I hope you all had a suitably spooky Halloween and dressed to impress. It’s finally time to start getting ready for all things festive now! But the end of October for me means one thing… it’s only a week until my birthday!!! (That’s 6th November for anyone feeling generous).
Before I get too excited though, it’s time to reflect on the very best of the past month. I hope you’re not too hungry because there’s a lot of delicious food involved…
1. Wrendale Designs
How beautiful is this stag cushion? Featuring stunning illustrations by Hannah Dale, Wrendale Designs sell stationery, cards, prints, mugs and furnishings for your home. I absolutely love this piece with its double sided design, and if you’ve seen my Instagram post, it fits in so perfectly with my growing collection of deer.
And deer may be my favourite animal but Hannah’s illustrations are just so cute that I have my eye on some other products already… That’s a few of my Christmas presents sorted too.
2. Brasserie Zédel
Located in the heart of London at Picadilly Circus, French restaurant Zédel has more to offer than just food, with live entertainment and a cocktail bar in the same building. But please, make sure you try their food.
The menu has plenty to offer with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes as well as the all important desserts. I had spiced lamb sausages with cous cous which I’d definitely order again. The portion size doesn’t look as hefty as your usual restaurant but I was surprisingly full after the meal, so no complaints from me.
Afterwards I shared some profiteroles and crème brûlée with a friend and both dishes delivered. The profiteroles are honestly the best I’ve tasted and the crème brûlée did well on the portion front compared to some of the other desserts.
If you fancy a bit of posh dining with food worthy of recommendation, put Zédel next on your list.
3. El Toro
El Toro is an Argentinian steak house in Kensington Olympia and promises to be the best steak going. I certainly believe them.
I visited with my parents and both my dad and I had their top steak at £25 and agreed that it’s the best tasting steak we’ve ever had. I opted for the traditional Argentinian accompaniment of red chimichurri sauce and wondered why I hadn’t been eating all of my steak with it before. Made with crushed chilli, onion, paprika, garlic, oregano, lemon juice and cilantro – I can’t wait to have a go at making this sauce at home.
4. The Chocolate Show
The UK’s biggest chocolate celebration ended with the annual Chocolate Show at Kensington Olympia. I went along for the first time to see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t really know what to expect but I certainly wasn’t expecting the immense variety of different brands, flavours, drinks and even artwork that I came across.
Some highlights for me included the amazing chocolate paintings by artist, Matt Roche of Art Au Chocolat. I can’t believe the detail that Matt manages to create in chocolate and hats off to him for not eating all the chocolate instead. I particularly loved the piece pictured above, including the little touches of metallic.
Out of all the mix of contemporary flavours, I have to pick out Pacari‘s dark chocolate and passion fruit as a stand out. I find that a lot of chocolate brands don’t quite get the balance of flavours right and end up lacking. Selling premium organic chocolate, Pacari’s products definitely deliver and they have a whole host of certificates behind them to prove it.
Whilst browsing all the exciting stalls at the show, I was drawn to this beautiful display from The Datery. Recently launched earlier this year, The Datery was born out of a husband and wife’s travelling adventures across Europe and the Middle East. Dates are a very common food in Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures, and the pair had the idea of fusing this delicacy with European fine chocolate.
I tried a few samples whilst I was there and really enjoyed their products. The palette is very luxurious with its sophisticated ingredients and fancy packaging, and the brand is becoming a very popular choice for wedding parties.
I have high hopes for The Datery so I got in touch with the couple to hear more about their delicious dates:
How would you describe each other in three words?
Mohammad: Perfectionist. Creative. BFF.
Aisha: Ambitious. Driven. Caring.
You only just launched this year, what do you think has led to the rapid success you’ve had so far?
M: I believe a lot of it has to do with the brand and the products. We are super passionate about what we do and I really believe that comes across in everything from hand coating the dates in chocolate, social media and customer service, to our London based kitchen, packaging, etc. We also accept that not a lot of people have tried or even heard of chocolate coated dates so there is an educational angle to what we do as well. It’s an exciting product and people’s reactions have been amazing.
What were you doing before The Datery came about?
A: We are originally from the corporate world where we worked as consultants in the City. That’s actually where we met!
What are your personal favourite flavours?
A: Dark chocolate & walnut with a touch of sea salt.
M: That’s a tough one for me…I think its between Milk chocolate & almond and the White chocolate and pistachio.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
M: For me, I think it was the moment we launched as a business. Just seeing “The Datery” as something real and not just an idea meant a lot and the journey so far has been incredible.
A: I completely agree. From our launch to sending our hand made chocolate dates to Kenya, California, Stockholm, all across the UK and hearing/seeing everyone’s feedback. Its been amazing so far.
What are you working on next?
A: Lots of new and exciting flavours, collaborations and a big secret that I can’t tell you right now – sorry!
M: We’re super excited for the run up to Christmas and 2017. Stay tuned!
If you liked this post, check out: September Favourites
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