gaucho film club
By their very nature, Londoners rarely finds themselves with ‘nothing to do’. In fact, we’re spoilt for choice. So spoilt we sometimes find ourselves happier to do nothing than make a choice.

I’m here to make that choic for you: go to the Gaucho Film Club.

My first visit was for last Saturday’s screening of The Great Gatsby. The Film Club, you see, is designed to completely immerse you in your cinematic experience by bringing everything that is happening on screen to your glass or plate.

Nestled in the appropriate glamour of Gaucho Charlotte Street’s underground chambers, guests joined Nick, Daisy, and Gatsby for a whirlwind 1920s adventure: mint juleps, a rib-eye with mash potatoes & French beans for their Long Island dinner party, martinis, tea & cupcakes for the infamous afternoon tea arrangement, Chandon & party canapes (salmon mousse, deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms) as party poppers burst over our heads, and whisky to send us to the credits.

It is a perfect marriage of film and food. One I will be happy to return to for Chef on the 7th of May (think of the cuban sandwich potential!) and Reservoir Dogs on the 18th of June (after all, there is no better diner scene in cinematic history).

No more Netflix and Chill, my lovely Londoner. No more.

gaucho film club
gaucho film club
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chandon party
For over twenty years, I have been incredibly disheartened by the lack of Halloween spirit in London. Having spent my happiest childhood memories dressed up as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas for Orlando’s Horror Nights, the candy corn and trick or treat-less streets of the capital were a noticeable change during Halloweens spent in London.

As they say, life is what you make it.

This year, I celebrated my favourite holiday with two gargantuan parties, a plethora of candy corn, and an incredible pre-party party with an even greater amount of Chandon (Moet’s heritage sparkling wine).

The celebrations kicked off on Friday with Beauty, Bubbles, and Beats at Benefit‘s flagship Carnaby Street store. On the last Friday of every month, the brand get DJ Sophie Bond on deck, Chandon in hand, and brows on point for an evening of delightful girly fun. As it coincided so perfectly with Halloween, I brought my girl gang along to get dolled up before taking our sparkling Argentinian wine addiction to dinner.

One or two Dolly Parton dance-offs later, we walked down Regent Street and settled in to my appropriately-Argentinian favourite, Gaucho, for a feast.

Thankful to be in a group of fellow plate-sharers, we worked our collective way through spinach & stilton empanadas, seabream tiraditos and chorizo – my confit-topped kryptonite – before moving on to a medium-rare carousel of mains; the Lomo fillet (tender and delicate), Ancho rib-eye (marbled and flavourful), and seared seabass (for good measure).

With a table peppered in sides and Chandon, the evening also marked everyone’s first time trying humita salteña (a traditional dish of roasted pumpkin and sweetcorn served in a corn husk and a dish we haven’t stopped raving about for days).

Knowing we could squeeze in a few desserts over the final half-bottle, we then chose to nibble through Gaucho’s decadent chocolate tart (with kumquats and honeycomb), pan tres leches (a light sponge soaked in three milks), and a selection of Cryer & Stott cheeses before heading off into the Hallo’ed eve.

chandon party benefit
chandon party gaucho

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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review gaucho london
It’s New Years Eve. You’re at home reading my blog. As a public service, I must demand you head to
Gaucho Piccadilly.

Recently, and with absolutely no intention, I had the most amazing and gluttonous evening at this rather luxurious steak shack. Having dragged my carnivorous partner through painfully brisk London air to sample their new ‘Beef in the Bar’ charcuterie menu, a few cocktails turned – rather rapidly – into a feast.

Having nibbled our way through a delectable platter of Aberdeen Angus air-cured bresaola, beef & chilli salami, and chimmichurri cured salt beef, we climbed a staircase or five and nestled into the main dining room for the long night ahead.

Between seductive sips of Malbec, we kicked things off by splitting two beef empanadas (hand-diced beef, red peppers, Spanish onion and ají molido) and Gaucho’s faultless fillet steak tartare (served with toasted sourdough and rocket). Having not dared to touch an empanada since my very inept but wonderful friend ruined a batch in high school, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really enjoying Gaucho’s interpretation. It may not be fillet steak tartare, but the pairing of the two served as glorious pre-steak nibbles.

From my previous experience of rib-eyes at Gaucho, I was more than happy to split a medium-rare rib-eye and fillet steak between us. Heaven comes in many packages, as far as I’m concerned (Gaucho’s butter-brushed baked and grilled sweet potato, beef dripping-cooked chips, and roasted field mushrooms in white wine, garlic and thyme only further prove my point).

Before letting food fatigue sink all the way in, we managed to order the dessert sampler and sneak a bite of the hazelnut and rosemary tart, dulce de leche cheesecake, and orange and apple crumble to pre-empt a very necessary towel throw-in.

On our way to the coat check, I overheard two individuals on two different floors saying ‘this is my favourite restaurant’. That about sums it up.

review gaucho london
review gaucho london
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gaucho leeds
As The Manfriend wasn’t much of a foodie before dating me (I think we could safely categorise him as a Food Is Fuel connoisseur), it has always surprised me how much he has raved about Gaucho Leeds.

Though he last ate there for his twenty-first birthday (more than a few moons ago), the restaurant had made a lasting impression on him. Frankly, our trip for Sunday lunch was long overdue.

Lured in by their Late Spring Lunch Menu (two courses for £23 or three courses for £26), we descended their secret staircase into a dark and open miscellany of well-furnished rooms to take our seats.

We were presented with two wine lists; one Argentinian-packed plethora of wines (sparkling and still) as well as a charmingly handwritten selection of rare bottles. Knowing we weren’t going to leave without a steak in our systems, I elected a Malbec – a bottle of Domingo Molina Mortero 2010 – to share. This particular Malbec is clean and sharp (the way I prefer my reds) with very pure notes of dark cherry and blackberry, leading into a savoury finish.

It’s a freshly baked bread wine. A pea and mint soup wine. A bruschetta of tomato, basil, and goat’s cheese wine. (Thankfully, those were our starters.) The bruschetta was presented beautifully and was near perfect, barring a slightly overgrilled base. The pea and mint soup, however, was balanced tastefully and was as moreish as soup can get.

In hot anticipation of our mains (the Spring Menu selections of Spaghetti Provencale and Chicken Milanese had to chance of winning out over steak), our 180g medium-rare rib eyes arrived shortly thereafter. Though each was plated with chips and Béarnaise sauce, the ‘sides’ almost disappeared when I bit into the steak. I don’t often choose rib eye when cooking or ordering steak (it might be its American omnipresence in my childhood), but I would happily pay Gaucho the £26 for this course alone.

We slowly drained the Mortero between business talk, planning of our next (BIG!) visit to Gaucho for celebrations later in the month, and indulgent bites of dessert. The millefeuille with fresh strawberries and shortbread didn’t quite live up to the puff pastry versions I have tried in France, but the Manfriend’s ‘Gaucho Eton Mess‘ whipped up a smile so big it didn’t matter.

From maître d’ to our final farewells, service was impeccable and the food – despite a few niggles – was well worth its price. Go, Gaucho.

gaucho leeds
gaucho leeds
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