After our harvest and processing our grapes in Campo Viejo's micro-winery we headed out onto the winery's terrace for a spot of lunch before touring the complex and doing a proper bit of wine tasting (aside from what of the obscene amount we consumed that weekend we'd already drunk!). I think the winery wins the award for the place with the very best views and atmosphere I've ever eaten at. It was about a pleasant 30 degrees and it was great to sit next to and chat with Elena Adelle, Campo's chief winemaker over lunch about her journey as a woman in a very male dominated industry with Roberto, one of the other winemakers translating for us.
Monday, 29 September 2014
Friday, 26 September 2014
Maybe because I'm a writer, while I love reading I mostly find it hard to truly switch off my brain to the point where I can really relax with a book. I think this is why I watch so many (mostly American) television shows, and I'm usually blabbing about my latest find in my Weekly Love posts. While I'm excited that my favourite shows like Scandal are back, I'm also happy its September because it means new shows hitting our screens. I've rather enjoyed the first couple of episodes of Forever. Okay, so it is nothing original; House M.D. meets Elementary meets whatever show I don't watch with immortality in, but it has a good story, we can already see strong characters and I was sure I loved it after the first episode. I've also started Madam Secretary, which I'm not sure about. Does anyone else think it is like a weaker version of The West Wing?
1. Post-flight tapas on the streets of Logroño City, Rioja with Campo Viejo. | 2. Pretty much my standard Autumn outfit right now: Rag & Bone Harrow Boots, Levi Skinny Jeans, Boden Everyday Jumper & a perfect fit petite Banana Republic trench. | 3. Jeff Koon's 'Flower Dog' outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao. | 4. Afternoon tapas and local white in San Sebastián, Rioja. | 5. La Concha beach in San Sebastián. | 6. I never understood vintage wines until we opened a 1964 bottle of Campo Viejo after dinner at Rekondo. Words don't really describe, but it was so unique, such an amazing experience, and has officially turned me into a real wine nut.
- Food 52 has put together a brilliant primer on different types of yogurt, including Icelandic Skyr. They also school us on the different types of Soy Sauce, and when to use them in cooking.
- How to test if baking powder, baking soda or bicarbonate soda is expired.
- Bri has put together a lovely little 'life lessons' list with some fantastic tips we should all live by. Also, her California road trip photos remind me why I'm head over heels for the Golden State.
- This Wikipedia page is fascinating if you're at all interested in old American coinage.
- An adorable four year old reviewing The French Laundry is why I love the internet. (via Joy) The Bold Italic also posted some of the most outrageous comments on that post, too.
- I Went From Grad School To Prison. (also via Joy)
- The TIG has posted a great mini-guide to Tulum, Mexico.
- In August Chris headed to Torshavn on the Faroe Islands to sample the local cuisine. As well as being a brilliant article, I want to call it the unofficial extra instalment of my Summer adventures around Norway, Iceland and Orkney. I was actually set to visit but a storm got in the way!
- A wonderfully comprehensive guide to building the perfect home bar cart.
- Okay, so who now is excited for the Camille Styles book to come out?
- Ed Smith sits down with Sourced Market, my fave place to grab a bite when I'm at St. Pancras.
- Sophie has put together a food roundup from her amazing American South honeymoon. She's also posted her photo diary from Charleston, South Carolina. I really, really want to go now!
- I love this stunning L.A. backyard makeover.
- The A-Z of lost British ingredients.
I'm one of the judges on The Great Denby Cake Off at the moment, where you can enter to win all sorts of great prizes including some lovely bakeware and an £500 Denby gift voucher just for blogging about cake. The competition runs until midnight on 31st October, and is open to my American readers too. Click through here to the Denby website for more information, and to enter. I can't wait to read and judge all your entries!
For the second instalment of my new column over at Borough Market, sharing recipes and tips for people who are space and equipment poor (great for people who live in London or other space short cities!) I've shared my recipe for a No-knead Rosemary Loaf that you need very little counter space and no specialist equipment to make. Okay, so it may not be as pretty as a perfectly shaped loaf, but it still tastes amazing. Click through to the Borough Market Blog for the recipe.
7. Bento boxes and gyoza at Tamago in Canterbury. | 8. I'm working on a review of the Honey & Co. book at the moment, and the rose and cinnamon infusion from it (served in the brilliant infusion mug the guys at JING gave me) is simply divine. | 9. A flawless, gooey in the middle tortilla with chorizo, spinach and pimiento at La Tavina in Logroño. | 10. I've been reading Memory Keepers by my amazingly talented friend Natasha on the train over the last few weeks. If you like futuristic, novels I really recommend you give it a try. | 11. Carpaccio of red shrimp with guacamole, strawberries, raspberry, pomegranate and black olive sand as part of a 6 course tasting menu at Rekondo in San Sebastián. | 12. Divine brioche bread pudding at Salt. in Canterbury. Full review coming soon!
