Croatia National Tourist Board launches new ‘Croatia365’ Campaign

Croatia 365

Croatia 365


Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Last night, I attended the UK launch of the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB)’s new pre- and post-season campaign: ‘Croatia 365’.
Held in the Grand setting of Queen’s Club, we were welcomed by Mr Darko Lorencin, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, Mr Ratomir Ivičić, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Mr Tonko Rilović, UK & Ireland Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, and Mr Ivan Grdešić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United Kingdom.
Representatives from the regions of Dubrovnik and Riviera, Korčula and Pelješac, Slavonia and Baranja, and north-western Istria showcased their huge range of cultural, eno-gastronomic, adventure, wellness & health and MICE offerings.

Wine Tasting menu

Wine Tasting menu


Award winning Croatian wines

Award winning Croatian wines


We were then treated to a fun and informative tasting masterclass by Joe Wadsack, the renowned wine writer and Saturday Morning Kitchen TV presenter. During the tasting, Joe, transported us on a wine tasting journey around the beautiful country of Croatia.
Once we’d over indulged in some amazing Croatian canapes and artisan delicacies – which included the highest quality truffles, cheeses, olive oils, pršut, salami, honey, sweets and cakes – we were treated to a beautiful and charismatic performance from world-class Croatian tenor Stijepo Gled Markos.
Canapes with Croatian Artisan produce

Canapes with Croatian Artisan produce


The aim of the evening is to put Croatia in people’s minds as an all year round destination, which can offer – so much more than just stunning coastlines, with cultural activities and fascinating historical architecture to thermo-mineral water based spas and local food delicacies. Looking forward to going very soon for a city and wine tour.

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A Charmante Luxury B & B in Biot – Bastide Valmasque, Cote-d’Azur

Over the summer I stayed in a charming little family run B & B, owned by the very affable Philippe and his wife. The old farmhouse has been converted into elegant and charming bedrooms, seeping French interiors and Mediterranean essence with a touch of India on the side. The owners are passionate about India and have brought several artefacts from large chest of drawers to glass cabinets which all inter-mingle to make a beautiful contemporary ambience.

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What I loved about Bastide Valmasque was the easiness of the hosts with their guests, breakfast was tranquil and served from 07.00 -10.00am , after breakfast fruit, cheeses and divine biscuits and teas were left out for guests to enjoy at their leisure. The biscuits – Sables des Pres, were irresistible along with the house speciality tea from Kashmir, made from Green Cardamon pods, with Cinnamon and spices.

The rooms were also lovely and spacious with beautiful French white linens and Indian fresh cotton throws, rather too inviting indeed, as one almost didn’t want to leave it was that comfortable.

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<img src="https://thedelicioustraveller.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/img_0205.jpg?
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La Biere in Biot's Cafe de la Poste

Interestingly I learnt during my stay that Bastide Valmasque also hold cooking classes throughout the year. Guests are invited to shop at the local market for fresh produce and then back to the kitchens to cook up a mediterranaen feast for a 3 course lunch. This can be done as a group or individual basis with other people taking part.

The luxury B & B is well located in the little town of Biot, close to Cap D’antibes and Juan les pins. You will need a car to reach the B & B, but from Nice airport this is quite an easy process.

A double room per night is from 100 euros, and up including a lovely French breakfast with cheese, meats, jams and lots of French baguette.

There is also an apartment to hire by the week or 3 night minimum, which has it’s own private garden and patio area. Phillipe tells me they are also hoping to have a swimming pool by next year once the famous French planning permission has been given.

Win Tickets to see Charles Metcalfe in action at Foodies Festival Edinburgh

To celebrate Discover the Origin’s return to Foodies Festival, Edinburgh for another year, I’ve teamed up with the people behind the campaign promoting delicious protected products to offer two lucky Delicious Traveller readers a pair of tickets to Foodies Festival in Inverleith Park this weekend –Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August.

