Friday, 28 April 2017

Places To Eat In London: Firezza, Soho

Pizza is the answer to most problems, so naturally 48 hours after life got turned upside down by the announcement of another General Election (am I going to have to go to a part of the country I've never been to before to campaign? Will I still have a job after June 8th?), all I wanted was pizza. Thankfully last Wednesday I was booked in to attend the launch of Firezza's first central London location on Dean Street, where they're serving up 1/2 metre, social pizzas designed for sharing, antipasto, and some delicious cannoli.
Half Metre Pizza at Firezza | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Cocktail Hour: Grapefruit, Basil and Peppercorn Gin & Tonics

I enjoy two different types of drinks at home. There is the glass of wine from an already open bottle I pour myself after work while I'm trying to throw dinner together, the hastily mixed G&T after a very long day, and whatever Asian beer is on offer in the off-licence around the corner to go with the Chinese food I ordered as I was leaving the office. Or, there is the slightly slower, more leisurely drink I take my time over at the weekends, or on a warm and sunny evening when I've made it home early. This gin and tonic serve is one of those leisurely drinks, inspired my my all time favourite gin to serve with my tonic: Gin Mare.
Grapefruit, Basil and Black Pepper Gin & Tonics | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Weekly Love: Week 196

So, unexpectedly, it's that time again. If you've moved house since the EU Referendum (I think that is the last time we all went to the polls, it is happening so often these days I'm losing count!), or you're not already registered to vote, do so here so you get a chance to vote in the June 8th elections. The deadline is 22nd May. I know if you look at the polls or the news the result sounds like a forgone conclusion, but looking at this surprise election from inside politics, and from my experience working on the past two general elections, it really is not the case. Those of us in politics need to fight for every vote, and you really need to make your vote count. Oh, and be sure to follow me on Instagram if you don't already. I promise to keep the campaign off of my feed, but I'm going to be spending some of it in Somerset, where I've never been and I've been promised is very beautiful, so I'll be sure to post any pretty landscapes/ buildings, and delicious food I encounter!
Weekly Love 23.04.17[1]
1. Enjoying the sunshine on a weekend trip to Hoxton. | 2. Lunchtime jaunts to Chinatown for sweet barbecue pork buns and to replenish my kimchee supply. | 3. Saturday brunching at Mac & Wild - full review coming soon! | 4. Sunday mornings at Columbia Road Flower Market. | 5. Enjoying my parents beautiful new garden in Kent. | 6. Bringing the smell of spring into my bedroom with hyacinths for the top of my bookcase.

Friday, 21 April 2017

What Does Your Favourite Tea Say About You?

Today is a day that is rather special to most Brits (including those of us like me who are strictly into fruit and herbal): National Tea Day. I know it is a bit of a stereotype that every British person loves a good cup of tea, but things have been a bit of a roller-coaster over the past month, and I know at some of the most stressful moments, we've all automatically offered to go and make a brew, and it has made us feel so much better. So, as the guys at English Tea Shop have sent me a selection of their teas to mark the occasion, I thought I'd reflect on some of my favourite teas, and what our love of tea says about us as a tea drinking nation! 
What Does Your Favourite Tea Says About You? | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

How To Spend A Sunny Sunday In Hoxton

Now I've settled back into life in London, I think it is time to change things up a little bit here on the blog to reflect my life now. I've been thinking a lot about this, and while I'm still going to posting the usual easy recipes and restaurant reviews, I think it makes more sense for things to go back to being more like my diary of things I get up to again. I've finally settled into working a 9 to 5 (well, 9 to 6 if I'm lucky most weeks!), so weekend plans have become a bigger thing for me. I make sure I have fun things planned with friends, and not just meals out, but little adventures to the part of town I love, or that I simply have not explored before. So, to kick things off I wanted to share my suggestion for how to spend a lazy, sunny weekend in Hoxton, where my friend Sophie and I enjoyed a wonderful Sunday lunch at Beagle after a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market, followed by a wander around one of East London's hidden treasures, Geffrye Museum of the Home.
Sunday Lunch at Beagle in Hoxton | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Friday, 14 April 2017

A Sustainable Spring Supper with The Mindful Kitchen

Just how I can't really do yoga because I simply don't have the temperament for it (I tried it for a whole term and I just could not get past thinking how stupid it was or other things I would be better of doing - I'm actually quite jealous of people who can enjoy yoga and get something out of it), several people looked at me askance when I said I was going to an evening about food and 'mindfulness'. Having any interest whatsoever in anything associated with the 'mindfulness' movement is so contrary to my personality, I'm surprised I even accepted the invitation to join The Mindful Kitchen for an Easter dinner last week. But do you know what? I came away from that dinner feeling truly happy and calm, but still intellectually stimulated for the first time in a long time.
Spring Fling at The Ace Hotel with The Mindful Kitchen | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Student Suppers: Baked Eggs with Chickpeas, Tomatoes & Basil

Because there are a stupid amount of cookbooks on my wish list, a few months ago I started taking cookbooks I wanted out of the library so I could flip through them and perhaps try a few dishes before I committed to a purchase. This was short lived as the cookbook selection was not all that in Sandwich (my local library in Kent), but moving to London, it turns out the branch of Southwark library I pass every day on the way to work has a frankly amazing collection. My most recent cookbook love from the library that I've actually really enjoyed cooking from the past few weeks? Jamie Oliver's Everyday Super Food.
Baked Eggs in Chickpeas, Tomatoes & Basil | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Friday, 7 April 2017

Weekly Love: Week 195

Remind me if I ever suggest I may want to move house that I never, ever want to do it again? I never want to pack, unpack or shift another box ever again! I've been lucky that I've managed to go 24 years without every doing it, but on the other side of the coin, that is 24 years worth of stuff to get through! While it has been overwhelming at times, it has been fun to find old photographs, newspaper cuttings and toys that were forgotten until I opened up their cupboards. I think I had honestly even forgotten that I used to draw and paint before I took up photography, until I started sorting out different grades of pencil, soft and oil pastels from charcoal, gouache from oil paints. We have such beautiful gardens full of flowers at the new house, I think once we're sorted, I should try picking up a paintbrush again to try to capture the world around me in a way that requires a bit more investment than choosing and framing a shot, then simply pressing a button. 
Weekly Love 07.04.17[1]
1. Tulips are blooming in our new garden in Kent and in St. James' Park. | 2. Delicious lunchtime Poke bowls from Island Poke. | 3. Meeting the new neighbours at the new house. | 4. Beautiful, ornamental magnolia in full bloom. | 5. Post-work prosecco, lemonade, mint and peach liquor spritzers at Borough Market. | 6. Emptying out the freezer for the big move with a Full English.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Places To Eat In London: Island Poké, Soho

While sit down restaurants and street food are all well and good, at lunchtime when you're hunting for something yummy, filling and nutritious to take back to the office, to enjoy on the train home, or for an impromptu lunch hour picnic in the park (when we have a few warmer days!) may I please introduce you to the humble Hawaiian poké bowl? Brown or sushi rice, cubes of plump, rich raw salmon or ahi tuna, plenty of fruit, veggies and crunchy bits, and a zingy dressing. What is there not to like to cure your mid-day slump?
Island Poké, Soho | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Monday, 3 April 2017

8 Podcasts I Like To Listen To In The Kitchen

Podcasting is having a 'thing' at the moment. Ever since my first year as a student I've loved to listen to podcasts in the kitchen, or while I'm doing chores like laundry or cleaning said kitchen, it is only recently that my list of podcasts I like to listen to has grown substantially: there was a time when the only things I had in my queue were episodes of my all time favourite (the now sadly defunct and removed from iTunes) Joy The Baker Podcast. So, as some of my favourites I've found through recommendations rather than a random browse of the 'New And Noteworthy' section, I thought I'd share 8 of my favourites that I'm binging on at the moment!
8 Podcasts I Like To Listen To In The Kitchen | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps