Dining At: Bread Street Kitchen

Interior at Bread Street Kitchen

Keeping a bit of momentum up with these reviews, eh? Famous last words… Anyway, before I go back to being world’s flakiest blogger and don’t post another one until 2016, let’s talk about Bread Street Kitchen. This edition of Dining At has been the best part of six months in the scheming. Back in November the lovely Emily of Fashion Foie Gras and her equally charming man hosted a super cute Halloween party for their friends and fam at Bread Street Kitchen. In between glugging cocktails in the bar and getting extreme outfit envy over other people’s costumes (mine was uncharacteristically cop out, I love love LOVE dressing up) Char and I ventured upstairs to the restaurant. Despite having dined on hearty, stomach lining fare elsewhere, after clapping eyes on the gourmet delights being served we found ourselves ravenous and I vowed to come back asap and try it for myself. Then uni final year madness kicked in, combined with fashion month and a zillion other things, and it was only last week that I finally returned.

Interior at Bread Street Kitchen

Interior at Bread Street Kitchen

bread street kitchen

As one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, it should probably come as no surprise that Bread Street Kitchen is good, seriously good. It’s also an incredibly stylish and buzzing yet entirely unpretentious place to spend an evening, and for me thats almost as important as the food served. The restaurant itself is large, open plan space with a variety of long tables, high rise bar style seating and long banquet’s. The design is a fusion of contemporary cool – think exposed brick and pipework, open kitchen etc – and traditional touches like rich, chestnut leather benches, antique lights and majestic mirrored pillars. There are evidently also a few tucked away nooks for diners who don’t wish to see and be seen, like the Beckhams (!) who just so happened to be there that evening. My dining companion was one of my all time best girl friends who, thanks to our equally insane schedules, I hadn’t seen in months and it was the perfect spot for a serious catch up with our every whim catered for.

bread st kitchen

Having hugged about six times, talked simultaneously at each other and just about recovered from our over excitement at being reunited, priority numero uno was a bottle of vino blanco, obviously. Within seconds the sommelier had appeared. Like any good sommelier should, he knew the contents of their cellar more than I know the contents of my wardrobe (FYI that’s seriously well) and convinced me against going for my usual favourite, Sancerre, in favour of an English wine that turned out to be one of the best I’ve tasted in a while. Ordering food was rather less straightforward. I could have eaten basically anything and everything on the menu. In the end I went for Seared yellow fin tuna with aiji amarillo dressing & corn kernals – you know how much I love anything involving this particular fish so if spoilt for choice, its my go to – while Meng opted for Roasted veal carpaccio with dill pickles, quails egg and tuna dressing. Good God it was excellent: fresher than fresh, no strings attached, sliced like butter and bursting with flavor. Those are technical terms, of course. As a good reviewer should, I sampled the Veal, which although not something it would ever cross my mind to order was fantastic and rich without being overpowering.

bread street kitchen

Seared yellow fin tuna with aiji amarillo dressing & corn kernals

bread street kitchen

Roasted veal carpaccio with dill pickles, quails egg and tuna dressing

For my main course, an even trickier decision without the obvious tuna solution, I chose the Steamed sea bream with braised leeks, brown shrimp, sea purslane & shellfish dressing. Steamed fish can go one of two ways really. Done well, it’s light as air, just the right amount of fluffy and totally succulent. If not executed to perfection it’s dry and/or deeply boring. This dish fell formerly into the former category with a cacophony of tastes and scents intertwining courtesy of the shrimps and leeks and whatever herbs n’ oils it had been cooked in.

bread street kitchen

Steamed sea bream with braised leeks, brown shrimp, sea purslane & shellfish dressing

bread street kitchen

Between me and Meng we had a bit of surf n’ turf going on as she chose the Casterbridge rib-eye steak and we had a bit of a sampling session. When I first encountered Bread Street Kitchen I suspected they did great steak and I certainly wasn’t wrong, although I personally like mine rare and practically mooing so was slightly peeved by Meng’s dubious decision to ask for hers ours medium. Between us we also indulged in a selection of sides with the intention to “sample” little bits of each. They turned out to be rather too delicious not to finish (especially the Heritage tomatoes with shallots and basil pesto) so by the time we’d polished them off, we decided to finish up with cocktails rather than pudding. In retrospect I slightly regret this decision as the dessert menu looked pretty banging. Next time maybe we’ll just have puddings! That said, the cocktails were sublime. I’m not usually a massive Mojito drinker but the sun was shining, it was a Friday night and it just seemed so right. I’m very glad it did as this was one of the finest Mojito’s I’ve had in my time: super minty, ice cold and with enough brown sugar to stop things getting too tangy but not so much it basically turned into an alcoholic slush puppie. I’ve tried those, they’re not good. The bar is also very cool and prime position for people watching. Had the Beckham’s not been dining privately it would have been even dreamier.

