Peninsula Restaurant, The Intercontinental at The O2

Getting out of the tube station at North Greenwich I never could have imagined the fine dining eating experience which awaited us just minutes walk away. The  Intercontinental Hotel at The O2 is a convenient hotel for those watching a show or performing at the giant O2 arena. With such a range of concerts, gigs, exhibitions and sports matches it is different to offer food which would appeal and suit everyone. Those who wish to enjoy a special meal should head to the Peninsula Restaurant, which serves exemplary food and boasts panoramic views of the London skyline.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

The dining room is smart and sophisticated with plenty of natural light flooding in from the floor to ceiling windows. We demolished the wonderful freshly baked bread and chicken skin & tarragon butter almost instantly after the waiter placed it down on the table. There is nothing better than sitting down to eat in a great restaurant feeling very hungry.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

Head chef Tomas Lidakevicius (previously in Texture and Corrigan’s Mayfair) presents modern European recipes deftly infused with a hint of spices which is reflective of the active spice trade that passed through East London’s docks. Each dish was carefully assembled in beautifully unique bowls and plates. Seared scallop with Alsace bacon dashi, apple and sea greens was a light dish with big bold flavours. I loved my Potato and Dill Veloute, the kitchen managed to elevate simple basic ingredients with clever cooking techniques and the addition of truffle air and a rich cured egg yolk.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

Matching wines were brought to the table to try with each dish. The sommelier’s choices were exemplary, including a aromatic Pouilly Fume from the Loire Vallet and a irresistably refreshing glass of Chateau de Beaulieu, Coteaux de Provence rose, which had me dreaming of summer.

Main courses were slightly more substantial, but still went easy on the carbs to avoid unneccesary bloating. Slow cooked duck breast with spiced crumbs, swede pasta and savoy cabbage was a lovely seasonal dish… though I didn’t think the strange swede pasta added much in flavour or presentation to the dish. I had a regal fillet of beef with smoky black garlic, Jerusalem artichoke and tenderstem broccoli. The meat was cooked to perfection, though I thought the sauce was a little too thin.

Peninsula RestaurantPeninsula Restaurant

There was a range of intriguing sounding desserts on offer when we visited Peninsula. I urge you to try the Bread and butter pudding with white chocolate. This classic and comforting pudding is made with a twist, and is served with delicious stewed fruits and creamy custard. The Dark chocolate parfait was nice but unexceptional, a light cocoa flavoured mousse with citrus yoghurt, burnt clementine and douglas fir soil.

We admired the beautiful view over London as we finished our lunch with coffees and creative petit fours.

Peninsula Restaurant

If you ever find yourself in North Greenwich I highly recommend a meal at Peninsula, it is so much more than just a hotel restaurant.

More information and book a table here.

London’s Best Shows

As a singer, attending musical events and gigs in London is always top of my wish list but is often forgotten in favour of restaurant reviews. In the past few months I have prioritised performances and I’ve witnessed some phenomenal music and theatre.

Paul Simon and Sting – Paul Simon is one of my all-time favourite singers. His albums were the soundtrack to my childhood, and even now his songs remain top of my ‘most played’ list. When a rare opportunity arose to see him live at the O2, I jumped at it. He took to the stage with Sting and they shared an epic three hour set. It was a well-balanced evening of melancholy melodies and upbeat hits. The Sound of Silence was particularly memorable sung poignantly with only guitar at the front of the stage, and it was impossible not to dance when he performed the African-influenced songs from his album Graceland, complete with full band and gospel choir. Despite being seated in the cheapest seats at the top of the auditorium, I enjoyed every second of this momentous concert, Sting was surprisingly good too! If you ever get the chance to see this legendary man in concert I would recommend doing whatever you can to get hold of a ticket.

Alice in Wonderland – The Old Vic tunnels are a versatile space used for a range of theatrical projects and exhibitions. To celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Les Enfants Terribles have created an imaginative production cleverly transforming this mysterious space into an immersive land of curiosities. As the trains rumble above, you will forget the real world as you follow the whisper of books down the rabbit-hole to meet the Mad Hatter and all his friends. Due to vast popularity, the show has been extended so you can now book tickets until the end of August 2015. Book here.

Sweeney Todd – I almost found out too late about this Sondheim production at The Coliseum, which was only on for a few weeks in April. I am often sceptical about semi-staged shows but with a stellar cast including Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson, I quickly felt involved in the production. The tickets (though pricey) sold instantly, so I queued up very early one morning to get myself a seat. Sitting on the front row, the singing was thrillingly chilling and the acting brilliantly intense. I hate horror films, but would never turn down the chance to see the demon barber of Fleet Street.