I've lived in north and north-west London since I moved here over ten years ago. Whether it's eating at the cafes and restaurants of leafy Hampstead or mooching through the markets of Camden, on the whole I find it a great place to live.
Unfortunately for me, my very favourite pub is way over in Hammersmith, west of London. Set in a beautiful spot on the bend of the River Thames, how I wish this wonderfully cosy little place were on my doorstep.
A public house has stood on the site since the seventeenth century. The Dove's stunning riverside terrace area is perfect in the warmer months but even when the cold weather hits, the pub can provide you with heatproof macs so you can still enjoy the view.
But it's at this time of year that I couldn't recommend a visit more. Ellie and I turned up at dinner time and the dimly lit pub looked stunning decorated with fairy lights and a gorgeous Christmas tree.
Our table reservation had somehow been lost but the staff fell over themselves to accommodate us. I was relieved they could still fit us in within this tiny pub as I'd been looking forward to their fantastic comfort food all day!
Having studied the menu - a combination of traditional and modern dishes - over a glass of Merlot, I decided to order the Rabbit, Wild River Ale & Smoked Bacon Pie served with Garlic & Herb Mash and Braised Red Cabbage. Ellie plumped for the New Forest Venison cooked 3 ways.
It was absolutely as delicious as it looks and the portion sizes ensure you won't leave The Dove hungry!
For dessert we shared the Apple & Plum Crumble and the amazingly moist Vintage Ale Molasses Sticky Toffee Pudding - the sauce unusually on the inside!
It was another gorgeous visit to this charming pub. I think I'm going to have to visit again before the festive season is at an end!
There was actually a reason we were down this neck of the woods - we had tickets to see Russell Brand at the Hammersmith Apollo.
I've talked of my little fascination with all things Brand on the blog before. I've seen him do stand-up a few times and met him once too. During The Messiah Complex, he introduced us to his heroes Gandhi, Malcolm X, Che Guevara and Jesus Christ. It was as thought-provoking as it was entertaining and Russell never lost our attention.
We didn't quite get to meet him this time although this was probably just as well; he cancelled the next night's show in Southend due to sickness. Who knows what germs we might have caught.