Meatless Monday @ Muriel’s Kitchen

My Meatless Monday’s usually involve an attempt at some healthy home-cooking but when in London I use Monday’s to eat my vegetables in the form of sticky desserts! One dessert in particular –  Muriel’s Kitchen’s Famous Carrot & Walnut Cake. Muriel’s Kitchen is an English “no-nonsense” inspired cafe meets restaurant serving healthy plates with locally sourced British ingredients at a reasonable price. The Chef’s change up the menus monthly at their 3 Kitchens (South Kensington, Soho & Leicester Square).  As you walk by their pretty window displays lined up with delectable cakes, salads and savouries you know you have to stop and enter to try some of their mouth-watering “healthy” treats.

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Having dropped into the South Kensington Kitchen several times in the past I took an opportunity when in Soho to give Muriel a visit. The Soho Kitchen is a wonderful large space with a gorgeous shabby chic interior; mosaic tiles, old leather sofas, velvet stools, bird-cage lamps and fun swinging garden chairs.

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We took a cosy seat at the back of the restaurant against the bric-a-brac adorned shed area – see if you can spot me!

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Now for the menu, breakfast is popular as is the all day dining menu which enables you to graze on some sharing plates and those yummy house bakes! We kicked off with an aperitif of British Bubbles and Rose Lemonade….they went down a treat!

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After deciding on our dessert choice we adjourned back to our selection of savoury plates, Gooey Baked Camembert served with Dipping Crostini’s & Cranberry & Cashew Crunch, Butternut Squash, Feta & Spinach Quiche and Super Greens Salad. When I next pop in I will definitely indulge in the Baked Camembert again!

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Now for the Piece de Resistance – The Famous Carrot and Walnut cake! If you are a Carrot Cake Fan then you should try this and stack it up against your favourites. I found it to be light and fluffy as well indulgent and nutty –  I would eat it on most Meatless Mondays should my waistline prohibit! As this was a special Monday I also indulged in their very generously sized Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding with Custard.

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If I was poping into Muriel’s Kitchen tomorrow I would want to try their Chocolate & Guiness Mini Pint Cake and their Passion Fruit Cake Stack. The Dulche de Leche Brownie and Red Velvet Cupcake sound like the perfect Take-Away too! My advice – go with a large group and  try as much as you can from their dessert menu, its large and catered for all sweet tooth palates!

When in Doubt Eat Cake!

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Ham Yard Hotel – To Tea or Not to Tea?

My London Afternoon Tea Safari broke a new record,  4 afternoon teas in 6 days. The last Tea Date took me to the newest Firmdale group opening – The Ham Yard Hotel in Soho.  The Ham Yard is defiantly one of their most flamboyant, owned by Tim and Kit Kemp with their beautiful british interiors designed by Kit. The Ham Yard describes itself as a boutique village with the hotel revolving around a tree-filled garden square. Guests are are not only spoilt in their beautifully designed bedrooms (91 rooms) but also by the array of communal areas, shops and skyline views of London from their unique rooftop bar.

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Floors of colourful glittery art and luxe aesthetics make you want to explore every room, and rooms of interest are a plenty. A quick whizz around the hotel is definitely worth it before you cosy up to your scones. The Library is a particular British beauty as was the quirky basement private bar and dining rooms. I couldn’t help myself from continually taking snaps of trinkets of art dispersed all over the hotel. Her Majesty also had her special place!

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The route to the gorgeous basement bar was guided by walls of vibrant colour, eclectic fabrics and strokes of fun pop art. It was an enjoyable four floor walk.

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Now for the private bar and dining rooms, what gorgeousness for an exclusive party. Situated next to a “wedding chapel”, “The Croc” 1950’s bowling alley and private theatre, I would assume many great PR parties are to be hosted at the Ham Yard.

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Though my party was a tea party I was neither disappointed with the beauty of the adjourning main floor bar and restaurant. Before my tea was served I took a moment to have a tipple and meet the friendly cocktail makers for a glass of Cherry Pie! I would recommend their freshly made aperitifs but get there before the Soho herds come in at 7pm, or on a warm day get a seat in the outdoor courtyard.

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Afternoon Tea was hosted by an adorable waiter who showed me the way to the pretty conservatory lounge. Modern taupe and grey macerated the walls and wooden ornaments filled the gaps.

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The menu for the Afternoon tea was flexible in that you could choose whether you desire to have the set tea menu or opt and pay for only tea addition items.  So great if you are not a sweet tooth as you can stock up on all savoury or great if you only want scones!

I opted for the set Afternoon Tea (that changes weekly) for a very reasonable 18pp. The Peppermint Tea came highly recommended so I took it and agree it was one of the better ones I have had. My tricky choice came with the bubbles –  the selection is divine and I upgraded with a smooth pink glass of Roger Pouillion Rose de Maceration Brut 1er Cru. I would again, and again!

The smiles were all out when the purple multilayered plates of savoury rolls and sweet cream morsels arrived. Particular favourites were the Chorizo Sausage Rolls and Pulled Duck Sliders. The scones were good and better then many others I have tried at other London Hotel establishments,  but their sweet green pistachio and blueberry profiterole was a master gem of the sweet items for me.

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Considering the beautiful setting, great service and tasty tea treats I would highly recommend the Ham Yard’s extremely well priced tea service. The hotel’s decor is worth the visit in itself and I would definitely drop in again for an aperitif, scone or nightcap! A gem in Soho.

Check out the Ham Yard Village……@ https://www.firmdalehotels.com/hotels/london/ham-yard-hotel/