London Daily Photo: Untitled

LDP 2015.11.010 - Untitled

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Sponsored Post: Dublin, Top Choice … for Second Place?

Check out this hilarious video about all the amazing things Dublin does exceptionally well. Maybe not quite well enough to be considered first in the field, but certainly among the very top contenders. A solid second in many cases.

Yes, the World’s Second Friendliest City (according to the video) is as fun loving and vibrant a destination as any you’ll ever visit and makes an excellent choice for as a city break destination. In fact, Dublin won runner up for Europe’s Leading City Break Award for 2015. And if you’re thinking of investing in property, guess which city recently came in the number two position as the best place to invest in real estate? You got it. Dublin!

The takeaway from the video (for me anyway) is that one thing’s for sure. The Irish sense of humour is second to none! You’d be hard pressed to find a city more comfortable in its own skin and more capable of not taking itself too seriously than the most penultimate place on the planet: Dublin. And if I may speak from my own experience, the city’s got some of the best pubs in the world and without doubt serves the best-pulled pint of Guinness I’ve ever sipped. Hardly the biggest conurbation on the planet (or even close to a respectable second in such a category), compact Dublin is only a stone’s throw away from the mountains and the sea, and charming towns and villages with the whole of Europe just a hop, skip and budget airline flight away.


Already made plans to go away somewhere? On second thought, you might be better off heading to Dublin.

Sponsored by Visit Dublin

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London Daily Photo: Settlement

LDP 2015.11.09 - Settlement

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#BBQbound: Memphis


It had been more than 20 years since I’d last been to Memphis, and I was glad my BBQ Bound road trip passed through it, affording me the chance to reacquaint myself with this fantastic town so prominently set on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Indeed, a tour of the best BBQ destinations in the South without a stop in Memphis would have been remiss.

I’m equally pleased to report Memphis remains as funky as it ever was but not nearly as rough around the edges as I remember from my visits in the early 90s. Home to some of the Deep South’s homiest food, a list of legendary local musicians who rocked the globe while forever changing it, and a history fundamental to understanding how and why America is as it is and shall most probably continue to be – Memphis is the kind of place that’s as gracious as it is groovin’. For a city break accompanied by a backbeat you can’t deny – there ain’t nowhere finer.

Central BBQ
2249 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104

Awarding winning and with good reason, Central BBQ is “where the locals go.” I had an amazing and massive pulled pork sandwich jammed full of super tender and flavoursome meat. I went to the original outlet on Central Avenue – and enjoyed some live bluegrass while waiting for my takeout – but there are location downtown and in East Memphis too.


Elwood’s Shack
4523 Summer Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38122

Memphis smokehouse meets New York deli, Elwood’s meat-o-rific menu was something like a dream come true. Every nomnomnom–able mouthful of my Cheddar brisket wrap with horseradish cream was full-on fantastic. Plopped down in the corner of a Lowe’s Hardware parking lot, there’s no hyberpole in calling this eatery a shack either. Whatever the antithesis of high faluting might be, that is what Elwood’s seems to stand for. Go for good, honest grub.

Online at

Jerry’s Sno Cones
1657 Wells Station Road, Memphis, Tennessee 3810

Better known for its snow cones than its BBQ, it’s still a top choice for downhome Dixie dining. BBQ bologna sandwhich? Yes m’am! Just make sure to save room for dessert. The Wedding Cake Supreme is the city’s top choice for beating the Memphis heat with a cold and tasty treat.

