jaz's blog

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High Stakes Glamour at Heliot Steak House

The Heliot Steakhouse lies within the iconic Hippodrome Casino in the heart of London's Leicester Square and offers a fine dining experience centred around a menu of grills and steaks.

Adopting its name from the renowned Claire Heliot who famously tamed lions at the casino back in its heydey, the restaurant overlooks the main gaming floor and has become a well-visited part of the establishment within its own right.

Taking a contemporary and refined contrast to the classic steakhouse stereotypes, Heliot is somewhat of a hidden gem. Plush leather seating and modern lighting give it a relaxed lounge styled vibe and I often retreat to the cocktail bar within the restaurant for a post game tipple. Heliot is also a prime people watching spot and one often finds themselves immersed in the atmosphere of the surroundings.

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Ristorante Frescobaldi Toscana by the Sea Winemakers Dinner

Short of taking a little sojourn to Florentine, what better way to introduce fine Tuscan wine to your cellar or palate than to attend Ristorante Frescobaldi’s ‘Winemaker’s Dinner’. The restaurant, located between London’s Regent Street and Savile Row, is owned by the Frescobaldi family, the Florentine wine dynasty that have been producing the finest Tuscan wine since 1308 and while methods may have changed with the times, the ethos behind the company hasn’t.

Ristorante Frescobaldi1We are told that their wines have graced such tables as King Henry VIII’s and the artist Michelangelo, who apparently was quite happy to trade his works of art for theirs.

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Labarthe Gite and Bed & Breakfast - The Perfect European Getaway

Labarthe gite and bed & breakfast, situated on the borders of the Lot et Garonne, the Dordogne and the Gironde is owned by Jeanette and Richard Hyde, a more perfect pair of hosts you couldn’t meet; as testament to this, you’ll find that every single online review has never been less than five stars, that isn’t just a friendly neighbour either – a full, solid five stars from tens and possibly hundreds of travellers that have been fortunate enough to have discovered this gem.

A magnificently situated bed & breakfast, or if you prefer, self-contained gite that offers so much more than accommodation. The view from the window is something akin to a Constable landscape; all rolling hills, beauty, and greenery for as far as the eye can see. Perhaps the only difference to a Constable landscape is the lack of cloud in the sky – even the weather dare not spoil the view.

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The Kingdom Of Iniala

Tucked away on a quaint beach just 10-kilometres north of Phuket is Iniala Beach House, a paradise retreat that takes luxury to the next level. Iniala is a set of three villas and a penthouse situated on the golden edges of the Natai reach home. The area surrounding Iniala consists of nothing but a handful of scattered private homes and a few tangled fields on one side and the deep blue Andaman Sea on the other.

With the founder, Mark Weingard’s eternal philanthropic efforts for supporting those in need in Bali and Thailand; Iniala donates 10% of room revenue and 5% of food and sundry revenues directly to the Inspirasia Foundation to fund projects in Thailand and the rest of Asia.

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Thai Culture In Phuket at FantaSea

Phuket FantaSea is the ultimate must-visit attraction in the island of Phuket, the cultural theme park is situated within easy reach of all the leading hotels and offers a breathtaking experience suitable for the whole family.

Winner of numerous accolades, FantaSea itself is a spectacular park complete with a shopping village and restaurants to suit every taste with a buffet concept in mind. Guests can expect to take in an evening of authentic Thai culture complete with entertainment and good old fashioned fun.

Live performances and street shows take place throughout the evening, and there are many street stalls and arcade styled games to take part in. Highlights of the park include the Tiger Jungle Adventure and the Golden Pavilion; I'd recommend getting to FantaSea early to see all the park has to offer and catch a glimpse of some of the resident exotic wildlife.

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A Taste Of Africa At Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu is one of London’s top A-List hangouts, situated in the fashionable Stables Market in Camden, the venue is spanned over two floors and features a restaurant, nightclub and lounge bar.

An incredible interior awaits guests that transcend into the world of Shaka Zulu; traditional African artefacts fill the space, and the ceiling is made from breathtaking panels. The layout gives the restaurant floor a spacious feel, and it has rounded booth tables for larger groups.

Offering an authentic taste of Africa, Shaka Zulu offers some of the finest cuisine in London and the extensive menu features everything from Steak to Seafood. The a la carte has been cleverly named the Braai menu, and this translates into barbecue or grill.

Taking its guests on a culinary safari, the restaurant uses game sourced from South Africa, which is then cooked on a classic Braai Grill giving a taste and texture to die for. The Braai menu is devised into seafood, starters, beef, game and mains.

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Bicester Village Does Bridal

With wedding season fast approaching, Bicester Village is hosting a series of events to promote its fabulous offerings from some of the most sought after designer brands in the world all at greatly discounted prices.

With everything you need to look flawless on your special day, Bicester is the perfect destination to induldge in some quality retail therapy and with such an amazing selection of fashion, accessories and jewellery, one is simply spoilt for choice.

Running until the 20th March, the event will see brands such as Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen host in-store activities. Notting Hill favourite, Nikki Tibbles has also designed an installation in the village and will be hosting two flower arranging masterclasses on the 10th March.

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Guilt-Free Fine Dining at Indigo

Indigo is the flagship restaurant of the renowned One Aldwych Hotel and is a fine dining restaurant with a difference. Offering lunch and dinner, Indigo serves a delicious menu of British cuisine all free of dairy and gluten.

The chilled out vibe and ambience of Indigo is refreshingly cool and the restaurant overlooks the lobby bar from the mezzanine level of the hotel. Relaxed service and muted tones of colour throughout make it the perfect place to wind down. Contemporary artwork is tastefully hung from the walls and one can easily feel at home here.
Headed by Executive Chef Dominic Teague, he has taken his vision of dining to the next level and the seasonally changing menu champions great food without comprising on the taste by being gluten and dairy free.

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Asian Flavours at Gilgamesh

The star-studded Gilgamesh has long been a favourite amongst the international jet set, set against the historical backdrop of the Camden Stables Market, Gilgamesh offers a restaurant, lounge bar and nightclub all under one roof.

Contemporary in style, the interior is modern and the walls are adorned with ancient sculptures and panels throughout. Opulent throne-like seating and tones of gold and reds reflect on Asian culture and the design of Gilgamesh is centred around the idea of taking guests on a journey through the Orient.

Specialising in Asian cuisine, it's no surprise that Gilgamesh has so many accolades and awards under its belt. Headed by Dean Light, formerly of The Dorchester, the menu takes inspiration from the flavours of Japan, China, Malaysia and Thai giving an authentic taste of Far East Asia.

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The Finest Mexican in Marylebone at Mole

A few steps away from London's Bond Street, Mole is the latest offering from the team behind sister restaurant Cocochan. This cosy restaurant seats 50 and one can expect a fusion of both timeless and adventurous Mexican/South American dishes. Tastefully decorated with a living wall and hand drawn wallpaper by the great Timorous Beasties together with vibrant fabrics designed by the acclaimed Matthew Williamson and Christian Lacroix against the untreated brickwork, visiting this quirky Mexican gem is a must.

The menu itself offers an innovative concept on classic Mexican food, and 80% of the menu is gluten free. The Raw Bar at Mole serves both cured dishes and ceviche with sashimi graded fish. I'd highly recommend the Tuna tostada. There is also a vast Taco menu, the Chipotle beef short rib is mouthwateringly delicious, but do look out for the experimental tacos for the more daring diner, one can find dishes such as cod cheeks with squid ink foam.