Category Archives: Restaurant/bar reviews

Russian nightclub Ruski’s says bye bye to High Street Kensington

So did anyone else hear that Ruski’s Tavern is relocating? The Russian themed nightclub has been open for barely four months on Kensington High Street, before deciding to call it quits and move elsewhere. I can’t say I’m too surprised, my one and only visit left me feeling underwhelmed. It’s yards away from the ever popular Kensington Roof Gardens and Bodo’s Schloss, but lacked the same infectious atmosphere. The main problem was that it promised to be a grand affair worthy of a tzar and yet the place felt poky and crammed. Ruski’s admitted as much in its goodbye email, referring to the current premises as a “tiny basement”. Hmmm hardly fit for a tsar, never mind this princess!

The plus points included delicious caviar chips and refreshing cocktails, especially the aptly named War and Peace which came in a box. (Don’t ask me which bottle is War and which is Peace, in the harsh light of day both look like War to me).


The poorly decorated, dingy ladies toilets left something to be desired. Not sure what this poster in the ladies was about, but it certainly didn’t scream decadent…


Ruski’s could learn a thing or two from Knightsbridge restaurant Mari Vanna, their toilets are fit for a Russian emperor. I’ll be interested to see where Ruski’s relocates to, and if it can live up to its own hype. I have a love affair with all things Russian but high-end bars like Novikov in Mayfair set the bar high. Take note, Ruski’s.

Ciao ciao.

Sierra x


Fancy a hot dog ‘n cocktail in Kensington? Try Dirty Bones

Kensington High Street is one of my favourite places in the world, but it’s fair to say there’s a serious dearth of trendy bars. Piano Bar and Sopranos are bags of fun but about as trendy as my grandma’s knitted sweaters, while Roof Gardens is only really worth going to at the height of summer, i.e. twice a year and you sure as hell better know a member if you don’t want to queue for 2 hours.

So you can imagine my joy when leaving my pilates class on Kensington Church Street and spotting a cool new burger joint just a few doors up from My Old Dutch. A hot dog stand during the day, Dirty Bones opens up to become a bar/restaurant in the evenings. My friends and I were given a quick tour, oohing and aahing and vowed to return asap. Fast-forward to Saturday, and my friend Kika and I were all dressed up for our first time at Dirty Bones.

A simple Esprit silk geometric dress from Asos and Steve Madden booties from Shopbop.

Esprit silk geometric print dressSteve Madden Marshha Pointy Toe Booties

Dirty Bones has only just opened so I was expecting a few teething problems, but getting inside was more of a mission than it needed to be. I was expressly told by phone and email that you can only book for parties of 6 or more, but when we turned up at 8:30pm they said this wasn’t true at all and we should have booked in advance. The proposed wait time was an hour but when I casually mentioned I was a blogger they suddenly found space for us 😉

The stairs leading down to the main area is somewhat reminiscent of Tonteria on Sloane Square, you feel like you’re about to enter a den of iniquity.


The bar has that intimate feel, where you feel like you can chuck off your coat and get down to the serious business of drinking which took us no time at all. I played it safe with a Top Dog (Finlandia vodka, fresh strawberry Chambord and lemon, Jaio prosecco) while Kika opted for the more adventurous 101 Dalmations (Baileys chocolate, Finlandia vodka, Disaronno, cream, chocolate chip ice cream). Mine was refreshing and perfectly balanced, while Kika’s was dangerously moreish after just one sip. The drinks menu has some weird and wonderful creations (Mutt’s Nuts, anyone?), making a welcome change from the usual cocktail list of mojitos, espresso martinis, cosmopolitans blah blah blah.

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We spent most of the evening exchanging gossip, but I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of good looking men. The crowd was a bit cliquey but I’m sure if we’d stuck around in the bar for longer we would have made some new friends 😉 Soon however, our thoughts turned to hot dogs, and it was time to head to the seated area. I ordered a delicious-sounding Classic Yankee (spring onions, sauerkraut, Frenchies mustard & ketchup) while Kika went for the Brit Dog (Treacle bacon, mature beer cheddar, curried gherkins & English mustard).


But when our plates arrived, my heart sank. The portions were TINY, I mean literally a child’s portion. My 18-month old nephew could have easily polished off my hot dog, it was that small. It tasted pretty yummy but there was not enough dressing and the meat had a weird, plasticky outer texture. Once you bit through that, it was delicious though. I finished my hot dog in about five minutes, and I’m a slow eater! Our triple cooked fries came in the tiniest little pot, the portion should have been at least twice as big. Dessert exceeded my expectations though, I didn’t expect much from a coffee & doughnut but the coffee was actually ice cream & I wolfed the doughnut down in no time.


