Recensione

Follow me on a “Les Miserables” edible experience

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In Charing Cross, private members club “Library” is partnering with Edible Stories for a four week theatrical inspired pop-up that will bring you to discover a classic musical each week: Les Miserables, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The Phantom of The Opera
The menu is especially created, each dish inspired by a part of the play.


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LIBRARY and Edible Stories will be working directly with the theatre companies to get input from the cast and set designers to help re-create the experience. My evening was all about Les Miserables, the sung-through musical based on the novel by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo.

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Here I am sipping the welcome cocktail, a mulled mint and sage delight topped with some infused Buffalo Trace and French rough vermouth served in a tankard.

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The dinner started with an actress who, roughly enough to get us in a Les Miserables mood, put on our table loaves of artisan bread with garlic and parsley butter, smoked salt butter, smoked mackerel pate e rillettes.

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Only Roots (below)

“The lucky few who lived in the French countryside had access to planting their own vegetables so we wanted to give homage to them.”
Beetroot and fresh curd goat cheese, foraged leaves with beetroot jellied sauce.

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Roasted wood pigeon, red wine jus, black pudding glazed turnip, confit apple. (unfortunately I can’t judge this dish as I don’t eat pigeon, but for your info a vegetarian option was also available).

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My favourite of the evening, the dessert: poached pear in white wine, almond brittle, Armagnac chantilly cream and edible scroll (below).

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Dates open to public

17 – 23 April 2015: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
24 – 30 April 2015: Phantom of the Opera
1 – 7 May 2015: Les Miserables
8 – 15 May 2015: Matilda

Price

Set menu from £45
1 welcome cocktail & 3-4 courses included
Wine pairing option & Vegetarian option available

 

Reservations:
LIBRARY – 112 St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4BD
ediblestories@lib-rary.com
+44 (0) 207 240 2974

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Aperitivo al Foyer Giardino del Four Seasons Hotel Milano

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Appuntamento di lusso primaverile nel giardino segreto racchiuso dalle mura di un ex-convento cinquecentesco, oggi siamo nel pieno del quadrilatero della moda milanese: il giardino del Four Seasons Hotel apre i suoi scorci finora riservati esclusivamente agli ospiti dell’hotel e ci accoglie per l’aperitivo.

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Attraverso la hall scendiamo nel Foyer Giardino, un accogliente ambiente parzialmente al coperto decorato con fiori freschi, candele e lampadari di cristalli.

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Si tratta della parte più viva del Foyer, al centro uno schermo con un video d’impatto che mostra il mixologist Luca Marcellini mentre prepara alcuni degli esclusivi cocktails che potremo gustare nella lunga estate milanese.
Ci avviciniamo per provare un “Cool Mule”, a base di Vodka Zubrowka, lime, sciroppo jasmine e ginger beer, sormontato da una fettina di ananas essiccato. Dopo paio di finger food a base di tonno fresco saliamo la scalinata adornata di gelsomino e candele che ci conduce al giardino superiore.

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Scopriamo uno spazio verde, probabilmente l’ex-chiostro, piacevolmente arredato con gazebo e poltroncine dove rilassarsi e fare quattro chiacchiere lontano dalla musica. Si può anche passeggiare lungo il sentiero che costeggia il prato, ed è quello che facciamo mentre guardiamo le opere d’arte in mostra nel giardino.
Ci accomodiamo su un divanetto in angolo appartato per raccontarci la giornata mentre sorseggiamo il secondo cocktail proposto per l’occasione, uno “Spring Mood on…” perfetto per la giornata soleggiata e un po’ ventosa. A base di Tequila Patròn Anejo, liquore Strega, succo di ananas, lime e liquore all’arancia Solerno è un vero e proprio invito alla bella stagione.

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Ritorniamo al piano di sotto e assaggiamo altri finger food sedendoci nella parte più interna del Foyer, al chiuso. Sembra di stare in un giardino esotico, circondate da fiori freschi, orchidee e lanterne accese, ma quello che più colpisce sono i lampadari di cristalli che riflettono le luci delle candele in una danza ipnotica.

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Il Foyer Giardino ospiterà per tutta l’estate diverse serate a tema proponendo ogni martedì sera un incontro speciale con un produttore differente tra cui Vodka Mamont il 21 aprile, Martin Miller’s Gin il 5 maggio, Millonario Rum Solera 15 Reserva Especial il 19 maggio.

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L’elenco completo degli appuntamenti è disponibile qui, il Foyer resta aperto fino a fine settembre.

Best: l’allestimento del Foyer interno, l’ambiente confortevole del giardino superiore, i due cocktail proposti
Per: 
rilassarsi dopo il lavoro o lo shopping in Montenapoleone
Indirizzo: 
 Via Gesù 6/8,  Milano www.fourseasons.com/it/milan/

Articolo a cura di: Chiara Bettaglio, foodandcrafts.it

Where to stay in London: Charing Cross

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Being a tourist in my own city is something that I really love to do. The chance to stay out late exploring it, without worrying about the Tube or how to get home is very nice. Nobody really drives in Central London and people from abroad often don’t get how it is even possible to go on a night out, without using a car. :)
A few weeks ago I was so lucky to be given exactly that sort of experience, when I was invited to spend a night at Amba Hotels’ Charing Cross branch.

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We arrived at Amba Hotel before 7pm and we were welcomed by a friendly team and 2 glasses of Prosecco, such a great start of the weekend isn’t it?!

The hotel is housed in a beautiful, grade II-listed building, but despite the historical setting, it offers modern services and rooms.

After the check-in I spent an hour in the Junior suite which has an amazing view on the Charing Cross neighbourhood, taking photos of and enjoying some more Prosecco, courtesy of the amazing Amba team. Can you spot, in the opening photo, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the National Gallery?

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We then went for dinner at The Terrace, the in-house dining venue with a spectacular view of the Strand below, where we tried a typical English meal: I went for a pan-fried sea bass and lemon meringue tart, whereas Giuliano chose a buccleuch sirloin steak followed by a warm chocolate fondant.

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The next morning I spent about an hour in the Hotel gym, just to feel less guilty about the gigantic breakfast I had, which was one of my favourite parts of this brief “staycation”. Let me tell you more about it!

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It’s served at The Terrace and to be honest I couldn’t find anything that I was craving for and wasn’t available: fresh fruits, lots of cereals, sausages, soy milk, veggies and a great selection of pastries…

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Address: The Strand, London WC2N 5HX

Top treat: the staff, very friendly and helpful (both with us and the tourists) and the breakfast, highly recommended!

Cost: Room – Studio suite with breakfast from £372. Dinner based on our choices around £60 for 2 people.

The wow factor: The location! The hotel has an incredibly central position, right above the Tube and the Train Station, which is incredible considering how quiet the rom was.

WiFi: WiFi is complimentary and apparently the hotel has the fastest WiFi in the world.

Amenities in the room: Smart TVs, USB sockets by the bed, magazines, Nespresso coffee machine, free of charge minibar and iPad in each room. You don’t get all of that very often…

 

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I would definitely recommend the Hotel for both its central location and the services. Let me know your thoughts if you happen to visit it!

Disclaimer: we were guests of Amba Hotels, but hopefully you’ll trust this post is about my honest opinion. For more information about the hotel visit the official website.

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Gigi’s Mayfair – Review

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English Version only

Last weekend we visited Gigi’s, a new Mayfair restaurant, for a late lunch.

The restaurant is tucked away in a quiet corner just off Bond Street station, it serves Italian food with a modern twist under the direction of Head Chef Ivan Simeoli. Ivan is a world class Chef that worked with some of the best like Massimo Bottura at the Osteria Francescana in Modena, just to name one. Since last December you can enjoy Ivan’s cooking at Gigi’s.

