BRIXTON FLAVOURS FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL PUTS BRIXTON’S HIDDEN GEMS FIRMLY ON THE FOODIE MAP

Brand New Festival Lets People Taste Over 20 Brixton Restaurants & Pop-ups for a whole day

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An exciting day-long food and drink festival is coming to South London this autumn, on Sunday 26 October, to celebrate the delicious tastes and cultural delights of Brixton. Brixton Flavours – Brixton’s Food Festival, will bring together locals, Londoners and tourists alike to enjoy and revel in the warm atmosphere and diversity that is making Brixton a world renowned food and cultural destination. The headline sponsor for the event is OpenTable, the UK’s leading online restaurant bookings service.

Ritzy

With so many fantastic restaurants, bars and eateries to choose from, Brixton Flavours allows customers to taste as much as possible in one day. Brixton Flavours tickets can be purchased from as little as £15 with lots of extras. Ticket holders will get 15 Brixton Pounds (B£) to be spent in any of over 20 participating venues, with diverse cuisines from Brazilian to Mexican, Japanese to Dim Sum, French to Italian and Caribbean to Modern British. As well as OpenTable, the festival will be supported by Brixton Bid and local food blogger Miss South.

Additionally, only ticket holders will get a wristband allowing them to eat free samples and secret dishes at all participating restaurants letting people try new places and get out of their ‘food comfort zone’. There will be a fun filled carnival atmosphere with several local artists playing and adding to the day’s entertainment. Tickets for Brixton Flavours can be bought in advance via the website http://www.brixtonflavours.com (and a free Zinco Coconut Water or Alibi drink will be given out on the day to the first 250 people to buy a ticket online).

Oliver Mernick-Levene, Founder, Brixton Flavours commented: ‘I love Brixton and as a local resident and foodie, I was keen to help support the food and cultural scene, to help celebrate its diversity and bring people together over their passion of food, drink and music.”
He continued: “With so many cultures and different people populating the area, here in Brixton, eating and drinking are not just pastimes but a ‘way of life’. As such, the area has some of the best restaurants, bars and eateries in London. There are no lazy taste buds here and with one ticket you can try all the different flavours of Brixton. It’s an exciting day for us and we can’t wait to welcome people to the festival and make Brixton proud.”

The festival will include and cover Brixton Village, Market Row, ColdHarbour Lane, Atlantic Road and Windrush Sq, areas on Sunday 26 October From 11.00am – 7.30pm. It will see a host of new and firm favourite cafes, restaurants and craft shops taking part in this cool and exciting festival. All venues will be offering special discounts and secret new tapas style dishes to visitors and will also be offering delicious free samples to wristband wearers. From the original Brixton set to the newly arrived, the festival will play host to a really special day, which is set to be become an annual food and drink fixture in Londoners diaries.

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On the day visitors can also buy wristbands and Brixton Pounds (B£) from strategically located vending kiosks around Brixton Village and Market row and outside The Ritzy Picturehouse, in Windrush Square. Location maps will also be given out and downloadable as a guide to where all of the participating restaurants, venues and music locations will be throughout the day.

Mike Xenakis, Managing Director, OpenTable International, said: “With Brixton now at the epi-centre of the London food scene we’re excited to support this new food festival and the diverse selection of local restaurants that are putting the area firmly on the foodie map. The Brixton Flavours festival is a fantastic way to showcase the evolution of London dining at a local level, encompassing a fun carnival style atmosphere and friendly neighbourhood appeal.”

The restaurants on the day will include: Brindisa, Brixton Village Grill, Carioca, Casa Morita, Courtesan, Duck Egg Café, Etta’s seafood, FGB- Foccacia, Fish Wings & Tings, Ichiban, Jalisco, Kaff, Market House, Lounge Bar, Prince of Wales –POW, Satay Cocktail Bar, Senzala, Snugg, Sponge & Cream, The Ritzy Picturehouse, The Wine Parlour as well as the pop-up stalls, which will be positioned in Windrush Square.

Brindisa - Bellota Jamon slicing. An art form

Brindisa – Bellota Jamon slicing. An art form

Elly Foster, Chair/Non-Executive Director, from Brixton BID, said: “We are proud to be supporting Brixton Flavours festival and welcome people throughout London and further afield to enjoy and taste our wonderful food. Brixton is a Mecca for people who want to try all different cuisines in one area. We see the value in developing and maintaining the ethos and cultural diversity of community projects such as this, which help benefit local businesses and bring further awareness to the area we love and call home.”

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.

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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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.

Après London- A cool ‘Sex in the City’ Cocktail bar

A heaving Oxford Street gives way to a trendy side street, where Après London drinks bar and club lives. It’s my Sex in the City moment post work,shopping cool cocktail bar. Après is a nice little find around the busy West End and Mayfair area, conveniently situated opposite Selfridges. It has an outside area for summer drinks and tasty nibbles and some very comfy leather seating inside by the bar to relax and chill out in post a busy day at work.

Apres London, Terrace area

Apres London, Terrace area

Serving an eclectic mix of cool cocktails ranging from some fabulous martini and mojito concoctions with a twist to wine and beers, as well as non-alcoholic cocktails with some pizzaz!

Cucumber cooler

Cucumber cooler

Mojito with a twist

Mojito with a twist

When we arrive at the bar it’s fairly busy and the Thursday night DJ who is too ‘Cool for Skool’ starts setting up next to us. To the left of us a couple on a date and another table of very chic London girls are sipping cocktails and avidly catching up on the gossip over some cool tunes. I notice it’s mainly Londoners in here, everybody is achingly on trend and looking very London, there are a few wealthy looking ex-pat types but it feels quite local in here as well.

ApresLondon

ApresLondon

After the initial cocktail we veer towards the menu, which is certainly a fun eclectic mix of some different and favourite cuisines. We decide on some beef sliders, steak tacos, hummus with fresh large green olives and hot pitta bread, as well as chicken satay sticks, simple but good ingredients, which certainly hit the spot.

Beef Sliders

Beef Sliders

Well stocked bar

Well stocked bar

Apres has an easy and fun atmosphere for a quick drink and bite to eat. It’s a lovely relaxed spot with cool tunes and an even cooler DJ, who was good when we were there on the Thursday evening. Weekends the basement club is also open and holds bigger numbers, there is a doorman policy at the weekend and you can ring ahead to reserve a table as it does get busy with the cool set.

For a few cocktails and 2-3 tapas style dishes the average cost would be £30-35 per person. The location is easy for Bond Street/ Oxford Street tubes. http://www.apreslondon.com
Apres

Ratings:
Atmosphere: 7
Food: 8
Drink: 9
Overall Experience: 8