Lickfold Inn, West Sussex

West Sussex is the perfect destination for a day trip out of London. And Lickfold Inn is the best place to settle for an upmarket countryside lunch.

Lickfold Inn

Tucked away amongst the verdant green fields of West Sussex is the refined and intimate Lickfold pub. Downstairs, the cosy bar area is ideal for drinks and bar snacks, in winter a roaring fire provides warmth. Upstairs the dining room is a lovely setting for a long lunch with friends or a special romantic dinner.

Lickfold Inn

The kitchen focusses on showcasing seasonal produce from the area. Tom Sellers heads up the team as Executive Chef giving direction and guidance with the menu, and Head Chef Graham Squire is at the stove cooking up beautiful plates of food each day. Though the food is quintessentially British, Graham adds twists of creativity and flair wherever possible, which makes the whole dining experience exciting and appetising for the guests.

Lickfold InnLickfold

At lunchtime there is a set menu – £24 for two courses or £30 for three. We opted for the a la carte, eager to try some of the Lickfold favourites from the main list.

To start, Aged beef tartare with Lickfold garnishes was a stand-out dish, immaculately presented with a ‘do it yourself’ garnish plate. I also loved the Green strawberry and beetroot salad, a light dish with contrasting sweet and earthy flavours.

Lickfold Inn

I was very tempted by the Côte de Boeuf for two with seasonal vegetables for main course… but decided on the Lamb Rump with Broad beans and braise. The lamb was exemplary, a perfectly cooked and seasoned piece of meat with plump beans and a rich and velvety jus. The fish dishes on the other side of the table also looked good, wholesome plates of food showing off the last of the summery ingredients.

Lickfold Inn

The desserts were almost too pretty to eat… I adored the bramble souffle, the perfect fluffy sweet finish to the meal, served with almost savoury tasting brown bread ice-cream. The gooseberry, white chocolate and elderflower was also a success with our table, a pleasant combination of different textures and tastes, the sweetness of the white chocolate balanced by the floral elderflower.

I can’t imagine a nicer way to spend a weekend than a long walk in the Sussex countryside and a restorative feast afterwards at the Lickfold Inn.

More information and book a table at Lickfold Inn here.

The Westin Hotel, Hamburg

The Westin Hotel in Hamburg is housed in perhaps the most impressive modern building in the city. Located on the edge of the historic industrial quarter, the epic Elbphilharmonie concert hall is a visionary glass construction resembling a hoisted sail or rising wave. It was designed by renowned architecture firm Herzog & Meuron and at 108 metres high, is the tallest building in Hamburg.

Westin Hamburg

The Westin Hamburg has become a destination for music lovers, spa fans and those in search of something a bit special. The hotel is very conveniently located in the heart of the city, and is surrounded by many of the city’s greatest sights including the Miniatur Wunderland and the beautiful Speicherstadt district.

Westin HamburgWestin Hamburg

There are 244 rooms in total at the Westin Hamburg, including 39 spacious suites. We loved our Deluxe City Panorama Room… never have I seen a room so deserving of the description, ‘room with a view’! Though classic and simple in style, the Westin have kitted out each room with indulgent ‘Heavenly’ beds and the bathrooms have lovely powerful showers. So no matter how long your stay here is you will wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised.

If the weather is bad, as it often is in Hamburg, spend the day at the indulgent hotel Elb spa (complete with indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room). There is also a ‘running concierge’ on hand to take you out for a picturesque morning jog round the city.

Westin Hamburg

Guests can enjoy breakfast downstairs in the hotel restaurant or from the comfort or their own room. We opted for room service, and relished the opportunity to feast on fresh fruit salad and pancakes whilst admiring the urban views down below.

For a truly memorable stay in Hamburg I highly recommend booking a room at the magnificent Westin Hamburg… it is an amazing hotel both inside and out.

More information and book a room at the Westin Hamburg here.

108 Garage, Golborne Road

108 Garage has been one of the most talked about restaurants for the last few months. The eatery is found on the outskirts of Portobello on Golborne Road, and is owned by Luca Longobardi and the kitchen is run by chef Chris Denney. The restaurant is housed in a converted garage and the decor is dark, moody and masculine.

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The service is quirky and fun, our waitress seemed genuinely enthused by the food she was serving. Before we got started on the set lunch menu we were treated to strong cocktails, bread (108 Sourdough) & creamy dips (chicken liver parfait, tarama). Next came a dry ice leaf that, although exciting, didn’t have much flavour and burnt my tongue.

108 Garage

The first course was served on a beautiful pale green plate – stracciatella with raw capes, secreto, shallots and beer. It was an unusual combination of flavours which worked miraculously well, the creamy cheese contrasting with the crunch and tanginess from the shallots.

108 Garage108 Garage

The Lamb heart agnolotti, runner bean, mustard dashi was a delicate and delicious dish. Two dainty filled homemade pasta parcels enveloped by a rich and salty broth, which thanks to the dashi reminded me of the magical meals I had in Japan.
For main course we were treated to Roe deer with cured pig cheek, damson, celeriac. It was a striking dish on a black ceramic plate. The deer was cooked to perfection, the velvety meat paired with rich cured pork and sweet damson. It felt like a very special plate of food to be enjoying mid-week at lunchtime!

108 Garage

Chocolate crémeux with artichoke ice cream and wild rice was light and refreshing at the end of our indulgent meal. The chocolate, though rich in flavour, had a airiness about it and matched well with the earthy artichoke ice-cream. Sprinkles of puffed crunchy rice gave a little textural excitement to each mouthful.

108 Garage is easily the most creative restaurant I have tried recently in West London. The dishes are delicious and unexpected… it makes for an exciting and memorable meal.

More information and book a table at 108 Garage here.