Posts Tagged ‘pop-up’
Yesterday, I travelled all the way from Hampshire to Dalston. To The Prince Arthur, an adorable pub, very 1960′s. Black and white pictures on the walls, china beer mugs, hunting trophies on the walls, bell on the side, old style pints. They know all the locals by name. They look and smile when you step in. Truly happy to help you choose a beer. It’s a lively pub too, regular events, quiz, pop-ups.
And that’s why I was there. Oysters. My favourite summer treat, reminding of my region, the ocean. Refreshing, salty juices but slightly milky sometimes sweet flesh. The taste of holidays. Meet The Bloody Oyster. I’m a fan already. Behind that witty name, Ben and Ed, two super motivated guys who wanted more from life than a desk job. They wanted adventure. And a Double Decker too. They got both.
The idea? Bring a little fun to the oyster universe, too often considered as a luxury, served with champagne. Did you know they used to be the poor man’s meal? Well, let’s bring these back to the people. Shake it up, baby! They have a few options on the menu. Raw, fresh with crunchy cucumber and shallots. Cevice, marinated, spicier, more refined, with avocado, tomato, red onion and lime. For me, coming from Bordeaux, this remains on the classic side. But warm, now that got my full attention. The Po’ Boy sees them in a fried, light crispy batter, heart like a mussel, just more intense in flavours. Savoury, but with a sweet brioche bun and remoulade yet tangy with capers and gherkin. You will want a second one. You will, it’s guaranteed. But there’s also a baked version with herb butter and parmesan, creamy, filling the mouth. It’s soooo good. Please do this as a burger.
And with that? Well, fantastic, mind-blowing Bloody Maries. 5 recipes to start. Like Maria, smoked rosemary and sherry. Or the classic enhanced with Guinness served in a pipette on the side, makes it denser, more mysterious. They even do a vegeterian option. I can see you rising a brow. Ah well, you see, Worcester Sauce is made with anchovies… Try the Bloody Dragon with smoked paprika tingling your tastebuds, Thai basil and soju. Exotic. My, does that wake you up…
The perfect match. Especially as a brunch. I’m hooked. I had tried oyster pancakes in Singapore and I can’t wait to have more cooked oysters. Go on, boys. Surprise me further. Stir-fry them. Add some ginger. It’s a whole new culinary world.
Follow them. They will go far. Start with Southbank this summer, they will be there for two months. There are already requests for their funky red T-shirt labelled Rocks’n’Cocks…
The Feel Good Café has just opened on Hoxton Square. It’s free and only open until May 23 so do go and try. Why? Because it’s surprising. This pop-up is in fact an initiative by Weight Watchers. The brand asked a chef to create menus (breakfast, lunch and dinner) showcasing their products. Simply because people like me expect any diet related product to taste like cardboard and are reluctant to compromise on quality. But this… was good, really good.
The point is not to serve only their product on a plate but to incorporate it in a modern, daily-life menu that you can easily recreate at home. And trust me, if you do not mention the name, I doubt your friends would guess you have served them a WW product. The chef and his team have really enjoyed the experience, praising the quality, even for sausages!
I liked the crème fraiche used in the salad dressing with lemon and olive oil. The coleslaw, much better than any supermarket brand I had used, fluid and sweet but still with a tangy kick. The pizza was brilliant too - the flatbead, sauce and cheese were all WW. Amazing. I am doing this tonight at home. Even the coconut Greek yoghurt was fantastic, very tasty, super creamy… but guilt free.
Go and try. You will get two courses for free and a drink. Try their wine too, the grapes are picked earlier in the season to limit the sugar and alcohol percentage. It’s more a light picnic wine than a grand cru but perfect for summer days. Much more pleasant than you expect.
In a hurry? The team has a take-away menu too!
The Feel Good Café by Weight Watchers until May 23, 2014
16 Hoxton Square
London N1 6NT
Ah, the roaring 20ies, the endless cheerfulness, the charleston, the prohibition, gin made in bath tups, cocktails drunk in teacups, whisky on prescription (yes! A pint every 10 days), speakeasies… Inspired by the newly launched The Great Gatsby movie, Harrods recreates this wonderful, luxurious atmosphere with a superb pop-up hidden in its wine shop. Dimmed lighting, leather books, leather armchair. You can imagine gentlemen in suit and hats, women with long necklaces of pearls.
What can you expect? Classic cocktails of that era with a twist (and you can find the recipes and more about the history here!). A tangy, sparkling Floradora reinvented by Hendrick’s, an Elit martini with the creamy vodka Stolichnaya and a dash of elderflower liqueur, a Brandy Crusta fragrant with Courvoisier exclusive and orange curacao, a Spicy Honey Sour highlighting the smokiness of Johnnie Walker Double Black, a Blood and Sand playing on the citrus touch of Macallan whisky and cherry brandy. Close your eyes and feel the exterior world retreating softly…
Cocktails and all that jazz opulent pop-up Until May 20, 2013
Wine shop, lower ground floor
87-135 Brompton Rd
London SW1X 7XL
Until now, I was completely immune to the Olympics. I really had no interest. But yesterday evening, going to Stratford, it hit me. Such a different atmosphere there than in the heart of London! The coming together, the diversity of nationalities in the streets, the huge-ness of it all, The Orbit shining in the sunset, the contrast between what used to be a normal neighbourhood and the size of the new constructions. And the vibe, the electricity in the air, the anticipation, the pride, the cheerfulness… It transports you suddenly, takes you by surprise. Are you in London this week-end? Scroll down for fun ideas!
That’s art, baby:
* On Thursday evening, the National Theater will be lit up in flames
* Sports the fun way - Victorian inspired with a touch of fun and crazyness.
* Rediscover Bob Marley at the British Music Experience.
* At the Tate, art becomes planet-friendly.
Take the little ones along:
* The Natural History Museumwelcomes a new species - lions made entirely of crochet.
* 99 tiny games have been hidden in London – time to go fun-hunting.
* Add a little colour to London.
Yummy time ahead:
* Crunch your way through the Olympics with these adorable themed biscuit.
* Or discover world cuisine through Global Feast, THE pop-up of the summer: 20 meals each dedicated to a different country.
Out of the ordinary:
* How about sailing along the Thames on dream boats?
* Too hot? Try this new pop-up spa which includes a bar.
* Listen. At 08.12 on Friday, thousands of bells around the country will ring to celebrate the opening of the Olympic Games.
* Print your own T-shirt at Levi’s.
* Pretend you are in Singapore.
* On Friday, watch the Games opening ceremony on a big screen at Victoria Park.
* Another street party? Yes, but a giant one on all Exhibition Road.
Caudalie. The name just brings to my mind memories of walking through vineyards, the sun warming the grapes, adding a golden touch to the shoulders. Their products have a very unique freshness, an exceptional fragrance to them. Yet they feel so natural and bring maximum hydration. I love many brands but there is simply no equivalent to this one. I always have a mini survival kit in my handbag – the SOS thirst-quenching serum and the beauty elixir. In case of crisis, stop, open, massage, spray, breathe in. It workds real magic, helps you find an inner zen within seconds, better than vitamin c. In my home region, Bordeaux, is one of their spas – a real haven of tranquillity. I love it best in winter – such a wonderful transition from the cold temperatures into the most fantastic cocoon. Caudalie has recently opened their pop-up spa in Harrods, right on the 5th floor, in the beauty-dedicated Urban Retreat.
I was delighted to find their whole range there – beautifully presented in wooden wine cases, framed with vine leaves. I never stop to be amazed by how wide the collection is – adapting to each need, to each skin. I just could not help trying a few. But let me tell you about the treatment. You can choose from 4 facials (Vinoperfect Radiance, Vinexpert firming, Pulpe Vitaminée anti-ox, Express D-vine), a body massage (Crushed Cabernet), a dicovery combo (D-vine facial + crushed cabernet massage).
