Archive For June 2012

A Phoenician Kitchen Garden

A Phoenician Kitchen Garden

In truth this isn’t an ancient plot cultivated and tended by legendary Mediterranean traders, but the land does belong to the celebrated Hotel Phoenicia in Malta. All good chefs will agree that freshness is key to good dishes. That philosophy cuts across all ethnic culinary persuasions. Malta has a climate that any keen gardener would…

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The Phoenicia Hotel in Malta

The Phoenicia Hotel in Malta

What do we look for in a vacation? Some pampering – that probably isn’t like home. Sun is good – that’s different from home. Food – you won’t be doing the cooking as it’s not home. Language – mostly the same as home would be nice.  That adds up to the Phoenicia Hotel in Malta….

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Anderida, Ashdown Park Hotel

Anderida, Ashdown Park Hotel

Ashdown Forest is an ancient area of heathland about 30 miles (48 km) south of London in East Sussex. It was once a medieval hunting forest created soon after the Norman conquest of 1066. The Forest continued to be used by royalty and the nobility for hunting into Tudor times. King Henry VIII, the monarch…

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Andrew Wilson, Executive Chef at Ashdown Park Hotel

Andrew Wilson, Executive Chef at Ashdown Park Hotel

Andrew Wilson has returned to Ashdown Park Hotel in Sussex for the third time and he is now executive chef. It’s not difficult to understand the appeal: it’s the quintessential English country house hotel – Gothic Victorian architecture and more than 180 acres of grounds. Andrew heads a team of 25 in the kitchen at…

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Innotel Hotel Singapore

Innotel Hotel Singapore

Singapore is perhaps my favourite spot on the planet. At least I can say it’s the most wonderful place I have visited to date. Its climate, cuisine (that should be plural), its architecture, history and also its people make this an unmissable city vacation. It’s a shame that Singapore is so often viewed as just…

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Bean by Bean – a cookbook

Bean by Bean – a cookbook

Bean by Bean, it sounds like a wholesome and perhaps hippie subject and when one notices the name of the author, Crescent Dragonwagon, then one will be convinced that one will have incense burning and tie-dye dishcloths as kitchen companions to this book. Take the trouble to actually open the cover and you will appreciate…

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Andaz London for Afternoon Tea

Andaz London for Afternoon Tea

Originally designed by Charles Barry and his son, Charles Edward Barry, the hotel opened in 1884, after ten years in construction.  It was extended in 1901 by Colonel Robert Edis. It’s this date that gives its name to the restaurant and wine bar. The Great Eastern Hotel, for that was its original name, had its…

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The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Surely we have all licked out the bowl after mum has made cookies. But let’s make it clear what we mean by a cookie. A cookie is a biscuit if you are an American. A biscuit is a cookie if you are British. Something like a scone is a biscuit if you come from the…

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Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

Quicker smarter recipes It’s no surprise that I love cooking. I bake bread, make pies, curries, casseroles and roasts but, to tell the truth, I have never managed a great repertoire of desserts. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to spend hours and hours in the kitchen confectioning a fiddly sweet creation. I might have…

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Cinnamon Club for breakfast

Cinnamon Club for breakfast

It’s my favourite meal of the day, although I don’t subscribe to the adage that Somerset Maugham penned: “To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.” He, I don’t doubt, was referring to the full English for which we are quite rightly famed, although the quality of food these days…

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‘Ignatius’ Iggy Chan – Singapore’s Sommelier

‘Ignatius’ Iggy Chan – Singapore’s Sommelier

There are few restaurants owned, run by, and named after a sommelier but Singapore’s iconic “Iggy’s” is just that. Ignatius ‘Iggy’ Chan is an immensely likable, warm and animated restaurateur who has given his name to one of the most celebrated destinations for food lovers across Asia and indeed the world. “When I’m in a…

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Wahaca – Chandos Place, Covent Garden

Wahaca – Chandos Place, Covent Garden

Chandos Place has always seemed an exotic address. Not quite English but nevertheless familiar. This street along with others in Covent Garden takes its name from the Bedford family. The fourth Earl of Bedford married Catherine Brydges of Chandos. It’s a name that dates back to the Norman conquest of 1066 with a host of…

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Fish Easy

Fish Easy

“Oh, yeah,” I hear my time-strapped reader cry, “it’s healthy and I know I should eat more of it, but do you know what time I get in of an evening? I could have dinner on the table in half an hour if I did pasta!” Well, I agree. You can indeed have pasta every…

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North African Cookery

North African Cookery

Grub Street should be applauded for introducing a new generation of food lovers to Arto Der Haroutunian. It might be a name unfamiliar to any but the most enthusiastic of cookbook collectors, but he is considered as worthy as, say, Elizabeth David in his own sphere. He died suddenly in 1987 at the age of…

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Veggie Burgers Every Which Way

Veggie Burgers Every Which Way

Burgers are comforting. We graze on mass-produced patties of variable quality, and I have never had an objection in principle to fast-food burgers as long as the customer eats them as a treat. We blame the mass-produced burger for rising obesity rates but one burger a month does not a chubby diner make. Part of…

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Hazan Family Favorites

Hazan Family Favorites

Marcella Hazan might not be a lady familiar to many UK readers unless you are a collector of some of the best Italian cookbooks. She is the Empress of Italian food in the US, where she was often seen on TV demonstrating her recipes. She has taken a bit of a step away from the…

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Wulumuchi – Chinatown, London

Wulumuchi – Chinatown, London

We in London have always been open to diverse cuisines. The fish and chips that are considered to be so iconic are a melange of other European dishes but because we appreciated their delicious qualities we didn’t hesitate to make them our own. Then there was chicken tikka masala, which was a hybrid from the…

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Blue Elephant for Sunday Brunch

Blue Elephant for Sunday Brunch

[This venue is now closed] Imperial Wharf sounds smart and indeed it is. It was for centuries a working-class area with poor housing. My mother’s family lived just a short walk from the new complex and my uncles learnt to swim in the Thames. Things have changed and it’s doubtful that youngsters will be diving…

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Chris Kimball – Britain discovers America’s Test Kitchen

Chris Kimball – Britain discovers America’s Test Kitchen

The majority of readers based in the UK will have no notion of who Christopher Kimball might be, and to mention that he is the host of America’s Test Kitchen will hardly be enlightening. It’s a programme new to UK satellite and cable TV although it’s into its 13th season on the US PBS network,…

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The Chinese Cricket Club at The Crowne Plaza London – The City

The Chinese Cricket Club at The Crowne Plaza London – The City

It’s appropriate that I have a review of this restaurant just now. We have just watched the Cricket World Cup semi-final and are about to settle in front of the TV to watch the final (the equivalent of the American Super-Bowl or the Football World Cup), when India will face Sri Lanka. But the food…

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