Ember London, Monument EC3

Ember

Fancy cocktails and bar food are the hallmark at Ember London, a sleek and slightly secretive basement bar recently opened just steps away from Monument Station.

Food, drink and setting are presented to impress at this new City of London den. Continue reading

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Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend

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Appleton Estate marks Joy Spence’s 20th anniversary as Master Blender, Joy Spence – the world’s first female master blender – with a limited edition 25-year-old rum named in her honour. And it is a Joy indeed to drink.

One of last year’s highlights for me was getting to tour Jamaica with Appleton Estate Master Blender, Joy Spence. For a fan of rum – and specifically Appleton – not much can top that! But of the same quality caliber as that trip and another opportunity to experience Joy’s impeccable taste and elegance has been the chance to savour her latest creation: Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a select blend of aged rums each matured a minimum of 25 years, including rum aged up to 35 years. Continue reading

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Pra’ delle Torri Holiday Centre Near Venice | #pradelletorri

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On the lookout for an ideal Italian holiday for your family? Consider Pra’ delle Torri Holiday Centre near Venice for its lively line up of fun things to do like lounging on the beach, splashing around at the centre’s own waterpark, golfing, biking, and lots, lots more.

Located less than an hour’s drive from Venice in the coastal town of Caorle, Centro Vacanze Pra’ delle Torri offers camping, self-catering and hotel accommodation spread across 120 sumptuous hectares of seafront with a full range of services and activities for a fantastic family holiday. Continue reading

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Sakura: Adam Rawson Japanese Pop-Up at Borough Wines & Beers

Photo (credit Lateef Okunnu) - Adam Rawson x Borough Wines Sakura 10Photo by Lateef Okunnu

Sakura refers to the celebration of cherry blossoms in Japan. It’s also the name of a pop-up at the Essex Road outlet of Borough Wines & Beers featuring an outstanding assortment of dishes by Chef Adam Rawson paired with sake, beer, wine and cocktails – and like Japan’s famous cherry blossoms, this beautiful opportunity will be gone before you know it.

Held downstairs at Borough Wines & Beers Essex Road shop in the Brewery Below, the collaboration marks the launch of Borough’s chef development series as well as part of Rawson’s own Global Traveller series of events. Continue reading

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Recipe: Skrei and Sanguinello | #OhMyCod

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Here’s a simple recipe for a fish dish incorporating two sensational seasonals: skrei (Norwegian cod) and sanguinello (blood orange)

Skrei is cod sourced from the wild coastal waters of Norway’s far north between the months of February and April when it returns from the Barents Sea to spawning grounds near Lofoten and Vesterålen. Its epic journey through clean, cold waters makes for especially succulent and flavoursome meat. Skrei is without doubt the tastiest cod I’ve ever had. Continue reading

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Fresh Crisps and Tasty Dips at HipChips, Old Compton Street

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HipChips found-chef Scott Davis’ aim is to make the best crisps in the world with British heritage potatoes served alongside a menu of premium sweet and savoury dips. Judging from my crunch time at his comfortable Soho eatery, I’d say mission accomplished.

HipChips launched at the end of last year. I had a chance to visit when it opened but, honestly, it wasn’t top of my agenda (and I didn’t expect it to last even as long as it has). What do I know? Continue reading

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Win The Egglet Sleekster from Hotel Chocolat

Win The Egglet Sleekster from Hotel Chocolat

British cocoa grower and chocolatier, Hotel Chocolat, has launched its 2017 Easter collection with a delectable range of chocolaty gifts to share with your special someone. Fancy a taste for free? Hop to it!

I’ve teamed up with Hotel Chocolat to help highlights this year’s Easter collection and to offer the chance for one lucky reader to win an Egglet Sleekster box of chocolate. Continue reading

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Movie Review: The Eyes of My Mother

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Soon to be released in UK cinemas, indie horror flick, The Eyes of My Mother, is the gross-out creep-fest you’ve been craving.

