Monday, 2 March 2015

Mothers Day: Strawberry Buttercream & Pistachio Mini Cakes

While Spring does not officially start until my birthday on March 21st, in my mind Mothers Day each year also signifies the start of Spring. (Actually, the Sunday I was born on in 1993 was Mothers Day!) To me, Mothers Day is brewing my Mother cups of fresh pepper mint tea, picking her little posies of butter yellow primroses from the garden, and baking her either her favourite coffee cake, or some other sweet creation in Spring colours for an afternoon tea where tall glasses filled with pretty pink bubbles are in no way optional.
Fresh Strawberry Buttercream & Pistachio Mini Cakes

Friday, 27 February 2015

Places To Eat In London: Toto's, Knightsbridge

I'm adding, alongside Roast and Rabot 1745 in Borough Market, a new restaurant to my roster of places I'd recommend in London for a real blow out, celebration meal: the newly refurbished Toto's in Knightsbridge. When I was invited along for lunch I arranged to visit with my school friend Eddie, a something a little special for us both as we had not caught up in ages. And, it is always nice to dine with someone who you used to eat practically every single meal with, because it is then perfectly acceptable to share dishes and try a bit of absolutely everything on the table, regardless of if it is from your own order or not!
Lunch at Toto's, Knightsbridge

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Recipe: French Sautéed Potatoes with Parsley, Shallots & Garlic

A few weeks ago my Mother and I threw a dinner party. It was a cozy, kitchen table affair full of our favourite French farmhouse dishes. I made a classically dressed salad, dressed up with crispy lardons, homemade garlic croutons and soft boiled quails eggs to start, and she made Mustard Chicken with our home grown leeks. To go with the chicken (along with some buttery tenderstem broccoli and baby chantenay carrots) I'd been working on a recipe for some crispy, classic sautéed potatoes, anointed with lots of herbs, and finely chopped pieces of garlic and banana shallot. And butter. A lovely, glorious knob of unsalted French butter.
French Sautéed Potatoes with Parsley, Shallots & Garlic

Monday, 23 February 2015

Places To Eat In London: Porky's, Bankside

I've found my favourite place in London to eat Southern style barbecue. You may have noticed that I eat in an awful lot of different places every week, so for me to come away from a meal without finding many flaws, and to have really, really loved the experience is a rare thing. Last week after a trip to Borough Market to pick up ingredients for my column, I drifted along to Bankside to meet a friend at Porky's, a Memphis barbecue joint across the street from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. (Pre or post theatre cocktails and meat-fest, anyone?)
Lunch at Porky's BBQ, Bankside

Friday, 20 February 2015

Weekly Love: Week 46

If you've ever wondered what sort of music I listen to while I'm in the kitchen, what constitutes my idea of the ultimate comfort food, or where my favourite places are in London to eat at the moment (you can find all of my 'Places To Eat In London' reviews here), the team at Recipes Plus caught up with me for a bit of a chat about my blog and where I get my kitchen inspiration from. You can read the interview here
Weekly Love 200215[1]
1. The blooms are starting to get colourful outside Liberty's. | 2. I've found my favourite Southern style barbecue at Porky's on Bankside. Full review to follow next week! | 3. Indulging with dippy eggs and anchovy butter soldiers. | 4. Meeting with the Shopstyle team to talk upcoming projects over juices at The Riding House Cafe. | 5. Enjoying the latest issue of Jamie Magazine with a fluffy pile of pancakes with fresh raspberries, and doused in maple syrup on Sunday morning. | 6. Long weekend country walks in the brilliant Kent sunshine.

Weekly Love 200215[2]
7. Technicolour displays of Prestat chocolate boxes in Liberty's. | 8. A simply divine lemon curd panna cotta with raspberry sorbet at the end of a simply amazing meal at Toto's in Knightsbridge. My review of the the restaurant should be up sometime next week, too! | 9. Digging into the eggs from my brunch post for Sunday lunch. | 10.  Campari and Blood Orange Juice while we perused the menu at Toto's. (I've got the recipe for this classic Italian cocktail here!) | 11. The Lindt press office was my Valentine this year, and I must say they do know how to woo a girl! | 12. Finally, a big thanks to the team at Jamie Magazine for including one of my Instagrams in the latest issue!

Something new for Weekly Love this week. I'm pretty much always looking at pretty new clothes, shoes, home, kitchen and beauty items online, or while I'm killing time at the shops between meetings in the city, or waiting for my train at the station. (I'm surprised more damage has not been done already to my bank balance with Joules, L'Occitane, The White Company, Jo Malone, Whistles and Aspinals all at St. Pancras!) So, at the end of each Weekly Love I'm going to be choosing five items I either already own and have been particularly loving over the past fortnight, or I've been lusting after in store. Call it my mini shopping edit, if you will! 
First up, my beautiful brand new Liberty Print Barbour. I've wanted a Barbour for years, and I've been wearing this super stylish number practically every day since I got it, both on long country walks and around London (the big pockets are great for stashing my phone and Oyster card for easy access!) In other coat news, I spied this beautiful bright yellow rain coat from Joules in Fenwick the other week. I know I already own a rain coat, and my new Barbour is waterproof. But, well, it's bright yellow!

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend?

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Places To Eat In London: Fish & Chips, Liverpool Street

Breakfast at a place called Fish & Chips by Des McDonald is not necessarily what you'd expect. Tucked away a few streets down from Liverpool Street Station, this all day/ takeaway gourmet fish and chip shop has recently started serving up your morning meal (it is great for breakfast meetings), serving up everything from The Fisherman's breakfast (a classic Full English) to Manx Kippers on Toast. The also have great coffee to go to grab on the way to work. I was curious to say the least when I was invited down to try the new menu, so I grabbed Izy for a bit of a catch up in the City before heading off to our respective meetings on Monday.
Breakfast Menu at The Fish & Chip Shop, Liverpool Street