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Bars, Hotels, London

Blooming Brilliance at The Rib Room, London

The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant at Jumeirah Carlton Tower brings a floral touch to Knightbridge with its Blooming Brilliance summer pop-up bar.

A central London institution, The Rib Room is luxurious yet homely – it’s the kind of place that you could easily become a regular.

I discovered the bar at The Rib Room last year and loved its elegant, clubby atmosphere, exquisite cocktails and delicious bar plates – the famed crab and lobster burger with thermidor sauce is seriously indulgent.

To celebrate the arrival of summer, one of the cosy private rooms has been transformed into an exotic floral retreat with a statement wall bursting with botanical herbs, vibrant flowers and citrus shrubs.  The floral theme continues on the fabulous outdoor terrace where you can enjoy al fresco drinks and a spot of people-watching.

Saverio Vicari, Head Mixologist at The Rib Room, has created 17 botanical-inspired cocktails and seasonal light cuisine specially for Blooming Brilliance.  The tempting cocktail menu features English classics with a floral twist, made using summery, refreshing spirits such as Bombay Sapphire Gin and Grey Goose Vodka.

I visited with a small group of writers and we tasted a variety of excellent cocktails from the menu such as the Jack and Shrub made with Gentleman Jack Bourbon, Amaro Lucano and strawberry shrub served in a copper mug and the zingy Tea Break with Bombay dry gin, green Chartreuse, green tea syrup and cucumber shrub.

Undoubtedly the all-round favourite of our group was the Basil Sour – Beluga vodka, lemon juice, ginger syrup and a teaspoon of basil olive oil.  It was aromatic and invigorating with a typical agrodolce flavour.

We chatted away late into the evening and enjoyed the sultry sounds of the live jazz band while grazing on moreish canapes including sticky sesame chicken, lobster tartlets, asparagus and prosciutto in breadcrumbs and tempura tiger prawns.  Weekday nights in the Royal Borough don’t come much better than this!

Blooming Brilliance will host a series of showcase evenings including Cocktail Creations on the 25thJune, and a summer botanical food demonstration on the 2nd July for £30.00 per person.  Open every day from 4pm, now until 2nd August.

Chérie City was a guest of The Rib Room

All photos by The Rib Room

Bars, London, Restaurants

Sakura at Sake No Hana, London

One of my favourite things about the arrival of Spring is the dreamy cherry blossom that makes the city look even prettier.  It may be a fleeting joy, but cherry blossom lasts that little bit longer in Mayfair at Sakura at Sake No Hana.

The ground floor bar area of Hakkasan Group’s Sake No Hana has been transformed into a stunning cherry blossom garden, celebrating the ancient Japanese custom of Hanami.

It’s a unique sensory experience with beautiful flowers by Veevers Carter, heady aromas of Floris Cherry Blossom and a special Spring-inspired set menu.

We began our Sakura Gozen with a delightful Violet Risshun Cocktail, served in two parts on its own wooden tray.  Our attentive waiter poured us two glasses of the first cocktail from the carafe into a violet-scented mini coupe as an aperitif.

It had a refreshing, punchy citrus flavours and was made with a blend of Jinzu Gin, green Chartreuse, grapefruit juice, shiso and Burlesque Bitters.

The dark pink cocktail in a petite jug was then mixed in the carafe, creating a sweeter, more fragrant drink.  It was a gorgeous, easy-to-drink mix of Belsazar rose vermouth, maraschino cherry, cranberry and lemon juice.  I loved the ceremony of the two-part cocktail and that it was created to represent the early beginning of Spring and then the season in full bloom.

We started with a steaming hot bowl of tasty, comforting White Miso Soup with crispy tofu, seaweed, spring onions and a hint of garlic.

This was followed by the most delicious Sesame Spinach, with chilled spinach ribbons doused in a moreish, creamy dressing with plenty of crushed peanuts and topped with paper-thin cassava chips.

The main event was the Sakura crystal bento box filled with colourful, bite-size treats.  My favourite pieces of sushi were the flavoursome maki including spicy tuna with thinly-sliced lemongrass and cucumber, sweet and creamy salmon avocado and an indulgent California roll.

The trio of tuna nigiri - o-toro, chu-toro and akami – ranged from lean to fatty and the difference in taste and texture was noticeable.  A traditional bamboo box was also filled with three pieces of sashimi - kuro-kanpachi, sea bream and salmon.  The sea bream particularly appealed to me, as it had a silky texture and a clean, subtle flavour.

The bento box was finished with pretty decorations such as flower-shaped carrots, wedges of lime and a physalis.  I’m still navigating my way through the sushi world (graduating from tempura crab and tofu to the raw fish kind), but I’m pretty certain that Sake No Hana’s ultra-fresh, melt-in-the-mouth sushi is some of the best you can hope to find in London.

Dessert is an additional extra, but it would be madness not to try the beautifully-presented Cotton Cheesecake.  This bubbly, light-as-air baked cheesecake was simply delightful with fresh cherries, vanilla-scented cream cheese and cherry sorbet.  The texture was a cross between cake and mousse and it reminded me a little of the light chiffon cake I’ve tried a few times in Asia.

A perfect end to the Sakura meal was a plate of Cherry Blossom macarons, whimsically painted with a floral pattern.  The delicate vanilla macarons were filled with a thick layer of velvety chocolate cherry blossom tea ganache and were ever so fresh and rather substantial.  They can be washed down with a pot a Sakura tea, made from the leaves of cherry blossom trees.

Sakura at Sake No Hana is a must if you’re a fan of cherry blossom and all things fragrant and miniature.  It’s the closest thing to having a picnic in a Tokyo cherry blossom park and perfect for a romantic date night.

Sakura Gozen at Sake No Hana is priced at £32 per person and is available until 20th June.  Guests are encouraged to take photographs of blossom and Spring flowers and upload them to Instagram using the hashtag #sakura2015 to be in with a chance of receiving Sakura gifts.  For more information and booking, visit: www.sakenohana.com

Chérie City was a guest of Sake No Hana

All photos by Chérie City

Sake No Hana on Urbanspoon

Bars, London

The Natural Philosopher, Hackney

East London has a brand new drinking den with the arrival of The Natural Philosopher on Hackney Road.

Located in a delightfully odd Mac Museum and repair shop, The Natural Philosopher is a fun addition to the Cambridge Heath bar scene and within stumbling distance of Mission, Peg + Patriot, Satan’s Whiskers and The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities Cocktail Bar & Cafe.

