Pages

Search:

Shop My Favourites:

Something You Might Like:

Recipes

Restaurants

Lifestyle

Instagram

    Saturday, 25 July 2015

    TAPAS AT CAMINO, BANKSIDE

    I'm one of the most indecisive people when it comes to ordering food from a menu. I like ordering lots of different dishes and then sharing it out amongst whoever I'm with - that way I can have a nibble of this and that and I don't suffer the dreaded food envy if I make a bad choice.
    Camino-Launch-Party
    For this reason tapas is one of my favourite types of foods - so when I was invited to the launch of Camino's newest outpost in Southwark, hungry and excited, I put on my loosest trousers and frogmarched myself straight there.
    Camino-Launch-Party- Southwark
    You may of heard of Camino before, they serve up creative and seasonal Spanish tapas from their sites in Kings Cross, Blackfriars and Monument. The newest restaurant located beneath the Blue Fin Building, stays true to the brand's ethos providing delicious plates created using locally sourced or Spanish produce. As soon as we got there mouthwatering plates of food were paraded around the room so we got straight down to some serious eating....

    Wedges of Manchego cheese and 'ibores' goats cheese....
    Camino-Launch-Party- Southwark-Cheese
    Riojan chorizo and roasted piquillo peppers
    Camino-Southwark-Chorizo
    Padron peppers....
    Camino-padron-peppers-Chorizo
    Wafer thin slices of iberico ham
    Camino-Southwark-iberico
    Camino-Southwark-iberico-ham
    Black rice, cuttlefish with squid ink and alioli
    Spanish-Black-Rice-Squid-ink
    Crispy fried baby squid garnished with a dollop of alioli and a squeeze of lemon
    fried-squid
    'Rodaballo' - pan-roasted turbot wrapped in serrano ham
    Camino-Southwark-Cuttlefish
    All the food served on the night was delicious. Really big bold flavours but served in bite-size portions making them ideal to share with a group of friends.

    Camino is a great place to go with a group but it would also be a lovely place to go with a date. The wine list, particularly the cava, is brilliant so if you ever find yourself over by Bankside - make sure you pop in!
    Camino-Southwark-tomatos
    Camino-Southwark
    Camino-Southwark-Guitar
    5 Canvey St, London SE1 9NA

    *I was invited to the opening party of Camino, all food & drink was complimentary

    If you liked this post, you may also like: Rock and Rose or Neighbourhood
    Click to add a blog post for Camino on Zomato
    Square Meal

    Thursday, 23 July 2015

    80 TASTES, ST JAMES HOTEL - A #ZOMATOMEETUP

    They say when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life - but how can you ever tire of London when there are so many beautiful and interesting places out there to discover?

    Just a stone's throw away from Buckingham Palace, hidden away behind the Taj hotel, St James Court you'll find a decadent courtyard of red, gold and blue bricks and the starting place of my recent culinary adventure courtesy of Zomato.

    Known for their infamous 'meetups', the Zomato team had promised to whisk me away on a culinary adventure through the stunning grounds of the luxury St James Hotel and four of its nine resident restaurants.

    With my passport firmly in hand, I arrived at the courtyard in search of a drink and ready for adventure. After a few introductions from my travelling companions, we got stuck in with a flight of Laurent Perrier champagne alongside perfectly matched canap├ęs.St-James-Courtyard
    St-James-Champagne
    Champagne-Tasting
    A delicious scallop and avocado ceviche to be paired with the LP brut champagne....
    scallop-ceviche
     Smoked salmon, creme fraiche and caviar suited best for the rose...smoked-salmon-blini
    and a ratatouille crostini which matched beautifully with a glass of vintage. So far, so very very good.rattaouille
    Once the last drops of champagne were drained from our glasses, we were sashayed across the hotel reception and into the first of our eating destinations - Bistro. Known for its timeless elegance and sophisticated decor, Bistro's waiters presented the first course: a seseame crusted tuna (cooked beautifully rare) with a pink grapefruit and wasabi potato salad.Bistro-Tuna-SteakIf this was a sign of things to come, we were in luck. Moving across the hotel, we also flew across the continents to taste the flavours of South West India at Michelin stared Quilon. Staying true to its South Indian coastal roots, Head chef Sriram Ayhir keeps seafood central to the menu, adopting cooking techniques which favour lighter, healthier tastes opposed to the greasy, butter laden styles you might have tried at your nearest curry house.