Dirty Bones is definitely worth a second visit, perhaps for a date night or with a group of close friends. I’m glad Ken High Street finally has a trendy new hang-out, but it’s missing something and here’s the thing. When you go to Tonteria, you know it’s Mexican before you’ve even made it to the bar. When you go to Byron, you know it’s all about hamburgers and milkshakes. When you go to Nando’s, you know it’s all about chicken. But even though Dirty Bones is all about hot dogs, the food was actually a bit disappointing. I can’t see myself coming back here for hot dogs even though it’s supposedly the unique selling point, making this just another cool bar. That’s perfectly fine and who doesn’t love a decent bar, but I think Dirty Bones would be so much stronger if it also made awesome hot dogs.

Last but not least, the loos. Nothing does my head in more than rubbish toilets at a decent establishment (take note, Ruski’s!). Clean, plenty of loo roll and no annoying lady trying to shove lollipops at you. Oh and the coolest hand dryer I’ve seen outside of Switzerland.

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Service was good but I suspect our friendly waitress Kris needs a bit more practice. Kika ordered her hot dog with no bacon but it came covered in the stuff, she was also told there were no hot drinks but a cursory look at the menu showed there was coffee and our dessert wasn’t added to the bill (okay I’m not complaining about that!).

Bill for two

Top Dog  – £9

101 Dalmations – £9

Classic Yankee – £6.50

Brit Dog – £7.50

Triple Cooked Fries – £3

Coffee & Doughnut – £5

Service (restaurant only): 12.5%

Total: £47.73

Opening hours: Tues – Sat (12 – 3pm) for hot dog stand & 6 – 12:30pm for the restaurant/bar

Verdict: 3.5 / 5 stars. Definitely worth a return visit for drinks.

Bob Bob Ricard – yes yes yes! Kitsch, nuh uh

Bob Bob Ricard sounds like a cheesy 80s band but in fact it’s one of my favourite restaurants in London. AA Gill famously gave this restaurant zero stars in 2009 but hey, even experienced restaurant reviewers can get it wrong 😉

Tucked away on Upper James Street in Mayfair, this Russian-meets-classic English restaurant oozes Great Gatsby glamour and good ol’ fashioned service with a smile.

Great Gatsby BBR

And did I mention the to-die-for cocktails? I’m on a quest to find the perfect cocktail and BBR doesn’t disappoint. Perfect for a Saturday night out with the girls.

The doorman sweeps open the door and as soon as you enter, you feel like you’ve been transported onto a Hollywood film set. The waiter escorts you to a oak-panelled booth and leaves you with a menu but don’t worry, if you need assistance just hit the Press for Champagne button. It’s like flying first class 😉

Press for Champagne at BBR

First stop, cocktails. The list had me drooling, so naturally I had to flex my tastebuds and sample a few – the Suffolk apple martini seemed like a good place to start.

Suffolk Apple Martini at BBR

I’m notorious for being a slow drinker but my friends looked on in amazement as I glugged my martini and reached for the drinks menu to order this baby, the Passionfruit and Elderflower Cup:

Passionflower and Elderflower Cup at BBR

This cocktail should be renamed The Holy Grail because after drinking from this delicious cup, I was feeling pretty immortal. We polished off our Lobster Pelemi dumplings at breakneck speed.

By 11pm, the waiter subtly suggested it might be time to order mains so I browsed the extensive menu, but my heart was set from the start on the lobster tail burger. Now I’ve ordered lobster fresh from the sea and am usually disappointed when ordering from restaurants, but this dish was everything I was hoping for. Succulent, moreish and accompanied by a fresh tasting Marie Rose sauce, this burger barely had time to be snapped before I gobbled it down.

Lobster tail burger at BBR

And of course I just had to wash it down with another cocktail…meet the Blacbkerry Bumble. By this point my snapping skills had somewhat diminished *ahem* but think gin, blackberry cordial and lots of ice.

I was intent on sampling the famous BBR chocolate dessert but the girls were keen to hit the dancefloor and the restaurant was keen to close. The staff helped us with our coats, even took the time to take a group pic and made sure we left in one piece. One of the best things about BBR is the uncompromising service – the waiters go out of their way to recommend the best dishes and are genuinely friendly. Not a snobby maître d’ in sight!

The rest of the night was a blur but for anyone thinking of trying out Mayfair’s newest nightclub, Kitsch – don’t. The name suggests something quirky and original but, ironically, it was by far the most unoriginal nightclub I’ve been to in a long time. The décor reminded me of a cheap version of Rose nightclub and the drinks list was uninspiring. The music was a mishmash of last year’s hits interspersed with cheesy 90s tunes, while the crowd was sleazy Italian with a smattering of TOWIE.

But worst of all I was served a shot in this…the biggest freaking shot glass I’ve ever encountered! Talk about promoting irresponsible drinking.

Kitsch shot

Come back to my blog next week for a review of The Landau, another classic Mayfair restaurant worth leaving K&C for and in the meantime, enjoy the last of this year’s sunshine!

Ciao ciao x