Reviews are sponsored; the articles are unbiased, the opinions my own.

  • 22 Jul 2018

    Pink Grapefruit Gin by Pickering

    This is a summer winner. Pickering’s Pink Grapefruit and Lemongrass Gin Liqueur is complex and surprisingly refreshing for a drink that describes itself as a liqueur. Gin is trending at the moment. That can be a good thing as it exposes lovers of that spirit to a greater range of styles … but there are...

  • 20 Jul 2018

    The Garden House Restaurant for Lunch

    We had visited this delightful and intimate hotel before (read my reviews here). The Garden House is part of the Beaverbrook Estate and the smaller of the two hotels, the other being the lavish and imposing main house which was once the home of Lord Beaverbrook, one of the most influential men of the last...

  • 18 Jul 2018

    Jean-Didier Gouges at The Petersham

    There are few hotels I like more than the characterful Petersham, overlooking the River Thames in Richmond. And to compound the joy, there is a restaurant to admirably partner that hotel, and its Head Chef is Jean-Didier Gouges! This young man is charming, with a smile that seems never far from his lips. He is...

  • 16 Jul 2018

    Maraschino Luxardo

      We all, I am sure, remember our Nan’s cherry brandy on the sideboard at Christmas; and then there is the cherry alcohol one uses for fondue. They are very much part of the ‘spirit’ family of drinks. Then there is Maraschino Luxardo, which is a sweet liqueur, and an indispensable bottle behind any bar...

  • 13 Jul 2018

    Barcelona Sketchbook – book review

    Barcelona is a beautiful city and famed for its buildings. Barcelona Sketchbook: Homage to Catalan Architecture allows the reader to view these façades in something of a different light and one that is awash with pastel hues and subtle shadows. Graham Byfield, the artist for this book, ambles with his keen eye through the Ramblas,...

  • 11 Jul 2018

    Las Iguanas Sunday Brunch

    In the heart of Bloomsbury, not far from Russell Square Underground station, one finds a new area of restaurants, cafés and retail outlets. It’s popular every day but at weekends Brunswick Square comes to life! When the sun shines it becomes a magnet for those looking for a bite to eat and a convivial glass...

  • 09 Jul 2018

    The Bells, The Bells of Jura

    When you wake in your hotel room in the beautiful green mountains of the Jura, in Eastern France, you may hear, for the first time, the iconic sound of bells – cow bells, tinkling across the valleys as the brown-and-white ladies stroll to the milking parlour (or return to the pasture, if you’re a late...

  • 09 Jul 2018

    Abokado for Breakfast – High Holborn

    Abokado is a chain, but it has become just that because it delivers what people want and it has regulars, and that, these days, is an accolade! We had breakfast in the High Holborn branch, which is just a stone’s throw from Holborn and Chancery Lane Underground stations. There are a few seats at this...

  • 08 Jul 2018

    The House Japanese Grill at Beaverbrook

    The Beaverbrook Estate seems a quintessentially English retreat with a country house hotel, and that would obviously have a quintessentially English dining room and menu. Well, no: although the dining room looks rather English with a hint of cherry blossom, the food on offer at The Dining Room is authentically Japanese. Head Chef Taiji Maruyama...

  • 06 Jul 2018

    The Book of Ices by Mrs. Agnes Marshall

    This is a pleasure in pocket-size. A book on ices, but from an age when such things were sheer luxury, a holiday treat, and seldom found at home. The Book of Ices by Mrs. Agnes Marshall is a classic. Mrs. Marshall (1855-1905) was a Victorian lady and one of the most celebrated cooks and writers...

  • 04 Jul 2018

    Tokyo Direct Ginza Curry and Noodles

    Tokyo Direct is an online company and new to me. They specialise in Japanese food, drink, kitchen goods, stationery and bathroom items. Japanese food is more popular than ever so I was delighted to try some of their stock. Your curry or noodles and I guess other foods will arrive in its original Japanese packaging....

  • 02 Jul 2018

    YUU Kitchen for Dinner

    Well, this was a surprise, and what a lovely one. Not often you can say that in these times of over-priced and under-achieving restaurants. YUU Kitchen is a little beacon of delicious accessibility. This casual restaurant is just around the corner from Aldgate East Underground station, so within easy reach of most of Central London....

  • 01 Jul 2018

    The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

    The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant is a must-have tome from one of the most respected Indian food writers. It’s bound to spend more time in the kitchen than on the bookshelf. Vegetables are the essential element of Indian cuisine, so there is a tradition of making the very best of the seasons’ crops...

  • 29 Jun 2018

    Picasso: Between Cubism and Classicism 1915-1925

    Picasso: Between Cubism and Classicism 1915-1925 is a unique overview of the artist’s earlier and lesser-known years. This sumptuous volume illustrates Pablo Picasso’s celebrated journey undertaken in 1917, but also the periods just before and just after. He visited both Rome and Naples in the company of Jean Cocteau, French poet, writer, designer, playwright, artist...

  • 28 Jun 2018

    Lee Kum Kee and Smokin Lotus Rib and Tofu

    Lee Kum Kee is collaborating with Rosie Chik of Smokin’ Lotus, a street food company, that has a regular slot at Kerb in London (King’s Cross and West India Quay) – she has created some recipes ideal for al fresco eating and barbecues. Here are two of them with more to follow. Rosie was born...

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