Friday, 29 August 2014

Snapshots From The Middle Of The North Sea + Reykjavík

There is no such thing as ‘night’ in some of the Northernest parts of the world in early Summer. From my research I knew that during Winter Iceland’s inhabitants were only treated to 3 or 4 hours of daylight every day, but it had not occurred to me that it could work the other way. One evening approaching Norway I was stunned to see that the sun had only started to go down when we were finishing our late dinner at 11pm. Even when the sun vanished behind the horizon half an hour later, it was what we would still call daylight outside. 
Jewel Blue North Sea

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Recipe: Eton Mess Ice Cream

As it is quite literally the end of Summer, I feel that I owe you all an apology. You see, I've been meaning to share this ice cream recipe I thought up with you since the very beginning of Summer, and I've been a bit useless. However, I have decided that making Eton Mess Ice Cream is the very best way to store a little bit of Summertime in your freezer, so we can claw it back a little on those September days that are still full of sunshine. Or you could just make it this weekend. It is the best ice cream recipe I've invented since my Mint Aero Ice Cream, if I may say so myself. I'm very, very proud of it because it tastes just like the classic dessert, only better because you get to enjoy Eton Mess, and a big bowl or cone of ice cream at the same time. 
Eton Mess Ice Cream

Monday, 25 August 2014

Recipe: White Peach, Mozzarella & Pea Shoot Bruschetta

Last time I was in London I had an absolutely fantastic meal at Polpo in Notting Hill, and one of the stand out dishes for me was something that is so stupidly easy to make at home: White Peach, Mozzarella & Pea Shoot Bruschetta. This would make a fantastic special weekend lunch with a glass of wine, a starter to an end of Summer dinner, or could be scaled down into some pretty impressive canapés. 
White Peach, Mozzarella & Pea Shoot Bruschetta inspired by Polpo

Friday, 22 August 2014

Weekly Love: Week 135

I know that I am very, very late to the party but I feel that I need to talk about True Detective. For some reason it slipped through my 'new shows' radar right at the beginning, and then nothing I heard about it made me think that I ought to jump right onto the bandwagon. I've got to that dead time before mid-September when all the shows start again where I have nothing to watch as I've caught up on everything, so I thought that I'd give it a try. The first two episodes muddled me up a bit, but I had nothing else to watch and I'm a bit of a sucker for Southern drama, so I hung on. When you start to get into it, and all the pieces fit together? And the acting? It is honestly the best thing I have seen on television in a very, very long time. The presence of Matthew McConaughey doesn't hurt, either. If you're into clever crime drama, this one is for you. 
Weekly Love 220814[1]
1. Required reading (the Boden Autumn Winter catalogue) with a steaming cup of raspberry tea. You can find the items I've put on my wish list over on my Tumblr. | 2. Sweet Peas from the vegetable garden for the kitchen window sill.  | 3. When in doubt, choose either Milk or Sea Salt Green & Black's (2 for £3 at Waitrose at the moment!) | 4. A little preview of a dish inspired by my Polpo meal that will be up on the blog on Monday. | 5. A few little treats from L'Occitane on a little shopping trip to Canterbury. You don't want to know what happened in the Jack Will's sale! Left to right: Angelica Exfoliating Face Gel, Special Edition Frisson de Verveine Fresh Shower Gel, Lavander Foaming Bath, Rose Shower Gel. | 6. My Cucumber Mint Lemonade recipe, adapted from The Lemonade Cookbook is fantastic with a good dash of gin in.

Last Thursday I spent the day in London, and after morning meetings and dinner at Polpo in Notting Hill, I popped around the corner to meet up with my favourite bloggers at Bubbleology. Aside from the fact it was lovely to catch up with Michelle whom I had not seen in forever, the fact I got to meet her lovely sister/ photographer for the first time, and to meet Amy for the first time in real life, it was great to get to know a bit more about my favourite bubble tea brand. When I first tried Bubble Tea as a 17 year old on my first trip to Camden Locks (teenage hang out!) I could not stand the tapioca pearls, preferring fruit juice filled boba instead. However, I tried the pearls again, and it turns out I do rather like the chewy little spheres mixed in with my usual order of peach tea and lychee boba. Next time you grab a cup, be sure to give them another go if you were not already a fan! Photo of us living up to the blogger stereotype by Tom Joy.
Weekly Love 220814[2]
7. Country walks after lunch to clear my head. | 8. Barbecuing during a British Summertime. | 9. Lovely scallops cooked in their shells with garlic breadcrumbs at Chapman's in Canterbury. They do half price lobster on a Thursday, too. Great service, solid food, but don't mention any problems with the booking system to the owner unless you want attitude! | 10. Friday night in with Pretty Little Liars and homemade strawberry ice cream. | 11. Whole trout cooks fantastically on the barbecue. | 12. The Heirloom Tomato, Basil Vinaigrette & Fleur de Sel salad from The Lemonade Cookbook is fantastic, especially with home grown tomatoes, but I honestly can't stress how obsessed I am with the vinaigrette enough. I've been having it over salads and caprese. Best salad dressing I've ever made, hands down.

