Courtyard Deli, Falmouth

One of my favourite places when I went to Cornwall this year was the Courtyard Deli in Falmouth. A hidden gem, this gorgeous deli provided me with two of my favourite meals on holiday. (Who am I kidding, I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t amazing on holiday this year!). One was a lovely picnic, which I’ll discuss in a later post, and the other was a lovely tapas meal that we enjoyed on our final evening.
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The deli is off the main road in Falmouth, but is easy enough to spot thanks to this cool little sign. Once you turn up the narrow alleyway, you’ll be greeted by a pretty sight: IMG_3922

Inside, it’s just as beautiful, because there are shelves stacked with all manner of amazingly gorgeous foodstuffs. IMG_3923Check out those delicious bowls of juicy olives! I promise, I did not steal any of them… IMG_4978

The Deli does tapas three nights a week, and it was incredibly quiet when we went on the Friday night – so quiet we were the only ones there for most of the time. Usually, this would be a sign of bad food, but I am pleased to report that this was certainly not the case! They definitely deserve to have people knocking the door down to get in, so if you’re local to the area, make sure to plan a visit, you won’t be disappointed!

As my husband is a massive carnivore, we decided to start off with a meat sharing platter. To be honest, I thought this would be a little bit boring – I do love cured meats, but it’s very simple to make something like that yourself, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. So, I was pretty pleased when it arrived, and was utterly delicious! IMG_4974The potatoes were waxy and fresh, and the chorizo was a real standout – juicy, tender, salty and crisp. I’d never enjoyed chorizo as much as I enjoyed this simple, fried offering, and I’m a pretty big chorizo fan anyway! IMG_4982I also had some garlic prawns, because I made a pledge to myself I would eat seafood every day while in Cornwall. I love seafood but my husband hates it, so I never really get to eat it that often. Hooray for holidays! IMG_4983Om nom nom – this was halloumi cheese and strawberries – a weird combo that tasted oh so right! The salty, squeaky cheese went perfectly with the soft, sweet strawberries. I’ll have to try this at home! IMG_4967

We also had a pretty standard bread platter (although, no white bread? Strange…), and I enjoyed a deliciously sweet blush cider.

I would definitely recommend a visit to the Courtyard Deli – friendly staff, great food – what else do you need?! IMG_2078

How to theme your royal wedding party menu

Tea in a Meißen pink-rose teacup

Image via Wikipedia

When it comes to preparing your menu for your Kate and William wedding-watching party, I reckon there are a few themes you could employ to keep the nosh in the spirit of the day.

My personal choice is the English afternoon tea idea – you can’t get much more patriotic than cucumber sandwiches and scones. It’s also ideal for a buffet as it’s all finger food. Take inspiration from some of London’s great hotels which offer afternoon tea – you can read the Ritz’s menu here. I’m thinking smoked salmon sandwiches, fairy cakes (not cupcakes, fairy cakes are more English), and plenty of nice china. Oh, and doilies – I’ve already bought mine from eBay (to avoid the rush, dontchaknow).

A more alternative idea is to page homage to the location where the happy couple were engaged – Kenya! Unfortunately, it’s difficult to pin down Kenyan cuisine or get some of the staple ingredients, but a quick look online should help. You could try serving some exotic animals instead (there’s an online butcher here) – I’ve seen loads of episodes of Come Dine With Me recently where they’ve been chowing down on zebra, for some reason!

Perhaps you could try a menu composed of Will’s childhood favourites? Sadly, we have no idea what Kate Middleton enjoyed eating as a child (WHY NOT? Did no one THINK to ask her this vital question?) so this idea seems a little lopsided to me, but hey. I seriously doubt that cottage pie as most people know it will be gracing the banqueting tables (although I wouldn’t put it past a chef to try a ‘deconstructed’ version or some such nonsense), but it would make for a nice, easy hot buffet lunch. And pate and smoked salmon canapes – and champagne… I can do that!

You could always try to replicate some previous Royal weddings. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) enjoyed a meal of Consommé à la Windsor, Suprèmes de Saumon Reine Mary, Côtelettes d’Agneau Prince Albert, Chapons à la Strathmore, and Fraises Duchesse Elizabeth in 1923. In 1947 for the marriage of Prince Philip and our present Queen, diners enjoyed “Filet de Sole Mountbatten; Perdreau en Casserole, Haricots Verts, Pommes Noisette and Salade Royale; Bombe Glacee Princesse Elizabeth; Friandises; Dessert”. However, I’m not sure harking back to Will’s parents’ wedding would be in the best of taste, so best to avoid the dishes that appeared at their wedding breakfast in 1981: brill in lobster sauce, chicken breasts garnished with lamb mousse and strawberries with Cornish cream. Mind you, that last dish sounds pretty good…

Considering it’s, y’know, just another wedding (in the grand scheme of things, anyway), you could just serve your idea of fantasy wedding fayre. If you’re already married, maybe serve a few of the dishes you enjoyed on your big day. If you’re not married, maybe come up with some things you’d love to have for your wedding. Or just go with your classic wedding breakfast menu, which seems to be pate, soup or melon for starters, overcooked chicken breast in a mushroom sauce for your main, and something gooey and chocolatey for pudding (this is based on my memories of weddings past and looking through FAR too many brochures for my own wedding!) And don’t forget that wedding cake…

Finally, you could serve something based on the couple’s actual meal. No information is available about this yet, but there’s loads of speculation online. This is a particularly good article (and here) that details previous wedding menus and discusses some British produce that could be served – nab some ideas!

Ultimate Lost Party Menus

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a loyal Lostie since the show started. While I’m sure I’m not going to love the finale (so many unanswered questions!) I’m sure I’m going to have a blast watching it – because I’m planning my very own Lost finale party! When it comes to parties, there’s only one thing I care about, and that’s the food. So here’s my lowdown on the best menus for a Lost finale party, culled from the interwebs, and in places, my own imagination. I’ve got three ‘menus’ to choose from, although in reality they are just three lists – food inspired by the show, food from the show itself, and an extra special, cos I love ya low-fat/low calorie diet menu. Plus, as an extra special bonus, a list of drink ideas!

Menu from the show universe

  • Peanut butter (Charlie’s present to Claire – bonus points if it’s in a Dharma-labelled jar!)
  • Fish biscuits (from the Polar bear cages – as eaten by Sawyer and Kate) – recipe here.
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches (brought to Jack by Juliet when he was being held captive by Ben)
  • Muffins (cooked by Juliet for her book club)
  • Mr Cluck’s Chicken (fried chicken from Hurley’s fast food chain – use generic fast food fried chicken!)
  • Foraged fruits: mango, banana, passionfruit, guava, papaya, coconut, oranges (for Locke-smiles…). Serve them whole on a chopping board with a hunter’s knife for added drama and authenticity. Or, make them into a fruit salad like Hurley.
  • Hunted meat like boar (cop out and use pork! Roasted pork tenderloin, pork ribs, pulled pork… Mmm!), rabbit and chicken
  • Grilled fish, or sashimi ala Jin
  • Dharma-labelled food, easily created by printing out labels and sticking them on pre-existing packages. Some of the most famous Dharma food includes the aforementioned peanut butter, ranch composite (ranch dressing), Dharmalars (probably a version of Mallomars), and mac and cheese. Click here for an amazing array of Lost labels for your food!
  • Apollo bars (dark chocolate and nuts)
  • Alcohol salvaged from the plane in mini-bottles, or provided by Dharma, including beer, whiskey, rum, red and white wine.

Menu inspired by the show

Low-calorie Lost menu

Lost-inspired drinks

  • Tropical fruit juice
  • MacCutcheon whiskey (stick a fake label over a bottle of whiskey to create ultra-rare Lost whiskey!)
  • Wine from Moriah Vineyards, as made by Desmond the monk (as above)
  • Zombie (2 parts white rum, 1 part dark rum, 1 part golden rum, 2 parts lime juice, 1 part orange juice, 1 part pineapple juice, half part sugar syrup, ice, shaken in a mixer)
  • Pina Colada (1 part white rum, 2 parts coconut cream, 2 parts pineapple juice, shaken and strained)
  • Banana Daiquiri (2 parts white rum, 2 parts lime juice, dash triple sec, 1tsp sugar, crushed ice, 1 ripe banana, blended until smooth)
  • Mai Tai (1 part light rum, 1 part dark rum, 1 part Cointreau, dash Grenadine, tsp lime juice, 3 parts orange juice, 3 parts pineapple juice, shaken over ice and strained)
  • Blue Devil (3 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 tbsp maraschino, shaken over ice)
  • Blue Lagoon (3 parts vodka, 1 part blue Curacao, 3 parts pineapple juice, shaken over ice and strained)
  • Non-alcoholic fruit cup (2 parts orange juice, 2 parts grapefruit juice, 2 parts pineapple juice, 2 parts apple juice)

You can find some Lost-themed menus, ideas and resources at these sites:

Have fun! And, be sure to tell me what YOUR Lost party menu consisted of…

DISCLAIMER: I didn’t create any of the content linked to here, nor can I vouch for the reliability or deliciousness of any of the recipes, save Nigella’s awesome peanut butter fudge sauce… Click and make at your own risk!

Halloween: 17 days to go…

I’m getting so excited about Halloween! Is anyone else planning a party to celebrate the spookiest night of the year? I’d love to hear your plans – what are you going to cook? What are you going to wear?! Leave a comment and let me know… I’m dying of curiosity!

You might notice that, in the spirit of the event, I’ve added a handy new link to your left, which when clicked, will lead you to all my posts with the category ‘Halloween’, so if you want to find the Halloween marshmallow recipe, my pumpkin fondant tutorial or anything else to do with Halloween, you know where to find it! Throughout the year I’ll be changing this to reflect the seasons, the holidays, and my latest obsessions!

Purple buttercream and stars

This year, my menu is nowhere near organised… but I do know what my costume will be. Thanks to a quick shop in Primark, I will be an ’80s zombie, complete with acid yellow dress, purple tights, orange legwarmers and a heck of a lot of purple accessories. I am perfecting my moaning noises every morning whilst getting up, I assure you! And I have a magic lipstick that looks green but turns pink when you put it on. Now, how scary is that?

Pst – I’m totally honoured to have been featured in Indie Fixx’sHalloween Tutes from Around The Interwebs‘ – in the same list as Martha Stewart, no less! Watch out, Mazza…