.: Le Boudin Blanc :.

Last week we went out for dinner middle of the week with friends who were enjoying for the first time they are parents, some time just for them. For how much you love your kids I’m sure there will always be moments you also miss the times when you could do anything you wanted, including trying new restaurants on a Thursday evening. As we’re about to join their club, felt like a really good idea to go too.

One of our friends, who loves both Marylebone and Mayfair, selected the restaurant. I can’t say no to a French restaurant and I love those areas as well! The choice was Le Boudin Blanc

Loved the environment immediately! Really cosy without being pretentious with really friendly staff. One of the staff members couldn’t speak english very well, so we had to repeat a few things, but that’s ok.

We didn’t order any starters – at least I didn’t to save some space for dessert, but we had some bread to start with. The wine menu is actually really good, but I can’t say anything about it, as at the moment I can’t drink, so had a sparkling water instead.

For mains, I’ve ordered the cod, which was absolutely delicious and creamy!

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He had the lamb, which was perfectly seasoned and cooked.

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The star for me was the dessert, the Fondant au chocolat. As soon as the plate arrived I could smell it already and the small was absolutely fab! I’ve managed to finish it all and I’m glad I had saved some space for it.

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He’s crazy about lemon tarts, so he ordered the tartellete au citron. Same as my one, the smell was incredible. I had a try on it and it was superb. He was quite happy about it and said it was the best he had in a long time.

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So a really good place to go for a nice relaxing dinner, either as a couple or with a small group of friends.
Le Boudin Blanc Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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.: A weekend away in a country club Wales :.

Is there anything better than a long weekend away? After my stressful week (year?) I was really looking forward to chill down and just relax.  I went to South Wales on this one, which I find is one of the best places in UK to slow down and relax surrounded by all the green scenery.  For instance I love Lake District a lot, but it just takes forever to get there, especially if we’re talking about a long weekend! I’m hoping to be back at some stage, in any random weekend to spend a few days there. South Wales is a much easier option as it’s just 2h15 from London (or 3h and a bit with the traffic on a long weekend).

The point of a weekend away tends to be to relax, and starting the weekend stuck in 6h queues isn’t a great start. Finally one that was far more relaxing! We’ve managed to reach the hotel for dinner at 08h!

The choice for the weekend was one of the Country Clubs from Marriott, St Pierre.

Photo from official website

I really like the Country Clubs because they tend to be spaces surrounded by lots of green. Is there anything better than wake up with the sound of birds and green around you? The staff at reception was really friendly and welcoming! They gave us a map of the area, which included a walk at the property and some recommendations for restaurants around.

We were allocated to one of the lakeside villas, next to the main hotel, in front of the lake and the golf course. Our building didn’t had a lakeside view, but there was a small garden, so it was ok

As you get into the house, you’ll see a small kitchen area, which would benefit from a little upgrade, but I wasn’t counting on having one, so didn’t bother me at all.

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We’ve ended up spending most of the time before going to bed here. This is where I was doing my meditation exercises too.

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Outside space… it was raining quite a lot when we arrived, but the rest of the weekend was really beautiful!

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Don’t ask me why I took a photo of the bathroom, but I did! Again would benefit for some modernisation but it was clean and functional so no complains here.

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The bed was one of the smallest I’ve seen in any Marriott. It was a normal size, it’s just I’m used to have huge beds (like 2m x 2m!)

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The main hotel area was quite a classic Marriot wise. Lots of dedicated rooms between the leisure area (which we’ve ended up not using) and the restaurants. I didn’t took any decent photos so will use the ones from the hotel

For dinner we’ve ended up going to the Zest Restaurant, as the main restaurant was already fully booked. I like the zest’s as they tend to be quite casual and relaxed (although I would advise you not to order the pizzas, I did that once, never again!)

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For my first dinner I’ve ordered the chicken lemon which was quite ok. On the 2nd night I’ve ordered the salmon salad which was a really good choice!

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with fruits for dessert

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The breakfast room (at the main restaurant) was quite busy, but the staff was really quick and efficient. We never had to wait long before our coffees would arrive. They also had poached eggs (which not all hotels have). My favourite option was the fruit!

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So overall it was quite a relaxing choice!

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Any country club you would recommend for a relaxing weekend away?

.: AirBnB Bordeaux :.

Last weekend me and my sister went for a weekend away in Bordeaux. We’ve decided that, rather than give something each other for Christmas it would be a nicer idea to do a weekend away. We still bought something to each other so we would have something to unwrap and also the idea of doing a weekend just for the 2 of us sounded really tempting. It’s been almost 10 years since we’ve done something like this.

I’ve also decided that it would be finally the time to use AirBnB. I guess the reason why I was so behind in the game is that I end up booking big chain hotels to use the points, or then trying to find a cosy B&B like the one we had in North Wales. But I was keen on trying AirBnB this time. After doing a quick search I fell in love with the stone apartments in the centre of Bordeaux. This is how I found Antoine’s

The bed area

The decor is perfect for the style of the apartment. Absolutely beautiful!

Now let’s talk about location – I couldn’t ask it to be any better than it was

Yap that’s right, in the historical centre in the middle of all nice restaurants and bars. It was just perfect!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Antoine as he was waiting for me at the apartment and he gave me really good tips of which restaurants to try in the area and what to see and do.

Something I found really surprising was that, not only I can leave the review of my stay, but I get one back as a guest as well! This is really useful information for anyone renting out flats! Good idea guys!