- I was absolutely blown away by Sophie's Nashville photo diary from her honeymoon. It has made me want to visit the city more, if that was even possible!
- I have so much love for A Beautiful Mess' finished office space.
- Leeds? You need to know about Trestle's pop up dining experience.
- PUNCH have published a fascinating piece on the universal language of toasting around the world. They've also published a really interesting piece about the decline of doing shots of straight Grand Marnier in Charleston, and the history of this practice in the first place.
- Bill Cunningham thinks the fashion industry is due for a massive change, and I agree with him.
- Claire's latest post on the Hotel Cipriani in Venice is simply stunning.
- One of the best written blogs I read, Brag & Butter has posted a brilliant piece about his end of Summer holiday. There are stunning photos, a great salad recipe and some foodie book reviews.
- Rose blogs about Lanes of London, a restaurant I adore (try their giant Jammy Dodgers for dessert, they are to die for!) but have never managed to take good photos in to review. She also travels to Morocco, and has written a great insight into the Jemaa el Fnaa main square.
- Fiona's post on Blogstock has some brilliant blogging tips in.
- I think we should all make our own DIY indoor swings.
- My friend Izy sits down with Food 52 to talk about her new cookbook, which is amazing, btw.
- Okay, so did you know that you can actually eat pumpkin leaves?
- Bon Appetite's piece on what their recipe editor actually does for the magazine is fascinating.
- HonestlyYUM has put together great travel guides to Seville and Barcelona. Because what this blog really needs this week is more fantastic Spanish food!
Before I moved to America I used to have a fair few beauty box subscriptions, but because none of them were that different from each other, I could not decide which one to maintain when I was back home after 10 months, so I opted not to receive one at all. Enter stage right My Little Box, the new (well, to the UK) monthly subscription box from the ladies behind Parisian newsletter service My Little Paris. Each monthly box is themed around a different style (London, Travel etc., I got the My Little Arty Box) and contains a mix of beauty and lifestyle products from both cult French brands, and their own (pretty awesome and cute, I can't wait to get my hands on one of their adorably packaged lipsticks) makeup line. You also get a blogger magazine put together by some of our favourite faces. Each box costs £14.95 a month (a bit more than average, but you get a lot more for your money) and you can quit at any time. You can subscribe here on their website, and check out their past boxes here. Enjoy!
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? As ever, I'm having a chilled weekend in Kent, but I'm taking time to catch up with my best friend Kathryn over lunch tomorrow as we have not seen each other in a while.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
In case you missed my snapshots on Instagram, I spent the weekend in the La Rioja region of Northern Spain with the winemakers Campo Viejo harvesting grapes, touring their winery and micro-winery and generally eating and drinking all the region has to offer in excess. While I have a few more travel and foodie posts I've got planned to share with you all (including two very fantastic, but very different Michelin starred restaurants) but I want to kick things off today with our miniature wine harvest and working in Campo's micro-winery. Lunch out on the terrace and a tour of their winery proper will follow, along with lots of tapas and sunshine!
Monday, 22 September 2014
I feel I missed the boat on Supper Clubs, somewhat. I've just never been organised enough to attend one, restaurants have usually suited my last minute nature, better! However, when the guys at Leisure invited me to Vietnamese cook Uyen Luu's East London home on Tuesday night I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try something a little different than my usual restaurant reviews. These photos are a mix of the shots I took on both my camera and iPhone, and the film crew and photographers snaps. I'll share the video that was shot too in a Weekly Love. I also might share some of the recipes if you're interested?
Friday, 19 September 2014
Recently, I've been trying to up my cocktail game a lot more. I have lots of ideas, it is just that I know my cocktail photography needs a lot of improvement, which I think is why I keep on putting off shooting my favourite drinks I mix up at home, opting to share them on Instagram instead. However, my Analytics tell me that a lot of you keep visiting my 'Cocktails' section, so I feel kind of guilty that I've only got a handful up there. So, I'm going to try and do better, and today I'm going to share with you my favourite at the moment, a quick, simple, 2 ingredient traditional Italian number that I've been mixing up before dinner whenever I fancy it in seconds with store cupboard ingredients; the Garibaldi, colloquially known as the Campari Orange.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
A good few years ago now when I was home from school for an Autumn weekend my Daddy showed me how to make Sloe Gin. We headed out into the field where we have an entire hedgerow heavy with sloes and I held the container while he went up a ladder to pick them. We spent a chilly afternoon sitting around the kitchen table pricking the funny little purple berries all over with a pin before storing them away in the larder in big kilner jars with sugar and a bottle of the cheapest gin we could find, to be shaken up periodically for three months up until it was time to decant. I was so excited when our deep ruby liquid was ready to go. The idea of making our own alcoholic drinks excited me in a way it would any teenager and I will never forget my first sip of the sweet, rich and strong liquid from a little port glass we had out for sampling.
