Month: November 2015

Graham’s Port & Food Pairing at Dehesa, Soho

What do you associate with port? Perhaps Christmas? Or as an accompaniment with cheese and biscuits at the end of a meal? Admittedly, I hadn’t really tried it beyond these parameters, so when I was invited to a port and food pairing evening with Graham’s, I couldn’t wait to learn more. W & J Graham’s was founded in Porto in 1820 and was one of the first port companies to invest in its own vineyards in Portugal’s Douro Valley. Today, five Symington cousins share responsibility for every aspect of the company and personally make the Graham’s wines. The dinner was held at Dehesa in Soho (the sister restaurant to Salt Yard in Fitzrovia, Opera Tavern in Covent Garden and Ember Yard in Soho), named after the Dehesa – a unique woodland area in Spain which is home to the black footed Iberico pigs. We were seated in a cosy private dining area downstairs and the evening was hosted by Graham’s wine expert, Joao Vasconcelos of Symington Family Estates and family member Charlotte Symington. We started with …

Brunch at Brickwood, Tooting

I’m sure you all know by now that I bloody love a good brunch, and if that includes a bloody good Bloody Mary, even better! We’ve been trying out some of the cafes and restaurants near where we live, the latest of which was Brickwood in Tooting Market. We’d visited it a few weeks before when we were looking for a quick coffee (and a cheeky slice of cake, ssshhhh!) which was when we realised they do a pretty amazing brunch, and knew we’d have to return soon! It was pretty packed on the Sunday morning we visited, but the staff were still really attentive and we were served quickly. We ordered a couple of flat whites to kick start the day, along with a Bloody Mary each. We were both seriously impressed with the latter – it was one of the best I’ve had, largely due to the cute extras it came with – bacon, a quail egg and what I took to be a mini hash brown. It was only around £4.00 and …

Testing out Tefal’s ‘Cook4me’

You might have read that I’ve been experimenting with a few kitchen gadgets and cookware recently. The latest of these was the very nifty ‘Cook4me’. Tefal kindly hosted an event at a fab apartment near Old Street, where some lovely bloggers and I had the chance to try it out, by cooking (and eating!) a three course meal using it. The Cook4me is a bit like the pressure cookers of times gone by, but much easier to use, as you don’t have to control the pressure/steam. It has 5 cooking settings in total, allowing you to pressure-cook, steam, brown, simmer, or reheat your meals. We were split into two groups to try a variety of dishes. Sophie, Binny and I started by making Asian Pork Meatballs. We constructed them in the usual way of making meatballs, (along with shiitake mushrooms which was a nice touch) and just popped them straight into the Cook4me. I’m used to adding breadcrumbs (or in desperate times, just some crushed up weetabix!) to hold the meatballs together, but this was obviously a …

Seeing Double with Double Dutch Drinks

A colleague of mine recently told me about a new drinks company they’d come across that they thought might be of interest for my blog. And it certainly was! As you know, I love writing about businesses with a great story, and this one is no exception. ‘Double Dutch’ was founded by Dutch twin sisters, Joyce and Raissa. See what they did there? Incredible name for a business! They felt that while the quality and choice of spirits kept growing, the market for accompanying sodas was rather bland and boring. And so, after much research and experimentation, Double Dutch drinks were born! There are two flavours – Pomegranate & Basil and Cucumber & Watermelon. The flavours themselves excited me, because they’re some of my favourites in general. Basil is my ‘go to’ herb for cooking (particularly Italian and Greek food) and I find that cucumber in any drink makes it instantly taste better! Joyce and Raissa kindly sent me one bottle of each flavour and I tried a bit of each with both gin and vodka, …

Win a 6.5L VonShef Slow Cooker from Domu.co.uk

Did you see my post about cooking an ENTIRE Christmas Dinner in a slow cooker earlier this week? It was a lot of fun, and incredibly yummy! Now the lovely peeps at Domu.co.uk have given me another slow cooker to give away to one of my lucky readers. It’s a VonShef 6.5L Digital Slow Cooker with an RRP of £49.99! You can find out the full details about it here. I’m running this competition through Twitter. All you have to do is Follow me and RT this post. Good Luck! And if you’re a slow cooker fan, make sure to check out Domu.co.uk’s recipe hub for ideas and inspiration! Terms & Conditions The winner will be picked at random from all Twitter entries on Friday 27th November 2015. I will contact the winner via Twitter, who will need to provide their full name, address and contact telephone number in order for the slow cooker to be sent out to them. ______________ I was sent a slow cooker for review purposes and given the opportunity to give …

Masha Meringue Challenge – Fig & Honey Pavlova

As I’ve mentioned on here before, I love making meringue! Meringue Girls is one of my favourite cookery books (baking books?) and I’ll find any excuse to try out a new recipe. I started out doing them completely by hand (with a hand whisk) as I found it easier to control, but after one episode of trying to whisk 8 egg whites and my arm nearly falling off, I had to upgrade to electric! I was recently invited to try out a ‘Masha’ from the a range – a kitchen device with a two different aerator blades, making it the perfect tool for things like meringues and mashed potatoes. My Mum recently came to stay and after a busy day in London together, I didn’t have a huge amount of time to prepare a dessert for dinner, so I thought a pavlova would be quick and easy to do. I decided to make it with figs and honey, here’s how I did it: Ingredients 6 large free-range egg whites 300g caster sugar 5 tablespoons of …

Halloween Afternoon Tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, Shoreditch

You remember that online dating video that went viral, where a woman declared her love for cats? And then the mashup video, turning it into a song, which also proceeded to go viral? If you don’t, where have you been? Here it is in all its glory: I’m pretty sure it’s all staged, but it still makes me giggle all the same. “I just want to hug all of them, but I can’t hug every cat” resonates with me. I love them! You may have read on here that after nearly 7 years of living together, Tim and I finally got our first kitten this summer, as we bought a house that we felt would be suitable for a cat to live in (our previous tiny East London flat wouldn’t really have been fair) and we just adore him. I was there therefore very excited to be invited to a Halloween Afternoon Tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Shoreditch. For those who don’t know about it, it’s London’s first ‘cat cafe’ and opened up …