Bottomless Brunch at Tootoomoo

I love bottomless brunch.

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But there’s only so much enthusiasm you can muster up for poached eggs and avocado on toast (again) with a couple of watery mimosas. So when I was invited along to try Tootoomoo’s offering, I was pretty excited – Pan-Asian tapas is exactly what I crave on a hangover, so I dragged along a close friend (also similarly hungover) to check it out.

We popped into the Islington branch of Tootoomoo for their Bottomless Brunch offering, which is £35 a head for 1.5 hours, or £45 per person for 2 hours with drinks. You can get unlimited drinks and food between 12-6pm, and pretty much get your pick of the menu – a wide range of Asian tapas.

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We started off with a jug of the Elderflower Tootoomoo, a gin, elderflower and mint cocktail before ordering our first round of dishes – wanton soup, chicken gyoza, salmon sashimi and soft shell crab tempura.

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All the food was delicious, although the soft shell crab was a particular highlight – the only downside being that there was only one waitress who seemed to be rushed off of her feet, so there was a little bit of a wait.

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Despite the slight wait, the brunch was extremely good value, and really delicious. Once we polished off our gin, we moved onto the passionfruit caipirinha which was also really good, along with an order of BBQ Pork Ribs, vegetable potstickers and spring rolls.

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All in all, I thought that the bottomless brunch at Tootoomoo was fantastic value for the quality and the quantity of food. The only thing I would hope is that they hire more staff for the weekend – especially around 1pm when it gets a little busy!

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Where is your favourite bottomless brunch place? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

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

MexiFest

A month ago I was invited down to MexiFest – a celebration of Mexican food, drink, and culture, hosted in partnership with Yelp, The Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Kankun. If you haven’t heard of Yelp, you really need to get out more – it’s a platform where users can review restaurants, experiences, bars, events, and more. It’s a great tool for gauging whether a place is worth popping into or not, and saved me from many a bad meal, I’m sure.

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My favourite thing about Yelp in London, though, has to be the people behind the platform. Alex, Beth, and the rest of the Yelp team work really hard to build an engaged community, and have hosted some epic events – the Ice Cream Festival this summer being a massive highlight. Full disclosure – I’m a Yelp Elite – but I’ve met some wonderful people at their events, and they have a really varied selection so there’s something for everyone. A lot of their events are free, too, with the opportunity to sample – you’ll just need to check in on the app once you get there.

Unfortunately we were rained on for most of MexiFest, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. A massive taco fan, I sampled most of the food on offer, and was surprised that I hadn’t come across any of the suppliers before.

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My personal highlights were the tacos from Lupita and Cafe Pacifico, neither of which I’d had before – they were really epic, as was the Kankun sauce.

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I also really enjoyed my black cherry and chilli mojito from Cafe Pacifico, and feel like I have a good use for all the Tajin my mom keeps sending me from the States!

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Most of all, I loved the focus on smaller, independent stalls and producers. We met a lady who makes her own queso in Peckham, and there wasn’t a Wahaca or an Old El Paso stand in sight, which for a free event is really great to bring so many independent stands together.

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We had a great time at MexiFest, and I look forward to the next big Yelp festival (here’s hoping they bring back the mulled wine festival again this year!)

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

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.

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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!

The Slide – ArcelorMittal Orbit

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been terrified of heights. My hands will shake, and I will break out in a cold sweat at the thought of being high up. I remember having nightmares for months as a child before I moved to New York, absolutely terrified at the thought of all those skyscrapers.

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Up until two weeks ago, though, I was convinced that it was my biggest fear in life, and for the first time in a long time, I learned something new about myself.

The best thing about blogging has been the opportunity to try things I never would have imagined myself doing – and absolutely loving it (like my zipwire experience in Wales, or foraging). So when the team at AttractionTix asked if I’d like to try the longest, fastest slide in the world, I said yes in a heartbeat.

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I hadn’t really realised how tall the ArcelorMittal Orbit structure was, until I got there. And it was really only when I got to the top, and donned my helmet and knee pads, that I realised how fast I would be going – and my blood ran cold. I was absolutely terrified, but when asked if I was absolutely sure I wanted to go through with it, I knew that there was only one fear greater than what I was going through. The fear of being held back, or not doing something that I might regret, was at that moment far, far greater than my fear of 114 metre drop.

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So I got into a little black sack, and screamed my head off – and loved every second of it. Every twist and turn and drop was unexpected, scary, and exciting – and by the time I got off (in full view of a very amused group – I was the loudest screamer by far) the adrenaline was pumping through me.

We then went back up for some prosecco, and to enjoy the incredible view, and I felt amazing.

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To ride the slide, you have to book in advance (I think it’s booked up for the next couple of months) – and it costs £15, so it’s probably not something you’ll be doing every time you pop to Westfield. The views are fantastic, though, so I’d definitely recommend doing it at least once!

Have you ever been on the slide? 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