Here are my gluten-free restaurant reviews – mostly in London, but anywhere that I find absolutely delicious. Any meals that have been comp’ed have been specified – and I always give my honest opinion – there’s nothing worse than a shoddy meal!

Victory Mansion

Stoke Newington isn’t somewhere I go often, but I always seem to have a great time when I do. Last time I was in the neighbourhood I popped by the Victory Mansion for a few drinks with some lovely bloggers.

Victory Mansion, Stoke NewingtonVictory Mansion, Stoke Newington

A cursory glance at the menu will tell you that the whole place has a literary vibe – the name of the place is a 1984 reference, and the entire cocktail menu is full of them: The Rye, The Rich & The Wardrobe (Beefeater Wild turkey rye, rich tea biscuit, cherry, ginger, dry vermouth, orange bitters); Of Ice and Men (Olmeca Altos tequila, Smirnoff ice syrup, peach, green chartreuse, lime) and The Great Quacksby (Aylesbury duck vodka, aperol, passionfruit sherbet, lemon, ginger ale).

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I loved all the unusual combinations and additions to the cocktails, like candyfloss.

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One of my favourite things about Victory Mansion was the story behind it – this East London bar is built, run and owned by the staff. We also got to sample some of the food – my favourite being the lamb. It’s very low-key, but charming, and apparently they do a bottomless brunch, too!

If you’re in the neighbourhood, be sure to pop in for a couple of cocktails – you won’t regret it!

Victory Mansion is at 18 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7PL.

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

No. 1 Duke Street

Richmond has to be one of the most romantic places in London.

No. 1 Duke Street

It’s just stunning round there – and I imagine its what tourists who haven’t been to London before think all of London is like. It’s not somewhere I get to go very often, though, so when the team at No 1. Duke Street invited me down for a meal I was very excited.

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No. 1 Duke Street is just off of the high street, slightly tucked away. It looks deceptively small from the outside, but is absolutely massive inside! They’ve got the balance perfectly right, though – a rather cosy vibe, and the decor is all marble, copper and so on point – an Instagrammer’s dream.

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We started the evening off with a bottle of the Ca’ Di Alte Prosecco, which was a great choice.

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While we were tempted to split a whole load of small plates, our hunger got the better of us, so we ended up splitting one as a starter – the sticky beef soft tacos.

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They were really tasty, although quite liberal with the amount of chilli they included – which is fine by me, but if that’s not your thing its worth looking out for!

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The menu had us totally stumped, as we were half tempted to try it all – in the end, we decided to split a steak and the steamed mussels mariniere, which was definitely the right decision! The mussels were some of the largest and juiciest I’ve had, and the steak was cooked to perfection – on the rare side, as requested.

My date for the evening was a friend who was local to the neighbourhood, and who I don’t get to see very often, and No. 1 Duke Street was the perfect venue to catch up over a bottle glass of prosecco. Very on-trend, and in luxurious surroundings, but in terms of price it’s comparable to some of the high street restaurant chains, which was rather surprising. I’d definitely recommend it as a place for catching up with friends, or a date.

If you’re in the neighbourhood, I’d definitely recommend checking it out – I had a wonderful evening there.

Have you been to No. 1 Duke Street? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

No.1 Duke Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I love a good pop-up. After my last incredible experience at Frescobaldi’s Winemakers Dinner, I was really excited to head over there again – but this time, to try some Turkish fare.

Aman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I fell in love with the story behind Aman da Bravo, a ‘bistronomique’ from Istanbul started by two friends – Inanc Baykar and Melis Korkud. Having established a successful catering company, the two women were offered several spaces to host a restaurant, including hotels, but nothing felt quite right. They then decided to pop a table in the kitchen of their catering business, which is in a largely residential area of Istanbul – only open for lunch, and seating only twenty, the two entrepreneurs managed to turn it into a success via word of mouth.

In Turkish, the name ‘Aman da Bravo’ is apparently play on words (‘what a great idea’) – which apparently one of them had suggested sarcastically.

Their menu is seasonal, and developed out of what is available at their local farmer’s market – and until the 17th of September, they have brought their dishes to London, at the fabulous Frescobaldi.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

I love Turkish food, but I’ve never had it like this. We were lucky enough to sample everything on the menu, and started off with spinach roots and pears, which were baked in olive oil with fennel and tangerine zest.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

We also got to sample the delicious calves liver with tabbouleh – marinated in molasses with celeriac. While delicious, my absolute favourite starter (and the must-have dish of the lot) was the manti – Turkish dumplings filled with lamb, sage butter, and pine nuts. Served with a little shaved parmesan, these were almost like tortellini, and were so moreish – I could’ve done with a few plates of the stuff.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

Then we were onto the mains – the standout dish for me being the octopus. It was cooked to perfection (no rubbery flesh here) – it had been poached in red wine, and was served with grilled Romaine lettuce and a sun-dried tomato salsa.

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I also adored the cauliflower, ground meat and egg dish – roasted with turmeric, it was smoky, but the runniness of the egg gave it a creaminess to the dish, too.

Just when I felt I was fit to burst, the desserts arrived. Not being one for desserts particularly, the Sütlaç (rice pudding) was not one for me, as it was rather sweet, but the curd cheese, figs and honey were a perfect way to round off the meal.

Aman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at FrescobaldiAman da Bravo at Frescobaldi

An evening of lovely food, and of course, being Frescobaldi, fantastic wine – in such a lovely venue, too! It’s also got me hankering after a trip to Istanbul, to visit the actual premises, but make sure you get over to FrescoBravo before the 17th! You won’t regret it.

Have you ever tried manti? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Grain Store

A couple of months ago I was invited to an event at Grain Store in Granary Square hosted by the lovely folks at Open Table.

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Grain Store is just a few minutes walk away from King’s Cross station. Not only is it super convenient to get to, but the food is divine – a great place to take your vegetarian friends, as their menu really focuses on the veg, making it the main feature of each dish.

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But, having grown up with a parent who thinks a meal without meat is just a big side dish (I know, I know) – the Grain Store also specialises in delicious, sustainable meat and fish, too. The difference here is that it isn’t the main feature of each course.

I was invited down to the Grain Store for Open Table’s #ConnectedbyOT event, which celebrates the food scene in two cities close to my heart – London and New York. I’m terribly late with this post, but it seems almost fitting, in a way, because I actually moved to New York this week over 15 years ago.

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My first course of the evening was a delicious seaweed salad, presented in the most beautiful way and adorned with delicate blue flowers.

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Every dish was surprising, unusual, and most of all delicious – as was the wine. I hadn’t really had a soup quite like the one above – a tomato broth that was translucent, and not red like any other tomato soup I’d had – but bursting with fresh flavour.

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Vegetables pickled with raspberry vinegar was served with the most mouthwateringly tender venison – complemented perfectly by the delicious red (Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir).

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The final course was the best dessert I’ve had all year – a peach melba with beautiful sugar work. I felt terrible crushing it to get to the cream and juicy peaches underneath, but I felt less terrible once I finished eating it. It was glorious.

I had a wonderful meal at Grain Store, and would wholeheartedly recommend it as a place to go with a large group of friends, or even for a work meal – it’s a lovely venue, with superb food and wine that is conveniently located. What more could you ask for?

The Open Table event really made me appreciate and feel grateful for the fact that I’ve lived in such amazing cities for food – and while New York will always have a place in my heart, London is home.

Grain Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tallinn, Estonia

The past month has been completely full-on, and non-stop, so finally getting to sit down and write my Tallinn trip up feels like an absolute luxury. I’ve been working on some exciting big projects, as well as doing a big design course, and I can’t wait to bring everything together – watch this space!

Earlier on in the summer we did a trip round the Baltic States, and I had such an incredible time – we started our trip in Tallinn, Estonia.

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Just under 3 hours away from London by air, Tallinn totally surpassed any expectations I had. First of all, it’s absolutely beautiful – in fact, the entire city was so on-point from a design perspective I was somewhat convinced that I was on the set of a Wes Anderson film for most of my stay.

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It’s a fantastic city to walk around and explore in, and there is so much to do – some fantastic museums and cafes, perfect for a romantic weekend break.

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Estonia is also 50% forest, so we took our hire car 30 minutes out of the city centre on a hike in the Pääsküla Bog, which was really beautiful. (Make sure you take bug spray though – I didn’t, and it was the only thing about my Estonia trip I didn’t like).

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Our Airbnb was beautiful, and right in the centre of town, the perfect location in a beautiful old building – I had an amazing stay there.

Another massive bonus for me was the fact that every restaurant I went to in Tallinn was not only delicious, but that most restaurants had their gluten-free options clearly marked on the menu. I had a few friends who had lived/worked in Tallinn, so getting their food recommendations was great, and we didn’t have a single bad meal out there!

Where to Eat in Tallinn

I would be remiss if I didn’t do a list of all the incredible places I ate out at – but I’ll also include the restaurants that were recommended to me, but that I didn’t manage to get to (but definitely plan on ticking off of my list next time)!

Kohvik Maiasmokk

Maiasmokk is the oldest cafe in Tallinn, and is full of old-world charm. Kohvik Maiasmokk, or ‘Sweet Tooth’ Cafe, is largely the same as it has been since 1864 – there’s a cute marzipan display, an adorable mini ferris wheel of tea cups and saucers, and a train full of sweets – its mindnumbingly kitsch but a lovely place to have a coffee and something sweet. They also did the best macchiato I had in Tallinn, so it’s worth going for the coffee alone!

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Maiasmokk is self-service (a relic from the Soviet era) and has some beautiful rooms – its definitely worth having a wander round before you tuck in.

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Von Krahli Aed

I was slightly sceptical about this one at first, only because it is so close to the town centre. Having lived in London and New York, where they tend to keep the crappiest restaurants near the big tourist attractions (like Spaghetti House or Olive Garden) I was wary to say the least.

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Luckily, I was proven incredibly wrong – not only was Aed beautiful inside (they had a nice courtyard, too) it was really delicious – beautifully crafted seasonal and local dishes.

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The others also went nuts for the bread, and ended up buying a loaf to take back home with them.

F. Hoone

F. Hoone is in the incredibly trendy Telliskivi neighbourhood, in an converted warehouse.

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It had a great vibe, and I’d thoroughly recommend their steak tartare!

Kohvik Sesoon

Sesoon is in the list of the Top 50 restaurants in Estonia, and it’s easy to see why – everything I tried was really delicious, but also really reasonably priced. Again, they do seasonal local dishes – I tried the rabbit with fennel and chantarelle puree, which was incredible.

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The other restaurants that were recommended to me, but that I didn’t have time to try, included Rataskeavu 16, kohvik moon, Ribe, cru, rea, sinilind, and cafe Klaus – if you go to any of them, let me know!

All in all, I had such a lovely few days in Tallinn, and would definitely recommend it for a city break!

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