The Hinds Head – Bray

Yesterday I had lunch with my family for my birthday at The Hinds Head in Bray. I actually thought I was booking The Crown which I have been to before but because I am quite moron like, I got the names mixed up and we ended up at The Hinds Head!

The Hinds Head is located in one of the prettiest parts of England I think.  Bray is about a ten minute drive from the centre of Windsor and is on a three-mile stretch of the very picturesque Thames.  Owned by Heston Blumenthal, The Hinds Head is a Michelin starred pub who earned its star in 2012 along with a variety of other accolades.

The pub was built-in the 15th century and it has such a warm, welcoming feeling when you go inside (think roaring fires and leather chairs) and if you manage to see the low ceilings in time before you crack your head, you know you are about to be in for a treat.

Our booking was for 1.45 pm and the pub was relatively quite. We were offered a selection of tables and choose one right by the window.  We were so lucky with the weather yesterday and the sun was streaming through the windows, it was gorgeous.

In terms of size, the menu is quite small which I like.  There was an offering of 6 or 7 starters and mains, along with steaks and a handful of snacks which we choose to have as starters. I can’t do a starter and a main anymore. Am getting fatter as I get older and although I would love to, I just can’t have 2 courses.  The snacks however were a good alternative and between us, we had one of each to share. My mother-in-law said the Devils on horseback were the best she had eaten and I went for the scotch egg. The picture below pretty much sums it up. It was amazing!

For mains, I had something I would never ever usually choose.. I had the ham and leek pie which was outstanding. It wasn’t huge and i was grateful and it came served with new potatoes and was honestly, just perfect. The pasty was gorgeous, the chicken tender and well-balanced with bacon and leek.  My husband had the bone in sirloin of veal which he also said was the best he had ever had and ma and pa both had the Cotswold white chicken breast with lettuce, bacon and broad-beans which they both enjoyed!

We didn’t have pudding but were brought out a lovely cake for my birthday which we all shared. We had 2 beers, 2 glasses of champagne and a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and all in all, our bill came to £214.00 which I don’t think bad at all for a lovely lunch.

I will definitely  go back and would highly recommend for a special occasion. We were well looked after by the team and the whole day was perfect.

The Hinds Head
High Street
Bray
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 2AB


High St, Bray SL6 2AB

 

 

Advertisements

The Red Lion – Shepperton

My husband grew up drinking at The Red Lion in Shepperton, and earlier this year it was bought, and subsequently revamped by the owners of the very popular Fish Club restaurants in London.

 

Two of the trio responsible also grew up in the area, noticed the lease for sale and recognising the opportunity, spent £500,000 on the refurbishment.   I hadn’t been post-renovation so can’t compare pre-revamp however friends and family say it looks a whole lot different and they love it.

Last Sunday four drinks menuof us headed there for a  lunch and a few Sunday drinks!

Our afternoon started with a few pints of Guinness (the boys) and a rather strong champagne cocktail for me, I was literally drunk on one however decided on a bottle of the Malbec Santa Organica (Argentina) (£24.00) to accompany my lunch (I shared a bit of it).

the red lonAs we are super fit  athletes at the moment, we skipped the starters and went straight for mains. Starters though looked very good with options including the Pate de Campagne with Pistachio, Pickled Shallots & Toast (£7.45) and what I would have gone for, the Beetroot & Onion Tart, Caramelised Goat Cheese, Apple & Walnut Salad (£7.50).

Three of us however ordered the Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puds, Horseradish & Red Wine Sauce (£15.00) which was hands down, one of the best roasts I have ever had. The beef was cooked to perfection, the Yorkshire pud was perfect and the potatoes divine!  My friend ordered the Wild Mushroom Linguine (£12.50) which was an excellent size and she thoroughly enjoyed it. I honestly cannot fault the food.  Everything was amazing alongside the service.    The staff were very attentive but not annoying as if you read my blogs, I hate.  Nothing was too much trouble for them and they were all just lovely…We were very well looked after from start to finish.

In terms of events and private dining (which is what I am all about) the back area we sat in could be hired privately and would work very well for either a personal or professional function.  A small office Christmas dinner would work really well and you can find their Christmas menu on their website here. 

Really looking forward to going back!

The Red Lion

Russell Road Shepperton
TW17 9HX

@rlionshepperton

mushroom Linguine

The Minnow

My parents are visiting from Australia at the moment, ready for our wedding in two weeks (woo hoo) and we wanted to take them to a restaurant on our lovely Thames and in the sunshine… we had a great seat outside and on arrival at The Minnow were served straight away.

