Year: 2017

The Moretti Gran Tour 2017, Hyde Park

For the past few two years I’ve been to the Moretti Gran Tour in London and I’ve written about it on here. The first in 2015 was in Hackney (which I wrote about here) and last year it was just off Brick Lane (more here). As you might have guessed by the name, it’s an event from Birra Moretti, a beautiful Italian beer which is all too easy to drink, especially on these warm summer evenings. The Moretti Gran Tour has always been a celebration of Italian food and culture. The 2015 venue was enclosed and cosy, a real foodie’s delight. They also had a great little feature where you were given a ‘passport’ at the start of the night which you got stamped as you visited the various Italian food vendors – very appealing to geeks like me who like to ‘complete’ things! Last year’s event was a bit bigger and outdoors, but with an even broader selection of excellent grub on offer, including some beautiful seafood in addition to the pizza and pasta. …

iPhone Food Photography Class with Patricia Niven at Ginger Whisk

In recent times I’ve abandoned my iPhone when it comes to taking photos for the blog or Instagram – the snaps just never feel high quality enough, and I don’t feel like I can really achieve what I want to on a phone. So I was really intrigued when I heard about a new food photography class taking place at the recently opened Ginger Whisk in Chiswick which would focus solely on how to get a good snap on your mobile. They describe themselves as a ‘creative foodie hub’ in West London offering prop hire, photography, studio hire, event space hire, production services and a cooking school – it sounded like a dream to me! You can find out more about the business in this little video: The class took place on a Saturday morning last month and was hosted by Patricia Niven who I was really excited to meet – she’s a well respected food and portrait photographer, and I couldn’t wait to hear her hints and tips! Now please bear in mind that …

Horseback riding in the sea at Hooves, Jamaica

While we were staying in Jamaica earlier this year, we were really quite content relaxing in our beautiful resort, Goldeneye. But there was one activity we had our eye on – horseback riding through the jungle and across the golden sands of the beach! I think there are a couple of companies that offer this in Jamaica, but our resort recommended Hooves. They arranged a private transfer (with the most amazing driver called Laurel, one of the nicest, funniest people we met in Jamaica and we still speak fondly of her – we’re still in touch on Whatsapp!) and in around half an hour we were pulling up at the stables in St Ann’s Bay. Hooves is a family business which has been running for over 20 years, with a very experienced team who you can see have a fantastic relationship with the horses. Many of the beautiful horses were rescued and brought back to good health, and are now living a very happy life at Hooves. I was given my horse (named Lover Boy!!) …

Dining at The Forest Side, The Lake District

I’m becoming acutely aware that every time I try a new tasting menu, I say it’s one of the best I’ve had. But the tasting menu at The Forest Side really was spectacular, and I think a big part of this was down to the freshness and seasonality of the dishes. It boasts a superb kitchen garden within the grounds of the hotel, which I wrote about in my previous post about our stay (you can read here). This extended to all of the food and even drinks at The Forest Side. Upon arrival, while most people were sipping coffees and tucking into Afternoon Tea, we got started on the cocktails! I kicked off proceedings with a Flowering Currant Margarita, with blanco tequila, flowering currant, cointreau and lime. It was stunning! I stupidly didn’t write down what Tim ordered and looking at the menu it’s impossible to work out what it might have been – the menu and selection of foraged ingredients is vast! Those cocktails went down very nicely (and rather quickly!) so we …

The Spa at Goldeneye, Jamaica

It seems like SO long ago since our incredible trip to Jamica at the end of February and rarely a day goes by when I don’t find myself daydreaming about it. You can catch up on my previous posts about where we stayed and the food if you’d like to know more about the resort, Goldeneye. One of its many superb features is the ‘FieldSpa.’ The spa is located right on the lagoon and for us it was directly opposite our cottage – this photo was taken from our terrace. You can easily canoe or paddle board over to the spa, but we thought we’d go for a wander around the grounds leading up to it, which have cute little messages dotted around reminding you to be quiet and maintain the peacefulness of the area. There’s a vast menu of treatments at the FieldSpa with massages, body scrubs and wraps, it was difficult to choose. We were booked in for a couple’s session so we could relax and unwind together at the same time, but …

Taste of London 2017

Last month was my absolute favourite foodie event of the year, Taste of London. I’ve attended and written about it in 2015 and 2016, and now it’s time for this year’s instalment. And I was craving it more than ever. Food festivals are becoming increasingly popular in this country and I visit as many as I can for both work and pleasure. One of these was the London Evening Standard ‘Night Market’ a few weeks ago which I’d been really looking forward to, but unfortunately it was a big disappointment. There wasn’t many food stalls (or at least, not as many as I was expecting) and because the stalls were street food rather than restaurants with kitchens, the queues were long. Seriously long. In the whole evening I had two dishes and one drink. It was a real shame. As soon as I walked into Taste of London on a beautiful sunny evening at Regent’s Park, I breathed a sigh of relief. The atmosphere is always fantastic and each year I’m honestly like a kid …

VOC’s new small plates menu in King’s Cross

I’m loving discovering the new bars and restaurants tucked away in little streets and courtyards around King’s Cross where our new office is. Just over a year I reviewed VOC Restaurant, just a stone’s throw from the station in Varnishers Yard. During my last visit I was impressed by the cocktails and the steaks were very tasty – the restaurant was being positioned very much as a ‘grill’ style venue at the time. Last week I was kindly invited back to the restaurant to try the new menu. While it still has big meaty dishes on the menu for main courses, they have recently introduced a big selection of new ‘small plates’, which are categorised into ‘from the sea’, ‘from the land’ and ‘from the field’. This time I visited the restaurant with my friend Kelly and we tucked into a wide selection of dishes – Garlic Pan Fried Prawns with garlic, chilli and garden salad, Sea Farer Batativa Scallops with dutch gin, baby greens and tomato salsa, Five Day Air Dried Crispy Duck with …