Review: Indigo, Aldwych, Central London

I'm the first to admit that I don't usually venture into hotel restaurants, here or abroad. I always like to get out to explore. But when I was invited to try out Indigo at the One Aldwych hotel, I decided to see if my narrow-mindedness was holding me back. Indigo is a gluten and dairy-free informal restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden. But you would never know when you stepped inside, it felt a world away from the hustle and bustle of one of London's busiest areas.

After studying in the menu over a glass of fizz, I finally came to my decision. I wanted to try something that normal had gluten to see if it could compare. For a starter I opted for thinly sliced lamb belly, crispy shallots and pistachios drizzled with an egg mayonnaise gribiche sauce. I loved the slight kick the mustard gave with the sauce and the crunch of the shallots gave the dish much needed texture. The lamb was incredibly tender and the portion was the perfect size to start with. It only increased my appetite! My dining partner opted for the cured Loch Duart salmon with shreaded citrus fruit, creamy avocado and a sprinkling of coriander. It looked absolutely incredible and I have it on good authority that it was!

The main course saw me try hand rolled potato gnocchi with fresh, tender asparagus and sweet peas. I enjoyed every mouthful and didn't want it to end. The gnocchi was crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the end - it melted in my mouth with every bite. The veg was cooked to perfection and the whole dish blended together superbly. I did watch on envious as my friend's lamb rump arrived with a side of samphire, smoked aubergines, capers and anchovies.

I wasn't going to leave without sampling a dessert so chose the lemon and rapeseed cake with a hazelnut praline.  I was pretty skeptical before trying the dairy free ice cream but I honestly couldn't tell the difference - it was so wonderfully creamy.

Since my meal at Indigo I think I'm going to be a more open-minded when it comes to trying restaurants in hotels. You really shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The service was faultless, each mouthful of food was delicious and the atmosphere was buzzing. It's a fantastic place in the heart of Covent Garden to go for a bite to eat away from the crowds. Someone I'd definitely be recommending to friends!


Review: The Prince Albert, Battersea, south-west London

There's nothing I love more than a lazy pub lunch at the weekend. But considering how many pubs we have in this country, it can be pretty hard to find decent grub. So many pubs are below par - especially in London. But I've found a corker. Enter The Prince Albert, a gastropub overlooking Battersea Park.

We walked in towards the end of an England V Australia rugby match to a rousing atmosphere. We took our seat and poured over the menu before made the tough decision on what to order. I wanted something a little lighter so opted for the grilled aubergine, creamy melted goats cheese, oyster mushrooms, spiced tomato sauce and sourdough toast with a drizzle of what tasted like pesto. The flavours went complimented each other perfectly with none overpowering the other.

My boyfriend opted for his childhood favourite of corned beef. Only this time it was a little posher! With a pate type consistency, this homemade corned beef is topped with pickled mushrooms, roasted bone marrow and horseradish mayo. It was absolutely wolfed down within minutes so I think it was a success!

For mains I decided to pump for the fish and chips after spying a gentleman eating it on the table next door. A generous Young's Ale battered cod with mushy peas, tartare sauce and triple cooked chips was the order of the day. I often stay away for battered cod as it can sometimes be a bit too much grease but I needn't have worried this time. It had a perfect amount of crunch but didn't leave a lingering aftertaste of grease as many battered foods do. The chunky fluffy chips and sharp tartare were exactly what I was after.

Always a pie boy, my boyfriend picked the chicken, leek and mushroom pie in a rich creamy sauce topped with a layer of flaky puff pastry. I managed to sneak a mouthful and can confirmed that it was absolutely delicious. The shredded chicken was tender, the filling was generous and the side of garlic bobby beans were flavoursome.

Despite declaring we couldn't eat another thing, as soon as the dessert menu was offered our ears perked up. I knew exactly what I was having as soon as I glanced down. Sticky Toffee Pudding. Topped with caramelised crispy sliced bananas and drizzled in a generous layer toffee sauce with a side of cornflake ice cream. Perfection.  I have it on good authority that the lemon macerated strawberries with Chantilly cream and baby meringues was pretty delicious too.

The food was inventive, delicious and classic - I wish we could have tried more! The staff were friendly and attentive, But a special heads up to the Italian waiter who was cracking jokes and made us feel very welcomed. Thanks so much for a wonderful afternoon guys!


OOTD: Green midi dress

Green midi broderie shirt dress: ASOS
Light wash denim jacket: Primark (similar)
Pony hair black block heeled sandals: New Look (similar)
Red leather Lily bag: Mulberry

I've been stockpiling lots of summer dresses ready for my trip to Copenhagen at the beginning of July. Which really means I've been obsessively checking the new in section on ASOS and buying lots of things I don't really need. Standard behaviour. One of the things I came across during my daily search was this green midi. It was lovely at first sight. A dress that goes from day to night. Perfect for a day exploring Copenhagen before retiring for dinner in the Danish city. Its casual enough to wander but smart enough to make it look like you've made an effort. What more could you want from a dress? I gave the dress a debut during a lazy Saturday walk around Battersea Park before feeding our faces at the Prince Albert pub. But more on that pub lunch in the next post. Spoiler. It was absolutely delicious!


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