I'm clashcityrockerkat from London. I've been Qyping since 27-03-2008
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Basement 8 Kenway Road, Earls Court, London SW5 0RR
Can’t believe I didn’t review Onboard Karaoke sooner, considering we had an absolute ball there last year for my hen party. We had the whole place to ourselves (they only have two rooms), which meant we could have all the yummy food brought down from the Lebanese place upstairs and put in the spare room.
The manager/owner Hiro is great fun and can sing a mean Backstreet Boys with you, and the selection of drinks is vast and well-priced. While some other big-name karaoke places seem only intent on ripping you off, Onboard is really fair-priced and has a great selection of songs — with comedy visuals on the TV screen too. I promise I’ll be back soon, Onboard! :)
15 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1EE
We visited The Outsider for dinner on a Friday night after reading about it in the Wallpaper* guide to Edinburgh, and couldn’t have been more thrilled with the atmosphere, service, food and price.
Though a word of warning — the portions are MASSIVE so don’t even think about ordering sides. We made the “mistake” of ordering olives and bread for two to nibble on first, and were bowled over by the size of the olives and how beautifully oaty the bread was, which came with a serving of pesto olive oil.
By the time our pork belly and seafood CHL (satay sticks with seafood and vegetables, and a beetroot and apple coleslaw pitta) came we were almost full, but shovelled down the food like it was the last thing we’d ever eat — it was just too tasty not to. The garlicky fries were heaven too.
I think the bill came to around £45 with a caraffe of wine as well, which was a very reasonable price considering the excellent night we had.
For some photos and a more detailed review, you could always check out my blog post on The Outsider here if you fancy: http://katherinehannaford.com/2011/08/02/top-tips-for-sho...
43 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2QB
Oh my goodness, I just adored Hannah Zakari when I visited on the weekend after a tip-off on Twitter by the husband of the woman behind the jewellery range of the same name (and now, year-old shop!), who must have a search set up on Twitter for people looking for Edinburgh tips.
Well, his recommendation was well-placed because I just loved Hannah Zakari. They stock such a good range of indie designers, excelling in greeting cards, bags, jewellery, stationery, art prints, knick-knacks…the list goes on. I couldn’t help but snap up about £50 worth of items, but could’ve easily spent more.
You can see a couple of photos I snapped at the store here http://katherinehannaford.com/2011/08/02/top-tips-for-sho... if you’re so interested. But honestly, fans of quirky gifts, art and jewellery should definitely add this to their must-do list for Edinburgh.
232 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 3EA
For my full review of Milk (and photos!) you can check out my blog post here if you fancy http://katherinehannaford.com/2011/08/02/top-tips-for-sho... but honestly, don’t wait another five minutes before visiting this place — it completely knocked my socks off!
It may be on a nondescript road far from anything particularly overwhelming, but if their bircher muesli isn’t the best reason to visit Edinburgh, then I don’t know what is. Everything about the cafe was perfect — the decor, the menu design (I’m a horrible design snob, I know), the service, the food (oh, the food!) and the very affordable prices.
If I lived in Edinburgh, I’d probably eat breakfast here five days a week. Then nip back for lunch, too.
1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1AD
For my full review (and photos) you can check out my blog post about this hotel here http://katherinehannaford.com/2011/08/03/hotel-missoni-ed..., but this is a brief summary of our stay at the hotel this past weekend:
The hotel is gorgeous from every degree — the furnishings, the decor, the bed-linen: it just oozes style. However our stay wasn’t quite perfect, as we were given room 410, a room with a paper-thin adjoining door to the next room, which meant we could hear every word of conversation from the late-to-bed, early-to-rise couple next door. And on the other side of us, the cleaning supplies room meant we were woken early both mornings by the repetitive noise of cleaners banging around in there, who even knocked on our door before 9am to clean our room one day.
Having spoken to the hotel manager since checking out, he assured me they had no idea the adjoining door was so thin, and that they would be investigating the early-knock from the cleaner. But that wasn’t the only thing that let the hotel down.
The buffet breakfast (very steep at £13 a head) was ridiculous — just a few plates strewn with a few scraps of meat (which I couldn’t eat); one type of cheese; a few bowls of cereal; some cardboard-tasting pastries and a weird selection of Italian cakes. Thankfully we chose not to spend £18 to get a hot breakfast thrown in as well, though I must say I was a bit sad about missing an opportunity for eggs royale.
Watching all the tables around us complain about the lengthy delays for their hot food, and when it eventually came, seeing that the poached eggs were hard-boiled and the portions child-size, we were grateful we got away relatively unscathed. Not a single table around us didn’t have something to wave the waiter down and complain about.
The service encountered at reception however was fantastic, and the hotel manager could not have been more apologetic and understanding about the aforementioned issues.
Despite those problems, it was still an enjoyable, lively hotel to stay in, with plenty of opportunities for people-watching. I just wish we could’ve enjoyed it more — I would’ve given it five stars had we not encountered the above problems.
