Approximately a month after I returned from Glasgow I was back at London City Airport, this time off to spend the weekend in Edinburgh and in the Scottish Borders with the guys from Scotch Beef & Scotch Lamb. I'm glad I got to see both of Scotland's two main cities within the same span of a few weeks, as it really gave me a feel for a part of England I'd never really discovered before. While Glasgow is all about the new, Edinburgh smacks more of Scotland's rich history and I think makes the perfect place for a food and exploration filled city break.
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Monday, 28 September 2015
On our first evening in Edinburgh we all got dressed up and headed for dinner in the beautifully appointed private room at Timberyard, somewhere I'd wholeheartedly recommend if you're in the city for a special occasion. The restaurant is a beautiful space with lots of hidden corners, a wonderful herb garden and a wonderful atmosphere once the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit to flicker against the walls.
Friday, 25 September 2015
The other weekend over a sunny Saturday lunchtime my friend Edward and I were invited along to have lunch at John Doe in Westbourne Park. Not a part of town either of us know very well, we wandered around the weekend market for a bit before sitting down for a lovely bottle of Portuguese white wine and a three course meal cooked without gas; the chefs at John Doe cook everything using the heat from either wood or charcoal, going back to traditional cooking techniques, but taking inspiration from world cuisine.
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
One of the greater impediments to perfectly replicating my favourite bar and restaurant cocktails at home is my lack of proper glassware. We have many different types of wine glasses (yes, we are one of those households who have different glasses for red wine and for white wine), sherry glasses, champagne flutes and martini glasses. Then a load of functional, but not really photographically inspiring tumblers. Up on my props shelf I have two more prettier champagne flutes, two small tumblers and two larger blue tinted glasses. And thats it. No coupes and most definitely no pretty copper mule mugs.
Sunday, 20 September 2015
In case you had not caught it when I mentioned it in passing here on the blog, or on social media I'm not actually blogging full time anymore. I made the decision for a variety of different reasons, but I'm really happy with what I'm doing now. I'm still running my blog as a business and freelancing, but I'm now also working for an MP. I was probably kidding myself when I kept on saying I was not going to seek a political job after university, because I'm loving every minute of it. On that vein, I thought this would be a great opportunity to take stock and share with you a few of my work essentials you'll usually find around my desk space.
Friday, 18 September 2015
Does anyone know how exactly we're supposed to dress for this weather? I leave the house in a coat in the pouring rain, and by lunchtime I'm walking into town for a bite to eat having discarded the jacket and donning my sunglasses. I'm wearing jumpers to the office, and sometimes I'm too warm, and other times I'm wrapping myself in my scarf because I'm chilly. If any of you have any foolproof transitional dressing tips, I'm all ears!
1. Divine Orange & Poppyseed Gelato at Mary's Milk Bar in Edinburgh. | 2. Kate Doran's Homemade Memories and Lindt's new Orange Lindor Truffles. | 3. Saturday afternoons in Edinburgh. | 4. Scotch beef charcuterie on a farm in the Scottish Borders. | 5. Aberdeen Angus in the fields in the Scottish Borders. | 6. Simply divine gluten free vegetable quiche from the Pop Up Cafe on Deal High Street.
- Lucy's photos make me think I need to go back to my teenage haunt of Camden Locks.
- Rose takes a turn around Castries Market in St. Lucia. Also, she went exploring the Lot Valley in France with her family, reminding me that I need to try and make it out to the French house sometime this year - I have not visited yet in 2015!
- Kristabel shares her Instagram secrets: this is the blog post that taught me how to use Snapseed.
- Into The Gloss sits down with Amber Venz-Box, the founder of rewardStyle about her career progression, which serves as a great history behind the company (this is basically a summary of a really great speech I heard her give at a conference a few years ago!)
- Men's Journal goes on location with Anthony Bourdain while he films Parts Unknown.
- America? The Kitchn has tried and tested 7 different hummus brands so that you don't have to.
- I'm curious about this salad where you drink the dressing, rather than drizzle it.
- If you're visiting Stockholm any time soon, Story hotel looks like a lovely and elegant option.
- You know those lace up ballet flats everyone is wearing? This is how you DIY them.
- Learn how to use cocktail ratios, which will help you mix any drink off the top of your head.
- Anne-Sophie takes us on a tour of Portmeirion in Wales. I had no idea anywhere in Britain looked like this - one to visit for a bit of a stay-cation, I think.
- This is why Paris is so beautiful.
- Also in Paris, David Lebovitz has found a fantastic Southern style barbecue joint, and his review also highlights some of the challenges of making authentic barbecue in Paris.
