501 days ago, Laurence surprised me with a romantic weekend away to Istanbul to celebrate our 500 day anniversary – he called it 500 days of Hope (like the film 500 days of Summer, if you didn’t get that). Extremely sickly romantic of him – it was a lovely trip. So we decided to continue this different anniversary and start celebrating every 500 day milestone and yesterday was our 1000 day anniversary.
We take it in turns celebrating our anniversary and planning what we will do, however this one kind of creeped up on us and we didn’t really have anything planned. Laurence’s sister, Samantha, had brought me a Red Letter Day to have a 6 course tasting menu at Jamie Oliver’s fifteen restaurant near to Shoreditch in London, so what better time to use that?!
One of Laurence’s work colleagues had just brought a hotel in Leicester Square called Number One Leicester Street (and Laurence was hopefully on track to designing the hotel – which would be amazing!) so using our connections, we were able to get a room in the hotel that night (it’s also very handy that it was a 2 minute walk from my work so a lie in the next morning was on the cards!).
Number One Leicester Street is a lovely little hotel with 18 rooms and its own restaurant and although the rooms are quite nice right now, the place does lack a little personality. I’m all for greys and Scandinavian inspiration, however you need to mix it with touches that will make it more homely. So it was really good to stay there for the night so Laurence could get a better idea of what the place was like and know what things he could change once he (hopefully) gets to re-design it. It has some great potential and I have no doubt he will make it 100 times better.
I love nice little touches in hotels and one of the first things I like to check out in the room is the toiletries and tea section. I’m not actually a big tea drinker, I used to be but decided to give it up as I found myself drinking way to much sugar – I now drink hot water instead. However, I like to check out the tea area in a hotel room as sometimes, if you’re luckily (and if you write something in the comments section when you book) you may get something special put in your room. We’re previously been gifted with bottles of wine and even cake! Anyway, the toiletries were super cute and smelled amazing and the tea section had a great brand of herbal tea called “Skinnymini Tea” – being a woman I instantly drank this, thinking it would melt away the unwanted weight. It’s the small things that keep me happy, and I will defiantly be looking for both these brands when next out shopping, so a great marketing ploy too!
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is pretty damn trendy… bare brick walls, exposed light bulbs and chunky wooden tables. I’ve always admired Jamie Oliver as a chef, his ideas for programs such as 15 minute meals and money saving meals are genius, his marketing and design team are so talented and on top of all of that he seems like a genuinely lovely person, full of enthusiasm and charm. So when I read that the concept for Fifteen was “to establish a reputable London-based restaurant that offered young, unemployed people the experience of learning to work in the restaurant business” I couldn’t help but admire him even more. I mean, really? can you get any nicer?!
I’m not sure how many of the staff were under this scheme, but the service was brilliant. Our waiter was extremely helpful, helping us pick out wines to go with our meal and the manager talked to us about food festivals they have around the area. Plus these two lovely chefs were more then happy to pose for me and I love that 🙂
Any restaurant we go to (especially the swanky ones) it’s a must to check out the toilets. I really don’t like going to a place where they put so much money and effort into the decor of the restaurant and then put no effort into the toilets, may it be because they ran out of money or simply that they don’t care – I think it’s a real let down. The toilets in this place were pretty cute though, nothing too OTT, but still slick and stylish enough to pass the toilet test.
Anyway, enough about the decor, onto the food, which is obviously the main event. We were having the 6 course tasting menu that looked like a delight – well it always will be I guess as they’re normally done based on the most popular dishes in the restaurant.
We were greeted with a glass of prosecco – my favourite drink so I was very happy with this – homemade bread and butter and Puglian green olives. All very delicious.
Here’s the Chegworth Vally Cucumber, New Season Cobnuts with Sherry Vinaigrette – extremely fresh and a really good palate cleanser. The cucumber was very slightly pickled which worked really well with the fact we were having olives.
Our first course was Cured mackerel, Dorset crab, Creme fresh, Radishes and dill. Only go for this course if you’re a keen fish eater, it was lovely and there was so many great flavours to the dish, however it was very fishy so if you’re not that keen on fish I wouldn’t order this.
Braised shoulder of lamb, yoghurt and chard. WOW, just WOW. This was unbelievable, even if you’re not a massive fan of lamb you NEED to try this. It tasted more like pork then lamb to be honest, it was such a lean cut of meat, none of that fatty lamb you get with a bad roast. It had obviously been cooked for hours, it fell apart and just melted in your mouth. ORDER THIS.
House smoked salmon, cucumber, cos lettuce and dill mayonnaise. A nice light summery fish dish. The salmon was beautiful, smoked to perfection and it was cooked very lightly so it was still lightly raw giving it that texture of sashimi. Couple of things about this dish that I would change though, the amount of lettuce there was (there was way too much for the amount of salmon) and also the thin sauce it was in. The sauce added another texture to the meal and made it seem more fresh, however there was slightly too much and it mixed with the mayonnaise which became watery, it may have worked better if the sauce came in a separate jug and you could choose how much went on…
Chargrilled short rib, baby beers, mustard leaves and horseradish. Stunning, that short rib was so good, this had also been slow cooked for ages as it just fell apart but was still extremely juicy. Another tick from me.
It does definitely pay off to make a small comment if you’re celebrating when out for dinner, we got this lovely message in chocolate with our desert the “Texture of chocolate” which was really nice of them.
Selection of british cheeses and homemade crackers. Always a strong way to end the courses. We had goats cheese, cheddar, blue cheese with currant jelly and parmesan crackers. Yummy.
And to finish off, some cocktails – which were deadly but delicious.
A lovely night, with amazing food to celebrate 1000 days with L – I would definitely recommend coming here.