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                                              THE MONTCALM
                                                                                                                                                                                     F e b r u a r y    12 t h   2 0 18


Over the years I've visited many different places for afternoon tea, my first experience was at
The Waldorf Hilton; an extremely opulent hotel, beautiful service, and an overall wonderful experience. One of my most favourites to date has to be at Flemings Hotel Mayfair which I visited this time last year. Everything from service to the dining experience was exceptional. You get a lot of afternoon teas that present themselves in the most mesmerising way but fall short to live up to their imagery. Reviews can be just as misleading when someones best experience could be your worst...unfortunate, I guess. My friend (Valerie) recently celebrated a milestone and as a continuation of birthday celebration, we went to Afternoon Tea at The Montcalm. 

THE TEA:        
taste test

Diving into the selection of teas I opted for the Persian Rose tea. I have a thing for Rose, not necessarily in tea but more so in a cake, macaroons and of course in flowers. Unsure of what it would taste like I always considered afternoon tea a great time to try something new, you know build upon your existing palette. The tea was very different for me and did grow on me as time went on. It has a very malt taste to it with a floral top note. It's not one I felt complemented the tea well but nonetheless was interesting to try.
The scones were good, not great just good. They were slightly hard on the outside and softer to the inside which is a balanced combination but to me, they were slightly overdone. I'm not picky but I can't forget the scones I tried at Flemings they were second to none; light, dense and soft, they literally melted in your mouth. As this is a 5* hotel I did have higher hopes yet, they were enjoyable. 

SANDWICH & CAKE :        
oh taste and see 

The use of different colours of bread was really cool and creative. The first sandwich I tried was the pinkish coloured one, it was filled with hummus and watercress (i think), it was nice, light and soft. Now one thing I did notice was all the edges of the sandwich's felt a little 'mad-a-few-hours-ago which was a little disappointing. 
Alone from that, I did enjoy those that I tried and it was very filling. Onto the cake, when it comes to afternoon tea I feel like you get a good assortment of sandwiches, a fair selection of scones and substandard cakes at the top. In comparison to the pictures online I was left slightly underwhelmed by the cakes presented and had higher hopes for the spread. I'm not a fan of chocolate desserts so I wasn't so keen on the options but I adored the macaroon, I couldn't make out the flavour but it was truly amazing and if they served a few of those on the top tier I would have been super pleased.    


service...oh hey Valerie  

 The service was wonderful, the waiters were attentive, polite, kind and very welcoming, they made the experience that much greater. During our tea they offered us more tea and champagne; usually, you may be offered more tea and sandwiches but never champagne which was very sweet of them. 
As dining rooms go I loved the natural light that beamed through the center of the room. The wallpaper was fascinating, I loved the tones and how it carried the room so gently. I wasn't so fond of the tables used throughout the room. In the pictures, I'd seen online the afternoon tea was served on a white tablecloth which looked 100% better, maybe since then they have changed the dining room and interior as it didn't represent its current presentation. In my opinion, a tablecloth always adds an element of sophistication and makes everything served on the table look that much more sharp and neat. 



EXPERIENCE :        
final thoughts  
All in all, we had a wonderful time at The Montcalm we were able to chill, relax and catch up in a peaceful environment, even the music playlist was popping! I don't think I would come back for afternoon tea but I wouldn't mind trying breakfast, lunch or dinner. Based on the service alone I would happily stay at the hotel and come back soon. 

IT'S ME:        
jeaulina cato    

Earrings: Zara
Jeans: Stradivarius
Boots: Stradivarius

Coat: Zara

Bag: Karen Millen

see you later   

© Jeaulina Cato 2018 all rights reserved on photographs


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                                        ÉLAN CAFE
                                                                                                                                                                                     Ja n   2 5 t h   2 0 1 8


 It's been a long time since we met here guys, I was on such a role last year with blogging & posting.
Many unexpected things had come up and I could no longer continue with this as it was. I've missed this though, sharing my travels, experiences and foodie adventures; and I will be giving you plenty fresh new content this year. I'm so excited to share so many new places, hidden gems, and favourites with you so let's get into it then.

late, lunch   

I and my friend (Erica) decided to have a catch-up and being the Instagram lover I am I went through a list of saved places and came across the prettiest looking place with the dreamiest decor, ÉLAN CAFE. London like many cities has become a hub for new 'instagramable' hot spots that are popping up quicker than restaurants are closing. Everyone wants to create the place that's on everyone's social feed.

