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Events, London

Taste of London Winter 2015

Taste of London Winter brought plenty of festive spirit and merriment to east London’s Tobacco Dock over the past few days.

I visited on the opening night and was curious to see how it would compare to the outdoor festival atmosphere of the summer event in Regent’s Park.  In fact, I ended up liking the winter edition even more, as it felt cosier and more sociable (being conveniently located in my part of town also helped).

Our first stop was T2 Tea at its slick, colourful pop-up store – we were lured in with samples of hot, spiced chai.  As I’ve said before, T2 is my happy place and I was pleased to see the friendly staff from my local Redchurch Street store.

Just like the T2 stores, there were a number of freshly-brewed teas on hand to sample – Lamington, Crème Brûlée, White Rose and many more – and the staff shared new recipes and tea combinations for some inspiration.  I took home a box of smoky London Breakfast Tea and will be indulging in a pot or two with cake to stay all warm and fuzzy this week.

One of my favourite parts of Taste of London is meeting food producers and hearing the stories behind their companies.  We took some time to browse the stalls and discovered artisan cheeses at Snowdonia Cheese Co. Ltd, colourful Indian-inspired Sari Cakes, tasty cured meats at Bellota Spanish Foods and a sunny taste of the south of France at Le Saint Tropez Rosé Company.

Meanwhile, esteemed chefs Steve Groves, Anna Haugh and Tom Kerridge were sharing their top tips for the festive season at the Taste Theatre.  Another highlight was a chef demonstration at the roaring Fire Pit, set to the sounds of DJ sets from Club de Fromage and live music from the brilliant Kelvin Jones.  There really was so much going on that it was difficult to squeeze it all in.

Of course, Taste of London wouldn’t be complete without grazing on some tasting dishes from the city’s top restaurants.  This year, it was a tough choice with tempting menus from the likes of maze Grill, Pont St, The Truscott Cellar and Michelin-starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction.

Tom’s Kitchen Truffled Macaroni Cheese was posh comfort food at its best with perfectly-cooked macaroni, a silky truffle cream sauce and crunchy, herby breadcrumbs.

At Taste of London in the summer, I ran out of time to try any dishes from Kurobuta, so this time we scheduled our slot with military precision.  Hot Crispy Duck Ramen was an absolute dream – right up there with my favourite pork belly ramen at Kanada-Ya.  The rich, meaty broth was so intensely flavoursome and packed with springy noodles, a generous amount of succulent roast duck and topped with spicy crushed peanuts and sliced spring onion.  Based on this yummy dish, Kurobuta has made it to the top of my foodie wish list.

After being plied with slices of hot sourdough pizza and copious amounts of cheese walking around the halls (yes, people want to feed you at Taste of London), we ended our foodie adventure with a HIX Sugar Pit Beef Rib Slider with kimchee slaw.  It was bigger and even more tasty than I expected, with juicy, tender flakes of beef topped with a subtle, fresh kimchee slaw packed in a glazed brioche bun.

Taste of London Winter is such a delight for foodies, with so much to discover and plenty of surprises.  Now the countdown is on for the summer edition!

Chérie City was a guest of Taste of London Winter

All photos by Chérie City


A Different View with Celebrity Cruises

When I travel, I like to stumble upon the unexpected and experience a different side of the destination I’m in. Whether it’s at the top of a steep hill or through a secret passage, there’s usually something good to be found there and my curiosity is often rewarded.

As part of the Celebrity Cruises Destination Bloggers group, I’ve discovered some inspiring views, from glorious candy-coloured streets in Puerto Rico to secluded golden sand beaches on the island of St. Maarten and breathtaking thermal springs in Iceland.

Inspired by unique travel landscapes, Celebrity Cruises launches it exciting new national campaign, A Different View.  From 14 November, 20 frames will pop up around the UK (in central London, Chester, Birmingham, Weymouth, Canterbury and Southampton) offering a different perspective of a popular spot.

Frame locations have been chosen by photography and travel experts and Celebrity Cruises ambassadors such as travel-savvy TV presenters, top chefs, clued-up Instagrammers and all of us Destination Bloggers.

I’m excited to have my very own frame made of ice from the Celebrity Cruises Martini Bar in buzzing Central St. Giles.  This lively location is one of London’s everyday architectural gems (designed by Renzo Piano) where you can enjoy public art and watch the world go by over a tasty lunch.

Other frames feature materials based on objects or experiences found onboard Celebrity Cruises’ ships (think turf to represent the real grass of the Lawn Club and Persian tiles from the spa and steam room) and can be viewed at Tower Bridge, the V&A Museum and Chelsea’s Albert Bridge.

The frames will be present at the locations from 14-21 November and to celebrate, you are invited to enter an exclusive competition to WIN a luxury travel prize.

Simply snap your own view through my chosen frame at Central St. Giles (it’s easy to spot) and post the photo on Twitter or Facebook using #ADifferentView (don’t forget to tag in @cheriecity).  The two entrants with the best photographs over the week will receive a pair of leather luggage tags by Aspinal of London (I already own a pair myself and they’re fabulous).  Competition closes: 21st November.

For destination inspiration and to see a different view with Celebrity Cruises, watch this beautifully-shot video…

To find out more about #ADifferentView and to view the frame locations and brand film, visit: or

Photos by Chérie City (luggage tags by Aspinal of London)

Sponsored post 


Biscuiteers Advent Calendar Collection

One of my favourite rituals in the run up to Christmas is choosing my advent calendar.  Every year they get more and more luxurious and you generally need to get in there early before they’re all snapped up.

This year, the countdown to Christmas started a little earlier than usual with the arrival of my Biscuiteers advent calendar collection.  I’ve been trying to exercise some kind of restraint, but they’re so yummy that I can’t see them lasting until December!

Biscuiteers is a bijou London biscuit company founded by Harriet Hastings and her husband Stevie Congdon in 2007.  Since then, they’ve become a teatime favourite, particularly in the fashion with bespoke designs created for Anya Hindmarch, Mulberry and Burberry (all the top notch goodie bags contain a special Biscuiteers treat for the way home).

Biscuiteers now has a Biscuit Boutique and Icing Cafe in both Notting Hill and Battersea and all of the biscuits are hand-made by artisan bakers in London.

The Biscuiteers advent calendar collection is a real joy for foodies with a sweet tooth who love Christmas.  The beautifully-illustrated metal tin is filled with 24 festive iced gingerbread biscuits and it’s exciting to see which ones you’ll get.

Each of the four layers is a glorious winter scene with adorable animals of the season including a reindeer, owl, penguin husky and Britain’s favourite bird, the robin redbreast.  Also featured is a petite iced snowflake biscuit, perhaps as something lighter for those days of extra festive indulgence.

