January & February Highlights

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A whirlwind start to the year that had me eating my way through London and Australia. I'll save the Aussie highlights for another post but in London news, these were my best bits: 

Dandelyan, Black Friars
Located in The Sea Containers and named number 1 in the world's 10 top bars, Dandelyan nails it at botanical bevvies and riverside views. Definitely one to add to your date/special occasion list. 



Wing Yip x Pippa Eats Supper Club 
I am going through an oriental phase at the moment and I'm obsessed with anything that is doused in soy sauce and requires chop sticks. To celebrate the year of the pig, Wing Yip and Pippa Middlehurst hosted a supper club to celebrate all things piggy. My absolute favourites of the evening were the dumplings and the twice cooked pork belly with bok choy, I can easily say it was the most delicious meal I had had in a long time. Mandarin hats off to Wing Yip and Pippa for a wonderful evening. 


Mamalan, Clapham 
Not to be confused with Matalan, this delicious little Beijing spot in Clapham might just be my new favourite place. You construct the bao buns yourself, so you can strategically place all of the salad in his and all of the pork in yours and then sip broth from little ladels. Literally my dream evening.


Breakfast Club, Clapham 
Eggs Benny on waffles, so wrong but so, so right. 


Byron Burgers, High Street Kensington
From Byron Bay to Byron Burgers. The original and much-loved B-Rex burger (Byron-osaurus Rex) has made a come back. Think beef patty, cheese, crispy bacon, a giant onion ring, jalapenos, pickles, BBQ sauce and mayo, all stacked perfectly between a squidgy bun. Bloody rawrsome if you ask me.


xxx

December Foodie Highlights

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Best month for food I say as nothing is off limits. Champagne with your bowl of Lindt balls for breakfast - Yep.  Pigs in blankets with a pint of Bailey's as a midnight snack - Yep. 

These were some of my best bits:

Temper, Covent Garden 
I found the most delicious little kebab things in all of Covent Garden. I don't eat lamb (because I'm Welsh) and not even I could resist this little parcel of deliciousness. Not Baad for a little Sunday spot.



Pastaio, Soho
A Pasta Christmas party is what I'm about, we had all of the olives, squidgy sourdough and bowls upon bowls of pasta. VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: They do prosecco slushies. Cheers to that. 



The Ship, Wandsworth 
ohh Ship Sundays you will be the death of me. No better way to end the week than with a hearty lunch and 10 bottles of wine. Pork belly you can get in my belly. 



The Optimist, Swansea 
Swansea is well and truly putting itself on the breakfast map, thank god for that. The Optimist is one of my favourites - Why? they melt cheese into the scrambled eggs. 



Christmas Dinner, Homeee
The meal I most look forward to all year. Who even likes turkey? but when you're drunk, sitting with your favourite people, wearing a paper hat and discussing pigs in blankets, who cares?



Currently 12 hours into Veganuary and I can't stop thinking about bacon sandwiches, it's going to be a long month...

xxx

November Foodie Highlights

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As soon as Halloween was over, all the weird eyeball sweets were binned and the mince pies and festive chocolates were brought out in their squillions. You know what they say, tis' the season to eat Quality Street sandwiches for breakfast.

These were my best foodie bits in November:

Hipchips, Soho
An evening of Prosecco, crisps and dip - don't mind if I do. I had a sneak peek of the new festive flavours for December at Hipchips in Soho featuring the salmon Bellini, turkey and stuffing and Christmas Pud, making the ultimate crispmas dinner. 


Dynamo, Putney 
All of my favourite things (the man included) wedged between toasted sourdough bread.


Tracklements
If you're a condiments kinda gal/guy then you're missing out if you don't smother your sausage sarnie in Tracklements. Favourites: The chilli jam and the mustard ketchup.



and look what I found! The teeniest little jars that will be in everyone's stockings from Santa. Because yes, everyone does want wholegrain mustard for Christmas. (I certainly do...) 
find them here 


Casa Brindisa, South Kensington 
As you may be aware, I live for arancini balls (or anything covered in breadcrumbs and fried) and these might just be the finest balls in all of Kensington. I would also highly recommend the prawns with garlic bread for dipping into the prawny, garlic butter. A double, garlic whammy that will give you all of the space on the tube the next morning because no one wants to stand next to you and your garlic breath.


Jacob the Angel, Covent Garden
People, I've found the best banana bread in London. When I went to Australia this year I became weirdly obsessed with Banana bread; the squidgy, door-stop kind that's warm and lathered in butter. I don't even like bananas, but bananas IN bread is quite possibly the best thing in the world. TIP: ask for the espresso butter.



