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    Brunching in style at The Wolseley

    “Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life,” wrote A. A. Gill in his introduction to his book ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’.
    He was a wise, wise man.

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    We always seem to visit for birthday breakfasts, gathered around a table with my nearest and dearest friends, all smiling and sipping coffees.

    The Wolseley is a beautiful European restaurant located next to the Ritz Hotel. Designed by the architect William Curtis Green, it was constructed in 1921 as a car showroom for Wolseley Motors; the Grade II* listed building then served as a branch of Barclays Bank between 1927 and 1999.

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    On our first visit we had a disappointing breakfast (#rostigate)- missing the finesse that we had expected of such an established restaurant – but each and every visit afterwards has been lovely.

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The atmosphere is always pleasant – a nice level of hubbub – and despite service being a little unresponsive at times we’ve always been allowed to spill over our allocated brunch time. This time was again a birthday celebration and we gathered for a catchup of chatter.

    Somehow we usually seem to end up with the self same table (which pleases me no end), the round one immediately in front of the man doors which is perfect for people watching.

    Luxury brunch at the Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi


    Laid out in Bacchanal brunch style, the table featured French toast with bacon and maple syrup (mine, and it was delectable), chalices of granola and yoghurt…

    …pancakes drizzled with berries and creme fresh and an omelette a lone egg soldier.

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The menu styling is Viennese in fashion, and we always agonise over selecting their delectable cakes or a more reasonable dish – so order a platter of of their breakfast pastries, featuring a pains au chocolate, canelé and plum crown ‘for the table’.

    We spent our few hours transported by fork to Vienna (by way of America and France), before we had to go our separate ways. Back to our busy lives, back to real life.

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Afterwards, we always take a turn in Green Park, ostensibly to work off a few calories, but in reality to spot the Parakeets that Jimi Hendriks released (according to urban legends.)

    Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

    What is your favourite brunch dish?

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    St John’s Wood Restaurant Review: Soutine

    There’s a special kind of magic when a group of people gather around a table – all the way from a humble cup of tea, through to intricate tasting menus that titillate the palates. Soutine is elegantly in the middle, a Parisien corner of Salon de thé, a St John’s Wood restaurant in a glorious period building. Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the newly opened Soutine but as ever, all dreamy pastel metaphors are very much my own.

    St Johns Wood Restaurant Soutine Adventures of a London Kiwi

    We gathered, a group of four expats – talking of life, love and kettles (long hilarious story) over a table filled with delectable dishes.

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    My 13 best London dishes 2016

    It’s that time of year. The week or so where we look back over our metaphorical shoulders and ponder on the successes, challenges and downright wrong turns of the last 12 months. As a foodie each year I think back over the best dishes I’ve enjoyed, and 2016 has been utterly delectable.

    Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

    London seems to be hitting her cuisine stride and 2017 is only going to get better.

    Brunch

    Best Bacon Sarnie – St John’s Bread and Wine, Spitalfields
    A recent discovery, I’ll be returning for the delicious chutney alone.

    Take me back to a table full of the best bacon sandwiches in London, bowls of tomato relish and delicious flat whites. Heaven. . . . #brunch #breakfast #couldntresist #coffeeoftheday #flatlay #coffeeyouneed #luxury #delicious #foodgasm #moodofmytable #onthetable #londontown #londonbylondoners #baking #Spitalfields #Smithfields #LoveLondon #eeeeeats #CheatMeal #FRavorites #devourpower #lovefood #bacon #flatwhite #naughty #coffee #darlingweekend #handsinframe

    A photo posted by Emma (@londonkiwiemma) on



    Best twist on a brunch classic – Iris and June, Victoria
    Poppadoms stacked with sprouted lentils, a sweet green tomato salsa, the
    pop of kasundi, homemade grilled paneer which was heavenly and a
    perfectly poached egg. Delicious, gluten free AND healthy… we followed
    it up with a (also delicious) brownie chaser and another well brewed
    flat white as we nattered on.

    Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best Bressert – Granger and Co., Kings Cross
    I now understand why people queue for over an hour for these bad boys. Whilst I still wouldn’t queue for that long for just about anything (the hangry just isn’t worth it) they are worth getting out of bed a little early and sneaking in the door before the rest of the world wakes up. Beautifully cooked Ricotta hotcakes served with honeycomb butter, banana and syrup.

