All posts by Cristian Burbano

Fenchurch Restaurant- Sky Garden London

Located on top of London’s famous ‘walkie talkie’ building, Fenchurch is the capital’s must visit for a meal with a view… and a tasty menu.

Located on the top level of the sky scrapper the restaurant offers dinners magnificent views of the city landscape, a perfect setting for either lunch or dinner.  On a recent Saturday visit for lunch we got to experience the restaurant for ourselves.

Upon entering the building you will be met with a security check, not the usual for a restaurant but the effort is worth it once the elevator doors open onto the top floor. Hereto will be met with London’s ‘Garden in the sky’ or as it is known Sky Garden, offering a lush green space nestled into an urban skyscraper. After a few minutes exploring the multi tiered garden and taking in the magnificent city views we headed to the even higher level7 were Fenchurch is located.

The warm hostess greeted up and sat in the far end, a table with dunning views over the city.  It was quite busy, with the sun making an early appearance so the restaurant was buzzing. The menu specialises in seafood with a European touch, but mainly sticks to classic and loved dishes.

To kick things off I opted for the sea trout (£12.50) to start, which comes with broccoli, anchovy and black olive, the dish was delicious and light, a highly recommended pick.

For my main I decided to move away from the seafood options and opt for my favourite meat, pork, with the Iberico pork (£28.50) that comes served with hispi cabbage, black pudding, apple and sage. Though black pudding, seemed like an odd combination it proved to be a successful one, alongside this I opted for a side of chips which were another highlight.

If you still have room for it then dessert is not to be missed. The desert selections small but covers all bases, after mulling it over I went for the strawberry cheesecake (£10.50), classic and very satisfying, with the cheese layer light and delicate on the palette.

At the waiter;s recommendation we accompanied our meal with the Rioja Reserva, Ondarre, Rioja, 2011 (£39.50), a red wine full of flavour and deep hues than went terrifically with our menu.

Located a short walk from Liverpool Street Station, Fenchurch is a highly recommended busy, with a delicious menu match by spectacular setting with breath taking city views.

Fenchurch Restaurant
1 Sky Garden Walk,
London
EC3M 8AF

skygarden.london

 

 

 

Barcelona Helicopter Tour – BCN Travel

If you’re after a truly unique and unforgettable experience in Barcelona then what better than a bird’s eye view of the city with a helicopter ride.  Offered by BCN Travel it offers 3 different tour choicest varying tour length and price points.

The one we were able to experience was the Costa Tour, the shortest of the 3 lasts 6 minutes and is priced at €79 per person, you have the choice of booking a single seat and sharing with other passengers or buying the 3 passenger seats available for a private trip.
With only 3 passengers (and the pilot). eat means everyone gets a prime window seat, so perfect to capture the best images of your adventure.

Located in Barcelona’s cruise ship terminal the heliport is a short walk/cab ride from the beach. Upon entering you have to register and get get your weight taken (there is a 110kg limit) and after a short induction you’re ready to go. You are given a headset to wear to protect your ears from the loud sounds made by the helicopter.

While 6 minutes may seem like a short time you actually get to see a lot, the day we visited had fine weather so views were amazing.  All the famous monuments are visible ad the views make for great photo ops.  An unforgettable experience.

If you fancy going on longer trips then there are two further options.

Sky Tour – The summer version of this tour (there is also a winter one) lasts June to October and the tour duration is 12 minutes,  starting with the port along the old town and the beaches to Diagonal and Port Forum and from here we will continue further along the coast and the beaches. Priced at €125.

Montserrat – Priced at €340 but lasting a whopping 40 minutes this tour takes you over all of Barcelona’s highlights and onto Montserrat, which is known as the most sacred place of Catalunya.

So if you’re looking for something a little bit extra while on your visit then a helicopter is a well justified splurge.

For full information and bookings visit www.bcn.travel

Roast Restaurant – London

Scotch egg
Roast Interior

Nestled within the world famous Borough Market is one of London’s foodie treasures, Roast. Offering a delicious menu of British fare to Londoners since opening its doors back n 2005.  In its 12 years of business the restaurant has garnered acclaim across the UK, including a rosette in the AA guide, for its take on traditional  British dishes, headed up by chef Stuart Cauldwell.

We got a chance to visit ourselves on a recent weekend trip, though a London highlight Borough market can be super busy at weekends with tourists flooding in, however we were pleasantly surprised that while right in the centre of the hustle and bustle of it all Roast is away from the noise and crowds.  Split over two floors (it even has a lift for easier access) the restaurant is spacious with crisp white decor and huge windows filling the room up with light. Roast gives diners picturesque views of  St Pauls and The Shard, two of the capital’s most recognisable landmarks.  As it was a Sunday live music also played, providing a beautiful soundtrack to accompany your meal.

The menu is full of traditional British dishes and many of the ingredients come from Borough market itself.

We popped in for lunch and started with the Chorizo Scotch egg with piccalilli (£8.50), a hearty choice full of flavour and the chorizo adding that kick to the English staple.

With it being a Sunday we opted for the traditional roast beef as our main, which comprised of 48-Day dry aged roast sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding, rosemary roasties and horseradish cream (£35) and an extra side of mashed potatoes (£4). We requested the beef medium rare and it was cooked to perfection and generously sized, with the large home made Yorkshire pudding crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, a highlight.

If you still have room and have a sweet tooth then we’d recommend the Bramley apple and blackberry crumble, another Brit classic, this ones comes with almonds and English vanilla custard (£7).

As well as the food Roast offers a comprehensive menu of drinks and cocktails, a favourite was the Hard Vanilla (£10) , the cocktails mixes Buffalo Trace, Amaretto, vanilla ice cream and Hakushu 12, lemon juice, cherry juice,  egg white and ground cinnamon  for a refreshing sweet concoction.

So for Londoners and visitors alike we highly recommend Roast, the perfect location for a new take on classic dishes.

ROAST
The Floral Hall,
Stoney St,
London
SE1 1TL

www.roast-restaurant.com

The Cavendish – London

10 16 18 the_cavendish_food_1 the_cavendish_food_10

Since its launch in 2014 The Cavendish has become one of Marylebone’s much loved foodie havens, an all-day brasserie sat alongside the area’s hip and fashionable boutiques.

The restaurant offers an all day modern European menu set in a stylish old world English pub interior, with plush booth seating spread across two floors, and outside dining for when the British weather permits. The beautiful interiors are the work of Concorde Interior Design – known for designing for the likes of Tom’s Kitchen, The Botanist, and Copita.

Heading up the kitchen is chef, Douglas Santi, with over 25 years of experience in the industry, Santi began his career at the young age of 13 working for Laurent Saudeau – the right hand man of acclaimed chef Paul Bocuse.

The seasonal menu pairs the best quality ingredients with inspiration from classic French and Italian cuisine, and all at a pocket friendly price – with most menu options at below £20.

On a recent visit we got to try out the dinner menu for ourselves.

Once sat in a quiet corner of the second floor we eyed over the impressive menu to see what caught our eye. To start things off I opted for the Octopus Carpaccio (£12.80), the dish came beautifully presented – round slices of juicy octopus garnished with crisp chorizo and potatoes. The dish was light but delicious, a highly recommended starter.

For my main I had to go with the restaurant’s signature (and much instagrammed) ‘100 Layers Lasagne’ (£12). An update of the classic lasagne the recipe for this version comes straight from Chef Santi’s grandmother.  The dish again is beautifully presented, with layer upon layer of lasagne  resulting in a striking main, filling without being stodgy and full of colour and flavour.

With just about enough room to fit in dessert I opted for the Butter toffee and Pecan Praline Cheesecake (£6) which came highly recommended by the friendly waitress. Again it didn’t disappoint, sweet but not sickly with a light cheese layer and crisp biscuit base, heaven.

The Cavendish is a must visit, a delicious menu in a beautiful London location at an affordable price point, what more could you ask for?

The Cavendish
35 New Cavendish Street
London
W1G 9TR

T: 020 7487 3030
reservations@35newcavendish.com
www.35newcavendish.co.uk

Huawei P20 & P20 Pro

Huawei P20 Image - P20 Pro Huawei P20 Image - P20 Pro
Fast becoming the biggest brand in mobile technology Huawei held the global launch in Paris for its latest handsets, the Huawei P20 & P20 Pro.

The Chinese company chose the picturesque Grand Palais to debut its P20 series to the world to a huge audience of worldwide media. Beautiful in design with slick lines and bold colours the handsets also packs punch with huge updates to its previous P9 set,  brand Chief Executive Officer, Richard Yu even commented that the jump in tech so so large they went straight to naming the handset the P20 and not the p10!

