When I first started blogging I found it a little intimidating to turn up to events; it was that fear of not knowing anyone and standing awkwardly on your own. But over the last year and a half of blogging and attending events, I’ve got to know lots of fellow bloggers and I know I’ll see familiar faces and events will be relaxed and fun. As was the case when I attended a dinner at Gallery Mess organised by the PR and Marketing team behind Duke of York Square, a food and fashion courtyard in Chelsea.
The evening began with champagne on the terrace of Gallery Mess and I chatted away to Mina as Fiona, Gary, Suze, Catherine, Frankie, Julie and Poppy soon arrived to join the party. I was meeting Julie for the first time but I’m a regular reader of her blog and always gain inspiration from the beautiful destinations that she’s travelled to and her gorgeous photography.
I’d never been to the Gallery Mess before but I’ve visited Duke of York Square many times for shopping at places like Trilogy and L.K. Bennett and dining at Manicomio. A branch of Polpo has also recently opened there and I’m keen to try it as I loved the food at Polpo Soho. I also love the fine food market that takes place every Saturday, you can buy a glass of prosecco and wonder round the artisan food stalls trying sushi, oysters, cup cakes and sweets. It’s much calmer and less crowded than some of the bigger markets and a really nice way to break up a day of shopping.
The Gallery Mess is located in the Saatchi Gallery but it’s definitely not your average museum restaurant, I walked through the bar, backed with a rainbow of different Pommery champagne bottles and into the chic, modern restaurant.
The stylish dining room is mostly monochrome but exposed brick work, light pink blossoms and funky works of art add colour and character to the minimalist space.
The food here is by Rhubarb, London’s leading caterer and event planners, I can certainly vouch for Rhubarb myself as I’ve use their services for several events and the food, service and organisation has always been spot on. In fact I’d be loathed to use any other company when organising catering for an event. Rhubarb are well known for their catering services but also provide the food for several prestigious locations such as the American Airways lounges at Heathrow, Bond and Brook at Fenwick, The Royal Albert Hall and the Sky Garden.
With a menu of British dishes, I saw plenty of favourites so I stuck to the classic…But this was smoked salmon with a twist, it was cured with gin and tonic. I really enjoyed my boozy salmon and the dressing had a lovely zingy hint of raspberry too.
My dining partners Suze and Catherine had both chosen the scallops and Suze and I did the old blogger plate swap to get a photo of each other’s dishes. I loved the look of these plump juicy scallops which definitely would have been my second choice for starter.
When there’s a hashtag (collective noun for bloggers) of bloggers present, talk turns to the inevitable and discussion focussed on Instagram strategies, approaches to SEO and photography techniques. I wonder what ‘normal’ people would think of our conversation, I asked ;). Anyway, though the conversation was lively, I was still able to finish my perfectly cooked sea bass served with a simple crisp green salad.
To my right, Julie enjoyed a a fillet steak, she’d requested it be rare and the preparation was just perfect for her.
I also snapped Catherine’s lavender honey glazed duck breast served with fregola, fennel and peaches.
As well as Suze’s pretty plate of pan-fried sea trout with crushed new potatoes, pickled samphire, broad beans and artichoke cream.
Keeping things healthy, I finished the meal virtuous yet delicious bowl of fruit.
Other tasty looking choices were chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream.
And cherry and almond crumble with custard.
It was such a lovely night of friends, food and BlogSpeak and to top it all off we were given the most luxurious goody bag that I’ve ever had at the end of the night. It included a plethora of gifts from the businesses in Duke of York Square such as a bracelet from Brilliant Inc, an iPad cover from Dubarry of London, a phone cover from Whistles, a leather wallet from Cos, sunglasses from Massimo Dutti, and skin care products from Liz Earle. It was like Christmas when I opened the bag and looked through everything.
I just wanted to end this blog post by telling you a few fun things that are going on in Duke of York Square in the coming weeks:
Silent Disco Yoga – 6th September 12 noon – 1.30pm
London Fashion Weekend 24 -27th September
Chocolate Market – 17th October 10 – 4pm (I’m definitely going to this one!)
10th Birthday Market – 24th October 10 – 4pm
Glassdoor Sleepout to raise money for the homeless – 9th October
Chanel Exhibition at Saatchi 13th October – 1st November
See you at the Chocolate Market!!
Though I was guest at Gallery Mess for dinner, this post is not sponsored by Duke of York Square.
Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York Square
020 7768 1287