bread street kitchen

bread st kitchen

All in all, Bread Street Kitchen has landed itself straight on my favourite dining spots list. The food might not be quite as uber gourmet as Babbo – although admittedly it’s not Italian cuisine so that’s a slight case of comparing apples and oranges – but it’s actually rather more to my tastes than what they have on offer there. As for the ambiance and the service, you couldn’t wish for better.

Bread Street Kitchen can be found at One New Change, 10 Bread St, London EC4M 9AB. Visit the website here.

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Reviews 2 Comments

Alistair Guy White Shirts Dinner

Alistair Guy: White Shirts - Private Dinner at The Century Club

As you may have gathered from my Instagram, last week was a pretty hectic one. Of course, “party season” never really stops in the world of fashion but the sunnier months are when things seriously kick off. Oh and fashion months… and Christmas… whatever, it just seems super busy and extremely fabulous at the moment. Last week got started on Shaftesbury Avenue with a dinner to celebrate my dear friend, Alistair Guy’s White Shirts exhibition at The Century Club. It’s almost hard to believe now the weather is glorious (but for how long..?) that last Monday was about the most horrible day imaginable with torrential downpours at random moments and gale force winds. In lieu of the grim conditions, I entirely caved on my good intentions to take the tube there and opted instead for world’s most expensive Uber. Then again, I’d pinched THE most gorgeous Carven number for the occasion and it didn’t seem worth risking getting it damaged or damp while battling public transport. Well, that and the fact I’m lazy and perhaps a little irresponsible. The taxi journey in fact took double the time the Piccadilly line would have so by the time I pitched up at the members club, hidden through an unmarked oak door surreptitiously tucked between a shop selling tourist tat and a particularly naff Italian restaurant, the party was already in full swing.

alistair guy white shirts

Me & Nik

The champagne was flowing, cocktails on tap and more beautifully dressed guests piling in by the minute. Not dissimilarly to Karen Millen’s ‘No More Tiaras’ supper party the week before, it was the kind of intimate affair where pretty much everyone knows (and more importantly, likes) everyone else and we could all forget about whatever was going on outside and have a good old catch up. Having initially groaned when Alistair reminded me of the black tie dress code that morning – before swiftly begging Carven to lend me something suitably swish - it was actually so perfect. There’s nothing quite like getting all fancy for a relaxed evening of delicious food, fantastic company and minimal pressure to do anything other than enjoy oneself. And that, my friends, is precisely what went down at The Century Club… and then Soho House, perhaps unwisely given that it was, you know, a Monday.

Alistair Guy: White Shirts - Private Dinner at The Century Club

Me, Nik & Alistair

alistair guy white shirts

Alistair Guy & Todd Lynn

alistair guy white shirts

Hugh Harris, Todd Lynn, Gary Powell, Alistair Guy, Mr Hudson & Sasha Bailey

Alistair Guy: White Shirts - Private Dinner at The Century Club

Alistair Guy, Martha Ward, Mr Hudson and Georgia Barretta

After several hours mingling my fellow guests – who included musician Mr Hudson, designer Todd Lynn, stylist (and personal my style crush) Martha Ward, GQ Magazine’s Nick Carvell, actress Olivia Grant, The Libertines’ Gary Powell, Sascha Bailey and Nik, obvs – took our seats for the meal to begin. Evidently, The Century Club is not only beautifully designed and effortlessly luxe, they also know how to serve up a mean three course supper. Light-as-air crab followed by the most tender lamb imaginable with rhubarb panna cotta and carrot cake to finish it all off, and of course, different delectable wine’s with every course, perfection. Finally the last plates where cleared, Alistair’s charming speech was delivered and it was time to head upstairs for cocktails. It was still raining so venturing outside (i.e. going home to bed) wasn’t an option now was it?

