Friday, 25 April 2014

Jamie's Italian Restaurant

Jamie's Italian

I love shopping, and as you all know I also love my food. So when I get to combine my two favourite pastimes, I am one contented lady.  

For those of you not based in London, Westfield Stratford City is a shopping centre built next to the London 2012 Olympic stadium. It has over 300 stores and 70 restaurants. 

Every time I visit Westfield I try to find a new foodie treat

Jamie's Italian restaurant is a joint venture with the one and only Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo

Jamie's Italian Stratford

Jamie's Westfield

I love Italian food and was keen to see how Jamie's restaurant would match up with some of the best in London like Latium and Gustoso

The interior gives a good first impression, lively with a buzzing atmosphere and attentive staff who seat us at the bar for some drinks first. 

We review the starters and for us it is an easy choice, it has to be one of 'Jamie's famous planks' (£6.85 per person). Cured meats, Italian Cheeses, pickles and crunchy salad.  

Jamie's Famous Planks
The cured meats, mozzarella and capers were yummy. 

In restaurants I generally steer clear of burgers, but my view was if anyone can do a burger it has to be Jamie Oliver. So I opted for the 'Jamie Italian Burger' (£10.95), prime British Chunk and flank steak. 

I had visions of Jamie on TV saying "pukka tukka" whilst I ate it. 

My better half goes for Vongole Tagliolini (£11.25), clams, chilli, garlic, parsley and white wine. This is always the dish that distinguishes an Italian and this just doesn't come close. Nice but just lacked the real flavour and kick that was expected. It should have had an amazing taste given the quality ingredients.  

Jamie's Italian Restaurant

Overall a relaxed dining experience, reasonably priced but I wasn't wowed over by the food.  

Wishing you all a lovely weekend. Up to anything fun? Share your plans in the comments below. 

Square Meal Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

Jamie's Italian,
Wesfield Unit 1078, 
Westfield Shopping Centre 
Ariel Way 
W12 7GB


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Monday, 21 April 2014

The Rucksack is back ...

The Rucksack is back ...

ASOS leather Backpack
ASOS leather backpack 
was £75 now £45

Asos Faux Fur Insert Backpack
Was £38 now £26.50

Accessorize Navy Love Rucksack

Asos Tan weave rucksack

Next Nude snake Rucksack
Next Nude Snake Rucksack 

Hope you all had a lovely Easter. 

I have eaten so much chocolate that I am on 
chocolate amnesty.

But that surely means  I can buy some additional fashion and beauty goodies. Doesn't it?

Do you have a favourite bag? 
Share it in the comments below so I can check it out.  

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

A visit to Ireland

I am not a keen flyer. No scrap that, I hate flying. This has not always been the case but two bad flights and I have been slightly put off. This hasn't stopped my love of travelling but it does put a dampener on the start and end of any holiday.
Gatwick airport
So anything that distracts me before flying is a definite plus. No 1 Gatwick is an airport lounge which is the perfect place to escape and while away a few hours before any flight.

airport lounges
When I was invited as their guest during a recent trip to Ireland for a friends wedding, it was a resounding yes. The lounge is lovely and light, with fantastic views of the runways where you can sit and watch planes arriving and taking off. 

No.1 Gatwick

They also have complementary hot and cold food, drinks and WiFi. 

Airport Lounges

Airport Lounges

Nothing settles a foodies nerves than indulging in their favourite pastime, eating of course!  
No.1 Gatwick

A bacon roll, followed by a Waffle...
airport lounges

At £22.50 for three hours, No.1 offers a nice relaxing space to prepare you for your flight. It certainly helped to settle my nerves before takeoff. 

On the ground from Dublin it was a two hour drive to our destination Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan. We passed through lots of beautiful countryside and Bessie the cow popped out to say hello on route. 

We arrived at Slieve Russell Hotel which is set in beautiful grounds on a huge valley, 18 hole golf course and most importantly spa and wellness centre. 

Slieve Russell Hotel
Most hotels generally disappoint me on the food front. Mainly I think because they have to cater on mass to so many diners, food is often either boring or sounds much better on paper than what is delivered. 

The Conall Cernach Restaurant I am pleased to report delivered on both counts a great menu and lovely food. 

For starters I opt for warm goats cheese salad, heather honey, hazelnuts and figs. There is something very naughty about warm cheese and fig; totally delicious. 
My dining companion goes for melon with orange Sorbet. 

For the mains it's an easy choice, we both plump for the Tournedos of Prime Irish Beef Fillet. 

Served with mash and vegetables. 
The steak was absolutely delicious, cooked to perfection and the bullion juices divine. The steak was straight of a local farm and was amazing. 

