Sunday, June 26, 2016
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Island Grill at the Lancaster London

Island Grill, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
Reservations on 020 7551 6070 or visit

Named after the fact that the Lancaster sits on an island site directly facing Hyde Park, the Grill can be accessed direct from street level just a few metres to the right of the exit from Lancaster Gate central Line or through the first floor of the main hotel. It's a popular venue for locals and 90 per cent of diners are just that or indeed regulars, possibly because they are aware that it's gained two AA Rosettes and three stars from the Sustainable Restaurants Association. That's due to Head Chef Adam Woolven’s tireless efforts to create an eco-friendly yet luxurious dining experience.

All their produce is sourced as locally as possible.

The bulk of the 90 covers are on the higher level which also accomodates a well stocked bar and the open view kitchen, but there are several tables at a lower level too. Island Grill’s sleek design was conceived by Stiff + Trevillion, the talent behind Wagamama and Fakhreldine. With a white limestone exterior and large glass entrance doors, Island Grill creates a striking visual impact on arrival. The 90 cover restaurant has vast floor-to-ceiling windows running along the two outside walls, allowing light to flood into the restaurant space. In the evenings, the back-lit ceiling panels create a warm ambiance. The open-plan kitchen design allows diners to view the chefs at work, adding another dimension to their gastronomic experience. We visited during the evening and enjoyed the long crisp lines and the muted colours such as muted browns and lighting comes mainly from recessed lights but there are a few stainless steel globes.

The wine list is varied and reasonable, and the house choices are particularly good. You can't go wrong with the Rose (Pinot Grigio Villa Garducci). There are Redswhich  include Merlot, Shiraz, Beaujolais and Bordeaux with the Whites represented by Chablis, Riesling, Sancerre, Chardonnay and Sauvignon BlancFor international travelers there are plenty of Bourbons as well as single malts and blends such as Chivas or Johnny Walker, and there are at least 6 different vodkas and a similar number of Cognacs and gin choices.

Island Grill is open from 7.00am–10.30pm. From Noon until 7.00pm, the restaurant offers a Prix Fixed lunch and early evening menu, priced at £9.50 for two courses and £12.50 for three courses.

From the A la Carte menu you must choose the Green Olive Ciabatta which is an elongated and chunky breadstick with an olive embedded within it. For dipping there is an extra virgin olive oil.

There are traditional starters such as Calamari (£7.95), Vegetarian Cannelloni (£6.95) with wild mushrooms and ricotta, a vegetarian butternut squash Risotto as well as Scallops, Pork Belly and several Salads. There’s also a Savoury black truffle éclair. Most can be ordered as a main course as well.

With a clue in the title it’s clear that the grill element has to be pretty strong and they have a range of steaks which include an 8oz Fillet of Beef £29.50, a 10oz Sirloin £21.50 and a 10oz Rib-Eye £21.50 which are all 21 days dry aged and sourced from Britain

There is also a Pork Cutlet £13.50 and for Chicken fans a whole baby Chicken for £13.50 which is served in a crispy skin. Fish fans can choose today’s catch or a Tuna Steak (£15.95). The kitchen is open plan and diners can see their choice being prepared.

There is also a good range of alternatives and there are four fish alternatives (fish and chips which is plaice, Sea Bass, and Roast Salmon and a seafood Linguine). We opted for the Linguine (£14.50) which has Tiger prawns, clams, mussels & braised squid in rich tomato sauce. This is surprisingly filling and the sauce is delightfully delicate and a far cry from some which can be overpowering. There is no skimping on the fish and it is the best that we have had for some considerable time.

Meat is in the form of Lamb, Duck, Chicken or a signature burger. Starters as mentioned above can also be turned into a main course and we opted for a Prawn Caesar salad (starter £6.50, main £11.95) which had the large Tiger  prawns at the compass points and baby gem leaves, ciabatta, croutons, anchovies, with a Caesar dressing.

When it comes to dessert you may wish to sample something with honey in it, such as the Honey Panna Cotta (£5). This is because of the hives kept on the roof of the restaurant. The bees make use of the plentiful supply of pollen to be found in the neighbouring Hyde Park. At present there are 3 hives and plans to extend these and surpluses will be available for sale.

Look out for the Creme Brulee selection to share £7.50. With three different flavours (Passion fruit, dark chocolate & raspberry Brûlées with refreshing sorbets these proved to be a great treat and we enjoyed sharing these.

There are a range of desserts including a Baked Sultana Cheesecake (£4.50), a chocolate Trio (£5.50) which is a dark chocolate fondant, Valrhona chocolate sorbet, white chocolate & coffee foam. Then there is a Treacle Sponge, abd of course a selection of ice creams and sorbets.

Finally there is the Forty Miles Cheese Plate which has cheeses all sourced within that radius which is served with biscuits, grapes and chutney.

Photo courtesy of Richard Twilton

The childrens menu - yes we did order from it is varied enough even for the most picky. Children also have a small pack with a maze, crayons and pencils and quizzes to keep them busy during the relatively short wait. Our little angel did full justice to the Burger but there is also chicken, pasta and fish and chips to choose from and the portions are far from tiny.

There is a breakfast menu too. Apart from traditional staples are you up for a Bloody Mary or even a Champagne breakfast. These feature a full english along with the featured drink (tea and coffee are also included).

So the acid test. Would we return. Yes, there are several more items on this menu we would like to try out and with good service, good prices and a relaxed and ambient atmosphere that does more than just tolerate children, we will be returning soon.

Merlin Pass

Exclusive ‘Mister Maker’ Workshops at Sea Life Brighton

Mister Maker, the kids’ arts and crafts sensation, is to help thousands of youngsters create their own sea creatures at Sea Life Brighton this May.

The popular CBeebies presenter has put together a series of exclusive instruction videos to help children make marine animals ranging from a paper-plate stingray to a foil and tissue paper shark!

“They are all things that can be made with left over or waste household materials, so this is also helping youngsters take care of the environment,” said Max Leviston, General Manager of Sea Life Brighton.

The four videos, filmed exclusively for visitors to the UK’s Sea Life Centres will be featured at Sea Life Brighton from May 14 to June 12.

The Mister Maker shows have covered seven series so far and are among the highest rated shows on the CBeebies channel.

“Mister Maker is a naturally engaging character who just makes arts and crafts easy and fun for every child, whether they have a flair for art or not,” continued Max.

“The way he introduces each project will also help our younger visitors learn more about the particular sea creatures they will be making, which we hope will encourage many to go on and learn more.”

Along with the ray and shark, children will also get the chance to make a cake-case jellyfish a colourful tropical fish.

As well as the creative delights of the Mister Maker workshops, Sea Life Brighton offers plenty to entertain young visitors including digital dinosaurs in Jurassic Seas, a glass bottom boat, and the chance to get closer than ever before to some of the reef’s most loved creatures in the brand new Secrets of the Reef installation.

For more information on Sea Life Brighton and its Mister Maker workshops, please visit

The Merlin Annual Pass offers unrivalled variety no other annual pass can compete with!

Maude & Fox launches the Fur Fly – perfect for winter nights

The Fur Fly - £320

Maude & Fox presents the glamorous Fur Fly hooded tweed jacket, perfect for the winter season.  With a luxurious faux fur trimmed hood, fleece lining and elegant shape the Fur Fly ticks all the boxes.

Perfect for long walks in the countryside or team with skinny jeans and boots for a night in the city the Fur Fly is practical and incredibly stylish.  Available in Henley tweed with a choice of blue or red linings the Fur Fly is sure to make others envious – the perfect choice of gift this Christmas.  As with all Maude & Fox items the Fur Fly is hand-cut and made exclusively by one of the Maude & Fox team in rural Dorset.

Sue Longmore, founder and head of creative comments:  “The Fur Fly is one of our most popular items, with women of all ages loving the elegant cut and longer edge on the back of the jacket.  Both stylish and practical we find our customers dress the Fur Fly up or down depending on where they are headed and it’s become a must-have for the winter season.  As a Christmas gift we know that the Fur Fly is the perfect choice for something special under the tree this year.”

View the Fur Fly at      

Maude & Fox sets itself apart from the crowd by being completely British in tweed, design and attitude.

Using British tweed all designs are hand-cut and made by the Maude & Fox team here in rural Dorset.  With customers all over the country returning to Maude & Fox for new designs and custom amendments the brand is taking the fashion world by storm.

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Be bright this firework night!

Be safe and seen with LittleLife’s range of Reflective Safety Vests.

Fireworks and bonfires, hotdogs and sparklers; the autumn brings with it lots of exciting new experiences for your little one. To help you ensure that your child is safe and seen during the festivities this autumn, LittleLife has created a range of high-visibility Reflective Safety Vests designed specifically with kids in mind. Fun and practical, the Reflective Safety Vests offer a simple way to boost children’s visibility in dark or wet conditions, as well as at busy autumn events.

Developed especially for kids, LittleLife’s Reflective Safety Vests are available in a selection of eye-catching designs. Let your little one choose from a vibrant pink vest with flowers and butterflies, an eye-catching yellow vest complete with stars and spaceships or high-visibility green vest covered in friendly dinosaurs. With a fun appearance that means your little explorer will love to wear them, the Reflective Vests are predominately designed to offer crucial safety benefits and have been developed to meet all British Standards.

Each of the Reflective Safety Vests is available in two sizes to ensure they fit your child comfortably and correctly. Simple to put on over your child’s coat or outer layers, the vest has a simple to secure, Velcro closure at the front for maximum practicality.

An easy way to boost your little one’s visibility this Firework Night, enjoy greater peace of mind with a LittleLife Reflective Vest.

For more information or to view LittleLife’s complete ‘Safe & Seen’ range, visit

Technical Info

Weight: 80g (3oz.) - 85g (3oz.)
Dimensions: 44x38cm - 45x40cm
Suitable for Ages: 104cm Tall (small) - 121cm Tall (medium)

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