Eating Out London

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Chino Latino – Albert Embankment (Vauxhall tube)

My guest and I were dazzled by the beautiful setting of this restaurant, right on the Thames overlooking the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.  The Park Plaza hotel itself has a stylish Latin Bar within the reception area – elegant and vibrant with a relaxed seating area.  This is the “Latino” part of the offering – hip mojito’s all round!  A perfect place to relax before or after dinner.

Once guided to our table through the Asian influenced restaurant we could see low rise seating and tables as well as a more traditional “western” seating option.  All in elegant dark black leather, complimented with silver.  Everything looked immaculate and precise – the staff clearly care greatly about presentation.


View of London from Chino Latino  Chino Latino Interior

Our fabulous waiting staff were extremely attentive and helped us select from the vast menu – since we were novices to “pan-Asian” cuisine it was recommended we start with the sharing platter.  Thank goodness we did – it could only be described as epic.  From uber California rolls decorated with roe to fresh and juicy scallops for starters and an elegantly presented beef, being slowly cooked on hot rocks at our table, the cuisine was fresh, wholesome, flavoursome and proportionally perfect.  Too many British people have gotten into the habit of having huge portions of rice with their Chicken and Black Bean sauce that we lose the ability to know when we are full.   This was just right – each dish being served with enough of a breather to be able to enjoy, digest and enjoy chatting.

Hot Beef on the Rocks - with Chino Latino  California Rolls - Chino Latino style

Add to that an outstanding desert of light, fluffy mousses and absolutely perfectly ripe exotic fruit – we could not have asked for a better evening.  This is a must visit venue – away from the hubbub and shoulder rubbing at tables in the tourist traps – you have the pleasing, open expanse of the river, 5* service and fabulous food in an elegant and spacious setting!

Superb Chino Latino dessert

18 Albert Embankment  Lambeth, London SE1 7TJ :            020 7769 2500


Chiswell Street Dining Rooms – Chiswell Street (Barbican tube)

A hidden secret amongst the lawyers of Chiswell Street, these relaxed dining rooms provide elegant food without the pretence.  Our extremely attentive and charming waiter kept us fed and watered all night – from their fantastic cocktail list upon arrival to the freshest and mintiest tea to finish the night off.  We were truly spoiled and enjoyed relaxed surroundings, smart casual dress code, outrageously good food and delightful service.

Chiswell Street Dining Rooms  Chiswell Street Dining Rooms interior

Our starters came fast and fresh after our cocktails, with juicy scallops and a beautiful goats cheese salad.  We had both opted for the guinea fowl and expecting a small bird on our plates – were pleasantly surprised with a culinary delight rolled on the plate – beautifully presented.

Our deserts were chocolatey heaven, topped off with coffees and mint teas – we left feeling satisfied but not stuffed – always the mark of perfectly balanced cuisine.  A quick taxi ride and you can be at London Bridge or Liverpool street station and of course the circle and Hammersmith & City lines pass very nearby at Barbican.

Chiswell Street Dining Rooms Cocktails  Chiswell Street Dining Rooms Food

I’ve noticed a few reviews that commented it was very noisy but I didn’t find this at all – we went on a Monday night mind you so perhaps weekends are a bit crazy – Friday’s after work – that sort of thing.  It was 60% full but no intrusive noise was experienced.  With all of these things – it’s about when you go!  Since it’s a bar as well as dining rooms you can expect all the local business to spill into here on a Friday night.  Take this into account when experiencing this venue.

56 Chiswell Street  City of London EC1Y 4SA Reservations;             020 7614 0177      


The Botanist – Sloane Square (Sloane Square tube)

I didn’t have the energy or the patience to have coffee at Harrods. After about half an hour on the 1st and ground floors I gave up – feeling flat and drained and jostled.  As you walk away from Knightsbridge the crowds begin to dissapate, the air gets cleaner and fresher and you just feel calmer.  At the end of that road (Sloane Street) is Sloane Square and this is where I decided to relax for an hour – enjoying a delicious afternoon tea right by the window.  I was able to watch everyone else going about their mad rush of a day and have another sip of tea.

The Botanist Sloane Square  The Botanist Sloane Square Interior

Afternoon tea comprised of lovely finger sandwiches, two huge scones with big pots of fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam and to top it all of – a choice of cake from the cake stand.  There’s always a exciting selection of teas by Jing – from Rosebud to mint, to mango and hand tied flowering osmanthus.

It is also open from 8am for breakfast – ideal to set you up for a hard day’s work trawling round the Knightsbridge shops and jumping on and off tubes. For breakfast you can expect epic options such as eggs Benedict, crepes, scrambled eggs & smoked salmon and blueberry pancakes.

The Botanist Sloane Square  The Botanist Sloane Square

Unbelievably the prices are extremely reasonable, not only for London’s most affluent district but for London in general!  £6/£7 for eggs Benedict breakfast, £2.95 for a special tea or coffee – they focus on making fabulous food that people flock to rather than “exclusive” A-List prices.  A must visit at any time of the day during your stay in London.  If you live here then lucky you!  I’d be here at least once every couple of weeks.

The Botanist • No.7 Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8EE • Reservations:             020 7730 0077

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