Pages

Search This Blog

Shop My Favourites:

    Thursday, 7 June 2018

    RECIPE: GOLDEN OREO AND JAMMY DODGER BLONDIES

    Is it just me or does anyone else’s good eating intentions just go completely off track the closer they get to a holiday? I headed out to Ibiza last week and rather than getting into some kind of pre-holiday ‘bikini body’ routine, I basically just ate absolutely everything in sight. I even started baking – and I never bloody bake!
    Jammy-dodger-brownies
    Anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm really not a baker. I've mentioned it before on here – it’s just something to do with all the precision and patience and it’s just not really for me. This recipe though – it’s SO easy, there's no way you could mess it up! I mean if I can do it...

    What you'll need
    1 packet of Golden Oreos
    1 pack of Jammy Dodgers
    100g Butter (Unsalted)
    100g White chocolate
    2 Eggs
    75g Plain Flour
    160g Caster Sugar
    1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    2 tbsp Raspberry Jam
    What you'll need to do
    1. Preheat your oven to 180c or Gas Mark 4.
    2. Using a bain-marie, melt your white chocolate and butter together then set aside to cool down slightly.
    3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and then beat these into the white chocolate mixture.
    4. Sift in the flour and mix well before adding your vanilla extract
    5. Pour into a lined 20cm square baking tin. Spoon the jam on top (I do a blob in each corner and in the middle) then using a knife, swirl the mix around to make a pattern.
    6. Next arrange your Jammy Dodgers and Oreos neatly on top
    7. Pop into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes
    8. Allow to cool and cut into squares then enjoy with a good cuppa!

    Friday, 25 May 2018

    RECIPE: SUMMER FRUIT SANGRIA

    When I put this recipe together, the forecast for the Bank Holiday was glorious sunshine. I had it all planned. A delicious summery drink using crisp white wine, summer fruits and my favourite Fentiman's Pink Lemonade. It was going to be perfect for your weekend BBQs and parties.

    But no. In typical British fashion, as soon as the Bank Holiday arrives it's forecast to be a horrendous down-pour. Never the less, I've created it now so you're going to get the recipe anyway! Just get yourself a brolly, bring the BBQ inside and fix yourself one of these - it'll feel like Summer in no time!
    What you'll need
    1 bottle of Fentiman’s Pink Lemonade
    1 bottle of White Wine
    Handful Frozen Summer Fruits
    25ml Vodka
    What you'll need to do
    The method is super simple. All you need to do is add a handful of frozen fruit to a glass, pour over the vodka and wine then top with the Fentiman's Pink Lemonade. Give the whole thing a good stir then you’re ready to enjoy a delicious, summery drink! That's literally it!
    * This post was sponsored by Fentiman's 

    Monday, 14 May 2018

    ATTENTION: THERE IS A POP-UP BAR OFFERING CAKE COCKTAILS HITTING LONDON THIS WEEK

    Yes you read that correctly. There is a new cocktail bar hitting London this week and they’ll be serving up incredible cocktails made from cake.

    I bloody love a good food hybrid so I was immediately sold. First there was the cronut. Then came the Sushirrito and now we have the ‘Caketail’.

    Yep. Those clever people over at the Food Network have found a way to combine two of the best food groups (cakes and cocktails) into one delectable treat and will be sampling their wares to hungry/thirsty Londoners this week.
    It’s all in aid of Cake Month on Food Network, where the channel will be screening 125 hours of the most delicious and delectable cake programmes including Spring Baking Championship and Vegas Cakes this month. To celebrate the channel has collaborated with resident cakeologist Juliet Sear to open the first Caketail Bar, serving cake that look and taste exactly like cocktails.

    There’s three flavours on offer, with each strictly adult-only bake containing the equivalent of one unit of alcohol. If you love a G&T, you could go for the Pink Grapefruit Gin And Tonic - a summery mix of sponge, fruit jelly and curd finished with a grapefruit wedge.
    Or if you prefer the stronger stuff, try the Lime Margarita - a lime sponge topped with a tequila infused jelly, finished with a sugar glaze. 

