I was flattered to be asked to work with Magimix to
promote a couple of their kitchen products. They do, after all, make
some of the best quality appliances around and I do subscribe to that
old but wise saying that one should have the right tool for the job.
all about travel and food - lots of international excursions, culture and history, hotel, destination and restaurant reviews.
Please look elsewhere for negative reviews.
All restaurant, hotel and product reviews are sponsored; however, the resulting articles are unbiased and the opinions expressed are my own.
To enquire about a review of your restaurant, hotel, resort, book or product please email mostlyfood[at]live.co.uk
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, but it's a
shame that it arrives too early, when we are least in command of our
faculties. We know we need something to eat and drink and we do indeed
crave some sustenance, but it's just too much trouble to get the
comatose brain in gear.
Well, let's start with a simple slice of toast. I was in the first year
of secondary school cookery lessons before I realised that toast was
not a two-part recipe: first incinerate your bread and then scrape with
a sharp instrument over a handy sink.
The Vision Toaster would have been a godsend to our small family and
the Fire Brigade back then. I fell in love with this stylish piece of
equipment across a crowded room. Yes, food is my living and I cook
every day but I eat toast every day as well, and even people who are
virtual strangers to the inside of a kitchen also eat toast frequently.
This isn't just a good-looking piece of kitchen kit - it's the most
practical of toasters. There is the usual control for degree of
brownness, but this toaster uniquely has glass sides which allow you to
eject the toast at just the right moment. And one can now toast French
bread or bagels to perfection on just the cut side, and even defrost
that bread you forgot to take out of the freezer the night before.
It's a universal rule that twice-cooked toast is to be avoided. We have
all been presented with that dilemma. Started the toast and gone to
check emails and texts. Toast is brown but cold on return to the
kitchen. Do you eat cold toast or apply more heat, rendering the bread
brittle and scorched? The Vision Toaster can just reheat your
soon-to-be warm and buttery breakfast.
I have put the Vision Toaster through its paces and I am just as
impressed as I was when we first met. All toasters are not made equal
and I am sticking to the one that I believe to be the best. It's taken
the uncertainty out of breakfast and that can only be a life-enhancing
The Vision Toaster can defrost, warm and toast most types of bread,
baguettes, bagels, croissants, buns, teacakes, crumpets, brioche,
• Double-insulated toughened glass windows for visual control
• High-quality replaceable quartz elements
• Variable browning control
• Slide-out crumb tray
• Extra-lift lever for small slices of bread
• 3-Year Gold Seal Service Guarantee
• Extra-wide slots with automatic self centring
For more information visit Magimix here
- Pixie Nespresso Coffee Maker
We love it, don't we? Sitting outside a French café
drinking espresso like the natives. Basking in the sun and pretending
to read Le Monde. A French breakfast wouldn't be complete without
coffee in some guise or other, and there is nothing more chic than
ending a meal in a Parisian bistro with a little cup of noisette
(espresso with a cloud of milk). Now we can enjoy good espresso without
crossing the Channel, and indeed without crossing one's own threshold.
Coffee seems to have taken over from tea in the morning popularity
stakes. The queues at "costabucks" confirm the nation's love of a jolt
of caffeine to start the day. I am the proud owner of two Italian
coffee pots. You know the ones: scoops of ground coffee in a holey
receptacle; fill the lower pot with water till just below the rubber
safety gasket and stand on the hob. Something of a fiddle when one only
wants a single espresso.
The Pixie Nespresso coffee maker is a simple and unobtrusive gadget
that does exactly what it says on the box. It makes coffee. No fuss, no
mess and in no time at all. It uses those small sealed capsules which
eliminate the faff of coffee scooping. There is a water tank at the
back so there is no more measuring - it's automatic. No mystery, and
you won't have to wait for your seven-year-old to come home from school
to show you what to do.
The charm of the Pixie is its size. There are machines on the market
that are reminiscent of those found in trendy Italian coffee bars of
the 1960's - all chrome with big levers like one-armed bandits, and
dispensing dozens of cups per hour. Yes, they are splendid in a retro
way, but those big appliances take up a lot of space on a domestic
kitchen counter. You'll want your coffee maker on display for easy
access so it needs to look good, and the Pixie does, but most
importantly it works. One of the best espresso makers around.
• Ultra-compact brewing unit
• Simple capsule insertion and automatic ejection of used capsules
• Power-save mode
• Programmable water quantity control
• Cup support and drip tray
• 19 Bar pressure system
• Thermoblock instant water heating system
• Removable 0.7 litre water tank
• 1260W power.
For more information visit Magimix here
The Chrome Wet & Dry Grinder from
These days I am almost
a full-time recipe tester and this little gem has been a godsend. I
have been using a combination of old coffee grinder and immersion
blender until now, but it’s been a struggle to get a good fine powder
of whole spices from the coffee grinder, and the immersion blender only
works well on soft ingredients with volume.
The Chrome Wet & Dry Grinder is powerful and convincing. The lower
blade is close to the bottom of the cup and that must be the key to the
fast processing. Its shiny exterior fits into any kitchen decor and if
it doesn’t then it’s small enough for you to hide it away.
The Chrome Wet & Dry Grinder from Revel is a versatile product as
it allows you to grind wet herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables, and
within the same bowl and by using the same blade it can grind dry
coffee beans, nuts and peppercorns. It is equipped with a powerful
280Watt motor that enables you to grind to a paste and puree or to a
powder, respectively. This dual function means it can be used just as
any other coffee grinder, but the wet grinding gives the added ability
to do more and allows you to make baby food, yoghurt dips and sauces.
This product is finished in the ever-popular chrome which gives it the
stylish look that meets the present consumer demands. The complete bowl
and cup is also dishwasher safe. The machine comes with its own
• 280 watt motor
• Mains power 220-240 volt 50Hz
• Instruction booklet enclosed
• Grinds coffee beans, spices, breadcrumbs and nuts
• Purées garlic, onions, ginger, herbs and seeds
• Bowl and lid dishwasher-safe
• One year guarantee.
For this grinder and more visit Salamander Cookshop
The OXO Good Grips® Julienne Peeler
Harrod Horticultural is
a division of Harrod UK Limited, founded in
1954 by the present Chairman Ron Harrod. Their reputation for
product design and development is second to none. In fact Harrod UK
sports equipment is today extensively used in all major sporting venues
including the Millennium Stadium and all Premier League football clubs.
Plus in 2002 Harrod UK became the official suppliers of sports
equipment to the Manchester Commonwealth Games, extending their
reputation worldwide. Harrod Horticultural has the same unique
commitment to quality and customer satisfaction that has always been at
the heart of their business. So when you buy their products you can buy
But it’s not just sports
equipment that Harrod supply – they have a good stock of garden
supplies to bring joy to any with green fingers. Their interests
include the kitchen as that’s where most people prepare the produce
they have tended in the garden.
I have been test-running one
of the gadgets available via mail-order from Harrod. The OXO Good
Grips® Julienne Peeler costs £5.75 and it’s worth
every penny. This is the indispensible tool for making delicate Thai
salads and delicious decorations.
OXO Good Grips® Julienne
Peeler will help you to make garnishes, salad toppings, stir fry dishes
and more... quickly, safely and attractively cutting the perfect fruit
or vegetable julienne strips. The clear safety cover flips out of the
way while you peel, but locks back into place as a protective cover
• Sharp, stainless steel blades easily create julienne strips
• Clear, flip-top safety cover
• Contoured handle accommodates all grips
• Dishwasher safe
• Dimensions 16cm L x 8cm W
Visit Harrod Horticultural here