Showing posts with label foodie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foodie. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Review: A visit to Fudge Kitchen, Cambridge

Fudge Kitchen, Cambridge

I was a regular visitor to Fudge Kitchen on King's Parade in Cambridge during my student days - mainly for a quick sugar fix between lectures or to share the unique and delicious fudge experience with guests to the city - but had neglected it somewhat over the last couple of years. A few weekends ago I popped into the shop with some friends from London and wowed them with the many flavours of fudge and knowledgeable and friendly staff. The brief visit definitely consolidated my love of the confectioner, so when Fudge Kitchen HQ asked me to sample some fudge and write a review of my experience I jumped at the chance...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Review: Cambridge Places: Dinner at d'Arry's Cookhouse & Wine Shop

I've just spent a delightful, yet very wet, weekend entertaining some lovely London friends and showing them the famous sights and foodie hotspots of Cambridge. Seeing my home city through the eyes of a tourist reminded me of many of my favourite places, old and new, and I loved sharing them with the gorgeous and fun Mr and Mrs C. Making time for a long, leisurely dinner at one of Cambridge's finest eateries was high on our to-do list so we ended a fun afternoon of Olympic Torch Relay celebrations with a visit to d'Arry's Cookhouse and Wine Shop on King Street...

Whetting the appetite with bread and olives

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Recipe: North African Pork & Lentil Curry

Determined not to waste (or, more likely, nibble on every time I open the fridge) some delicious slow-roasted pork belly, I knocked up a little leftovers recipe on Monday evening. It was the perfect start to a long week and made great use of some great quality meat. 

I love improvising in the kitchen and usually take inspiration from combinations of ingredients in a handful of favourite recipes. My inspiration for Monday's quick supper was from a North African chicken tagine recipe. I decided to use the sweet and spicy flavours with a tomato-based sauce to liven up my leftover pork belly; served on some cous cous with a good hit of red chili, the dish really hit the spot. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Review: Cambridge Places: Going Local

Last weekend The Boy and I finally found ourselves spending some much-needed time at home. So we took the opportunity to enjoy the best sunny Cambridge had to offer. The ever-beautiful city positively gleams and glistens in the sunshine, buzzing with tourists, shoppers and students; boats bobbing on the river and sunbathers in the parks creating a laid-back holiday atmosphere. I was a little over-excited by the prospect of the first weekend of proper sunshine in Cambridge coinciding with my first visit to the annual Cambridge Beer Festival, the 39th to be held in the city. So much so that The Boy and I were keenly joining the queue on Jesus Green as close to 5pm on Friday evening as the pesky Day Jobs would allow.  

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Review: Rodells, Watford - World food and laid-back drinking

I'm always excited to be given the opportunity to review a restaurant located outside of Cambridge, especially when it turns out to be an unexpected foodie haven like Rodells in Watford, Hertfordshire. Rocking up to an unassuming shop front nestling surreptitiously at the corner of a rather unattractive crossroads close to Watford Junction station and then discovering that a small but perfectly formed bijou wine bar with a fascinating food menu lies within is a food blogger's ideal Friday night....

The dining room at Rodells, Watford

Monday, 21 May 2012

Exploring Foodie France: Saint-Valery-sur-Somme

I spent the May Bank Holiday weekend in the beautiful town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme in the north of France; a fabulous foodie weekend which marked the start of an exciting few months of gastronomic adventures through France, my absolute favourite destination for food and wine. I'm lucky enough to have trips to Paris, Lyon, Carcassonne, and Marseille lined up for this summer, followed by a quick visit to the gorgeous Dordogne region in September. Enjoy the first instalment of Exploring Foodie France and keep an eye on the blog for lots more to come!...

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Review: Cambridge Places: Supper at The First and Last

Finally, after harping on for weeks about how much I love The First and Last in Cambridge, I have found the time to have dinner at the great city centre pub and write about it! Hoorah! The perfect antidote to a long, hard day at the office, the food on offer was varied, interesting, and absolutely perfectly cooked. The generous portions and ingenious combinations of flavours and textures took us by surprise, especially considering the prices, and we gleefully worked our way through some delicious wines by the glass to complement each course.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Restaurant Review: La Ferté, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme (France)


The Boy and I spent a lovely weekend in France with Ma and Pa to celebrate our 30th birthdays and were lucky enough to be treated to a fabulous celebratory dinner at new restaurant, La Ferté, in the beautiful little village of St-Valery-sur-Somme. The charming holiday spot on the Picardie coast sits at the mouth of the river Somme, with impressive views across the Baie de Somme that change with the rapid tides, and plenty of Medieval character and friendly little shops and eateries to explore.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Foodie Fun on the Suffolk Coast


I enjoyed another fabulous few days at the Suffolk seaside last weekend when The Boy and I took Ma and Pa to visit our Very Special and Exciting Wedding Venue!! We celebrated the paying of the deposit and setting of the wedding date by sampling the incredibly good value three-course lunch menu at Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club near Aldeburgh.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Foodie Treats at The In-Laws

Chocolate Treats!

