I recently had the good fortune to visit The Red Lounge Restaurant in Walthamstow, London E17 and have to say the dining experience was certainly different from what I've experienced before - oh totally in a good way of course! Not that I'm a Restaurateur or anything like that:-)
It's the first (that I'm aware of) restaurant that caters for women only and where women can meet, eat, socialise, and network completely free of any male presence - that includes waiters, kitchen staff and counter staff.
In fact it is what it's business card says, "An innovative environment created by women for women".
The restaurant does, however, open to families on weekends so men are welcome then.
I was really impressed with the interior decor. It was very Moroccan - which from what I learnt, is where the owners got their inspiration from. Evidently, on a trip to Morocco they were so impressed by the cuisine and Moroccan style that they were inspired to bring some of it back with them and create this little haven over here.
The walls are roughly plastered and painted in a lovely pale terracotta and there are Moroccan lanterns and lights installed on the ceiling and arranged on the floor as well as other Moroccan objects d'art. The lighting is dim and soft - that just added to the relaxed ambience of the place and there was soft music filtering through.
I was even impressed by the loos - the one I popped into had a beautiful mosaic design on the walls and Moroccan artefacts arranged tastefully on the floor - collection of pots and vases in different sizes and forms - it actually felt very inviting - which is quite a funny thing to say about a loo:-)
At the far end of the room was a huge carved wooden doorway with doors that opened within the arches of the frame, out onto a Courtyard garden that was still under construction. This impressive door was actually shipped over from Morocco for this restaurant - now that is impressive!
When it came to the food - well the menu was mouth wateringly good. I must make it clear, this is not a gourmet restaurant - so don't come expecting gourmet meals at gourmet prices. The food here is more casual and relaxed , but no less tastier than a gourmet meal I must add and at much friendlier prices:-)
I had flame grilled chops with a warm couscous salad with a mango lassi to drink and a tantalizingly good lemon cheesecake for dessert. To round up we were served refreshing mint tea in those beautiful coloured Moroccan glasses that I love so much and a plate of the most mouth meltingly good baklava.
I would really recommend this restaurant to women who want to experience a different way of dining. An oasis in the middle of a sprawling High Street . Somewhere to escape and daydream that you're in a Casbah in Morocco. Somewhere you can meet up with like minded women for lunch and to network and somewhere that'll leave you pleasantly surprised and planning on when to visit again.
Link to The Red Lounge Restaurant:
TASTER EVENT AT THE RED LOUNGE RESTAURANT - SOFT FURNISHINGS by ROSINA
I happened to be invited here for a taster class in soft furnishings run by a lovely lady called Rosina. She's a Soft Furnishings Designer and runs workshops and classes from home. She even caters for parties and arranges groups or individual tutoring.
Rosina laid on some delicious snacks all deliciously catered by The Red Lounge, while she explained to the small group of six of us, eager eared ladies, about her work and the workshops she ran.
Rosina had bought lots of samples of her work for us to "ooh" and "aah" over - scatter cushions, frames, boxes, decorative items, decorations, small keepsake board - to name just a few.
After telling us a bit about herself she asked us to introduce ourselves and tell the group a bit about ourselves. It turned out we were a really good mix of intelligent, funny, creative, professional women and we all bonded immediately:-)
Rosina explained that she was holding this taster lesson in order to promote her workshops and for us to get a taste for the work she does so that we could create something ourselves and spread the word - great concept!
She suggested we all work on cushions that she had already made at home and we were to add the final touches to these "blank canvas cushions". She had bought with her a whole array of trimmings in a myriad of designs and colours for us to select and sew onto our cushions.
I must say Rosina's a great teacher and is very attentive and offers advice and suggestions generously. She's also a dab hand with the sewing needle and has an eye for colour and design, so she was able to help those of us who were unsure of what trimming to use and where to position it and apply it.
All in all this taster course proved to be a great success. We all thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the experience, met new and wonderful women, had delicious food to savour, created fabulous cushions - shown here - and on top of that they were ours to take home - what more could we have asked for!
For more information about Rosina's workshops and courses and to view a gallery of all the beautiful items she's created just go to this link: