Learning to bake koláčes and the perfect drink pairing with Budweiser Budvar!

On a rainy midweek evening, what better way to cheer your spirits up than with … proper Czech lager and koláčes.

Koláčes are traditional Czech delicacies that are a cross between pastries and the comforting inner hug you get from a donut – and we learnt that they are the trendiest thing around to be munching on anytime of the day!

The guys from Budvar brought over from South Bohemia, Czech Republic the best koláčes baker they had found to show us how it should be made (tab through the pics and watch the video – or head to our Instagram page).

 

We also learnt that the honey notes of this original, traditionally made, Czech lager  complements the fruity flavours and spiced notes of all of the koláčes we had the pleasure of sampling that evening.

You can find a comprehensive koláčes recipe from Budvar, courtesy of About Time Magazine (one of our favourite magazines):

https://www.abouttimemagazine.co.uk/food/about-time-kolace-recipe-budweiser-budvar/

Go and bake some to find out what we are all raving about, and then settle down with a Budvar in hand to get that true Czech experience. A perfect pick-me up for these autumnal evenings!

Twitter: @untoldagency #czechbakeoff #koláčes @budvaruk

#budvar #noshortcuts #czech #lager #drinkpairing #UntoldStories @abouttimemag 

Thank you to the lovely Amy from Untold Agency for inviting us, great seeing fellow bloggers at the event, Theo and Rob from Budvar for enabling us to have a better understanding about original Czech lager/ beer, Simon for hosting us in his fab house in Maida Hill, and last but definitely not least the warm and enthusiastic chef Ria.

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Posted in Amy Franklin PR, Baking events, Budweiser Budvar, Cakes, Czech, Drinks, London, Untold Agency | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Instant no cook satay sauce ft Lee Kum Kee, PipandNut+a secret ingredient

So it’s scenario I think we can all relate to. You’re back from holiday, you’re hungry, there’s nothing in the fridge and you’re too tired to go shopping. Previously I might have got a dirrrty Maccy D’s (other fast food outlets are available) but I’m better than that now. I’m also too broke to get a classier takeaway (did I mention I’ve just been on holiday?!) So I hoick some dry roast chicken out of the freezer and stare at it sadly. What I really want are chicken satay noodles but I also really don’t want to cook. Then inspiration hits me. What I had was (this sentence always make me think of MacGyver. For younger readers, he was the eponymous hero of an 80s TV show where, in order to defeat the bad guys, he would routinely have to construct a nuclear reactor out of bits of cardboard that were lying around wherever he happened to be trapped. Luckily he was a scientist so he could do this. He would start his voiceover with “What I had was”, list the bits of tat, and then explain how to make a nuclear reactor in 5 easy steps. I am a bit less unquestioning of this than I would be as a child. I digress.) Lee Kum Kee chilli oil and Pip and Nut squeeze packs.

https://twitter.com/search?q=chiarapinto%2C%20leekumkeeeurope&src=typd&lang=en

 

I scoop the nut butter into a bowl, add a spoonful of the chilli oil which already has garlic and soy sauce in it and thin it down to the required consistency using… hot water from the kettle (yes secret 3rd ingredient!). I then hurl in chicken and instant noodles. Washing up=1 bowl. Cooking=zero.

https://twitter.com/search?q=chiarapinto%2C%20leekumkeeeurope&src=typd&lang=en

 

 

Twitter: @LeeKumKeeEurope @pipandnut #LeeKumKee #LeeKumKeeEurope #LeeKumKeeSauces #recipes

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Tacu Tacu Latin American in Hackney

Posted in chocolate, cocktails, Hackney, Latin American, London, seafood, Tacu Tacu, Tacu Tacu Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK RumFest 2017 is this weekend & win tickets for this weekend!

Rum parties are the best fun …

 

 

& great meeting likeminded people too…

 

So enter to win tickets for Sunday …

[Image courtesy of: UK RumFest 2017 and Domino Communications. All rights reserved.]

 

Win a pair of tickets to UK Rumfest 2017 on Sunday 15th October, 2017 at Earls Court :

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Enter once a day via our Rafflecopter giveaway to win a pair of tickets to the Sunday session of UK Rumfest 2017.

Competition closes: 11th October, 2017 at midnight (12am) London GMT

Twitter: @UKRumfest #goantolondon #goantolondoncompetitions @goantolondon #London #EarlsCourt

Instagram: @goantolondon #UKRumFest #2017 #goantolondon #goantolondoncompetitions #London #EarlsCourt

 

Event Website:

http://rumfest.co.uk/

 

Location info:

Event UK RumFest 2017
Venue ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD
Date Sun 15 Oct 2017, 12:00PM – 5:00PM
Section Sunday 15th October
Posted in Domino Communications UK | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Have you entered yet… Win a pair of tickets to UK Rum Fest 2017

[Image courtesy of: UK RumFest 2017 and Domino Communications. All rights reserved.]