7. Pretty blue doorways in Edinburgh. | 8. Country walks to the postbox in my little corner of East Kent. | 9. Brunching on homemade baked beans baked with eggs and orange juice with the Sunday papers. | 10. Walking along the sea at Sandwich Bay. | 11. A simply divine Saturday lunchtime at The Compasses Inn at Crundale, near Canterbury. | 12. Making a pilgrimage to The Elephant House, the cafe in Edinburgh where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
- Kate's bathroom makeover is more than just a little bit impressive.
- A Couple Cooks has some great tips for cooking without a recipe.
- Downton Abbey fans? Jacintha visits Highclere Castle.
- 'My Mother, the Child Bride' is a fascinating read.
- Design Love Fest now sell a load of iPhone cases by different illustrators, and they are amazing. Can they please start making laptop cases too?
- Important need to know for all iPhone users: what is new in iOS 9.
- Nutritionist Mikaela Reuben schools us on what we're supposed to eat to not get sick.
- Joy explores what makes a great cookbook.
- Amy has a great quick and easy pasta dish for one that is basically a love letter to yourself.
- The Glitter Guide has some great tips on keeping your skin clear in a big, polluted city. I could have done with this when I was living in Los Angeles!
- This Food 52 article will help out if you've always been confused why Americans call some apple juice cider, cider hard cider, and the difference between real cider. (Confused yet?)
- Also on Food 52, Sarah asks if there is still a place for a microwave in a modern kitchen.
- This is how you make No-Knead Challah. I've not even tried it yet and I'm already on board.
- I will never tire of reading blog posts about peoples trips to Borough Market. (via Harriet)
- While I do think my friend Izy has gone mad, this is what happens when a dessert blogger and cookbook author gives up added sugar for two months.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm up to London tomorrow to do a restaurant review for you all and to swing by the LFW The Apartment (be sure to come and say hi if you see me there!), and then a quiet day at home on Sunday getting everything ready for the week.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Aside from getting to learn all sorts of things about Scotch meat I did not know before, and getting to discover a new city, one of the things I enjoyed the most about my recent trip to Edinburgh with Scotch Beef and Lamb was the opportunity to try a couple of restaurants that are Edinburgh institutions. Stay tuned for a review of Timberyard and a full post from the trip with lots of pictures of the city and Aberdeen Angus cows. But first, let me take you to dinner at The Scran and Scallie, the more relaxed sibling to Tom Kitchin's famous Kitchin.
Monday, 14 September 2015
Cookbook Corner: A Change Of Appetite by Diana Henry + Boozy Gin & Tonic Jellies with Fresh Blueberries
Something we always like to have after supper each night, but never seem to put enough thought into is dessert. Yes, there is the occasional crumble if there is a particular glut of home grown raspberries, rhubarb or plums, but aside from that more often than not it is homemade ice cream or a Magnum from the freezer. But really, there are desserts that look impressive, but don't actually require that much effort with some forward planning. Today I wanted to share with you a dessert we've been enjoying here after supper a couple of times over the past few weeks (but would be equally suited to a dinner party), and a cookbook I received for Christmas and I've been rather enjoying over the past 8 months.
Friday, 11 September 2015
Last week I stretched my Bank Holiday out a little by heading up to London for a totally work free day on the Tuesday. I'd had tickets to see the Oresteia at The Globe Theatre since the box office opened, so to make our little Mummy/ daughter theatre trip complete, I decided to book us in for lunch at Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House just by Borough Market after a turn around some of the stalls. As it is only a 10 minute walk from the market to the theatre, it is the perfect spot of pre or post-theatre eats.
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Cookbook Corner: River Cottage Light & Easy and One Pot Roast Chicken Thighs with Lentils and Rosemary
The first 'Autumnal' recipe I made for dinner this year was this simply fantastic recipe for chicken thighs, roasted in a big casserole dish with red lentils and onions until the lentils became crispy around the edges and soft like mashed potato in the middle which I became obsessed with making from the River Cottage Light & Easy book last Autumn. While the dish is still from a 'light' cookbook (we have so many of those these days) you still get the crisp chicken skins where they have been exposed during cooking, and that comforting feeling you want on a wet and stormy evening without that heavy feeling afterwards.
Friday, 4 September 2015
Hello September! I know this seems funny to hear this from a sun-chaser such as myself, but I've actually been quite looking forward to Autumn this year, for all the cozy cooking, Winter boots and cashmere jumpers. So, what have I been up to? Flying the flag for my little corner of the world, over at Buzzfeed I've written another local food guide: 31 Things You Must Eat In East Kent. As you'll probably see from the post my new favourite places for food are Deal and Walmer, as they're within walking distance from my office, so you should probably expect some blog posts from there popping up over the next few months. Also, I'm off to Edinburgh this weekend, so be sure to follow me on Instagram for foodie updates!
