Monthly Archives: November 2012

Upstairs at The Ten Bells

At first glance the Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields looks like a less than salubrious establishment. Definitely veering into OMP territory (that’s Old Man’s Pub to us young-uns), you would never guess that it has a fantastic restaurant in the upstairs dining room.

Upstairs at the Ten Bells originally started as a 3 month pop-up by a collective of chefs called the  Young Turks. I went there, way back when it was just a temporary venture and loved it. Unsurprisingly, as it was so popular, it’s now a permanent feature at the Ten Bells.

The dining room is super cosy and its the perfect place for a winter’s night catch up with friends after a long work week. The service is so friendly and you’re welcomed with a loaf of home made, still warm, bread.

They change the menu regularly and serve seasonal produce. Happily this meant the menu was completely different from the last time I went- apart from one dish which I was so glad to see they were still serving! I had this delicious buttermilk chicken with pine salt to start.

The girls starters were also apparently delicious, a chestnut and truffle soup and mussels.

And while we waited for our mains we admired the interesting nip-art that adorns the dining room.

For main I had Hake with brown shrimps which was so yummy!

We also sampled the roast partridge which looked really special

And one of the things I loved most was that even though one of my friends is vegetarian (and a proper veggie at that- no fish or anything!) there was still an appealing option on the menu for her. I definitely would have been happy to eat any of the veggie dishes, like this butternut squash with spatzle.

Last but not least, dessert- my favourite course. I find the desserts here to be really interesting and unconventional. I had this pear and thyme salad with honey ice cream and coffee crumbs. I love that they don’t just stick with the standard and often boring traditional desserts.

The other dessert we tried was apple and ale fritters with creme fraiche which was a little more conventional, but still really unusual and innovative I thought.

In my view, the food at the Ten Bells is just as good as what you would get in a top end central London restaurant and the price is very reasonable. We had 3 courses and wine for under £40 a head including service. Definitely give it a try next time you venture to East London, I can’t recommend it enough.

Upstairs at the Ten Bells. 84 Commercial St. E1 6LY. Enjoy x


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Dach & Sons

I’ve been very lazy recently and haven’t written any blog posts in a while. It all went downhill after we got back from our wonderful vacay in NYC (more about that soon). When we got back to London, the days were shorter and colder and work seemed to be getting longer and longer each day. But, I am decidedly back on the blogging wagon now and hopefully it will force me out of my winter hibernation mode.

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine from school moved to London, and the best bit about it is that she is living in North London too, a mere 15 minute bus ride away! So as I was riding the c11 to check out her new pad and it was taking me on a little jaunt around my local area, I was amazed by how many cool restaurants and local hangouts I never knew existed. This weekend I set out to recify this situation and planned an evening in Hampstead.

I love Hampstead, say what you want about it (yummy mummy land, ladies that lunch etc), but it’s such a lovely village with the heath right there, gorgeous shops (where I always seem to pick up a bargain!) and nice restaurants. We had wanted to check out Dach & Sons, an American style hot dog and slider joint, for a while.

Dach & Sons opened earlier this year and it serves American style food as well as a selection of beers and bourbons. It’s run by the same people who do Purl and the Whistling Shop, both of which I love, if you haven’t been- you must! The decor is a cool diner type vibe and the staff are super friendly and helpful.

We tried the signature hog-dog ‘the daschund’ which is a homemade frankfurter and the beef sliders, both of which were yummy!

I was feeling a little under the weather so I didn’t try any of the cocktails, but I saw some sublime looking mint julips being made. Unfortunately until I shift this yucky cold I’m sticking to soft drinks. But I was obsessed with their tall carafe style glasses- I really want them for my house!

The sides were pretty special as well, we had coleslaw which was delciously tangy and fries which were right on the money. They even have homemade ketchup!

The dessert menu is very enticing as well, with all the familiar favourites. We opted for the apple pie with homemade toffee icecream, both of which were scrupmtious

My only disappointment was that I didn’t get to check out their speakeasy style bar upstairs- as I didn’t even realise it was there until I looked at the website today!

Afterwards we went to watch a film at the Everyman cinema in Hampstead. As much as I love going to the Odeon and eating a bucket o’ popcorn, the Everyman is just a much more civilised way to go to the cinema. Comfy armchairs, table service and the option of wine is so much nicer. We saw Argo, which I would highly recommend, and not just because I love Ben Affleck.

Next time you’re looking for a new restaurant to try, do expand your mind to North London, there are so many gems. Dach & Sons and a film in Hampstead made for a very nice wintery date night. Enjoy x

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