REVIEW: The Spa at Dolphin Square

The Spa Dolphin Square London

Time for a review of The Spa at Dolphin Square.

Days don’t come more grey than this particular September Monday. Torrential rain. Chilly breeze. Chaos on the roads. Abandoned umbrellas strewn along the pavements. My heart was racing as I ran from Pimlico tube.

So it seemed fitting that moments later I was tucked away inside one of London’s most serene places: The Spa at Dolphin Square.

Dolphin Square is a Pimlico institution. Completed in the 1930s it’s been home to a number of famous residents, including lots of politicians (due to its proximity to Westminster). During WW2 it was General de Gaulle’s HQ, and a hospital. These days though, it’s mostly residential – almost like university halls for grown ups. On site: a bar and restaurant, café, shop, leisure centre with pool, and The Spa.

On arrival, I was impressed with the air of calm, and the beautiful waiting area. Small Moroccan tables, pretty lanterns, a terracotta, brown and red colour scheme and ornate mahogany doors transported me to somewhere deep in the Atlas Mountains.

The Spa Dolphin Square LondonOnce I’d filled in the medical questionnaire I was given a tour of the facilities, and provided with a locker, robe and flip flops.

The Spa Dolphin Square

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REVIEW: The Old Orchard, Harefield, Middlesex

The Old Orchard Pub Exterior

Checking out The Old Orchard pub in Harefield.

“Well the view’s not bad… I wonder what the food’s like?”

My words as we wandered into The Old Orchard pub after an hour and a half walking along the nearby canal towpath. It’s located in Harefield – an area of outstanding natural beauty, with locks, small cottages, decorated narrow boats and flowers everywhere. We visited on a bright, sunny April afternoon, and we had certainly worked up quite an appetite!

The Old Orchard The Old Orchard

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REVIEW: Darwin Brasserie, Sky Garden, London

Wanderlust Chloe Sky Garden 19

From the beautiful views from London’s Sky Garden to the delicious food at the restaurant, time to review Darwin Brasserie.

The lift ascends, floor 1, 2, 3, 4… right up to 35. The doors open, and in front of me lies London, basking in glorious sunshine.

The Walkie Talkie Building - Sky Garden London
The Walkie Talkie Building – Sky Garden London

There’s a real buzz around the Sky Garden. From the terrace there are amazing views of London, plus there are three drinking and dining options, along with what has been described as London’s highest garden. Not to mention, it’s located at the top of the iconic Walkie Talkie building – yes, the building that famously melted cars and fried eggs!

How To Get To The Sky Garden, London

The Sky Garden is located close to Monument, Tower Hill and Bank tube stations. Once inside, I went through several airport-style security checks. Unlike other London skyscrapers, the lift here isn’t made of glass, so vertigo sufferers need not worry. It does however rocket you up to the top very quickly, so be prepared for a few airplane ear-popping moments. And the airport comparisons didn’t end there… emerging on the 35th floor, the large glass conservatory-come-hangar resembled Heathrow Terminal 5.

Inside the Sky Garden, London
Inside the Sky Garden, London

Darwin Brasserie Review

On floor 36 is Darwin Brasserie – a stylish Sky Garden restaurant, offering classic European dishes, and a very classy brunch. For £38 you can enjoy unlimited offerings from the buffet of savoury and sweet items, unlimited milkshakes and bloody marys, and one hot main course. The menu has everything you would expect to find at brunch, and more.

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REVIEW: The Artichoke, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England

The Artichoke in Amersham is Michelin starred dining, without the Michelin star – or the impossible booking procedure.

**I returned to The Artichoke for dinner more recently for a special anniversary dinner. I’d recommend clicking through to read my latest review here. **

Wanderlust Chloe The Artichoke9

The restaurant sits in the heart of a beautiful old town high street, which is full of luxury delis, old-fashioned pubs and a few standard chain restaurants. Without being pretentious, it is easily the best restaurant in the area.

Wanderlust Chloe The Artichoke8
Serving refined Modern European cuisine, the food is creative, delicious and stunning to look at. On my visit, I sampled the Lunch Tasting Menu – a £38 five course menu. I chose to accompany it with the £18 wine flight.

Wanderlust Chloe The Artichoke2The meal started with an amuse bouche which was a small spoonful packed full of complex flavours. Roasted salsify, toasted hazelnut soil, chervil emulsion, truffle gel and sweet cicely… all in one delicious mouthful! The freshly baked rolls containing salty ham were also heavenly.

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