Throughout summer I enjoy the fantastic perk of finishing work early on a Friday afternoon at 3pm. This effectively gives me half a day extra each weekend and not wanting to waste it, I always try to make the most of this bonus time each week, especially if the weather’s nice. So last Friday I popped down to Oxford Circus, had a wander around Topshop, bought a new pair of loafers (coming soon) and then caught the central line over to West London. Here I enjoyed a complimentary fresh trim and blow dry (soon to be reviewed) and left feeling fantastic ready to meet Stew for dinner and drinks.
As we meandered through the side streets of Chelsea, I couldn’t help but take a few photos on route to The Artisan Bistro
on Hollywood Road. I absolutely love this area of London. The architecture is beautiful, the streets are lovely and still, and there are so many cute pubs and coffee shops to people watch from. As we turned onto Hollywood Road, I immediately spotted The Artisan Bistro and couldn’t help but take a quick snap of my outfit outside.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner Plamen, who gave us the option of either sitting inside or outside in their stunning terrace. It’s not very often you get the opportunity to dine alfresco in England, so as it was a warm evening we jumped at the chance to eat outside in this beautiful space.
The table setting in all of its elegance really set my photos off perfectly. I especially loved their cut glass, water, rocks glasses – so pretty! As we quenched our thirst with a bottle of still water, we perused the cocktail menu. I decided upon a rhubarb, mint and cucumber vodka martini, whilst Stew went with his favourite – a Negroni. Shortly after the cocktails arrived, so did our appetizers. We chose the padron peppers which were deliciously sweet and smokey. Plus the Boquerones, which consisted of marinated anchovies, red onion and toasted bread. Stew loves anchovies, and whist I do like them, they wouldn’t always be my first choice. Out of the two I much preferred the padron peppers and would highly recommend these. The flavours were perfect! I could’ve easily eaten another plate’s worth.
We also tried a half dozen oysters for starter. I have previously eaten oysters warm and dripping in cheese in Japan
, which were absolutely delicious. But I have to say, I’m not sure cold oysters are for me just yet. I’m annoyed at myself because I love all other seafood and there’s really nothing I won’t eat. But I just can’t seem to do oysters. I’m unable to swallow them down whole and as soon as I begin to chew I just taste the sea water and I can’t do it!
But Stew really enjoyed them! He said they were some of, if not THE best oysters he’s ever had.
As we moved onto our mains, we finished our cocktails and our very helpful waitress decided to surprise us with a white wine to complement our food choices. I had chosen the lobster mac n cheese, based on a friend’s recommendation and Stew had opted for the lobster linguine. Whilst the mac n cheese sounded indulgent, Plamen suggested sharing a side of truffle fries, and who can say no to truffle?! In the end we shared all of our food. The linguine brought a fresh, light alternative to the creamy, rich macaroni. Plus the waitresses choice of a Pinot Grigio, perfectly balanced the meal and washed everything down nicely! If you’re a fan of mac and cheese, you must must must try this. Even Stew, who normally finds macaroni cheese too heavy loved The Artisan Bistro’s version! In fact he probably ate more of it than me. It was incredible. And the lobster linguine is cooked in prosecco and truffle butter… Mmm mm!
As it approached 9pm and the sun finally began to set we were ushered inside for dessert. Plamen surprised us with a mint chocolate soufflé. To be honest, I was very fully from all of the delicious food we’d tried and probably didn’t need a dessert. But I really fancied a little sweet treat to finish things off. The soufflé was perfectly cooked, with an oozing, gooey chocolate centre.
The total bill for 2x cocktails, 2x glasses of wine, 2x appetizers, 6 oysters, 2 mains, 1 side and 1 dessert = £97 (excluding service charge)