Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Date Day: Afternoon Tea, Hakkasan, Museum and Sky Garden

Good afternoon readers, last weekend was mine and Eric's one-year anniversary (on the 16th to be precise) and what better way to celebrate than to do what we love best? EAT. 
Over the Christmas holidays, we had to organise what we were going to do for that day. We knew we wanted to go to a fancy restaurant but we had the difficulty choosing which one. It was a new experience for both of us, so we wanted to go all out. After much contemplation and booking then cancelling reservations, we came to a decision. Thanks to Groupon we got a deal to have afternoon tea at the Xenia hotel. For dinner, through recommendation we opted for Hakkasan, a michelin starred cantonese restaurant. Eric and I love trying out chinese restaurants! We have tried almost every chinese restaurant in China Town by Leicester Square, so it was interesting to see just how good the food was going to be.
The Xenia hotel is located in Kensington (Gloucester Road tube station is a five to ten minute walk) There was two seating areas, we were situated inside the conservatory which I presume is where they tend to hold afternoon tea. I was interested in comparing the service and food to the Hilton hotel. What I would advise is that if you do get a Groupon voucher for restaurants, print out the voucher. It will save you and the staff any sort of hassle, we didn't realise this was a necessity but they were understanding.

Inclusive in the afternoon tea deal was prosecco. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of wine or anything alcoholic that's too strong for that matter. Thus, a sip was enough for me. It depends on your preference really, I think I'll stick to my tea. You can't have afternoon tea without tea! I had to stick with the english breakfast tea. I have to say, I was impressed by the amount of drinks I was served - water, tea and prosecco. 

As most afternoon tea entails, your regular scones with jam and cream. What made it even better was the scones were served warm. It was delicious, especially the texture of the cream and jam on the scone.
We were astonished at the variety of sandwiches to choose form. From memory there were two of every sandwich flavour totalling eight sandwiches - cheese and ham, egg and mayonnaise, smoked salmon and lemon cream cheese and lastly, cucumber and cream cheese. My personal favourite had to be the the cucumber and cream cheese, it was so refreshing after the scones (it left my mouth slightly dry) however, I have to admit that I wasn't too keen on the smoked salmon and lemon cream cheese. The salmon was just too difficult for me to eat, I couldn't chew on it properly. Overall, it was satisfactory and definitely filling.
Possibly my favourite part of afternoon tea, the dessert. At this point I swear my dress was on the verge of ripping (kudos to the good quality of it), so I had to slow down. I couldn't help but devour the macaroons! They gave us two of every dessert but I didn't hesitate to take Eric's macaroons, it was just too good.
Alongside this was the chocolate popcake which contained ice cream. In the small 'shot glasses' was vanilla panna cotta, I personally didn't like the taste it was just an odd combination for myself.
Lastly, the pastry tart which had custard fillings and fruit toppings. Though, I wish they served more macaroons.
After gaining a stone in an hour and a half (jokes), we needed to walk it off. Our dinner reservations was at seven so we had plenty of time to kill. Was this part of our day organised? absolutely not. 
I haven't done a fashion post in a while, so I knew this was a good opportunity to shoot. Every single piece of my outfit (excluding the clutch bag, Missguided) is coincidentally from ASOS. Since my housemate recommended it, I haven't stopped browsing through their online shop. They have such good sales there and sell all sorts of designers!

One of my favourite wardrobe items is this coat (you can purchase it here). Ever since I purchased it last November, I have literally worn it every single day. It fulfilled everything I needed in a coat - length, warmth and style. This normally comes with a fur collar but since it's removable, I wanted to keep the outfit simple. The belt deludes you into thinking you're very skinny, but it's something extra that adds that hint of sophistication. A necessity I must mention is the material of the coat, I was shocked at how warm I was throughout the day, I didn't complain once about being cold once. Bear in mind I was just wearing a dress and without tights! This coat is definitely my go-to. 

It took me a lot of time to decide whether I was going to purchase this dress or not, I didn't want to impulse buy. My reluctance was mainly based on 'just because it looked great on the model on the site, it may not look good on you'. As soon as I did try it on, there was absolutely no regrets. What made this dress stand out for me was the 't-bar' design. That little detail was enough for me to decide that I loved it. 
Since this dress is white, I would strongly recommend that you buy silicon nipple covers (personally, wearing a bra didn't look as good) The length of this dress made me swoon, anything that's 'midi' always does. It gives you that extra height and a touch of classiness. It was also very comfortable to wear, it's not at all revealing.
You can purchase this dress here!

