When someone asks you if you’d be interested in having a one on one pasta masterclass with one of Britain’s best Italian chefs, followed by dinner in his renowned restaurant and an overnight stay in one of London’s most luxurious hotels, you do NOT say no, no matter how flu-riddled you are!
So, last night I ventured over to the West of London which isn’t an area I explore very often but every time I go there, without fail, I’m always mesmerised by how picturesque it is and scold myself for not making the effort to get there more often! I was greeted at the front of Hotel Indigo, which is the CUTEST little boutique hotel with the most quintessentially British details and elegant decor. The staff were super welcoming and down to earth, which is perfect for me – I can’t stand pretentious places.
From reception, we were whisked to our room straight away. I was like a little excited kid at Christmas. I LOVE checking out hotel rooms. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. The rooms are bright, full of colour, packed with little details, and give off a definite air of elegance. I, myself, not being particularly elegant, embraced this vibe! I mean, can we just talk about how trendy this room is? It has a lime green wardrobe, for goodness sake, and it’s not easy to pull lime green off.
Also, special shoutout to the bathroom which I would like to replicate when I eventually own a house one day.
Once we had unpacked, we headed downstairs to get ready for the masterclass and there was prosecco waiting for us. The dream.
The room you can see me in is Theo’s Simple Italian, which is the restaurant attached to the hotel and the baby of world renowned chef, Theo Randall (who happens to be one of the loveliest people in the world). It’s absolutely stunning inside, kind of what I imagine it would look like on the inside of Kate Moss’ house. SO. MUCH. THOUGHT has been put into this restaurant. The detailing on every single table, wall and even on the ceiling, is exquisite.
After a well-earned (ha) glass of bubbly, we headed into the divine private dining area to meet the legend himself; Theo Randall, who is getting ready to cook us his special pesto and courgette tagliatelle AKA heaven. Now, I would love to share all Theo’s super secret pasta tips with you but I would have to kill you, and no one wants that. So, instead, I’ll just tell you my key takeaways and encourage you to go along yourself. You won’t regret it.
- Pasta is all about the texture – It has to have a bite to it
- Pasta water is your friend, use it to enhance the flavours of the dish
- You don’t need a £10,000 pasta making machine. A £40 Amazon one is just fine!
Theo was an absolute gentleman; down to earth, friendly and so incredibly passionate. I asked about his favourite pasta dishes of all time (anything with fish), his favourite restaurants in the world (small, quaint ones in Italy over the big michelin star contenders) and why he thought we English can’t quite compete with the Italians when it comes to pasta.
After our exciting masterclass, we had definitely worked up an appetite, so we headed into the dining room where we got stuck into some delicious polenta chips with fresh chilli & rosemary as well as Theo’s special bruschetta, which is cerrrrrtainly special. Oh my God. I couldn’t stop eating it!
For the main, I was never going to order anything other than the Ravioli di Erbette e Pinoli. Firstly, I ADORE ravioli but secondly, Theo is the master of pasta and I just couldn’t go past(a) it. Ha, sorry. The homemade ravioli was filled with spinach, rocket & ricotta and topped with sage butter sauce & toasted pine nuts. I meeeeean. Who can resist that?!
Finally, we were treated to a smorgasbord of desserts including the famous Amalfi lemon tart, soft chocolate cake with crema de Mascapone, tiramisu (my personal favourite), affogato, ricotta cheesecake and coppa gelato aka bellini gelato. UN. REAL.
It would’ve been rude not to go to bed without a taste of limoncello, and I’m not rude, so we indulged in some of the delicious Italian lemon liqueur before heading to bed, to lay our heads down after a night of working really hard 😉
I won’t lie, it was not easy to leave the hotel room this morning. The bed was so insanely comfortable and I just wanted to walk around in my fluffy robe and slippers, pretending I was a celebrity forever. However, I had to head over to East London to get back to work, so we made our way downstairs to get stuck into… you guessed it… MORE FOOD!
I don’t know if this is an actual medical condition of mine but I physically cannot bring myself to order anything other than eggs florentine when I see it on a menu. Chris and I shared the eggs florentine as well as Theo’s recommendation of the avocado & poached eggs, with the waiter’s hint to add tobasco sauce (If we weren’t awake already, we certainly were after this). Both dishes were divine but for me, eggs florentine is always victorious (sorry Theo).
I loved everything about this hotel. I tried to think about which occasions it would be ideal for but to be honest, breakfast, lunch or dinner, this would be a dream location. The private dining area would be a great shout for little parties or more intimate gatherings with friends, but the restaurant itself is also great for everyday meet ups, and, as you can see, it’s totally instagrammable. Which is always high on my list 😉
I like that the hotel has an air of originality around it and whilst the food is obviously top notch and the place itself is super trendy, it doesn’t feel stuffy or flashy.
Thanks to the team at Indigo Hotels as well as Theo and his team for an unforgettable stay!