Not only do the biscuits look absolutely divine, but they’re a proper taste of Christmas – just sweet enough with a hint of spice.  Of course you can be virtuous and graze on one every day (as per the advent calendar rules), but it’s more than likely that your nearest and dearest will hint/request/demand a piece of the action – and who could blame them?

The Biscuiteers advent calendar collection is available now and is priced at £45. Shop the Christmas Collection now at Biscuiteers!

London, Restaurants

Dinner at Tapas Revolution Shoreditch

Tapas is such a joy when it’s done well, especially when grazed on leisurely in the sunny climes of Spain.  London has some fantastic tapas restaurants, but there is certainly a lack of neighbourhood drop-in tapas bars that are such an integral part of Spanish culture.

That’s where Omar Allibhoy comes in, bringing a taste of the Madrid tapas bar scene to London with the excellent Tapas Revolution Shoreditch.  This boutique group of casual, modern tapas bars had humble beginnings in Westfield and Bluewater shopping malls (stay with me here), but the latest outpost is its first standalone tapas bar, occupying a prime spot in between Shoreditch High Street and the top of Brick Lane.

Chef Omar Allibhoy excelled in the world of innovative fine dining at elBulli under Ferran Adrià and at Maze with Jason Atherton before joining Elpirata in Mayfair as executive chef and then opening Tapas Revolution.

I visited on a mid-week evening and immediately liked the warm design and lively yet chilled out atmosphere at Tapas Revolution.  You can park up at the spacious bar or grab a table overlooking the open kitchen and counter.

The friendly, welcoming staff explained the menu to us and made some good recommendations.  We chatted about Spanish gastronomy with our waiter and he told us that everything is made completely from scratch in the kitchen.

The meal got off to a great start as we were presented with the most visually-pleasing Gambas a la plancha (£7.95).  One of my favourite indulgences when in Spain is fresh seafood, so this dish brought back memories of happy days in the sun.  The majestic king prawns had a lovely smoky taste and were doused in a punchy garlic, herb and olive oil sauce.

I can never resist Croquetas de jamón (£5.50) and these ones were very authentic and moreish.  The golden, hand-rolled croquetas were filled with oozing, silky bechamel but only a few tiny flecks of jamón, so that flavour was rather muted.

Patatas bravas (£3.75) are a must-order staple of any tapas meal, in my opinion, and these ones were exemplary.  I’m not a fan of the spicy ketchup breed of patatas bravas, but here, the fried potatoes had a naturally sweet flavour and were drizzled in a bold, piquant tomato sauce and a yummy, intensely garlicky aioli.

Tortilla de patata (£5.25) was served as its own lightly golden cake, rather than a large slice.  It was filled with layers of soft potato and caramelised onion and had a typically runny centre that made it even more of a comfort dish.  It could’ve been seasoned with a little more salt, but the aioli made up for it.

Carne a la parrilla (£6.75) was a tasty dish of succulent, medium-grilled flank of beef with slim slices of crispy potatoes on a bed of juicy roasted red peppers.  The acidic red peppers brought out the rich flavours of the beef and the herby potatoes were a perfect accompaniment.

Albóndigas en salsa (£5.50) was a beautifully-cooked, homely dish with the kind of recipe that you can imagine a Spanish grandma would pass down through generations.  The tender, melt-in-the-mouth beef meatballs were coated in a sweet, slow-roasted tomato sauce studded with soft carrots and peas, topped with fresh chives.  Be sure to order these meatballs for the table and mop up the heavenly sauce with some bread.

Tapas is a crafty kind of cuisine – the concept of small plates can make you feel virtuous but in fact, the dishes tend to be rather rich to make a lasting impression.  Napoleon complex, perhaps?  Of course, I always find a tiny spot of room for dessert and there can be none greater than Torrijas.  This traditional dessert, usually eaten at Easter in Spain, is similar to French Toast.  A thick slice of brioche is soaked in milk and fried, then topped with orange blossom-scented Crema Catalana and a generous dusting of cinnamon.

It’s the most delightful sharing dessert to end the meal, but would also work well as an indulgent afternoon treat.  I’m definitely tempted to try and make it at home, or better still, go on a hunt for the perfect Torrijas in Spain!

Tapas Revolution Shoreditch is a great spot to enjoy authentic Spanish bites over a few glasses of Sangria with friends.  With a nightly happy hour and menu rapido including a drink for just £7.95, there’s no reason not to!

For more information, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of Tapas Revolution

Photos by Chérie City and Tapas Revolution

Tapas Revolution Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beauty, London

HPM Scent School with Annick Goutal

Fragrance is one of my favourite indulgences, so what better way to spend an evening that discussing scents with some of the industry’s most esteemed leaders?

Last week, I attended Handpicked Media’s debut Scent School in partnership with The Perfume Society and PR gurus Kenneth Green Associates, held at the shiny Condé Nast College in Soho.  For this very special event, we were treated to an audience with Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen – the brains and noses behind quintessentially Parisian perfume maison, Annick Goutal.

Handpicked Media’s Krista Madden kicked off the evening, as we finished refueling on Zeo and Propercorn (the new smooth almond and peanut butter flavour is so addictive), and introduced Jo Fairley, co-founder of The Perfume Society.

Jo has had a dream career – magazine editor, co-founder of ethical chocolate company Green & Black’s and Judges Bakery, as well as brand consultant and inspirational public speaker.  In person, she is warm, down-to-earth and speaks about perfume in a refreshingly accessible way.

The Perfume Society is an online fragrance appreciation community that hosts workshops and events for members and offers Discovery Boxes and the Jasmine Award-winning e-magazine, The Scented Letter.  Jo led us in a special ‘How to Improve you Sense of Smell’ workshop that is available complimentary to members up and down the country.

Fragrance blotters were handed out and we were encouraged to write down our thoughts and feelings about the scents, rather than trying to detect the notes.  What was most interesting about this fun group activity was the diverse spectrum of emotions and memories incited through the fragrances – it’s true that we all experience aromas differently.  I was particularly drawn to the luxurious Cartier La Panthère, which transported me to nighttime in Paris, partying with Yves Saint Laurent and Pat Cleveland on the Left Bank.

Having trained our noses with the workshop, we were prepped to listen to Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen in conversation with Nicola de Burlet, head of press at Kenneth Green Associates.

Camille shared anecdotes about her late mother Annick Goutal, who was a pianist, top model and antique shop owner before falling in love with fragrance on a trip to Grasse and founding the perfume house on rue de Bellechasse in 1980, at the age of 30.

