tom aikens wild at heart
Before last week, if anyone had suggested that I would ever find myself taking a floral masterclass I would have painted them crazy.

I didn’t ‘get’ flowers before taking a ‘Lunch in Bloom‘ at Tom Aikens. (Trust Tom Aikens to change my mind about anything…)

Having teemed up with London florist Nikki Tibbles (of the incredibly successful Wild at Heart – you’ll know ’em from their Liberty concession), Tom Aikens Restaurant have introduced a RHS Chelsea Flower Show-themed masterclass and lunch menu that could/did titillate the most florally unappreciative around London.

Though the RHS Chelsea Flower Show doesn’t take place until the 21st-25th May, Tom Aikens will dedicate the entire month of May to expert-led bouquet building classes and a mind-blowing Michelin starred floral menu which incorporates edible seasonal flowers.

After fuelling up on Tom’s moreish pastries, the two hour masterclass of tips and tricks flew by in a haze of colour, smell, and a big realisation that my talents do not lie in bouquet building. Nonetheless, I was enamoured by Miss Tibbles and her floral expertise; thanks to her tips, I even ended up with a bouquet I was proud enough to give to a friend later in the day.

That was, of course, after inhaling a sensational three course menu. To start; confit of Loch Duart salmon with viola, violet flowers and pickled endive. To continue your high; poached chicken with marigolds, lemon puree and vanilla oil. To tease you into thinking it might be worth quitting your job and finding a way to get a Tom Aikens staff discount; a dessert of rose poached strawberries, aerated sorbet and mint syrup.

The ‘Lunch in Bloom’ package cost £120 per person and includes:
• The two-hour masterclass with Wild at Heart
• A bouquet to take home
• Morning coffee and pastries
• Welcome cocktail or a glass of champagne
• 3 course set lunch menu (matching wines are available on request)
• Mineral water and a choice of coffee or tea as a digestif

To book a place at one of scheduled masterclasses or to make a reservation at the restaurant, please contact the reservations department at Tom Aikens Restaurant on 020-7584 2003. You won’t be sorry.

tom aikens wild at heart
tom aikens wild at heart
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Instagram Movie Premiere
Instagram (@lelalondon) – left to right, top to bottom:
1. BOOM! Gonna getcha, Iron Man.
2. Two of my favourite people are getting legally bound. I lust their invite.
3. It’s okay…I judge me, too.
4. Uh oh. Birchbox have stolen my ❤.
5. Just upped my iced latte with chocolate-flavoured vegan protein and vitamins. Bliss.
6. One of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken… MOROCCO POST IS NOW LIVE! ✌
7. One more sunny meeting then it’s time to unpack (finally!)
8. I just made this at Tom Aikens with Wild At Heart. Still not as beautiful as the food.
9. Mr Charnley knows how to treat a lady.
10. #Latergram: red carpet, red dress.
11. Hammam and lunch. In the words of Rosie Londoner, “fresh like a baby”. (Blog coming soon!)
12. I need to go to handbag/luggage therapy.

My Week on Instagram
Instagram (@lelalondon) – left to right, top to bottom:
1. Having a sparkly breakfast, coffee, and cocktails at Balans.
2. Early morning call times underground.
3. All I need are these Miu Miu heels.
4. A moment.
5. Insta-homage to Tom Aikens.
6. The House of Rush is such a beautiful space.
7. This is The Guard Puppy. It’s high security around here.
8. Rihanna’s 777 Tour: a lot of crotch grabbing.
9. Glitter rules the world.

tom aikens
Tom Aikens makes me hate being a writer. For all of the typical womanhours I put into writing food reviews, last week’s visit to his eponymous restaurant in Chelsea has increased said womanhours…tenfold. Homeboy may have had his fair share of trials and triumphs for such a young chef, but his food speaks volumes over the media hoopla. While I try to hold back my use of the word ‘amazing’, I will put it simply: Tom Aikens is the best restaurant in London.

Sat in a richly textured but modern dining room of oak and navy, my business partner and I were offered a pheasant and prune terrine with madeira and black truffle jelly to start. While the flavours complemented each other, I was surprised to have the no-complaints introduction to Aikens trumped by his bread basket. Alongside perfect cep buns, a crisp semolina, and a few other rustic and warm treats? A bacon and onion brioche that – in all of its spongey glory – made me believe I could be happy eating bread and butter (mousse-like mushroom butter, in particular) all day.

Dutifully, I managed to put down the carbohydrates and share our starters. Meticulously decorated plates arrived holding a Venison Tartar of remarkable quality with grated walnuts, wild sorrel, and hazelnut puree as well as Braised Pig’s Trotter with lettuce emulsion, baked onion, and pork crackling. If there was ever a reason to start a food blog, the latter is it.

By the time our mains arrived, I was not sure I was still eating food. My John Dory with black olive oil, artichoke, prawns, and basil was an elegant blend of pescetarian memories while my partner’s Partridge with roast pear, chocolate, and foie gras mousse…well…it blew our minds. With a smoked air that tied chocolate-packed pear parcels to the tender excellence of the Partridge, this standout dish was comparable to tasting your way through a catalogue of memories.

Combining the charm, knowledge and effect of the expert sommelier’s pairings with my gluttonous nature, dessert was most definitely on the cards. In the ultimate “Death by Chocolate” moment, I opted for a symphony of dark chocolate foams with a frozen chocolate ‘Aero’ alongside smoked & bitter chocolate that took the form of dusts, powders and crisps. Indulgent in the truest sense of the word, my taste buds got their final exquisite blow from a plate swap of caramelised Delice D’or Apple with elderflower and pain perdu. On Cloud Twelve, I could barely take in the effect of his painstakingly elaborate petit fours (but – ahem – they seemed to disappear quickly).

Faultess service. Faultless food. Marry me, Tom?

tom aikens
tom aikens
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