More Than Lunch At Thirty Six By Nigel Mendham

Last week I had the pleasure of testing the new Power Lunch at Thirty Six By Nigel Mendham; a new concept which pairs a concierge service with yummy food, enabling you to tick off your ‘to do’ list whilst still enjoying a relaxing lunch hour!

At 1pm we arrived through the restaurant’s private entrance, aptly located at 36 little St James Place, where we were welcomed by the restaurants’ charming manager Antonio and led to our table. As we sipped sparkling water (it was a school day after all) and nibbled on Nigel’s delicious home made bread we perused both the food menu and the ‘useful items’ list; from which you can request additional extras such as phone charging, posting, reservation booking, shoe shining, battery and stamp purchasing and even food shopping.

After a fair amount of deliberation, I opted for the hake, served with variations of asparagus, langoustines and jersey royals, along with a card and flower delivery for my mother’s birthday later that week. My lunch partner went for the veggie option of butternut squash and savoury granola and to her delight a dress press; apparently the crumpled excuse for one in her bag was not quite appropriate for the black tie dinner she had to attend that night.

As our food arrived I couldn’t help but feel a little smug- a sandwich at my desk didn’t quite compare! It was delicious! The hake was moist and flaky and the langoustines were firm and flavoursome; the butternut squash and granola was apparently ‘the perfect balance of sweet and sour.’

Despite an attempt to avoid desert, we decided to share the taste of rhubarb, crumble, ginger custard and ice cream. This was the perfect girlie treat, pink, light and super sweet!

After paying the bill we wandered up to reception where we collected the card and perfectly steamed dress and went on our way, back to our desks full but with a lighter to do list.

A 2 course lunch at Thirty Six By Nigel Mendham at DUKES ST. JAMES LONDON is prices at £21, Power Lunch ‘Extras’ will be charged separately.

Getting Back to Nature in the Dales with Natural Retreats

Growing up in the Welsh countryside and then moving to the Big Smoke meant that the prospect of a long weekend stomping around the Yorkshire Dales getting some much needed, pollution-free, fresh air was idyllic and just 3 hours by train from Kings Cross made it even better.

Arriving in Darlington station we jumped into a local taxi for the short 20 minute drive to the Natural Retreats site just outside the beautiful little town of Richmond. Local taxi drivers are by far the best possible tour guides and local experts you’ll find and before we’d barely left the station car-park we already had the whole weekend planned out.

Driving up to the Natural Retreats site is a bit like discovering Yorkshire’s Best Kept Secret. 19 beautifully designed residences blend perfectly into the stunning Swale Valley over 54 acres with only a pond, a well and (a rather large) family of rabbits to share with.

Our home for the weekend put my little South London flat to shame; boasting a state of the art kitchen, surround-sound flat-screen TV, huge open-plan living and eating space and three beautiful double en-suite rooms. The Pièce de résistance however was the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that looked out onto the most magnificent, picture-perfect view you could imagine.

After finally pulling ourselves away from the incredible welcome hamper left by the lovely Natural Retreats team, which included all manner of local goodies including some amazing fresh bread and Wensleydale cheese we ventured off into the surrounding area of Richmond town.  

Thanks to our wonderful and typical British weather we spent the next two days dashing in and out of cosy pubs next to roaring fires and quaint little tea-shops to avoid the sporadic showers. Lily’s Café and their huge fruit scones quickly became a favourite as did sampling the local bitter, Black Sheep in the Black Lion pub. When the rain did subside we got our city-shoes good and muddy exploring the ruins of Richmond castle and the old Richmond race-course stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A stay in Yorkshire is the perfect long-weekend (even for Londoners!) and staying at Natural Retreats is the only way to do it in style.

Dreamy Mexico

When the long, dark nights draw in and the weather in London chills you; there is nothing better to do than jet off and explore a paradise on the other (slightly hotter) side of the world. My chosen paradise for some serious down-time was Mexico, more specifically the white-sands of Tulum (barefoot chic) and mangrove-lined lagoons of Rosewood Mayakoba (blissful luxury!).

In Tulum our days were spent lolling by the sea (a blue I have never seen before), and taking long walks along the coast to explore the cabanas and restaurants that line the beaches. Our evenings were spent eating delicious Mexican food and drinking Margaritas before an early bed (jet lag!)

Our stay at Rosewood Mayakoba was a huge treat and an experience that will stay with me forever. From the beautiful indoor/outdoor bathroom in our suite to the five-course breakfasts we devoured every morning. Each of the suites has its own private jetty overlooking the lagoon and every morning we would wake up early (jet lag again!) and watch the wildlife come alive in this tropical eco-haven. We were surrounded by birds, terrapins and even large crocs!

It was fun to cruise around on the golf buggies which are on hand to help guests get to and from their suites. One of the highlights of our stay was the all-you-can-eat Taco Night at Punta Bonita, the restaurant next to the beautiful beach and gorgeous infinity pool. We started out with eyes bigger than our tummies but in the end I only managed a measly six! The record is 24 so I have a lot of catching up to do…

Sunrise in Tulum

Tequila Time at Rosewood Mayakoba – our welcome pack!

Our neighbour at Rosewood Mayakoba