Luckily, these nude patent heels were purchased during the ASOS sale. I've always had a pair of classic nude patent heels on my wishlist, so I decided to treat myself after Christmas. 
The patent material of the heel was a bonus, that meant that it was strong and would last longer than suede (especially as it's raining in London eighty percent of the time)
Also, the nude colour and pointed toe literally made hearts pop out of my eyes. This type of design gives the illusion of height and for someone petite, that's definitely a necessity.
I have to give these heels props for not giving me blisters, this day was the first day I'd ever worn them and this was for almost twelve hours. I wasn't in much pain but that's personally because I wear heels on a regular basis (my boots have a fair bit of height on them), my foot is accustomed to heels.
I do believe that these heels are now out of stock, I have found a similar pair here.

In the background of one of my pictures was the Victoria and Albert Museum. We've visited all the other main museums around London excluding this one. It was almost five o'clock and it closed in an hour so we still had time to wander around. This spontaneous trip to the museum was an intriguing and adored one. This especially caught my eye, and not for the wrong reasons. 

Despite being an hour early, Hakkasan in Hanway Place were more than happy to seat us!
The website itself portrayed a very intimate vibe of the restaurant, it was intriguing. However, the website didn't do the restaurant any justice, it was beyond my expectation. Evidently, a lot of time and thought had been put into the presentation of the restaurant, from the lighting to the cutlery and plates. It was simple yet sophisticated.
The waiters and waitresses were friendly throughout, they were very accommodating and ensured that the service was received in a timely manner.

The menu is very overwhelming, I couldn't decide on a starter let alone the mains. This ended up in settling for one of the signature menus!
For starters, a dim sum platter with salt and pepper squid. I was drooling over how delicious it was. The range of dim sum was perfection, there were flavours I hadn't ever tried before! whereas, the squid had such a rich flavouring of salt and pepper.

Onto the mains! How beautifully presented is this?! This was the stir-fry pepper rib eye beef with merlot, this had a hint of spice in it but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.

They were kind enough to substitute the pan-fried silver cod for the sweet and sour pork tenderloin.
On the left was the roasted chicken in satay sauce. This was a personal favourite of Eric's, the satay sauce does it for him.
There was also spicy prawn with a side of seasonal vegetables. Note, we did have all of this with a side of plain white rice. The mains were so delicious I had to ask for another bowl of rice!

The dessert was one you would expect to be served in such an exquisite restaurant, it was minimal but after the starters and mains you couldn't possibly fit more into your stomach. My personal favourite was the apple tatin (image on the right) and Eric devoured the chocolate orange delice (image on the left). These desserts had very strong flavours hence the small portions. We weren't overly massive fans of it but it was the cherry on top for the perfect meal.

One of the best parts of Hakkasan was the food presentation, everything was neatly set out and after your course was finished the waitresses were quick to clean any crumbs off your table. Being pretty OCD with hygiene and cleanliness, I was definitely in heaven.
I do have to mention that this restaurant probably isn't ideal for anyone on a budget. Choosing a signature menu was helpful, we didn't spend too much but more than what we normally spend. I genuinely believe that the cost of the food is definitely worth it though. I'll be back to try out their famous cocktails.

Spontaneously, we took a trip to Sky Garden. We'd been there before but during the day, so experiencing such an amazing view at night was definitely something I was willing to perservere in my heels for. There is a slight long queue so if you book in advance, you can avoid that hassle. 
Inside the 35th floor of the 'walkie-talkie' building it was cold yet loud and vibrant. I can definitely see why it's so popular in the evening!

Happy Anniversary my love, many more to come.

I should hopefully be posting more fashion related posts soon!
Yours truly,
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  1. It looks like you had a great anniversary date. That Chinese food looks delicious! It's definitely worth splashing out occasionally when the food is great and so beautifully presented... I love your dress by the way. :)


    1. I did thank you, it was lovely!
      Exactly, it's not a regular thing so it's nice to go all out and dress up. Thank you :*

  2. This outfit is so elegant and complements the background so well!
    The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe

  3. Wow this look is gorgeous! I'm absolutely in love with that dress. It is so chic and looks appropriate for nighttime, but so perfect for daytime as well the way you styled it!

    xx freshfizzle

    1. Aww thank you, you're so sweet!
      Thanks for commenting lovely xx


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