Year: 2015

My Top 5’s of 2015!

I started this blog at the end of February this year and I never expected it to take off in the way that it fortunately has. It was a bit of an experiment, really. But I’ve ended up spending every free moment I have on it, and I’ve loved every second of it. I’ve published over 200 posts this year (and would have done more if I had the time!), writing about a wide variety of restaurants and foodie products and experiences. I thought I’d put together some of my favourites. This proved to be pretty hard to do, as there were so many incredible places and items to choose from. But I managed to narrow it down to the following: Top 5 Restaurants Tonic and Remedy I really was blown away by this restaurant. I was expecting good things, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the huge range of flavours and techniques used in the dishes here, all at very reasonable prices. And their Bloody Mary still remains my favourite! 2. Fera at Claridges …

Dinner at Tota, Tooting

Last week, Tim and I added another place to our list of local restaurants, after visiting Tota near Tooting Broadway. We both had a bit of a steak craving and we wanted to tuck into some good grub nearby so we could just walk (or roll!) back home in a matter of minutes. The restaurant was dimly lit and so cosy – perfect when it was cold and raining outside. I instantly opted for a mulled wine with brandy, while Tim ordered a beer. Please excuse the quality of the photos – a certain husband had promised to bring my camera from home with him and forgot 😉 So I had to make do with my camera phone. The menu all looked great – we hadn’t planned to get starters but they looked delicious and some of our absolute faves were on there, two of which we ordered – the melted Camembert and the chilli squid. The portions were pretty big, and we probably would have been fine just with the Camembert (that’s not to …

Christmas Brekkies with Brioche Pasquier

If you can’t get hold of Tim and I on a Saturday or Sunday around 10/11am, the likeliness is we’re out at one of our favourite local breakfast spots! Christmas is a time of eating a LOT of food, and breakfast should be no exception. So much emphasis is placed on Christmas dinner, but I love to start the day right. We usually have smoked salmon on some form of bread (toast, bagel, croissant), sometimes with scrambled egg, and a healthy amount of bucks fizz! Brioche Pasquier sent me some of their yummy products to try out, which got me thinking about Christmas breakfasts in France and around the world. Brioche Pasquier (in case you hadn’t guessed by the name!) is a French company, started in 1936 by Gabriel Pasquier in a small village bakery in Les Cerqueux, France. Fast forward to 2015 and over 4 million Brioche Pasquier products are enjoyed every day! A French breakfast is one of my favourite kinds, with so many delicious pastries, cheese and chocolate. When I used to travel …

An ‘Around The World’ Cheeseboard with Davidstow

I’m a cheese fanatic. Any regular readers will know this. Given the choice, I could quite easily live on the stuff. I’ve never encountered a cheese I didn’t like and I’m always on the lookout for new brands and types to try. The latest of these was Davidstow who challenged me to create my dream cheeseboard. Well, where to begin with that, considering my dream cheeseboard would be more of a castle, with different levels and rooms?! I had to control myself (for the sake of both my bank account and waistline!), so I went for an ‘around the world’ theme, featuring the following: UK: Davidstow 3 Year Special Reserve Vintage cheddar France: Camembert Spain: Manchego Italy: Mozzarella Greece: Feta I know most cheese connoisseurs will pair cheeses that complement each other, or are perhaps from the same country. However I like the idea of experiencing a range of flavours and textures, from the thickness of the manchego to the softness of the mozzarella, and the richness of the cheddar to the creaminess of the …

#FoodieFriends – Dan’s Trip to Tom’s Table

A big thank you to Dan for sharing his experience of the Tom Kerridge pop-up at Harrods!… I’ve wanted to go to Tom Kerridge’s incredibly popular Gastropub ‘The Hand and Flowers’ for some time, however given they don’t follow the usual ‘book-a-month-in-advance’ policy of most restaurants, Tom is clearly a believer in the old proverb that ‘good things come to those who wait’ – the next dinner reservation they have is in August at time of writing! So when my parents noticed that Tom was doing a pop up restaurant in Harrods, we jumped at the chance and managed to snaffle a booking. We had no idea what to expect as it was vague on detail, and transpired to be a temporary mini counter style restaurant set up in the food court. When I say mini counter I mean it – there were maybe 30 covers in the place but the area the chefs were cooking in was incredibly small, as you can see in the picture below. I know when I cook properly I …

Sutton & Sons – more than just ‘fish and chips’

