1st ever microwaveable crisps!
Fairfields farm – A family run business based in Essex contacted me to ask if I’d like to try their first ever microwaveable ‘Heat and Eat’ crisps – intrigued, I accepted their offer and was the lucky recipient of not one, but six bags just before Christmas. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting…if I’m honest, I thought it was going to be a bit like making your own popcorn, but couldn’t quite fathom out in my head how that might work…but I was wrong! Upon first glance inside a bag, I thought ‘they’re just crisps and this is all a gimmick’ – I tried one of the crisps before putting them in the microwave, and they tasted just like a normal crisp. But then, after zapping for 30 seconds, I dipped one of the warm cheese & chive (my favourite!) crisps in to the included pot of caramelised onion dip, and I realised then that they were just a little bit different – the heat brought out the depth of cheese flavour, and made the crisps even crispier…it also made the whole thing extremely moreish and I felt that we should finish the packet before they cooled down (probably not a good thing!). So, if you haven’t tried them yet, grab yourself a bag of Fairfield farm Heat & Eat crisps, and take them to your friends for your next get together…a talking point, and a delicious treat.
Heat & Eat can be purchased from most Tesco stores around the country, and come in two flavours – Cheese & chive with a caramelised onion dip, and Sea salted with a tomato salsa dip. They can be eaten as they are if you don’t have a microwave – but if you do, then you’ll taste the magic too 😉
Thai Supper night
A Thai Supper night with me! and Jane Beedle. Join us for welcome drinks, cooking demonstration and a 3 course Thai inspired meal as we take over The Chancery in Beckenham, Kent.
Tickets must be booked in advance www.thecookingshed.com
A FAB looking line up at Herbert’s restaurant on Keston Common this October with Chef Tim Maddams – Find out more here
Mercato Metropolitana – SOBO, London
How UTTERLY AMAZING does this place look?! I’m over the crowds in Borough, and although Bar Tozino is my little piece of Spanish heaven in the heard of London at Maltby Street, that too is becoming too popular and over crowded. SO – looks like I’ll be checking this place out v soon as a new foodie haven 🙂 If you go, let me know what you think. Would love to see some pics.
The Blackheath Foodies Festival
It’s first year at Blackheath – looks absolutely fab! Lots of drink, food and street food competition stalls to check out. I’ve got my ticket sorted. Let me know if you’ll be there 🙂
Craft beer now available at Carluccio’s
Carluccio’s have introduced two Italian craft beers to their restaurants. I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of each to try – ReAle was my favourite with a deep amber colour and fruit and malty taste leaving bitter notes in the mouth that went very well with the parma ham we were enjoying on our pizza. The second, Cortigiana had a much more yeasty after-taste and smell to it which I wasn’t a fan of but for those who enjoy a pint of Hoegaarden would probably love. Pop to your nearest Carluccio’s restaurant and give them a try yourself.
The British Street Food Awards
This looks AMAZING – check their site for events across the country and await sales of the London finals!
A series of containers hosting amazing street food and bars – go check it out 🙂
Food trends for 2015 – I LOVED cauliflower pizza base in 2014, so will be sticking with it for 2015.
24-26 October 2014
I attended the show on a Saturday with a group of cooking friends. We had a great day seeing the Godess of baking, Mary Berry being interviewed by Jo Wheatley, reading the baking tips shared on a line by the experts and bakers visiting the show. It had a great atmosphere and I picked up a nice haul of treats – from minature jelly moulds to some amazing gin and blueberry marshmallows from The Marshmallowists. I was a little dissapointed that there weren’t more ‘baking gadgets’ to be seen/had, but popping out for some amazing tapas and a glass of sangria at La Farola in Angel soon cured that. There were some fantastic cakes on display on the upper gallery (even a full life size soldier!) and I definitely left inspired to get my bake on 🙂 Bearing in mind that this is the show’s very first year, it can only get bigger and better next year.
Lewisham Model Market – street food
every Friday and Saturday evening Lewisham Model market serves up tunes, food, drinks and fun. I can’t wait to get down there and give those scallops a go!
Munch the Peckham Festival
This event looks amaze balls!…
I’ve just ventured in to the wonderful world of weaning – a little premature and so completely unprepared, my overly hungry four and a half month old decided it was time. So what to do in a moment of panic?! turn to Annabel Karmel of course. I’m currently roasting, steaming and puréeing for the most important human being I’ve ever had to cook for…the pressure led me to burn pears on day one! I’m keen to help my baby boy explore the adventurous world of food on his own terms and so am just about to embark on baby led weaning…Wish me luck, and any tips you may have will be gratefully received!
Oh dear God no…
I’m really not a lover of white chocolate at the best of times, and pairing it with orange just sounds wrong to me…like Marmite I suppose (although I love that!)
Beer on the move!
The Meantime Brewing Company are hitting the open road with the launch of their ‘The Beer Tank’ – the UK’s first mobile tank beer bar dispensing Brewery Fresh beer to some of London’s luckiest festival goers. Find it at the following events this summer…
This summer the Beer Tank can be found at the following events:
Truck Stop London: 4-5 July
Kew the Music: 9-14 July 2013
Lovebox: 19-21 July 2013
Urban Sessions: 26-27 July
Meantime Brewfest 31 July
Standon Calling: 2-4 August 2013
Truck Stop London: 5-6 Sept
Urban Sessions: 13-14 Sept
Truck Stop London: 5-6 Sept
Best of Britannia: 3-5 October 2013
You could also be in for the chance of winning the ultimate summer party centrepiece, with an exclusive appearance The Beer Tank at your next event – check out the Meantime Facebook page www.facebook.com/meantimebrewing or check out @MeantimeBrewing on twitter for full details.
Books for Cooks
Oh my goodness I’ve found my heaven… give me a mattress and a comfy chair and I could literally live in this place. A foodie day out with some great ladies that I met on a Facebook group called ‘Cooking Friends’ ended with a trip to Books for Cooks in Notting Hill. It’s right opposite the Spice shop – another foodie heaven and is literally packed with every cooking book you could ever imagine. I found a great Foragers book that I bought home with me and am looking forward to reading with a nice cuppa. I’d certainly recommend this place – but perhaps best to visit on your own when you have a space half a day. There’s even a great coffee shop at the back of the book shop so that you don’t have to leave for refreshments.
Books for Cooks
4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill,
London W11 1NN
The horse meat scandal
It seems that horse meat is cropping up in almost everything – soups, sauces, ready meals and even school dinners. Retailers aren’t commenting, the Food Standards Agency are suspiciously on the defensive and as consumers, all we really want to know is… are we safe?! Yes there’s the moral, ethical argument to be had around the fact that what we think we’re paying for isn’t actually the right product, but it’s the reports just out today of bute being found within the horse meat that for me is the most worrying. The news has been backed up with a reassuring statement that levels found are so low that we’d have to be eating around 500 horse meat burgers all containing bute in order to be effected by it, but bearing in mind the fact that we’ve gone a predicted 8 years without even knowing that horse meat is present, their reassurance doesn’t really set my mind to rest. So, I’ve spent the morning trying to research the actual effects that bute can have on humans due to the fact that nothing in the news explains the actual detail around this, just the usual media scare hype and promotion of retailers around the fact that it might actually be in there. Here’s what I’ve found…
The full name for Bute is phenylbutazone (PZB) It’s given to horses as an inexpensive and effective solution to ease inflammation or pain. Regulations state that if a horse has ever been treated with Bute, it can never be used for human consumption in the EU or the US. Bute was first used on humans in 1949 for the relief of rheumatoid arthritis and gout, but is no longer approved for human consumption due to severe toxic reactions. The use of 200 to 800 milligrams of phenylbutazone per day in some extreme cases actually resulted in death. So yes, we’d need to consumer high levels of affected meat in order to suffer any symptoms, however in my eyes it’s just not worth the risk. So, until everything’s been tested, approved and had some type of proper robust approval in place I’m going to ensure that I know exactly where my meat is from. I’ll continue to make my own meals (none of that ready made pop it and ping it stuff – microwaves have just never seemed right to me either!) and support my local butcher. We may even add in a third veggie day to our week just to be on the safe side 🙂
My response to this weeks blog posts and news items:
I’m afraid I take offence to a lot of the news items and response to the horse meat saga this week. Whilst I understand and agree with the general gist of what some are saying about the fact that if we put the pressure on for cheaper foods, then something’s got to give, I’m afraid that what I don’t agree with is blaming the public for lack of knowledge or an unwillingness to care. There are still a high proportion of people in this country that can’t afford to buy decent food. I grew up on a council estate with hard working parents and although we ate well and my parents cooked and passed those skills down to me through choice they still had to make choices around whether they spent their limited funds on a much needed new pair of shoes one week vs a quality joint if meat… And inevitably on most occasions the quality of food suffered – because the cheap stuff WAS available & otherwise it’d be bare foot or go hungry. We can all sit on our high horses and say these people get what they deserve due to their own ignorance or unwillingness to care, but when you consider a high % of the uk population are receiving a mere £70 a week because they’ve lost their jobs through recession and have to pay bills, clothing, travel and food from this then a £4 lasagne to feed a family of 4 becomes essential and their only option and yes, they may well eat it having to swallow the fact that the animal may not have had the best of lives or that they’re eating the primmest of cuts – but it’s NOT acceptable that they’re actually eating a completely different animal to that which is advertised on the packaging. THAT is the fault of the supplier or the governing body that’s responsible for ensuring our food is safe and correctly labelled. I wonder what the argument would have been should we have found out instead that the free range fillet steaks in Waitrose were horse?!
Happy New Year! So, the big question… what are the predicted foodie trends for 2013? Here’s my list…
1. More and more flavoured popcorn
2. More Ramen places opening
3. Korean food seems to be ‘hotting’ up
4. Coffee’s SO last year.. I predict tea shops will be the new middle class crack-cocaine
5. Chavs & Chintz – more openings like Bubble Dog or Burger & Lobster where we see something slightly chavvy (the hot dog) being paired with something ‘chintzy’ (the Champagne)
6. Fish offal – it was supposed to be big last year but didn’t quite make it to our plates at home… I recon 2013 is the year we’ll be experimenting
7. Chef mash-ups – Jamie & Jimmy ended the year together, and I predict we’ll be seeing many more celeb Chefs getting together to co-host shows
8. Outdoor dining – so long as the English weather permits. More smoking, digging and fire pit cooking
9. Food mash-ups – like Duffins (muffins and doughnuts cooked as one)
10. Grow your own – with food prices on the increase, and our new found knowledge to eat seasonally, this will only continue to ‘grow’ and ‘grow’.
11. Marshmallows – the new macaroon.
12. Eclairs – the new cupcake with all kinds of toppings and filling (not just your average chocolate and cream but strawberries and cream, butterscotch and all sorts).
You HAVE to get yourself down to Maltby Street on a Saturday between 9am & 2pm… some amazing street food, bakers, veg and butcher stalls, the gorgeous Bar Tozino, and an outside gin bar with cosy blankets. The railway arches hold a wealth of foodie secrets at reasonable prices and without the heaving crowds of Borough market. Heaven.
For more info & directions visit www.maltbystreet.com
Tuesday 2nd October 2012
The Real Bread Festival, Southbank – Fri 5th Oct – Sun 7th Oct
This weekend sees the Real Bread Festival at the Southbank Centre where the best bakers in the country will be gathering to sell their wares.
Monday 20th August 2012
If I leave South London my nose bleeds, but I WANT to go here! Looks like they’re cooking up some amazing street food…
Add a touch of Spice to your Monday night…
Patak’s have launched three new India stir fry sauces. I thought I’d give one a go for a quick ‘after work’ feed-up and rather enjoyed it! I used the Punjabi 5 Spice (medium hot) and added it to chopped chicken breast, a courgette, onions and a tin of tomatoes. Instead of serving with rice, I cooked up some giant cous cous, which gave a different texture and went down very well.
Other new sauces to try in the range are Bengali coconut (mild) and Goan Hot & Sour (hot). Visit Patak’s website for your nearest stockist.
