Did you all watch the royal wedding at the weekend? When William and Kate got married we had a great party you can read about here, so I thought we’d do the same for Meghan and Harry!
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.
Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to the press launch of Wahaca in Southampton. Sometimes I need to pinch myself – I really am so grateful to every restaurant kind enough to throw open their doors for me to share their delights with you all!
In preparation for my upcoming holiday to Cornwall this year, I was going over my photos from last August and it occurred to me I’d missed the opportunity to share with you some of the fab places we visited. So, I decided to compile everything into a series of posts about my favourite foodie finds in Cornwall!
First up, naturally, is the first place we visited – Miss Peapod’s, which is in Penryn. This little beach cafe is a bit of a hidden treasure, and a hotspot with the locals, because when we visited, everyone seemed to know each other! Far from being intimidating, this gave the place a really friendly vibe – and I have to add for those with kids, this seemed really child friendly.
Miss Peapod’s is located on Jubilee Wharf, which means you get a great view of the boats from outside. You need to time your trip carefully, because food is only served on select days, but the menu should help you decide when to pop in!
The menu has definitely changed since we went last year, but I present you with these pictures of the gorgeous food we enjoyed, and a suggestion that you check them out for yourselves! In the end, we had a deli plate to share (which was a special), some nachos and a burger – all absolutely delicious!
Find Miss Peapod’s at Jubilee Wharf, Penryn, Cornwall, 01326 374424. The website is at http://www.misspeapod.co.uk.
I love me a fancy restaurant, and the last time I visited Brighton (way back in April), I decided to book a table at Graze, a place I’d heard some pretty good things about! Their lunch time tasting menu is actually really reasonable for a restaurant of their quality, so I was really excited to visit – and I wasn’t disappointed at all!
Before we even began on our starters, we were brought some delicious soup shots, and some bread with different kinds of butter (you guys know how much I love bread and butter!). This was a really nice touch, because the different flavoured butters really added a different dimension to this restaurant table staple. My favourite was the one flavoured with a hint of lemon.
Now, the menu above isn’t actually the one we picked from, as they had changed the starters and puddings and forgotten to swap the new menu in (we were the first customers of the day!). So, for my starter, I had pigeon salad, which was very nice indeed.
The salad and the peas were delicious, and the meat was smoky and gamey without being overpowering – and cooked to perfection!
The Mr. had a gorgeous wild garlic risotto, and loved every scrap of it – it was really tasty, and inspired me to try a similar dish when I got some wild garlic in my Riverford veg box (although it didn’t come out as bright green as this did!).
My main was the gorgeous braised pork belly, and it was velvety and delicious on its bed of celariac puree – I never thought of preparing celariac like this, but it was so smooth and creamy I might have to give it a try!
Totally unexpectedly, before our pudding we were treated to a palette cleanser!
For pudding, I had a really light and refreshing pineapple dish with Malibu ice-cream – the pineapple was cut so finely that it actually gave it a really interesting texture, much different to the usual chunky cut pineapple I usually eat.
The Mr. had a selection of ice creams and sorbets, which were all delicious, especially the ice cream – which I suspect was cardamom, but we never actually found out…
I was really surprised to be offered so many tasty and thoughtful extras with such a reasonably priced set menu, and I wasn’t disappointed by a single course. I came away feeling satisfied, but not full, and as though I had had a really excellent meal – sadly, not something you can say after every restaurant visit, especially not at this price…
Graze is currently taking bookings for their Christmas parties, and it looks as though the cheaper lunch tasting menu has been replaced with a more expensive dinner tasting menu, but you can also try their new British menu, or pop in for a Sunday roast!
Have you guys heard of Hello Fresh? They’re an amazing company that sends you boxes full of ingredients every week so you can make gourmet meals from scratch. Forget veggie boxes – this is where its at!
Hello Fresh have come up with a genius idea to take all of the stress out of that Christmas shop this year with their Christmas box! And, you can get £10 off with the code FOODFASHFIT, making it even more tempting! Inside the box are the ingredients you’ll need to put together a delicious meal for 4-6 people, or 8-10 people if you’ve got extended family coming over. It seems like they’ve literally thought of everything!
Included in the box are ingredients to prepare a prawn cocktail starter (my favourite!), plus turkey and all the trimmings, a Christmas pudding – and a cheeseboard! A cheeseboard! Now, that’s Christmas luxury! The food has been sourced from top quality providers, including sausages and bacon from Tom Hixson of Smithfield Market, a free range Copas turkey (which won a Great Taste award), and prawns from James Knight in Mayfair (who holds two Royal Warrants, if you please!).
