Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Pressing for Champagne at Bob Bob Ricard

Dining, Review, Bob Bob Ricard, BBR, Soho, London, Fdbloggers
For absolutely ages now, my friend Vicky and I have been meaning to dine at Bob Bob Ricard together – it’s one of her favourite London restaurants, a bloggers’/foodies’ dream and I was immediately sold by the ‘press for champagne’ concept. We decided the perfect opportunity would be an evening to celebrate my birthday and we made it a couples affair – so Ashley and Callum came along too.

First things first – what a place! The restaurant’s decor is very art-deco, so beautifully ornate and just oozing luxury. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and Vicky pre-warned us of this. We arrived as close to our reservation time of 7:30pm as possible to ensure we weren’t turned away or casually loitering in the street. Not only is the restaurant beautiful, but the ambience is very good, the food, incredible and the all-round experience pretty much spot-on.
Dining, Review, Bob Bob Ricard, BBR, Soho, London, Fdbloggers
We ate in the ‘Blue Dining Room’ which is on the main floor and is definitely inspired by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Each table was like a train carriage, with plush padded seats. There was a level of exclusivity, with a private booth feel – perfect for the occasion. Downstairs is the ‘Red Dining Room’, with its distinctive backgammon-tiled floor and large oriental vases. We had after-dinner drinks at the bar there and it was definitely different to the main dining room. There’s also a private dining area. The staff were attentive, although it almost felt like a military operation, with food and drinks arriving to the table by multiple staff – but with precision and finesse. Unfortunately, our waitress came over to the table to take our drinks order before I had the chance to ‘press for champagne’, so I couldn’t really get excited about it after that. Needless to say, I did press it and the Champagne went down nicely. So much so, we had a couple of glasses.

To the food... and what a menu! The offerings pay homage to the restaurant’s Russian roots, while combining traditional British classics. Think comfort food executed to perfection. You could have oysters and caviar, or beef wellington, or chicken Kiev! We all knew we’d have dessert, so decided to skip the starters and go straight in with hearty main courses. This is where I went wrong – and dug straight in before taking any photos. I was hungry and the food was just too good. Ash and I actually chose the same dish: the crispy belly pork on a bed of red cabbage, with apple puree and truffle gravy. It was absolutely divine, particularly the gravy which was just so silky and not too rich. The portion sizes were a lot larger than I was expecting, although we decided to share a couple of sides. Vicky described the truffle mash as “an angel’s pillow” and it certainly was heavenly, so soft and creamy. The honey & thyme roasted parsnips & carrots were also delicious.
Dining, Review, Bob Bob Ricard, BBR, Soho, London, Fdbloggers

Vicky and Callum both chose pies and although often synonymous with East London and the working class, these were anything but! This was pie done with class – the tops were beautifully glazed, with the BBR logo printed in the middle. I’d love to know how this is achieved. Vicky chose her favourite: the chicken, mushroom & champagne pie; while Callum’s mariner pie was filled with mussels, prawns, haddock and salmon. Both pies were huge – and when they arrived at the table, looked as though they could easily feed two or three. For a moment, I actually wished I liked pie.
Dining, Review, Bob Bob Ricard, BBR, Soho, London, Fdbloggers
Dining, Review, Bob Bob Ricard, BBR, Soho, London, Fdbloggers
Although I struggled to eat my main course and Ash had to help me out with the pork, I knew I was always going to order dessert and in particular, the BBR Signature chocolate glory. It was well worth it – even though it was incredibly rich. If you’re a chocoholic, you’ll love it – but for me, it was too sickly and there was far too much chocolate! The chocolate sauce was poured at the table, just in time for me to film it being drizzled over the hollow chocolate shell, which melted away to reveal the centre: chocolate mousse, chocolate brownie, berries and orange & passion fruit jelly. Needless to say, it was a struggle and I didn’t manage it all. Ash had the strawberry & cream soufflé, which would have been my second choice – and I have to admit, despite the spectacle that was the chocolate glory, I wish I had chosen it myself.

Obviously, it’s not a cheap evening, but for a special occasion, there’s nowhere like BBR. I’m glad I finally managed to tick it off my restaurant bucket list and would love to return for another special occasion. If you have never been to the Soho restaurant, I highly recommend it – even though it isn’t somewhere you’d go just for ‘date night’.

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 26 January 2017

What I got for my birthday 2017

I decided against blogging about what I got for Christmas last year, although there’s no doubt a few of the items will feature in my next monthly favourites. The posts for my birthday are going to be never-ending as I celebrated four (!) times and most of them will involve food (sorry, not sorry). As always, this post isn’t me showing off – I love reading these posts and I was honestly really grateful for everything I received. I got most of the items on my Christmas lists so I really wasn’t expecting anything at all.
I’ll start with what I got from Ashley, as these were the first presents I opened when I got to his from work on the Friday before my birthday. As well as taking me to Cardiff for the weekend, where we also had the loveliest meal at Chapel 1877, he bought me the Polaroid camera I’d had my eye on. It came with the matching case and a couple of packets of the paper as well – so of course we spent the first 15 minutes trying (and failing) to perfect the selfie. It’s going to come in handy with our little adventures this year and I can’t wait to start filling in my travel journal and storing memories. He also bought me the cutest personalised cosmetics bag, which will also be really useful for our travels – while also being perfect when I pack my overnight bag at the weekends.
My mum bought me one of the items from my Christmas list – the silk pillow case. As well as being super soft, I am interested in seeing if the benefits work. After being told on my spa day that I have ‘old eyes’, I’m hoping it reduces/prevents wrinkles and creases. Plus, it’s meant to be good for your hair, preventing dryness and split ends. I’m getting my hair cut on Friday, so maybe I’ll try it the following week. She also bought me the Kopparberg spiced apple gift set and the cutest Disney Princess shopper bag, which I cannot wait to rep at Sainsbury’s Tollgate when on my lunch break from work! On my actual birthday she took me for lunch at The Two Brewers and the following Sunday she treated us all to lunch at The Ostlers (post coming soon).
Ash’s mum knows I have a bit of an obsession with candles and gave me this gorgeous Baylis & Harding gift set with three different scented votives: sweet mandarin & grapefruit, jojoba, silk & almond and midnight fig & pomegranate. As soon as I opened the box, all the scents were lush – the midnight fig & pomegranate was immediately my favourite and I’m currently burning it. It smells even better once lit, too. I have a jar of votives on my window sill, as well as some larger jars for decoration.
And finally, the workies spoilt me again this year – getting me a collection of my favourite things. The chocolates and prosecco need no introduction. The prosecco candle is amazing – and is two of my favourite things combined. I received a smaller one last Christmas, so I’m pleased to have received another. The flamingo ring holder is super cute and is currently sitting on my dresser, empty. I received some birthday money from my Nan and Auntie so I will definitely be having a little trip to Pandora! And then the final two gifts are probably because I always tell them I’m a mermaid: the bubble bath is absolutely perfect, but the highlight was the mermaid blanket! I had mentioned before that I wanted one and I’m so pleased Poppy remembered. It’s pink, snug and I am SO in love.

I think my brother is going to buy me perfume, when I decide which one I want... and probably after I’ve bought his Christmas present! Whoops.

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Birthday Lunch at The Two Brewers

