Tower Tandoori, London's Oldest Tandoori Restaurant

 

Tower Tandoori

Tandoori Tower, London’s oldest Indian restaurant is a natural fit for the historic Tower Bridge area. When Israaf Ali lit the charcoal in their Tandoor oven, for the first time in 1978, he could never have imagined that 45 years later, the flame would still be glowing bright, and that delicious, soft, slightly charred, naans would still be peeled off from the searing walls; and that his grandson Suhel Ahmed would be at the helm of one of London’s the oldest curry-houses.


Tower Tandoori

Customers are greeted with an enticing bar with carved wood screens. The main restaurant space is gorgeous and inviting with its crimson and gold d├ęcor complementing the wood flooring, tables and the Indian artefacts. As a reviewer, I have grown accustomed to smiles and special treatment so when our waiters beamed at us and took away the menu away in favour of ‘tonight, you’ll be sampling our choice of food for you’. I was not surprised in the least. But, I was surprised to see that they were doing something similar with all of the punters. No, they don’t magically remove the menu card, but they gently encourage the guest to ensure they make the best choice for them.

   

Tower Tandoori Bar

The waiter at the table next to us asked if the couple would mind ordering a little less, ‘You can order more later if you want’. Whatever happened to the old, ‘Is that all, don’t you want an extra naan with that?’ which always makes me feel mean and guilty for considering the economic impact of food waste.


samosa

So now that we have established Suhel and his team as my new heros, what about the food? While the family next to us was enjoying Onion and Kale Bajis with Masala Chips, I warned you that all tastes were customised for, we savoured our Mocktails, popadoms, pickles, chutney, tamarind and raisins sauce. Following that, we were served perfectly seasoned creamy Butter Chicken, delicately spiced, Tandoori Mixed Grill, rice, and a Tarka dahl. The flavours were delicately balanced, and the ingredients were of the highest quality. 

Indian food

There is no need to be concerned about the heat from the chillis since we are either accustomed to it or the blend of Indian cuisine and western taste has finally found its stride, tasty without making your nose and eyes run. Though, I am sure that if you ordered a Naga Curry, the team would make it for you. As for me, I can’t wait for the Tower Tandoori ‘heritage menu’ to arrive next year.



Address : Tower Tandoori Restaurant - 74-76 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 4TP - 
Phone 020 7237 2247 -https://www.towertandoori.co.uk/

Disclaimer: we were Tandoori Tower guests, I would like to thank the team for their hospitality, Words in this review are my own. 


The Botany Bay Hotel -Broadstairs-

 Owned by Shepherd Neame and renovated less than a decade ago, The Botany Bay Hotel has every quality needed for a perfect seaside escape


The name Broadstairs comes from the word Bradstow, after ‘a set of steps up the cliffs’, or it could mean Broad Place, to reflect the cress-shaped bays. Either way, the area has sweeping bays and majestic white cliffs.


Situated on a grassy clifftop, between Margate and Broadstairs, the hotel overlooks the English Channel and the North Sea. In an otherwise sparsely populated area, the hotel is perfect for a relaxing stay.


The golden sandy beach is home to beautiful ‘Chalk Stacks’ which are loved by selfie fans. However, if you are one of these people who prefer to rewind the clock of time, the bay has a history with fossil hunters; hours of fun can be had whilst spotting crabs in rock pools. Golfers flock here for the renowned North Foreland Golf Club.


The first impressions of the hotel doesn’t disappoint. The reception is a stylish open space with a popular pub on the right and a more formal restaurant on the left. Covered patios and wooden terraces skirt the whole of the building making the most of the scenery thanks to several picture windows.

Stylish rooms with mesmerising sea views

The 30 en-suite bedrooms are available to families and couples, and seven of them are dedicated to dog-owners.  In the mornings, the front of the building's grassy area is busy with people taking the opportunity to walk their furry friends.

Most rooms have sea views. It would be tedious to list all the rooms facilities, so let’s say that all the items required for a stress-free stay are present, from luggage-rack to a collection of bathroom articles. For longer stays, some of the rooms are furnished with extra large wardrobe. If something is missing, just give a call to reception, they will be happy to help. There is always a member of staff on hand to make sure that all is running smoothly or just give a warm smile.


We stayed in suite 601,
a feature room with sea view, up up and up the stairs to the top of the building, a mix of rooms, including a private balcony and observatory room to take advantage of the amazing 360 degrees views.

Our suite was comfortable, the walls were painted in muted seaside colours and the lounge was perfect for a Nespresso coffee break. We also had a comfy super king bed with crispy white sheets. We didn’t make use of the smaller room with its two beds but it was well appointed too. A porthole window in the bathroom with a stand alone bath and a great shower room complete the picture.



Of course, not all of the 30 rooms are as spacious as the one we stayed in, but from what I could see peaking in, whilst admiring the art on the staircase, all rooms all look equally comfortable, and more importantly spotless.




What about the food?

The restaurant was very busy that night, it was a bit understaffed but everyone put in their best effort. Breakfast at The Botany Bay Hotel is excellent- there is a buffet with lots of fruit, toast and cereal, plus a comprehensive cooked full breakfast menu, name it, the chef will prepare it for you.



Eggs Benedictine is the acid test for me. I can think of too many hotels where I’ve had eggs Benedict that were cooked to perfection. It’s a difficult dish to get right and the chef at the Botany nailed it. Perfect breakfast with perfect views, there’s no much else to add.


The location:

There is a large car park outside the hotel but if you’ve opted for a no-car visit there are a few ways to get to Botany Bay. With a bit of time and not too much luggage, the best option is the scenic walk along the sea either from Margate or Broadstairs. While in the area, you might want to check out the Viking coastal foot path, so that's the opportunity to do so. The Loop connects Margate to Broadstairs, the nearest bus stop is 20 minutes walk away. Taxis are available too.

www.enjoybroadstairs.co.uk or www.visitthanet.co.uk : these two websites contain up-to-date information on a wide selection of topics and a activities calendar.

Details:

Botany Bay Hotel, Marine Drive, Broadstairs, CT10 3LG -phone 01843868641

https://www.botanybayhotel.co.uk/

Room Prices depend on the season. Double rooms start at £108 with breakfast included

Disclaimer: I would like to thank Thanet Tourism Officer and the Botany Bay for giving me the opportunity to stay. Words and pictures are my own.

Proms in the park - August 23


 After a long long absence Pebble Soup is back with bells and whistles. Violins and sambals to be more precise. This bank holiday weekend, I've been invited to the BBC Proms in Battersea Park . Three evenings of music by world famous musicians. And, who knows Pebble Soup may inspire to come to.   

Starting on the 26 August with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra offering a Night at the Musicals, followed by the Proms with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on Sunday leading to the closing night dedicated to Soul & Jazz on the 28th.

It's a first for Battersea Park and it's a first for Pebble Soup too. Hope to see you there?

 
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