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    Tuesday, 31 October 2017

    ROAST, BOROUGH MARKET

    Not only is Borough Market one of the most iconic foodie spots in London, it's also one of my favourite places to spend a Saturday afternoon. There's so many amazing traders and stalls to explore and it's also surrounded by incredible bars and restaurants. My favourite? Roast. 

    I've been to Roast several times for breakfast and for Sunday lunch - you might remember Tom and I went a couple of years ago. Well, we loved it then and we loved it EVEN more when we headed back a couple of weeks ago. 
    The team behind Roast believe in using the finest seasonal ingredients to create classic dishes that support and champion British farmers and producers - including several who are stallholders in the market outside!

    Not only are the ingredients super fresh but all the meat is butchered and prepared on site every day. It's a real love affair between the chefs and the food which totally shines through in each dish. 

    As well as the food, Roast are super passionate about their wines. They have dedicated sommeliers on hand to carefully select bottles which go perfectly with your food order. Each member of staff is so passionate and knowledgeable and really help to bring your whole experience in the restaurant to life. 
    We fell in love with the Scotch egg last time we visited so we HAD to order the Chorizo version this time around. As always, the egg is perfectly cooked with a super crispy coating and a generous helping of tangy piccalilli. I think I preferred the black pudding version (because black pudding is BAE) but this is still really, really good. 
    This next starter is amazing too AND I would never have ordered it, had I not seen it on Katy's blog a few weeks before our visit. I don't know why but written down, 'baked charcoal cheddar soufflĂ©' just doesn't appeal to me....but when it's served up in front of you - WOW. It literally oozes with a mass of melted cheese and the souffle itself is incredibly light and airy. 
    In terms of main courses, you can't come here and not order a roast. There's a whole selection of meats on the menu including lamb and pork belly but the roast beef here is just incredible. You're served slices of 48-day dry aged roast sirloin alongside a huge Yorkshire pudding and OMG. 

    The beef is perfectly rare with just the right amount of fat to pack in flavour. Order yourself some roast potatoes and creamed spinach and you've got the PERFECT roast dinner. 
    The other thing I love about Roast is that they have a different special on for each day of the week. On Wednesday you can get a mixed grill and on a Thursday they serve suckling pig and it just so happened that on the night we were there (Saturday) they had my favourite: beef wellington. You're given a HUGE slab of perfectly pink beef, smoothered in mushrooms and wrapped in flakey pastry. Hand on heart one of the best Beef Wellingtons I've had in London. 
    For pudding, you have to order the Sticky Toffee Pudding. It's sweet, indulgent and the ultimate comfort food. I've ordered it both times I've been to Roast and I promise you it really is delicious.
    All washed down with a glass of my absolute favourite dessert wine, Pedro Xixinez. It's super sweet and sticky and just perfect to drink with pudding. You can buy it in Morrison's and I always order it when I see it on a menu when I'm out.
    I really can't speak highly enough about Roast. The food, wine and service is just incredible, as is the location. It is a little on the pricey side (especially if you're drinking wine which is £££) but it's a great place for special occasions so well worth considering for your next birthday or anniversary dinner! 

    Roast Restaurant
    The Floral Hall, Stoney St, London SE1 1TL

    * I was invited to review Roast

    Sunday, 29 October 2017

    A SEAFOOD FEAST AT LUPITA WEST

    Do you have a food which is your absolute go-to when you're hungover? Because mine is definitely Mexican. All that spice...and guac...and cheese! And of all the Mexican dishes..tacos are my favourite. Seriously - what's not to love about soft, pillowy tortillas stuffed with spicy, fragrant fillings? 

    Tacos are having a bit of a 'moment' in London at the moment and I've found another great place where you can get your fix - at one of London more authentic Mexican offerings: Lupita West. 
    There are three Lupita branches across London (in Shoreditch, Soho and Kensington) and they specialise in serving traditional Mexican dishes, using only the freshest, high-quality ingredients. 
    You'll find a whole host of authentic Mexican recipes on the menu including enchiladas, burritos and spicy chicken tinga - plus some killer margarita cocktails.
    In true Mexican spirit, Lupita really champion fresh fish as part of their menu so I headed down recently to celebrate National Seafood Week with a menu filled with gorgeous fish tacos created by the team and Masterchef finalist Lorna Robertson. Kicking off with an order of the restaurant's incredible guacamole. The waitress brings all the ingredients right up to your table and muddles it all together in a pestle and mortar to the perfect consistency. They use the ripest avocado with onion, tomato and jalapenos, add a good squeeze of lime, a crack of pepper until you're left with the perfect chunky but silky smooth guacamole, ready to be scooped up with the freshly baked tortilla chips. 
    We started our trio of tacos with Tuna Tostadas which are incredible - consisting of expertly diced tuna tartare served with caramelised onions and avocado with a lightly spiced chipotle mayo and crispy fried leeks. Super fresh with the most delicate but punchy flavour.
    Lorna's signature Crispy Plaice Tacos are incredible too. She created and prepared this dish on  Masterchef and it was one of her most successful recipes - and with very good reason too! 

    Each bite packed incredible flavour - from the flakey white fish through to the bites of red cabbage slaw and mango salsa. Simply delicious.  
    Our final dish was my favourite - the gobernador prawn tacos. A protein-packed taco stuffed with grilled prawns, melted cheese, chipotle mayo and a punchy pico de Gallo. You get three per serving and I promise you'll want to polish off every last one. 
    To round  off our meal, we finished with a delicious and traditional Mexican sponge Tres Leches which is made using condensed milk, evaporated cream and heavy cream. 
    It looks (and sounds) like it would be really heavy but the sponge is surprisingly light and fluffy and really, really delicious. The perfect way to end an epic Mexican feast!
    Lupita West
    7 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5NP

    * I was invited to review Lupita West
    Lupita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
    Lupita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Wednesday, 11 October 2017

    NEW FOOD ALERT: HALLOWEEN DOUGHNUTS HAVE LANDED AT KRISPY KREME

    One of my favourite things about having this little old blog is being able to share my favourite foodie finds with you guys - and I'm really excited about this one. Like really, really.

    Can you guess what it is....
    Yep! Halloween Doughnuts from the one and only Krispy Kreme! I LOVE doughnuts and I bloody love Halloween, so of COURSE I was going to love this eerie new range!
    Taking inspiration from everyone's favourite spooky holiday, the team at Krispy Kreme has dreamt up four 'wicked' new flavours and I promise you're going to love them!

    Whether you prefer cream or chocolate in your doughnut, there's something for everyone so grab a cuppa and I'll tell you a little more about the limited edition range....

    Monster Mummy
    The cutest, scary doughnut I've ever seen! This delicious number is filled with creamy chocolate brownie batter, generously coated in green icing and topped with white icing bandages and little eyes. 
    Creepy Cobweb
    Not one for the faint hearted! Hand dipped in chocolate icing and filled with Krispy's signature kreme, this creepy doughnut is finished with an orange spider's web and its very own eight legged creature!

    Evil Eyeball
    My absolute fav! A deliciously sweet Krispy Kreme ring doughnut, topped with white icing and decorated with red iced veins. There's even a creepy sugar eye to watch you as you tuck in!
    Spooky Sprinkles
    Last but by no means least, the Spooky Sprinkle doughnut uses the same signature ring but this time dipped in chocolate and topped with halloween-inspired orange and green sprinkles! Definitely more treat, than trick!
    The Halloween range is available in all Krispy Kreme UK stores and cabinets from 13th October until the 31st! The cobweb, Mummy and Eyeball doughnuts are priced £1.90 and the Spooky Sprinkles is £1.65

    * I went to the London Dungeons to celebrate the launch of the Krispy Kreme Halloween range

    Monday, 9 October 2017

    EXPLORE THE CITY WITH JOHN LEWIS

    "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life" - I'm sure that's how the saying goes, right? I've lived in London for pretty much my whole life and there are still SO many places I've never seen or explored. 

    London is such a melting pot of different cultures, food and influences and every single borough has something unique to offer. I love that Camden Town is completely different to Westminister, which is SO different to Shoreditch or Mayfair - and all these places are in walking distance to each other. 

    John Lewis is on a mission to get more people out and about exploring London, which is why they've just launched a handy new Explore the City tool on their website. 
    It's a really handy app which allows you to pop in your postcode and unlock thousands of activities and attractions in your surrounding area, all which can be explored by foot.

    The routes can be broken down by borough, activity type (be it arts, museums or exercise classes you're after) and fitness level, telling you how many steps they take so you can plan out your route.

    I love exploring London so inspired by the new app, I've set out some of my favourite things to do in the Capital...

    What I'm Wearing
    Denim Jacket / Earrings / Dress / Boots

    Eat your way around Borough Market
    You HAVE to head to Borough Market for food. Now, you could queue for one of the restaurants nearby (like Padella for their amazing pasta) but there's so many amazing traders and stalls to explore inside the actual market. It's the perfect place to waste away a Saturday afternoon, eating ALL the cheese, wine, fresh bread and don't even think about leaving before you try the doughnuts - how can you not fall in love with this place?  
    Fish Borough Market
    Go house hunting in Islington
    Hypothetically of course - because LOL, I'm not a millionaire. We love our little home in Beaconsfield but it's nice to go window shopping, dreaming of the Victorian townhouses you'd buy if you won the lottery, right? There's some gorgeous houses in Islington but Richmond, Southwark and South Ken are other fav spots too. And I really have a thing for red doors....

    Hunt down London's best burger
    All that walking means you've gotta replenish the calories right?! If you're looking for a burger in London, there's only really one choice: Bleecker. You can now find them in Victoria, Spitalfields and on the Southbank so it's well worth planning a detour on your route. The Blue burger is a dream and don't even get me started on the angry fries!
    Spend the afternoon people watching in Marylebone
    There's something weirdly theauputic about people watching. I love finding cosy little bars where you can sit outside, order a cocktail and watch the world go by. Some of our favourite places are The Cavendish in Marylebone, Bluebird in Chelsea and London Grind. Does anyone else invent back-stories for every person who goes by, or is that just me?
    Have a pint in a back-street pub
    Espresso martinis in fancy bars are great - but some of my favourite places are the little backstreet pubs, tucked away from all the tourists. Yes, you'll get weird looks from the locals when you first walk in, but they get over it and you can enjoy a little people watching too! My favourite pub in London is Ye Olde Watling, over by St.Pauls and we ALWAYS head to The Kings Head in Marylebone. It's a little rough around the edges, but we were in there with Kate Moss on our last visit!
    What are your favourite things to do in London? Let me know in the comments below!

    * I was gifted a FitBit by John Lewis
    in exchange for this post
    Bleecker St. Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Wednesday, 4 October 2017

    NEW FOOD ALERT: THE NEW MARS CHOCOLATE COOKIES

    When a GIANT box of cookies lands on your doorstep, which you've been asked to review, all in the name of blogging, you really do have to pinch yourself.

    Mars has just launched a new range of cookies and I had the pleasure of trying them out to give you guys my opinion (it's a hard life, right!).

    The new range of cookies, based on some of the UK's favourite chocolate bars, are the perfect treat and with each having its own distinct texture, there's something which everyone will love! So grab yourself a brew, and I'll tell you guys all about them.
    M&M's DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
    Everyone loves a good chocolate biscuit, so let's kick things off with the M&M's Double Chocolate Cookies. The cookie itself has a deep chocolate flavour and each one is packed with real chocolate M&M's baked inside. Just the right balance between soft and crunchy, it's the perfect cookie for dunking in your cuppa!

    BOUNTY SOFT BAKED COOKIES
    Based on a Bounty chocolate bar, it's no surprise these cookies are packed full of coconut flakes and chocolate chunks. So, it's also no real surprise that they weren't really for me! I really don't like coconut and I don't like Bounty so it was kind of a given they wouldn't really do it for me. I also wasn't keen on the texture - which was a little too soft for me personally. I like a good crunchy cookie so I'm afraid I'd have to give these a miss! But hey - if you like Bounty and you like a softer bake...you'll probably love these!

    GALAXY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
    The Galaxy Chocolate Chunk Cookies though? Now we're talking. These were my absolute FAV. They've got a real bite to them and huge chunks of creamy galaxy chocolate. If you love Galaxy chocolate you're in for a real treat!
    Gather your friends, put the kettle on and start dunking!
    All the cookies are priced £1.99 and you can get the M&M's cookies from Tesco and Galaxy & Bounty ones from Tesco or Sainsbury's. 

    * This post was sponsored by Mars 

    Monday, 2 October 2017

    FOUR FAB GARNISHES TO PIMP YOUR G&T

    I have to admit, I was a little bit late to the party with gin. It's been super popular over the last few years, but I've pretty much avoided it like the plague since my uni days. 

    I remember I really, really wanted to be 'in to' gin when I was in second year - so I used to drink it at 'pre-drinks' to absolute excess and would wake up in the morning either depressed (which explains why they call it Mother's Ruin) or with the hangover from hell.  Recently though, now I've learnt my limits, I've discovered that gin & I actually do get along. 
    To put this new found love to the test, I headed down to the Franklin & Sons Penny Farthing Supper Club to celebrate two of India's greatest exports: tonic and curry. 
    The team at Cinnamon Kitchen were on hand serving up delicious Indian Street food while Franklin & Sons created G&Ts using their award-winning range of tonics and mixers. Franklin & Sons pride themselves on only using the finest natural ingredients to bring out the very best in spirits like Gin and Vodka.
    While I was at the event, I also got the chance to experiment with the various botanicals and garnishes which is a great way to bring new depth to your drink: 

    PEPPERCORNS
    Pink peppercorns immediately make me think of holiday. Every G&T I've had out in Spain has come served with gorgeous pink peppercorns which add a lovely sweet, fruit aroma. You can also add  black peppercorns to your gin for a savoury kick or Sichuan peppercorns for a little added heat!

    CARDAMOM
    Cardamom has a really strong, intense flavour and works brilliantly with citrus. Green cardamom seeds tend to have a slightly eucalyptus taste whereas black cardamom has a more smoky finish.

    KAFFIR LIME LEAVES
    Give the leaves a little rub to bruise them up a bit - then pop them in your drink and they'll bring a lovely citrus zing to proceedings!

    STAR ANISE
    I love Star Anise. It tastes a little like licorice and adds a really fragrant kick when you add to a G&T. Not only that but it reminds me of Christmas and is also one of the prettiest garnishes you can add to your drink! 
    What other garnishes do you love in your G&T? 
    I'd love to hear your favourite flavour combinations! 

    * I attended the Franklin & Sons Penny Farthing Supperclub as a guest
    Cinnamon Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato