Gourmet Night at The Hampton

I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the Hampton’s monthly Gourmet Nights in September by Geo, the Head Chef.  The Gourmet Nights occur on the second Saturday of every month and feature a three course meal accompanied by live jazz.

The interior is quite simple and bare, but don’t let that put you off – the food was delicious and the staff were friendly and helpful.  We were greeted with a glass of prosecco upon arrival and led to our table which was decorated with candles and flowers.

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To start, we were served a selection of cheesy canapés, my favourite being the sun dried tomatoes with goats cheese.

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This was followed by a halloumi salad dressed with balsamic vinegar (a slight cheese overload by this point!)  The ingredients tasted homely and the food was tasty without being overly rich.

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For the main I opted for the vegetarian wellington which was definitely my favourite course of the evening – the butternut squash sauce complemented the chestnut mushrooms and winter veg in the wellington.  The portions were hearty and filling.

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Every course was well presented, especially the dessert which featured a crystallised caramel decoration placed on top of the chocolate fondant.  The fondant itself was soft and delicate and worked really well with the coffee ice cream.

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The staff were friendly and helpful, however there was some delay between courses.  It is clear that the team put a lot of effort into delivering high quality food and making the best of the venue and surroundings.   The pub is well suited to families, and The Hampton hosts various other themed evenings such as burger nights, pizza nights and open mic nights its worth keeping an eye out if you are ever in the area.

Restaurant Details:

The Avenue
Hampton TW12 3RA

Phone: 020 8979 6052

Email: gm@hamptonpub.co.uk

Monday to Thursday 11.00 AM – 11.00 PM
Friday 11.00 AM – 12.00 AM
Saturday 11.00 AM – 11.00 PM
Sunday 11.00 AM – 11.00 PM
Sunday Roast 11.00 AM – 04.00 PM

Website: www.hamptonpub.co.uk

Cinnamon Bun Tasting at the Nordic Bakery

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Nordic Bakery earlier this week for a cinnamon bun tasting event as part of their Cinnamon Bun Week celebrations!  Cinnamon bun day officially falls on 4th October, however, the Nordic Bakery have taken this a step further and will be celebrating throughout the whole week of 29th September to 4th October by unveiling a new flavoured bun every day of the week!

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We were asked to sample the 5 different cinnamon buns that would be on offer throughout the week and vote on which one we liked the most.  The flavours included: raisins & lemon glaze, chocolate button, apple, blueberries and custard & almond.

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All the buns were delicious, it was extremely difficult to chose a favourite.  I would say the apple and chocolate buttons were particularly delectable.  They were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, especially on the glazed areas.  The buns were sweet, but light a the same time.

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The Nordic Bakery has several branches throughout London.  I visited the Marylebone branch on Dorset Street.  It is a quaint bakery with a cosy atmosphere.  They also have a cookbook featuring their recipes, including cinnamon bun recipes.  Downstairs, the restaurant has a small photography gallery featuring photographs taken by customers and their dining experiences.

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The evening was very enjoyable,  I had the opportunity to meet other food bloggers over some cinnamon buns! We even got a goodie bag with a cinnamon bun to-go, and a bottle of  blueberry cordial.  I’d definitely recommend heading over to the Nordic Bakery next week in celebration of cinnamon bun week!

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Restaurant Details:

48 Dorset Street
London W1U 7NE

Tel: 020 7487 5877

Opening Times:

Monday – Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 6pm

A Chocolate Tour of London

For chocolate lovers, Great British Tours’ Chocolate Tour of London would be a perfect day out! Earlier this month my friend Sarah and I undertook the walking tour that consists of visits to seven chocolatiers around Soho and Mayfair that can vary slightly from week to week.  Our tour guide, Ferry, was friendly, knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about all things chocolate.

We began our voyage at the Algerian Coffee Store; a vicinity with an overwhelming scent of coffee and cocoa to get you in ‘chocolate-mode’.  Here we were introduced to our tour group of approximately twenty people.  At each stop Ferry filled us in on a few chocolate facts specific to the place we were visiting.  The chocolate information was not excessive, but rather a set of fun facts to make the journey interesting.

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At each stop we sampled some chocolate and had a chance to browse their chocolate range.  The diversity of chocolate we tasted throughout the journey was extensive, ranging from a white chocolate ‘Eton Mess’ truffle at Hotel Chocolat, to a delectable plain chocolate truffle coated in cocoa powder at Prestat (my personal favourite), so there are treats available to suit all tastes.

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The amount of free samples we received were enough to give you a flavour of each chocolatier without leaving you in a ‘chocolate-coma’ and unable to walk, however, for serious chocoholics, all Great British Tourists recieve 10% off at each chocolatier.  If, like me, you have a small appetite and can’t quite handle seven chocolate tastings in a row, it would be a good idea to bring along a small box to keep some chocolate samples in to save for later!

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The chocolatiers were all fairly close together, at most a ten minute walk between each, however I would recommend comfortable walking shoes since you are on your feet for the entire tour.  Our tour fell on a particularly hot day, resulting in some slightly-melted chocolate purchases so remember to consider seasonal conditions when booking.  The tour lasted just over two hours with a small fifteen minute break in Fortnum and Mason’s to have a quick browse and refresh.   Watch out for Fortnum’s tea and coffee infused chocolates in the shape of teacups!

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Overall, I would definitely recommend the Great British Chocolate Tour as perhaps a fun day out, an occasion to meet new people and a chance to learn a bit about London’s greatest chocolatiers.  For tourists it is an added opportunity to explore London’s West End.  The tour is good value for money considering the free samples of high quality chocolate that you get to taste, and the discount you receive at each chocolatier.  The day was made entertaining by our tour guide, and would be a fun day out for chocolate lovers of all ages.

Chocolate Tour Information:

Website: http://www.greatbritishtours.com/gbt/the-chocolate-walking-tour-of-london.html

Price: £30