 

Win a pair of tickets to UK Rumfest 2017 on Sunday 15th October, 2017 at Earls Court :

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Enter once a day via our Rafflecopter giveaway to win a pair of tickets to the Sunday session of UK Rumfest 2017.

Competition closes: 11th October, 2017 at midnight (12am) London GMT

Twitter: @UKRumfest #goantolondon #goantolondoncompetitions @goantolondon #London #EarlsCourt

Instagram: @goantolondon #UKRumFest #2017 #goantolondon #goantolondoncompetitions #London #EarlsCourt

 

Event Website:

http://rumfest.co.uk/

 

Location info:

 https://twitter.com/UKRumfest?lang=en
Event UK RumFest 2017
Venue ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD
Date Sun 15 Oct 2017, 12:00PM – 5:00PM
Section Sunday 15th October
Posted in 2017 - UK RumFest 2017, Competitions, Domino Communications UK, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feast in the Moat – BBC Good Food Show at Tower of London

At the end a rainy week, we were looking forward to the forecasted brighter weekend weather and visiting the Feast in the Moat at the Tower of London – one of our favourite, iconic landmarks in London.

 

A few bits that would have made it a more enjoyable experience at Feast in the Moat, after we enjoyed watching Chef Tom Kerridge in action in the Chef’s Theatre, would have been better signposting to the food festival from public transport locations. It had been raining previously so the ground was very soggy, some walkways to lift people out of the mud would have been very useful. However, generally, we enjoyed our foodie explorations on this sunny Saturday afternoon.

There was a huge selection of producers around, and as we trudged around in the squelchy moat, we found our favourites: coffee from Chapter Coffee; gluten-free macaroons and salted caramel brownies from Proper Patisserie; diary treats from Arla; and awesome flavoured marshmallows from Happy Mallows including salted caramel, cinnamon churros and cocky coffee which was like an espresso hit followed by a sugar high!

Twitter: @bbcgoodfoodshow @fourcomms #FeastInTheMoat @ProperBlas @happymallows @chaptercoffee @arlaskyr @ChefTomKerridge

@RiverStEvents @TowerOfLondon @HRP_palaces

 

Thank you to the Four Comms team for organising our Press pass tickets with the River Street Events team.

 

 

Posted in Bermondsey, cinnamon, Coffee, Feast in the Moat, Four Comms, London, London Bridge, menus and prices, Modern British | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Win a pair of tickets to BBC Good Food Show – Feast in the Moat, Tower of London : 22nd to 24th September, 2017 – and the winner is ….

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Enter once a day via our Rafflecopter giveaway to win a pair of tickets to the BBC Good Food Show this weekend at Tower of London.

Competition closes: 18th September, 2017 at midnight (12am) London GMT

Twitter: @BBCGoodFoodShow @fourcomms @TowerOfLondon #FeastInTheMoat

#goantolondon #goantolondoncompetitions @goantolondon #London #Tower of London

Instagram: @goantolondon @bbcgoodfoodshow #fourcomms @tower_of_london

 

… And the winner is : Claire @teal50

Congratulations Claire and have fun at BBC Good Food Show!!!

Posted in 2017 - The BBC Good Food Show, BBC Good Food Show, Competitions, England, Four Comms, London, Modern British | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four To Eight, tucked away in Covent Garden

We went to Four to Eight, a modern Italian, in Covent Garden to try out their new brunch menu.

We kicked things off with cocktails, I went for the Blood Orange Margarita, which was actually a lot sweeter than I was expecting, I would have preferred it to be a bit sharper. J chose Connection, which was along the lines of the super strength cocktails he prefers such as an Old Fashioned.

 

For starters we chose from the small plates. J picked the crab scotch egg which was enormous! It came looking very dramatic on a red pepper sauce against a black plate. We really enjoyed the spiciness of the sauce against the sweetness of the crab. My starter was Tuscan sausage with cannellini beans and an egg; unfortunately, I found the sausage to be a bit too salty for my taste.

 

For mains we both chose big cuts of meat, I picked the rib eye which was very flavoursome and J chose the veal entrecote which was a veal chop. You need to order sides with these, we opted for heritage tomato salad and fries (you have to with steak it’s the law!). We were very full after these, it would be nice to have some lighter options on the big plates for brunch, such as chicken or fish.

 

But not enough to stop us having dessert and dessert cocktails, I had the tiramisu martini, which was a dreamy combination of all my favourite things in a glass, and J had a classic espresso martini.

 

For actual desserts, I chose the dulche de leche cheesecake which was very light, and looked as pretty as a picture with its topping of amaretti biscuits and edible flowers. J had the cannulo (singular of cannoli!) with black figs, chocolate and pistachios.

 

Brunch here took us straight back to holidaying in Sicily! Head over and check out their new brunch menu.

Twitter: @FourToEightLDN @FeedingFranklin @TastyToursLDN #tastycomms

#Italian #coventgarden #London #bloggers

#glutenfree #menu

Instagram: @tastycomms @feedingfranklin @fourtoeight

Thank you to Amy from Tasty Comms for organising our brunch, and to Gino and Monica for looking after us. Gino made all our cocktails too …

 

Also, for all those fellow sufferers out there like J (though today he took tablets to enable us to try the new brunch menu), they have a gluten-free menu, which has a great selection of dishes.