Find Jerry’s online at


Beyond the Q

Sheraton Memphis Downtown
250 North Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

I stayed downtown at the super comfy Sheraton. It’s the perfect hotel for exploring some of the city’s coolest bits – Beale Street, South Main Street – on foot and is well positioned for quick and easy drives most anywhere else around town. Visit the hotel online at

National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel
450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

The National Civil Rights Museum is set at the Lorraine Hotel, the site of 1968 assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The museum commemorates his death while highlighting his achievements as well as those of the American Civil Rights Movement with poignant and stirring exhibits. Find out more at

Sun Studio
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and a number of influential Memphis musicians recorded here unwittingly making history while laying down firm foundations for rock ‘n roll, country, and R&B. A tour here would make the day of any music fan. I loved it. Visit online at

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
926 E. McLemore Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38106

I’d never been to a museum before where all the folks were bopping their heads in unison while checking out the exhibitions. Located at the original site of the Stax Records studio where some of soul music’s biggest stars (Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs, Rufus Thomas, and on and on and on) made some of the best music and biggest hits of the last 60 years, this place is an awesome and lovingly presented shrine to local talent and the Memphis sound. For more about the museum go to


3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee 38116

I made it to Graceland! The home of the King of Rock ‘n Roll did not disappoint or underwhelm and was worth the visit alone for a looksee at Presley’s infamous Jungle Room. Details at


Get tips on what’d on in Memphis at For loads of help planning your trip to anywhere in the States, go to And please be sure to keep an eye out for more BBQ Bound posts to come!

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5 of the Best Berlin Blogs (OneTravel)


Today marks the 27th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. A lot’s changed since 1989, and today a unified Berlin is an undeniably dynamic destination. Arguably the hippest city in all of Europe with a culture and history unlike anywhere else in the world, it’s hard to beat the German capital for an urban break.

Be it nonstop nightlife, a bourgeoning dining scene, cutting edge art and design, world class museums, historic landmarks, or amazing architecture – Berlin’s got what you want in spades. But how best to keep track what’s hot in such a happening town? Read these blogs!

Don’t worry. All five of these blogs are written in English and by long term Berliners.

Read my complete post at OneTravel.

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#BBQbound: Dallas


From Austin I headed north to Dallas, a city I’d never visited before and one that I really wasn’t certain whether I’d take to or not. I ended up regretting not having more time to spend there. As for the BBQ, Dallas wound up being one of the tastiest pit stops of my three week road trip.

Dallas is as much city slicker as it is cowboy and offers visitors a chance to enjoy a spectrum of possibilities – from lowbrow and downhome doings to highbrow and uptown activity. Such a setting was perfect for a fella like me hoping to scope art, scarf grub and explore a big city at a pace more befitting a small town ramble. The BBQ scene is equally broad in scope. Whether served in a five-star hotel or a right rowdy joint, every bite of Dallas BBQ impressed.

Fearing’s Restaurant
The Ritz-Carlton, 2121 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75201

The Texas BBQ experience doesn’t have to be about picnic tables and countrified accoutrements. At Chef Dean Fearing’s eponymous eatery – a sleek and modern upscale restaurant set within the sumptuous Ritz-Carlton – you can have your BBQ while supping like royalty – even for breakfast. Fearing’s Pig and Grits (pulled pork, jalapeno Cheddar grits, poached egg, and tomato gravy) was fiercely flavoursome evidence that breakfast isn’t only the most important meal of the day but also the most scrumptious.

Find out more at


Pecan Lodge
2702 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75226

In the hip and happening neighbourhood of Deep Ellum, this popular smokehouse is an easy recommendation for proper BBQ. Wanna over do it in gratuitously delicious glory? Go for “The Trough” (one beef rib, a pound of pork ribs, a pound of brisket, half of pound of pulled pork, three sausage links, and a heap of southern style sides) … or if watching your figure consider ordering the “Hot Mess” (jumbo sea salt-crusted sweet potato, shredded brisket with southwestern seasoning, chipotle cream, cream, butter and green onions).

Online at

Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ
400 West Davis Street, Dallas, Texas 75208

A hokey hole-in-the-wall in the walkable and trendy Bishop Arts District, Lockhart was a particularly standout establishment. The quarter pound of shoulder clod I got to go from the takeout counter was probably the best cut of meat I sunk my teeth into during my trip. The Kreuz Market Sausage wowed my palate too.

Details at

901 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75208

Another awesome BBQ brekkie, Chef Tim Byre’s outpost at the Smoke at the stylish Belmont Hotel did me right with an early start meal of smoked brisket cornbread hash with poached egg, green chili rajas and onions. I was more than satiated and set for the day!

