Saturday, 25 July 2015

PIZZETTA & PROSECCO AT FIFTY9, MAYFAIR

Fifty9 is one of the latest trendy additions to Mayfair, set across two floors and features European-inspired design. Located in Berkeley Square, it is an ideal spot for after-work drinks, parties and private events. The space is brightly lit inside, with outdoor seating which plenty took advantage of on that fine summers evening.



The windows were open, allowing in the nice, cool breeze. Discreetly scanning the crowds for familiar faces, I eventually spotted our group, and was greeted by the lovely Kelly, Mya, and Montana from PRandEI. We were offered a glass of chilled prosecco upon arrival, which I graciously accepted - a good start to every weekend. And an even bigger plus when mine started mid-week...if only every week was like this.


I was actually quite hungry and my face beamed with excitement when the cheese and meat board was brought out. I did however adhere to the 'unspoken blogger rules' and refrained from touching the food until everyone had finished taking photos of it...we really are a disciplined bunch.






Their menu is simple and straightforward, consisting of a selection of appetisers, grilled sandwiches, salads, and their speciality hand-pulled pizzettas which I was very much looking forward to. Not just because I was pretty famished by then...
I don't really eat pizza that often, but when I do I usually prefer the thin crust ones. Their hand-pulled pizzettas were thin and crispy, and we were able to sample the different flavours available: chorizo, guindilla & piquillo peppers; prosciutto San Daniele & halkidiki olive; roasted mushroom & caramelised onion; and the classic Margherita.
There also seems to be less of the 'guilt-factor' with thin-crust pizzas (or pizzettas...) - less carbs...which also means you can eat more, right?
The kind barmen also prepared a few shots of bellinis for us. And of course the efficient staff also made sure that our glasses of bubbly remained topped up as the evening went by...







The underground club/bar was unfortunately closed that evening, but we were allowed to have a little look around.





For those of you interested to check it out for yourselves, Fifty9 if open from Monday to Wednesday from 12.00pm-1.00am, and from Thursday to Saturday from 12.00pm-3.00am. They are also available for private hire on Sundays - do check out their website for more information.

It was as usual lovely to see familiar faces as well as new - here's to more food, fun and bubble-filled evenings.

The Cheekster, signing out x


THE MAGAZINE IN BLOOM AFTERNOON TEA


 Summertime is one of the best times for a visit to the park when flowers are in full bloom, and to commemorate the well-renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show, The Magazine celebrated with a charming floral-inspired Afternoon Tea menu.
The Magazine forms part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, a former 1805 gunpowder store that now serves as a contemporary art gallery. The architecture of the striking modern extension is rather unique, artistically designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid.


We arrived slightly early and made the most of our time enjoying the warm sunshine in the garden, prior to advancing inside just as our afternoon tea was about to be served.
The sleek white dining room features a stunning undulating membrane roof, with natural light flooding the room through the skylights framed by imposing steel columns. The glass walls that encompass the vast space offer a great view of the beautiful green surroundings, giving guests the impression of dining in the surrounding garden. The dynamic and contemporary space is complemented by built-in furniture that echo the shapes of the structure.






The Afternoon Tea menu is inspired by the beauty and ingredients in the surrounding Kensington Gardens, where the chefs have the opportunity to utilise the seasonal British botanicals.

We started off with some thirst-quenching Magazine in Bloom cocktails, made with peach, pink grapefruit, Absolut vodka, thyme infused syrup and a splash of sparkling prosecco – sweet, fruity, and a perfect summer cocktail. A non-alcoholic option was also available upon request. To complement the menu, they had a selection of floral and fruit blends of Ronnefeldt teas, from which we both ordered the Silver Lime Blossom.



Our array of afternoon tea delights soon arrived, and instead of the conventional three tiered stand, they were served on black slates in a rustic wooden box. Our waiter gave us a brief explanation of the delicious platter laid before us. 


We started with the savoury bites, topped with delicate British botanicals such as blue borage and nasturtium - each one a mouthful of tantalizing goodness. Our favourites included the rainbow trout ceviche with cucumber which was very refreshing, and the black angus beef tartare with aromatic black truffle. The young goats curd was rich and creamy, served on a charcoal wafer and topped with a dainty blue borage. Others included a chive cream cheese, and an avocado mousse on toasted brioche.