Monday, 15 September 2014
I'm going to use this review about one restaurant to talk about the brilliance of another. The other week, by way of a very late, impromptu lunch I ended up in Michelin starred Peruvian restaurant Lima's new (it opened in July) outpost in Covent Garden: Lima Floral. Now, Lima in Fitzrovia amounts to one of the best meals I've ever had, and I'm a big fan of Peruvian food, so I was curious as to how the new joint would measure up.
Friday, 12 September 2014
Today I want to introduce you to my favourite cookbook of 2013. (Okay, so technically it is joint with Brilliant Bread, but that can be classed as a baking book!) When I raved about my meal at Polpetto in Soho in April under head chef Florence Knight I was already head over heels for the chef because of her cookbook which has come with me to every kitchen I've occupied since getting it: One: A Cook and Her Cupboard .
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
While I know the name of this recipe may seem scary, I promise you that it is super easy, super delicious and perfect for a quick early Autumn dinner party starter. While these raspberries came from our vegetable plot, and the pigeons were shot here on the farm by my Father, then butchered by me, everything you need you can easily find at the farmers market, or at a good butcher and your local supermarket. Do you remember that time I tried to get you all to eat pheasant? Well, this is even easier than that. And cheaper, too.
Monday, 8 September 2014
Walking through the city and down Northgate towards Sainsbury's at the beginning of the Summer I spotted this sleek matte black storefront that had popped up between Asian grocery stores. If you've been a tourist in Canterbury rather than a resident or a student, you won't really know this part of town. It's locals area, around great pubs and little independent stores. I used to walk down Northgate practically every day on my way from the school gates to the hockey pitches, so I used to know every newsagent, chocolate shop and bookbinder that lined the road. Now something new is a novelty, and dining at Tamago, the little authentic Japanese restaurant with someone who had the same school memories, we were upset it did not exist then!
Friday, 5 September 2014
Okay, so I've got another television recommendation for y'all. We're y'all-ing because we're heading down to Charleston for Reckless. I've got a soft spot for legal dramas and Southern shows in general, but aside from the great characters, dialogue and interesting re-occuring case load what I'm obsessed with is our leading lady Jamie Sawyer's wardrobe. So she may not be as awesome in the courtroom as Alicia Florrick, but she dresses so much better. Think all red, white and black ensembles, bright red lips, killer heels and Kate Spade handbags. The costume designers for this show had her bang on from her very first court date.
1. Absolutely revelatory Kimchee Ramen at Tamago in Canterbury. A full review of one of the most exciting meals I've had in ages on Monday. | 2. Meal planning out of some of my current favourites: The Lemonade Cookbook, One Cook and Her Cupboard (cookbook corner feature coming soon!), The Kitchen Diaries I & II and The Recipe Wheel. | 3. Making the simply delicious Blueberry Smoothie (among other brilliant recipes) from my friend Izy's new cookbook. I'm reviewing that one soon, too, and you can buy it HERE. | 4. Harvesting damsons to make damson gin. It is currently in the larder, and will be ready December 1st. Needless to say I'm excited! | 5. Don't eggs, avocado and tea make the perfect weekend breakfast? | 6. Getting lost in the latest novel by my favourite author with a crisp glass of Touraine.
- Over at Menuspring I've shared some of my favourite London eats and dishes.
- Honestly YUM have taken it upon themselves to catalogue the Bay Area's best sandwiches.
- Williams-Sonoma have put together a fantastic piece for their blog on how to taste olive oil. They have also written an interesting piece on why olive oil certification matters.
- How To Have Fun In London This Autumn Without Spending A Penny.
- Jenna Lyons sits down with Into The Gloss to talk skincare and what makes J.Crew sexy.
- I'm head over heels for Sugarcomb's amazing Seattle office space.
- David Lebovitz takes a tour of France. There is food and brilliant commentary involved. (Part 2)
- The Glitter Guide staff share some of their favourite college memories, which have made me really, really nostalgic for my time at UCLA. American schools do school spirit in the best way.
- 11 awesome things to do in Los Angeles this September.
