L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon -Fine dining at its best

Last Saturday my husband and I went to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon which is one Michelin star restaurant in Covent Garden. A true jewel of West End. We were both so excited about our date night. With the small toddler and being away from your home country you don’t really get much time off as a couple as there are no grandparents to help you out. Luckily our nanny does baby sitting for us occasionally which is great.  It is so relieving to leave our daughter to her hands as we know she know her inside out plus has done such an amazing job with her so far! It was a beautiful day in London and was lovely to walk hand in hand in the Central London.

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Like I said in my previous post London Restaurant Festival was still on so we got an amazing deal of full three course menu with matching wines in this fantastic restaurant.

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My husband and I chose different courses from the menu so that we could taste as many as possible.

We got an amuse-bouche from the kitchen to start with. It was some kind of chevre foam with port wine. Absolutely heavenly. So unusual but tasty.

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Sorry about the dark photos.The restaurant had a very dark interior, black and red so photographing was challenging!  The seating was Japanese teppanyaki style -super cool and modern, high bar stools around the kitchen. I loved it as we were able to watch chefs working and decorating each meal to their finest detail.

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My starter was this gorgeous foie gras with green beans. It was amazing. The wine with it was strong oaky chardonnay. I have to tell you a secret. I had the most horrible cold the day before and I was terrified that I could not taste anything the day after. I had a snotty nose but luckily I tasted most of it, maybe some super fine flavours I could not capture. Such a bad luck isn’t it!?

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My husband took the eschabeche of kipper with potatoes. Super good too! He got a crispy Sauvignon Blanc with it.

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My husband went for 4 course instead of 3 so we got an extra starter which was this phenomenally poached egg with Comte cheese sauce. The poach egg was a piece of art, it was cooked into perfection!

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My main course was salmon. I was suprised that the restaurant chose to serve it with rose wine. I was a bit doubtful of this combination as for me rose is more of a socialising summer wine but it went together with the salmon so well that I will definitely try this combination again, maybe serve it even for my guests!

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My husband chose pork belly with beans. Obviously he got a strong Spanish red with it. It was delicious although I am not a big pork belly fan. in fact I don’t eat pork at all…

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For dessert I went for chocolate macaroon with hazelnut cream filling and convinced my husband to take the strawberry cheesecake so that I could taste both…I got some red dessert wine with it, it was almost like a port wine. My husband got some super tasty Riesling dessert wine from Germany.  The combinations of flavours were just fantastic.

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How beautiful are these desserts!!!?

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I ordered black coffee with my dessert too. It was an amazingly tasty coffee, I guess Michelin star restaurants need to choose their coffees carefully too. They brought more cakes with it…luckily my husband had some room in his tummy.. I could not fit anything in…

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The food was so tasty, beautifully presented, each ingredient on the plate had its purpose. My husband was so fascinated about this eating experience that told me we needed to go again as it was so amazing. We have been fine dining a fair bit. Unfortunately I so often get disappointed not only due to the food but usually just the setting, I don’t like pretentious restaurants with white table cloths and dry waiters. This place was great. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, teppanyaki setting and music being rather loud which gave the restaurant an edgy club vibe.

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I warmly recommend this place. They do now the same menu as their pre-theatre menu. If you have a chance to go to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon go, don’t miss your chance!

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The Orange Tree Pub -Pubi Totteridgessa

We love to do day trips at weekends. My dear Aussie husband and I both love discovering new places in London particularly when new pubs are involved. On Saturday we went to this praised and recommended pub in Tottridge called The Orange Tree. I had heard it was good but never did I think it would have been this good. It was like a fine dining restaurant, fantastic atmosphere, beautiful decor and great location and yes, the food was top draw.

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Rakastamme  päiväretkiä. Minä ja rakas aussiemieheni yksinkertaisesti nautimme uusien paikkojen katsastamisesta etenkin jos kuvioon kuuluu pubiruokailu. Lauantaina vierailimme eräässä hyvin arvostetussa ja suositellussa pubissa Tottridgessa nimeltä The Orange Tree. Olin kuullut, että kyseinen pubi olisi hyvä. En koskaan kuitenkaan uskonut, että mikään pubi kauempana ”maaseutumaisemissa” voisi olla näin uskomaton. Ruoka oli kuin ”fine dining” ravintolassa, tunnelma mahtava, sisustus ja ympäristö hivelevän kaunis.

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ImageDecor was very impressive

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Everything was just so thought through.

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I had this amazing scallops starter. Scallops were seared in the top quality olive oil and served with pineapple salsa, sweet chilli sauce and balsamico. I got so excited about this dish so I prepared the whole fried squid with salsa in the evening. I will post the recipe later :)!

Tilasin tämän uskomattoman herkullisen alkupalan: oliiviöljyssä paistettuja kampasimpukoita, jotka tarjoiltiin makean chilikastikkeen, ananassalsan ja balsamicon kera. Innostuin annoksesta niin paljon, että valmistin samana iltana kokonaisesta mustekalasta vastaavantyylisen aterian. Postaan reseptin pian blogiini!

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For the main course I ordered a duck salad. I am getting used to ordering salads as my main. This is due to a fact that I know that every time the main arrives my baby gets hungry too and there is no way I am finishing my meal before feeding her, so the best option is to order something that tastes good even if being cold: salad. With the starter I had Australian Little Yerring Chardonnay. I am a Chardonnay girl from head to toes, but I ordered this wine due to the nostalgic feelings. My dear Aussie husband and I did a trip to Yarra Valley and actually visited Yerring station  a few years ago. In the winery I had this wine last time! With the mains we chose Shiraz-Viognier from the same vineyard. My dear Aussie husband had a seafood linguini as his starter and spit chicken roast as his main. Everything was so delicious that I warmly recommend you to visit this pub. It is like a top class restaurant. The staff is wonderful, food excellent, wine list very interesting and the pub is also very child friendly.

Pääruoaksi tilasin ankkasalaatin. Tilaan nykyään aina salaatin pääruoaksi. Tiedän kokemuksesta, että joka kerta kun pääruokani saapuu, tyttäreni tulee nälkäiseksi ja tämä merkitsee sitä, että oma ruokailuni saa odottaa. Tästä viisastuneena tilaan siis aina salaatin, joka maistuu kylmänäkin yhtä hyvältä! Alkuruoan kanssa tilasin valkoviinia, australialaista Little Yerring Chardonnayta. Rakastan Chardonnayta ja vannon sen nimeen aina, mutta syy juuri tähän viiniin oli nostalginen mieliala. Nautin viimeksi kyseistä viiniä Yerring station viinitilalla Yarra Valleyssa Australiassa, kun rakkaan aussimieheni kanssa teimme viinitilamatkan. Pääruoan kanssa päädyimme samaisen viinitilan Shiraz-Viognier punaviiniin. Meillä oli kerrassaan täydellisesti onnistunut pubilounas! Paikka oli mahtava, palveleluhenkilökunta hyvin ystävällistä, ruoka uskomatonta, viinilista kattavan vaikuttava ja pubi oli erittäin lapsiystävällinen. Suosittelen siis lämpimasti teitä vierailemaan kyseisessä pubissa, se on kaiken matkustuksen arvoinen!

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I hope you had a great weekend too!

Toivottavasti teilläkin oli onnistunut viikonloppu!

Our typical Sunday in North London – Sunnuntaimme Pohjois-Lontoossa

Yesterday when the morning was sunny we thought we would have a family walk from Muswell Hill to Highgate. We hadn’t done that walk before so we were curious to see what the are between was like. We have our eyes constantly open for new places and potential areas to buy house in. Muswell Hill is one of my favourite places in North London. If you have not been there, go! It is like a small pocket of London and cute own world. It has great shops and cafes and it is super baby friendly too. There is this awesome place called Crocodile Antiques . It has a fantastic shop attached to a love coffee shop. They have play corner for kids and in general lovely atmosphere. Muswell Hill has lots of non-mainstream shops which I prefer.  There is a shop called COOK.  I love the concept of this place. It sells gourmet style pre-made meals, lots of Indian food and wonderful cakes and desserts! Every meal has a signature of a chef who cooked it! I think this must be the dream of any busy housewife at Muswell Hill if surprise dinner guests arrive!

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These days Planet Organic is my favourite store to do our family grocery shopping  in! There is one in Muswell Hill and the other one on Essex Road, both North London. The store has a great selection of organic food, and goodies! They do home deliveries too!

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From Muswell Hill we chose a nice road to walk to Highgate. We passed beautiful houses and walked across Highgate Wood, a wonderful forest like park! The air smelled so fresh that it felt almost like being at the countryside.

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After arriving to Highgate village we went to this fantastic and cosy pub called Red Lion and the Sun. The food was excellent, service really good and pub so popular and crowded that we go the last table they had, so next time we need to book a table well advance! This pub is the place to be on Sundays. I warmly recommend it. It was a find!

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We had a lovely Sunday.

I also have to mention that my baby is so good. During the whole long (3h) lunch in the pub she was happily sitting in her highchair and being social and charming all the people around her. The group of people in the next table to us was admiring her and her huge blue icy eyes. I definitely feel so thankful for having such a lovely daughter, but it has been a long journey and the allergy problems messed up our happiness for a long time so I feel like as a family we deserve this. I am glad to get the happiness back and say I finally fully enjoy my motherhood.

Last night I realised I have been adding very few posts about our travels and I think in addition to the recipes I will be adding lots of traveling tips and accommodation recommendations as we have found so many lovely places to stay and visit whilst traveling around Europe. I hope you find them useful for your travels!

Have  a wonderful Monday!