Dining, Review, Essex, Two Brewers, FdBloggers, Chigwell, Birthday, Pub, Restaurant
Last Monday was my birthday and as I had booked the day off from work and my mum wasn’t working, she said she would take me out for lunch. She recommended The Two Brewers, as she’d been just before Christmas with some former work colleagues and the food was decent. Better still, on her last visit, she received an envelope which had to be presented prior to paying for a future meal in January or February. Each envelope had a money off coupon – 25%, 50% or an incredible 100% off food (drinks not included) – and just to spoil it, we received the 25% off. The pub is just outside Chigwell, so a bit of a mission from Brentwood, but it was certainly worth it.
Dining, Review, Essex, Two Brewers, FdBloggers, Chigwell, Birthday, Pub, Restaurant
The last time my mum was there, she ate in a completely different area – where I think they must accommodate larger parties. This time we sat around the corner from the bar, in the ‘snug’. There was a really lovely table in a bay window, but we decided to sit down the far side of the room, where there was a lot more space. It was so comfortable, with a padded bench and plenty of cushions – and the table was decorated with a candle and flowers. The decor was lovely, so homely and just perfect for a leisurely lunch. Although we ordered drinks at the bar on arrival, it was table service – I definitely prefer that, than having to get up to order my food!
Dining, Review, Essex, Two Brewers, FdBloggers, Chigwell, Birthday, Pub, Restaurant
 Dining, Review, Essex, Two Brewers, FdBloggers, Chigwell, Birthday, Pub, Restaurant
As I wasn’t sure on our dinner plans that evening, I decided to choose something reasonably light (or so I thought) and mum had recommended the crispy chilli beef salad from a previous visit. And it was incredible! I love shredded beef from the Chinese and this was much the same: strips of beef in a crispy coating, on a bed of carrot ribbons, julienned peppers, red onion and pea shoots. Topped with toasted cashew nuts and with just the right amount of sweet chilli sauce, it wasn’t too spicy but incredibly filling. It made a change from the usual boring, lifeless salads on offer at pubs and the ingredients were exciting, fresh and crunchy. I particularly liked the dehydrated tomato chips scattered on the plate. Mum had the rump steak ciabatta with tarragon mayo, chunky chips and tomato relish. It would have been my second choice, but it’s fair to say, there was no food envy on my part! Sometimes steak can be quite chewy, but this wasn’t the case and even the ciabatta roll was lovely. I can’t have been that full, as I helped mum out with the chips and we both decided we’d have dessert.
Dining, Review, Essex, Two Brewers, FdBloggers, Chigwell, Birthday, Pub, Restaurant
We did have some level of control though and with birthday cake on the cards later on, we shared a dessert. Luckily, we both had our eyes on the same one – the dark chocolate parfait with boozy cherries and pistachio ice cream. It was really light and the chocolate wasn’t too rich, or sickly. There’s no way I’d have been able to manage a whole dessert to myself. But we did accompany it with a coffee – an Americano for me and a latte for mum.

For a casual lunch or catch-up, I couldn’t recommend The Two Brewers more. It was fairly quiet by the time we arrived (2pm), so we didn’t need to book. But it also meant we were able to chat away without any background noise. Sitting in the snug ensured we weren’t rushed, although the service was good. Even though there are similar pubs and restaurants closer to home, I think I’d return.

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A Birthday to remember at Chapel 1877

Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
It’s very rare I go out for dinner somewhere and I’m blown away by the whole experience – but that was the case last weekend when I ate at Chapel 1877. Ashley took me to Cardiff for my birthday and had booked a table – he managed to keep it a surprise, which I loved.

Upon arrival, I couldn’t believe how beautiful the exterior of the restaurant was. Formerly a chapel (hence the name), the gothic architecture was so striking – with its turrets and towers, it was almost castle-esque. I was in even more awe once I stepped inside. With a bar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the next two floors, I couldn’t help but stare at the high ceilings, the intricate brickwork, the ornate chandeliers and spectacular glass arches. The decor really was mesmerising – and it was then that I knew that this would be a night to remember.
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
From our table, we had a great view of the rest of the dining area, as well as the bar – and although it was fairly busy, I never felt as though the other couples were intrusive. The ambience was just perfect: lively, but also intimate.
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
I knew I wouldn’t order a starter, but Ash chose the chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and chutney. I tried a little bit and the parfait was divine – not too rich but lovely and smooth. The brioche was light, but there could have been an extra slice, as is usually the way when ordering a pâté dish. Neither of us can remember what was in the chutney but it complemented the parfait well and it definitely had a slight kick.

