Song and Screen: Alex Raphael


When I saw Cara was doing another inspired blogathon I just had to contribute. Here is my offering to her best use of ‘Song and Screen’ series.

Originally posted on Silver Screen Serenade:

God these make me happy.

My God these make me happy.

Good day, friends! Guess what? I’ve got another guest edition of Song and Screen for you! This one is coming atcha from the awesome Mr. Alex Raphael! If you guys know me, I’m sure you know Alex, too. He truly has a little bit of everything on his blog, so if you haven’t already, definitely pop over and say hello!  Anyway, here are a few songs Alex can’t hear without thinking of movies!

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Things to See: Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens fountain

With the glorious sunshine we’ve been having in London recently, it seemed the perfect time to visit one of London’s most popular attractions. And like with so many of London’s other well known sites, it is filled with its own glorious history, dating back to 1759. Known officially as Royal Botanical Garden’s Kew, but known by pretty much everyone as Kew Gardens, it covers an incredible  121 hectares and has 30,000 different kinds of plants.


typical scene of Kew Gardens

pink flowers

One of the nice things about Kew Gardens is that there is no set route.  There is a map with all the sights on it, but you will most likely take a walk around before looking for specific points. The bright flowers were what first caught the eye of Madeleine and I.

water reflection

lovely ducks

The Canadian Geese really did make full use of the pond. The water was lovely, and looked great alongside all the plants and flowers.

plant life

lovely flower

We then went into the Waterlilly House, which is the most humid of all the greenhouses here. There are plenty of other heat-loving plants, but the Nymphaea is the most striking of all the flowers.


gorgeous trees

The Pagoda

Continuing on our walk, we saw all kinds of delights on our way. The whole Gardens are so spacious. There are gorgeous trees everywhere and it is a perfect place to go for a scenic walk.

kew gardens bench


With such glorious weather, and with such a picturesque setting, it is no surprise to see plenty of families having a picnic on the grass under a tree. It would also have been easy to find a bench and have something. You could also try one of the four restaurants and cafes. Madeleine and I decided to try the Pavillion restaurant. There were plenty of hot dishes available, but with the hot weather, a coleslaw salad was the one that most appealed. Madeleine went for a hot dog that was part of an outside stand.

A view of the treetop walk

treetop view

a view from the top

the pagoda from up high

The Treetop Walkway opened over five years ago, and has been a revelation. You can either use the stairs to and from the 18m high plaftorm (59 feet), or get a lift up and down. Covering 200m (660 feet), It gives fantastic views. If you look carefully you can even see the Pagoda, one of its more famous landmarks.

blanket tree


After that light lunch, we continued our leisurely walk and among other things, we saw a tree covered with tea cosies as part of an initiative by the mental health charity Knitiffi, and an empty temple.

delightful fountain

Double water shot

Kew Gardens is best known for its worldwide collection of trees, plants and flowers, but there are wonderful attractions everywhere.  There is so much to see, it is difficult to take everything in with one visit. Even more reason to come back :)

Line(s) of the Day #Columbo


Dr. Ray Flemming: They expect me to be on call at all hours.
Columbo: Same with me, Doctor.

Gene Barry and Peter Falk in the much-loved, long-running detective show ‘Columbo’ (1971 – 2003).

Things to See: Ozz Restaurant

One of the many, many, benefits of living in London is the amount of original new restaurants that are set up. Especially when one of them already has such a high reputation for class and excellence, having only been opened several months.

room decoration

Ozz Restaurant is striking as soon as you enter. The black and white floor tiles of this European-themed place are neatly set. They fit immaculately with the alternating black and white chairs, as well as the white tables and black curtains. On the walls are creative photos, including some classy ones of trees, that keep to its black and white theme.

Bread and butter

To start, there is some wonderful soft baked bread (created with olive oil and salt), alongside butter that really will melt in your mouth. But they aren’t finished yet. Before I’ve even ordered my appetiser, some dough balls arrive.  Filled with a delightful melted cheese, this is bread that has been perfectly judged.

Japanese Garden Salad

When choosing the appetiser. I am immediately drawn to the Carpaccio of Fallow Deer Fillet, with Peruvian chocolate sauce and Japanese Garden Salad. However, if that or the seafood and truffles options don’t catch your eye, there is also a vegetarian menu. As well as three options for the starter, it also has five options for the main, including a risotto where you choose the ingredients yourself. You can also have any of the vegetarian dishes adapted for a vegan diet if wanted.

Sumptious Duck

After my delightfully light salad, I could not wait for my main. I spent quite a while in thought, as I could not decide between Ryeland English Lamb, Filet Mignon of Longhorn Beef and Assiette of Devonshire Duck. In the end I had to go for the duck, which was happily one of the options for Madeleine on her Tasting Menu. If possible, it was even better than it looks.

4 little cakes

Madeleine found it so difficult to choose that she ended up selecting the Taster Menu. This meant that she got a sample of nine different dishes, including the duck. As her dessert she had four little cakes to go with tea and coffee.

chocolate dessert

Though the White Chocolate and Fruit Carpaccio was tempting, I couldn’t not choose the Chocolate and Raspberry Tart with Chocolate Sablé and Litchi Gelato. Raspberries and cherries are among my favourite desert ingredients. The execution was as good as the presentation. As perfect a note leave on as any. Ozz may not be an inexpensive experience, but we all deserve a sumptuous culinary treat every now and again.