Tandoor Chop House, Covent Garden

It is difficult to find an Indian restaurant to suit everyone. I know some people prefer something upmarket and civilised (and head to Gymkhana), whilst others swear by the long-standing, cheap Indian restaurants that line Brick Lane, believing the food to be more authentic. I like a combination of the two, a comfortable but relaxed restaurant which offers Indian flavours at reasonable prices. And so I was delighted to discover Tandoor Chop House, which effortlessly ticked every box for me.

Tandoor Chop House

The stylish exterior had me immediately excited about what lunch at this new restaurant would be like. Inside, the black and white tiled floor and lavish red leather banquettes assured me further that this new eatery was worth photographing for more than just the food. We settled down at a beautifully lit corner table and ordered a couple of the speciality ‘Star of Bombay’ gin and tonics flavoured with orange, hazelnuts and mint.

Tandoor Chop House

The menu is full of exciting sounding dishes, Indian recipes with a twist of British influence. I always prefer to share an assortment of dishes when it comes to Indian food so I was relieved to find the portion sizes relatively small. Amritsari lamb chops were wonderfully aromatic and tender pieces of meat, the black dahl is a brilliant creamy and comforting vegetarian dish, and Bhaki onion rings are a irresistibly naughty snack. I found the paneer pieces rather too big, which sadly made the cheese rather bland, and the Tandoor broccoli, though delicious in flavour was quite tough to cut through.

Tandoor Chop House

I had been pre-warned about the delicious coal roasted pineapple, so despite feeling rather full we had to order one to share. It was delicious, a sticky and sweet caramelised piece of tropical fruit that was nicely balanced with a creamy honey ice-cream.

As we walked out of Tandoor Chop House I noticed how busy and jolly the rest of the restaurant was… with food this tasty I’m sure the popularity will continue to grow at this charming new Indian eatery.

More information and book a table at Tandoor Chop House here.

Asia de Cuba, St Martin’s Lane

In the midst of planning a trip to Cuba I received an invite to a new menu sampling evening at Asia de Cuba at St Martin’s Lane London. The event couldn’t have come at a better time. Before sitting down to eat, I spoke to Cuban-born executive chef Luis Pous about the essence of Cuban food and how he elevates the style and flavour for this restaurant in London.

Asia de CubaAsia de CubaAsia de Cuba

Luis has always presented Cuban food with an exotic Asian twist. This season he welcomes a new menu to the restaurant featuring vibrant flavours and exciting ingredients. A large group of food enthusiasts sat down together, mojitos all round, to enjoy the feast and chat about common interests.

Asia de CubaAsia de Cuba

The menu for the evening included delicate cured salmon and tuna ceviche, healthy, fiborous salads and grand boards of grilled meats. Each course arrived as sharing platters for the tables to taste and share.

I loved the Adobo Roasted Chicken salad which was tossed with a mix of baby spinach, snow peas, endive, mung beans, aji Amarillo and miso vinaigrette. It was a lovely contrasting variety of textures and flavours. Of the main courses the Grilled Flank Steak was my favourite, marinated in an addictively moreish sauce of miso ginger butter and shiitake soy reduction. The beef was served with fresh and delicious baby bok choi.

Asia de CubaAsia de CubaAsia de Cuba

A trio of desserts was presented in front of us. Mexican doughnuts with a selection of sauces were demolished instantly! I found the Guava whipped cheesecake the perfect palate cleansing pudding after a big dinner.

Asia de Cuba has a feel of celebration about it. Conveniently located nearby to Theatreland it is a good place to go pre or post theatre for a flavoursome snack and cocktail, or decide blow the budget and go for the luxurious £60 Signature menu.

More information and book a table at Asia de Cuba here.

Charles Worthington Salon, Covent Garden

Charles Worthington is a brand I have noticed on the shelves of Boots for years, though I have never been fortunate enough to experience the company’s expertise in the salon, until now. Of the salons in London and New York, the most unique is found in Covent Garden, located inside a characterful Georgian townhouse, and spread across five floors. This is the home of Charles Worthington and is designed to make customers feel at ease while they have their tresses transformed.

Guests are invited to relax in the elegant Drawing Room before taking their seat in the ‘cut and colour zone’. Once settled hot or chilled drinks are delivered along with little bites of the softest sweetest lemon drizzle cake.

I was lucky to be in the capable hands of Katie Allan, a colour expert at Charles Worthington. I met her prior to my appointment and we discussed shades of blonde, techniques of highlighting and the use of warm and cool tones to colour hair. It was a technical education for me, and helped us discover together what would look best. She also patch tested the dye on my skin to check there was no reaction.

We decided on natural warm highlights, fading gently to create that sun-worn look. Katie and I chatted away as she worked systematically through my layers. Katie sent me off to have the dye washed out, and noticing my sensitive scalp instructed her colleague to include a moisture-boosting Kerastase treatment during the cleanse. It was divine, soothing and nourishing my head.

Next up was a much needed trim with the lovely Yanna Hogan. I was having so much fun hearing all about life at the salon that I barely noticed my hair change in length. Sharper and straighter, the cut was just what I needed. It felt and looked much better. Yanna carefully illustrated how to give my hair movement and shape using the straighteners that I have at home.

Since visiting the Charles Worthington salon, I have had numerous comments on my hair style and colour. The cut is fresher and sassier and the colour complements my skin tone, a shade brighter for the summer months. I couldn’t be happier with my makeover and highly recommend this boutique salon for all your hair needs!

More information and book an appointment here.