Monday, 30 March 2015

Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Good's Shed

You've seen it so many times on my Instagram as one of my favourite places to eat in Canterbury so many times. It's renowned in Kent and beyond for the fantastic food and market, and last month it even got a glowing review in the usually London review-centric Telegraph: today I want to show you around and take you for lunch at The Good's Shed. It is actually right next to Canterbury West station, 55 minutes on the train from St Pancras, so the perfect place to visit if you fancy escaping the big smoke at the weekend. 
Seasonal Veg at The Good's Shed, Canterbury

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Easter Biscuits & An Icing Class With The Biscuiteers

When I lived in America and had to mail order gifts for people at home, I ran out of the usual chocolate and flowers for my Mother, and I was struggling for something a bit more inventive to send her. I'd read about the Biscuiteers and their then mail order, intricately iced biscuit service on a blog way back in 2012, so I decided to have a box of iced butterflies delivered. I got her to open them up over Skype with me, and needless to say if you've seen any of the boutique's amazing designs, we were both very impressed with everything from the intricate sugar work, clever concept to the pretty tin and bright tissue paper they came presented in.
Biscuiteers Notting Hill

Friday, 27 March 2015

Weekly Love: Week 148

I've noticed a rising trend in recipe subscription websites, which I think are a great new idea which I hope catch on. The team at What To Cook Tonight were kind enough to gift me a years subscription to their site full of beautifully photographed Aussie recipes. Personally, I'm waiting for the Summer months to make their Homemade Peach Cordial (free recipe!) and Marinated BBQ Prawns with Mango & Corn Salsa. Moving away from an independent, what I love about Cooked, a site from publishers Quadrille, Bloomsbury and Hardie Grant is you can search and find the full recipes from all of some of their most popular cookbooks including Trine Hahnemann's Scandinavian Baking and Izy Hozzack's Top With Cinnamon. You can sign up for a months free trial, and after that it costs £2.99 a month to subscribe, or £36 a year, which includes 2 free cookbooks; at the moment Leith's How To Cook and River Cottage Fruit. A pretty great deal, right?
Weekly Love 270315[1]
1. I spent yesterday evening in Parliament, and with the election campaign kicking off last night too, there was the most incredible atmosphere. I honestly can't believe it has been 5 years since I worked on the last campaign; I can't wait to get stuck into the next one! | 2. A fantastic lunch for Barbour cooked by Anna Hedworth, showcasing local Northern ingredients in North Shields - more on that in my trip to Newcastle posts next week! | 3. The iconic groyn overlooking South Shields that Barbour use on their logo. | 4. Buffet breakfast in the conservatory with The Times all to myself at Jesmond Dene House hotel. Full review to follow, too! | 5. Pretty pink blooms for Spring at Wild At Heart on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. | 6. A California breakfast of avocado, homemade pico de gallo salsa and eggs scrambled in coconut oil on toast before a bust Saturday.

Weekly Love 270315[2]
7. Brunch with my favourite people at Bill's in Nottingham. | 8. Also the weekend I spent in Nottingham, I got to try the famous Annie's Burger Shack. I'd 100% recommend it if you're in the city, and recommend that the curly fries are a great shout! | 9. More restaurant recommendations from around the country, I spent an afternoon wondering around Oxford (beautiful city) before meeting my school friend Amelia for a fantastic value, wonderfully delicious supper at Turl Street Kitchen. I had a fantastic starter of smoked salmon, potato salad and picked cucumber, and a Spanish style baby chicken half cooked in beans, both of which were faultless. | 10. The team at Hotel Chocolat were kind enough to send me one of their Easter eggs to sample, which we've really been enjoying in front of the television in the evenings! Eggs start at £15, and you can still order them ahead of next week here! | 11. Welcoming the Spring with bunches of daffodils in the pretty floral jug the team at Joules were kind enough to send me. | 12. We went to The Good's Shed in Canterbury for my 22nd birthday dinner, as we had cocktails from Wild Goose before we ate. They were a mixed bag; there were some great combinations, but they were all a bit too heavy on the spices. Sometimes simple is best!

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm out to lunch with my family tomorrow as we're all back in the same country again after being split up traveling, and I've got an exciting Slow Food lunch in London on Sunday. A busy, busy weekend to match up with a busy, busy week!

Monday, 23 March 2015

In My Kitchen with Sorella Muse Photography + Baking a (Gluten-free) Swedish Chocolate Cake from Top With Cinnamon

A lot of you always ask me who took the photos I use for all my social media profiles. Actually, for a blogger I rarely like it when photos are taken of me, because I rarely like how they turn out. I always like to be in control. The one exception to this, is my friend Nicole. We first met for coffee on a sunny January afternoon two years ago in Los Angeles so she could interview me and take my portrait for a photo series she was working on, and in the course of the interview we became firm friends. Nikki is the person I write epic, essay length emails to, gossip about boys with and receive snail mail on beautiful notecards from.
Rachel Phipps Swedish Chocolate Cake Batter by Sorella Muse Photography

Friday, 20 March 2015

Recipe: Avocado & Blush Orange Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing

It is difficult trying to feed a family, trying to find meals that all of you will eat and enjoy. Since the beginning of the week, my Father has been away, so my Mother and I have really been going to town eating the foods that we like to eat, without having to cater to his tastes. Sorry Daddy! We started in Waitrose on the Monday morning, filling our trolley with salads, vegetables and fresh fish. Think bright, fresh and colourful!
Avocado, Blush Orange & Pea Shoot Salad with Miso Yogurt Dressing