Annick’s philosophy was to create emotions through fragrance like a puzzle and her perfumes have become timeless classics.  The curvy, elegant bottles adorned with touches of gold are staples of every well-heeled Parsisienne’s boudoir.  Annick’s disinterest in fleeting trends and big marketing campaigns has kept the brand forever relevant and something of a luxury insider’s secret (outside of Paris, as least).

We explored a few signature Annick Goutal scents, beginning with the much-loved Petite Chérie, created as a gift to Camille.  It’s a gourmand fragrance bursting with luscious, juicy pear and reminds me of childhood innocence and happy times.

Next up was Eau du Sud, a chypre inspired by Annick’s birthplace Aix-en-Provence, where she grew up among the intoxicating aromas of her father’s chocolate shop.  We then travelled to Italy with Ninfeo Mio, a sun-kissed yet earthy blend of fresh figs and quince, inspired by Camille and Isabelle’s trip to the Ninfeo Gardens.

We finished with an invigorating Middle East-inspired fragrance – 1001 Ouds from Les Absolus d’Annick Goutal.  Camille has strong opinions when it comes to ouds, explaining only a few of these woody, aromatic fragrances on the luxury market bear resemblance to the natural oud that she is familiar with as a perfumer.

1001 Ouds is a unique, authentic take on the classic oud scent – it’s deeply spicy and has prominent equestrian leather notes that reference Camille’s love of horseriding.  Most interestingly, it resists the temptation of being too sweet, but develops a soft warmness that makes you dream of the mystical Arabian Nights tales and wandering through spice markets.

The inspiring evening ended with a few helpful words from Nicola on the relationship between beauty bloggers and PRs – how to form lasting connections, impress their brands with your writing and manage expectations on both sides.

A thought echoed by all of the experts was that it’s easy to overthink writing about fragrance.  Any old website can list the fragrance notes and state whether it’s in the illusive chypre or fougère family, but articulating your unique emotional connection to the scent is golden.  As Camille explained, ‘no one buys a fragrance based on the notes, it’s all about how it makes them feel’.

In our goody bag, we were generously given a year’s subscription to The Perfume Society, as well as their latest Discovery Box packed full of new and classic fragrances, instructive postcards, blotters and a stylish notebook for recording our fragrant thoughts.

Also included was a stunning Annick Goutal gold purse fragrance – mine is the divine L’Ile au Thé.  It’s a clean, fresh, calming scent that immediately made me think of springtime and my travels in China and Hong Kong.  In fact, the citrus fragrance was created following Camille and Isabelle’s trip to the Korean paradise island of Jeju.

The fragrance paints an idyllic fragrant landscape of mandarin tree orchards, tea plantations and beautiful osmanthus in bloom – a real treat for lovers of Asian tea ceremonies and delicate, almost celestial scents.  I can’t wait to take this fragrant to Paris next week and will definitely be paying at visit to the Annick Goutal boutique.

For more information, visit: and

Photos by Annick Goutal, The Perfume Society & Chérie City

London, Restaurants

Dinner at Bombay Brasserie, Kensington

Curried Thoughts by Isabel Dexter

 After fish and chips, and possibly roast dinners, Indian food is the most British food you can think of. Although I feel that’s not complimentary enough to India. My favourite restaurant in Weston Super Mare is an Indian. And when I go back to see my parents in Derby I always petition to go to the BYOB Indian where my mum, sister, our astrologer friend Gill and I always went for girls’ nights. Apparently the Pisces-with-Leo-ascendent means worldwide cuisine is top of my list. That and an identity crisis apparently. Personally I never liked fish anyway.

Bombay Brasserie in Kensington is just that little bit fancier. And by a little bit I mean a whole lotta fancier. Blending the diverse cooking styles of Goa, Bengal and Gujerat with imperial Mughal, Raj and Portuguese influences the actual Bombay (now called Mumbai), is considered India’s financial and entertainment capital.

Meanwhile, Bombay Brasserie the restaurant has been an iconic eating destination since 1982 and it has all the swank and plushness of a five star dining experience. We went on a Friday night and it was pleasantly busy but not overwhelmingly so. The clientele was happily varied, with everything from families with well-behaved yet excitable children to business entertaining, groups of well-heeled friends and dates. This would be a great date restaurant actually, it’s impressive looking and the menu is varied and appealing. It probably has a Good Sense of Humour too.

I arrive to find The Blond Mr Bond-ing it up in the luxe bar area. Low lighting, a roaring fire and brightly lit bar with a frankly mesmerising spirit wall were a good distraction from my tardiness. There was a good cocktail selection too and it would be a perfect place for after-work drinks or pre-date cocktails. The Blond was impressed by the beer choices, which is no mean feat. This Man Knows Good Beer. All those cocktail bars and craft beer establishments in Shoreditch could take note. A bar that wants to give Members Club vibes needs to be like decent cashmere. Expensive-looking but also laid back. There’s no need to try hard and Bombay Brasserie’s bar looks like the lovechild of a Rolling Stone and an Upper East Side supermodel. The sort of place that you go for one drink and end up cuddled up in front of the fireplace four martinis later. Four? Who am I kidding? One martini. No shame in being a cheap date.

The Blond salivates at the mere mention of ‘curry’ so despite the cosy ambiance we pretended to saunter (read jog) into the restaurant area – separated by huge wooden doors and much more brightly lit. We agreed that it was a little too bright, although nice to be able to see the food, which was incredibly visually pleasing.

For starters I had Malai baby corn and  broccoli, which was a simple griddled baby corn and stem broccoli topped with a cheese sauce. Nice and al dente but would have worked better as a side dish. There was a certain awkwardness in ploughing through them as a starter but that could be because I’m a die-hard carnivore and generally think vegetables are like the colour-coordinated window displays at Selfridges. Fun to look at and they certainly brighten things up but I don’t actually want to consume them.

The Blond had the Khada Masala scallops, which were (and I quote) ‘delicate’ and ‘clearly expertly done’.

For mains I happily devoured the Tandoori Raan, a braised lamb shank with cinnamon, black cumin and vinegar. The lamb was perfectly cooked and gorgeously succulent. The sauce was delicious and super smooth. The Blond went for the Goa Halibut curry with coconut, red chillies and tamarind, which was rich and complex in flavour although he said he’d have preferred it a little more ‘roughed-up’ in texture. Daniel Craig rather than Sean Connery I presume. The heat level was excellent and the fish was perfectly meaty and thick in texture but still very fresh-tasting.