    The 'Fisherman's catch' offered up a selection of pepper shrimp, crab cake, lentil fish and grilled scallops to showcase Sriram's masterful hand when it comes to spices but it was the Quilon curry that stole my heart. Thick chunks of halibut in a creamy yet spicy coconut sauce, ready to be mopped up with hand-made Malabar paratha bread.Quilon-Curry
    Finally onto the home-stretch and with belt buckles notably looser, we made our final trip across the hotel, arriving in Kona to sample the innovative Southern Eastern cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the Riviera, the chef served up a delicious parmasean and red pepper crusted chicken, dotted with garlic, basil and a panzanella salad. 
    Kona-chicken-dinner
    Just when I was ready to burst at the seams, I heard whispers of pudding. Now, it's a scientific fact that we actually have two stomachs, one reserved just for dessert so naturally I was able to find just a little room to wolf this down. I am a massive chocolate fan so the manjari parfait served with a chocolate ganache, chocolate sorbet, a tangy orange gel and edible flowers put the perfect cap on a wonderful evening for me.
    kona-dessert-review
    The St. James hotel is a beautiful find, right in the heart of South West London and somewhere I would never have discovered without the help of my lovely friends at Zomato (so thank you!). The Courtyard is perfect for drinks on a sunny Summer evening -I've already got my eye returning for the 24 Karat Gold afternoon tea! To find out more about the hotel, take a look at the website!

    * I was a guest of the Taj Hotel, my meal was complimentary but all views are my own

    If you liked this post, you may also like: The Crazy Bear
    Click to add a blog post for Quilon - 51 Buckingham Gate on Zomato

    Friday, 17 July 2015

    TOTAL DIET FOOD - HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

    I spend the majority of my life torn between wanting to be super fit and healthy and gorging on chocolate cake. Writing a food blog, naturally i'm obsessed with food but it can play havoc with my eating habits.

    As I'm usually super busy, I've toyed with the idea of using a food delivery service in the past but have always been put off by the high costs involved, so when Ben from Total Diet Food got in touch to ask if I wanted to try them out, I was over the moon! I'm sure you'll have heard of other similar services before but in essence, all your meals for the day are delivered in a cool bag to your home extra early in the morning, ready for you to eat throughout the day.

    All the meals are calculated down to the very last macro-nutrient so that your body can get all the energy it needs over the course of the day and create enough of a calories deficit so you can burn fat to drop weight. I submitted a short questionnaire to Ben and he was able to work out the perfect menu to fit my needs. This was all about educating me on what I shoud be eating to lose weight healthily at a steady rate. Instead of putting me on a crazy diet where all carbs are banished, Ben explained that I need a good balance of carbs, proteins and fat (yes - you need to eat fat to burn fat), in order to give the body exactly what it needs to fuel fat buring.

    Breakfast - Yoghurt & Granola
    First meal of the day and off to a great start with a mammoth bowl of yoghurt, topped with home-made granola. I consider myself a bit of a piglet when it comes to portion size but this very nearly defeated me! I think people have a tendency to under-eat when dieting, which is a real big no-no. You need to fuel your body in order to get your metabolism going and into fat burning mode.

    Total-diet-food-review

    Morning Snack - Grapefruit with Sesame Seeds
    Around 11am, I tucked into some grapefruit topped with sesame seeds - another really pleasant dish. I usually add spoonfuls of sugar on to grapefruit so I dubious that it would be sweet enough but the sesame seeds gave a really nice nutty flavour and crunch.