The HUAWEI P20 Pro features the world’s first Leica triple camera and both devices include AI advances, combining technology and art to bring to life a innovative smartphone experience.

We look for inspiration from artists to continuously evolve our approach to design and innovation,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The HUAWEI P20 Series builds on the legacy of our collaboration with Leica. With a breakthrough triple camera on the HUAWEI P20 Pro, an advanced dual camera on the HUAWEI P20, and powerful artificial intelligence on both, today’s most vibrant consumers can capture and share the brilliance of the world around them.”

Key features of the HUAWEI P20 Series include: 

  • An advanced camera system to capture more light, more details and more beauty, featuring a Leica triple camera and 5x Hybrid Zoom on the HUAWEI P20 Pro, and a Leica dual camera on the HUAWEI P20;
  • Innovative photography features, including Master AI with AI-driven professional photography and HUAWEI AIS (AI Image Stabilisation), a powerful AI stabilisation technology;
  • A design with barely-there bezels and all-new gradient colours
  • Ultimate performance, featuring the NPU on Kirin 970 and EMUI 8.1 based on Android™ 8.1 for a premium and smooth user experience.

    The HUAWEI P20 Series and PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS are available to buy in the UK in April, and to pre-order from today, from retailers including Carphone Warehouse and EE. Pricing varies between models and retailers.

    consumer.huawei.com

 

Bentley Momentum Unlimited

Luxury fragrance brand Bentley Fragrances has released the latest in its catalogue of men’s fragrances, Bentley Momentum Unlimited Eau de toilette.

Crafted from top-notch materials by Michel Almairac, one of the world’s most acclaimed scent designers, Momentum Unlimited meets the same, exacting standards as Bentley motorcars. A fresher interpretation of the bracing Momentum line, this new, vibrant fragrance distils the thrill of elite travelling into an exciting contrast of fresh and sensuous accords.

The fragrance is fruity with grapefruit and tart green apple with a citrus kick of cardamom with wood and leather notes paying a nod to the interiors of Bentley cars.

Three sophisticated essences, polished cedarwood, mysterious vetiver and sensuous sandalwood, enhance the rich, yielding texture of the leather note. In the drydown, the scent lands smoothly in a sensual trail of skin musks and ambroxan, a quintessentially masculine ambery note.

Attention to details even in the fragrance bottle with a luxurious heavy glass is clad front and back with an interpretation of the marque’s signature knurling. Textured silver plates adorn the front and back of the bottle topped with a silver cap.

Decorated with the iconic “B in Wings” Bentley logo and the name of the fragrance, the front of the box reprises the knurling motif in shiny blue-tinged silver, framed by smooth matte silver.

Bentley “Momentum Unlimited” 100ml  Eau de toilette €82/£59

The fragrance is available from Harrods and online at www.bentley-fragrances.com

SALON64 London

BAR BARANDFRONTCUTTINGROOM WASHROOMWIDESHOT
SALON64 is a new innovative hair salon come coffee bar that opened up in London’s Soho, serving the area’s hippest clientele.

The salon is the creation of top London hairstylist Ricky Walters, the 26 year old has previous stints at The Corinthia & John Frieda on his CV.

Covering 2 floors and over 2000 square feet Walters worked with JaK Studio and creative partner Brash Brands to create an unprecedented beauty parlour experience in London.  Taking inspiration from a traditional French salon SALON64 offers a social hub to the soho set, perfect for those on the go to meet friends, get their hair done or even just grab a coffee and charge your phone.

The sleek minimal interiors feature herringbone floors alongside a blue colour scheme with pops of raspberry, with tapestries and print adorning walls.At the front of the salon, The Stye Bar features, which welcomes guests with its jewellery box mirrors so you can freshen up before dinner or drinks while enjoying a coffee from the in house bar.

At the rear and on the basement floor features the hairdressing spaces, which features the striking fire pit, which runs alongside the centre of the designated seating unit, again with prop open stations that are reminiscent of jewellery boxes that house a mirror as well as power plugs to charge your phone, laptop or tablets while you get your treatment done.

