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    Thursday, 28 May 2015

    PIZZA PILGRIMS - KINGLY COURT

    I'm going to go ahead and say something potentially offensive. I don't like pizza. I wanted to get the apology in early as I know how strongly people feel about pizza. But I just don't get it. I love bread, I adore cheese but pizza - meh, not so much. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat it..hell I've even done a pizza making class and enjoyed it - I just wouldn't chose it if given a menu, and I definitely wouldn't chose to go somewhere with pizza in the name.

    So why is someone who doesn't like pizza writing about a pizza joint? Because.....well, I think I now like pizza. (note to self: stop using the word pizza!)

    If you live in London and you're a fan of the italian flat stuff (see i'm trying not to say it), I'm sure you'll have heard of Pizza Pilgrims before....
    Pizza Pilgrims Kingly CourtSo the story goes, brothers James and Thom Elliot travelled to Italy back in 2011 to learn the art of pizza making. On arrival back home, full of knowledge, they converted a Piaggio Ape van into a mobile oven and started selling napoli-inspired street food to hungry Londoners. Since then, they've gone from strength to strength opening permenant spots in Dean Street and Kingly Court, Soho.

    I found myself in the Kingly Court branch recently when the restaurant I wanted to go to over the road was fully booked and I got dragged along - but boy am I am I glad that it was!
    Pizza Pilgrims Kingly Court
    Pizza PIlgrims do pizza the way you'd expect to find it in Italy. Flat, crispy and generous on the toppings and cheese. I went for Aubergine & extra chilli which didn't disappoint and to be honest, any restaurant that serves moretti is on to a winner with me! So Big thumbs up from me, well done Pizza Pilgrim's you've made me a new pizza fan.

    http://pizzapilgrims.co.uk/
    11 Kingly St London, W1B 5PW



    If you liked this post, you may also enjoy: Yalla Yalla or Simply Fish 
    Square Meal Pizza Pilgrims Pizzeria & Frigittoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    #QUORNCOOKS - UNDERGROUND COOKERY SCHOOL

    Anyone who knows me, will tell you i'm a self-confessed carnivore - just take a look back through my blog posts and it's all steaks, burgers and bacon! So you may be suprised to know that I recently went along to a cooking workshop for Quorn. Yes as in the vegetarian Quorn...
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Blogger Event
    I'd never tried Quorn before, to be honest I never had the desire to (something about textures), but something about their 'Healthy Proteins' campaign intrigued me and I wanted to find out if Quorn really could be used in place of actual meat.

    With a completely open mind and a drink in hand, I went along to the Underground Cookery School to learn how to cook healthy meals using Quorn. The team had put together a healthy balanced menu of Pulled 'Pork' buns, Green Thai Curry and a chocolate torte to showcase Quorn's versatility along with some canapes to start us on our meat-free journey....
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Blogger EventUnderground Cookery School - Quorn Blogger Event
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Blogger Event Sausage Rolls
    Before they let us loose in the kitchen, we had a talk about Quorn. What fascinated me about Quorn was that it is nutritionally really high in protein and low in sat fats - but also very low in calories.

    When looking at the calorie content of the meals we were cooking, compared to their meaty counterparts - the calories count was drastically lower! 87 calories in the Quorn pulled pork, compared to a whopping 610 calories for the real deal. As someone who follows the 5:2 diet - this is music to my ears, I can replace meat with Quorn on fast days without comprising on flavours or the foods I like. 

    And that's the other thing that interested me about Quorn. They aren't all about turning us all vegetarian. They don't hate meat eaters and don't insist you cut it out completely but instead encourage you to make little changes towards meat free living. Only 25% of people that eat Quorn are actually vegetarian - which sort of suggests they must be doing something right...
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Blogger Event
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Cooks Blogger Event
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Pulled Pork Buns
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Pulled Pork
    Underground Cookery School - Quorn Thai Curry
    Underground Cookery School - Chocolate Torte
    I'm pleased to report that I was impressed with Quorn. I'm never going to give up meat, but I definitely will consider using Quorn as a meat substitute on a 5:2 day - it's great to find a product which is low calories but also contains a lot of the essential nutrients you need, without compromising on taste. A big thank you to the team behind Quorn for inviting me and making me an open-minded carnivore. Also big thanks to Preston Perfect Photography for some of the images used in this post!