Behind this quirky new bar is James Manero and Amechi Ihenacho, owners of Manero’s Private Members Club in Haggerston, who collaborated with MacSmiths owner Paul Davis.  I visited on the opening night for a few rounds of cocktails and loved the bar’s rebellious spirit and the expertly-made cocktails.

The entrance has the feel of a grand Victorian office with period features and taxidermy.  On the right is the Mac Museum, where guests can sit amongst Paul Davis’s personal collection of Apple products dating back to 1976.

Walk down a few steps to the intimate bar with rich red walls and gold-framed paintings, dimly-lit with oil lamps on each table.  Bartenders mix their creations from a sunken bar, slightly out of sight.

The bar sits just 25 people and is table service only for that refined speakeasy vibe.  Bar Manager Alban Hajdini’s menu is equally petite with just seven signature cocktails, blending fine spirits with natural botanical and aromatic ingredients.

The cocktails we tried were all excellent and my favourite was the refreshing Baltazar, made with lemon infused Moskovaya vodka mixed with lemongrass, raspberries and topped with lychee juice.

Steven tried the Lord Kelvin, the bar’s own take on a classic gin sour.  It was a potent blend of Brokers Gin, lemon thyme-infused sugar syrup, lemon juice with Angostura and lemon bitters.

For something super-strong, try the Zabarella with cardamon-infused Ocho Tequila, lime juice, vanilla sugar syrup and pomegranate juice or the bohemian Parmenides with Hennessey Cognac, yellow Chartreuse, Absinthe bitters, topped with white wine.

If you’re not in the mood for cocktails, there’s also an interesting selection of wines from around the world and local beers.

The Natural Philosopher is a fantastic secret, low-key spot where you can enjoy a really good drink away from the crowds.  I’m pleased to have it as my local, but if you don’t live in this part of town, it’s definitely worth a trek over to the east for.

For more information, visit The Natural Philosopher on Facebook.

Photos by The Natural Philosopher

Bars, Paris, Restaurants

Dinner at Les Niçois, Paris

On the first night of our recent trip to Paris, we caught up with our Parisian friends Coralie and Sunny for a bite to eat.

Since we were staying just a short walk from their apartment at Hotel du Petit Moulin, we decided to go local for the evening so we could walk to dinner and back.

For something light and a bit different, I suggested we try Les Niçois, a casual tapas bar inspired by the French Riviera.  Located on the edge of a quiet, leafy square, the bar is far from the busy part of the Marais and feels like a cool neighbourhood find.

Owners Vincent Traoré and Luc Sananes bring a taste of the Med to Paris with Les Niçois.  It’s low-key and atmospheric with simple wooden seating and emblems of the south of France such as a retro Ricard dispenser, vintage-style publicity posters and old maps.

There’s even a Pétanque sand pitch downstairs if you really want to get into the spirit of the Côte d’Azur.  As if that’s not enough to lure you in, it gets the Colette seal of approval – you can buy Les Niçois home-made tapenades, pesto, olive oil and Rosé de Pétanque at the hip lifestyle store.

The menu at Les Niçois features a selection of dishes typical to Nice as well as a daily chalkboard of specials.  I also thought the drinks menu was rather fun with what Coralie calls ‘holiday drinks’ like Monaco, Panaché and all kinds of aniseed aperitifs such as Pastis and Ricard.

Steven and I both couldn’t resist a Monaco (€3.60) while Coralie and Sunny had a glass of really good white wine from the south of France (I forget the name but it had lovely notes of juicy apricot).

We both ordered the Assiette Nissarde (€12) to share and it was the perfect size for two people.  The Pizza Nissarde was petite yet rich with sunkissed tomato confit atop and a sliver of anchovy atop a fluffy, moist base.  The Pissaladière was also delicious with sweet, slightly tangy slow-roasted onions and fresh herbs.

We all loved the crispy, pillowy Panisses – chunky chickpea fries that were surprisingly light and not at all greasy.  They were the ideal accompaniment for dipping into the home-made Tapenade Vert, Tapenade Noire and Anchoïade.

The olive tapenades are full of punchy flavours and are so very moreish – luckily we were also offered a basket of top notch rustic bread to make them go even further.  The Anchoïade is more of an acquired taste and it split opinion on our table.

Steven and I shared a plate of Chipolata Croquettes (€6), which were plump and substantial with a rich, creamy filling and a crispy, golden breadcrumb coating.  Coralie and Sunny also tried a few vegetable dishes that went down well.

Of course we didn’t pass on dessert and these ones are particularly tempting.  The Speculoos Creme (€6)was velvety and decadent with a crumbled biscuit topping, while the Brownie du Chef (€6) was rather special.  Far from a regular brownie, this one was filled with white chocolate chips, hazelnut praline and a touch of salted caramel.

As usual we were one of the last tables to leave, but we were never once rushed by the friendly, charming staff.  It’s definitely the kind of place you can come to with friends and chat the night away over drinks and regional French bites.

Not only does it have a great atmosphere but it’s also refreshingly affordable, so you can eat well for a little or really indulge and sample an array of dishes.

Les Niçois has made it onto my list of favourite spots in Paris and I can’t wait to go back and try the lunchtime formule or the weekend brunch for a bargainous €25 per person.

For more information and booking, visit: www.lesnicois.com

Photos by Les Niçois and Chérie City

 

 

Bars, Hotels, Hotels - Luxury, London, Restaurants

Dinner & Champagne at Bistro 51, St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel

St. James’ is a part of historic London that feels so elegant, refined and quintessentially English.  With the city developing so rapidly, a stroll through this neighbourhood reminds me of London’s dapper, old world charm.

Nestled on Buckingham Gate is the luxurious St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel.  Its exquisite Victorian architecture makes it one of London’s most attractive hotels and the lobby is just as welcoming with marble floors, warm wood panelling and plush seating.

We visited last week for dinner, courtesy of the lovely folk at Zomato, and on arrival we headed to The Hamptons Bar at the back of the lobby for a decadent Laurent-Perrier Champagne Flight with specially-paired canapés.  We had a cosy table overlooking the splendid courtyard and a live pianist provided a soothing soundtrack.

The Laurent-Perrier Champagne Flight certainly looked the part with three mini Champagne flutes ready to be filled on a special presentation tray.  The first fizz we tried was Laurent-Perrier Brut served with scallop and avocado tartare with lemon oil.  This light, easy to drink Champagne has prominent citrus notes and it went perfectly with the fresh scallop, creamy avocado and meyer lemon.

