A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

No5, Beaconsfield

Welcome to the neighbourhood boys!
I'm talking about the two young chefs that brought No 5 London End to Beaconsfield.
They only opened last Friday and on Saturday we made a reservation...for Monday. Why? Because they are booked for the rest of the week! Monday outings are not what we do, but let me tell you, we should do it more! All day I was excited about our evening meal, which is much better than being miserable all day in the office about the prospects of another grey week ahead. 
Walking around Beaconsfield Old Town on a warm summer evening is relaxing and quiet. No5 stands right across the roundabout with a "grown up" look of blue-greyish exterior and copper lights hanging next to the big windows; the atmosphere inside, on the other hand, is easy-going, comfy and interesting.

Little twists pop up on the menu to keep you excited, too.
For starters, "pig's cheek croquettes" make an appearance. Don't knock them till you try them: they are crispy and light, with a smooth, almost pulled-pork-like filling and pork-belly, rich consistency. They come with charred apple reduction, very well balanced.
The mains evolve around steaks and burgers. If you are a vegetarian, your mains options are limited for the time being, to a halloumi or a soft-shell crab burger. But more fish will be appearing on the menu in the form of daily specials shortly, we were told.
I expected the place to be a bit more formal, to be honest, but I was happily getting comfortable in this very relaxed setting of bare brick walls and white-washed panelling. The waitresses were very accommodating and happy to chat away about the food.
I had the soft-shell crab brioche burger, complete with crunchy Asian coleslaw. I could do with a bit more sauce or maybe juicier coleslaw, because fried soft shell crab tends to be on he dry side, but that's just me.  Quite frankly, last time I had soft shell crab was in Bali two years ago, so I was super-content either way.

The sides are quirky too!  My burger came with truffle & parmesan frites, but here's the interesting part, the frites were fried with a coating of the parmesan, nor sprinkled afterwards as usual. Yummy, fluffy, crunchiness!
And how about Mac & Cheese with a topping of crackling? Just come in and order this with a glass of white wine and then have the doughnuts. Honestly, that's all you need!

One of the features I loved, was that No 5 windows look out to the quaint heart of Old Beaconsfield; the Old Town buildings intertwined with greenery and St Mary's bell tower popping up in the background. 

Time for dessert! Oh, too late to skip that, especially if you've seen and heard the tables around you having fresh, piping hot doughnuts with salted caramel sauce.
It feels like someone is giving you a hug, once you bite into this sweet cosiness!
My husband declared that if I can't find him at any point, I might as well look for him here, next to a dozen of these doughnuts!

Shakespeare in the countryside - "Comedy of Errors" at Hall Barn

Bravo to the crew of the Chiltern Shakespeare Company for Wednesday night's performance. They honoured their craft by performing in pouring rain for the whole first part of the play.
And what's more, they improvised and joked at the rain's expense, making everyone laugh.
Well done!
Spot the cascading rain dripping down from the spectators' tent?

What I love about the performances of the Chiltern Shakespeare's Company is that they incorporate Hall Barn's majestic setting in their plays. This time the green gardens transformed to a seaside Victorian resort where the comic-tragic Shakespearean story unfolded.

At some point, ten minutes into the first act, the rain was so heavy that it completely overpowered the actors' voices and little streams of water were running down from the spectator's tent.
Oh yes, we were all comfy and dry, sipping away on our wine, while the brave cast members carried on with the comic errors that made us all sit up and lean forwards, in order to carry on watching.

The story unfolded slowly and peaked right at the end of the second part. This is one of Shakespeare's earlier plays, shorter than the rest of them. Two sets of twins get separated at a young age and they are re-united after years, through a series of misunderstandings.
Dromio of Syrracuse , one of the twins who served one of the other twins, Antipholus of Syrracuse, was a pure joy to watch and cheekily moved his performance under the spectators' tent, while it was pouring down. Off course he made a joke about it and the audience loved it!

Modern-day songs were even incorporated in the performance to make the audience follow and sing along...
"Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life is showing you
Where are you going to? Do you know?" was heard on a couple of occasions throughout the performance, to entice Antipholus of Syrracuse to think about his doings.
Dromio of Syrracuse is just about to meet his long lost twin , Dromio of Ephesus.

Last year it was the first time that I attended this summer outdoors performance and I loved it. 
So, this year I brought along a couple of my girlfriends, too. If only the weather had been better, we wouldn't have had to rush around so much. But then again, we had wine, shawls and blankets and Shakespeare, in the lovely Buckinghamshire countryside, isn't that the spirit of a British summer evening? x

Afternoon Tea at Danesfield House

It was my niece's eighth birthday last month and getting her a gift was a mission.
I didn't see the point in adding even more toys and clothes to her already extensive collection, but I wanted something that would be as special as birthday gifts should be. 
Instead, I decided to take her to Danesfield House for her first afternoon tea. 

Before you go all judgemental on me and start asking "why are you taking a little one to such a posh place", I'll tell you what Lou (the birthday girl) said, when I told her where we were going:
"Oh, is this where we blew bubbles after your wedding?".
So now you get it, Danesfield House is where my husband and I got married two and a half years ago and Lou was a flower-girl, so it's a special place for her too. 
It's also where my parents took my fiancé's parents out to dinner for the first time ever, on a Boxing Day, ten years ago. We've spent New Year's there. We've had birthday celebrations there. Danesfield is a special place for us all really.  

The whole thing was so cute. Lou poured apple juice in a teacup to pretend she is having tea along with me. And her eyes opened wide when she saw the tiered trays with scones and sandwiches coming our way. She asked me: "are we having that too?" with a little smile on her face.

The staff at Danesfield were really attentive.
I had mentioned beforehand that this was a treat for my niece's birthday and we got the cakes tray with "Happy Birthday" written all over it with chocolate;  Everything was good in the world after that! It's so simple for kids, isn't it?

Dare to walk all the way to the edge of the gardens, the view will surprise you!

My favourite part is going outside, to walk around the gardens. Danesfield is build on a hill overlooking river Thames, so the view from up there is spectacular!

Elytra Filament Pavilion at the V&A

Bla, bla bla. Words, words, words.
Here's the thing: Do make time to pop into the Victoria and Albert museum's atrium this summer to meet Elytra!

Elytra is the brain-child of researchers in robotic fabrication and biomimicry.
In other words, a robot made this exhibit, imitating nature's technique in creating the armour of a beetle, the elytron - hence the name, Elytra.
On the 18 June, there will be a live demonstration and more microfiber "trees" will be added to the existing structure, so there's your chance to witness the advances in this field of experimental architecture.

The courtyard at the V&A is truly impressive either way and provides the perfect backdrop for the futuristic Elytra. So much so, that I couldn't help a "wow" as soon as the door opened and I set foot in the atrium.
What's lovely, is that this is a hands-on exhibit, you can walk around and under it and you can even pull up a chair on the lawn and sit in its' shade to gaze for a while.
That's exactly what I did! x
© Life Love London

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