Da Vinci’s

ROAST BEEF at Da Vinci’s in Hornchurch

Roast Rating 7/10

This was a fabulous dining experience and a real credit to the Essex restaurant scene. We first heard about Grain when it was featured in the Essex Feast book a couple of years ago. Then when I’d seen that a couple of my chef friends had been and said it was good we certainly wanted to pay a visit ourselves.

We first visited Caractere back in October and was so amazed by the experience it became my choice for Top London (non michelin stars) restaurant in my personal 2019 Lloydie Food Awards and so therefore couldn’t wait to return. Now I can honestly say that after our visit on saturday they have set the bar very high and I seriously think it’s going to be very hard for someone to stop them holding on to that title. We arrived on Saturday and received the same delightful friendly greeting as last time.

Due to the great feedback from the 2019 #THELLOYDIES I’ve decided to carry it on into 2020.

So now let me tell you a thing or two about this year’s categories. My decision to call the Michelin Star and Essex categories as a Dining Experience will now extend to the other categories of Gastro Pub , Overseas & London.

My only stipulation is that once a place qualifies in the Michelin Star category they will Not be featured in any of the other Top 5 categories.

There’s no greater way to finish the year than with these delectable delights.

Enjoy 🤪

Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Albion Pub in Islington

Peanut Butter & Caramelised White Chocolate ‘Paris Brest’ at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Blueberry Cheesecake at Le Moulin Patisserie in Hornchurch

Dark Chocolate Pudding at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Chocolate Brownie at The BlackHorse in Brentwood

The Pain Perdu at Core by Clare Smyth

Pistachio & Chocolate Macaroon Christmas Tree at Le Moulin Patisserie in Hornchurch

Plum Tarte Tatin at The Black Horse in Brentwood

Gulab Jamun with Coconut Kulfi at Tandoori Lounge in Hornchurch

Well that’s it not only for December but for 2019. I hope you’ve enjoyed all the desserts this year. See you in January to begin 2020 for more delicious treats.

We decided to visit the Black Horse in Brentwood on Boxing Day as our previous visits during the course of the year had been good ones. As we’d enjoyed good food with friendly service in a place with a great friendly atmosphere. So when we were looking for somewhere to take my wife’s parents out for a Xmas treat we looked no further than here. They were doing a reduced menu of 3 courses for £26.95 which seemed to be great value for money. There only requirement was that you had to choose your dishes in advance which was not a problem and made it easier all round on the day. We arrived on a horrible wet day but the greeting we received from manager Leigh was so friendly you straight away forgot about the weather outside. We decided to have a pre lunch drink in the bar where we received our first delightful surprise as these were complimentary.

This was just the most amazing way to end my fantastic 2019 Foodie year and yes where better to finish than at Core. The food was absolutely outstanding , the service yet again was first class , the wine selections were amazing and the cocktails for our pre / post lunch drinks were a delight.

So it was not hard to see why Core became my choice for

My 2019 Top Michelin Star Dining Experience #THELLOYDIES

My 2019 Foodie year really has been one to remember with a visit to Ten Michelin Star restaurants and where it was also great to see a First Star awarded to my good friends Da Terra & The Artichoke. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Michelin Star meal outside England at the fantastic Ristorante Lido 84 in Lake Garda. It was absolutely fantastic to see that my great friends at Haywards Restaurant receiving a well deserved 3 AA Rosettes. I can honestly say that London & my county of Essex have done me proud with some amazing food. There has also been a fantastic array of stunning Desserts for me to devour.

So with all this I’ve created My Personal Food Awards and therefore I welcome you to the LLOYDIES

MY TOP MICHELIN STAR DINING EXPERIENCE

1. Core by Clare Smyth

2. Helene Darroze at the Connaught

3. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

4. Ristorante Lido 84

5. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

MY TOP ESSEX DINING EXPERIENCE

1. Haywards Restaurant in Epping

2. Tandoori Lounge in Hornchurch

3. Rubino Kitchen in Maldon

MY TOP LONDON RESTAURANT (Non Michelin Stars)

1. Caractere in Notting Hill

2. Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at Corinthia Hotel

3. The Frog Hoxton in Hackney

MY TOP OVERSEAS DINING EXPERIENCE

1. Basilikos Restaurant in Skiathos

2. PVP Restaurante Petiscos in Madeira

3. Taverna Polykratis in Skiathos

MY TOP GASTRO PUB

1. The Oxford Blue in Old Windsor

2. The Albion in Islington

3. The Black Horse in Brentwood

MY TOP SUNDAY ROASTS

1. Cote de Beouf at Haywards Restaurant in Epping

2. The All In at Blacklock Shoreditch

3. The Roast Beef at Pig & Whistle in Chelmsford

And so we end with my favourite subject DESSERTS and with so many to choose from I’ve split them into separate categories

MY TOP MICHELIN STAR DESSERT

1. The Core Teaser at Core by Clare Smyth

2. Torte di Rose at Ristorante Lido 84

3. Peanut Mousse , chocolate & banana sorbet at Murano

MY TOP ESSEX DESSERT

1. Chocolate , pear , hazelnut at Haywards Restaurant

2. Rhubarb & Yoghurt Parfait at Rubino Kitchen

3. Gajar Halwa Sundae at Tandoori Lounge

MY TOP GASTRO PUB DESSERT

1. Banoffee Souffle at The Oxford Blue

2. Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Albion Pub

3. Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding at The Black Horse

MY TOP LONDON DESSERT

1. Peanut Butter & Caramelised White Chocolate ‘Paris-Brest’ at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

2. Strawberry Pavlova at Cornerstone

3. Dessert Platter at Roka Mayfair

I would now like to finish by paying homage to one of my favourite places in my hometown of Hornchurch

The place Le Moulin Patisserie who in my eyes make the best cakes in Essex. You are always made to feel very welcome when you pop in for either a coffee , cake or a light lunch. It’s not hard to see why this place is very popular.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these awards and I’m looking forward to more amazing food in 2020

This was a fantastic way to celebrate the 60th Wedding Anniversary of my wife’s parents. The food was amazing , the service was excellent and all this in a fabulous location. It was back in August when me and my wife popped in for a cocktail that we decided this would be a great place to bring her parents for their anniversary celebrations. This was due to the friendliness of the staff , the look of the dining room and at the time having a quick chat with manager Matthew.