All posts by Live*London*Love

Bluebird Chelsea

Bluebird, Chelsea – Afternoon (Tea) Delight!

My lovely cousin came to visit the other day and as a fellow Made in Chelsea fan I booked us Afternoon Tea at the Bluebird, Chelsea!

As always I tried to find an offer but to be honest wasn’t holding out much luck for a special deal at this exclusive place – I didn’t find an offer but Afternoon Tea wasn’t too pricey – £29 per person if you wanted champagne Afternoon Tea (we did!) or £20 per person without!

On arrival at the Bluebird it was pretty busy – expected on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Chelsea however we asked the lady outside if we had to queue with everyone if we had booked Afternoon Tea – she told us we did so we joined the queue for about 15 minutes! once at the front another person told us we didn’t have to queue and to go straight up – lucky we didn’t miss our reservation with the misinformation given!

Once seated on our reserved table we were given our menus – and Afternoon Tea and champagne was brought out to us! The choice of tea was large and had some exotic blends which we decided to sample. The tea was served in glass cafetieres which were elegant!

bluebird chelsea

The Afternoon Tea was arranged by savoury things at the bottom, moving up to scones, then cakes then puddings! Fantastic choice – we loved the egg sandwich, lemon polenta cake, scones and the cheesecake, oh and the macaroons! In fact it was all pretty good and excellent value!

Bluebird afternoon tea

The ambiance was relaxed but elegant which was nice for Afternoon Tea and tables are separated by curtains for privacy I guess – so no celeb spotting for us! Booooooo!I would recommend visiting the Bluebird in Chelsea for Afternoon Tea – it’s great value for money and you never know who you might spot (if you curtain tweek!)

cousins

The Savoy Hotel

  savoy2 3 Courses at the Savoy, London!

Recently my boyfriend and I had a special anniversary to celebrate so beforehand we decide to make it extra special and visit the Savoy hotel as it’s somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go and it is of course a London icon!

I hunted around for deals (as I always do!) and came across one for Kaspar’s Seafood & Grill located in the Savoy. The deal was for three courses and champagne for £39 per person – as it was a special occasion we were more than happy to pay this!

On arrival at the Savoy we were seated near the front of the restaurant so we didn’t get to enjoy the view much during dinner but we did take a look and it is as amazing as they say!

The bar area is fantastic also with the glass display a beautiful focal point – I managed to sneak a few photos during dinner!savoy

The food itself was amazing, I had the duck which was out of this world! To describe how good all of the food was, we now have competitions to try and get our broccoli at home to taste as good as the side dish we had! (If your interested I have gotten the closest by boiling long stemmed broccoli for just a few minutes then sauteing it in butter with a pinch of salt, grated garlic and some fresh chilli!)

The decor is very 1920’s and romantic which suits me perfectly and the atmosphere is wonderful, perfect for a special occasion and the service given was extremely attentive but not invasive at all.savoy1

The champagne was brought out on arrival and the bottle popped at our table – considering the champagne was included in the menu cost it was a great label and tasted divine!

On leaving the Savoy I took a quick detour to the ladies restroom which was a beautiful and luxurious as you would expect!

I would totally recommend the Savoy as a great place for dinner for a special occasion and if you find a deal then it’s even better value!savoy3

The deal we found is still available but the menu has now changed!

 

 

Channel 4’s Comedy Gala 2014!

A right old laugh for a great cause!

Last night Channel 4 aired it’s annual Comedy Gala at 9pm. We were lucky enough to be one of the centre floor seats for the event which raises money and awareness for Great Ormond Street Hospital!

C4CG

The event was actually filmed in May at the O2 arena at North Greenwich station, London. The place was a sell out – not surprising though as the all star stand up talent on offer was fantastic!

James Cordon looking slick!
James Corden looking slick!

Warwick Davis opened the show with Britain’s Got Talent superstars Diversity – Warwick flew across the arena on a high wire – causing mass laughter through the whole arena!

We then got to see Paddy McGuinness twerk, Alan Carr become the focus of the BEST Comedy Gala Selfie ever plus many many more famous names including Michael McIntyre, Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Adam Hills, Aisling Bea, Jack Dee, Jason Byrne, Jon Richardson, John Bishop, Jonathan Ross, Josh Widdicombe, Kerry Godliman, Kevin Bridges, Paul Chowdhry, Sean Lock Seann Walsh.

