This was our first visit to Caractere and I can assure you now that it won’t be our last. Set in the very popular area of Notting Hill on the corner of the Ledbury Road & Westbourne Park Road is where you’ll find the restaurant. The site used to be a an old pub but owners Emily & Diego have turned it into a fabulous dining room.

This was our fourteenth visit in the last three years to the Artichoke and in that time have become good friends with owners Laurie , Jackie and head chef Ben. So therefore when the announcement came on Monday 7th October that they they had finally earned the distinctive honour of holding a Michelin Star ⭐️ I couldn’t have been more pleased. The food here has been so consistent and we’ve even noticed that on our last three or four visits this has definitely risen to the next level.

This was not only our first visit to Alain Ducasse but also to the hotel itself and I must say that after yesterday’s visit it’s definitely one that we would like to do again very soon. We decided to go to Alain Ducasse as part of our annual lunch with our good friends to which we also like to choose somewhere where neither of us have been to before. As you enter the hotel you find a nice spacious reception area. Then as you look straight ahead you will see a long foyer area where you can relax and enjoy afternoon tea. Halfway down on the left is the entrance to the restaurant where we were met by three young ladies who were very polite and friendly. They took our coats before one of the ladies escorted us into the restaurant itself. Our table was in the middle of the fabulous looking dining room giving us all a great view of the entire restaurant.

This was our ninth visit to Core and once again we enjoyed another truly sensational lunch. The food here is simply amazing and the service is of the very highest standard. This to me is a must visit and therefore one that I would highly recommend.

#NottingHill #MichelinStars

So another glorious visit to Core by Clare Smyth passes which meant we got to enjoy two more of the fabulous cocktails made by Head Barman Ale Villa. On this occasion we decided to go for a classic Old Fashioned made with Blanton’s Gold Edition and the Gin & Apricot using apricot infused gin , champagne syrup , bay leaves & soda. These cocktails were an absolute delight and great additions to the long list of amazing creations by Ale

Here are some of the fabulous desserts I enjoyed in the month of September which includes my four faves from Madeira.

Madeiran Faves

Apple Tarte Tatin at Haywards Restaurant

Lemon Meringue Pie at The Pipe of Port

Knickerbocker Glory at The Top Oak

Chocolate , Pear , Hazelnuts at Haywards Restaurant

Well that’s it for September stand by for some Michelin Star and AA Rosette beauties in October 🤪🤪

A delightful return to the Top Oak to enjoy another great Sunday Lunch. This is definitely a place to visit if you like good food with friendly service and a nice atmosphere.

#SundayLunch #Essex #StaplefordAbbots

On Saturday we decided to head off to Southend-on-Sea for a visit to The Pipe of Port as the reviews that I’d read said they had a great wine selection accompanied with good food. So after a nice stroll along the seafront from Westcliff we ended up at Southend high street. Once you reach Southend Central station immediately look to your right and that’s where you’ll find this place. From the outside you get the impression that your entering a warehouse but once through the the door you go downstairs to find a bar with two dining areas. One to the left and then the main dining room to the right with the kitchen at the end.

CONGRATULATIONS to my great friends Amanda & Jahdre because as of monday their restaurant Haywards now has the distinctive honour of holding 3 AA Rosettes.

You should know by now that I have been a frequent visitor to this restaurant during the past six years so when I heard that they would be getting 3 AA Rosettes I couldn’t have been more pleased. This award is nothing more than they deserve and on Saturday i once again enjoyed another fantastic Tasting Menu Lunch at Haywards (see below). Over the past six years I’ve witnessed first hand how this great restaurant with all their hard work has gone from strength to strength. The food by the very creative Chef Jahdre and his team of talented chefs is simply amazing. This has been matched by Amanda and her Front of House team who always provide you with excellent friendly service. I’m certainly looking forward to many more visits in the future. Congratulations again to all at Haywards 🥂

#Epping #Essex #3AARosettes