Review : brünch, pop-up

As I’ve said before, I get pretty excited these days at the prospect of a non-eggs-and-bacon-centric breakfast. So I was more than happy to head along to brünch, which promised to delight guests with a long, lazy, Berlin style get-together.

This is a proper pop-up which uses under-utilised spaces to host a truly unique gathering. Founder and host for the day, the totally charming Noemi Dulischewski, takes pride in finding the best spots to compliment her thought-filled events. This time we were at The Nines in Peckham – an open and bright, yet basic space near Peckham Rye station. The brickwork and industrial windows, not to mention access from round the back of the Bussey building, give it a temporary pop-up feel, and make it all the more special. Noemi herself is a great host – friendly, knowledgable and passionate about brünch. She recently left her nine-to-five job…

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Pétanque Players Assemble! Dinner at Angelus Restaurant

Looking forward to next year’s Petanque event

Got To Be Gourmet

Dubbed the new ‘hipster sport’, Pétanque is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. I used to play it on holiday as a child and surprisingly (unlike most sports!) I was fairly good at it. I even beat Tim once, but of course, he’ll never admit to that ;).

For those of you who don’t know, Pétanque is a form of boules where the goal is to throw metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally “piglet”) or jack, while standing inside a starting circle with both feet on the ground.

This June (5th-7th), The Londonaise are hosting an International Pétanque festival at Barnard Park in Islington. And to celebrate, French restaurant Angelus is introducing a unique boules inspired main dish into their set menu, which I was lucky enough to preview this week.

IMG_1216

Angelus restaurant was formerly a pub and covert meeting place for…

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There’s a German Food revolution happening in London and it’s called Berlin brünch

The Berlin brünch a new German food based brunch roams around London’s quirkiest venues and this August has two super-cool venues, which will certainly get the party started on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Berlin – Bread Brunch Booze vibes will be in full flow as each venue offers a quirky and fun atmosphere while enjoying a proper Sunday Berlin-style brunch with all the trimmings. brünch has stumbled upon two as yet undiscovered London insider gems – Playground & Proof in London Fields and converted garage venue in Peckham.

Quirky venues around London

Quirky venues around London

On Sunday 16 August Berlin brünch will be hosting a bottomless Berlin-style brunch at ‘Playground & Proof’, an amazing new rooftop venue above London Fields’ Railway Arches. Experience a little bit of Berlin overlooking London Fields. Indulge in generous Berlin-style brunch with fantastic cocktails, hard-to-come-by drinks straight from Germany and some hot Berlin tunes from a local live DJ. And if the Saturday night hangover is hard to shift then we’ve got bottomless Volcano Coffee Works coffee and unlimited fresh bread from E5 Bakehouse to kick start your Sunday.

This isn’t all! If you can’t make the 16th August, don’t despair – they’ve got a second event in late August, just before Berlin brunch goes on holiday in September.

On Sunday 23rd of August, South of the River to take you to The NINES – a new hidden Peckham den. brünch has a one-day residency in a converted garage bar behind the Bussey Building, in the heart of Peckham. The area is known for music, theatre, film, anime, art and comedy – almost feels like home for brünch. Head down on Sunday 23 for a long lazy Sunday brünch and Berlin vibes in Peckham.

“Every time I see people’s reactions as they enter the venue I know why I am doing what I am doing. It is such a buzz to share our passion with people that love Berlin and great food. We’ve been very lucky and are excited about hosting more quirky and eclectic pop-ups in the months to come.” commented Noemi Dulischewski, creative founder of brünch.Berlin Brunch founder

Each of the weekends will have two sittings from 11.30am until 1.30pm and then 2.30pm onwards for those who want to carry on their day with more drinks and chilled music for a perfect mellow Sunday. Tickets are just £24 via brünch. A taste of Berlin that’s not to be missed. Tickets are limited and to book please go to: http://www.bruench.com
Food Menu
● Selection of fine German cold meats and cheeses
● Smoked Mackerel Pâté
● brünch signature Amaranth & Chia Granola with German Quark
● Topless Eggs with Remoulade
● Home-made Jams & Nutella
● Typical German Dessert
● Fresh Berliner Waffles
● Unlimited fresh Sourdough from E5 Bakehouse *supplier change per venue
● Bottomless filter coffee from Volcano Coffee works * supplier change per venue

Drinks Menu* (not included in the ticket price)

The drinks menu, includes some of Berlin’s coolest drinks, which are hard to find
anywhere else in London
(Club Mate, fritz-kola, Berliner Weisse, etc.).
And if you like it boozy, the bar will sort you out with the best Bloody Mary and other brünch specials.
There will also be unlimited coffee and a variety of teas & juices available.

