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A Fernandez and Leluu Picnic at the Henley Royal Regatta

Giant Prawns, Tuna Sashimi and Samphire by Fernandez and Leluu

It was a bad start. Public transport woes got me to Paddington late, and when I went to get £100 out of a cashpoint, it claimed to dispense the cash to me but decidely didn't. I rang up Lloyds to be told I'd have to file an ATM dispute claim - my word against theirs that I'd been given the money.

Ticked off beyond belief, I then flew up the platform only to see the doors to the train I wanted slam shut. I was mildly mollified though that a surprisingly low-key Henry Conway, knitting dandy scion of disgraced MP Derek Conway, and his chums had also been denied entrance so we were all in the same boat.

My shoes for Henley

Talking of boats, that's why I was there, dressed in regulation-length summer frock, slippy-soled kitten-heeled shoes and ridiculous feathery fascinator - to attend the Henley Royal Regatta, what what.

Stewards Enclosure at Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta

Ryvita (yes, Ryvita) had invited me to a picnic at their Ryvita Crunch Cafe in the Upper Thames Enclosure. It was hosted by the wonderful Fernandez and Leluu who run a legendary supperclub somewhere in London.

Other guests were the London Foodie, the Greedy Diva, Su-Lin from Tamarind and Thyme, Rachael from the Hatcham Supperclub and Laura from Feast on Scraps. A fine company indeed.

Picnickers at Fernandez and Leluu Henley Picnic
I lack the ability to sit in a feminine way

So after a fairly epic journey, we all finally made it to Henley.

The rowing and screaming was fun, despite giving me flashbacks from college, but the main event for me was the food (and lashings of Laurent Perrier champagne on tap).

Tuna Sashimi by Fernandez and Leluu

I've never been to a Fernandez and Leluu night, but if they're even half as good as the picnic spread that Simon and Uyen (aka F&L) provided, you can sign me up for life.

Uyen from Fernandez and LeluuSimon from Fernandez and Leluu

Savoury highlights included glorious tuna sashimi and salty-sweet samphire, the biggest mother-loving prawns I've ever clapped eyes on, the fattest, dreamiest oysters, and potato salad so good I wanted to weep.

Sweet treats included berries and Cointreau trifle which made me want to sing, pears poached in champagne which the London Foodie claimed were "better than sex", and some delectable lemony cakes from Violet's Curd.

Fernandez and Leluu's Picnic Spread

And of course there was the Ryvita. I have to confess that I quite like Ryvita and have been known to eat it slathered in pate (thus defeating its main purpose somewhat).

Anyway, they've just launched a new range of Ryvita crispbreads with flavours including Cracked Black Pepper, Dark Rye, Seeds and Oats, and my favourite Sweet Onion.

That last one combined with some Donald Russell smoked salmon was A VERY GOOD THING.

Ryvita Spread at Fernandez and Leluu's Henley Picnic

In fact, the whole thing was a very good thing. The posh totty was just a bonus (although most of them were in the Mahiki Henley tent downing Treasure Chests, I dare say).

Chin chin.

DSC08920Henley Royal Regatta

Thank you to Ryvita, Wild Card, and Fernandez & Leluu for a fantastic day and thank you to the lovely Cornishware makers TG Green who lent us their fab stripey plates

ps Fernandez and Leluu were interviewed today on BBC Radio 4. Listen here.


Suz said…
I'm going to dream about those prawns tonight.

Good luck for tomorrow!
Kavey said…
Ryvita being one of the more enduring of my various nicknames, I too have a soft spot for their crunchy crisp slices.

Sounds like a lovely day, in the main part, though hope you can get your money back. Would hope that the fault affected others before and after you and that the multiple number of complaints about one machine on one day would persuade them that you're not just trying it on.
Su-Lin said…
You are FAST, girl! Wasn't that the most amazing picnic ever? It's how I imagined the Romans ate... if we're talking about the Romans in Britain. And who figured out that racing rowboats was the thing to do.

Hope you get your money back too. :(
PDH said…
You should be able to get you money back, the dispense report will show no cash came out so dont worry too much. Looks a great day out!
meemalee said…
@Suzler - They were dreamy prawns. And thanks x

@Kavey - It was lovely thanks ;)

@Su-Lin - Me, fast? Only sometimes :) Yeah, that was decadence - I loved it when the security guard said "Oh, you were the lot with the mental picnic"

@Paul aka Pavel Le Bouche - Dispense report? Ooh, cool, thanks!
Unknown said…
Sorry to miss you guys - would have come over and said hi and stolen a ryvita! Looks like you had a lovely day - we were so lucky with the weather - it was gorgeous
Greedy Diva said…
The humungous prawns, the oysters, the tuna, the samphire, the trifle, the cherries, the cheese.... such a fantastic picnic. Great (and speedy) write up. I think I was enjoying my bubbly too much to take a single snap of the rowers! Oops.
meemalee said…
@Gourmet Chick - You should have tracked us down, we had plenty of food to go round, not just Ryvita :)

@Greedy Diva - The rowers were infrequent - I only just caught one lot :P
The Grubworm said…
Damn those prawns are big - bet they were tasty. Not only am I suffering from cheese envy, but am now also suffering from a more general picnic envy. The Sashimi looks great and I bet the samphire was good too. And then eating it all outside by the river. Wow, that sort of setting makes food taste twice as good.
chumbles said…
Unlucky on the ATM - that's a rarity. As for the rest - prawns and the shellfish, my oh my. Great post!
meemalee said…
@The Grubworm - Like I said, you should have come!

@chumbles - Thank you :)
Hollow Legs said…
Absolutely gutted I couldn't make it, but coincedentally I was sailing a boat. That tuna, in particularly, looks stunning.
Sooo sorry about the ATM thing but should work itself out! Hope the nice food all made up for it! It was so lovely to meet you finally. I can't forget the taste of those oysters (I think we both slurped a few - he he)

Thank you for such a great post!
Love, Leluu (and Fernandez)
knit nurse said…
Does this make you the new face of Ryvita? I too like Ryvita but I've always wondered why they make it strong enough to support several tubs-worth of (full fat) philadelphia in one go.
meemalee said…
@Lizzie - Oh goodness, yes. How was it?

@Fernandez and Leluu - Thank you so much for inviting me - I had a really brilliant time x

@knit nurse - Me, tne new face of Ryvita? Ha, I don't think so :)

Yeah, Ryvita's well good for holding calorific stuff
Nic said…
Wow, that picnic looks amazing, what a fab day out!
meemalee said…
@Fuss Free Flavours - "Wow" is the right word :)

@Nicisme - It was lovely!

AN UPDATE: Have filed my ATM dispute form - let's see what happens ...
Unknown said…
Any chance you've happend upon that Burmese Century Egg recipe?
meemalee said…
@Ed - Hi Ed - no luck so far - sorry!

By the way - everyone - Lloyds has refunded my money - thanks again for the concern (^_^)
ferdiesfoodlab said…
Fernandez & Leluu now work independently!

Simon Fernandez is now full time chef patron at ferdiesfoodlab and employs 8 people on a part-time basis. ferdiesfoodlab (a London supper club) is a social banquet where you can meet new people. It serves international cuisine in the east end of central London at the beautiful listed building Toynbee Hall. You can check it out at