Tom’s Kitchen – Chelsea

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I was searching online for the best brunch in London, I realise this is pretty big claim to make so was happy to discover that Tom’s Kitchen lived up to its expectations.

I started my brunch with an incredibly healthy and green juice drink. It was apple, cucumber and mint and although it resembled something horrible it was actually rather delicious. I did have to ask for a lot of ice as London is in it’s heat wave and nothing but ice cold will do.

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Next came the task of choosing my brunch – with so much choice I really didn’t know what to go for and settled on something I would never attempt at home – Eggs Royal

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They were perfect! Eggs excellently cooked with the perfect amount of runny yolk and a creamy hollandaise over some smoked salmon. The eggs are also from Cornwall which instantly makes them better. I once learnt that if they yolk is more on the orange side then it is very fresh and free range. Who knows why, maybe they feed their hens Wotsits.

My “vegetarian” friend who gets less vegetarian by the day went for the same but with the crispy bacon addition.

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The star of the show was probably the blueberry waffles with cream but they got eaten so fast that I couldn’t take a picture…

However I was very impressed with Tom’s as I had totally forgotten that I had requested a little something extra to say a massive congratulations to my friend who had just climbed kilimanjaro. As some spoons arrived instead of our bill we were all baffled but then this arrived…

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I mean it’s never to early for ice cream…

The Henley Regatta

A couple of weeks ago was the Henley Royal Regatta. A must for any sport lover and a great day out on the whole. London was at the start of it’s heatwave and what better excuse to sport a sundress then by the river in Henley. About an hours train from Paddington is the beautiful town of Henley, it’s annual Regatta attracts young and old, families, friends and couples, it’s a great place to picnic on the water front and watch the world go by.

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The Regatta lines the banks of the river and is covered with tents, food vans, people, picnics, lots of pimms and some lounges as well.

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We decided to spend the afternoon in The River Lounge. Operated by “rhubarb” the lounge is situation right next to the start line and is the perfect place to watch the racing action as well as catch up with friends over Pimms.

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As well as an endless supply of jugs of Pimms there was also a delicious afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, brownies, scones and cakes in every variety.

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You can learn all about “rhubarb” and the Henley Regatta here. Make sure to book your spot for next year and hopefully we will get some weather as amazing as it’s been this summer!

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An experimental weekend!

I was asked to make some cupcakes for a charity event on Saturday so quickly started to rack my brains for ideas of varieties I could make. I settled on raspberry cupcakes with butter icing, chocolate chip and double chocolate and then to mix things up a bit I added in a Mars Bar variety.

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Whilst I waited for raspberry ones to cook through I started on the Mars ones. The recipe follows the same as the regular cupcake recipe but instead of chocolate chips you add chopped up Mars. I used 4 normal sized Mars Bar’s and then used one for the topping. The icing was also a bit different, I used a regular butter icing recipe but added golden syrup and coco powder to make a deliciously sweet and chocolatey icing.

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They turned out pretty well and the others did as well…

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Jasper quite liked the idea of having some too…

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A perfect sunny weekend was then topped off with a trip on my grandparents boat. I went in the sea and it was FREEZING but the views were stunning and the sun was shining! I never know why I left the seaside when ever I return.

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London Foodie

This week has been a bit of an eating out marathon, not that i’m complaining! I’ve found a new favourite pizza place and had a burger fix all within two days.

On Tuesday me and the girls headed to Pizzeria on the Green. This place may not look like much from the outside but they do amazing pizzas and for some reason they are always half price! What better way to spend a sunny evening then with pizza and gossip. You can find Pizza on the Green right by Clapham South tube. You can check out their website here.

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It seems that everyone (including George Osborn) is once again loving Byron burgers! With so much competition hitting London in terms of burger joins I’m glad to see that Byron is still ranked one of the best. They are about to launch the Big B Burger specially for summer, Tom Byng, founder of Byron, has created a limited edition burger inspired by a recent trip to LA. It consists of a double cheeseburger, served in a potato bun with sliced pickles and onion and burger sauce. The potato bun is the most interesting as that is what makes the American Shake Shack burgers so appealing. With the UK’s first Shake Shack coming to Covent Garden on the 5th of July will Byron be able to keep up with the competition? Only time, and lots of burger eating will tell…

The Big B will be available at all Byron restaurants from July 2nd – 26th August inclusive, priced at £9.50.

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Feasting in London – Taste of London 2013

This weekend was the annual Taste of London! A fantastic festival celebrating food, drink and music, set in the stunning Regents Park. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival and I can’t believe I have only just discovered it. The festival has its own currency (crowns) we bought £20 worth but only needed half of these as we were treated with a lot of freebies and tasters. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the different smells and sights when you first arrive so we grabbed our first freebie (a shot of gin) followed by some coffee and went exploring.