To finish, we shared (and I mean that euphemistically. He ordered it. I ate it. Gender stereotypes are alive and well in South Kensington) the Trio of desserts. Cue a very indulgent raspberry chocolate, chocolate samosa and chocolate brownie all stabbed with a crackle of orange. I couldn’t fault it. The service was excellent too and the general mood was fun rather than formal, despite the starched white table cloths and five star cutlery. Sometimes the world is enough.

For more information and booking, visit:

Isabel Dexter was a guest of Bombay Brasserie

Photos by Isabel Dexter and Bombay Brasserie

Bombay Brasserie - Millennium Gloucester Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


ila spa Gold Cellular Age-Restore Collection

ila spa is a British spa and beauty brand that has a special place in my heart, so when I was invited to visit the ila barn in the Cotswolds, I jumped at the chance.

I spent the afternoon with ila’s magnetic founder Denise Leicester who I’ve met a few times at ila spa events in London.  Not only did I get a rare glimpse of these luxurious, natural creams and oils in production, but I was treated to an exclusive preview of ila spa’s new game-changing Gold Cellular Age-Restore collection.

After a short drive from Charlbury through the rolling Oxfordshire countryside, I was warmly welcomed by Denise at the peaceful ila barn, framed by seemingly endless green fields.  Over a healthy snack of dates filled with cashew nut butter and warming cardamon and saffron tea, we chatted about the hotly anticipated collection and Denise’s extensive travels.

ila spa Gold Cellular Age-Restore is the result of three years of experimenting and fine tuning.  The innovative anti-ageing ritual harnesses the power of ethically harvested frankincense from the Garden of Ethiopia and three types of naturally occurring gold.  Its unique BosTriWell formula combines three different kinds of frankincense to reduce inflammation while 24-Carat Gold, Homeopathic and Colloidal Gold boost the production of collagen.

A plant-derived hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin completes this powerful trinity of active ingredients working to promote radiance and reduce the signs of ageing.  Denise explained that the range was formulated in partnership with a world-renowned German pharmacy to achieve the best possible results while staying true to ila’s natural, ‘beyond organic’ philosophy.

First on the agenda was a tour of the ila spa workshop where all of the organic face and body products are hand-blended, bottled and packaged up.  It’s such a unique, pleasant environment with exquisite aromas filling the air that I found myself daydreaming about packing up for the Cotswolds to be an ila apprentice.

The work stations are adorned with a golden sri yantra to channel good energy into the products and every product is blessed with a positive affirmation by its creator – truly made with love.  I tried my hand at blending ila’s best-selling Body Oil for Inner Peace, mixing heady top note oils jasmine, sandalwood and ylang ylang with a base of argan oil and rosehip seed oil.

I then took a reflective walk around the special wedding labyrinth at the back of the barn with a lighted candle in hand while being watched intently by the flock of sheep in the adjacent field.  I’m guessing they’re pretty chilled out sheep with all the Ayurvedic aromas flowing into their field.

Already feeling serene and revived by the fresh country air, I was set for further relaxation with a signature ila spa Gold Cellular Age-Restore Facial.  Expert therapist Jo performed the most fantastic healing and rejuvenating facial in the warm, tranquil treatment room.  She thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated my skin and intuitively massaged my head, shoulders and face using lymphatic drainage techniques.

A paper sheet drenched in a zingy mask was pushed deep into the skin using the ila Sonic Wave Therapy, leaving my skin feeling tingly and taut.  The treatment finished with a light application of serum and face cream and I was gently awoken from my trance-like state.

The treatment was made even more relaxing and effective with a soundtrack of hypnotic, tribal music composed and sung by Denise.  After the treatment, we sipped on Radiance Cleanse detox juices and Denise led us in a meditative sound therapy session, chanting and playing crystal singing bowls in harmony.  It was the perfect end to an afternoon of wellbeing and I left feeling truly inspired by Denise and her soulful, holistic approach to skincare.

I’ve been trying out the collection since visiting the ila barn and am already hooked.  My skin was terribly stressed out with a new type of breakout that I had no idea how to tackle and it was getting me down.  The Gold Cellular Age-Restore has dramatically helped calm and soothe my skin, reducing the bumps with its anti-inflamatory properties and re-balancing the tone.

Gold Cellular Age-Restore Face Cleanser is my hero product and an absolute joy to use.  The oil-based cleanser is made up of Babassu oil, Boswellia Extract, Jasmine and vitamin-rich Sea Buckthorn to purify and nourish the skin.  It’s just the right texture to give the face and decolletage a good massage and turns into a light milk when emulsified with water.  It leaves my skin feeling comfortable and clean and most importantly leaves no greasy residue.

Gold Cellular Age-Restore Face Toner is distilled from the purest organic orange blossom (instantly taking me back to summer in Provence) and helps revive and tighten skin.  I don’t usually see the benefit of toners (unless they’re acid toners to exfoliate) but this one is really rather special.

Gold Cellular Age-Restore Face Serum is the ideal product for getting a good dose of those effective ingredients without overwhelming the skin.  For best results, it can be massaged deeply into the skin with the ila Sonic Wave Therapy device.

Gold Cellular Age-Restore Face Cream is a rich, indulgent face cream with collagen boosting 24 Carat Gold, White Gold and Gold Dust to boost cell oxygenation and eliminate toxins from the skin and White Lily stem cells to target fine lines.  I find the texture a little heavy for everyday use on my combination skin, but I love using it at night and on lazy weekends to thoroughly nourish and repair my skin.

ila spa Gold Cellular Age-Restore is a truly luxurious, results-driven organic range that enhances the brand’s excellent offering.  Priced at the higher end of natural skincare it’s certainly an investment, but believe me there’s much more to the products than simply the decadence of 24 Carat Gold.

The ila spa Gold Cellular Age-Restore collection is now available exclusively at Harrods and is priced from £40 to £180.  For more information and to buy online, visit: and

Chérie City was a guest of ila spa

Photos by Chérie City and ila spa



Greece, Hotels

Dining at Costa Navarino, Greece

Food is a real highlight of a stay at the five star eco destination resort Costa Navarino in the southwest Peloponnese. Whether you’re in the mood for authentic Greek mezze, a big juicy steak or the freshest sushi, it’s sure to be a memorable meal.

Since it was my first visit to Greece, I was excited to explore the country through its mouthwatering cuisine.  Every meal we had was a winner and I discovered some new dishes, as we as trying the famous souvlaki.

Our first lunch at Costa Navarino was a long, leisurely Greek affair with plenty of grilled meat on the terrace of Kafenio & Deli, a casual cafe in the centre of the resort.  Our host Maria ordered a selection of signature starters for the table – my favourite grilled talagani cheese (similar to Cypriot halloumi), fried bread topped with fresh sun-kissed tomatoes and crumbled feta, fluffy pita bread and of course the staple Greek salad.

We all followed with souvlaki, served either on a stick with all of the trimmings as a wrap with everything jam packed inside (even the fries).  My juicy, herby chicken thigh souvlaki was absolutely delightful and I couldn’t get enough of the yummy pita bread with minted Greek yoghurt.

Lunch ended with a typically Greek dessert platter of baklava and spoon sweets – whole candied fruits drenched in sticky syrup.  It was the perfect start to a foodie trip and kept us full for the rest of the day.

Dinner that evening was at Flame restaurant, a high end steak house and terrace overlooking the golf course over at The Westin.  The restaurant has a rustic California feel and the cuisine focuses on prime cut grilled meats including American Black Angus and Wagyu.

We shared a selection of starters and my favourite was the roasted pumpkin salad with prosciutto, goat curd sorbet and carob dressing.  For the main course, I enjoyed a juicy, lean tenderloin steak cooked perfectly medium, accompanied by some tangy Béarnaise sauce and the most heavenly mashed potato (a firm favourite among our group).

Be sure to leave room for dessert, as there are some real show-stoppers at Flame.  I loved Le Petit Antoine – an indulgent and sophisticated French dessert made of praline croustillant with gianduja chocolate cremeux, milk chocolate Chantilly and toffee caramel.  The signature Flame dessert for two is quite an event – a giant wedge of smooth caramel ice cream was dressed with warm salted caramel, chocolate and macademia by our waiter at the table.

It’s hard to pick a favourite restaurant at Costa Navarino, but I really enjoyed our leisurely late lunch at Barbouni, a chic open-air seafood restaurant on The Dunes Beach.  It has a chilled out beach club vibe and winds down at 5.30pm, so as not to disturb the protected caretta caretta turtles.

We sipped on iced tea cocktails and exotic smoothies and grazed on mouthwatering calamari, grilled octopus, shrimp salad, grilled talagani cheese (seriously, you can never have too much of this), fava bean puree and taramasalata with pita bread.

The signature main dish is a basket of deep-fried barbouni (whole red mullet), but I was tempted by the Grilled king prawns garnished simply with fresh salad leaves and lemon sauce.  I was admittedly sceptical when our waiter recommended ordering just one or two prawns, but when they arrived my jaw nearly hit the floor.  They were the most enormous prawns I’ve ever seen – veritable beasts of the sea – and happily they tasted just as impressive as they looked.

To end the meal on a sweet note, we shared the most delicious Croustillant – an uplifting dessert with a smooth chocolate cremeux, crunchy praline base and strawberry sorbet.  I highly recommend scheduling a lazy day at the beach with a long lunch at Barbouni.  It’s so dreamy that you won’t want to leave, unless it’s to hop over the sand to a beach chair to soak up some rays.

We only had a few hours between our final mouthful of dessert at Barbouni and a cookery class learning to make authentic Greek dishes.  Luckily our philosophy walk through the olive groves, contemplating the philosophical relationship between a sound body and mind, helped reawaken our appetites.

The Costa Navarino cookery school is set in a traditional Greek home, perched on a cliffside overlooking the sea.  We arrived in time to take in the magical sunset views and our hosts Lulu and Hannah set us to work kneading, rolling and chopping dough to make fresh Greek pasta.

To reward our (not so) hard work, we were treated to a beautiful feast of slow-cooked chicken with preserved lemons and olives, our very own fresh pasta seasoned with cinnamon and crumbled feta, Greek salad, fresh olives and copious amounts of wine.

For dessert, we were served traditional Greek Halva – a moist, sticky semolina pudding that’s quite different to the Persian and Turkish halva that I know.  It gave us a much-needed sugar boost for the final part of the evening – Greek dancing!  The ladies cranked up the stereo and we twirled and hopped around the courtyard while they taught us the steps – a perfect last night in Greece.

Of course, breakfast is as important a meal as any and a morning spent at Pero Restaurant really is a special occasion.  Let the morning sunshine wake you up on the sleek terrace or enjoy the cosmopolitan café culture feel under the arches – it’s your choice.

The breakfast buffet is truly bountiful with comforting hot dishes, made-to-order omelettes, mini pastries, pancakes, crepes, waffles, meats and cheeses, cereal, yoghurt, fresh juices and even Champagne for that extra bit of decadence.

Each morning, I started with orange-flavoured Greek yoghurt topped with lots of seeds and dried fruits, pancakes with maple syrup and my favourite banana, custard and chocolate mini pastries. On our final leisurely morning, I couldn’t resist adding scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns into the mix, making that holiday feeling last a little longer.

Also worth a mention is the excellent room service at The Romanos.  We arrived late in the evening after a long day of travel and were ready to just chill out and unpack.  I personally love ordering room service, as it feels so indulgent eating restaurant quality food in the comfort of your own room.  My enormous Chicken Caesar salad and half roast chicken served with fries were just so tasty and the ideal hotel room treat.

As if top notch hotel food wasn’t enough, Costa Navarino also has its own food and local ceramics brand, Navarino Icons.  The gourmet food products include artisanal extra virgin olive oil, marmalades, pasteli sesame seed bars, pure honey and those delectable spoon sweets.  Happily, they are available in the UK at Harrods, so you can get a taste of Costa Navarino before visiting.

Costa Navarino is a fabulous resort for foodies and with the picturesque tavernas of Pylos and Gialova just a short drive away, there’s plenty of choice in the Greek region to keep your palate inspired.

Rates at the two hotels at Navarino Dunes start from: The Westin Resort Costa Navarino: from €220, and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort from €390. To book and for further information visit

For further information on Anazoe Spa and the signature treatments available please visit

Aegean Airlines offers daily flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick to Athens. For more information please visit 

Chérie City was a guest of The Romanos at Costa Navarino

Photos by Chérie City and Costa Navarino


Greece, Hotels

A Stay at The Romanos at Costa Navarino, Greece

When I was invited to visit Costa Navarino a few weeks ago, I never imagined that it would feel so familiar, especially since it was my first time in Greece.

The reason why?  This stunning luxury resort in the rural southwest Peloponnese was the location for Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight – the final volume of the spontaneous Euro love trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.  The entire crew stayed at Costa Navarino and scenes were shot across the picturesque Messinian countryside, including the photogenic town of Pylos.

While Jesse and Celine’s Greek vacation was peppered with marital tension and one explosive hotel room showdown, they still couldn’t help but be charmed by the beauty of the region.

