Travel Thursday 5. Your favourite restaurant you have visited

Wow this is tough! I judge ‘best restaurants’ to be those I’ve had the best time in, not necessarily best food, expensive or Michelin stars. Still, there have been so many, especially in New York. I’ve eaten at the Waldorf on Christmas day and had countless great experiences. If I had to choose one eating experience then I choose the one that I enjoyed during one of my ‘top 5 days ever.’

In brief: San Francisco 2007, to celebrate my birthday, the first time I go away for my birthday rather than have my traditional party. It’s the Sunday before my birthday; I go to Little Italy, always a favourite place in any city.

In SanFran, it’s the North Beach neighbourhood. Instead of placing me at the side somewhere, they seat me right in the middle. I have the most unrushed brunch and my love for Eggs Benedict starts right now.

I read most of the Sunday Times magazine feature on Paul Weller, going back to his home town, Woking. This was the first day I appreciate Paul Weller’s music, perhaps because I’m in such a good mood, but I’ve bought and loved every CD since. I go onto have one of the most perfect days ever including walking over Jack Kerouac’s ‘star’ outside a gorgeous book store. From then on, every time I have Eggs Benedict, it reminds me of both Paul Weller and San Francisco.

I have no idea what the place is called but its right by the church on the square. One day I’ll find out.

North Beach

Adventures in Birmingham – October 3rd 2010

I seem to have missed reporting a week of adventures so let’s start with the Opus Fifth birthday party. I’ve been in Birmingham a year now, get out a fair bit and yet still did not know a single person in a room filled with suits and cocktail dresses.

However, Opus pulled out all the stops to ensure we are still talking their gorgeous restaurant’s bash two weeks later. It’s an achievement to survive the downturn and still come out smiling but it helps to be located in the business district packed with high flying lawyers and the like.

I’m told by one of the faces I did recognise, Irene the friendly restaurant director that these are all Opus customers. It starts at 7pm and I’m stunned to walk in around 20 minutes later to see the room full of champagne quaffing strangers. It stays that way until gone 10pm when people started leaving but only after tasting the delights of the chefs from Lasan,

I spend all evening dodging the official photographer; I really don’t do photographs. My friend meanwhile happily spends all evening in front of the camera and supplying me endless bubbling flutes.
I have no excuse as champagne is one of the few drinks I don’t have a reaction to.

Recovering from the champagne, the next evening is alcohol free with the girls for my first trip to Syriana. This is part of our (my) plan to discover ‘foods of the world’ from restaurants outside the norm and Syriana is conveniently located just the other side of St Pauls Square. The place is big and not disappointedly colourfully decorated which immediately puts a smile upon my face.

Considering there are eight of us, we have fantastic service from the friendly and accommodating staff. The variety of starters bought in front of our expectant eyes are perfect but not sure if I can tell the subtle difference in the main courses between say Indian food. Still they let me have take-out so I have 3 meals for the price of one. I shall be back if for that reason alone.
It’s a delight to meet with Karen Strunks to impart my otherwise useless knowledge of New York ahead of her exciting month there to promote her 4am project.

Some time ago when I had projects on I agreed to be a mentor for business students. It seemed like a good idea at the time but still, it means a first time jaunt to the seemingly hundreds of buildings (and building sites) that make up the University of Birmingham. I’ve not been inundated yet with emails as to what the next stage is so perhaps it means more reward and less time taken up than I imagine.
Saturday is a return to the Hyatt for afternoon tea to celebrate a friend’s birthday. A few months ago, it’s great but it’s fantastic now; I suggest at the time (I imagine I wasn’t the only one) that pots of tea and coffee are more ideal as we are in affect consuming three courses; a glorious mix of mini sandwiches, the most perfect scones we’ve ever tasted and the requisite cake indulgences. We not only have pots of coffee now but they are unlimited. Now it’s perfection. Highly recommended.

The following week, I’ve organised a celebration evening for the summer school students I trained in July and Malmaison kindly offer as their hospitality.

I’m thinking it may be a great place to hire a suite to have a little Luvdrop event but alas, their suites are too small.
Still, Luvdrop is a main topic for our Entrepreneur MeetUp at Urban the next day. When those events kick off this month it will be Adventures with Luvdrop