galvin anthenaeum food blog
Let’s cut to the chase here; the under-appreciated Galvin at the Athenaeum may not have Michelin stars of its own, but it has knocked some of my more recent Michelin-starred meals out of the park.

The sophisticated hotel’s ground-floor Galvin is the brain child of chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin (who you may recognise for their own trademark French-inspired Michelin menus). At the Anthenaeum, however, the double act have dedicated their seasonal dishes to all things British.

We’re talking local produce and independent farm faire with a haute cuisine métier.

The doorman greeted my dinner date and I warmly on arrival, walking us over to a tragically deserted restaurant. I was intrigued but dubious. With such inherently hospitable service and the Galvin name behind it, why was no-one having dinner at their more affordable outpost?

Unless their bottomless brunch is keeping them afloat, I still can’t be sure.

Absolutely everything was perfect. The fresh Glastonbury farmhouse-buttered wheat bread and champagne (menu-perusing mates at their best). The lasagne of Dorset crab with Nantais butter sauce (an intoxicating cloud of seafood). The Galvin cured smoked salmon, Burford brown egg ‘dust’, sour cream , and caviar (the pinnacle of quality DIY starters). The Iron Bark pumpkin risotto with seared Orkney scallops (the most flavourful and balanced risotto I have enjoyed in any restaurant). The Rose county beef rib eye with green peppercorn butter and chunky chips (because what is a British menu without one?).

By the time we were half-way through our mains, we were in a cacophony of culinary coo-fare with our table neighbours. So much so I considered offering up a spoonful or two in exchange for theirs.

Nonetheless, I licked my own plate clean and geared up for a expertly-curated selection of English cheeses (served with grapes and celery) while my date cast an inquisitive line into the depths of a warm rice pudding (with macerated prunes and praline, respectively) like no other.

Galvin have done the Great British Menu and then some.



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I live to share the places I love with anyone who may feel the same.

But I suppose that’s pretty obvious from these travel blogs, eh?

Nonetheless, I have so many destinations on my hit list I very rarely allow myself to visit the same place twice. Weekends away are the one opportunity I am able to turn a manic work schedule in my favour.

With just a weekend to spare and my passport burning a hole in the pocket of my Winter coat, a trip to Jersey promised to be the perfect escape.

Short flights practically ascend to descend from London and – after falling in love with the Channel island during a Christmas getaway – I knew Jersey had an intimate, foodie-friendly offering that felt just right for my loved one’s introduction to Saint Helier and beyond.

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California has, without a doubt, been one of the most consistent food destinations I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. My last trip to LA alone felt like a constant stream of fresh, innovative and health-conscious delights. When ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant Pomonas suggested their new menu could offer the same in its impossibility rich London postcode, I was dubious.

Nonetheless, executive chef Wolfe Conyngham‘s eclectic menu hinted at well-considered food play and I am not one to ignore the latency of culinary surprise.

My date and I settled into the restaurant’s uber West Coast (yet unfortunately empty) belly with open minds and a dish of smoky Salamanca olives.

Tf ‘Californian food’ doesn’t get you from the outset, Pomonas’ dedication to sustainable, nutritional and seasonal produce surely will. At the end of the day, Pomonas serves food that is as good for you as it is for the planet. With zero forfeit on flavour.

I perused the menu over a lovely little Ford Martini (gin, lillet blanc, benedictine) but felt so spoilt for choice I left the decisions up to Conyngham and co in their open kitchen.

Grilled halloumi with burnt salsa, goats cheese croquettes, and soft shell crab with guac arrived alongside a slim plate of cucumber bed crispy duck ‘rolls’ with plum sauce, spring onion, and sesame seeds that I haven’t stopped craving since.

We then split a perfectly-cooked welsh lamb rump, quinoa/avo/broccoli/pea/cucumber/mint/parsley salad, street-style South American pork, and Indonesian chicken curry which challenged every misconception I had about curries having to be sweat-spurring spicy to be worthwhile.

With a bottle of 2017 Schroeder Malbec ‘Alpataco’ for a healthy balance, natch.

By the time we broke the sponge of the chocolate fondant, my date and I were pawing through our calendars to find dates we could return for our second meal.

Pomonas is truly as California as London gets.


pomonas london
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It’s time I talked about my stint in the clink.

The CliffsNotes version of the story? I’ve considered leading a life of cocktail-intended crime ever since I escaped the joint. For my two-hour sentence, Alcotraz Penitentiary huddled a room of booze-smuggling strangers together to bring our respective Orange Is The New Black/Shawshank/Bad Girls dreams to life.

Alcotraz is the world’s first immersive prison cocktail bar; starchy orange jumpsuits, jaw-dropping convictions, unstable wardens, cell shakedowns and all. With carefully-hollowed bibles and 70cl-friendly pillowcases to support the inebriation of its inmates, Alcotraz is as good as immersive theatre gets.

Though they’re putting an applaudable spin on your everyday tequila slammer, the experience won me over with a dedication to absolute madness. This crowbar hotel would be the perfect precursor to any East London night-out.

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lami malo london

As a food writer I am quick to respond to restaurant suggestion demands across every corner of London, but Liverpool Street has always stumped me. While there are the obvious choices, great independents are swamped by chains and nondescript watering holes until you get closer to Shoreditch.

New restaurant L’ami Malo is an exception to the rule.

Nestled past the boozing bankers of Artillery Passage, this contemporary French crêperie has taken inspiration from the traditional French town of St Malo (famous for its high quality galettes) and executed the cosiest of culinary concepts.

We’re talking crepes and galettes pushed to their limits.

To start, my date and I split buckwheat goat’s cheese croquettes (atop roasted heritage
beetroot, and kasha seeds with a honey & thyme dressing) before delving into their similarly galette-inspired ‘maki rolls’; ham hock (his favourite – with gherkin, watercress, and piccalilli) and smoked salmon with capers, shallot, dill, keta caviar, and crème fraîche (obviously my favourite, but rich enough to warrant sharing).

Though the menu ran the risk of galette overkill, their star interpretations were so incredibly well-cooked I almost forgot buckwheat had anything to do with them. My own main, confit duck leg, included braised red cabbage, a caramelised pear, tenderstem broccoli, and a red wine jus in a way that could truly only have been heightened by a bottle of 2015 Château Coudray-Montpensier Chinon.

(A herbaceous and heavily-berried choice which, of course, they had.)

I would order the confit leg or slow-cooked red wine ox cheek (with confit baby onion, heritage carrot, buckwheat polenta, and crispy kale) again in a heartbeat.

With the recommendation of our l’ami-personifying waitress, we ordered their take on a vanilla cheesecake (a delectable arrangement of cakeless ‘cheese’ with baked dutch rhubarb and crispy crepe swirls) to end.

L’ami Malo is a restaurant I would recommend to anyone. Without hesitation. And I never do so lightly.

lami malo london

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