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September 08, 2011

Romance/Getaway Series - Dining in "The City" of London





ONE NEW CHANGE is Land Securities’ latest development located on Cheapside in the heart of the City of London. It is London’s newest shopping destination, complete with cafés and restaurants from renowned chefs and flagship menswear and womenswear fashion brands, all set overlooking London’s most famous landmark, St. Paul’s Cathedral (photo on left is the view from One New Change's elevators).
One of the places that we had a chance to visit on our whirlwind tour of London was Searcys Champagne Bar. Here is a bit of information on this restaurant/bar: "We offer the ultimate Champagne offer within unique, contemporary settings in a variety of environments all served by an expert team of energetic, vibrant staff that are truly inspired by Champagne. Leaders and innovators in the Champagne world, the bars are modern in design with bespoke individual touches and are committed to providing a range of the very best Champagnes and sparkling wines. Offering the most extensive Champagne list with the largest selection by the glass and partnered with a food offer that is perfect with the Champagne. Discovering your favourite Champagne has never been more rewarding."

While my husband and I both don't drink, we were still able to enjoy this restaurant. It has a very classy and modern feel. Stepping in you feel like you are sure to be spoiled with great food and drinks, and we were very pleased with our meals. They offer very unusual foods and food combinations that I have not seen before such as braised jacob's ladder, as well as a smoked fish plate which we were very excited to try.  The large mixed seafood plate had smoked salmon, smoked Tilapia and chunks of crab meat. The flavors were so rich and delicious, and we really enjoyed it.

Their menu has been developed to partner their champagne list and to ensure that even the hastiest shopper can be served in quick time, so great food and drinks with a short wait, although ours was not so short. This was probably my only complaint. While we were the only people in the restaurant, there was a significant delay in getting our meals brought out. Aside from this, the food was delicious, and atmosphere was inviting.

For dinner we decided to stick around the same area and tried Refettorio, which is located at Crowne Plaza Hotel,  19 New Bridge Street, London (next to London Blackfriars Station).  It is meters from the river Thames and at the centre of Europe’s most vibrant financial and business district, whilst the bright lights of the West End are minutes away. The main dining room features a long refectory-style table with benches along both sides. There are booths in this section as well as another, more private, dining room beyond. The look is clean, smart and up to date with a very nice buzz indeed.

I had a chance to try some items we don't have where we live - Swordfish for starters. I ordered the Char grilled swordfish, Mediterranean herbs, cherry tomatoes and rocket salad.  
The salad was topped with a baked sweet potato chip which added a bit of crunch to the salad which I enjoyed, and I had the ripest cherry tomatoes I've ever tasted. They were so succulent and sweet, I couldn't get enough of them...and thankfully my meal came with more! Having never had swordfish before I was not sure what to expect, but it was tasty. I would compare the flavor to a grilled tuna steak, only much juicier. My only complaint was that it was a bit heavily salted, but still very moist and flavorful.


My husband had a chance to try the Oven roasted rack of lamb, aubergine caviar and sautéed potatoes. He devoured his lamb, but I'm not sure what he thought of the cavier. Being an American, this is not part of our usual diet, so it takes getting used to, but he loved his rack of lamb!
To top the meal off we opted for two very unique desserts:
Classic tiramisu served in a tuile basket & Vanilla panna cotta almond pastry and chocolate sauce. They were both beautifully presented and gone within seconds! I loved that their desserts were unique, and that the chef takes time to plate each course thoughtfully so that you have a delicious course that looks appetizing and inviting.


For more informaton on One New Change, visit http://www.onenewchange.com/
For more information on the restaurants: http://www.searcys.co.uk/one-new-change-champagne-bar/
http://www.refettorio.com/

disclaimer: meals provided for these reviews

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