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Mostly Food & Travel Journal

The Gallery Restaurant – The Swan at Lavenham

CERU – A Taste of The Levant

Sea Spice in Aldeburgh

The Happenstance on Paternoster Square

The Crown Restaurant at Woodbridge

Eneko at One Aldwych for Sunday Brunch

Afternoon Tea at Savini at Criterion

ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish

Hawkers Bar and Brasserie – finer dining in Kingston

Best of England Vineyard Tours

Mark Hellyar at Chateau Civrac and Honest Grapes

Eneko at One Aldwych

The Garden House Restaurant, Beaverbrook

Trolley in the Lobby - Bar at One Aldwych

Risotto! Risotto! by Valentina Harris

Taruzake – cedar difference

Savini of Milan – at home in London

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, Windsor

Recipe: Banana Bread

Jamavar comes to Mayfair

Castle Hotel Windsor Afternoon Tea - Sofitel Sensory Storytelling

The Homemade Curing Kits from Ross and Ross

The Montague Hotel – best après-skiing in London

Champagne Taittinger at Luton Hoo

Parlay Ultra Black Rum

The Swan at the Globe

Hotel TerraVina Dining

Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour

Donna Margherita

Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

The Talbot for fine dining

Balans Soho Society – Seven Dials

Anise Bar at Devonshire Square

Keats Brownie Recipe

Olive Tree - Southampton

Salsa Verde from Olive Tree Southampton

Patty and Bun – Old Compton Street

Rafute

Canela Café at Seven Dials

Beresford’s at Balmer Lawn for a touch of Thai

The Meat Co, Westfield, Shepherds Bush

CAU Kingston

Remelluri Organic Winery

Mele e Pere for Vermouth with a Master

Hanger SW6

Markopoulo recommendations

Mele e Pere – a steak in Soho

Brunch Counter – Vauxhall Arches

Romulo Café London

Stuzzico in London’s village

OXBO for Saturday Brunch

Forman’s Restaurant

Le Garrick – Steak with je ne sais quoi

Talli Joe

Domaine Papagiannakos Winery

Cream Tea Cruise from MBNA Thames Clippers

Gillray’s at County Hall

Maribor – wines, gastronomy, bikes and hikes

Benares for dinner

Sake Cups – or perhaps a glass

Kurobuta Marble Arch for Sunday Brunch

Forty Dean Street

The Mayfair Chippy

Bó Drake

The Balcon, London

Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte

Arabica Bar and Kitchen – Borough Market

Lotus – Charing Cross Road

Cinnamon Collection Masterclasses

Patara – Berners Street

Sindhu by Atul Kochhar

Reims - Tasteful Souvenirs

Rennes

Gymkhana London

The Sparkle of Vilmart & Cie

Umbria’s Autumn Gastronomy with Valentina Harris

Hisashi Taoka of Kiku – Fish aficionado


 
 
 
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Swan-Lavenham

Latest News!

Savini logo

Luxurious Starts, Mellow Mornings:
Savini at Criterion Launches ‘Free-Flowing Weekend Brunch’ for the Perfect Lazy and Luxurious Weekend

Acting as the perfect antidote to a busy week, Savini at Criterion in Piccadilly presents its new weekend brunch. The experience fuses chilled background music and delicious food, creating the ideal way to start the weekend, shopping in the West End or sightseeing and catching up with loved ones. At the heart of the new lazy weekend offering is a mouth-watering, classic brunch-style menu devised by Head Chef Gianluca Pagliari. Served from 12 noon onward, the menu includes a selection of traditional breakfast dishes and Italian lunch staples presented in individual portions, including hearty tagliatelle with ragù, eggs cooked in any style, and homemade maccheroncini fresh pasta. An equally delicious vegetarian menu is also available.

Savini prosecco Guests can wash away the fast-paced London life with an upgrade to include free-flowing Prosecco, which is available from 12 noon onwards for 90 minutes. Those with a particular taste for a Bloody Mary, Champagne or an Old Fashioned cocktail can additionally purchase these to accompany their brunch. Savini at Criterion is dedicated to providing a luxurious and relaxing experience. Having long been famed for Italian fine dining and for its historic setting, ‘Savini at Criterion Free-Flowing Brunch’ is the latest fusion experience from Piccadilly Circus’s oldest residents.

The free-flowing brunch runs every Saturday and Sunday until 27th August 2017. For more information or to book, visit www.saviniatcriterion.co.uk or call 020 7930 1459.

When: 12 noon-3pm every Saturday and Sunday
Where: Savini at Criterion, 224 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HP
Price: £35 per person for the set brunch + £19 for free-flowing prosecco for 1.5 hours. Additional Service Charge.

Savini at Criterion
224 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HP
+44 (0)20 7930 1459 or +44 (0)7493 248819

Facebook: @saviniatcriterion
Twitter: @SaviniCriterion
Instagram: @savinicriterion

food and travel reviews

MOR Sausages Please

Mor It’s barbecue time, or at least we hope so. We all have our preferences for things to slap on the grill and my goods of choice are sausages …but not just any sausages.

A successful sausage is as much about texture as taste. MOR sausages are ideal for grilling as they use natural casings. That might not seem significant but it makes a difference to the grilled product. There is a satisfying tooth-appeal which is so often missing in lesser bangers.

MOR sausages are available in several flavours:
Moroccan Spiced Pork, Cauliflower and Chickpea Sausages have a great balance of spices and are lovely served with North African side dishes.

Mediterranean Chicken with Sundried Tomato and Basil Chipolatas are made for those who don’t want red meat or pork, and there are many of us. Nothing lack-lustre here. These are not a second-class sausage but rather a little departure from the mundane. The sundried tomato works really well.

Pork, Super Green Veg and Lentil Sausages sounded quite challenging and they were in fact the first of the range I chose to try. ‘If they can convince me with these then I’ll be a MOR convert,’ thought I. And I am! Green vegetables and hearty lentils are spiced with a warming hint of sweet chilli and they are winners!

Pork, Beetroot and Bramley Apple Sausages were sweet, and great when served with roast potatoes and stir-fried veggies. Good combination of comforting flavours.

Many folks grill steaks and chops and those pink-blush chicken thighs (don’t do that), but they really are somewhat predictable. MOR sausages offer flavour and texture and I am quietly impressed by both those qualities. They add interest to those alfresco meals, which are so special in our short summer months.

