Lunch at The Ritz, London

I have always lived in London but have never visited the Ritz. I am sure there are many Londoners like me, who have often walked past and thought about the hotel inside, but like so many other iconic British buildings, have never ventured in.

After a lavish lunch at the Ritz Restaurant with the hotel’s Chairman Andrew Love, I can truly recommend a visit inside this fabulously famous London establishment.

Ritz Restaurant

Stepping inside the Ritz lobby, the hotel was everything I expected it to be… beautifully ornate with staff smiling at every corner. We walked past the spectacular Palm Court where hundreds enjoy afternoon tea every day, to the immaculate dining room, pink and golden in all its splendour, with an amazing high ceiling and views overlooking Green Park.

We were seated in a lovely table with plenty of natural light streaming through the grand windows. I noticed every charming detail; the turquoise plates and pretty cord-bound menus.

Ritz Restaurant

Our meal began with miniature canapes and flutes of champagne. The mouthful of Coronation chicken encased in crispy pastry was a definite favourite with my table.

Artichoke Royal with winter vegetables and black walnut was a simply spectacular dish, almost too pretty to eat. The autumnal mousse had a silky smooth texture and was topped with micro herbs adding a touch of freshness to the dish. On the side, a leaf shaped crisp completed the dish.

Ritz Restaurant

For second course I adored the truffle angolotti dish; the rest of the table were presented with a beautiful plate of Brill fillet with shellfish, sea vegetables and champagne sauce. The pasta was perfectly made and complemented with a creamy parmesan sauce and shavings of black truffle.

Ritz Restaurant

The Beef Wellington arrived majestically on a trolley. Huge servings were carved for each of us, glistening medallions of the finest meat wrapped in pillowy pastry and served with celeriac mash and sauteed mushrooms. It felt very regal and wonderfully British to be eating Beef Wellington at the Ritz.

Ritz Restaurant

We celebrated the upcoming pancake day with the most stylish pancakes of them all… Crêpe Suzettes prepared in a tableside performance, flambé. A light but indulgent French dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Often the reputation of an iconic hotel can overshadow the restaurant in residence. The Ritz Restaurant is truly wonderful in its own right and I commend head chef John Williams for continuing to offer such sublime and creative food, that represents the very best of the UK’s culinary traditions.

More information and book a table at the Ritz Restaurant here.

Northcote, Hotel and Restaurant

It has to be a pretty special restaurant to convince me to drive 4.5 hours. After a weekend at Nigel Haworth’s countryside retreat in Lancashire, I can confirm that Northcote is worth the journey.


Northcote is located on the edge of the Ribble Valley, nearby to the ruined abbey at Whalley and the spectacular Stonyhurst school. It is a popular area for keen walkers, and hikers who want a real challenge can enjoy the 38 mile Three Peaks of Lancashire. Thanks to the famously British weather, we spent most of our trip relaxing at the hotel and indulging in the award-winning food.


The hotel has 26 rooms spread over two buildings: the Manor House and the Garden Lodge. Each room has a different character, but all have comforting soft furnishings and up-to-date modern amenities. We were staying in a very spacious Garden Lodge room, which was so smart and luxurious it felt almost brand new. The rooms are designed by Jill Holst of Ward Robinson in a grown-up style, our room was quite business-like, with furniture in shades of beige and olive green. The bed was wonderful, huge and indulgent ensuring every guest gets a blissful night’s sleep.


I loved our bathroom which featured a big bathtub for evening soaks and a powerful walk-in shower. The toiletries are provided by Temple Spa, a lovely luxurious beauty brand, which made me think how nice it would be if Northcote had a spa onsite.


A wholesome Lancashire breakfast was served in our room… a feast of brioche bacon buns, fresh fruit and yoghurt and strong coffee and juice. It was immediately obvious that this array of fine food had come from a Michelin starred kitchen… the ingredients were of the finest quality and each dish was presented beautifully. I was particularly impressed with the delicious Greave’s home-cured bacon and the sausages from Farnsworths in Whalley.


The main reason to stay at Northcote is to eat in their renowned restaurant. Chef Patron Nigel Haworth and Executive Chef Lisa Allen are both well-known for their TV appearances on Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef and the Great British Menu. Northcote proudly holds one Michelin star and is often considered as one of the country’s finest hotel restaurants. I was excited to be trying the gastronomic cuisine days after the restaurant had hosted the prestigious Obsession food festival.