1. Walking home along Southbank after a performance of the Oresteia at the Globe Theatre. It was a pretty great performance, and they still have some tickets left if you have a free afternoon or evening you're looking to fill. | 2. Sunday night bubble baths with rose petals, my newest scented candle (Freesia from Diptyque) and my favourite new (super great value) lavender and lily cream baths from M&S. | 3. French patisserie on display at Borough Market. | 4. Walking past one of my favourite houses I discovered during the election in Walmer, which is always beautifully in bloom. | 5. English rhubarb, Victoria plums, courgettes, tomatoes, green beans and spring onions from the vegetable plot. | 6. Plump Kent strawberries for sale on Deal High Street.
- I wrote about my encounter with urban bees in Glasgow for Great British Chefs.
- Also, over at The Debrief, I've reviewed 5 packs of supermarket sushi, so you don't have to (no, really. I don't think I can look at a piece of sushi the same way ever again!)
- I know it needs no introduction, but Giulia's brunch photos from Granger & Co. in Clerkenwell are still required viewing. I apologise in advance for how hungry they'll make you.
- Kate has found a great new product if you have come back from your holiday with a tan, but you don't want to have to buy a totally new shade of makeup. Also, Kate's pictures from Croatia highlight why you need to follow her on Instagram, stat.
- Izy shows us how to make homemade chocolate hobnob biscuits at home.
- How to get lipstick stains out of practically any item of clothing.
- Lea has some great tips on how to be a good house guest.
- Am I the only one who has really wanting to make some sort of roast chicken with grapes recently since the weather has started to get colder?
- PUNCH schools us on the history (and future) of sangria.
- Also from PUNCH, their fascinating essay on the decline of 'singles bars' in America also doubles as an interesting history of T.G.I Friday's and how air hostesses influenced bar culture.
- What you need to know about the beauty product grey market.
- 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Brownies.
- How To Write A Condolence Note.
7. A lunch of the creamiest buffalo milk mozzarella, home grown tomatoes, pea shoots and lots of extra virgin olive oil, fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. | 8. Kent Victoria plums, again for sale outside the greengrocers on Deal High Street. | 9. Setting up to shoot my recipe for Korean Barbecue-style Steak Tacos. | 10. Griddling home grown tomatoes and spring onions to use in a barbecue steak sauce - it adds such a wonderful smokey flavour. | 11. French pate and bread from No Name Shop in Sandwich, paired with French olives, home grown tomatoes and French wine for weekend lunch on the patio. | 12. Lemon, Poppyseed and Olive Oil muffins from James Morton's How Baking Works - recipe and book review coming soon!
- South East London? There is a new food market you need to check out: Druid Street Market.
- Mojito Margaritas. Just think about that for a moment.
- Molly went to Israel, and I'm hungry already. (part 2)
- Ana has some great tips on how to tell if the makeup you've purchased online is fake.
- You know that new YSL compact I'm excited about? Into The Gloss have already reviewed it.
- Does Putting Cheap Vodka Through a Water Filter Make it Better?
- Stephanie has posted 10 things you need to know when working with brands as a food blog.
- A Beautiful Mess schools us on how to make your own rose water face mist.
- America? Here is a comprehensive list of where you can actually return opened beauty products if they're the wrong shade, or give you an allergic reaction etc.
- Spotlighting another part of Kent I don't spend much time in, Kristabel has put together a great guide how to spend a day in Margate.
- I now want to make a Basil Mascarpone Buttercream Frosted Chocolate Cake.
- New York? David Lebovitz has found your new favourite ice cream parlour.
- Refinery 29 schools us on the history of the burrito.
- Rose experiences a St Lucia Friday Fish Fry.
- What To Cook Tonight hosted a whiskey and marshmallow toasting party.
- Jacintha has hunted down all the best Swedish cafes in London for us.
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm heading North of the border with a whole group of other blogger girls, so as well as following me on Instagram, be sure to follow Kristabel, Lucy, Kim, Lucie, Lisette, Sarah-Louise and Kate to stay updated with our trip.
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Opening up in that bit Jack Wills sold next to Cafe Rouge, Côte has just opened up a branch on Canterbury High Street. Now, when they invited me along to review their new branch I almost said no, on the basis that I don't really review chains. If it were London, I think I would have declined, but in Canterbury where we have less choice and a smaller area (and therefore are more lightly to repeat restaurants too) I think we actually quite like a good chain, which is why I chose to review the new Byron that opened up this Summer.