Archive for the ‘Kingston Upon Thames’ Category

The Bishop and The Rising Sun- One Weekend, Two Pubs, Four Birthdays!

This weekend was packed with birthday parties, Friday night I went to a triple 21st and Saturday I went to a surprise 21st birthday party, both of which I really enjoyed.

Friday’s party took place at a pub along the river in Kingston called the Bishop out of residence, which is tucked away underneath Kingston Bridge and McClusky’s. The pub had a function room upstairs which was perfect as it had its own bar, a space for the DJ, a smoking area and plenty of seating if you weren’t up for dancing and wanted to chat. Drinks were pretty standard prices for Kingston at the weekend, with a vodka cranberry costing about £3.90.

I haven’t been to this pub in a while, as it’s a little out of the way of the main drag, however I’m definitely going to go back. Downstairs in the main bar they had a live band who sounded really good and were a lifesaver at the beginning of the night when the music wasn’t working upstairs at the party; luckily the music filtered through up the stairs so we weren’t all sat in silence until it was fixed!

Saturday’s surprise party took place at The Rising Sun pub in Epsom, which is a really cute and old fashioned pub with a small function room upstairs. This looked like the perfect local for a quiet Saturday evening in the main bar. Upstairs was the perfect size for the party of approximately 50 people, again with its own small bar, we were able to go in early during the day to set up so that everything was sorted prior to the birthday boy’s arrival!

However, the drinks were quite pricey here so after we’d hit the £400 minimum spend at the bar we left to continue the evening in Epsom.

I had a great time at the parties this weekend, seeing lots of old faces and meeting lots of new ones too. The venues were great choices for the kinds of birthday parties wanted and I would recommend both locations for something similar.

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Strada

I don’t get to see my best friend very often, as during term time she studies a good 300 miles away, so when we do get the opportunity to meet up it’s a very special occasion.

To mark this we decided to treat ourselves and head over to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Kingston called Jamie’s Kitchen. We knew how popular the venue is and that you are unable to book so we made sure we got the restaurant by 7pm. Unfortunately the waitress who met us at the door was very unhelpful and said that we would have to wait 45mins at least for a table, 20 minutes of which would have to be spent outside on a cold April evening and then we’d be allowed to come in and sit at the bar and wait a further 25mins! I suggested that we go for a drink across the road and put our name down on the list, but apparently this is also against their policy! I was very unimpressed by this and so we decided to eat elsewhere.

By this point we had our hearts set on an Italian meal so we went across the road to Charter Quay (restaurant and bar district on the riverside) where we found Strada. This restaurant had a completely different atmosphere, we were seated immediately and the waiters were extremely helpful and chatty, a total change to the stuffy attitudes we experienced at Jamie’s.

The food here is delicious, serving a range of superb Italian dishes. We shared garlic pizza bread to begin with and for our main courses I had Orecchiette Salsiccia e Broccoli pasta, which is spicy sausage, pancetta and broccoli sautéed with chilli butter and grana padano. This dish was very nice however the chilli butter did make it a little bit rich so I couldn’t quite finish it all. My friend had Linguine a la Pescatora which is tiger prawns, mussels, squid and clams in a white wine, garlic, chilli and tomato sauce which she thoroughly enjoyed. For dessert I indulged in Fondente al cacao which is a warm chocolate pudding which melted in the middle with vanilla ice cream on top, whilst my friend enjoyed a cappuccino.

All of this cost just £20 each including soft drinks and mineral water, which I thought was very reasonable for the quality food we were served.

After this we continued our evening in the Slug and Lettuce which is also in Charter Quay, this is a lively over 21’s venue which is the perfect place if you’d like to have a cheeky cocktail in a lively but not too over bearing atmosphere. They do a fantastic 2 for 1 happy hour offer until 10pm on Friday nights.

All in all we had a lovely evening catching up on life despite the little hiccup in the beginning of our evening!

Prezzo

After feeling pretty poorly over the last week, I decided to do something slightly less energetic than I usually would on a Saturday night to aid my recovery. So the girls and I decided to see what all the hype was about and of course swoon over Johnny Depp, in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Before we saw the film, we needed to find somewhere nearby to the cinema where we could get a cheap bite to eat, alas a fantastic new voucher for Prezzo entered my inbox, just at the right time!

Prezzo is a chain of fantastic Italian restaurants which has expanded across the country in the last couple of years; similar restaurants include Zizzi and Ask.

Prezzo always have some offer or discount available, so it’s definitely worth checking their website regularly for the latest deal or signing up to their mailing list like I did. We visited Prezzo in Kingston upon Thames, which is upstairs inside the Rotunda. The restaurant was packed out by 7.00pm, when we arrived and considering the wide choice of restaurants in the local area, this had to be a good sign!

Our vouchers meant that we could have two courses and a drink for just £10 each, an absolute bargain! However, the menu is restricted for this reason but provided enough choice for us to still have a lovely meal and catered for all our tastes. To start you have a choice of breads that includes: bruschetta, garlic, mozzarella and garlic. Main meals consisted of a choice of about four pasta dishes, four pizzas and two salads. You have a choice of beer, wine or a soft drink to compliment the meal. I chose garlic bread to start with spaghetti and meatballs for my main with a red wine all of which I would highly recommend.

The service was very good and very prompt, which was a definite plus, as we only had an hour to eat our meal before the film began. The bustling atmosphere was great too; we particularly liked watching the chefs make the pizzas over in the corner of the restaurant!

If I were to go back to Prezzo again, I wouldn’t have such a rushed meal (entirely our fault) and would enjoy the restaurant experience more, perhaps over a bottle of wine rather than a glass or perhaps even with a cheeky dessert thrown in too!