We must have eaten at The Minnow 50 times and the food is always perfect. Being “The Minnow” they have an abundance of fish on offer and the majority of the people we were with yesterday ordered fish.  I ordered the spit roast chicken for one (mainly because I think it is funny to say spit roast) and asked for a side of mashed potatoes which was amazing and a great size for £12.95.  It usually comes with fries but I just fancied mashed potato which they happily switched for me.

My dad had the meal below.  The Grilled North Atlantic Salmon (£13.50) served with buttered baby potatoes, feta, peas, fresh mint & edamame bean salad.  It looked, and tasted amazing.

As I said above, we have been so many times and will continue to go back.  My only concern yesterday was that our order got misplaced and we didn’t get our baked Camembert in time so decided to cancel but that aside, the service was great and we loved the food.

Cant wait to go back and have my baked Camembert next time.

The Minnow 1  The Minnow 3

The Minnow 2

New openings…

Our nations’ capital sure does have its fair share of restaurant openings and July is certainly going to be a busy month.  Finding something new as a corporate event planner is hard work!  To find that new place where there is a glint of interest but where most people haven’t yet had the chance to go is key in getting those clients to say “yes” to your event invitation.

Of course there is about 50 new openings in July however below are the ones I am excited about!.

Mondrian London – Sea Containers House

I was lucky enough to do a hard-hat tour of the Mondrian London at Sea Containers House and whilst it is not due to open until late Summer, I am pretty excited.  The Mondrian will host a variety of bars and restaurants none more exciting that the roof top bar with its panoramic views of London.

In terms of meeting and events space, the hotel offers a boardroom which can accommodate up to 273 reception or 176 banquet. The hotel also boasts a private screening room which will seat up to 56 theatre style (perfect for an event with a screening).  Without having a firm opening date it is quite difficult to commit to an event however it really is worth a look for when it does even, if it is just to get yourself an invite to the launch party (hint hint). You can find out more about their event spaces and floor plans here.

 

Hawksmoor – Knightsbridge

Need I give an opening blurb? Everyone knows Hawksmoor and if you don’t, you’ve been living under a rock!

The newest addition to the Hawksmoor family is on Yeoman’s Row, just off the Brompton Road and very close to Harrods. It’s this location that makes it perfect for overseas clients and visitors were they can be dazzled by it’s very glam art-deco interior.  The usual steak is on offer alongside a variety of seafood dishes.  This branch opened on 3 July and a pretty good guess would be that it is always full so book early for both private and group reservations!

 

Lima Floral

This is the second opening of Lima with the first Loma Fitzrovia in 2012 and,  which last year, became the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to gain a Michelin star.  According to their website, Lima  is

“showcasing Peru as a country full of diversity: ecologically, culturally and historically, sharing an authentic and native culinary offering”

 

This second offering in Covent Garden will have a restaurant and a bar area where instead of the full dining experience, patrons can just sample ‘piqueos’ or “small plates’. You can find out more about Lima here to see how you can use this unique restaurant for your event needs!

 

 

 

Bengal Tiger Indian Restaurant

I love a Friday lunch out of the office and today, the lovely Karis and I headed off to the Bengal Tiger Restaurant in St Pauls. Located on Carter Lane, the Bengal Tiger is set over two floors and is pitched as having the ground floor perfect for private functions which of course, is why I was interested.The benal Tiger carter lane 2

Karis and I made the walk from the office in this amazing sunshine we are having and on arriving were made quite the fuss of. We had spent the morning looking at the menu as Karis is training for Tough Mudder (nutter) and I am training myself to fit into my wedding dress so we were trying to go for the healthier stuff. Menu (BTW) looked amazing however we soon deviated from the healthy options.

 

Bengal Tiger carter lane

To start with I went for the Salmon Tikka (£6.95) which hand on heart was amazing. The sizes were a good portion and the salmon was just melt in your mouth – I would definitely have this again and would love to figure out how to make it! For my main I had the Sea Bass which was absolutely huge and I couldn’t finish it.  It was cooked in tomatoes, garlic, curry leaves and mustard sauce and just a lovely piece of boneless sea bass priced at only £14.95. For mains Karis went for the King Prawn Bryani (£12.95) and also couldn’t finish it and as I don’t eat prawns, assured me it was super tasty.

Dessert wise, I couldn’t do it however Karis went for the lemon sorbet which I tried and was really good. I would also get that next time I go back and I will go back.