11th July 2012
Christmas in July…
Today I was invited along to a sneak peek at the beautifully presented and oh so delicious treats that Carluccio’s will be selling throughout their stores this Christmas. I’ve chosen what I want already – the Panatone and Prosecco gift box please! Whilst there we got to taste some of the delights of Italian cooking – wasn’t too sure about the deep fried pork belly! Got to see snow in July (mixed in with a little of the beautiful rain we’re having at the moment) and saw the big man himself – alongside a Campari bar. A lovely lunch that reminded me of how much I like Carluccio’s and just how quickly this year is going.
4th – 25th July 2012
Ceviche by Asia de Cuba
I pass the St Martin’s Lane Hotel on my way home every night, and have been intrigued by many an interesting looking pop-up selling everything from Gelato to comics over the past 12 months. Finally though, Asia de Cuba have taken over the space – for three weeks only! to sell their amazing Ceviche ‘A creative blend of Spanish, Japanese and South American influences, combining raw fish, citrus and herbs’. They also have amazing mojito’s and hot. fresh doughnuts to die for…filled with a warm butterscotch sauce and served with a zingy mojito sorbet on the side. A great place to go for a quick ‘pick me up’ or starter before hitting the town.
Asia de Cuba pop-up ceviche bar will be open in ‘The Front Room’ at St Martins Lane, London
4-25 July, 11.30am-7.30pm.
Monday 2nd July 2012
A great excuse to eat cake!…
I’ve just signed up for my fundraising pack to run a Strawberry Tea, and can’t wait to get the invites out and the cake ideas flowing! CCC’s are becoming very popular indeed, but I can’t help feel a little restricted by some of their rules, and as nice as it is to meet new people, sometimes it’s good to just have an excuse to catch up with your girlies, eat cake, drink tea… and feel guilt free about doing it. Money raised goes to Breast Cancer Care – a charity that’s very close to my heart, and one that truly needs and uses every penny for the good.
If you’d like to run a Strawberry Tea, sign up here for your fundraising pack.
Wednesday 13th June 2012
Moscato from the Gallo Family Vineyards
Gallo Family Vineyards have just launched a new Moscato – full of citrus and tropical flavours, this is a really lovely light dessert wine that we thoroughly enjoyed on a rare warm sunny evening with slices of fresh peach and Cornish Yarg cheese. I’d definitely recommend that you give it a go!
To find out where you can buy Moscato near you, click here to visit the Gallo Family Vineyards site
Saturday 26th May 2012
Layhams Road Farm Shop
Our ‘West Wickham newsletter’ arrived through the door this morning and had an ad from a local independent farm shop that I didn’t even know existed! We drove up to Layhams Road Farm Shop (a very windy and quite lethal road to approach on!) to have a look around, and I think I’ve fallen in love… my new foodie heaven 🙂 It sells everything from cheese, preserves and fruit, to plants and pet food.
Wednesday 11th April
An interesting new concept for home food delivery
A few weeks ago, I got to try out a new independent home food delivery company. Hello Fresh offer a service whereby they create recipes, then deliver to your door all of the ingredients that you need make the recipe. Subscribers can order a minimum of 3 meals per week, costing an average of £4.94 per person, and then receive a very neatly wrapped box containing exactly the amount of ingredients that they need to make up their mystery recipes. Hello Fresh decided that they didn’t want customers to be able to choose which recipes, as they want to ensure variety and a balanced diet. By doing this, they hope to try and convince people who may never have liked an ingredient before to change their mind based upon it being cooked/served in a slightly different way to what they’re used to.
I really like the concept, and loved the recipes that we were delivered – my favourite being Spiced tomato Penne with Chorizo and Smoked garlic. A really simple dish to make that took around 10 minutes prep and 30 minutes to cook. We had just the amount of chilli measured out in to a little pot, a sausage of chorizo – rather than a hole string of them that would normally end up sitting in the back of my fridge until they’d gone off, and the correct portion of pasta, ready to just pop straight from the bag and in to a pan of water. The only things that weren’t supplied were the cooking equipment and a washer-uperer!
I can see Hello Fresh being a really great choice for students living away from home, or families who are looking to enhance some of their cooking skills, for busy Mums or Dads who don’t have the time to shop and constantly look for new inspiration, and for the waste conscious who hate finding half used items in their fridge at the end of the week that have to be chucked out because they’re past their sell by date. I also think it’d be great for people on self catering holidays (although currently Hello Fresh only deliver within the M25). It’s not so great though for people with an allergy or food intolerance due to the fact that you can’t specify ingredients… apparently these kind of issues are being looked in to by the team, and as they develop and grow they will be able to provide a slightly more tailored approach with a wider reach so that everyone can use their service. I certainly enjoyed the hassle-free and tasty option for the three days that I tried it, and will definitely give it a go again – even if it’s just to collect some more of their great recipe cards 🙂
This week see’s the launch of their vegetarian options, so if you’re a veggie who’s bored of cooking up the same old pasta with tomato sauce, give them a go!…
http://www.hellofresh.co.uk/ For 50% OFF your first order – quote 911639233/03
Wednesday 29th February
My new kitchen!
I’ve been a little quiet on the ‘blogging’ front lately, as my kitchen is currently mid-renovation. We’ve been living in a bit of a building site now for about 2 months but it seems that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, with the new window having gone in this week, the walls plastered and the kitchen (Heritage Grey from Wickes) being delivered. Hopefully just a few more weeks to go until I can start using my new cooker and get friends over for a dinner party! Here’s a link to my Pinterest board showing some of my inspiration and the things that I’m hoping to put in the new bebe 🙂
Monday 11th January
My ‘Great British Challenge’
I’ve taken up a ‘Great British Challenge’ for 2012 – to eat, make or find something British every day for a year. It’s proving enjoyable, but quite difficult to stay eating healthily without too much pastry… we do like our pies!! So if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love you to get in touch! thanks 🙂
Monday 14th November
MasterChef Live – London
We’re absolutely gutted that we couldn’t make it along to the event this weekend, We’d love to hear from you if you popped along to find out what you thought were the highlights of this year’s event. And for those of you who couldn’t make it along, the site still has lots of great info and links to the producers who were there…
Wednesday 26th October
8 Michelin star chefs, cooking an eight-course tasting menu, with wine for £100
Lujon, Keston, Kent
We’re so excited about attending this event. The prestigious national ‘Great 8’© series of charity dinners is a ground-breaking initiative between visionarydining.com and Hospitality Action. It features the following culinary heavyweights – Simon Rogan (L’Enclume, Cumbria), Aiden Byrne (Church Green, Cheshire), Michael Wignall (Pennyhill Park, Surrey), Alan Irwin (Lujon, Kent), Chris Holland (Alderley Edge Hotel, Cheshire), Steve Smith (Freemasons, Lancashire), Roger Hickman (Roger Hickman’s Restaurant) and Rupert Rowley (Fischers, Derbyshire). All will host an exciting and unique eight-course tasting menu at their own restaurant, each chef contributing one inspired course on the night, with events staged every two months around the UK.
The next event is taking place at Lujon, Keston in November 2011 and provides a challenge to the chefs with menu headers such as ‘Liquid’, ‘Feathers’, and ‘autumn’ set to stimulate both the imagination of the chefs and the lucky 80 ticket holders at the next event.
Tickets are priced at £100 per person, including a specially selected wine package.
Book your tickets now!
Thursday 14th October
London Cocktail Week!
It’s London cocktail week – So if you’re stuck for ideas for something to do this weekend, buy yourself a wrist band and ride the free big red cocktail bus that drops you at different cocktail bars taking part across London… http://www.diffordsguide.com/london-cocktail-week
Wednesday 5th October
Experimental Food Society
We’ve just booked out tickets to the Experimental Food Society event in London
It’s their an annual edible exhibition with a scenic explosion of food art – the exhibition will culminate in an extraordinary banquet finale at which diners feast on the artwork whilst enjoying a night of food related performance.
find out more and book tickets via their site…
Wednesday 21st September
Buy British meat!
Loving the look of these guys….
Wednesday 31st August
Tea at the Gilbert Scott
This looks and sounds delicious!…
Henry James wrote, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as an afternoon tea.”
Join us for our tea inspired cocktail afternoon tea, Taking tea with George. Enjoy the wondrous space Sir George Gilbert Scott created whilst sipping cocktails and sampling afternoon tea bites. With tasty treats such as Mrs Beeton’s cheese butterflies, Eccles cakes and peanut caramel choc ices, paired with the perfect tea cocktail.
Daily from 12:00pm to 4:00pm in the bar, £29.
Friday 12th August
After 11 years, we finally decided to tie the knot. With neither of us being particularly religious, and our love for the seaside and great food, we decided to break with tradition and have a typical English Seaside wedding. Friends and family gathered at The Lobster Shack, East Quay in Whitstable where we had our wedding ceremony upstairs at 3pm. A perfect, intimate service that was followed by sunshine, oysters and champagne out on the pebble beach and then back inside for a dinner of Ploughmans (served of course with Picallili and Tomato Chili jam from The Great British Pantry) Fish and Chips, and then an ice cream van where Robert and I served our guests with 99’s and oyster wafers. In the evening we opted for a Hog Roast (with mushroom risotto cakes for the veggies) courtesy of Hogs ‘n’ Kisses and our wedding cake (made by Strawberry Shortcakes) was Chocolate sponge with a chocolate buttercream and topped with an oyster shell and pearl instead of the traditional bride and groom. We had the most amazing singer and DJ, and danced our little socks off until 1am. We can’t thank the staff of The Lobster Shack enough. Their calm professional manner, along with their attention to detail, great food and great service was so amazing. We truly did have the best day of our lives.
Monday 8th August
Ferdies Food Lab
Chef Simon Fernandez , (the other half of the well known Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club) is about to set up his own exciting Independent adventure called ferdiesfoodlab – it’s going to be held in a grade 2 listed building in London, giving a banquet feel. Keep your eyes peeled here for tickets and future events, as I’m SURE it’s going to be a huge success…
Tuesday 2nd August
The Foodies Festival, Battersea Park
The foodies festival couldn’t have been held on a better weekend – perfect weather for a moving picnic through the many stalls (and a jug or two of Pimms!). With a healthy number and variety of stalls we sampled chocolate, some fantastic cheeses, scrumptious cakes, curry sauces, pastries, liqueuers, sweets and even some freshly shucked oysters.
Our favourites on the day were:
1. The Little Round Cake Company who made delicious white chocolate and raspberry layered cakes. Our favourite of the whole day.
2. King’s Ginger fiery ginger liquer. One word – yum!
3. Another favourite was the Goody Good Stuff sweets stall – absolutely delicious sweets made from all natural (and gelatin-free) ingredients.
4. Some cracking cheeses were on offer from the Oxford cheese Company, especially their Spitfire cheese. Wow.
5. A special mention has to go to the Hendricks gin stall, which greeted us on our arrival to the festival and sent us home in good spirits!
Monday 1st August
The poem created by Edward Mackay at the We Eat Poets evening. Click here to read the review.
*words supplied by the audience in bold
Wednesday 20th July
Kanaloa & Gallo Summer Red Party
We were fortunate enough to attend last nights launch party with Kanaloa and Gallo for Gallo’s new Summer Red wine – a sweet fruity red, served chilled and also great as a spritzer, or served in a cocktail with blackberries, Chambord and lemonade (as we found out last night!). It was a star studded event, with Pixie Lott, Jo Wood, Alice Dellal, Henry Holland, Francesca Hull, Gabriella Ellis, Natt Weller, Leah Weller and last but not least Diana Vickers and her fella George Craig. Holland and Vickers took to the decks whilst tasty canapes of mini cheeseburgers, fillets of lamb and caramelised onion pastries were handed out on the roof terrace, overlooking Hyde Park. A very enjoyable evening had by all – thanks Gallo!
Sunday 10th July
Antony Worrall Thompson sets sail with MSC Cruises
I’m not your typical ‘Cruise’ target audience, but the thought of spending a week sunbathing, eating and drinking surely appeals to everyone?! Lots of celebrity Chefs are partnering up with companies to add credibility to their menus on-board, like Gary Rhodes and Marco Pierre White for P&O Cruises, and now Antony Worrall Thompson joins four other top European chefs to run a series of special themed cruises with MSC Cruises. Antony will be joining MSC Splendida on her 8 day, 7 night cruise departing 4th February 2012 (Genoa, Barcelona, Valletta, La Goulette (Tunisia), Civitavecchia (Rome), Marseille, Genoa). Prices start from £539 per person (cruise only).
further information or to book an MSC cruise, visit www.msccruises.co.uk,
Sunday 26th June
We Eat Poets!
Fill the stomach, Feed the soul
We can’t WAIT to try out this quirky evening on 27th July at the Brunswick House Cafe at LASSCo. It promises to have platters of delicious food from Cannon & Cannon’s produce, cooked up by LASSCo’s Jackson Boxer and Nick Balfe as well as performances by the very best of Give a Poem’s poets and a whole host of actors and musicians. Tickets to the last event sold out fast, so secure yours now for £40 here…
Thursday 23rd June
A little birdie tells us that this beauty is on it’s way to the UK!
FOLLADOR Wines are a family owned business and have been successfully making wine since the 18th Century. Specialising in Prosecco Valdobbiadene Wines, FOLLADOR are well respected and one of the premier Italian Sparkling Wine producers. We first tried their delicious Prosecco at Fernandez and Lelu’s Supper Club and can’t WAIT to have it again… watch this spot for announcements of retailers and trendy-wendy bars that will be stocking it shortly!
Monday 13th June
Olive’s Reader Blog of the Month
This months insirpation HAS to come from Olive magazine… because we’ve just been featured on page 9 as ‘Reader Blog of the month’ Eeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!
Thursday 9th June
What a GREAT idea!
Hummus Bros and Cancer Research UK are teaming up once again to offer Londoners the opportunity to dine without spending a penny – all while raising money for charity.
Barter for your meal by bringing in clothes, DVDs, household goods and other quality goods for Cancer Research UK’s charity shops to sell. A Cancer Research UK charity shop expert will assess donations and the equivalent value can be used towards food at Hummus Bros.
Monday 6th June
Barefoot – The Perfect Summer dessert accompaniment
Award winning California wine brand, Barefoot Wine, has announced the arrival in the UK of its delightfully sweet Moscato. Reasonably priced at just £6.49 in Tesco, it’s delicious Apricot and peachy flavours go so well with a nice big bowl of greek yogurt and honey – or any dessert for that matter!
Go on – treat yourself, or bring something different to the next dinner party that you go to!
Thursday 2nd June
They’re WILLING me to buy them….
Look at all of these delicious new cookbooks just out. I want them all! Especially Boca de Lupo’s one.. birthday coming up soon hurrah 🙂
Wednesday 18th May
Jamie’s Food Revolution
If you didn’t get to see Jamie’s new ‘Food Revolution’ series last night, then I recommend it, you can view it online now here…
Monday 9th May
Let the Curry Festival commence!
The Festival will kick start on Sunday 8th May in con-junction with the Baishaki Mela (Bangladeshi New Year Festival), which will see Brick Lane transformed in to an outdoor al fresco dining experience. Up to 40 participating restaurants will treat curry lovers to a street party with tables, chairs and stalls lined up to enjoy the special dishes cooked up by the talented chefs.
Wednesday 4th May
Two Greedy Italians
We’re looking forward to the new TV show that starts tonight with Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo – 8pm on BBC2
Tuesday 3rd May
FREE COOK BOOK!
Only 2 days to go until the Real Food Festival, and if you book tickets now, you can get a free Real Food recipe book! It’s great, with lots of delicious recipes from Raymond Blanc, Giorgio Locatelli, Cyrus Todiwala, Thomasina Miers, Allegra McEvedy and Valentina Harris. It has some beautiful photography, and dishes like 21st Century prawn cocktail (with sweet chilli sauce) and Raspberry and Earl Grey jelly. The price is usually £20 (or £14 from Amazon) and so effectively, you get your tickets to the show for free 🙂
Thursday 28th March
Incase you weren’t aware.. it’s the Royal Wedding tomorrow *shock, horror.. really?!* I’m going to be hosting a ‘Not so royal wedding’ dinner party and so thought I’d share with you my royal themed menu incase you need some inspiration to do your own (click on the image to enlarge). If all goes well, then recipes will follow over the weekend for you to try 🙂
Monday 25th April
The Real Food Festival, 5-8 May
With only two weeks to go until the Real Food Festival at Earls Court, we’re clearing out our fridges and dusting off our freezer bags to make space for the delicious food items we’ll be buying there direct from the producers. The new addition for this year which we’re most excited about seeing is the Butchery Demo Theatre, being hosted by Allen’s of Mayfair where they’ll be imparting some of the skills and knowledge built-up over their 120 year history. The demonstrations will include sessions on how to butcher Lamb, Beef, Pigs and more, as well as the Allen’s of Mayfair stall for visitors to purchase some of their exceptional produce.
If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, there’s still time…
For tickets go to – www.realfoodfestival.co.uk
Advance tickets are just £13.50 or £19.50 – inclusive of the brand new Real Food Cookbook, kids go free courtesy of Sacla.
7th April 2011
Supper Club: Recipes and notes from the underground restaurant
You may have read my recent review of Fernandez and Leluu’s Supper Club? If so, you’ll know how completely in love I now am with the idea of Supper Clubs, and so Kerstin Rodger’s (AKA Ms Marmite Lover) book couldn’t have come at a better time. Although I’m not brave enough to want to start one up myself (just yet), I loved every minute of reading Kerstin’s accounts of endless evenings entertaining and feeding complete strangers in her home. Another bonus for me, is that Kerstin is infact vegetarian, and so although there are guest recipes from other Supper Club owners, all of her recipes are veggie friendly (although some also include fish). Please don’t be mistaken into thinking that I myself am a veggie – I LOVE MY MEAT! but I often have vegetarian friends over for dinner parties and spend weeks frantically trying to find something that doesn’t feel like they’ve just been handed a load of side dishes, or that something makes for an interesting menu that everyone would be pleased to enjoy. This book takes a lot of that hastle away.
