June 26, 2015

If you only go to this place for a drink and a tarnished goblet full of their deepfried stuffed olives you will not be disappointed.
 
 If you have an extra half an hour, order dessert, the Dutch Baby that is on offer is, I think the best dessert I have ever set eyes on and demolished.
 
If you can give up a whole evening, go.all.out.
 
 
The food here is simple but often with a hidden twist. The buttermilk fried chicken is crispy and juicy and the aubergine chips (eggplant for you americans ot there) are ridiculously moreish, chunky and a fantastic chip alternative.
 
If you have heard of Polpo (i went here last year, have a peak here...) this little gem in the heart of Soho is Polpos little sister. From the outside you probably wouldn't dare enter.
 
 Rusty iron clad glass windows and a cadged menu, make you feel like you could be entering to a dark dungeon.
 
 Once you have braved to step over the threshold, head to the back. They have a large sky light in the ceiling which lets the light flood in, a little haven from the rest of the dark interior.
 
Perch on benches and start persuing the menu.
 
 
 
Nibble on some of the special fried stuffed olives as you do.
 
 
 
 
The menu is packed full of small dishes. Their ethos, as with Polpo, is sharing/tapas/everyone pick and choose.
 
We went for...
 
Buttermilk chicken,
Steak tare tare
Aubergine chips
Salt beef fritters
 
 
 
Just look at that egg oozing over the tastiest tare tare...^

 
See below for the full spread in all its glory. As you can see it is pretty dark but this just adds to the whole atmosphere of this fanstatic italian-style tapas restaurant.
 
 
 
The aubergine chips with the shiniest ebony skin were mouth watering. Really the perfect chip. Deliciosly crispy on the outside and melt in the mouth. These of course also don't have the added carb guilt!


Now for the real showstoppers.
 
Rubbing bellies we leaned back to peruse the puddings. With a helping hand from our friendly waiter we were assured that the 'Dutch baby' the Brooklyn Toast and the Peanut Butter Jelly Sarnies were all a must.

Boy was he right... just look at that...


It is as tall as it is wide, picture a yorkshire pud but a fluffy, puffy sweet yorkshire pud, coated in sugar with ice cream just melting in the middle. Amazing



Next up the peanut-butter jelly sandwhich. Bread disguised as ice cream is always a good idea and this had been spread with sticky homemade peanut butter and juicy rasberry and strawberry compote with toasted peanut brittle sprinkled over the top.  
 
A different take on dessert but really delicious and not one that I would have picked without our helpful waiter.


Last up Brooklyn toast. Another winner and one that you could have for brunch, dinner or dessert! Delicious french toast coated in egg and dusted liberally in sugar, served sandwiched around homemade nutella icecream.
 


 If that isnt enough to temp your taste buds I dont know what is! It a treat meal, everything is delicious, tasty and extremely reasonably priced.

Find their website here and wander in one evening pre or post theatre or as a welcome break from some shopping.
 

June 17, 2015



Not only is this the easiest dish to serve up on a Sunday morning its also pretty healthy too. Eggs, juicy tomatoes, tasty prosciutto and fresh herbs and a kick of feta.

If you have friends over, chuck everything into a pan and let reduce and then at the last minute put in your eggs, one per person, or two if you and your guests are hungry and let them poach in the tasty juices for about 5 minutes. All sit down with some baskets laden with toasted sourdough and tuck in!

                  

To serve 5 you will need...

2 tins of chopped plum tomatoes
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
5 eggs 
6 slices ripped up parma ham/chorizo/pancetta
feta for that last minute sprinkle
fresh coriander

Start by chopping and softening you onions and garlic in the pan, one softened and smelling divine throw in your chopped meat of chioce and let it crisp up and cook down.

Next add your two tins of tomatoes, a good shake of salt and pepper and let simmer for a few minutes.

Set your table, mash some avocado as a side if you fancy and slice up your sourdough.

Now turn your attention back to your dish, carfeully add in your 5 eggs, give them enough space and then them poach for about 4/5 minutes depending on how runny you and your guests like them.




Once your eggs are cooked and looking tasty sprinkle over the feta and chopped coriander, carry to the table and let everyone tuck in and share.

The perfect hangover cure for the morning after those late saturday nights or the perfect sharing brunch with friends if you want a meal with minimal effort and one that everyone can have as much or as little as they fancy!

 Delicious and full of goodness!




June 08, 2015

Last week I was lucky enough to go to the Hemsley Hemsley supper club held in Notting Hill. Tickets went on sale a while ago and a dear friend and I thought we would book in a moment of excitement for a few months time for what was sure to be a night to remember.




The Hemsley sisters are two foodies who are lifestyle and food bloggers for Vogue.

Their presence as grown a lot over the past five years and they are the two behind spiralising all your veg becoming a thing and a must have kitchen gadget.

Earlier this year they have created their own brand of spiraliser which you can get here...

They focus on food that is good for your gut. That is their mantra and they have been true to it since they began in 2010.

Last Wednesday we headed over to Paradise by Way to enjoy a night of healthy food and to hopefully come away with an extremely happy gut and a few tips and tricks to put into practise to a healthier lifestyle once home.

We arrived early, in fact the first for the night and even before one of the sisters had arrived, we settled in the corner to people watch while we waited for everyone else.


Paradise by Way its self is extremely impressive, huge ornate jars are filled with beautiful blooms and on the roof there is a terrace which sounds a perfect spot to enjoy these beautiful long summer evenings than become the norm during the summer months.


At around 7ish we were all lead into the restaurant where agin flowers were festooned around the place, scented candles glistened from every table and we took our seats. 


A lavender, blueberry & lime cocktail was brought round, vodka was an optional addition.. of course we both opted in...
With thirst being quenched we started get to grips with our menu and selection of food ahead, some dishes recognisable from their cookbook The Art Of Eating Well and others specially prepared for the night. 


Melissa and Jasmine talked us through the menu and each dish and emphasised the importance of understanding your gut and understanding 'Fat is Good' something they really emphasised, recommeding we all carry around a small jar of coconut oil to splash into a lunch time miso soup for an extra injection of goodness.

Once the girls had finished talking, everyone around the room vowing to change thier ways the starters arrived.

 The whole menu took the form of sharing dishes and platters and enough to feed to untill content rather than full - another important asepct of the night and also to chew properly to get every ounze of goodness from each bite.

Colourful dips and the prettiest dipping tools to match...


Next the girls famous Bone Broth. Traditional broth with veg and chilli. Really delicious.



Next all the mains, roasted veg, cauliflower bulgar salad, sesame and soba noodle salad and beef meatballs.









After lots of chatter the girls made their way around each table and chatted about tips and tricks to bring a little health into our daily lifes.

A snack on the go - a red pepper rinsed and some houmus, some slices of apple and nut butter, a few squares of dark chcoclate for a little kick of energy and bone broth wherever and whenever possible!

Pudding was then served, delicious Pineapple Carpacchio - sounds extremely fancy and probably the easiest of dishes, you can find the whole method in The Art Of Eatting Well.



Accompanied by thier paradise bars, imagine a bounty but with out the bad sugar and of course no guilt.

Finally we finshed with Pep up tea. A spicy mixture of hot water, lemon, cayenne and turmeric. Really delicious, a kick for the metabolism and fantastic for digestion as you head home to bed.



A evening full of good food and one where you come away with all sorts of tips and tricks you can share with friends so we can all have healthier guts in a world full of fads and non-fats!

Keep a look out on the Hemsely sister instagram to see when thwey will be holding their next supper clubs and be sure to get there quickly, tickets sold out in record time for this one!

Happy eatting and long live a healthy gut!




June 03, 2015

A few weekends ago I was exploring Highbury Corner, a great little gem just north of Angel in north London that has a few great brunch spots.
 
Sawyer and Gray is just around the corner from the station and is a little haven of good eggs, flakey pastries, melting brownies and fantastic cookware.
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
Once inside, you will probably be lead down the stairs at the back and into the basment, full of cubby holes stuffed with cusions and next to the heart of this place.... ^   the kitchen.
 
Peruse the menu with a coffee....
 
 
 and debate the eggs vs the baked figs on toast or the avocado soudough.
 
If I had had my way I would have had all three, but alas was left to umm and ahh for a good few minutes testing the patience of my other half. Of course he decided at first glance on the eggs and that was it. Although you would think he would be used to this undecicevness by now!
 
 
 
Avo eggs it was...
 

It was fantastic, eggs cooked in that 'only a restaunt can' kinda way where they have a great shape, are moist and full of flavour.
 
This is a great, hidden spot in Highbury with really delicious eggs and even better pastries, if you haven't had your fill of eggs take a pastry with for the journey home as they really are too good to miss!

Heres a virtual street view for you and their website here...
 



June 01, 2015

Sundays are a time when you can really relax, your frantic Saturday of chores, socialising and shopping is over and you can switch off the alarm and find somewhere cosy for brunch and find a new market to fall in love with and get ready for the week ahead.

If you are a Londoner you have probably frequented Columbia road flower market at least once and if not you have probably most likely heard of it and always wanted to go...if you still haven't made the leap this time of year is perfect, the street really flourishes.



The best flowers are out in bloom and the stalls overspill with huge bunches of tulips, the first of the Hydreangeas ^ and mountains of pink peonies.

Situated over in Shoreditch this road comes to life on a Sunday, cramed with stalls and bustling locals stocking up on the weeks flowers.

Hidden behind the stalls are tiny shops selling antique cookware. Dreamy for any cookware fanatic like me and little hatches in the walls serve piping hot coffee and the odd biscotti.







You can buy Peonies by the bucket load and for a fraction of the price of any super market or florist at this time of year, worth to go just to get your hands on these.



These tulips were gorgeous...


The sun beams over head as you shuffle your way down through the crowds. We arrived early, just after 10am and the street was already busy.

 I reccommend doing a wrecki first, meander and shuffle down Columbia Road, pick out the best stalls and make note, then make your way to the end of the street and round the corner to the courtyards and cafes to fuel up before you face the crowds again.


We stopped off at S. Jones' for eggs. Large stipped wooden tables, soft sofas and with the promise of delicious iced coffee we couldn't say no.


We went for the Olive Oil Eggs & Pancetta, all served on mismatched cookware with a large hunk of delicious sourdough, washed down with large iced coffees.  



Once you have eaten, work your way into the courtyards opposite, here they have all manner of rustic iron, wicker and wooden bits and bobs perfect your your urban garden.

 You can aquire a few bits to spice up your balcony or finally get a window box to plant up your herbs.


Once you have made your way back up through the street and purchased your peony haul...


...make your way back through the wild urban meadow just to the left of the main street as you walk back to old street station. A beautiful sun trap, perfect for photos and full of cornflowers and daisies. 


 
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