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    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
    Le Restaurant de Paul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato