Friday, 20 July 2018

Weekly Love: Week 135

I've got a little hack for you if you enjoy reading American websites like Food 52 that *still* have not got their act together with the whole GDPR thing and are blocking readers browsing from the EU. Unless you listen to tech podcasts like Note To Self, you may not know about a VPN. Used to secure your browsing if you're worried about internet security and privacy, using a VPN makes it appear that you are browsing the internet from a different country. So, find one you like (I've used TunnelBear for years), download it to your desktop and device and set browsing from the United States. Then, you'll be able to access those sites like Food 52 and the Los Angeles Times you may want to read stories on, but you're currently blocked from - simple!
Weekly Love 20.07.18[1]
1. More of my mother's home grown, beautiful, purple, perfumed sweet peas. | 2. Tasting all of the different English Sparkling Wines Nyetimber have to offer on their fantastic new wine terrace this summer at Angler in Moorgate - full blog post coming soon! | 3. Exploring beautiful Kentish country gardens - another blog post about the Wealden Literary Festival coming soon! | 4. Enjoying some of the best Greek food I've ever had with chicken gyros and Greek craft beer in the sunshine at The Athenian - they get all their flatbreads and meat from Greece for an amazing, authentic taste! | 5. Chatting all about how fruit vinegars make the most amazing instant shrubs over on Instagram. | 6. My favourite French rose makers, Mirabeau are now selling their frose popsicles (they're amazing - I had one at Taste of London) in the Waitrose food halls in John Lewis on Oxford Street, Bluewater, Southampton and Watford!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Parade Room at The Pound

I don't say this lightly when I say I've found the most exciting new opening in Canterbury I've been to since I wrote my first review in my home city seven years ago. The Parade Room is the long awaited restaurant above The Pound (you know, that slightly smarter bar in an old gaol by Westgate Towers?) and while they're now serving small plates downstairs during the day it is the set menu dinner service created by local chef Doug Sanham that you need to book in on. Smart, clever dining with a focus on local ingredients, modern techniques and totally reasonable prices? For £25.50 ahead for three quarters without having to get on the train to London? It is places like The Parade room that make me more excited to write about food in Kent, than across London (and where else do you know where you can book a feast in a prison cell?)
Bread and Canapes at The Parade Room at The Pound, Canterbury #bread #canterbury

Monday, 16 July 2018

How To Spend a Day in the Dordogne

Unlike the day we spent in the Loire where it was cold and wet, and the time we spend in the Lot where it was sunny but cool, the sun was properly out and we enjoyed some real late-spring hot weather when we explored the Dordogne Valley before checking into our hotel in the foodie capital of the Perigord: Sarlat (but more on that in some more foodie posts coming soon!) There are really four things to do in the Dordogne: food, caves, chateaux and gardens, and as we had the food covered in Sarlat and we'd been down a couple of caves in the Lot, we figured that we'd spend the morning exploring the famous topiary gardens at Eyrugnac before going for a climb up to a chateau with a view out over the silver ribbon that was the Dordogne river.
Chapel at the Jardins de Eyrugnac #gardens #eyrugnac #dordogne #france #travel

Friday, 13 July 2018

Weekly Meal Plan #14: Brilliant Bowl Food

While 'bowl food' has been a thing forever, and especially more of a trend on blogs and on Pinterest in the last few years, the first time I think I thought of 'bowl food' as a concept was when I was reading the then, newly published Simply Nigella volume I'd been given for Christmas. She talks about how she loves 'bowl food', where you can just curl up with a comforting bowl, so much more indulgent, and less formal than sitting down with a flat plate, knife and fork. In general, my generation, us much maligned 'Millennials' tend to lean towards eating out of big bowls anyway; while I have so many different plates and dishes for styling, our main dishes for everyday meals are big, blue pasta bowls. So, with this in mind here are five recipes for your busy weeknights ahead next week that are best served in big, generous bowlfuls.
Weekly Meal Plan Brilliant Bowl Food #mealplan #weeklymealplan #bowlfood

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Places To Eat In London: La Goccia, Covent Garden

I know it seems crazy for me to say as a massive part of my day to day is reviewing many of London's new openings, but I think I have London restaurant fatigue. I don't think places that are that new or exciting are opening as much anymore; everything has become a bit cookie cutter. That being said, I think the entire foodie city was excited for Petersham Nurseries to come to Covent Garden (aka somewhere much easier to get to than Richmond!) and while I'll save a review of their fine dining for another day, I must say the dinner I had a few weeks ago now at La Goccia, their new casual Italian small plates place really stuck with me. It got me excited to eat out in London again, and that is proving rather difficult at the moment!
Petersham Nurseries' La Goccia, Covent Garden #coventgarden #london

Monday, 9 July 2018

Student Suppers: Tomato & Cornbread Crumble

This is only the second summer as long as I remember where I've not had more tomatoes than I know what to do with. At the house I grew up in, which my parents moved out of the beginning of last year we had an industrial sized greenhouse which was pretty much entirely planted with them and over the years we've made everything from soups to salads, from bruschettas to fried green tomatoes. While I don't have access to quite as many beautiful tomatoes as I used to, I still get really excited when I come across a recipe that is perfect for a delicious seasonal glut. This Tomato & Cornbread Crumble, adapted from Food 52 does just that and with its crunchy, cornbread flavoured topping just screams summer. Serve it as a side or as a simple vegetarian supper with a green salad on the side, perhaps tossed with some of my Skinny Buttermilk Ranch Dressing?
Savoury Tomato & Cornbread Crumble

Friday, 6 July 2018

Weekly Love: Week 134

It is another one of those Weekly Love posts where I have some killer true crime recommendations for you to binge on next week. For your daily commute, download the second season of the In The Dark Podcast (though the first season is pretty good too if you've not heard it!) for the story of Curtis Flowers, who has been tried for the same set of murders 6 times and is still sentenced to die. It raises some interesting questions about all white jury selection and racism in the judicial system in the American South. Then, when you want to curl up with Netflix in the evenings we've just finished The Staircase; another documentary about a court case where someone is being tried for murder, another where there has been prosecutorial misconduct, and this time raises the question of bias against bisexuality in a Southern jury. Both are gripping, and very fascinating.
Weekly Love 06.07.18[1] 1. A solo lunch of asparagus with soft boiled eggs, parmesan and pine nut aioli, burrata, peas, olive oil, Aleppo chilli and lemon verbena, a passion fruit shrub and a crisp glass of white waiting for my train at Caravan, King's Cross. | 2. My publishers Ebury sent me the new Berber & Q barbecue cookbook to review which I did over on Instagram Highlights. Here we have Cumin Lamb Chops with Anchovy Butter & Lemon Yogurt Dressing, and Charred Romaine Lettuce with Anchovy & Pepper Dressing. Get your copy here! | 3. Getting overly excited about all the beautiful fragrant sweet peas my Mum has been growing in my favourite dress of the summer (great for smart and casual) from Mint Velvet (check it out here!) | 4. My current favourite gin of the summer was sent to me by Haymans - it is a really traditional London Dry made to a historic recipe, great for G&T's on Parsons Green! | 5. Sipping Hugos in my local with my new favourite The Curators Sriracha Beef Jerky. | 6. Getting overly excited when peonies are on special offer in Waitrose for my mantle.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dinner at Chateau de la Treyne, South West France

After spending a day exploring the Lot and a bit of time relaxing at Manoir de Malagorse before dinner, we jumped in a taxi Anna at the Manoir had kindly booked us to head to Chateau de la Treyne, perched above the river for what was the culinary highlight of the whole trip. The lunch I'd had there in 2016 as part of a trip around the region with the local tourism board still remains one of the best meals of my entire life, so as we had three birthdays and a wedding anniversary to celebrate, we felt it was only fitting to splurge on a meal and an experience of a lifetime. Dinner there does not come cheap (the tasting menu starts at 96€ per person before wine), but it is truly somewhere to go and celebrate. I'd be scared of trying somewhere so expensive without prior research, so I hope you'll take my recommendation for the meal of a lifetime.
Dining Room at Chateau de la Treyne

Monday, 2 July 2018

Student Suppers: Easy Summertime Courgette Soup

This post was created in partnership with Appletiser.  So, I know soup (other than gazpacho!) is not your first thought when you think of summertime supper, but hear me out. First, we live in Great Britain, the land of 'weather'. We get chilly days. I've found that a light, delicious soup made from the best of summer produce - such as a glut of courgettes - is the perfect way to bring a bit of sunshine inside during those cooler evenings. Also, as the Moroccans with their gallons of fresh mint tea will tell you, eating something hot actually cools you down. I've teamed up with Appletiser to bring you a new weeknight recipe each month with no added sugar which contains at least one portion of fruit and veg (just like a bottle of Appletiser!) so I thought an earthy courgette soup, enriched with potato and served with a dollop of live yogurt would just fit the bill!
Easy Summertime Courgette Soup #soup #courgette #zucchini