You might recall I visited a fish and chip restaurant called Sutton & Sons at Boxpark in Shoreditch over the Summer. It didn’t blow me away. The food was great, but the venue just didn’t do it for me – it felt like a lot to pay (and a long time to wait) for a fish and chips takeaway experience. When I saw that they had a restaurant in Stoke Newington (where their fishmongers are based), I was keen to try it out to see how the experience would differ. And then a couple of weeks ago, I was invited to try out their brand new restaurant on Essex Road in Islington. On a Sunday lunchtime, Tim and I headed up there to see what it was all about. I can tell you right now, we were very impressed! And having grown up in Cyprus with beautiful fresh fish available all year round, we had high expectations. We were warmly greeted by Matthew Drummy, who talked us through the business. He’s been with Sutton and …

A Christmas Mood Board with Roberson Wine

I’d been thinking about doing a Christmas Mood Board or Gift Guide for a while – I kept seeing so many amazing foodie gifts both online and in the shops, so when Roberson Wine asked if I’d be interested in putting one together with them, I couldn’t resist. The question was more where to begin! First of all, I’ll tell you a bit more about Roberson Wine. The business was established by Cliff Roberson back in 1991 with a shop on Kensington High Street, and now operates online with an award winning website, offering hundreds of high quality wines from around the world. They also ship worldwide, with no minimum order. You can find out more on their website here. So my first item on the Christmas Mood Board has to be a bottle of champers from the Roberson ‘Champagne Revolutionaries’ section. Christmas morning wouldn’t be quite right in our household without a bottle of bubbly, so I’d pick the Orizeaux Extra Brut 2010 Chartogne-Taillet (£64), 100% Pinot Noir from vines planted in 1955. What I …

Amaretto & Meringue Eggnog with Waitrose Cellar

Have you ever tried eggnog? The thought of drinking raw egg might seem a bit hideous to some of you, but after being challenged to try out an eggnog recipe by Waitrose Cellar, I can confirm, it’s pretty amazing! As a teenager in Cyprus, my friends and I used to drink Snowball cocktails over Christmas (advocaat and lemonade), but I’d never tried eggnog on it’s own. Here are some things you might not know about this unusual drink… · Eggnog is made from a mix of cream, sugar, eggs, an alcoholic spirit and spice (the alcohol and spice you add is up to you) · It originated in East Anglia, UK and not the USA which is a common misconception as it only travelled there in the 18th Century · Christmas Eve is National Eggnog Day · The ‘nog’ bit of Eggnog is taken from the middle English word ‘noggin’ – a small carved wooden mug traditionally used to serve the drink · People all around the world create their own versions of this pudding …

My Dream Hamper from Basco Fine Foods

I have found my ultimate hamper. It contains meat, cheese and wine. What more could you possibly want? I was recently introduced to Basco Fine Foods. Although based in the UK, the company was founded by Javier De La Hormaza in 2012, who spent over a year travelling around Spain, visiting hundreds of local producers and tasting their produce with a view to import the finest foods Spain has to offer to us Brits. And they’re based in Yorkshire, which makes me happy, being a Yorkshire girl myself! The range of products really is amazing. They kindly sent me their Spanish Food Hamper, containing the following: Montanegra Iberico Ham: widely recognised as the best Spanish ham due to the diet of grass and acorns that the black Iberian pigs are fed on which results in a tender, deep red and delicious ham, rich and nutty in flavour. Montanegra Iberico Chorizo: a premium chorizo sausage made from selected cuts from the Iberian pig blended carefully with garlic, salt and smoked paprika for an incredibly rich, yet soft sausage …

Sushi Making at Jamie Oliver’s Recipease, Notting Hill

For Christmas last year, I bought Tim a voucher for him and I to go to a cookery class at Jamie Oliver’s ‘Recipease’ in Notting Hill. They host a whole range of classes, from knife skills through to the preparation and cooking of particular dishes, such as bouillabaisse. The class I had in mind when I bought the voucher was the sushi making class, which Tim was keen on too. For various reasons (getting married, buying a house and a kitten, and starting a new job, to name a few!) we only just got round to attending the class. Upon arrival we were greeted with a glass of prosecco, before aproning up and heading over to watch the demonstration by our chef. Tim and I both love sushi (I haven’t written nearly enough sushi posts on here for my liking yet!) but we’d never tried making it ourselves. The first thing to point out, for anyone who might not know, is that sushi is so-called when it includes rice and is ‘wrapped’. Raw fish served …