Every Berlin brünch includes locally-sourced cheeses, German meats, smoked fish, fresh fruit, home-made Granola with quark, fresh breads, home-made jams, Nutella, typical German desserts & fresh waffles. As well as much-loved Berlin drinks such as Club Mate, fritz-kola, Berliner Weisse and sometimes surprise guest drinks too – from Germany of course! Noemi is also turning her hand to being a music promoter creating a platform for some talented new DJs, that put on some awesome tunes to compliment the Berlin vibe at brünch. brünch also hosts and caters for parties and other tailored events, bringing together the best of Germany’s drinks, food & music scene.
Brunch time menu

Secret Food Tours of London.. Brings London’s History of Food and Culture into one Melting Pot

I recently spent a Saturday afternoon on a Secret Food Tour around London Bridge and Borough market area, not just any foodie tour but a secret one complete with a history of London, the spots we visited and an affable guide.

Secret Food Tour - Bermondsey

The Secret Food Tours company offers tours around London, Paris and Rome with plans I learnt to also expand to Madrid later this year. The London tour has two secret food tours, Traditional British food tour around London Bridge and Indian Food tour around the East End of London. It has a clever approach of using local guides whom know the various traders and restaurateurs and insider knowledge that proves really helpful when you’re limited on time and want to see the best each city has to offer, but in the most painless way.

On tour with visitors

I’ve been on several ‘foodie tours’ in my time around Bangkok and New York City and they were good but what I personally enjoyed about this insight into Borough market was the in-depth knowledge from the guide and the history and details he told us with each stop. I was also impressed that he gave us a few extra tips and facts along the way and spent I suspect a little more time with us.

We kicked off the tour with some traditional fish and chips at the famous Fish Kitchen and tasted some beer battered haddock and generous portion of chips with homemade tartare sauce .. soo good. We then had a little tour around Bermondsey market at various coffee and chocolate specialist shops, which all looked very tempting before we stopped at a local fruit and vegetable producer to taste some succulent strawberries.

Our Tour Master - OlliOyster Time

Then it’s onto an amazing oyster tasting with a secret ingredient and fire show .. ok well almost a fire show as the Spanish server very nonchalently throws around a blowtorch to heat and burn off the secret ingredient of cheese and a pesto looking mixture, while having a conversation in very fast Spanish .. it’s quite a skill and I’m suitably impressed. After the show we then each try to devour our oyster as delicately as possible, it’s tasty but I still wince as i struggle slightly with oysters.. am I bad?!

Oyster time

Oyster time

arrggghhh

Moving swiftly on we have a bit of a history lesson about the buildings, and cobbled lanes around the market area as we walk over towards London Bridge and The Golden Hind and Sir Francis Drake’s defeat of the Spanish
Armada. Oliver our guide explains that the next stop is a surprise and we’re simply not going to guess where or what the building was in its hay day.

One of the final stops on this tour is a former stables underneath the arches of London Bridge in a very cool pub that the next time I have people to stay in London will definitely take advantage of. Oliver has arranged for us to have a cider and cheese and fig tart tasting.. quite an unusual combination as it goes, but as he starts to explain the reasons behind choosing the cider over beer it all become crystal clear.. well almost. The cheese board is a generous mix or cheeses such as English Stiltons, Stinking Bishop Cheese Caerphily cheese and a Yarg cheese along with a fig cake that went really well with the light summer cider.

For the final chapter of this epic afternoon we headed to the river for some fabulous views and the most important dish of the today pudding and lots of it.. Traditional English puddings with stolen recipes by the French and the best eton mess i’ve had in a long time, was certainly a highlight for me and not to missed along with a cup of English breakfast tea and a history of tea lesson from our guide.

Pretty colours in umbrellasDessert time ..

All in all not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon learning more about London and getting to eat and drink along the way.

Tours can be booked directly at

Price per person per tour is £60.00 and takes approximately 3-3.5 hours to complete the tour along with plenty of insider knowledge and history about the area as you walk around.

Meringue and Mandarin double cream

tell them

Please re- blog this true story of a fellow Londoner’s loss of his wife in a tragic road accident

Life as a Widower

The eighty-five-year-old driver who killed my wife, Desreen, was jailed today for eighteen months for causing her death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for life. I suspect he, his family and friends are feeling really quite dreadful right now, and, for what it’s worth, mine and I aren’t exactly celebrating either.

You see, I’ve had time to think since attending the trial and I’ve realised that you can punish a crime but you can’t transfer pain. Any suffering caused to the defendant as a result of his sentencing could in no way take away mine. I’ve since learned that, having suffered so much myself, I genuinely wish no hurt on any other person and I never wished a prison sentence on the driver, either.

In fact, I wasn’t even going to mention the sentencing on my blog at all. But then I reminded myself that justice for Desreen is best served not by a…

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Your recipe Against Hunger Ibérica launches Tapas recipe competition for Action Against Hunger

Competition: 25 November – 8 January 2014

Final: 19 January 2015 | Tickets: £35

Authentic Spanish restaurant Ibérica is raising awareness and funds for humanitarian charity Action Against Hunger, by offering consumers the opportunity to have their very own tapas recipe included on Ibérica’s menu. The winner of the recipe competition will also jet off to Asturias, Spain, where they will visit Ibérica’s Executive Head Chef Nacho Manzano’s two Michelin starred Casa Marcial.

