Summer Soirée at Le Méridien Piccadilly

When it comes to summer holidays, you can’t beat the French Riviera.

With blue sea, blue sky, picturesque villages, quiet beaches and fantastic food, no wonder it’s been the playground of the rich & famous for so long!

However, no need to be rich or famous (or even to face the dreadful summer holiday airport check-in lines) to experience this little piece of Summer heaven, because Le Méridien Piccadilly is bringing Nice to London for the Summer!

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Nod to the French origins of the brand, Le Méridien Piccadilly’s restaurant, Terrace Bar & Grill, has been transformed into an idyllic coastal resort.

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Complete with striped sun loungers, sun umbrellas, blossoming climbing plants, espadrilles and a spot of apéritif

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… and even a pétanque field!

The iconic French sport is a favourite at family gatherings and a classic beachside hobby.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

The rules are really quite simple: you throw the small ball (the ‘cochonnet‘) first, and then it’s all about getting the big, metal balls as close as possible to it.

Whether you play in a tête-à-tête (one-on-one) or in teams, it’s always great fun and perfect to work up an appetite!

Which you’ll most definitely need to make the most of the antipasti menu, all inspired by classic Niçois dishes.

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Beautiful Artichoke Barigoule with creamy aioli.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Mini pots of melt-in-the-mouth Daube Provençale with carrots and olives.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Pan Bagnat (a tuna-filled bun & Nice’s answer to burgers!) and Pissaladière mini Tarte Tatin.

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Niçoise salad (of course).

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And the cutest little macarons!

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All washed down with icy glasses of Sifflet cocktails (martini Bianco, Champagne, mandarin syrup & citrus zest).

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And a glass or two of crisp local wine (when in France…)

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

… or, get two birds with one stone & indulge your French fashion fix with the Cocktail Espadrilles.

The perfect summer drink + the perfect Summer shoes? Summer packing’s never been that easy!

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Which means more time to soak in the sunshine of the French Riviera!

So gather friends, book a nice big table, put on your stripy Tees and enjoy the Summer vibes!

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Summer Soirée at Le Méridien Piccadilly

The Palomar

I’ve wanted to visit The Palomar ever since it opened back in April 2014. But just like another one of my recent discoveries, I’d been discouraged by the queues and hadn’t managed to get a table.

But apparently, the gods of restaurants and good food have been rather kind to me lately and as we passed by on Wednesday night and took a peek through the window, we spotted a couple of free seats.  The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyWe jumped on it and started perusing the powder pink menu… The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyMaking a choice wasn’t easy as everything looked so incredible, so it took us a while… or maybe it’s because I couldn’t take my eyes off the cooks workings their magic in the kitchen! God, I love those counter-tables restaurants!
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One thing I knew I absolutely wanted to order was the Kubaneh, which is a traditional Yemenite Jewish pull-apart yeast bread. The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyIt basically the perfect cross between a brioche and a croissant and absolutely delightful. Looking back at it, I wish we had ordered more of it so we could use it to mop up all the sauces from the other dishes we got!The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyMy favourite dish that night was the Beef Tartare. Served with burnt aubergine cream, toasted almonds, pickled garlic and a tomato dressing, it wasn’t quite the traditional version I’m used too, but delicious all the same. The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Aubergine & Feta Bourekas divided opinion around the table. I wasn’t so keen on them but it was my BF’s favourite, so it might just not be one for me. But you cheese-lovers around there are probably going to love it! The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyIt was totally fine though, as not being fighting for the last bits of that dish (for a change) did give me the opportunity to take a peek at that glorious cauliflower steak roasting away in the Josper OvenThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + Whisky… and generally enjoying the buzzy atmosphere. Everybody’s jocking around in the kitchen, signing, waving, and generally having a great time cooking, which made The Palomar the most fun restaurant I’ve ever had dinner at.The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyI was back to business as soon as this dish was put in front of me though! It was the most delicate Seared scallops with lemon beurre blanc, swiss chard, Jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut tuile. Apparently, it’s the head chef’s favourite dish, so I knew it’d be a cracker!The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyAnother must-order is the Shakshukit, which is basically a deconstruted kebab. But this refined version has very little in common with your usual, middle-of-the-night kebab… It must be eaten to be believed!  The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyI’m still not entirely sure what to think of the Jerusalem-style polenta. I loved the texture of the polenta, which was perfectly soft, almost like a corn-based risotto. But I wasn’t quite as excited as I thought I would be by that dish. Maybe I’m just not that much into truffle… 
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We were about to implode getting quite full but the dessert menu was so perfectly named that it finished convincing us that no meal’s complite without pudding.
The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyI’ve only heard good thing from everyone who’s had dinner at The Palomar and I’m going to join in with the fans and urge you to get in line for a table! I can garantee it’ll be worth the wait

Plus if you try the Pork tagine, please let me know how it is… I might be using that information as my excuse to go back!


The Palomar
34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN

The Palomar

Smith & Whistle

I’m always on the lookout for a great cocktail bar. So when I was invited to the launch of Smith & Whistle, I grabbed my magnifying glass, put my bowler hat on and jump in the nearest cab (aaaaah, isn’t the Tube Strike a blessing?). To Piccadilly please, Driver!Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyI followed the light beams to the scene of the crime…Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyOr rather, the most stunning modern Art Deco bar I’ve ever seen. Nestled in the Park Lane Hotel on Picadilly, the newly opened Smith & Whistle masters the mix of genres. Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyI’m happy to report that my investigations made me discover that it also has a very well stocked bar indeed! Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyWhat I truly fell head over heels for was the decor. And those delightful blue-green-gray chairs! 
Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyMy sidekick and I started the evening with a glass of Chapel Down Brut, a wonderfully British sparkling wine. Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskySmith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskySmith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyJust as we were getting cracking’ on some urgent matters (us detectives don’t have an easy life!), we were offered some extremely crunchy pork crackling, which led me to do that epic face (and consequently ruined any chance of us getting onto any serious matter that evening…).
Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyInstead, we investigated the cocktail menu in search of our next tipple. Which was more complicated than we thought it would be. Not that the menu was long (it was refreshingly short), but it was very interesting (I might even have used the word ‘bulls-y’). Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskySmith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskySmith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyWe finally made our choice, placed our order and indulged in a bit of people-watching while the bar team got busy doing their thing… Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyHuge silver trays crossed the room, full of glasses in all shades of yellow, from the pale gold of sparkling wine to the bright orange of those cute bottles.Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyThe Detective Inspector Smith (Jameson, lemon, simple syrup, Angorusta bitters and beer foam) was obviously a must-order (the bar was named after him after all)! The perfect cross between a whisky sour and a pint of beer. Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyWhich gave my rather smug-looking sidekick the perfect opportunity to practice his best pub-buddy smileSmith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyI truly recommend you give this a go (both the cocktail and the smile!) as it truly is on of the most balanced cocktails I’ve had in a while. 
Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyI went for another crowd-pleaser, The Fuzz (Havana Rum infused with rosemary, Cocchi Americano, Aperol. Carbonated). I mean, who could not like such an Instagram-worthy cocktail?Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyOne by one, people started to leave and the atmosphere went from buzzy to cheerfully relaxed.Smith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskySmith and Whistle bar launch party | Cake + WhiskyBrilliantly crafted cocktails, smiles all round and classy hats… I miht just have found my new Mayfair local! 

Smith & WhistleThe Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX

Smith & Whistle