Shoes, Champagne & Cheese

Last September – I cannot believe it was a whole year ago!! Megs and I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum to view their, Shoes:Pleasure and Pain exhibition.

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Unfortunately you weren’t allowed to take photos inside the exhibition and even though lots of people were, we respected their wishes. So the photos you’ll see of shoes are all taken from Google!

The exhibition was great but pretty busy. Even though tickets were booked in advance and we had an allocated time slot, the first area with the glass displays of shoes were pretty crowded.

The displays were visually enticing but also informative and as a massive shoe lover I found it all very interesting and wanted to take a lot of the shoes home with me!

The shoes displayed ranged from the first pair of Greek Sandals, to 16th Century Venice, to 1940’s London Ladies shoes, to 1960’s Mary Quant boots all the way through to modern day Jimmy Choo’s.

They also had a display dedicated to famous shoes in history, such as David Beckham’s football boots, the infamous white Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, well worn by Marilyn Monroe and even Cinderella’s glass slipper, which I really wanted to sneak home, but don’t think it would have fitted some how and obviously Cinderella still has the other one!

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Now you’ve seen all the shoes, which for me are a pleasure. I guess you’re wondering where the pain was? Well along with the Chinese bound slippers which looked like absolute torture! There was a whole area dedicated to Christian Louboutin and his Fetish shoes. I guess you could say this was a pleasure/pain area. I love the look of these shoes though and would love to try a pair.

The ballerina/pointe shoes are designed to be worn while crawling to your partner, so no fears of falling over in them!

 

After looking around all the shoe displays we watched a video of iconic shoe moments in film, advert and TV history, including Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City’s Blue Manolo Blahnik’s, John Travolta’s walk in Saturday Night Fever, Marilyn Monroe’s strut and Michael J Fox’s white Nikes in Back to the Future 2. We then made our way upstairs to a much airier, brighter and more modern environment to watch videos and displays on how shoes are intricately made.

It was a really fun morning and even though this exhibition has now finished, I would definitely recommend visiting the V&A for their exhibitions as well as their usual collections. Below are their current offerings:

  • Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear – On until 12th March 2017
  • Engineering the World – Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design – On until 6th November 2016
  • You Say You Want a Revolution? Record and Rebels 1966-1970 – On until 26th February 2017

From the V&A we made our way over to Covent Garden for a spot of lunch at Champagne and Fromage.

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Champagne and Fromage is a tiny shop and bistro selling an array of champagnes, French cheeses and charcuterie – all the best C’s!

Megs and I found our spot and settled in for the afternoon, sharing a bottle of deliciously cold champagne along with a selection of foods including baked Camembert with nuts, dried apricots and figs along with a selection of breads and salads.

We thought we were too full for dessert until we saw what was on offer! Macarons, Champagne or Mojito sorbets, Apple tart with champagne cream or how does a champagne and raspberry tiramisu sound? Delicious!

C&F is great for a cosy afternoon full of treats and indulgence and I would definitely recommend booking a table, especially if you fancy visiting at peak times.

On our stroll back to the station we noticed that Be At One had a 2 for 1 offer on cocktails so we popped in for 1 which turned into 2, which turned into… you get the picture!

A very indulgent and fun girls day out 🙂

Love, Chloe xxx

 

 

 

Date Night at Chiltern Firehouse!

Matt and I don’t have date night’s very often. Don’t get me wrong we go out for dinner and drink’s..a lot! But it’s usually with different groups of friends or our families. Which of course is nice and good fun, but sometimes you just want it to be the two of you. Also since moving to Surrey, I’m more reluctant to travel into London. It just feels like such a mission compared to the journey we used to have ha. So more often than not when we do go out with people it will be the local pub, Pizza Express or Prezzo. Nothing wrong with these places at all but sometimes you just want to treat yourselves to something a bit more special.

Our thing as a couple is usually the cinema, we love watching the newest block buster and visit quite often. But of course in that environment you don’t really get a chance to talk, plus it’s usually on a midweek work night where we have rushed home, grabbed a bite to eat and gone straight out again. Fun? Yes. But romantic? Not really.

So when we do decide to go on an actual date night, we really go all out. Pre dinner drinks, a swanky restaurant and a chance for us to get glammed up!

I have a little list going of places I would like us to try out, most are pretty expensive (hence why we don’t do it very often!) But we are slowly making our way through them. And this time we were trying out Chiltern Firehouse.

If you live in the UK or are into your celeb gossip (like me!) then you will have most likely heard of Chiltern Firehouse. It opened in 2013 as a small hotel and restaurant and seems to have been a firm favourite with the celebs ever since. If you read the Daily Mail, then I guarantee you, every day they will have a story about yet another celebrity going for dinner there or falling out of the club! Today I noticed it’s Rita Ora (she seem’s to go there a lot!)

So yes I did want to visit for the food, but this time it was also a little bit more about the atmosphere and seeing if we could spot any celebs!

Matt made the reservation about 2 months ago! Yes you really do have to book that far in advance for this place and even then you will only get a restaurant booking for 10pm!! Unless you are part of the rich and famous, of course!

I was excited and finally 2 weeks ago, we got to find out what this place was all about..