Honest Burger, South Kensington 
Honestly, the best burgers and those rosemary fries are definitely worth the chip. 



Olso Hackney, Hackney
Gin-gle bells, gin-gle bells, gin-gle all the way. I popped over to Oslo Hackney for some festive bevvies and found myself a Winter Spritz, featuring gin, prosecco and gingerbread syrup. Move over basic bitches, there's a new gin-gerbread in town. And remember, Spritz are for life, not just for summer. 


Happy Season's Eatings

xxx

London's Best Pasta

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For me, there is nothing better than being with your favourite person and sharing bowls of pasta, wine and dunking thick, squidgy sourdough into olive oil and burrata. If that sounds like your dream, I've found just the places for you:

1. Bancone, Covent Garden
My new, favourite restaurant in London. I stumbled across this by chance and managed to get a table late one Saturday evening. The pasta was honestly out of this world and every dish we had was seasoned and cooked to perfection. My absolute favourite has to be the Cacio e pepe with spaghetti ‘alla chitarra’. OH.MY.HEAVEN. and it's only £8.50 a bowl. I'll take 850 pls. 


Please note that is a huge Parmesan crisp.

2. Padella, London Bridge 

I've been to Padella so many times and I have fallen a little more in love with it each time, I adore everything about it. Although you're usually sat next to a stranger (only on one side...) it's still so intimate and as for the food, the menu is fairly small but hugely delicious. If you want to make your date fall in love with you, take them to Padella. I think there must be something in the wine but every night I've had here has been very special. Or maybe it's just because it's Padella and it's BLOODY FANTASTIC.



3. Pastaio, Soho
A very fun, buzzy vibe in here and any where that serves prosecco slushies is going to be a winner in my eyes. I know I'm raving about pasta here and trust me, it's one to rave about but I will say one thing: fried mozzarella, nduja & honey sandwich. You're welcome. 



and look at that, I even spread them across the city for you. 

Carb Diem. 

xxx

Megan's Balham

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I can be a bit of a South West Hermit, especially on the weekend. I like to avoid getting the tube as much as I can so I'm all ears when it comes to new places opening up close to me, ESPECIALLY when it's dog friendly and instagrammable AF.


Say hello to Megan's in Balham, little sister to Megan's Fulham and Parsons Green, complete with a flower wall/ceiling (I'm sold), a menu with eggs aplenty (again, sold) and the loveliest staff to go with it. 

Here's what I recommend if you're heading there for dinner:

Drink;
The Chelsea Gardener Martini is the absolute dream tipple. Gin, Prosecco, elderflower, cucumber & mint - come to mumma.


Eat:
For dinner the Kebabs are an absolute must, if you go on a Wednesday you can get one with a glass of wine or beer for £15. They have open kebabs with hummus, pickles, imam bayildi & red cabbage on flatbread or deconstructed pan kebabs in a spicy tomato shakshouka with flatbread, the latter is superb, I opted for the chilli chicken with some added charred cauliflower. Bloody lovely. 


Why have ab's when you can have kebabs? 


If there is one piece of advice I can give you, it is to save some room for dessert because that cookie dough dish with a dollop of ice-cream on top is the best thing in the entire world. 


So now that I'm in love with Megan, who's joining me for brunch? They do a dish called shakshoumi (shakshouka with halloumi) and that's got my name all over it.



xxx

Lisbon Top Tips

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Ok, I understand the hype. This.City.Is.Amazing.

If you're heading to Lisbon to catch the last of the summer rays this is what I recommend.

To Eat:

Dear Breakfast
This is actually my idea of a dream brunch spot. Marble tables, pink menus, even pinker latte's and avocado galore. Imagine Grind, but better. 


 La Paparurcca 
Ok this isn't just the best steak I had in Lisbon, this is the best steak I've ever had. If there is one place I would recommend for dinner it would be here. It's a little bit pricey compared to  a lot of the other little restaurants around BUT it's bloody fantastic. 


Time Out Market 
Heaven for foodies and an absolute must. 


The Mill
Give me any city and I will sniff out the #avotoast. As much as custard tarts and all things white and crusty for breakfast is dreamy, sometimes a girl just needs a scrambled egg. 


To Drink:

Sky Bar 
If you're after something a bit more fancy, head to Sky Bar at the top of the Tivoli Hotel. This is where you will find the men with tight chinos, perfectly gelled quiffs and bottles of rose. Very cool place for a pre/post dinner tipple. 


