Pop your cork with absolute pleasure at Trufflesecco…

Prosecco. Truffles. Two things that have worked really rather well for our neighbours in the valleys of France & the forests of Italy over the past several hundred years and which I’m delighted to report are working equally well for the good folk of Camden town and beyond.

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Billing itself as a place in which ‘to celebrate everyday life in style with a glass of bubbles and a bite of truffles’ and inspired by a trip to the heart-stoppingly beautiful Florence, this newly opened bar on Camden High Street is the perfect place to go with colleagues on a Friday night, girlfriends on a Saturday afternoon or the one you love on a Sunday lunchtime.

Smaller inside than a spot of pressing your nose up against the windows outside might suggest, the interior is darkly lit with a burnished rose gold glow casting everything into bewitchingly intimate shadow; bulbs and vines twist down from the ceiling and row upon row of gleaming glass flutes hang at the ready, impatiently waiting to be filled with chilled golden bubbles.

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A row of stools at the bar make the perfect perch on which to nibble at a sharing platter while chairs at old wooden tables are practically begging for a first date to be sat round them. FYI, you would definitely enter the dating hall of fame if you brought someone here in the first round or two…

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Staff are kind, convivial and passionate about their wares with a menu that beautifully marries cheeses and meats together in a style that makes you long to run away to the continent and spend your time dining in a very Audrey Hepburn-Sophia Loren sort of way. Mortadella with pistachio and burrato with ribbon thin fragments of fresh truffle are especially dreamy and the platters are generous enough for two to split the cost but maybe not the entire contents of; the tallegio cheese dear readers, is worth fighting for every last crumb of.

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As the venue for a leaving do, it was a gorgeous send-off for a gorgeous lady. As the place for summer feasting, it will be every woman for herself to secure a seat at the bar and a heavenly sounding Bellini Popsicle. The sound of corks popping is an unbeatable way of lifting your mood…long may they continue at Trufflesecco.

Sausage & beans styled up and made even more comforting than you remember…

Comfort food is blissful. It’s dreamy. It’s big platefuls of loveliness wrapped in a cosy blanket of warming-from-the-inside-out, don’t-wanna-move-from-in-front-of-the-fire deliciousness and on those cold, dark days when it seems the sun has truly abandoned us, it’s all you want to eat. Let’s get real here though and admit that sometimes comfort food comes at a price especially if it’s laden down with cream or butter as things like golden, flaky pastry, pillowy mashed potato or rich, smooth sauces often are. This, my friends, is why the particular dinner we’re making today is a winner in more ways than one.

Adapted from a recipe originally found on the sweetsugarbean blog – www.sweetsugarbean.com/2012/01/for-your-hibernation-sausage-white-bean.html – this is everything you could want from a winter warming dish with nothing to feel guilty about so go on, I give you not only my permission but my blessing to pop on your pyjamas, pour a demure, beneficial-for-the-heart glass of red and get ready to make something that requires only a few ingredients but smacks them out of the ballpark with the flavours of ripe tomatoes, juicy sausages and fragrant thyme making it just perfect for mopping up with warm crusty bread.

sausage cassoulet (2) sausage cassoulet (6) Read More

A feasting through France kind of catch-up in Cafe des Amis, Covent Garden…

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Cafe des Amis is one of the first places I picked for an early date with J and since then I have to admit, I’ve taken more than one girlfriend there on a ladies date night as well. Well the good news is, both J and the girlfriends are still around so it’s clearly the kind of place that works well regardless of the company or the situation. Read More