Friday, 29 December 2017

Retrospective: Looking Back on 2017

Wow what a year! 2017 has been a crazy one, and as per blog tradition I sat down on Boxing Day to put together a rundown of my favourite blog posts and memories of 2017. I love doing this as it gives me the opportunity to look back on the year that has passed (not just by doing my tax returns!), but I also think it is great for those of you who only found my blog this year to catch up on some highlights you may have missed. If you've got some time at home over the post-Christmas, pre-New Year quiet period and you fancy going on an even deeper dive into my archives, you can find my 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 posts here.
January 2017January

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas Kitchen: Chocolate, Cherry & Cognac New Years Cake

As many of you probably know, cake baking is not really my thing. I can do loaf cakes that (mostly) come out cooked through without soggy middles, and if someone asks me to bake a cake, I can pretty much, 99% guarantee it will be some flavour variation on the classic Victoria Sponge. I'm a cook, not a baker. I do flavours, not sugar work. So, you'll be really pleased to hear that this fun, festive New Years Eve countdown cake flavoured with chocolate, cherry and cognac can be mastered by even the most nervous bakers, and really is just an idiot-proof, decorated Victoria Sponge, inspired by my childhood birthday cakes.
Chocolate, Cherry and Cognac New Years Clock Cake #newyear #newyearseve #cake #baking #party #chocolate #cherry #cognac

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas Kitchen: Candy Cane Peppermint Brownies

After getting loads of work done in the pub on Sunday, I found it really hard to motivate myself on Monday. Most of my living space is full of boxes at the moment and I find it really hard to work in a mess, so to make myself feel like I was working I made Christmas brownies. A twist on my classic Super Simple 3-Step Chocolate Brownie recipe, they're inspired by the Christmas I spent living in America where peppermint chocolate flavour is up there with mulled wine and cinnamon for festive flavours, and where I made my way through an insane number of boxes of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Minty Mallows (someone send me a box?) 
Christmas Candy Cane Peppermint Brownies #christmas #brownies #baking #candycane #peppermint

Monday, 18 December 2017

French Photo Diary #11: Lunch at Auberge de la Cour Verte

Last week to finish off our annual pre-Christmas trip to France my parents and I decided to go somewhere a bit different for food. In spite of having our Brittany barn conversion for over 10 years we've not really explored more of the less 'everyday' restaurants yet, so for a little treat we decided to book ourselves into somewhere my mother had had bookmarked for a while: Auberge de la Cour Verte in Dol de Bretagne, a member of Les Toques Françaises and Association Française de Maitres Restaurateurs (always marks of somewhere special to eat in France), hidden away in a traditional stone house on the outskirts of the town.
Salmon with Citrus Fromage Frais at Auberge de la Cour Verte #france #brittany

Friday, 15 December 2017

Weekly Love: Week 212

Why is it that I may finally see some snow this morning (having missed the last round of white while I spent a lovely and relaxing week in France eating, drinking, reading, watching films and playing Monopoly - more on that in a few upcoming blog posts) when it might be the least convenient? I'm back to London this afternoon, and the last thing I need is the wrong type of snow on the train tracks so I don't make it all the way to St. Pancras! Not least because when I finally get there I'll be switching advent calendars (I have two this year!) and I'll have 15 days worth of Cadbury Heroes chocolate to enjoy in front of the television tonight! 
Weekly Love 15.11.17
1.  Mummy/ Daughter pizzas at Chapter Canterbury. | 2. Judging the 2017 Canterbury Christmas Windows. | 3. A bottle of wine by the fire at my favourite creperie in Brittany. | 4. Beautiful Christmas lights in Canterbury. | 5. Langoustines for lunch at the simply flawless Auberge de la Cour Verte in Dol de Bretagne, Brittany. | 6. Daddy made one of my favourite and his speciality in France, Hot King Prawns in Garlic Butter (click here for his recipe!)

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Christmas Kitchen: Organic Salmon Terrine with Gin & Tonic Jelly

Just how food magazines seem to enjoy telling us we'll have lots of unexpected festive visitors stop by over the Christmas period you'll have to feed and water at the last minute, I guarantee you that if you pick up any issue from any year you will be prompted to make some sort of festive pate or terrine either for a festive starter, or for seasonal lunching. I love this idea, and as I've already shared my go-to recipe for chicken liver pate, this Christmas I've teamed up once again with the Organic Trade Board and their Feed Your Happy campaign to bring you my super simple Salmon Terrine finished with a homemade organic Gin & Tonic Jelly.
Salmon Terrine with Gin and Tonic Jelly #christmas #salmon #terrine #gin

