THE KENSINGTON QUARTER

kensingtonquarter-0001_lowres__medium
Introducing the newest hotspot in town: The Kensington Quarter – an oh-so striking cafe, come bar, come restaurant. Part of The Quarter Group, this stylish yet accessible Kensington-based eatery is set to make a wave in the hospitality industry. I had the pleasure of experiencing an eclectic Modern Mediterranean tasting menu there last week.

KensingtonQuarter-0157_LowRes

Co-owner Valeria Zilka, says “The Quarter Group has sites in Kensington, Victoria, St James Park, Battersea, Chelsea, and Fitzrovia. Although we have different sites, we’re not a chain. There’s no copy and pasting. None of the sites are the same; each location mirrors what the neighbourhood has to offer. Our ethos is ‘homemade healthy food with a spirit of friendliness.’

FullSizeRender (1)

Kensington in particular, is corporate yet welcoming; taking subtle inspiration from the neighbourhood’s theatrical background. Speaking of the welcome, we were served gorgeous cocktails on arrival, I loved the Strawberry Basil Spicy Daiquiri – with chilli infusions in particular. As expected, the chilli additions gave the notoriously kick-worthy cocktail an extra kick.

KensingtonQuarter-0072_LowRes

So let’s talk food. What was on ‘the stunning tasting menu’?

FullSizeRender (2)

Starters

Salad of Confit Lancaster Duck Leg – with melon, smoked to perfection duck breast, cashew nuts, pomegranate, and poached duck egg.

Oven Baked Goats Cheese Tart – with sweet red onion marmalade, beetroot, apple salsa, and piquillo pepper dressing.

Grilled Artichoke Salad – with hearty broccoli, green beans, celery, parmesan, parsley, lemon, and olive oil.

IMG_2656

FullSizeRender

IMG_2654

Main Courses

Roast Sea Bass – with Russian salad, lemon oil, potato galette, and pea velouté.

Five Spices Braised Shoulder Mutton – with filling roasted vegetables, citrus herbs, pomegranate couscous, and quinoa

Butternut Squash Risotto – with spicy wild rocket and shaved parmesan.

FullSizeRender (3)

IMG_2662

Desserts

Chocolate Delice – with a daring yet tasty combination of blueberry and pistachio crème pâtissière.

Spicy Banana & Ginger Tart Tatin – with a zesty pineapple salsa and lime mousse.

Lemon Meringue Pie – with vibrantly sweet spicy roasted plums, and passion fruit syrup.

IMAG1242

 

IMAG1239

Accompanying Wine for Each Course                                                

A crisp, herbal and ever so slightly buttery Picpoul De Pinot 2013, Grange Des Rocs, Languedoc, France.

Sauvingon Blanc 2013, Framingham, Marlborough, New Zealand. Punchy passion fruit, grapefruit, and redcurrant-infused classic with a rich texture enhanced by barrel ferment.

Pinot Noir 2012, Le Petit Clos, Clos Henri, Marlborough, New Zealand. A Chocolatey nose with deep black fruit and subtle smoky aromas. The mouth follows with fruity freshness and lithe tannins.

Chianti Dei Colle Senesi 2010, Cantina Vittorio Innocent, Tuscany, Italy. A vibrant nose full of strawberry and cherry aromas, leather and spice notes, and a fragrant dried herb, and slightly meaty vibe in the background. The mouth is juicy and full of depth with fruit, rustic leaf, and cinnamon flavours.

Rioja Tempranillo 2011, Hacienda Grimon, Rioja, Spain. A toasty opening of fruity notes – with, warm cherry red tones and a balsamic-esque finish.

Monbazillac Jour De Fruit 2011, Domaine de L’Ancienne, Cure, France. Peachy aromas take the floor, followed by honey and acacia. A full textured, full-bodied fruit pastilles and apricots. My favourite dessert wine for sure.

I honestly loved everything on the menu. Every dish and every accompanying wine worked in perfect harmony. Rich and robust flavours, generous servings (despite the tasting nature of the menu!), and chic presentation.

The Quarter Group care about their guests. It’s a service with a difference. Oh yes, and there’s free wifi too!

Average Price Per Head
Breakfast/Lunch: £10-£30
Dinner: £40-£50

Location
34-44 Barkston Gardens, Kensington, London, SW5 0EW

Opening Hours
Monday-Friday: 6:30am-10:30pm
Weekends/Public Holidays: 7:00am-10:30pm

Rating = 10/10.

Love, Ms.Rae xo

RACINNE: THE SKINCARE HERO

racinne_advanced_luminous_gel

The party season is upon us, yet the personal pressing need to switch off runs in the background for me too. A busy diary often results in not enough time for a skincare regime that involves more than two steps, and weary skin as a potential result. Does anyone else think about spreadsheets before they go to sleep? I digress.

Now, in a quest to prevent my skincare regime from falling by the wayside , I came across rather aptly named Racinne Ultra Hydra Perfection Advanced Luminous Gel (£32). This grape and peach-infused super-skin product is not only designed to revive and restore overworked skin, but to act as the perfect makeup base too.

It’s glide and go.

Available at blowltd.com.

