Birthday Week – Part 1

Bday cakeIt was my Birthday Week recently. Birthday week means celebrations to last the whole week. Why should the Queen celebrate with two birthday’s and not I? My birthday week continued for a week and even this week I was taken out by another friend who I had to ‘catch up with’.  These catch up nights are becoming common place. I am finding it harder to see friends now. Time is actually quite limited with working late at times, going to the gym, seeing the odd friend, date and what time do I have left to actually get on and do some writing / reading / nothing at home?  Oh the hardship of being a social butterfly.

So the Birthday Week was something like this:

I cleverly took the Tuesday as a day off and started a late lazy day with going to a drinks show. As you may know I used to work in the drinks business although strictly speaking still am. I work for PR in a large hotel. The show was called Imbibe. Decided to take my sister who also had a day. Day was great, fuelled with unusual spirits from whisky to gin to rum. The latter part of the afternoon was hazy but hey. A massage followed via a wonderful site called Managed to get a 2 for 1 followed by champers and afternoon tea in the  Soho Refuel Hotel.  The evening was not going to end there. We popped back to Skylon on the South Bank for delicious cocktails and a spot of steak – delish.

Bday KerbBirthday week continued on the Wednesday with a visit to another up-and-coming area behind the newly rebuilt Kings Cross Station. The area is called Granary Square which is also home to Kerb on a Saturday (see earlier entry) which houses up and coming ‘foodies’ and their wares plus a whole jet set lot of foodie lovers.  I went to a new restaurant called The Grain Store and it was pretty amazing. It is a new collaboration between a renowned French chef called Bruno Loubet and the Zetter Group who also own a trendy boutique hotel/bar in Farringdon called the Zetter Townhouse.  The bar at the Grain Store has been headed up by Tony Conigliaro ex Zetter Bar and one of the most highly rated bars in London  – 69 Colebrook Row.  The food looks and feels healthy. I left feeling almost detoxed and without that awful ‘full feeling’ I often have. Although recently I tend to eat smaller portions but a little more often. Anyways – back to the food.

My guest tried the Endive, pear, runner beans and roquefort salad with smoked pepper jelly and toasted hazlenuts. I opted for the courgette, prawn and broad bean falafel. Just delicious, light and fresh. Loved the starters so far.

Mains included Corn and Quinoa tamale, salsa with sticky pork belly. The most tender pork belly (if you like pork this dish is for you).

Guest had Spiced mash, mint pickled cucumber, raw pink top turnips, broad beans, confit lamb belly. Another friend had Kimchi & potato dumpling, Irish seaweed, chilli oil lobster broth. It was a reasonable meal: starters from £4 to £9 and mains from £10 to £15- not bad at all.

This is not your normal menu but one that is just outside of the ‘norm’ whatever that is. I am quite adventurous however feel that many others will also be open to taste the wonders of the Grain Store.

The Bar is even more unusual – drinks included the signature Mustard Martini with Mustard Vodka and dry vermouth, Fennel Pollen Vinus Lupas with Fennel Pollen, clover honey, mastic, verjus, stirred down and Pumpkin and Maple Syrup Martini with Home-made pumpkin puree with de-sugared caramelized maple syrup. Just unusual cocktails which actually seem to work. this is no mean feat and the mixologists must be scientists a la Heston Blumenthal to work their magic here…

Lovely Restaurant, great service and smiles from the staff there. We also caught a glimpse of the chef Bruno Loubet and watched him in action as we were positioned close to the chef’s table… highly recommended.

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About Alexandra Abrahams

Alexandra Abrahams originally worked at the BBC and has since gained a wide range of experience from a plethora of jobs. Her time as a Dating Consultant for a matchmaking agency led her to start writing a book entitled “Secret Diary of a Matchmaker”. Being blessed with a Mariella Frostrup voice, she also does voiceovers including corporate work for IBM, Body Shop and Gillette. Alex now works as a Brand Ambassador for a premium spirits company. The vacancy was advertised as the Best Job in the World. This international role sees her working closely with luxury hotels, bars and private members clubs. Alex also arranges exclusive events and parties where she charms all in sight with her schmoozing skills. Alex describes herself as a proper “Girl about Town” and will attend any new party all in the name of research!
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