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.

Ena Salon, Holborn

I only go for a radical hair change when I really trust the salon. At Ena Salon I immediately noticed the creative energy combined with a reassuring professionalism. And so I decided there and then to be bold and undergo a makeover.

Owners Pedro and Johnny both started their hairdressing careers at a young age at Vidal Sassoon. As colleagues and best friends, they opened Ena Salon in 2009 with a desire to do more with their experience. They have quickly garnered a keen following and have won many accolades over the last few years. Their close-knit team of stylists and colourists are a friendly family, fiercely proud of their workplace: a unique Georgian townhouse in Holborn. Inside they have created a salon, a beauty retreat, a teaching academy and a home. The interior is beautifully designed with charming original features and contemporary touches. If you look carefully you will spot baby photos of the staff throughout the building – emphasising the importance of the people who make Ena Salon such a success. Ena’s education company Allilon also continues to thrive, and the salon staff regularly travel to teach their craft to eager hairdressers around the world.

Ena is also the flagship store for Davines products, a sustainable and ethical Italian brand. The products are attractively packaged and the pastel liquids sit on the shelves waiting to be picked for application. They used a variety on my hair, helping to enhance the colour, strengthen and polish.

I was directed upstairs for my colour transformation where I was greeted by Madeleine, a cheerful colour director. We briefly discussed options and perused a colour chart before deciding on a dark reddy brown. The colouring session was blissfully quick and easy, and Madeleine’s expertise was demonstrated in her ability to attend to my hair efficiently and effectively. Within an hour I had my head in a smart sink and I was a new girl. An invigorating wash and massage followed, and my hair was left with a red tinted Davines conditioner.

Next it was master stylist Jonathan’s turn. I wanted to look different so we decided on a bob, about three inches shorter than my previous hairstyle. After shortening the length, Jonathan perfected the style, creating a sleek, chic look. I felt grown up, sophisticated and looked not dissimilar to Jessie J, which they assured me is a good look! Various Davines products were brushed and scrunched through my hair, a volumising mousse and a medium hold hairspray, both felt light and natural in my hair.

After a morning of enjoying copious tea, gossiping and reading magazines, I was ready to hit the streets with my new look. I had so much fun at Ena, I barely noticed all their hard work; it is only now that I am appreciating the thorough and brilliant job they did.

More information and book an appointment here:

Kimchee, Korean Restaurant, Holborn

If, like me, you have never experienced Korean food before Kimchee is a great place to start. A spacious warm venue in Holborn, with canteen style seating and dark wooden panelling, it reminded me of Busaba Eathai, my favourite Thai chain in London. It is an intimate and relaxing place to dine.

Arriving early on a chilly Monday evening Kimchee was already teeming with hungry visitors, we were slotted into a quieter table. Looking round I noticed a high proportion of Asian guests, which must surely be a sign of the authenticity of this restaurant. The menus were swiftly delivered by our courteous waiter who treated us like royalty for the whole night. Intrigued by the Korean cocktails we chose two different flavoured Soju concoctions (Soju is Korea’s most favoured spirit). The alcohol is almost unnoticeable in these drinks, they tasted just like fresh fruit juice. The best cocktail was definitely the ‘Sojito’ a Korean twist on the old classic with a blend of Soju, zesty lime, brown sugar and muddled with mint and soda water, it is a refreshing and light drink that accompanies the strong flavours of the food perfectly.

As our waiter advised, we chose a selection of starters to share. The first thing that struck me looking at the menu, was that all the names seemed totally unpronounceable, much to my embarrassment. We ordered the Kimchee Jeon (Pancake with kimchee and vegetables served with a soy and chilli sauce), the highly recommended Yang Yeum Chicken (lightly battered chicken in sweet chilli sauce served in a rice basket), Crab Tuigim (soft shell crab fried in breadcrumbs served with plum dipping sauce) and Nangawanse (pork bites with vegetables in oyster sauce). Surprisingly (as I am a non-fish eater) the crab was my favourite, crunchy and crispy and sensationally crackling to bite into, served as a presentable stack, with a little pot of devilish sweet sauce. The breadcrumbed chicken was delicious – light and very moreish but with perhaps a little too much of the very sweet gooey chilli sauce. The pork bites were mixed with lovely vegetables and salty sauce but the meat itself was a little bland. The kimchee pancake was strange but yummy, a kind of exotic omelette with all kinds of interesting ingredients inside.

For main course we had an absolute feast of food, our waiter continued to bring out ‘must try’ dishes, much to the surprise of the surrounding guests. It was the barbequed meat that delighted me most, black sizzling dishes of marinated pork, lamb, and rib-eye beef steak. The Bulgogi is a Korean dish where the meat is marinated in an exotic fruity, spiced pepper and chilli mix and delicately cooked on a chargrill with onions and garlic. It is served with crisp lettuce leaves and sticky rice… you can then pile up delectable portions of lettuce, meat and rice for the perfect mouthful. We also tried the chargrilled broccoli with soybean sauce which was fresh and tasty. And I couldn’t resist the Chicken Dolsot Bibimbap… a dish served sizzling hot in an earthenware pot, consisting of rice, cooked vegetables, egg and red chilli paste which the eater then mixes together to create an instant stir fry. This was great fun, once I realised what to do with the steaming pot, and the results were scrumptious.

Our stomachs were full to the brim but there was still more to come… without even so much as a glance at the menu our waiter brought us a small assortment of desserts: almond and black sesame ice-cream, both creamy and delicious and topped with a sprinkling of nuts; Chap Ssal Ddeok, traditional soft chocolate rice cake dusted with cocoa powder. These were bizarre slug-like chocolate dumplings, kind of rich chocolate mousse coated in rice jelly.

Kimchee provided us with a delicious, high quality meal, unique in flavour and design…it is a restaurant that would suit any occasion, I am very much looking forward to returning soon to try more Korean delights.

Visit the website to book here.