fairy lights

El Bosc de Les Fades, Barcelona

“Want to come on an adventure?”

“A unique and magical place: a forest inhabited by strange trees, gnomes and other unexpected creatures.”

Bosc de les Fades

A bar attached to a wax work museum wouldn’t be my first choice. Isn’t that like going to the café at Madam Tussaud’s? But the description on the website of El Bosc de Les Fades is too bizarre to ignore. I had to see what this weird and wonderful drinking grotto was all about.

My adventure started an hour before I even got to the bar, as I couldn’t find it. I walked around Las Ramblas asking for ‘el bar en el bosque’ which didn’t get me very far. Perhaps it was my rusty spanish… Someone eventually pointed in the direction of the wax museum and led me to the woodland themed bar. Decorated with paper lanterns, trees, mini waterfalls, fairy lights, mirrors and the occasional creepy waxwork, El Bosc de Les Fades is certainly unique! Go for a caipirinha or two as the cocktails are pretty good here. It gets very busy after 8pm. 7.5/10

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El Bosc de Les Fades,
Passatge Banca 5
,
Barcelona,
Spain (El Barri Gòtic) 

+34 93 317 26 49

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Julie’s Restaurant & Champagne Bar

This year I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday at Julie’s Restaurant & Champagne Bar. Nestled away behind Portland Road and a short walk from Holland Park tube station, the restaurant is somewhat of an institution in the area and has been open since 1969.

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Set over two floors, Julie’s has the most wonderful atmosphere. Ottoman furniture, fairy lights, antiques and treasure chests all contribute to the decor, with windy staircases and tapestry curtains revealing secret party rooms. I chose the Garden Room as it had the best lighting and was the right size for a party of between 24 and 34. Throughout the planning process, the staff at Julie’s were absolutely amazing and very helpful – down to the finest details. After a prosecco reception in the Moroccan Room, our menu (£25 for two courses) was as follows:

Soup of the day
Fried calamari with garlic and caper mayonnaise
Potted duck and chicken liver pâté with cornichons and chillies
Chicory, walnuts and Roquefort salad with croutons and herb dressing
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Julie’s fish pie with whiting, prawns, scallops, mussels, spinach and cream sauce
Julie’s steak and kidney pie braised in honeydew ale
Crispy skin chicken breast with black truffles, French beans and white Port sauce
Filled potato gnocchi with dolcelatte, walnuts and black truffles
All served with fresh vegetables
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Summer fruit Eton mess
Dark chocolate parfait with berries
Pineapple and mint salad with orange sorbet
English and French cheese with tomato and sweet chilli jam and oat biscuits

The lovely staff produced a gluten-free menu for me at the last minute, so I had delicious tuna sashimi as a starter, followed by the chicken in a truffle and port sauce. The food was heavenly and the service was seamless. I really can’t fault the restaurant one bit, and I’m really looking forward to my next visit. Thank you Julie’s!

P.S: My leopard-print handbag was a present, designed and handmade by my very talented friend Lara Lindsay. Click here to visit her website.

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Julie’s Restaurant and Champagne Bar
135 Portland Road
London
W11 4LW

0207 229 8331