    I'd love to hear from any readers who eat Quorn. How do you use it?
    World Meat Free Day is coming up on the 15th June so why not get involved?

    Sunday, 24 May 2015

    GUEST POST: GEORGINA DOES - FAVOURITE LONDON SNACK SPOTS

    Hello! Georgina here from Georgina Does - a fashion but mostly lifestyle blog based in London. I am a massive fan of Elle Bloggs so I was super pleased when she let me have a little guest posting spot here! I know we both love writing about food so of course this post had to be food related!

    I recently got myself a job (woo) just off Tottenham Court Road which has been a more amazing location that I could have imagined. Just down the road from Soho square, when it's sunny I often go wandering around Soho during my lunch breaks, looking out for a tasty after lunch treat to bring back to the square and eat in the sunshine. There is so much going on there that I am always coming across new places that I have never noticed before.

    Bubble Tea 
    When bubble tea first became a thing here in the UK I was pretty sceptical - it wasn't until I was invited to Chatime one afternoon that I discovered that I actually like it! I will now only go to Chattime because I love their chewy tapioca bubbles although, they always give me heartburn and indigestion. I have a really sensitive stomach and no matter how delicious, the bubbles just don’t agree. Rather than missing out on a fave snack of mine, I have just resorted to keeping a pot of Gaviscon in my desk drawer for when it gets too much to handle.
    Ice Cream
    Whenever it's sunny out all I want to do is pretend that it really is summer and eat ice cream. I have a few different places that I stick with depending on how I feel. There is a cinema across the road from the office which has a ben and Jerrys stand at the entrance so that was great for free cone day - although, I can (and do) have ben and Jerrys whenever I want so my favourite place for a lunch time ice cream treat is now Snowflake Gelato which I had heard loads about but only got my first taste a few weeks ago. It was soft and creamy and delicious and I am constantly thinking about my next visit.
    If I'm in the mood for ice cream but I need to eat it at my desk, I pop to Waitrose for the most delicious pot of salted caramel ice cream from Jude’s.

    Boost Juice
    If you know me - you will know that I am obsessed with Boost, during the summer I am there every day and luckily for me there is one right outside Tottenham court road station. I am a bit of a perfectionist about them though - I used to work there so I learnt exactly how thick and how much of this and that goes into my perfect smoothie. I usually go for the chocolate ones although the banana buzz is pretty delicious.

    Where Do You Like To Snack In Soho? 

    I'd love to know if you have any suggestions for me! Drop by and say Hello!

    Friday, 22 May 2015

    LONDON WINE WEEK 2015

    If there's a week worth celebrating, surely it's got to be London Wine Week
    London Wine Week is all about showcasing the thriving wine scene that our Capital has to offer and you can find masterclasses, pop-ups and tastings all across the city.
    I think wine can be intimidating, people see wine as 'aspirational' but Wine Week is all about showcasing just how accessable wine is to everyone. 
    Elk Cove Pinot Gris
    Last year for Wine Week, I went to Harvey Nicholls for a food and wine pairing session and this year I went along to a masterclass session on American wines at wine stockist Amathus.

    Amathus put together a flight featuring two white and three red wines from the Elk Cove Wineyard in Oregon to talk us through American wine production and explain how they stand up against the usual suspects in France, Spain and Italy.
    Amathus London Wine Tasting London Wine Week
    Rum Selection Amathus London
    Our host Tom gave us some fascinating insights in American wine - explaing the country has four main wine-making regions: New York State, California, Oregon and Washington. Unsuprisingly California is king - producing wine on an industrial scale (667 millions gallons a year) whereas Oregon produces a mere droplet of that amout (only 6 million gallons per year).

    Tom went on to explain that Oregon is best known for its Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay grapes, making it very similar to the French region of Burgundy.

    My favourite wine was the Riesling - it was sweet, very drinkable with an honey/syrup note. I sometimes find white wine catches in my throat but this was so smooth and they basically had to prise the bottle away from my end of the table....
    Elk Cove Oregon Wine - Reisling
    We also learnt that 90% of the wine produced in Oregon is Pinot Noir - and they do them really well. Rustic, earthy, berry flavours. Not as fruity as Californian wines but still very good...
    Wine Tasting Amathus London London Wine Week
    Girls London Wine Week
    After our whistlestop tour of American wines, we went in search of food (naturally....)
    The great thing about London Wine Week is that a lot of the bars and restaurants are offering special deals on flights of wine & food so you can find some brilliant offers no matter which side of London you're in.

    We headed to Vinoteca (on Beak Street) who were offering three wines with perfectly matched tapas designed by the head chef, Klaudiusz Wiatrak. I opted for the 2013 Pinot Grigio (Franz Haas – Alto Adige, Ital) with tomato & basil bruschetta before we attacked the bar snacks menu...
    Canapes London Wine Week Vinoteca
    Pork Crackling with apple sauce...
    Pork Crackling Apple Sauce
     a plate of mortadella (italian sausage to you & me)
    Mortadella Ham Vinoteca London
     and a slice of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese with oat cakes and pear chutney - just what i needed!
    Wine and Cheese London Wine Week
    I had a brilliant night trying lots of different wines, although I didn't have a very nice morning going to work with a hangover. Are you heading out to any events for London Wine Week? I'd love to hear where you are off to!
    Vinoteca Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Tuesday, 19 May 2015

    FLAHAVAN'S GRANOLA - #PERFECTPORRIDGE

    The final recipe in my series for Flahavan's porridge is a delicious home-made granola. I love having granola for breakfast but often the kind you buy in the supermarket can be loaded up with sugar, so by making your own you'll able to take control over what goes in it. 

    I've tried to use some lighter ingriendents in this recipe which are packed full of nutrients making this a little easier on the conscious. It's great to have sprinkled over some low fat yoghurt and fruit compote for a tasty/guilt free pudding in the evening.Flahavan's Granola Recipe
    What you'll need:
    100g mixed nuts
    300g Flahavans jumbo oats
    50g seeds
    1/2 pack dried fruit
    150ml runny honey*
    50ml golden syrup
    A good pinch of dried coconut flakes
    1.5 tbsp Coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil instead)
    * You could try using agave nectar
    Flahavan's Granola Recipe
    What to do:
    Preheat your oven to 190 (170 fan)
    Mix the nuts, fruit, seeds, oats and a pinch of salt together in a bowl
    Add oil, golden syrup and honey to the mixture and give it a good stir - try to break up any big clumps of oats. I tend to leave some of the smaller lumps to give it more of a bite!
    Grease a baking tray and spread your oat mix evenly
    Bake for 25 minutes, giving it a stir every so often until it's nice and golden
    Transfer to a large bowl and let it cool before stir in your coconut flakes
    Flahavan's Fruit and Seed Granola Recipe
    Once it's cooled, you'll be able to keep your granola for about a month. 
    Do you have any granola recipes? I'd love to hear how you make yours

    If you liked this post, you might also enjoy: Flahavan's Berry Porridge or Coconut & Blueberry Porridge

    Saturday, 16 May 2015

    EATING ON THE 5:2 DIET

    As someone who writes a blog all about food, i have to be quite careful with what i eat.
    I'd love to be one of those people that can consume whatever they like and stay slim - but sadly - I just have to look at a piece of cake & i put on weight
    I'm all about eating in moderation so the 5:2 diet is like a godsend to me 
    I'm not here to enforce or endorse any type of diet on people, i'm just sharing what works for me
    I'm sure lots of you are familiar with the concept of the 5:2 diet, or the fast diet as it can be known, but essentially you are allowed to eat relatively normally for 5 days a week then for two days a week you are restricted to 500 calories (approx. 1/4 of our daily allowance).

    I know what you're probably thinking - "you must be starving on those days" - but in reality if you're sensible, 500 calories can actually stretch quite far, which is what I wanted to show in this post.
    The key on your 500 calorie days is to fill up on low calorie but nutritious foods like vegetables and a protein source.
    I find it easiest to skip a meal (for me it's breakfast) and then spread my calories between lunch and dinner - or I will have a can of tinned tomatoes (84 cals) for lunch if I want to save up my calories for something more substantial in the evening. Below is a look at the kind of things I'll have on a 'fast' day:

    *calories have been worked out by weighing ingredients according to nutritional values on pack and using MyFitnessPal.

