There is one Christmas experience in London this year which has been on top of everyone’s list. Westfield and Bombas & Parr is not a likely partnership, but ‘Beyond the Waterfall’ is an immersive cocktail odyssey that miraculously matches the two brands.
Tickets cost £15 for an hour long journey within the magical installation. You will row through a waterfall, meet wondrous characters and be treated to exciting gifts along the way.
Commenting on the experience, Harry Parr, partner of Bompas & Parr, said: “Christmas is obviously a magical time of year, but many people find it hugely predictable, so we’ve designed a radical new form of escapism that still evokes the emotions and nostalgia of the season. The group activity draws people together, with a real sense of discovery and emotion associated with gift-giving and an indulgent treat at its heart.”
The drinks, served to you by alluring mermen, are surprisingly tasty… We enjoyed ‘The Old Man & The Sea’ a straight up drink made with rum, rye, sweet vermouth, maraschino, benedictine and bitters. The ‘Shipwreck Sour’ is an exotic take on a traditional sour with brandy, coral calvados, creme de peche and egg white. For something extra pretty opt for the ‘Floating Gold’ which arrives with gold leaf sugar crystal!
Tickets are are priced at £15 per person. This includes a 60 minute adventure and two bespoke cocktails. Beyond the Waterfall runs until 23rd December and bookable slots are every 15 minutes with last entry at 21:00 each evening. More information and book tickets here.
Scandinavian food is certainly unique, perhaps even, an acquired taste. Recently, chic and sparsely decorated Nordic restaurants have been popping up all over London. Aquavit hails from New York, where chef Emma Bengtsson has been instrumental in winning the establishment two Michelin stars. This winter saw the opening of Aquavit London, a stylish but casual eatery found in the new St James’s Market, which plays host to a selection of sophisticated retail and dining businesses.
I went along to an opening night bloggers dinner at Aquavit a few weeks ago. First we were invited to sample the cocktails, expertly made in front of us at the bar. I tried the Scandi Mule, a long and fruity drink which pairs a measure of O.P. Anderson aquavit (a Swedish spirit) with lemongrass, lime and ginger beer.
A selection of Smorgasbord was put in the centre of the table for us to share and pick at. Cured fish, homemade rye bread and pickled vegetables were appreciatively gobbled up. Fresh but wholesome food which feels healthy whilst tasting delicious.
For main course I couldn’t resist trying the Swedish meatballs with lingonberries and pickled cucumber. The portion size was relatively small, which was fine for me, but I did wonder whether guests paying £16 may hope for a bigger serving. The meatballs were made from finely ground meat and nicely seasoned. I adored the silky smooth mashed potato but wasn’t quite sure about the addition of ligonberries. It was a tasty dish and reminded me of childhood trips to the Ikea foodhall!
Most of us round the table opted for the Artic Bird’s Nest for dessert after our waitress told us it was the signature dessert. A strange but alluring mix of flavours and textures, it satisfied my sugar craving whilst challenging the conventional chocolate pudding.
Aquavit is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so it is always a good time to go along and sample some refined Nordic cuisine.
More information and book a table at Aquavit here.
To mark the start of December I am bringing you a post about my favourite festive ice rink in London. Skate at Somerset House is the most iconic and beautiful place to skate this Christmas. The pristine white ice rink is found in the central courtyard of Somerset House with a towering, glittering Christmas tree and foodie treats from luxury British brand, Fortnum and Mason.
I went along last week for a bloggers evening of skating, eating and drinking. The holiday tunes were adding cheer as visitors put on their skates and cautiously hobbled onto the ice. The rink was busy but there was still plenty of space to skate, and I was amazed to only see two people fall down. After half an hour of skating I was ready to reward myself with food and drink!
Fortnum’s have once again returned with their Alpine-themed Lodge, perfect for after-skate dining. There is a new menu this year with some comforting, wintery dishes to satisfy and warm you after dancing on the ice.
The menu is filled with tempting dishes. Favourites include: luxurious fondue with pigs in blankets, delicious salt beef broth with winter vegetables and crab mac’n’cheese. If you fancy a tipple opt for the Bees Knees gin, honey and lemon cocktail or a copper mug of hot chocolate served with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. There is also a range of irresistible desserts like sticky toffee pudding with brazil nut ice-cream if you have a sweet craving.
There is also a lovely Fortnum’s gift shop, perfect for picking up last minute Christmas presents or for stocking up the fridge before your celebratory meals.
I can’t think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a trip to Skate at Somerset House.
More information and book tickets for Skate here.