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I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

meal out

Ramsay's

Around Christmastime 2014, our gardener Barry and his wife Mel kindly gave Wayne and I a gift voucher to dine at anyone of the Gordon Ramsay restaurants. We chose the one situated in Chelsea. We booked it sometime ago in April and finally the day has arrived to dine and enjoy the Gordon Ramsay experience.
If you are not used to fine dining it can be a little daunting and sometimes a tad intimidating. Understandably, as soon as your escorted to your table you are aware that the dining room is full, all be it that there is only fourteen tables. Any awkwardness is quickly diluted by the friendliness of the waiting staff. The tables are dressed beautifully and yet simply. There is ample space between tables and you certainly do not feel that your are sitting next to strangers on another table.
I could try and describe how everything tasted, but its an experience only your own tastebuds can experience.

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Pea mousse was an hors d'œuvre served with a homemade ricotta and is presented with baby spring veg and flowers.

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Agnolotti served with young peas, broad beans, St. George, mushrooms, mint, majoram and sariette de banon.

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Fillet of Cornish Cod wrapped in kombu, sesame with shiitake mushrooms and grilled onion.

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Roasted rabbit loin with Bayonne ham, baked turnips, toasted hazelnuts and pickled mustard seed.

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Roast pineapple with coconut parfait, coriander, rum and lime sorbet.

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Strawberry ice cream coated in white chocolate and served over smoking dry ice. Also served with a chocolate peanut brittle and elderflower Turkish delight.

Would I recommend you visit a Gordon Ramsay restaurant?  Hell yes but maybe only as a treat due to the fact that it can get a little exorbitant when you start adding bottles of Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin at a eye popping £2,450.
You would think that having a meal of such small dainty portions that you would be left feeling hungry, but the fact the food is so exquisitely rich, you find yourself enjoying every last mouthful and yet feeling pleasantly full.

Cheam Meal Out

You either get it or you don’t, but Wayne’s sense of humour can be quite something at times and tonight Wayne found his perfect partner in crime when he met Harrison.
I picked Harrison up at his place and drove him back to our home and then after a brief introduction and a cuppa tea we headed out in Wayne’s car to Beijing Gardens for and all you can eat buffet. I think the best introduction to someone is when eating out as it breaks down so many barriers and we all have to eat at some point.
On route we thought it be really funny to do a little detour and see how Harrison got in with the ridiculous speed humps on the Park Road, Cheam. That proved to be a joke all of its very own and set Harrison off laughing, I am not sure if those speed humps are not there just for the amusement of the pub on that road, as patrons watch from he beer garden to see unsuspecting drivers and passengers get thrown from pillar to post as they drive over it, certainly started the night on a funny note.

Beijing-Garden

The food was great as usual and we had the restaurant to ourselves so the sound of laughter filled the room.
Harrison and Wayne laughed most of the night over silly jokes and things that they had done in the past in the way of practical jokes done on others and I also ended up being the butt of many a joke that Wayne had recorded and posted to YouTube.
A great night and boy do I feel stuffed after the all you can eat buffet and many a chuckles.

The Mill House

Wayne and I do like to try out new places to eat and many a time we have driven past ‘The Mill House’ and wondered what it was like there, okay it is only a Harvester but it is not one of those town placed Harvesters so they tend to be a lot less full of hustle and bustle and was pleasantly peaceful with lovely surroundings. Wayne had the rack of ribs meal with unlimited salad, hot beverage and ice cream sundae. I had the Tennessee grill combo, unlimited side salad and summer breeze juice (orange and cranberry).
The visit was so nice that we are going to make this our Harvester of choice.

harvester

50% Off At Tattenham

Have you every been approached to take a store discount card and all the company needs is your email address. I often avoid such card schemes for two reasons, one I do not know who will end up with my email address, will it be used for the right reasons or will it be sold on and secondly not another card I have to carry with me because it is not one of those scale cards that I can add to my stocard app.
However I am glad I decided to take on the offer that Beefeater had as my first reward was 50% off any main meals in January. So the weather was not nice but the food was as both myself and Wayne decided to take up the offer and head over to the Beefeater at Tattenham Corner for a late lunch.
The service was cheery even though the weather was not and the endless plain or spicy fries was a great bonus. We both left full and for once not wanting or needing a dessert.

beefeater burger

Italian Meal Out

The restaurant was Il Laghetto and there was no celebration. Just a spontaneous evening meal out with Wayne's sisters Nikki and Michéle and of course Wayne. The restaurant was excellent, not too big or small and the clientele were all quite refined and lovely. The service was faultless and the food was even better. I would defiantly recommend this restaurant for those meals out that you do not want screaming kids running about or background music overpowering the art of conversation.
I have a feeling I will be coming back here again very soon.

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Little Bay

If you fancy a meal out with a difference then the ‘Little Bay’ could be your ideal destination.
The restaurant is themed around the opera and so with this is the seating plan in a unique way. As with the opera, the best seats in the house would be that of the seating in Loggia or Grand boxes, this is the case for the restaurant layout.
The best part of the night though is not only the excellent food, service and atmosphere but also the entertainment, as local opera professionals perform whilst you eat.

littlebay

littlebay_seating

Côte

David was excellent for educating Wayne and I with his plethora of knowledge but also he had a taste (no pun intended) for all things culinary. David took Wayne and I for lunch to the French restaurant Côte in Brighton to excite our taste buds to somewhere and something new. Wayne and David both had the Steak Frites and I had Poached Egg and Lentils with an infusion of herbs and oils.

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Sakura

Not long in from a great meal out, it was my first visit to the Sakura Indian restaurant situated in Carshalton. The food was bursting full of flavours and spices and it was a warming atmosphere on such a cold night.
Wayne had been there on many occasions with his daughter Kelly and tonight both Wayne and Kelly were present as well as Anthony and Michèle. I would highly recommend this restaurant for a nice weekday treat, even better when you have great company to enjoy the experience with.

sacura_meal

Christmas 2011

For the past 10 years Christmas has been spent with Wayne’s side of the family but this year broke that mould as Wayne and I entertained my mum and sister to 11 days of rest, food, drink, fun times and a good catch up. Nothing was really planned other than the Christmas Day meal and it was nice not to have to stick to any schedule. After a few days of eating and drinking the next thing to do was treat ourselves to a bit of pampering as we all chose what face packs to apply whilst watching the telly. It was so funny because Hayley decided to have a mud pack and she looked like one of the Minstrels off of the black and white minstrel show.

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hayley_facepack

I was treated to some wonderful gifts ranging from items that were so personal to some totally upbeat tech. Kelly I love my charm and I think it may well be the last one I can add to this bracelet as it is now full. Wayne you so know how I love my tech and the sound from my Beats headphones is out of this world, crystal clear yet full of those sounds you would have otherwise missed.

Snake

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Other than racking up a few trophies on the PS3 playing family games in teams of two, we also had a breath of fresh air as we all headed down to Reigate on the 28th December. As usual went through the charity shops and then went for some lunch at The Bell pub in Reigate village. We all had a different burger meal with a different specialty filling, I had a bacon and brie. They also do a great range of ploughman’s lunches to suit every taste ranging from the traditional cheese ploughman’s to a Parma Ham & Salami ploughman’s, oh and don’t be fooled by the size of the outside as this pub is like a tardis. On route home we also stopped at the charity shops in Banstead.

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Seeing the new year in was great to, a nice selections of cheese, biscuits and Port then later at the stroke of midnight a few glasses of Champagne.