Monday, 11 December 2017

Places To Eat In Canterbury: Chapter Sourdough Pizzeria

A little break from Christmas shopping today, I want to tell you about a great pizza place that opened a few months ago in Canterbury that I spied while I was judging this years Christmas windows, and which provided the perfect gift hunting rest stop the other week. Chapter is a sourdough pizzeria on Burgate serving up great value, authentic pizzas, a few classics like lasagna (baked in the pizza oven) and a good cocktail list at their bar - at the moment they've got great crocks of mulled wine and cider sitting up on the counter. It would be a great place to go for dinner, but they've also got a brilliant value lunch menu where you can get a pizza and a starter or dessert (I wish we'd not been too full to try the chocolate orange mousse) for just £10!
Chapter Sourdough Pizzeria, Canterbury #pizza #canterbury #sourdough

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Kitchen: Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Stars

After my famous chocolate brownies, my most popular recipe of all time is this Classic Cheese Straws recipe. This tells that around this time of year with your cocktails (may I recommend a Pomegranate & Rosemary Spritz, a Clementine 75 or a Classic Champagne Cocktail?) is something light, slightly cheesy, slightly spicy and made of pastry? So, I thought this year I'd share a festive nibble that is even easier to make, can be made out of a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry and that will only take less than half an hour from start to finish.
Parmesan and Paprika Cocktail Stars #christmas #newyear #canape

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Christmas Kitchen: Pomegranate & Rosemary Spritz

So, today I thought I'd kick off a month of recipes for your Christmas kitchen with a light, fruity cocktail that is perfect to sip while you're getting the tree up (if you've not put it up already!) or you're wrapping presents (they'd go perfectly with a batch of my famous Classic Cheese Straws!) It works great for just the two of you or to make up a pitcher for a party crowd - you can keep the rosemary syrup in a sealed jar in the fridge so you can whip them up at short notice throughout the festive period. I always puzzle at magazine and recipe tips indicating something is suitable for last minute holiday guests, because I think in 24 years I've never had any (who just turns up at someones home unannounced?) but I've asked around and apparently they are a thing! 
Appletiser Pomegranate & Rosemary Spritz #christmas #cocktail #pomegranate | @rachelphipps

Monday, 4 December 2017

Judging Canterbury's Christmas Windows 2017

On Saturday I was honoured to be asked back for the third year to help judge Canterbury's Christmas Windows (you can see the windows in 2015 and 2016 here). It is always my favourite way to kick off the festive season, and I'm always so excited to share my photos from the afternoon with you all to kick off Christmas content here on the blog. Just a note about this years post: I can't share hundreds of photos with you all here, as much as I would like to, so I've had to be a bit ruthless of who gets included in my roundup. With the exception of Fenwick (which is not really one), and Lakeland and Waterstones (which were some of my favourite windows this year) I've not included any chains in my roundup. But, rest assured over four hours we came round to judge and appreciate every one of the 80+ shops that entered this year before we decamped for mulled wine!
Ortwin Thyssen Christmas Windows, Canterbury #christmas

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Weekly Love: Week 211

Happy December everyone! I don't know about you but I'm super excited to get into the festive spirit. I may have an obscene amount of Cadbury advent calendars to my name this year (thanks Cadbury press office!), and we'll be switching out our diffusers for The White Company's Winter scent later today, but I'm a little miffed that I've yet to enjoy some mulled wine. Hopefully I'll get my first cup to warm me through after the third annual judging of the Canterbury Christmas Windows which I'm honoured to have been invited back to be on the panel for this afternoon. Wandering the city looking at festive displays has become my favourite way to kick off the season. Of course I'll be taking plenty of photos on the way round which I will be sharing first thing next week so you can vote on your favourites - you can see my 2015 and 2016 posts here.
Weekly Love 01.12.17
1. Arguably London's best Christmas lights this year on Carnaby Street. | 2. Fish sharing platter and chips at The Shakespeare during a Mummy/ Rachel Christmas shopping trip in Canterbury. | 3. Visiting the new Boden brick and mortar store on Sloane Square. | 4. Enjoying spreadable goats cheese, crackers and English Provender relishes (in their pretty new look jars) for lunch. #ad | 5. All aboard the Hogwarts Express on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. | 6. Fantastic Franca Manca pizzas in Kilburn.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Sunday Evenings at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, London

If you come here for recipes and restaurant recommendations, and you're not nearly as much as a Harry Potter fan as I am, may I suggest you skip this post, and get a kick start on some festive baking for the weekend with my Mummy's Mince Pie recipe? Otherwise, put the kettle on, grab a Chocolate Frog and settle down because somehow, out of the 495 photos I took on the Harry Potter Studio Tour the other weekend, I've selected about 40 to share with you all. A little peek at what you should be spending the next Sunday evening you have free doing if you live in London, and just at the pure magic of Harry Potter for those of you who live further afield.
Hogwarts at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, London | #harrypotter @rachelphipps

Monday, 27 November 2017

Recipe: Cheeky Peri Peri Chicken Burgers

There is a certain high street chicken chain I have been to twice and actively disliked on both occasions I have decided I can do way better at home. So here is my super easy, super delicious recipe for weeknight peri peri chicken burgers (made in collaboration with Mahi Fine Foods who make the perfect peri peri for the job) where you'll get super juicy chicken every single time. Grab and beer and throw a handful of fries on each plate (this is how I get them perfect at home every single time), and I promise you you'll never hanker after food that comes with a little flag in it ever again (and did I mention that my way is much cheaper, too?)
Cheeky Peri Peri Chicken Burgers with Mahi Fine Foods #recipe #diy #burger #periperi #chicken #weeknight | @rachelphipps

Friday, 24 November 2017

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals & Discount Codes 2017

Last year so many of you got in touch to say how helpful you found my guide to the best Black Friday/ Cyber Monday deals so I've put together another one this year to share all the best bargains you'll find both online and in store this weekend. Personally, I'm going to be putting in a Glossier order (20% off of absolutely everything!) and perhaps getting some bits from The White Company with their 20% off of almost everything (use C604 at the checkout!) too. And, if you're stuck for gift ideas you can check out my Bumper Christmas Gift Guide with gifts for him and her up to both under £10 and up to £50 here - happy hunting!
Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals & Discount Codes 2017 #blackfriday #cybermonday #cyberweekend | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Recipe: Vietnamese-style Banh Mi Street Fries

So everyone may be going on about Nigella subverting the spiralizer, but I want to share with you all my tip for getting perfect, restaurant style french fries every time at home. For years my Dad has been on the hunt for the perfect homemade chip. We've tried every trick in the book from salting, to soaking to rinsing. It turned out the secret to the perfect at home chip was a new piece of kit: an air fryer. It turns out the secret to perfect at home fries was to buy them from the freezer section (the kind that are just potato and a little oil to stop them sticking together) and to air fry them completely dry, with no added oil. There you have it, a one time investment to perfect (and healthy) restaurant fries every time. It really is that simple. 
Vietnamese-style Homemade Banh Mi Street Fries #fries #chips #vietnamese #banhmi #pork #streetfood #loadedfries #pickles | @rachelphipps

Monday, 20 November 2017

Bumper Christmas Gift Guide 2017

I went Christmas shopping for the first time this year in Canterbury with my Mum last week, and god everyone is up for a challenge this year. I don't know what it is, but there don't seem to be nearly enough fun, unique and generally lovely Christmas gifts and stocking fillers in the shops this year. It has been harder than usual to put this together too: a five part Christmas gift guide so you don't have to struggle with gifts the way I seem to be this year! I've included a selection of gifts under £10, under £25 and under £50, plus a guide geared at gifts for him and a selection of my favourite 2017 cookbooks I think would also make great gifts - I hope they help! 
Gifts Under £10 2017 Under £10

Friday, 17 November 2017

Weekly Love: Week 210

Please don't ask me what I have been up to the past couple of weeks, because I'm not really sure. I think 'busy' is the right descriptor. I know I've got a lot done but for the life of me I could not quantify what, and I'm already looking forward to my next trip to France mid-December where all I have to do for a whole week is curl up with a good book, visit restaurants and food markets, stock up on festive food and drink, and eat my body weight in local oysters. We're also looking into the possibility of another Christmas trip between the big day itself and New Year - so if anyone has visited the Black Forest (the German part) in the snowy season before, I'd love to hear from you with your recommendations/ what you got up to! 
Weekly Love 17.11.17
1. Spending a magical Sunday evening exploring the Harry Potter Studio Tour just outside London - don't worry - I'll be posting the massive amount of photos I took soon! | 2. Sushi lunches wrapped up against the chill from Inigo in Soho. | 3. Snuggling up to work on my Christmas Gift Guide (out next week for those of you who need gift inspiration!) with one of Tesco's suprisingly lovely vanilla Christmas candles, my favourite Avoca rug and the delicious chocolate The Grown Up Chocolate Company invited me to customise! | 4. Wild brunching at Mac and Wild near Liverpool Street. | 5. Sunday succulents. | 6. Meet Camilla. She likes to stare out of the bedroom window at the builders, climb up onto high objects then promptly fall off, run as fast as she can from one end of the house to the other, and to wake me up in the mornings by sneaking into the bedroom to bat my feet through the duvet with her paws.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Places To Eat In Canterbury: Wild Goose

Recently I've had the pleasure of working on a profile of The Goods Shed in Canterbury for my old school magazine. I've been taking photographs, getting to know the fascinating history of the building with its owner, and as a happy by-product of the amount of time I've been spending there I have found my new favourite place to eat in Canterbury: Wild Goose. Serving up cocktails made using local ingredients, good wine and delicious seasonal small plates from their tiny bar and even smaller kitchen they're tucked away in the corner in the shadow of the upstairs restaurant, but need shouting about to anyone who will listen.
Roasted Shallots with Goats Curd, Charred Toast, Mint & Honey at Wild Goose #smallplates #wildgoose #thegoodsshed #canterbury | @rachelphipps

Monday, 13 November 2017

Places To Eat In London: Inigo, Soho

I may not be working in an office anymore, but I stuck at my desk job long enough to know that tasty, healthy, good value lunches are a problem. If you work in a building with an on-site cafeteria the lunches may be a little cheaper, but not always good for you, and while bringing a packed lunch from home may always be the ideal, let us be honest and say that does not always happen. In these situations when it got to midday and I was still lunchless I'd usually turn to an Itsu that would usually come in at way over £10, or walk into Soho for an equally as pricy poke bowl. However, I was invited to try Inigo, a new sushi hand roll opening last week, which needs to become part of your 'I've nothing healthy to eat for lunch' rotation.
Lunch from Inigo, Soho #sushi #lunch #london #soho #handrolls | @rachelphipps

Friday, 10 November 2017

Recipe: Roast Mexican Chicken with Pumpkin & Pesto

While bacon will come in at a pretty close second, if anyone asks me what the one meat product I can't live without is I'll say chicken thighs (if we're even counting chicken as meat, because they're really poultry, if you're going to be fussy!) Skinless boneless or the whole shebang where the skin can crisp up beautifully, they are so versatile and can be used to replicate basically any nations cuisine with as much or as little effort as you want. I cook with them with such regularity that it is a surprise to me I've only got seven other recipes for them on the blog (I've linked to them at the bottom of this post for a bit more inspiration!)
Mexican Chicken with Pumpkin, Chilli & Pesto 
#chicken #pumpkin #onepan #pesto #feta #chilli #roast #lecreuset | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Recipe: Easy Apple & Cinnamon Hand Pies

I'm not a big pastry person, but sometimes I just want something small with my afternoon tea or for breakfast to get me going on a chilly autumn morning. It's apple season, so I've put together a super easy, super small batch (this makes nine, which is about two to three servings worth, they keep well in a tin for a day or two and warm quickly in a hot oven) recipe made with just one crisp, new season apple, a touch of cinnamon and a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry. Autumnal breakfasting/ snacking/ lunchboxing at it's finest (especially as they go perfectly with a small bottle/ can of Appletiser, who have again kindly sponsored this post!) Take these on as a pie-tastic weekend kitchen project, so you have a little Monday treat to look forward to!
Easy Apple Hand Pies | #applepie #apple #handpie #autumn #fall @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Places To Eat In London: Ducksoup, Soho

I love new openings. They're fresh and exciting, but sometimes you need to discover something new that has been doing fresh and exciting things for years. A friend who does restaurant PR (but not for this place) chose where we were meeting for lunch the other week, so I paid my first visit to Ducksoup in Soho. What followed was one of the most delicious and interesting meals I have had in a very long time, served in small plates made with the very best ingredients, made a little unusual by pairing them with the best of all natural wines.
Small Plates at DUCKSOUP, Soho | @rachelphipps

Friday, 3 November 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Old Queen's Head, Islington

I have literally found you the perfect way to spend your Sunday. Just 10 minutes walk from Angel tube station is one of the nicest pubs I have found in London: The Old Queen's Head. What started off as a regular press review of their lunch offering turned into over four hours of sipping Bloody Mary's at the bar, cozying up in the comfortable, quirky space with our perfect roasts and killer Lucky Chip burgers, and playing childhood boardgames like Guess Who?, Operation and Ludo (played on a Fustration board because we're just that cool.)
Lucky Chip Burgers & Fries at The Old Queen's Head, Islington | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Recipe: Middle Eastern Welsh Lamb & Aubergine Nachos

I spend a lot of time trying to get people to eat spiced lamb. Lamb has always been a funny one for me. Apparently I adored it as a small child, and came to really, really dislike it/ refuse to eat it in my late teens. More recently I've discovered that lamb can be awful if you get cheap, bad quality meat and don't cook it properly, but absolutely delicious if you take the time to source the good stuff and cook it with care: case in point, I had some divine lamb ribs at DUCKSOUP in Soho the other week (review coming soon!) that I'd recommend to everyone whenever they're on. I'm a big advocate of spicing lamb mince, because I find it is the best way to turn lamb haters into lamb eaters, especially when you can go in a Middle Eastern direction and load it up with all types of fresh herbs, bright, tempting colours and fresh flavours. 
Easy Middle Eastern Lamb Aubergine Nachos | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Advent Calendar Roundup 2017

I know, I know it seems a bit silly to be talking about advent calendars one month out, but gone are the days of chocolate calendars and those pretty little paper ones where you got a different picture every day (though I'll still never say no to either!) So many of the most exciting advent calendars out there are already on sale, or have waiting lists, or you need to jump on as they sell out really really quickly, so I thought this year I would put together a round up of some of the best foodie, beauty, and general lifestyle calendars out there. 
Cadbury's Advent Calendars 2017

Monday, 30 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Royal Oak, Twickenham

I know it is bad and lazy of me, but usually when I hear about a place to eat I'll only visit if I can easily walk there, get there on the tube, and then it is only about a 10-15 minute walk to get there once I've got off at the station. Aside from a pilgrimage in the spring to one of my London favourites, Beagle in Hoxton and the Columbia Road Flower Market, for example this has pretty much meant I don't eat in East London anymore (which was pretty much the only place I ate when I was a student living in Mile End!) So, when I needed to go to Twickenham, which while being in London is somewhere I had to get a train to (!) as the tube does not go that far out West, I knew I need to role a food review into my trip too.
Dinner at The Royal Oak, Twickenham | @rachelphipps

Friday, 27 October 2017

Weekly Love: Week 209

They never tell you all of the things that can go wrong as a grown up. Yes you get to sleep in on weekends and drink wine on a weeknight, but fridges fill up with water that you've got to figure out how to fix, and kitchen sinks collapse because they were not fitted properly getting dirty water all over the kitchen floor. If, like me you've had a few days that reflect the latter, rather than the former, treat yourself. There has to be something on your Amazon wishlist that you can prime to make your weekend that much better? I'm going to be enjoying Nigella's brilliant new book I got this week, but here is some more inspiration by way of three items from my wishlist: Nadiya's British Food Adventure, Los Angeles Cult Recipes & Milly's Real Food.
Weekly Love 27.10.17
1. Autumn leaves in Sandwich. | 2. Cured egg yolks in avocado boats at the launch of Nadine Levy Redzepi's brilliant new book Downtime. There is so much from this book I want to make, and the Spicy Chicken Liver Pasta an the Hazelnut Praline Cake that have already graced my kitchen were simply divine. | 3. Bacon, egg, crispy onion and spicy mayo brioche rolls at The Naughty Egg in Canterbury. | 4. Matcha gelato, red bean paste and mochi bubble waffles at Bubblewrap in Chinatown. | 5. Ripe red apples outside the greengrocer on Deal High Street. | 6. My first ever UK Glossier order: Coconut Balm Dot Com (a delicious, really effective lip balm - really recommended), Boy Brow (still getting used to this one), Milk Jelly Cleanser (I think I'm in love, lovely face wash, and takes all my makeup off!), Priming Moisturiser (does exactly what it says on the tin, I've been obsessed with this stuff for a couple of years) and Priming Moisturiser Rich (beautiful thick version of the Priming Moisturiser, great if like me you get dry skin easily!) You can get 10% off of your first order if you click here.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Places To Eat In Manchester: Evelyn's

For our second breakfast (well brunch, they were serving the lunch menu too by the time we got there!) in Manchester (have you seen my review of Federal Bar & Cafe yet?) we headed to somewhere else that was already on my 'to visit' list from recommendations, then came recommended to me again once people found out I was in Manchester: Evelyn's. Owned by the team behind Queenswood, Damson & Co. and Mughli in London, it was by far our favourite meal in the city, and if you're just passing through and you want to eat one meal out in Manchester, this is where you need to go (and they take reservations!)
Brunch at Evelyn's, Manchester | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Halloween Treats: Mummified Cocoa Pops Treats

While I'm more of a savoury person than sweet, I can't resist making a few bakes and sweet treats to celebrate my two favourite 'holidays' (to use the American term) that fall as the weather gets colder, outfits get cosier and we're not yet into the grey slush of January: Halloween and Christmas. As all the ghoolies and ghosties will be coming out to play on Tuesday (and most people will be celebrating this weekend) I thought I'd throw together a simple twist on childhood rice krispie treats so that you too can get your spook on! 
Easy Mummified Cocoa Pops Treats | @rachelphipps

Monday, 23 October 2017

Student Suppers: Tomato & Coconut Cassoulet

I have been waiting to share this recipe with you all since the spring. Delicious, cozy, and vegan without actually trying to be (which is the only type of veganism I'll accept!) I first made the Tomato & Coconut Cassoulet from Anna Jones' essential primer on vegetarian cooking A Modern Way To Eat as the days started to get warmer, and while it was love at first bite, I figured it was the sort of thing we'd all want to start tucking into as the days got colder. I've made a few changes to suit the fact I always want way more coconut, to suit a kitchen without fancy pans and gadgets, and so that it happily serves two (though it heats up beautifully!)
Tomato & Coconut Cassoulet | @rachelphipps

Friday, 20 October 2017

Autumnal Lunchbox Inspiration + Mastering The Work/ Life Balance

This blog post, the latest in my partnership with healthy pea snack brand Yushoi is really about about three different (but interconnected) things: autumnal lunchbox ideas (because most of us need them and are totally guilty of eating the same thing every day, in one of my last jobs a woman in my office at the same thing for lunch every day of the 18 months I worked there!), a few of my (loose) tips on achieving a work/ life balance, and a little update of where I am now, because it has been a while since we've had a good chat!
Autumn Lunchbox Ideas with Yushoi | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: Canova Hall, Brixton

Brixton is somewhere I've never spent much time in. I think, before last week I'd only been twice (once to see Maroon 5 play life at the O2, and once to a trip to Pop Brixton to drink beer and eat dumplings all afternoon) which is silly, considering how close it is to where I now live in Borough. So, when I was invited to have dinner at brand new restaurant and co-working space by day, busy bar and dinner spot by night Canova Hall, we decided to make a Friday night of it, going to dinner after drinks with friends at the Trinity Arms.
Dinner at Canova Hall, Brixton | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Student Suppers: Bacon Maple Granola Soup Topper

So, I may still be able to go out most days just wearing my new, super warm and snuggly Whistles cashmere jumper, but soup season is definitely upon us. There are loads of recipes for different soups on this blog, so today I thought I'd talk about something a bit different: soup toppers. I've talked about making punchy flavoured oils to drizzle over a bowl (see my coriander lime oil that goes great with a carrot soup, or my basil oil that goes great on a tomato soup or something a bit earthier like a squash or pumpkin soup) but let me introduce you to my new favourite thing to go on every smooth soup I've lunched on recently: savoury granola.
Pea and Mint Soup with Bacon Granola | @rachelphipps

Monday, 16 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Pickled Hen, Marylebone

I've got a brand new opening on the border between Marylebone and Marble Arch for your today: The Pickled Hen. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner (which is where we went one weeknight) don't let the fact it is part of a hotel put you off, the atmosphere is lovely, the dining room is stylish, the menu is imaginative (but still comforting), and the food is excellent. We went on a weeknight and had a simply lovely evening, sitting together by the window watching the rain outside with a lovely bottle of Malbec.
Chicken Tiki Masala at The Pickled Hen, Marylebone | @rachelphipps

Friday, 13 October 2017

Weekly Love: Week 208

Finally, after a month of back and forth, I'm back home and in the kitchen. I started early at my parents house just before the kitchen they moved into was ripped out for renovations with a hyper seasonal, super delicious (the three of us polished the whole thing off over a couple of days) Maple Custard Tart from One Cook And Her Cupboard by Florence Knight. The book has never let me down when I've been looking for more of a kitchen project (though, double the cooking time for the custard depending on your oven), and I must resolve to dig into it more. Dinner last night was Lucy's One-Pan Sausage Pasta Bake which we wolfed down after heating it up (I'd made it ahead as we went to see George Osborne talk about the financial crash 10 years on - you can take a girl out of Westminster..!) and I can highly recommend so easy, and so delicious!
Weekly Love 13.010.15
1. Sunny lunchtimes wandering around Chinatown in search of steamed sweet pork buns. | 2. A simply stunning scoop of damson ice cream from Ginger's Comfort Emporium in Manchester - tasted just like crumble! | 3. Tasting the wonderful Polpo autumn cocktail menu at Ape & Bird. | 4. A fantastic brunch at Evelyn's in Manchester - full blog post coming soon! | 5. A simply stunning late, solo lunch of chicken, orange, cavelo nero and toasted almonds from Wild Goose at The Good's Shed in Canterbury. | 6. An afternoon turn around Sir John Soane's museum - more here!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Places To Eat In Manchester: Federal Cafe & Bar

This morning I want to bring you the first of two 'Places To Eat In' reviews from Manchester where I spent a couple of days at a conference a few weeks ago. After a meat-fuelled evening at Red's True Barbecue (a wonderful meal with fantastic service, sadly my pictures did not come out as well as I would have hoped) the next morning we walked into the Northern Quarter to find breakfast somewhere that came greatly recommended by readers, Instagram followers and other bloggers: Federal Bar and Cafe, a small little Aussie inspired all-day spot tucked away just past one of the city's main shopping streets.
Brunch at Federal Bar & Cafe, Manchester | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Naughty Egg