The Bengal Tiger has been around for 14 years and was filled with the usual city crowd.  I would send clients there for a business lunch.  It was fairly quiet, the food was amazing and I cannot praise the staff highly enough.

 

The bengal Tiger carterlane

 

My week in events

I have just come back from a nearly 2 week holiday and on doing to obligatory email check on Monday, before my return on Tuesday I was overjoyed. For a 2 week holiday, I would be pretty much guaranteed at least 2000 + emails however this time… 38! Our amazing event coordinator had not only moved all my junk mail into an in-box daily but had gone through all my emails and filed the ones I didn’t need to see and just left the important ones! What an absolute star she is.

Coming back then on the Tuesday I was straight into 2 events in one day. I had an educational seminar and a summer (??!) party to run which both went off without a hitch despite the rain half way through the bbq and before I knew it, it was like I had never been on leave.

It’s always hard returning to work after such a long break but I felt renTHE BNCewed, inspired and ready to create amazing events! I love my job and I love being creative in it.  What I discovered the other day is that I also love being badge girl.  I actually love welcoming people, marking them off the list and giving them their badge.  I love the interaction and getting to know our clients! It’s not a part of the role I do that often but I will try and do it more now!

Next week sees 4 events in one week however not only do I get to have lunch with 10 other event professionals at one of Gordon Ramsay’s finest restaurants but, I get to attend the BNC event show.   Every event professional knows the BNC shows are the pinancle in the our networking calender so I am really looking forward to it.  Towards the end of the week I get to have lunch and write about a new restaurant just opened in the Square Mile.

 

 

Its going to be a busy week and I am ready for it but for now, its time for a wedding,  some wine drinking, home cooking and movie watching with my handsome fiancee! Happy weekend all

 

my husband

 

El Gaucho – Chelsea

A booking for 10 including one girl who hasn’t eaten solid food nor had a drink for a week is going to end up messy and, it did! I am currently so hung over I want to cry.. and be sick! So, last night 10 of us, headed off to Chelsea to El Gaucho for dinner.

 

el gaucho 4EL Gaucho 2

Prior to going, I googled to see what the menu was like, check the wine on offer etc and wasn’t really impressed with the website or their lack of social media options for me to announce, like a Queen, that I would be attending which was off-putting.  Who doesn’t have Twitter?!

Social Media aside, El Gaucho has 2 branches in South Kensington and Chelsea and imports its meat from Argentina weekly, vacuum packed rather than frozen which apparently guarantees its freshness.  The 2 restaurants are owned by former professional Tango dancer Luis Seygas whom says his parents were dedicated to “gastronomy”.

We had a table outside which was great because yesterday was really warm (for a change) and pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves for most of the evening which was lucky as we got through 5 bottles of wine, a jug of Sangria and about 12 beers finishing up with a round of Sambucca.  Needless to say today, my head is banging, whilst I will put my hand up, the shots where my idea, they never really are a good idea are they?

If you keep abreast of my blogs (lol) you will know that the day before, I had just finished a 5 day juice fast so was a bit worried about what to eat.  For starters, the menu had everything from Empanadas (£3.30) to Chorizo (£4.50) which looked amazing however I had boring (but tasty) corn on the cob (£3.50) which was nice but I wouldn’t sell my first born child for it.El Gaucho

For mains, we had to have steak. Your not really going to have a salad are you?

The group split 50/50 on the 12 oz Rib-Eye served with 2 fried eggs (£22.95)  and the 12 oz Sirloin (£21.95) all which came with a side salad.  I love a steak and these were tasty, I would give them a 7 out of 10. I have had better and I am actually a bit bored writing these review so no, it wasn’t amazing!

 

 

Service wise was ok.  One of our steaks we had to send back twice until they got it right but they were very eager to get it right which is great.  Our waitress was very fast on the drink service but considering we were pretty much the only ones in, I would expect her to be.

 

Would I go back? Yes, not right away but I liked the venue and being outside and I did enjoy my meal it just wasn’t amazing!  The wine was though and the wine we choose for the night was the Don David Malbec (£27.95) and the Tapiz Malbec (£25.90) which were both selected by by Chief Wine Connoisseur, my fiancee.  Both choices were excellent and we will be definitely looking out for them in the wine shop!

 

El Gaucho 3

 

BNC Gala Dinner

On Wednesday evening, I was a special guest of the BNC to attend their annual gala dinner.  The dinner is to thank us lovely corporate Event Planners for working with them throughout the year.  We really should be thanking them though for all the fabulous information and networking opportunities they provide but hey ho, I am never going to tell them that.  If you don’t know whom the BNC are you can read about them here..

The event was sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and held in The Savoy Hotel and was, quite rightly, a Vegas theme with lovely leggy (am very very jealous) Las Vegas Showgirls at every turn.   They even directed me towards the bathroom and wished me a good time?! (do hope they meant the dinner)…

 

The Savoy 2

I was just 15 minutes late for the 6.00 pm reception where I made up for it by drinking a few (4) glasses of my favorite  Louis Roederer Champagne.  I am getting a dab hand at this networking and met a few other Event Managers whom shared my love of champagne and taking selfies and we had a great time swapping details and event stories.

Dinner was called at 7.00 pm but not before a fab performance by the Vegas feather girls whom then led us through to THE MOST stunning ballroom. The Lancaster Ballroom was designed after an 18th century Parisian salon and would be amazing for not only weddings but for any corporate event as the space is effectively a blank canvas, with no pillars to obscure your setup and a dance floor.  You can find out about the space and its capacities  here.

 

The Savoy 1

After a welcome speech and a few hilarious hat changes by the BNC (because they wear many hats of course) Kim & Alec gave  incite into a few of their new exciting plans for the club and then, dinner was served.  It seems every time I try and eat well (boring), temptation rears its ugly head… in no way, shape or form will dieting ever get in my way of eating at The Savoy so I succumbed!  I ate it all and every bite was amazing and worth the extra kilo I put on.

The menu we were served and the wine selection for the evening are below.  I stayed on the red wine and I have literally just goggled to buy some, it was so smooth and I had no less than 2 (which means 4) glasses!

 

Confetti of Provencal vegetables with glazed goat cheese and aged balsamic

Champagne and strawberry sorbet

Green olive and brioche crusted rump of lamb with Swiss chard, grilled peppers, basil-goat cheese potato gratin and shallot jus

Zesty baked citrus tart with blueberry compote and Chantilly cream

Vegas-inspired petit fours with tea and coffee

Wine

Portenova Pinot Grigio, Azienda Fratello Fabiano

Cotes du Ventoux J.Vidal Flery

Now, it wouldn’t be a BNC event without fab entertainment and  prizes and I had my eye on the first prize which was 2 tickets to Vegas and accommodation.  All this past week I  was planning when I would go again and who I would take however unfortunately, I didn’t win.  There were so many other prizes including a pair of sparkly Christian Louboutin shoes which would have been perfect for my wedding but no, I did’t win them either.  What I did win from the evening was not only an amazing night with lots of laughs, amazing hospitality and some fab contacts that I emailed the next day but, an epic hangover that I would say, 5 days later is still there, lingering in the background of my head! All in all, totally worth it and I can’t wait until next year!

#fance

The savoy 3

Diner by Jamie Oliver

On a random day out in London yesterday we attempted to get into TGI Fridays (don’t judge) only to be told the wait time was 40 minutes! Spurred on by starvation we decided to keep walking and stumbled upon Diner, a pop up by Jamie Oliver on Shaftesbury Avenue.Diner by Jamie Oliver 5 - 21.12.13

Whilst I am not quite sure how long ago it “popped up”, I can honestly say, I hope it stays.

I’m not partial to Shaftesbury Avenue, I find it grimy and seedy however, with its American styled diner feel, it somehow fits right in. Perched above the avenue, floor to ceiling windows allow you to people watch from a safe distance.

This close to Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised we waited only 15 minutes for a table and as soon as we were shown to our table we loved the place. Big neon signs, friendly staff and a menu that when I say big American food, you will know what I mean.  The menu isn’t huge, it’s all ribs, chili, burgers and I’m sure there is something for the vegetarians there as well.

Obviously, being me, I went straight to the drinks menu which was full of wines, beers and a limited selection of cocktails. I went for the “Hellfire Margarita” that came with its own Chili – it was amazing, albeit hot but I loved it.  I followed this with a lovely glass, (glass being the operative word, not wine glass, but drinking glass) of Sauvignon Blanc that was ok…

Diner by Jamie Oliver 2 - 21.12.13Starters were chicken wings, ribs and avocado chips.  Priced at only £5.00 each they were lovely.  I had a burger with chili on top, as did my Bradley which was not huge but just enough.  Fries/Chips are extra though which I despise of.

Would I go back? yes I most certainly would! The bill came in at £100 for 4 of us and we all had a few drinks each with a main and a starter.. not bad for the seedy avenue!