As we were both ordering red meat for our main meals, I left Ash to choose the wine – he always does a good job – and he picked an Argentinean Malbec, which wasn’t intense or overwhelming in the slightest. If anything, it went down far too easily, with a slight sweet smoothness.
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
After changing my mind several times, I chose the sirloin steak (rare), which was served with Chapel chips, grilled mushroom and tomato. With a choice of sauces, I decided on peppercorn, which was hot, but I loved it. I say it a lot, but this was honestly one of the nicest steaks I’ve ever had. It was cooked to perfection. Ash opted for the duck breast with potato rosti and beetroot braised red cabbage. At first, he was a bit sceptical as he doesn’t like beetroot – but it ended up being the right decision, he thoroughly enjoyed it. The duck was served pink (there was the option to have it well done) and was so succulent – and the plate was beautifully presented.
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
Even though I struggled to eat all my steak and Ash had to help me out, we ordered dessert because the sticky toffee pudding sounded amazing. And it was. The banana ice cream melted on the hot sponge and the sticky toffee sauce was so rich. There’s no way I could have eaten the whole plate myself, but it was lush.
Dining, Review, Cardiff, Chapel 1877, UK, FDBloggers, Fine Dining
After dinner, we went down the spiral staircase to the bar area for cocktails. Of course, I had to have an espresso martini; while Ash chose a rum and ginger beer concoction. We sat in a cosy corner, as the bar area was quite busy with a large party. But it was a perfect end to a perfect evening. We have already decided to return when we next visit Cardiff – and honestly, nothing could be faulted. Chapel 1877 is a beautiful restaurant, the service was excellent and the food and drink was also very good. It’s fair to say, it was the best birthday.

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Degustabox | Winter Box

Food, Drink, Degustabox, Subscription,
If youve not heard of Degustabox, then where have you been? Its a food & drink monthly subscription box bringing you 10-15 surprise products, many which are new to the market. When you sign up, you get to fill in your very own profile, meaning a couple of the products may differ. Its actually the highlight of my week when this little beauty arrives on my doorstep so what was in December’s box?

·         Two packets of Hoots Snacks
·         A packet of Nutri-Brex
·         A bottle of Newton’s Appl Fizzics
·         A carton of A2 milk
·         Two pots of Maggi 3 Minute Noodles
·         A bottle of Eisberg wine
·         Two packets of Bite+ multigrain flakes
·         A pouch of Gallo four cheese risotto
·         A carton of What a Melon
·         A box of Oh Fudge!
Food, Drink, Degustabox, Subscription,
Beginning with the drinks again this month and my pick of the products in the December box was the What a Melon water. If you like coconut water, you’ll enjoy this. I found it so refreshing and it had a lovely flavour, without being too sweet. Apparently, it’s perfect for a hangover, too! I don’t drink cow’s milk and the A2 milk had featured in a previous box. I gave this to my brother so can’t comment – and I think he used it when mixing his protein shakes. I did like the Newton’s Appl Fizzics, which was like a posh Appletizer! With no added sugar and all natural ingredients, this hit the spot nicely. The wine by Eisberg was another product I’d previously tried, thanks to Degustabox and you certainly couldn’t tell this was an alcohol-free drink. For anyone doing Dry January, this was a great addition.
Food, Drink, Degustabox, Subscription,
There were various savoury snacks in this month’s box and I had mixed opinions on them. The Hoots Snacks were similar to croutons or small crisp breads and were enjoyable. The two flavours I received were smoky bacon and pickled onion – I definitely preferred the former. However, I wasn’t a fan of the Bite+ multigrain flakes. I just found them bland in flavour and boring in texture. Compared to other ‘healthier than crisps’ snacks, these weren’t satisfying and the salt & pepper flavour had a weird after taste.
Food, Drink, Degustabox, Subscription,
I don’t really eat much processed or convenience foods, so I’m not too sure how I feel about the Maggi 3 Minute Noodles... I think my brother will end up eating these. Similarly, the Gallo four cheese risotto is something I haven’t yet tried – and I’m not sure if I will. I don’t eat a lot of rice at the best of times.
Food, Drink, Degustabox, Subscription,
The Oh Fudge! Box was a welcome addition and the apple & cinnamon flavour I received was perfect for this time of year. Each chunk was bite-sized and individually wrapped. I love the softness and creaminess of every piece – and the flavours complemented each other so well. And finally, the Nutri-Brex cereal is something I’m finally trying this week. I like Weetabix, so imagine I’ll find this enjoyable. I’m most looking forward to seeing how the coconut & cinnamon flavours work – but as this is high in fibre and gluten-free, I’m hoping it will keep me fuller for longer.