I own almost a hundred of recipe books, from celebrity chefs to strange little finds in second hand shops, but I can safely say that I’ve never bothered to actually read any of them all the way through from cover to cover. I tend to just use them to flick through and get inspiration/ideas. However the Supper Club was different. I didn’t want to put it down, and read the whole thing in just two days. It takes you through the 12 steps of setting up a Supper Club, the hard lessons learnt by Kerstin, a brief autobiography of her foodie life so far, and contains lots of great sounding and unusual dinner menus and recipes, as well as top tips… like how to make a bowl out of ice and flowers!
Don’t think that you have to have been to a Supper Club to be able to enjoy this book, but expect to be gagging to want to attend one after you’ve read it! Photo’s of Kerstin’s kitchen make it look more like a creative artists studio with her Aga as the main masterpiece than just a home kitchen, or clinical restaurant kitchen.
In summary, Kirstin sounds like an amazing lady, who loves her daughter, her cooking, socialising and her Aga very much indeed and I can’t wait to try out a few of the recipes from her book myself, and to hopefully attend her Supper Club in the near future. The beautifully illustrated Supper Club will be taking pride of place on my dining room dresser for all to see and enjoy.
The book is available to buy from Amazon for just £12.50
15th March 2011
Tickets for this years Taste of London Food Festival in Regents Park have now gone on sale. Get yours now! http://london.tastefestivals.com/
13th March 2011
An afternoon of food & wine with Mat Follas and Redwood Creek wines
I was lucky enough to be invited along to the offices of Good Housekeeping last week for an afternoon of wine tasting and food pairing with Sean Hails, from Redwood Creek wines, and Mat Follas (last years Masterchef winner and owner of The Wild Garlic restaurant in Dorset). In a short time I picked up lots of foodie tips and winey inspiration, so I thought I’d share them with you…
1. Mat showed us the best way to cook a steak – I tried it myself on Saturday, trust me it’s REALLY good! Boil a kettle, and season your steak. Pop the water into a saucepan (without any heat on) and place your steak into a plastic bag – any old freezer bag, or clear bag without holes will do). Drop the bag into the water so that it acts like a vacuum around the steak, and ensure that the opening of the bag is out of the water. Leave for 9 minutes. Remove the steak from the bag and then fry in a pan or griddle to your liking – I like mine rare, and so this is great as the initial poaching means that although the steak remains really rare and tender, the blood doesn’t ooze out on to the plate. You’ll never cook a steak any other way again! – thanks for the top tip Mat 🙂
2. A nice cold Chardonnay goes REALLY well with mackerel, and the Redwood Creek one is especially nice because it has a slight oakyness, which seems to disappear once the taste of fish brings out the fruity flavours in the wine.
3. Redwood Creeks Pinot Noir goes really well with smoked Venison – Smoking meat and aubergines being another top tip that I learnt from Mat! He used one of these stovetop smokers… another thing I’ll now be giving a go!
4. The label on the Redwood Creek bottle shows Redwood Creek in California – apparently where the water is taken from to grow the grapes that go into the wines.
5. Mat is going to be leading a Pop up restaurant, Supper Club evening to help raise money for the NZ earthquake victims. He initially had a place to cater for around 30 guests and that’s shot up to over 150! Tickets are still available from Kai We Care
6th March 2011
Anyone for tea?!
There’s nothing more special than a spot of shopping in London, followed by afternoon tea with the girls and so I thought I’d list below a few that were recently featured in Stylist Magazine.
Best for a girl’s only afternoon
Ruinart & Miller Harris Sensory tea at the Soho Hotel , London
Best for your other half
Men’s tea at the Mandeville Hotel, London
Best for views of London’s Skyline
Portrait afternoon tea at the Portrait Restaurant, National Portrait Gallery, London
Best for comfort food for big kids
High tea at the Dean Street Townhouse, London
Best for an exotic touch
African afternoon tea at Mo’s Cafe, London
Best for Golden-age Glamour AT HOME
Pea by Vintage Patisserie, London
Best for Fashion Afficionados
Pret-a-portea at the Berkeley, London
Best for afternoon tea with style
Mad Hatter’s tea at the Sanderson Hotel, London
Best for Vintage-inspired elegance
The Kensington Hotel afternoon tea, London
Best for five-star pampering
The Spatisserie, The Dorchester Hotel, London
2nd March 2011
Check out my interview with Yell.com in support of the Jamie Oliver Foundation
16th February 2011
12th January 2011
Lets start the New Year by doing something good… write to your MPs, sign the petition and get onboard with Hughs Fish Fight.
There’s absolutely no reason why fisherman should be made to throw back dead fish to the seas. Things need to change, and our Government need to make it happen. do your bit by making sure that it does, and by buying something a little different and tastier to cod! I’ll be posting up some lovely mackeral and coley recipes over the next few days to help you try!
See a piece written by Becca in support of this. All food bloggers should come together to support this fight.
Let the cupcake competition commence!
Tesco Real Food are running a competiton to find the best decorated cupcake for Christmas. Two lucky winners will be able to cook alongside a celebrity chef for an afternoon at The Make Lounge which runs contemporary craft workshops with a stylish social twist. There are also 10 runner up prizes of a cupcake decorating kit (similar to that shown above!)
What I Ate Last Night will be on the judging panel of this exciting competition, so get your seasonal creative juices going and get baking!!
Visit tesco.com/food for entry details and if you need any help with recipes or further decorating tips click here , or get in touch with us at What I Ate Last Night and let us know what it is that you need help with.
Happy cup cake baking!
Home made Christmas hampers from The Great British Pantry!
These are AMAZING – they come beautifully packaged, taste gorgeous, and you can order online and even pretend you made them yourself!
Dinner in the Sky?!….
This looks pretty amazing – I wonder whether I can get my agency to have a the next meeting above the City, or perhaps the Grand Canyon?!…
15th August 2010
A summer treat!
Every Wednesday during the Summer, Zebrano, 18 Greek Street will be placing no price tags whatsoever on their food menu – customers just pay what they believe the meal they were served is worth – it is all in the hands of the customer! Zebrano want their customers to believe they are getting a fair price and they believe this is a great way of demonstrating this. Get yourself down there for a taste of summer!