52 James Street, London W1U 1HD
I visited Chi Clinic after buying a voucher for an hour-long massage on Wahanda, and was completely bowled over by therapist Chi's talent and knowledge. She recognised that I had quite a lot of pain in my shoulders and neck, and worked hard at them to decrease the pressure I was feeling. I've never had a massage that was so "medical," if that makes sense -- she asked numerous questions, and really seemed to care about my wellbeing.
I wasn't sure about acupuncture at first, and told her I only wanted a massage, but she put a few needles in my back at the end of my hour-long session, and I found it really calming. I actually ended up committing to five more acupuncture sessions, which she recommended to treat my back.
The second appointment I had with her, she actually arranged for a chiropractor friend, Andre, to work on me -- I'd not had chiro before, but I felt so much better after walking out of there! It was a bit challenging as I had to work on my breathing, but I've found myself standing a lot straighter since being stretched out.
I'd definitely recommend seeing Chi if you have any aches and pains -- while a standard massage is relaxing, her technique and acupuncture is incredible.
Just try and ignore that you're tucked away in a box-like room above a tanning salon, and you'll feel so relaxed and better for it. The location is amazing, however -- really close to Selfridges.
57 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 3DX
I've been to Trisha's a few times now, after one of my friends who's a member introduced us to the hidden little staircase. I was kind of intimidated the first time, until my friend pointed out her photo is on the wall! It's usually rammed, but is a real gem of a place.
The drinks are cheap, the people are friendly and willing to talk outside their groups (I've had some astonishingly honest talks with complete strangers there), and the addition of a small back garden means you can even smoke -- even if it does feel like a mini outdoor jail cell.
Go on -- walk down the little staircase and take a peek!
4-6 Half Moon Lane, Dulwich, London SE24 9HU
Love Cafe Prov, as it's known to the locals. Great world food in a really cosy environment (though watch out for the kids that quite often get parked in the toy corner as their yummy mummy Mums chitchat away for hours).
I sometimes bring my laptop here and work a few hours (there's free Wi-Fi), and the waitresses never seem to mind. It's a dangerous habit to fall into though -- you go for lunch (ending up with a scrummy mackerel and chunky garlic chips, or a perfect omelette), and wind up ordering pot upon pot of tea -- not to mention a slice of fresh cake, too.
Dinner is of particular note, though some of the dishes can be quite pricey. The vegetarian lasagna is of particular note for scrumptiousness.
15 Norwood Road, Dulwich, London SE24 9AA
I'm almost embarrassed to only be reviewing the Chutney now, because we've been ordering from there at least once a month for god knows how many years, and it is so consistently good that we'll undoubtedly continue swapping notes for their tasty curries and Indian morsels.
Our favourites are the paneer makhani, prawn korma, saag paneer, bombay potatoes and tika masala. They do a mean pilau rice and peshwari naan too. In fact, I'm drooling as I type this (it's a good thing, because I'm expecting a delivery from them any minute now).
The service is as you'd expect from a take-away -- they're fast on delivery, but not so hot on the chit-chat with placing an order. But that's ok when you want to get your food as quickly as possible anyway.
I've not had any experiences of missing dishes like the reviewer before me -- in fact, they quite often add a side dish to our order, but that may be because we're regulars.
Give them a try! They're the best Indian takeaway in the whole of London, our visiting friends often say!
bld.1, Tsvetnoy blvd 15, Moskva
I'm told that Tsvetnoy, a newly-opened department store in Moscow, has a popular club/bar on the roof -- but sadly I didn't get the chance to check that out, as I was too busy shopping. And eating. And drinking. Oh, you can do it all in this classy store.
Think Colette (in Paris) meets Selfridges (in London). It's really fresh and avant garde, with transparent escalators that expose the wheels and cogs churning inside, and a food hall on the (I think I remember?) fourth floor. Or was it the third? No matter, it's worth checking out the food hall which is surprisingly affordable, compared to the rest of Moscow. The dried fruit and nuts selection in particular is amazing.
It's got really great womenswear designers, but sadly no menswear yet -- I was told that department is opening soon. While shopping for home interior-type stuff (I bought some coloured loo roll and fancy fruit-eating tools), we stopped at the restaurant for lunch. I had a mushroom salad, which was a bit of a mistake because it quite literally was just a bowl of chopped up fresh mushrooms, with heaps of parmesan cheese. That's kind of par for the course with Russian cuisine though -- it's really weird.
My shopping mates had much nicer pasta carbonara, and a noodle soup. Everything's so expensive and beautiful looking, but surprisingly the prices weren't so bad. We stopped off in the bar later that afternoon, weary from shopping, and I had a really nice glass of red.
As Moscow (indeed, the whole of Russia you could say!) is too bloomin' cold to walk around in in winter, it only makes sense that the country depends on shopping malls and department stores so much. This is definitely the one to go to in Moscow, if you're sick of seeing chintzy Ed Hardy-alike clothes and cheap-looking fur coats.
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