Park Bar
This leafy joint is on top of a car park and the vibe here is a lot more casual and beardy.  Order a 2 litre jug of sparkling sangria and watch the sun set over Lisbon.


The Old Pharmacy 
Make a stop of here before you go for dinner, have a browse of the menu but it's worth telling them what flavours you like and they will match you with the best glass of wine. Kind of like Tinder, but way better. You had me at Merlot.


By The Wine
This was my favourite bar in Lisbon. Order by the glass so you can try a few, get a cheese board and stay for a while. 


To do:

Beach day
It's worth scooting out on the train for some beach time. Cascais is a good shout but I preferred Carcavelos Beach (mainly because they had a bar overlooking the beach with the best frozen daiquiris...) SOLD.



Castelo De S. Jorge
Get your comfy shoes on and be prepared to get a bead on walking up to Castelo De S. Jorge. It's got gorgeous views of Lisbon and that much walking definitely deserves several beers once you reach the top. Remember you've got to get down though...


Explore on foot
Lisbon is a perfect place to get lost. You can wonder down little streets and find the cutest cafes and wine bars, and by night the streets are bouncing with young'uns necking pints of beer and green cocktails, it's GREAT. 


To Sleep:

I would suggest staying in Rossio Square, I found it was so central and within walking distance to all the fun things. I stayed in The Lift Boutique Hotel and it was the perfect location.


Lisbon, you might just be my new favourite city. 

xxx

July Foodie Highlights

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Holy heat wave. 

Apart from gaining a beer belly from too many sunny days in the garden drinking beers, these were my July best bits:

Smoked and Uncut, Limewood 
It ain’t summer without plastic pints, portaloo’s and live music in a field. I had the best time at Smoked and Uncut festival at Limewood. Read about here all here.


Frida Kahlo Boozy Brunch, Leicester Square Kitchen
Ok boozy brunchers this is certainly one to watch. Forget eggs on toast, hello Mexican small plates and bottomless prosecco, all in favour of The Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition at The V&A this summer. Salud! 


Jamaica Street Stores, Bristol
No matter how hot it is, us Brits are always up for a roast. (the food kind and the sunburn kind…) Jamaica Street Stores in Bristol does a cracking pork roast and makes you leave wanting all of the hanging plants for your house. 


Hip Chips, Soho
Being a grown up can sometimes be shitty, except when it comes to choosing when YOU want to go to bed and choosing what YOU want for dinner, even if it is crisps, dip and prosecco. Hip Chips in Soho specialises in just that, which is my actual dream. You can choose from sweet or savoury crisps and accompanying dips (we did a mix of both) and they also introduce new dips every month to change it up, for August you will find Jamaican Jerk and Banana Mousse alongside all the classic ones. TIP: this would be an EXCELLENT place for a date. 


Dinerama, Shoreditch 
I visited London a couple of years ago and tried Yum Bun at Dinerama, now whenever I think of steamed buns I think back to that glorious moment. Very happy to be reunited with these delicious fluffy buns of joy. HIGHLY recommend the tofu and pork belly ones.


Black Lab Coffee, Clapham Common
Clapham, you have excelled in latte's and banana bread.


Roe & Co Whiskey
Add a couple of chunky ice cubes, a splash of ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime for a fiery tipple like no other. Slainte! 


Brompton Food Market, South Kensington 
The cutest little deli tucked away in South Kensington with an impressive salad selection and overpriced chutneys. SOLD. 


I'm off to Lisbon this month, pleaseee send me your recommendations on Instagram. I'm in search of the best wine bars and custard tarts!


xxx

Smoked and Uncut Festival

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For me, there is actually nothing better than a day of sunshine, good food, live music and a couple of ice cold bevvies. 


 Last weekend I headed into the rolling green fields of New Forest for the Smoked and Uncut festival in association with The Pig. This was the 3rd of 4 festivals and it was a corker. 


The weather was glorious and so we kept very hydrated... Starting with Hop House 13, a crisp lager that goes down too well in the sunshine. The Chase, a bloody fantastic cocktail by the guys at Chase Distillery, multiple G&T's and some sips of Roe & Co whiskey. Who says whiskey is for winter?! 


I also had a cheeky visit to the fancy glamping area for a taste of Roe & Co, they had a wicked lock in lined up for the very special few that chose to camp, leaving them with whiskey filled bellies and the very best Irish memories to take home with them.


Cheers to that.

There is still one date left of Smoked and Uncut on the 28th July at The Pig at Combe and honestly couldn't recommend it more! 

You can book your tickets here: www.smokedanduncut.com


xxx
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