Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Places To Eat In London: Chicama, Chelsea

There are lots of places to eat in London that are Instagram famous. You see their aesthetic interiors, pretty plates and perfectly composed, flat-lay ready dishes again and again in your feed, and they become just that, Instagram hotspots. I think people forget that they're in a restaurant. One such restaurant you've probably seen pop up in your feed, probably without even realising it is Chicama in Chelsea. This was the location for our first Mummy/ daughter lunch of the year, and while I did not shoot that famous 'gram (you know which one I mean), I did take loads of photos of one of the most delicious meals with unique flavours and flawless service I've had for ages because I need to urge you to go. Chicama is so much more than just a pretty picture.
Tuna Tostadas at Chicama, Chelsea

Monday, 26 February 2018

Recipe: Spiced Aubergine with Barley, Yogurt & Pomegranate

This post was created in collaboration with Appletiser. Do you know how many recipes there are for Middle Eastern style aubergine in Google, with some sort of yogurt/ herb/ pomegranate concoction on top? To save you sifting through all of them, I thought I'd provide you with one easy template you can use for whatever you happen to have in stock. What is more, at the end of it you'll get a fridge clearing supper for one or two of you, that ticks at least one box on the fruit and veg front, and contains no added sugar. For the rest of this year I'll be teaming up with Appletiser to bring you a new weeknight meal every month to help you pack in those veggies and cut down on the amount of added sugar you use in your everyday cooking.
Middle Eastern Spiced Aubergine with Barley, Yogurt & Pomegranate #aubergine #eggplant #middleeastern #barley #pomegranate #yogurt

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Cocktail Hour: Earl Grey French 75's

This post was created in partnership with We Are Tea. Okay, so I need to apologise. I promise that as it gets warmer I'll start bringing you every variation of a margarita under the sun, but for now, in case my Classic French 75's, my Clementine French 75's, or my Italian 75's were not enough, I've got my new favourite way to drink a French 75: infused with Earl Grey tea. It's like a boozy Arnold Palmer, and I'm slightly in love. We had dinner at Cafe Murano St James on Valentines Day and with dessert I ordered a French 75 off-menu. The elderly couple next to us at the bar were fascinated, I had no idea my favourite was such a niche choice!  
How To Make a Earl Grey French 75

Friday, 23 February 2018

Weekly Meal Plan #4: Everyday Vegetarian

I had lunch a couple of months ago with someone who said they liked how my recipes were not really meat heavy, but were also not overtly vegetarian. So, this week for my Weekly Meal Plan I've decided to highlight five weeknight recipes that happen to be vegetarian without even trying to be, and that I think will still satisfy the meat eaters in your life, even if you usually dish up something without meat in to them and you're met with protests, complaints and queries (if you eat meat, but you prefer to eat mostly veggie, you've been there too!) Tell them that eating this way is both cheaper and healthier, and let them be amazed by the flavours!
Weekly Meal Plan Everyday Vegetarian

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

23rd Annual Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens & Thai Afternoon Tea

So, it got sunny and then got colder again (can it be spring already?) but don't worry: I have the perfect day out to cure your winter blues. If you hop on the District Line really far out to Kew Gardens, you'll find until 11th March their 23rd Annual Orchid Festival in the Prince of Wales Conservatory (the 11th also happens to be Mothers Day, so you could totally book tickets for you and your Mum if she loves orchids, and what Mother doesn't?) While I took loads of photos (below!) so readers around the country and across the world won't miss out, if you're in or around London you really need to see it in person to get the full effect!
Hanging Orchids at the Kew Gardens Orchid Festival 2018 #orchids #kewgardens #london

Monday, 19 February 2018

What To Buy and Bake For Your Mum This Mother's Day

Mother's Day is on 11th March this year, and this year I've actually been organised enough (!) to bring you all a guide full of gift suggestions, my picks of gift subscriptions, hampers, chocolates, flower arrangements and baking recipes for you to gift to/ look forward to doing with/ bake for your Mothers and Grandmothers in a couple of Sunday's time. However, this is just a rough guide if you're stuck for ideas. The best gifts money can't really buy, and doing something nice like doing the washing up, bringing breakfast in bed or picking some wild flowers will make all the difference if you're home. I was actually born on Mothers Day, and for my Mama, her first grandchild I think was the best gift she ever received!
Mothers Day Gift Guide 2018 #giftguide #mothersday

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Places To Eat In London: Oldroyd, Islington

As it currently stands, 'The List', a, well, list of all the places I want to go and eat in London stands at 153 entries. There are already 175 restaurant reviews on this blog over the 8 years I have been writing it, and while I am lucky enough to be one of 'those people' who gets invited to review some places for free, I just eat out because I love it. However, as much as I'd love to spend all my money on eating out I still need clothes to wear and rent to be paid on my beautiful West London flat, so this year I'm going to make it my mission to try more of London's set menus. Today we're starting at Oldroyd in Islington where on a weekday lunchtime you can get three incredible, seasonal courses for the £19 one of them should really be worth.
£19 Set Lunch at Oldroyd, Islington