The prawn cocktail starter is made using delicious tiger prawns, and for the main course there’s a whole host of goodies. For the 4-6 people option, you get a 2.5kg turkey breast, pop-up cooking timer (a Godsend!), cranberry sauce with rosemary, free range Goose fat, sage and onion stuffing with red onion, and gravy with cracked black pepper. You also get pigs in blankets, and a selection of veggies (including red cabbage, sprouts, carrots, and parsnips) to make side dishes like garlic and herb infused Brussels sprouts with toasted pine nuts (recipes included, of course)! Plus, there’s your good old fashioned spuds – which, trust me, will taste amazing with that goose fat! For pudding, there’s another Royal seal of approval from the Christmas pudding makers, Wilkin and Sons, which is accompanied by brandy butter – and you get some mince pies, too.
And, finally, that gourmet cheese board with creamy Wenslydale with cranberries, reblochon, and red Leicester, plus, a variety of crackers.
What, you thought that was it? Nope! This is Christmas, people – time to really push the boat out! You also get some treats to round everything off with – Joe and Steph’s mince pie popcorn, candy canes, Prestat choccies, and table crackers!
I’d say that with all of that, Christmas is pretty much sorted! The Christmas box for 8-10 contains the same products in larger quantities (for example, a whole 5kg Copas turkey instead of a turkey breast). They’re even going to pop in some ideas for the leftovers, too.
The Christmas box costs £155 for 4-6, or £225 for 8-10. But, don’t forget my FOODFASHFIT code, which brings it down by a tenner! You already save up to 35% on the RRP of these items with these economical boxes, and with £10 off, those savings jump even more.
I’ll be testing out a Hello Fresh box or two in the upcoming weeks, so look out for that – and make sure to use that FOODFASHFIT code if you order – its valid on any boxes, even the non-Christmas ones!
I have to say, I’m a huge stickler for anything ‘British’. I’m a definite patriot, and there’s nothing more I love to do than indulge in quintessentially British experiences, like cream teas, picnics, visiting castles, and the like. I’m like a tourist in my own country, sometimes!
One of my favourite foodie places in London is Fortnum and Mason. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s like a foodie department store in Piccadilly, full to the brim with tourist-trap style products like biscuits in a tin, and the like. Because it has links going way back to the Royal family, and has a Royal warrant, the place is completely decked out to celebrate the Jubilee this year, with commemorative merchandise all over the place, including tea caddies, biscuit tins, and china. It’s the final day of February as I write this, and I’ve just realised I’ve been to F&M twice this year already – time to cut back and give another foodie destination a try, right?
Anyway, here’s a snap of the window display, featuring the aforementioned Jubilee products, all decked out in F&M blue (also pretty similar to Tiffany blue, am I right? Gotta love that hue!). I am coveting the tea cup and saucer set, but let’s just say they’re a bit beyond my price range…
Here’s a view down the staircase of the beautiful heraldic animals on display in the shop at the moment. There was also a really cool display of crafts from people who the queen had given grants too, including a couple of beautiful displays of millinery.
Do you see the detailing on these food-inspired hats? Gorgeous! I’m in the market for a hat for Ascot this year, but sadly – out of my price range again!
The real reason for my visit was to go to The Parlour with my husband. I’d been last year for my birthday, but it was a girls’ weekend and he stayed at home. Always good to have another reason to go back, right?
If this isn’t reason enough to go back, I don’t know what is! This is their banoffee ‘cocktail ice cream sundae’, which is listed in their menu as “sliced banana, drizzled with Coole Swan Irish Cream liqueur, scoops of smooth banana, toffee and Amedei chocolate ice creams, whipped cream, toffee sauce and with malt”. Delicious, is all I can say!
I also had tea, mostly because I just love their teapots. I actually found one on sale there this time – I’ll be buying extra lottery tickets so I can get one for the kitchen, I think… Hey, silver goes with everything, it’s an investment.
Needless to say, this was not a ‘fitness’ trip – although, the scales today say that eating a giant ice cream sundae, drinking a vanilla bean milkshake, plus downing coffees all day, snaffling a macaroon in a cafe, demolishing a bento box from the Japan Centre, and having okonomiyaki for lunch at Hyper Japan (and following it up with chocolate covered strawberries) had no ill effects. Well, it helps that I’ve been exercising like a fiend I suppose!