10th August 2010
Sweet Fennel Tea
Surprisingly nice and really refreshing (and no – I didn’t get paid to say that!!)
1st June 2010
The Real Food Festival
A great day at the Real Food Festival – it’s even bigger and better this year. I’d strongly recommend that you pop down tomorrow (the last day) if you have the day off and want a great day out. Pate Moi, St John and Dolly Smiths pickles and Galileo Farm were just a few of my favourites.
1st May 2010
I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Platform – a new bar and restaurant that’s opened in Tooley Street. It seems like a great place to go for either pre-club cocktails, for a bite to eat in the bar area, or for fine dining upstairs. Canapes were nice, and the crowd and atmosphere at the launch party was great – watch this space for a full review soon.
14th April 2010
Write a message of support for Phil Packer, Catherine Bull and everyone else who will be completing the London Marathon this year. Phil and Catherine’s challenge is to help raise awareness of children with arthritis – a great cause that needs support me thinks!
The Ideal home show was great – a nice mix of gardening, food and household inspiration. Highlights included a garden made entirely of chocolate, the Ideal Village by Anglian Home Improvements -affordable yet high tech living for first time buyers, three bedroom homes with open plan living, a traditional town house and ideas on how to update your existing home and reduce running costs. My favourite though was the floating office, located in the central marina. I’d love to have one of these!
20th March 2010
THE IDEAL HOME SHOW STARTS TODAY!
We’re off to attend the Ideal Home show today. It’s on at Earls Court, London until 5th April so if you haven’t already got your tickets, book them now!
Real Food Festival – tickets now on sale!
This was such a brilliant event last year. I’d strongly recommend that anyone looking for foodie inspiration, or just a great day out get their tickets booked! It’s on at Earls Court between 7-10 May.
A hamper created by whatiatelastnight.com to help raise money for the people of Haiti…
24th November- New Cocktail Bar opening!
I’m privileged to have been invited along to a sneak preview of the soon to be opening Black and Blue’s cocktail Bar on Berners Street, London tonight. Will let you all know what it’s like tomorrow, and details of when it’s open to follow.
Spirit of Christmas Fair 4-8 Nov, Olympia, London
This event looks absolutely amazing – I’ll certainly be attending…
‘Indulge in an exceptional Christmas-shopping experience and discover an eclectic mix of exquisite and desirable products ideal for Christmas gifts from elegant fashion accessories, stylish products for your home, something decorative for your table top to the ideal gifts for men and children, plus unusual spirits, fine wines and Champagne.
If you’re a foodlover then the Spirit of Christmas Food Hall will delight your taste buds with delectable samples from the producers and creators of speciality food and wine. And if that’s not enough to keep you entertained, find out how to be the perfect host this festive season in the Spirit of Christmas Theatre.’
Gorgeous Gift Alert!…
I sooo want to buy this Ladurée box with macaroons (or have someone buy it for me!) they’re going to be on sale at the fair – hint, hint!
Looking for some ‘foodie’ events for November and this one looks good…
Slow Food London, October Halloween Market
Friday 30 October – 1 November 2009
11 – 20.00 (Sunday closing 18.00)
Southbank Centre Square, SE1
Make the most of the fact that the evenings are getting darker earlier by lighting the candles with dinner. It makes a usually boring Monday evening feel all a little bit more special
I love autumn time because of the great hardy veg that’s around – squash, sweet potatoes and turnips are all essential items for your autumn veggie basket.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…..
Congratulations to Maria from SE London, and Leanne from Kent for winning the CIRIO competition. Their winning recipes will be posted on the blog for all to enjoy and they’ll be receiving their goody packs of CIRIO products and recipes from Whatiatelastnight.com. Many thanks as well, to all of you who kindly sent in your entries. We had great fun trying out your delicious dishes.
Click here to WIN lots of fab CIRIO products, with whatiatelastnight.com
I’ve just received the ‘Ciao Tuscany’ cookbook and can’t wait to try out the recipes. This week I’m going to be making the ragu pork with polenta, and naked ravioli with spinach and ricotta. Unfortunately us Brits miss out on the duos amazing looking restaurants that are scattered across America, but the book is available to buy online at Amazon, and so at least we can re-create the dishes at home!
Mrs Kibble’s Olde Sweet Shoppe
A hidden gem that instantly takes you back to your childhood in the heart of Soho. Mrs Kibbles has every kind of old fashioned sweet that you could imagine – including my favourites of banana and custard, army and navy and Wham bars. Great as a reasonably priced Friday treat to yourself or the office, and you can buy large jars of mixed sweets as a gift for your friends and family.
57a Brewer Street, London W1F 9UL
Tel: 020 7734 6633
A visit to Spain
There’s nothing like a trip to Spain to get the foodie juices flowing. Serrano hams, tapas bars and paella by the sea, all capture the essence of summer and good living. For great tapas and Spanish produce in London, head to Brindisa in Borough market.
English wine week…
It’s English wine week and I’d recommend…
Sunday 31st May
I just came across this site and love it! It brings the best o the country’s farmers’ markets straight to your door. www.foodfullstop.com
Tuesday 19th May
May is National Hamburger month – wohoo! tell us what your favourite kind is…
Sunday 10th May
As promised, a list of just a few of the great producers that we met on Saturday
1. Join the campaign to support the British crab
2. Burtree puddings made the BEST sticky toffee pudding!
3. We met Petal, the water buffalo and highlight of the festival, brought along by Laverstoke Park Farm, makers of buffalo mozerella, buffalo milk and lots, lots more
For 20% off on your first online order visit www.laverstokepark.co.uk
4. The Burren Smokehouse, for the most melt in the mouth smoked salmon you’ll ever taste!
5. Meopham Valley Vineyard, located just 30 miles from central London, and using no herbicides or insecticides on the vineyard, the Pinot Gris tasted lovely!
6. Basque pig charcuterie had three great products to try chorizo, salami and the Saucisse Sèche which we bought and want more of!