Costa Navarino is the vision of the late Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, a Messinia-born shipping magnate who wished to give back to the region through sustainable tourism (it remains a family affair with his sons continuing the ambitious development).

The expansive Navarino Dunes area comprises a golf course, an untouched beach and two five star hotels managed by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  The Westin is tailored to families while The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, offers romantic hideaway villas for couples.

Costa Navarino is all about understated elegance and tends to attract a chic, mostly European crowd.  It’s an attractive haven for those after a sophisticated, peaceful getaway and the ambiance is suitably chilled out.

It’s also an eco resort with a number of green initiatives to promote sustainability in the region, which guests can learn more about at the innovative on-site Navarino Natura Hall.

My home for three nights was an Infinity Room at The Romanos with its own individual infinity pool complete with a terrace and backdrop of lush greenery for plenty of privacy.  I was really wowed by this magnificent outside view and loved that it could be seen both from the divine king-size bed and from the stone bathtub – clever design indeed.

The spacious room was well-appointed in a palette of cream, blue and dark wood, with a plush cream sofa and coffee table, marble desk, large TV, double wardrobe and complimentary bottles of mineral water.  The marble bathroom had a fantastic walk-in shower, bathtub, double sink and two full sets of exclusive products from the resort’s Anazoe Spa.

At turndown each evening, I was provided with more complimentary bottled water and packets of Navarino Icons Pasteli (an ancient Greek snack made with sesame seeds and honey).  The resort’s own food, arts and ceramics brand Navarino Icons offers gourmet Greek delicacies and its products are available across the region (even at the airport) and internationally at Dean & Deluca and Harrods.

The Romanos villas are just a short walk from the agora which houses the hotel’s splendid marble lobby, designed to reflect the architecture and textiles of the region.  We met here each morning and lounged on the chic white chaise-longues before heading out for the day’s activities.

The first morning at the resort was a chilled one with a relaxing sail around Navarino Bay onboard the majestic Navarino Sea.  Our captain regaled us with tales from the historic Battle of Navarino as we cruised the waves, soaked up the sun and swam in the sea.  We then headed back for a typical lunch of Greek salad, grilled talagani cheese, souvlaki and baklava outdoors at Souvlakerie…but more about the amazing food later.

There’s nothing better after taking a flight than a good massage to get you feeling like yourself again.  Anazoe Spa must be seen to believed – it’s an enormous temple of well-being with stylish interiors and a calming atmosphere.  It’s worth arriving an hour ahead of your treatment to unwind in the sauna, herbal steam room and tropical showers and float around the whirlpool and saltwater jacuzzi.

Anazoe Spa boasts a varied spa menu and the speciality treatments are based on health and beauty practices of ancient Greece.  I chose one of the signature massage treatments – Melisseus, the Spirit of Honey (5o minutes). My intuitive therapist Denise gave me a blissful full body massage and applied a hot honey compress to my back to soften and hydrate my skin.

Since we had a few hours of free time before dinner at Flame restaurant, I enjoyed a bit of pool time and explored the resort with a pot of cookies and cream from the ice cream parlour in hand (every sunny trip requires at least one ice cream).

There’s just so much to do at Costa Navarino, whatever your desired pace may be.  If you’re active and sporty, discover the rural Messinian terrain with a bike ride, zip across the sea with exhilarating water sports or test your golf skills on the impressive 18-hole course.

Or to take it a little easier, you can shop for espadrilles and beach bags at the resort’s on-site boutiques, hit the beach, lounge by the outdoor swimming pools, learn how to make traditional Greek specialities with a cookery class (a real highlight of our trip) or channel Before Midnight’s Jesse and Celine by reflectling on the meaning of life with a hosted philosophy walk through the olive groves.

It’s also pretty cool being a kid at Costa Navarino, as young VIPs have their own specially designed hubs – Cocoon for babies and toddlers and SandCastle for children aged from four to twelve years old.  Kids can enjoy the indoor basketball courts, ten-pin bowling at The Diner, an indoor cinema and best of all, the Aqua Park complete with three slides and play pools.

While Costa Navarino has everything on the doorstep, there’s no need to be confined to the resort.  In fact, guests are encouraged to explore the region and complimentary use of a BMW for up to three hours ensures it’s done in style.

The nearby town of Pylos is a must-see destination, with its pretty harbour, bright blue tavernas, local boutiques and terrace cafes in the main square where you could easily spend a few lazy hours.  It’s also home to the well-preserved New Navarino Fortress, originally built by the Ottoman Turks in 1573.

I highly recommend driving to the beautifully rugged and untouched Voidokilia Beach – there are no sunbeds, bars or shops, just golden powdered sand and crystal clear waters.

On the way back, stop at the small town of Gialova for a seafood lunch or watch the sun go down over coffee and Greek spoon sweets on the charming promenade.  It’s a very pretty town with stylish cafes and even a hipster ice cream shop called Mr Yogie – definitely worth a visit.

Of course, accessing such a remote haven as Costa Navarino takes a little dedication.  We travelled to Athens very comfortably with Aegean Airlines and from there it was a three and a half hour private transfer to the resort – a journey that is more enjoyable during the day since the route is framed by spectacular scenery.

Kalamata Airport is much closer (and serviced by Aegean Airlines during peak period), but the flight times were not on our side at this time.  Either way, your patience will be richly rewarded as soon as you reach Costa Navarino and are welcomed with a chilled pomegranate and raspberry juice.

Costa Navarino is a truly magical resort, bridging luxury comforts with local character.  It’s the perfect retreat for a stylish and rejuvenating stay in the beautiful Greek Peloponnese.

Rates at the two hotels at Navarino Dunes start from: The Westin Resort Costa Navarino: from €220, and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort from €390. To book and for further information visit

For further information on Anazoe Spa and the signature treatments available please visit

Aegean Airlines offers daily flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick to Athens. For more information please visit 

Chérie City was a guest of Costa Navarino

Photos by Chérie City and Costa Navarino

Berlin, Cafes, Restaurants

Where to Eat in Berlin

Berlin may be best-known for its signature currywurst, schnitzel, fresh pretzels and Berliner doughnuts, but its thrilling food scene has an international outlook.

With such innovative food, cool design and mostly affordable prices, you will be spoilt for choice on a city break in the German capital.  My list of Berlin dining hotspots is ever-growing, but here are a few top places that you won’t want to miss…

Yumcha Heroes

This petite canteen in hip neighborhood Mitte serves top notch dim sum from 12 to 12 every day.  It’s a contemporary take on the traditional Chinese tea house, offering a wide selection of steamed and fried dumplings, as well as soups, salads, grilled meats and chef’s signature dishes.

