkie, lovely surroundings and friendly staff. I was nearly tempted to grab -a-cake-and-go on the way out, but I stopped myself. I loved the way it was displayed – forget the tags, all you need is a work surface and some white chalk.
So on the itinerary for the rest of the day included a free walking tour from Justin the kilt wearing Scotsman who swore a lot – but we weren’t offended. We learnt a lot of random facts that day. We stopped off for some snacks and shopping :O throughout the day.
That evening we ventured back up to the Royal Mile for Edinburgh Pub Crawl which was led by Justin again. For £10 it was such a laugh, venturing onto 7 pubs and ending up in a club. It was a nice way to socialize in the city. (Although, we didn’t get home until 5.30am AND by the way McDonalds closes at 3am (FYI)).
The next morning, we had planned to climb up to Arthurs Seat. Yes, slightly hungover as you can imagine but that didn’t stop us. Well, it kind of did, in the sense that we had to stop off for some good auld hangover food at The Southern where I was nearly tempted to try Haggis BUT with this hangover slightly looming over me I didn’t know how I would react it to the taste, so I opted for the venison burger with sweet potato fries. The burger was topped with brie, and it absolutely hit the spot for exactly my state of “belly”.
After fueling up with carbs, we made our way up to Arthurs Seat, where, I will not lie, we nearly turned back and at the beginning took some trial routes to get our blood pumping because when you are at the bottom looking at the amount of steps you have to climb it can be quite daunting – well for me anyway, who isn’t exactly a gym bunny.
We did it though, we made it to the top and it was absolutely worth every step and out of breath moment as the view was stunning from the top, windy, but stunning!
We managed to make it back to the apartment just before the legs fell off us. But there wasn’t much relaxing as it was shower and get ready to meet a cousin of Keira’s for dinner at The Kings Warks, which was another one of my finds on Time Out and it had recommended that it was popular with locals and “clued in tourists” (I feel so special). I was brave and decided to try the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and I was not disappointed it was absolutely amazing. It was served with pepper sauce, and it was the perfect compliment. I drank with red wine. I was so engrossed in my own food that I forgot to take pictures of the rest, but it looked just as good. I indulged in a sticky toffee pudding with custard for dessert which I literally scoffed within 5 minutes, it was so good.
After diiner, we ventured up to Panda & Sons which was a recommendation given to us and it was so cool in there. It reminded me a little of Nightjar in London.
With these cocktail places, you always have to try something different from the standard Mojito so my first choice was a Petal to the Kettle which was so tasty that I knocked it back a little too quickly.
My second option was a little bit tooooooo strong for me as it was a whiskey based cocktail but the presentation was really cool as it came out in a glass birdcage filled with smoke and guess what is was called – Birdcage Cocktail. A very enjoyable experience overall.
On our final day, we got up and headed towards the Royal Mile and picked up a cake from Patisserie Valerie so we could munch on later in the afternoon up at Edinburgh Castle where we had a lovely time walking around. It cost £16.50 to enter, and is it worth it? not really, but you cant go to Edinburgh and not go and see the castle and the jewels so you know it all weighs up really.
All in all, I LOVED EDINBURGH, and I will be back… but for now, back to #EarlsfieldLiving