Tuesday, 30 May 2017

How I Found My Literary Agent (By Me and My Literary Agent)

Ever since I was about 13 years old, I wanted to write and publish a book. When I was 16 (the year I finished NaNoWriMo for the first time, the challenge where every November you take part you write a 50,000 word novel in 50 days) I read, cover to cover, that years copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook, which clued me in all I needed to know about publishing my first book. And the biggest thing I realised I needed? I needed a first rate literary agent. So, off the back of my announcement that I'll be publishing my first book in August (!) I thought I'd put together the story of how I found my literary agent, a list of resources I found helpful, and some practical tips from my own literary agent, the wonderful Diana Beaumont at Marjacq
How I Found My Literary Agent (By Me and My Literary Agent)

Friday, 26 May 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Gladstone Arms, Borough

I've got an absolute gem of a pub for you today, just around the corner from Borough tube station that just so happens to also be one of my locals: the newly re-furbished and re-opened under new ownership (after a battle to save the historic building from development): The Gladstone Arms. It literally has everything you'd want from a local city pub (as opposed to country pubs, where I look for totally different things): good food, delicious small sharing plates, a selection of good, independent, local beers on tap, delicious cocktails, live music in the evenings, and a roof terrace set to open over the next few weeks just in time for summer.
Japanese Fried Chicken at The Gladstone Arms in Borough | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Student Suppers: Easy Bruschetta Salsa with Tortilla Chips

When I lived in Los Angeles, there were a few items I always used to pick up any time I went to Trader Joe's across the street so they were always in my fridge/ kitchen cupboard. I always had a bag of their lightly salted tortilla chips to hand, a tub of their fantastic soured cream which is a bit thicker than the ones we can buy in British supermarkets (and therefore perfect for scooping), and a tub of their freshly made Pico de Gallo Salsa (which I have replicated in Student Eats). This golden trio, sometimes eaten in front of the television (usually episodes of The Good Wife) formed many a last minute meal when I've not needed much. Recently, without that wonderful sour cream, I've been enjoying an Italian/ Mexican mashup: herby, slightly garlicy bruschetta topping, scooped up with blue tortilla chips (which taste the same, but look prettier!)
Bruschetta Salsa with Blue Tortilla Chips | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Friday, 19 May 2017

Weekly Love: Week 198

Happy Friday everyone! I've been enjoying the beautiful sunshine down in Kent these past two weeks after a weekend spent in London, working from home in the garden during the day, then out working on the election in my home patch in the evenings, joining the team for way too many pints and curries once it finally gets too dark to knock on everyones doors (don't be surprised if I turn into a peshwari naan before I return to London!) This sort of thing is what I live for, but the weather has already got my so excited to properly get into my first summer in the city for a while: get ready for lots of outdoor dining posts, trips out to the countryside for picnics and barbecues, and of course the publication of my first book, Student Eats!
Weekly Love 19.05.17[1]
1. When your hometown gets a Banksy. | 2. First lunch outside this year: a quickly thrown together Caprese Salad with both fresh and sun-blush tomatoes, served in the garden with lots of crusty bread. | 3. Ridiculously fragrant lilac in practically every garden I came across in Shepton Mallet, Somerset (and most of them here in East Kent, too!) | 4. Plump red strawberries coming into season at Borough Market. | 5. A good caramalised onion scotch egg and chunky chips outside The Morpeth Arms in Pimlico. | 6. Enjoying SPAR's new DOC and DOCG proseccos in the garden *ad*.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Places To Eat In London: Boundary Rooftop, Shoreditch

Summer is on its way, and as it is my first summer in the city for a couple of years, I wanted to kick things off over the last Bank Holiday with a couple of friends at somewhere I went for drinks the last time I was here during the summer months, and have kept on meaning to go back to so I could try the food: The Boundary Rooftop. Situated on top of the Boundary Hotel in Shoreditch (above The Albion Cafe, around to corner from Andina and across the street from Dishoom), aside from great views of the city, this Mediterranean-meets-Southern California space boasts a French menu, and plenty of pitcher cocktails and gin and tonic cups.
Lunch at The Boundary Rooftop, Shoreditch | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Friday, 12 May 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Stable, Whitechapel