    Lunch - Butternut squash salad with hummus
    Lunch was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed it, a nice crunchy salad with hummus and ryvita but I would have preferred some meat in there to make it feel more substantial. It was a really bright and colourful dish though, I always feel like my meal has lots of nutrients when it's got all the colours of the rainbow!

    humous

    Afternoon Snack - Homemade Brocolli Dip with Peppers
    Sadly not the one for me. I love brocolli but brocolli dip just didn't really do it for me. I hate the peppers with a tiny bit of dip but I couldn't get my head around the taste. Luckily, I wasn't particularly hungry at the point so didn't feel I needed to reach for the biscuits to make up for it....

    homemade-brocolli-dip

    Dinner - Chicken & Aubergine Parmigiana with green beans and cous cous
    I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have a diet plan which features cheese! People can be really scared of cheese due to its high fat levels but this meal was really balanced meal, and packed full of flavour, exactly what I needed after a long day at work. 

    chicken-parmagiana

    Overall I was impressed with how satisfying the meal were and far from being boring 'diet food, each has its own distinct flavours. Its also incredibly easy to stick to a healthy eating plan if all the meals are prepared and ready for you, minimising your chances of splurging on a calorie packed meal out of convenience. To take a look at the website, or try the service out for yourself, take a look at the Total Diet Food website.

    * I was given a free one day trial of Total Diet Food. All views are my own

    If you enjoyed this post, why not take a look at: Eating on the 5:2 diet or Protein Pouch

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015

    TASTE OF LONDON FESTIVAL

    I wanted to share this post with you guys before I headed off on holiday but I ran out of time so I'm sorry that it's slightly delayed! Anyhow, the lovely people at AEG kindly gave me a pair of tickets to head down to Taste of London festival, and me & Tom were more than willing to check out some of the best food and drink from restaurants and producers across the capital.  
    taste-of-london-festivaltaste-of-london-festival-bread
    taste-of-london-festival
    Armed with a pocket full of'crowns', the official currency of the festival, Tom and I set off to eat our way around Regent's Park. We started off with a pint of Pilsner Urquell to whet our whistles and shared a maple glazed pork belly slider from Roux at Parliament Square and a portion of Mestizo's chicken tinga - shredded chicken in a tomato, onion and chipotle chile sauce.
    Pilsner Urquell
    pork belly slider Roux at Parliament Square
    Mestizo's chicken tinga
    Next up, we headed to one of my favourite restaurants, Duck & Waffle, for one of my favourite dishes! Everyone raves about the namesake dish but for me the bacon wrapped dates are the one to go for. Salty and sweet and so so addictive!
    Duck-and-waffle
    Duck-and-waffle
    Duck-and-waffle
    Duck-and-waffle-bacon-dates
    It's not just food that's on offer at Taste of London, there's also plenty of booze and plenty of interactive experiences which you can get involved in. Ketel One were hosting a Bloody Mary Workshop in their pop-up kitchen, and there were also whisky and wine tasting classes taking place across the park
    Ketel-One-Workshop
    Sipsmith-Gin
    Taste-of-London
    Another tip if you go to next years festival is to walk around the tents which house some of the smaller producers. There were also plenty of vendors selling everything from baked goods, cheeses and meats through to things like chopping boards and knives, and you can find some hidden gems which you might not have heard of before, plus you can usually find a free sample of two to nibble before you find your next food stall. 
    doughnuts
    Lindt-chocolate
    ProperCorn
    London-Crisp-Company
    Cook-books
    After walking around and nibbling at the various samples on offer, we saved the best food for last - finishing up with a trio of blinding dishes. The BBQ pork belly steamed bun from Kurobuta, Zaika's Murgh Handi Lazeez and Meat Liquor's Bingo Wings. I love steamed buns, ever since I went to Flesh & Buns i've been hooked and the Kurobuta one was a real treat.
    BBQ pork belly steamed bun Kurobuta
    Zaika's Murgh Handi Lazeez
    Chicken-Wings-MeatLiquor
    Taste of London is such a great day out for anyone who is a lover of food. Tom & I had such a fab afternoon so thank you again to AEG & Curry's for a brilliant day and some delicious food. Taste of London will be back this Winter at East London's Tobacco Dock from 19th-22nd November so make sure you check it out.

    *I was a guest of AEG, my tickets and crowns for the event were complimentery

    If you liked this post, you may also like:  FEAST FESTIVAL