Tag Archive | London

Michelin star dining: Alain Ducasse, London

Have a throwback Tuesday post for you.
Unforgiveably overdue.

Rewind 2 years back when I did the Trans-Siberian and ended up in London to visit my best friend.
A whirlwind 3-4 day stay in London which consisted of mostly just eating and not a lot of sightseeing. Granted, I have been to London before.

Best friend organised an awesome treat, knowing what a foodie I am, had booked lunch for us a the Michelin star restaurant of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. I actually visited The Dorchester two days in a row – once for high tea and again for the lunch.

The Alain Ducasse experience, as it is, is very impressive. Service was impeccable. Most of the waitstaff are actually from France.

Enjoy the photo journey below.

Hotel lobby – this shot (I took) is actually pretty similar to the one that is on their website. It’s incredibly hard to get a frame without anyone walking through it.

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

We are escorted to our table:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Wine is ordered, of course:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Yummy bread is served to whet the appetite:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

This was like mochi bread balls: super light and airy:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

And fancy butters:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

First up, is the cold soup (fret not, it’s meant to be cold). The soup dish (shaped like an egg) is pretty cool:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Fish and potatoes for main. But these ain’t your ordinary fish and chips.

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Besties enjoying good food:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

And this dish was yum:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

We were seated closest to the outdoor window area which gave a lot of natural light rather than indoors where the mood lighting is more dim.

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Food was excellent and service was amazing.
Dessert was plentiful.
We had chosen a dessert each but were also served a petit four arrangement – we didn’t really need to order dessert.

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Little gold nuggets:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Petit macaroons:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

And chocolates:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

I had to try a bite of everything!

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

And these as well. And these were all the desserts we didn’t actually order!

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

I went for the chocolate dessert:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

And Em went the berry dessert:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Teapot servings won my heart, as did the teacup design:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Good times. Hard to believe this was 2 years ago:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

The cutest teacups ever:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

The dining experience was pretty awesome. But the food wasn’t even the best part. The highlight was going backstage into the kitchen of a Michelin star restaurant. I’ve only had 2 Michelin dining experiences – one in Tokyo and this in London, and each time, I’ve been able to meet the chefs. In Tokyo, I got a snapshot with one of the chefs but no entry into the kitchen. Here, we got to go a little tour backstage. Felt like such a kitchen roadie/foodie(?). Was a huge expected delightful bonus.

The pastry corner:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Woohoo, backstage:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

As Em so eloquently phrased it, I was as happy as a pig in mud.
Also got a photo in the kitchen with the head maitre’d but I won’t post that up but everyone was super friendly and obliging.

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Whilst we were seated near the windows, this is what the inside main dining area looks like:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

The cordoned off, private table:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

And to top off this wonderful experience, we got a little goodie bag to take home. I wonder if this is standard at all Michelin restaurants, because I also received a goodie bag at Rabuchon in Tokyo as well.

Some sweets to take home:

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Wonderful experience shared with a great friend.

From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester
From Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester

Am very tempted to dine at his Tokyo restaurant now.

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Afternoon Tea in London (Four Seasons)

This is an afternoon tea that I did last summer when I was in London. Still haven’t gotten around to posting anything from the my London Trip (last June!).

I would absolutely love to live London! It’s the mecca of high tea! It was a major dilemma to decide which two afternoon tea venues I would do there. So many to choose from! As part of my Four Seasons Afternoon Tea project, I had to go to the Four Seasons hotel in London. A perfect venue for a mini reunion! I was in London to meet my best friend and her fiance, plus catch up with Bex and Jess (whom I knew my days living in Fukushima back when I was a JET). It was pretty awesome that we were all going to be there in the one city at the same time.

The Four Seasons Hotels always have impeccable taste in decor and matching tableware etc.

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

Champagne all round to start of the festivities:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

I should probably add, that I only had about 2 days in London and I crammed two afternoon teas in one day! So actually, before attending this afternoon tea, I had come straight from another one beforehand. Ugh, what a glutton.

Lovely tableware – plates, cup saucers, timer sets (for optimal tea brewing).

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

There were two afternoon tea options here. Decisions, decisions. They had the traditional classic “English afternoon tea” as well as a “Gourmet Italian dolce vite afternoon tea”. Talk about torn.

I am a massive fan of Italian food, so the Italian set it was. Between the six of us, I think we ended up 3 Italian sets and 3 English sets, that way we could try both and share.

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea
From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea
From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

Yay. Reunion time:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

The Italian-themed afternoon tea set did not disappoint. The savoury morsels were to die for. Way better than cucumber sandwiches.

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

The desserts on the Italian set were also the better option. The two side by side (Italian desserts on the left, English desserts on the right):

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

English desserts:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

Italian treats:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

Yum:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

Only the English afternoon set came with scones though.

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

I thought the food in the Italian afternoon tea set was amazing. Would definitely opt for that again.

Plenty of pots of tea:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea

Service here was also great. They each gave us a little souvenir of some chocolate tea leaves which I took all the way back to Japan with me. They also gave us a Four Seasons pen. The afternoon tea here is a solid choice venue.

Friends and tea – nothing could be better:

From 4 Seasons London – afternoon tea