Try your first box, with a £7 discount. Either follow this link. Or go to the website and enter my special reference code: LUCYW-2B19. Enjoy!

What were your thoughts on the Winter box?

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Instagram #12

December favourites – Starting my travel journal – Orient away: first game of 2017 – Work OOTD, ft. new Mango trousers – Treated myself to a Mulberry purse – Work OOTD, ft. Mulberry scarf – Remembering Christmas in Madrid – Bank Holiday boredom – New Year’s Eve 2016 – 2016 in review Throwback with papa – Ice skating in London

I can’t believe how quickly the last couple of weeks have gone and we are nearly halfway through January already! Time goes too fast. My last life update was at the end of December where I mentioned everything I had done during the month. So what, since then?

I arrived back in England from Madrid on Wednesday 28th December and after picking the car up at Stansted, I drove to Ash’s. On the Thursday we had the most lovely spa day at a place called Whittlebury Hall – and I had the most incredible facial. It was so nice to do nothing and just relax. Then on Friday we went in London as we had ice skating at the National History Museum booked. It was the second time I’d ever been ice skating and it’s fair to say I was terrified again... but I got on loads better than I did in Brussels – and actually enjoyed it! The tree in the middle of the rink was beautiful, but it was so busy. After that, we had tea and cake and then visited Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum. Now I’ve been, I wouldn’t go back but I could have easily spent loads longer there. London life definitely stressed me out though, especially the tube at rush hour so I could do with another spa day!

New Year’s was spent with Ash and then on New Year’s Day we came back to Essex to be with my mum. I spent most of New Year’s Day napping, but mum did cook a yummy roast, so we ate that and watched Wolf of Wall Street. The Monday was spent chilling and napping (again) – and I was back to work on Tuesday.

I’ve wanted a Mulberry purse for absolutely ages and I decided to treat myself to the one on my Christmas list – it’s even more beaut in reality! Ash bought me the macaroon pink scarf for Christmas, so I’ve been wearing that to work a fair bit as well. And then of course there were the trousers I bought in Mango, Madrid; theyare tailored, perfect for work and a SIZE 8! I’ve not been a size 8 for about 14 years, so this is a big deal! I’ve been really loving my work outfits recently.

Then last weekend I went to my first Barnet game of the year – as they were playing Leyton Orient, which is practically down the road. It was actually nice leaving for football at 2pm and being back before 6. I went bowling and for Nando’s after that. And I feel like I’ve not done much else.

One thing I did do was begin my travel journal. I’m using it document all my trips with Ash, including photos, tickets and just random bits of information. I’m off to Cardiff at the weekend so I’m sure that will feature next.

What have you been up to lately?

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

December Favourites

Sheerluxe, Garnier, The Hero Project, Barry M, Dior, Favourites, Fashion, Beauty
Sheerluxe, Garnier, The Hero Project, Barry M, Dior, Favourites, Fashion, Beauty
Whether you see this as the last post of 2016, or the first of 2017, read on to find out what my favourite products were during the month of December. This is going live a little later than I anticipated and I’m already excited for my January favourites post – 10 days in!

As soon as Sheerluxe emailed me about their branded jumpers, I knew I had to have one. I’ve religiously read their emails every day for the past I-don’t-know-how-many months and this gorgeous sweater is a blogger’s/Instagrammer’s dream! The inside is soft and because it’s over-sized, is so cosy. I’ve practically lived in this – and it was also the perfect airport attire. I don’t think they are available anymore, but well done if you managed to get your hands on one!

Long before my Blogmas Nail Polish post, I was obsessed with the Molten Metals collection by Barry M and in particular, the shade Copper Mine. I’ve been wearing this shade throughout December on both my fingers and toes – and I know I’ll continue to sport it throughout January. It’s utterly gorgeous.

I’ve also been loving a red lip and this Dior lipstick from the Rouge Matte range (shade 771) is beaut. I bought this just before Christmas and got 20% in the Black Friday sale (also treating myself to my favourite foundation) and I’ve been wearing it a lot to work. It is very matte, but it’s also non-drying and long-lasting. I try not to re-apply more than twice throughout the day, as it does eventually go a bit grainy if not blotted correctly. I feel I really need to up my high-end lipstick collection, so let me know which brands you love.

In terms of skincare, there are two products I just cannot be without. The first is the Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream, which is something I now swear by – I honestly don’t know why I wasn’t using a night cream before! It keeps my skin hydrated overnight, smoothens and helps keep its elasticity. I actually recently went on a spa day and when I was having a facial, got complimented on my skin. Love that. The Hero Project Glow Drops is something that has been sitting on my dresser for a while, but I’ve suddenly started using. I was never a fan of facial oils as the majority are quite greasy. This is completely different – it’s a dry touch oil and only two/three drops are needed for the face and neck area. I love applying this before my makeup, after cleansing in the mornings. It’s easy to apply and ever so silky, you hardly feel it’s on the skin – but it certainly makes a difference, if you’re suffering with dullness or dryness.

And finally, I’m finishing with another fashion item – and another from Sheerluxe. This pom pom hat came in their collaboration with Latest in Beauty two years ago (I think) and to be totally honest, I bought the box for this (and the gorgeous necklace) alone. I never thought hats suited me, but I’ve been told this one does. I took it to Brussels at the beginning of December and I’ve been wearing it to work a fair bit – risking the hat-hair look. The pom pom can actually be removed, but I don’t think it looks right without.

What were your December favourites?

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Christmas 2016 in Madrid

City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
So last Christmas was a little bit different. On Christmas Eve, mum, Robert and I flew out to Madrid, where we spent four nights staying with my auntie (mum’s sister) and uncle. In such a short space of time, we managed to do a lot – and it certainly made it a lot more special, as well as easier. On the way there, I struggled to find the car park, so there were tantrums en route. But that aside, we had a lovely time.
City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
On Christmas Day, we opened our presents after breakfast. I’m not going to be posting ‘What I got for Christmas’ this year, but I was thoroughly spoilt by family, my friends and Ashley – and it was lush having multiple Christmases. In the afternoon, we drove to a little village called El Berrueco, where he had planned on seeing a ‘Living Nativity’. Unfortunately, time didn’t allow this, with dinner in the oven and instead we had a tapas lunch, wander round and visited a small indoor market. In the evening, my auntie cooked a four course dinner – of course we had turkey and all the extras (minus pigs in blankets).
City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
Boxing Day isn’t celebrated in Madrid and in the afternoon, we headed to a small shopping centre, where we all took advantage of the sales and I got a couple of bits in Mango. In the evening, we went into the city – where we saw a Strauss orchestral and ballet concert. Some of the pieces were accompanied by a singer or dance group, which was nice as well. Afterwards, we had a quick drink at a craft beer bar and then went to Bambubox, a Thai restaurant for dinner.
City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
The following evening we were back in the city – this time going to see a flamenco show at a smaller theatre. The performance didn’t start until about 10pm, so we had a couple of hours to kill beforehand. We were going to have a drink at the rooftop bar on El Corte Ingles at Sol, but the queues were massive and instead, we decided to see the Christmas market at Plaza Mayor. After a quick nosey, we went to an indoor food and drink market (similar to Borough Market in London) en route to the theatre. If we didn’t have plans, we could have easily made an evening of stall jumping and sampling! The flamenco show was excellent and although I didn’t understand any of the words, I found myself clapping and tapping my foot along. For the finale, we all got up for a dance, too!
City, Travel, Madrid, Spain, Christmas, TBloggers, Jet Setters, City Hopping
A trip to my auntie’s isn’t complete without a journey to the churreria and it was one of Robert’s Christmas requests – especially as he missed out in August! We walked to one of the bars, which isn’t far from the market – or where the fiestas are held. There’s honestly nothing better than fresh churros and we got a mixture of the standard churros, as well as the larger, thicker alternatives: porras.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas – let me know below what you got up to.

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Boxing Day at Bambubox

Dining, Review, Bambubox, Madrid, Spain, Fdbloggers
It wasn’t that long ago that I was last at Bambubox, Madrid – it was just four months ago when we stayed with my auntie in August. I knew then that it certainly wouldn’t be our last visit. So when we were seeing a Strauss concert in the city one evening, there was only one place we would be going to afterwards for dinner. This time Robert was with us and like me, he’s a lover of Thai cuisine too. Our table was booked for 10:30pm and upon arrival, the restaurant was slightly busier than our last visit.

I love everything about Bambubox: the decor is so understated, the ambience is relaxed and you immediately feel welcomed and comfortable. There are only two waiting staff and then another one or two chefs in the kitchen, but the service isn’t slow. We sat on the same side of the restaurant, one side occupied by benches and other, normal seating. The large mirrors were a distraction yet again as I found myself turning round far too much to re-apply my lipstick!
Dining, Review, Bambubox, Madrid, Spain, Fdbloggers
We decided to share the Bambubox platter to start – and it was just as good as I remembered. The mango salad in the centre is definitely one of my favourite things; it’s just so refreshing and perfect for cleansing the palate after the deep fried appetisers and chilli dipping sauce. One thing I hadn’t noticed last time was the satay sauce for the chicken skewer contained hazelnuts and not peanuts – it was lush though.
Dining, Review, Bambubox, Madrid, Spain, Fdbloggers
Dining, Review, Bambubox, Madrid, Spain, Fdbloggers
We all decided on ordering a main course each, as these are all served with a bowl of sticky rice. Last time, the food arrived all at once; this time it was brought to the table as it was cooked. I don’t have a problem with this and I’m used to it from trips to Wagamama – although I did start 10 minutes before everyone else, got full too quickly and then watched everyone else eat. The waiter explained that because the restaurant had been closed the previous couple of days, everything was being cooked fresh to order. And as I enjoyed it so much last time, I ordered the Kapao Talay (mixed seafood with basil, pepper and chilli). It was a lot spicier this time round, with whole chillies rather than chopped, but it was still enjoyable – I even ate the mushrooms!

My uncle also ordered the same dish again: the Kaeng Ped Yang, red duck curry with vegetables. I didn’t try any of it this time, but I did enjoy it before. Compared to other Thai curries, it’s milder and almost sweet. My mum ordered chicken with cashew nuts, which was really lovely. The chicken had definitely been marinated in soy and honey, as it had sweet, sticky glaze and sauce. There was a lot of chicken, as well as peppers, onions and pineapple. My auntie was going to choose the same as me, but as we were deciding we’d have a little taste of everything, opted for the Kung Pad Pang Kari instead. This was a yellow curry, packed full of langoustines and was absolutely beautiful. It was another mild dish, fragranced with coconut – and I loved the sauce, which was quite thick but stuck to the rice nicely. Robert decided against a curry and instead chose the Pad Thai, with chicken, prawns and tofu. The noodles were soft and had been fried with bean sprouts and the other ingredients. The portion size was large and I thoroughly enjoyed the little taster I had. I think we should have shared a curry with rice and the noodle dish between us. I had never tried tofu before, often being put off by the texture, but it was actually quite nice. It had been stir-fried in a lovely marinade and could have been passed off as chicken!
Dining, Review, Bambubox, Madrid, Spain, Fdbloggers
We ordered a couple of bottles of red wine, which were reasonably priced at 14– and the chosen wine was from Haro, one of the places we visited when in the Rioja region in August. It actually went well with the food we ordered – even my seafood.

Once again, nothing could be faulted and while I used to have a favourite Pan-Asian restaurant (in Sansé), I think Bambubox has stolen that crown. It’s not too difficult to get in and out of the city from where my auntie and uncle live. I’m actually devo’d we weren’t there over New Year’s as there was a fabulous sounding set menu with live music, a welcome cocktail and glass of champagne (with 12 grapes) to bring in 2017.

Love, Lucy xx