Finally, I wanted to leave you with one of the most hauntingly beautiful visions of Los Angeles I've ever seen. I've watched this so many times since I stumbled across it in the last week or so, and while I know lots of people have a love/ hate relationship with the City of the Angeles, I honestly can't see how you can't find at least some beauty and wonder in the city that I'm truly, madly, deeply in love with. 

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the long Bank Holiday weekend? I'm just planning to spend it at home with my family, hopefully trying out some final Summer recipes I want to cook just because, rather than recipes I have to do for 'work'. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Places To Eat In London: Polpo, Notting Hill

Usually, this whole 'Places To Eat In London' thing is perfectly planned and co-ordinated. I know where I am eating and with whom, and I've requested ahead a table near the window so that the lighting in my photos will be better. I know the drill. However, there is something to be said to spontaneity. A middle of the afternoon trip to Polpo in Notting Hill was decided on over the pre-pre-dinner drinks in Westminster, and my winning formula to get an empty Russell Norman restaurant being to turn up hours before service starts held true
Menus at Polpo Notting Hill

Monday, 18 August 2014

Recipe: Whole Lemon & Honey Barbecue Chicken Skewers

So, as promised today I want to share with you the third of my three go to barbecue chicken recipes (you can find my Skinny Sticky Storecupboard Barbecue Chicken here, and my Barbecue Chicken, Bacon & Honey Mustard Skewers here) with you today. I also want to talk a bit about what to think about when you go around doing your supermarket shop, as far as what products you can scrimp and save on, and buy the cheapest of the cheap without much of a quality issue, and what products you need to put a little bit more care into choosing. 
Whole Lemon & Honey Barbecue Chicken Skewers  3

Friday, 15 August 2014

Recipe: Chocolate, Summer Berry & Amaretti Cheesecake Cups

It is a commonly known fact that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. A lesson I can also teach you, is that when you cook two proper dinners for a guy, quite late at night, and he does not really show much appreciation for either of them past 'this is nice', it is time to give him the boot. Anyway, I digress. When the guys over at challenged me to come up with a date night dessert, I thought something simple, fruity, chocolate and Italian would be in order, that I could serve up to my next victim (as this is what my parents refer to my dates as, lovely people, aren't they!) when he decides to comes along. And, yes this is my recipe for the special that was served up in's Aphrodisiac Cafe yesterday. I was sad not to have been able to make it, but I was trapped in the Tate Modern after a meeting because of a downpour!
Chocolate, Summer Berry & Amaretti Cheesecake Cups 6

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Afternoon Tea at Balfour Castle, Orkney, Scotland

On my final stop of my Northern trip this Summer we stopped off at Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland. However, I did not really explore Kirkwall, instead I headed to the ferry port and caught a boat out to the island of Shapinsay to visit the beautiful Balfour Castle, which while being a family home, hosts tour visitors, guests and serves up absolutely delicious afternoon teas. You can probably guess what I was there for! 
Balfour Castle, Orkenye 3

Monday, 11 August 2014

Cookbook Corner: The Lemonade Cookbook + A Refreshing Summertime Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

It is funny how blogs and bloggers influence buying and eating decisions, isn't it? It totally blows my mind when someone tells me that they've cooked one of my recipes, or visited a restaurant based on my recommendation. I know that I'm putting everything out here with that intention, but for some reason people's engagement past comments and Tweets with my site does not really occur to me. The Lemonade Cookbook has been on my wish list forever, and if I just close my eyes I can picture the outside of Lemonade on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. However, it was not until someone from my SoCal life, Joy (aka. Joy The Baker) brought and started blogging from it, did I take the plunge. Honestly? It is one of the best new books I've had in ages. 
The Lemonade Cookbook Review

Friday, 8 August 2014

Weekly Love: Week 134

I honestly feel I've been trapped in a bit of a whirlwind of trips, meetings and deadlines over the past week or so, but over the past few days things have started to settle down a little and I feel like I'm really on top of everything. I'm back in the kitchen developing recipes and shooting a few more for you guys that I'm really excited about, and I feel like lots of good things are starting to happen. In other news, how can a week be bad, when the Great British Bake Off is back? Martha is my clear favourite so far, I wish I could have made little lemon thyme cakes like that 4 years ago. I might try my hand at them now, though!
Weekly Love 080814[1]
1. An all navy ensemble for Saturday lunch down the pub. My sunglasses are from Alexander McQueen and my top is from Hobbs. You can grab my Aspinal's Tote here, and my neoprene Whistles skirt on sale for £30 here. | 2. Another lovely lunch at The Red Lion at Stodmarsh. Their desserts are to die for. | 3. Golden hour walks along the beach at Sandwich Bay. | 4. Aperitif fizz while barbecuing is always a must. | 5. Sorting through my stationary to store in an old Glossybox. What do you use yours for? | 6. Pollo alla Cacciatora (Italian Hunter's Chicken) from Waitrose Kitchen magazine for family dinner, served alongside a bread recipe I'm testing for my Borough Market column next month.

Rachel Phipps Total Yogurt Pot Recipe
So, if you had been standing in the yogurt aisle in Waitrose in Canterbury the other day you, and not just my Mother and my Aunt would have borne witness to my minor freak out. Mummy asked me if we needed any yogurt. I told her no, I'd only just opened a new tub. She asked me again, this time shoving a pot in my face. I'd totally forgotten that my Moroccan Chicken Goujons with Yogurt & Mint Dip was supposed to be appearing on the side of a Total 0% pot. Be sure to go pick one up, and I'd love to hear what you guys think. I have not made it over to Sainsbury's yet, but I've found me in Tescos, too. 
Weekly Love 080814[2]
7. Sampling the first Cucamelons we've been growing in the greenhouse. They taste like miniature cucumbers, but with an amazing crisp melon aftertaste. | 8. I was so honoured to win the Food & Drink category at Visit California's Dream Big Awards. I fell in love with food writing in California, so to be recognised by them means more than I could ever say. | 9. Chilling out at Granary Square by King's Cross. They have a great little fake grass space by Regents Canal!  | 10. I've been cooking so much from The Lemonade Cookbook recently. Full review hopefully up on the blog next week! | 11. Watching the last episode of Californication was so bitter sweet. If anyone is looking for a good Summer show to watch, I'm tempted to start right from the beginning again! | 12. Epic (but super large) Pulled Pork Sandwich at The Shakespeare for lunch. I can also really, really recommend their chips!

Tate Modern
In case you had not noticed by now, I'm an avid Pinterest user. I'm also a bit of an art junkie, so I'm very excited to be taking over the Tate Modern's Matisse inspired 'Summer of Colour' board today, where I'll be pinning drink and dessert type pictures in response to Matisse's painting The Snail. It is a great project, and I think it is inspired to use a social media platform where you're so often just re-sharing pretty pictures as an actual response to art. You can check out and follow the board here, see you over there

What have you been doing this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm honestly looking to have a chilled one at home catching up on some of the recipe deadlines I have in the coming weeks! 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A Morning In Suðureyri, Iceland's Most Sustainable Fishing Village

It is over a month since I got back from my trip around Norway, Iceland and Orkney, so I apologise that I still have a couple of posts worth of photos and adventures left to show you all! However, I hope to make things a little better today by sharing the second half of my Iceland trip with you all which I spent in the tiny little village of Suðureyri, Iceland's most sustainable and eco-friendly fishing village. (There are a few shots from Ísafjörður, the port we arrived in at the end of this post, too!) A few of my Reykjavík snaps I took after my visit to the Blue Lagoon will be included in my round up post, once I've taken you guys on a trip to Scotland! 
Fishing Port in Sudureyri, Iceland

Monday, 4 August 2014

Places To Stay In London: citizenM Hotel, Bankside

I get so many questions when I'm writing about all these amazing places to eat out in London, where to stay in the city on a visit. Until the end of this Spring I was living in East London, so hotels were not really my thing. However, now I'm commuting and some days I want to go out in the evenings without having to worry about trains, occasionally I'm going to treat myself to a hotel stay. So, this is going to kick of my new 'Places To Stay In London' column, where I'll be showcasing some of the places I'll be overnighting to give those of you wanting a city break in London something of an idea of where to stay, from small boutique, to luxury and concept hotels. As this blog is a travel and food blog, I hope to showcase a few world hotels on my travels, too!
citizenM Bankside Hotel Room

Friday, 1 August 2014

3 Quick & Easy Summer Party Canapé Ideas

In my head I don't live in the middle of the (very lovely) English countryside that is inaccessible by anything but a car, but somewhere in a nice neighbourhood where you can walk everywhere and my friends could pop over in the evenings for Summer cocktails and nibbles. Okay hell, lets be honest. I'm picturing Joy's cold place in Los Angeles, before she upped and moved to New Orleans. (Please tell me you did this, Joy!) 
Quick & Easy Summer Party Canapé Ideas