Author: Sarah Kemp

How to Eat Well in Dublin and Belfast

We have all experienced addiction at some point in our lives. If you’re reading this and you haven’t, I’m sorry but you’re not human. A few years ago I was completely and utterly infatuated. The lucky recipient of my affections? If you know me you might have guessed…  Salmon. But only the raw kind. Oh yes, it just HAD to be raw. And as much as I still adore salmon sashimi, my affections have now turned to another satisfying sea creature… the Oyster. So you can imagine the first thing that went though my head when I booked to go to Dublin and Belfast? No, it wasn’t the fact that I’d finally get to explore Temple Bar, or that I might even see Cillian Murphy roaming the streets (although of course I will forever live in hope of that). No, it was that I would get to eat my bodyweight in delicious oysters. And that I did.  But eating oysters wasn’t the only item on the to do list. Pippa and I were there for …

Members’ Club Dining at Century, Shaftesbury Avenue

What Dinner at Century Club, Shaftesbury Avenue Where 61-63 Shaftesbury Ave London W1D 6LQ Experience Until a couple of weeks ago, if you asked me to name more than five members’ clubs in London I would have struggled. It wasn’t until I was invited to dine at one I had never heard of that I did a bit of digging. And the results were surprising. I didn’t find out the exact number, but I can guarantee you that if you regularly walk the streets of London, you’ll pass a fair few lurking behind inconspicuous doorways, without even knowing what is behind them. Enter Century Club. Situated on Shaftesbury Avenue, right in the heart of London’s theatreland and media district, the discreet and hidden four storey members club sits proud and unassuming. Soho on a Friday night these days can be a pretty treacherous experience, with after work drinkers spilling out onto pavements in their droves, so the knowledge of dining in a members club, away from the unwanted hustle and bustle, was a comforting thought. …

Was 24 Hours at Bestival Long Enough?

You might think that 24 hours isn’t enough to enjoy the offering of a four day festival. But let me tell you, a couple of weekends ago, me and my friend Pippa played the Bestival game and I’m pretty sure we won. You see, what we have come to learn over our year of friendship is that neither of us do things by halves; so as soon as we arrived on site, we popped up the tent, put on our most colourful ensemble and quickly slopped our way through the ever growing mud slides to the festival arena. Taking place for the first time at it’s new Lulworth Castle home, the undulating festival site, also home to Camp Bestival, is smaller than the Isle of White site I came to know so well over the last eleven years. Featuring a colourfully lit National Trust castle backdrop, numerous mini stages and the obligatory exploratory tents that literally turned frowns upside down, I think Bestival fit in just nicely. To me, Bestival is as much about the experience as …

Festival Review – Electric Castle, Romania

“What are you going to write about?” asked Alex. I thought about it for a second and when I responded, he looked surprised. “I don’t know, because it hasn’t happened yet”, I smiled as I melted into my seat. Lucy and I had just stopped the wrong bus in its tracks and bundled ourselves on, not so elegantly pulling our suitcase and bumping into poor unsuspecting passengers on the way to a couple of empty seats at the back. The boiling hot bus, which seemed to have rolled straight out of the 70’s, was full of subdued festival goers on the way to one of Romania’s biggest festivals, Electric Castle. And Alex? He was my new Romanian friend from Romania’s non-official second capital, Cluj-Napoca. It was the truth. I could have guessed and said that I was going to interview a few bands, or that I was there to review specific bands, but no. I was there to review the experience – and if my previous festival experiences are anything to go by, I knew …

Recipe: Za’atar Baked Cauliflower with Harissa Garlic Yoghurt

It has been a bloody long time since I posted a recipe. Why? Honestly, I have been very lazy at trying new things. It isn’t that I haven’t been cooking – I still take a weekly trip to the market on Saturday mornings, but for the last few months I have been cooking the exact same thing every week. Boring, I know, but I haven’t had the head space to think about other options. Until now. This dish is inspired by one of the most delicious things I tasted when I lived in Melbourne. I worked as a waitress in a cute little neighbourhood restaurant called Huxtable, which sadly closed down not long after I left. This cauliflower with harissa yoghurt had been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 2012. And remained one of the favourites until they closed their doors. Try it and you’ll see why. The only real difference between their version and my version is that they deep fried it. I’m not nutty enough to buy a deep frier for …

Electric Castle review: Have Franz Ferdinand still got it?

If any of you saw this post three months ago, you’ll know that I have just arrived back in the UK following a five night extravaganza at one of Romania’s biggest and best festivals, Electric Castle. You may also know that as well as being treated to a massive amount of world class DJs and acts, the band I was most looking forward to seeing was, you guessed it, Franz Ferdinand. Although I’m going to make you wait a few days to hear ALL about the festival and just how incredible it was (it really did surpass any expectation that I had) I’m going to tell you about Franz Ferdinand and the first show I had seen them play in four years. Sadly, I wasn’t as fresh as I would have hoped, having spent the previous four days and nights partying and sleeping in a tent that had earth shattering bass streaming through it 24 hours a day. But there was no way I was going to let this deter me and before I knew …

Good Luck from Bill Nighy – Vitality 10,000

There are some moments in life that leave me speechless with their perfection. This morning I had of those moments. I woke up, had a shower and made myself some toast with peanut butter and banana. Afterwards I pulled on my running gear, grabbed my backpack and headed to the tube. I was on my way to the Vitality 10,000 race in Central London. And in all honesty I wasn’t exactly in the mood to run. I arrived at Green Park and, along with 100’s of other runners, queued to exit the station. As I shuffled towards the escalator, I saw a lone man walking down the escalator on the other side. As he edged closer, I recognised the face as the one and only Bill Nighy. Being alone I had no one to tell and no one around me seemed to notice. My face lit up and as I opened my mouth to tell anyone that would listen, he caught my eye, nodded, winked, blew me a kiss, mouthed ‘good luck’ at me and …