(Day Six) I woke up at The Blakes and had to rush off to my hair appointment at Mad Lillies in Hampstead. I set my alarm pretty early but the snooze button got the best of me once again. I was going to lose out on the opportunity to try the Blakes’s coconut chili porridge…How amazing does that sound?! Essentially it is oatmeal (Goldilocks) boiled with coconut, lemongrass, caramelized lime with chopped banana stirred in. It’s like English-Thai fusion breakfast. Sadly I had to give up on this dream and pursue other caloric intake. Time was of the essence, so a pop-in to the Hummingbird Bakery had to suffice.
I visited the one on Old Brompton Road and grabbed a red velvet cupcake. It’s a cute little shop that fancies itself as the Magnolia of London “providing authentic American baking” with their cupcakes and overgrown cake stands. While their flavors might not be so adventurous their product is available at 6 locations which clearly shows some level of serious demand. Their rainbow cake and giant cupcake-cakes are wicked cool and worth a gander.
The Cupcake Experience: I took a bite and couldn’t figure out why (for the life of me) it tasted so buttery and yet the cake part was less moist than most. One of my favorite things about red velvet is the pillowy cake combined with rich cream-cheesy icing. I’m not sure what was going on here… Maybe Red Velvet is best left State-side? Look at the twee little carrying case I received! They sure do “twee” well, don’t they?
I arrived at the salon in a timely fashion since I was excited to get my “hairs did.” It has become a London tradition for me to come back to NY with some funky Euro-hairs. Back in 2008 I nearly gave my mom a heart attack. I decided that since Agnis Dayne was rocking white hair that I should too. The only issue was that everyone made insulting Eastern-Euro references at me instead of appreciating exactly how chic and à la mode I actually was.
I’ll never forget the night I missed my Eurostar train to Paris and finally christened facebook with the very first pictures of my new hair. Pictured Above: London-bestie Linda and I breaking-in The Champagne Bar at Kings Cross St. Pancras circa 2008. It too was brand new back then.
A whole six years later and many natural white hairs…I was still in recovery from the asymmetrical bob from my 32nd birthday. That said, we had a little evening out to do. The final London-do touches included an undercut and fringe trim.
I was able to get the royal tour of The Heron Tower and The Private Members Club. It is a gorgeous building with a lovely clubhouse space! They make a mean mudslide too. wink*
That evening I had one of many IPAG reunions (this year) near St.Paul’s at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant- Barbecoa. Their concept: As the UK’s first BBQ Steakhouse is to combine the four elements to create a sensory and satisfying experience. Well done Chef Oliver!
It offers an incredible view of the city and St. Paul’s Cathedral, an open kitchen (pictured below) to watch all of the magic happen, solid cocktails aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand they pass out a feeding!
For my starter I chose the Tandoori Wild Prawns. These prawns were served over lime and pickled yoghurt with tomatoes, garlic crisps and chestnut smoke. Fingertipkissperfection*
Along with this amazing prawn dish we shared two other starters which included the Scallop Crudo and the Smoked and Coal Roasted Beetroot.
All of these dishes had an interesting play on hot and cold temperatures, consistencies and flavors with a hint of smokiness to remind you of this very “original” BBQ concept.
It was time for my main course. I ended up having their Cod special of the day. Those are sprinkled bits of bacon on my main, it’s true. This may be a meat-heavy restaurant but I would say a “Pescatarian” would fair quite well. You need to be cool with people sneaking bits of mammal onto your plate as garnish and tasty side orders of starches and vegetables (and they are quite tasty).
Not sure how I left London without putting on 20kilos. We went all-in and had dessert too. This was the second oblong chocolate log I consumed in less than 72 hours. Here we have the Barbecoa Brownie with salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb bubble sugar. (A chocoholics dream and a diabetic’s worst nightmare!)
On the way out (when I wasn’t running late or literally) I was able to take a look into the kitchen. It’s open and visible to a good portion of the dining room which creates an energetic vibe. We sat a bit further away but since the entire restaurant has floor to ceiling windows we still had a great view and plenty of ambiance.
Good Food, drinks, company and a view of this… You just can’t beat it!
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