We then moved on to the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, paired with smoked salmon and prawn marie rose rolls.  Not only did they match in colour, but the sweet, tangy prawns and intense smoked salmon complemented the Champagne’s red and black fruit notes.  This Champagne’s attractive pink colour is achieved by using the saignée method of leaving the red grape skins on the wine for up to three days.

Our third tasting was Laurent-Perrier Vintage 2004, served with asparagus ratatouille crostini.  This was our favourite of the three, as it is was the most rounded with biscuity, vanilla notes.  The Chardonny 50% and Pinot Noir 50% Champagne went perfectly with the vegetable crostini, which was nicely marinated and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze.

The Laurent-Perrier Champagne Flight is fantastic value at just £20 per person and feels like more of a ceremony than simply ordering a glass of Champagne.  It also makes a perfect after-work treat when you’re ready to be perked up with a few bites and bubbles.

Before getting too tipsy, we moved across the lobby to Bistro 51, the hotel’s modern European and Pan Asian restaurant.  The bright, contemporary restaurant has a calm atmosphere and there are a few different seating sections so it feels private and intimate.

We chose from the Chef’s Menu, which offers four options for each course.  After ordering, we were brought a selection of freshly-baked pumpkin seed rolls and carrot bread, accompanied by the most delicious creamy mushroom dip.  We tried not to overdo it with the bread, but it was just so tasty and moreish.

To start, I ordered Pan seared scallops, cauliflower puree and pancetta.  The dish looked appealing and was beautifully-presented.  The scallops were ever so fresh and lightly browned, though unfortunately too salty, as though they’d been seasoned twice.  They went well with the velvety smooth and subtle cauliflower puree and the flavoursome pancetta cooked two ways in a paper-thin strip and crunchy pieces.

I also liked the Brussels sprouts leaves, black olive crumble and dashes of olive oil that punctuated the dish.

Steven tried the Salmon and cucumber tartar with yuzu dressing.  The chunky, fresh salmon was marinated with strong flavours of cucumber, onion and dill, drizzled in a creamy, citrusy yuzu dressing and topped with high quality caviar.  The portion size was substantial and it was a light and enjoyable start to the meal.

I followed with the Cajun spiced chicken breast, new potatoes tossed with spinach, however as I wasn’t really in the mood for heat, I requested it without the Cajun spice (the friendly staff were happy to oblige).  The succulent, juicy chicken breast certainly didn’t miss the spice, as it was infused with the aromas of fresh thyme and herbs and had a light, golden skin.

I loved the slightly sweet new potatoes muddled with a light Parmesan cream sauce and wilted spinach and the most perfect long-stem asparagus.  The dish was finished with a rich, meaty jus and more of that yummy black olive crumble.

Steven tried the Masala fried fish, aloo and chickpea chaat.  The flaky, tender fish was lightly fried with an aromatic, crisp coating and was accompanied by piquant spiced potatoes, tasty spiced chickpeas and julienne vegetables.  It was a punchy dish with real depth of flavour and a combination of invigorating spices.

I finished with the Tonka bean crème brûlée with hazelnut biscotti.  The cool, creamy crème brûlée had just a hint of fragrant tonka bean and the caramelised crust was good but could’ve done with a little more time under the blowtorch to make it crunchier.

I loved the authentic, crunchy hazelnut biscotti and the unexpected joy of proper rum and raisin ice cream, finished with freeze-dried raspberry pieces.

Steven’s Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream was a British classic at its very best.  The moist and airy sponge was sweetened with chopped dates and was drenched in a very indulgent, thick toffee sauce.  It was finished with a scoop of luxurious vanilla ice cream, biscuit crumble and a sugar spear.

We finished the meal with pots of Earl Grey tea and went back to the lobby to enjoy the piano music before leaving.

The warm atmosphere and kind hospitality at St. James’s Court really made our evening and our dining experience in the Hamptons Bar and Bistro 51 was very memorable.  The Laurent-Perrier Champagne Flight added that extra touch of decadence and I can’t recommend it enough.

For more information and booking, visit:  See the menu on Zomato.

Chérie City was invited by Zomato and St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel

Photos by Chérie City and St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel

Bars, London, Pubs

Dinner at Finch’s, Moorgate

Finch’s has the feel of one of London’s ‘new generation’ pubs, where slick design and interesting food are just as important as the drinks.

Now part of Young’s Pubs, Finch’s was founded by Henry Hobson Finch in 1865 and was previously known as The Master Gunner.  It was recently re-named as a tribute to its first owner and has a brand new look and classic British menu.  It also specialises in local craft beers and features coffee by Climpson & Sons.

The pub has a prime location opposite Finsbury Square, within walking distance of Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Liverpool Street Station, so it’s ideal for after-work drinks.

The modern interiors have a sweet garden feel and on the lower floor is Henry’s Den, a cosy snug with its own bar and a plasma TV.

We had a lovely table in the back dining room with my reservation name spelled out on a Scrabble board – a thoughtful touch.  The pub was busy and had a buzzing, relaxed atmosphere, although we found it a little chilly.

I started the with Crispy ham hock terrine, roasted apple puree, radish and pea shoots (£5.95).  When they arrived, they were more like piping hot croquettes than a terrine, but for me that was even better.  The flaky, juicy ham hock was coated in crisp, golden breadcrumbs and went perfectly with the smooth, sweet roasted apple puree, crunchy radish and fresh pea shoots – a great start to the meal.

Steven’s Macaroni cheese and chive Scotch egg, mustard and leaves (£5.95) literally dwarved my ham hock croquettes – it was enormous!  The warm, creamy macaroni cheese encased in crunchy breadcrumbs was tasty and comforting, however the soft-boiled egg in the middle was cold.  The mustard was needed to lift the flavours and we found the portion size was just too big for a starter.

I followed with the nicely-presented Marmalade duck breast, potato fondant, carrot puree, chargrilled leeks, orange cream and herbs (£12.95).  The medium-cooked duck breast was tender and succulent with caramelised skin from the marmalade glaze.

I loved the fragrant, silky carrot puree, flavoursome chargrilled leeks and the surprisingly light orange cream.  The potato fondant was infused with fresh herbs but was a little dry.

