Pan Chai at Harrod’s

Back when I lived in New York, I would go out to eat sushi around once a week. It would be a ritual I had with my mom – the one thing we would schedule in consistently, when I would be swamped with school and extracurriculars and she was busy with work. We would catch up and chew the fat(ty tuna) – and even though we did it every week, it always felt special, and like a treat.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

Nowadays, my weekly sushi routine usually involves grabbing a couple of salmon avocado handrolls, hunched over my laptop at the office. So when I was invited to pop down to Harrod’s and check out Pan Chai, I was pretty excited.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

It’s located in the food hall of Harrod’s – 22 leather and marble clad seats where shoppers can sample fresh, pan-Asian fare without interrupting their shopping trip. As a result, it is fantastic for people-watching – if you’re looking for an intimate, romantic meal then this might not be one for you, but it’s definitely one to bring your best friend to.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

We started with the seaweed salad, which was topped with sesame seeds. It was slightly pickled, and had bite, and by far the simplest dish we had during our visit.

Pan Chai - Harrods

If you go to Harrod’s, then you probably love the dramatic – and the rest of our meal at Pan Chai was like a trip to the theatre in the best way possible. The first signature sushi roll we ordered was the Harrod’s Special – fresh snow crab with avocado and spicy mayonnaise, topped with seared scallops, black caviar and spring onions.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

In my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with the crab and avocado combination, but it paled in comparison to the negitoro maki, which is one of my favourites. Negitoro is spicy tuna with spring onions, and this was made with chopped tuna belly – it was mouthwateringly good.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

I’m definitely quite conservative when it comes to my sushi choices, though, and I absolutely loved the simple flavours from the nigiri kiku platter. With sushi, as long as the quality of the ingredients is there, you don’t need to combine too many flavours or textures – it just works.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

The nigiri kiku platter included a foie gras roll that I still dream about one month after my visit – it was like butter. You also got tuna belly, salmon, sea bass, yellow tail, shrimp, wagyu tartar, scallop and grilled eel, along with the usual fillers (in my opinion!) of cooked prawn, tamago and tuna.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

It was all absolutely delicious, the tuna belly and the wagyu tartar really standing out as well.

Pan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - HarrodsPan Chai - Harrods

I had a really enjoyable experience at Pan Chai, but the only drawback I had with the menu was the total lack of dessert options. We settled for a kir royale and a bellini, but given how much I enjoyed the nigiri in particular, I would’ve loved to have finished the meal with something sweet. If you’re ever in need of a bite to eat during a shopping spree, I’d definitely recommend the nigiri platter.

Pan Chai - Harrods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Have you eaten at Pan Chai? Comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Yoga in the Shard

Last weekend I did yoga 1,016 ft up – Europe’s highest yoga class.

Yoga in the shardYoga in the shard

One thing I’ve started realising since I’ve been blogging is that it’s forced me to push myself into doing things I wouldn’t have necessarily done before, like the zipline course I did in Wales. While I won’t be skydiving anytime soon, I feel a lot more comfortable being high up, which is an unexpected (but lovely) benefit.

I did the 8am class on a Saturday, which meant we were in the View from the Shard, rather than the one on the 24th floor. On hotter days the class apparently takes place in the open air bit on level 72, but as it was still chilly we were in an enclosed room one level down.

Yoga in the shardYoga in the shard

It’s almost worth it for the panoramic views of London alone.

Yoga in the shardYoga in the shard

We made sure we were the first ones in, so I managed to snag myself the mat (there’s no need to bring your own) by the window. While the views were amazing, I found doing yoga so high up quite challenging – being so high up made me go off-balance quite a bit more than usual.

Yoga in the shardYoga in the shard

The class is an hour long, and while I really enjoyed my time up there I did find the sound system very static-y which detracted from an otherwise fantastic experience. Once the class is up you’re allowed to take all the pictures you want, and wander around the View, so it’s definitely worth the cost, especially if you consider that an advance adult ticket to the view is £25.95.

Yoga in the shardYoga in the shard

The Yogasphere class at the top of the shard is £45 per person – and for every person who attends a class, Yogasphere plants 10 trees, which is great (and makes it an even better deal).

You can find out more details about the class here.

Have you been to yoga in the Shard? Comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Paperless Post

I love getting post.

Paperless Post

Not bills, obviously, but there’s something so exciting about a handwritten letter or postcard that feels so thoughtful. All the actions that go into the ritual of sending a birthday card are so deliberate that it just gives it so much more emotion than a text message or a post on your Facebook wall. A friend of mine sends me a handmade birthday card every year, and I look forward to it each time.

I wish I could be as organised and have it put together as much as she does – which is why I love Paperless Post. It’s the best of both worlds – beautifully designed and elegant, they have a wide range of online cards for every occasion. I usually end up sending thank you emails this way – it’s a little bit more special than a regular email, and they also partner with some of my favourite stationery designers like Kate Spade and the Rifle Paper Co.

Paperless Post

 

Paperless Post

One of my favourite things about them is that for many of the designs you can also get printed versions to accompany the digital ones, making it perfect for party invitations in particular.

Paperless Post

Have you ever tried Paperless Post? What are your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

 

Town, Kaimuki

One of my favourite meals I had when I was last in Hawaii was at Town, in Kaimuki.

Town, HonoluluTown, Honolulu

“Local first, organic where possible, and with aloha always” – their menu focuses on local ingredients and flavours with Italian influences.

Town, HonoluluTown, Honolulu

Six of us split everything family-style, and I’d definitely recommend going that route, cause you’ll want to try a bit of everything.

Town, HonoluluTown, Honolulu

The pate was one of my favourites, and like everything I tried at Town was simple, but crafted perfectly. You really can’t go wrong with fresh ingredients, and there is clearly a lot of thought behind each ingredient and dish.

Town, HonoluluTown, Honolulu

The chicken leg with aioli, freekeh, fennel and tatsoi was another favourite – I loved the combination of flavours and cuisines, which is quite Hawaiian in itself.

Town, HonoluluTown, HonoluluTown, Honolulu

I don’t usually have a sweet tooth, but I couldn’t resist the apple banana cream pie. I absolutely love apple bananas, and this was so creamy, but not too overpowering as I can find banoffee pie to be sometimes – it had a cleaner flavour, and was seriously incredible.

The neighbourhood is also further out from the bustling tourist area of Waikiki, so there weren’t as many tourists there which made for a really nice meal out.

Have you been to Town? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Town, Kaimuki, 3435 Waialae Ave # 104, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA.

Town Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy

I admit that the initial appeal of America After the Fall, the Royal Academy’s exhibition on American Paintings from the 1930s came from American Gothic.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy of ArtsAmerica After the Fall at the Royal Academy of Arts

It’s the first time its left the States, and one that I’ve always wanted to see in person, so it didn’t disappoint.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy of ArtsAmerica After the Fall at the Royal Academy of Arts

But America After the Fall is so much more than American Gothic – with pieces by Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe, and Jackson Pollock, it’s a fascinating look at an era in which America was so in flux. The most haunting for me was a painting called American Justice by Joe Jones – a powerful commentary about race and racism in America, and all the more heartbreaking given the current political climate.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy of ArtsAmerica After the Fall at the Royal Academy of Arts

Heartbreaking, moving, and very current and relevant, despite the decades between then and now – I also found it somewhat inspirational, because we can at least hope that despite everything going on politically, we might be able to get some great art out of it.

America After the Fall is on until the 4th of June.

Did you get to the exhibition? What were your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!