Sunday, July 31, 2011

A taste of Tuscany in Notting Hill

Where: Negozia Classica, Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill
When: The first Sunny Sunday in London in a very long time. Everyone was out and about in summer frocks and enjoying one of those few days in London where you can bare your legs
What: In my opinion this is one of the best places to get a fix of Italian deliciousness in West London. Negozia Classica’s concept is to provide the best Italian delights.
Who: Myself and Miss C at the beginning of our summer food odyssey
Food: We both went there because we specifically wanted the zucchini carpaccio drizzled with truffle oil and parmesan shavings. This was accompanied by ciabatta with a delicious olive oil dipping sauce. Lunch was naughtily followed by the not-to-be-missed most immaculately baked fondant au chocolat

Drinks: Delicious Italian rose
Price: 50 pounds for both
Service: The staff are all European and give the relaxed casual cool non-intrusive service that is often annoying if you were to be in a hurry...but perfect on this particular occasion
Clientele: Euro 
Ambiance: The restaurant couples as a bar, bottle shop, and coffee bar
Saw: Lots of twos dining or drinking coffee or sipping wine. I don’t like coffee but judging by the amount of people popping in for a cup, i’d say it probably does as good a coffee as anywhere in Milan
Bathrooms: Not at all interesting...but they are clean and tidy
Would I go again? I’d like to go there all the time. The zucchini carpaccio is absolutely delicious and it could never keep me at bay for more than a month
Also of note: My previous outing to Negozia Classica was with my gorgeous friend Miss J. On that occasion we finished up with some delicious dessert wine. Make sure you give it a try. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A day in Richmond- Petersham Nurseries

Where: Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, TW10 7AG
When: A gorgeously sunny day in mid-May
What: A nursery, a home store, a garden shop, a tea cafe, and a michelin starred restaurant all in a ramshackle chic garden shed environment with both indoor and alfresco dining options

Who: Myself and a friend took the ten minute stroll along the river to Petersham Nurseries from Richmond. My sister had told me about this gorgeous hidden treasure in Richmond and so I wanted to go and see what all the fuss was about. The sun was shining so it was the perfect day to find out. I must admit, as well as the glorious sun, the stroll along the river also added to the Petersham Nurseries experience
Food: We ate alfresco style under the vines of the tea room cafe. The offerings on the menu were yummy salads and an array of sweet treats. Given that we arrived towards the end of lunch time many of the fresh daily options were finished but that was absolutely helped us to make the choice easier. We both settled for the lentil salad and it was absolutely delicious. Knowing of our plans to go for a big walk through Richmond Park following lunch, we also indulged in an energy boosting carrot and coconut cake- Yum.

Drinks: Despite wanting wine, we ordered old fashioned lemonade as we didn't want to get dehydrated in our walk through Richmond Park. Next time I visit I will be indulging in plenty of wine and I will definitely plan to settle in for a long lunch at the restaurant
Price: 13 pounds each
Service: In the tea rooms, you order over the counter. Our meal arrived within a matter of minutes of sitting down. The staff seemed friendly
Clientele: Most people were over 40 and dressed in smart casual but I guess that the clientele would be slightly different on weekends. It would be a great place for a guy to take a girl on a weekend date or for a bunch of girls to go for a long lunch in the sun. Without doubt, you wouldn’t fail to disappoint your sister or Mum if you took either of them there
Ambiance: Glasses clunking, people chattering, shrubs growing. A definite green fingers/shabby chic ambiance. Take some cash because the store has an interesting array of things to buy

Saw: Colourful flowers in the nursery that made me wish I had a garden
Bathrooms: Clean and cosy
Would I go again? Yes...plans are already in place for a bike ride down to Richmond next weekend to experience this delicious place all over again
Also of note: After lunch we strolled up to Richmond Park and walked through the park for hours taking in some woody groves, duck-filled ponds, wild deer spotting and a few good hours of strolling allowing the sun to kiss our wintered skin

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Barrafina- Soho

Where: Barrafina, 54 Frith St Soho

When: Pre-theatre on a Thursday night before heading out to Priscilla Queen of the Desert
What: Delicious Spanish style tapas. I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying these are probably the best tapas I have ever eaten...even better than in Spain. People dine around a marble counter and are served simple plates of tasty delights. I was so engrossed in the atmosphere that Barrafina provided, that the world around me could have completely stopped and I wouldn't have cared
Who: Myself and a dear friend who is a self-confessed Priscilla fan...This was to be her fifth time at the musical
Food: Pimientos de Padron (Apparently one in every 20 of these has enough heat in it to make you breathe fire)

Chorizo with Potatoes: Creamy potatoes coupled with a decent portion of intense smoky chorizo

Ham and Cheese Croquettes - Just delicious

Chipirones (Baby fried squid)

Drinks: Hacienda Grimon 2008
Price: 25 pounds per person
Service: Exceptional friendly Spanish service across a marble countertop 
Clientele: Foodies
Ambiance: Bustling
Bathrooms: Didn’t go
Would I go again? Yes I would go again. It is fun - you feel like you could be in Spain. In my opinion, you couldn't get a more authentic and delicious Spanish tapas meal for this price 
Also of note: Each time you go, make sure you order different things. My observation was that everything other people were ordering also looked amazing. And be sure to get there early before the queue, there are only 20 or so seats as you can imagine they fill very fast

Monday, April 18, 2011


Where: Mudbrick, Church Road, Waiheke Island, NZ
When: A beautiful sunny Sunday around 2pm
What: A restaurant, vineyard and wedding venue
Who: Myself and two friends. They were freshly back from their honeymoon
Food: Delicious and perfectly suited to its open air and summery environment. Si had seared king scallops with cauliflower pannacotta followed by the fish of the day which was hapuka and prawns. Jo had Waiheke snapper and mussels and I had avocado mousse with dried tomatoes. We were also treated to a delicious palate cleansing lemon granita

Drinks: They had wine and I had NZ’s treasured 42 Below Vodka with ginger beer
Price: NZD$230
Service: For such an amazing setting and gorgeous food...unfortunately the service was disjointed. The maitre d’ was great however, and given we didn’t have a reservation we can excuse them of the bad service this time
Clientele: A mixture of clientele. Tourists, people straight off the beach and destination diners like us
Ambiance: The restaurant opens out to views across the Hauraki Gulf looking back towards Auckland city. We visited on such a beautiful day so we were able to appreciate the restaurant at it’s absolute best
Saw: Someone getting married, lots of gorgeous gardens and a very friendly taxi driver called Ian who took us from the ferry to the restaurant
Bathrooms: Five out of five
Would I go again? Yes I would love to go again.
Also of note: Afterwards we walked to Cable Bay and walked around the headland and back to the ferry terminal taking in the wonderful Headland Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition. An excellent way to finish a wonderful day

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Clooney- Auckland, NZ

Where: Clooney, Sale St, Auckland
When: A Tuesday night...the day after Valentines Day
What: A gorgeous intimate restaurant set on an unassuming low key street
Who: Myself and five friends. Two of which were newly married, two celebrating their one-year anniversary, Macfly and myself-  A very special Auckland evening! We were surrounded by couples celebrating a belated Valentines day
Two friends posing in front of Auckland's imposing Sky Tower- Sale St

Food: The eight-course tasting menu . Definitely try it. There is also a vegetarian tasting menu (which I ordered) and it was devine
Drinks: Cosmopolitans to start and then a Central Otago (NZ) red to follow. The boys stuck to beer

View of Auckland's sky tower outside Clooney

Price: NZD$160pp including drinks
Service: Impeccable
Clientele: People enjoying a touch of fine dining without white table cloths and rigid service
Ambiance: A really nice low-lit ambiance. There was lots of space between tables and tables were separated by curtains of black string (Like extra long tassles)
Saw: People brushing in and out of the curtains. Admittedly it was a nice sensation
Bathrooms: The bathrooms were very clean and tidy. They are up a set of stairs so be careful not to drink too much
Would I go again? Yes... but It is definitely one of those places you would go on a special occassion
Also of note: There is a small bar in the front entrance which is available for people who are not intending to dine or for those waiting for their other guests to arrive

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Poppy does St Moritz - Sunshine, Snow and Alpine Air

I have just come back from the most amazing two weeks in St Moritz-
Sunny skies, fresh powder on the slopes, water you can drink from a tap, and most importantly….fresh alpine air.

