Author: Joanne Jenkins

Calçotada at Tramontana Brindisa

What Tramontana Brindisa has added another feather to its cap of authentic, Spanish experiences; the Calçotada. Unknown to even many Spanish people, the Calçotada hails from the North-Eastern region of Catalonia, well-known for its gastronomy, tourism and football, and less well-known for its large, spring onion-esque vegetables. It is, essentially, a festival to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and indeed these fresh, quality ingredients, artfully prepared and delivered almost as entertainment, are quite something to celebrate.  Where Available at: Morada Brindisa Asador 18-20 Rupert St London W1D 6DF   And Brindisa Tramontana 152 Curtain Rd London EC2A 3AT   Experience Before arriving at Brindisa Tramontana on a cold, rainy Tuesday evening, I had little idea of what a Calçotada festival actually was. Intrigued, I waded my way towards the Shoreditch restaurant, struggling to imagine how a re-enactment of a Spanish Spring festival could possibly be achieved in weather such as this. And little did I know that the Calçotada was to be held outside. I needn’t have worried; as I was shown out the back …

Celebrating Diwali with Kricket at Pop Brixton

Where Kricket, POP Brixton What An evening to celebrate Diwali with Indian restaurant Kricket and British light artist Rupert Newman. Experience POP Brixton is a playful courtyard of bars, restaurants and shops housed in old shipping containers near the arches of Brixton train station. It is also an event space and Indian inspired restaurant Kricket, who normally occupy one of the shipping small containers upstairs, took over the decidedly more grand barn like building for a night to celebrate the ancient Hindu festival of light, Diwali, in collaboration with British light artist Rupert Newman. The placed looked pretty incredible. There were 3 long tables set with runners and stoneware plates and Rupert’s colourful bespoke visuals bouncing around the room. I was dubious about how well British chefs were going to be able to carry off the diverse and intricate Indian cuisine but they weren’t trying to imitate. The food was Indian inspired but considerably meatier and served with lots of different flavoured mayonnaises and dips to suit the English taste. The spiced rum and masala popcorn …

Chinatown Trail for London Food Festival

Where Chinatown, London What For the second year running Chinatown has taken part in the London Food Festival, putting together six of its best restaurants to form a specially guided food trail with the aim of allowing visitors to experience a variety of the Malaysian, Vietnamese, Szechuan and Classic Cantonese meals the area has to offer. Experience The decision to go on a Chinatown food crawl with a relatively significant hangover could obviously have gone either way. I did the food trail last year with Sarah so I knew what was in store. There were no taster sized portions but each restaurant offered up an entire meal (that’s six meals each with a beer…) so we came out the other end feeling a bit sleepy and delirious but quite drunk and happy. To start we headed to Dumpling’s Legend because I love dumplings and I didn’t want to run out of room. They seemed a bit confused as to why we were there, and we were sashayed around a few tables before being seated upstairs …

Champagne Plus Fromage 

What An evening of Champagne tasting at Champagne Plus Fromage Where Champagne Plus Fromage, Brixton Village Experience On a rare smoking hot summer evening I headed down to Brixton’s Champagne Plus Fromage to enjoy a taster evening with co-founder Maud Fierobe. Champagne Plus Fromage is a collaboration between French Bubbles who import award winning limited production grower champagne and Une Normande à Londres, a family owned company who bring to London the very best artisan cheese, cured meat and preserves from across France. The shop and bistro (there is also one in Covent Garden and another recently opened in Greenwich Village) serve beautiful artisan food within their bustling rustic interior with shelves piled high with jars of terrine, rillettes, cassoulets and delicious confits. Their Fromagerie serves over 50 different types of soft and hard cheeses and a selection are expertly paired to compliment the 4 different Champagnes we would be drinking that evening. The bistro is as charming as Maude herself who stood at the head of the table and introduced all of the wines to …

Blu Top Ice-Cream at Bread Street Kitchen 

Where Bread Street Kitchen, St Paul’s What London’s Ice-cream sandwich trader Blu Top enjoy a month long residency at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen throughout August. Experience Despite the notable absence of ice-cream eating weather we have had this summer, Blu Top’s Richard Makin is fast becoming the master feeder of London’s ice-cream scene (!). Blu Top’s ice-cream sandwiches were recently voted the greatest in London by Time Out and have been championed by Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber. Anyone who has visited their little blue converted Italian Piaggio Porter van at the schoolyard in Stoke Newington or more recently at Druid Street Market will have already tried their mouth watering Toasted Coconut and Roast Cherry ice-cream on Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies and be as excited as I was to hear about their August residency at Gordon Ramsay’s monumental Bread Street Kitchen. We went down last night to celebrate the launch and spent the next 3 hours living out one of my less weird hedonistic fantasies where everything is made of cream and …