A Foodie’s Heaven in Paris – Lunch and Dinner Edition

The great escape this season is Paris – be it for a romanic weekend trip or a French cuisine adventure… don’t leave falling in love with good food to chance! For all the curious foodies, Iram Khawaja shares a list of places to dine for lunch and dinner in Paris… You can thank us later, oui?

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The New Silver Generation: A Glimpse into a New Golden Era?

Freelance artist and designer, Fernene Amour attended the Soho x Talks: New Silver Generation event last month… here’s her takeaway!

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Eat and Drink Your Way Around London This Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to eat and drink your way around London this winter! Here are 9 seasonal specials available for a limited time only – get them whilst they’re hot!

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6 TIPS FOR A BETTER NIGHTS SLEEP so you can be at our optimum

Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. When we sleep our body is detoxing and regenerating as well as healing and repairing our blood vessels and organs.  A lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and obesity. 

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5 Gourmet Pasta Dishes from Delita to Transform Your Festive Dinner Party

It’s dinner party season – which means the festive season is charing towards us like a like a train emerging out of a dark tunnel! If the thought of preparing to host family and friends fills you with chills – fear not, Delita is here! I was lucky enough to attend an evening sampling the various ready-prepared dishes Delita offers… let’s just say, considering we’ve all been out of practice – no thanks to lockdown, this is how ‘the new normal‘ dinner party is done; fuss-free. Thank me later.

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5 Fitness Intro Offers to Help You Get Ready for the Festive Season

Our Digital Editor Justina, has scoured the the blogosphere in search of the best offers to help you get ready for the festive season… here’s 5 of her faves!

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My London Park Drinking Lowdown – Autumn 2021

Jo Aspin knows all about drinks… from cocktails to seltzers you can count on her for some inspiration on what to take with you for those ‘last of the summer sun’ get-togethers at the park this Autumn.

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Como Garden

What a delicious evening at Como Garden – an amazing Italian tapas restaurant & bar in Kensington. 

Set on a fun, bustly corner of High Street Ken, we were given a lovely indoor/outdoor table – excellent for watching the world go by on a Friday evening. The effortlessly chic, garden-like decor and chilled, ambient beats created the kind of vibe that I’m always looking for in a restaurant – a great spot for dates or nights out with the girls. The cocktails were divine – I’d highly recommend the amaretto sour and their house white was cold, crisp and a little bit sparkly. 

For any cheese lovers out there, it would be a crime not to try this place out. Every single dish was oozing with moorish flavours – I think I must have said ‘oh wow, this is my favourite’ after each one. 

The arancini was a perfect combo of sweet, salty, soft and crunchy and the gorgonzola & caramelised walnut gnocci was just heaven. The aubergine parmigiana was the best I’ve ever had and the giant ferrero roche was just ridiculous…I’m craving it already. 
Lastly, the staff were an absolute delight – super charming, attentive and welcoming. So a huge thanks to Como Garden for a fantastic evening – we will definitely be back!

Words and images by @clementine.rose.nutrition

Como Garden 37-45 Kensington High St, London W8 5ED | @como.garden

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Copper Chimney

Copper Chimney is an award-winning restaurant that has won accolades such as ‘Best National Indian Restaurant Brand’ and ‘Chef of the Year 2018.’ Founded originally in Bombay by JK Kapur, who built up a film productions business that has produced Bengali films such as Sagina Mahato, he started Copper Chimney after deciding to follow his passion for the culinary world. Since 1971, the restaurant has opened multiple branches in locations including Kuwait and the UAE. It has established a spot in the UK, which sits in West London, Shepherd’s Bush.  

As you step inside the restaurant, you would notice that beyond the largely modern designs of its interiors,  nostalgic tones linger.  The wicker chairs, hanging plants and colourfulness of the furniture hail for 1970s Bombay. 

The restaurant menu celebrates miscellaneous cuisines and flavours from North India, as the founder Kapur grew up in the region before the Partition that separated India and Pakistan. Using a custom clay oven that cooks with an even heat, dishes are made by ‘ustads’ – master chefs that are trained in different techniques of Indian cooking from all over the country as well as age-old recipes. In the open display kitchen positioned close to the dining crowd, the ustads can be seen visibly preparing the  dishes.    

The menu has a wide range of delicious starters. Amritsari Shrimp, originating from its namesake Amritsar is shrimp coated with carom seeds and are then battered. It has a crunchiness which is fun to eat as a light snack. Delhi-style Fried Chicken is a street food dish with a twist; the meat is pounded in garam masala and seasoned with a mix of spices and pepper. When you bite into its crunchy centre, you can notice that the meat inside is delicately seasoned. 

For the main course, Lamb Seekh Kebab is an ace choice for meat lovers – the skewered kebabs are flavoured with spices as well as coriander, and the lamb is roasted to a point that it is still succulent. The Bazaar ke Chole, which is a type of chickpea curry cooked with a spice mix and crushed pomegranates, ascertains a balance between the sweetness of the dried fruit and the aromatic flavours of the homemade spice mix. Saffron Berry Pulao, a type of basmati rice infused with berry and turmeric, is perfect to have as a side since it complements the sumptuous mains. After a hearty meal, have a cup of warm creamy chai and Gajar Pistachio Crumble which are perfect as a post-dinner treat. 

Apart from a comprehensive selection for dinner, Copper Chimney also offers lunch meal deals that cater for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians. Consider Copper Chimney your next go-to spot for a meal next time after a busy day at the shops. 

Words and images by Kesh Wang

Copper Chimney Southern Terrace, Ariel Way, London W12 7GA

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Massis Lebanese Grill & Bar, Paddington

Lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to develop new interests and hobbies. I for one came to harbour a passion for Lebanese food through my frequent trips to the Lebanese takeaway in my local area for some quick bites. Famous for its hearty portions and use of fresh ingredients, Lebanese food is ranked among the world’s top healthiest cuisines by Health Line due to its use of olive oil, hummus and tabbouleh that contain good fats for lowering disease risks.

Massis is a Lebanese restaurant situated in Sheldon Square near Paddington Central right by the canal, and easily accessible via the Hammersmith and City line or the Circle line. The open plan of the layout with French doors is ideal for outdoor and indoor dining, especially on sunny days when the doors are opened up to accommodate guests on the front terrace. After 12 years of serving hungry Londoners, Massis has emerged out of lockdown with revamped interiors that combine the bold colours of traditional prints with modern furniture, along with a very tempting bar in the central area. But that is not the only change – apart from classic Lebanese dishes such as falafel and tzatziki, newly devised dishes have emerged such as the Tempura Fried Calamari and Seabass Chunks which are excellent for a mezze. 

The Tempura Fried Calamari is, as its name suggests, fried in tempura batter. A common problem with fried calamari is that it can have a rubbery texture even after frying, yet Massis does it justice as the calamari has a softness inside its crunchy exterior. Dip it into their homemade tartare sauce, and you have a starter dish perfect for sharing. There are also viable options on the menu for vegans and vegetarians. The Tabouleh is a good dish to have – the fresh zinginess of  the tomato and parsley excites one’s taste buds, not to mention the Mousakaa, a smoked aubergine purée cooked with tomatoes, onions and chickpeas which is delicious with some warm pitta bread or rice. 

Apart from the mezze dishes, the restaurant’s grill menu is also worth checking out, especially for the meat lovers. The Lahem Meshwi, which is chargrilled cubes of marinated lamb dipped in tahini sauce, fuses the rustic flavours of the lamb with the sesame in the sauce that explodes in your mouth. Have it with a glass of Spanish red wine, which is just one of the many options on the restaurant’s extensive drinks menu.

For those who prefer chicken, the Shish Taouk as a chargrilled chicken dish has the smoky quality similar to the Lahem Meshwi, but savoury in a more buoyant way. It is best enjoyed with the creamy homemade slaw on the side as well as with some French fries. 

It’s not just the food that makes Massis appealing, but also the fact that the food is value for money. Through the warm welcome given by staff and the passion shown in their food, it is no wonder why the restaurant is still going strong after 12 years in the business. Whether it’s a lighthearted lunch with your colleagues, or a big celebratory dinner party with your closest friends and family, you’re guaranteed a good time at Massis.

Words by Kesh Wang

Massis Lebanese Grill & Bar – 9 Sheldon Square, London W2 6HY, United Kingdom | @massislebanese

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