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Showing posts from November, 2013

Perfect Christmas Gifts For Lovers Of The UK's Favourite Drink

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Shop Twinings NEW collection of fantastically festive blends
This festive season, avoid the present buying conundrum and enjoy your Christmas shopping stress-free. Twinings has developed a brand new collection of classic blends and herbal infusions so that you can shop easily and give the gift of a heart-warming, full flavour cup that's perfect for sharing those festive moments over once the get-togethers begin. 
From Liquorice Allsorts Earl Grey Tea Baubles to Christmas Cheer Loose Tea Caddies, there is something here to satisfy all your gifting needs or to even add a splash of yuletide sparkle to your own festive celebrations. So why not enjoy a pot with the family and a mince pie (or two!) as the nights draw in?
NEW Twinings Whole Leaf Silky Pyramid Tea Baubles: a stunning gift to adorn the Christmas tree
Give your guests the opportunity to 'rock around the Christmas tree' to something a little different this year with a stunning NEW collection of three Whole Leaf Sil…

Epicurean Escapes With Daylesford And Cotswolds House Hotel & Spa During The BITE Food Festival 2014

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Daylesford and the BITE Food Festival are passionate about real food and are partnering to provide the opportunity from beginners to the most proficient of chefs, to join them for cookery classes from 1st to 9th February. A stay at one of the most beautiful hotels in the Cotswolds, the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa Chipping Campden will turn this quieter time of year into your foodie heaven complete with treats whether in the spa or at the festival.
Spend your day at Daylesford Cookery School, refining your skills and techniques, learning about the finest produce and how to perfect seasonal dishes. After all the chopping, learning, tasting and stirring, pop back to the hotel for a relaxing complimentary treatment at the heavenly wellbeing Spa at Cotswold House.
In the evening, depending on your chosen dates, support the armed forces at the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team (CSCAT) Dinner on Saturday 1st February, learn all about champagne at a dinner with Piper Heidseick on Frida…

Christmas - Feel The SEAson At Pescatori

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With the countdown to Christmas well underway, it's time to start celebrating and raise a glass or two over a meal. If by now you have had your fill of turkey, think of fish to ring the changes. Pescatori, Italian & Seafood Restaurants in W1's Charlotte Street and Mayfair, are offering a tempting Christmas at just £35 with the compliments of the SEAson.
With a tasty choice of starters, mains and desserts, you'll be spoilt by Hot & cold smoked salmon, celeriac & fennel salad, Seafood cocktail with little gem and Bloody Mary mayonnaise, Baked escalope of seabass with puttanesca sauce and Seared fillet of Severn & Wye salmon, smoked haddock hash, grain mustard sauce, to name but a few of the many choices on the Menu' Natalizio - the Italian Christmas menu at Pescatori.  The menu is available from 18 November  for parties of eight people minimum.
Along with the freshest seafood choices, there are several dishes for meat lovers and vegetarians. Try Jerusale…

Is This The World's Best Martini?

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Internationally renowned bartender, Alessandro Palazzi at London’s prestigious martini-haven, Dukes Bar, created a gin martini recipe this week that he believes is the world’s best.


Revealed at an exclusive VIP event at Dukes Bar - within Dukes Hotel - this week, Alessandro explains why hand-crafted Whitley Neill is the perfect base for the best gin martini.
“Whitley Neill Gin boasts an enigmatic taste due to its skillful blend of rare African botanicals, including cape gooseberry and baobab.”
Whitley Neill Gin’s rich juniper, citrus and exotic spices combine with a citrusy sweet peppery nose and a distinctive floral aroma.
Alessandro continues: “It’s the unique combination of spices that allow the soft, smooth taste, which makes Whitley Neill unrivalled as a martini base.”
Alessandro’s Whitley Neill Gin Martini Ingredients: 90ml Whitley Neill Gin Dukes Dry Vermouth from Sacred distillery Organic lemon from the Amalfi Coast, zest peeled
Swirl the Vermouth around a frozen martini glas…

Food Heroes Celebrate St Andrews Day At The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant

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The iconic Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant, at the head of Loch Fyne in Scotland, is promising visitors a Fyne time on 30 November as food heroes from across Scotland come together for a St Andrews Day Feast.
Visitors will be able to meet some of Scotland's best food and drink producers face to face at a special producers' market and then raise a toast to Scotland's national day with a four course meal specially created by award-winning chef, Roy Brett.
Producers like Hebridean Sea Salt will come from as far afield as the Outer Hebrides, while the artisan bakery Mhor Bread will travel from the nearby Trossachs.  Diverse produce including seaweed from Mara Seaweed will be available to taste and buy.  Those visiting the market will be welcomed by a traditional Scottish piper.
The St Andrews Day menu is available between 1 and 7pm and will cost £40 per person.  Celebrating the best of Scottish produce, it will comprise: Loch Fyne Salmon Selection with Soda Bread Loch F…

Harthill Cookery School Scoops Highly Commended Award For Best Small Cookery School UK 2013

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On 11th November at the British Cookery School Awards in London the prestigious Highly-Commended Award for Best Small Cookery School UK 2013 went to the Cheshire based cookery school at Harthill.
‘We are absolutely delighted to win the award’  proudly says Brian Mellor, Chef Patron of Harthill Cookery School, ‘this was our first attempt after only being open for 2 years. Our category was the most entered with hundreds of schools from across UK vying for the title. The Judges, including Radio 2 presenter Nigel Barden, sifted through them to shortlist just 7 cookery schools for the final. It was stiff competition as many of the schools are well established and to be Highly Commended in such renowned company is fantastic’
‘It was difficult to decide the finalists and the winners, all seven are unique, extremely dedicated to what they do and very passionate about food and passing on skills. In the end, we introduced a special award for some categories where it was difficult to decide bet…

Warm Up This Season With Rekorderlig's Winter Cider Cocktails

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With the clocks changing and the nights drawing in, there’s no better way to warm the cockles than Rekorderlig’s new Winter Cider Cocktail range, designed to match the rosy glow of your cheeks at this time of year.
Rekorderlig is fast becoming a premium cider for all seasons – and if you missed the highly successful Summer Cocktails earlier this year, this new selection of recipes featuring the limited edition Rekorderlig Winter Cider flavour will more than make up for it! Made with apples and infused with cinnamon and vanilla, the winter warmer is a truly unique ingredient for a delicious cider cocktail.
The cocktails have been specially created by Joel Persson, who has recently been announced as Rekorderlig’s Global Brand Ambassador.  Joel’s award winning mixology talent and passion for creating beautiful cocktails shines through in the unique menu using simple ingredients and methods which can be recreated at home or in bars, featuring a modern Swedish twist on some familiar class…

'Spice Up Your Life' With A Gourmet Curry Evening With Indunil Sanchi At The Devonshire Arms At Pilsley

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Curry lovers are invited to 'Spice Up Their Night' at an authentic Gourmet Curry Evening at The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley with award-winning chef Indunil Sanchi on Friday 29th November.


After the roaring success of the first Curry Evening back in October, Head Chef at The Noel Arms, Indunil Sanchi will return to The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley and cook up a selection of Middle Eastern treats for just £19.50 per person.
The sought-after Sri Lankan chef, who has been awarded 'UK Pub Curry Chef' for the third year running, is famed for creating an unbeatable fusion of locally sourced ingredients with high quality products to produce mouth-watering authentic curry dishes.
With a starter platter including various dishes such as 'Aloo Ghobi Cream Soup' and 'Curried Cured Salmon' followed by a delicious choice of mains such as 'Sri Lankan Red Fish Curry' and 'Muglhai Style Turkey Korma' there is a selection of dishes to suit all palettes.
The …

New Sloe Bloom Gin Launches

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The first SLOE BLOOM Gin, from the creator of the premium BLOOM London Dry Gin, has been launched.  Master Distiller Joanne Moore has created a new version of her floral BLOOM Gin, using hand-picked sloe berries steeped in the highest quality BLOOM Gin, distilled in a traditional copper pot still.
BLOOM Gin is made in a distillery in Cheshire which has been producing fine gin by hand for over 250 years and the sloe berries are macerated in the spirit giving a richly coloured, delicious twist to the the floral gin which can be drunk neat, on the rocks or as an ingredient in cocktails.
SLOE BLOOM is a limited edition and exclusively available from Harvey Nichols' seven stores and online, as well as at Taste of Christmas 21 - 24 November, Tobacco Dock, London.
Tasting Note Appearance: a rich ruby red colour. Nose:  a subtle aroma of almonds and kirsch, blended with the light floral aroma of BLOOM London Dry Gin. Taste: smooth opening, classical sloe taste, rounded off with some s…

Slow Grown And Slow Cooked - Sunday Roasts Millbrook Inn Style

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Food doesn’t get more local than at the Millbrook Inn in South Pool, South Devon where award winning chef Jean-Philippe Bidart sources most of his meat ingredients from the pub’s own farm. And with the dark days of winter approaching, long late Sunday afternoon roasts are back on the menu when the fires will be roaring and everyone will be piling in to savour exquisite home grown meat.


