Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bill's

Just Too Tasty!

When you want to escape and have your mood catapulted upwards through the roof then look no further than Bill's in Angel. You will discover a shop-cafe-restaurant delight with shelves lined with jars, bottles and brown paper packages. So much to look at, it took me 5 minutes to actually sit down at the table!

Come in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just doughnuts (I couldn't help it), though be aware that you won't want to leave!

Inside, it is warm and welcoming with candles in jars on each table and so much to look at and comment on that you will never run out of something to say! The tall shelves are lined with delicious looking jams and spreads and colourful foodstuffs. Dried tomatoes and peppers hang from the ceiling and comfortable leather sofas draw you towards them. The pictures hardly need any words!





Doughnuts and strawberries dipped in melted chocolate couldn't have been more appropriate at 9pm when dinner had somehow got lost along the way. Likewise, scones were an equally great choice. Tonight we supported the 'eat what you want, when you want' mantra and didn't regret it one bit.

The doughnuts were warm, doughy and perfectly sweet, served in a little mug which I would liked to have been bottomless! The fluffy and fruity scones were equally perfectly baked with jam and clotted cream in little dishes on the side.


To accompany our sweet treats, fresh mint tea and a large pot of Earl Grey made their way to our table. This created the equation for a perfect evening and I expect will probably provoke a wonderful pattern!






There will be no keeping us away now and this face is going to be making regular appearances I expect, (although it may have doubled in size if the doughnuts have their way)!


Bill's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Barrio Central

A Flaming Bit Of Fun.

Wandering around Soho in search of something friendly and fun, we happened upon Barrio Central and it was just what we were looking for. If you fancy a little Latino holiday in an evening, then get on over to this bar Poland Street.

Once inside, head downstairs for a bit of retro carnival.




Umbrellas decorate the ceiling while the walls are covered in suitcases and brightly coloured paper. 


Downstairs, coloured lightbulbs and an eclectic mix of people create a vibrant and happy environment that can't help but make you smile as soon as you enter. Head to the bar and prepare to be wowed.

The cocktails themselves reflect the decor and are also that little bit crazy and fun with some rather amusing descriptions. When fire gets involved, the show begins and it's hard not to be at least a little bit secretly impressed!


Feeling slightly dessert deprived, I went for the Ron Mocha Boca, a great choice for those of you who enjoy a good old milkshake!




Playful and exotic, go with friends willing to have a laugh and soak up the vibe. Perhaps even try out a bit of salsa if the music takes you there!

Barrio Central on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Flat Iron

Grab Your Steak.

Push open the double doors into this meaty haven. The makers of Flat Iron have clearly taken time to ensure everything is just right; be it the butchers aprons hanging by the entrance, miniature meat cleavers at every place, the mug of popcorn as soon as you sit down or simply the most wonderful steak I have had in ages.


There is no need to panic when looking at the menu, you can choose from steak or steak. It is deliciously simple and has made its own contribution to saving the rainforest, hanging on the wall above the tables for all to see.

Set over three floors and seating around 60, this perfect little establishment is casual, warm and welcoming (the knives on the wall are for decorative purposes of course)! Exposed brickwork and glowing lights set a scene of simple satisfaction. 

We arrived for a bit of a late lunch so the salty popcorn was perfect to keep our hunger at bay before the main show! Bonus points because we weren't full before the steak arrived; a serious danger of the dreaded bread basket!

We couldn't really resist a play with the cute little cleavers but once the food arrived, all eyes were focused on the beautifully cooked piece of meat infront of us. Served on wooden boards and helpfully sliced into bite-size pieces, we could find no fault other than the steak didn't stretch the entire length of the table! 


Some creamed spinach, fries and bearnaise sauce added the icing to the cake.


I couldn't stop admiring this little knife and if you too have a penchant for kitchenware or are just equally as strange as me, then you can actually purchase one of your very own at the bar!

Focused on the smaller details, I noticed this iron sitting alone in the corner looking a little forlorn. Perhaps (for those of you who didn't know already) because the iron playing piece in monopoly has been replaced by a cat. I am outraged.

And on a much brighter note, here is a fun fact to leave you with.

Flat Iron don't take bookings but queue or no queue, it's well worth a visit or two.

Flat Iron on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Bubbledogs

Meat and Bubbles.

I'd like to say I happened upon this by coincidence, but I'd be lying. I have been commanded to go to Bubbledogs by everyone who has experienced the wonders of hotdogs and champagne. So I now command everyone who doesn't know what to do with their afternoon to grab a mate and run there immediately!


While you will probably have to queue, don't let this put you off since it is well worth the wait. Have a peep through the window to see what awaits you inside!

Once indoors, you will be led to your table (or bench) and presented with a menu. The champagne options are extensive and I went for the 'close your eyes and point' method, which worked out fabulously! Next mission was to select the hotdog. The menu tells you what's what and decision making shouldn't be that hard because you can have something different next time (there will be a next time)! 


The perfect venue to catch up with old friends, make new ones or simply get involved with your hotdog. We went for the Sloppy Joe (mainly because of the name) and the Trishna Dog (because it had mango chutney and I just love mango chutney)!





Don't forget the sweet potato fries which are a perfect addition to the champagne! Cheers!

Opposite our seat was this wonderful array of pictures; cute as a button and a clever little take on the hotdog.



When the bill arrived, it came nestled in this tiny novel full of pictures and comments from previous diners. We couldn't help but add our mark to the story but it's a secret!



Lunch has been stepped up a notch. What's not to love about champagne in the afternoon? (Although maybe save this for a weekend treat to promote a healthy work/ life balance...or not).


Bubbledogs on Urbanspoon





Thursday, 14 February 2013

John Salt

The New(ish) Kid On The Block.

A more than successful adventure around Islington caused me to stumble upon this patch of exquisiteness after being relinquished from the clutches of 69 Colebrooke Row just a few minutes round the corner. Fresh, open and bustling, you need not look any further for the casual allure of Angel's finest. Meet John Salt.

The rustic brick panels and flood lit drinks cabinet draw you to the bar where you will be greeted with smiles and charm; the perfect sales technique!




Inside, the mood is casual and comfortable with the DJ ensuring the atmosphere is just right. Islingtonians lounge on the array of leather in the main body of the room while in the front and upstairs plates of gorgeous looking food are whisked to the clever people who booked a table! (Next time I'm definitely coming prepared since I can't wait to sample new head chef Neil Rankin's expertise.)

You won't find flowers in the hanging baskets here but instead, light filters through the wicker weave spreading warmth throughout the room. How lovely!


I just couldn't resist this picture. What a hotdog.

Such a bright idea. Crackers and cheese with your Bloody Mary and a handy celery straw!

As good a reason as any to move to Angel I'd say!

John Salt on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

69 Colebrooke Row

Oh So Suave.

"The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep." E.W.Howe 

I shall be wise and share the secret of 69 Colebrooke Row; the bar with no name but plenty of class.


To all the men out there who can't decide where to take a girl, look no further than this little hidden gem in Angel to whisk her off her feet. Be prepared to cosy up; the music and hum of voices will make sure your conversations can't be heard even if the bar is intimate!



The bar staff will do their very best to squeeze you in if you haven't booked but be on the safe side so that you have time to explore the whole menu and soak up the atmosphere.


Behind the bar, lab coats whisk up concoctions that leave you wishing you arrived earlier! The mixologists know what they're doing. Cocktails are expertly created like works of art and the names on some of the glasses add that little personal touch that can't help but make you smile and feel special.

After an agonising browse of the menu deciding which of all the delicious looking cocktails we were going to choose, we finally selected the Barber Shop Fizz and Death in Venice; perfect choices and highly recommended. 



And a little farewell note from Colebrooke to you ..

69 Colebrooke Row on Urbanspoon