Like everything in life, 'all that glitters ain't gold' I say this because you can go to the most beautiful house and sit at the finest table but if the food wasn't prepared right it's just a pretty looking evening with an average taste left in your mouth (what a bummer). Yes, I have experienced this with events and restaurants, and it comes from pictures because they really can sell experiences and dreams... I'm a sucker for a good picture too!
But for those of you who know me and for those who are getting to know me I will always give you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the sandwiched truth (the good, the not so good and the okay-ishly-good). 

WHO'S THAT?:        
jeaulina cato (me) 

T-Shirt: Zara
Phone Case: TopshopCoat: Zara

pretty in blush pink    

It was a busy Thursday afternoon arriving at Élan Cafe. I was met with a long queue and from the Instagram pictures, you'd understand why! it's undeniably gorgeous. The restaurant is covered in floral arrangements, blush pink interior, soft velvet chairs and marble tables. Now I really planned to get more pictures of the decor but the restaurant was so full and the time flew by so quickly so if you want to see more, go visit or take a look at their Instagram.


what we ordered 

The Menu.....
Well let's be honest, take into account we are in central London then factor in we are in Chelsea so in case your from outside of London that means money, more money, and mo money. 
Nothing really surprises me in London when it comes to eating out but the drinks menu did. 
For the amount served I felt it was overpriced. I mean the Spanish Latte was the most expensive item we ordered and one of the smallest too. If it was an alcoholic beverage I could understand or even a drink priced the same but served in a taller/wider glass, however, these glasses were similarly sized to the Nandos 'water' glasses and those are small. 
We ordered:
Buttermilk Chicken Goujons, 
with smoked paprika ketchup 6,5
Sweet Potato Fries 5
Spanish Latte, 
with sweetened condensed milk 7,5
Ice Tea, with Jasmine & Lime 5,5
Carrot Cake 4,5 
Warm Cookies with a chai tea ice cream 6,5

drinks - hey erica!

I definitely have a thing for English breakfast tea, any tea really. One of my old favourites I tried years ago at afternoon tea was 'the nutty chocolate' by twinnings. It sounds unusual for a tea but it just works and has a warm, cosy flavour too it. I am a huge fan of Ice Tea, it's my go-to drink when I'm abroad especially in the sun, yeah London has been cold and wet but this was one of the better days and inside the restaurant was nice and cosy. I absolutely loved the Jasmine & Lime iced tea, it sweet (not too sweet), well flavoured and refreshing, you know those drinks that just put you in a good mood? this is one of them.While you are here, check out Erica's SoundCloud

bon appetit  

Let's start with the chicken, now seeing that this item comes under the 'bites' section of the menu I was pleasantly surprised with the well-sized portion we were given. I loved the outer layer of the chicken goujons, I do feel the inside was a quite dry and lacked flavour but the sauce made up for it. The sweet potato fries were great, they were wholesome and firm. The white creamy sauce had a creme fresh taste to it that grew on me throughout the meal. I would have preferred a hot pepper based sauce but that's just my preference. Something with a kick or punch!
You can't go wrong with burger sauce or mayo.

oh sweet thang    

Rose & Pistachio cake is a rare find and I was so happy to come across it on the menu. Unfortunately, they'd run out so I went with another favourite, carrot cake. I've had many varieties of carrot cake in the past and I can appreciate each one for the unique ingredients and slightly different flavours. This cake, in particular, wasn't exactly to my taste, I prefer a sweeter butter cream. I felt it lacked lustre, the cake in itself had a nice texture but It had a  taste of baking soda which was off-putting. It was a well-sized slice for the price and aesthetically quite pleasing. 


sweet thang 

The warm cookies... I wanted to love you so much but as you see it was overbaked. Slightly burnt cookies were disappointing, to say the least. The chai ice cream was really refreshing and would have complimented the cookies better had it not been overcooked. The cookie itself was surprising in taste, and like the carrot cake, it had a strange taste to it. I would like to give the desserts another try but I don't think I'd opt for this again.One last thing I must point out is that they give you 45minutes service time which we did run over. Some things are hit and miss and I really do love the restaurant... okay I'm in love with the interior. If I return I think I'd be more picky with my future choices but aside from one of the most important things (food), we had a good time here. 


 Thanks for stopping by, more food and more fun coming soon.

