Friday, 27 February 2015

Places To Eat In London: Toto's, Knightsbridge [Now Closed]

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 #potatoes #sides | @rachelphipps

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 [Now Closed]

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

Saturday, 14 February 2015

What Pinterest’s Affiliate Link Removal Means For Bloggers

This is not a post I had planned in my editorial calendar, but after having a day or two to think it over, I wanted to address the issue of Pinterest and affiliate links, and what it means for us bloggers and digital business people who monetize out Pinterest feeds. I came as something as a shock for me on Thursday night when an email from Pinterest dropped into my inbox with the subject line: 'Removing All Affiliate Links'. My first thought was panic. It is no secret that a very large portion of my income comes from affiliate links, and at the close of 2014 roughly 10% of my income came from Pinterest affiliates. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Places To Eat In London: Cucina Asellina, Covent Garden

I've been asking for a Barbour for my birthday since I was 16 years old from my parents, and this year I've finally succeeded. I don't turn 22 until next month, but when the guys at the newly re-vamped Cucina Asellina inside the Me Hotel on The Strand invited me down to sample their new style menu on Monday, Mummy and I took it as the perfect excuse to head into town for a spot of lunch at the hit up the Barbour store. (In case you were wondering, we ended up in Liberty's, and I opted for this navy Liberty print number.)
Cucina Asellina, Covent Garden

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Ethics Of Restaurant Blogging

Today I want to talk to you about reviewing restaurants. I've already written at length about what the experience is like for my friends and family when they're dining with me when I'm writing a review, but I have not really taken a look at it from probably the most important point of view that exists in any of my reviews: that of my readers. Several times a month I go into restaurants, take photos and write about my meal to share my experience with you all, but a lot of the time I'm not the one footing the bill. 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Weekly Love: Week 145

I'm sitting here, finishing off this blog post today curled up on my office sofa, still wearing the big scarf I had on to take my car to the garage this morning. Everything is just too cold. I can see the trees outside my window swinging violently back and forth, so it is no surprise that all I can think about right now is soup. If you've got a nice, hot, steaming bowl of something on the brain too, here are the recipes for my Pea & Mozzarella Soup, A Basic Chicken Soup, Pumpkin & Coconut Soup, A Warming Carrot Soup, and my aptly named 'Winter Cure' Kale, Barley & Root Vegetable Soup. Grab the ingredients on the way home, make a massive vat of soup for dinner tonight, and don't leave the house (and preferably your duvet) all weekend. Simple. 
Weekly Love 060215[1]
1. Over on the Borough Market blog, I've started my new column of easy, healthy and exciting desk lunches you can make ahead and take into work with you. I've got so many exciting dishes planned I can't wait to share with you, but for now click through for my recipe for this Pearl barley & Pomegranate Tabbouleh. | 2. Sitting down with Waitrose Kitchen to a leftovers lunch: leftover roast duck, soba noodles, baby kale, spring onions, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. | 3. Making the beetroot and cinnamon smoothie for breakfast Hemsley + Hemsley created for the Vita Coco Coconut Oil event I attended last month. You can get the full recipe over on my Instagram, and keep your eyes peeled for more coconut oil in upcoming recipes. I'm a little obsessed. My favourite ways to use it so far are scrambling my eggs in it and stir frying Asian greens. | 4. My first ever veg box, from Abel & Cole for my collaboration with Ebury publishing to celebrate the launch of Rachel de Thample's book FIVE. I promised I'd let you know how I got on with the box, and I need to be honest that I did not finish it. I think it was the chicory: I've never been a fan! | 5. Something I did make using the shiitake mushrooms from the box, was this delicious leftovers lunch: the end of a homemade loaf topped with shiitake pan fried in butter with a dash of soy sauce, topped off with tamago ribbons (Japanese omelette made with mirin) and lots of fresh chopped coriander. | 6. Curling up on a Sunday with some of my favourite cookbooks and a freshly baked plate of Chocolate-truffle Cookies from Joy Wilson's book Homemade Decadence.

Weekly Love 060215[2]
7. A breakfast of navel oranges, blueberries and fresh mint, with my usual glass of V8 juice, reading Uyen Luu's book My Vietnamese Kitchen. I've cooked a fair bit from it, and I'll be sharing it with you guys at some point. | 8. A few Sundays ago, I joined a group of bloggers for an early Chinese New Year treat at Millennium Hotel in Knightsbridge. Everything is Asian themed, and all of the dishes are exciting, and unique - I'd really recommend it for something a little different in between a days shopping, as long as you remember to hoard the pork dim sum buns for yourself; they're the best! You can find more information on the hotel website. | 9. Geeking out on food and literature with the Hemsley + Hemsley book and Peter Ackroyd's retelling of The Canterbury Tales. | 10. Lunchtime toasts: avocado, sunflower seeds, avocado oil and fleur de sel, and fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. | 11. Delicious, ice cream filled profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce at Canterbury's newest opening, Chez Joel. | 12. Watching the red slowly creep into every blood orange I cut into, carried back home with me from Borough Market.

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

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Valentines Day: Cardamon & Forced Rhubarb Panna Cotta

I want to make it clear from the outset that I don't have a problem with Valentines Day. I think it is rather lovely to have a whole day dedicated to the one you love, I just think that modern day commercialism has gone a step too far for a day that has stemmed from the feast of a Catholic martyr who was tortured to death. So, when Borough Market asked me to put together their Valentines Day menu this year, I decided to go for something that looks impressive but is actually really simple for a kitchen table supper. This way, your Valentines evening can be about enjoying each others company without all the superfluous hearts and flowers.
Cardamom Panna Cotta with Forced Rhubarb

Sunday, 1 February 2015

6 Years Of Blogging: Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Crunch Cake

This year, I thought that I'd bake you all a cake. 6 years ago today when I started this blog there was no way that I could have known what a big part of my life my small little corner of the internet would become. All the amazing people I've met and worked with, all my wonderful friends I've made, the opportunities I've had and the amazing places I've been able to travel to are things I can't believe I'm lucky enough to have in my life. 
Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Crunch Celebration Cake