Finishing some exams always calls for celebrations, but exam celebrations in London are so much more fun – mainly as some of my favorite restaurants and bars are only a hop, skip and a jump from college. With that in mind, Roisin and I needed a little fun after our exams this week…
Having already taken Roisin to my new favourite outdoor terrace in London, Dalloway Terrace, where she had fallen as much in love as I had, it seemed like the most natural place for us to start our evening.
I’d also arranged a little pick me up for my exam by ordering my new lens to be delivered to the post office around the corner from the exam hall so was very excited to unbox and start using my new toy! I’ve only been using it for a few days but I’m already so happy with the quality of the photos.
As our waitress poured our wine we finally felt ourselves relaxing a little, and able to put all the exam stress behind us. There’s just something about the noise of wine being poured that gives you that little sense of relief, much like a champagne bottle being opened!
Dalloway Terrace is the perfect venue for a summer afternoon drink and we were more than content to sit for a while, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
If you don’t have plans for this evening and you work in or around Bloomsbury, I’d seriously recommend that you head over to Dalloway Terrace to enjoy your Friday evening. I don’t think I’ve seen such a beautiful setting in London in a long time… You could almost be in France… Italy… Or even Greece!
I’d made an exciting reservation for early evening nibbles and drinks, so we wandered round Bloomsbury for a little while, and into Fitrozvia, stopping to oggle one of my favourite sites in this area: Charlotte Street Hotel. I have to say I’ve not actually been in yet, but I’d love to venture in one day soon.
ROKA Charlotte Street’s underground Shochu Lounge has a beautiful cherry blossom installation to celebrate Sakura, the Japanese cherry blossom festival that I celebrated at Sake no Hana earlier this month and I’ve been wanting to visit since it opened.
The bright, cheerful cherry blossom makes a great contrast against the dark background of Shochu loung and I’m so glad I was finally able to see it before it closes at the end of the month!
It was sufficiently early enough that I was able to take some snaps and we were able to enjoy the bar all to ourselves; we couldn’t have asked for a more serene celebration.
If you’ve not been to ROKA yet you really are missing out, the food is something else and the service is usually excellent. Though I have to say this time, even though it was empty and our table was booked for two hours, we felt a little rushed.
Roisin, ever a gin fan, ordered a gin based cocktail, which was beautifully presented and just what she wanted.
I’m never that far from champagne…and true to form couldn’t resist a beautiful champagne cocktail.
Which looked beautiful against the backdrop of the cherry blossom.
It’s not a real ROKA experience if you don’t order any food, so we ordered a few tuna and avocado and some soft shell crab maki rolls to share. As ever, they were delicious – and entirely moreish!
There’s something about soft shell crab that I can’t resist, especially when it’s mixed with the soft texture of sushi rice.
Though the stand out dish of our evening was the yellow fin tuna tartar; served with an incredible citrus sauce that I can still taste, it really was perfect.
And entirely photogenic – which I was more than happy about as it gave me more time to play with my new lens!
We nibbled and drank until the glasses were empty and the nibbles looked more like this…
To be honest, I don’t think there’s a better way to celebrate the little things in life than with good food, a few drinks and even better company. So if you’re celebrating the end of exams in London – take a tip and visit a couple of my faves!