Archive For March 2011

Lunch on British Pullman carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Lunch on British Pullman carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Yes, I have a lovely life: a restaurant reviewer, and able to take my pick of the very best that the World has to offer. I am, however, seldom driven to displays of overt enthusiasm for my latest destinations. They are all good and some exceptional, but the signature lunch trip ‘Golden Age of Travel’…

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Fusion Brasserie Worcestershire for dinner

Fusion Brasserie Worcestershire for dinner

One can search for Italian food in all the famous towns that boast true Italian or Tuscan culinary heritage: Florence, Siena, Hawbridge, Pisa, Grosseto. We take advantage of fresh produce, delicious dressed pasta and desserts fit to ruin any diet. The tourist soaks up the history of those Italian… but… Hawbridge doesn’t sound very Italian….

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Eckington Manor Cookery School and B & B

Eckington Manor Cookery School and B & B

Eckington Manor is just outside the market town of Pershore, Worcestershire, and could well provide one of the most memorable breaks you have had in the UK. Well, if you are passionate about food that’s almost bound to be the case. Eckington Manor is well situated for exploring both Worcestershire and the Cotswolds. Visit the…

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ORA Thai Food and Jazz

ORA Thai Food and Jazz

There is a world of tranquillity just behind the buzz and throng of Oxford Street. That celebrated retail hub is a river of bag-burdened humanity even on a Sunday but there is a haven awaiting the savvy shopper just a few yards away. Thai restaurant ORA could easily be overlooked and that would be a…

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The Elms Hotel Worcestershire

The Elms Hotel Worcestershire

This is an imposing Queen Anne mansion. Go on, admit it, you can’t remember who Queen Anne was and didn’t know she was a builder. The Elms dates from 1710 and the exterior has all the elegant proportions of a stately home of that period. It was designed by architect Thomas White who was a…

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Food from Northern Laos – The Boat Landing Cookbook

Food from Northern Laos – The Boat Landing Cookbook

I am driven to describe some cookbooks as recipes with a bit of travel. Other volumes I have reviewed as travel adventures with some cooking on the side. Food from Northern Laos – The Boat Landing Cookbook is as much a travelogue as an encyclopaedia of every culinary tradition of Northern Laos. Note that I…

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The Fleece Inn for lunch

The Fleece Inn for lunch

Perhaps Robin Hood had a local, and if he did I would suppose it looked just like The Fleece Inn. This isn’t a Disneyesque themed facsimile of an ancient public house. This is the real thing, and stunning it is. The Fleece Inn has an idyllic rural location on a picture-perfect village square. Lots of…

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Brockencote Hall for lunch

Brockencote Hall for lunch

Joseph and Alison Petitjean have owned and run Brockencote Hall for the last 24 years. They had been living in France and were just married, and they had a dream of opening a country house hotel in England. They visited properties suitable for conversion to an hotel and settled on Brockencote Hall. They bought the…

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Bryn’s Kitchen – 5 Brilliant Ways to Cook 20 Great Ingredients

Bryn’s Kitchen – 5 Brilliant Ways to Cook 20 Great Ingredients

It’s only just past the start of the year but I’ll state that this is one of the best cookbooks to pass through my letterbox so far, and I’ll venture to say that it will probably remain the pick of 2011 when the snow returns. Bryn Williams can cook. There is no denying that. He…

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500 Breakfasts and Brunches

500 Breakfasts and Brunches

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, that’s probably true with regard to nutrition and a balanced diet but it’s also the most eagerly-awaited meal of the day – at least by me. Even those who insist they have no interest in that first meal will be coaxed…

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The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

This book is fun. Sandwiches are not by nature a serious food group. We make them for picnics and parties. The bread keeps our fingers free from exotic fillings or last night’s left-overs, and quite honestly everyone loves sandwiches. What would a traditional posh afternoon tea be without its spread of crustless cucumber sandwiches? This…

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Tangerine Dream Café

Tangerine Dream Café

A Year in Chelsea Physic Garden This truly is a ‘Secret Garden’ and much less celebrated than Kew in West London, although Chelsea is London’s oldest botanic garden and a unique living museum. Situated in the heart of London, Chelsea Physic Garden has long been a centre of horticultural education. It was founded by the…

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Macaron

Macaron

They are becoming ubiquitous. Those colourful chubby discs are showing up in smart patisseries across the land. They have long been popular in France and we are all very ready to state that French food is best. Well, I would not go that far (although I am driven to admit that the French make the…

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Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

London is indeed one of the world’s great cities. It’s a magnet for tourists from every corner of the globe. They come to visit famed monuments, museums stuffed with priceless antiquities, galleries hung with portraits of the famed and fabled, and a nice bit of shopping. It’s a big town and London prides itself on…

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Kebabs and Tikkis

Kebabs and Tikkis

I can understand why Tarla Dalal is such a very popular writer in India. She sells more books than any other author of any genre. Her recipes are loved for their ease of preparation, they are trusted because they work and adored because they present some of the most delicious food that will ever emanate…

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Castle House Hotel, Hereford

Castle House Hotel, Hereford

I confess, this isn’t a part of the country I know well. OK, it’s true, I am a city sort but I am increasingly charmed by our beautiful towns and rolling hills. I have even bought a pair of green wellies for kicking through leafy forests and dewy dells. Hereford is a city, as it…

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the bell at skenfrith, Monmouthshire

the bell at skenfrith, Monmouthshire

the bell (note the corporate lower-case letters) at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire could easily be overlooked. You need to know it’s there and it’s worth the drive down a few country lanes to reach – although some guests have been known to arrive by helicopter. It’s a restored 17th century coaching inn and was in a state…

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