For details go to


Beyond the Q

Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria
14901 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75254

I stayed at the Marriott Quorum in an especially comfortable and spacious room. If you like to shop, it’s ideally situated near Dallas’ famed Galleria mall. I loved the pool (and could do with swimming a few laps considering all the mega-meals I was having) as well as having easy access to the Interstate when it was time for me to hit the road for my next destination. Find out more at

State Fair of Texas

I had a blast roaming round the fairgrounds and, taking the advice of nearly Dallasite I met, somehow found room to eat an obligatory Fletcher’s corndog. Make plans on for a hoot of a good time at the 2016 fair (30 September to 23 October) at

Dallas Arts District

Man, I had no clue how much flippin’ great art is on view (for free!) in Dallas. I had an amazing time admiring all the eye candy in the Dallas Arts District.

Dallas Museum of Art 1717 North Harwood Street, Dallas, Texas 75201 |

Nasher Sculpture Center 2001 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201 |

Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art 2010 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201 |  



Get tips for having a big time in Dallas at For loads of help planning your trip to anywhere in the States, go to And please be sure to keep an eye out for more BBQ Bound posts to come!

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London Daily Photo: Phone Box

LDP 2015.11.08 - Phone Box

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#BBQbound: Austin and the Hill Country


First stop on my BBQ Bound journey through Dixie was Austin, where brisket reigns supreme and with mighty fine reason.

If y’all ain’t never been, let me tell you that Austin is as happening a place to visit as any in the USA. With a booming local economy and a population busting at the seams with an unprecedented number of folks flocking to live there (as much for the opportunity as for the all-but-guaranteed blue skies and sunshine) the city nevertheless retains a warm and informal feel that would have even the prickliest of pears soon feeling at home.

The BBQ ain’t bad either.

While in Austin, I had the indulgent pleasure of dining at three of the nation’s best BBQ establishments (and the profound disappointment of not being able to get to a handful of other acclaimed eateries during my brief visit).


Franklin Barbecue
900 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78702

Yep, I made it to the world famous Franklin. It was my first taste of BBQ on the trip actually. Like so many before me have done (and so many more after me will), I waited in line all morning for a taste of what’s turned this humble little joint into a Mecca of meaty pleasure.

Sidling up to the Franklin parking lot around 9am, I took my place in a queue already comprised of roughly a couple dozen patient BBQ fans. By 10am, I couldn’t see the end of the queue that snaked behind me. Doors opened at 11, and I was chowing down on a most beautiful slice of brisket by noon. Orders were taken well before doors open (so you knew in advance if you were going to have your order met), lawn chairs were provided, toilets were available and customers could buy beer and soft drinks. The atmosphere while waiting for Franklin to open was as festive as it was anticipant – giddy even.

Was it worth the wait? My brisket (I got a half fatty/half lean mix) was rich and tender and maybe the best I had during my three weeks of travel. But! Was it that much better than the brisket I had five minutes’ walk down the street from Franklin?



Micklethwait Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Avenue, Austin, Texas 78702

Going at a mound of frito pie topped with strips of brisket at a picnic table in the sun was a gourmand delight. The brisket was gorgeous and good enough to pacify any Texan’s carno-cravings. Service from the window of the Micklethwiat trailer was swift, appreciative and friendly. Oh but to be there now!



Salt Lick
18300 Farm to Market Road 1826, Driftwood, Texas, 78619

My last night in Austin, I headed out to the Hill Country for dinner at the legendary Salt Lick. An expansive restaurant, bar and winery fanned out from the original stone pit built by Thurmond Howard in 1967. Everything entering my mouth was delicious – the brisket especially so (and right up there with Franklin and Micklethwait).

By the way, driving along the winding Hill Country roads as a violaceous dusk subsided to a starry spangled blanket of black was one of the more beautiful ‘on the road’ moments of my trip.

