Year: 2018

A chocolatey Sailor Jerry Easter cocktail!

I recently learned about and tried Sailor Jerry rum. I do love a spot of rum (particularly in a cocktail) and this one has a great story.  ‘Sailor Jerry’ was born Norman Collins, and came of age in the 1920’s when tattooing was an expression that belonged to an emerging American counterculture. He left home as a teenager and travelled the US by hitchhiking and train hopping and it was along this way that he learned how to tattoo, working primitively with only a needle and black ink, doing designs freehand. He ended up in Chicago where he worked with local tattoo legend Gib Thomas who taught him how to use a proper tattoo machine. He then joined the Navy and developed a lifelong love of ships.  After the Navy he settled in Honolulu and at the height of World War Two, he was regularly tattooing many of the 12 million Americans serving in the military who were on shore leave in Hawaii. This is where he created his legacy. I also had no idea …

How to prepare for safari – hints and tips!

You might have read that we went on an incredible safari in October for my birthday. If not, you can catch up on our stay at Ol Donyo Lodge here, and our safari experience here. We had so many questions ahead of our trip and we read varying advice online (often contradicting each other), so I thought it might be useful to put together some of my own hints and tips together for how to prepare for safari! Clothing: This was probably our biggest question – what should we wear on safari? We browsed through countless websites which implied that you needed the entire kit, from hats to zip up trousers, at great expense most of the time. They also said it was important to only wear natural looking green and beige colours in order to blend in with the environment. Bright colours could frighten off wildlife and full on camouflage clothing could get you in trouble with the local law, as this is their attire of choice! It seemed like a bit of a …

Apple, Fennel & Russet Squire Sausage Roll Bites

As I’m sure you all know by now, there’s nothing I love more than trying a new cheese, I’m completely and utterly cheese obsessed. When an e-mail pops into my inbox letting me know about a new cheese, my eyes light up! And this happened recently when I learned about the new Russet Squire cheese from Curds & Croust. Curds & Croust is a Cornwall based cheesemaker that uses the best Cornish milk sourced from within 30 miles of the dairy, making top quality curds that they put a lot of care and attention into. And as for the ‘croust’, this is a Cornish term for a tasty snack often associated with the best baked bread and the finest Cornish cheese. The team at Curds & Croust craft a number of delicious cheeses, ‘Boy Laity’ (a Cornish camembert), Miss Wenna (a Cornish brie), The Truffler (a Cornish truffle brie) and now Russet Squire. All of the cheeses are overseen by master cheesemaker, Martin Gaylard, who has been dedicated to crafting prestige soft cheeses since boyhood. …

Lunch at Three Hares Cafe, Sedbergh

I was going through my blog drafts at the weekend and came across this one sitting there that I hadn’t completed from nearly a year ago! I couldn’t believe I didn’t post it, what an idiot. And it’s one that’s definitely worth sharing. You might recall that over the May bank holiday last year, we went on a fantastic trip to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, staying at The Malabar. When researching where to visit (and importantly where to eat and drink!), I came across Three Hares Cafe in nearby ‘booktown’ Sedbergh, at the foot of the Howgills, owned and run by James and Nina. I love the reason behind the name for the cafe. The name ‘Three Hares’ comes from the symbol found throughout the world from English Churches, to synagogues, to Buddhist Temples. According to their website, The Three Hares symbol represents their style of cooking, influenced by James’ upbringing in the local area involved with wild foods and game, and heavily influenced by Nina’s background of growing up in Germany with …

Would you trust a robot with your wine choice? A review of Clara Wine

How much do you know about wine? I mean, really know about wine? I’m sure most people would know if they prefer a Merlot over a Pinot Noir, the latter seeming to be the ‘wine of choice’ in recent times, the ‘flat white’ of the wine world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in that category of people who will quite happily jump onto a new ‘trend’ in wine. And for me, the reason I’ll do that is because quite frankly I’m daunted by trying to properly understand the wine world. People do courses and exams in this, there’s so much to learn! I know that I like wine, and I know what flavours I like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I know how to choose a bottle in a shop or restaurant. I often find myself in the wine aisle in Sainsbury’s staring at their ‘fine wine’ stand ahead of a dinner party without a clue what I’m really looking for. And as the old saying goes, ‘never judge a book by its cover’, …

On Safari in Chyulu Hills, Kenya

In October last year I spent my 30th birthday at the spectacular Ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya with Tim. I wrote about our experience of staying at the lodge and the superb food and drink in an earlier blog post here. But now is the time to talk about the most exciting part of the holiday – the safari! We’d never been on safari before and we did a bit of research, helped very much by the brilliant Turquoise Holidays who we booked with. For us, we wanted an all round experience of a beautiful hotel, excellent food and wildlife. We certainly hit the bullseye with Ol Donyo. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Ol Donyo is on a reserve so you have the best of both worlds – plenty of wildlife around the greener grounds of the reserve, as well as out on the open plains. In this part of Kenya you don’t get hippos and rhinos, but pretty much everything else! And at Ol Donyo there are a number of different …

Blood Orange Sorbet with Solerno Liqueur

Towards the end of last year I was kindly sent a bottle of Solerno, the world’s first blood orange liqueur. It’s not like anything I’ve tried before, with a zesty but fruity kick. Hand-picked from the slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna, Solerno is made from blood oranges (Sanguinello, and known locally as Arancia Rossa, for the deep crimson hue of its flesh) harvested at the height of their season in the Mediterranean winter. I also love the bottle, inspired by Venetian Murano style glass. It’s certainly an impressive design for our growing collection of spirits! This drink makes me think of holidays in Italy on warm summer evenings spent on rooftop bars overlooking the Sorrento coast, or on leisurely boat trips around Capri. Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world and it holds a lot of special memories – we even got engaged in Florence, in the gardens of the Four Seasons hotel. I was thinking about how to use it at home and I decided I really wanted to try a recipe that …