Friday, April 26, 2013

Lunch - Roux @ The Landau

Happy days, yesterday was time for  Saf and I leave to reality behind for a short while and head up to London for shopping and lunch, in style.  It is so great having such easy access to London, but I do sometimes wish I was even closer to town. Surrey is a lovely place to live, but still, you cannot beat the atmosphere in the Capital, not to mention all of the vibrancy, energy and beauty that the city exudes. 

The Langham Hotel is situated right at the top of Regent Street, just opposite the fancy new BBC building and is a stunning place.  We arrived a little early so we made our way back down Regent St in the glorious sunshine for a quick spot of shopping before hitting the bar.  I was wearing flats but the world's most uncomfortable ballet pumps (yes such things do exist!) so headed for Zara and picked up a fab pair of pink suede heels, for a whopping £22.50 (the black versions were £70, I think I might have got an ultra bargain) and back in heels I felt much better, albeit leggy next to my slightly shorter compani.  We had a good look around and then headed back for a drink in the Artisan bar before heading in to the Restaurant.  The bar was beautiful, but expensive and OK I had a glass of Laurent Perrier but they charged us 12.5% service charge for 2 drinks which I feel is a complete con. 


Walking in to the Roux you are presented with amazing looking wine cellars on each wall and then a dining room that is opulent yet serene, with a calm vibe about it and immaculate staff.  We were shown to our lovely table by the window and were presented with the lunch menus as well as a red rose for Saf and a white one for me, we were also told that our aperitifs had been paid for, no clue as to who by though.  I guessed it was Ram but when Saf messaged him he denied all knowledge the toad.  Anyway, it was a lovely surprise and the whole restaurant went quiet, making me blush - which never happens!  Saf did laugh. 

So, we made our choices from the menu, I chose from the set lunch menu and Saf went a la carte vegetarian.  My menu included half a bottle of wine and 3 courses for £45 which I thought was excellent value and chose Chablis to accompany both fish courses.  I was rather surprised that there was no present Somellier as I love talking wine, this time I had to choose for myself which, although it is of course fine, I would have liked to have the opportunity to benefit from an expert's opinion.
The first set of canapes were very promising, smoked haddock, and gorgeous, we had high hopes, and the bread was hot and fresh from the oven, so again, lovely detail there.  Much laughter and putting the world to rights ensued and a short time later our starters arrived.  I have to say that I have never been more surprised when Saf's starter arrived, 4 minuscule chopped carrots in the bottom of a bowl, barely enough for your average hamster - until the pea veloute was poured on top, thank goodness for that.  When my starter was presented I have to say that I was more than a little disappointed, it didn't look good at all and I am afraid to say that it didn't taste great either, it was under seasoned, eggy and well flaccid, for want of a better word!  Saf and I took at least 5 minutes to compose ourselves, so mature that we are.  It was a smoked salmon and scallop dish, but really the flavours were lost and it was rather disappointing. 
My face says it all - and

The next disappointment was the lack of extra tasters, no amuse bouche or palate cleansers, which I do feel would have added to the meal.  When the main courses arrived they looked much better, I had the Sea Bass and Saf had aubergine with Saffron wheat, lovely presentation and cooked to perfection, although again, mine could have been better seasoned (not that I am a food critic, it isn't just about the food but it is rather an integral part of going to a restaurant, and therefore expectations are naturally high, especially with the Roux name above the door) the portions were very generous though and we were both really full at the end of our main so waited a while before ordering our desert.  Another huge plus for the place was the the cheese board could be taken instead of desert at no additional cost, which was a huge plus for us as neither of us are that fussed about desert.  It also meant that I could have a glass of exquisite Bordeaux as well - no after dinner fizz for me this time.  It was excellent cheese, truly delicious, but the bread served with it had nuts and raisins in it which meant that Saf and I both spent a deal of time picking the bits out!  By the time the petit fours were delivered we couldn't eat another thing.

Saf's Main
Cheese & a cheeky Bordeaux
Overall it was a really great day, a super location, relaxed ambiance and friendly, attentive staff.  The food was good, but I was expecting more of the wow factor I have to admit.  We weren't offered a kitchen tour either which was a shame, but the quality of the food was first class and it was super value, especially as our mystery benefactor had paid for all the additional drinks for us!  That was a lovely surprise.  I am really glad that we chose this place, but at the same time I wouldn't rush to recommend it, competition is rife and I really feel that there is a lot more to be done in order to secure the coveted repeat custom. 

Lastly, what I wore;

Printed dress - Joseph (this dress was £380 to start with but I got it for £90 3 years ago and have never worn it, have been 'saving' it for an occasion-  but I need to stop doing that, too many things with tags on in my wardrobe, so it was trotted out)
Pink Suede heels - Zara
Black patent Barbarella bag -  Aspinall of London
Black blazer - Zara
Prada sunglasses

Saf and her rose from Ram

Wine Racks!  The entrance

The dining room

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lessons learned in April

As far as months go April is always a crazy one, aside from the unpredictable British weather (fashion dilemmas abound) and the Easter holidays dominating - it is a transition month and is always really busy.  For me I have had lots of work on and Zach's birthday, amongst other fun things, so the time has flown past.  This April has been particularly eventful, and I find that (as with all good planners/ de briefers) I have a number of take aways already, despite the fact that it isn't actually over yet;

1) Always pay your TV licence, if you don't/ forget to then they will knock at your door, read you your rights, wind up your dog and make you pay a year up front.  Fact. Yep, for missing one payment.
2)  Sometimes it isn't worth claiming on your insurance if someone hits your car  - and when I say hits, I mean drives in to your car at speed, at night and totals the side of it (or not mine in this case!)so, always befriend a decent local garage who will look after you and fix you up for a reasonable amount.
3) Despite how easy a You Tube tutorial makes it look, never attempt to ice a cake using fondant icing, unless you have an immense amount of patience, or nothing better to do with your time.
4) Adults can have as much fun as kids on a 25 ft high inflatable side, and especially wearing mickey mouse ears...
5) Marlboro Silver are really just expensive air
6) Being a size 8 is good
7) Eating your own body weight in pizza is also good
8) 6 & 7 aren't sustainable
9) Sometimes you can't fix people, you can just be there for them, let them know you care and hope that, with time and patience, it is enough. 
10) Sunshine makes everything better, makes people more sociable, makes them smile and definitely makes the world a sexier place to be.  Nothing better than having a drink, in the garden, in the sun with those you love being with.  Looking forward to some time doing just that... Hopefully very soon.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Spring Please!

The sunshine is out and so whilst nursing a ridiculous hangover this weekend I have begun fantasising about a SS13 wish list and the compilation, thereof, has begun.

This has to go top - black tee with peonies, possibly the most beautiful romantic flower ever, perfect sexy laziness, and All Saints come up trumps again, but £95?!  I think I may have the white jersey tee version in my basket for now ;)

Peony Top
 This Marni dress from The Outnet is stunning, but doesn't exactly scream SS, and is still £302!  Ouch

Printed cotton dress by Marni

This BMB jumper looks like the perfect addition too, would probably wear this more than the other SS tops!  Sadly/ happily it is OOS in my size but a good price at £56 for cotton and I love the quality of her clothes

Astha striped cotton-blend sweater by By Malene Birger

These are also going on the wish list but only because I have a problem with sunnies, and they are a bargain ( I have no need for them, shallow..)
Metal aviator sunglasses  by Marc by Marc Jacobs
Then there is this blouse from H&M which I have purchased already and am really hoping it isn't too 'poolside Marbella' but we shall see;