Month: May 2016

Review of The Witchery, Edinburgh

This post is a tricky one to write. Because it’s probably the first since starting this blog at the start of last year, that’s not exactly positive… As you may have read on here, we spent the May bank holiday up in Edinburgh as a present for our first wedding anniversary and had a wonderful time. We’d been particularly excited about our booking at The Witchery, a restaurant we’d heard great things about. According to the website, it was established by James Thomson in 1979 in the near-derelict basement of an Old Town building, Boswell’s Court. Since then he has acquired and restored further parts of the building, plus an adjacent one, and they now are home to the Witchery, the Secret Garden and a collection of nine unique suites. Upon our arrival, we ventured down a narrow alleyway, and stepped into the intriguing world of The Witchery, with its gothic yet cosy décor. We were seated at a lovely candlelit spot tucked away in the corner, and we were very content! There were two …

Review of Ondine, Edinburgh

During our recent long weekend in Scotland, we visited Ondine for dinner. Researching where to go beforehand, we loved the look of this (largely) seafood restaurant, and it seemed to have a great reputation. They were actually hosting a Duck and Waffle brunch with Dan Doherty the following day, but aside from already having lunch plans, we figured we could enjoy his food back in London (although bizarrely we still haven’t managed to pay the restaurant a visit, it’s been on ‘the list’ for so long!) Ondine is located on an upper floor above shops/restaurants just off the Royal Mile. In the centre is a bar, with a display of fresh, chilled oysters to tempt you as you walk in. We were seated right next to another couple, fairly close to the bar. There were quite a few tables free in other parts of the restaurant, which often irks me, but to be fair, the rest of the restaurant filled up to capacity pretty quickly. (Photo taken from the website) This might sound a bit …

Do you know where your pork comes from?

The question raised in this blog post is something which has always been very important to me. As you may have read in my ‘about’ section, my father was a manager for the Meat and Livestock Commission, set up by the government in the 60’s to promote British meat and to maintain standards within the industry. As you can imagine, our house was stocked with good quality meat and growing up in a tiny rural village in North Yorkshire, I was always aware of what ‘good’ meat should be. But as time has gone on, meat has become cheaper, often without people really questioning how or why. And the reasons are usually pretty horrendous. There has been plenty in the news over the past 10 years about free-range chickens and what ‘free range’ actually means. But what about pigs and other livestock? This is where ‘Farms Not Factories’ steps in. I came across this non-profit organisation a few weeks ago and in that time, their campaign has created a storm! Their aim is to expose the …

Haggis, Neeps & Tatties at Whiski Rooms, Edinburgh

One of my very favourite foods in this world is haggis. Not for everyone, I’m sure. But the love affair started at a very young age. When I was a toddler, in fact! My mum was pushing me around the supermarket in the trolley and I wouldn’t shut up (no change there then!) A lady was handing out haggis samples and without a care in the world (or a clue what was in it!) I was shovelling it in my mouth. Apparently I couldn’t get enough of it, and we had to go back for seconds. And maybe thirds… Pretty much every year since, we’ve had traditional haggis, neeps and tatties (mashed swede and potatoes, for any of my international readers!) for Burns Night. In Cyprus it was sometimes tricky, but we often had friends smuggle them over when they came to visit! So you could imagine how excited I was at the prospect of getting to indulge in the stuff during our recent trip to Edinburgh! I searched for ‘top places to eat haggis …

Jamie Oliver’s BBQ Beans Recipe

Last weekend, we decided to crack out the BBQ and really fancied some home made baked beans to go with our meat. I remembered watching Jamie Oliver make some amazing baked beans when he was travelling across America years ago, and managed to find a similar recipe online. I decided not to include the sweet potatoes as we just wanted beans, and we didn’t do the bread and cheese stage as we were trying to be a little less indulgent than normal (!!), but it was absolutely gorgeous! Even if the pan did take a bit of a battering! My advice would be to allow it to cook in the oven for as long as possible. Ingredients (serves 6) 2 red onions 2 cloves of garlic 1 fresh red chilli 2 large carrots olive oil 1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika 1 level teaspoon cumin seeds 1 level teaspoon dried chilli flakes 6 medium sweet potatoes 1 x 700 ml jar of passata 2 x 400 g tins of mixed beans 100 ml BBQ sauce …

A Wonderful Weekend in Edinburgh

It was our first wedding anniversary in February this year, and my present from Tim was a weekend away in Edinburgh (1st anniversary = paper, i.e. paper ticket!). I was so excited – I hadn’t been to Scotland since I was a child and I’d been longing to go back ever since I returned to the UK from Cyprus in 2006. Ten years later, I finally did it! We flew with BA from City airport which was such a great idea on Tim’s part – we were up in Edinburgh in a flash! We hopped in a taxi and 15 minutes later we arrived at our beautiful hotel, The Waldorf Astoria (formerly The Caledonian). The view from our room was incredible – you couldn’t ask for a more amazing view when staying in Edinburgh (and as you can see, the weather was pretty great too!) We dropped off our things and headed into the city to explore. The Waldorf is centrally located right next to Princes Street, in walking distance of everything you’d want to …

A Fab Fishy Supper with the EatAbout Founders

  The lovely Alexandra of EatAbout (formerly of Zomato) recently invited me to a supper club hosted by EatAbout’s founders, Philip and Felix, and I was promised a LOT of seafood. I couldn’t wait! Especially when the team were posting photos from their trip to Billingsgate Market ridiculously early that morning (including them tucking into bacon and scallop butties, which might just be one of the best things ever!) The event was hosted at the flat Philip and Felix share, just up the road from Chancery Lane station – you couldn’t ask for a better location! The place was beautifully decorated with a few touches of Swedish décor, where the guys are originally from. In case you haven’t heard of it, EatAbout is an alternative to typical restaurants where you eat in the home of a chef! You can search the website by city, date and number of guests, and they’ll match you with the available chefs and show you what meals are on offer. The meals are sorted by proximity to your search location, and …