The 74-minute film is beautifully shot too (if with unsettling edge) – in crisp black and white by its Director (and Writer) Nicolas Pesce. The film marks his directorial debut. Continue reading

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#ProjectLiteracy 2017: Rewriting Lives

Project Literacy: Rewriting Lives

What does it take to break the cycle of illiteracy?

Watch this short inspiring film from Project Literacy film to find out.

#spon

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Calçotada at Boqueria

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Like the sound of some especially savoury if rather sloppy Spanish foodie fun on a Sunday afternoon in South London? Celebrate Calçotada at Boqueria.

A calçot is a type of onion, kind of like a large scallion or small leek, with a mild, sweet flavour that grows in countryside around the Catalan city of Tarragona. Here celebrations known as calçotadas take place during winter and early spring bringing folks together to grill calçots, dip them in romesco and slurp heaps of them down paired with plenty of cava – traditionally served from a porrón, a wine pitcher with a spout for fun and potentially very messy drinking.

South London tapas restaurant, Boqueria, is in on the action hosting a series of Calçotadas at its two outlets in Brixton and Battersea. Continue reading

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7 of the Most Authentic Irish Pubs in America (Going Places)

Pressmaster / Shutterstock

Wondering where to make merry this St. Patrick’s Day? You’re in luck!

The odds are pretty good that no matter where you may be there’ll be an Irish pub nearby. As for the very best and most authentic, it would be impossible to list all the most amazing Irish pubs across America. But, we did our darndest narrowing things down to this list of seven great US watering holes of Irish origin.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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#Paolozzi: Art, Beer, Pizza

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Art, beer and pizza! It’s a triumvirate adding up to a good time, especially when the art is amazing, the beer is refreshing and the pizza is yummy.

Coinciding with the opening of the excellent Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, the Scottish born artist’s namesake beer – Paolozzi Lager – is making artful headway in London.

Eh? Continue reading

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Gomo Energy

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Go further with Gomo instant energy drinks for your body and your brain.

Gomo Energy is a Swiss start-up producing a range of vitamin-rich energy products that are sugar-free, additive-free and vegan. The folks behind the brand reached out to me recently to see if I would like to give Gomo a go. I said sure, thinking a healthy energy boost wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

Off the bat, I was impressed with Gomo. Continue reading

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Lunch at Tostado

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Blink and you’ll miss it (and miss out) – tiny Tostado in Soho offers Ecuadorian fare at a fair price and with a warm Latin welcome.

I had a lovely lunch at Tostado last week and though it was quickie the positive memory of the experience remains strong. Continue reading

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Sherry, Wine and Tapas Pairing at El Pirata, Mayfair

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My most recent visit to El Pirata tapas bar and Spanish restaurant was not my first (and I hope is wasn’t my last). I love this Mayfair institution for its buzzing atmosphere and overload of Spanish art on the walls – and most importantly, of course for the food and drink.

I dropped anchor at El Pirata last week as one in a raiding party of invited media, keen to dig through the restaurant’s extensive yet still authentic menu in search of its tastiest treasures. Continue reading

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Mister Lasagna, Rupert Street, Soho

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Mister Lasagna serves (as you might have surmised already) fresh made lasagna, with a varied range of this popular Italian oven treat on offer alongside an assortment of fresh pastas dishes, snacks and desserts.

During my quick midweek lunch I very much enjoyed a regular sized portion of truffle lasagna with mushrooms, sausage and Parmesan. Yum. I’d have it again (though I might be slightly more  inclined to see what else is tasty on the menu). Continue reading

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Holi Celebrations Return to Cinnamon Kitchen

JohnnyStephensPhotography Photo courtesy of JohnnySPhotography

Now in its fourth year, House of Holi at Cinnamon Kitchen is now open to the public with a purpose-built pod set up outside the restaurant in Devonshire Square where willing participants can let loose with paint throwing festivities that mark Holi, the Indian festival of colour.

Having participated in the vivid (and easily-cleaned-off-ible) messy mischief last year, I excitedly accepted an invitation to drop by for a playful press launch session and followed by a lunch previewing Chef Vivek Singh’s 2017 Holi menu. Continue reading

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Tang Noodle Bar, Great Russell Street

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Everybody needs a secret little noodle bar in life – and if it can offer reasonably priced nosh from a convenient location (in addition to boasting delicious dishes) then all the better. So for Londoners still searching for their own noodle niche, I present: Tang on Great Russell Street just off Tottenham Court Road.

