Friday, 21 November 2014

A Cool New Way To Pre-Theatre: Marcus Wareing's Tredwell's

Tredwell's is a new Marcus Wareing restaurant that's recently opened in the heart of London's Theatreland. I had tickets booked to see Neville's Island at the Duke of York's Theatre so my invitation to give this stylish new eatery a go couldn't have been more perfect as they're about a one minute's walk away from each other. I'd seen lots of positive chatter and mouth-watering food pics on social media in the lead up to my visit so I arrived feeling positive for a very decent meal.

Seven Dials looked so pretty lit up with colourful Christmas lights. Just under five weeks to go!!

We were greeted warmly on arrival and taken to a table at the front of the restaurant. Inside it's sleek and modern with a nicely relaxed atmosphere. 

Regular readers of mine might be aware that Mary and I will soon be jetting off to Las Vegas. As each of our livers and sleeping patterns will no doubt take something of a battering for those five days, we are being extra good in the lead up to our departure. My favourite alternative to having wine with dinner is sparkling water with loads of ice and a wedge of lemon in a wine glass - the wine glass being the most vital aspect. As you sip those bubbles you could almost forget that no alcohol is passing your lips. A placebo of sorts.


We took more time than usual mulling over the menu. I don't think there was one dish on there that I wouldn't have enjoyed. 

We decided to share some dishes to start off, choosing the chargrilled chicken with peanut sauce & cucumber chutney, harissa glazed aubergine with peanuts, coriander & chilli and - from the snacks - the courgette fritters with pine nut butter.

Look how wonderfully presented and colourful the dishes were

They tasted as good as they looked too. There were so many vibrant flavours and I loved the contrast of textures in all three dishes. The chef's generosity with the deliciously creamy peanut sauce was particularly appreciated! 

For main course, Mary chose the succulent-looking rib eye steak with pepper sauce and I went for confit duck with buttered cabbage. Our side dishes were the grilled broccoli with almond butter & anchovies and the kale slaw. Protein heaven and pleasingly low carb for me!

I can't remember the last time I had duck that was quite so tender; the meat was like silk! The cabbage was lovely too although I probably would have felt that my plate was missing something without the accompanying side dishes. I adored the perfectly cooked broccoli served on the bed of the creamy almond butter. 

Predictably, us good girls passed on dessert (which wasn't easy considering what was on offer) but did decide to sample a little cheese. Yummy, yummy cheese. We didn't have the bread, of course...

We won't be this boring in Vegas, promise!!

We both had a delicious meal at Tredwell's and it exceeded my expectations. Exciting food and a cool new venue for a night out with mates, a hot date or a pre-theatre meal like ours. We experienced lovely service too. Not much to fault really! 

Mary and I managed to have our three courses from the a la carte menu comfortably in an hour and fifteen minutes although the restaurant has just launched a special 'speedy menu' for those who have to dash off for a show. 

We set off for our lengthy one minute walk to the theatre. 

We liked Neville's Island. Ok, so it wasn't a spell-bounding piece of theatre but as you would expect with such an impressive comedy cast of Ade Edmondson, Neil Morrissey and Robert Webb, it had many laughs throughout and was really quite enjoyable!

I do love a good theatre night!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Hangover Night

As documented in my blog over the past year and a half, together, Mary and I have done our fair share of eating in restaurants and sampling cocktails in hip new bars. What a fabulous time we've had! But for my best buddy's birthday, I wanted to do something a little different. With another of our Vegas visits on the horizon (two weeks to go!), I pondered over a way of bringing together Mary's birthday with our mad excitement about our holiday.

Enter Everyman; the London cinemas with the big comfy sofas and irresistible snack menu. I'd noted that their Hampstead venue had a little private screening room. Big enough for fifteen people but small enough that hiring it out for two fun-seeking girls would not be deemed ridiculous! I made my booking.

The movie of choice? The Hangover. A film we both love and have watched probably around fifty times combined. It got us in the mood for our very first visit to Las Vegas and continues to do so five amazing visits on! Armed with a little bag of pressies and my pink high heels, I headed off to Hampstead to surprise Mary with her birthday night out!

I had somehow managed to keep the evening a secret since I booked it back in August. I arranged to meet Mary for a glass of champagne in the Gaucho up the road before walking us to Everyman to claim our private room!

Despite knowing what was in store I think I was just as excited as Mary when we walked in! Two bottles of Prosecco were waiting for us on ice along with copious yummy snacks.

We cracked open the bubbles and were ready to go!

The food at Everyman is delicious and notoriously moreish. I'd pre-ordered corn chips with guacamole, an antipasti platter, nuts and olives as well as a selection of cakes.

We were also able to order food from Spielburger next door. I went for the naked pulled pork burger with jerk sauce, slaw and chicken wings. 

The evening was as enjoyable as I'd hoped it would be. We'd seen the movie so many times before that chatting and giggling our way through it was completely acceptable! 


We weren't rushed off by the Everyman staff afterwards either; we could stay as long as we liked and enjoy our room. They were so friendly and made sure Mary's birthday night ran perfectly smoothly. Two bottles of Prosecco plus a private viewing of The Hangover down and we were bursting with excitement for our holiday!

We walked round the corner to a very cute little neighbourhood pub called The Holly Bush. One more for the road!

This time in two weeks we'll be on that flight to Sin City! We cannot wait!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Discover Dogs

Three years ago this month, a fluffy little boy came into my life and enriched it so much more than I could have imagined. When Alex and I initially started our search for a puppy, we had in our minds that we'd get a Pomeranian, a Chihuahua or a perhaps a Maltese. But it was thanks to our visit to Discover Dogs that we discovered the amazing Keeshond; a medium sized dog with a very impressive coat and a whole lot of love to give. That day, following a few cuddles with the dogs and a chat with their owners, I was sold and no other breed would do.

That's the beauty of Discover Dogs. You can wander the exhibition for hours, meeting all the different breeds and deciding which suits you and your family the best. It's also great if you have a dog already as there are tons of stalls with everything you could possibly need for your pooch.

I had kept in touch with Jane; one of the ladies who organises the Keeshond stall at Discover Dogs and had convinced me how wonderful these fluffy little fellows were. In the time that we've had Jimmy Chew, we've never bumped into any other Keeshonden on our walks and I thought it'd be lovely for him to meet a few. Also, it would be great for him to jointly represent his much under-rated breed! As luck would have it, there was room for a boy dog so last Saturday the three of us headed down to Earl's Court for a day of adorable doggies.

Before I knew it, I was surrounded by adorable fluffballs!

You can actually spin that copious fluff into yarn! Check out this coat spun by Jane herself.

As well as our guys, there were hundreds of other very cool canines...

JC was happy. He adored the attention (more so from people than the other dogs!) and was definitely in his element!

Alex and I had spent the day chatting to dog lovers who seemed to be won over by the breed just as I had been three years earlier. I think there could be a few extra Keeshond purchases taking place over the coming months!

Discover Dogs will be back - this time at the ExCel Centre - in mid-October. You can purchase early bird tickets here!