The Earl of March, Lavant, near Chichester

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The Earl of March has been with the current owners since 2007 and is headed up by Giles Thompson the former Executive Head Chef of the Ritz Hotel London.  The classic menu resembles elements of Thompson’s previous experience with some welcomed twists, … Continue reading

Meat meets chocolate at the Godiva Challenge

Originally posted on Culinary Adventures of The Cocoa Nut:

bacon chocolate tart Danny Kingston

The first time I bit into the crude chocolate bar I’d cobbled together with a bashed-up bag of pork scratchings and some melted dark choc, I almost did an Archimedes and skedaddled down the street shouting ‘Eureka’. Mercifully, I managed to rein in my enthusiasm. But even if I hadn’t, at least I’d have been fully-clad – unlike the philosopher who legendarily leapt from the bathtub in the buff.

Chocolate buffs will be no strangers to the strange notion of pairing sweet and savoury. Salted caramel has been the in thing for so long now it’s hard to remember a time when he who sprinkled a few flakes of Halen Mon into the mix would have been called weird. And, where chocolate is concerned, weird and wonderful flavour combos are really no cause for concern at all.

So to me, it kinda made sense that chocolate and crackling would be…

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The Godiva Chocolate Challenge

Luxury Belgian chocolate brand, Godiva, is delighted to announce its first competition in the UK to create the best ever chocolate dessert whose presentation, creativity and texture reflects the craftsmanship and excellence of Godiva. Entrants are invited to apply online by 15th March. From a shortlist of 10, the top four budding chocolate pâtissiers will be invited to come and exhibit their creations at the Finals, held at Godiva kitchens in Central London on Thursday 20th March.

The lucky finalists will cook their desserts before the formidable judging panel of William Sitwell, the MasterChef TV critic, Mark Hix, the leading UK chef, Thierry Muret, Godiva’s head chocolatier and Juliette Nothomb, Belgian chef and author of the latest Godiva recipe book ‘Life’s A Praline’. The winning dessert will be served in one of Hix’s London restaurants. All four finalists will win a 5* weekend to Brussels, with the winner also visiting Godiva’s Atelier of Chocolate Innovation.

Leading members of the UK press will be invited to the Finals event at Godiva’s kitchens in the Boffi Showroom, 254 Brompton Road, London on the evening of Thursday, 20th March to view the winning desserts and to meet the judges and finalists.

To enter the competition

Entrants must invent a recipe for a chocolate dessert and submit this online to Godiva along with a completed entry form, with details of their first name, surname and email address, a large photo of the finished dish in landscape format and full recipe details (including title of recipe, preparation time, cooking time, number of servings, ingredients and their quantities and complete recipe method).

Good luck! www.godivachocolates.co.uk/recipeImage

Wagamama, Chichester

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On a very rainy Thursday in February four of us ventured to the newly opened Wagamama in Chichester. At 7.30 (in Chichester) I didn’t expect to have to wait that long, however a queue of 10 ahead of us and … Continue reading

Smiths of Smithfield Cocktail Bar and Lounge

Something beautiful about the new first floor cocktail bar at the Farringdon based Smiths of Smithfield is the atmosphere and unique drinks on offer. There was a chilled out vibe with table service all evening, which made a nice change to many launches.

Smiths of Smithfield first floor bar and lounge

I’ve never seen such a well executed cocktail list and the Gaby was my favourite, consisting of:  Rye Vodka, Lillet Rose Aperitif, Homemade, Pomegranate Reduction, Devaux Champagne. Some people were a little more adventurous and went for the BBQ Martini: Barbeque Smoked Wood Chip infused Vodka, Noilly Prat Ambre, served with Pork Scratching. Pretty adventurous but tying in well with the history of the business and the meat market opposite. A meat market in a cocktail – who would have thought?