Saturday 9th May
Highlights of the Real Food Festival
What a great day it was at the Real Food Festival, Earls Court. It was so nice to see so many people working together to produce great quality, great tasting produce. If only this could be a regular market! We spent a solid two hours eating, drinking and talking to some truly inspirational people that had a real passion for what they do. A great way to start the foodie season and a great day out for couples, singletons, families and friends. I’ll be posting up links and information on just a few of the many suppliers that we got to talk to and bought products from. If you missed out this year, then make sure that you don’t next! www.realfoodfestival.com
Wednesday 6th May
I’ve kindly been given a press pass to attend the real food festival at London Earls Court this Saturday. It should be a great show, and I’ll be taking pics and writing all about it here next week. If you want to go along and see what it’s like for yourself though, you can order your tickets online at www.realfoodfestival.co.uk
Tuesday 5th May
I’m looking forward to receiving some free samples from CIRIO to try out – any recipe ideas that you might have for using tomato and basil as a base, feel free to email them to me at email@example.com
Monday 4th may
Take our poll and let us know what type of chicken you buy!…
Thursday 25th March
Thanks to those of you that took part in our Easter poll – it turns out that you couldn’t live without hot cross buns or lamb over the easter period!
Sunday 22nd Feb 2008
This months foodie inspiration comes from a trip to Pont de la tour – although not the BEST Sunday meal that I’ve ever had in terms of the food, it was certainly a lovely environment with great views and a mouth watering dessert list!
– serves four-
4 tablespoons elderflower cordial
juice of 1 lime
lime slices to decorate glass
4th January 2009
Anything fresh and healthy is an inspiration at the moment! after the Christmas weeks of food and drink, I’m joining everyone else with the new years resolutions to do more exercise, give up alcohol for January and eat more healthily. So, over the next few weeks in addition to healthy meals I’ll also be adding some alcohol free drink ideas! Here’s one we made up last night…
Elderflower & tonic water
Simply add ice to a glass, then fill it with one 5th cordial and top up with tonic water. Very refreshing!
I’ve never liked brussel sprouts, but I think that’s because they’ve been over cooked and mushy. Instead of boiling them, try frying some cubes of pancetta in a saucepan, then add the brussels, and three tablespoons of creme fresh, give them a good stir and then leave to simmer for around 15 minutes – deeelicious!
How good and easy do these look to make as a party nibble?!…
We’ve been holidaying in Norfolk, and seeing all of the pheasants around has made me want to cook lots of birdie food and think of Christmas! In addition to pheasant, I’ll be on the look out for partridge, guinea fowl and wood pigeon!
Interview with Bill Maloney before cooking Sticky Mussels for the site…
Famous guest blogger comes to whatiatelastnight…
I’ve just been told that this month, our guest blogger is going to be Pie ‘n’ Mash films Director, Bill Maloney. In keeping with the ‘film’ theme, we’ll be showing Bill’s recipe as a video on the site next week – the first ever video recipe to be featured on whatiatelasnight.
Don’t forget to check back next week to see what Bill has cooked up for us – I’ve been told it’s not going to be pie ‘n’ mash 😦
Tried the Butternut and Gorgonzola soup today (below) and it was delicious. Loads left over to take to work for lunch on Monday too! Highly recommend you trying it.
Squashes are in season and so it’s time to start the soups! A nice looking recipe on the Waitrose website…
Ocado have a great recipe section on their site and it’s so easy to choose something you want to cook, hit a button and have all of the ingredients delivered to your door. This week I’m liking the look of the fish stew.
A weeks holiday to Fornells, in Menorca has inspired me to cook lots and lots of fish! great dishes that we ate in lovely restaurants around the harbour included seafood calderetta soup with rice, seafood platters, octopus and great tapas. Mmmm…..
A beautiful restaurant in the harbour of Fornells, Menorca – the freshest fish and the friendliest staff…
Soon to be visiting the Balearic island of Menorca, and staying in Fornells, a small fishing harbour with a specialist dish called Lobster Caldereta. We had it once before in Ciudadella and it is the best thing I have ever eaten. Can’t wait to get there as aparantly the king of Spain travels all the way to Fornells just to eat the dish. To try it yourself, there’s a recipe available on the spain recipes website…
Pauls is a great Patisserie chain and they make THE best quiches! You can also buy some of their products online and get a few recipe ideas for lunch from their website…
Dinner at the Tower Bridge Gaucho Grill on Saturday night certainly got the taste buds going and lots of ideas for nice things to try at home – like the chimichurri for dipping your bread or adding to steak. Simple ingredients of…
Fresh, finely chopped parsley
Red wine vinegar
Something to try this week….
Chorizo and sausage burgers – idea from Waitrose food website, served in pitta bread with rocket.
A dessert to keep in mind…
An idea came to me over the weekend of a dessert that contains half panatone and half strawberries and jelly – a bit of a twist on the original Strawberries and cream.
Waitrose.com has some really nice recipes this month. Salmon and asparagus couscous with lemon and mint sounds goood…
This Italian deli on Frith St in Soho is a great place to go if you want to cook something simple with great quality produce. They make the best home made sauces and fresh filled pasta have the munchiest parma ham and buffalo mozzarella. When you step inside you’d think you were in Italy.
I LOVE Coast magazine, it’s great for the odd recipe as well as an opportunity to have a nosey into peoples homes who live by the sea and have lovely interior design! The website is just as good as the mag and has a really great foodie area…
I received a really lovely birthday pressie of two baby Le Creusete casserole bowls. I’ve been coming up with endless ideas for things to cook in them, but I think the first I’ll be trying is a baby octopus and chorizo casserole which you’ll be seeing on the blog this week (so long as it goes well of course!)
Thanks Jess and Steve!!
A REALLY expensive sandwich shop just off of Carnaby St but every time I walk past I think of good serano ham, nice wine and olives!…
20th July 2008
Whitstable oyster festival – enough to make you want to eat fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner…
Goats cheese mash – eaten at the Pearsons Arms in whitstable. Looking forward to trying out possible meats/fish that it might go well with – other than monkfish wrapped in parma ham.
14th July 2008
– sicilian sausage pasta
– Lamb with fresh apricots and basil
– Using an omelette as a sandwich wrap
– Great seasonal table on Hugh’s website, I didn’t realise that squid was out of season for so long!