IMG_4578

Crab with borage, cucumber, plum & charred baby gem

alistair guy white shirts

Lamb fillet with almonds, onion, celery & broad beans

alistair guy white shirts

Me, Nik & Todd

alistair guy white shirts

Me, Nick Carvell & Katy Lubin

Alistair Guy: White Shirts - Private Dinner at The Century Club

Speech time!

alistair guy white shirts

Me & Alistair

Congratulations Alistair on a wonderful exhibition and thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable evening!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties Leave a comment

Look Du Jour: Flower Power

flower power

What: Carven Flower print sweatshirt, Carven x NO NAME sneakers, Paige Denim jeans (c/o), Rebecca Minkoff bag (c/o), Kite sunglasses (c/o)

Where: Breakfast meeting at Dean Street Townhouse, London.

Some people say that you can have too much of a good thing. I say those people are wrong, especially when the “thing” in question is a Carven floral print. In the case of this particular print I really do feel that more is most definitely more. You may remember that a while ago Carven hosted a little soirée in their South Kensington store to celebrate their collaboration with cooler-than-cool sneaker brand, NO NAME. The second I clapped eyes on the shoes I knew they had to be mine and reserved a pair on the spot. When I returned to pick them up I spied the matching sweatshirt so naturally that came home with me too. As you all know all too well, sports luxe is not my cup of tea. I can appreciate it aesthetically and often admire other people I see rocking luxe joggers with killer heels or minimalist confections involving neoprene and mesh but inevitably opt for chiffon, lace and all things girly when it comes to my own ensembles. Recently though I’ve been starting to reconsider, a little bit anyway. Slowly but surely jumpers of the non cashmere variety have been infiltrating my wardrobe and I’ve been spending many a Saturday kicking back in a pair of Stan Smith’s. I’m not about to swap my vast collection of blouses and ballet pumps for New Balances and Wang inspired basics but I have started to appreciate that sometimes it’s really nice to be, well, comfortable. Not that the rest of my clothes inflict pain exactly – at least not most of them – but when it comes to comfort you just can’t beat a sweatshirt and trainers. Although the double print situation teamed with ice white jeans and holographic sunnies means this look isn’t exactly low key leisurewear.

Ella floral outfit by Holly McGlynn May 14_008

Ella floral outfit by Holly McGlynn May 14_002

flower power

flower power

Ella floral outfit by Holly McGlynn May 14_004

flower power

Ella floral outfit by Holly McGlynn May 14_003

flower power

flower power

As you’ve probs spotted, I’m trying out a new image to text format. What do you think?

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour Leave a comment

LPA x Motilo: Style Surgery

LPAxMOTILO

It’s Friday, it’s gloriously sunny and I’m about to announce a fab new project with Motilo… Life is GOOD! For those that don’t know, although I suspect most of you do, Motilo is a seriously cool social shopping platform that’s pioneering a new approach to buying online. As opposed to purchasing products from the solitary confines of your laptop (or smartphone, tablet etcetera, this is 2014) with only your credit card for company, the platform is all about recreating the companionable, recreational pastime of trawling the stores with friends in the digital dimension. It’s about experience and enjoyment, the actual act of buying or not is only a very small part of it. This, to me, is very interesting and certainly very apt for an age when a) we spend as much, if not more, time interacting digitally as we do physically and b) there are so many hundreds of thousands of e-tailers out there at a certain point it becomes hard to tell them apart. Motilo is, of course, a super slick site which combines endlessly gorgeous garms across a wide range of price points with excellent editorial features but what really separates it from the pack is it’s Q&A interface. Unsure how to rock culottes? Pose your style dilemma to Motilo’s 20 thousand plus subscribers and you can be sure to receive a range of suggestions. Or if it’s a expert opinion you’re after then you can go direct to the Motilo girls and the likes of Susie Lau, Martha Ward, Juliana Reston Roitfeld and Lulu Kennedy will answer your wardrobe woes as well as sharing their own. This is obviously hugely helpful in terms of making sure you look chic, but I think it’s also a really unique way of enabling anyone with an interest to interact with a range of inspiring fashion figures. And then of course, there’s the fact that styling imaginary looks and perusing other people’s wish lists is way more fun than work and infinitely more productive than looking at pictures of pugs on Buzzfeed.

