Ten Top Treats in Marseille: Unmissable Food In Provence

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When it comes to France, my joy is sparked not by the grand avenues of Paris, dainty treats from the patisserie, or high fashion shopping, but from the rough and ready parts – bold flavours, cold seaside towns, grimy newsagents, supermarket shelves and farmers markets. My favourite French towns and cities will never make it into Vogue, but they provide the kind of experience I crave – real life, real people, real food. A few years ago, my husband and I visited Marseille, completely unaware of its seedy reputation, and discovered a beautiful, underappreciated gem of a city, complete with a rich tradition of gorgeous Provencial food and culture that I fell in love with. Continue reading

Instagram Food Photography Tips: A Quick Guide to Taking Snaps In Restaurants

Last month I was invited to host an Instagram photography class at KuPP in Westquay, as part of the Westquay Food Festival (to find out more about the activities, download the Westquay PLUS app, which has all the info you need about what’s coming up). While I don’t claim to be an expert in photography, I have been working in media for more than ten years, and have had my photos reprinted in books and magazines during that time – and I’ve definitely picked up some great tips along the way! Continue reading

A Sip of Summer: Round-Up

I’ve been very lucky to get some great summer tipples through the post recently, so I thought I’d share them with you in a round-up post about my favourite summer drinks right now!

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Cabana Night Out: Voices of the Amazon and Cabana Islington

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Last week, I was invited to experience a Cabana Night Out – an evening of entertainment, food and fun, kicked off at Cabana Islington, before heading off to the nearby Sadler’s Wells theatre to watch their new dance extravaganza, Voices of the Amazon. Continue reading

Treat Yourself 4th July Style!

Every year I get more and more press releases about Thanksgiving and 4th July – which I love, because I’m a foodie hipster and I was into this before it was cool (do you have that on record?). This year, I was asked if I’d like to try some Post cereals, and of course, I said yes, because if there’s one thing Americans know how to do, it’s add sugar to stuff that’s already sweet, and make it even more awesome that it already is.

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Yes, I love healthy breakfasts, avocado on toast, granola, poached eggs, etc, but you know, sometimes you just want a bowl of cereal and milk, simple, sweet and delicious. Bleary eyed and morning-breathed, hunched on the sofa and counting down the minutes to work, or bleary eyed and tousled-haired, hunched over the sink eating a midnight snack, a bowl of cereal is always a tasty treat. But I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here. Of course, if you portion it right, cereal is actually a low-cal option, as both the cereals I was sent were around 120 calories a serving…

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Go Beyond Tonic for World Gin Day: Elephant Gin and Two Simple Summer Cocktails

I was recently sent a bottle of Elephant Gin to try, and as it’s World Gin Day I thought I’d share some  simple summer cocktail recipes that you can knock together easily and with a minimum of fuss. These are both so classic, and they’re simple and delicious, so it’s worth making them part of your repetoire!

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EatStreet at Festival Place, Basingstoke

This weekend, Basingstoke’s shopping centre, Festival Place, turned into a celebration of international flavours thanks to EatStreet, an event dedicated to showcasing cuisines from around the world, and offering free samples from the restaurants from the centre. Free samples, demos… yes please!


The star of the show was Levi Roots – restauranteur, inventor, inspirational speaker, and musician, who is a passionate spokesman for Caribbean cuisine. Bringing his charm and cool to the stage, he demonstrated a variety of recipes including home style jerk chicken wings, hot and fruity Caribbean fruit slaw and Martinique coconut chicken curry, all the while regaling the crowd with stories and insights into the rich culinary heritage of the islands.

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Hunter 486 at The Arch

Nestled in a quiet residential area just off the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street lies The Arch, a 82 room, five star hotel situated in a Grade 2 listed building. When Madonna lives over the road, you know you’re in good company! Seven town houses have been combined to create this gorgeous boutique hotel with a chilled out vibe, incredible art, and a child- and dog-friendly policy. You can’t ask better than that! (I’m holding out for a reservation…)

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Itsu Gyozas: A Taste of Japan At Home

I’m a massive fan of gyozas, so much so that I own three gyozas presses, have written my own published recipes for them, and have spent an excruciating five minutes in a ramen joint in Tokyo trying to work out how to pronounce the word properly so I could order some from the waitress (disclaimer: I still don’t know. But I just pointed in the end!).

Although gyozas aren’t exactly the mysterious food item for UK consumers that they used to be ten years ago, you’d still be hard-pressed to find any ready-made in supermarkets outside of Asian speciality stores. That’s why I was so excited when I found out that Itsu were launching their own cook at home gyozas, ready frozen and available in Tesco and Waitrose in three flavours:  Vegetable Fusion, King Prawn and Sesame Tuna. The packets cost £3.50 per pack and contain 20 dumplings, and dipping sauce.

Itsu Gyoza packet

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Top Tipples: Pinkster Gin

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It’s rapidly heading into gin and tonic season (she says, as though gin and tonic wasn’t an all-year-round drink…), so I’ve been doing my research to discover the best gins, the best tonics, and some great gin-based cocktail recipes, all so I can share them with you. Now, isn’t that generous of me?! Continue reading