Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tea Time A Taste of London's Best Afternoon Teas: Review

Tea Time A Taste of London's Best Afternoon Teas

If you love afternoon tea this book gives a snapshot of well known venues from boutique hotels to chic cafes including Fortnum and Mason, The Langham, The Hummingbird Bakery, Peggy Porschen through to Yauatcha if you are looking for an eastern inspired tea.

Approximately 30 venues have shared their afternoon tea recipes, I made the scrumptious fruit cake from Daylesford Organic Farmshop & Cafe and it was a huge success.  For the very keen cook there is a recipe from Laduree for Chocolate French Macaroons.

There are two or three pages dedicated to each venue with a brief description and photograph of the tea on offer, exterior and interior photographs all give a flavour of the ambience.

Turning the pages of the book I came across a stunning photograph of the outside of Claridges, I have fond memories of walking through the revolving doors into the art deco foyer where you sit and eat a relaxing afternoon tea in stunning surrounds.

Jean Cazal, food photographer, has taken the stunning photographs and you can almost find your hand wanting to reach out and take a cake off the many and varied cake stands and plates.

Fortnum and Mason Afternoon Tea


Ottolenghi Afternoon Tea


Hyatt Regency Afternoon Tea

Love afternoon tea? Then this is a great reference book to help plan that next indulgent treat.

Title: TeaTime
Author: Jean Cazals
ISBN: 9781906506575
Price: £14.99
Publisher: Papadakis
Publication Date: March 2015
Available: www.thegmcgroup.com

Disclaimer: I was sent the book for review, all thoughts are my own.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Easter Eggs and Champagne 2015

Lindt Luxury Heavenly Hazelnut Easter Egg

From the Lindt Master Chocolatier Collection is the Heavenly Hazelnut Egg. Luxurious smooth milk chocolate is rolled in roasted Piedmont hazelnuts and if that wasn't enough to please, the egg is then generously coated with a final chocolate layer.

Lindt Master Chocolatier Hazelnut Egg

Looks wise this is an unusual egg but it really is eggscellent quality, reassuringly with all Lindt products they never put style over substance, the egg is designed for adults who like something a little unusual.

Weighing 350g with a RRP of £19.99 from online and high street stores.

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Prestat, chocolatier to Her Majesty The Queen, present their Dark Chocolate Easter Egg filled with the finest truffles.
Prestat Dark Chocolate Easter Egg
Presented in a swirl design colourful box the classically elegant 70% dark chocolate egg is covered in gold foil, tied with a red ribbon and filled with luxurious handmade milk, dark and white chocolate truffles.

Weighs 170g Price £15 from online and high street shops.


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Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut from Aldi

Aldi Champagne

Champagne in one hand, Easter Egg in the other and why not?

No wonder this champagne is multi-award winning, from presentation, to opening and yes it definitely goes with a loud and impressive pop.....the glass is filled with lots of tiny bubbles which stay long after pouring.  I love bubbles and this drink is smooth, crisp and impressive.

Priced at a very reasonable £9.99 from Aldi stores, subject to availability.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the above products for review purposes, all thoughts are my own.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Get Cosy at Social Pantry Cafe, London: Review


The Social Pantry CafĂ© is an institution in Battersea. It’s likely you’ll drop in for some homemade cake and a strong coffee during the day; but now it has flung open its doors for evenings and you’ll find yourself with a glass of wine or two instead.

When you walk in, you’ll notice that it’s a very intimate space with exposed brickwork, flickering candles on small tables and perhaps have the feeling you’re in someone’s kitchen with its tables overlooked by a wooden clock. This is all part of the charm.

It’s always quite a novelty for me going to places which take on a whole new appearance by night and the menus are often much more adventurous and compelling compared to the old 9-5 staple.

On our arrival we were seated by a friendly waiter, offered a ‘welcome drink’, which isn’t free but will delight those who enjoy a classic Aperol Spritz.

Group Food Shot The Social Pantry, Battersea

We were advised to choose 3-5 small dishes to share (it’s a little like British tapas). So with that in mind, we opted for a scotch egg with peppered sausage meat to share. It was served to us oozing a bright orange yolk and was a comforting treat (mmmm).

Next up was a shredded ham hock with cheddar cheese croquet and a minted pea puree. It was smaller than I expected but the fragrant peas gave this savoury combo a superb kick.

Our third dish was the one we had been most excited about, pork chop and fennel – strips of pork delicately cooked. It’s a lovely supper idea but something felt missing and I wonder if it could have benefited from some fiery mustard. The fennel was nice but not really memorable.

We then had a grilled wedge of broccoli topped with a scattering of roasted almond and lemon butter broccoli. I couldn’t help but order it after seeing it served from the kitchen. Unfortunately it was a little burnt on one side, which was a shame and so it lost its appeal early on.

Finally we had a plate of scrumptious cheeses served with plenty of crackers and washed it down with a Taylor’s port. It was at this point that we got excited because we saw Gary Lineker at the cafe. It just shows you don’t always need to be at an uber-posh restaurant to spot a celeb’.

Overall, we had a lovely experience, enjoyed the atmosphere and trying creative dishes from the new evening menu.

To find our more visit Social Pantry Cafe.

Disclaimer:  We were guests of @Social Pantry Cafe, all thoughts are our own.