I've been home in Canterbury the past few days catching up with old friends (as well as doing all the usual admin like going to the dentist and taxing my car!), but I've also had some chance to try out some new places I've wanted to eat for ages, but not really had the chance to since I moved to Canterbury in February. I was told about The Naughty Egg, an all-day egg bar inspired by L.A.'s Eggslut before it opened in March, but unbelievably yesterday was my first visit. Canterbury? The fact you can now get gloriously eggy sandwiches and loaded fries both in store (they have about 9 stools to perch on) and on Deliveroo makes me very jealous.
Egg & Bacon at The Naughty Egg, Canterbury | @rachelphipps

Monday, 9 October 2017

Breakfast for Dinner with Le Creuset

Escaping from the rain just off Bermondsey Street (though, I did enjoy checking a wonderful new grocer that opened a few weeks ago, the Giddy Grocer - do check it out!), up a couple of dark flights of stairs I joined Le Creuset for a spot of breakfast for dinner (in my view, the best meal ever), served up in their beautiful new city inspired collection, cooked up by chef Stevie Parle (who you might know from his restaurants Palantino, Dock Kitchen and Craft London. The table looked so beautiful, the collection was a lovely new colour (you know I'm such a massive fan of anything Le Creuset) and we ate some really great food that has inspired me with a few more brunch ideas I thought I'd share a few snaps from the evening.
Brunch Toasts with Le Creuset | @rachelphipps

Friday, 6 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: Smokin' Lotus

While it seems like summer is the prime time in London for street food, I actually like this in-between season, where you want a jumper and a light jacket (maybe a scarf) but you're in no way sheltering from the cold to hit up a few food trucks. You appreciate tucking into your treats a bit more, the warmth of your wraps, sandwiches and just-from-the-oven bakes, each lunchtime a different adventure. A couple of weeks ago found me checking out the vendors at KERB collective's Canary Wharf lunchtime market where I found one of the best Asian barbecue sandwiches I've had in a very long time from the guys at Smokin' Lotus.
Asian Barbecue Pork Belly Sandwich at Smokin' Lotus | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Sunny Autumn Afternoons in St. Malo, Brittany

A break was needed, so we piled into the car for a couple of days at the French house just to unwind, spending most days curled up with our books, keeping a ridged aperitif hour and playing mammoth (and very competitive!) games of Monopoly. We ventured out once in the middle of the week to have lunch in Combourg, but on our last day we decided to go on a little day trip to the fortified old town of St. Malo (I had not been since I wrote about it in 2011), just on the coast (well, we had to get up and get dressed anyway to go and stock up on wine and treats to take back with us to London, and it was such a sunny day!)
St. Malo Fort | @rachelphipps

Monday, 2 October 2017

A Day On The Chilli Farm with Nix & Kix

Just before I headed off to France I was given the opportunity to leave the city a day early, heading off to Bedfordshire to visit a chilli farm with slightly spicy drinks brand Nix & Kix to learn about different varieties of chilli, how chilli farming works here in the UK, and to get into the test kitchen to try my hand at creating my own chilli based product. Oh, and chilli spiked cocktails were promised to make an appearance!
Nix & Kix | @rachelphipps

Friday, 29 September 2017

Weekly Love: Week 207

I'm off to Manchester this weekend, but if you're staying in London and you've not already been, can I recommend that you head on down to the Sir John Soane's Museum? Located just of Lincoln's Inn Fields this amazing Georgian townhouse (the country's smallest National museum) is stuffed to the rafters with things like Greek vases, Roman grave markers and an Egyptian King's sarcophagus that the neo-classical architect collected on his Grant Tour - I went yesterday, and it was a wonderful place to while away an hour hiding from the temperamental early-autumn weather. It is free to visit, but barely any of the artefacts are labelled so while there are curators on hand in every room it might be worth investing in one of the £3 guide books. 
Weekly Love 29.09.17[1]
1. Taco Tuesdays at El Pastor in Borough Market. | 2. Beautiful crystal blue water at the beach in St. Malo, Brittany - lots more of my travel snaps to follow! | 3. Parma Violet and Kinder Egg Gelato from Sanchez in St. Malo. | 4. Chocolate raspberry cheesecake to round off a lovely pub lunch at The Gatekeeper in Etchinghill. | 5. Weeknight burgers, pizza and red wine at The Royal Oak in  Twickenham. | 6. One of the best dishes I've had in London for ages: schnitzel pork chop topped with bonito mayo, chilli oil, rocket, lightly pickled cucumber cubes, and the most delicious and curious pickled shimeji mushrooms at Lupin's in Borough.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: Hot Pot, Chinatown

Sometimes there are experiences you have with food that excite you so much it totally changes the way you think about certain ingredients or a certain cuisine. A years long (and still ongoing) love affair with Korean food was born from my first Korean barbecue experience in Los Angeles' Koreatown one afternoon during my study abroad year in 2012, and the other week I had the most exciting interactive meal since that in Chinatown (which can be hit and miss for restaurants): I was invited for my first ever Chinese hot pot.
Dinner at Hot Pot, Chinatown | @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

An Organic Fruit and Veg Box from Abel & Cole + A New Cookbook

Anyone who lives near a farmers market, grows their own vegetables or receives a weekly (or monthly) veg box will get excited about a brand new cookbook full of veg-centric recipes. While I love living near Borough Market it can get expensive, and while it is great my parents grow their own fruit and veg it is more than a little bit annoying carrying it with me on the train, then the tube. So, when Abel & Cole, the king of organic veggies offered to send me one of their boxes and their new cookbook to my door in honour of Organic September obviously I jumped at the luxury of having quality produce delivered to me for a change. 
Golden Maple & Walnut Parsnips from Abel & Cole How To Eat Brilliantly Everyday | @rachelphipps

Friday, 22 September 2017

Student Suppers: Baked Eggs with Black Pudding & Potatoes

We're well into autumn now, and it is getting cold out. Leaving the house without a coat is now simply not an option, so today I thought I'd sort out dinner for you with an easy, relatively quick (the only reason this does not fall into the thirty minute meal category is you need to par-boil some potatoes and slow cook some onions - both things that can be done during Sunday meal prep if that is your sort of thing) and hearty. Today I'm borrowing baked eggs from their usual tomato heavy sauces and sitting them in a bed of crisp, sautéed potatoes, rich, toasted black pudding and sweet, sticky onions. Parsley is our friend for some punch.
Baked Eggs with Black Pudding, Potatoes & Onions | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: El Pastor, Borough Market

I love me a good taco, so obviously since I moved back to London within walking distance of Borough Market, I have wanted to try El Pastor, the famous taco joint on Stoney Street bordering the market. It's had rave reviews, and while I won't mention it further because it is not fair for a business to be reduced to what is done to them, but there is a certain solidarity you can feel with a place when your place of work has been attacked by terrorists this year, too. They don't do reservations, so be prepared to wait around and have a few drinks, or do what we did - go for lunch towards the end of service when things are winding down on a weekday.
Lunch at El Pastor, Borough Market | @rachelphipps

Monday, 18 September 2017

Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Lazy Piped Matcha Frosting

I'm not a big baker. There are those people who can do bake and cook, there are the people who are wonderful bakers but don't really feel comfortable whipping up a savoury meal, and there are people who can cook beautifully but don't really 'get' baking. Then there are the people like me, who are perfectly competent bakers who could fulfil practically all of the challenges on The Great British Bake Off who simply don't enjoy baking that much. Funny, as my Super Simple 3-Step Chocolate Brownies are the most popular recipe on this site of all time. However, sometimes the mood takes me to bake something simple, with just a little twist.
Chocolate Cake with Matcha Frosting | @rachelphipps

Friday, 15 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: Lupin's, Borough

My diary has been pretty full recently of exciting street food and world flavours, so when it came to choose somewhere to go to lunch on Saturday I had just two criteria: that I would not have to get on the tube to get there (something pretty easy to manage living in Borough, within walking distance of the market, Bermondsey Street, Flat Iron Square and the Southwark restaurant district), and that the chosen spot did something exciting with local ingredients in what has come to be the 'British' way, meaning that while there were some world influences and flavours in there, it was not religiously subscribed to one cuisine.
Courgette, Chilli & Ricotta Croquettes with Spiced Honey at Lupins, Borough | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Picnic Time: Easy Almond & Apricot Sausage Rolls

With a wobbly few days at the start of the month, it looks like we are going to get to enjoy something of an Indian Summer. So, for my second post collaborating with the team at Appletiser (there is still time to make the Barbecue Pesto Prawns with Pea, Feta & Avocado Salad we made in July) I thought we'd go for a (back garden, so you can easily retreat in case of rain!) picnic together in case, like me, you have failed to get the basket out of the basement and dry clean your picnic rug to head out into the great outdoors yet this year.
Indian Summer Picnic with Appletiser | @rachelphipps

Monday, 11 September 2017

Signing Books & Cooking Live at the We Love Hythe Food Festival

I love a good food festival, so on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday Weekend my family piled into the car (my aunt and uncle came too!) because it just so happened that I'd been asked to judge the cake competition, do a cooking demonstration and sign some books at the second annual We Love Hythe Food Festival run by Hythe Life Magazine - the nearest food festival to where my parents have just moved to in Kent. As well as getting to share Student Eats with the local community some of my local foodie favourites were there so it was nice to catch up, and I've fallen head over heels in love with yet another local food truck I want to show you.
In the Demo Kitchen  at We Love Hythe Food Festival with Student Eats | @rachelphipps