Michael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre
Towards the end of the night Johnathan Ross and Jack Dee gave a fantastic talk about the gala’s history and the founder of the gala who passed away over Christmas time- the talk was truly inspirational and well worth a watch!
Ross & Dee!
Ross & Dee!
If you would like to contribute to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Appeal Fund go to gosh.org/donate.

Warwick Davis
Warwick Davis

Save money visiting London’s West End!

Fancy a night out in London’s famous West End?

Worried about the cost of going to the theatre or a musical?

Fear not – there are quite a few ways to have a great night out in London’s West End with out breaking the bank!

1. Check out discount sites such as Groupon and Living Social. These sites really can save you quite a bit of money for events in and around London. They might not post West End offers a lot but when they do they are good savings.

2. Sign up to Time Out Time Out London is a fantastic resource and their daily emails present you with massive savings for events in and around London. Time Out can even offer you sales to events before the tickets go on general sale meaning you can bag the cheaper seats first if money is an issue!

3. Visit some of the lesser known theatres for cheaper tickets. The big name shows will always have a higher price tag. If money is tight but a trip to a West End theatres is called for, go for something different and not as well known – you may be pleasantly surprised. Last year Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter actor) performed at the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End and tickets were selling from only £15.

Noel Coward Theatre
Noel Coward Theatre

4. Check out the lower priced seats. If you have the option between a lower and higher price seat and you’re not sure if it’s worth it take a look at Seat Plan – where people will review the theatres seats so you get a real idea of what the view is like before booking! Why pay £50 for a seat when the £20 seat has just as good a view?

5. Need to dine beforehand? Look for pre theatre dinner offers on Top Table. These offers are great for people heading to the theatre after dinner. Plus the offers are great value as you fill a table that would have otherwise been empty due to it not being peak time!

6. Fancy a drink before? Look online for happy hour offers! Check out Design My Night – you can refine by location, type of night and offers! Select Happy Hour and hey presto your night is sorted!

Whatever your plans for the night, there is always a way of saving money when visiting the theatre in London. Just always remember to check any small print of any offers etc.

Hakkasan – Hanaway Place! Dim Sum in style!

Hakkasan – Hanaway Place!

When you move to London you always hear about the top restaurants and the best places to eat and Hakkasan is one of THE most talked about restaurants in central London.

Hakkasan is famed for it’s amazing Dim Sum but also for being one of the best places to eat, meaning it attracts many a famous face!

We booked our trip to Hakkasan through Book A Table who were offering us 3 courses for £35 per person. As we have always wanted to visit we decided to bite the bullet and take a trip. The offer was only at Hanaway Place and not the celeb filed Mayfair restaurant, but we didn’t care as it’s about the food at the end of the day!

On arrival we were greeted by a lovely lady who showed us to our seat. We were given the standard menu and it turned out the 3 courses for £35 is in their regular menu and is their Dim Sum sharing platter.

We weren’t disappointed however, simply intrigued that it was made out to be a special deal when really it wasn’t. It is clever advertising though as we would never have gone simply assuming prices would be well out of budget – so it actually was a good thing!

The menu is available online under the ‘Taste of Hakkasan’ section of their website, so you know what to expect before you arrive.

Our starter was a dim sum platter which was very heavily made of seafood – we had scallops and caviar amongst other dim sum items. They were little bites of heaven!

Hakkasan starter
Dim sum starter! Yum!

We ordered some cocktails whilst we waited for the main menu – and believe me they are worth the £10-£15 price tag – made beautifully with a creative flair to give you that excitement worth the money!

The main course was a sharing platter consisting of Black pepper rib eye beef with merlot, Spicy prawn with lily bulb and almond, Grilled Chilean sea bass with honey, Pipa duck, Cloud ear vegetables and Steamed jasmine rice. Served in small bowls on a sharing hot plate – the dim sum style continued and it was really fun trying all of the food and learning to use chopsticks!

Hakksan Main
Hakkasan Sharing Platter

I really recommend the Pipa Duck and my partner recommends the Black Pepper Beef with merlot!

The food really is amazing and well worth the £35 per head price tag especially when it came to dessert – we got to chose any dessert from their menu (prices starting from about £10) at no extra cost! I chose a caramelised apple tartan and my partner tried the lemon panacotta – both were gorgeous but the tartan was the overall favourite with my partner stealing some from me!

Hakkasan Dessert
Panacotta!
Hakkasan Dessert 2
The winning dessert!

If you are on a budget like us the ‘Taste of Hakkasan’ menu was brilliant! We spent about £60 a head including the food, cocktails, sparking water, nibbles (we ordered some prawn crackers etc) and service charge.

Overall I would 100% recommend visiting Hakkasan due to the top quality of the food but the decor and ambiance make it a winner too!

Purl – London Speakeasy!

After hearing great things about Purl we decided to book a table for two to check out the now famous cocktails on offer in this 1960s inspired London Speakeasy.

We arrived at Purl – tucked away underground and was greeted by what can only be described as a bouncer who ticked our name of his clipboard and allowed us downstairs, entering the speakeasy!

Once inside we were shown to our table – which was a small two seater table located opposite the larger group tables. We were given our menus and given time to make our choices – time which we needed given the amount of amazing sounding drinks listed.

InstagramCapture_0e1a6a3e-1cbd-49e5-bdeb-65a0d9c6fa02_jpg
Purl Menu

The decor is very opulent, romantic, and very 1960’s inspired – people arriving after us came in glamorous costume donning feathers in their hair and flapper dresses.

So we decide to try a mix of the cocktails on offer. First up we ordered a ‘Gin & It’ as the name suggests was a gin cocktail. It came served with a marmalade candy floss which I was instructed to eat before drinking the cocktail to get the best experience!

Purl cocktails
‘ Gin and It’ & ‘My Hyde No 3’

We then ordered the ‘Mr Hyde No 3’ which was a very scientific looking drink presented in a smoking bottle. This was a whisky based cocktail which is raved about by gentlemen across London!

After sitting with our drinks for a while (they are quite strong!) we decided we wanted to try ‘A nice cup of char’ but this was unfortunately not available! We then decided to try ‘NegrOily’ another gin based cocktail served in an oil drum with a spherified black olive on top.

NgerOily Purl
NgerOily cocktail

The cocktail itself was lovely but the serving wasn’t quite as suggested – the oil drum being just a glass – however this certainly didn’t distract from the taste and quality of the drink!

We would 100% recommend Purl for couples as a romantic drinks venue, especially people open to trying new cocktail concoctions and especially for larger groups of people looking for a different sort of drinks experience in London!

Purl is incredibly sophisticated with a glamorous 1960s feel with amazing cocktails too – a fab find in London!

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Olympic Pool – Stratford

So last weekend I ventured to the opening of the Olympic Park in Stratford – I was particularly interested in the Aquatics Centre as I have a keen interest in swimming.

On arrival everything was extremely well sign posted – straight from the platform at the Jubilee line which was handy for first time visitors.

On arrival at the pool we noticed how extremely busy it was – not unexpected considering the buzz around the opening.

The pool was actually though hosting a biathlon competition for London school children and the stands were full of excited parents rooting for their off spring.

There are three pools available to use – one is the 50m Competition pool which was being used for the biathlon –  which has a massive seating area rising high above the pool – making it the perfect place to host competitions – something you would expect from the Olympic pool. At the far end of the pool is the diving section forming pool number two- so people can proudly proclaim they have swam in the same pool as the likes of Tom Daley!

Olympic Park pool

The third pool is slightly smaller than the Competition pool and less deep – it is the perfect pool for family swimming sessions or length training. The pool is split in to a few different sections – when we went there was length training, swim for all the family and swimming lessons taking place.

The pools are extremely well designed and are exceptionally modern – feeling like you are walking in to a giant spaceship or something out of this world!

All in all the new Aquatics Centre has everything you could need from modern changing rooms, great options for swimming for all ages, a cafe, fantastic viewing areas and generally a fantastic atmosphere!

The Tea Terrace

Need a rest stop during busy shopping days?

Do you ever feel peckish whilst shopping and fancy resting your legs whilst sipping a lovely cup of tea?

Well we have found a great spot to do just this on one of the greatest shopping streets in England – London’s Oxford Street.

On the top floor of House of Fraser, Oxford Street there is a lovely tea parlour tucked away called ‘The Tea Terrace’.

Decorated in an English Garden style, the decor, pastel colours, lovely sofas, tables and chairs and delicious looking cake counter are a recipe for the perfect shopping break!

The Tea Terrace is a great spot to relax in and it offers a great menu suitable for all occasions, including cakes, pastries, sandwiches, lunches and afternoon tea!

The Tea Terrace

They also offer a great range of tea’s which you would expect in a tea parlour – but still the choice is great. Tea is served in fantastic tea pots, with dainty cups and saucers completing the look.

The cakes look and taste fantastic and we recommend going for either a fresh cupcake chosen from the stands or the afternoon tea scone and tea choice!

It can get a little busy during weekends particularly leading up to Christmas we have found, however the staff are always polite and friendly which makes a big difference when things are a little hectic.

We recommend this hidden gem as a great spot to rest up during busy shopping sessions on Oxford Street!

Up at The O2

Climb an Icon – Up at The O2!

For my birthday we decided to do something a little different – and settled on Up at The O2, climbing an icon!

We decided to try out ‘Up at The O2’ where you literally climb the world famous O2 Arena (originally the Millenium Dome.)

Famous for it’s location on the London map and highlighted each week on the opening credits of the soap ‘Eastenders’ – The O2, located on the Greenwich peninsula offers people the chance to climb it’s roof for jaw dropping views of the surrounding area including Canary Wharf, Greenwich and Royal Victoria.

We arrived at base camp at the right time and we were given our equipment and a safety brief. Once all strapped in to our gear and the boring (but important!) bits were out of the way, we were lead to the bottom of the O2 – we were chosen to go up first which was a little daunting especially as actually climbing the dome is a bit more technical than the promotional video might have you believe!

Once you start climbing (it feels like a bouncy castle!) you soon get the hang of the clips and pulling yourself up and it becomes really fun!

Up The O2
Starting the climb!

Before you know it you are at the top of the dome and entering the viewing platform!

From here you get amazing views across the surrounding area – we went during dusk and it was exceptionally beautiful and dare I say it, romantic too!

After a while enjoying the view and capturing lots of photos to prove we were really on top of the dome (and then facebooking the photos to make all our friends jealous!) it’s time to head back down the other side! This isn’t as daunting as it seems and turns out to be really fun again too.

Up The O2
On top of the dome!

You feel (or at least we did) exceptionally safe in our harnesses and using our safety clips plus the guide who came up with us was really professional and made the trip really fun and exciting.

I definitely recommend visiting The O2 and climbing it if you get a chance – it’s something that you can cherish forever, the views are amazing and the experience is really fun.

Up at The O2 has seen some great guests since it’s launch including:

Diversity

Bon Vovi

….and they even got in on the action of the Harlem Shake!

To book tickets you can visit The O2’s website here but remember if you are an O2 Priority customer you can get a little discount on your walk!

Up The O2
Finished!!

 

Roux at the Landau, Oxford Circus, London

Roux at the Landau, Oxford Circus

Recently my family came to visit me in London and I wanted to take them somewhere special to eat. We love Masterchef as a family and really like Michel Roux, so I was thrilled when I found an offer for ‘Roux at the Landau’ offering a three course meal with champagne for only £30 per person. (Price may have increased since however!)

Location

Roux at the Landau is the michelin star chef Michel Roux’s restaurant situated in the Landau Hotel, Portland Place, directly behind London’s Oxford Circus.

Roux Located just behind Oxford Circus
Located just behind Oxford Circus

Toptable Deal

Toptable were offering three courses plus champagne, coffee and petits fours for only £30 per person as part of their pre theatre offer. This worked out great for us as I booked tickets to Phantom of the Opera in the West End situated a 10 minute walk from the Landau.

Arrival

On arrival we were offered a drink at the bar and our coats were taken from us. We were then seated when our table was ready.

The actual restaurant is quite small, but very beautiful and there is plenty of space between tables making the atmosphere very romantic and personal. The decor is modern with a traditional twist, giving the place an exceptionally elegant feel.

The head waiter brought us the set Top Table menu and our champagne, bread for the table and water.

Champers at Roux!
Champers!!

Dinner

The menu, also a special set one, offers a good choice of starters, mains and desserts for even the fussiest eater. We all tried different things so we could sample all the options! I ordered the soup for starter and duck for mains, both were exquisite!

After dessert we were brought coffee and petit fours which were delicious, however time was running late considering we were heading to the theatre. The waiters brought everything quickly however and clearly were happy to accommodate people leaving for the theatre (especially as it was a pre theatre seating), we were just too busy chatting and enjoying the food and lost track of time!

  
Roux Dinner! Yum!
Dinner! Yum!

Fantastic night

All in all the evening was a great success, value for money was tremendous, location and atmosphere perfect and the food was heavenly!

We would 100% recommend Roux at the Landau as the perfect place for a special occasion, date or event! And if you get a Top Table offer, even better!