I went for the Express D-vine. This starts with gentle yet deep cleansing in several stages – foam, peeling, spray, freshness of the creams followed by warm fabric to wash them away. As if, each carress was taking away an invisible film of pollution, stress, tiredness. As if, suddenly, it could breathe again. Follows a massage – face, nexk, shoulders – and at that point, you disconnect completely. An amusing technique is used – a grape cut in half then applied in tiny circular movements: this may bring a smile but it is heavenly indeed. Like a soft little cushion, very soothing. Arms and hands also are massaged with the latest Caudalie creation – the divine oil - which brings a splendid suppleness to the skin. An enzymatic peel mask is also applied, with a brush: evry detail has been designed to awaken your senses.
The result? Amazing. I felt lighter, as if the weight of the day had simply been taken away. The pores were visibly tightened, I looked as if I had finally got 12 hours of sleep in a row. I looked and felt so much younger. The treament only lasted 30mn – so easy to fit in a busy agenda – but the diffence is worth every penny. Last but not least, a touch of Teint Divin, a tinted moisturizer for a sun-kissed effect. No need for make-up at all! Many friends asked me whether I had just come back from a holiday – the best staycation ever!
Caudalie pop-up spa, Harrod’s
Express D-vine treament – £50
Until July 23 2012
Revisiting Kensington Palace recently, I fell under its charm all over again. Forget dusty old houses, no matter how royal. Here, historical anecnotes appear in old-style newspapers, irresistible. Drawers can be opened, books opened, secret messages found. Room after room art installation bring you to a dream world, waking up the whispers of the house, making emotions so much more vibrant. Magical indeed. Now, what about you? What have you planned for the week-end?
That’s art, baby:
* Can art. Yes. Using can-struction.
* Rediscover Munch’s paintings at the Tate.
Yummy time ahead:
* What a delicious idea: a cooking workshop dedicated to the afternoon tea.
* On Saturday, the Fifteen celebrates its tenth birthday with a fabulous street party.
Out of the ordinary:
* It’s party time on Charing Cross road this Saturday.
* Caudalie brings Bordeaux to London with a divine pop-up spa in Harrods.
* On Saturday, go vintage crazy with this kilo-sale.
* Play ping-pong in the streets of London. A fantastic (and free) idea.
* Feel like dancing with Havana rumba.
* On Sunday, celebrate Canada day on Trafalgar Square.
Ah, those dancers with such a perfect body, their amazing suppleness, sometimes doll-like, other times feline, their enchanting gaze… Yes, they have more to them than just gorgeous curves, no matter how little they wear. Choregraphies often add a smile to the glamour, the play of light projects hypnotising pattern on the smooth skin, and oh, you will find it deliciously maddening, beautifully staged. To celebrate their 60th year of success, The Crazy Horse is coming to London in September with Forever Crazy. Until Christmas, their glamorous show will be in a luxurious pop-up lounge on Southbank, mirroring the sensual atmosphere of the Parisian cabaret. And really, seeing these beauties as Royal Guards is an unforgettable experience…
The tickets will be sold in no time so book now!
Delicious by DS5. A must see/taste pop-up. From May 16 to May 20, Citroën and Chef Tim Anderson (BBC Masterchef winner in 2011) team up for a delicious multi-sensorial experience. On the menu? 5 extraordinary dishes, each dedicated to one of our 5 senses. All this for £5 per person, the money going to the Fareshare charity. Wow. Trendy, top quality food and so much more fun than a restaurant.
Follow me. I joined one of the previews last week, presented by Tim Anderson. We discovered the recipes between two creations… and now are incredibly curious about the three remaining ones!
The first one is all about sight - making it a visually striking dish. On the side, the beef was cooked sous vide, then rubbed in belachan – a concentrated shrimp paste – then seared. In a separate pan, blanched romanesco is mixed with a delicious cashew butter while a Thermomix blends the most umptuous mash, made with blue cheese and shiitake mushrooms. The last touch? A sauce using stock, a rich Merlot, fragrant coffee and plum juice. Amazing. Tender. Unusual flavours. Velvety on the palate. The best compliment probably was the silence around the table, noone wanted to waste on words, way too delicious.
Time for dessert. A masterpiece. First, create a ganache infused with spices – star anise, drum tobacco,, liquorice, cinnamon, black pepper. In an iced glass were placed pealed grapes then the cream. Add a square of grape jelly, a spoonfull of tobacco and syrah mousse and syphon a touch of port and rosewater foam. Then , the genius touch: a smoke gun to infuse this with a lapsang-like flavour. Served in sealed pots, it is like having a little cloud of your own… Very intriguing as tastes are enhanced and totally transformed, making you want ot smoke everything in your kitche, just because you can.