There are various menus to choose from, and though we were tempted by the tasting menus, we opted for a more sensible three-courses. There is a choice of seasonal lunch menu (£33.50 for 3 courses and coffee), or the more elaborate a la carte. After speaking to the very well-informed waitress we decided on a few of Nigel’s signature dishes.

To start, the White Beetroot with coconut and white chocolate was a wonderfully healthy and refreshing dish. The subtle earthy flavours of beetroot matched perfectly with the sweet chocolate and the fresh coconut. Orkney Scallop with dashi and seaweed was another light starter, the delicate flavours of the sea blended carefully with the Japanese inspired dashi broth.

To make up for the lack of calories in the starters we went all out with the mains; Wild Venison with liquorice mole and kolhrabi for me, and Beef steak with triple cooked chips for my guest. It was a real treat to indulge in such superior meats. The venison was particularly delicious, cleverly cooked with a hint of spicy aniseed from the liquorice and a crunch from the segments of kolhrabi, a lovely winter cabbage vegetable.


For dessert I convinced the staff to let me try the magical Lemon Meringue Pie, a triumph thanks to it’s Instagrammable appeal. A lifelike cocoa-butter lemon cracks to reveal a beautiful citrus mousse which sits on an assortment of meringue and lemon bits. It was my ideal dessert, vibrant and satisfying yet cleansing for the palate.

The meal was accompanied by unusual and delicious wines from the sommelier. I was pleasantly surprised to see Northcote offer wine in taster 70ml size, so you can try a different wine with each course without needing a lie down at the end of the meal!

While in the area I also highly recommend a pub lunch at The Three Fishes, nearby to the hotel. This friendly gastropub is also owned and overseen by Nigel Haworth and serves up great seasonal food and local drinks. After a long country walk there is nothing better than a hearty Lancashire hotpot, a speciality at the Three Fishes.

More information and book a room or table at Northcote here.

Art Afternoon Tea, Mirror Room at The Rosewood London

Rosewood London hotel has just launched a new art-inspired afternoon tea, which could just be the most beautiful tea in London yet. The ‘Art Afternoon Tea’ is served in the decadent ‘Mirror Room’ restaurant, with each cake immediately recognisable as being influenced by London’s most prestigious artists.

Rosewood London

The pretty patisserie have been created by the Mirror Room’s creative Head Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins, who has a keen interest in art. The afternoon tea represents London’s vibrant and unique art scene, celebrating the five iconic artists; Yayoi Kusama, Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Banksy.

After a glass of bubbly, a pot of subtle white tea and a plate of delicious, delicate finger sandwiches, the cakes arrived. The mini masterpieces looked almost too immaculate to eat. Mark Perkins has used traditional techniques to create replicas of the contemporary artworks, each wildly creative in taste and texture.

Rosewood London

The Yayoi Kusama pumpkin inspired cake was my favourite… a wonderfully light milk chocolate mousse, passion fruit crémeux and chocolate feuillantine, set on a chocolate sable biscuit and encased with a vibrant yellow glaze. The perfectly executed Alexander Calder sculptural cake is glazed with red chocolate, reminiscent of Calder’s famed mobiles. British-born Banksy’s iconic ‘Girl With a Balloon’  is a wondrous white chocolate cube filled with a light vanilla cream choux, cherry jelly, hazelnut caramel and chocolate crémeux, garnished with an intricate and tiny replica of the enigmatic artwork itself. The Damien Hirst cake mimics the famous spot paintings with a white chocolate tart flavoured with cassis jelly and yuzu curd, and finished with Hirst-style regimented and decorative pop-art coloured spots of gel. My least favourite was the Mark Rothko cake… a layered coconut and raspberry sponge, filled with coconut mousse, fresh raspberries and adorned with bright pink raspberry chocolate.

Rosewood London has long established itself as a leading exhibitor of an exceptional array of contemporary artists. From witty illustrations that document the rich political and social culture of the 18th Century, to quirky pieces that reflect the style of the Pop Art movement of the mid 1950s, the walls of Rosewood London are a tribute to art through the ages. Rosewood London is also the hotel partner of Frieze London, the world’s leading contemporary art fair and one of the few fairs to focus only on contemporary art and living artists.

Pop in to the Mirror Room anytime between 4.00-7.00pm for a glass of Champagne and one of their beautiful artist-inspired cakes or bring a guest to enjoy the full tea experience.

The art-inspired afternoon tea is priced at £50 per person or £65 per person with a glass of “R” de Ruinart Champagne. More information and book here.