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We were welcomed at our table with a bread basket, salt baked root vegetables and 2 glasses of Pinot Gris, then we went straight for the à la carte winter menu. This is what we had:

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Starters

  • 62 degree egg with girolles, green tomatoes and crispy Parma ham
  • Roasted octopus with borlotti beans and flamed onion broth

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The first dish is a clever tribute to the traditional English breakfast. The egg, cooked at 62 degrees for an hour, remains soft and melts on the girolles, its delicate flavour joined pleasantly by the salty sweetness of the Parma ham.

The octopus is stunning, butter tender, it conveys the broth and the beans. You are reminded of an earthy meal cooked on an open fire, the flavours are bold without being heavy. We were expecting something not too far from the classic Italian octopus recipes, and were surprised.

Pasta

  • Ravioli with Amalfi lemon and buffalo ricotta
  • Flamed leeks tortelli with vegetable charcoal – from the vegetarian menu

The Ravioli is one of Ivan’s signature dishes. It may sound like a cliché, but the delicate lemon flavour gave me an instant flashback of a Vespa ride I had years ago, while on holiday near Sorrento. If Ivan wanted us to experience some sensory memories of his childhood, he definitely succeeded.

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Main

  • South coast turbot with savoy cabbage, charcoal oil and sorrel
  • Salt marsh lamb with heritage carrots, sheep’s milk and crunchy shallots

Salt marsh lambs graze on pastures that are regularly covered by the sea, eating grasses that confer a light saline flavour to the meat. The dish itself is delicious, without that sometimes overpowering character of lamb. Gigi’s source their lambs locally, which is always commendable.

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Dessert

  • Gigi’s signature tiramisu
  • Chocolate Mondrian, a tribute to the Dutch painter

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I believe the photos speak for themselves. :-)

In addition to the great food, Gigi’s has a large selection of wines and cocktails and there’s a live DJ at night, from Thursday to Saturday.

Having lunch at Gigi’s has been a great experience for us. We were surprised multiple times and had fun trying to trace our Italian culinary roots very well disguised in a world class and modern menu. It’s also worth mentioning that none of the dishes felt pretentious or overdone. Chef Ivan experience and technique is apparent, but always put to the service of his cooking.

Top treat: for Sonia was the ravioli, for Giuliano the octopus.
Address: 22 Woodstock St, London W1C 2AR www.gigismayfair.com
Cost: based on our choices above around £60 per person
The wow factor: the central location, the dessert presentation and the design books available around the restaurant.

Disclaimer: we were guests of Gigi’s, but hopefully you’ll trust this post is about an honestly enjoyable afternoon.

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Restaurant Review: Locale Fulham

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English Version only.

A few weeks ago I’ve been invited to try an Italian restaurant in Fulham. Usually I tend to avoid Italian restaurants because… well, because I am Italian and quite fussy about Italian food.

The restaurant has a nice outside dehors and a cosy bar where you can order a cocktail with some “stuzzichini”, small dishes which, back home, are usually served with drinks.

We ordered a Locale Bellini, made with Prosecco and strawberry liqueur, think of a meeting between the classic Bellini and a Kir Royal.

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We than had a selection of starters: fried calamari served with homemade tartar sauce, some veggie bruschettas, deep fried soft shell crab cakes with saffron and dill mayo and pan fried scallops with mashed peas, rocket and crispy pancetta.

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Almost full already, we went on to the mains: Giuliano had seafood linguine with clams, mussels, calamari and octopus sautéed with garlic, chilli and parsley. I chose casarecce with tiger prawns. Both were served with a glass of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore from Cantina Colognola.

 

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After making sure that they’re “homemade just like in Italy”, we had to try desserts. We chose pannacotta and tiramisu, the latter being the best choice, it indeed is amazing. A glass of brandy on the side, provided a classy way to end a lovely meal. :-)

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Personal favourite: the tiramisu! Trust me, I have tried many tiramisu, and this is the only one that I am sure my uncle Roberto (the King of Tiramisu) would be proud of. :-)

Only slightly negative point is the location, to reach Locale you have to walk for about 15 minutes from the nearest tube station. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After a meal like that, a nice walk was just what we needed.

 

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Locale Fulham

Address: 222 Munster Road, London, SW6 6AY

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