So I dunno if you kids know, but this year I turned 28. Hard to believe when you look at my youthful boat, I know, what can I say – there are some strong old genes in my crazy family.
My Great-Grandmother lived until she was 104 years old!!!! – (how amazing is that! She was born in 1898 and died in 2002 which means she lived across three different centuries!!!! How many people can say that?) – and she definitely didn’t looked a day over 95!
So yes, despite looking like I couldn’t be older that 21 (nawww you guys are too kind!) I really did turn 28 in February of this year (pisces ruuuule!).
And of course the older you get the fancier your birthdays need to be, meaning that champagne is an essential ingredient to the celebrations. Now where on earth could I go to celebrate my birthday and ensure that I had Champagne on tap?
Why Bob Bob Ricard of course!
The beautiful Russian / British restaurant has been high on my ‘must visit’ list for a while and with my birthday looming it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go a press that emergency life line button, over and over again.
But let’s rewind a little….to the birthday presents.
I awoke on the morning of my birthday already happy in the knowledge that one of my b-day pressies was a return flight to Singapore / Bali in September. To use one of the most annoying phrases hash-tagged by women nationwide on valentine’s day, christmas day or birthdays – The boy done good – Eww. Now let me just flash you, my Michael Khors watch, one more time shall I?
(I joke but I do actually have a Michael Khors watch which my boyfriend bought me for my birthday a few years back – high five to basic gals everywhere!)
No, but seriously what a cracking present from the old ball and chain…of course visiting Singapore & Bali was my idea in the first place but he used his own initiative to suggest he pay for my flights for my bday so well done Nicky, pat on the back for you.
He had also picked up my not so subtle hints that I bloody love a Lush bath bomb nowadays and went out and bought me not one but ELEVEN of the feckers. He’d also gone to the trouble of presenting them in a hamper on top of tissue paper. I mean, hello relationship goals! My heart is melting just a little bit rn.
n.b. For any Lush lunatics out there, the hamper included:
The Humpty Dumpty, two Intergaltics, a Frozen, The Experimenter, The Sex Bomb (oi oi!!), Twighlight, Dragon’s Egg and I think the Which Came First one and finally, two Golden Eggs.
So far I’ve worked my way through about four and I’m thinking I may do a blog post on them? Or not? Might be a bit boring describing eleven different baths I’ve had, Zzzzzzzz. What do you guys reckon?
So yah. Cracking start to the birthday thanks to my boo and things only improved when I got to work…okay so working on your birthday is pretty sucky but I actually didn’t mind as my colleagues are a good little gang especially where birthdays are concerned. They made me feel real special with some super siiiick presents…
And…THE GREATEST CAKE IN THE WORLD
^^^^^ They bloody nailed it didn’t they? Sunderland, Hazza, Disney Princess. You guys know me so well!
Present wise they got me a load of mental Harry Potter stuff which was hilarious and The Muggle mug is truly my new favourite tea container. It’s absolutely huge and has a proper sturdy handle on it, perfect for long leisurely cuppas. (christ, could you BE more OAP, Harriet.)
I also got a big stinking box of Neals Yard cheese *swoon* which I put in the work fridge and people were all up in arms about it because it smelt really bad (<<< their words not mine). It didn’t smell bad at all, it smelt wonderful.
Anyway, my birthday day had gone swimmingly and I was increasingly looking forward to cranking things up a notch later that night, with dinner at Bob Bob Ricard.
I’d booked a table quite far in advance – erm, yeah I booked the table as opposed to my boyfriend because dammit I’m a modern, millennial woman and I don’t need a man to book me a table or plan my birthday! I’m strong and independent and I know what I want and I’m going to go out into this big wide male-dominanted world and get it for myself. Ain’t no patriarchy stopping me!!
Erm, soz about that…I get a bit carried away sometimes with all that #feminism malarkey. gah, women eh?
So yeah, I booked a table quite far in advance. I don’t know whether Tuesday’s are as busy as weekends but I didn’t want to miss out on going for my birthday so booked as soon as I could. (FYI It’s nigh on impossible to get a Friday or Saturday night table unless you like eating at 5.30pm or 10.30pm.)
So yes, the birthday sealed the deal and I booked a table for 2 people at 7.30pm on Tuesday 23rd February.
As soon as we slipped into Bob Bob Ricard (one doesn’t simply enter BBR, one slips seductively) we immediately felt the decadence of the place. The low-level lighting, the abundance of gold, the heavy draping of blue curtain everywhere. It’s all very suave and James Bond-like…I totally felt like I was Pussy Galore or y’know some sexy Russian spy. The
leather pleather trousers I was wearing might have had something to do with that too.
We had a booth for two and I love a booth set up. It’s very intimate and hidden but you still have lots of space and just feel really cosied in, in a good way. Not like the bad way when you’re elbowing the people at the next table and having to listen to them bicker the whole evening. (For godsake Tim why didn’t you book somewhere better than Nandos for our 25th anniversary?! Oh Tim, when will you learn!)
So yes, I was impressed and things only got better as the evening progressed.
Beginning with our waiter – who was a total delight. He was attentive, witty, knowledgable and made fantastic dinner AND drink suggestions.
He also pointed out the in-case-of-emergency ‘Press for Champagne’ button almost immediately…which totally set us at ease because holy heck it’s reassuring to know you’ve never more than a push of a button away from some bubbles is it?
Right, let’s have another look at that life-line button shall we…
I assume some of you may be thinking that this gimmick (c’mon, no matter how refined a gimmick it is, it’s still a gimmick) is just for show but I can assure you it is not. Seriously!
If you find yourself in desperate need of some champers (#allthedangtime) all you need do is give that button a little press and your waiter will come trotting over to take your order of the good stuff, whether it be for a glass or a bottle or a big old magnum .
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.
Indeed what a time, however, I have to shockingly reveal that my finger didn’t press the button once. Opps. Sorry to disappoint but you can blame our lovely waiter for this failure in all things glam and frivolous.
You see, whilst I was perusing the drinks menu (intent on having SOME sort of champagne) he introduced me to my new favourite spirit…
ENTER RHUBARB GIN…
I mean the champagne never even stood a chance. I nodded eagerly in response to his recommendation and the rhubarb gin cocktail was so flippin’ good I don’t think I’ll be able to drink normal gin ever again.
(update: I have drank normal gin since and it’s like vomit in comparison. Life if so unfair.)
But what’s even more shocking than me not pressing the champagne button at all is that I only ended up having one alcoholic drink throughout the whole duration of the meal. SAY WHUUUUT?!
I’d like to say it was because at the grand old age of 28, I’m finally a mature and grown-up woman who is able to sensibly limit her alcohol intake but alas the real reason was that I was already pretty drunk from finishing work early and drinking wine and cider in the pub with my colleagues. Like an absolute LAD. And if I’d had one more drink I doubt I’d even be able to type this blog post because I wouldn’t have remembered a thing!
What a shady-lightweight disappointment I am. Soz guys.
Anyway, rhubarb gin in hand I moved onto the food menu. As you might remember me mentioning earlier, Bob Bob Ricard is a Russian / British restaurant which basically means the food is very ‘home comforts’ but on a high-end level. Ain’t no spaghetti hoops and smiley faces here, no…but there is a chicken kiev – believe it or not!
So yes, homely and comforting food of the very heavy, rich and excruciatingly delicious variety – I say excruciatingly because on leaving my stomach was in actual pain from being so gloriously full of food. Bob Bob Ricard is definitely a restaurant for the gluten full, lactose tolerant, non-vegan, dairy loving, sugar savouring foodies among us. I felt very much at home.
For our starters we both went Ruski, choosing to have the dumplings – which came waiter-recommended too. Mine were truffled (of course) potato & mushroom and Nicky had traditional beef and lamb.
And they were show-stoppingly good.
Everything about my dumpling dish was sublime and I couldn’t have faulted a thing. The sauce in particular with the mushroom and truffle flavourings was something I’d like poured down my throat, at regular intervals for the rest of my life…if that can be arranged? Truly a stand out starter.
It was shaping up to be the best meal of my life.
After our Russian starter we went the other way and ordered British for the main event. Of course prior to arriving at old BBR I’d studied the menu in depth and although I’d had my eyes on a few of the main dishes, really, I knew that the Beef Wellington was where my heart, nay, stomach lay.
The only minor problem with that was that the Beef Wellington had to be ordered for two people. Hmmm…well seeing as it was my bday Nicky was only too happy to oblige my demands and being perfectly honest, he definitely wanted it too.
Now apologies for the next pics, these are the worst of the bunch – low-level lighting is so not conducive to dreamy blog photos.
But you get the gist…
Sweet, sweet, light as air puff pastry that encased a mouth-watering 28-day aged fillet of scotch beef. Hubba hubba, come to mama!
I also think there was some sort of truffle in the pâté too but one can’t be sure because, as I’ve already mentioned, one was already a little drunk by this point. Plus this dinner was over a month ago now. 28 years and 46 days old already. Sob.
Our waiter expertly sliced us up a portion each and we piled our plates up high with sides….
…Crushed mint peas (basically posh mushy peas), carrots and parsnips roasted in beef dripping, honey & thyme and the creamiest mashed potato known to man.
I reckon the mash potato and the sauce from my starter would be like some sort of food heroin if they were ever combined and eaten…highly addictive and definitely something I would sell everything I own to taste. Oh boy.
As for the Beef Wellington itself, well I think it’s probably quite apparent that I bloody loved that too. The fillet of beef was cooked to perfection; juicy and delicious and it confirmed all my suspicions that as a twenty-eight year old women I was finally peaking at life.
And then the worst thing happened.
As well as reaching peak life, we’d also reached peak fullness and were too full for dessert. Oh the horror! And not even that pretend full where you could definitely squeeze it in but tell the waiters no anyway, so that they don’t think you’re an actual bottomless pit but the totally and utterly bursting at the seams, will be sick if I have another bite – full.
And I really mean FFS, because I had my sights set on the Bob Bob Ricard Signature dessert. The dessert to end all desserts. The dessert that they pour chocolate sauce on (or something like that) and it melts away to reveal more deliciousness inside (so magical!!). The dessert that I’d been double tapping across instagram for the past two months. The dessert starring in this dribble-inducing video…
The Signature Chocolate Glory, ladies & gents!
Chocolate jivara mousse, chocolate brownie, berries and passionfruit & orange jelly.
Here’s a killer pic of it too…
…borrowed from Rosie over on The Londoner blog
I’d been dreaming about this dessert ever since booking the table but alas my stomach was adamant it wasn’t going to happen. So instead we asked for the bill whilst I berated myself for having such a measly belly.
Little did I know Bob Bob Ricard had other ideas.
Suddenly this appeared in front of me…
A glittery pink dessert, for me? OH JE T’AIME.
Despite being full, I managed to force a fair bit of it down (it was covered in iridescent glitter for crying out loud!!!) and it was like a solid ice-cream mousse type thing…I dunno, it tasted good and left me with a big ole’ birthday grin on my face.
^^^ 28 pfffft. More like 18…right? RIGHT?
Finally we paid the bill, undid the top buttons on our trousers so we could breath and rolled out of the restaurant in the direction of home. Birthday well and truly celebrated.
As you can probably guess, I could not recommend Bob Bob Ricard enough for a special occasion – unless you’re minted in which case you should go every god-damn day!
It’s the most beautiful restaurant setting and imo the food is off-the-chart good. There’s also something very welcoming and homely about it too despite it being pretty posh. I didn’t feel horribly out of place like I have done at some fancy pants restaurants and the staff are very good at making you feel very special.
I am of course going back at the earliest opportunity to order the Signature Chocolate Glory and also because I saw that they do a Sunday Roast for £29.50 which is pretty good price wise considering it’ll probably be the best roast you’ll ever eat…they only do roast beef but it comes with all the trimmings including Yorkshire puddings and truffle gravy. Mmmmm.
BRB just booking a table…here.
Thanks for reading!