Steven went for a pub classic of Young’s battered fish, triple cooked chips, pea puree and tartar (£11.95).  The fish was meaty and substantial with just the right amount of golden, crispy beer-batter.  The thickly-cut traditional chips were home-made and moreish, served with a tangy pea puree and creamy tartar.

For dessert, I couldn’t resist the indulgent Chocolate salami, pistachio ice cream and crumble (£5.95).  The rich chocolate salami was made up of velvety dark chocolate, pistachios, sliced almonds and Digestive biscuit pieces, along with a generous splash of brandy to give it a kick.

The luxurious, silky ice cream and crunchy crumble rounded the strong flavours and were good accompaniments.

Steven finished with the Pear, walnut and date pudding with butterscotch and vanilla bean ice cream (£5.95).  The pudding was light and moist with a subtle hint of pear and a very sweet butterscotch sauce.

We ended the meal with pots of Earl Grey tea, which were thoughtfully-presented on a rustic tray with mini bottles of milk.

Finch’s is a cut above your average London pub with delightful staff, attractive design and a tempting menu of old favorites and more creative dishes.

For Christmas celebrations, I recommend hiring Henry’s Den or you can simply enjoy the festive menu with two courses for £24.95 or three courses for £27.95.

For more information and booking, visit: www.finchspub.co.uk

Chérie City was a guest of Finch’s

Photos by Chérie City

Bars, Hotels, Hotels - Design, Paris, Restaurants

Dinner at Hotel Amour, Paris

The restaurant at Hotel Amour is one of my favourite spots in Paris for a fun, stylish night out.

Tucked away on rue Navarin in hip South Pigalle (SoPi), Hotel Amour is an affordable boutique hotel with a popular restaurant and terrace.  Co-owned by the inimitable graffiti artist and entrepreneur André Saraiva (Le Baron, La Fidelité, Monsieur A.) and Thierry Costes, the hotel is always buzzing with a cool crowd of Parisian creatives, fashion folk and clued-up travellers.

Many of the rooms are designed by artists such as Pierre Le-Tan, Mark Newson and Sophie Calle and there’s plenty of erotic artwork to live up to the hotel’s name – it is in racy Pigalle, after all.

Sure, new hotels and restaurants open in Paris all the time, but there’s something timeless and sexy about Hotel Amour – it never seems to go out of style.

I knew there was nowhere else I wanted to spend my recent 30th birthday than the restaurant at Hotel Amour.

Not only does it have a great atmopshere, a romantic garden and good food, but there are also tons of great bars nearby (check out Glass, Dirty Dick, Chez Moune, Le Dépanneur and Le Mansart).  Also, we were conveniently staying in the neighbourhood at the delightful Hotel Josephine.

We caught up with our Parisian friends Coralie and Sunny, who managed to secure us a fantastic table on the terrace overlooking the lush outdoor garden.  The evening started on a high with an unexpected birthday present for me – a very Parisian boho-luxe leather purse (Coralie has excellent taste in accessories).

We began by ordering some cocktails – Coralie and I both went for a deliciously sweet Amaretto Sour topped with toasted almonds while Sunny and Steven went for the stronger, sharper Godfather Sour.

After ordering, we were brought a basket of really good rustic bread served with a pot of French salted butter.  The butter covers are printed with the cool Hotel Amour logo and even the wine glasses are engraved with André’s signature scrawl – they sure know a thing or two about branding.

Being indecisive and deep in conversation, it took us a while to decide what to order, but our charming waitresses were so relaxed and patient.  As usual, I was tempted by the Cheeseburger (€19), which was cooked perfectly medium and spiked with a jazzy cocktail stick.  The lean, well-seasoned beef patty was smothered in gooey cheese and packed in a seeded demi-brioche bun.

Happily, they came with a big bowl of crispy, delicious French fries – in fact the portion size was so generous that I could easily share them with the table.  On other occasions, I’ve ordered the Poulet Roti (€19), which is equally moreish and comforting.

Coralie and Steven both ordered the Gratin de Macaronis au jambon blanc (16.50).  The long tubes of macaroni were perfectly cooked and baked with thick-carved, flavoursome ham and lots of cream, Emmental and Gruyère.  The portion size wasn’t particularly big, but the richness of the dish made it a satisfying choice.

Sunny’s Salade de Légumes (€18) took quite a while to arrive after a Salade Nicoise was mistakenly sent out.  Luckily, there were plenty of fries and bread to munch on while he was waiting.

It seemed only fair that Sunny’s Chocolate Ganache (€9.50) dessert was the clear winner.  The velvety, decadent milk chocolate ganache was served on a cookie crumb and topped with toasted hazelnuts and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Coralie ordered a classic Café Gourmand (with a Mariage Frère tea instead of coffee), which included a platter of four nicely-presented mini desserts.  Steven and I shared a large slice of home-made Crème Caramel.  It tasted fantastic but it was comically unattractive – a large slab of bubbly cream sitting in a moat of light caramel sauce, rather than the petite, quivering desserts that I’ve had before in Paris brasseries.

Hotel Amour is great for a spot of people-watching, catching up with friends or enjoying a few cocktails on the terrace.  There’s room for improvement, but its charm always wins me over and I know I’ll be lured back there time and time again.

For more information and booking, visit: www.hotelamourparis.fr

Photos by Chérie City & Hotel Amour Paris

Barcelona, Bars, Restaurants

Tapas at Ocaña, Barcelona

Ocaña is a stylish spot on Barcelona’s popular Plaça Reial that stands out from the copious bars and restaurants for its opulent design and cool branding.

The multi-purpose venue is a tribute to daring performance artist Jose Perez Ocaña who lived on the palm tree-lined square and was known for his flamboyant appearance and flower-filled balcony.  The interiors evoke the faded glamour of an old theatre with worn red velvet seating, chandeliers and red roses on each table.

On the hot summer’s day that we visited, most people were simply enjoying beers and a few tapas on the terrace, however Ocaña also comprises a gastronomic restaurant, apotheke cocktail bar and a late-night club space.  We managed to walk in and grab a table at the front of the restaurant overlooking the terrace.

The menu focuses on ‘urban tapas’ and larger plates, with the dishes printed on creative screen-printed newspapers.  Our Iced Teas (€3.50) were brought swiftly and we ordered a small selection of tapas to graze on.

Acorn-fed Ham Croquettes (€5) were crispy and golden, filled with a creamy cheese and garlic sauce punctuated with flaky, flavoursome ham.

Potato and Onion Omelette with Spicy Chorizo (€5.50) was generously sized (big enough for two to share) and packed full of layered potato, onion and chorizo, which was surprisingly very mild.  Like most tortilla in Barcelona, it was served cold and topped with smoked paprika, fresh chives and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Lemon Chicken Skewers with Olives (€6.50) featured two plump skewers of succulent chicken thigh, well-marinated in preserved lemon, olives and spices.  They were accompanied by tasty home-made fries, making it quite a substantial tapa dish.

Patatas Bravas (€4.80) were delicious and comforting with freshly-fried potatoes smothered in aioli and olive oil.  Once again, they weren’t spicy, but still moreish and full of flavour.

The dessert menu is quite simple, so we moved on for a long walk around El Born, taking in the lively atmosphere on the streets for Catalonia Day.

Ocaña is great for a chilled out evening meal or starting a night out in the busy centre of Barcelona.  Given the concept and the design, I’d expected it to feel a bit more quirky and found the atmosphere a little subdued (perhaps because it was a bank holiday).

However, service is fine and generally quick, so if you don’t fancy queuing for Les Quinze Nits on the other side of the square, Ocaña is worth a visit.

For more information and booking, visit: www.ocana.cat

All photos by Chérie City

Bars, Breakfast, Hotels, Hotels - Design, London, Restaurants

A Stylish Stay at The London EDITION Hotel

The London EDITION is one of the city’s hottest hotel openings last year and has received much acclaim since its arrival.

Behind the game-changing Fitzrovia design hotel is hospitality guru Ian Schrager – a pioneer of the boutique hotel experience who brought us Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane.  The inaugural EDITION Hotel opened a few years ago in Istanbul’s Levant district and a number of the brand’s hotels are set to open globally over the next few years, under the expert management of Marriott.

The London EDITION took over the tired old Berners Hotel and occupies a row of five Georgian townhouses.  It boasts a central location, just off Oxford Street, within walking distance of Soho and Covent Garden.

I visited The London EDITION for a weekend staycation and was wowed by the hotel’s cool design, social scene and attention to small detail.

The lobby is a constant hub of activity and is beautifully-designed with a restored stucco ceiling, original fireplace and futuristic stainless-steel orbs by Ingo Maurer.  It’s an inviting space with plush green velvet seating, a billiards table and complimentary work station in the lobby with Apple iMacs.

Check-in was friendly and dedicated and a member of staff accompanied us to fully introduce us to our room.  A Schrager signature is eye-catching artwork in the public areas and we couldn’t help admiring the stunning Louis XV Gobelin Tapestry behind the reception desk, contrasted by a glowing installation by Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn at the back of the hotel.

Our Loft room was long and spacious with a gorgeous king-size bed and an open-plan seating area.  The unique style is contemporary with retro design touch and a dash of chalet-chic.  The room is designed with walnut wood panelling, pale wood flooring and a natural colour palette of caramel and cream.

The living area features a plush sofa, comfy armchair and a low coffee table with a chic orchid and design books.  I loved the addition of a cream cashmere blanket for curling up on the sofa and the pretty hydrangeas – a detail that can sometimes be overlooked by design hotels.  The view from the window was simply office buildings, so we kept the sheer curtains closed to keep the atmosphere of the room.

The hotel’s art focus extends to the rooms with a contemporary interpretation of one of Vermeer’s iconic paintings by Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens.  The portrait is both eerie and beautiful and the girl’s captivating gaze seemed to follow me around the room.

The king-size bed was extremely comfortable and covered in sumptuous linen, plenty of large pillows and a gorgeous faux-fur throw nonchalantly draped over one side of the bed.  In front of the bed is a 46 inch flat screen HDTV with movies on demand and a stack of premium magazines including Vogue, GQ and The Gourmand.

Other room features include a super-wide desk and retro chair, iPod docking station and an extra-large built-in wardrobe filled with a handy umbrella, clothes brush and ironing board.  Not only is there a minibar filled with premium drinks and gourmet snacks, but there’s a marble bar counter with a selection of spirits, a mini cocktail shaker and fancy glassware.

To top it all off, we were welcomed with a retro sweet shop bag filled with large strawberry marshmallows – the Chef’s sweet of the day.  At evening turndown, complimentary mineral water was placed beside the bed.

The sleek, minimal bathroom was covered in tiny white mosaics, with a powerful walk-in rainforest shower, wooden towel rail and wide Corian Grohe white sink – the cool kind that you might find in a nightclub.

It had clever storage with a pull-out drawer below the sink featuring a proper hairdryer, face tissues, vanity essentials and the all-important bathroom products.  We also had the luxury of plush embroidered bathrobes and slippers for lounging in.

I’m never usually excited by hotel own-brand toiletries, but The London EDITION’s range is very special and almost reason enough to stay overnight.

The products have been created exclusively for the hotel by cult perfumer Le Labo and have a luxurious, intoxicating black tea fragrance.  They smell amazing on both men and women and perfectly capture the stylish, sexy ambiance of the hotel.

That evening, we decided to eat healthy and went for some vegan food at Planet Organic, however if you’re after something a bit more sparkly for a Saturday night, try and score a table at the hotel’s renowned Berners Tavern by Executive Chef Jason Atherton or Roka and Dabbous just a short walk away.

Of course, we couldn’t resist checking out the hotel’s lively atmosphere with a round of cocktails in the buzzing Lobby Bar.  The bar attracts a well-heeled crowd elegantly lounging at the bar and low tables with glam waitresses serving cocktails in designer LBDs.

Davide Segat’s cocktail menu is innovative and well-edited, with a focus on aromatic drinks using house-made bitters and potent spirits.  I tried a refreshing Summer Cup and Steven went for a Golden Age, made with Johnnie Walker Black Label, aged cherry brand, yellow Chartreuse and Fernet Branca.

Another drinking destination in the hotel is the reservations only Punch Room. Nestled at the back of the hotel is an oak-panelled den that feels like a cross between a private members club and the library of a country manor house.

It serves Punch Bowls for 2-8 people and has a cosy feel with low-key vintage soul, jazz and blues playing.  It’s ideal for a quiet, intimate drink but we preferred the atmosphere and open-plan design of the lively lobby bar.

At night, the charming door security multiply and manage the queue behind the velvet rope for the members-only BASEMENT nightclub inside the hotel (Ian Schrager was behind Studio 54, after all).  The vibe seems distinctly non-glitzy with a cool ‘street style’ crowd and YOYO’s Seb Chew at the helm (ie. properly good music).

In the morning, breakfast is served in the gorgeous surroundings of the acclaimed Berners Tavern.  The breakfast menu is full of tempting dishes, from healthy chilled citrus salad and cold-pressed kale juice to indulgent Hazelnut waffles with berries and cream and the ultimate Full English.

My Eggs Benedict were sustantial and delicious, with perfectly-poached eggs, thick griddled ham and creamy Hollandaise atop a fluffy English muffin.

However, Steven’s enormous Buttermilk pancakes with summer berries, maple syrup and vanilla cream was the winning breakfast dish.  No less than five freshly-flipped pancakes were doused in high quality maple syrup and topped with fresh whole berries, with the most indulgent vanilla cream served on the side.

Our Earl Grey tea was presented nicely in a silver pot with fine china tea cups – clearly everything is done with flair at Berners Tavern.

The London EDITION is the hotel to stay at if you appreciate cutting-edge design and a lobby that’s constantly bringing its A game.  While the hotel has plenty of dining and bar amenities, I was a little surprised that a property of its size didn’t have a spa for some pampering and relaxation.

With Ian Schrager’s vision and Marriott’s signature warm hospitality, The London EDITION is without a doubt one of the city’s finest design hotels.

Room rates at The London EDITION Hotel start from £285 per room per night.  For more information and booking, visit: www.edition-hotels.marriott.com/london

Chérie City was a guest of The London EDITION Hotel

Photos by Chérie City (Berners Tavern by The London EDITION Hotel)

Bars, Hotels, Hotels - Luxury, London

Moët & Chandon Summer Terrace at Le Méridien Piccadilly

Last week, I visited The Terrace Grill & Bar at Le Méridien Piccadilly for the opening of its fabulous new Moët & Chandon Summer Terrace.

Perched in a prime position overlooking Piccadilly, the terrace is an elegant spot to sip on a glass of Champagne in the open air, away from the central London crowds.  But it wasn’t just any old Champagne – we tried the new Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial, made to be enjoyed with ice.

It’s a refreshing summer party drink, served in a sleek white bottle, and its fruity notes make it perfect for sparkling cocktails.  It goes particularly well with the bar’s specially-created Rose Royale (Locally Grown Raspberries, Chambord Liqueur and Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial).

Champagne purists may be divided by its sweetness, but I found it delicious and very easy to drink.

The Moët & Chandon Summer Terrace is inspired by the Terrace Grill & Bar’s original use as home to the hotel’s swimming pool in the 1930s.  Now, the swimming pool can be found indoors at Le Méridien Piccadilly, but the terrace recreates the pool party vibe with chic Moët & Chandon striped deck chairs, life rings and a pop-up bar.

We were also treated to bite-size tastes of Chef Michael Dutnall’s new summer bar menu.  We grazed on Stilton port and walnut pate, “London Cure” smoked Scottish salmon rosettes, Carlingford rock oysters, mini fillet steak & lobster burgers and stunning mini desserts covered in edible flowers.

As the London weather is set to get hotter and hotter over the next few week, pull up a deck chair and cool down in style.

The Moët & Chandon Summer Terrace is open seven days a week from 12 noon to 10:30pm, until 31st August.  For more information, visit www.terracegrillandbar.com/summerterrace

Bars, London, Restaurants

Pavilion Kensington by Adam Simmonds

Pavilion London is a stylish new all-day dining brasserie on Kensington High Street, overseen by Michelin star chef Adam Simmonds.

Opening today, the restaurant is part of the Pavilion (formerly Dryland) business members’ club, with four floors of slick, luxury serviced offices and working spaces.  However, with its relaxed, non-corporate feel, Pavilion is sure to be a dining destination in its own right.

Chef Adam Simmonds made his name at the stately Danesfield House in Buckinghamshire and now brings his inventive, modern cooking to London with a new concept.

Pavilion is a visual delight with elegant, contemporary interiors, interesting artwork and a number of different dining spaces.  The look of the restaurant is timeless, yet very ‘of the moment’ with painstaking attention to the smallest detail.

Tucked just inside Pavilion is a petite florist, offering flowers, small plants and hand-made bouquets by Paul Morris.  I like the idea of walking through a flurry of fragrant blooms on arrival and picking up an extra treat on the way out.

The Carrara marble deli counter offers an eye-catching selection of artisan cheeses, British cured meats by Cannon & Cannon, freshly-baked bread and perfect little pastries.

The gorgeous, 22-seater bar with Marquina marble and a pewter top stocks a carefully edited selection of premium spirits by small, independent producers.  The slick leather seats make it comfortable to perch at the bar and there is a separate menu of lighter bar bites including charcuterie plates and a gourmet burger.

We started with some expertly-mixed cocktail at the bar.  Steven ordered a classic Whisky Sour done well, while my No Citrus Punch was a deliciously sweet and potent blend of Rumbullion, banana sugar, cassis, apple and palm sugar.  The easy to drink concoction was mixed in-house and stored in a bottle, then served on ice.

To accompany our drinks, we enjoyed a small plate of charcuterie.  The salty pork shoulder, salami mushroom truffle and chili venison were all moreish and full of flavour, served with slim slices of freshly-baked bread.

I started with Pork Belly – slow-cooked pork belly, homemade black pudding, Scottish langoustine, smoked pineapple, lardo.  The succulent slice of pork belly was perfectly cooked and complemented by plump, fresh langoustines, sweet and smoky pineapple and bold, paper-thin lardo.

The large pieces of silky, melt-in-the-mouth black pudding had a nutty flavour with a hint of vanilla and gave richness to the flavoursome, satisfying dish.

Steven went for the fresh and colourful Salmon & Crab – salmon gravadlax, crab salad, pomelo, avocado.  The smoked salmon was high quality and plentiful, while the crab salad was deliciously fresh and summery.  The pomelo was bursting with juiciness and the avocado gave the dish a subtly, creamy taste, finished with salmon eggs and edible viola.

To follow, I was tempted by the Cod – cod ‘a la plancha’, smoked Boston butt pork, sweet cabbage, roasting juices.  The succulent, chunky piece of plancha-grilled cod was moist and flaky and was served with a rectangular piece of smoked, well-seasoned Boston butt pork.

The mixed beans were infused with fresh herb aromas and the gently braised cabbage was pleasantly sweet and flavoursome.  The roasting juices were poured at the table and were light with a prominent fish flavour.

Steven tried the Lamb – roast lamb cutlets, smoked aubergine purée, goats’ curd, anchovy salsa verde.  The two lamb cutlets were tender and pink and covered with a meaty jus.  The aubergine purée added a smoky flavour, while the goats’ curb was subtle and velvety and the anchovy salsa verde had a touch of fresh mint.

To finish, I went for the Buttermilk – buttermilk mousse, orange blossom ‘pain perdu’, orange granité.  The light and airy buttermilk mousse was encased in a crunchy sugar and orange curl and the orange blossom ‘pain perdu’ was a moist, comforting, mini version of the French classic.  The orange granité with sweet and sour orange powder revealed Adam Simmonds’ Michelin star history and added a zesty intensity to the dessert.

Perhaps the dessert could have been a little bigger, as there wasn’t quite enough buttermilk mousse to proportionally accompany the other elements and the ‘pain perdu’ left me wanting more.

Steven ordered the more indulgent Chocolate – bitter chocolate marquise, mint, aerated chocolate, mint ice cream.  The dark chocolate marquise was made with high quality chocolate and had a glossy, silky texture and rich flavour.  The mint ice cream and mint purée were so natural and authentic, making the dish as far away from a typical chocolate-mint dessert as can be.  The aerated chocolate reminded me of a mint Aero bar, albeit a far superior, deconstructed version.

We finished with two Earl Grey teas, which were served in smart glass teapots and elegant china – a promising sign for Pavilion’s cafe credentials.

Pavilion is a stylish, sophisticated yet unpretentious restaurant with a buzzing atmosphere and tempting food.  Adam Simmonds’ dishes are inventive and well-judged, marrying interesting, unexpected flavours.

Service was already excellent when we visited and the staff are clearly passionate about great food and local produce.  With reasonable prices for the standard of cooking and a great location on Kensington High Street, I can see Pavilion becoming the new place to see and be seen in west London.

For more information, visit: www.kensingtonpavilion.com

Chérie City was invited by Pavilion London

Photos by Chérie City (interiors by Will Bryce)

Pavilion on Urbanspoon

Bars, Hotels, Hotels - Luxury, Paris

A Cocktail Tour of Paris with Le Bar du Bristol

Le Bar du Bristol is a favourite haunt among stylish Parisians and clued-up visitors for a chic apéritif or an evening of creative cocktails.

Opened at the end of 2012, the bar is an intimate, cosy hideaway within the luxurious five star palace hotel Le Bristol, in Paris’ prestigious eighth arrondissement.  It has Le Bristol’s signature friendly, unpretentious atmosphere and attracts a well-heeled crowd – perfect for a bit of civilised people-watching.

I had a memorable stay at Le Bristol a few years ago and was thrilled to be invited back for two nights to attend a special masterclass and cocktail tour of Paris hosted by award-winning Head Bartender Maxime Hoerth.

We travelled to Paris by Eurostar and enjoyed the delights of Standard Premier – spacious seating, generous luggage allowance and a tasty meal with drinks and plenty of tea or coffee, plus a selection of complimentary glossy magazines to pass the time.

On arrival, I found that the lovely people at Le Bristol had kindly assigned me the very same Junior Suite that I stayed in last time as a surprise.  It was wonderful to feel like a regular and I was touched that they had planned this even though the hotel was busy.  After checking in, we were granted a private audience with Fa-Raon, the hotel’s famous Birman cat (he is the hotel’s real VIP, after all).

The highlight of the trip was a private cocktail masterclass at Le Bar du Bristol with Head Bartender Maxime Hoerth.  After a leisurely lunch in Le Jardin Français, we spent a few hours learning all about Le Bristol’s approach to the art of cocktails, even getting behind the bar ourselves.

Designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon and Maja Oetker, Le Bar du Bristol is a chic yet homely space with exquisite frescoes and tapestries, plus quirky touches such as leopard print stools and taxidermy birds and peacocks.  There is even a cosy open fireplace where guests can curl up with a fine whisky – that’s if Fa-Raon hasn’t claimed the space for himself.

Head Bartender Maxime Hoerth is a well-known personality on the Paris cocktail scene and was awarded the title of ‘Best Craftsman in France 2011′.  Not only is he France’s top mixologist (and a really cool, friendly guy), but he knows Paris inside out and is happy to share tips on where to go.

Maxime’s favourite cocktail is an Old Fashioned, so he demonstrated how to make six different versions of the classic drink, including a special Christmas Old Fashion made with a home-made spice syrup, an Irish Old Fashioned using Kahlua and a Bourbon Old Fashioned.

Maxime offered to create a special cocktail for each of our websites, based on the types of drinks that we like.  I reeled off a number of favourite ingredients and within a matter of moments, the Chérie Club was born.

Based on a classic Clover Club, my new signature drink includes No.3 London Dry Gin, St Germain liqueur, muddled raspberries, lychee flavours, rose syrup, lemon juice and egg white.  I loved the fresh, fragrant taste and the romantic presentation with dried rosebuds and a touch of sugar on the rim.

An exciting new project from Le Bar du Bristol is the Spirited Cocktails Collection, a collaboration between Maxime Hoerth and La Maison du Chocolat Master Chef Nicolas Cloiseau.  The limited edition chocolates are based on Le Bar du Bristol’s unique cocktails flavours, marrying the finest juices, fruits and tea with sumptuous dark and milk chocolate.

The five chocolate flavours include MOF2, Bellini, Faubourg, So Bristol and Peacock and come in coffets of 8 or 27 chocolates bearing the signature colours of Le Bristol.

Our first stop on the cocktail tour was Le Mary Celeste, a hip nautical-inspired bar in the Marais.  Created by the team behind Candelaria and Glass, Le Mary Celeste is a popular spot among Paris’ creative crowd – it even hosted a pop-up raw juice bar during Paris Fashion Week.

Over drinks and bites, Maxime Hoerth introduced us to the Paris cocktail scene, explaining that the arrival of the Experimental Cocktail Club kicked off a trend for artisanal cocktails served in low-key bars in the city’s coolest neighbourhoods.

The well-edited selection of cocktails are exciting and innovative, plus the bar offers a tempting menu of small plates and has a daily oyster happy hour.  My chosen cocktail was Valentina – Plantation 3 Stars Rum, violet liqueur, fino sherry and lime (€12).  Served in a coupe, the fragrant and tangy cocktail had an attractive pale pink colour and was finished with a sprig of lavender.

We grazed on a selection of gourmet small plates including the most delicious Gratin Japonais (€9), Spiced Cauliflower with almonds and pickled red onions (€8), Crudo of Pollack with with soya sauce, orange and fennel (€11), Aubrac Beef Tartare with rice, pork rinds, fresh herbs and a spicy sauce (€12) and Devilled Eggs with ginger, fried rice and spring onions (€7).

Dishes on the constantly changing menu are so tasty and inventive that it’s worth visiting Le Mary Celeste for dinner rather than just drinks, to experience as many as possible.  The bar is also well-placed for a hip bar crawl with neighbours such as Candelaria, Little Red Door, Grazie and wine bar Au Passage.

Just a short walk away from Le Mary Celeste, is Sherry Butt, a laid-back, spacious bar that specialises in rare and interesting whiskies.  It has a hidden, discreet feel and is designed in a cool industrial loft style with exposed brick walls, high ceilings and leather banquettes.

Cathleen McGarry and Amaury Guyot opened Sherry Butt after honing their skills at Curio Parlour and Prescription Cocktail Club.  We were lucky enough to have a large table to ourselves when we visited on a chilled out Wednesday evening, but the bar can get much busier when DJs play on weekends.

Sherry Butt is known for its excellent Whiskey Flights, but we were keen to try the cocktails, all of which are priced between 12 and 13 Euros.  After the delicious small plates at Le Mary Celeste, I was in the mood for something sweet, so I tried a Banana Rose – Calvados, Tawny Port, banana flambee syrup, lemon juice and chocolate bitters (€13).

The bar bites at Sherry Butt are simple, delicious and ideal for sharing.  We grazed on moreish Pata Negra ham (€20), Taramasolata with Truffle and toasted sourdough (€13), cool and creamy Burrata Tartines with pistachio pesto (€14) and some tasty Sausage Rolls with tomato and Pedro Ximinez chutney (€12).

Sherry Butt is a cool, chilled out place to catch up with friends or bring a date, plus it’s close to the bars of the Marais and within stumbling distance of Saint Paul to catch a cab.

The next evening, Maxime took us to Jefrey’s, a small but sophisticated bar in the fashionable Montorgueil neighbourhood, on the same cobbled street as Experimental Cocktail Club (and hipster burger joint Big Fernand for pre or post-cocktail munchies).

The speakeasy bar takes inspiration from the Prohibition era and is furnished with comfy purple velvet and and brown leather armchairs, silver tray tables and dimmed lighting.  The mezzanine level features a vintage gramophone and a cabinet storing premium bottles bought by regulars.

Mixing at the bar is Guillaume Bisiaux, formerly at the Prince de Galles and Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme.  His innovative cocktails (many with American-inspired names) include the the gin-based Colline de Portland, an El Rey made with Tio Pepe sherry and a Bubble Cup made with Mamont vodka, Pimms Cup, raspberry cordial, rose and Champagne.

Another cool touch is Jefrey’s DIY Martini, offering a wide selection of spirits and mixers for a custom drink.

I loved the refreshing, smooth Bonne Poire – Grey Goose La Poire vodka, liqueur de Poire Bierce, Alain Milliat Summer Pear Nectar, lime juice and home-made vanilla syrup.  We accompanied our drinks with some light bar plates of scrumptious Pata Negra ham, Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella and Cheese Straws.

To round off a splendid evening in Paris, it was then back ‘home’ to Le Bar du Bristol.  By night, the bar has a warm glow and buzzing atmosphere with well-heeled guests sipping cocktails on the plush sofas.  A cool Parisienne DJ plays sexy French disco and soul and the enormous screen behind the bar shows contemporary art videos by a different artist each month (during our visit, Corsican artist Ange Leccia’s work was shown).

On arrival we were presented with a sweet and fruity welcome cocktail while Maxime talked us through the bar menu.  I started with a zingy, aptly aptly named So British – Earl Grey infused Beefeater 24 gin, Monin elderflower syrup, freshly squeezed lime and and fresh grapefruit juice.

The cocktails are creatively presented, particularly the 365 – a limited edition cocktail made to celebrate the bar’s first birthday – served in a tall, elegant coupe and finished with a colourful peacock feather.  I also loved the warm, spicy Hot Punch, which was an excellent night cap.

Tapas are by the hotel’s Executive Chef Eric Frechon and we munched on a luxurious selection of Gambas Tempura with ginger and coriander mayonnaise, Maki Rolls with king crab and vegetables in spicy ketchup, Pata Negra ham and Crudités.  To end the night on a sweet note, we enjoyed a plate of exquisite mini pastries, a selection of macarons and hand-made chocolates.

Le Bar du Bristol is open until 1.30am and it is a rare luxury to simply wander back upstairs after a night out in Paris – hotel bars are perfect for that.

The next morning, I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of Eggs Benedict with shaved black truffle, viennoiserie by Laurent Jeannin, fresh apple juice and a pot of English breakfast tea, served in my room.  A stay at Le Bristol isn’t complete without a relaxing swim in the hotel’s glorious rooftop pool with a great view over Paris.

We finished our stay with an indulgent lunch in the hotel’s Michelin star brasserie de luxe, 114 Faubourg.  I took a reflective pause in the hotel’s beautiful, peaceful garden before we headed back to Gare du Nord to take the Eurostar back to London without even the slightest hint of a sore head – it must be the magic of Le Bristol.

Rates at Le Bristol start from €830 per night on a room only basis.  For more information and booking, visit: www.lebristolparis.com

The Spirited Cocktails Collection is available at La Maison du Chocolat stores and online from 5th May 2014. 

Eurostar operates up to 18 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with return fares from £69. Eurostar also offers connecting fares from more than 300 stations in the UK. Fastest London-Paris journey time is 2hr 15 minutes. Tickets are available from eurostar.com or 08432 186 186.

2-for-1
Eurostar travellers to Paris can also take advantage of 2 for 1 entry into paying exhibitions and permanent collections at some of the city’s most popular galleries including; Musée d’Orsay, les Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Le musée du quai Branly and le Jeu de Paume – all by simply showing their Eurostar tickets at entry.

Standard Premier
With the option of flexible fares, Standard Premier offers the freedom to work, think, or simply unwind. You will be presented with calm, spacious surroundings with on-board staff offering a light meal and a selection of magazines. Standard Premier fares start from £189 return.

Chérie City was a guest of Le Bristol and Eurostar

Photos by Chérie City, Le Bristol, Le Mary Celeste & Jefrey’s