On our Ricky and I discussed the cut I wanted making his recommendations that would set suit my hair length and texture and get got straight to work. Staff rand over the latest issues of Esquire and GQ and regular cappuccinos throughout the cut. I loved the result and my whole SALON64 experience so a visit is a must.

Men’s cuts start at £50, full info can be found on their website www.salon64.co.uk

SALON64
14 Bateman St,
Soho,
London
W1D 3AG

Taylor Taylor London – Portobello Road

BAR BARANDFRONTCUTTINGROOM WASHROOMWIDESHOT

 

Taylor Taylor London has become one of the capital’s most recognised hairdressing brands, with 3 salons including the most recent addition in the world famous Notting Hill.

Located on the famed Portobello road the area is a must visit for Londoners and visitors alike with the bustling weekend market attracting huge numbers. Though located in a prime location once you enter the salon you are secluded from the hustle and bustle of the street. I was struck by the modern yet ornate interiors with a nod to Baroque extravagances of the French courts, with gold accents, striking light fixtures and their very own bar which serves up cocktails (and coffees) white you wait.

The salon is welcoming to its male clientele so no garish girly decor here but a sophisticated unisex vibe that offers high quality services to all clients.  The receptionist was friendly and warm, making the whole experience enjoyable.

On my visit my appointment was with Style Director, Michael O’Gorman who has over 10 year experience working for editorial and fashion clients including  huge brands like Louis Vuitton, Cavalli and Balenciaga. Michael and I discussed the type of look I was going for and then he got to work.

I was taken downstairs to an equally beautiful room to get my hair  shampooed and conditioned, and they even offer a head massage! back upstairs I settled on a G&T which was then delivered to my station.

I was very happy with the cut and service, and I was out within an hour. The cut was just what I wanted but Michael put his own glossy high fashion take on it.
I would highly recommend a visit for your next cut, great service and cocktails to boot, what more could you ask for?

Taylor Taylor London
309 Portobello Rd,
London
W10 5TD

Reyka Vodka takes over Hackney

Icelandic first vodka brand Reyka has arrived to the UK and to celebrate it has set up based in Hackney,  for a series of pop ups to introduce Londoners to a slice of the Icelandic way of life.

Reyka Vodka produces a truly unique product that uses the country’s own stunning environments to produce a one of a kind products, made from water comes from an arctic spring that runs through a 4,000-year-old lava field, filtered through lava rocks with a distillation process that results in a smooth and slightly fruity spirit.

Reyka uses one of the few Carter-Head stills in existence – the first and only one of its kind used to distil vodka, using the botanical basket for lava rock filtration. It is the high copper level which this produces that gives Reyka its clean, crisp taste and unparalled smoothness.

Brand Ambassador, Fabiano Latham explained: “Iceland is one of the most charming and unique lands in the world, one with distinctive provenance, people and culture, which is why we have created a spirit that captures the offbeat spirit of Iceland. We proudly embody all of the awe-inspiring offerings in our Reyka vodka production.
To celebrate their arrival to British shores Reyka Vodka will be hosting a series of events in Hackney from the 14th – 26th November, each showcasing different Icelandic traditions.

Upcoming events are…

Honeymoon – Icelandic Feast
18 to 19 November (2pm and 6pm)
£20
Reyka invites the bravest to dine with them over the weekend and enjoy an Icelandic feast, washed down with a Reyka cocktail. Tickets cost £20, which includes a Reyka cocktail on arrival and a six-dish feast.
460 Hackney Rd, London E2 9EG

Four Quarters East – Painting Peaks
18 to 19 November (12:00 noon)
Free
Grab a drink, sit back and watch street artist SELUR live paint an offbeat and surreal Icelandic landscape. Reyka Vodka invites guests to peer through the Gluggi (window) into this otherworldly landscape.
Unit 8 Canalside, East Bay Lane, Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3BS

Kansas Smitty’s – Icelandic Beats
24 November (10:30pm)
£10
Hidden in a basement deep beneath Broadway Market, Reyka Vodka will host an intimate gig supported by an awe-inspiring Northern Lights projection that will take you on a musical journey to Iceland.
63-65 Broadway Market, London, E8 4PH

The Barge House – Aurora Borealis Light Projection
25 to 26 November (multiple times)
Free
Normally limited to Iceland, the land of fire, ice and elves, Reyka will present the marvel of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), via a stunning water installation down at The Barge House in Hackney, whilst enjoying a Reyka cocktail or two.
46a De Beauvoir Cres, London, N1 5RY

