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Friday 20 June 2014

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...


Yup, this week all three of us Mice have been hanging out at Mice Towers, London, drinking too much Hendricks and generally being very squealy and squeaky (we tend to revert to a sister language spoken at a speed and pitch that only dogs can hear and no one who isn’t a Robbo can properly understand…)

When we’re all in the same city we try to squeeze in as much fun as the week can hold and this week has been no exception. When we haven’t been sobbing in a corner over the football (less said about that, the better), this week the Mice have mostly been…

Munching our way through a seriously mind-blowing eight course menu at the Clove Club. The London Mice checked out the Clove Club a few weeks ago for cocktails and gave it a big thumbs up. I’ve read a myriad of glowing reviews about the restaurant and have been dying to try it, so this week we finally bagged ourselves a booking, spent the day eating minimally in preparation, and moseyed along to Hoxton with rumbling tummies and very high expectations.

We started the evening with a glass of Champagne in the bar where we chatted about our days and swooned over the beautiful jugs of flowers sitting on the bar next to copper coktail shakers.

We then moved through to the dining room where we were greeted by a chorus of “Hi” from the chefs and kitchen staff slaving away in the open plan kitchen. The dining room is minimally decorated with lots of white and scrubbed wood but the effect is homey and laidback rather than stark. The kitchen, a hive of activity, gives the room buzz and a dash of colour courtesy of the turquoise splashback tiles. 

The menu is fixed and comprised of a set of three small starters served together to kick things off, followed by a procession of three bigger main courses and topped-off with two desserts and petit fours. There’s an optional charcuterie plate (which we went for) and an optional main course (which we also went for) and we got a bonus main course to boot (fatty Mice). That’s an awful lot of food for three girls, but we gobbled up each and every morsel with gusto. The optional charcuterie was a dish of pale buttery Saddleback which had us oohing and ahhing and fighting over the last slither.

Each of the three starters was beautifully put together and so incredibly good that we’d have happily had full-sized portions of each. We particularly loved the buttermilk fried chicken and pine salt – three grown-up chicken nuggets served atop a bed of pine needles. And how beautiful are the sheep’s milk yoghurt and pea tarts?

Too good to eat? Nope, we inhaled them and they were ridiculously delicious. The Asparagus, black sesame and gouchuchang was also simple but sensational.

Next up an earthy Jersey Royal soup holding aloft a perfectly poached Gull’s egg sprinkled with Montgomery cheddar and a scattering of truffle. Silence descended on the table as we slurped up every last drop of this dish.

Then our bonus course of tissue-thin slices of cucumber cloaking a bed of crab. Swiftly followed by a second stellar fish dish – salmon with courgette and basil spiked with Indian spiced butter.   

We then came ashore for the meat courses. First up, 30-day, dry-aged Challans duck breast served with green-topped baked carrots and a yolk-sized cake of carrot puree, and then juicy, minty Tamworth pork chop with a salty anchovy kiss.

Staggering onto the dessert leg of the meal, we were all wowed by the Amalfi lemonade and Sarawak pepper ice-cream which fizzed and sparkled like an actual glass of the most deliciously refreshing lemonade you’ve ever drunk.

The second dessert was probably our least favourite – baked loquat kernel custard with almonds – a perfectly silky custard but with a fairly powerful flavour, we commented that it was a bit like Amaretto crème caramel.

Lastly the Petit Fours including a handwrapped Clove Club Chocolate bar with coffee and almond-biscuit ganache and what looked like three cough pastilles… We were reliably informed by our lovely waiter that these were Dr Henderson’s Bonbons – sugar shells filled with a concoction of fernet branca and crème de menthe. We were told to put a bonbon on our tongue and wait… as the sugar shell melts, the liquid centre is released giving a burst of minty freshness to end the meal (and the fernet branca apparently aids digestion meaning all that overindulgence is countered…ish!).

We all agreed that it was one of the very best and most inventive meals we’ve ever eaten and left merrily reliving it all course by course clutching another chocolate bar each to be wolfed down with a coffee the next morning at our desks while dreaming of going back for round two!

The set menu that we ate was £55 per head

The Clove Club
380 Old Street 
+44 (0)207 729 6496

Channelling our inner Audrey and trying out the latest liner promising Hepburn-esque feline flicks. 

When I’m back in London one of my key shopping pitstops is Boots. Hong Kong has a ridiculous dearth of budget beauty products so it’s dizzyingly exciting to be faced with shelves and shelves of shampoos, nail varnishes and moisturisers. On an initial case-out of what’s new and notable, I picked up a couple of Barry M Gelly nail varnishes (great colour range, nice high shine finish and good, non-chippage), some still yet to be trialled Fake Bake tanner and the latest Benefit base – the Big Easy (a sort of cross between a foundation and a BB Cream – velvety finish, great coverage - I’m loving it). While I was at the Benefit counter, I spied an advert for the soon to be released They’re RealPush-up Liner – little sister to the bestselling They’re Real Mascara. I’m a huge fan of the mascara and buy it in bulk whenever I pass through duty-free. I’ve heard whispers that latest addition to the range is phenomenal, so I was pretty happy when I got a free sample of the eyeliner when I bought my Big Easy.

They’re Real Push-up Liner is a gel formula eyeliner but rather than coming in a pot and requiring a thin brush and a steady hand to apply it, this liner is in pen-form with a flexible silicon nozzle applicator. The claim is that the liner delivers the perfect cat-eye and manages to get right into the base of your lashes. The sample tube is pretty teeny and while the full-size version has a twist-base dispenser, the trial-size requires you to squeeze the tube to dispense the product instead. I think this may mean that I squeezed out too much product, as I found the blob of liner on the applicator far too much and ended up having to use the back of my hand as a palette… The liner goes on smoothly and the angled tip of the pen is great for good flick action. Staying-power is incredible, my liner lasted all day throughout hot commutes, a full day in the office and a night out. In fact, despite some serious scrubbing that evening, I still had my cat-eye when I woke up the next morning…

Overall verdict, the new liner’s good and I will definitely try the full-sized version when its out (on 27th June) but it’s not as make-up game-changing for me as the mascara.

Listening to Lana on a loop checking out the brand new album from LDR, Ultraviolence. But, despite the loop listening, we’re not convinced.

Maybe we were expecting too much, maybe we just need to give it a little more time to grow on us, but it just hasn’t grabbed us like 'Born to Die'.

When 'West Coast' was released we were seriously excited for the new album to drop, but having given it a few listens, it’s really just that track and a couple of others that grab us while the rest of the album seems to merge into a bit of a breathy, dreamy blur. We don’t hate it, we’re just not sure that we love it. The reviews have been pretty good generally and it’s apparently charting very well so maybe it’s just us…

And that’s it for another week blog buds! We’re off for a weekend of sistertime (which is a bit like hammertime but less hammery, more gin-fuelled and much, much more awesome…). Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to...

Lots of love

The Mice

1 comment

  1. Looks like an interesting restaurant it must be nice when you are all back together. The salmon looks yummy. As does the ducks breast. Wise not to eat too much before going Lucy x