Showing posts with label cocktails. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cocktails. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Review: Mexican Market Food at Wahaca, London

My best London girl treated me to an afternoon of shopping, eating and drinking this weekend and suggested we try out Wahaca in Covent Garden. The Mexican "market food" restaurant chain, founded by MasterChef champion Thomasina Miers, offers authentic Mexican food, a sustainable ethos, and a quick and easy eating option at various central London locations. In keeping with the idea of market eating, street food is freshly prepared and served to long tables with benches as and when its ready, creating a tapas-style meal. The menu features just enough different dishes to keep everyone happy without laboriously reproducing the Mexican "classics" like other chain restaurants tend to do. Big plates are also on offer, if sharing isn't your style, and an extensive tequila-themed cocktail menu is on hand to whet the appetite along with a tray or two of tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Review: Cambridge Places - From Pubs to Cocktail Bars...

Continuing my celebration of all things Cambridge, I spent a lovely day on Saturday visiting some delightful drinking establishments with Best Friend Jess. Umbrellas at the ready, we braved the rain to drown our winter sorrows, check out some good pub food, and soak up the atmosphere (and cocktails) of a night out in Cambridge.

Ignoring the miserable weather outside, and determined that summer is on it's way, we kicked off proceedings with a couple of strawberry-laced summer cocktails and toasted a hard afternoon spent trying on wedding dresses (me) and holding back tears of happiness (Best Friend Jess). Obviously I can't give details in case The Boy is reading this but if any local brides are looking for a fabulous selection of designers and dresses with excellent customer service, they should give Mia Sposa on Homerton Street a call.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Event: Cambridgeshire Wine School Launch Night

As if a weekend trip to Sardinia to mark The Boy turning 30 wasn't enough of a celebration (blog to follow), I decided to take him along to a launch night that I'd been invited to by the founder of a new local wine school. Promising an evening of quality wines, sumptuous surroundings and sparkling conversation, I arranged to meet The Boy at Cambridge Market Square where we buzzed our way in through the door of the exclusive 12A Club, hidden away in the corner of the square behind an unassuming wooden door marked only by a couple of gold balloons. All very cloak and dagger, visiting the private members' club was a special experience from the outset. After a warm welcome from the owner of the club, we enjoyed exploring the decadent surroundings of the club whilst sipping a glass of Champagne. Nestled in the heart of the city, within buildings owned by the University, 12A Club is a delightful warren of rooms decorated and furnished by the perfect combination of traditional, luxurious, old boys' leather and sleek, modern lines and prints. The bar serves a fantastic selection of drinks and cocktails too - I can highly recommend their apple-based gin from Herefordshire, UK.

The launch of Cambridgeshire Wine School attracted quite a crowd, quickly filling the venue with local wine-lovers of all ages. I spotted some local foodies, wine bloggers, and local celebrity chef Alex Rushmer; all snapped by Cambridge photographer Jean Luc Benazet. Founder of the school, Mark Anstead, kicked off proceedings with a lovely warm welcome and then the fun began. To give us a little sneak preview of the school's wine tasting evenings and courses, Mark ran a blind wine tasting test of one red and one white wine. Asked various questions about the grape, flavours and qualities possessed by each wine, participants were tested on their ability to name the wine and it's origin - the last one standing winning some glorious wines from Noel Young. My white was a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (one of my favourites) and the red a Pinot Noir from, I believe, Chile (although there was some confusion about the definitive winner of this round!!). I think Mark definitely achieved what he set out to - we all had lots of fun and learnt something new about wine! Complementing the wines and plush setting were some delicious canapes prepared by Wild in the Pantry personal chef Frank Boddy. We enjoyed fresh and flavourful smoked salmon and quails egg blinis, courgette candles with red pepper houmous, and, my favourite, warm spiced apricot and butternut squash mini samosas. I was lucky enough to pop into the kitchen to meet Frank too. Warm and welcoming and clearly an expert in the kitchen, he's the perfect choice for adding a personal touch to your dinner party and getting your guests involved. Find out more about Frank's personal chef and cookery coach business here.   

The evening was a huge success and the Cambridgeshire Wine School looks set to be a popular and accessible provider of wine tasting courses and events. Held in the heart of Cambridge, at D'Arry's on King Street and the 12A Club on Market Hill, the tastings will range from evening events to 4-8 week long courses, from Champagne and Lunch tastings on Saturdays to Food and Wine matching and Corporate Events. Novices can take a tour of wines from all over the world and learn how to taste and identify different styles and varieties. Wannabe wine connoisseurs can enrol on longer term courses to explore particular regions, grapes, or food matching in more depth. Catering to all markets, the school will also offer weekend courses, private events, corporate and team building activities, and even gift vouchers. If you think you'd enjoy tasting some fabulous wines sourced from local suppliers and online retailers, with some expert advice and relaxing atmosphere, check out the school's website here.

A welcome addition to the Cambridge wine scene and a fabulous way to spend a Tuesday evening (and a 30th birthday according to The Boy!).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Fabulous Furniture!

I stumbled upon a fantastic new local interiors company at the Made It Market in Cambridge, back in November, and I am in love with their collection of antique, vintage and restyled furniture. Trumpington Interiors lovingly source, restore and restyle classic pieces of furniture in styles that will appeal to all furniture fashionistas, with an attractive price tag to boot!

Trumpington Interiors' Item of the Month, a beautiful and funky 1950s cocktail cabinet, is one of my absolute favourites:

I also loved this charming 1930s retro sideboard, which I saw in the flesh at the company's first exhibition but has now been sold (for just 165!):

The website is fab but I advise checking the gorgeous pieces out first hand - Trumpington Interiors' next exhibition is in February 2012 in Cambridge city centre (keep an eye on their website for more details!).

Enjoy! :-)