Calling All Budding Chefs

Foodies are invited to submit their own Spanish tapas recipe via Ibérica’s website. All entries must be received by 8 January 2015, with the five best recipes shortlisted and announced on 9 January 2015. The finalists will be invited to attend exclusive 1-on-1 masterclasses with Ibérica’s Group Head Chef César García, to develop their dishes and ensure that they can be rolled out in a restaurant kitchen. Competition entry page: http://www.ibericarestaurants.com/recipe-club/send-recipe/

Bellota Jamon slicing. An art form

Bellota Jamon slicing. An art form

The Tapas Showdown

On 19 January Ibérica Canary Wharf will host the competition finale, in which the 5 finalists will present their dishes to an impressive panel of judges: The London Evening Standard’s Comment Editor and wine critic Andrew Neather, Olive magazine Editor Christine Hayes, the founder of 3 Michelin starred DiverXO and casual dining StreetXO David Muñoz and Ibérica’s Executive Head Chef Nacho Manzano, who has two Michelin Stars for Casa Marcial and one Michelin Star for La Salgar, to his name.

Squid ink gnocchi with atlantic prawns, clams and samphire

Squid ink gnocchi with atlantic prawns, clams and samphire

Consumers will be invited to attend the event and be a part of the judging process, as they sample the final 5 dishes, along with a selection of Ibérica’s signature dishes, alongside the judges. There’ll also be a drinks reception and a raffle, with all money raised going to Action Against Hunger.

Tickets cost £35 and can be purchased at: https://endhunger.actionagainsthunger.org.uk/pages/2015-ibericas-recipe-against-hunger

1st Prize: The winning dish will feature as a special on Ibérica’s menu from 15 February – 15 April 2015 and will be available at Ibérica Marylebone, Ibérica Farringdon and Ibérica Canary Wharf.

For the ultimate culinary experience, the winner will also fly to Asturias and visit Nacho Manzano’s two Michelin starred restaurant Cassia Marcial. They’ll also receive £300 to spend at Ibérica and the chance to record a professional video for Ibérica’s Recipe Club.

2nd Prize: £300 to spend at Ibérica and a private meal for friends and family cooked by César García at the finalist’s home.

3rd Prize: £300 to spend at Ibérica Restaurants.

 A Worthy Cause

One pound from the proceeds of each winning dish sold will be donated to help support Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving projects. Ibérica is proud to be partnering such a commendable cause, with the charity working to end world hunger.

 

www.ibericalondon.co.uk

http://www.actionagainsthunger.org.uk

Christmas cake, Caviar and Champagne.. what’s not to love?

The diet is most well and truly over and I’m back to full–on luxury indulgence which is fortuitous as it’s also coinciding with the festive season. Happily I’m eating again well over eating, and loving it. On a recent press trip out to Austria somebody commented rather rudely’ I’ve never met such a petite woman who could put away so much cheese and beer’. Really! How rude..

I can’t help it though, there’s no stop button well until the ‘New Year, New Me’ regime kicks in again. I’d made a promise to myself at the start of the diet that I’d treat myself and long suffering friends to a long lunch somewhere fabulous with food that was a combination of comfort, deeply satisfying and indulgent.  I found myself back on the welcoming doorstep of Angelus restaurant in West London, ready to dive into a divine plate of Orkney scallops, succulent rabbit and a long awaited and much anticipated ‘assiette of dessert’ which involved a memorable Clementine and Vodka soufflé, salted caramel tart with homemade ice-cream. It didn’t disappoint.. that was nearly a month ago and since then I’ve been indulging in a non-stop sugar fix.

French Fine Wine

French Fine Wine

Foie gras - Creme Brulee

Foie gras – Creme Brulee

Not a huge lover of traditional fruit Christmas cake I jumped at the chance to taste test some of Maison Blanc’s Christmas Patisserie range and offering of beautifully designed festive themed cakes made with woodland theme <a href="http://www.maisonblanc.co.uk/”>http://www.maisonblanc.co.uk/ at their Fulham rd store.  Naturally I had to try all of the patisserie on offer, my favourite was the Pistachio woodland cake featuring cute toadstools. It’s indulgent yes, but it’s fun, especially for children and a great alternative to a full English afternoon tea. You can either chose 1 or 2 mini cakes an exquisite chocolate ‘Buche de Noel’ log or some of the Christmas Cupcake range are also really fun and with fresh cream and light vanilla flavoured sponges, much better than Christmas cake anyday.

There’s a limit however, even for me as to how much sugar you can have in a week, so moving over to the savoury side of my tastebuds. On a more savoury note but no less indulgent I was sent some Caviar by the London Classic Caviar company along with a Mother of pearl teaspoon and given explicit instructions on how to taste the densely packed Caviar pearls.

Caviar Classic London .. package perfection

Caviar Classic London .. package perfection

The Caviar is beautifully dense, grey, shiny in appearance and densely packed. As soon as I put a spoon into mouth .. hmm it has a deliciously creamy texture with a slight hint of fish but not overpowering in anyway and a nutty aftertaste. We sip some Champagne and then taste with blinis and creme fraiche and wow it’s a great little amuse bouche if you’re looking for something special to offer guests over the festive period or New Year’s. www.caviarclassic-london.com