© Jeaulina Cato 2018 all rights reserved on photographs


Dominique Ansel Bakery: It's A Brunch Ting

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                                              DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY
                                                                                                                                                                                     M a  y   13 t h   2 0 1 7


& On this Saturday we Brunched!  
After a lovely mid-week to Paris, it was nice to have a chilled start to the weekend in Dominique Ansel Bakery. Dominique Ansel is French-born, pasty chef  and has been recently awarded/named World's Best Pastry Chef 2017. The Bakery became well established around 2013 in their innovation of the Cronut, the cornut is a combination of a croissant and doughnut. There are only three DAB bakeries across the world, one being in Tokyo, New York and London 
- So lets  g e t   o  t
 DOminique aNSEL bakerY

matcha passionfruit & A Mini Madeleine


BRUNCH: What did we order? 
I've become quite the fan of macaroons as of late. When I was younger I remember my sister bringing them back from her travels and I definitely had a preference for ganache filled macaroons, over the jelly filled macaroons. 
Now matcha which is a type of green tea has recently exploded across London, you'll find matcha latte's, pancakes, dessert; and even matcha ice cream, which is sooo good. As a addict of matcha green tea KitKat I was keen to try their matcha passionfruit macaroon. The macaroon was charming, the passionfruit glides with shooting flavour and the matcha comes through nice and subtly. 

pea & ham hock soup Garden peas and confit ham hock with crème fraiche, broad beans and pea shoots 


BRUNCH: What did we order? 
On my last visit to DAB I ordered the 'Perfect Little Egg Sandwich' that's served in a tasty brioche bun. 
On this occasion I came across the only soup on the menu and decided to go for it. When it came I was highly impressed by the presentation of it, the smell is enticing and the taste?, Well I fancy some now, lets say that.
It was completed amazing, it wasn't overpowered by the taste of peas nor was it underwhelming, it was warm, well seasoned, comfy and had edge to it. The ham hock served to the middle of the dish was full of flavour, it was succulent and complimented the soup well. Saving the best to last, the crispy bread was delicious, it had a nice salt to it which brought out the flavours in other parts of the dish. 

Eliane Elaine has graduated in film, she's previously featured on my blog when we visited HomeSlice. Checkout her Tumblr 

leek & funky cheese quiche Garden peas and confit ham hock with crème fraiche, broad beans and pea shoots 


BRUNCH: What did we order? 
Eliane ordered the Leek & Funky Cheese Quiche. For her the quiche was 'packed full of flavour especially because of the Camembert which gave it a strong pungent taste'. I think I'll most likely have this on my next visit, it looked amazing and from the expression on there face,  I could tell she'd chosen well. 

cotton-soft cheesecake Signature ricotta mousse cheesecake, lightly brûléed on top 


BRUNCH: What did we order? 
Accompanying her delicious Quiche, Eliane ordered the Cotton-Soft Cheesecake, she described it as being 'soft and spongy with the lovely brûlée on top. DAB offers many surprises and conventional or standard doesn't fit their model so if you enjoy a cookie then i'd highly recommend the 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot', it's served with a mouth-watering infused Tahitian vanilla milk, not-to-be-missed. You can enjoy as many as you like, they're completely hangover free! 

the cronut pastry  Chef Dominique Ansel’s signature “half croissant, half doughnut” pastry 


BRUNCH: What did we order? 
What's special about the cronuts at the bakery is that they're only available for that month, each month DAB brings out a new limited edition cronut of the month; and this one happened to be one of my favourites yet. On my last visit in April I had the Mandarin Orange Jam cronut, filled with a Valrhona Jivara Ganache. Something about the way it's made makes it so memorable to me. It was epic and nothing like I'd had before, the quality and weight of pastry is extraordinary and it really impacts each bite; in a luxurious way. This month did not disappoint at all, the flavour of the month was the May Blush Peach & Elderflower cronut, and the name of it was enough for me to know it was going to be something unforgettable. I cannot explain how delicious it was, I defiantly will be back for one before the months up. They tend to sell out each day, so if you can't get there early then try reserving online. On launch day we was able to get nice seats in the gardens and enjoy our cronuts in the afternoon. 


SERVICE: How was it? 
Before we entered the bakery we was taking pictures of the front of the store where we was kindly greeted by a member of the team. The experience was made special as we was well seen too throughout our visit, the DAB team was very helpful, polite and funny. Despite it gradually getting busier as it was the launch day of the new Cronut, there service did not dwindle to the slightest. I'd more than happily go back, not only for the amazing food but the exceptional service too.  

Thanks for stopping by, more food and more fun coming soon.


© Jeaulina Cato 2017 all rights reserved on photographs
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