Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cocktails At Christmas - Rules & Rumpus Room

Now that the post-holiday blues have subsided, I am well and truly in the Christmas spirit. I love going out in London at this time of year. A Monday night can feel like a Friday, the sparkling fairy lights are everywhere and the mood is jolly. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Last weekend, I met my friend Angela for a Christmas catch up. A few weeks prior I'd purchased a little floral Asos dress which had been intended for afternoon tea in Vegas. However, for hangover reasons, afternoon tea never happened so this was the perfect opportunity to give it its first outing.

I wore it with my new favourite accessory - my Chatelaine Charm Belt. Over on the website you can pick the charms yourself to attach to the belt. I'd always wanted a charm bracelet and I do love a nice waist-enhancing belt; this is the perfect combo for me! I'm wearing it all the time at the moment!

I'd booked us in for lunch at Rules. It was my third visit in as many months but I just adore the menu. Plus I had assumed that they would make a rather good effort for Christmas and I wasn't wrong. The restaurant had been decorated beautifully and felt so cosy and homely. 

We kicked the afternoon off with a delightful cocktail in the bar

Then it was time to make lunch decisions. I went for the seasonal quince salad with stilton (yum) & chestnuts followed by the deliciously tender loin of venison with red cabbage & roast celeriac.

Such lovely, cockle-warming food. As usual, Rules didn't disappoint.

We stayed in the cosy cocktail bar for a little while after lunch before heading over to the Southbank and a glamorous rooftop bar at the new Mondrian Hotel.

I'm a lover of a venue with a view and the Rumpus Room is undoubtedly one of those. The ceiling to floor glass provides a breath-taking outlook over London. My favourite spot on the skyline is St Paul's cathedral which always looks fantastic illuminated at night. 

Rumpus Room is on the 12th floor. With big red sofas, chandeliers that resemble exploded fireworks and that view, it's certainly an impressive place to sip a cocktail or two. 

We were seated overlooking London. Perfect.

We chatted away a good few hours in those comfy chairs; it was a lovely atmosphere to be in. The service was friendly, the ambiance chilled out but still buzzing and the drinks were rather good too! A fabulous new bar for my fellow view and cocktail lovers out there!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Vegas In December - Part 2 of 2

The more eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that this tale of my visit to Vegas has suddenly been amended from a three-parter to a mere two-parter. Sorry about that. Basically, it became apparent upon review that my photography talents somewhat tailed off as the holiday went on and I think putting together three decent posts would have been a bit of a stretch! But I did get a few goodies and enough to show you a little more of what we got up to in good old Sin City!

Bazaar Meat

Found inside the shiny, new SLS Hotel, Bazaar Meat is a culinary adventure brought to you by award-winning chef Jose Andres. Described as "a wild and wonderful celebration of the carnivorous in all its forms", the menu choice is massive so it's your call whether you decide to go raw and simple or a little more adventurous.

The cocktails are quality. This was Mary's choice - an amazing candyfloss concoction!

It was our second night in Vegas. We were feeling bold so decided upon one of the Bazaar Meat tasting menus. Note that this is the smaller tasting menu of the three on offer; just the mere thirteen dishes!

As if that wasn't enough, we decided to add on the cotton candy foie gras. It just sounded too crazy not to try!

It got even better from then on too...

Admittedly not one for the vegetarians amongst you but if you are a big lover of all things meat, this is a dinner spot you must try. It's also a great opportunity to have a mooch round the brand new SLS Hotel.

Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi is an old favourite of mine. Alex and I visited Mon Ami Gabi for a special dinner the night we got engaged back in summer 2009 and since then, I've been back again and again. Their food is of a very high standard but it's their mouth-watering breakfasts that really do it for me. 

Mary and I were a little obsessed with their amazing quiche. We actually visited twice to indulged both at breakfast and lunch time. When is there actually a bad time for quiche anyway?

Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Rose. Rabbit. Lie.  is the place in Vegas for a winning combination of drinks, delicious food, glamour and music. Located at The Cosmopolitan hotel, it blurs the lines between restaurant, bar, club and live entertainment. There are singers, magicians, acrobats, comedians and tap dancers performing as you dine. 

The food is perfect for sharing. We ordered a few of their colourful plates to graze on as we sipped our drinks and enjoyed the show. 

For dessert we had the not-so-usual combination of grasshopper cocktails and caviar truffles on ice. Why on earth not!

Later on in the evening, guess who ended up being called onto the floor to prance around in front of everyone with a big feather fan?  

Go Mary! 

I wanted to post the video I took but I'm having a few issues with my video editing (i.e. I'm rubbish at it).

It was such a fun dining experience which comes highly recommended from us!

Fizz Champagne Lounge & Matt Goss Live

We weren't really sure what shows to see this time round.  We'd seen our favourite, Absinthe, a couple of times already. Most of the Cirque de Soleil shows had already been covered. Britney had already been witnessed in all her glitzy glory. So what to see?

I decided upon the Mac King matinee (which I mentioned in my previous post) and thanks to a recommendation from my fellow blogger buddy Victoria of Florence & Mary, Matt Goss.

Sadly I'm old enough to remember Matt Goss when he was in 80's boyband Bros. When Will I Be Famous, Drop The Boy and I Owe You Nothing still feature on my iPod - fact. But the days of leather jackets and ripped jeans are behind him; Matt has been selling out The Gossy Room in Caesar's Palace for the past five years. He croons, he entertains and he's rather easy on the eye too. 

Pre-show, we enjoyed a bottle of bubbles over at Elton John and David Furnish's lavish Fizz Champagne Bar. The walls are adorned with pictures from Elton's personal collection (apparently) and oversize sparkling crystal chandeliers cascade from the ceiling. Definitely our kind of place!

We arrived at The Gossy Lounge already in high spirits post-bubbles (despite it being our last night) only to be bumped up to the best table in the house by the people on the door! Result! In fact, we ended up watching the show sat next to his stepdad and an English couple who I suspected had paid quite a lot of money to be on that table. We kept our heads down!

It was a really entertaining show. His voice is great and I knew most of the songs well enough to sing along the whole way through...much to his stepdad's delight, I'm sure! 

Hanging Around & Being Silly

This is basically what we spent a lot of our nights doing - people watching, playing roulette, sipping cocktails and generally entertaining each other. We met so many hilarious and interesting people and I don't know where all the hours went! Time just goes too fast when you're having so much fun.

So here's to Las Vegas. A place that is - as I think Barry Manilow once wrote - one of a kind.

Until next time!