Iberica shoreditch

Shoreditch is the new creative and design center of London. And to some extent of our modern world as few other hubs can be seen as rivals ! 

But it also boasts some great chefs and restaurants. Just out of shoreditch station you can find a first very good and pretty cheap option at Iberica.  Do not expect any Michelin start sophistication. Just excellent fresh Spanish food. 

Buñuelos de bacalao

QT Hotel Melbourne

First and foremost let me wish you all a very healthy and happy 2017. 

It all started very well for me and my family with some holidays off the slopes in Val d’Isère ( previous post ) followed by a business trip to visit my company’s headquarters in dream city Melbourne

I love that city. Its people. Its passion for nature, sport, food and coffee. Never been there ? Pin it for one of your next trip then as it is a must !

I have been lucky enough to stay at the QT Hotel. It recently opened and is all I like. Small. Excellent service and friendly staff from all over the world. Free internet. Great rooftop terrace. Competitive pricing at around 250 AUD including breakfast. And last but not least an exceptionally good restaurant and room service at excellent value for money ratio. 

Check out some of the dishes I have been lucky to honour for you ! 

Vive Melbourne !

Rooftop terrace with great cocktails and music
Ocean chargrilled prawns
Crab cake avocado fusion
Crazy watermelon topped with vanilla délice
Lounge world class bar
A chair , a table and a mousse
Red snapper – such a beautiful flesh I can still remember it !
Brewery next door
Slow cooked oven potatoes !

Heaven on slope. La fruitière Val d’Isère

Clearly some restaurants know how to treat customers. Serving excellent food is just not enough anymore. The staff at “la fruitière“, a restaurant located on the beautiful slopes of Val d’Isère in France got it loud and clear. Expect excellent food and a truly wonderful team looking after each single details of your gastronomic journey. Expect great dancing outdoor shows and DJ playing loud from 1 PM onwards during winter season. 

We had lunch there today ( and yesterday…and the day before…) and we could not have started the year any better. 

Benoit & Carolina

Nothing like home !

We just spent Christmas at home, in Montpellier, south of France, surrounded by friends and family including my grand mother aged 96 ! 

As usual my mum cooked and excelled ! We reached the summum yesterday for lunch with homemade “foie gras”, beautifully prepared “funghi porcini” picked up by my dad. All supported by a gorgeous red wine from sunny Languedoc called “Mas des brousses”. 

Clearly, there is nothing like a meal cooked by a mother ! And I am grateful she taught me that passion for food so that one day my kids might find there is nothing like dad’s little specialities !

Aloha !

Mas des brousses cuvée 2014
Dad’s handpicked porcini

Donovan’s Melbourne

Melbourne, what a city for foodies ! I had once more the confirmation the food scene was rising fast in Australia and in particular in Melbourne with an extraordinary melting pot of influences, abundance of premium local products from the land and sea, and lots of new young chefs orchestrating all this. 

I also had the confirmation that Australians are great welcoming hosts and a true land of diversity. 

I would name a few restaurants absolutely worth the wait. Pictures below are from Donovans, a local institution facing the sea. 

Another great one is Bistro Gitan in famous South Yarra neighborhood. 

And so many more to discover. 

Thanks !

queensland leader prawns grilled with oregano
yellow fin seared tuna
raw of the day !

Hotel number sixteen, London

This hotel is a gem. Located 100 meters away from the busy south Kensington station, it offers a bubble of silence with an open garden on the rear. 

I never stayed in the hotel, but used it very often for work or meetings. 

Worth mentioning they serve an excellent afternoon tea with some of the best scones in town. 

Free wifi. Ok drink prices. Nice personnel. A no brainer. 

Petersham Nurseries

Since we relocated to Richmond surrey early 2015, this restaurant kept surprising us. The location by the River Thames is mind blowing. The staff extremmely friendly but professional and efficient. And the food is simply succulent led by recently hired head chef Damian Clisby, an ex HIX Soho resident.

The Boglione family owns the place which is composed of a wonderful plants and tree nursery, a café, a shop selling antiques and the restaurant.

With their Italian roots, no surprise this is a constant in the cuisine they serve and ingredients they use. All at the summit of freshness.

This is a true bowl of fresh air away from the city close by the richmond royal park.

Bookings required weeks in advance for week end lunches.

Tél : 020 8940 5230

Enjoy !


  

Restaurant Leclere, Montpellier

We just arrived in my home town of Montpellier for a week to celebrate Christmas in family. And we are of to a very solid start from a food perspective. An excellent lunch at the newly opened restaurant LECLERE

  

The menu is set at an unbeatable 22€ for three courses. Wines by the glass at 5€. 

The starters were our favorite. Carolina had “crème de courge de pays, siphon de parmesan, oignons doux en tempura”. She said it was damn good ! And I have all reasons to believe her. Mine, “Bonite à cru, anchois, choux fleur rapé, aromates cerfeuil”, was superb. The bonite ( a smaller version of tuna ) served raw reaches the Everest of freshness !

 

We then both had the “chapon”, a large chicken usually served around Christmas. Perfectly cooked. Accompanied by celery purée and a couple of spinach leaves. The whole lot reduced using a white wine. Un délice !! 

 

Bonite à cru
  
crème de courge
  
Dos de chapon
 
For dessert the ” Ganache chocolat noir” has been our favorite. 

All in all an excellent experience for a very reasonable 56 € bill. 

Really proud of my hometown ! Go discover Montpellier and its food gems. 

  

ZOILO ,London , certainly the best Argentinian option in town

I will write this post in Spanish for a couple of reasons. Number one is for all my beloved Argentinian and Spanish speaking followers. Second as  a way to celebrate change. This blog is dedicated to art de vivre and it has never been intended to discuss politics. But I am so proud and happy that the people from Argentina decided last week end to say “Basta!”to Peronism and populism which brought this wonderful country at the very edge of collapse. There is hope again and I sincerely hope the new president will be called Mr Mauricio Macri. VAMOS ARGENTINA. VAMOS “CAMBIEMOS!”  

Ahora hablamos de comida. De comida argentina espectacular en Londres. El lugar  se llama “ZOILO” y se encuentra al lado de Selfridges en el número 9 de duke street. 

Nos gustó mucho el diseño tipo bistro parisino. La gente. 

El concepto son tapas para compartir. Cada tapa tiene precio entre 3.50 GBP ( por una empanada ) y 10 GBP ( por los platos caliente como el burger ). 

Creo que nunca comimos tan rico en un restaurant argentino. La provoleta sin duda la mejor que nunca tuvimos. Y probamos muchas estos últimos Díez años. 

  
La empanada súper casera con una masa muy liviana. Un tiradito de sea bass como en los mejores peruanos. 

Como plato caliento mi mujer pidió un asado. Ni les cuento la calidad de la carne. Cocción perfecta. 

Yo tuve el burger. Igual. Un éxito total !

Por el vino, elegimos 2 bodegas que siempre nos gustó. La linda 2011 y trumpeter 2013. 6 GBP la copa. Imbatible en Londres. 
Terminamos con peras cocinadas en vino tinto, servidas frías con un sorbete de ricota. Acompañado por una copa de vino dulce tinto. Un malbec obvio. 

Comimos con 7 tapas y 6 copas de vino. Por menos de 100 GBP. 

Les digo. Este lugar les vas a encantar ! Hace falta reservar con anticipación. 

Un abrazo a todos. Te quiero ARGENTINA !

  

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