Having spotted dessert on the table next to us it was an easy choice for me. 
Ice cream no matter how full I can always find room. 

However when I spotted this heading to the table I was a little jealous...
The Strawberry Meringue Medley, I was reliably informed, was definitely the better choice. It was polished off in nano seconds and I didn't get a look in. 

The wedding was a truly wonderful occasion, the bride looked beautiful and I was so very pleased that I got to share in my friends wonderful day. A brilliant stay in Ireland.
Slieve Russell Hotel,
Co Cayan 

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Friday, 11 April 2014

Pure - Moorgate

I look forward to lunch and having variety is very important. It's got to taste good and not have my whole daily allowance of calories in it.

I don't know about you but at lunch time a soggy sandwich made the day before doesn't really do it for me.

Working in London I have great options for food. With new ventures poping up all the time the soggy sandwhich for me has been well and truly banished.

Pure is an exciting place in Moorgate to have lunch, actually scrap that breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks.


Flatbreads, salads, smoothies and juices are made on site and the best bit it is freshly packed when you order it. 

Ingredients are specifically chosen because they are high quality, yummy and best of all they are selected to reduce the nasties preservatives, additives, sugar, salt and fat. 

My personal favourite is the Italian Chicken toastie: chicken breast, mozzarella, Portobello mushrooms, pesto, sun-dried tomato and spinach.

Totally scrummy. The best part of all it fills you up so that there is no afternoon snacking. 

Want to check it out for yourself... they have shops all over London

Pure Moorgate
100 Moorgate


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Friday, 4 April 2014

The Fable Restaurant Holborn

When I heard that in a land far far away, Drake and Morgan had created a brand new restaurant in fairy tales and fables of Aesop well I just had to visit.

Walking to the restaurant is a bit like entering a secret world. Trundling across Holborn viaduct (a road bridge in London) which I have to say has been beautiful restored in vibrant red, gold and silver, I spot The Fable restaurant over the head of a fire breathing dragon. 

                        The Fable Restaurant

From the exterior you could easily mistake Fable for a corporate office block but looks can be very deceiving. Down a windy staircase from the bridge you begin to see glimpses of the wonderful thought that has gone into designing this restaurant. 
When inside the interior doesn't disappoint either set across three floors this restaurant is vast. 

The Fable Bar

The beautiful fairy tale bar and seating Fable really impresses on design.

         The fable restaurant

The Fable Restaurant
Some novel arrangements around the restaurant. Sorry for the bad pun but I couldn't resist. 
The Fable Restaurant

We are seated at a big long table on elevated chairs. The drink menu is vast with an almighty selection to choose from. Pages of cocktails (mojito, daiquiri martinis and fairtale cocktails) wine and spirits. 


The sharing cocktails look amazing and very theatrical: 

Rub a dub shrub - hook a duck at bath time, with snow queen vodka, fresh watermelon juice, homemade strawberry vinegar, strawberries and bubbling bath time suds. 

Goldfish in a bag - served in a goldfish bag. Take home a tipsy fish. With gin, vodka,rhubarb, pink grapefruit, 'fish', tonic and edible Lilly pads.  

So whilst we peruse over the menu we opt for Zombie Land cocktails. Two is enough, three is too many ... four and you will be walking like the undead. Either that or you will be under the table. 

It is served from a bath ... and it is mighty potent. 



The menu at The Fable is vast and has lots of varied food options to suit every taste, burgers, fresh seafood, seasonal salads and steak. 

But Sundays mean only one thing to me. A good lie in and a lovely Sunday roast.  
Sunday roast

Sadly this is where the positives finish. I always thought no one could ruin a Sunday roast; well I was wrong. The beef was cooked well, but the vegetables definitely were not al dente, with more chance you would need a dentist. It's a shame that the Yorkshire puddings were also swimming in fat. 

Service whilst friendly, was unbelievably slow and left you constantly hunting for a member of staff which after a while became really frustrating and ruined the dining experience. 

The Fable has only just opened so I am sure the above small issues can be resolved quickly. It is so annoying when a restaurant has so much going for it that it could be an excellent place to eat and drink but at the moment it is definitely style over substance. 

Hopefully Fable will recruit more staff to serve the many dinners. The menu is vast and less is more sometimes. I would definitely prefer a few less dishes cooked well than lots potentially cooked badly. 

Give this place a few months and if you are looking for a restaurant near Holborn I would certainly give it another try even if it is just to bathe in a cocktail. 

Square Meal The Fable on Urbanspoon

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