Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cotswolds, England - Sunday Roast at The Five Alls in Filkins

To cap off our weekend in the Cotswolds we had traditional Sunday roast today at The Five Alls in Filkins before heading back to London. I was intrigued by the various newspaper reviews I had read about this gastropub, and the fact that its clientele includes Kate Moss and David Cameron. We were not disappointed. 

The inside is everything you would hope for in a country pub: wood beam ceilings, stone walls, a roaring fireplace with a wooden slab mantel, big Chesterfield sofas, cozy alcoves, and darn good food. I particularly liked that some dishes had an Italian flair, owing to the fact that the chef has an Italian mother. 

The focaccia was absolutely delicious and served with the Five Alls own homemade olive oil, which you can purchase a bottle of to take home for £7.50.

We started with shrimp, avocado and cucumber cocktail with melba toast:

Our mains were Roast Wild Duck 'two ways' with brussels sprouts, chestnuts, bacon and a potato fritter:

And the traditional Sunday roast of rump beef with yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, root vegetables and homemade horseradish cream:

In additional to their olive oil, they also sell various jams and homemade chocolate fudge.

On the other side of the restaurant is a very smart more informal bar that also serves the full dining menu. If you have one too many pints, there are four double rooms upstairs you can stay in designed by Miranda Snow, the chef and owner's sister.

And as for the name, The Five Alls, a glance at the cover of the wine list reveals: There’s a lawyer: “I plead for All”; a vicar: “I pray for All”; a peasant: “I work for All”; a soldier: “I fight for All”; and the central panel portrays the devil: “I take All”.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Stockholm, Sweden - Berns Hotel

A boutique style hotel, but with 82 rooms, Berns Hotel was built as a restaurant in 1863; then reincarnated more than a century later as Stockholm's best-loved hotel and entertainment hot spot. The Berns Hotel sits in an enviable location right down on the harbor and within walking distance to all of the best shops and restaurants. 

Asiatiska is the hotel's Asian restaurant, which is housed in the most fabulous 19th century baroque chandelier-clad room, and would, no doubt, be a stunning setting for a private party. Conde Nast Traveller proclaims Sunday Brunch in this room to be one of their top 25 reasons to go to Stockholm.

Our room at Berns was small and average (with no view), though I suspect their superior and deluxe rooms, designed by famous industry experts like Phillipe Starck, amongst others, are much nicer and more spacious. We could not, however, argue with the location.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stockholm, Sweden - T/Bar at the Hotel Diplomat

A stylish buzzing spot for drinks is the T/Bar at the Hotel Diplomat, right down on the harbor. Great interior design and the rooms are supposed to be some of the nicest in Stockholm as well. Highly recommended as a pre-dinner warm up before a night on the town.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Stockholm, Sweden - Sture Hof

Ask any Swede, and they will tell you that the one restaurant not to be missed in Stockholm is Sture Hof. Dating back to 1905, this venerable fine dining institution sits at a prime location on fashionable Stureplan and offers some of the freshest seafood in Stockholm. The restaurant is always buzzing and packed with locals and tourists alike. We celebrated a birthday here filled with three courses of seafood and lots of champagne. I highly recommend it.

A traditional Toast Skagen: buttered toast with prawns in mayonnaise with fish roe

Shellfish Platter with lobster and oysters

Butter fried pike perch, creamed chanterelles, onion rings and watercress

We then danced until the sun came up at the famous Rose Club situated down by the harbor, and did our best to work off that decadent dinner ...  

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