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Recipe: Asian Mushroom ‘Just Add Hot Water’ Jam Jar Noodles

I'm fully aware that if you read my blog, you probably read other blogs, and the concept of making up a 'homemade pot noodle' on a Sunday night and taking it into work with you the next day to just add hot water is nothing new. I'm not really one to repeat what has already been done (unless it is something totally genius like that one pot pasta everyone was talking about a couple of Summers ago), but as my current column for Borough Market is on easy and healthy desk lunches you can make ahead, I could not really ignore it, could I? Especially as I still slurp this up most lunchtimes, even after my feature was submitted!
Asian Mushroom ‘Just Add Hot Water’ Healthy Jam Jar Noodles

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Recipe: [Raw, Vegan + Gluten Free] Chocolate Ganache Bars

99.9% of the time, given the option, I'll always choose something made with butter, eggs and sugar than something billed as 'vegan', 'raw' or 'gluten free'. I honestly think that unless you have some sort of intolerance you should not be eating 'vegan' or 'gluten free' anything that originally ought to have butter and flour in. I still have not got over the time I was in a West London cafe when I was given a free brownie, and when I bit into it it tasted like sawdust in my mouth. You guessed it: gluten free. I was at my friends birthday lunch at Annie's Burger Shack in Nottingham last weekend, and one gluten intolerant person on my table had the gluten free bun, but the person next to me just had his burger without, explaining that all of the gluten free buns he'd ever tasted where nothing like real bread, so where was the point? I agree totally.
Vegan Raw Chocolate Ganache Bars

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Upcycled Ceramic Herb Pots With The White Company

My Father and I have an ongoing thing about scented candles, which I've noticed more and more since I gave up my flat in London and moved back in with my parents last May. He can't stand the smell of them, and as a consequence I can only burn them in my bedroom, bathroom or study. However, one thing he can't understand more than why someone would want to fill their home with the smell of a scented candle, is why people would spend scented candle prices on, well, a scented candle. On some levels, I agree with him. Every time I walk past it in Liberty's I sniff Diptque's Insolite candle, but I'm never going to fork out £45 for it.
The White Company Candle Herb Pot DIY

Friday, 6 March 2015

Weekly Love: Week 147

While I do share a few shots on Instagram, I've never really properly shown any of you where I live in the middle of the Kentish countryside. Last Autumn when my super talented photographer friend Nicole stopped by for a girly weekend of dinner in Canterbury, catching up on our favourite TV shows together, long country walks and Ottolenghi dinners en-route from Los Angeles to Singapore, she shot a few photo sessions with me, some of the results of which you may have seen on social media. Stay tuned for a session we shot together in my kitchen (something else I've never showed you all!), but she has now published the photos she took her on the farm and on our walk through the surrounding countryside on her blog, if you fancy taking a look
Weekly Love 060315[1]
1. Treating myself to Design Love Fest's Honey Paloma at the end of a productive day writing and shooting. | 2. Using up some odds and ends from the fridge for lunch: leftover veal meatballs, coloured carrot sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and homemade garlic croutons from David Lebovitz' My Paris Kitchen. | 3. Plotting Mothers Day with The White Company over breakfast, snuggled up in a pair of their super luxurious bed socks. It's all so I can tell you all about their ‪#‎treatmum‬ campaign they're running this Mothers Day. To enter, take a photo of a White Company gift either at home or in store you'd like to give your Mum for Mothers Day. Share the image on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page, making sure you include @thewhitecompany & the #treatmum hashtag, and 20 winners will be chosen at random on the 10th of March, and your Mum will receive the White Company gift you picked out for her! Good Luck! | 4. Yesterday I was in London talking all things Easter with the Hotel Chocolat team. They let me take a peek at their new cookbook out Monday, which I'm now rather excited about. It is full of fun and inventive savoury, as well as sweet recipes, as well as how to make my favourite White Chocolate Mashed Potato from their restaurant Rabot 1745. | 5. For the second instalment of my Borough Market #boxclever desk lunches column, I've put together this super easy, make ahead the night before recipe for Prawn, Mango & Coloured Carrot Vietnamese Salad Rolls. | 6. Crisp, blue Kentish country walks.

Weekly Love 060315[2]
7. Kicking back with another cocktail, How Sweet It Is' Ginger Beergaritas. | 8. Hanging out with Hotel Chocolat, I became a little obsessed with their Raspberry Egglets made with their Supermilk chocolate. | 9. Spring is arriving on the farm. | 10. Relaxing in the bath at the end of a long week with my favourite L'Occitane lavender bath, Orange Blossom Jo Malone candle and a glass of Campo Viejo's pink cava. | 11. Hitting the healthy and Asian books for a last minute brainstorm for one of my upcoming Borough Market columns. | 12. Lunching on a kale and shittake frittata I made for a photography job.

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm off to Nottingham tomorrow to celebrate one of my very best friends birthdays, and just importantly for my first trip to Nottingham's famous Annie's burger. I'm stupidly excited about both! 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

On The Beach with Dungeness Fish Shack's Snack Shack

Working on a feature for Fish on Friday, one sunny October Thursday afternoon last year found me on the beach out at Dungeness chatting to Kelly Smith, the former police officer who joined her families 300 year old fishing business here in Kent by starting up Dungeness Fish Shack Snack Shack, a brilliant little food truck parked out on the beach where they land the catch, cooking delicious seafood dishes fresh out of the ocean. 
Dungeness Snack Shack's Fisherman's Roll

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