Reviews by bobbypants


52 reviews, joined 04 February 2006

Displaying 1-20 of 52 reviews.

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Imperial China Imperial China (Restaurant)
02 October 2007

This Chinese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown is great for dim sum. I usually go to three different dim sum restaurants (the other two being Royal China - either Baker Street or Canary Wharf branches, and Yauatcha), but this one is the most convenient for people to meet up, being so central, and also the cheapest out of the three (making it particularly good for larger groups!). I take all my friends and family there and they all like it very much. It's not easy to find a decent dim sum restaurant in London, and once you find one, it's advisable to stick to it.

I like the dark wood decor, and the interior comes across as clean and subtly stylish with the white table linen, while the staff are welcoming and polite.

There is a wide choice of dim sum, and sadly I always order the same things (why take the risk with new dishes when the favourites are so consistently good?): prawn dumplings (as a child, I was called 'Prawn Dumpling Princess'), prawn and chive dumplings, prawn cheung fun, roast pork cheung fun, egg custard tarts (3 small ones on a plate), steamed spare ribs with black beans, squid cakes with fresh coriander, seafood ho fun noodles and sometimes pork and preserved egg congee. The seafood here is very fresh and the prawns in particular are always firm and crunchy to the bite. £25.00, including service charge, for two people would leave you more than comfortably full at lunchtime.

A word of warning: I had dinner here once and it was atrocious. As we were entertaining a friend visiting from China, I felt very embarrassed and decided never to eat here in the evenings again. Dim sum however is different, as it is prepared by specialist chefs who have nothing to do with the evening meals. And I'm Chinese by the way...

Useful review? 1

Savana Urban Spa Savana Urban Spa (Spa)
29 August 2007

I had the spa's signature Sea Breeze Body Wrap (90 minutes, £120) with therapist Hayley. It was great to be able to have a shower BEFORE the treatment, as I'm usually hot and bothered at the end of the day from work and going on public transport. As a result, I felt very clean and refreshed in my robe and slippers as I waited in the relaxation area. The treatment itself was wonderful, and Hayley used Savana Spa's own range of natural products, which contain no animal products and are paraben and petrochemical-free. The scrub had a very nice smell and texture, as did the hot seaweed for the actual wrap. During the wrap, I also had a mini-facial, which felt more like a full facial as it lasted for ages, and again all the products smelled and felt amazing on my skin. After the wrap, I showered, then returned to the massage table for an exquisite full body massage using essential oils. My skin felt very moisturised and soft for several days after the treatment, so it's highly recommended.

Apart from the usual treatments, the spa offers a full massage and complementary health menu (reiki, acupuncture, hypnotherapy etc), as well as a couples massage workshop and yoga classes, and they even provide child-minding facilities every Wednesday and Friday between 10-12, so that mums can relax. I'm planning to go back for the 3-hour-long couples massage workshop!

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Cafe Kalendar (Cafe)
23 July 2007

I like Cafe Mozart's ambience. It does feel a bit like being in Continental Europe, whether you're eating a yummy slice of Schwarzwald cake or tucking into sausages with sauerkraut. It's not very big, so you may have to wait during busy times. And the location is great, so you can walk off the food on Hampstead Heath afterwards!

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Eagle Bar Diner (Bar)
23 July 2007

I used to eat here quite regularly, as I work just round the corner. I love the thick milkshakes (they do a great vanilla one with fresh vanilla pods), the food and the cool atmosphere, as did my friends. But the last time I went there, the kitchen forgot the Monterey Jack cheese in my burger. When I pointed this out, my burger got whisked away, then was returned to me with a cold, unmelted piece of cheese inside! Unbelievable. You might think this a minor point, but I found it unacceptable, particularly when served by a surly waiter. And it wasn't even busy at the time.

It's a shame that one incident can put you off returning to a restaurant, but life's too short to put up with poor quality service (and in this instance, cold cheese in a burger), so I haven't been back since.

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Cadogan Hall Cadogan Hall (Classical Music Venue)
23 July 2007

The interior of Cadogan Hall is just as impressive as its exterior. The seats are quite comfortable and you can generally get a good view of the stage, apart from the awful upstairs pew seating at the sides (from where you will see practically nothing). Both times I visited Cadogan Hall, it was not for classical music, but for Brazilian music shows. Unfortunately, the acoustics did not do the venue justice. It may be totally different for classical music however, so don't let me put you off visiting this amazing venue.

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Innes Lounge Innes Lounge (Therapy Centre)
23 July 2007

I highly recommend the 60 minute aromatherapy massage (£75.00) by Japanese therapist Kiyoka. After I selected massage pressure 'Weak/Relaxing' (the other two options were 'Medium' and 'Strong/Deep'), Kiyoka talked me through the essential oils, creating a special blend which was tailored to relax me. The pressure was just right, and I would definitely go back again. And just as I was wondering whether it would be safe to put my clothes on over the remnants of the oils, I was handed a piping hot towel, which was amazing!

There were several things that slightly spoiled the experience though. My massage was delayed by 15 minutes, although the receptionist did apologise for this (5 minutes after my appointment). The treatments take place in screened off sections of a very large basement area, meaning that the pummelling by a therapist and the mobile phone ringing of another client could be heard very clearly. The upstairs reception area was not at all relaxing, given that there was a pub directly opposite and it felt like everyone was staring into the reception.

So to sum up, I would have given the massage 5 out of 5, but because of the overall experience, Innes Lounge gets a 4 from me.

Useful review? 1

Books for Cooks Books for Cooks (Bookshop)
28 June 2007

I can't believe no one's written about this amazing foodie heaven bookshop! It's been around for years and years, and it's THE place to go to find any cookbook. They used to have a few tables at the back where you could eat whatever they cooked on the day. This was always guaranteed to be excellent! And I've just found out their 'test kitchen' is still running, with menus dependent on what the chefs are testing out on the day, so be prepared to be surprised. Books For Cooks also do workshops for about £30 (see their website for the current programme). Yes, you can buy cookbooks in Borders and Waterstones, but a visit to Books for Cooks is a must if you're in Notting Hill.

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French House (Restaurant / Restaurant)
17 June 2007

The restaurant, which is above the pub, is very small, with just a few tables. The service is average, as in you get your food and drink, but there was nothing memorable about it. I did have nice meals both times (for lunch) though - lamb and steak, both cooked the way I like it. I don't think I'd go back there however, as there are so many other restaurants to try.

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Groucho (Members' Club)
17 June 2007

I've only been here a couple of times for early drinks with a friend who is a member and, to be honest, it's nothing special. It was packed both times, and full of noisy media types (I work in the media, but there's no need to be that noisy and attention-seeking!). If you want to have a proper conversation without shouting, go somewhere else.

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Met Bar Met Bar (Bar)
17 June 2007

I can't believe this is still around. I went in 1997-1998 because my friends had VIP passes, and it was a laugh then. Madonna, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) and Lighthouse Family were all there in those days and I spent a fantastic New Year's Eve (who wouldn't at £150 a ticket nearly a decade ago?!) But surely it's time to move on to newer venues now?

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Pâtisserie Valérie Pâtisserie Valérie (Cafe)
17 June 2007

I buy my husband's birthday cakes from here, and I know many colleagues who get theirs from here too. The cakes are really amazing, and topped with gorgeous chunks of fresh fruit. However, the interior of the patisserie is less than enticing. It's rather dark and dingy. One could call it atmospheric, but there's a nicer branch on Marylebone High St where you can sit outside on a nice day.

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Tod's Tod's (Designer Shop / Handbag Shop)
17 June 2007

A note on the Bicester Village outlet store: it's exciting when you first walk in, as you think you'll get some fantastic bargains; however, they did not have my size in ANY style I wanted, and that was after a seriously long wait for service (it wasn't even that busy). The shoes were very comfortable though, and I fell in love with one overpriced bag in particular.

Go to Tod's in Italy, where the products are more reasonably priced and the staff more friendly.

Useful review? 1

Selfridges Selfridges (Department Store / Lingerie Shop / General Sports Shop / Food Hall)
17 June 2007

I find the music far too loud and it actually intrudes on the shopping experience. It's stressful enough trying to find what you want in the vast interior. And no matter how many times I go to the women's clothes floors, I can never find my way around the next time. I also find staff in women's fashions hard to locate. So it's a good place if you know what you want and you can help yourself to the right size. Otherwise, it can be frustrating. You definitely won't feel like a valued customer, which you would in a smaller store.

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Space.NK Men Space.NK Men (Cosmetics Shop)
17 June 2007

Very friendly and helpful staff. I went to buy something for my husband and the advice was great. I also got given some samples, plus more detailed instructions on how they should be used. Highly recommended for gifts. If only all shops were like this...

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Farmacia Urban Healing Farmacia Urban Healing (Cosmetics Shop)
17 June 2007

Hmmm... been here twice as it's close to my office, but I must say, it's dark and unwelcoming inside. The two shop assistants just sat behind the counter and I might as well have been invisible. Thank God I knew what I wanted to buy and could find things on my own! It's also been completely empty both times I've been there.

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Kiehl's (Cosmetics Shop)
17 June 2007

The interior is beautiful and spacious, but I found the service lacking, compared to the excellent staff at Kiehls on 13th St Manhattan (which was my local and where I would get masses of luxury-sized samples without having to buy anything). The staff on Monmouth St seemed reluctant to serve me for some reason. You get better service in Liberty's where you can also buy Kiehls.

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La Fromagerie La Fromagerie (Cheese Shop)
17 June 2007

This is a must for cheese lovers, and it's an experience being inside the refrigerated cheese room (like a gigantic glass walk-in fridge). There are also plenty of delicious products outside to tempt the foodie. If you can get a seat in the miniscule cafe section, then well done, as the food that they serve on site looks great (although I must say eating in such cramped surroundings does not appeal).

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Marylebone Farmers' Market Marylebone Farmers' Market (Food Market)
17 June 2007

A heavenly place, despite its location in the car park behind Waitrose. Open every Sunday - get there early to avoid the crowds so that you can browse. There's a great selection of fresh produce, and you'll walk away with some amazing things. Marylebone High Street is a real foodie venue now, and the farmers' market is definitely not to be missed!

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Planet Organic Planet Organic (Organic Food Shop)
17 June 2007

I go to the branch off Tottenham Court Road. I don't buy the fruit and vegetables, as there are better quality ones at my local Waitrose, but I have bought pulses, grains, nuts, pasta, seaweed, and miso soup. Most of it is good quality, although it does all add up and, to be honest, there's so much competition out there now that one doesn't have to go to a specialist food shop to find most organic products. Having said that, their food at the takeout counter, which you buy in different sized boxes, is extremely tasty and you'll feel very virtuous after this!

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Jo Malone Jo Malone (Perfume Shop / Gift Shop)
17 June 2007

It's been a while since I went to Jo Malone, but I always go to the Brook Street branch, which I've found to be really good. The staff were helpful, gave me a skin assessment, talked me through the products (which smell heavenly) and I got some great samples (luxury size) as well. They do complimentary hand massages, although I've not had one yet. Try the Brook St branch before you give up on them!

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 52 reviews

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