Its true field to plate eating, from lamb to duck eggs and there isn’t much JP can’t get from the Millbrook Farm. If not, a call to a local farmer will soon result in a brace of pheasant arriving on the doorstep, or half a dozen rabbits. Any other meat is sourced meticulously, such as Rose Veal coming from the award-winning Pitmans Farm, Cullompton which specializes in rearing rare breeds. And then there’s fish, crab and lobster of course, which is fished off the rugged South Devon coastline.
Every applauded taste and flavour on Jean-Philippe’s renowned menu owes its origin to the local landscape, and …

Just Opened - The Packhorse Inn At Moulton, Near Newmarket. Renamed And Revitalised Local Is Bang On Trend To Be The Place To Stay And Eat

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Renamed to reflect the adjacent medieval bridge across the River Kennet, The Packhorse Inn, Moulton is now open for business. The location is a rural West Suffolk village just two and a half miles from Newmarket and part of the ancient route from Bury St Edmunds to Cambridge. The concept is much more modern.
The Packhorse Inn is the bringing together of a number of strands to create both a traditional pub at the heart of the local community and a destination for a truly stunning dining and staying experience, attracting patronage from local businesses and visitors to the area.


The drive behind the venture is Philip Turner, formerly a banker and corporate financier, who, as a Moulton resident, recognised the potential of this neglected pub and established Chestnut Inns to buy the freehold. Chestnut Inns secured additional funding under an Enterprise Investment Scheme attracting investors which include experienced operator David Minchin, husband of BBC News presenter Louise Minchin. Th…

Festive Recipes From Steve's Leaves

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Below are a couple of festive recipes from Steve's Leaves which may be of interest for people wanting to be good in the run up to the party season. Please do let me know if you'd like samples or further info.
Honey Glazed Ham with Pea Shoots and Baby Leaves Serves 2
2 - 3 Thick slices ham 1tbsp Honey 1 Bag Pea Shoots & Baby Leaves 6-8 Cherry Tomatoes ¼ Cucumber 4-5 Radishes ½ Lemon Salt and Pepper
Place the salad on to plates. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the plates.
Slice the cucumber and radishes then add to the salad.
Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add the honey until its warm. Cut the ham into generous chunks then add to the pan.
Turn up the heat and allow the ham to warm through in the pan for 2 -3 mins. Keep turning the ham so it is fully coated in honey.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Then squeeze the lemon juice over too and season with salt and pepper. Finally add the ham on top of the dressed salad and serve.
Perfect with left over roast p…

80 Years Since The End Of Prohibition

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December 5th 2013 marks 80 years exactly since the end of Prohibition, when there was a ban on the sale of alcohol in the US.
The 12-year ban on the production, sale and transportation of alcohol in America, which was intended to preserve grain during the war, led to gangsters such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran claiming their fame as they spearheaded the birth of ‘underground’ alcohol consumption in hundreds of thousands of speakeasy clubs.
You can raise a glass today and have your own taste of Prohibition with premium white grain spirit, Bootlegger. Inspired by the raw liquor ‘Bootleggers’ moved around the US during Prohibition, Bootlegger is designed to be consumed unaged.
Bootlegger has a raw sophisticated taste with aromas of peat, oak and vanilla with a smooth finish and has been created for sipping neat over ice as well as in cocktails. The spirit is celebrating with a new range of cocktails reminiscent of the drinks consumed in the thousands of underground speakeasies.
The Capo…

Rising Demand For Indian Catering At 'English' Weddings

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Following a rise in demand for authentic Indian menus at weddings, the outside catering division of Brighton’s award-winning Indian Summer restaurant has announced new menus for nuptial celebrations.
Indian Summer generally caterers for up to 20 weddings a year, with party sizes typically varying from 80 to 160.  In only about a quarter of their wedding is one or more of the celebrants from an Indian background.
“Most of our clients are from an English background, but they’re looking to avoid the usual food served at some ‘traditional ‘weddings and offer guests something special,” said Indian Summer co owner Minesh Agnihotri, adding, “It’s only natural that more couples now opt for the favourite cuisine.”
Indian Summer does not compete with the largely-London based Indian catering companies, frequently serving between 500 and 1,000 guests, who focus on cost issues rather than the most exacting culinary standards.
Indian Summer offers three course wedding menus with coffee from £32 a …

Evesham Based Cookery School Wins Cookery School Of The Year At Top Industry Awards

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Orchards Cookery scooped the top award at the 2013 British Cookery School Awards on Monday night, 11th November, being voted Cookery School of the Year.
The Evesham-based cookery school which specialises in training and recruiting Chalet Cooks as well as running a range of specific courses including Off to University courses, Designer Dinner party courses and Corporate Days also won the Best English Cookery School category.
The event took place at the Vintners’ Company in the heart of the City of London, hosted by BBC Radio 2’s food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden.
Cookery school professionals from across the country turned out to see the prestigious awards presented to an array of exceptional schools.  Bettys Cookery School and The Artisan Cookery School collected trophies for the Best Large Recreational and Best Large Professional Cookery Schools.  Edinburgh School of Food and Wine was awarded Best Scottish Cookery School and The Chef’s Room Fish & Cookery School won Best We…