Yumcha Heroes is in a family of celebrated, design-led Chinese restaurants in Berlin, including Long March Canteen, Toca Rouge and Soya Cosplay, so you know you’re in good hands.  In fact, it’s such a popular place that we counted ourselves very lucky to score a corner table as a walk-in at around 9pm – I didn’t realised at the time that they do in fact take reservations.

We started with a few dim sum, which are offered either steamed in a bamboo basket or grilled with pak choi.  The generously-filled, hand-minced Black Beef Dumplings were punchy and well-seasoned, while Orange Prawns boasted whole, plump king prawns and a subtle ginger flavour.  My favourite Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai dumplings filled with hot broth) were a real joy to eat and Cho You Bao – an enormous steamed bun filled with sweet pork – was fluffy yet substantial and ever so moreish.

Yumcha Heroes does dim sum in its own unique way, and that’s hearty, high quality and big portions.  Be sure to get a table close to the open kitchen, so you can watch your tasty parcels being hand-wrapped.


Israeli chef Haya Molcho’s debut restaurant NENI regularly tops ‘Berlin’s best restaurants’ lists and it’s easy to see why.

Located on the 10th floor of the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, NENI and the adjoining Monkey Bar offer spectacular, panoramic views of the Berlin Zoo.  However, it’s the home-style cooking inspired by Haya’s nomadic travels that draws the crowds.  Her signature cuisine – with a focus on small plates for sharing – is an eclectic blend of Persian, Russian, Arabic and Israeli with a few Spanish, German and Austrian influences.

While daytime at NENI (the initials represent Haya’s four sons), is like dining above the treetops, the evening is a slick, sexy affair with dimmed lighting and a lively atmosphere.  As such, it’s essential to book far ahead – even then our slot was restricted to 9pm.

We started with a litre carafe of home-made iced tea and grazed on the most amazing Classic hummus, served with two large pieces of warm, freshly-baked pitta bread.  Another delicious small plate was NENI-style Kebab – home-made beef and lamb patties with cilantro tahini and oven-baked vegetables.  This dish was just like the Persian food of my childhood, so by this point I could tell that the cuisine was more than just a fashionable melting pot of cultures.

We were both tempted by the Chicken breast strips in a crispy almond coating with sweet potato fries and sweet chili sauce, so we ordered it as a large plate to share.  The chicken was succulent and tender with a flavoursome, crunchy coating and the sweet potato fries were exemplary.

I highly recommend NENI for a stylish, sociable night out in Berlin – it really is a restaurant that you won’t want to miss.

Princess Cheesecake

I found my happy place in Berlin and it’s a small boutique and cafe called Princess Cheesecake.  I’m pretty sure that Berlin’s favourite cake is cheesecake over strudel (from my extensive research on this trip), and here you can find any flavour and style under the sun.  German cheesecake…Austrian cheesecake…New York cheesecake…Russian cheesecake – you name it, they bake it!

Once you’ve deliberated over which mouth-watering, luxurious cheesecake to sample, grab a seat in the Marie-Antoinette style tea salon or take in the sun on the pretty, highly Instagramable terrace.  We shared a slice of Dancing the Meringue cheesecake – a delicate and fruity option with a cool, creamy layer of cheesecake studded with tart redcurrants, lightly-as-air meringue and a spiced, crumbly biscuit base.

We felt rather virtuous as we sipped on our lovely Samova Earl Grey tea, however cake envy soon ensued as the schoolgirl sitting next to us wolfed down a whole wedge of dense, brick-like New York cheesecake all to herself.  A lesson learned – restraint is not a quality to encourage when at the temple of cheesecake!

Michelberger Hotel

Since I discovered Fountain of Youth coconut water last summer, I’ve been dying to check out its creator’s home – the Michelberger Hotel in edgy Friedrichshain.  Unfortunately the restaurant was closed on the evening we visited, and we already had our hearts and bellies set on Yumcha Heroes, so we parked up at the lobby bar for some low-key drinks.

I wanted to get my Fountain of Youth fix, but Steven went for a whisky sour, which was nice and strong and perfectly mixed.  In the summer, the courtyard is the place to be, or if you’re in the mood for a indie sing-along shenanigans, finish the night next door at Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke.

Where are your favourite places to eat in Berlin?  Which restaurants are on your foodie wish list?

All photos by Chérie City

Paris, Restaurants

Top Eats in Paris

As Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘Paris is always a good idea’ and it’s even better when you really indulge in the city’s exquisite gastronomy.  With so many tempting French dishes, chic terrace cafes and hidden gems to navigate, it’s hard to know where to start!

On my regular trips to Paris, I try to find a balance between traditional specialities that I can only find in France and the city’s new international style of cooking, however there’s always room for cake…and a lot of it!

A fabulous foodie trip to Paris can be done on all budgets (it’s the home of gourmet bakeries and markets, after all), but you’ll want to leave plenty of Euros for some memorable eating.  That’s where low-cost regional airline Flybe can help with cheap flights from a number of UK cities to both Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly Ouest Airports.  I’m particularly happy to find out that Flybe runs a Newcastle to Paris route, so I can meet my mother in Paris for a girls’ weekend of shopping and dining.

So, what should you be eating on an autumn trip to Paris?  Here are some of my top bites in the City of Lights…

Le Hamburgé 

Burgers are a big deal in Paris and there’s just something about a French hamburgé that really hits the spot.  Two of the best I’ve ever tasted can be found on or around the rue St-Honoré at chic brasserie Le Castiglione and cosy family-run restaurant Ferdi (Kim and Kanye’s favourite French comfort food spot).  It’s the gooey melted cheese, grilled bacon and secret sauce maison that make these Parisian burgers oh so special.  Other notable American-style patties can be found at Ralph’s, Hotel Amour and Maison Mère.

Onion soup

A traditional brasserie classic, soupe a l’oignon gratinée is one of the best things you can order for a tasty lunch in Paris.  Not all onion soups are created equal, but I recently had a fantastic one at Bar du Central in well-heeled Saint-Germain.  A really good onion soup should be rich and piping hot, packed full of thin caramelised onions, topped with a bubbling Gruyère crouton and ideally served with a basket of baguette and French butter.

Steak frites

A true joy of dining out in Paris is a juicy, tender steak served with slim, crispy fries and a yummy Béarnaise or Café de Paris sauce.  Three Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno is renowned for his ground-breaking cooking, but a more hearty meal of excellent steak frites can be found at his two casual restaurants Terroir Parisien and STAY at Paris Le Faubourg.

