I’m a little late coming to this one and those of us who follow the Milton Keynes dining scene know that there have been a few blog reviews of Urban already from some of our very own MK blogging stalwarts Jo and LouBou. But when I hear of a new Indian restaurant promising ‘authentic’ recipes with a great vibe and better flavour, then my interest is peaked. So, after the dust had settled from the initial fanfare and launch, Mrs P and I dropped in on Urban Dhaba late one evening to see what all the fuss was about.
We love a drink here at TwoMenAboutTown – well, drinks – but even more so when they’re absolutely free! And even better, this post contains a code so you can get your first drink on us and the good people at Drinki!
We’ve been fortunate enough to review some rather special London restaurants of late, most notably the OXO Tower Brasserie and the dining-in-the-dark experience at Dans Le Noir; you would perhaps expect then that our collective appetite for London’s fine dining scene would be reaching it’s limits, but you’d be wrong. Very wrong.
We got wind that Searcys at The Gherkin were opening a Coastline pop-up in their bar and restaurant located in the dome at the top of 30 St Mary Axe (that’s the Gherkin to you and me), with both food and menus inspired by the British seaside and coastal locations. Naturally, we got ourselves there for opening night in a jiffy.
I’ve wanted to dine at the OXO Tower for as long as I can remember, an iconic foodie-destination and major landmark of London’s South Bank; I was naturally chuffed when the opportunity to visit the OXO Brasserie presented itself and I got myself up there. With bells on.
Never before have I heard the question “is that the table leg, or you?” (giggle) so much in one sitting; I knew from the outset that Dans Le Noir was going to be a memorable experience.
Mrs P and I never wanted to go to Trinity. A couple of weeks ago we didn’t know it existed and that’s because a couple of weeks ago it didn’t. As we sat on the beach in Whitstable enjoying a drink and a native wild oyster or two (well I enjoyed the oysters, Mrs P threw up a little bit in her mouth at the thought of eating them) we decided to make the most of our anniversary with a spot of dinner, as is standard in the P household. We considered our choices; my man SuburbanGent loved The Beach at Bude but we wouldn’t get there in any sort of reasonable time frame and his other tips for a hotel get away such as The Grovesnor or CitizenM are all interesting but didn’t really pop my fizzle. I wanted something new, something fresh. I wanted Cambridge.
You know how sometimes things just pass you by? I mean, those times that you know something is going on but you just don’t understand it. I find that recently this is happening to me with increased regularity, for example; planking, ripped jeans and clean eating are all things that I see are happening, but honestly? Why? I have nothing against the advocates of any of these things, I hope they ride the trend wave as far as possible, but when all is said and done? Chances are, I’ll probably not be eating a plate of spiralised corgettii in a pair of trousers that I paid someone else 200 quid to cut up for me while lying down across two chairs.
And sometimes, such as it is with pubs. We all know I like a pub, yes, yes I do. As the sun makes its way out from behind the clouds for the Official British One Week of SummerTM like a snail making it’s way towards the forbidden cabbage of it’s dreams, I find myself slowly but inexorably drawn down to the pub garden and believe me, I’ve tried a few; The Maytime, the Black Horse, the Swan or even the Hand and Flowers all have their individual characters ready to provide you with liquid refreshment on a mildly warm summers day.
In case you haven’t worked it out, we are rapidly approaching summer, y’know that hot yellow thing in the sky that makes us rush out to our BBQs, green open spaces and the alcohol aisles in the nearest supermarket. For us Londoners, this means, where beer gardens are at a bit of a premium, it’s time to head to the roof and get drinking!
Rooftop bars are very much on-trend right now no matter what the weather and fortunately London is blessed with many of them; who doesn’t love a gorgeous view over a tasty beverage or two? Now, I’ve been a top sport and have
drank my way around researched London’s top rooftop hotspots to share my favourites with you, you good people. It was tough, but somebody had to do it.
Good Lord, what a year it’s been! A year later, a year older and we have learned a huge amount about blogging, eating and having amazing friends. We’ve written about so many different things that looking back on the 90 odd posts we’ve shared with you it’s too hard to mention them all so we thought we would give you another chance to check out a couple of our favourites that you might have missed the first time.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris House a couple of times and for those of you who have also managed to find the time, and lets be honest the cash, to eat here you will know that it’s quite a special experience. The house is sat in the picture perfect grounds of Woburn Abbey with deer frolicking this way and that and who doesn’t love a good frolic every now and then? So when Phil Fanning (Chef Patron of PH) invited TwoMenAboutTown down to take a look at the newly refurbished décor and the re-imagined Spring menu, I bought a suit and asked only two questions: when and can I get covered in mandarin custard? Lucky for me, the answer was yes to both.
I’ll admit that talking about coffee is not the most normal way to start a post about tea. However, I’ve never been called normal in my life and I’ve got no intention of starting now, so grab a seat and let’s have a chat over a cuppa. You know when you go into a coffee shop and order ‘a latte please, with half-whole milk, split quad shots, a shot of decaf, no foam and a squeeze of caramel’? Then they look at you and say: ‘Sure, no problem.’
I think you know that secretly, deep down, underneath that Middle Class, almond juice infused, lentil pasta covered exterior you know that’s a bit weird. Yeah, I thought so. There isn’t a single other drink that people contaminate on such a regular basis in such odd and complicated ways. I mean you wouldn’t do that to a cup of tea would you? I would never pollute a lovely cup of tea with something so abnormal or strange as soya milk, for example. Why is it even called milk for goodness sake? It’s never seen a cow in it’s unnaturally long shelf life. No, that’s not for me, not a chance. No way.
…Or so I thought.
Not too long ago I saw a whole family sitting in a restaurant checking their phones over dinner. That’s both parents, plus all 3 kids, staring at their own little glowing glass screens for over 30 minutes solid. Now, I’m not here to judge them – I have no idea of their personal circumstance, perhaps these moments of quiet reflection spent enjoying the never-ending torrent of self-esteem destroying news feeds and twitters streams are a welcome relief from all the chat chat chat they do at home. But I suspect not. Imagine my amazement then when I came across their perfect restaurant, the one place that contained everything they needed. That’s right, a restaurant with computerised interactive tables complete with ‘fun’ activities and games so nobody has to speak to anyone else ever again! I couldn’t wait to see what I had been missing. Would this fulfil my every edible and social need rolled into one not-quite-affordable package?
SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t. At all.