So now I’ve given you my take on Motilo, it’s time to tell you about our collaboration! On Monday 19th of May I will be joining the ranks of Juliana et al to run a week long Style Surgery! This will involve me styling up looks and spending lots of time playing with the site (yay) but it will also mean I’m on hand, or rather online, to solve YOUR style dilemmas. Whether it’s a genuine quandry or you just fancy challenging me to style something tricky, whatever sartorial nous I’ve built up over the past four years is at your disposal. While I’m delighted to answering queries throughout the week, Thursday 21st of May is the official, all day Style Surgery so head over to my profile between now and then to ask away. Alternatively you can tweet questions to @Ella_LaPetite mentioning @Motilo if you prefer to do it that way. Can’t wait to answer your dilemmas and hear what you think of my solutions! Feel free to disagree, after all it would be boring if we all had the same taste.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects Leave a comment

Karen Millen ‘No More Tiaras’ Supper Party

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

As you might remember, a couple of months ago I hosted an event for Karen Millen in their Regents Street store. Besides being a fun project to work on – I do love playing hostess with the mostess – working with them was a very interesting experience for me as there are some pretty big changes afoot at the brand. Having faded somewhat from the fashion fore in recent years, Karen Millen has spent the past 18 months evolving to become the kind of label that, known equally for the quality and contemporary cool aesthetic of its designs, appeals to fashion insiders, brand loyalists and a new generation of high end high street consumers. Not dissimilar to what Whistles has done so successfully in recent years but on a rather larger scale perhaps as with boutiques everywhere from Denmark to Dubai, Karen Millen is very much a global brand. Recent months have seen flagships open in London’s Knightsbridge and New York’s 5th Avenue and in celebration Karen Millen enlisted a coterie of female creatives to create a short film called “No More Tiaras”. Of course, that celebration deserved its own celebration so last week Karen Millen took over Shrimpys, a super chic Mexican restaurant in a former filling station to throw and intimate supper party. And so, on a blustery evening last week I slipped into an outfit that was wholly inappropriate for the weather but so cute and colourful I didn’t care, and headed to Kings Cross where wining, dining and excellent company awaited.

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Stephanie La Cava, Adwoa Aboah & Valentine Fillol-Cordier

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Me, Lilah & Amber

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Amber Atherton & Paula Goldstein
Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Margaritas!!

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Grazia Senior Fashion News & Features Editor, Kathering Ormerod & Stephanie LaCava

We arrived to be greeted with canal side cocktails and I promptly installed myself on a table with Lilah Parsons, Amber Le Bon and Olivia Grant to discuss the awesomeness of Miley’s Bangerz show the night before and how much warmer one feels when wearing a bra. I’m not entirely sure how that conversation arose but it did and for some reason it’s stuck in my mind so there you go! Other guests included Paula Goldstein, Tolula Adeyemi, Amber Atherton, Dominic Jones, Harmony Boucher and Betty Adewole, as well as the ladies involved in the film and a selection of London editors and journos. Fabulous though great big, hundred-plus-people bashes can be, sometimes an intimate dinner where you can really chat and relax is exactly what you need and Karen Millen’s ‘No More Tiaras’ supper party was just that.

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Le Menu

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Tolula Adeyemi

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner
Felix Cooper, Olivia Grant & Amber Atherton

Karen Millen - No More Tiaras Dinner

Me again

Strangely, I’ve never really eaten Mexican before and after the Shrimpys experience can tell you I’ll most definitely be eating it again! Kicking off with sea sass and squid cerviche, jicama & orange salad and beef tostada served family style, we munched on a feast of swordfish, fried chicken, corn on the cob, spicy sides, corn croquetas and padron peppers. What with the banana & peanut butter sandwiches (!!), ricotta hot cakes and dulce de leche served for dessert, afterwards I pretty much ended up waddling to my car!

Of course the evening also afforded us a sneak peek at ‘No More Tiaras’ the film! Directed by Mary Nighy, styled by Valentine Fillol Cordier and starring illustrator, Langley Fox Hemmingway, screenwriter/actress Dylan Penn, actress/model Adwoa Aboa and writer Stephanie LaCava, it’s well worth a watch. Check it out below…

Thank you Karen Millen for a wonderful evening!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment