Review: A Taste of Yauatcha, Soho

Cuisine: Chinese
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Basement dining area

Yauatcha is a stylish restaurant tucked away on the corner on Broadwick Street. Designed around the idea of a Taipai tea house, the smaller ground floor tea room is full of light blue and purple hues but the staircase leads down to a darker space with spot-lit black tables and illuminated fish tank and an almost nightclub-like feel.

Yaucha Patesserie can also be found on the ground floor, serving delightfully laid-out macaroons and desserts which are instantly irresistible.

Review: Brunch at Dirty Bones, Kensington

Cuisine: American
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 3/5
Overall:  4/5

Brunch at Dirty Bones, Kensington
Brunch at Dirty Bones
A bright red neon sign and a tiny door leads down to a dark staircase, push through the mysterious door to reveal the foyer/reception of Dirty Bones where you will be shown to your seat.

The foyer has a bar and arcade paraphernalia. The seated area is assorted with attractive quirky décor such as the patterned tile tables, mismatched lights and lanterns and painted/printed bookcase on the wall. The word PLAY is lit up with the individual letters sitting at playful angles.

Review: Zaika, Kensington

Cuisine: Indian
Price: £££
Swank Levels: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

Interior of Zaika, Kensington
Zaika decor
Zaika is the sister restaurant to Michelin-starred and a favourite of mine Tamarind, this meant I had high expectations when I visited. Recently revamped and refurbished, Zaika is located in a wood panelled former bank. Adorned in silk drapes and antiques Zaika certainly is an impressive restaurant, to the extent that the high ceiling and dark furnishings give it almost a stern imposing feel.

However the friendly service quickly raised spirits and the staff dealt effectively with the couple of full glasses I managed to knock over with my bag as I sat down (oops!).

Review: Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair

Price: £££
Cuisine: Modern British
Swank Factor: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Fera at Claridge's decor
Fera at Claridge's
I've always seen Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge’s as a luxurious restaurant to be visited on special occasions due to the price tag that comes with dining at such decadent destinations. However when I discovered their amazingly priced set menu through Bookatable I had to give it a try!

Based in the swanky 5 star luxury hotel Claridges, walking into this venue feels like entering another a world of elegance marble clad hallways, open glowing fireplaces and plush seating all matched with impeccable service. The dining room has a stunning ornate tree placed in the centre and surrounded by candle light, at this rate we couldn't wait to try the menu by renowned chef Simon Rogan!

Review: The Forge Cantina, Camden

Cuisine: Latin American Street Food
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 3/5
Overall:  3/5

Located in The Forge music venueThe Forge Cantina was not difficult to find but it is located on a quiet road. However when we arrived the stylish bar downstairs was buzzing and it took me a moment to realise the restaurant was upstairs.

Follow the sign that reads 'Cantina' which leads up a staircase to a seated restaurant setting with another bar. The decor is bright and quirky with colourful chairs and contrasting lights and dark wooden tables. Eye catching and cultural art work fills the walls and a quirky watering can holds your cutlery and condiments.

Peruvian delights at Pachamama, Marylebone

Cuisine: Peruvian
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

Interior or Pachamama
Pachamama in Marylebone is a delightfully folkish looking restaurant which serves up stunning Peruvian cuisine using some of the most extraordinary ingredients to produce and intriguing menu!

The restaurant itself is beautiful and although it is quite a large space, it doesn’t seem so until you look closer because of the small snug concaves and cozy sectioned spaces. The décor is composed on low lighting, exposed areas of brick wall, vintage lampshades and wooden dresses with pot plants resting on top – very welcoming indeed!

Review: Maroush Gardens, Paddington

Cuisine: Lebanese
Price: £££
Swank Levels: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Interior of Maroush Gardens Restaurant

Although located on Edgware Road, Maroush Gardens has tried hard to distance itself from the many other kebab houses that line the road.

The entrance and décor is more like a high end restaurant, with marble tops, grand rooms, dark wooden pillars and palm trees! Alongside the engraved mirrors hanging on many of the walls, there is even an ornate water fountain filled with koi carp.

Indian Fine Dining at Lotus, Charing Cross

Cuisine: Indian
Price: £££
Overall: 5/5
Swank Factor: 4/5

Lotus restaurant interior
Lotus interior
Lotus is a rather inconspicuous looking restaurant located in the busy streets of Charing Cross. It would be easy to walk past Lotus without a second thought, but that would be a mistake, as what waits inside is a luxurious contemporary restaurant serving stunning Indian cuisine.

Back In 5 Minutes, Shoreditch

Cuisine: British 
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3/5
Inside Back in 5 Minutes Disappearing Dining Club
Inside Back in 5 Minutes
My experience dining at Back in 5 Minutes was a different experience to what I’m used to. I knew when I got the invite that it was ‘in the back of a clothing shop’ but I don’t think I really got it. When they say in the back of a clothing shop they mean you will show up and awkwardly stand outside wondering if you’re actually in the right place. Then you’ll notice a tiny, unlit menu on the wall and this yep, this must be the right place!

January Detox at Redemption, Notting Hill

Cuisine: Healthy
Price: £££
Swank Factor: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

Redemption restaurant and bar sign
Redemption restaurant and bar
The skies may be grey and full of gloomy rain but from inside the doors of Notting Hill’s exclusive vegan, non-alcoholic restaurant Redemption, comes their angelic January detox menu, filled with colourful, clean food.

The team at Redemption pride themselves on serving luxury vegan food that is as medicinal as it is delicious, and the January menu items have been created with ingredients that are renowned for their cleansing qualities.