NUMBER 90 – Icelandic Hot Dogs
25 (5pm) to 26 November (2pm)
Free
Icelanders love hot dogs – boiled in beer and complemented by a Reyka cocktail. Pop down to Number 90 to enjoy this winter-warming Icelandic staple.
90 Wallis Road, London, E9 5LN

Visit reykaexpedition.eventbrite.com for more details and to make a booking

If you are unable to pop then then you can grab a bottle of Reyka Vodka from retailers including Waitrose,  M&S and Harvey Nichols RRP £26 for a 70cl bottle.

iSmash Expansion

ISmash offers the perfect solution to all that common problem, a smashed of phone screen.

Founded by Julian Shovlin the business not only offers an array of smart phone (and computer) repairs (from broken screens, home buttons and water damage) but does so with a quick turnaround time and with a customer guarantee, something that independent repair places can’t offer, peace of mind.

The young entrepreneur started the business in 2013 with a flagship in Chelsea, it has then grown to 20 branches in London and the UK wth ones in Manchester and Bristol opening in recent months.

We recently got to try out their services and visited the Westfield White City branch. Handing over our screen smashed iPhone 6 we came back a mere 30 minutes later to be greeted by a new looking phone , with a brand new screen fitted by the on site technician (the glass workspace allows you to see them work). Unlike most repair shops in the high street iSmash offers a work guarantee (the duration varies depending on the repair carried out) which means you have no worries about the quality of the work carried out. Our repair cost £84.99 and that included a 12 month guarantee.

In addition to iPhones iSmash offers repairs to most phone brands, including Huawei, LG, Samsung and Google pixel.

In addition to repair services iSmash also sell an extensive range of cases to make sure your screen doesn’t smash again. While many of us (myself included)  carry on using our phones with cracked screens this is not advised, as well as potentially cutting ourselves with the glass leaving it cracked could mean dirt and liquid could enter the phone which will result in further (and more costly) repairs down the line, so it’s best to get it fixed sooner rather than later.

With so many of us using our smart phones for not only calls but to organise our entire lives this fast turnaround time is perfect, reuniting you with your phone in often less than an hour, so no need to be disconnected from work, friends and loved ones.

We caught up with Julian to talk more about his business

Tell us a bit more about how iSmash started? what gave you the idea to create it?

iSmash started whilst I was at university in Ireland, where I became so frustrated with the level of service I received when getting my phone fixed that I started learning how to fix screens myself – it was at this point that I realised there was a gap in the market to take advantage of. So the concept of iSmash manifested in Dublin but I decided to launch the brand in London due to the market size and scope to attract international attention to support fundraising and growth. 

What makes the iSmash concept and service so unique, what makes it different to other high street retailers offering gadget repair services?

I founded iSmash because I felt the industry as it stood did not serve the needs of consumers, which should be at the centre of all businesses. Despite the proliferation of smartphones and other tech, those with broken technology were left with limited choices between the pricey manufacturers and the cheaper, but less trusted, street-corner independents.

 The tech-repair market was dominated by unbranded local independent businesses and was very fragmented. For consumers this only offered a low-quality repair and generally you wouldn’t get a warranty when you got your phone or tablet screen repaired. So we decided to bridge the gap with iSmash, between these types of independents and the manufacturing giants, by offering a lifetime warranty and a 30-minute repair promise at a competitive price.

Your newest store is in Bristol, what made you choose this for the latest location?
After a successful initial launch in London, we knew the logical place to take iSmash was to influential cities across the UK. Opening on Broadmead, right in the centre of the city, means we’re now placed in a high-footfall, iconic location at the heart of the community.

 Are you looking to expand further? specially beyond London?
Our aspiration is to establish iSmash as the market leader for tech repairs in the UK. We first launched the brand in London but have since expanded to Manchester, Sheffield and Bristol in recent months. We will be opening in key locations in Leeds and Brighton next, as well as to further commuter and tourist hotspots in the capital.

 What’s next for iSmash?
Our vision is to be the trailblazer of the international tech repair market by providing our customers with the fastest, most convenient and professional tech repair service. We will have 28 stores across the UK by the end of 2017 and have plans to open 50+ stores nationwide by 2019.

So if your phone needs a quick fix then pay iSmash a visit ismash.com