Fera, Claridge’s – Fine Dining in Mayfair

We have just returned from our lunch at Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge’s , whose kitchen has been headed by Australian chef Matt Starling since February 2017. Fera focuses on British cuisine. We had been having meals at Claridge’s in the past, when it was called “Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s” and when it was labelled London’s most overpriced, overrated restaurant. However, Ms B, my wife, found out that instead of charging you £300+ for a meal for two with wine, like in the olden days, there was now a surprisingly acceptable lunch deal on offer: three courses and a glass of champagne or gin and tonic for £42 per person. For an additional £10 you can add their signature snacks (we didn’t, because we weren’t that hungry). There is an undeniable wow effect when you enter the dining room through a curtain-lined entrance which leads to a rotunda, where the room […]

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The Yellow House, Bermondsey – our Review

We’ve just returned from our visit to The Yellow House Bar & Kitchen in Surrey Quays, South London (close to Bermondsey and Tower Bridge), ten minutes walk from Canada Water tube station across the gigantic car park. We typically would not have ventured so far off the beaten track (the only other reasons why we get out at Canada Water tube station is to visit Café East or to go shopping for travel and sports gear at the gigantic Decathlon super-store. We don’t mind the area, but Bermondsey, Tower Bridge, and London Bridge/Borough Market areas simply feel much more appealing and there are a few rough social housing estates not too far away from the many newly-built, pleasant residential buildings.    What brought us here then? The Barbarians and two of our friends were invited to check out an escape room experience nearby and felt like we should probably have […]

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Galvin at Windows – Our Restaurant Review

We’re just back from our visit to Chef Patron Chris Galvin‘s Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows, which boasts incredible 360 degree views of London from the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane. I should say “usually boasts”, because we picked the worst time to visit, considering that it was a dark, rainy, cloudy day, but the friends we met up with (two other couples) and us, we were still immediately bought in on the atmosphere. The interior décor combines modern elegance and state-of-the-art comfort with the glamour of the 1930s. Everyone I know hates 1960s architecture, and rightly so, but this true gem, which was completed in 1963, is one of the nicest buildings I’ve seen. It looks surprisingly modern from the outside, but the main selling point is its Y-shaped layout, which means you are always next to at least three window fronts. The fact that this […]

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Benares Restaurant – Best Indian in Town

My wife Ms B and I have just returned from a tapas sharing platter lunch at Benares, Atul Kochhar‘s Michelin-starred Indian restaurant on Berkeley Square. The 5-dish street food sharing platter cost a mere £30 for the two of us and we topped it up with two cocktails for another £10 in total. A mind-boggingly marvellously brilliant deal. You pay more at most pubs in this town to get two portions of rubbery, battered cod with sliced, oily, deep-fried potatoes and some luke-warm IPA.    Right from the moment we arrived at the ground-floor reception, the service staff were very friendly, polite, helpful, relaxed, unpretentious and knowledgeable, a true delight. The atmosphere is also very pleasant, with dimmed light, sound-absorbing décor, warm colours, a nicely decorated bar and a lounge area with a little pool where lovely gerberas were peacefully floating around. It was in the lounge area where we […]

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Block House, West End, Frankfurt

Located directly next to the tube station exit West End in Frankfurt’s wealthy eponymous neighbourhood, this branch of Block House was my choice tonight for dinner. I will be upfront, the Barbarians do not even usually like chains (there are 50 Block House branches in Germany and abroad today, the group owns many more restaurants, hotels, and other businesses), and one thing we will never like is chains that literally strive to mimic McDonald’s success model but adopt it for full-service restaurants, as Block House do.    When I entered the building, I knew I was not going to fall in love with this place, so it’s a bit unfair on them, I admit. However, I would like to think I kept an open mind about what was going to expect me. I was hoping that the food would be somewhat pleasant, the service great, I was willing to give […]

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