Duke of York Square is one of my favourite areas of London: it’s a little hidden oasis in Chelsea where you can shop, drink and enjoy a little culture. A couple of weeks ago some of my favourite bloggers and myself were invited to enjoy an evening of culture and cuisine with Taschen and Manicomio.
We started our evening with a couple of aperatifs in the Taschen shop and downstairs gallery where we were told about the history of the brand and some of the amazing books that they’ve published. In fact, one of my favourite gifts that I received for Christmas last year was the gorgeous 36 Hours in Europe travel guide which was actually published by Tashchen!
It’s one of the most glorious book stores I’ve been to in a long time; somewhere that you can find the most incredible books that are almost like pieces of art in themselves. My favourite of the evening was probably this book about the Queen, which has a Vivian Westwood cover! A particularly topical choice since it was the night of the Queen’s 90th birthday that we were there!
Some books are even supplemented by beautiful prints, for example this striking photo of the Queen and Prince Phillip.
No matter what subject you can think of, I’m fairly sure that Taschen will have published something along those lines – from travel, to fashion (including a newly released book about Naomi Campbell) to the most beautiful treehouses, there’s a coffee table book or a well thought out gift, it’s a beautiful collection of books.
These are so much more that books: they really are mini art collections that are bound and easy to take home. Or not so easy to take home when you consider the sumo collections. These giant books are made with as much care as the smaller ones but on a much larger scale.
With sumos on Mohammed Ali, David Bowie and many many more, these really are the treasured pieces in Taschen.
Feeling suitably cultured, we nipped across the square to Manicomio at Duke of York Square for dinner and catch ups.
We started with a Rolling Stones cocktail, in tribute to the exhibition that’s currently on at the Saatchi Gallery, as well as some bruschetta nibbles, topped with meats, pates, and cheese.
I loved the delicious texture of the soft cheese, slightly crisp asparagus and crunchy bread in particular.
We were also given a little rosemary and salt foccacia, which I would have preferred with a little more oil and salt.
For starters, I ordered the parma ham served with lightly toasted bread with parmesan, artichoke, and truffle oil. I loved the salty, perfectly thin ham and the hint of truffles (though I never think you can have too much truffle!)
Around the table, the other most popular option was the yellow fin tuna crudo, served with fennel, kohlrabi and blood orange.
For main course, I opted for the chicken served with asparagus and artichoke. Anything with artichokes in it usually has me sold! It was a lovely dish, though the chicken was a little tough and I felt there could have been a light sauce served with the dish.
One of my favourite part of Duke of York Square is the variety of restaurants: Polpo, Gallery Mess (which I’m really looking forward to trying soon), Comptoir Libanais, among others. Though my favourite is the Saturday market where you can try all sorts of beautiful artisan foods, drinks and generally wander among the beautiful market. It’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning – and has the advantage of helping you do one of your weekend chores!
The other main course of choice that night was the Skrei cod with fregola putanesca and Exmouth mussels.
Dessert rolled around far too quickly – I always have time for blog chat and catch up with some of my favourites. This time I couldn’t help but order the lemon tart, a real favourite of mine.
I love spending time in Duke of York Square; it’s the perfect place to enjoy a meal, shop at the many, many gorgeous shops and even have a facial at Liz Earle. Whether you’re going to be cultured at Taschen and the Saatchi Gallery, or you’re looking to pick up your summer wardrobe and a bite to eat it’s one of my favourite places to while away a day.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Chelsea in Bloom 23rd – 29th May, where the whole of Chelsea is decorated with gorgeous flowers. Even better, Duke of York Square is hosting Strawberries and Screen 8th-10th July where they’re showing Wimbeldon and you can pick up some Pimms to truly get into the summer spirit.
If you’ve not been yet, it’s a great little hidden gem that you’ve got to discover soon!
I was a guest of Duke of York Square.