Thursday, March 21, 2013

All the small things...

This post title comes courtesy of my crazy obsession for song lyrics, and yes I need to accredit the good boys of Blink 182 for this one but recently I have become all consumed with my desire for a new tattoo which I have wanted since the ink dried on my last (4th) one - but my problem is that I am so indecisive!  It was one of my new year's resolutions though so I am sticking to it, I fail at so many, and am on a quest for the right one.  I have had so many defining songs in the sound track to my life that I feel I need to pay tribute and add something to my body but my butterfly mind can't seem to choose.  At the moment I am torn between the rather damning Kelly Clarkson words from Gone and Lawson's rather soppier ones from Standing in the Dark.  Both, in my humble opinion worthy of being committed to flesh but at the same time it is rather permanent and I am not sure about exactly how much I want to bare in a bikini...

So tattoos aside, the post was all about the small things, tattoos excluded (latest one will be rather bigger than my others) and so I thought it was about time that I put down some of the small things that are very good things right now. 

  • It is March, and therefore surely we are due some sunshine!
  • The F1 season is upon us, which means heady petrol head fun and the longing for corporate hospitality (or maybe even a ticket for the Singapore GP and to watch the Killers play for £105 as Johnno and his new fiancee have managed to bag) remains a hazy memory
  • I have dared to put on jeans that I haven't worn in 5 years, and they fit fine
  • There are loads of lovely items to be tried and purchased on NAP (but my credit card was declined the other night, which is probably best, so I shall lust from afar for now)
  • I was asked for ID in Waitrose yesterday when buying wine, actually I wasn't directly but the very sweet and quite frankly terrified looking boy at the checkout asked me, cheekily, if I was old enough to be buying Chianti, to which I ridiculously said 'are you asking for my ID because I haven't got any!' to which he said 'no, but now that you have said that I can't serve you!' cue much hilarity from my fellow shoppers and the poor boy looked as though he was about to be hung out to dry - happily I was safe in the knowledge that Tesco were delivering white and fizz that very day so I just laughed, and let him off.  Was only one bottle, but rather awkward!  Quite flattering all the same, if I look 25 ever, to anyone, then that is fine.
  • The price of cigarettes is extortionate, not that I am buying them for me - natch - but seeing as I bought some for someone that I rather love having in my company only to have them smoked by drunken friends meant that I had to replace them - £8/20, WTF.  The first pack of 20 I bought were £2.52. 
  • My little people continue to amuse/ drive my bats at every opportunity, but they are doing amazing and I am very proud of the bigger people that they are turning in to.  Z will be 4 one month from now.
  • Lastly, for those feeling a bit shit at the moment - all I can say is that it will all get better, be honest with yourself and enjoy everything that is to come.
Oh and I put unleaded in to diesel car today, but thanks to the Bentley's boys all was OK (well so far so good!) they were very appreciative of the thank you beers that I dropped in on my way home.  I must be their number one nightmare client!

Happy weekend all, enjoy all of the small things, they make the bigger picture ..

"Say it ain't so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Keep your head still, I'll be your thrill, the night will go on, my little windmill
Say it ain't so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Keep your head still, I'll be your thrill, the night will go on, my little windmill"

All the small things, Blink 182

Friday, March 01, 2013

Lunch @ The Ledbury

Saf and I have taken the command decision that we shall sample all of the best restaurants around the country and have drawn up a 'to visit' list as part of our quest.  I seem to be making some very fun lists at the moment, but I had best leave it there else I shall become most distracted..! Following our meeting with the lovely Darren McHugh at The Berkley last month we decided that our next stop should be The Ledbury, as he had just been appointed restaurant manager there.  So, yesterday morning we set off to the big smoke on the train for our day, happily with much less drama than the last time we went in to town.  We arrived in Notting Hill for midday, a lovely part of town actually, I haven't been there for years (I think to visit Myla - stunning underwear shop- in maybe 2004?) anyway, the shopping there is fabulous, boutiques and quirky independent shops as well as an Ottoleghi deli, and of course some great looking cafes and bars.   The Ledbury is situated at the end of Ledbury road and has a very glam exterior that wouldn't look out of place at the centre of any of the World's Capitals.  Rather disappointingly there was no bar or anywhere to sit before lunch so we were shown straight to our table by the very charming Lawrence, who I have a feeling had been instructed to look after us by the afore mentioned Mr McHugh.  The restaurant itself is very pleasant, airy and modern, but nothing hugely special, I think the minimalist look had been taken a little far really, and therefore it lacked a little personality.  I like a touch more drama when it comes to decor, purely personal obviously. 

Our drinks arrived and Saf was presented with a really good non alcoholic cocktail, usually I am not a huge fan, they tend to be a little sticky but this was excellent, and my house champagne was good, although at £12 for a 125ml glass it should have been.  Lawrence had also been briefed about all of Saf's dietary requirements too and I have to say they were excellent to her, and even gave her her very own bread basket, which she made her way through admirably! Oh and they served SALTED butter, heaven.  I am not a fan of the unsalted stuff.  The canapes were yum (mine was a foie gras option) but 1 each I thought it was a little stingy..


My Starter

My starter was the rabbit veloute, which was excellent, the wine was also very good, cannot remember what it was though oops!

Saf's Starter

My Main
Saf's Main
Saf had a take on posh cheese on toast with a mushroom consomme which was also amazing, beautiful crockery too, which I loved, obviously as I have a slight crockery problem/obsession..  Next came the mains, and an excellent Merlot for me, I really love good red wine, it could be the financial ruin of me though, would I let it.  This was £18.50 for a 175ml glass, ouch but delish, and Californian, which I started off being a little sniffy at but the somellier took all of my preferences in to consideration (!!!) and he was absolutely spot on.  So, I had the Muntjac and honestly if I had to guess what I might choose for lunch that morning I would never have said deer, but oh my word it was exceptional, incredibly tender, cooked to perfection (med rare) and served with super tasty bone marrow and fried pretty potatoes (can't think of how else to describe them!!) was perfection on a plate.  Saf had a beautiful mushroom and celeriac risotto with pea puree, which easily stood up to the meat eaters' option. 

Lastly came pudding, and petits fours which I didn't fancy so Saf had that lot.  The sorbet was OK, but nothing special, neither of us have sweet teeth though so it isn't really surprising.  Lastly as I was enjoying my third glass of the fizzy stuff we were offered a kitchen tour and were very honoured to meet Head Chef Brett Graham and his team.  The main man took a good 5 mins to talk to us about his love of the place and shooting game, it was really lovely and he was a delight. 

We left at around 3pm after a really lovely lunch, the food was absolutely brilliant, couldn't fault it and we had a great laugh as we always do, but I would just say that it lacks something in the personality stakes, not just the decor but the atmosphere rather.  For us there weren't enough 'princess touches' no amuse bouches or extra little additions that make the overall experience, it was just going out for a nice lunch, and I don't like to use the word nice!  The prices were reasonable for Michelin starred food, £30 for 2 courses, £35 for 3 - and as I said, it was fabulous food, but I wouldn't rush back.  However, if you happen to find yourself in Notting Hill then you could do a lot worse than lunch at the Ledbury.

What I wore;

Silk shift dress - Warehouse
120 denier opaques - Wolford
Black suede ballet pumps - M&S
Grey woollen coat - M&S
Plaited shopper - Zara