For a brief and lovely evening, I recently indulged in a last-minute staycation at London’s Millenium Bailey’s Hotel. Located opposite Gloucester Road Underground station, the Millenium Bailey is situated in one of the most accessible areas to the things I love about London; Hyde Park, the museums, and gorgeous historial streets that wind in and out of foodie hotspots like Tom’s Kitchen.
As a renovated Victorian townhouse, it is fortunate enough to maintain many of its original features (including a sweeping and photo shoot-worthy staircase) while offering every modern amenity you could possibly need. For staycation purposes, even the ‘Standard’ Rooms (ascending in price to Club Rooms and Luxury Suites) are large enough to invite a friend or two over to join in on the fun and build forts (not saying that’s what I did…ahem).
Having been built with the intention to be “not inferior to Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Gate” in a time when there were few hotels in London, Millenium Bailey’s has everything a tourist – or Londoner – could need (enormous room service breakfasts and more).
It is pretty tough to live in London without becoming a bit of a foodie. With pop-ups so good they turn into restaurants and a Michelined maestro on every corner, London’s passion for food is ridiculously contagious. Contagious enough to warrant a social network of its own.
Enter Nibblr (hold the e).
The new social venture (and soon to be app) invited me to dinner at Le Chinois in the Millenium Hotel to get the low-down on the Nibblr ethos, and I could not be more impressed. It goes a little something like this; connect with fellow food lovers, join or plan meals (sometimes at huge discounts) at a variety of delicious venues, then have nights of social and edible delights. Profiles are simple, the site is easy to use, and the network of nibblrs is growing exponentially.
Myself and Nibblr’s fellow guests were effectively sold on the concept in under five minutes, yet managed to get lost in foodie conversation for another two hours while enjoying Le Chinois’ modern Chinese cuisine. Led by Master Chef Chan Kwok, we knew we were in for a treat. Taking advantage of their 7-dish Chinese New Year menu (running until the 28th of February for £35 plus a complimentary glass of Prosecco), we enjoyed a rather perfect selection of dishes including Peking duck, a thick lobster and spinach broth, a pan-fried rack of lamb with honey and black pepper sauce, a steamed fillet of sea bass with ginger and spring onions, and a vanilla crème brûlée that could not be ignored.
If you are interested, I suggest making a booking for February 15th as Le Chinois will be celebrating with a traditional Lion Dance at 7.00pm. One of those rare and wonderful food experiences that Nibblr is sure to shine a light on.
Because Monday seems like an incredibly strange day for a ‘date‘, The Manfriend and I thought we would test it out. By working all of Sunday, we sedated our workaholic guilt and booked yesterday out for each other.
Living on the edge of London, it is pretty hard to find local date spots that offer more than a greasy spoon. Deciding we would work our way into Central London throughout the day, however, we created a mini adventure. Gluttons for afternoon tea, we originally planned to head towards Eaton for Doll’s House on The Hill (a hidden gem) only to discover they are closed on Mondays. In a Metropolitan Line state of mind (and hunger), we made the quick choice to head towards Uxbridge for a little pop-up shop called “The Forties Tea Room” (no website). Located in a shopping centre and boasting a strong over-50s clientele, expectations were ravenous but low.
We were pleasantly surprised. With mismatched cutlery and delicious home-made treats, the Forties Tea Room was charming as could be. Because the cafe was set up to raise money for the RAF Bomber Command Memorial and Maintenance Appeal, you have an excuse to break the diet, to boot.
After filling ourselves to the brim, The Manfriend and I headed up to Oxford Street for a spot of shopping (Jigsaw purchases revealed soon!), traipsing, and drinks.
Drinks of epic proportions. Blog readers and loved ones…let me introduce you to Adventure Bar. We escaped from the perpetual drizzle in the Covent Garden branch, but I am positive that they are all as fabulous. Happy hour is 5-7 (two for one), music is on point, staff are high on life, and drunkenness doubles as dessert. You simply must go.