This was my first ever PR invitation! I was kindly invited to come and try the brand spanking new 'Hello Darling' restaurant which has just opened in Waterloo, London.
I did some research into the restaurant before visiting and was delighted to find out that the menu was designed by Masterchef winner Natalie Coleman! Anyone who knows me well knows I have been the BIGGEST Masterchef nerd since my teens so this was a huge deal for me. I also had a sneaky peak at their instagram and may or may not have matched my outfit to the building...
On they way there I was a bit nervous as I've never been invited to a restaurant before so wasn't sure what to expect. The nerves were instantly replaced by excitement on arrival as the building was absolutely stunning - even better in real life than the IG pics. I got Matt to take my picture outside the restaurant but I usually get around 0.5 seconds to pose and only one shot before he refuses to take anymore (literally the worst IG boyfriend) so please excuse my cheesy smile. Can you tell I was a tad nervous haha?
The interior was just as flashy as the exterior, our waiter explained it was the brainchild of outlandish set designers Darling & Edge and arts venue The Vaults. The decor was as extra as it gets, I could feel it drawing out my inner Thespian... It was a perfect collision of theatre, art and fine dining and everything was VERY floral and VERY Instagramable.
The menu was a range of European style small plates. We ended up opting for a selection of what the waiter recommended (a foolproof backup when you can't choose because the whole menu looks amazing).
The food was as delicious as it looked - my favourite had to be the whole artichoke which was very impressive if a little over-facing (the waiter had to explain how to eat the artichoke whole because we couldn't fingure it out between us - turns out you pick off each leaf individually and kind of nibble the edible bits off.) This was served with an umptious herby butter to dip them in.
I definitely have more of a savoury tooth than sweet but the waiter insisted we try the desserts and thank goodness he did - I can safely say they are up there with some of the best desserts I've ever had! I opted for the Tonka bean chocolate melting cake and Matt had the Lemon verbena panna cotta with lemon curd, meringues, basil & pistachio.
I'll pop a link to the menu here in case you want to get your taste buds ready before you visit.
If you're partial to a trip to the oh so instramable floral interiors of Petersham Nurseries, but you think it could be a little more extra then you’re going to LOVE Hello Darling. Here is me looking a little smug after a wonderful evening of food, drink and visual indulgence.
As this was my first PR trip and I didn't really know what to expect, I was a bit of an anxiety ridden mess at the beginning of the evening. It didn't help that I have a few friends who are (actual) bloggers and have heard some horror stories about PR invitations going wrong so I was nervous it was going to be one big awkward mistake when I arrived and nobody would even have our names on the booking sheet. Thankfully the staff at Hello Darling couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. They talked me through the whole dining experience and made me and Matt (two of the most awkward human beings to walk the earth) feel super at comfortable and at home. I already can't wait to go back and I'm so thankful for the experience.