Neo-bistro fare 

Explore Paris’ innovative neo-bistro scene with a daily-changing, affordable set menu created by Michelin standard chefs in modest surroundings.  A hot neo-bistro opens almost every month in Paris, but I highly recommend established players Inaki Aizpitarte’s Le Chateaubriand, Chez l’Ami Jean by Stéphane Jégo and Grégory Marchand’s Frenchie.


A breakfast staple the world over, but no one can bake a croissant quite like the Parisians – they even have an annual competition to award the best ones.  Most Parisian hotels will source their breakfast croissants from their trusted local boulangerie, but you can also go straight to the source and queue at the counters of Gerard Mulot, Boulangerie Pichard and Arnaud Delmontel like a true Parisian.


My days in Paris are usually spent on a rose-tinted sugar high, as it’s impossible to resist the copious, beautiful cakes.  The ultimate tea salons to enjoy decadent pastries are the gilded Angelina, Ladurée Champs-Élysées and Le Jardin Francais at Hotel Le Bristol where you can choose from the sweet trolley.  To sample the coolest pastry trends, visit L’Éclair de Génie, Popelini for pretty profiteroles and Pierre Hermé for exciting new macaron flavours.

Are you tempted by a foodie trip to Paris?  What are your favourite Parisian hotspots?

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Photos by Chérie City

London, Restaurants

Supreme Saturdays at Yauatcha City

Yauatcha City is the hottest restaurant to open in the City this summer and is without a doubt the jewel in the crown of new Broadgate Circle dining destination.

Living east, I’m thrilled to have the likes of Yauatcha City, José Pizzaro, Aubaine and Shoryu Ramen almost on my doorstep, without having to venture into central London.

While it’s likely to be suitsville during the week, Yauatcha City is all about leisurely indulgence on the weekend, hence the launch of its exquisite new Supreme Saturdays menu.

It’s a real feast – and a boozy one at that – highlighting Yauatcha’s most luxurious dishes.  Not only is it insanely good value (not exactly cheap, but what I would call a ‘clever splurge’), it’s an ideal introduction to Yauatcha with a number of different tastings.

We were seated at a cosy table in the centre section of Yauatcha City’s striking crescent-shaped dining room and warmly welcomed by the immaculately-presented staff.

The meal starts with a pre-lunch cocktail of a Thea martini, Lychee martini or a Negroni, followed by half a bottle of wine.  I wasn’t quite ready to drink on an empty stomach at noon (I know, letting the side down), so instead we sipped on delicious Strawberry and vanilla iced jasmine tea packed with fresh fruit and vanilla seeds.

Our waitress humorously warned us that we were in for a lot of food and she wasn’t wrong, as the Steamed dim sum platter was presented with six piece each.  We were literally in dim sum heaven!

The traditional Pork and prawn shui mai and Har gau were my favourites, however I also appreciated the comforting, autumnal flavours of the Crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin and pine nut.

Black pepper and wagyu beef dumpling was a parcel of pure decadence, balanced out with a simple and tasty Wild mushroom dumpling.  I wasn’t crazy about the Vegetable and truffle wrap as I found the winter melon casing and glossy sauce made it a little too juicy.

Of course there was still room for more light bites – this time a Fried dim sum platter each.  Venison puff, a Yauatcha speciality, featured buttery, glazed pastry filled with tender venison in a sweet, rich gravy.  I found the Lobster roll pleasant with small chunks of fresh lobster and scallop in an interesting sauce that was both creamy and tangy, while Mushroom spring roll was a vegetarian-friendly classic done well.

I particularly enjoyed the Sesame prawn toast, which was a big juicy prawn ball covered in sesame seeds with just a slim piece of toast – I’ll definitely be ordering a plateful of them next time.

For the main course, there is a choice of three dishes – so, the only one that we didn’t try was the Foie gras diced beef, which appears to be garnished with an oversized pastry puff.

Lobster vermicelli pot was a luxury take on the typical Chinese hot pot, cooked slowly and served fresh out of the oven.  There were copious amounts of succulent, high quality lobster that had to be extracted from their shells.  I knew the day would finally come when I’d be presented with a lobster cracker and attempt to hide my inexperience, hoping to avoid a re-enactment of the restaurant scene in Pretty Woman.

Once I had my lobster under control, I tucked into the thin, glass-like vermicelli noodle, which had a dry, springy texture and absorbed the seafood flavours, punctuated with a slight hint of curry spice.

A much easier dish to navigate was the Truffle pork belly rib.  The gloriously sticky, lacquered pork ribs were ever so tender and the meat elegantly slipped away from the bone.  There was a good mix of flaky lean meat and melt-in-the-mouth fat and the glaze was sweet enough without being cloying.

They were topped with uniformly lined-up enoki mushrooms and truffle crumbs and I regret being too distracted by the pork to sample those lovely little asparagus spears.

The accompaniments of Jasmine steamed rice and steamed Chinese vegetables worked well with both dishes, although we were too full by this point to finish them.

Yauatcha is famed for its exquisite French-Asian patisserie and it’s impossible to walk past without admiring them sitting majestically in the glass cabinet.  The best thing about this menu is that you can choose any of the desserts (no fooling around with exotic fruit plates) and take a much-needed stroll over to the counter to see which catches your eye.

Is it wrong that I tried to choose the most Instagrammable cake?  They all look like works of art, but the Raspberry delice tempted me with the promise of raspberry, Madirofolo chocolate and lychee – all of my favourite dessert flavours.

I was later told that this dessert won an award for ‘best tea cake’, so it was definitely a good choice. Velvety bitter-sweet chocolate mousse sat atop a layer of light chocolate sponge and was covered with a fine layer of highly-pigmented raspberry dust.  The final flourish was the secret filling of rose-scented lychee gelée at the centre – desserts don’t come much better than this.

Steven went for another showstopper – the elaborately-designed Malted milk.  This included layers of smooth milk chocolate mousse flavoured with malt and caramelised honey, slim chocolate discs and a crunchy, nutty Anzac biscuit base.

With full stomachs, we savoured these sweet gems with a pot of jasmine tea, however if you’re not already on the floor, you can wash them down with the included digestif – a Manhattan, Amaretto Sour or an Espresso martini.

Yauatcha City was everything I hoped it would be and this fabulous Saturday offering is sure to draw in the crowds.  It was such an overwhelming foodie experience that we walked all the way home in the sunshine – a weekend well spent!

Supreme Saturdays lunch menu is available every Saturday from 12pm to 5pm and is priced at £49 per person for a minimum of two guests.  For more information and booking, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of Yauatcha City

Photos by Chérie City (interiors by Yauatcha City)

Yauatcha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato