Christmas cake, Caviar and Champagne.. what’s not to love?

The diet is most well and truly over and I’m back to full–on luxury indulgence which is fortuitous as it’s also coinciding with the festive season. Happily I’m eating again well over eating, and loving it. On a recent press trip out to Austria somebody commented rather rudely’ I’ve never met such a petite woman who could put away so much cheese and beer’. Really! How rude..

I can’t help it though, there’s no stop button well until the ‘New Year, New Me’ regime kicks in again. I’d made a promise to myself at the start of the diet that I’d treat myself and long suffering friends to a long lunch somewhere fabulous with food that was a combination of comfort, deeply satisfying and indulgent.  I found myself back on the welcoming doorstep of Angelus restaurant in West London, ready to dive into a divine plate of Orkney scallops, succulent rabbit and a long awaited and much anticipated ‘assiette of dessert’ which involved a memorable Clementine and Vodka soufflé, salted caramel tart with homemade ice-cream. It didn’t disappoint.. that was nearly a month ago and since then I’ve been indulging in a non-stop sugar fix.

French Fine Wine

French Fine Wine

Foie gras - Creme Brulee

Foie gras – Creme Brulee

Not a huge lover of traditional fruit Christmas cake I jumped at the chance to taste test some of Maison Blanc’s Christmas Patisserie range and offering of beautifully designed festive themed cakes made with woodland theme <a href="http://www.maisonblanc.co.uk/”>http://www.maisonblanc.co.uk/ at their Fulham rd store.  Naturally I had to try all of the patisserie on offer, my favourite was the Pistachio woodland cake featuring cute toadstools. It’s indulgent yes, but it’s fun, especially for children and a great alternative to a full English afternoon tea. You can either chose 1 or 2 mini cakes an exquisite chocolate ‘Buche de Noel’ log or some of the Christmas Cupcake range are also really fun and with fresh cream and light vanilla flavoured sponges, much better than Christmas cake anyday.

There’s a limit however, even for me as to how much sugar you can have in a week, so moving over to the savoury side of my tastebuds. On a more savoury note but no less indulgent I was sent some Caviar by the London Classic Caviar company along with a Mother of pearl teaspoon and given explicit instructions on how to taste the densely packed Caviar pearls.

Caviar Classic London .. package perfection

Caviar Classic London .. package perfection

The Caviar is beautifully dense, grey, shiny in appearance and densely packed. As soon as I put a spoon into mouth .. hmm it has a deliciously creamy texture with a slight hint of fish but not overpowering in anyway and a nutty aftertaste. We sip some Champagne and then taste with blinis and creme fraiche and wow it’s a great little amuse bouche if you’re looking for something special to offer guests over the festive period or New Year’s. www.caviarclassic-london.com

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Après London- A cool ‘Sex in the City’ Cocktail bar

A heaving Oxford Street gives way to a trendy side street, where Après London drinks bar and club lives. It’s my Sex in the City moment post work,shopping cool cocktail bar. Après is a nice little find around the busy West End and Mayfair area, conveniently situated opposite Selfridges. It has an outside area for summer drinks and tasty nibbles and some very comfy leather seating inside by the bar to relax and chill out in post a busy day at work.

Apres London, Terrace area

Apres London, Terrace area

Serving an eclectic mix of cool cocktails ranging from some fabulous martini and mojito concoctions with a twist to wine and beers, as well as non-alcoholic cocktails with some pizzaz!

Cucumber cooler

Cucumber cooler

Mojito with a twist

Mojito with a twist

When we arrive at the bar it’s fairly busy and the Thursday night DJ who is too ‘Cool for Skool’ starts setting up next to us. To the left of us a couple on a date and another table of very chic London girls are sipping cocktails and avidly catching up on the gossip over some cool tunes. I notice it’s mainly Londoners in here, everybody is achingly on trend and looking very London, there are a few wealthy looking ex-pat types but it feels quite local in here as well.

ApresLondon

ApresLondon

After the initial cocktail we veer towards the menu, which is certainly a fun eclectic mix of some different and favourite cuisines. We decide on some beef sliders, steak tacos, hummus with fresh large green olives and hot pitta bread, as well as chicken satay sticks, simple but good ingredients, which certainly hit the spot.

Beef Sliders

Beef Sliders

Well stocked bar

Well stocked bar

Apres has an easy and fun atmosphere for a quick drink and bite to eat. It’s a lovely relaxed spot with cool tunes and an even cooler DJ, who was good when we were there on the Thursday evening. Weekends the basement club is also open and holds bigger numbers, there is a doorman policy at the weekend and you can ring ahead to reserve a table as it does get busy with the cool set.

For a few cocktails and 2-3 tapas style dishes the average cost would be £30-35 per person. The location is easy for Bond Street/ Oxford Street tubes. http://www.apreslondon.com
Apres

Ratings:
Atmosphere: 7
Food: 8
Drink: 9
Overall Experience: 8