Visit Salt Lick online at


Beyond the Q …

Omni Hotel Downtown
700 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, Texas, 78701

I stayed at the Omni Hotel Downtown. Great location, ace rooftop pool and a prime location, it was a handy base. Indeed, everywhere I went expect for my ride out to Salt Lick was within easy walking distance of the Omni. Find out more at

CU29 Cocktail Bar
720 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas, 78701

Across the street from the Omni, CU29 proved a swell choice for elbow bending exercises. Brisket infused Bourbon? When in Austin … Check out CU29’s menu of handcrafted cocktails at

British Airways

British Airways offers daily flights to/from Austin/London Heathrow, from £619 per person, travelling January 1 – March 23. Includes World Traveller return flights from London Heathrow and an Economy car. Book by November 30. For reservations visit or call 0844 493 0758.


For a wealth of info about all the fun to be had in Austin, go to For loads of help planning your trip to anywhere in the States, go to And please be sure to keep an eye out for more BBQ Bound posts to come!

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London Daily Photo: Beat

LDP 2015.11.07 - Beat

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#BBQbound: An Epic Quest for the Best BBQ in the American South


I don’t mean to rub it in, but I’ve just returned from one of the sauciest adventures I’ve ever undertaken: a three-week road trip covering more than 2,500 miles across six states. The aim of my low ‘n slow sojourn was as straightforward as it was overindulgent – to find (and devour) the best BBQ in the American South.

Was my piggy pilgrimage a success? Certainly. I can claim to have eaten the best BBQ I’ve ever come across in my life and to have visited a number of the most revered and celebrated pits in the United States. But more than the food, it was the people cooking it with such passion and pride who made my journey such a worthwhile endeavour.

Where there was good BBQ there were hearty souls making it, with a resourcefulness that seemed to manifest itself as tenaciously traditional or tirelessly innovative (and sometimes a blend of both). Pig-headed folks, the BBQ lot. Alongside every morsel of downhome doings I enjoyed during the trip, a heaping helping of camaraderie and homespun culture was served up to enhance each meal with immeasurable local flavour.


Of course, plenty of non-BBQ moments made the trip all the more memorable. Spending time with family and a few old friends while hitting places I’ve known well for years (Austin, Texas; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Athens, Georgia) and also getting to make new acquaintances in awesome destinations no longer unknown to me (Dallas, Texas; Hillsborough, North Carolina; St Simons Island, Georgia) proved delightful – and just as delectable as anything dined upon along the way.

Join me over the next couple of weeks as I share the highlights of my trip in a BBQ Bound series of posts chronicling one of the all-time best – and definitely most delicious – experiences I’ve had on the road.

Before that though, allow me to give some propers where they’re due.

Addison Lee

My visit to the US began and ended with Heathrow airport transfers booked via the Addison Lee app. Yep, another awesome trip made easy by the services of London’s largest fleet of minicabs! I’ve relied on the app a number of times before and have yet to encounter issues or less than exemplary service. Find out more at

British Airways

British Airways offers daily flights to/from Austin/London Heathrow, from £619 per person, travelling January 1 – March 23. Includes World Traveller return flights from London Heathrow and an Economy car. Book by November 30. For reservations visit or call 0844 493 0758.

Brand USA

My trip would not have been possible without the extensive and active support of Brand USA. For more information from Brand USA about travelling to the US and for loads of help planning your own trip, go to

Keep an eye out for many more BBQ Bound posts to come!


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London Daily Photo: Golden Promise

LDP 2015.11.06 - Golden Promise

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Win a Pair of Tickets to BBC Good Food Show London 13 or 15 November

Good Food Show London


Interested in nibbling your way through an array of some of the UK’s best food? I’ve got a pair of tickets to share with one lucky reader for the upcoming BBC Good Food Show at Olympia London (plus tix to the Supertheatre). Keep reading to find out how you can win.

What’s on? There’ll be book signings, interviews, a Craft Beer Corner, pop-up restaurants, masterclasses and loads of other tasty activities and events!

Who’s coming? A list of chefs and celebrities to appear at the show includes Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jr, Tom Kerridge, James Martin and more!

To be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the BBC Good Food Show and the Good Food Show Super Theatre (for Friday 13 OR Sunday 15 November at Olympia London), simply tweet the following:

RT to win two tickets to @BBCGoodFoodShow London 13 or 15 November compliments of @tikichris: #GoodFoodTix

Please take a moment to read the terms and conditions before tweeting!


I’ll pick one winner at random on Wednesday 11 November at 11.30am BST. The winner will receive two tickets to the BBC Good Food Show at Olympia London – including tickets for the Supertheatre – for Friday 13 or Sunday 15 November 2015.

To be eligible to win, you need to have an address in the UK where the prize can be delivered.

All tickets are general admission excluding Saturday.

Tickets are non refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms and conditions apply.

London Olympia is located at Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX.

Find out more about BBC Good Food Shows at and


Check out more tikichris competitions.

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London Daily Photo: Down

LDP 2015.11.05 - Down

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4 London Spots to Celebrate Guy Fawkes Night 2015 (OneTravel)

Guy Fawkes Fireworks

Remember remember the fifth of November! It’s the day when Britain commemorates the events of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Guy Fawkes (yes, the guy those V for Vendetta masks are supposedly modelled after) tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. Today, the date is known as Guy Fawkes Night as well as Bonfire Night, with the context of its political and historic largely lost. The day is “celebrated” with fireworks and bonfires.

Here’s a list of four of the best Bonfire Night happenings in London (some taking place on the weekend just after the 5th).

Read my complete post at OneTravel.

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London Daily Photo: St John-at-Hackney

LDP 2015.11.04 - St John-at-Hackney

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London Daily Photo: Foliage

LDP 2015.11.03 - Foliage

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London Daily Photo: South Kensington

LDP 2015.11.02 - South Kensington

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A Coffee Lover’s Guide to Travel? (espressoCrazy)

A Coffee Lover's Guide to Travel

Ever wondered what the world’s top destinations for coffee lovers are? In this post, our guest blogger Tiki Chris shares the best places in the world for coffee with us.

While having a cup of coffee this morning and dreaming about a where I would like to travel most in 2015, I came up with an idea to list some of the world’s top destinations for coffee lovers, thinking it would make a great post for this blog. A quick look online though and I soon realised my plan was hardly a novel one. There are a plenty of coffee lover travel guides out there to peruse. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, I concluded a better list to share might be one of a few good blogs and news sites with their own top choices for the best places to visit if you consider yourself a true coffee aficionado.

Read my complete post at espressoCrazy.

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London Daily Photo: Strictly No Parking

LDP 2015.11.01 - Strictly No Parking

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Bombay Masterclass: Profiling the Botanicals

The Jam Tree Cocktail Masterclasses

Maddie Salters attends a gin masterclass at The Jam Tree in Clapham.

If your prohibition-era proclivities have ever led you to yearn for a night in a private bar cleverly disguised by a bookshelf, you need look no further than Clapham. A trip on the Northern Line and a jaunt down a high street cluttered with trendy shops will bring you to The Jam Tree, where jam-based cocktails, bright decor, and a love for late-night partying are paramount.

I visited for the Bombay Sapphire Masterclass – which I very nearly couldn’t find. Having been directed to go to the room ‘in the back’, it took a bit of finagling before I realized with a jolt and thrill of excitement that the wall of bookshelves; handsomely filled in with starchy, hard-backed classics; was, in fact, the door. Tilting a shelf open, I slipped inside to find an expansive setting of leather sofas alongside a bar, and in the middle of it all– a Bombay Gin sommelier, ready to lead me on a journey through the tasting notes of their carefully-guarded recipes.

Bombay has been gin-makers for over 250 years. I learned, through the course of the evening, about gin’s checkered Maritime past as the tonic (no pun!) of choice for curing sailors of malaria. While gin used to be only palatable through adding tonic water to it, these days (the sommelier reminds me) “You’re drinking gin and tonic– not tonic and gin.”

In fact, to understand the complex series of botanicals in each of Bombay’s three gins– Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, and their newly-released Star of Bombay– I decided to forgo tonic water altogether. The verdict?

Of the three, the Bombay Sapphire still impressed me the most. It’s a bit more intense than the Bombay, with more complex aromatics. Its botanicals are sharply profiled, but combine well into a smooth drink, with notes of lavender and violet standing out, contrasted by a woody soft note of pine. Made using eight main botanicals, each individually imported from points around the globe, I was thrilled when the physical ingredients themselves were brought out for me to touch, feel, smell, and taste alongside the gin. I especially appreciated getting to taste the Japanese tail peppercorn, with its mauled texture and bold flavour. After mulling it around in my mouth for a while before my next sip of gin, I could finaly identify it within the drink. The pepper resonates in the gin, by cooling the citrus notes of lemon peel and bergamot, and binding them to the sweet angelica and licorice roots. The Sapphire is a truly layered drink.

That said, while I may have a bias towards the Sapphire, I can see occasion for choosing the Star of Bombay over it. With a higher alcohol content (47%, versus 40% in the Sapphire), and a heavier, sharper, and spicier taste, here is a lovely gin for combining in cocktails. The flavour won’t be lost, as the doubling of botanicals (including extra grains of paradise and juniper, along with muskier flowers) means its profile comes across in a bold burst of natural citrus that rises above any mixers.

I put my theory to the test, to great success:

When the tasting was over, I tried my hand at making a cocktail. I decided on a fixing up a Bombay Sour, using a double shot of the Star of Bombay. Chambord, egg white, orange bitters, and fresh lemon juice were shaken and served over ice, garnished with raspberries. The result? A night-out cocktail that would make the Appletini greener with envy and the Cosmo seem less cosmopolitan.

It’s safe to say that the G&T, a staple drink of the UK, will keep on re-inventing and innovating itself – a goal that’s always been at the heart of Bombay’s botanical experiments.

The Jam Tree is located at 13-19 Old Town, SW4 0JT. Find out more at

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London Daily Photo: Viva

LDP 2015.10.31 - Viva

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Spitfire Ales: Why You’ll Be Drinking Mo’ Beer for Movember

Spitfire Movember15-01145 lr

November means Movember according to Maddie Salters who celebrated with Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale to kick off the month the raising money and awareness for sufferers of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental illnesses.

It’s that time of year again. Cultivate your Chevron, have a go at a Handlebar, and dabble in Dali. But just don’t take the clip to your upper lip: November means Movember, a month-long solidarity movement for men’s health, raising money and awareness for sufferers of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental illnesses.

To celebrate the movement and to highlight the cause, Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale teamed up with the Old Doctor Butler’s Head Pub to launch a month of hair-raising competitions and treats.

The pub is in the English tradition of things: warm interior, wood paneling, tartan rugs, large windows that let the city lights, twinkling by the late hour I’d arrived. Upstairs in the dining area, a a well-groomed feast awaited. Impressively thematic, the menu of British foods and Spitfire beer pairings included ‘shaved’ courgette and ‘goatee’ cheese parcels, ‘razor’ clams on angel hair pasta, Hare and Spitfire ale pie with ‘tash potatoes and a delicate pastry mustache.

Highlights for me included the clams, which were basted in lime and served up alongside an herbal beer; a preciously light and simplistic course in a lineup of thicker dishes; and the sticky ‘stubble’ pudding that was for dessert. The dollop of vanilla ice cream on top of the spongy toffee cake was outrageously flavourful, and I especially enjoyed its honied taste alongside the new Spitfire Gold, which made for a zingy and refreshing pint.

While eating my fill, I was entertained by the talents of the Genco Male Grooming team, who were offering last-minute, pre-Movember shaves to get faces prepared. (Women were welcome to have a seat in the barber’s chair and get some shaving cream dabbed on… a tempting prospect, when the lineup included hot towel options.)

The quirky night was just the thing to ring in Movember properly.

In case you haven’t gone down to your local pub to enquire after hair themed foods yet, there’s no rush. Spitfire has plenty planned for ale fans over the coming weeks.

Entering its fifth year as a proud sponsor of Movember and having raised more than £200,000 towards the cause to date, Spitfire will once again be adorning labels with Movember mustaches. Along with a portion of sale proceeds being donated to the cause, lovers of ‘Mobeer’ will be able to collect points with each bottle, redeemable online for prizes. (After all, you know what they say: Mo’ beer means Mo’ swag.)

The mustachioed ales aren’t the only thing hitting shelves this season. Spitfire launched their newest beer, Spitfire Gold, ahead of the festivities. The aim of the beer, which is sweeter and lighter, is to appeal to a broader set of consumers, to get more people than ever before in on the event. And don’t worry– if you’re not a fan of ‘sweet and light’, they’re also launching a ‘design your own Mo Beer’ contest, putting brew lovers at the helm of creating their own dream draught. Decide on your style, hops, and special ingredient, then slap a name onto it– the enviable winner will receive a year’s supply of their creation, as well as the honour of being next year’s Movember beer.

I think I might just give it a try.

You can get involved with Movember by signing up at:

Posted in Beer, Drink, Food, Good Cause, London, Maddie Salters, pubs, restaurants | Leave a comment

London Daily Photo: Untitled

LDP 2015.10.30 - Untitled

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Cocoa Loco: Chocolate For Breakfast Never Looked So Good (Or Healthy!)

A photo posted by doisy & dam (@doisyanddam) on

Join Maddie Salters for a wholesome superfood breakfast.

The scene outside of the 26 Grains Porridge Cafe could have been taken straight out of a 90’s film about coming-of-age. It’s an organic space, both literally and figuratively, with oak-slabbed communal tables and hearty plants growing along its wide barn doors. A woman in skinny jeans lounges in the chill beside a hand-written menu roughly the size of a school chalk board. It’s early on a Wednesday, and notably, the space is packed.

While the Neal’s Yard pop-up staple is known for its sumptuous porridges, which combine Scandinavia’s favourite spices with a healthy (and I do mean healthy) respect for steel-cut grains, what brought me hunkering in to grab a seat at the counter was was their deviously delicious new partnership with chocolate gurus Doisy & Dam.

It’s difficult to go wrong when you combine the words ‘cardamom’ and ‘cocoa’ in the same sentence, so I admit, I was excited before I even dug in. Doisy & Dam had just released their new Superfood-Packed Organic White & Milk Chocolate series, and the idea was simple, but genius: crumble up a bar or two, and use it as a topping for 26 Grains’ original Cacao & Vanilla Porridge. I’ve topped porridge with butter and cream before, but never lovingly-crafted organic milk chocolate with dates. The luxuriant lineup features chocolate infused with enough buzzword ingredients to send any foodie straight to Nirvana: himalayan sea salt, goji, maca, lacuma, quinoa. Which left me with the conundrum: which should I try?

While thinking it over, I cooled my heels with a bottle of Doisy & Dam’s Cold Brewed Cacao. The taste was surprising, unlike anything my palette had been exposed to before. Fresh, bittersweet, and with a definite chocolate tang. It was less like a typical cup of cold cocoa and more akin to a richly flavoured water, which left me feeling clean and light. A quick scan of the ingredients list pointed to pure vanilla bean being responsible for bolstering the round, softly sugared taste. As a consummate fan of cold brew coffee, I think I may have found my new spring fling– a wonderfully like alternative. (It’ll hits shelves next year, so I’ll have to contain my excitement until then.)

When my porridge arrived, I’d made my decision: I had to try everything. First, unadulterated, I took a taste of the porridge. The oats, soaked overnight in almond milk and thickened with shea butter, were deliciously creamy, and had just the texture profile– soft and gooey, with an underlying crunch. Warmed to my core, it was time to unabashedly pile on Doisy & Dam’s smorgasbord of toppings.

