So … Hotel Chocolat

On a recent trip to St. Lucia we went on a fantastic excursion that I will share with you!

I’d never been to the Caribbean before and so in order to have some winter sun it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go. The flight was really long, 9 hours, but I had the entertainment of a few films – the new Ghostbusters is fabulous by the way!!

When we arrived, it was beautiful! So warm and sunny compared to miserable old England!

Setting off about half 8am we were driven to a harbour and boarded a boat that would take us down the Island, it was an amazing view from the water and we slowly but surely gained ground to the South side of the Island. Getting off the boat we were immediately but into a van and driven to Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot Estate.

We pre-ordered our lunch and then went out on a balcony to start making our own chocolate. The lady was quite scary not going to lie to you! She explained the history of chocolate and how it was discovered. We then had to smash and grind our cocoa nibs for half an hour!! For someone that is not used to this, half an hour is such a long time to be grinding with a pestle and mortar haha! Once we had an ice cream like consistency we could add the cocoa butter and stir the mixture for another half an hour slowly adding sugar as we went to make the dark chocolate we’d created much less bitter.

Putting the mixture in the mold, it was handed over to be put in the fridge to set whilst we had lunch in the Boucan restaurant. The food was fabulous – everything had cocoa in it! The bread, the oil, my rice, my pudding. Such a good atmosphere and meal.

Once we’d finished dinner we recieved our chocolate and headed out to view a cocoa tree then were put back into the taxi and then on a boat home.

We were supposed to have a sunset ride on the boat home but naturally the weather turned bad and we got a lightning show instead!!

Just an FYI if you would like to have dinner in a Hotel Chocolat restaurant then you don’t need to travel quite as far as they have just opened a restaurant in Borough Market, London.

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So … Campervan Trip to Snowdonia!

So for the first time ever and I writing to you at 9am sat in the beautiful sunshine in Snowdonia National Park.

Please don’t confuse this with me never being to Snowdonia, I have on numerous occasions, it has just always been dull or raining so this is delightful!

Bertie the Campervan joined our family about 8 months ago and this seems to be the only time in the UK that it has actually turned out beautifully!

We’re currently in Gwern gof Isaf campsite and despite it being incredibly busy we’ve found a perfect spot by the stream. I would say however the if you are planning on coming here I really don’t think you need to pre-book as they don’t take your name on arrival but do come early because about 7pm the site is completely full.

We survived through a massive storm last night which probably explains the beautiful weather this morning. I did feel very sorry for all the people in tents as the rain was pelting down and the thunder was ever shaking our van. This morning, though, everyone seems unscathed!

I would love to write more but for now, I’m going to soak in the view eating a bacon sandwich!

The Dock, South Quay – and the Ongoing Quest for Mussels!

So recently every restaurant that I’ve been to has ran out of Mussels by the time I got there, which naturally made me very upset and made my craving for those delicious little shells even worse!

The Mussels dilemma started about a month ago, even before I went on my adventure holiday in Tanzania! So the first weekend I was at home I made it my absolute mission to find some. My first point of call was this lovely little restaurant called The Dock in South Quay.

As we’ve been away a lot I thought that we should go somewhere close and this was the delightful little place I was looking for.

Walking into the Dock there was a large group of people with tonnes (literally tonnes) of children celebrating a birthday. Now I don’t dislike children but a nice, peaceful, romantic meal never happens when they’re around – even when they’re not your own!!

The Waitress (who later turned out to be the owner) must have seen the look on my face and immediately came over and said “Are you Lizzie – 7pm booking? Don’t worry your table is upstairs!”

Having a look around the restaurant I loved the decor, simple but beautiful. There were candles lit on the table and written on the walls in chalk were the menus.

When ordering I picked my starter – the Salmon Sashimi – which was delicious and really refreshing, it was then I found out there was no Mussels.

It sounds silly but I was so gutted because I’d been really looking forward to them and they had ran out only an hour beforehand!

I ended up choosing the Haddock and chips which was gorgeous, crispy batter and fluffy chips is always a good choice!

As the Mussels had managed to evade me AGAIN I thought I would ask the question about whether there was a season for Mussels and there is! Not a season, as such, but apparently the times when Mussels are not at there best and hardest to find are all the months in the year without an R in them – Basically the Summer months.

So it turns out that I might not be the most unlucky person in the world when it comes to Mussels and I will just have to keep looking – I’ll keep you posted!

Despite the Mussel situation The Dock is an absolutely lovely little restaurant that I would definitely recommend. This family run restaurant serves flavorsome fresh fish and delicious wine within a romantic setting.

Golden Bee Cinema

So tonight I visited a roof top cinema to watch Bridesmaids!

This is one of my absolute favourite films and it was so much fun watching it under a blanket on sofas high above London’s Old Street.

Hidden away Golden Bee bar is the perfect location  for such an event. The staff are friendly and polite and there is bottomless popcorn which is never a bad thing!!

The drinks are reasonably priced but there is a minimum card spend of £15 so if you don’t fancy splashing the cash I suggest you get some money out before you go.

Golden Bee are showing films all the way until December but the tickets do sell out incredibly quickly so if you would like to go book in advance.

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English Wine and Spirits

I love wine and cheese. In fact, I think they are two of my favourite things (except Tea, but as I’m British that should be a given).

The wine here was fantastic, the way they matched the wine to the cheeses that you were eating was amazing.  As I came here on my lunch break I could only have a few glasses but they were so tasty!!

My only issue was that they gave such a small portion size for the sharing platters that I had to buy food on the way back to the office to fill me up.

This is an amazing shop to buy wine and to get recommendations for wine to go with certain food but I wouldn’t eat here as the portion sizes aren’t large enough.

Unfortunately they are such a small place that they don’t have a website but definitely try them out! They can be found on Devonshire Row, which is really close to Liverpool Street Station.

Price: ££

Service: 10/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Le Chalet @ Selfridges

Walk into a Winter Wonderland with Selfridges version of a Chalet!!

Located on the roof of one of the most prestigious department stores, Selfridges have really out done themselves. With only one lift taking you up to this delightful restaurant and bar that has been decorated with such style, the magic of Christmas really does come alive.

The food smells delicious and the drinks are to die for. With Hot Chocolates and Mulled Wine the scents that come to you when those lift doors open are inviting and warm (just what you want on a cold Winter’s evening!)

All of the seats inside and out have a blanket and there are large heaters to keep you warm while you admire the view.

This is one not to miss this Christmas!

Price: £££

Atmosphere: 10/10

Location: 8/10

Christmas Spirit?: OH YEAH!

Le Chalet    Le ChaletLe Chaltet

Vertigo 42

Despite my crippling fear of heights, once again my boyfriend dragged me to the top of one of the highest skyscrapers in London *shudder*

Vertigo 42 is a Champagne bar situated at the very top of the Natwest tower with views that (quite literally in my case) take your breath away.

With floor to ceiling windows on one side and a mirror on the other there really is no escaping the beautiful view. The Champagne is delicious and the service is impecable, no glass was left unattended for the entirety of the night.

As you can imagine, Vertigo 42 does come at a price, with limited seating there is also a limit on the amount of time you can be up there if it is busy. However, you really can see the beauty that is London from up there without the tourist market that comes with the Shard.

Price ££££

Service 9/10

Atmosphere 8/10

(please be aware not all the photographs are my own – it was miserable weather when we went!!) Vertigo42.2


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