The canapés were served up all evening and we went home stuffed. Miniature versions of the evening bar menu came out in flurries and consisted of:

Beef Sliders, Woodhall’s Cured Ham & Remolade Wrap, Salt Cod Fritters, Alioli, Arancini , Meat Sauce, Mozzarella, Spiced Beef, Little Gem Cups, Smoked Cheese & Herb Croquettes, Char Sui belly Pork Bun, Scallops, Woodall’s Cured Ham, Béarnaise, Chicken & Peanut Cakes, Roast chilli, Vietnam Vegetable Rolls, Nam Jim Sauce. And wow they blew my mind – no pictures though as had cocktail in one hand and quite a few arancini in the other – the meat sauce was stunning!

The industrial features of the original building have remained within the design , it has been transformed with soft furnishings for a more comfortable and intimate experience.

Smiths of Smithfield first floor bar and lounge

Their new head of bar is Tiziano Tasso, formerly from the Ivy Club and winner of many industry competitions including Bar Personality of the year 2012 in Imbibe Magazine. He makes his own bitters, has his own vintage glasses and creates truly stunning drinks that you won’t find anywhere else.

Love the new bar and am looking forward to trying out their weekend brunch and afternoon tea in there too.

Smiths of Smithfield, First Floor, 67-77A Charterhouse Street, London, Greater London EC1M 6HJ

020 7251 7950

Square Meal

Pollen Street Social

Quite simply one of the best lunches I’ve had in a very long time. The only downfall was the lack of knowledge of our booking even after an email and telephone conversation.

Comfortable, social and not pretentious. Three things I enjoy when dining out. The service was knowledgeable with each dishes execution explained in detail with passion from all of the team. The maitre’d was pretty much made to order my entire meal as I wanted everything and didn’t think it looked right to have two main starters and two mains. Plus they just wouldn’t have all gone in. The portions are a good size and with all of the extra additions in-between each course it is hard enough to do three courses.

So here goes some food with some serious thought behind it…

Salted cod dip, Apple puree dip with something delicious (not too sure what it was)

Salted cod dip, Apple puree dip with something delicious (not too sure what it was)

To start we shared…

Roasted quail “brunch”, cereals, toast and tea

Roasted quail “brunch”, cereals, toast and tea

Tartare of fallow deer, smoked beetroot, wild leaves, berry pearls

Tartare of fallow deer, smoked beetroot, wild leaves, berry pearls

John Dory, artichoke and foie gois velouté, orange oil, and braised artichokes. Best end of salt marsh lamb, braised shoulder with lamb floss, chervil root, black cabbage, truffle purée

John Dory, artichoke and foie gois velouté, orange oil, and braised artichokes.

Best end of salt marsh lamb, braised shoulder with lamb floss, chervil root, black cabbage, truffle purée

Best end of salt marsh lamb, braised shoulder with lamb floss, chervil root, black cabbage, truffle purée

For dessert we opted to share (I ate more) of the highly recommended

PBJ  Peanut parfait, cherry yuzu sorbet, nitro peanut - not your average peanut butter and jelly!

PBJ
Peanut parfait, cherry yuzu sorbet, nitro peanut – not your average peanut butter and jelly!

I don’t especially like any of the three common component s but this was superb.

All was accompanied by a fabulous bottle of Chablis 1er Cru Montmain, Domaine, Patte Loups.

Pollen Street Social is a must for lunch and in addition they also offer a well priced set lunch menu 2 courses 24.00 / 3 courses 27.50.

I would also just sit in the bar and try out their leg of Jamon and bar delights they have along with other delicious bar snacks.

www.pollenstreetsocial.com

10 Pollen Street
City of London,
Greater London W1S 1NQ

020 7290 7600

reservations@pollenstreetsocial.com

Square Meal

Christmas at Jeremy’s

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After much deliberation over who we didn’t want to see this year and who was having the grandparents? We decided to spend Christmas just the three of us; Mum, Dad and me! We like to take our time, talk about … Continue reading