- If you're looking for somewhere to stay on a trip to London and my review of the citizenM on Bankside and it's Scandi functionality don't suit you, Saff & Ade's review of their night at the hotel Shangri-la in The Shard really takes you down the luxury route.
- Beef Club in Paris is now officially on my to try list.
- In case you have not seen it yet, Benedict Cumberbatch gives the best drunken awards speeches.
- Refinery 29 have put together the ultimate guide to new Autumn television shows.
- More from Refinery 29, they have put together a brilliant looking locals guide to Oxford. They have also put together a great local's guide to Santa Monica. (Though, I'd give Huckleberry Cafe a miss; I find it seriously overrated!)
After my Summer hiatus, I'm back on the Borough Market Blog with a brand new column, sharing recipes and kitchen hacks for those of us who are short on kitchen space and equipment. Click through to read about some of the more cramped kitchens I've rented in London over the past couple of years, and for my recipe for a One Pan Sausage Roast with End of Summer Vegetables. If you're after a few more of my one pan roast dishes, be sure to check out my Mediterranean Roast Chicken, this Sausage & Onion Roast with Mustard Sauce and this Greek Lamb Pattie & Vegetable Tray Bake recipe. Stay tuned for my next recipe this month!
7. A simply sublime, as ever dinner at The Goods Shed in Canterbury. Shown here, Scallops with Crispy bacon and a brilliant Chickpea Puree. | 8. End of the season tomatoes from the greenhouse. | 9. Harvesting the first pumpkin that has been finding its way into a lot of my cooking. | 10. Finding out about JING Tea with the team at a tea tasting in London. More to follow soon! | 11. Hanging out at my amazingly talented friend Natasha's book party for her second novel Memory Keepers which I can't wait to start reading. Congratulations hun! You can get your own copy HERE. | 12. Baking the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies that went down a storm at the book party.
- The TIG has posted a simply fantastic insiders guide to the Amalfi Coast. Also, Paris.
- Speaking of Italy, Claire has peppered her Venice post with helpful tips for visitors.
- Refinery 29 has gone back and found personal style photos from the very beginnings of some of the internets top style bloggers. It is actually quite refreshing to see, actually! They've also put together a very funny, and very true piece about the problems with dating in London.
- Lucy takes us inside Gothenburg's botanical gardens.
- In case you wanted to look inside some lovely Parisian apartments. (via Carin)
- Sophie took the most amazing road-trip across the American South for her honeymoon.
- Joy has put together a lovely and helpful post on how to survive Mondays.
- What is the difference between Mexican and Spanish Chorizo?
- Tania has put together a roundup of some of her favourite Sydney food & fashion spots.
- Carrie has written a great post on body image and feeling good in your own skin. Go read!
- Victoria shares some of the best places and dishes she ate in Iceland. (You can see all my foodie posts from Iceland this Summer here. You can see Victoria's amazing trek-trip diary here.)
- My super talented bestie Nicole photographed the all white PopUp Dinner in Brooklyn.
- 11 things you need to know about shopping at an America grocery store.
- Rose has posted some simply stunning photos out over the Swiss mountains.
- This amazing video shows an egg being poached from inside the saucepan.
- Jacintha takes us on a beautiful, siders tour of The Hague.
- Nicole has posted a simply stunning Hong Kong photo diary.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I've got a bit for recipe development to be getting on with, and I want to spend a bit of time with my parents as they've been away in France (yes, they left me behind!) over the last week.
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Last Spring I wrote a blog post entitled 'Full Disclosure: How I Earn Money Off Of My Blog' where I talked about all of the ways I use my blog to make money, as well as a few tips as to how you could apply my methods to monetize your own sites. It feels like the whole blogging landscape has changed so dramatically since I wrote that post as a university student on a year abroad, to now sitting here as a full time blogger and freelance journalist. I thought it was about time to take stock with a new post, both because I want to be transparent with you all about how I use this site to make money (I would not make a penny if it were not for you all), but also to provide a bit of commentary as to how the blogging landscape has changed in that time.
Photo by Nicole Anderson, March 2013 at the TOMS' Cafe on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, Los Angeles
Monday, 1 September 2014
As it was on both of our 'to try' lists and in a good, central location for both of us, late Thursday lunchtime found Izy and I engaged in our latest catch up / blogging gossip / cookbook discussion session at Flesh & Buns. She wanted to know how my freelancing was going, I wanted all the gossip about her new cookbook out today (I took mine with me so she could sign it, you can order your own copy (it is rather fantastic and I'll be writing a full review soon) here), and we both wanted to eat our fill of meat, sushi, sashimi and s'mores.