Posted in Amy Franklin PR, Beef, chocolate, cocktails, Covent Garden, Desserts, Feeding Franklin, FODMAP, FODMAP diet, Food Safari ideas, Four to Eight, Four To Eight, Gift ideas, Gluten-Free, Holborn, IBS friendly diet, italian, london, menus and prices, present ideas, Tasty Comms, Veal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pivaz – Turkish dining in Hackney, London

We arrived on a bright summer’s day at Pivaz to a warm welcome by Matt (GM), and settled at a table near the open French patio doors.

 

We kicked off with Castell Blanc, a Spanish rose cava recommended by Matt.

 

Loved the light, summery notes that brought back memories of holidays abroad.

A cold mezze platter was the perfect way to get us in a Turkish holiday mood.

 

We particularly enjoyed the pomegranate molasses and fresh pomegranates that made the tabbouleh glisten in the sun, and the wonderful flavours that danced on your palate. Also, the lamb koftas were moist but still pink, and the pistachio crust was a nice surprise combination.

This was followed by traditional Turkish hot mezze combination of Borek (flaky pastry parcels) and grilled halloumi.

 

A lovely slow cooked lamb shank and goats cheese salad reminded us of our trip to Fethiye and dining on the roof terrace of the boutique hotel with a meal cooked by the 5* Istanbul hotel chef who owned the property.

 

We thought though that it was a slight shame that the lamb was more European style, rather than what we would have expected on the menu with spices like sumac. Maybe they can consider spicing things up!

 

We rounded off our meal with baklava and raspberry cheesecake.

 

The baklava was warm, flaky and syrupy, and the cheesecake was the perfect summery dessert. We recommend checking out this place for their own unique take on traditional Turkish cuisine.

 

Twitter: @PivazRestaurant  @AlexRosePR  @CavaRecaredo #castellblanc #brut #rose #cava #Turkish #dining #Hackney #London

@DO_Cava #Turkish #cuisine

Instagram: @pivazrestaurant @alexandrarosecreative @cava.recaredo

Thank you to Alexandra for organising our visit to Pivaz and for the attentive service from Matt (GM) and team.

Posted in Alexandra Rose PR, Chatsworth Road, Desserts, Food Safari ideas, Hackney, Homerton, Lamb, london, London, menus and prices, Spanish, Sunday Lunch ideas, Turkish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bistro Mirey, London

We discovered Mirey’s bistro tucked away down a quiet Islington side street, currently popping up in the Charles Lamb pub. As an added bonus we managed to score an outside table in the sun it was the perfect place for a long relaxed Sunday lunch.

 

We started off with burrata paired with figs, honey and thyme. Bursting with freshness the sweetness of the figs were the perfect foil for the creaminess of the burrata. The chefs behind Mirey’s are French (Gerald) and Japanese (Ko) so naturally enough the food is French with a Japanese influence. You notice this popping up in things like the flavourings in the steak tartare, that came with accents of wasabi, yuzu and sesame seeds, which was delicious.

 

Then, it was Sunday, so we had a roast, it’s the law you have to! I was seriously torn between the duck, lamb and pork as I love all those meats equally but Gerald persuaded me to go for the Kentish lamb and I did not regret my choice. The lamb was full of flavour, if a bit fatty, and it came with homemade mint sauce that bore no resemblence to the overly sweet jarred monstrosities that the supermarket sells. J opted for the 6 hour slow roasted Dingley Dell pork and I confess I did swipe a bit of his crackling so I feel I got the best of all worlds!

 

The roast comes with all the trimmings including a giant Yorkshire pud, my only slight niggle was that the roast potatoes weren’t quite as crispy as I would have liked them. But we still cleared our plates in between chatting with Chip, the friendly American behind the bar.

We finished off with a chocolate brownie with matcha ice cream (there’s that Japanese influence again!) and J got a cheeseboard. I would have liked my brownie to be a bit sweeter to balance out the bitterness of the matcha. J said the cheeses were well kept and there were some interesting ones on there.

 

Finally, the sun disappeared behind a tree and we dragged ourselves away from our 4 hour lunch reluctantly. Gerald told us that they would like to have their own place in the Islington area in the style of a Japanese izakaya (an informal Japanese gastropub). We really enjoyed our lunch and are keeping our fingers crossed that they find somewhere suitable.

In the meantime, they’re at the Charles Lamb till the 15th September, 2017. Go check them out!

Twitter: @mireyrestaurant @thecharleslamb @geraldmirey #Delightful #French #Japanese #Food #Islington #London

Posted in Angel, Bistro Mirey, Chef Gerald Mirey, chocolate, French, French, Gelato, Japanese, Japanese, Lamb, london, London, Meat, Pork, Pork, Sunday Lunch ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment