Cocktail Club at The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Aug 12, 15 Cocktail Club at The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Posted by in All

The mixologists at the Royal Horseguards Hotel like to mix up a new cocktail every month but this month they’ve outdone themselves with the launch of The Cocktail Chapter. They’ve developed 4 new cocktails for the month of August, The Aperol Sorbet Spritz, Berry Crush, Gin & Jam and the Inverness Cocktail.  The Cocktail Chapter is a new club that the hotel is launching from October. Food & Beverage Manager, Shudhanshu Kaushak explained to us that the hotel will be offering cocktail masterclasses every month. The idea behind the club is to ‘make cocktails easy’ , to not only show how to make great cocktails but also to use ingredients that are common in the house. To wit, the Gin & Jam is made with house made strawberry jam (although that’s not to say you can’t use Bonne Maman’s jam) and Portobello Gin. A tasty combination of gin and jam topped off with soda, it wasn’t too sweet or too bitter. I’m a fan of gin anyway but this was utterly delicious. That was quickly followed by the Berry Crush, a mix of tequila (!) and elderflower infused vodka with lots of fresh crushed blackberries. The elderflower vodka is also made in-house, macerating for 24 hours before it’s ready. Despite the addition of tequila, it worked really well, so refreshing and morish. There was also a dash of lime and soda water to finish it off. Those were deceptively easy to drink. The Aperol Sorbet Spritzer was homemade orange/Aperol sorbet topped with prosecco. I was a bit dubious because I’m not a huge fan of Aperol but this was a tasty combination, not too sweet nor too bitter, just heaven! I also liked the fact that this was a cocktail you could eat as well as drink. Lastly we finished with the Inverness, so named because apparently when it was first created, one of the mixologists commented it reminded him of Inverness. I’ve never been so I wouldn’t know but this mix of 2 different...

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Picnic inspired Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Park Lane

Jul 12, 15 Picnic inspired Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Park Lane

Posted by in All, Hotels and Spas

Warm scones served with a dollop of clotted cream and strawberry jam on top has to be my favourite part of a traditional English Afternoon Tea. Usually I’ll have two but at the Four Seasons recently, I was able to indulge in quiet a few as they serve mini scones for their afternoon tea. The mini scones were part of the new picnic-inspired tea for two on the terrace of the Amaranto restaurant in the Four Seasons Park Lane. Tea comes to the table in a wicker basket and comes complete with china, silverware and  vintage tins containing a range of sandwiches, cakes and scones designed with a British twist, evoking the warmest of British summer picnic feelings. To complete the classic affair, Head Pastry Chef Loic Carbonnet has created a tin of delightful treats with a classic British summer twist: Pimm’s mousse; rhubarb and custard ice cream lolly; pistachio and strawberry tartlet; chocolate and raspberry macaron; and a trifle made with seasonal fruit. The cream desserts were extremely light and fluffy, my favourite was the Pimms’s mousse, incredibly light and I’m sure there’s no way there could have been any calories in it at all! 😉 I loved everything and as well as the classic English Afternoon Tea we also sampled the Italian Tea, which had Italian inspired sandwiches and Italian pastries, including my favourite cannoli and these incredible doughnut pastries from Naples. Of course it wouldn’t be tea with, well Tea, and the Four Seasons will either match the tea to the savoury and sweet courses or let you choose your own. I chose the Silver Needle Chinese Tea, a delicate tea but still full of flavour. If you so desire, you can also add a glass of Bollinger NV or Bollinger Rose to your afternoon tea service. Champagne is extra but I always like to start off the afternoon with a glass of bubbles. Service as always was top knotch, anticipatory but not invasive or obsequious, they really make you feel more...

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Malmaison’s Olympic cocktails

Jul 27, 12 Malmaison’s Olympic cocktails

Posted by in Hotels and Spas, restaurants

Just  a quick post today seeing as it’s the beginning of the Olympics. If you find yourself in Clerkenwell and fancy an Olympic themed cocktail, head over to Malmaison Hotel. They’ve come up with a string of cocktails for their guests. Going for the gold? Try the Gold Martini, vodka based with elderflower cordial, it’s finished off with a garnish of edible gold powder.  Second prize goes to the Silver Martini, a very fresh gin based cocktail, it reminded me of alcoholic lemonade and was waaaay to easy to drink. Although it’s called the Bronze Martini, it was my favourite, a whiskey based cocktail, it was very similar to my favourite –  a Manhattan, and was garnished with edible bronze powder. There were also a few other cocktails on the list, including the Olympic Flame, a long,tall and quite fruity drink, the very pretty Team GB Martini and, the most enticing to me, although I didn’t order them, the 5 Olympic shots – pretty much pure liquor shots. If you’re curious, here’s what they’re made of… Blue: 15ml Blue curacao, 20ml Absolut vanilla Black: 35ml Patron XO Cafe Red: 15ml Grenadine, 20ml Absolut Citron Yellow: 15ml Galliano, 20ml Absolut Mandrin Green: 15ml Midori, 20ml Absolut Apeach Malmaison will be running these cocktails throughout the Games so pop in if you’re around Clerkenwell. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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(video) Simon Hopkinson chatting about food and wine at the Exeter Magdalen Chapter Hotel

Jul 23, 12 (video) Simon Hopkinson chatting about food and wine at the Exeter Magdalen Chapter Hotel

Posted by in Food and Wine, Hotels and Spas, Videos

Simon Hopkinson , well know British chef, founder of Bibendum restaurant in London, and author of several cookbook also takes time out to consult for the Chapter Hotel chain here in the UK. I caught up with Simon at the newest addition to Chapter, the Madgdalen Chapter Hotel in Exeter to talk about his food and wine philosophy as well as the cuisine of the Chapter Hotels. I also spent the weekend in Exeter at the Magdalen and will be writing about it very soon… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Lunching at the Langham Hotel

Mar 21, 11 Lunching at the Langham Hotel

Posted by in Hotels and Spas

As much as I do love my little Blackberry and stay loyal to it despite all my evangelistic iPhone friends, sometimes the download speed is soooo slow! Which was why I was late, standing on a corner of Regent’s St. waiting for directions to the Langham Hotel in Central London to download, only to realise that I was standing right in front of it! Oh, Blackberry, sometimes I do contemplate trading you in….. Happily, I was not the last to arrive for lunch at The Langham with the good folks of Travel Onion. Travel Onion is a website that aims to gather the best  of the webs travel blogs in one spot. After looking at their Buenos Aires section, I wish I had known about them when I was there recently. But I digress (I think), I was there as their guest to visit the hotel and have lunch at Roux at the Landau, the hotel restaurant. The others were waiting for me in the hotel bar, The Artesian, so named because there is a 360 ft deep artesian well under the hotel. The decor was a mix of Oriental and modern lounge  decadent but also full of light, a great place for an afternoon drink. While we were waiting, I discovered that the Langham Hotel was where the concept of “afternoon tea” was first inaugurated. Turns out that the Duchess of Bedford used to be a regular guest and every afternoon, around 4 she would get a bit peckish and send her maid out to bring a few sandwiches, sweet pastries and a pot of tea to tide her over until dinner. Thus “afternoon tea” was born at the Langham back in 1865. Even today the Langham is still known for it’s tea service (they have over 50 to chose from) having been picked as one of the best of 2011 by the London Tea Guild recently. Seeing as it wasn’t late afternoon, I ordered a Manhattan to kick things off, which was...

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