So overall quite pleased with my AirBnB experience, which I’ll definitely be repeating again in Japan 🙂

Have you used AirBnB before? Any experience you would like to share?

.: Japanese sweets in London :.

Apologies, I haven’t been blogging for a while but I have to admit I haven’t been feeling great this year. I haven’t really been out much not exploring around, but last weekend, with the festival of lights in town I had to go.

I’m familiar with the concept because we have it in Portugal as well, in the gorgeous town of Cascais called Lumina

So I was expecting really big things on the London version. I have to admit my expectations were too high. The light garden in Leicester Square was really nice, but I was expecting more. But the good thing was, in our mission to find one of the light spots, we’ve found a Japanese temptation in the heart of London: Minamoto Kitchoan

If you used to watch anime as a kid, you might recognise Doraemon Dorayaki’s

A Dorayaki is a sweet red bean pancake.

And this is the store’s speciality. I had to try the chocolate Moki

Minamoto Kitchoan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
So delicious! I’m sure I’ll be back more often, to prepare for my trip to Japan in April.

To keep in the mood just had Ramen for lunch and the other night I did a lovely salmon with udon noodles for dinner. It’s such a comfortable food!

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

 

.: A Prime Lunch :.

Ah, such a dark and gloomy weekend! I feel like just being lazy and stay on the couch. Very tempting indeed. Instead I’ve decided I wanted to try the fabulous place he went for his Christmas party at work (Prime at Chandlers Cross, which is very close to Watford).

I’m so glad I’ve convinced him to take me there! When we arrived it was pretty much empty, but we like that, to arrive when it’s still quiet. But that meant I could only manage a main without any starters. I loved the place immediately! Lovely decoration, very classy and comfortable at the same time. We’ve stayed at a table next to the window and the wine bottles.

Their main speciality is the meat, sourced from a royal approved butcher (how fancy is that?), so I couldn’t resist but to go for a steak. I went for the rump.

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I’ve also ordered wine. This starts to remind me the Wed. night out club at work 🙂

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Quite a sexy piece of meat, ‘init?

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The mushroom sauce was delicious as well! I couldn’t manage pudding so we’ve just ordered coffees. Coffee was really good too. I left the meal with a smile, because I’ve really enjoy it and I hope to convince him to take me back so we can share a t-bone.

Sounds like a really good first 2016 meal away 🙂

.: A Weekend away around Yorkshire – Country Club :.

During the Easter Break, and before our big trip to Japan, we’ve decided to go all the way north to Yorkshire, because it’s an area I’ve always wanted to explore but never really had the chance to. Unlike my recent trip to Wales, this was bound to be a painful journey. It started on my way from work. I left the office a bit before 15h, aiming to be at home before 16h, but the trains were cancelled so I was constantly checking on google maps on how to get home. It was raining cats and dogs too and traffic really bad, so even taking a taxi was no longer an option. I’ve made it eventually, at 16h20.

Then getting out of London took us more than 2h, stuck in traffic in the north circular road. (Long weekend + rain, worst combo in UK!) Absolutely terrible! To make matters worst I now need to make more regular breaks and can’t handle 4h in a row in the car or more as I’ve used to.

Same as last weekend, we’ve stayed in one of the Country Clubs from Marriott, Hollins Hall, which means a golf course, spa and lots of green around you. All you need to relax! We had to eat in one small service station at around 20h30, because we were no longer sure if we would reach the hotel on time. We’ve managed to arrive at around 22h30, so I was really tired. The friendly staff at the hotel was already waiting for me and made my check-in really stress free and as efficient as possible. Thank you guys! Couldn’t resist but to throw myself in bed and fall asleep. So this time I don’t have many photos

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Photos below are from the official website

The hotel is on top of a beautiful hill

Quite a bright reception

Main restaurant

The pool

The breakfast was the normal continental breakfast, but at least there were lots of fruits available. On Saturday evening we’ve managed to get a table booked for the main restaurant and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed my meal

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Mushroom risotto

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Really delicious cheesecake!

Quite a relaxing weekend even if it was a bumpy start! It felt amazing to wake up with the sound of birds and going for walks outside.

Btw happy children’s day! (In Portugal) Just notice it’s my last Children’s day, so going to celebrate and have ice cream 😀

.: Outsider Tart Chiswick and the Gift of time :.

Since it’s that time of the year that everyone is doing resolutions, I’m doing another one. (My main one back in October was to do the things I want to do rather than adding them on wishlist, e.g. my dream trip to Japan which is already booked). My 2nd one is going to be to enjoy the gift of time and actually take proper time for myself.

Simply enjoy with no rush and no timer to control me. Sit down and read the book or simply enjoy the sun on my face.

This is precisely what I’ve decided to do today. The house was filled with warm light and it was so sunny outside I simply had to go out. After searching on Zomato for nice coffees in Chiswick I found the Outsider Tart. I had seen this place probably billions of times but never had the chance to go in. This time this was my main goal.

I’m so glad I finally did it because I had a really relaxing and delicious afternoon. As soon as I got in I loved the décor immediately. From the main entrance looks like a little grocery store. There were some really tempting goods around. But I couldn’t take my eyes of the gorgeous bakery available. Seducing cakes that’s what they are. Choice was really difficult, but ended up going for a cheesecake. So yummy! Coffee was pretty good as well.

Went to sit down on the main room and took the time to relax and enjoy a book while drinking the cappuccino. The atmosphere was really relaxed. Totally recommended and now that I know about it will be back more often. I have a lot of catch up to do with the bakery, oh yeah I do.

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Outsider Tart Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s your favourite bakery?