The very best things I ate…February 2018

February, you were a minxy little trickster. In you rocked on day 1 with your crisp blue skies and your diluted dappled sunshine and then off you bombed it four weeks later in a huffing, whirling, squalling blizzard of lash-tickling snowflakes and bone-chilling temperatures.

Thanks. No really. You were an absolute sweetheart.

However, despite leaving us quilted in the sort of thick soft snow that never fails to send Transport for London into the sort of screechy, shouty, panicky meltdown usually associated with the contestants on America’s Next Top Model, you did bless us with some really, really, ridiculously good-looking food like this…

1. Vegan Cheeseburgers

We have an insanely talented bunch of development chefs at work which means that when lunch rolls round and it’s stuff they’ve put together, you’d be crazy to miss it.

So I don’t.

Ever.

These cheeseburgers were served as part of a vegan inspired lunch that was uniformly splendid but it was these bad boys with their melty, plastic cheese, their soft seeded rolls and their charred-and-smothered-in-special-sauce patties that really dialed it up ‘Hello? Oh hi, this is ludicrously tasty here!’

Looking like the burgers of your childhood and all the better for it – no glazed brioche buns or artisan leafy greens squatting here thank-you very much – I’d defy anyone not to seriously love them.

IMG_5549

2. Rhubarb & Cardamom Pastry at Pophams, Islington

Islington has long been sought out as one of London’s most delicious boroughs and now with the arrival of Pophams, a petite artisan bakery that specialises in beautiful sourdoughs and uniquely gorgeous pastries, it’s even harder to narrow down where you want to eat at any given time, day or night.

With a beautifully light & modern interior, crockery you’ll find yourself ogling & ‘gramming voraciously and a chilled vibe just the right side of being cool, Pophams is the sort of place you’d be proud to call your local…and I am.

IMG_5569

Their peanut butter-jam pastries are a feat of viennoiserie engineering excellence, their sourdough ham & cheese toasties are perfect snow-day provisions and their rosemary-sea salt plaits are as light & delicate as butterfly wings but it’s their stepping-into-Oz Technicolor rhubarb & cardamom custard pastries that are really worth nipping over for. Crispily, flakily edged and softly, sweetly middled, if you’ve found yourself obsessing over new ways to eat spring’s prettiest fruit, here’s one of the nicest you’ll find.

IMG_5568

Read More

Getting involved with all things sausage at the German Gymnasium…

Built like a Bavarian weightlifter and dwarfed by a tree whose branches hang full of jewelled baubles, the restaurant inside German Gymnasium at Kings Cross is one of the loveliest places in which to enjoy festive fare right now. An enormous space, lofty with arched ceilings, feels cosy and intimate thanks to the ground floor Grand Café tables which circle the heavy branched fir and the first-floor mezzanine from which diners in the restaurant can peep down into the gentle bustle below. If all you’re after is a drink designed to smooth away the rough edges of London travel, the utterly gorgeous Meister Bar must be one of the prettiest watering holes in the capital, a vision of spotless marble, sparkling bottles and sugared almond chairs.

Service here is excellent from the warm welcome at the front desk – where coats, scarves, wheeled suitcases and snow shoes, all the possible paraphernalia of Kings Cross in December, are graciously and swiftly removed – to the wait staff who sashay so effortlessly between tables you’d be forgiven for thinking they were gliding on steel blades across an icy sheeted floor.

A late lunch booking on the first Sunday in December gave us time to enjoy the brunch menu which is vast but doesn’t feel as though things are on there just for the sake of it. The usual suspects ‘a la oeuf’ are there for the choosing but am I going to barely dip my toe into the waters of German cuisine when I could swan dive in with all the grace & elegance of a lederhosen clad milk-maid? I think you know the answer by now dear reader… Read More

A very British taste of a very M&S summer…

The most iconic porcine rivaled only by Farmer Hoggett’s Babe, Toy Story’s Hamm or Jim Henson’s leading lady…

A caterpillar birthday cake requested by as many big children as small…

That chocolate pudding…

There can be no denying that M&S has created some of the most iconic foods available on high streets across the globe and everyone has their favourite, be it the sweetest of Jaffa laden spheres, the juiciest of posh puppies or the most virtuous of tropical kale juices.

Willy Wonka sang that there ‘is no world I know that compares to pure imagination’ and where M&S cooks, tastes & creates, others follow which is why the Summer Foods Press Show was one of the hottest, most salivatory tickets in town recently. With over 300 new lines due to hit stores from April 2015, this is the biggest launch outside of Christmas and promises to deliver on every count from flavour to value and quality to style.

A Taste of Britain can be found in every dish from the fantastically creative – Battenberg Biscuits – to the heart-warmingly traditional – Black Pudding Scotch Eggs – to the must-haves for your sunshine soaked summer parties – that’d be the delightful & ready to drink Mint & Cucumber Gin & Tonic. So step this way and let’s get started on the only shopping list you’ll need for the coming months…

image11 (1) image7 Read More