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Along the way we discovered breads, cakes, chocolate brownies, steaks, feta cheese, olives (yuk), whisky (no thanks), a stand dedicated to Lindt chocolate, popcorn and ting!! Already slightly stuffed and feeling slightly sick from the sweet savoury mixture we decided it was nice to spend our crowns on some “real” food.

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One end of the festival is dedicated to “The Taste of Thailand” so off we went to Thailand for some food. The area was like a busy Thai street except colder and raining, with people shouting and all trying to be your restaurant of choice. To get the most of our crowns we each went to a different food stand. I was happy with my choice of peanut chicken on toast, slightly spicy and very delicious.

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Washed down with my favourite exotic drink, Ting! Usually reserved for holidays in Antigua, I was very happy to come across this little gem in the middle of Regents Park! With full bellies and enough of Thailand we headed over to the exhibition tent and took our seats to watch a demo from the fabulous baker brothers. I love these guys, they are really energetic young chefs with a passion for food and home cooking. They were entertaining and friendly and really got the crowd excited in the blustery rain!

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Fuelled up with some treats from costa and more popcorn samples we did a final walk around and wondered what to spend our remaining crowns on (we had rather a lot left)! I bought some amazing pizza from the Pizza Pilgrims (coming soon to soho) and a LOT of popcorn.

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Father’s Day Peanut Butter Cookies

With the inspiration of Father’s Day and a free Sunday afternoon I decided to make some cookies for my family to enjoy! With a whole cupboard of ingredients plus a brand new jar of my Grandma’s marmalade I came up with the idea of peanut butter and marmalade cookies.

The Recipe is very easy!

3 level tablespoons of peanut butter
3 level tablespoons of soft brown sugar
1 egg
50g self raising flower
50g butter
50g caster sugar
2 level teaspoons of marmalade
Pinch of salt

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Start by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl until you get a sticky mixture. Now the fun part… get your hands dirty and turn that sticky mess into 15 little balls all around the same size. However the charm of homemade cookies is that they all end up different shapes and sizes which mine certainly did. Press them down with a fork and then pop them in the oven for 15 mins at 200 degrees C or until they are golden.

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They are something that Mary Berry herself would be proud of! The mix of peanut butter and marmalade may sound odd but trust me, it’s that salty sweet thing that makes these cookies delicious.

Early Father’s Day celebrations

On the Saturday before Father’s Day my brother and I took my lovely Daddy to a fantastic little pub in the country called The Old Forge – visit there website here. It’s become a bit of a favourite in our family for it’s good food, friendly staff and classic decor with a modern touch. It’s just outside Winchester in a little village called Otterbourne, so is perfect if you don’t want to fight for parking in town!

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After handing over the cards and studying the menu my Dad and I settled on a classic pub favourite of Fish and Chips and my brother went for Garlic and Chilli prawns with a side of fries of course.

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The food is simple yet excellently cooked and chips were up there with the ones at The Diner in Covent Garden! It has quickly become a favourite and one to certainly visit whenever I venture back to the country. Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

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Strawberry inspired cupcakes

Taking inspiration from some delicious Strawberries that I found in Winchester market I made these Strawberry cupcakes for Afternoon Tea with my family. They must have been good as all 12 disappeared within seconds.

Follow my regular cupcake recipe which is so easy that my 8 year old cousin has mastered it and then add red food colouring and top with strawberries. Seasonal and delicious!

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Hometown Glory

London can get very hectic at times and especially with the sunshine looming all I needed was a relaxing weekend away from the city. As London geared up for another Friday night I rushed onto a packed train and headed back to the country.

Saturday mornings are perfect for enjoying a good breakfast. There is no rush to get to work so therefore no need for boring cereals and dry toast. Embracing this thought I called my Dad and we headed to Maison Blanc in Winchester. This quaint little French patisserie was buzzing with families and tourists and was the perfect place to enjoy some scrambled eggs and tea in the brilliant sunshine. Situated at the bottom of the town you can watch the world go by whilst listening to the sounds of the busy market setting up for another day.

IMG_1224Maison Blanc is a great place to buy breads and pastries to impress your guests. They are passionate about serving innovative, charming and authentically French food that leaves their customers craving for more. Having just been to Paris I certainly felt like I had stepped into a piece of France in the centre of a very British town.

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Not only is coming home extremely relaxing but there is always someone that is happy to see you (especially the dogs) and you can step across the drive and come across beautiful greenery. The sunshine did help!

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Afternoon Tea at Sofitel St James

The London Sofitel is a beautiful hotel right in the heart of London. I needed somewhere different to take my Mum and Grandma for Afternoon Tea and the Sofitel was the perfect place to go. The Rose Lounge inside the hotel is a perfectly cosy tea room was beautiful china and even a harp to create a relaxing atmosphere.

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After a busy shopping trip some champagne cocktails were the perfect way to start off our tea. I was very excited when our three tiered afternoon tea stand arrived. A delicious selection of delicate sandwiches and the all important scones with jam and clotted cream (well we are from the west country!)

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After all that we were then treated to an amazing selection of French cakes and desserts.

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