Festival-goers will have the chance to see Discover the Origin take the ‘how’ out of choosing the right wine and creating perfect wine parings with free masterclasses* hosted by celebrity wine expert Charles Metcalfe. Charles is one of the nation’s most well-known and amusing wine critics. He’s equipped with plenty of advice about this summer’s wines, including the best temperature to enjoy them at and what to look out for when choosing a bottle to ensure you’re drinking a quality wine.

Visit the Discover the Origin pagoda to meet the campaign’s team of experts and taste the samples on display alongside their expert guidance. And all in the glorious settings of Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park.

Foodies is the UK’s largest food & drink festival with 10 festivals in 2014 featuring top chefs, producers, pop-up restaurants, street food and live entertainment. To see more about the festival visit foodiesfestival.com.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of Foodies Festival Edinburgh tickets simply Retweet this tweet:
RT to win a pair of @foodiesfestival Edinburgh tickets from @delictraveller and
@DiscoverOrigin #discoverquality #heritage #protectedstatus

Good luck!

DiscovertheOrigin

DiscovertheOrigin

Discover the Origin is a campaign financed with aid from the EU, France, Italy and Portugal that celebrates the character and heritage of five fine foods and wines with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status: Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Parma Ham, Douro Wines, Bourgogne Wines and Port. To learn more and see delicious recipes featuring easy ways to use these little luxuries visit discovertheorigin.co.uk

Ts&Cs: Two winners will be chosen at random at 5pm Friday 8th August 2014 and notified by email the same day.
* Entry to the Drinks Theatre is included in the ticket price. Places are available on a first come, first served basis and entry is limited – register for free entry at the Registration Point opposite the main entrance.

Lessons from the Master, Charles Metcalfe, on food & wine pairings for the Summer

Charles Metcalfe, was recently at foodie festival Bristol to host a master class for some very lucky festival goers. Charles is the renowned co-founder of Wine International magazine, and former wine expert on Richard & Judy’s ‘This Morning’. Honorary President of the Association of Wine Educators and Chairman of Judges for the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards and author of ‘The Wine & Food Lover’s Guide to Portugal’

Charles at Bristol Foodie Festival

Charles at Bristol Foodie Festival

Charles, was there to host a food and wine pairing session in the marquees for the European Union campaign Discover the Origin.

Discover the Origin, aim is designed to raise awareness around five Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products:

 Burgundy Wines
 Parma Ham
 Douro Wines
 Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
 Port

The short online video is of Charles giving his top tips on wines for the summer and challenging some conventions of wine pairing. We often get stuck in ruts when it comes to food and wine pairing, in this video Charles explains how we can in fact cool down red wine for the summer and much more.

Charles Metcalfe, Wine Expert

Charles Metcalfe, Wine Expert

Discover the Origin Campaign spokesperson says: “The Bristol Foodies Festival offers a wonderful opportunity to interact with consumers who are keen to discover our products and learn more about the notion of provenance. This year we are excited to have one of the UK’s biggest name in food and wine to talk about the Discover the Origin products, provide tips on best ways to fully enjoy them and highlight what makes them so special.”

Parma Ham

Burgundy Wine

Burgundy Wine

Trained professionals were on hand to demonstrate the finesse required to skilfully slice Parma Ham as well as the authentic way to cut Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

Visit the new Discover the Origin website at www.discovertheorigin.co.uk

Discover the Origin is also on Facebook and Twitter. For latest news, consumer events, trade shows and Masterclasses search ‘Discover the Origin’ on Facebook or follow on Twitter @discoverorigin.

Refresh and refuel at London’s Chic Drunch cafe for a light lunch

Watermelon & Fresh Basil Juice

Watermelon & Fresh Basil Juice

Lazy hazy sunny days in London are always the best when you can leisurely saunter in and out of the shops and head to a favourite place for lunch. Oxford Street and Bond Street, have lots of little streets off them and it’s here that some of the best places exist for a fab little lunch post shopping or afternoon pick-me-up.

Last weekend found me wondering around Regent Street for a street food festival on Sunday, with Regent Street closed off to traffic, a lovely reprieve to the usual hecticness. I also discovered the streets just behind Marble Arch and the Edgeware Rd recently, which have some lovely restaurants and café close by.

Wondering around London, in the sun is such a pleasure and there are always lots of new places to stumble upon and little gems to get carried away in. Drunch, is a great little find, an oasis in the shopping mecca of the West End. It is ideally located between Oxford Street and Bond Street on the corner of Woodstock Street, with a very quintessential London fashion feel to it. Even though it is just off Oxford Street, I hadn’t discovered it previously, even as a quick shortcut.

Drunch Cafe

Drunch Cafe

The cafe is surrounded by beautiful Georgian buildings and opposite Bonhams auction house, which adds an air of sophistication. Everything is freshly-prepared at Drunch with a delicious take on healthy dishes and lots of smoothie and juice options, just perfect for summer eating.

It was quite hot when we arrived, so we decided to sit outside under the awning, on stylish cream cushions and black rattan furniture, which was really very comfortable.. I could have sat there all afternoon.

They have a wide range of constructed teas and fresh coffees, but as it was hot I decided on a delicious watermelon and mint freshly squeezed juice. I’ve been overindulging recently so thought the sound of a Superfood salad with avocado and pumpkin seeds after my baked camembert in Brixton market the previous evening might make me feel slightly less guilty.

Avocado, quinoa & pumpkin seed salad

Avocado, quinoa & pumpkin seed salad

Grilled Halloumi & Heirloom tomatoes

Grilled Halloumi & Heirloom tomatoes

My companion was even more virtuous than I was and had grilled halloumi with cherry tomatoes, everything was served on differently shaped black pottery style plates and dishes, which gave it a modern contemporary feel to the dishes.

We were slightly less healthy when it came to dessert however, and it was a much as I could do not to order an “RIP DIET” Cheesecake .. but I just couldn’t do it to myself and shared a rather less indulgent but yummy almond cake with espresso.

Too tempting..Almond cake

Too tempting..Almond cake

Drunch is a great little pitstop in the heart of Oxford Street, with a cool London fashion feel to it. It’s able to offer good quality ingredients for lunch or a lovely alternative option for a lavish afternoon tea that won’t break the bank.

Liverpool’s Stylish Salthouse Charcuteria & Tapas Bar

Salthouse, Menu, Liverpool

Salthouse, Menu, Liverpool

First pit stop of the day, straight off the train from London and I’m in need of sustenance and some good food, after my train journey.. where to go, where to go. Ok so i haven’t done any homework to search out the cool spots to head to in Liverpool and next time will be with planning. My brother and his fiancee and two children (v cute) live up Norff and so I sporadically head Norff from time to time.

This time bad planning as lots going on in London town at the moment, so I literally stop a couple of likely looking stylish Liverpudlians, trust me these people know fashion. It’s actually quite a culture shock from London, as the girls are immaculate, make-up,hair, dressed in all the latest trends and the guys are pretty much the same. i digress. My stylish Liverpudlians, direct me to a restaurant strip just off the main shopping high street, past LiverpoolOne, the shopping centre and recommend me to try ‘Salthouse’ a Charcuteria and Tapas bar for a quick spot of lunch.

Of course this weekend is actually the Golf Open at Holylake, the restaurant is quite packed and I wait for a few minutes, before being seated. The restaurant has two levels, ground and a mezzanine with high ceilings and a New York style feel to it. Exposed overhead heating system gives it an urban city feel, yet the stained glass vertical windows add some warmth to this circular shaped restaurant and bar.

With my training about to kick off I need to be mindful of what is going in mouth..(no gags thank you). It’s about protein, egg whites, good carbs only and veggies.. it’s only for 3 months.. argh!! The menu is looks very tempting and if I was doing a full review I’d definitely be going for some of the fish, scallop and more interesting tapas dishes that they have. There’s a good selection of beers from Estrella beer to lots of Sangria, Spanish wines, Sherry and Cava.

Today, I fancied the sound of the Heritage tomatoes,roasted peppers, fresh basil and capers salad with a chargrilled fillet steak, on a rosti potato and black pudding with peppercorn sauce.

Panzanella Salad

Panzanella Salad

Chargrilled Fillet Steak

Chargrilled Fillet Steak

All washed down with one bottle of San Pellgrino, can you see my halo yet.. such willpower resisting a bottle of Estrella and I wasn’t even tempted. Good random recommendation. Thank you Liverppol.

The bill was also very reasonable at 16.75

http://www.salthousetapas.co.uk
1 Hanover St, Liverpool, L1 3DW

An evening on the river with Discover The Origin and Head Chef Ben Tish

Our Vessel for the evening Our Vessel for the evening

The Menu

What better way to spend a ‘summer evening’ well British summer evening, onboard a yacht to enjoy a sumptuous food and wine matching supper with some of the best artisan products produced in the world. Discover the Origin,a campaign designed to educate consumers and the UK deli trade and supermakets held a spectacular evening on the river hosted by Chef of the moment Head Chef Ben Tish of the Opera Tavern and Salt Yard.

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Ben Tish from Salt Yard Group created the menu, incorporating Parma Ham and Parmesan Cheese into the tapas-style dishes from his restaurants, and David Vareille, Sommelier from Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental matched and talked through the accompanying Burgundy wines and Ports throughout the evening.

DinnerTable

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Burgundy Wine

Burgundy Wine

Parma Ham is one of my favourite cured hams in the world and it had been hand cut on the Itlian meat slicing machine. It really does taste different when it is freshly sliced compared to vacuum packed in the supermarkets, so much so that I’m off to Borough market this weekend to visit the Cheese and Ham company. We were then served a selecyion of tapas style startes with the main star ingredients of the evening including:

Fig and Parma Ham on Parmesan cheese crust .. divine cheesy pastry which worked well with the salt of the Parma Ham and fig.

Fig and Parma Ham tarts Fig and Parma Ham tarts

[caption id="attachment_727" align="alignnone" width="300"]Red prawns with Parma Ham Red prawns with Parma Ham

We then have a squash, sage and Parmesan croquette, English asparagus with Parma Ham and a duck egg and Parmesan crisp melted over it, followed by some sumptuous Red prawns, with Parma Ham and grilled watermelon, delicious the Red prawns in particular were amazingly tasty.

We devour these freshly prepared starters by Ben and his team, while quaffing a lovely White Douro Valley wine which is a lovely crisp white with a strong mineral taste. I do love these Douro wines and they are having a real moment in the wine world for the last few years and deservedly so, I say.

The mains are also beautifully prepared also in the tapas style that is associated with Ben Tish we are served – Braised beef cheeks with Parmesan cheese, a root vegeatble gratin with Parmesan cheese and smoked ricotta and deep fried courgette flowers stuffed with goats’ cheese and Parma Ham.. I have two and could easily have another, but try to show a little decorum. Sommelier David Vareille, talked thorugh the next wine with his silky French accent explaining all of the depth, quality, terroir to the wines we were tasting, two beautiful wines from different parts of Burgundy the first was the Santennay 1er cru a Pinot Noir with delicate subtle fruit and depth, great for a summer evening and my personal favourite of the evening the Marsannay, Le Clos 2011 from Domaine Rene Bouvier, not yet acredited with a cru but it won’t be long. My advice get in there quickly and find your self a few special bottles of this nectar.. you can thank me later.

The Faces behind these amazing artisan products

The Faces behind these amazing artisan products


Enjoying myself!

Enjoying myself!

By this point I have eaten rather a lot, and the diet is but a distant memory with my trainer on my shoulder whispering put that down! I ignore my subconscious and press onto dessert, I’m rewarded with a delicately made warm apple cox, Parmesan cheese pasrty with lashings of mascarpone to be enjoyed according to David and the IVDP Port expert with a very special Taylor’s 1985 Vintage Port. Warm, sticky, nutty flavours of Port fill my mouth and I’m having the best time on this little boat, that it’s a shame the evening has to come to an end quite so quickly.

AppletartwithParmesancheese pastry

http://www.discovertheorigin.co.uk
For further receipes and images
http://www.bivb.com
http://www.ivdp.com