Learn more about MOR here.


food and travel reviews
 

The Gallery Restaurant – The Swan at Lavenham

swan lavenham The Swan is a striking hotel in an equally striking location. Lavenham is a town the likes of which is often thought extinct. It’s the stuff of historic dramas, with unspoilt houses and shops; a slice of Harry Potter was filmed here. It surrounds the visitor with quaint buildings and photo opportunities by the shed-load.

This hotel (my review here) sports cosy, four-poster-bedded rooms, cottage-like public spaces, quiet corners, a bar and a brasserie, but perhaps the jewel in The Swan’s hospitality crown is the celebrated Gallery Restaurant, which is said to be one of the finest restaurants in Suffolk, and I can believe it!

The Gallery offers British fare but with a very Continental standard of fine dining. Tables are linen-set and well-spaced. There is a high timbered ceiling and a minstrel’s gallery, exposed brickwork and fireplace. This restaurant fits so well with the rest of the 15th century hotel.

Suffolk is blessed with coast and pastures offering the freshest bounty of the county. The menu at The Gallery changes with the seasons so there is always an excuse to visit. It’s great value here, too, and it’s not often I can say that about restaurants in London! One could consider a dinner and overnight stay at the Swan and spend only a little more than just a meal in the capital.

swan lavenham Lots of choice and a chance to enjoy British food at its best at The Gallery. We have a cuisine of which to be proud and it’s good to find great chefs who appreciate our culinary heritage. Head Chef Justin Kett showcases this Suffolk fare with skill. Each plate is a picture, and the menu is constructed in such a way as to entice with, perhaps, 5 courses.

We ordered Pumpkin Pappardelle Pasta with seeds, honey and parmesan, along with Brown Crab, as our first courses. The pasta was simple and delicious, but the crab was a dish over which to linger and to savour. Great use of the most flavourful brown meat from the local crab.

We were tempted by meat, and the lamb and beef were both first class. Cooked to pink perfection and beautifully garnished with seasonal veggies, these plates were tapestries of taste and with perfectly balanced flavour and texture. The lamb was outstanding. Any meal here would seem like a celebration.

swan lavenham Desserts were both delicious and imaginative and served with flair. OK, bananas are not local (although with climate change…), but banana cake with candied walnuts and whipped custard was deconstructed old-fashioned comfort food. What a winner! Lemon tart, yoghurt, pistachio and meringue was a tangy and refreshing take on a favourite classic.

The Gallery does indeed have the advantage of memorable architecture but it doesn’t depend upon woodwork for its success. It’s the food and presentation here which will assure many happy returns. To know it is to love it.

Opening Hours
Residents’ Breakfast: 7.00am to 10.00am (Monday to Friday),
8.00am – 10.00am (Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays)

Afternoon Tea: 12.00noon to 5.00pm (Monday to Saturday)
Lunch: 12.00noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Friday from 4th July)
Dinner: 7.00pm to 9.30pm
Sunday Lunch: 12.00noon to 2.30pm

Reservations: 01787 247477 or email bookatable@theswanatlavenham.co.uk.

The Gallery Restaurant – The Swan at Lavenham
High Street
Lavenham
Suffolk CO10 9QA

Email: info@theswanatlavenham.co.uk

Visit The Swan at Lavenham here

food and travel reviews

CERU – A Taste of The Levant

ceru corner I knew where CERU was – it’s just around the corner from South Kensington Underground Station; but where was The Levant? It’s actually an historic geographic term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. It entered the English language from the French in the late 15th century and encompasses countries such as Cyprus, Turkey and Lebanon, amongst others.

CERU is a light and airy contemporary restaurant in this smart neighbourhood. It has décor accents from the region covered by the menu, but there is none of the depressing dark wood so often found in other restaurants offering food from that area. CERU is just right for its location and its clientele.

One can understand the temptation to create a ‘themed’ eatery. Perhaps a shed-load of brass, windows dimmed with coloured glass, heavy furniture, and a poster of an aged and toothless olive-picker with his threadbare donkey? Nothing like that here: CERU is a vision of Denmark meets Turkey and it’s all the better for it.

The chairs and tables, stools and benches are of light wood and attractive. I now covet a brace of those aforementioned high stools. Yes, there are decorative nods to CERU’s culinary offerings but they are kept to an appropriate minimum of kilim banquette cushions, a rather exotic wooden door, and some gilded mirrors – this is London, after all, not the back streets of Istanbul.

ceru beet We settled in our booth-for-two conveniently under a shelf full of CERU’s bespoke beer - CERU 3-Grain Pale Ale, which was light and with citrus notes. There are cocktails here too and they are a reasonable price, but those who don’t want alcohol should try Turkish Apple Tea which is quite remarkable. It doesn’t have much colour but it has full-on apple flavour. It can also be served spiked with rum, but try it neat first: it could, perhaps, convert you to a more sober future …perhaps!

We started our meal with Pancar which sounded intriguing. It’s roasted beetroot, yoghurt, garlic and crushed pistachio. It’s a vibrant deep purple-red dip to be scooped with wedges of flatbread. I am, truth to tell, not normally a huge lover of beetroot, which I find has a tendency to be a bit earthy. Pancar retains all the sweetness of that root vegetable but without the aftertaste. Don’t miss this one, it’s unique and delicious.

We chose main dishes to share and they didn’t disappoint in either flavour, texture or presentation. Merguez Chicken isn’t a marriage of poultry and spiced sausages but rather some succulent meat with a crunchy coating of the seasonings used in those celebrated North African sausages. The corn-fed chicken was served atop a heap of green lentil and mint salad, and must be a signature dish here.
ceru chicken
Lamb Shoulder is another dish that will assure a return to CERU for anyone, well, apart from a vegetarian! This meat was tender. Yes, so tender that one could cut it with a spoon. The secret must be the marinade and the 5 hours of slow roasting. Order this lamb with Orez CERU, which is flavourful Arabic-scented fried rice with crispy onions and sultanas.

But save room for dessert. Flavours of Baklava isn’t actually a syrup-soaked pastry but rather all those spices that one would expect in one of those traditional little sweets: cardamom in ice cream with a nut brittle and burnt honey caramel. The ice cream was outstanding but elevated still more by its garnishes.

Chocolate lovers will appreciate the Turkish coffee cup, complete with lid, filled with dark chocolate mousse, sour cherry and garnished with bright green crushed pistachio nuts. This was a real adult pleasure and a perfect end to this Levantine culinary adventure.

CERU is as far from a kebab house as one would want to go, and in my case that would be a considerable distance. Its design is thoughtful and fresh, and the menu reflects dishes from the Eastern Med, but without being slavishly bound to traditions. We will return to sample some of those cocktails, and perhaps Brunch, too.


ceru choc pot CERU
7-9 Bute Street
South Kensington
London
SW7 3EY

Phone: 020 3195 3001

Email: info@cerurestaurants.com

Visit CERU here.

food and travel reviews

Sea Spice in Aldeburgh

Sea spice okra I have written a book about Indian restaurants but they were all in London. I review Indian restaurants almost every month but I have never reviewed one outside the UK hub of Indian food – our capital city.

But here I was in a traditional English seaside town and a long way from home, and invited to an Indian restaurant. Was this menu going to be watered down? Perhaps a rather old-fashioned ‘curry house’ selection? Was this going to be the last refuge of the iconic red-flock wallpaper and a tapestry of the Taj Mahal? Those above worries, had I really had them, would have been unfounded. Sea Spice is a credit to its culinary genre.

This is a smart restaurant and the sea couldn’t be much closer. The wide Aldeburgh shingle beach is literally across the road. The decor here is cultured Indian colonial, with soft lighting to complement dark wood. Plenty of seating for small groups as well as couples makes Sea Spice not only a venue for holidaymakers but also a regular haunt for locals who will likely appreciate the quality of food here.

Head Chef Pratap Singh Rawat has a grounding in the best Indian cuisine and in some of London’s best restaurants. He has worked at Mayfair’s celebrated Chor Bizarre as well as Tamarind and Benares, both of which have been awarded Michelin Stars. The pedigree of this chef is beyond doubt.

Sea spice dosaSea Spice manager Anupam Seth is justifiably proud of his domain and indeed of the chef who is making Sea Spice a ‘destination’ restaurant. Service here is swift and coordinated and as good as one would hope. It’s a well-presented and professionally-run small-town establishment with big-city polish and standards.

But the food will likely be the reason for your visit. Sea Spice takes advantage of Aldeburgh’s fantastic location on the Suffolk coast. Fish is showcased here along with fresh local organic vegetables and craft beers.

We started with Crispy Coated Okra. This is one of my favourites and ideal as a canape with drinks while perusing the menu. It is crunchy and spicy, and a dish which I have never been able to perfect at home. I’ll be asking Chef for the recipe and preparation details.

Masala Dosa was my companion’s starter, although in India it’s often found as a breakfast item. It’s a substantial plate but a delicious example of this dramatic-looking item. A dosa is a light and crispy fermented rice flour crêpe and is served with a potato stuffing seasoned with fenugreek and curry leaves. Garnishes were a brace of vibrant fresh chutneys which add so much to the dosa experience.

Sea spice dinner I enjoyed my starter of Jhinga Dakshini – tiger prawns in crunchy chickpea flour were simple and flavourful and gave a nod to the sea just outside, although I suspect these prawns came from more exotic climes. The chickpea flour gives not only texture but flavour to ingredients which it coats, and it also adds a pleasing colour when a little turmeric is included.

Goat Bhuna was my guest’s main course and this proved to be a robust gravy dish slowly cooked with tomato and ginger. The sauce was the star of this bhuna and would have been a joy on its own with a side of Indian bread.
Free Range Butter Chicken intrigued me. It’s a standard in most Indian restaurants but quality can be patchy. Yes, it’s a popular dish but Sea Spice elevated butter chicken by offering the meat on the bone rather than in chunks. This results in more succulent chicken and a more flavourful dish. Another bread-dipping bowlful. This with some Tadka Daal – yellow lentils, garlic and fresh coriander – and some rice completed this truly comforting meal.

Gulab Jamun was my guest’s dessert, chosen from a selection of traditional sweets. This was perfect when paired with well-flavoured Masala Chai – tea with a house blend of well-balanced warming spices. A cosy cuppa to end a delightfully unexpected meal by the sea. I can recommend Sea Spice. It’s worth the trip!

Sea spice dessert Opening Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Sunday:
12 noon till 3pm for lunch
5.30pm till 10pm for dinner

Sea Spice
The White Lion Hotel
Market Cross Place
Aldeburgh
Suffolk
IP15 5BJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 1728 451 800
Email: info@seaspice.co.uk

Visit Sea Spice here.


food and travel reviews

The Happenstance on Paternoster Square

happenstance chairs Paternoster Square is a striking corner of the City and owned by the Mitsubishi Estate Company. It is, however, quintessentially English with its location on the left-hand side of the mighty St Paul’s Cathedral. The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London. Its dome has dominated the skyline for 300 years. At more than one hundred metres high, it was the tallest building in London from the time it was built in 1710 until 1967. The dome is among the highest in the world.

Pater noster is Latin for “Our Father”, the opening of the Lord’s Prayer. The Square lies near the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest part of the City of London. The area takes its name from Paternoster Row, centre of the London publishing trade which was devastated, along with swathes of the capital, by aerial bombardment in The Blitz during World War II. It is now the home of the London Stock Exchange which relocated there from Threadneedle Street in 2004. It is also the location of investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

The Happenstance bar and restaurant is on that square, with an open space in front allowing for alfresco dining when the weather permits. Those balmy evenings have office workers enjoying cocktails in this striking neighbourhood, with views of St Paul’s.

happenstance eggThis is a light and airy space with accents of fur, which seems quite Nordic and probably appropriate for most of the English summer! There is ample standing area near the bar, and seating for couples and groups. There is a beautiful room which could be for private dining, and another for functions.

The food menu is varied and eclectic, and appealing to the demographic of the City. Scotch Egg with chorizo and a garnish of smoked paprika mayonnaise was my guest’s starter and he reluctantly offered me a bite. That was an indication that this was a worthy choice. The egg was perfectly prepared with a still-runny yolk encased in a crust of well-seasoned meat. On the face of it this is a simple presentation but it so often misses the culinary mark. Happenstance did it deliciously well.

