Great Jamaican Cuisine at Rudie’s in Dalston

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Head to Dalston for high calibre Caribbean cuisine and cocktails at Rudie’s.

I don’t go out for Jamaican or Caribbean food all that often in London. It’s not because I don’t love the cuisine but because (save for a short list of awesome places) I tend to find most of what’s on offer doesn’t live up to my expectations of how good the food can be. So I’m pleased to report my recent dinner at Rudie’s in Dalston turned out to be such a tasty treat. Continue reading

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Flavours of Friuli Venezia Giulia | #FVGFlavour

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Located in the far northeast corner of Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia borders Austria to its north, Slovenia to its east and the Italian autonomous region of Veneto to the west. It has a long stretch of Adriatic shoreline, is home to the mightly Dolomite Mountains, and boasts a fascinating and culturally complex history.

It’s one of Italy’s most dynamic and least appreciated destinations – and among my favourite places (in the world) to visit. So when I was invited back by the region’s tourism office to join its “Tastes of Friuli Venezia Giulia Food & Wine Tour” this summer I was all sorts of excited. Continue reading

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Cooking with a Wood-Fired Oven with Manna from Devon

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Holly and David Jones of Manna from Devon Cooking School in Kingswear, Devon came north to London earlier this summer for some wood-fired oven demos at The Swan pub in Chiswick. I was wiser (and fuller) for having dropped by for a session.

During the early lunch workshop in the beautiful suntrap of The Swan’s beer garden, the duo fired up their Morsø Forno ovens (I want!) to show how versatile these sleek cast iron (not an oxymoron!) Danish wood-fired ovens are and how – with a little knowhow and bit of experience – a variety of dishes can be cooked in a wood-fired oven. Continue reading

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#RutteRoute Round Up

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My route to discovering the Dutch origins of genever and gin was a fun and flavoursome chance to enjoy some of the best food, drinks, sights and nightlife in Rotterdam and Dordrecht.

Indeed, quaint Dordrecht was completely off my radar before joining the trip hosted by the folks at Rutte, and now I can’t think of few places as pleasantly positioned for a idyllic day out. I have to admit I wasn’t all that aware of Rutte’s role in origins of gin or how tasty its range of gins and genever actually was. I’m glad to have come home with a couple of bottles from the historic shelves of the Rutte & Sons Distillery.

I hope you enjoyed rambling along a stretch of the ‘Rutte Route’ with me. Continue reading

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#TCTalks | Episode 1 | Hey Y’all

#TCTalks | Episode 1 " Hey Y'all

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On the #RutteRoute at the Rutte & Sons Distillery

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In the heart of picturesque Dordrecht, the historic Rutte & Sons Distillery still operates in the same tiny townhouse where founder Simon Rutte started creating his distinctly flavoured spirits back in 1872.

An enchanting, evocative and appropriate setting to sample Rutte’s gins and genever, the townhouse has changed very little over the decades. Continue reading

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Something’s Brewing: Chemex (espressoCrazy)

Something's Brewing: Chemex

Ready for another cup of coffee coupled with a look at one more way for you to brew your own at home?

Continuing with my Something’s Brewing series about brewing methods and equipment, I’m staying in filter coffee mode but getting a bit fancier with it by pulling out a Chemex.

Read my complete post at espressoCrazy.

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On the #RutteRoute in Dordrecht

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Of course, the main event of my Dutch itinerary was visiting the Rutte & Sons Distillery in Dordrecht. But the opportunity to stroll about and get a sense of the tiny island town that Rutte has called home since the 19th century was a lot of fun and worth the trip in and of itself.

So before delving into my distillery experience in much more detail I’d love to share a few of the best bits of this fascinating destination with you. Continue reading

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Recipe: Rooibos Ribeye

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I’m not sure where the idea for this came from, but it really works. And digging around online for inspiration suggests using rooibos to flavour meat isn’t that strange of a notion.

Playing around with the rub I tried it on three different cuts of beef: fillet, sirloin and rib eye. It was tasty with all three. But I reckon it went best with the ribeye. Continue reading

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On the #RutteRoute in Rotterdam

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First stop on my journey to the Rutte & Sons Distillery in Dordrecht was Rotterdam, where a phenomenally crafted meal was followed by a top secret nightcap and a solid sleep in a historic setting.

Here are the highlights. Continue reading

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Ted’s Grooming Room

A post shared by Chris Osburn (@chrisosburn) on

For a shave and a haircut (and a chance to relax) head to Ted’s Grooming Room.

I recently got invited round to Ted’s Soho location for a Cut a Dash with Ted treatment (£75). The hour-long service featured a haircut combined with a hot towel treatment and a shave, with ear flaming, brow threading and even an arm massage. Considering the raw material my barber had to work with, I’d say he did a fantastic job. Continue reading

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#RutteRoute | Win a Bottle of Rutte Old Simon Genever

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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!