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No Agenda

With all the Christmas shopping out of the way, I now have a whole week of doing nothing, no agenda, not a jot until the arrival of my mum and sister on Friday. So it was nice to be able to head into KIngston Upon Thames and meet up with a few friends for a spot of lunch and browsing. Both Wayne and I met up with Nick, Michael, Jamie and his girlfriend Natalie. I must be getting old because whilst shopping Jamie and Natalie made a beeline for ‘Superdry’ and once in the store all of a sudden I did not feel so hip and trendy, I looked at what I was wearing and just thought that I dressed for comfortability, now that is a sign of old age for ya. Is it me or are clothes in stores like this just a label and a rather large price tag or is this the going rate now? I browsed through the racks of clothes and stumbled on a selection of knitwear that would suit me and then only to be confronted with the price, £99 for 100% acrylic top, you having a laugh or what? I know we are in a throw away society but a £99 for something that is gonna last less than a few washes before it goes from a sweat top to a jumper dress, it is nuts.
A visit to kinston would not be complete without a browse in the Apple store even if I did not buy anything. I also had to take a peek into the Pandora shop where my senses overwhelmed me and I just had to have another charm.

Angel

At least one thing that was value for money and worth every penny, lunch at Caffé Castello.

The Big 40

It was only a matter of time for the inevitable to come around and though I had several reservations about having a birthday party, looking back on it now I am so glad I did celebrate it with my close and true friends.
The preparations started a few weeks before hand when I thought it would be a great idea to have my party guests at the end of the meal let off into the sky some colourful Chinese paper lanterns. So I tracked down a supplier and bought 40 of them, one for each year. It was such a nice touch and lightened up the sky, you had to be there to see just how wonderful it was.
Thinking that would not be enough I also wanted to treat my guests to something for them to take home with them and at past parties I had put together party bags a bit like what the kids have but this time round I thought it what a nice treat for everyone to have their own birthday cake rather than just a slice of one and also some gorgeous individual chocolate slabs from Thorntons.

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The individual cakes are like nothing you have seen before as I had a selection of both cock cupcakes and muff muffins that came in all shapes, sizes and colours, well the cakes were not but the cocks and muffs were. I attempted to make my gay male friends have the muff muffins, funny how I did not have to persuade the girls to help themselves to the large cocks on the cupcakes.

birthday_cakes

These cakes were made by The Cake Store in Sydenham where I had got Wayne’s rather rude 40th cake from, both of which were a real talking point.
Oh and do not worry I did have my own slice of cake, I got my very own muff muffin complete with candle.

my_own_cake

Spa

My birthday was on the horizon and it was no ordinary one, it was the big one, my 40th. I thought that I would take some time out and relax before the weekends birthday celebrations and take a nice day out and some pampering at a spa and a spot of light lunch. I thought at the time I would nice to have some spa treatments at one venue then afterwards head over the Brighton’s marina for lunch. Wayne pointed out to me that we would be feeling a little to chilled out after the treatments that we might want to find a venue that could cater for all our needs. I am glad he suggested we do just that as I then discovered the absolutely gorgeous Lansdowne Place Hotel.
I invited some very dear friends to join me for a facial, hot stone back and neck massage, head massage and then a spot of light lunch at Doyles. It was also an extra treat for two of my guests who could not make Sundays birthday party, well at least now they would not miss out on the birthday celebrations, if anything they were now having some extra special.
My friend Colin who is such a hard working butler and at best of times on days off or booked holidays finds it hard to relax, so I am glad he could make this spa day out as I knew it would be the only time he could truly relax. For the record I had to take a photo just to prove that at times Colin can relax.

colin_spa_treatment

David has been one of my closes and dearly loved gentlemen in my life and with his on going battle with cancer and treatments this was an ideal opportunity that I could spend some time with him away from all things bad that were going on in his life. Unfortunately David had decided that he did not want any treatments as he felt quite fragile but little miss food connoisseur would join us for the luncheon side of things. I am glad he joined us for lunch as I knew he was not eating to well as the cancer treatments he was having were suppressing his appetite.
Thanks to Wayne this little extra treat meant that the five of us could chill out and dine with all the time in the world at something that was exclusively for us to enjoy. I say exclusively as the treatment rooms and dinning area were just for us to enjoy as throughout the whole wonderful experience it was just the five of us. Doyles food was beautifully presented as you can see from the photo below.

lansdown_lunch

For those that want a little time out and maybe only have a day or so to relax and recharge then I highly recommend a a few spa treatments and a spot of light lunch as The Lansdowne Place Hotel.