Monday 20 October 2014


Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea

Tom Aikens was first brought to my attention on the BBC’s Great British Menu, which in 2013 asked the chefs to design a four-course meal for the Comic Relief anniversary banquet. I found his creative dishes absolutely inspiring (in particular his “Egg Chicken / Chicken Egg” starter and Rabbit in a Hat main), and so was hugely excited to finally get to go to one of his restaurants. Tom’s Kitchen appears small and canteen-y, but has a menu to make you salivate. The temptation of truffled macaroni cheese, triple cooked chips and baked Alaska was almost too much to bear, but trying, as ever, to make sensible eating choices, I had a more slimming dinner of a steak tartare starter, sea bream special and half a raspberry crème brulee (accompanied by a delicious Chelsea Gardens cocktail made of gin, cucumber, apple and elderflower).

My starter, pud and drink were perfection, but on reflection I may have opted for a different, more exciting main. For the price, it was a shame to eat something I could have cooked for myself at home. Next time I eat at Tom's Kitchen, those chips will be goin’ down!

Borough Market 1000th Birthday

No, you did read that right. On 20th September, Borough Market celebrated its one-THOUSANDTH birthday. How many other businesses can say that they’re just as popular now as they were with the crusaders? It’s unlikely that they would have indulged on the Borough Market delicacies that I did though: toasted cheese sandwiches, duck confit salad, macaroons and marshmallow flavoured vodka, but hey, we can’t say for sure, can we? I also took home two incredible Turkish treats; my giant Turkish figs made a delicious Sunday lunch pudding, and although I’ve never really been a fan, the Turkish delight was, well, delightful. Over the week or so there were a variety of special anniversary events, including visitors walking through paint and leaving a trail of multi-coloured footprints throughout the market.

Whenever I go to Borough Market I wonder why I’m not there every weekend. It’s such an experience, for all the senses.                                                                                                                                                       

Originally written by Kevin Elyot twenty years ago, ‘My Night With Reg’ was brought back this year to the Donmar Warehouse, for its first major revival, by director Robert Hastie. Set in 1985, the play focuses on the lives of a group of gay friends and begins with their reunion after several years of separation. Like with any reassembling of loved ones there are both laughs and heartbreak; I’d hate to give too much of the plot away but as the title suggests, Reg has some explaining to do… The play, however, is hugely bittersweet; without a direct mention the plot revolves around the underlying theme of Aids, and the fears within the gay community at the time.

I know I probably say it every time, and prepare for me to contradict myself in future blog posts, but THIS was my favourite Donmar production to date. An extraordinary cast produced an extraordinary play.

Foxcroft and Ginger, Bethnal Green

You’ve guessed it – I’ve been stuffing my face yet again! When finding myself in Bethnal Green with an empty stomach and an hour to kill, I stumbled across Foxcroft and Ginger on the Mile End Road. Named after the owner Quintin Foxcroft and his redheaded wife, this trendy and relaxed café prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients. There’s a wide variety of dishes on the menu including lots of breakfast options. I was very jealous of the man next to me who was munching on homemade hash browns (one of my fave breakfast items). I also watched as an array of doorstop-sized sandwiches went past, all made using their special sourdough breads.

Nevertheless I had a delicious and satisfying chicken salad made with chickpeas, butternut squash, spring onions, peppers and a spiced yoghurt dressing. Yum, yum, YUM. There’s also a branch of Foxcroft and Ginger in Soho – sounds like a good wintery lunch spot to me, or even a quick coffee-and-a-croissant pit-stop.  

Before I Go To Sleep

A mysterious thriller starring two of my favourite male actors and Nicole Kidman, who really is growing on me after all of these years! She plays Christine Lucas, plagued with a memory span of only one day after a traumatic accident. With the help of a video camera, Christine starts to piece her missing years back together, but who is she to trust; her loving husband, or her professional doctor?

There are some serious spine chilling moments, a few tear jerkers, and there's no way anyone could predict all the twists that this plot provides (you'll change your opinion of the characters at least twice). Do go and see 'Before I Go To Sleep' for a great story and a super performance from all.

No comments:

Post a Comment