Lunch concluded on a bunch of roses. Smoking too, thanks to dry ice and Syrah fragrances. Floral and poetic - can you imagine this in an evening atmosphere?
We could not resist testing the new Citroën, the DS5. Officially to go on a scavenger hunt and pick up essential ingredients for the recipe, of course. Very futuristic, smooth driving, an amazing collection of options (leather seats, first class sat-nav, heated leather seats, even a massage program for the driver… Oh and even a SOS button. We ALL wanted to press it, so very James Bon like!) *envy sigh*
Seduced? Mouth watering? Fancy a fabulous meal for the best price ever while helping a good cause? You have only seen two of the dishes - another three remain to discover:
* Touch – playing with textures with a lacquered duck skin, thin like glass, crunchy in the mouth, rich in butter. Velvet too with duck pâté in a dark chocolate shell. And duck jerky reminding of jasmine and souchong.
* Sight – 5 varieties of beetroot, including my favourite, the golden one for a most striking plate. In the beetroot, a heart of goat’s cheese and wasabi.
* Sound – this one will get you hooked. A bacon lollipop in bacon candy and Szechuan pepper. Caramelised, spiced and so, so much fun!
500 tickets will be available: just enter your details on the Citroën Facebook pace. The lucky winners will receive a confirmation email between May the 07th and May 09th.
There is something in the air. A softness, a lighter texture, a cheerfulness. Makes me feel like walking along a beach, breathe in the salty air, listen to the waves, maybe fly a kite. What about you? Doing anything nice this week-end? You can also fish in the ideas below!
That’s art, baby:
* Make a little detour to see those East London pictures of yesteryear.
* A new artistic venue, in a lorry container. Oh, and linked to a pizza bus, of course.
Yummy time ahead:
* A delicious idea to start the week-end - every Saturday, there is a homemadefood market in Hackney
* To celebrate St David’s day - Wales’ patron - the Real Food Market on Southbank will put lots of Welsh favourites on their stalls.
* In Chinatown, you are gonna melt for those new treats on skewers. And they’re chep too!
Out of the ordinary:
* Before the Louboutin exhibition starts at the Design Museum at the end of the month, the iconic creator has redesigned the whole Concept Store and the surrounding windows.
* Hoorray, the Barbican week-ends are back! There will be urban stories, poetry, digital graffiti, live music and much much more.
* Oh! A new pop-up cinema. Saturday, if you have an appetite for it, you can go and see dracula. In a church, of course. No obligation to take a necklace of garlic along.
* The dancing theatre is inspired by the 1920ies this week-end.
Daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops are peaking out. Hoorray, soon the outdoors will be ours again and life will get a pinkier shade…
That’s art baby:
* On Thursday, say bye to Nelson’s ship in a bottle on Trafalgar and hi to the new work of art. A golden child on a rocking horse. I am still not convinced by it but well, at least the scenery changes.
* Pete Doherty has put a little of himself in each of his latest paintings – litterally, some blood. This way to see them.
Take the little ones along:
* The Chelsea Theatre proposes a family film club every Saturday with games and activities. What a better way to start the week-end?
* Still on Saturday, you can see the Stepney farm and have a pancake for a mere £5.
Out of the ordinary:
* Go egg hunting - 40 giants ones have been decorated by designers and artists then hidden around town. Ready, steady…
* Thursday, go and listen to stories for adults, inspired by the mysterious atmosphere of the 19th century.
* Loved War Horse? Go and see the exhibition for free at the late night opening of the National Army Museum. This Friday.
* On Friday still, don’t forget the late opening at the V&A - dedicated to Cecil Beaton, photographer to the Queen. Smile, pause, get a tiara!
* Sunday, join the Oxfam Rumble Jumble, empty your cupboards of unwanted clothes and refill them with new fun items.
* See la vie en green. Well, maybe just London. This eco-friendly site really makes you rediscover the city.