Last weekend it struck me that I may have chosen my future husband based almost entirely on his and his family's love of good food and wine. The Boy and I spent another very enjoyable weekend tucking into foodie treats at The In-Laws'. The highlight of my Easter break was sampling course after course of home-cooked meals, washed down with plenty of Champagne. As well as Easter, always a good excuse to eat lots of yummy dinners followed by copious amounts of chocolate, we had three birthdays in the family to celebrate. The Mother-in-Law served up some delicious celebratory dishes, interspersed with bouts of piano playing, trips to The Allotment to work up an appetite for the next feast, and after-dinner dancing in the garden lit by The Father-in-Law's new parasol heaters and roaring Chiminea!

Friday, 6 April 2012

A weekend of cobbles, cappuccinos and carpaccio

The City of Alghero, Sardinia
This time last Friday The Boy and I were on an early morning flight from Stansted to Alghero for a weekend of sunshine, relaxation and some amazing food and wine. I was feeling very proud of myself, having kept the weekend a secret for weeks and The Boy was relieved that this surprise weekend away for his 30th birthday didn't involve a spa or any kind of manufactured fun!! Having visited Alghero five or six times before, I was excited to revisit some favourite bars and restaurants, as well as the gorgeous sandy beach and city harbour. Quite a stylish destination on the north-west coast of Sardinia, Alghero is an intriguing little city providing the opportunity to explore the quaint, traditional old city hidden beneath huge bastion walls whilst enjoying the buzzing cosmopolitan local areas, modern eateries, exclusive yacht moorings, and beautiful golden beaches and crystal clear waters.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Recipe: Sweet Potato & Thai Coconut Soup

I'm on my third week of making soup for packed lunches and I'm still loving it. My latest batch, of Sweet Potato and Thai Coconut Soup with cashew nuts, really hits the spot. Thai curry is one of my favourite flavours and the sweet potato makes this soup delightfully filling and satisfying. It's easy to make and you can re-heat it without affecting the quality too. 

Here's what you need: 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1 onion, chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons Thai curry paste - I use red from Mae Ploy (it's quite feisty!) 
1 litre vegetable stock 
100 - 150ml reduced-fat coconut milk 
750g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 
Handful cashew nuts
Creme fraiche or extra coconut milk, to serve 
What you do:

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Fry gently for 4 - 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste (note: if using good quality thai paste, 1 teaspoon will be plenty). Cook for 1 more minute until fragrant.

2. Add the sweet potato and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the potato is tender (about 10 - 15 minutes). 

3. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the coconut milk and season well. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then whizz in the blender until smooth.

4. Serve with a dollop or swirl of creme fraiche or coconut milk and a handful of crushed cashew nuts.

Delicious!! Enjoy :-)

Next week: I want to try something new!! Ideas please...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Another trip to the seaside!

The Boy and I jetted off to the coast again last weekend on the hunt for our perfect seaside wedding venue. This time we picked the gorgeous Heritage Coast of our neighbouring county of Suffolk. Even though the weather wasn't as dazzling as it was for our trip to Cornwall, the short two hour journey to the Suffolk coast made a big difference to our moods compared to the seven hour hell we embarked on a few weekends earlier!

Thorpeness Meare - the boating lake

We know the beaches and heaths of Suffolk well. The Boy holidayed there for years with his family and we've had some great times revisiting his childhood holiday spots together and discovering some little gems of our own. The quaint and quirky holiday village Thorpeness was our first stop. Just a couple of miles from the popular town of Aldeburgh, the tiny village retains the 1930s charm of the resort created by the Ogilvie family for English tourists to enjoy traditional pursuits on their summer holidays. Much of the architecture is resonant of small town America, with some quintessential English touches like the boating lake and brightly coloured beach houses. The village looks out to the north sea, over a wide sweeping beach of pebbles, with amazing views along the coast in both directions. When the sun is out, the neat black and white timber buildings of Thorpeness nestle quietly (almost eerily so) in between huge blue skies and glittering turquoise waters.

The House in the Clouds
For such a popular strip of coastline and considering it's proximity to resorts such as Aldeburgh and Southwold, which have become increasingly overrun by upmarket yacht clubs and exclusive holiday homes, Thorpeness has remained a unique and fairly unspoilt haven of good old fashioned fun. Home to a friendly and welcoming hotel, golf club and country club, as well as a good selection of Bed and Breakfast and holiday accommodation, the village also has a cute refreshments kiosk and boat house, a good foodie pub, and a no-frills bar and restaurant serving fish and chips alongside an antiques and bric-a-brac emporium! It's all delightfully intriguing.

The Country Club
We had a fabulous time. We put wellies on and walked along the beach in the wind and rain. We ate burgers and nachos at The Beach House, looking out on the meare and watching the landlady chalk up the specials board and sports TV listings for the day. We drove along deserted heath roads and lanes bordered by the unmistakeable Suffolk gorse bushes with their little specks of gold flowers. We drank refreshing Aspall cider and lazed around in our cosy guest house, which had been completely renovated last year, when the owner salvaged some lovely original Victorian features... to use as planters in the garden!

Best of all, we found the perfect church and reception venue for our special seaside wedding next summer and we're now busy planning all the delightful little details! I'll keep you posted :-)

Enjoy the sunshine! 

Aspall at the Engineers Arms, Leiston
Home from Home, Leiston