St Moritz is a playground for the rich and has got both summer and winter hedonism covered. I will give you two pieces of advice before booking a trip. The first is to make sure you go with a lot of money and/or if you don’t have a lot of money unashamedly like me, then make sure you go with someone who does.

As this is a food blog - I won’t go into detail about the activities such as skiing, tobogganing, running around the lake and snow skating that are on offer - but I will touch on my two most memorable and affordable foodie highlights.

Favourite haunts:

Alpina Hutte
Best hut on the mountain for après ski in the sunshine. They offer really good Gluhwein (a personal favourite). Expect to pay around £8 a glass and about the same for an ice cold Heineken. There is a local liqueur that the bar men seem to take shots of all day.  I would suggest letting them to only convince you to have one shot, otherwise you may not be able to ski home like one of my companions experienced. After one shot you would have to be crazy to go back for a second round anyhow, it is not the tastiest of beverages. A DJ (David Guetta lookalike) plays club anthems from around midday and by 3:30 as the sun threatens to disappear behind the snowcapped mountains, you can find Italianos and Russians etc dancing on tables with their hands in the air. At minus 25 degrees it is very much a case of dance to survive.

La Baracca
Where: In the carpark at the ‘Signal’ cable-car station in St Moritz Bad

When: 9:30pm New Years Eve Eve
What: Alpine shabby-chic. It looks like an old non-descript farm shed from outside and the fact that it is in a car-park makes it look even less appealing. I didn’t look twice at it until a local told me about it. On arriving you are made to battle with the smokers at the front door step, and then on walking inside you are forced to peer through a pink velvet curtain in which time the ambiance will capture you
Who:  Me and three friends
Food:  A small menu is displayed on blackboards dotted around the restaurant. The menu changes regularly and there are sufficiently three options for entrée, main and dessert. The cuisine is simple but prepared and cooked to absolute perfection
Drinks: Tell the waiter what sort of wine you want and he/she will find you the perfect tipple. There is no wine list
Price: £120 for two people and three courses + a bottle of wine
Service: Our waiter looked like he had just snowboarded straight off the mountain. He was studying finance at a Swiss university, he was very personable and well spoken and knew everything about wine. It worked. Very well
Clientele: Every billionaire/ess and their sons, daughters and dogs (Because the dog can also fly in for Xmas in the private jet)
Ambiance: The entire restaurant is candlelit (as you will see from my poor photos of the food). This you would think would create a lovely romantic ambiance…however because tables are shared by separate dining parties it is not the sort of place to get romantic. Like most places in St Moritz, it is intimate for the reason that the people you are sitting next to probably also belong to the same ski club or private members club as you do, or perhaps they are your neighbour in Chelsea. Hence it is okay to share tables because you probably already know the person next to you. Flowers were hung straight from their stems from the beams supporting the roof. This added another nice touch

Saw: Mostly large tables of men, all very eligible too. For some reason in St Moritz I noted the ratio of men to women was heavily off balance. We weren’t complaining
Bathrooms: As I am not always on form after drinking at altitude I can’t specifically remember the bathrooms. I do however remember that they were quirky and most importantly clean
Would I go again?  Yes…I wanted to go the following night, but alas it was New Years Eve and it was booked out
Also of note: Following on from here everyone goes to private member’s club Dracula’s, I would recommend trying to get an invite in there and not settling for a night out at Diamond.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Hi friends,

I have been so busy being out and about over the festive season in both London and abroad (Edinburgh, Bordeaux and Vienna) that I haven't had a lot of time to keep you updated on my foodie adventures of late.

I can assure you that I have a backlog of wonderful restaurants to tell you about as well as lots of new adventures in the pipeline.

Heading into 2011 I have already got lots of trips planned (St Moritz, Hawaii, New Zealand, LA, Amsterdam, Beirut, Tel Aviv).

I'm am signing out for 2010 as I am off to St Moritz tomorrow, so until we meet again, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and thank you for following me. I look forward to sharing the love of foodie adventures with you in 2011.

Check me out in my Xmas outfit. It was kindly gifted to me by my friend Amelia Mouse. I think it is going to be the perfect party dress for St Moritz- I can't wait to wear it!

Happy Holidays x x x