    Finally managed to convince someone (the adorable @jessonthames) for an early brunch of Ricotta hotcakes @grangerandco in Kings Cross earlier today. #worthit (ps. excuse the crooked photo ’cause hungry) . . . #LoveLondon #KingsCross #brunch #latergram #mischief #happy #food #foodporn #sweet #latte #coffeeadicct #coffeelover #onthetable #moodofmytable #flatlay #crooked #pastel #pancakes #banana #flatwhite #kettles #delicious #foodandwine #food52 #bestfoodworld #eeeeeats #devourpower #lovefood #Christmas

    A photo posted by Emma (@londonkiwiemma) on



    Best Comeback – The Wolseley, Green Park
    The first time we visited was rather disappointing (hello #rostigate), so I was pleased to give into urgings to go back and love my French Toast served with lashing of bacon. The atmosphere is always pleasant – a nice level of hubbub – and despite service being a little unresponsive at times we’ve always been allowed to spill over our allocated brunch time.

    The Wolseley, Brunch in Green Park Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best for a girlie morning – Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury Hotel, Bloomsbury
    It’s pretty simple really – the team at Dalloway Terrace just have all the bases covered for brunch with the ladies and perhaps a cheeky cocktail later on. This has swiftly become a blogger favorite with the ridiculously instagrammable tables but we really enjoyed our morning there.

    When bloggers go Sunday brunching, Monday porridge doesn’t look quite so appealing… . . . #brunch #Monday #eeeeeats #moodofmytable #CheatMeal #onthetable #flatlay #delicious #foodgasm #eatmunchies #foodbeast #gastronogram #yesyumr #everydayluxury #prettycitylondon #timeoutlondon #darlingweekend #beautifuldestinations #travelblogger #bloglife #luxury #latergram #Bloomsbury #mimosas #champagne #coffee #thatsdarling #darlingescapes #nofilter

    A photo posted by Emma (@londonkiwiemma) on



    Best View – Sky Garden (Darwin Brasserie), Fenchurch Street

    Our 9am breakfast was perfect – when we arrived there were about 8
    people floating around the main viewing floor though the balcony was
    shut – but it meant we were able to enjoy the view without dratted
    tourists in our frames. Unfortunately it was a rather grey day (hence the terrible photo) but trust me.

    Darwin Brasserie London Brunch Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Not to forget:
    Best reason to get out of bed early – Duck & Waffle, Liverpool Street
    Best not blogged – Dirty Bones’ Toasties
    Best living up to the hype – The Ivy, Kensington

    Dinner


    Best seafood and sushi – Pan Chai (Review), Knightsbridge

    Although Pan Chai is a concession in Harrods, when our salmon skin maki rolls made their presence known, we both
    closed our eyes in delight. Crispy salmon skin contrapuntally
    balancing the soft, spicy mayonnaise, spring onions and dry salmon
    flakes. We found ourselves trying a couple of bites of everything, then
    leaving one or two mouthfuls for last. Utter umami heaven #swoon.

    Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Most intriguing flavours and best date night tasters – NOPI by Ottolenghi, Picadilly Circus

    Enjoying our glasses of Vinho Verde and locally brewed ale respectively,
    dipping slices of sourdough into a beautifully unctious oil we smiled
    from ear to ear as delicate dishes appeared. Starting with slices of
    aubergine conveying delectable saffron yoghurt, pomegranate seeds,
    roasted pinenuts and baby basil leaves. I will say when you visit – and
    you must – take someone you like as each of our dishes came in 3’s and
    haggling definitely ensued.

     NOPI Ottolenghi Date night Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best alternative London view – Peninsula Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel, North Greenwich
    Whilst we perused the a la carte menu, we enjoyed our h’ordeuvres
    of air-popped crackers made from quinoa and black rice accompanied by
    both a red lentil puree and marscapone/yoghurt cream.  By this point as
    twilight began to fall over our beautiful city skyline view, I’d already
    realised the rookie error of not taking my proper camera, but ploughed
    on nonetheless.

    Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best winter warmer (sausages)Fischers, Marylebone
    The menu is beautifully simple, so we tried their specialities; I
    couldn’t resist their Wurstchen (sausages) sampling the Nurnberger (pork
    and majoram) which was nice, and their veal bratwurst (with chicken,
    lemon and ginger.) The veal sausages were how you think sausages should
    be – velvety, rich and beautifully flavored. Served with a warm mustard
    potato salad (delicious), melted onions (nice) and sauerkraut (piquant
    in all the right ways) which warmed the cockles of my foodie heart.
    Simple, hearty and good.

    Best Sausages in Marylebone Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best mid-week treat, and second place for roast dinner – Hawksmoor, Air Street, Picadilly Circus
    It’s our long running favourite. trying a few of the different branches this year (and not quite getting back to Goodmans just yet)but we always seem to find ourselves drawn back to the steak and Art
    Deco splendour of Air Street, just off Picadilly Circus. Our respective slices of meat are always perfectly cooked to order – the Kiwi with my barbarous rare, the Brit with a
    more “civilized” – apparently – well done, both drizzled with moreish
    garnishings of rock salt and pepper.


    Best Steak Hawksmoor Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best Bread – The Winter Garden at the Landmark, Marylebone
    We began as all good meals do with champagne and crazily moreish bread.
    Warmed and served with rich butter and a self-serve garnish of rock
    salt, when our waitress offered to top us up, where we would normally
    say no, we may have enjoyed nibbling enough to order a whole extra plate
    of their olive bread which was eyes-closed good.

    Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best Dessert – The Ritz, Mayfair

    Recently awarded a much awaited Michelin star, we adored our meal, but a special highlight was the piquant and feather light blackcurrent souffle with oat crumble and perfectly matched yoghurt ice cream, alongside the most amazing chocolate (Amadei) mousse with cocoa nub and ice cream.

    Best Dessert 2016 The Ritz Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Not to forget:

    Best Roast Dinner (and most secret) – Royal Oak, Borough
    Best ridiculously opulent lunch – The Savoy Grill
    Best not blogged yet – Dinner by Heston Blumenthal & the #KiwiSpoon birthday shenanigans at the Berkeley Hotel Restaurant by Marcus Wareing

    Looking back over the year we additionally tried a few more wild and wonderful restaurants, but the ones we both still enthuse over seem to have upheld quality over novelty. Maybe this is adulting.

    Have you any recommendations – brunch, dinner or anything else – for my 2017 list?

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    10 of the best luxury London brunches (I’ve tried so far…)

    Balance. Ying & Yang, fruit and vegetables, salt and pepper, knife and fork. Having recently scribed a list of my favourite 15 of the best London Brunches for under £15 it felt only right to redress the other side of the table, and relive a few of my favourite luxury brunches.

    luxury

    ˈlʌkʃ(ə)ri/

    noun



    1. a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.

    Darwin Brasserie 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London KiwDarwin Brasserie 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    It seems to be a term bandied around with abandon these days, but luxury really is a personal thing. For some it’s half an hour without a baby crying, for others it is a state of being that very
    much involves gorgeous handbags and opulent surroundings. One of my favourite luxuries is a good coffee first thing in the morning. I’m on my own, might have a book in my hand and when really lucky there is sun peeping through the clouds.

    For me a luxury brunch is something special, a little out of the ordinary. Peaceful aside from me and good friends giggling, excellent coffee (not negotiable), an excellent menu, beautiful surroundings, a glass of something cheeky and that little something to make the meal feel special.

    Duck and Waffle Darwin Brasserie 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    The Ivy
    Served in carefully beautiful spaces, the Ivy (whether Kensington, Marylebone, Chelsea or Covent Garden) does beautiful, un-messed with British classics. My salmon and
    smoked haddock fish cake, served with creamed spinach, soft poached
    hen’s egg and hollandaise sauce fulfilled a deep brunch need, whilst
    around the table we tested the a la carte menu including the succulent
    slow roasted Lamb shoulder, the Ivy’s famous Shepherds pie, and
    elevating grilled chicken salad with quinoa, avocado, kohlrabi,
    pomegranate, toasted seeds, coriander, yoghurt, ginger and lime
    dressing.

    Hungry yet?
     

    The Ivy Kensington 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    The Delaunay, Covent Garden
    Opulent furnishings, delicious modern European dishes, perfectly sized tables for bloggers to pass dishes around, sumptuous cake, excellent coffee, lack of judgement when you have 3 cups – what more could you need? Perfect for celebrating a special occasion or two, The Delaunay is one of my favorite haunts recently with that extra little sparkle of magic. (For proper reviews see Aftab and Angie‘s posts of our group brunch earlier in the year.)


    Sky Garden

    We’ve managed to climb a fair few of the best viewpoints of London – we’ve nipped up the Shard a couple of times, we’ve feasted (and Skyped family in New Zealand) at the Gherkin which is still my favourite view by a whisker, spent a good couple of hours on the London Eye, conquered Big Ben on foot and discovered a free London vista or two. But the Sky Garden has to be the tastiest so far..

    Walkie Talking Sky Garden 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    The German Gymnasium
    Making both of the lists, The German Gymnasium we stumbled on one Sunday afternoon having unsuccessfully tried to break our fast in any of the other Kings Cross brunch bohemoths. I had heard mixed thoughts, but it is a gorgeous space with whip fast service. The central atrium is a thing of beauty, dressed with lovely almost architectural arrangements of floristry and even the bathrooms are a cool feature.

    German Gymnasium 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    The Wolseley
    This was my only hesitation. Whilst the service was lovely, our group was properly squished into/between tables and the hash just wasn’t up to scratch. However the glorious restaurant is stunning and I feel worth a revisit to try their brunch offerings again – especially based on the sister restaurant the Delaunay.

    Dalloway Terrace
    Having visit the pretty terrace for a literary afternoon tea, all bets were off when a group of us were discussing somewhere to partake in a Sunday brunch recently. We founds ourselves, mimosas in hand, pre-coffee and perusing the menu as the sun began to peek through the overcast skies. A bloggers paradise of marble table tops and trellised foliage creeping along the walls, I feel that I’ll be back all too soon… (for proper reviews see Angie, Aftab or Binny‘s lightening fast thoughts.)

    Dalloway Terrace 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    Dalloway Terrace 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    Hamyard Hotel

    Recently visiting with a couple of the usual suspects, we fought dancing hangovers with coffee and delicious meals – is there any better way? After righting the world we also pottered through the beautiful interior, an interior designers arrangement of fascinating curios and beautiful artworks that make you lean in.

    Pachamama

    Crab churros. Crab churros, Crab churros, Crab churros. Sometimes us antipodeans ladies do want to break the brunch mold though, and
    branch out of the egg benedict laden gatherings we delight in. I don’t
    meant by opting for another meal (though we do that too, sometimes) but
    by trying something a little new in the name of brunch. Peruvian. When my lovely brunch date and I were tee-ing up a last-minute brunchy morning a while ago, she
    discovered rave reviews and recommendations of Pachamama and before we
    knew it, it was all systems go.

    Pachamama Marylebone 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    Pachamama Marylebone 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

     

    Duck and Waffle

    Having been AND blogged twice, Duck and waffle has to be the second worst-kept, best secret in London.
    (The first is obviously MI6 – even I knew the game was up as soon as the
    head office of British intelligence was announced over automated bus
    tannoys…). Glorious views, never ending flat whites and oozy brunch
    eggs whilst hanging out in the clouds – and if you manage to arrange brunch at sunrise, it is utterly magical.

    Duck and Waffle 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw  

    Roka

    I think Roka Aldwych more applies to a drunch type label, but put in a quieter corner (a genius move on Roka’s part because
    bloggers giggling can get LOUD), plyed with prosecco (the sheer joy of
    the latest bottomless brunch fashion) and generally left to celebrate
    recent birthdays, engagements, end of study years, recent overseas trips
    and the fact that it was Sunday. The restaurant is a beautiful example of Japanese style. Kitted out in
    leather, polished timber and porphyry stone, the restaurant is
    understated luxury and offering delectable Japanese cuisine.

    Roka Han Setto 10 of the best luxury London brunches Adventures of a London Kiw

    So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself (oh and ALL of these are bookable – none of this queuing malarkey!)


    Have you any recommendations for the next place we try?

     

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