Friday, 16 February 2018

Weekly Love: Week 125

Happy Chinese New Year! May your evening be full of hot pot, homemade prawn toasts, or at least your favourite takeaway (I had some last night, as I'm off out for dinner again tonight!) In totally unrelated news, podcast fans who happen to have an Audible account listen up: for members, they have launched a series of free podcasts, and while it is the only one I've listened to so far, 10 episodes in I'm totally hooked onto true crime number West Cork. I've also got Stephen Fry talking about the English language and a documentary on the dark web in my queue, and if you're not a member yet, it is worth signing up for a free trial so you get a month to access these (plus a free Audiobook!) You can do this here.
Weekly Love 16.02.18
1. 10/10 lunching on Peruvian seafood at Chicama in Chelsea, review coming soon! | 2. Exploring the Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens. I took so many photos, so again one to look out for. | 3. Shopping for original Harry Potter graphic design prints at the House of Minalima in Soho (see my links below) - be sure to check out more of my snaps from this amazing gallery in my Instagram moments (click here if you're on mobile!) | 4. Enjoying the amazing, three course, £19 set lunch at Oldroyd in Islington - again, another review to look out for! (I've really been winning on the content creation front in the last few weeks!) | 5. Getting all dressed up for an incredible Valentines Day dinner at Cafe Murano in St. James. I did not take any pictures, but the food was fantastic - go, and don't miss out on the risotto and veal plate. | 6. Camilla obstructing bed making by making herself at home on my rainbow blanket.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Chinese New Year: How To Make An Easy Chinese Hot Pot

This post was created in partnership with Livingbox. As my friend Eddie and I sat down for my first ever experience of Chinese hot pot last September, he told me how one of his Chinese housemates had made hot pot at home, setting a big pot of gently bubbling, aromatic soup in the middle of the table, heading to the local Asian supermarket for a selection of veggies, seafood and impossibly thin pieces of meat for everyone to dip in the broth. We had a highly enjoyable and satisfying meal, so it was obvious to me that when Chinese New Year came around (it's on Friday, fyi) again I'd try my hand at making my own hot pot at home.
How To Make Chinese Hot Pot for Chinese New Year #hotpot #chinese #chinesenewyear

Friday, 9 February 2018

Weekly Meal Plan #3: Breakfast for Dinner

Doesn't eating foods usually had for breakfast at dinner time always make the meal feel so much more like a treat? I think this sort of thinking is what we ought to be bringing to our weeknights, and as I'm more of a savoury person over sweet anyway this week for my Weekly Meal Plan I've chosen five of my favourite breakfast and brunch recipes that would also make totally respectable fun weeknight dinner options. (This also doubles up as a post on how to eat eggs for dinner every night next week without actually realising it as I've tried to put as much variety as possible into my selection - be sure to buy a couple of big boxes!)
Weekly Meal Plan Breakfast For Dinner

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Valentines Day: Rose and Pomegranate G&T's

This post was created in partnership with 31 Dover. I know I've said this several times before, but I have a new way to drink gin and tonics. My new jam is to sub out some of the gin with a flavoured liquor (how much I switch out depends on the liquor) for a G&T with a twist. I spend a while adding a splash of Mighty Fine Things' Plum & Cardamom Liqueur along with my house favourite Gin Mare, now we're getting closer to Valentines Day I've switched to Edinburg Gin Distillery's pretty pink new Rose and Pomegranate number.
Rose and Pomegranate G&T's #ginandtonic #rose #pomegranate #gin #valentinesday

Monday, 5 February 2018

Places To Eat In London: SuperStar Korean Barbecue, Fitzrovia

As many of you may already know, my favourite food is Korean food, and probably my favourite and best food experience/ meal I've ever had was my first taste of Korean food and Korean barbecue when I stumbled into Soot Bull Jeep in Los Angeles' Koreatown (I say stumbled because at the time we had no idea it was one of L.A.'s most celebrated barbecue joints!) So, obviously, when the team at SuperStar Korean Barbecue on the border of Covent Garden and Fitzrovia (you know, one of those big glass restaurants by Tottenham Court Road and the Google offices, it used to be Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks?) got in touch to see if I wanted to stop by for dinner, I jumped at the chance to continue my mission to find a go-to barbecue joint in the city.
SuperStar Korean Barbecue

Thursday, 1 February 2018

9 Years Of Rachel Phipps + A (Smaller) Winter Citrus Pavlova

Everyone keeps telling me that the fact my blog turns 9 years old today is a big deal. I'm excited for next year when we hit the big 1-0, but if anything I feel that 9 candles means I've just hit my stride. It's a bit of a tradition that on 1st February each year I put together some sort of celebratory recipe, so this year I thought I'd take the best of the winter citrus (hello blood oranges, that only seem to come out slightly tinged whenever I'm buying them!) and turn them into a showstopper (but small enough for everyday) pavlova, studded with pomegranate jewels and flavoured with lemon curd, finished with a scattering of fresh mint.
Winter Citrus, Pomegranate & Mint Pavlova #pavlova #bloodorange #dessert #pomegranate #mint #meringue