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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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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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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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

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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 you 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

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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

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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

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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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Ahi Poke, Percy Street, Fitzrovia

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Poke popularity in London continues to intrigue me. Don’t get me wrong though. I love the stuff and am glad to see I’ve got options on where to get it when I’m on the go. One such eatery is Ahi Poke in Fitzrovia.

Ahi Poke offers a good – if London-ised – version of poke in a short but tasty menu with an assembly line approach to fresh preparation. Seafood is sustainably caught. Veg is locally sourced when possible. Prices are reasonable, which bowls ranging in price from £5.95 to £9.95. Service is friendly and speedy. The dining area is pretty basic but clean, well light and pleasantly decorated with fun and sunny wall paintings. Continue reading

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Wondering Why Savvy Travelers Are Headed to Samoa? We’ll Tell Ya (Miles Away)

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Need a break? How does the prospect of sipping from a freshly cracked coconut and lounging around on the beach of a quiet, pristine lagoon in the middle of the South Pacific sound to you? Ladies and gentlemen … tamaʻitaʻi and alii … I give you: Samoa!

I’ve just gotten back from a visit to this tropical island paradise. The laid-back lifestyle, dramatic coastline, endless opportunities to get wet in scenic locations, warm weather, and equally warm welcome of the Samoans all completely blew me away. I don’t think I was quite ready for just how wonderful my time there turned out to be. I certainly wasn’t ready to come back home (and to the onset of winter!).

Does Samoa sound like an ideal getaway to you? Here’s some general info about this tiny island nation alongside a few highlights from my trip to help you start planning your own vacation in Samoa – the Pearl of the Pacific.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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A Good Time in Huntington Beach? It’s a Shore Thing | #TCTikiTour

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From Disneyland, Kemey and I continued our tiki tour to Huntington Beach, where we parked our car for a few days of fun in Surf City USA.

We had a blast staying in this Orange County seaside enclave. Our hotel was an ideal base for a laidback beach break. Every meal we enjoyed around town was delicious. As for the tiki, it was of the full-on and classic variety. Continue reading

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Win One of Three Sets of Cocktail Gummies from SugarSin

SugarSin Fizzy Prosecco Gummies Jar

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

What’s your favourite cocktail? What’s your favourite candy? Can’t decide? Why decide?

I’ve teamed up with candy maker SugarSin to offer tikichris readers the chance to win one of three sets of cocktail gummies. So whether you’re shopping for Christmas stocking stuffers for your family and friends or craving a little something indulgent for yourself, this competition is a sweet treat that can’t be beat! Continue reading

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An Unmissable Christmas in London (Trainline)

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Trainline Blogger Network’s Chris Osburn (also known as tikichris) is back and this time helping us plan a festive trip to London…

Happy Christmas! Are you heading to London this festive season for a family outing or shopping expedition? Here’s a list of Yuletide sights and activities you’re sure to love. Everything listed here is easily accessible via public transportation and mostly situated a short walk from a London Underground station.

Read my complete post at the Trainline blog.

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easyCar’s Secrets of London

Secret's of London

I (not to mention an impressive lineup of other Londoners reckoned to be local experts) teamed up recently with easyCar for a collaborative look at some of London’s lesser known but still super fun things to do.

Hidden gems … insider knowledge … underdog destinations … stuff like that … and all wrapped up in  a very attractive and information format with loads of cool graphics. Continue reading

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The Islington Townhouse

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A fine meal in a fun setting was had recently at The Islington Townhouse.

During my dine I sampled a selection of small dishes from the “Autumn’s Plates” menu. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Dinner with A Little Lusciousness: Menu Revealed!

Thanksgiving Dinner with A Little Lusciousness | 10X10 with tikichris

Top rated Grub Club’s top rated chef, Rosie Llewellyn, has revealed her menu for our A Little Lusciousness/tikichris Thanksgiving team up.

Check it out! Continue reading

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Snapshot: Jakarta

Planning a trip to the vibrant Indonesian capital of Jakarta?

Check out this quick snapshot to help make the most of your time on the ground. Continue reading

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