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^^ At home selfie

As our reservation wasn’t until 10pm. We started the evening at the Lobby Bar of the London Edition Hotel.

It’s located in Fitzrovia, roughly 5 minutes walk from Soho and Tottenham Court Road.

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As you can see from the outside, the hotel looks grand and very traditional of British/London architecture. Inside I loved the mix of the traditional marble and ornate ceilings, mixed with the modern decorations and sofa’s.

It was busy as you would expect for a Friday evening in London. But we soon found a place to sit and Matt ordered us a couple of Mojito’s. We relaxed and chatted about our days and what we had coming up over the next couple of weeks. It’s nice just to take time out and reconnect as a couple.

The service here was great and a waitress soon popped over to see if we were OK. We ordered a couple more cocktails and she brought them over with a complementary bowl of nuts. Exactly what we needed after a couple of cocktails and not eating until late 😉

The time passed quickly and before we knew it we were jumping in a cab and heading off to Chiltern Firehouse.

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The entrance is tucked away behind a fairy light filled courtyard and large black gates, guarded by doormen in top hats! As well as greeter’s (I don’t know if that is a proper thing or if I’ve made that up, but hopefully you know what I mean!) We also noticed a huge crowd of paparazzi, waiting to see who would be next to jump out of their private car.

As we stepped out of our taxi, a few flashes went off and we heard people shouting someone’s name. For a moment I thought I was famous 😉 haha. But when I quickly turned around to see what all the commotion was about and to see which big star had arrived, we saw it was Nancy Dell’Olio. I was so disappointed! To me she is not a celebrity, I didn’t even realise she was still popular. Harsh but true.

We walked to the gates, ignoring what was going on behind us and told the men that we had a restaurant reservation. One of the gentlemen escorted us inside, where we were then greeted by the cloakroom lady. She took our coats and escorted us to the reservation desk, where yet another lady took our name and then finally our waiter took us to our table. I guess you could say we were well looked after and everyone seemed genuinely happy to help and be there.

I must admit that the tables are pretty close together and we were seated along a long booth, so we had people either side of us. But it’s not like people we’re actually sat at your table, like Wagamama’s or Ping Pong. Plus I found it quite cute and cosy!

Our waiter was super friendly, helpful and always laughing and joking with us. I had heard great things about the crab doughnuts, so asked if we could have some to share with a glass of bubbles each, while we looked through the menu. Just a pre starter starter or light snack as Matt called it 😉

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^^ Checking out the menu

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^^ The crab doughnuts, which were super tasty, we could have easily eaten a few more of those! 😉

Matt had been given the wine list and was taking a long look at all the options, our favourite at the moment is Sancerre. We only first tried it back in April but it now seems to be our go to if out at a nice place. Usually though on a normal basis I stick to a Pinot or Sav Blanc 😉 The Sommelier then came over to see if we were OK and to take our order, Matt said about the Sancerre, but asked if he had any other recommendations. Which of course he did 😉 So we ended up going for a bottle of 2008 Blanc Fume De Pouilly instead. Neither of us had even heard of this wine before let alone tasted it, but he assured us it was just like Sancerre but a bit richer and would go with our food choices better. It was very tasty I must admit!

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Now back to the good stuff! The food!

To start I had the ‘Tender Leaves’ basically a salad with added beetroot, blood orange and candied pecans. I wanted something light to start, but you did actually get quite a large portion and I couldn’t finish it all. It was full of flavour though.

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Matt went for the Steak Tartare, one of his favourites! It was served with added pine nuts and chipotle & firehouse hot sauce. He said it was good but that the sauce wasn’t actually that hot.

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For our main courses, I was torn over a couple of dishes mostly a toss up between fish or pork. Fish won and I finally decided on the Wild Turbot, served with seaweed hollandaise and baby Jersey Royal potatoes. As you can see in the picture, a big plate of food! Which as ever I struggled to finish and had to leave some. The fish was cooked beautifully though.

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Matt had the Confit of Duck. He didn’t talk much while eating so it must have been good! 😉

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As you can see we also decided on a couple of sides to share including the green bean salad and maple-bourbon sweet potatoes. Usually at these types of places you need to order extra sides to complete your meal but here we could have easily coped without them. The sweet potato mash was different though and something you should try.

We had a small rest, but I was determined to fit in dessert somewhere! Especially as I had seen so many amazing dishes go by, I couldn’t miss out! and there were lots to chose from!

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I finally decided on the key lime pie which was really delicious, if a little sickly, but for once I did finish the whole thing 😉 and Matt went for the dark chocolate torte. You will probably start to notice a pattern of Matt going for chocolate desserts and myself, fruit. Hopefully you can spot both desserts in the picture below.

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We were totally full and I could barely move ha. But it had been such a lovely night filled with good food, drink and the best company ❤

It was now just gone midnight and people were heading to the nightclub, which we could have gone to. But due to our train times, we decided to head back. One negative of the evening. When you leave, you get escorted out the back door and end up in a back alley with the chefs who have just finished for the night. Bit odd I felt and it did feel like you were being thrown out of the building!

But oh well we still had a great experience, even with the lack of celebs! 😉 Now to start thinking about the next one!

Love, Chloe xx