9 Jan 2011
Here is my final post in the My Year of Food 2010 series with the last lot of foodie highlights from the past year:
After first hearing about Secret Supper Clubs in London two years ago I was excited to be finally attending one last year, Fernandez and Leluu located in East London. Run fortnightly by friendly couple Simon and Uyen, their dishes are influenced by their respective birth places of Spain and Vietnam. Not knowing quite what to expect I found it had the lovely informal atmosphere of going to dinner at a friend of a friend’s house; hugely welcoming with plenty of opportunities to meet new people.
On the night we attended they were doing a charity dinner for Action Against Hunger in association with food brand Unearthed. Quite a few of their dishes during our 6 course meal incorporated ingredients from Unearthed, and we even got to take home some surplus products at the end of the meal. I must say it felt great to be stuffing our faces with delicious food knowing it was all for a good cause.
I was excited to hear about the launch of a new Hawksmoor branch in Seven Dials after wanting to visit the Spitalfields branch for a long time to sample some of the “best steak in London”. I was even more excited when I heard that they were offering a “soft launch” period when all food was 50% off.
Sadly due to high demand and them overlooking my confirmation email I didn’t manage to secure a table. But when they noticed their mistake they were kind enough to offer good service and a glass of champagne to everyone at my table if I booked for the following month. So I did and went on to experience one of the most overwhelming deliciously meaty meals I’ve had in a long time! They were also true to their word and as well as providing some very nice bubbly, service was really lovely and attentive.
Hawksmoor (Seven Dials)
11 Langley St
After looking at options for a weekend trip out of London, we recalled a friend telling us about his trip to Marlow where he stayed and dined at The Hand and Flowers. It soon became clear that this was a very convenient and desirable option for a number of reasons:
- Just a short train ride out of London
- Very pretty little town along The Thames with cute shops
- Unusually high ratio of nice restaurants to population
- Home to Heston Blumenthal (and if it’s good enough for him…)
And the obvious choice for dinner was The Hand and Flowers where Head Chef Tom Kerridge won on the BBC production “Great British Menu” in 2010 for his Slow Cooked Duck Breast with Savoy Cabbage Duck Fat Chips and Gravy dish. (Amusingly enough we managed to catch that episode the very next morning where this dish won and was served to Charles and Camilla).
Winter had arrived early in England so despite being very chilly it was also a rather beautiful evening as we walked to the restaurant with the snow gently coming down. Once inside we enjoyed the cosy, pubby atmosphere of the restaurant and the food itself was absolutely stunning. I highly rated those duck fat chips which had the perfect combination of crispiness and fluffiness. I didn’t get to take photos of everything due to the dim lights but here’s what I managed to salvage from my camera.
The Hand and Flowers
126 West Street
And so concludes my round up of the past year’s eating! Here’s to many more happy eating experiences for 2011!