I really enjoyed my slurp through the Tang menu. Continue reading

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Good Stuff #64 | St Patrick’s Day Edition

Good Stuff

Ready for St Patrick’s Day?

Here’s my latest list of good stuff, in this case all in celebration of Irish drink with a sampling of quality beverages I had the pleasure of trying at a recent Spirit of Sharing tasting event hosted by Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall and Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, at the Irish Embassy in Belgravia. Continue reading

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The BEST Bachelor Party Trip Ever! (Going Places)

Bachelor Party – Guys drinking at bar

Hey there, best man! Are you planning a bachelor party trip for your soon-to-be-wed buddy? Our handy how-to guide will help you make the occasion memorable and help you make it all about him.

Here’s to the groom – and the epic bash you’ll be hosting for him.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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#CityStories | Index

City Stories

I hope you enjoyed my City Stories posts and videos highlighting some of the best food and drink in and around Shoreditch – all within a short stroll of the newly opened Point A hotel on Paul Street.

To help you browse my City Stories posts and watch the related videos, here’s a list with links to all of them: Continue reading

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Pan Asian in Camden Town at Miusan, Inverness Street

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Steps from Camden Town Station, Miusan restaurant takes diners across the Far East with a variety of pan Asian dishes in glitzy style.

I visited “opium den inspired” Miusan about a week back, invited for a media night menu graze. I like everything I tried but loved best two starters: Continue reading

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#CityStories: Coffee

Need a caffeine kick in Shoreditch? Or, perhaps, somewhere chilled out to pause and reflect over a cup of something warm? You’ll love the recs in this third (and final) video instalment for my City Stories collaboration with Point A Hotels.

The clip sees me darting round Shoreditch and diving into three of my preferred places to grab a coffee. Conveniently enough, all three are situated near the new Point A Hotel on Paul Street in Shoreditch. Continue reading

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Darkhorse, East Village, Stratford

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Wow! What an amazing lunch Kemey and I had a couple of weeks back at Stratford restaurant, cocktail bar and wine cave – Darkhorse.

Set at the base of one of the East Village towers (former Olympic Athletes Village) in Stratford, Darkhorse is a seemingly aptly named contender for one of the best places to eat in London I’ve come across in quite a while. Kemey and I certainly loved our leisurely Saturday lunch. Continue reading

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#CityStories: Bars and Pubs

Thirsty in Shoreditch? You are so in the right place. Check out the second video instalment for my City Stories collaboration with Point A Hotels.

The short feature is all about where to have a quality drink in one of London’s best quarters for nightlife with tips on where best to bend your elbow without straying too far from the new Point A Hotel on Paul Street in Shoreditch. Continue reading

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L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Stoke Newington

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The pizza game in London just got real with the opening of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Stoke Newington.

Yeah, I know the Stokey franchise of this legendary Neapolitian pizzeria has been open for a few weeks now. I had been waiting for the hype to cool down before venturing over. Word is the queues to order can stretch almost all the way back to the original eatery in Naples. But without doubt, I’d been excited about da Michele coming here since I heard the news last year. Continue reading

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#CityStories: Street Food

Hungry in Shoreditch? Have a look at this first video instalment for my City Stories collaboration with Point A Hotels.

The clip is dedicated to one of my favourite topics – street food – and features tips on where to chow down on three of the yummiest options (IMHO) for grab-n-go grub near the new Point A Hotel on Paul Street in Shoreditch. Continue reading

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Southern Italian Taste on Tour: Le Strade della Mozzarella

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Le Strade della Mozzarella (“the streets of mozzarella” – LSDM for short) is an international tour showcasing Italian PDO Buffalo Mozzarella alongside other Southern Italian foods such tomatoes, pasta and extra-virgin olive oil.

After a successful debut in Paris and a subsequent stop in Milan, LSDM arrived in London for two events earlier this week: a pizza-riffic feast at newly opened Stoke Newington franchise of legendary Neapolitan pizzeria, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, and a second event titled “The Mediterranean” at Baglioni Hotel in Kensington with some of Southern Italy’s top chefs presenting innovative dishes made with mozzarella as the key ingredient. Keen to embark upon such a flavoursome journey involving one of the world’s most craved cuisines and one of my all-time favourite cheeses, I was happy to hitch a ride when invited by Great Italian Chefs to attend the London sessions of the LSDM tour.

Both events were a delicious delight to attend. I’ll get to raving about my experience at da Michele in a future post but wanted to take my first opportunity to share some of The Mediterranean tasting at Baglioni. Continue reading

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Have a Spring Fling in These 5 Budget Destinations (Miles Away)

Dave Allen Photography / Shutterstock

Birds are chirping, the snow is melting, and you’re probably going stir-crazy. It can only mean one thing: Spring is here and not a minute too soon! One of the many things that we love about spring is that it’s the perfect season for travel. With fewer tourists, affordable lodgings, and great airfare rates, it’s the best time to take advantage before the peak summer crowds roll in.

To help you shake off the winter blues, as well as maybe take some time to stop and smell the flowers in bloom, here’s a look at five budget-friendly destinations for making the most of the season.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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#CityStories: Exploring #Shoreditch with #PointAHotels

City Stories: Exploring Shoreditch with Point A Hotels

Hey gang! Get ready for City Stories: a new series of video posts I’ve cooked up with Point A Hotels to highlight some of my favourite food and drink in and around Shoreditch.

Over the coming days, I’ll be sharing my recommendations for places to enjoy awesome street food, proper coffee, and beautiful booze – all within a short stroll of the newly opened Point A hotel on Paul Street. Continue reading

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2017 Folkestone Triennial Artists Announced

folkestone-is-an-art-schoolMock up of Bob and Roberta Smith’s proposed Folkestone Is An Art School / Picture Robert Smith

Has it been three years already? Time for another look at the upcoming arty happenings in Kent for the Folkestone Triennial.

My visit to Folkestone for the 2014 Triennial was a real treat – for the art and for the chance to discover this lovely little seaside town on the Kentish coast. So I was most pleased to hear the plans about this year’s citywide and mostly outdoor exhibition at a recent press event. Continue reading

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Raw Wine Week 2017

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Raw Wine Week will make a splash this month across London with tastings, dinners, wine list takeovers, meet the producer events, parties and of course the Raw Wine Fair.

A week of low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wine doings around London, which will culminate with the Raw Wine Fair at The Store Studios on The Strand. Continue reading

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Win a Gluten Free Flavour Hamper from Schwartz

Win a Gluten Free Flavour Hamper from Schwartz

The herb and spice maestros at Schwartz believe that going gluten free doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavour. So to celebrate the launch of their new range of gluten free sauces, gravies and mixes, I’ve teamed up with the brand to give my readers the chance to win a Gluten Free Flavour Hamper.

Valued at £85, the Schwartz Gluten Free Flavour Hamper contains the following items: Continue reading

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Lucy Watson Raises Money for PETA with Leetchi.com | #LWfundraiser

Remember my recent series of posts highlighting all the ways Leetchi can help you raise money online? Well, I’m back at it with another quickie team up, this time to spread the word about a campaign started by TV personality and model, Lucy Watson, who’s crowdfunding for PETA.

Lucy’s passion for animal rights is well known. She’s been closely involved in PETA for quite some time. But this is the first time she has proactively fundraised for the charity. In a campaign video filmed in her home, she explains why she wants to get more “hands-on” in the fight against animal cruelty. Continue reading

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New Chef at Bird of Smithfield

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Bird of Smithfield is the same great restaurant set in a five-storey townhouse with rooftop bar across from Smithfield Market as it has been since launching in 2013 – just now with a new Head Chef, Tommy Boland.

If my recent dining experience to see what’s cooking in Boland’s kitchen is any indication, Bird of Smithfield should continue to soar high and become an even smarter choice for sophisticated, full flavoured contemporary cuisine. Continue reading

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