Love, Ms.Rae xo

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR HER 2014

her
Oh I do love this time of year. The lights are on, I’m singing festive songs (I’ve been singing them since October to be honest), and I’m ready to shop…or at least start thinking about gifts. Check out these gorgeous beauty gifts for the lovely ladies in your life:

  • John Frieda For The Blonde Bombshell (£8) – a jojoba oil, sunflower and white tea-infused all-in-one kit which illuminates, repairs and protects blonde locks. Featuring: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner (50ml), John Frieda Sheer Blonde Hair Repair Conditioning Treatment (25ml), and Sheer Blonde Crystal Hold Hairspray (50ml).
  • John Frieda For The Queen Of Curls (£8) contains the ultimate combo of frizz-fighting, curl-moisturising, heat-repelling products: Frizz Ease Dream Curls Shampoo and Conditioner (50ml), Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum (25ml) and Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Intensive Masque (25ml).
  • John Frieda For The Love Of Big Hair (£8) contains a perfect volume-enhancing and securing array of John Frieda Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner (50ml), John Frieda® Luxurious Volume Blow-Dry Lotion Root Booster (25ml), and John Frieda Luxurious Volume All-Day Hold Hairspray (50ml).
  • HEMA Glitter Top Coats in Silver and Gold (£3.25) – Because we all need a dose of glitter from time to time.
  • Leighton Denny Wonderball – Twinkle Twinkle (£11) – a cutesy sparkle-worthy nail polish for all of the glitz lovers out there.
  • Eve Lom Daily Collection Set (£65) – This amazing set is packed with Eve Lom’s most loved products, including their award-winning Cleanser, Morning Time Cleanser, Rescue Mask, Kiss Mix, and a Muslin Cloth. Suitable for all skin types and perfect for travel.

Happy shopping!

Love, Ms.Rae xo

CÎROC® ON ARRIVAL‏

CIROC On Arrival GB B&W_Low Res
© Copyright Mario Testino
Today, CÎROC® Ultra-Premium Vodka announces its creative partnership with legendary photographer Mario Testino for its new international brand campaign ‘CÎROC® On Arrival’.

Introducing the London launch of the international CÎROC® On Arrival campaign (shown above). Featuring new talent Sam Claflin; shot and creatively led by none other than Mario Testino.

CÎROC and Testino will handpick emerging talents from around the world who have skyrocketed into the spotlight. Testino’s shots will reference Slim Aarons’ intimate photography style. Aarons frequently documented the private celebrations of the rich and famous throughout the 1950s-1970s, and is known for capturing ‘the good life’.

Those who know the score will agree with the fact that if you’ve been shot by Mario Testino, you’ve made it. Who better to shoot a story of success than the noted photographer himself? And what better way to highlight fast-track success than a brand who has been making waves in the luxury drinks world? Perfect.

CIROC BLUE STONE 40757
© Copyright Mario Testino

As part of the new campaign, CÎROC has also created the ultimate celebratory cocktail – CÎROC Blue Stone. Check out the recipe below:

INGREDIENTS:

o 40ml Cîroc Blue Stone

o 20ml Lemon Juice

o 10ml Vanilla Syrup

o Soda Water

METHOD:

Shake the CÎROC, lemon and syrup and double strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top up with soda. Garnish with a dark grape to serve.

Love, Ms.Rae xo

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS DRESS: JENNY PACKHAM AW14

Untitled
Dear glam girls,

With the party season just around the corner, there’s a lot to think about fashion-wise. Christmas party dresses, general festive party dresses, Christmas Eve dresses, Christmas day dresses, New Year’s Eve dresses…and everything in between.

For those who really want to push the boat out this year, the gorgeous Jenny Packham Exclusive AW14 RTW Edit is the way to go. This collection is full of uber-amazing dresses for festive season. We’re talking glitter tulle dresses, silk taffeta skirts, and show-stopping embellished gowns worn by the stars, of course. Perfect for those well-deserved splurges *swoon*.

j
Prices range from £1820-£3360. Available on the flagship website only.

You’re welcome :).

Love, Ms.Rae xo

PETIT BATEAU X FIFI LAPIN

PB Fifi Short Sleeved T Shirts
Dearest fashion bunnies,

Funnily enough this post actually refers to bunnies. See below news:

Très chic Petit Bateau has teamed up with equally très chic noted fashion blogger Fifi Lapin on a limited edition range for women and girls.

The collaboration consists of Fifi’s chic bunny print tees (£18-30) ,and selections from Petit Bateau’s AW14 collection including the ‘wardrobe must-have’ striped marinière top.

Available from Wednesday 13th November 2014, in UK stores and online.

If stylish bunnies on tees weren’t cool before, they sure are now.

Love, Ms.Rae xo

HEMA BEAUTY

87c05bb2b61c621b44cbf081cd910edd
Let’s talk about the affordable beauty world’s best kept secret…HEMA Beauty.

This glam but practical Dutch brand’s make-up range is all about lustrous lipstick, luscious lipgloss, magnifying mascara, dramatic eyeliner, contour-worthy highlighter, and much more.

The best bit = affordability. Prices start from as little as £1.75, and you’d be hard pressed to pay more than £15 for a product.

Note for the speculative: don’t let the prices fool you, HEMA doesn’t scrimp on quality.

Available at London HEMA stores in Victoria, Kingston and Bromley (UK) and online.

Happy shopping!

Love, Ms.Rae xo