I don’t really know what’s happened to me this year, but I’ve been overcome with the sudden urge to do anything and everything. I think turning 27 really struck a chord with me (and yes, I am aware that really isn’t very old) but I realised how quickly time is flying. The years are just trickling away like water through my fingers, and to be honest… It’s downright scary. Last year I dedicated so much time to work that I didn’t really do anything – no holidays, no festival, no fun time at all. Whilst career will always be very important to me, what’s more important is LIFE. LIVING. Striking that work/life balance perfectly. After I returned from Vegas in June, I also brought back with me the most overwhelming wanderlust. I had seriously fallen back in love with travel so decided to download the BuckItDream app and start creating a bucket list of everything I wanted to do, visit, eat and achieve on this earth before my time is up (if you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend downloading it. Be prepared for some very late nights though as it is HIGHLY addictive). As I was adding away to my little list, I thought it would make a great series for my blog to share my dreams with you all, and maybe even inspire some of your own! So here we go, I’m kicking off my bucket list with 10 quirky UK restaurants I want to eat in before I… Well… Kick the bucket!
Hot dogs and waffles and roasts, oh my! New York style comfort food is the main theme at Dirty Bones, but by the looks of things they also know how to rustle up a roast dinner whilst putting their own little twist on it. To be honest I’ve got my eyes all over their bowls of mac n cheese… *drools*. Based in Kensington, Shoreditch and Carnaby Street, I’ll be swinging into one of these for brunch or a Sunday Dinner… And probably rolling out.
You probably don’t need a burger AND a milkshake when you visit Blacks Burgers (in fact you definitely don’t) but it kinda needs to be done. Peanut butter on your Rock N Rolla burger? Yes mama. Oh, with extra halloumi and smoky streaky bacon? Ok, now you have my full attention. Banana and nutella milkshake with marshmall… OK BYE!
Now I won’t lie to you, I’m not a sushi eater at all, but I’ve been hearing rave reviews of Sexy Fish for some time now. I had a little browse of the menu anyway, thinking there would be nothing suitable for a non-Nemo eater, but they got me with their fragrant chicken with coconut and chill dressing dish. Oh lordy. Griddled black tiger prawns – I’m coming for you too.
Oblix @ The Shard
The most amazing views to compliment the food? You can’t go wrong really can you? There are so many restaurants to choose from in The Shard, but I have to say that if I had to choose just one, it would be Oblix. They have a really varied menu to cater for all tastes and requirements, and they do strawberry pavlova and elderflower sorbet. Which is the dealbreaker here isn’t it really?
Bob Bob Ricard
Why does my life not come with a ‘press for champagne’ button? Bob Bob Ricard has absolutely changed the game with this. I’m not even sure if I really need to see the menu… But I will. Mixing Russian and English favourites, it’s definitely on my bucket list to encourage me to try something different. I’ve never had Russian cuisine before, but their truffled potato and mushroom vareniki (dumplings) are pretty much calling my name.
Now anyone who knows me, will know my love of sausage and mash. They don’t push sausage in enough foods if you ask me, but The Botanist seemed to have nailed the traditional dish and TWISTED IT. LITERALLY. THEY’VE TWISTED THE SOSIJ. I didn’t need anymore persuading… And then I saw the decor. I’m a sucker for a good setting and The Botanist’s restaurants are simply stunning, adopting a garden centre theme. Flowers, curly sausages and cocktails in a watering can? Table for one please. In the window.
Is this not the prettiest restaurant you ever did see? I feel like I need to go just because the pink tree is ah-mazingly instagrammable #FirstWorldBloggerProblems. In the heart of Manchester lies Tattu, and their massive pink tree – and the food doesn’t look too bad either! In fact, it looks insane. Chinese cuisine and the most beautiful presentation? I’m sold. You’ll find me in the corner face down in three portions of lobster and prawn toast, peking duck pancakes and chilli salt baby squid.
Sheesh in Chigwell has got to be one of the trendiest, most talked about restaurants of the year. Known to be a celebrity hotspot (Louise Johnson sang there a few months ago), Sheesh offers up delicious looking Turkish cuisine. Think very, very posh kebabs. On a skewer though, not in a pitta with a bit of burger sauce after a few too many down the Workerman’s. They also have a variety of stunning dining rooms, with their conservatory area looking particularly appealing. I think a girls’ night out is on the cards!
The Cinnamon Club
Throwing some Indian into the mix, we have Cinnamon Club… And by the look of things, they definitely do Indian RIGHT. In a library-themed setting, you’ll enjoy dishes such as king prawns with green mango coconut sauce. Or if you’re feeling a bit braver, tandoori breast of Anjou squab pigeon. I think I’ll pass on that one to save some room for their dark chocolate bomb with white chocolate ice cream and passion fruit. A step up or two from your standard Friday night curry takeaway!
Now I have a huge confession to make. Despite being just 40 minutes from London, I’ve never been to London Borough Market. I know, I know! Disgraceful behavior, especially from such a foodie. Therefore, by the end of the year, I WILL have visited the world-renowned marketplace and tied it in with a sunday roast dinner from the aptly named, Roast. I’m mesmerised by the setup of it as it overlooks the market, so I’ll definitely be asking for a window seat, and I’m also ever so British in the fact that I love a roast dinner. However it’s not just roasts that they do. Visit in the weekday and you’ll find a variety of mouthwatering seafood, meaty and veggie dishes on the menu.
I really struggled choosing just 10 quirky UK restaurants for this article (and believe me there are a hell of a lot more on my BuckItList app) but these are the ones I keep hearing about and would love to get ticked off first. Can you recommend any more for me? If you’d like to follow my BuckItList dreams, my username is @carlyfarlyfay!