Infographic: Rise of the Street Food Van

Street food van vendors

The popularity of street food has grown substantially over the past few years. Search volume around the term has grown by more than 80% between 2014 and 2016, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that 2.5 billion people now eat street food on a daily basis.

Are you a budding street food entrepreneur hoping to make the most of the street food revolution? Check out this fun infographic from Van Monster. Continue reading

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Win a £150 Gift Card from Pocket High Street

Win Pocket High Street

Daunted by the task of Christmas shopping? Hoping to avoid the same old big box retailers this year and find prezzies that are as special and distinctive as your friends and family whom you’re buying for? Have I got a gift for you! I’ve teamed up with the folks at PocketHighStreet.com to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a £150 gift card to spend at the best independent shops in London.

Pocket High Street makes it easy to shop online while support local independent businesses. Simply browse the site for things you like from independent shops across London and have them delivered to your door in an hour. Continue reading

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Breakfast in America (espressoCrazy)

Breakfast in America

To be sure, I’ve been having a lot fun. And the coffee – for the most part – has been terrific.

The tastiest aspects of my recent US escapades often took place in the morning. So I thought I’d share with you a few especially memorable breakfasts from my time in the Land of Plenty.

Read my complete post at espressoCrazy.

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Win a Chocolate or Coffee Explorer Pack from Taste Tripper

Taste Tripper coffee

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

Do you have a London friend or family member who’s a coffee or chocolate fanatic? Then I’ve got just the gift idea for you! Taste Tripper Explorer Packs are a fun and tasty way to enjoy the best of the London foodie scene – and I’m giving one explorer pack away to one lucky tikichris reader.

Currently available in Chocolate or Coffee, Taste Tripper’s Explorer Packs arrive in a chic yellow envelope (big enough to look impressive, small enough and flat to fit in your letterbox). They contain everything required for an extended foodie adventure in London. Continue reading

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Dinner at Beagle, Hoxton

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I love the space (and smart use of it). What’s doing at the bar is very much in line with how I prefer to imbibe. Service is friendly and helpful. And the food’s great. Based on my recent visit, I’ve no bone to pick with Beagle and can only bark about how smart a choice this Hoxton restaurant is for a quality meal.

Situated in a series of disused railway arches right next to the Hoxton Overground station, Beagle does its subdued darnedest to reel passersby in with inviting outdoor seating (with heat lamps), and equally welcoming and ambient bar and dining areas. I’d been there before for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of drinks and bar snacks with live music, but last week was my first time to have a taste of the seasonally changing dinner menu. I was impressed. Continue reading

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Galatoire’s | #TCEatsNOLA

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Blame it on the cocktails (and might I recommend a potent and creamy Brandy Milk Punch) or on the burst of relief upon getting in the door (there’s a no reservation policy but always a lengthy queue out front) … or maybe on notoriously naughty setting on Bourbon Street … whatever the case, Galatoire’s was one the most raucous and rowdy restaurants I’ve ever entered. It was also one of the most rarefied and refined too. Maybe all the revelry was simply because folks were feeling understandably jubilant to be eating such great food in such an amazing establishment. I know I was over the moon to be there.

My most memorable meal of my 18 Eats, Friday lunch at Galatoire’s was as gleefully indulgent and indelibly delectable as a fine dining experience could be. Continue reading

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Good Stuff #61

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Good stuff and lots of it!

Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip, savour and more – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Elizabeth’s | #TCEatsNOLA

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Chef Bryon Peck’s homey from-scratch cooking is as downhome as it gets. I loved my time digging into a big Southern style breakfast while admiring the vibrant folk art on walls (inside and out), at his laid back and creaky floored Bywater restaurant Elizabeth’s.

A ginormous portion (even by American standards) of shrimp and grits with a side of praline bacon “pig candy” and a biscuit was heartily scrumptious – especially that pig candy. A strong cup of coffee regularly refilled with a bit of flirty sass from a friendly waitress made the meal that much more of a late morning treat. Continue reading

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Preview: Simon Warner’s Viva Hypnosis at Leicester Square Theatre

iva HypnosisPhotography by Brian Roberts

Comedy hypnotist, Simon Warner, brings his mesmerising act to the West End stage for the first time in 15 years with Viva Hypnosis for two nights only at the Leicester Square Theatre just before Christmas.

Following a successful run across the globe with shows in Las Vegas, the Caribbean, and Orlando as well as sell-out performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Viva Hypnosis comes to London to take audience members on an “exhilarating hypnotic journey down the Las Vegas strip” with dancers, music, fibre optic props, costumes, full-stage projections and more. Continue reading

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Compère Lapin | #TCEatsNOLA

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Best known as Runner Up and Fan Favorite from Top Chef Season 11, Chef Nina Compton brings flavours from her Saint Lucian home to the fore at her Warehouse District restaurant, Compère Lapin, providing dinners with a delicious double take update on Creole concept cooking.

Situated in the lobby of The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, my hotel for the first half of my NOLA dining adventure, Compère Lapin was only few month’s old, all the rage, and absolutely hopping (jeu de mots) during my stay. Not to try it as one of my 18 Eats, would have been remiss. Beside every time I passed the restaurant on my way in or out of the hotel, the lure of the aromas wafting out of its kitchen grew more irresistible. Continue reading

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Recipe: Banana Split Milkshake

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Häagen-Dazs has launched a new seasonal flavour for Autumn/Winter 2016: Honey Walnut & Cream. Mmm mmm good? Uh huh. Oh yeah. Want to add an extra layer of yum to it? Check out my recipe for a banana split milkshake (regular and ‘hard’ versions included) using this delicious limited run ice cream.

How serendipitous for the Häagen-Dazs folks to bring this nutty new flavour to the market now. I’ve been on something of a walnut kick lately, incorporating them and walnut oil in a range of dishes – sweet and savoury – while also simply enjoying them more often than usual as a healthy snack on their own. So having walnuts added to my ice cream seems like a logically tasty progression. Continue reading

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Commander’s Palace | #TCEatsNOLA

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Family owned Commander’s Palace has been wowing palates with inventive Haute Creole cuisine and utterly genteel service since 1880, making it the third oldest restaurant in New Orleans. With chefs such as Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Shannon, and now Tory McPhail among its kitchen alumni, this revered Garden District restaurant dripping with awards and accolades is arguably the city’s most popular and historically significant place to eat.

Whet your appetite? Come with me for this most gracious of meals in my series about New Orleans in 18 Eats. Continue reading

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A Relaxing Stay at a Bed and Breakfast

A Relaxing Stay at a Bed and Breakfast

There are some times where you just want to be able to get away for a weekend or a few days and be with that special person, with your family, with friends or just by yourself. You want to go to a place that is going to be calm, relaxing and have a beautiful setting so that you can get the piece you are looking for and get away from the daily stress and anxiety that you might feel.

It is hard to find a place like this if you only focus your attention on the larger cities that are around you. Instead of looking for a large luxury hotel or some other busy establishment near a big city, you may want to consider looking for a relaxing stay at a B & B in Newbury. Continue reading

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Cochon Butcher | #TCEatsNOLA

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Warehouse District “swine bar” and butcher shop with sandwich counter and deli – Cochon Butcher finds inspiration in “old world meat markets” and in Louisiana heritage foods such as Cajun specialties boudin, andouille, and tasso.

Join me at the bar for my latest of 18 New Orleans Eats as I tuck into a mightily tasty lunch? Continue reading

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Win a Big Bag o’ Booze for Free

Win a Big Bag o’ Booze - P1030181

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

Oh no! I’m running out of room in my liquor cabinet. And that’s especially good news for one lucky tikichris reader.

To clear space (and be generous at this most festive of seasons), I’m giving away a collection of 25 bottles of quality alcoholic drinks. They’re all sample bottles, mostly 50ml but some are considerably larger. Continue reading

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Central Grocery and Deli | #TCEatsNOLA

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We’re back in the French Quarter for this latest instalment of New Orleans in 18 Eats, with a visit to Central Grocery and Deli for the mutha of all mega-sized sandwiches: the mighty muffuletta.

Of Italian American origin, the muffuletta is a 10” round sandwich on Sicilian sesame loaf loaded with layers of mortadella and/or ham, salami, provolone (and maybe mozzarella), and marinated olive salad. The sandwich was first created at Central Grocery by its founder Salvatore Lupo sometime soon after opening the grocery in 1906. A delicious assemblage, the sandwich is a brilliant example of immigrant resourcefulness and thoughtfully crafted design. Continue reading

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Adam Rawson Kitchen Residency at The George & Dragon, Fitzrovia

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Globetrotting chef, Adam Rawson, has set up temporary residence in the kitchen of Fitzrovia pub, The George & Dragon, and is cooking up his own tasty take on pub grub inspired by his travels.

Capitalising on his Slider Decider wins, Adam’s menu focuses on a range of what he calls Global Burgers, with an assortment of standard fare snacks and sides. Continue reading

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Camellia Grill | #TCEatsNOLA

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Next in my series of 18 Eats, I head uptown to Camellia Grill for a quick bite at its famed counter.

If you ever find yourself nursing a hangover in New Orleans or up late working on one for the next morning, keep Camellia Grill in mind. It’s the Garden District go-to for giant omelets, particularly moreish pecan pie, stout coffee and all sorts of other delicacies designed to you help cope with post celebratory suffering and start feeling like a champ again. Continue reading

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Cocktail Recipe: Hot Rye and Chamomile Toddy

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Keen for something warm and soothing to drink during the long winter nights ahead? I think I’ve come up with just the right drink: a hot rye and chamomile toddy.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye has launched in the UK and marks the first new grain bill since the man himself started distilling Old No. 7. 150 years ago. The new bottle (and an attractive one at that) is also only the second offering in the brand’s Single Barrel collection. Yeah, this is kind of a big deal.

So what do I do? Dump some in my tea before going to bed. Continue reading

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Broussard’s | #TCEatsNOLA

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Established in 1920, Broussard’s is an elegant setting for fine dining with a menu focused on elevating down home dishes through culinary refinement. There’s a pretty courtyard for intimate al fresco dining and a most magnificent bar for exploring an inspired range of cocktails that are as historic as they are tasty.

Despite being third in my list of 18 Eats (remember: I’m doing these in ABC order), Broussard’s was actually where I had my last meal in NOLA (aside from a bowl of fruit at my hotel before heading to the airport). A gem of fine Creole cuisine in a landmark French Quarter setting, it was as satisfying and appropriate place to end my New Orleans dining adventures.

But I must admit by the time I’d made it round to Broussard’s I was filling fairly stuffed. Continue reading

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Ray’s Bar, Dalston

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Pizza and cocktails – does it get much better? Yeah, probably but it’s still a winning combo for casual night out as I found when I stopped by the recently opened Ray’s Bar in Dalston.

The team behind Voodoo Ray’s and Dalston Superstore launched Ray’s Bar about a month ago. The basement bar sits beneath Voodoo Ray’s (but is entered from a separate door) and is hardly a minute’s saunter from Dalston Superstore. Continue reading

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Brennan’s | #TCEatsNOLA

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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And if by important, they (whomever ‘they’ are) mean utterly scrumptious and overwhelmingly substantial, then there’s no finer example of this rule than breakfast at Brennan’s. Indeed, the morning I visited this family run French Quarter institution of haute Creole cuisine was without doubt the tastiest a.m. of the year for me, resulting in one of the more delicious meals I had during my time in New Orleans, and perhaps the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Since opening its doors in 1946 (yes this year is the restaurant’s 70th anniversary), enjoying a lavish and boozy breakfast at Brennan’s has been among the most luxurious of NOLA traditions. My experience was no exception. Continue reading

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Festive Cocktail Menu at Artesian

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London’s most lauded and luxurious bar – Artesian – is the place for tipples this festive season with a limited run drinks menu making spirits bright until the new year.

I dropped by earlier this week for a preview of the menu, loved all I sipped, and found one cocktail particularly to my liking. Continue reading

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Arnaud’s & French 75 | #TCEatsNOLA

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First up in my series of New Orleans in 18 Eats is the French Quarter’s 98 year old Grande Dame of creole cuisine: Arnaud’s.

A quick note before we dig in …

To be sure, I had clear favourite meals during my visit to New Orleans, but everywhere I ate presented food at an exceptionally high standard. So, I’m chronicling my 18 Eats in alphabetical order, thus putting Arnaud’s with an “A” at the top of my list.

Opened in 1918, Arnaud’s is as fine as any New Orleans restaurant to commence my foodie scribbles. Continue reading

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Thanks!

A photo posted by Chris Osburn (@chrisosburn) on

There were moments this year when, honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

A vast horizon with nothing between it and me but the road … Continue reading

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New Orleans in 18 Eats | #TCEatsNOLA

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If New Orleans doesn’t represent the most wonderful concentration of restaurants in the world, I don’t know where does. And believe me, I’ve looked long and hard – only to return to NOLA with greater appreciation for its graciously crafted cuisine and the profound depth of its food culture. Get ready, y’all. It’s time to eat!

An opportunity to visit the Crescent City and take a significant bite out of its dynamic dining scene came my way back in September and I relished every edible moment of it. This was not my first time in New Orleans and I certain it won’t be my last. But it was the most delicious to date. Continue reading

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Twilight | #TCTikiTour

#TCTikiTour

Exploring California tiki culture old and new turned out to be a terrific way to experience the best of the Golden State and enjoy a tour along its magnificent coast.

As twilight descends upon this series highlighting Kemey’s and my road trip from San Francisco to San Diego, I want to take a moment to say thanks to all the bars and restaurants (tiki and non), hotels, etc – and especially to the friends and family who made time to see us – for the immense hospitality provided. A word of gratitude is in order for Kemey too, for indulging me in such a tiki-laden two weeks on the road (though, truth be told, I’m pretty sure she had a blast). Continue reading

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Best Affordable Winter Getaways (Going Places)

Anna Om / ShutterstockAnna Om / Shutterstock

Already planning your great winter getaway?

Whether you’re a snowbird seeking to avoid the cold or a ski bunny hoping to make the most of it, our list of affordable destinations for the holiday months is full of great places that can either warm you up or keep you cool.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Recipe: Maple Walnut Wings | #WingingIt

Recipe: Maple Walnut Wings - P1030100

Here’s a recipe for chicken wings combining the rich flavours of maple and walnut.

My maple walnut wings are really moreish, if I do say so myself! I didn’t add any spicy heat to them but chipotle or Tabasco would go well with them (and it’s easy enough to incorporate on your own). I would encourage you to try these as suggested in the recipe first though, to get a taste of just how yummy chicken, maple and walnut are together. Continue reading

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Win a Bottle Each of Jägermeister + Jägermeister Spice

jagermeister

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

Brrr! It’s getting cold out there! So I’ve teamed up with Jägermeister to help warm things up as you ring in the festive season with the chance to win two bottles of full flavoured winter warmers – one of Jägermeister Original and one of Jägermeister Spice – for free.

That’s right! Not one but two bottles of the world’s preferred herbal liqueur crafted and perfected in Germany are up for grabs! Continue reading

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Falafel Party at Pilpel Aldgate | 10X10 with tikichris

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This past Friday night was falafel night here in tikichris land with a friendly gathering of folks at the weeks old Pilpel Aldgate.

The party was the latest of my 10X10 celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of my blog. Continue reading

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San Diego Serenade | #TCTikiTour

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Last stop on our California tiki bar road trip was sunny San Diego.

Sadly, Kemey and I only had one night to enjoy San Diego – a standalone destination worthy of a far longer visit. But I’d say we packed as much into our overnight as possible. And our whistle stop tour was a conch shell blowout as far as the tiki seeking was concerned. Indeed, we even enjoyed a stay at a mid century modern tiki resort, Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn on San Diego’s Shelter Island. Continue reading

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Sneak Peek at the Ceru South Kensington’s Menu

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A London based mainstay of the catering/pop-up/festivals circuit, contemporary Levantine restaurant Ceru will take up permanent residence this December in South Kensington in its own Bute Street restaurant.

I dropped by their production kitchen earlier this week for a taste of the menu and reckon So Ken diners are in for a flavoursome filling Middle Eastern treat. Continue reading

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A Guide to the World’s Best Whiskey/Whisky Destinations (Going Places)

A Guide to the World’s Best Whiskey/Whisky Destinations

Did you ever wonder where your preferred tipple came from? How it was produced? Or even the history behind it? The world of whiskey (and whisky) is one of heritage and craft, of idyllic natural water sources in scenic settings, of good times and lifelong memories.

Care to pay a visit to the best distilleries on the planet? Here’s our guide to where to go for a trip that’s guaranteed to leave a bold taste in your mouth and a smile on your lips.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch

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After extensive renovations Spanish restaurant group, Brindisa Kitchens, has relaunched its Shoreditch restaurant, Tramontana, as Tapas Brindisa.

I dropped by the launch party last night. I was impressed with the new digs (loved the massive marble bar) and couldn’t get enough of the food on offer. The sliders with the morcilla mixed in with the mince were irresistibly delicious. The paella was maybe the best I’ve ever tried (for real). Continue reading

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