All posts filed under: Food & Drink

When hearts and bellies meet

What Pasta’n’Goulsh http://www.pasta-n-goulash.co.uk What A ‘Hungarian-Italian fusion’ winter pop-up bar and kitchen, right in the heart of Holborn (for now) Where Temporarily homed in The Plot Twist in Russel Square Experience While Hungarian and Italian might not sound like the most naturally complimentary cuisines, they are united by one crucial characteristic that we all crave at this time of year – stodge. Pasta’n’Goulash is the brain child of partners in business and in life, Agata and Tamas, and comes to the bellies of Londoners at a time when we need it most (because nothing trumps winter quite like potatoes served in bread). On arrival, we were greeted by the aforementioned couple who, I think it’s safe to say, were no less than the most charming hosts I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I am a sucker for schmaltz so fell hook, line and sinker for their tale of love at first sight. Originally from Parma and Budapest respectively, the pair met in London and ‘from that moment decided to share life together’, uniting their …

Sunday lunch with the Jones Family

Where Jones Family Project http://jonesfamilyproject.co.uk/ What A comfortable, chic bar in Shoreditch with a passion for wine, cocktails and delicious locally sourced food Experience Situated in the heart of bustling Shoreditch and within strolling distance of Old Street station is The Jones Family Project, which I discovered is a gem of two parts this Sunday. As you enter, you walk into a welcoming bar in a setting that is comparable with a chic New York loft mixed with a 1970s lounge and obviously one hell of a good bar. There are booths, high tables, coffee areas and my personal favourite were the drawers built into the bar to give the illusion of a tea tray. Downstairs is a beautiful restaurant, again with an expansive bar and dining room with fairy lit trees and dim lighting. It’s honestly beautiful. We were greeted by Alejandro, who is the assistant general manager and a massive food and wine enthusiast. He is friendly, informed and really passionate about The Jones Family Project. He recommended we tried the squid to …

Aquum, Clapham

What Aquum has re-launched as a late night drinking, dining and dancing destination. Where 68-70 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UL Experience It was my first visit to Aquum which has been completely refurbished into a modern, vibrant restaurant – turned late night bar. It was the type of place you could imagine ordering shots and dancing until the early hours. I was joined by an old friend Lucinda who within minutes was speaking to a handsome man at the bar. I left her to it while I pondered over the menu. My first drink of the evening was a Greek Negroni. A thirst quenching blend of Campari, Bombay Sapphire, sweet vermouth, and made Greek by the addition of Skinos Mastic liqueur. The liqueur made the usually bitter cocktail sweet enough to be palatable for the rest of the evening, so I ordered another. The food menu offered contemporary Greek dishes which features sharing plates, fresh salads and grilled meats. Lucinda and I sampled a few sharing dips with sourdough bread. If you are familiar …

Balan’s Soho Society Celebrates British Food Fortnight and Their Beautiful Refurbishment

What To celebrate British Food Fortnight we were invited along to Balan’s Soho Society to indulge in all things British! Experience Everybody loves locally sourced food, other than the fact it is fresher and is better for your local economy- there’s something satisfying about knowing that the radish you are nibbling on was grown just down the road. It also helps when we are lucky enough to have some of the highest quality food produced right at our doorstep. On Thursday evening we were treated to a delicious array of locally sourced food (and drink!) at a newly refurbished Balan’s Soho Society. We began our feast with Scottish smoked salmon supplied by legendary East London smokehouse Foremans (served with wasabi and said radish). This was followed up with Cornish crab (also from Foremans) – this was a highlight for me – deliciously light and rich all at the same time. We then transitioned from the sea to the land with a mouth-watering Cod fishcake (South Coast fisheries) served with a perfectly poached Woodlands Farm egg …

Coin Laundry

What Laid back neighbourhood bar and restaurant, Coin Laundry, serves up proper comfort food, 70s revival cocktails and a big fat slice of nostalgia. Where 70 Exmouth Market London EC1R 4QP Experience Perched at the top of Exmouth Market sits 1970’s inspired restaurant, Coin Laundry. The restaurant boasts nostalgia-inducing culinary delights and retro classic cocktails. I met my friend Sophie on Saturday afternoon to give their new cocktail menu a whirl. “What do you mean 70’s? Like pineapple on a stick?” “Exactly, Soph”. I was expecting extravagant Retro Bar-themed decor, but was pleasantly surprised to find a spacious subterranean bar with subtle references to 70’s design. The room felt contemporary, less Bee Gees, more Rolling Stones. The cocktail menu was a joy to ponder. Apart from a few well known classics, the menu featured a host of real original flavour combinations I was excited to try. First up, some bubbles. The Flipper blends apple sorbet, prosecco and lemon in a wide champagne coupe with jelly accompaniments. Sophie and I agreed that we had never tasted …

Festival of Heat

What The Festival of Heat: London’s Chilli Festival is back on 25 September 2016 Where Red Market 288 Old Street EC1V 9LA Experience Preparations are hotting up for London’s spiciest food festival at Shoreditch’s culinary hub, Red Market. Workshops, tasting sessions, supplies, music and deliciously confusing chilli infused drinks await. Last year was my first Festival of Heat experience. I cooked my own infused chilli oil, which has been keeping my pizza crusts happy all year. The festival focus is on eating, growing and cooking chillies, and is designed for those who like to add a little heat to their mealtimes. This year, vendors keeping our bellies happy include Ayam Happy – White Men Can’t Jerk – Agua Na Boca amd Purbeck Ice Cream. See you at the tasting stall. Cost Early Bird Ticket £10 here Door Price £15

Opulent Perfection at Delaire Graff – ZA

What Lunch and wine at Delaire Graff Estate. Where Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch,  South Africa Experience After an incredible mini holiday to Cederberg National Park, we decided to counterbalance our time out in the wilderness by stopping off in Stellenbosch for a few days of indulgence. Surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands, Stellenbosch is the epicentre of the South African wine industry and you are spoilt for choice with lavish scenery and luxurious wine tasting tours. Since arriving in Cape Town, more than a few people have told us that Delaire Graff wine estate is a place to be experienced at least once, so we decided to go there and see. Finally getting into Stellenbosch at about 10pm, we continued driving along the stunning Helshoogte Mountain Pass towards Farm France, our home for the night. We hadn’t quite realised that we would be driving straight past tomorrow’s lunch destination, but it was impossible to miss it. Set back into the hills, the entrance to the estate is impressively landscaped and lights up the …