While I didn’t find a single taste I didn’t like, the stars for me were definitely the Lemon Curd Poppy Seed white chocolate, which was deliciously tangy, paired with the Roasted Cocoa Nibs (smoky-sweet, a great compliment to the cold brew), and the Quinoa, Smoked Tea, and Vanilla milk chocolate, which gave each bite beautifully chewy.

The verdict? Chocoholics rejoice… (or beware?), this may be the best combination since Nutella on toast (and certainly more Instagram-worthy).

If you visit 26 Grains, my advice is to go hungry: I wasn’t able to finish the last dredges of my bowl, but every satisfying bite certainly fortified me for the day ahead.

Find 26 Grains is located at 2 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP. Visit 26 Grains at

For more about Doisy & Dam go to

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London Daily Photo: Textures

LDP 2015.10.29 - Textures

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London Daily Photo: Untitled

LDP 2015.10.28 - Untitled

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Vietnam Airlines Adds More Nonstop Flights from LHR

Vietnam Airlines

The national flag carrier of Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines, is to add a sixth weekly flight to its Heathrow winter schedule with its new Dreamliner to fly nonstop three times per week each to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Following the successful launch of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on UK routes in September, national carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced its new schedule for winter 2015-2016 – including a new additional weekly nonstop flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Read my complete article at OneTravel.

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London Daily Photo: Advance

LDP 2015.10.27 - Advance

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Win a Selection of Fine East African Teas from Birchall Tea

Win a selection of Birchall Tea


Birchall Tea is a family owned tea company with more than 140 years and five generations of tea making tradition. Birchall’s black teas are sourced from some of the finest tea estates in East Africa. The equatorial region’s altitude, high rainfall and rich volcanic soil provide the ideal conditions that are integral to growing top quality and great tasting tea. Keep reading for a chance to win a selection of teas from Birchall Tea.

Birchall Tea has won 24 accolades at The Guild of Fine Food’s prestigious Great Taste Awards. Birchall’s black teas are certified by the Rainforest Alliance and grown in a way that helps protect the environment and the farm workers and their families.

I’ve enjoyed sipping my way through a variety of Birchall teas and am pleased to say I’ve teamed up with the family owned company to share a selection of these tasty teas with one lucky reader.

Here’s what’s up for grabs for the winner:

– One box of 80 everyday teabags of Great Rift Breakfast Blend;
– One box of 80 everyday teabags, Decaf Tea;
– One box of 20 prism bags of Peppermint;
– One box of 20 prism bags of Organic Red Bush; and
– One box of 20 prism bags of Red Berry and Flower.

To be in with a chance to win a selection of teas from Birchall Tea, simply tweet the following:

RT to win a selection of fine #EastAfricanTeas from @BirchallTea, compliments of @tikichris: #tea


I’ll pick one winner at random on Friday 6 November at 5.30pm BST. The winner will receive five boxes of teas from Birchall Tea valued at £3.99 to £4.50 each. To be eligible to win, you need to have an address in the UK where the prize can be delivered.

Find out more about Birchall Tea at


Check out more tikichris competitions.

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London Daily Photo: Hackney Wick

LDP 2015.10.26 - Hackney Wick

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America’s Most Haunted Lakes and Ponds (OneTravel)

Haunted Lake

What’s that lurking in the lake? Just a great story to add some fun to your Halloween holiday.

Here’s a list of America’s most haunted lakes and ponds guaranteed to make a spooky splash!

Read my complete post at OneTravel.

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London Daily Photo: Pylon

LDP 2015.10.25 - Pylon

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London Daily Photo: Tire

LDP 2015.10.24 - Tire

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London Daily Photo: Camden

LDP 2015.10.23 - Camden

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Quiz: Which Area of London is Most “YOU”?

Do you love London but can’t decide which area would suit you most? Are you a foodie, sport and outdoors lover, fashionista? Or you prefer things quiet and relaxed?

Compliments of London Pass, this fun visual quiz shows you which London neighbourhood will closely resemble your personal interests.

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