X’mas Eve @ Bernerds Tavern, Edition Horel

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Hope you are having a joyous holiday with your loved ones.
Hubbie & I are having a lazy lie-in this morning because we stayed up rather late last night. We celebrated our Christmas Eve at Berners Taverm, The London Edition on Berners Street.
I was eyeing this particular restaurant with curiosity every time I caught a glimpse of their amazing looking dining room through the windows. So when Hubbie asked me where I would like to be taken to for the dinner on the 24th, I didn’t hesitate to nominate the place.

We arrived at the hotel at 19:00 sharp. The hotel was a stone’s throw from the Sanderson, by the way…

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A funky looking Christmas tree graced the lobby…

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The restaurant was busy with brimful of diners already…

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Don’t you love their decor?…

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Shortly afterward, we were led to our table…

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Every space on the walls was hung with frames arts and it was quite a sight…

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From my seat, I could get a glimpse of their sleek kitchen and I loved the contrast between modem and old-fashioned…

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For starters, I had “Orkney scallop ceviche, avocado, radish, baby gem, jalapeño and lime ice”…

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I had no idea what to expect from the description on the menu. It was best described as “a mini salad arrangement for finicky eater”. The green blob in the middle was avocado sorbet. It was a fun to eat dish.

Hubbie opted for “Egg, Ham & Pea”…

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Deep fried Clarence Court duck egg, mushy peas and crispy Cumbrian ham. It seemed to be the most popular starter and everyone else was ordering it too.

The service at the restaurant was an absolute top class…

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The staffs were very knowledgeable and attentive. Discreet yet very amicable. We had a few brief but entertaining chat with them.

For main course, we decided share “Roasted shoulder of Romney Marsh lamb, chargrilled cabbage, roasted parsnips and mint pesto”…

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When the dish was brought out to the table, I went momentarily speechless because it looked HUGE!
The waiter carved meat off the bone and distributed it on our plates. Can I manage it? I was in serious doubt…

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The lamb tasted delicious. It was succulent and flavoursome. The mint pesto was minty but not overpowering. And the duck fat chips, they were divine! I ate as much as I could, but yet again, I was defeated by the volume of the serving. Across the table, I could see Hubbie was struggling with it too. While his jaw moving mechanically, his eyes were fixed to no certain point and glazed over, as if he was contemplating when to throw the towel in.
I patted his hand which was clenching a fork and whispered, ‘You can put it down now. Or otherwise you can’t have dessert’.

Then, it was time for dessert. I opted for “Warm cinnamon donut, 70% chocolate ganache, almond sorbet”…

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When it was brought to me like this, I wasn’t very impressed. But who wouldn’t? A ball in the dish and 2 scoops of plain-looking sorbet in a separate bowl???
I just looked up at the waitress with a perplexed expression. And she nodded at me with a sympathetic smile, ‘I know. Just break the donut and have it with the sorbet. They taste amazing together’.

So I did exactly that…

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And she was right, it tasted fantastic!!
The person who invented it was a genius. It blew me away. The harmony created by bitter chocolate ganache, cinnamon and almond was distinctive yet complimentary. And eating a freshly made hot donuts with ice-cold sorbet was amazing.

While I was raving about my dessert, Hubbie quietly enjoyed his “Toasted coconut crème brûlée, pineapple,,coconut and Malibu sorbet”…

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Have you ever seen crème brûlée in a square shape?

With our tummy more than full, we walked out to the lobby. Then, I noticed a large egg shape mirror suspended from the ceiling…

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Why didn’t I spot it when I walked in? I was too hungry to see anything else other than the entrance to the restaurant!

After picking up our car at his office, we detoured to Trafalgar Square…

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It started to rain hard and the square was completely deserted. Still, I was very happy to see the tree illuminated eventually…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Le Rouge et le Noir

Eventually, our Christmas tree is out.
Once a year, a black plastic tree bought from Habitat (was it?) a number of years ago, sees the daylight, being dusted and plunked down on the red felt doily…

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Decorations are pretty old too. It looks ok but I am bored with them now…

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I meant to revisit the Somerset House Christmas Arcade for Gingerbread man ornaments but decided to wait till next year. Don’t call me lazy!

Then, another red & black for a festive season…

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It’s a backgammon set!

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Hubbie & I will be playing it throughout Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Let hope it won’t be ended up in tears. I will hate to be beaten by him.

How are you gonna spend your holiday, Mr.B?

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Apparently, he is gonna hide while Hubbie and I argue over the score. That will be a wise move, Mr.B…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Gray’s Inn Gardens @ Theobolds Road

Eventually, I managed to visit Gray’s Inn Gardens, the place which I had been looking on over its fence for many years.
It was one lunchtime before the weather turned autumny and  I was happened to be in the area, whereupon I decided to investigate it.

The entrance to the garden was located at the north end of Jockey’s Fields, by a traffic-control barrier.
A hand written notice was informing the users that the garden would be closed at 2:30pm.

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A narrow path leading up to the garden…

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And it suddenly opened up to the sea of lush green.
Behold the way this mature plane tree  soaring towards the sky!

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I lay myself down on the grass at once and looked up the green canopy which fanned out its lowest branches at the point as high as a three-storeyed building.
While a breeze caressed my fringe, I gazed at this magnificent specimen which stood on this ground for god knew how long. As long as 200 years? I felt immensely privileged to be so physically close to a living thing which managed to survive the waves of turbulence since it germinated in this world. I was enchanted.

The garden was a perfect location for a picnic lunch.
It was a shame that I already finished my lunch elsewhere…

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Just compare the size of the trunk against the man with a paper bag in hand!

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I felt like being a Hobbit in Fangorn Forest.
What a magical place Gray’s Inn Gardens was…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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