    I know I’ll definitely be ordering my favourite, Espresso Martini - a light, chocolatey sponge topped with lashings of mascarpone and coffee beans.
    If you want to get your hands on one (of course you do!), you’re in luck! The caketails will be given away during ‘Caketail Hour’ in Whitechapel’s Simmons Bar this Thursday (17th May) and you can pre-book their caketail via the Eventbrite Website.


    * This post was sponsored by the Food Network

    Thursday, 10 May 2018

    GUEST POST: THE PLOUGH AT LUPTON - AN UNEXPECTED UTOPIA

    If you hovered over my previous write up for the Lake District, you’ll have seen that choosing the right place to stay in the Lakes can sometimes be a little tricky, especially if you’re not entirely sure of what the agenda is for whilst you’re there. Enter, my good friend Sophia. She has been lucky enough to stay in some of the most beautiful parts of the district and has a strong view that each will offer you something very different, depending on what exactly it is that you’re looking for. So, what’s the low down on The Plough at Lupton you ask?

    Is The Plough at Lupton right for me? 
    When you first arrive at The Plough at Lupton, its modest (and deceptive) exterior mightn’t get your heart racing. ‘Another country inn’ you might say. ‘Lovely.’ Situated on Cow Brow, best name ever, it is located just off the M6, meaning it’s probably not the most suitable venue for you if you’re wanting to find yourself in the heart of the Lake District. On the flip side, if you want to feel like you’re in a shabby chic, quirky and unique find which puts you nearby some of the more hidden-gem-style walks, this is where you want to be.
    What are the bedrooms like? 
    The bedrooms offer, without competition, our favourite d├ęcor of anywhere in the Lakes. Everything you want from an upmarket countryside inn, with quirks that make your stay feel extra special. There are six rooms available and we’d recommend booking the Torsin room – the Plough’s ‘Crown Jewel’ as they call it. Torsin isn’t a great deal more expensive than the other rooms on offer but it also has a lounge area and phenomenal bathroom area. It actually sleeps up to five people but if it’s just the two of you, it’s nice to have your own spacious suite, right?

    How’s the food? 
    Delicious! A cosy atmosphere and great food often go hand in hand in my opinion and The Plough has the balance just right. The deep fried camembert with rosemary, garlic and artisan bread is a perfect starter to share and the Himalayan salt chamber aged Ribeye steak with a crispy shallot salad is mouth-watering. My travel buddy went for the wild garlic and spring vegetable risotto and the flavours that came out of it were fantastic. A bit of blue cheese goes a very long way, I’ve learned! The moral of the story here is don’t underestimate this place for merely a humble inn. Its executions in the kitchen transform it into an upmarket inn with an in-demand eatery attached and I’d happily head there for a meal even without a room.
      Is it pricey? 
    The Plough at Lupton is really reasonably priced for what you’re getting. Rooms start at £80.00 but again, we’d really encourage you to get the Torisn room for £135 – you won’t regret it! The best part of this hotel – what is it? Its combination of modern, shabby chic interiors mixed with retro and quirky touches. Every room has its own record player and stack of vinyls, as well as an honesty bar, a full sized horseshoe for a keyring and coffee table books around the history of gin. I know, I know, don’t all queue at once.

    Are there any offers that I can take advantage of? 
    There are plenty of offers to take advantage of but my personal favourite is the ‘Summer Lovin’ deal. You can upgrade your stay for just £30 per couple and you’ll recieve a jug of Pimm's in the garden on arrival (weather permitting!) as well as a picnic to take away with you the following day. How cute! Are there things to do nearby? Absolutely, whilst you’re not in the heart of the Lake District, there’s still plenty to do and see. The market town of Kirby is just five miles away and is full of independent shops and picturesque views. There are also plenty of walks to take advantage of and not to mention Ingleton Waterfalls which are some of the prettiest waterfalls in England. My recommendation if you stay here is to make sure you go with your own transport as the venue is somewhat isolated.

    I need to book! 
    You can book directly through the Plough at Lupton: https://emea.littlehotelier.com/properties/ploughatlupton
    Call: 015395 67700

    The Plough
    Cow Brow, Lupton, Carnforth LA6 1PJ

     *Sophia was invited to be a guest at The Plough at Lupton

    Wednesday, 9 May 2018

    CIDER ON THE SOUTHBANK WITH REKORDERLIG BOTANICALS

    HELLO Heatwave! Finally, the nights are getting lighter, the weather is getting warmer and we can leave our houses without having to think about taking a jacket. Hallelujah!

    If you’re anything like me and only come out to play (AKA go for after-work drinks) when the sun is shining – then I think I might have JUST the place for you!

    It’s over on the Southbank, it’s completely free and it’s packed with good vibes, delicious food and great drinks courtesy of Rekorderlig. Yep – it’s the Underbelly festival.
    Now in its 10th year, the Underbelly Festival pops up every Spring bringing with it a calendar packed full of circus, cabaret and hilarious comedy shows. You’ll need to buy tickets if you want to watch one of the shows in the dedicated theatre (my favourite James McAster sold out super quick) but the main garden is absolutely free to enter.


    It’s a fab place to pop down after work and just chill in the sunshine with a few great drinks and some delicious food from the little street food vendors who have taken up residencies.
    Managing the bars this year are the undisputed kings and queens of flavoured cider – Rekorderlig.
    I was already a big fan of their inventive flavoured ciders so I was super excited when I heard about the launch of their innovative new botanicals range!

    They’re a celebration of all things Beautifully Swedish – combining the purest Swedish spring water with some of the country’s lesser known flavours to produce a delicious, light and super summery drink.
    There’s a whole area dedicated to Botanicals at the Underbelly festival this year...
    so you can enjoy one of the three delicious flavours, either on their own – or mixed into one of their incredible cocktails which are perfect for enjoying in the Great British sunshine!
    The new range comes in three delicious and super refreshing flavours which are perfect for summer drinking: Peach & Basil, Rhubarb Lemon & Mint, and Grapefruit & Rosemary.

    The Rhubarb-Lemon-Mint is the perfect balance of sweet and citrus flavours with a fresh mint twist. Perfect served over ice with a sprig of mint and a good squeeze of lime. The Peach-Basil has a slightly more-subtle yet tangy flavour and tastes delicious with a sprig of basil and a wedge of lemon.

    Then last but by no means, least there’s my personal favourite -the Grapefruit-Rosemary. If you like citrusy flavours – you’ll love this combination of citrus with aromatic rosemary.

    Mix it with Dry Vermouth, Honey and Lemon and you’ve got yourself a delicious Grapefruit Martini.
    If you can’t get down to London this summer – don’t fear – because the Rekorderlig Botanicals range is available from all major supermarkets, priced just £2. Honestly, what’s not to love!
    * This post was sponsored by Rekorderlig
    Always drink responsibilities 

    Saturday, 5 May 2018

    YOUR GUIDE TO THE BOTTOMLESS AFTERNOON TEA AT PAUL

    Just when I think I've tried all the best bottomless brunches in London, a new kind of bottomless appears on my radar -  Bottomless Afternoon Tea! I mean it's a no-brainer right? Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon eating their way through plates of sandwiches, cakes and scones, all washed down with bottomless prosecco?! 

    There's plenty of traditional afternoon teas doing a bottomless option across London but if you're looking for something a little different - I have just the thing for you! It's over at Le Restaurant de PAUL in Covent Garden (the place with the incredible artisan breads and patisseries) where they're putting a French twist of this great British tradition - here I'll take you through it...
    Afternoon tea with three-tiered with cakes and scones
    STEP ONE: BUBBLES
    Now I know it’s the bottomless bubbles that brought you here - right? Part of the beauty of this afternoon tea is its incredible value. For just £25, you get an hour and a half of free-flowing prosecco (sparkling vin mousseux from Ky Procco by Alain Gayrel, no less). The waiters are super generous too – as soon as your glass looks in danger of running dry, someone is there to attentively top you up. My kind of service. Prosecco
    Afternoon tea with three-tiered with cakes and scones
    STEP TWO: SANDWICHES
    Unless you’re super weird and eat the sweet dishes first, your next step is the sandwiches. As I mentioned, each of the delicate artisan sandwiches are made fresh in the Paul Bakery and come in an assortment of three classic flavours: 

    First up there’s the Poulet, a classic chicken sandwich served with lettuce, tomato and tangy mustard mayonnaise – then the creamy Camembert cheese (which if I’m being picky could do with a little more cheese inside) and my personal favourite the Saumon Fume – a combination of poached salmon & horseradish cream in brioche finger sandwich. 

    Each serving allows for 1 sandwich per person but if you ask your waiter nicely, they’ll be happy to sort you out with a refill!
    Afternoon tea with three-tiered with cakes and scones
    STEP THREE: PATISSERIES
    What the French are famed for! You’ll get served a selection of two patisseries on your afternoon tea which are expertly crafted by the in-house bakers – there’s the Craquant, a dark chocolate sponge, covered in praline and chocolate ganache and studded with almonds and the Gateau aux Carottes, which is PAUL’s take on a carrot cake. But if you’re lucky, you;ll get my favourite – the Fraisier, a Genoese sponge with mousseline cream, marzipan and topped with strawberries.
    Afternoon tea with three-tiered with cakes and sconesYou’ll also get two mini jewel-like macarons. It's a lucky dip for which flavour you'll get (if you're lucky it'll be lemon) but there's also pistachio, chocolate, coconut, caramel and raspberry.Afternoon tea with three-tiered with cakes and scones
    STEP FOUR: SCONES
    I always save my favourite bit for last! The 'Scones' here at Paul are actually Paul's speciality brioche. Made using a traditional recipe combining white flour and sourdough with fresh salt, yeast, butter and egg yolk, these super sweet buns take the place of the traditional English scones. They're light and fluffy and have this incredible crystallised sugar on top for an added bite. Now you just need to decide - jam or cream first?
    Afternoon tea with three-tiered with cakes and scones
    Honestly, what more do I have to do to convince you? So grab your mum or your BFFE and make sure you book yourselves a table - because I challenge you to find a better Bottomless Afternoon Tea deal anywhere else in London!

    Le Restaurant de Paul
    29 Bedford St, London WC2E 9ED

    * We were guests of  Paul
    Our food was complimentary. All opinions are honest & my own

    Monday, 30 April 2018

    CINNAMON KITCHEN, BATTERSEA PARK

    I’m sat writing this while looking out the window and it’s absolutely lashing it down. This isn’t the kind of weather we deserve on the 30th of April! We deserve heat! We deserve something exotic! And while you won’t get those vibes from the weather outside, I promise you will be able to get them from this restaurant recommendation. 

    Yep, this place promises to deliver you something spicy, fragrant and super tasty down at Battersea Power Station - so without further ado (drum roll please...), allow me to introduce you to for the newest Cinnamon Kitchen.    
    If the name rings a bell, that’s because there’s already two Cinnamon Kitchens in existence over in the City and Oxford. The restaurants are the brain-child of Vivek Singh where he serves up modern Indian cuisine with a super laid-back vibe - and this newest offering has to be his edgiest yet.
    I fell in love with the interiors as soon as I walked through the door. Industrial-style metals. Exposed brick-work arches. Touches of moody blue and orange velvet. It all feels super modern and sleek - just like the food being served on the menu. 
    Now if you're anything like me (and love a good curry) then you're in for a real treat here. All the dishes have such big, bold flavours with incredible aromas transporting you across the globe with every mouthful.The dishes are a bit on the pricey side but don't skimp out on the starters as these were some of our favourite dishes. I'd say your best bet is to order a couple of dishes from the starters and mains and just share the whole lot amongst your table to get the best value. I definitely recommend ordering the spice crusted lamb fillet (£9). It has the most incredible melt-in-the-mouth texture and comes served alongside a tomato salsa and smoked paprika raita. It's perfectly pink and the balance of spices is near perfect - honestly one of the best lamb dishes I've ever eaten. 
    The Tandoori Chicken Breast (£8) is delicious too - although, if you're a bit squeamish about pink chicken, you may want to ask for yours to be cooked a little longer. For me though, it was spot on.  Perfectly tender, juicy and packed with delicate, subtle heat from the red chilli and fenugreek marinade.  

