Heroine in Heels

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Nordic Yulefest

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This time next week it will be Christmas eve. I'll be back up North at my parents, watching some classic Christmas TV with a hot chocolate and a mince pie nestled in my hands.

I do love this time of year, although part of me wishes it was more... cosy. You know, like it is on TV, with the snow coming down, the log fires and how everything seems to get that gorgeous winter glow to it.

Well I might just have the closest thing to that for you. But be quick as it is only around till Sunday.

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On Monday I was invited down to Nordic Yulefest, a dinning pop up in Shorditch, and if you've seen any of my tweets, you'll know I was raving about it. Looking at these pictures, surely you agree.

Dragging Helen along, we scurried upstairs from the cold, to be greeted with a glass of champagne, and led into a little cosy room to warm up. The detail is incredible, from the deer heads on the walls, to the log stools, right down to the classic winter board games that were on some of the tables.

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Half an hour later we entered the dinning room. A grand room, that blew me away. Cosy but elegant, it was beautiful.

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It felt like I was in Scandinavia somewhere, and I'd bundled into a big old great hall to get out of the blizzard for a celebratory feast. I had a mini vision of Game of Thrones, but hoped for less of the err, violence at the dinner table.

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We sat down to start the feast. There was 10 dishes that continually come out of the kitchen and line the banquet tables.

Helen is from Sweden, so recognised the dishes as things she had back at home over Christmas.

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Just as we were about to dive in, I felt a feather tickle my head, I looked up only to see two people dangling from the rafters.

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I would say be careful, they can be quite naughty and try and pinch things, mainly my wine.

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Headbands on, let the feast begin!

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Venison pigs in blankets.

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Liver Pate and Ham Hock

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Pickled Herring and Salmon

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Honey mustard roast ham.

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Elk and beef meatballs.

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Candied vegetables.

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Pork ribs.

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The finale was the dessert trolley. For once I forsaked the cheese section and dived right into the chocolate. 

The chocolate oat balls, rolled in coconut were delicious, I seriously could have ate so many of these.

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The food is delicious here, it really is, however what makes Nordic Yulefest is the atmosphere. The whole thing. It's honestly such a buzzy atmosphere, with a DJ pumping out classic dance tunes which seems to get everyone into the party spirit. There is something rather enchanting too.

This isn't some stuffy, formal dinning, no the idea is to eat, drink and be merry!

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And of course, a good old photo booth helps.

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Everyone is welcome, even the little ones.

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After dinner that's when things really started to  kick off. The DJ grew louder, so me and Helen started to dance.

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Now I warned Helen that if she tried to act sexy with her cheese I would post this photo. She was warned... so here you go. Nordic Yulefest will make you so happy you don't care at the time who photographs you.

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Honestly, we both had so much fun. The food was great, the atmosphere was great, I promise you it's a cracking evening.

Be quick though, as they end on Sunday, so go go go!

The Old Shoreditch Station,
1 Kingsland Rd, 
E2 8AA

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Le Garrick

Le Garrick (1)

Now I can't pretend to know what true French dining is like as I've never been to France, however upon arrival, Becky proclaimed, it was just like those little back street French cafes so I'll take her word.

Yes, a couple of weeks back in the very heart of Soho, I felt like I'd stumbled down a little French lane and into a rustic restaurant. Quirky, a little beaten and rough around the edges, but oh how that is it's charm.

No, this isn't some fancy smanchy restaurant with silver service and white table clothes that cost more than my rent, no this is a restaurant that will treat you like you are royalty, and make you feel at home. If you want a ruddy great night, then this could just be your new guilty pleasure.

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Whilst quite tiny, it's full of nooks and crannies, and feels like a bit of a maze, which all adds to it's rustic charm.

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Once seated, before we'd barely taken out coats of a little welcome drink was sprung upon us. How did they know I have a bit of a liking for a Kir Royale. 

Now as we were guests of Le Garrick, I will warn you, the amount of food is un-holy. Remember I said they treat you like family? Just picture that family member who always wants you to fed you. Yep, it's rather a foodies dream.

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First I suggested that we share some fois gras. Becky had never had it and was rather apprehensive. You may have picked up on the fact that I just love fois gras, so I basically bullied her into having it with me. 

Now whilst it was really good, to me, it was really good pate. Fois gras should be crisp on the outside, and almost like butter in the inside. So whilst great, I didn't manage to show Becky true fois gras.

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Scanning though the menu you'll find an abundance of French delights, from scallops to muccles and of course a plump juiy rare steak. We were about to order the cheese fondue to share, when the waiter shuck his head. 

Apparently, he could not let us dine without having some of Frances great cusines. we both looked at each other a shrugged. Sure why not. 

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We were soon presented with a pan of "Cassolette De Calamar à La Plancha Au Piment D’Espelette"
or to the non native speaking, Pan-seared calamari "basque" style with a touch of coriander, chilli and ginger. 

Now it may not look to great, but let me tell you. Oh my lord! This was amazing. The sauce was just amazing. Probably partly because it was made with thick butter, but dear lord, we didn't care and spooned that right into our mouths. Promise me something, if you go, try this dish. 

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Of course it would have been wrong to leave without sampling snails. They always remind me so much of mushrooms, which stops me thinking of those beasts that scared me so much as a child. Yes I was that child. 

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Remember mushrooms. Yeahhhhh...

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After pushing the calamari bowl away so we didn't drink the sauce, we beckoned over our lovely waiter so we could order mains. 

However he seemed to have other ideas.

Remember that fondue we wanted before? Well suddenly it was before us. Oh dear lord, I can't resist hot, gooey cheese. Oh sweet Jesus.

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Just look at that gooey, oozing cheese. Oh boy.

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Mmmm cheeseeee. Keep it coming to me.

We had to push most of it away though as there would be no way we could fit mains in otherwise.

Although with a few more glasses of wines down us, the diet side of our brains was well and truly beaten by our 'Give me more food!' side. Let their be more food we said!

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Becky settled for the Cassoulet De Toulouse, a traditional dish from toulouse filled with lingot beans, served with duck, sausages and pork.Between mouthfuls, Becky gave the thumbs up.

I however had to have duck, although it was the cherry sauce that got me. Such a rich, sweet sauce, and who knew cherrys worked so well with duck.

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Well and truly stuffed, we got up to leave. However this here, everyone is sent off into the night like old friends. Say hi to the Le Garrick staff.

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Who will promptly share a shot or two... or three with you.

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Which may explain why this photo was found on my camera.

Le Garrick may not be the best food in London, or the finest establishment, but honestly, I think it was one of the most fun night's I've ever had.

Le Garrick
10-12 Garrick Street
Covent Garden

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