Category Archives: Restaurants

May-Fair Lady

It’s easy to get yourself out of bed when you know you are have a luxurious lunch at the Dorchester Grill Room to look forward to. If you haven’t been to the Dorchester Hotel, it is located on Park Lane in Mayfair, opposite Hyde Park. There is valet parking on site, so we just pulled up, got out of the car and walked straight in. Look for the huge Plane Tree (named one of the Great Trees of London) towering outside the front of the hotel, you can’t miss it.

One of the great Plane trees of London outside The Dorchester Hotel

Ain’t Misbehavin’

I thought I had high expectations of the most prestigious and expensive hotel in London, but these were surpassed the moment I emerged from the revolving door into the lobby.

The revolving door leading into the marble lobby at The Dorchester

Retired doorman of 50 years Ted Whitcombe, has seen some of the most famous stars and royalty arrive at the hotel. In an interview in 2008 he recalls “Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had brought cases of rare Jack Daniel’s but were asked to leave because they were misbehaving with women in the corridors. They went to the Savoy and never came back for their case. It took us ages to get through all that booze.”

Afternoon Tea on The Promenade

The Promenade at The Dorchester is famous for it’s afternoon tea

On entering the lobby you find yourself standing at the entrance to the promenade adorned with green and white blooms. We had arrived early so we walked the length of the promenade to find a coveniently located cocktail bar at the end. A refreshing gin and tonic was the order of the day, and although it was midday and quiet, within ten minutes the bar was buzzing with businessmen and ladies that lunch, as well as the occasional hotel guest.

The Grill Room

Designer Bruno Moinard worked with the Grade II Listed gold ceiling and doors to create a contemporary elegance.

Grade II listed gold doors at The Dorchester Grill Room

An ornate hand blown Murano glass chandelier hangs from the grade II listed gold ceiling in The Dorchester Grill Room

Food That’s Better Than……..

Yes, I’m not going to say it, but it’s true. I must have sounded like the lady in the Herbal Essences advert with every dish I tried (who remembers that?). It was a gastronomic delight as I worked my way through the recommendations made by Arthur, our charmingly French waiter with good looks to go with it.

I grilled him (excuse the pun) on the source of the ingredients for every dish. Since they boasts on their website of the use of finest locally sourced ingredients where possible, I wanted to know the origin of the food.

We selected the set menu which is amazing value for money. An à la carte menu is also available.

The set menu is amazing value for money.

Bon Appétit

A selection of bread includes their own recipe stilton bread. Arthur proudly informed me that some guests of the Dorchester Grill Room come to the restaurant purely because of this bread. I don’t know what they do to that bread, but with a smattering of butter, it is dangerously divine.

The Grill Room’s freshly baked stilton bread is dangerously divine

Raw and cooked beetroot and goat’s curd salad complimented with a lovely french dressing

Delicate chicken liver terrine with red oignon chutney

The 24 hour braised Scottish beef just melts in the mouth

The Dorchester Grill Room have created a sweet soufflé menu which is the first of its kind in London

Michelin Chef Alain Ducasse’s protégé, Guillaume Katola is the executive chef leading the talented Grill Room team. Thanking him for a delicious meal, he insisted it was a combined effort and gave credit to his Pastry Chef, Ludovic Cuny and the rest of the team. We were honoured to be taken for a tour of the kitchen which is so big it is on two floors has an escalator to take you down to the lower level.

Chef’s Table

If you are looking for an immersive dining experience, you can book a meal at the Chef’s Table. This is located on the lower floor inside the kitchen. The glass windows are frosted, but with the press of a button they become transparent. The entertainment for the evening is a front row seat at the creation of your meal.

A unique dining experience inside The Dorchester kitchens at the Chef’s Table

The Girl Who Had Everything

Elizabeth Taylor was a frequent guest at the hotel in the 60’s and 70’s, so much so that it was like her second home. It was during a stay in the rooftop Harlequin Suite that she received news that she was to become the first actress to be paid $1 million, for her role as Cleopatra.

Entrance to The Harlequin Suite (pic: The Dorchester Hotel)

The Harlequin Suite Master Bedroom where Elizabeth Taylor’s second home (pic: The Dorchester Hotel)

The Harlequin Suite living room (pic: The Dorchester Hotel)

A pink marble bathroom was installed in the second bedroom especially for Elizabeth Taylor. It remains the same to this day.

The original pink marble bathroom installed especially for Elizabeth Taylor (pic: The Dorchester Hotel)

You make your dining reservations at the Dorchester Grill Room via Bookatable. They offer excellent deals on all dining venues at The Dorchester Hotel, including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, one of only four 3-Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK.

Hotel information:

The Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA
Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7629 8888.   Reservations: +44 (0)20 7317 6530

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Best Oysters Ever at Loch Fyne Egham

Loch Fyne Egham

When my dear friend David comes to visit me from, it is always a challenge for me to find the right restaurant for us.  We enjoy fine dining, however we like to be able to relax, have friendly service and a good old laugh at ourselves in the process.  As a lover of seafood, I suggested we try Loch Fyne Egham.

I am a big fan of lobster.  I glanced at the other options on the menu but I had made my mind up.  David posed the question “are you having a starter?”  Then pointed out the Oysters.  I wasn’t sure at first, but there was something kind of naughty and indulgent about it and the temptation was too much for me to resist.  David and I are both easily led when it comes to spoiling ourselves, so we threw caution to the wind and went for it.

Oysters; Tequila & Lime, Beetroot & Horseradish and Natural

Oysters Galore

The oysters are served in four different ways; natural, tempura with chilli jam, beetroot & horseradish and tequila & lime (over 18’s only).  We decided to have one of each.  The tequila comes in a little pipet which you squirt onto the oyster along with a squeeze of fresh lime.  Then you simply tip the shell up and sip it all down. If you love tequila, as I do, then this is going to blow your mind!  These would be the ultimate party starter.

Of course it was only right that we enjoyed a chilled bottle of fizz with our oysters.  We went on to try the beetroot and horseradish oysters which were delicious, as were the natural oysters, but nothing could come close the the tequila and lime ones in my view.

I must say I wasn’t sure what to expect with the tempura oysters.  I couldn’t see how this could work, but my goodness, when I took the first bite I was in heaven. One of the most delicious foods I have ever tasted.

Time for main course. Whole baked lobster is usually served with french fries, but we chose not to have them.  With a beetroot, pomegranate and chicory, goat’s curd salad on the side, we tucked into the most delicious lobster.  Unfortunately for the lobster, it had been hugely upstaged by the oysters, and although I would highly recommend it, next time I will just order 6 – 12 oysters for my entire meal.

Overall Experience

Loch Fyne Egham has a friendly and sophisticated ambience.  We were served by a lovely man named Mark who made us feel very welcome, relaxed and well looked after. And that is not the prosecco and oysters talking!  The incredible food was certainly supported by great service and lovely interior design.

Guy Harvey Outpost – Rum Fish Grill

The Guy Harvey Outpost

Guy Harvey is responsible for the artwork on the hull of the Norwegian Escape, so I had to go and check out the Guy Harvey Outpost and the much talked about Rum Fish Grill restaurant.

The restaurant is probably the most interesting looking restaurant on Gulf Boulevard.

Rum Fish Grill main entrance

A Tradewinds Beach Resort

I arrived early so had plenty of time to look around and take photos.  The hotel is located behind the back of the restaurant, leading onto the beach.

Opposite the hotel entrance behind the restaurant

Everywhere you look there is more amazing artwork.  The hotel rooms from the outside looked very clean, fresh and appealing.  I would definitely like to stay here on my next visit.

Stunning artwork on the hotel walls

You can enjoy your Starbucks near the hotel reception while enjoying the beautiful artwork.

Both outside and inside the hotel lobby

Every part of the hotel reflects Guy Harvey’s passion for marine life and conservation. Even hallway to the pool and beach area is beautiful.

The ultimate place to spend Christmas on St Pete Beach

You can enjoy a drink or something to eat between cooling off in the pool.

2 pools and a lovely bar restaurant facing the beach

There is a surf simulator for hotel residents and private cabanas for hire, as well as hammocks to relax and unwind in.

Take it easy in one of these hammocks

or take in a sunset with friends at this luxurious lounge area

The kids get their own hang out

We headed back to the Rum Fish Grill as we still hadn’t seen one of the main attractions.

Joshua was fascinated by the fish and the tank

There is a viewing area for the fish tank which is outside of the restaurant.

An incredible dining experience

Rum Fish Grill

When you dine in the Rum Fish Grill, you get an ipad which not only has the menu and games for the children to play, but there is a fish identifier which is really fun and helps you to learn more about the marine life in the process.  Please note that the fish in the tank are NOT the fish on the menu.

ipad with menu, games and fish identifier

My mahi mahi fish tacos with healthy greens

I can honestly say the fish I had was so tender and tasty, it was the best fish I have ever had.

Grouper fingers and sweet potato fries from the kids menu.

The man himself, Guy Harvey, man of many talents.

There is a gift shop by the restaurant which sell all sort of things, such as clothing, artwork, homeware and this gorgeous flip flop plate.  I would have bought it, but didn’t think it would make it back in one piece.  It has given me the idea to do a transatlantic from Florida to Southampton after a big shopping spree here.

I wanted EVERYTHING in the gift shop

If you are visiting the St Pete Beach area, please go and check out this place.  This is a very popular place to eat, therefore you will require a reservation for the restaurant. This can either be done at the hotel or on Open Table.



A London Retreat – Kensington Roof Gardens

Events at Kensington Roof Gardens

I have been to the legendary Kensington Roof Gardens for a night out with family and friends and absolutely loved it.  So, I was interested to know what the venue would be like for a corporate event.

Getting There

Kensington is not in the congestion charge zone, so there is no need to pay for that.  There is a local NCP who were charging £35 for parking.  Then I came across this site which directed me to the The Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington. They provide 8 hours secure parking for just £25.  It was easy to find, close to where I wanted to be and the staff were very friendly.  The atmosphere in the hotel seemed nice,  and would be worth considering for somewhere to stay in the future.

The Venue

When you arrive at Kensington Roof Gardens, you need to take the lift to the 7th floor.  This takes you to the entrance of the club and location for corporate events.

The bar is conveniently located to your left on entering and was set up with teas and coffees for the delegates.  Usually the club is one big room, however for events it is divided into two areas.

Once the morning session was over we went had the opportunity to network and stretch our legs.  Outside in the gardens, I found a haven of tranquility amongst the hustle and bustle of London.


After a lovely barbecue lunch outside in the heated Spanish Gardens, the conference continued. The afternoon session was broken up with a break for coffee, scones and mini doughnuts.
Cocktails and canapés were served in the Spanish Garden, with a talented Caricaturist from wickedcaricatures.com on hand, both provided with compliments by eBay.  I certainly enjoyed the day learning so much about online publishing and e-commerce from leading experts, partnered with a stunning venue with first class hospitality. It was a great networking event and good to meet people in non travel related industries.