Definitely the coolest aspect of my recent visit to the Netherlands was getting to see firsthand how and where Rutte makes its gin and genever.

But before continuing too much further along my path to discover the history of gin and genever, perhaps I should talk about the differences between these two related spirits – and maybe even offer one lucky reader a taste of genever with a chance to win a bottle of one of the best, Rutte Old Simon. Continue reading

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Which Caribbean Island Should You Retire to? (Going Places)

Which Caribbean Island Should You Retire to?

If you’re starting to plan ahead for retirement and wonder just how far your money can go in the Caribbean, then this list is for you.

Join us as we dream a little about relocating to five of the best islands in the Caribbean for Americans to enjoy their retirement while considering some of the practicalities of doing so in each place.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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The #RutteRoute to Discovering the History of Gin and Genever

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A little over a month ago I tagged along on a mini tour of The Netherlands en route to the Rutte & Sons Distillery on the tiny island of Dordrecht in South Holland.

Hosted by the friendly folks from Rutte, it was an amazing little trip full of flavoursome food, fantastic drinks and awesome nightlife as well as a chance to trace the history of gin and its predecessor genever while learning about Rutte’s significant role in that lineage. Continue reading

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Reducing Food Waste with Maille and OLIO

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A recent event at the Maille Boutique on the Piccadilly highlighted delicious ways to reduce food waste compliments of Harry Lalousis – the world’s first and only mustard sommelier – and the free food sharing app OLIO.

I had a tasty time attending and learned a lot. Continue reading

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Jose Gordon’s El Capricho Menu at The World’s End Market

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King’s Road restaurant, The World’s End Market, has launched a new “Jose Gordon (El Capricho)” menu offering select cuts of extra mature ox meat reared and aged by Spanish grill master, ox farmer and Chef Patron of acclaimed El Capricho restaurant (and Netflix star), Jose Gordon.

For a gorgeous steak that’s more of a one-off special treat than one more slab of meat, this menu is just the thing. With it, World’s End just leapt from a reliable go-to for when I’m down that way to one of the most exciting places I’ve eaten in London this year. And my recent dining experience there was a deeply flavoursome one to savour. Continue reading

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Why You Should Retire to Thailand (Miles Away)

Retire in Thailand

About to take the leap into retirement and thinking of doing so overseas? Your options are many but the argument for putting Thailand at the top of your list is strong.

The cost of living in Thailand is much cheaper than it is in the US. Still, standards in the Southeast Asian nation are still relatively high when it comes to housing and general quality of life.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Bottomless Brunch at The Vincent

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The Vincent near Hackney Downs has launched a weekend brunch menu featuring bottomless coffee, cocktails and prosecco alongside a yummy assortment of breakfast and otherwise brunch-able dishes.

I enjoyed my chance to give the new menu a run through last weekend (and could done with a good run afterward but opted only for a stroll through the Downs). Continue reading

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Good Stuff #69

Good Stuff

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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Use the Power of the World Wide Web to Book Your Next Vacation

Use the Power of the World Wide Web to Book Your Next Vacation

If you’re ready to do some traveling, now is the time. There has never been a better time to cure your traveling blues by making tracks across the globe. The power of the world wide web has made it easier than ever to book the vacation of your dreams.

Now is the time for you to take advantage of a series of incredible new offers that are about to open up before your astonished eyes. For example, if you are interested in traveling to the Southern Hemisphere, all you need to do is punch in a search for “Fiji vacations” and an amazing variety of choices will quickly appear. Continue reading

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8 Amazing Cities Not Yet Overrun by Tourists (Going Places)

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As travel gets easier and more affordable, so does the likelihood that all those amazing places you hope to visit will be swamped with tourists by the time you’re able to get to them.

To help you hit some of the world’s most awesome cities before they’re mobbed by everybody else, we’ve compiled this list of eight of the best that are definitely worth checking out.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Win a Pair of Tickets to Foodies Festival with Feeney’s Irish Cream

Win tickets to Foodies Festival with Feeney's Irish Cream

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!

I’ve teamed up with luxury drink brand Feeney’s Irish Cream for an especially smooth competition.

We’re offering the chance for one lucky tikichris reader to win a pair of tickets to the Foodies Festival at Alexandra Palace in London or South Parks in Oxford. Continue reading

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Last-Minute Trips You Should Take Before Your Kids Go Back to School (Miles Away)

Last-minute family vacation ideas

Taking advantage of the last days of summer to get away with the whole family before school gets back in session can help ease the pain of adjusting to the daily rigors of an early start, tight schedule and demands of homework. A family trip before the school daze is a fun way to bond and make memories to last throughout your children’s academic year.

Here’s a look at four short stay vacation ideas that you and your family can take last minute before your kids head back to class.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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The London Pop-Up Guide

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There has certainly been no shortage of pop-up food and drink experiences in London over the years.

From the innovative, like when Dalston’s Jones & Sons teamed up with PokerStars to create the “All-In Kitchen” to the downright distasteful (death row dinners anyone?). Londoners have seen, eaten, and drunk it all! And though there’s been a vast array of pop-ups running throughout the city all summer, things are set to continue into autumn.

Here’s the lowdown on some of the best pop-up dining experiences starting this month. Continue reading

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New Cocktails at Great Northern Hotel

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A ‘yeah sure’ turned into an ‘oh wow’ just a few sips into an accepted invitation to sample a range of new signature cocktails at Great Northern Hotel’s GNH Bar and Snug Bar.

Head Bartender Harry Nikolaou’s brilliant creations beguiled as much as they refreshed, enticing as they intoxicated. Continue reading

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Llamb’s Day Dinner at Tom Simmons – Tower Bridge

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Chef Tom Simmons of MasterChef – The Professionals 2011 fame has opened an eponymous restaurant (his first) at the south end of Tower Bridge, showcasing his admiration of British and French cuisine with an emphasis on his Pembrokeshire heritage and on sourcing high quality Welsh ingredients.

I’d been trying to get a table at Tom Simmons – Tower Bridge since the restaurant opened a few weeks back but to no avail. The nights when I could go were all booked up. So when an invitation to attend a LLamb’s Day press dinner came my way I was glad to RSVP my seat at the table.

A few bites into my meal I was even more pleased to have been able to join the event. Continue reading

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Official J&T of Juliette’s Interiors

Juliette's Garden G&T

So remember that Ginspiration Challenge I wrote about a few weeks ago? Well check it out: I won it!

My “Juliette’s Garden G&T” is now the official “J&T” for Chelsea-based high end luxury brand, Juliette’s Interiors. Continue reading

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Jazzgir, Canary Wharf

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Jazzgir near South Quay brings Mediterranean cuisine with jazzy flair to the Docklands.

I was really pleased with my recent visit Jazzgir. Continue reading

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The Dayrooms Cafe

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The Dayrooms Café – an “Aussie inspired café” in Notting Hill – is a pleasant spot for a casual meal and top quality coffee.

I really enjoyed my Dayrooms lunch and the relaxed comfortable setting. Continue reading

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The Art of Traveling With Your Girlfriend (Going Places)

The Art of Traveling with Your Girlfriend

Going on a trip with your girlfriend can definitely prove to be a challenge. I mean, you do want to her to have a good time, but it’s also got to be balanced with some amazing experiences that the BOTH of you can share and enjoy.

To get you heading in the right direction when you start planning your trip, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Jinkx Monsoon of RuPaul’s Drag Race at Leicester Square Theatre

Jinkx Sings Everything

Season 5 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx Monsoon returns to the London stage this October with a short string of nightly shows at Leicester Square Theatre as part of the drag performers UK tour.

Jinkx Sings Everything promises a mix of Broadway and West End show stoppers and cheeky improve, with the song list each night created on-the-spot based on audience requests. Continue reading

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Win a Free Copy of Gesmay Paynter’s The Secret Life of Bananas Cookery Book

The Secret Life of Bananas

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!

Gesmay Paynter’s recipe book, The Secret Life of Bananas, features a bunch of delicious recipes with bananas as the main ingredient. I’ve certain found it to be an a-peel-ing read, and I’m sure you will too.

Keep reading for your chance to win a free copy of this tasty book for yourself. Continue reading

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Free Wine Pop-Up in Soho: The Grand Cork Experiment

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Multi-sensory experience designers, Bompas & Parr, have teamed up with the Portuguese Cork Association to launch a corker of a pop-up running today and tomorrow (Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July) in Soho.

The event offers the chance to touch, see, hear and – mostly importantly – taste the effects of cork while discovering the journey it takes from the forests of Portugal to the neck of a wine bottle or however else the 100% sustainable product may be used. Continue reading

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Mr Black’s Espresso Martini Festival

Mr Black's Espresso Martini Festival

Love an espresso martini? There’s a festival for that.

Coffee liqueur company, Mr Black, is launching London’s first festival dedicated to the espresso martini. Mr Black’s Espresso Martini Festival will run from 10 to 12 August at a range of bars, cafes and restaurants in London. Continue reading

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California: Designing Freedom at the Design Museum

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The California: Designing Freedom exhibition at London’s Design Museum takes a look at America’s most populous state and its most popular contributions to design.

A recent shindig hosted by Visit California presented a golden opportunity to head over to the Design Museum (for my first time since it moved from Shad Thames to its gorgeously mid century modern digs at the Commonwealth Institute at Holland Park) and to have a gander at the museum’s Designing Freedom exhibition. Continue reading

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