    Next on to the mains...
    We decided to share two dishes starting with the King Prawns served in a Bengali turmeric curry (£25.00). I'm sure nearly every other table in the restaurant ordered this dish and with good reason too. The prawns are huge and meaty and the curry itself is packed with flavour (if slightly on the mild side for me) - BUT the price-tag is pretty hefty and as delicious as it was, I'm not convinced I would pay that again. 
    I was actually surprised by the fact this next dish was my favourite of the two. The veggie option (I know, shocker right?!) Kadhi Pithod Saag - spiced chickpea gnocchi served in a yoghurt and spinach sauce (£15.00). It had a soft, silky texture and I couldn't stop myself from scooping every last scrap of sauce up with my peshwari naan (£5.50). Definitely well worth an order!
    I don't usually tend to order puddings in Indian restaurants (as I'm usually too stuffed) but I couldn't resist my all-time favourite pud, Sticky Ginger Toffee Pudding which has been given an exotic twist served with Garam masala ice cream (£7).
    While Tom devoured the spiced bread and butter pudding which came in a fragrant rasmalai sauce (£7). The perfect way to round off an epic feast!
    Overall, we both loved our evening at Cinnamon Kitchen and I would definitely recommend it. The prices are a little on the higher side so it's reserved more for date night or a treat but the quality of the meal helps justify the spend and I really can't fault it. The food was delicious, the wine was incredible and I even got to take the boat home. All in all, a brilliant evening.

    Cinnamon Kitchen
    4 Arches Lane, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AB

    * We were invited to review Cinnamon Kitchen
    Our food was complimentary and all opinions are my own

    Friday, 13 April 2018

    MY FAVOURITE EXOTIC CUISINE + A RECIPE FOR HALLOUMI FRIES

    I don't know about you but whenever I travel anywhere, the most important aspect of my trip is always the food! I spend days and even weeks planning out the restaurants I want to visit and plotting exactly which dishes I need to track down to try.

    I absolutely loved the food in Rome...and all the incredible tapas in Spain...and the tacos in Mexico. But of all the food from across the globe, Middle Eastern cuisine has to be my absolute favourite - which I've been lucky enough to try on visits to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
    bowl of helium fries with pomegranate seeds
    The food is so bold and colourful and takes influences from all across the Middle Eastern and Levant regions. Think big bowls of fresh and fragrant tabbouleh and fattoush salads. Platters of perfectly griddled meats and cheeses. Plump juicy olives. Bowls of creamy hummus and warm delicious baked falafels. It's literally my dream. 

    What I also love is the fact that there's so many fantastic Middle Eastern restaurants popping up across London. Think Honey & Co, Yalla Yalla, The Palomar and the infamous Halloumi fries at Oli Baba's. Oh, how I dream of the Halloumi fries at Oli Baba's...

    If you haven't heard about them before, you have to change that ASAP. They're deep-fried slices of cheesy dreaminess. Crisp on the outside and warm and salty on the inner. I was addicted as soon as I tried them so I decided to try and re-create my own version so you can enjoy them for yourself at home!
    Halloumi fries in a bowl topped with pomegranate
    What you'll need:
    1 block of Halloumi cheese
    1 tbsp Plain Flour
    1 tsp Sumac
    1 tsp Paprika
    Pomegranate Seeds

    For the dressing
    1 tbsp mayonnaise
    1 tbsp paprika

    What you'll need to do:
    1. First, cut your halloumi into thick chip sized strips (about 1-2cm wide) and set to the side while you prep the flour mix 
    2. To do this, spoon the flour, paprika and sumac onto a plate and stir until evenly mixed
    3. Next take your halloumi, blot it dry with a piece of kitchen towel and then roll each strip in the flour until coated on both sides. Make sure you brush off any clumps. 
    4. Now it's time to prepare the oil. You need to be super careful with this next step as the oil you're working with will be blistering hot! Fill a shallow pan with oil (make sure the pan has a heavy base) and heat. You can test it's at the right temperature by dropping a piece of bread in and when it browns in 20 seconds, it's ready!
    5. Once the oil is heated to the right temperature, drop the halloumi strips into the oil in small batches and fry for around 2 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Make sure you stand back as it's going to bubble and spit!
    6. Once cooked, remove and transfer onto a piece of kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil. Leave to cool while you make up your dressing.
    7. In a bowl, stir together the mayo and paprika with a splash of cold water until it's at a runny but still creamy consistency.
    8. Transfer the fries to a bowl. Top with your pomegranate and sauce and they're ready to serve! 
    What are your favourite exotic cuisines? Let me know in the comments below!

    * This post was sponsored by Destination 2 Luxury Holidays