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Tuesday 13 June 2017

Anniversary weekend

A table overlooking Hyde Park at Dinner by Heston
Birthdays and anniversaries are big for me. My mum and my grandma before her always celebrated in style, and I usually take a day off work for my birthday and organise something great. Mr Mutton, also known in the blogosphere as the mysterious "J," is somewhat bemused by all this but goes along with it, even when one of his birthdays saw him being whisked off to Edinburgh amid a whirlwind of seeing pandas, eating haggis and going to Tom Kitchin's wonderful restaurant.

This weekend was our seventh wedding anniversary - "not even a special one" grumbled J when I told him what we we were doing.

On Saturday we went to the Royal Albert Hall to see Nashville in Concert. This was for him, as I don't watch the TV show and have no liking for that sort of music I'm afraid. But he loves it.

The concert was very good, even though it wasn't my thing, and I was very taken by the appearance of the female star, Clare Bowen (Scarlett O'Connor) who looked like a sprite with glitter on her face, a diaphanous white dress with handkerchief hem, and hair in dreadlocks with feathers. On entering we were told sternly not to take any photos or record video, but nobody took a blind bit of notice and you could see the spooky glow of camera screens being held aloft throughout the performance. It must have killed off the boot leg video industry.

Here we are at the Royal Albert Hall (below).
About to go into the Royal; Albert Hall for Nashville in Concert
Last night we squeezed in another celebration and we went to Dinner by Heston, not to be confused with his other well-known restaurant with the tasting menu extravaganza and snail porridge, the Fat Duck.  We went to Dinner by Heston last year so I justified it by saying "but we always go there...."

I was wearing my painterly Phase Eight dress and white sandals with perspex heels, along with a beautiful new ruby ring which I'll be talking about in my next post on birthstones.

Dinner by Heston is in the elegant Mandarin Oriental Hotel and although it's all about fine dining, it doesn't have the snooty atmosphere and claustrophobic attentiveness of waiting staff that these establishments can often have,

The young team is very friendly and chatty; there's no pretentiousness when it comes to choosing wine or Champagne, and you instantly feel relaxed.

We had a great table overlooking Hyde Park and several amusing tableaux were playing out. A woman with high-heeled mules was asking literally everyone to take photos of her astride her Boris bike.

The menu revives old English classics. The starters include Meat Fruit, circa 1500, which is visually amazing. It looks like a tangerine - but it's actually chicken liver pate. Other starters are Salamagundy (c.1720) - chicken oysters, salsify, marrowbone & horseradish cream, which is what J had, and my Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon (c.1730): lemon salad, gentleman’s relish, wood sorrel & Exmoor caviar.  A fresh taste explosion in the mouth!
Smoked salmon with an Earl Grey Tea twist at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
No  photos exist of the main course because we both had Aberdeen Angus fillet steak and were so keen to get our hands on the three-times-cooked chips, that we couldn't be bothered to pick up the camera. The melting steak and the crunchy yet fluffy chips were to die for, even though I felt a bit guilty we hadn't had something more adventurous like Powdered Duck Breast (c.1850) - grilled red cabbage, smoked pickled beetroot & spiced umbles.

For pudding, J had Chocolate Bar (c.1730) with passion fruit jam & ginger ice cream (below) and I had Brown Bread Ice Cream (c.1830) with salted butter caramel, pear & malted yeast syrup. A nice touch was the chocolate ganache and shortbread that appeared as a surprise with "Happy 7th anniversary" in chocolate.
One of the original puddings at Dinner by Heston, Chocolate Bar with passion fruit jam and ginger ice cream

A nice touch as plates are decorated with "happy anniversary" at Dinner by Heston
A lovely evening and I think it's fair to say "we'll be back!"


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1 comment

  1. You were really busy, weren't you :)))). Soooo many lovely momments :))) Gail, thanks for visiting my blog. Have a fantastic evening - kisses - Margot :))))


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