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Toto’s Restaurant, South Kensington

Where
Toto’s Restaurant, South Kensington

Toto's Restaurant

What
Toto’s is an elegant Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge offering contemporary authentic dishes.   Housed in the beautiful Grade-II listed Walton House, the restaurant reopened recently after an extensive two year refurbishment. A sleek bar serving Italian inspired cocktails, an intimate mezzanine overlooking the dining room which boasts a large fire place and a beautiful hidden courtyard perfect for the summer months makes it well worth the two year wait.

Experience
Having heard some great things about Toto’s, my sister Hilary and I decided to go for dinner a few weeks ago for a good old catch up and to see what everyone had been talking about. Even with the good reviews, we couldn’t have anticipated how incredible our evening was going to be.

Upon arrival we were taken downstairs and seated at our lovely table next to the window which overlooked the courtyard. The ceiling is incredibly high so its no wonder the restaurant has a beautiful mezzanine, perfect for private dining. I also couldn’t help but notice the large fire place, which adds character to the room and makes it feel almost homely.

Feeling very at ease by our surroundings, we ordered a glass of prosecco to start followed by the best bellini we had ever had. My sister actually couldn’t stop going on about it and asked front of house manager Enrico what was in it to make it taste so different. “It’s our secret”, he replied. Not surprising they want to keep the recipe to themselves as I would return just for their bellini’s. We enjoyed a freshly baked bread basket with a selection of meats and mozerella cheese with our drinks.

After a short break Enrico recommend trying the popular crab salad with avocado and cold tomato sauce. This dish absolutely blew our minds with its interesting textures and delectable taste. And as if the crab and avocado soup combination wasn’t enough, out came the tagliolini with lobster, sweet chilli and cherry tomatoes. Now my taste buds were really in for a treat. The lobster was cooked perfectly, melting in your mouth followed by a sweet chilli kick. Hilary and I found our conversation turning from what we had both been up to lately to being immersed in conversation about the delicious food we were eating and how much we were enjoying ourselves at this lovely little Italian restaurant. Moving onto wine for our main meals we first tried some white (Gavidi Gavi DOCG, Villa Sparina) and then some red (Alto Adige DOC, Pinot Noir, Riserva Montigl, Cantina Terlano) as we indulged in more wondrous food like the veal chop with roasted potato and sage and the free range baby chicken, caponata of vegetables with diavola sauce. Thanks to the perfect timing in between the different dishes we still had a little room for desert so went on to order the lemon panna cotta and of course the tiramisu which was absolutely superb. Not realising we had been in the restaurant for three hours already, we finally ended our evening with a shot of Limoncello. Manafic!

Cost
Starter: £9 – £19
Main: £19 – £39
Desert: £7 – £9

Address
Walton House (Lennox Gardens Mews)
Walton Street
London
SW3 2JH

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Brunch at Beagle London

Where
Beagle London

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What
Brunch at Beagle

Experience
A few Sunday’s ago I headed to Beagle for brunch and bloody mary’s for the first time.  I now can’t wait to go back again for lunch or dinner or just later in the evening on a Sunday when they have a jazz band, as the food and cocktails are just too good to only go once. Beagle is also a very cool looking place set within 3 renovated railway arches and is so easy to get to as it’s right by Hoxton station.

The brunch menu is so appealing and it made me wonder not only why I don’t brunch more often, but more importantly why I don’t brunch at Beagle more often – the menu includes oysters and buttermilk pancakes for crying out loud!  So much awesome choice does however make it hard to choose what to eat, especially on a Sunday when you are a little hungover (okay more than a little) and just want to order everything, so Rob and I decided to start off with Bloody Mary’s. I went for the Racy Mary with Vodka, tomato juice, jalapeno, harissa and spices and Rob chose the Classic chorizo infused vodka with beagle mix, lemon juice and tomato juice. Now I do love a bloody mary but these were just special. Whilst enjoying my breakfast cocktail, I finally decided on the house smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with a side of avocado and Rob went for the poached eggs on toasted brioche with portobello mushrooms and a side of house smoked streaky bacon. What can I say, head chef James Ferguson sure knows what he is doing as the quality and presentation of the food was absolutely superb.  Until next time Beagle, keep doing what you are doing as its 10 out of 10.

Cost
Brunch Average price – £9
Blood Mary’s – £8.50 each

Address
397-400 Geffrye Street,
London,
E2 8HZ