Friday Photo: Antipasti Platter at Il Vesuvio, Tunbridge Wells

Look at this platter. What a pile of Italian delights. At Il Vesuvio in Tunbridge Wells they claim to be ‘a corner of Southern Italy in the Garden of England’. I’d have to agree. The atmosphere is as warm as you’d hope for a place named after a smoking Neapolitan volcano. Nothing is too much…

Friday Photo – A Misty Dordogne

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time organising my photo stock. It’s one task I find addictive, taking me back in time to great meals, interesting trips, quality time spent with my favourite folk, watching my daughter’s development, trying to capture those moments when the simple beauty in nature leaves me (and my lens)…

Brazilians in Brixton: an evening at Carioca

It’s sweltering. I’m dripping, not in a good way. And thanks to the well-meaning directions of a Brixtonian or two, I end up at the wrong end of Coldharbour Lane. This is not good. Anyone who knows the length of Coldharbour Lane will attest to that. It’s so long that I’ve almost ended up in…

Celebrating Sakura at Sake no Hana

The cherry blossom or sakura is much revered in Japan. Each spring, as the pretty pink flowers engulf cherry trees throughout the Japanese islands, the evening news includes a blossom report, tagging the towns and cities where the blossoms have appeared, until the entire map of Japan, from Okinawa in the south to Hokkaido in the far…

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

This is a post specifically for a couple of wanderlusting pals who are about to set off to France for a deserved break. On their itinerary is  Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, capital of the marshy region called the Camargue. Driving south on the D570 from Arles, the land is flat and green. As hotels begin to punctuate the…

Chinese New Year at Hakkasan

Rose Petal Martini The Year of the Sheep is already blooming for me. Not only have I devoured a ten-course New Year’s menu at Hakkasan Group’s HKK in the City, I have also been spoiled with another multi-course extravaganza at Hakkasan’s flagship restaurant in Hanway Place. Even better, we were there for Chinese New Year’s…

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Celebrating the Year of the Sheep at HKK, PART II

Jasmine tea smoked poussin Moving on from the previous five courses in our ten course culinary tour of China at HKK, we would now try jasmine tea smoked poussin. The Anhui area, located inland from Shanghai, is known for its tea and wild herbs, both of which were incorporated into this recipe, along with more black truffle, creating a…

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Celebrating the Year of the Sheep at HKK, PART I

Raise the red lantern, for it’s nearly time to welcome in the Chinese New Year. February 19 will see the dawn of the Year of the Sheep, an animal known in China for being calm and kind, qualities attributed to people born under this sign. At London restaurant HKK, part of the Hakkasan stable, Head Chef Tong…

Coppinger Row, Dublin

Guinness. Potatoes. Oysters. If asked to name three things that come immediately to mind on thinking of Irish food, those would be the ones popping up in my head. It’s embarrassingly simplistic, when I consider the broader picture – of the various other healthy and delicious edibles produced by The Emerald Isle. Take Dublin’s Coppinger Row, for…

Nossy Be, La Baule

Following a rough pregnancy and even rougher ‘special delivery’ of our small person this summer, I seriously doubted I was up for a trip to France. Two months into parenthood, still feeling battered and bloated and somewhat embarrassed to be seen in public, I somehow lost the family holiday debate to the ever-persuasive Monsieur and…

Hotel La Coupe d’Or, Lisieux

Monsieur, the Crevette and I were driving south through Normandy when Lisieux, the pilgrimage town where Sainte Thérèse of Lisieux lived, popped up before us, just in time for lunch. We had a pleasant arrival in the small, sloped town, circumnavigating pretty roundabouts, one with a giant Norman apple as its centrepiece, and being the…

Chez Bruce

On a recent Sunday, as the sun cast a gentle glow over the lazy autumn day, a group of us walked to Chez Bruce, the Michelin-starred restaurant on Bellevue Road by London’s lush Wandsworth Common. Now that we’re domiciled in the Sarf London ‘hood, it was time to check out this south-western stalwart of the cuisine scene, established in 1995 by the restaurant’s namesake, Bruce Poole,…