Broad Bean and Ricotta on Toast with lemon and mint was a seasonal treat. Fresh broad beans are sweet and tender when young and this was a joy of a preparation, and one doesn’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the texture and taste. Having said that, I think the dish could be elevated with a little garnish of prosciutto. It’s given me an idea for a smart dinner-party canape.

happenstance steakFish Pie with cheddar potato crust, and a side order of tenderstem broccoli with a garnish of almonds was my main course. This was an attractive dish with a king prawn prominently balanced on top. It was a piping-hot traditional potato-topped pie, and comfort food to gladden the heart of any work-weary stockbroker.

Sirloin Steak Sandwich with horseradish, mayonnaise and truffle oil dressing was perhaps the star of the meal. Yes, just a sarnie but a great one, and particularly when partnered with the Roman Fries generously flavoured by parmesan, truffle and rosemary. That truffle was evident before it even reached the table: that enticing aroma wafted anticipation which was not disappointed.

Lemon Tart with crème fraîche was a light finish to the meal, but there was a surprise in the guise of Mr Black Cold Pressed Coffee Liqueur. This was a striking night-cap and superior to most other coffee-based after-dinner drinks. It’s not too sweet but convincingly tasting of real coffee.

Happenstance is evidently a casual restaurant and bar but it’s smart and appropriate for its location and clientele. The menu isn’t long but it doesn’t need to be. It would be an ideal spot for an after-work drink accompanied by a selection of starters or a pot of those unmissable fries.

happenstance coffee Opening Hours
Monday 7.30am - 11pm
Tuesday 7.30am - 11pm
Wednesday 7.30am - 11pm
Thursday 7.30am – midnight
Friday 7.30am – midnight
Saturday 10am - 11pm

The Happenstance
10 Paternoster Square
London
EC4M 7DX

Email: info@thehappenstancebar.co.uk

Phone: 020 7618 9520

Visit Happenstance here


food and travel reviews

The Crown Restaurant at Woodbridge

crown woodbridge boat OK, I confess, I had never visited Suffolk. I discovered a strikingly beautiful county with coast, pasture, chocolate-box villages and historic towns. I discovered Woodbridge!

The Crown Hotel (review to follow shortly) houses its eponymous 2 AA Rosette restaurant, which is recommended in the Michelin Guide. It’s found at the top of The Thoroughfare which is the town’s high street, in what is quite an anonymous building. Its exterior hides contemporary, cool design with international quality and local charm. The food here is as good as you will find in any capital city.

Head Chef Darran Hazelton is wedded to fresh local produce. Not just for the sake of it: it’s just that there is truly so much here to excite any professional cook or discerning diner. There is seafood from that aforementioned coast, and some of the best meat in the UK comes courtesy of local farms. There are the best of ingredients at The Crown and the dishes offer both traditional plates along with innovation.

crown woodbridge crab This is a 16th century building but the restaurant is bright and fresh. Windows which look out over the bustling street are etched with silhouettes of local historic buildings – and the town is blessed in that regard. Tables are well-spaced and cater for couples or larger parties. Staff are knowledgeable and discreetly attentive, and the food will likely guarantee a return.

Suffolk grows asparagus but it has a relatively short season, making it a delicious local treat. If you are lucky enough to be visiting The Crown in those short spring months then you might find asparagus and cheddar quiche as a starter or served with a poached egg as a main course.

Cromer is a seaside town in East Anglia and it’s famed for its crab, so I ordered Potted Cromer crab with tarragon mayo, avocado and pink grapefruit, along with sourdough, as my starter. That bread was topped with flavourful brown crab meat which is, in my opinion at least, the most delicious part of the crustacean. An attractive presentation of salad leaves and Kilner jar.

crown woodbridge fish ‘Pinneys’ smoked eel, bacon, apple and ginger dressing with lemon crème fraîche was my guest’s starter. These fillets of eel were pale in colour but had a marked and balanced smoky taste. They were moist and marvellously paired with the bacon.

Adnams is a local brewery and their beer is a key ingredient in The Crown’s Dry Hop battered fish, served with rosemary fries, crushed peas and tartare sauce. This must surely be the most classic of British dishes, and therefore unmissable here.

That fish dish did appeal to me, but brill was also on the menu and I had never tried that. Poached fillets of brill, tomato consommé, samphire, crayfish ravioli and cockles was a picture of vibrant vegetables and pearly-white fish. This should be a signature dish, and it showcased local produce served with flair. A winner!

My guest’s main course was Guinea Fowl supreme, wild garlic and spring vegetable with pearl barley risotto, wild mushrooms and truffle. A great presentation of this game bird and the garlic added another dimension. This is another vegetable with a short season and it was savoured by the diner who pronounced the dish to be memorable.

crown woodbridge chocolate The dessert menu offered twists on British favourites along with classy innovations. For those who enjoy a nod towards traditional then they will want to try Adnams sourdough treacle tart with a scattering of almond streusel, served with mascarpone ice cream. That local brewery has a hand in dessert too!

My guest ordered poached local rhubarb, yoghurt pannacotta, citrus Chantilly and ginger crumble. Rhubarb crumble is indeed traditional but this version was somewhat deconstructed and the garnishes elevated this pud to smart restaurant fare.

Chocolate delice with rum-soaked oranges, chocolate crumb, and orange marmalade ice cream was my choice. This was a substantial and sweet finish to a first-class meal. It was sophisticated, rich from the chocolate truffle, with refreshing tang from the fruit. The last bite of dinner was just as satisfying as the first. The Crown Restaurant didn’t put a foot wrong.

Breakfast: Monday to Friday 7am - 10am. Saturday and Sunday 8am - 10am
Lunch: 12 noon to 2:30pm daily
Afternoon tea (must be booked in advance): 2.30pm - 6pm daily
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 6pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 6pm - 9.30pm

The Crown Restaurant
The Thoroughfare
Woodbridge
Suffolk IP12 1AD
UK

Phone: 01394 384242
Email: info@thecrownatwoodbridge.co.uk

Visit The Crown Restaurant here


food and travel reviews

Eneko at One Aldwych for Sunday Brunch

eneko stairs Located near Covent Garden in the heart of London's West End, Eneko at One Aldwych is one of this writer’s favourite eateries. It is a delightfully stylish restaurant and wine bar from the acclaimed Basque Chef Eneko Atxa.

This basement space takes advantage of a 2-storey ceiling at one end which offers diners in that area a view of the tops of trees and sky through the original ornate glass door at street level. Stairs are clad with copper, walls with grey stone and tables are of light wood with hardwood embellishments. Eneko designers have used natural materials and simple lines.

It’s a relaxed and informal setting for a Sunday Brunch from Chef Edurne who has been instrumental in creating the menu and is in charge of the London kitchen. Most of the dishes here won’t be familiar to the untutored so, for the first Brunch at least, order the tasting menu.

We started with an aperitif. Golden Mary is a unique and fresh-tasting twist on a classic Bloody Mary but this one has a striking summer-gold colour rather than the expected red. It’s still made with vodka as in the original but Eneko uses spiced vodka. The regular tomato juice is replaced by golden tomato juice; a stick of celery is swapped for celery foam, which has a much more pronounced flavour than the fresh vegetable. The cocktail looks more delicate than a Bloody Mary and is served in a Martini glass. A refined touch.

eneko tomatoesMy guest chose the Basque Cobbler which is a striking fruity wine punch. This is port-wine red and garnished with slices of kumquat and a bunch of mint. This must surely be the Basque equivalent of Spanish Sangria. It’s light, delicious and refreshing.

The aforementioned Tasting Menu for the Weekend Brunch is £50 per person and gives a thorough overview of the Basque-inspired fare here. Traditional Talo – crispy corn talo or tortilla with heritage tomatoes and accents of basil emulsion – is a signature dish and it’s on the a la carte menu, too. It’s strikingly beautiful and vibrant with colour from both tomatoes and edible flowers, and all served on individual wooden platters.

The second Tasting Menu dish was Cerdito Caliente, “Hot Hog”, which was a simple dish but actually my favourite from this bill of fare. A Basque muffin is the vehicle for this outstanding savoury treat. Thin slices of Iberico ham top mushroom duxelle and both fill the bread bun, which is very much like what Americans might call an English Muffin and what we in England call …a muffin! It’s a white bread, as opposed to the sweet muffins we find in coffee shops.

eneko yolkEggs Yolks Tempura is intriguing and perhaps the classiest comfort food for which one could ever hope. A whole egg yolk seems to be deep-fried with a crunchy coating. One breaks through this to allow the still-liquid yellow yolk to bathe creamy potatoes and tangy confit vegetables. This is a masterful presentation but one which will raise a smile from any lover of imaginative food. Yes, imaginative but still nestled within the realms of familiar comfort.

Then the main courses arrived. Txuleta is Basque-style prime rib of beef and served with a crisp spring onion salad. Those onions were mild and well-textured – a perfectly balanced platter when served with chips. But Monkfish garnished with specks of garlic, chilli and parsley was the main-course winner. The flesh of the fish was perfectly cooked and opaque. The spices were subtle, presenting a fish which was still naturally flavourful.

eneko fish Torrija was created by Alice Serafini, the Pastry Chef at Eneko, and ended this substantial Brunch. This is a Basque vanilla bread-like cake with a caramel top crust and soaked in a sweet custard. This was partnered with a caramel crumble ice cream and it was a perfect finish to this meal, which displayed both tradition and innovation. If you are looking for a meal which is considerably different but not at all challenging then don’t miss Eneko at One Aldwych.

Opening times
Tuesday to Friday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm
Dinner 5pm - 11pm
Saturday: Brunch 11.30am - 3pm
Dinner 5pm - 11pm
Sunday: Brunch 12 noon - 5pm

Eneko at One Aldwych
London
WC2B 4BZ

Enquiries: Phone 020 7300 0300

Email: eneko@onealdwych.com

Visit Eneko here.

food and travel reviews

Afternoon Tea at Savini at Criterion

savini criterion savoury Both afternoon tea and The Criterion are icons. The first is quintessentially British and the second a long-standing London destination for fine food, and one which has been frequented by the great and the good for around a century and a half.

Thomas Verity, a British architect, won a competition to build The Criterion; work began in the summer of 1871 and was completed in 1873. The Portuguese marble walls and gold mosaic ceiling along with sumptuous embellishments remain, to remind us of a time before plasterboard and plastic.

The last 150 years have seen many changes in London, this city having been through so much. Londoners endured the WWII Blitz when The Criterion was pulled into service, with its deep underground theatre being used as a secret safe-house for BBC radio. And keeping with the entertainment theme, recently the restaurant was used as the backdrop for the epic Hollywood production of “Batman - The Dark Knight”. Downton Abbey also visited, and I hear that many a diner asks to sit at Lady Edith’s table.

In December 2015 the Gatto family, owner of the famous and historic Savini Restaurant in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, dating back to 1867, reopened the London restaurant with the name of Savini at Criterion. The a la carte menu is distinctly Italian, as one would hope and expect, but the restaurant also presents afternoons filled with more-British fare. Afternoon Tea in various forms …but with Italian flair.

savini criterion sweet Teatime is an event and one which can be tailored to the appetite of the tea sipper. Cream Tea is perhaps the simplest but it’s traditional and popular not only here but in Devon and Cornwall, home of the celebrated clotted cream, the essential accompaniment. Cream tea at Savini is generous with 3 scones (it’s often only 2 elsewhere), jams, clotted cream and the restaurant’s celebrated biscuits. It’s very competitively priced and a great opportunity to enjoy Savini in casual mode.

Afternoon Tea is the classic version with the 3-tier stand laden with both sweet and savoury treats. There are the previously-mentioned scones with their sweet garnishes, along with savoury offerings, and that’s where the first of the Italian influences comes into play. There are finger sandwiches but one might find bruschetta, panino al latte with burrata cheese, and vegetarian caponata.

But the guest’s gaze will likely have fixed on the top plate – an assortment of homemade mini cakes. There is more Italian good taste here and it wasn’t wasted on this visitor. Those miniature delights included marvellously crafted tiramisu which is a signature dessert here, but the most memorable cake for me was the rum baba. Save space for this one. Great patisserie at Savini.

It’s unlikely that anyone other than an in-training rugby player could eat every scrap of this teatime spread but if they are still peckish by the end then staff will be happy to provide more. I am sure that is a rare request! It must be part of that so-renowned Italian hospitality!

SAVINI plate Going out for afternoon tea is often a celebratory event. Many a birthday or anniversary has been enjoyed around the tea table, but what a great graduation event this would be. Afternoon tea is trending! Savini At Criterion offers Champagne or Martini Afternoon Tea for those who want to make the occasion even more special. Nothing speaks ‘congratulations’ louder than the pop of a cork heralding the arrival of a chilled glass of fizz. Or come here for a little pampering with no excuse at all.

But teatime is always enjoyed with a nice cup of tea, although I note that coffee can be had here too! The tea menu is creditable, with both green and black teas.

savini criterion dessert Savini At Criterion has a central location, making this an ideal venue for both tourist and local alike. They offer outstanding Italian food but they have also embraced British culinary institutions, and those teatime offerings are at a reasonable price. Success is assured with this afternoon delight.

Opening hours:
Savini At Criterion is open every day from 8am to midnight

Savini At Criterion
224 Piccadilly
London
W1J 9HP
UK

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7930 1459
Phone: +44 (0) 7493 248819

Email: reservation@saviniatcriterion.co.uk

Visit Savini At Criterion here

food and travel reviews

ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish

chariTableThis is a book the size of several bricks. That’s not surprising as it introduces 365 leading British chefs’ main course recipes. Each recipe is presented with beautiful pictures on quality paper, and this considerable tome is encased in a gift sleeve.

The ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish is a recipe book with 365 dishes – one for each day of the year – from chefs who are familiar and respected. They are lending their support to a group that raises money for charity in unique and delicious fashion. One supports these charities simply by booking dinner at a reputable restaurant of your choice through their site. Yes, it’s that easy.

ChariTable Bookings’ free philanthropic restaurant-booking platform sells the ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish recipe book, which is a fundraiser to support thousands of UK registered charities, from local projects to worldwide endeavours. For every book purchased, ChariTable Bookings will make a donation of £5 to the charity you choose from a list of 7,655 amazing causes.

At £40.00, the ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish recipe book is a 754-page, 3.6kg hardback book, so it’s substantial. Yes, it’s huge but it will likely spend more time in the kitchen than on the coffee table. There are delightful recipes here that will entice the practised home cook and encourage the novice. There is something for every skill level and for every taste. There are European classics along with Asian spice, and all are accessible and delicious.

Do I have some favourite recipes here? Well, in fact, lots. I love Indian food so Lamb Shank by talented chef Alfred Prasad is at the top of my list. For classic European I love this recipe for Lemon and Herb Spaghetti by Pip McCormack. Jeremy Pang’s Steamed Wontons offer a taste of China in your own home. My pick of the book is Richard Corrigan’s Royal Fish Pie.

ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish is a cookbook over which to drool, but it’s mostly one to tempt the reader into the kitchen, and then to be so inspired that they will want to book a table at some of the fine restaurants represented.

ChariTable Bookings Signature Dish is the perfect gift for all lovers of good food, chefs and their restaurants, but also for those who want to make a difference in people’s lives.

https://charitablebookings.org/signature-dish/about

Charitable Bookings Signature Dish
Authors: 365 Chefs
Publisher: FH Global llp
Price: £40
ISBN-10: 0995711607
ISBN-13: 978-0995711600

food and travel reviews

Hawkers Bar and Brasserie – finer dining in Kingston

hawkers kofta I live only a short bus ride, or an even shorter train ride, from Kingston. I am there very often for retail therapy at the Bentalls Centre. I am a frequent visitor to the large Chinese, Japanese and Korean supermarket. I enjoy the historic daily fruit and vegetable market. I have, however, never thought of Kingston as a dinner destination.

There is a new restaurant in a new hotel in Kingston. The hotel is a conveniently situated Doubletree by Hilton and the restaurant is called Hawkers Bar and Brasserie. One might speculate on the origins of the name ‘Hawkers’ – perhaps an indication that hunting birds might be on the menu? The Hawker in question does actually have something to do with flight. It’s the Australian aviation pioneer Harry Hawker who was the chief test pilot for Sopwith and was also involved in the design of many of their aircraft. After World War One he co-founded Hawker Aircraft in Kingston, the firm that would later manufacture the successful Hurricane fighter plane. The hotel foyer offers mementoes of the company and its aircraft.

hawkers bloody mary The Brasserie and Bar have a contemporary urban design with exposed copper pipes and industrial fixtures. The restaurant area is large but thoughtfully divided to provide a degree of more-separated conviviality. Soft furnishings add texture and comfort to what would have been a rather masculine space. There are nods to the 1920s with lights and high ceilings.

There is an open kitchen here with the head chef Darren Edwards very much to the fore. The menu is well-crafted with classic British Brasserie fare, and the bar menu is also creditable. Crispy whitebait is outstanding and the portions of this and the other menu items are generous. The Artisanal Bread Platter with hummus, chutney, and balsamic olive oil dip is de rigueur with drinks, and the Mini Lamb Koftas with home-made mint raita make a marvellous nibble to go with one of the excellent cocktails here.

The Aviator is made with Kingston’s own Beckett’s gin (the only gin in the world distilled with British juniper and mint - I must book a visit to the distillery), fresh lemon, Crème de Violette, Maraschino liqueur and sugar. This is a perfect pre-dinner cocktail for anyone looking for a sweet start to the evening. But then there is the memorable Bloody Good Mary. That really is the name of this potent and spicy version of a classic cocktail. Russian Standard Vodka, fresh lemon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice and a dash of a secret sauce combine to present the sipper with a delicious explosion which was very much to my taste. This must be a signature cocktail here.

hawkers sea bass I chose Hawkers Puff Pie for my dinner. It’s made with the meat from an 18-hour slow roasted lamb shoulder, wrapped in puff pastry and served with a smoked bacon and cabbage parcel, with a rosemary gravy. I have never tasted lamb with quite so much flavour. I would be a believer if I had been told that the meat was mutton, which has a much richer taste than most lamb. This is unmissable. The meat was tender and aromatic. The pastry surrounding was flaky and cooked to perfection. The cabbage parcel was more of a partner than a side dish.

My guest enjoyed the Sustainable Blackened Sea Bass with smoked fennel, mussels, kale and Noilly Pratt sauce. That fennel was quite an innovation. The smoking removed so much of the metallic aftertaste which I dislike. The dish was delicious, beautifully presented and one for which to return.

Rhubarb and Champagne Trifle with white chocolate sauce was my guest’s dessert. This writer was far too full to even contemplate a pud. I confess I had a delightful spoonful which I shall call research. This was sweet, tart, refreshing and rich, and served in a cone of a glass displaying the traditional layers of a classic trifle.

hawkers dessert Hawkers Bar and Brasserie has only been open a short time but it is already the restaurant of choice for many locals as well as for the hotel guests. Its ambiance is accessible and friendly with a menu which displays flair and regard for British produce.


Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 06:30 – 22:00
Saturday – Sunday: 07:00 – 22:00


Hawkers Bar and Brasserie
1 Skerne Road
Kingston upon Thames
KT2 5FJ

Phone: 020 3146 4144

Email: enquiries@hawkerskingston.com

Visit Hawker’s here



food and travel reviews

Best of England Vineyard Tours

Best of England Many of us have become interested in wine. Yes, drinking it and pairing it. Remember the days when we in the UK drank just a few different wines? It wasn’t that they were so good that they became popular; truth to tell, it was all we had. Red or white from ‘various countries’. They were not different bottles from various countries but often bottles made with a blend of grapes from various countries. Rosé came in the guise of Mateus Rosé in its distinctive flat bottle. OK, I admit it, I still have a taste for that retro classic; I guess it’s familiarity.

Things have changed. We are more discerning and we are interested in not only what’s in the glass but where it came from. If it’s delicious then we want to learn more, and one might discover that the crisp sparkling white in our glass actually comes from England! It’s documented that Christopher Merret used the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation, 40 years before it was claimed that Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon had invented the process which came to be called the Champagne method.

Best of England is a young and vibrant company which publishes English county guides, and now they have tours to offer visitors from the UK and across the globe. The company has quality at the heart of both books and tours. They research so you don’t have to, and they offer well-tailored trips to delight the novice wine buff as well as those with a more professional wine interest.

An English vineyard tour with Best of England is a tasting delight. One can opt for a short tour with afternoon tea, which might sound like something of an oxymoron but what better backdrop for a classic afternoon tea could there be than a lush vineyard …and a glass or two of something chilled, sparkling and reviving!

For those who are looking for an intense 3-vineyard experience then Best of England has a tour to satisfy that want. One will see how these wines are made, from growing vines to corking and labelling the final product. Visitors will meet the winemakers and hear their individual stories, and there will be an opportunity (of course) to sample the wines.

Included:

Best of England Bolney have been making wine since 1972. Their wines are well-regarded and can be enjoyed in this family-run winery. The estate is 39 acres and has a café offering gourmet lunches, as well as tastings.

Ridgeview is another family-run vineyard, outside the picturesque village of Ditchling. It has outstanding views over the dramatic South Downs Ridge. They produce award-winning sparkling wines using traditional methods.

Rathfinny Wine Estate is found in the Cuckmere Valley and three miles from the sea. The vineyard is 600 acres and over the past three years they have planted 72 hectares of vines; by 2020, they will be one of England’s largest vineyards. All the buildings here have been constructed with locally sourced materials, using sustainable technologies such as photovoltaic cells and wastewater recycling. Rathfinny Estate have worked with the National Trust and the South Downs National Park Authority to open the ‘Rathfinny Trail’ so that visitors can arrive by foot or by bike.

All of these established and thriving wineries show different philosophies of production and growing, giving an impression of the progress made in English viticulture over the past decade.

Best of England make wine education fun and accessible, whether you are novice or professional. They arrange everything for a stress-free day of tasting in the most delicious fashion. Just turn up at the railway station and leave the arrangements to this imaginative company.

Learn more about Best of England here.

food and travel reviews

Mark Hellyar at Chateau Civrac and Honest Grapes

civracWhat a kind invitation! A food and wine pairing evening at impressive Lutyens, off Fleet Street… and Cornish wine! Well, no, not really – the wine is French and very good too. The maker is Cornish and that, strangely, might give him some advantages: he has an appreciation of the British wine palate.

Cornishman Mark Hellyar changed careers a few years ago to start producing wine in Bordeaux. He is from Padstow where his family have farmed for a couple of hundred years, so he does indeed have a connection with land and cultivation. Cornishmen have long had a reputation for being independent and rebellious, and with that genetic sense of adventure Mark sold the software company he was running in order to start a new phase of his life. Now the resulting wines are found at celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants and in the cellars of the discerning.

Mark Hellyar of Chateau Civrac is a Cornishman in Bordeaux. The wines are contemporary and made with the British consumer in mind. Mark’s wines are hand-made in small quantities thus giving the opportunity to tailor wines for individual and complex character and ever-changing nuances. There is nothing dull or banal from Chateau Civrac. Mark wanted to make wines that were different from classic Bordeaux and his wines have a New World quality about them, with more subtle tannins, and which perhaps have more in common with those he discovered while working in California and South Africa.

civrac Chateau Civrac has developed a noteworthy Sauvignon Blanc called Wild White which isn’t a hippy-inspired vintage as the name might suggest. The ‘wild’ element comes from the French Sauvage and Blanc for white – a little linguistic toying. We tried this and several other outstanding wines at the Honest Grape food and wine tasting, and everybody was impressed by Mark’s offerings.

But what are Honest Grapes? It’s actually more of a bunch of who’s rather than what’s. They are a group of wine enthusiasts, wine professionals, and friends who have created something of a one-stop wine site which offers suggestions and invitations to events. They hold regular pairing dinners and single-variety tastings which will excite anyone who enjoys good wine, and anyone wanting to learn more.

Honest Grapes supports independent growers, small producers and importers, allowing their guests to taste wines that they won’t be able to find easily elsewhere. There are wines for quaffing with Sunday lunch and others suitable for celebrations and impressing the in-laws; there might even be a cheeky bottle or two appropriate for an evening in front of the television enjoying ‘The French Connection’ or ‘Julie & Julia’. This is a marketplace for interesting bottles, well-chosen vintages – and delicious diversion.

civrac I am no wine expert and I am not a chef but I really enjoyed this pairing evening. Honest Grapes presents events that will appeal to food lovers who will appreciate learning more about how wines not only accompany dishes but actually enhance them. But any dinner party is just as much about those folks sitting around the table as what’s on it. These evenings are convivial. One might not know the others but everyone has something in common – love of great food and excellent wine, as furnished by Lutyens and, in this case, the charming Mark Hellyar (whom I hope to interview in the near future).


Learn more about Honest Grapes here

Learm more about Mark Hellyar and his wines here

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Gillray’s at County Hall

Gillrays
Restaurant review: As with any building, and as any estate agent worth his clip-board will tell you, it’s all about location. Gillray’s must have one of the best, and it’s also housed in an iconic London landmark... Read More

Maribor – wines, gastronomy, bikes and hikes

Maribor Slovenia travel review: Slovenia is a small country in Central Europe. Small it might be but it has natural beauty, with mountains (Slovenia's highest mountain, the three-peaked Triglav, is depicted on the national flag), vine-strewn hills, thick forests, historic cities and a 46 km long coast on the Adriatic. It is, in some regards, Europe in microcosm... Read More

Benares for dinner

Benares for dinner Restaurant review: Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Benares serves Michelin-starred modern Indian cuisine and is famed for doing that. This is fine dining and gives other such restaurants a run for their culinary money, and that’s restaurants of any gastronomic persuasion... Read More

Sake Cups – or perhaps a glass

sake cups Japanese culture review: For those of us who love the delicious complexity of sake, the vessel from which we drink is often something of an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be... Read More

Sunday Brunch - Kurobuta Marble Arch

Kurobuta
Restaurant review: I confess, I had no idea what to expect. Yes, it was going to be Japanese. But a Sunday Brunch Buffet? In my admittedly somewhat limited experience, Japanese food comes in two varieties: first – casual noodles; second – etiquette-riddled kaiseki cuisine... Read More

Forty Dean Street

Forty Dean Street
Restaurant review: Soho, in general, has been famed for Chinese food, but there are great numbers of decent restaurants of other culinary persuasions these days. Forty Dean Street is the eponymous restaurant and it is Italian. I mean the sort of Italian that I remember from my childhood... Read More

The Mayfair Chippy

The Mayfair Chippy Restaurant review: Nothing better than traditional fish and chips. It’s nostalgic comfort food, at least if you are British. We all have memories of queueing up in a white-tiled shop with steamy windows, a high counter with glass jars of pickled gherkins and eggs, bottles of brown vinegar and salt shakers. For those who hail from beyond these shores that emporium of fried delights was called ‘the chippy’... Read More

Bó Drake – Greek Street

Bo Drake - Greek Street
Restaurant review: Bó Drake has an urban vibe with high stools at the bar, exposed brickwork and metal conduit. And it’s an impressive bar of around 10 metres with an iroko (African teak) wood counter. The shelves behind the bar give a hint to the cuisine (as if the restaurant name had not already)... Read More

The Balcon, London – classic perfection

Balcon Restaurant review: This truly memorable restaurant is set on Waterloo Place on the corner with Pall Mall. This wide thoroughfare is in fact an extension of Regent Street with all its smart shops. It’s a small area with a host of statues and monuments that honour heroes and statesmen of the British Empire and various wars... Read More

Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte

Relais de Venise L'Entrecote
Restaurant review: Ask many a dedicated food lover which dishes they crave, what their elected last meal might be, and they will almost universally state that it has to be unfussy and comforting, something like, say, steak and chips. Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte is... Read More

Arabica Bar and Kitchen – Borough Market

Arabica Restaurant review: Borough has been known for its food markets since as far back as the 11th century. First the stallholders were trading on old London Bridge, but then in the 13th century they were moved to what became Borough High Street. A market has been here ever since... Read More

Lotus – Fine Indian Dining

Lotus Restaurant review: The Charing Cross Road near Leicester Square Underground Station has not been famed for quality Indian restaurants. I confess I had never heard of Lotus but I arrived with high expectations as I had done my homework... Read More

Cinnamon Collection Masterclasses

cinnamon collection masterclass Restaurant Masterclass review: It seems a bit early for pondering Christmas presents but, trust me, it’s not. If you have a passionate food lover in your near vicinity you might want to ditch the summer holiday brochures for half an hour and consider a masterclass... Read More

Patara – Berners Street

Patara Berners Street
Restaurant review: Oxford Street is one of London’s retail arteries. It’s a ribbon of fashion outlets from the celebrated and well-established Selfridges to a flourishing number of stalls selling trashy T-shirts and even more dubious souvenirs. The world of both good and bad taste can be your oyster... Read More

Sindhu by Atul Kochhar, with Head Chef Gopal Krishnan

Sindhu by Atul Kochhar
Restaurant review: I first met Chef Gopalakrishnan when he was working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in London; a smart and charismatic young man who is known by his friends simply as Gopal. He was born in a small village called Sholingur in Tamil Nadu... Read More

Reims - Tasteful Souvenirs

Reims - Tasteful Souvenirs
French travel review: Reims is a beautiful and historic city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. It is only 130 km from Paris with easy access by train. Excursions to nearby Chalons are a must and there will be not only the delightfully ubiquitous champagne to taste but also... Read More

Rijsttafel in The Hague

Rijsttafel in The Hague
Indonesian Food review: I love The Netherlands and am an unashamed supporter. It’s an oft-disregarded tourist destination even though it’s easy to get to from London. Short breaks are more usually taken in Paris or Berlin. That’s a shame as Dutch cities offer history, architectural charm and delicious food... Read More

Rennes – second capital of food (or is it third?)

Rennes food
French travel review: Rennes Market is considered to be the second- or third-largest in France, depending on whom you are speaking to... Read More

Gymkhana London

Gymkhana
Restaurant review: Gymkhana is an Indian word which originally referred to a meeting place. These days it tends to be an equestrian day event put on by posh pony clubs; but not in this case. Gymkhana in London does fit into the ‘meeting place’ category... Read More

The Sparkle of Vilmart & Cie

vilmart
Wine review: The Champagne house Vilmart & Cie was founded in 1890 by Désiré Vilmart and is considered by many an authority to be perhaps the leading producer of quality Champagne in the region of Northern France which bears the same name... Read More

Umbria’s Autumn Gastronomy with Valentina Harris

Valentina Harris Umbria interview Chef interview: Valentina Harris doesn’t have many free moments but I cornered her on a return flight from a culinary tour of Umbria. She is an unashamed supporter of the country of her birth, and conducts gastronomic adventures to Umbria and other regions... Read More

Hisashi Taoka of Kiku – Fish aficionado

Hisashi Taoka of Kiku interview Chef interview: Kiku was first established in Mayfair in 1978 and has gained a reputation for serving authentic Japanese cuisine. The owners, Mariko and Hisashi Taoka, are dedicated to presenting the freshest of food in a calming cocoon of blond wood... Read More


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Capital Spice - chefs, restaurants and recipes
By Chrissie Walker, foreword by Sanjeev Kapoor.
21 great London Indian chefs, over 100
stunning recipes.
Available from bookshops and Amazon.
ISBN: 9781906650728

 
Marks and Spencer wine