One insignificant day, I got in a bit of a panic about my lack of ‘appropriate’ business attire and non-lack of mammaries, resulting in a stumble upon Great Plains’ beautiful selection of dresses. For a woman who spends as much time on planes as she does caffeinating with company reps, it’s comforting to be able to rely on a few solid dresses that require nothing more than a bag and some heels to be work-ready.
High Timber is flawless.
My first (of many an inevitable) evening at High Timber was spent shoe-horned between two work trips. I hoped for a feed more promising than that of my unappreciated refrigerator and little more. The feed was, indeed, actually better than anything I could produce from a fridge filled with ingredients required to make my favourite foods.
Things High Timber offers that my – albeit somewhat skilled – cooking and dining room cannot:
1. An aged and grass-fed fillet steak so tender and flavourful I didn’t dare taint it with my guilty bearnaise-pleasured inclinations. It was, without question, the best fillet steak I have ever eaten. (Tip: Get the smaller fillet, medium rare, and leave room for the accompanying basket of golden chips before your fellow diners steal them all from you.)
2. A refined selection of South African-influenced treats; biltong croquettes with peppadew ketchup, Rooibos tea-smoked salmon with rye bread & horseradish, flavourfil slices of seared Foie Gras & beef carpaccio (with truffle & parmesan, et al. This is the kind of restaurant you want to visit in a group so you’re able to taste a little bit of everything. Head chef Mircel McSween is knowingly experimental.
3. A romantic and tourist-free view of The Shard and Millennium Bridge.
4. A wine cellar so impossibly well-curated you could get drunk on the selection alone.
5. A glass-panelled cheese room stocked with the best of the best. Try as I might, my painstakingly OCD-riddled homemade cheese boards are a far cry from the unique selection High Timber can throw together in seconds.
6. A bottle of Cape Winemakers Guild winemaker Gary Jordan’s 2007 smoky Bordeaux-style ‘Jordan Sophia‘ blend.
7. A sommelier/host/affineur/helpful companion to meet your every smile-serviced need without missing a beat. (Thank you, Ryan.)
…and that’s just the starter list.
It is – at most – once a year that I find a restaurant I truly fall for, but High Timber is the easiest proverbial right-swipe I’ve called in a long time. My new favourite restaurant in London.
Edinburgh Fringe . The world’s biggest festival. And we’re talking big. This year alone there were 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues.
I went in with next to no preparation. Dummie style, if you will.
Over four days, I laughed ’til I cried, ate ’til I hurt, and walked ’til I genuinely broke my shoes.
All of that and more in my latest labour of love: Edinburgh Fringe For Dummies, below…
I have reached the half way mark of a six week personal training and general fitness programme at The Club at County Hall (the luxurious and expansive gym of London Marriott Hotel County Hall) and could not possibly feel more “fitspo” about it.
At the start, I told Coach (my genuinely lovely trainer) that I was training for my next Color Run and wanted to push myself to get as strong as physically possible over the succeeding six weeks as – with legs of steel – my arm strength has always been my physical downfall.
With a mix of cardio, free weights, cross fit, HIIT, and everything in between, I am seeing progress faster than ever before so decided to rope Coach in to join me for a Facebook Live! Hooray!
This coming Friday (September 2nd) at 1pm GMT, Coach and I will host a live and unedited workout for you on my Facebook page (no equipment needed!) and give you the opportunity to ask the pro to answer any fitness/gym questions you may have. Completely free!
We can’t wait to see you there.
(Sundried – a brand founded by a personal trainer, triathlete and father – is my current fitness obsession. Fashion obsession, even! As well as having beautiful pieces of activewear, they are all ethically produced with a distinctively low carbon footprint. Everything is made in Portugal and comes with a unique code; entering the code into their site will show the journey of the garment and make a donation to volunteer-run charity Water for Kids. Way to feel even better when you work out, eh?!)
It wouldn’t seem fair to mooch into Notting Hill Carnival weekend without paying due respect to my new foodie favourite in the area, Cottons.
Not too long ago, my brother (South Londoner) and I (North Londoner) headed to the restaurant for a “meet in the middle” catch up with no idea what to expect beyond the digital menu’s suggestion of intriguing flavour pairing.
Within minutes, we found the restaurant could not be judged on appearances; Cotton’s isn’t all that visually refined (almost coming across as a local Chinese restaurant with Caribbean knick-knacks) but the staff and food are equally incredible.
While my brother explored their Jamaican and Trinidadian beer selection, I accepted our host’s surprise cocktail suggestion – a flavourful mix of rum, bourbon, flambeed orange, and a few more difficult to place ingredients – with pure delight.
There was not a single dish on the menu we didn’t want to try, but we retrained our budgets and waistlines to the seared scallops (with passionfruit & lime infusion and pineapple & chilli salsa), salt & pimiento squid (with coriander, lemongrass, lime and green chilli dressing), the Trinidadian grilled Red Mullet (in Chadon beni garlic butter and best eaten by hand!), and curried crab and cornmeal dumplings – a dish so flavourful and unique I feel it could convert anyone to Creole cooking.
(Though its addition would have made me immobile, I have bookmarked Cotton’s crayfish mac and cheese for a swift return visit.)
I ordered a My Fair Lady (fruit infused Wray & Nephew, sparkling wine, and crushed guava with summer fruit) before the arrival of our iced peanut butter parfait with coconut marshmallow and baked mango cheesecake (with cream, guava sorbet, and passionfruit honey spiced granola) and savoured each taste as long as possible.
It is frill-free but fantastic. A perfect addition to your Carnival adventures.