Borough Market that is, I thought it would be jaded and expensive but was totally wrong. The best walnut and gorgonzola pasta ever (£3.50) fresh oysters shucked while you wait - next door to a Prosecco stand, scallops fried to order and mountains of other things too tasty to mention.
So obvious really, mini-fish and chips (I know they do it at parties...) but I've only seen it once here on the street, and it was VERY popular. Why? Because you really really want some but you don't want to throw half of it away. Brilliant - and it won an award. The best ideas are the obvious ones.
Smart Casual - jacket not required. Smart - no jeans, no trainers, no shorts but ties not necessary. Casually Smart - jeans and trainers acceptable, jacket and standard shirt collar, tie not required. No sneakers... I do not want to be told what to wear when I eat out. Daft dress codes in dining rooms make me mad. A scruffy suit, an un-ironed shirt and a bad tie can look far worse than a smart pair of jeans and sneakers. There are many different pedigrees of jeans and sneakers and who is to tell me if mine are acceptable?
We called in at AquaShard last week - you don't need to book to get into to the bar on the 31st floor! We made it through the welcome party on the door to the fast and direct lift up to the bar. 'Sorry, I can't let you in' said the Maitre D' at the door. 'You are wearing sneakers'.
'Young man', I said in my best Suffolk dialect, 'there are people inside wearing sneakers'.
'They booked a table' replied the Maitre D'. 'If you had booked, we wouldn't turn you away, but as you have not booked, I cannot let you in wearing sneakers'.
We thought for a minute, then went up one more floor, in our sneakers, to Oblix, the bookings-only restaurant. We told them we had diamonds on the soles of our shoes. They let us in.
Amazing food stalls here at Chatsworth Market every Sunday morning. I regretted my big breakfast because I couldn't eat lamb with pomegranate from the Persian stall. Bought some lovely cheese though from this farmers son.
Gor blimey, a trip to the East End last night culminated with a meal under Hoxton station rail arches at Beagle. A restaurant that only opened this year with two rooms - bar and restaurant - both big and noisy. We liked the interesting menu and high quality ingredients used in all of their dishes but their service was some of the best we have experienced; very knowledgeable, very friendly and unpatronising young staff - who are clearly having everything explained to them in the kitchen and probably tasting most of it too - hooray! Mutton was served pink with a plate full of runner beans and anchovy. The Essex Bird in the picture (from Radwinter Wild Game) is partridge, with Jerusalem artichokes and watercress. It's still early in the season for partridge so wait a little longer for the weather to get cold, then they will have a nice layer of fat to make the meat more tender.
Imagine our surprise when we went for lunch yesterday at Tom's new restaurant 'Picture' because Tracey reviewed it in the paper on Saturday and I remembered I hadn't been there to see what he is doing after Arbutus (and of course because he was in BSE at the Angel before that) and Giles Coren was there having lunch too! What a buzz! Does this mean that here at simple old suffolkfoodie we are going to places WITH the critics?
Anyhoo, enough about us, look at the food! £15 for a three course lunch with two choices, with free bread and the kind of service we should be expecting everywhere. Our water was replaced three times - as we drank it - without any fuss or hovering, and it was tap water which wasn't charged for either. We had a carafe of house white which was a lovely fruity Chardonnay. I had the plum tomatoes with goats curd salad dressed with merlot vinegar as a starter, the other choice being potato and fennel soup with smoked bacon and parsley. Followed by courgette and oregano risotto with grilled artichoke while the others had Elwy Valley lamb breast, with coco beans and cavalo nero, and for dessert I had marscapone and vanilla yoghurt with redcurrants glistening like rubies on the top, or there was chocolate mousse with scottish raspberries and honeycomb. Yum Yum Yum.
Nice sunny place, wonderful food, great hosts, not very busy on Saturdays (at the moment...) and only 90 minutes from Suffolk - take note - people-who-charge-£15-for-crap-burgers. And Giles Coren is much younger in real life than he looks in the paper - you will have to take my word for it, he left before we could get a picture of what he was eating.
Do we like this idea? Are things moving in foodie-world or am I just distracted by that really fit waiter with no shirt on...?
They offered us another meal, we went back, it was much nicer.
- ready at the bar
- the different types of rum
- how to make a rum punch
- which is better?
- the judging...
- the winner!
The perfect thing to do on a hot Saturday afternoon - book a rum tasting at Cottons in Camden. We went for a birthday treat and tasted six rums and two cocktails from all over the Caribbean. With their Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell away in Cuba we had the session with Andre, his nephew, who soon had us behind the bar mixing the cocktails. It was one of the best £25 I've ever spent, we left in a VERY good mood!