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