    Salmon with Brown Rice, Spinach and Tomatoes - 447 calories
    Salmon - 236 calories
    Uncle Ben's Brown Rice - 161 calories
    Spinach 50g - 15 calories
    Sundried Toms 30g - 35 calories
    Seabass with asparagus and green beans - 140 calories
    Seabass - 107 calories
    Asparagus - 21 calories
    Green Beans - 12 calories
    Summer salad with poached egg - 138 calories
    Poached Egg - 71 calories
    Spinach - 11 calories
    Red Onion - 21 calories
    Cherry Tomato - 12 calories
    Beetroot - 15 calories
    Cucumber -8 calories

    Hopefully this has highlighted that you are still able to eat well and healthily while following the 5:2 diet. I really enjoy following this style of eating and find it fits in with my lifestyle and allows me to enjoy food without feeling guilty. Do any of you following a specific style of eating? I'd love to hear in the comments below. If you've got any questions about 5:2 feel free to leave them & I'll come back to you!

    If you liked this post, you may like: Guilt Free Pancakes Recipe or Guilt Free Pudding

    Thursday, 14 May 2015

    FLORETTE SUMMER SALAD RECIPES

    I've been sitting on this post for a while, in the hope that the sun might show it's face and I can be all topical - but frankly i can't wait any longer so come rain or shine it's being posted!
    This blog post is all about (drum roll).....salad.
    When i was younger, salad to me was rabbit food & i'd rarely make one for myself but as I've got older, i've come to love these leafy green beauties

    What I love about salad is that it's so versatile. You can add pretty much anything you like to them and create something new every time.
    Plus it's packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which keep your skin gleaming and feeling good. So with all this in mind, there was no way I could turn turn down Florette when they recently got in touch and asked if I'd like to be part of their summer salad recipes campaign.

    Florette are asking bloggers to share their salad recipes and I'm a big believer that salad can be a star in its own right, not just a side dish which i wanted to showcase here on my blog.

    For my recipe, I've created a twist on my favourite eggs & bacon to show salads can be a little naughty as well as nice - no rabbit food in sight!

    You'll need:
    1 bag of Florette spinach (packed with vitamin A), cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, beetroot, pine nuts, bacon and an egg

    I won't pretend there'a difficult method here: simply put your bacon on to cook and poach your egg. While this is happening, chop your tomatoes (keep these chunky), red onion, cucumber and beetroot (finely) before piling it all on top of your spinach. Once your bacon is crispy, cut it up, sprinkle on top with the pine nuts and add your poached egg - et voila!
    If you liked this post, check out Flahavan's Perfect Porridge or Tabasco Jambalaya

    Wednesday, 13 May 2015

    ROCK AND ROSE - RICHMOND

    For my mum's birthday I wanted to take her somewhere nice for lunch.

    Somewhere a bit quirky, that served great food, but also good cocktails

    Rock and Rose in Richmond instantly sprang to mind so I booked us a table and took her down there for a little treat.

    The restaurant itself is gorgeous! It's got a real 'shabby chic' feel to it with floral wallpaper, kitsch furniture and decadent lampshaps around the dining room....
    Plus it's got a fully kicked out bar which does the best cocktails.

    Order a 'Rock Martini' - it's basically a PornStar Martini & it's one of the best I've had....
    For food, we decided to order a couple of starts and a main course and share the whole lot between us

    I love getting lots of small bits rather than a main course each

    Partly because i'm greedy - but also because you get to try so much more of the menu that way!
    We went for...
    Walnut Crusted Goats Cheese with Poached Pear & Rocket Salad...
    Crispy Pork Belly Bites with a soy dressing....
    Quinoa, Pomegranate & Grilled Halloumi with Roast Sweet Potato, Seeds, Nuts & Citrus Dressing

    and a 'Rock Burger which came with fries and a side salad

    On the way out I spied that they do a weekend brunch which I have to go back and try - as if I needed a reason to go back anyway!

    Rock and Rose
    106-108 Kew Road, Richmond, London TW9 2PQ