Moving towards to the sweet treats, one of the substituted desserts served that day was a 'flat white' chocolate dessert sprinkled with pistachio which gave a nice crunchy texture – kind of like having a shot of coffee! The white chocolate was lightly coated with dessicated coconut, and as we bit into it, it released the sweet syrup infused with wonderful flavours of lychee. The mini lemon verbena meringue had a lovely zesty flavour and buttery pastry, and were like little bites of sunshine.
We washed it all down with a cool and healthy smoothie, served in cute glass bottles.





And lets not forget the buttermilk scones, the essential element in every afternoon tea - nice and fluffy, served with fragrant rose infused English strawberry jam and luscious clotted cream.


The Afternoon Tea menu was indeed a delightful experience, and a wonderful portrayal of the vibrant colours and flavours of the season – pleasing to the eyes as well as the palate.
The portion sizes were just about right for a casual afternoon treat, which leave you satisfied without the guilty feeling of overindulgence.
The Magazine in Bloom Afternoon Tea menu is available until September 30th 2015, subject to availability. It is priced at £25.00 per person, and is served 3.30pm to 5pm Thursday to Sunday. 
Reservations can be made via afternoontea.co.uk .

If you are looking for a bit of art and culture after, I would recommend a visit to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery with plenty of exhibitions to explore.

The Cheekster, signing out x







This review was conducted on behalf of afternoontea.co.uk

Monday, 13 July 2015

BLOOD SUGAR, THE MANOR

Last Sunday, I made my first visit to The Manor for their Blood Sugar event after getting the heads up from fellow dessert-lover Felicity Spector.
The evening involved a collaboration between two of London's top pastry chefs - Kira Ghidoni from The Manor, and Adam Degg from Chiltern Firehouse who created a series of one-off desserts and sweet treats, with some pretty amazing cocktails specially created by the team at White Lyan.
A menu exclusively made up of cocktails AND desserts...could this evening get any better?






We started off with the 'Snack & Stack' course - a selection of bite-sized snacks paired with a 'stack' of individual cocktail shots. The goat's curd with caramelized red onion and praline were presented like little ice cream cones, and paired with "Wax aged negroni". The sweet and savoury flavours of the medjool date with almond and bacon was paired with "Iberico sour" - definitely one for the bacon/pork lovers. The cheese and pineapple was a smooth mousse that required some "mouth skills" or "lip action", as we each attempted sucking it out of the red plastic sheet that encased it. This was paired with an equally sweet "Champagne curdled colada". The #Bloodsugar bao was really light and fluffy and had a sort of marmalade filling in between. No meat inside the bao, but there was meat in our cocktail...well, sort of - the "Ribs" cocktail. Our last snack was "Egg & soldiers", a twist on the typical breakfast version. After we had finished slurping up the delicious contents and pre-warned not to break the shells, a bottle of "Lemongrass kombucha" was brought over to the table to fill our empty eggshells.









The "Kira" consisted of beetroot, apple and sheep's yoghurt, and presented in my favourite colour of pink! Everyone who knows me well enough (or has looked into my wardrobe) knows that I have a slight obsession with the colour...and anything that's pink is sure to taste AWESOME... 
There was a nice natural sweetness from the beetroot and a nice combination of textures. A pretty healthy dessert I must say...which lessens the guilt factor.
This was served with a "Whiskey golden fizz" which was really rich and creamy.



Adam's creation was probably my favourite dessert of the evening - baked egg custard with pine nut miso, strawberries and sorrel. The custard had a really nice consistency and the whole dish worked really well together. Another very pretty looking dish.


It was eventually time for the "Collision Course", as our tables were swiftly cleared of all unnecessary cutlery and utensils...
Balloons were placed in the centre, which were popped one by one, and splashes of ingredients were thrown onto the table from multiple directions. A pan of fresh cherries was blow-torched before being scattered onto the mouth-watering chaos before us, and the whole thing finished off with a shower of dainty rose petals. 
Chocolate, cherries...a black forest gateau explosion. 
If an actual collision ever did occur and the world came to an end, I hope that it happens like this. Maybe even with a few sprinkles of popping candy.
All washed down with a "Fizzy Brooklyn" from the bottle.






 



 The little treats at the end included  "Vinegar lollipop", "Artichoke Cannoli" and "White peach & verbena stones".







Well done to the chefs and teams that made it all possible. The night definitely ended on a (sugar) high! Hopefully this will be the first of more exciting (and SWEET) times to come.

So...anyone else up for dessert?

The Cheekster, signing out x