I have found my current favourite pizza in London, and it is not where you'd expect to find it: thin, crisp pizza base lovers this one is for you. For the two years of my university degree I completed in London, I lived in Mile End, which I really disliked, which was a short walk from Whitechapel, which I disliked almost as much. However, one of my old university friends and I (who I dragged back to our old stomping ground to find that rumors of gentrification had greatly been exaggerated) have found an utter gem in the form of The Stable, the London outpost of this West Country inspired pizzeria and cider-house which is both utterly unique, and the best reason to hop on the tube (or the 20 bus) to Whitechapel/ Aldgate East.
Hawaiian Pizza at The Stable, Whitechapel | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Recipe: Korean Prawn Rice Bowl with Sesame Pak Choi

I've probably mentioned it before, but most of the food I cook for myself at home when I'm not working on new recipes is Korean food. People think this is a bit unusual (until they find out I lived in Los Angeles, then it totally makes sense), and then unattainable. Yes, learning how to work with Korean flavours can be a bit daunting (toasted sesame oil is the only core ingredient you can easily find in every supermarket), so today I thought I'd share a quick and easy weeknight I've had a couple of times over the past few weeks, that does not involve any specialist ingredients: Korean, pan fried prawns that take only minutes to do, sweet and sticky Jasmine rice, and slightly Japanese, slightly Korean sesame pak choi which is my go-to Asian side vegetable.
Korean Prawn Rice Bowl with Pak Choi | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps

Friday, 5 May 2017

Weekly Love: Week 197

Hello from Somerset! Thanks to the General Election, my job has temporarily relocated to Somerset, and I've spend the latter half of this week in England's smallest city, the beautiful little city of Wells. I've already been totally charmed by all of the old buildings (it has the most intact collection of ecclesiastical buildings in Britain, making for a beautiful city centre around the Cathedral), and I'm already plotting a trip back here when I'm not working so I can truly enjoy walking around the moat surrounding the Bishops Palace and check out some of the cute looking cafes people who have found out I'm in Wells have been recommending to me. 
Weekly Love 05.05.17
1. Trying out the delicious cocktails at The Gladstone Arms, just around the corner from Borough station. It just re-opened last week, and I'm super excited to try their exciting looking, Borough Market sourced small plates at my new local. | 2. On Wisteria watch walking through Borough. | 3. Exploring Vicars Close in Wells City Centre. Look familiar from god knows how many films? | 4. A Mediterranean inspired spread to celebrate the Bank Holiday at The Boundary Rooftop - full review coming soon! | 5. My first Aperol Spriz of the season at Mercato Metropolitano.  | 6. Visiting the Ebury team at Penguin Random House to talk all things publicity and marketing for Student Eats - don't forget that you can pre-order it here!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Places To Eat In London: Mac & Wild, Liverpool Street

Sometimes it feels like I have reviewed so many brunches that a restaurant really has to do something special to make it stand out. When Rosie and I were invited to Mac & Wild's City outpost the other weekend to try their new 'Wild Brunch', we just expected the usual London brunch-fayre, perhaps with a Scottish twist by way of some of the ingredients down to it being a Scottish restaurant. We did not, however, expect to find what I'm happy to call one of the best bacon sandwiches in London, alongside some rather excellent examples of those more standard brunch items: bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Mary's, fluffy pancakes and perfectly executed avocado toast. Seriously, go for the bacon, and make it a meal with everything else.
Candied Bacon & Bechamel Sandwiches with Bone Marrow Gravy at Mac & Wild, Liverpool Street | www.rachelphipps.com @rachelphipps