The beautiful wilderness of Fera…

Dinner at Fera is like a glimpse into another – extraordinarily beautiful and opulent – world and really, for the Michelin starred price point & joyful experience of it all, isn’t that kind of the point?

From the moment you step inside, you’re treated like royalty by staff who are utterly charming, incredibly polite and sincerely welcoming. Lofty ceilings and art décor grandeur make you wish you’d been born into 1920’s aristocracy while the curling branches of a focus pulling, twisty-limbed, sun-bleached tree, remind you that the plates of food you’re about to taste are focused on the natural, the seasonal and the local.

At £110 for the tasting menu and between £95 and £150 for accompanying wines, this is not a restaurant designed for your average Tuesday night supper but rather conceived to connect you to home-grown ingredients (most of which on my visit came from former Head Chef Simon Rogan’s own farm) that represent the seasons with ‘fera’ translating as ‘wild’ in Latin.

Rogan’s original restaurant L’Enclume is a 2 Michelin starred establishment that was recently voted number one in The Good Food Guide’s ‘Top 50 Restaurants’ for 2017; to say I was in safe hands here is to suggest that Miley Cyrus likes controversy.

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From crispy fried & stewed rabbit perched atop pea-green lovage puree and sea-herb topped squid to petite buckwheat pastry cases filled with almond and topped with kale, the first three courses were imaginatively created and beautifully presented.

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Streamlined portions leave you wanting more if they’re done well.

I wanted another dozen of each.

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Killer Tomato + Cheeseburger Tacos = the ultimate hybrid of the greatest foods on earth…

Tacos.

Like the final of Bake Off, my desert island food list and learning the words to the entire ‘La La Land’ soundtrack, this is something I take very seriously.

When they’re bad, I’m not happy and my less-than-perfect poker face will do the honours and let you know. Cheap meat cooked badly and stuffed begrudgingly into heavy, lumpy tortillas does not a good Mexican time make but when they’re good? Oh man, they totally transport me back to downtown LA, to dives where I’ve feasted like a fricking queen, to beach-side shacks where the juices have dribbled down my hands and onto the sand beneath my feet, to meals I’ll never forget and have tried to replicate & recreate in every other part of the world I’ve visited since.

FYI, we all realise I’m talking about soft corn tortillas that fit perfectly in your hand here and not the splintery shells that wage a personal war on your poor innocent gums, yes? Ok good, just checking.

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This adoration of the taco makes its’ current resurgence in London something I’m damn happy about and when a work colleague – who you better believe I’ll be shaking the hand, patting the back and kissing the cheek of tomorrow morning – told me about a little spot on Goldhawk Road that served up awesome reincarnations of these moreish beauties, I’d been waiting for the right time to go west (and let’s just pause for a second to remind ourselves of how many great songs those kings of the ’80’s had) and get stuck in. Well, thanks to a Saturday date night with J, Sean Lock and a few thousand stand up comedy fans in Hammersmith, that time arrived this weekend.

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Partaking in the very best of British tradition with a perfect afternoon tea at Fortnum & Masons…

Afternoon tea is a long-standing love of mine. Like Keanu Reeves, happy dogs and pints of cookie dough crammed ice-cream, it’s something I’ve adored for more years than I’m willing to admit. A sincere, proper, uncomplicated, unadulterated love because when it’s done right, I honestly believe there are few experiences nicer to share with someone you love. Hell, for the sake of a good scone weighed down under a flamboyant cushion of clotted cream, sometimes just someone you like will do.

Fortnum & Mason does so many things well; service like nowhere else in the capital, products tailor made for the wide-eye tourist throngs that flock to it still in reassuringly vast numbers and a minty green décor that’s as timeless and elegant as some of the surrounding buildings on London’s Piccadilly. On Mother’s Day, as you would expect, it was heaving but in the quietest, calmest, most relaxed and controlled way it’s possible to be. Ushered to a table in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon that fit our party of 6 more than comfortably with room, frankly, for another 6 of our closest friends, the tone was set for the loveliest of afternoons.

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Satin leafed and blush pink ranunculus poked beaming petalled heads shyly out of glass vases, antique silverware gleamed and flawless white linens were pressed to perfection. One of the very best things about taking tea here is that even though the room itself has space enough for a dozen extra tables, they avoid filling in those gaps. Everyone has their own space in which they can relax without fear of disturbing neighbours or being disturbed themselves and in a place that could clearly double their takings with a little table tweaking, the fact that they don’t smacks of charm and understated confidence. Read More