Food Life Lately

Today’s post is basically about what we’ve been up to lately. The last couple of months have absolutely flown by and I feel like we’ve lots track of things quite a bit here. So with that in mind I decided to share all the foodie wonders that Fi and I have experienced lately. It’s mainly pictures, because let’s be honest pictures are the best!

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Lunchtime park picnics from Pret

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Pimms – the perfect summer cocktail

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Afternoon tea in the garden – chocolate cake, marshmallow crispy, coffee and walnut cake, banana muffins and chocolate chip cakes.

Borough Market treats

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Homemade Chinese chicken

Flapjack

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Raw Cookie Dough

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Double chocolate chip cookies

 Homemade hummus

Lunch at The Pepper Tree in Clapham IMG_3324

Caprese Salad

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Homemade turkey burgers and sweet potato fries

Sunday breakfast at The Delaunay

So there we go. You’ve all been caught up on our recent foodie lives. Wasn’t that just a bundle of fun? All I know is that I am now hungry from looking at all that food!

Lau xxx

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Afternoon Tea at The Swan, Bankside

This past Saturday Fi and I were treated to afternoon tea at The Swan Pub on Bankside. This was a birthday present – a pretty awesome one if you ask me – from our Aunt and Uncle. The present also included a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. So we did our tour, wandered around the exhibition and then headed next door for a champagne afternoon tea treat. There’s something so perfectly British about Afternoon Tea isn’t there? Plus added champers? A totally winning combination in my opinion!
Afternoon Tea
So afternoon tea at The Swan looked a little something like this.
 
Champagne Afternoon tea and cakes
And included…
– Brioche finger rolls with four different fillings; cream cheese & cucumber, egg & cress, ham hock & mustard and smoked salmon.
– Scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream
– cakes, so many cakes; shortbread jammie dodgers, mini chocolate eclairs, coffee opera cake and lemon curd madelines.
I think you’ll agree that it’s a veritable feast for anyone’s taste buds.
Now here’s a pic of Fi enjoying herself!
Fi enjoying afternoon tea
There aren’t hundreds of types of tea to choose from, like at some other hotels, and you don’t get offered seconds (or thirds) of the food but there is plenty of food to go around. And it’s a decent option if you want to do Afternoon Tea without spending lots and lots of your hard-earned cash.
Finally I really must recommend that you do the tour of The Globe Theatre – it was so interesting, very informative and the building is spectacular. Did you know it’s there is no metal in the construction? It is held up by over 9,000 wooden pegs – how amazing is that?
– Lau xx

 

Review – The Riverfront

Last week Fi and I joined the parental units for an evening of theatre at the National. We are all a bit obsessed with the National Theatre, due, in equal parts, to the stunning river location and the ever changing selection of superb and entertaining plays. I highly recommend seeing a play there if you can. Anyway before we headed into the Olivier Theatre to watch A Small Family Business we headed for food. Obviously. I mean it’s what we do!

We decided to meet (and eat) at a new favourite of ours, The Riverfront. The Riverfront is part of the BFI and is situated right under Waterloo Bridge, which also happens to be next to The National Theatre – handy that! The building has glass walls so you can spend hours just watching the world pass by, and there are deckchairs outside if that’s what you fancy. It was raining (of course) so we headed inside and got situated with ginger beer and Victorian lemonade – we are British after all! 

Now to the food. Well we decided to share a tomato bruschetta and a baked provolone cheese with honey. Both of which we’ve had before and loved. The tomato brushetta is made form heritage tomatoes, so you get the lovely orange and yellow tomatoes involved too. Nom nom. Add the provolone cheese is seriously to die for with the most amazing crusty, chewy rind on it. For mains I can definitely recommend the pulled pork and bacon burger. It comes in a delicious brioche bun with a mini bucket of chips on the side. The rest of the party sampled the beef burger and the fish and chips. From previous visits we can also suggest sampling the Caesar salad and the sausage and mash. Basically this place is all about good British food, done very very well.

Another quirky thing to mention is that as this restaurant is situated in the BFI you get announcements to let you know when films are about to start – such a clever and fun idea.

Lau xx

Lemon, Lime and Poppyseed Cake

Let me start this post by apologising about the lack of posts around here lately – you may not have noticed it, which is great, but Fi and I actually had a rough blog plan to post something every 3/4 days this month. Quite a tall challenge under normal circumstances, but then throw in a couple of busy bank holiday weekends, a trip to Amsterdam, a ridiculously busy week at work which saw one of us working all hours (Fi) and then getting hit by a stomach bug for the best part of a week (Fi) and you’ll understand how the best laid plans fell apart magnificently! {Please let’s ignore the fact that I had no real excuse for not getting posts written}. Anyways after only two posts in May so far we are hopefully back on track now.

So let’s get down to business and talk cake. Lovely, lovely cake! So way back when it was Mother’s Day here in the UK – 30th March – we made a cake for our Mum, well you kind of have to don’t you? It’s a Lorraine Pascale recipe and it’s actually one that we’ve featured on here before. But it’s so good, you’re getting it again! Plus this time there are more pictures and even some all about the icing!

Recipe – So I’m not going to repeat the recipe again as you can find it right here.

Instead let’s just look at some pictures and try not to drool over the memory of this perfect cake!

cake ready to eat gooey cake

I have to admit that when Mum saw this she wasn’t too excited. I think she was expecting peanut butter brownies – awkward! But then she had a slice (and maybe another) and was a bit of a fan. Phew, thank god for that!

Lau xx

Franco Manca

By now I’m sure everyone knows that I love pizza – and if you don’t then where have you been? I swear I must have some italian blood in me from somewhere. Pizza is all kinds of awesome. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this, I can’t be can I? I mean there’s something so right about the perfectly soft yet crispy dough smothered in tomato sauce, sprinkled in cheese and piled with toppings, don’t you think?

So yes, I love pizza, which is why it surprised me when I discovered a pizza place nearby that I haven’t been to. I know it totally shocked me too. But it’s true. I was in Balham with Fi to meet a friend for lunch and said friend suggested we go to Franco Manca for pizza. When someone tells you it’s the best pizza they’ve ever had? Well obviously you jump at the chance to eat there. So it turns out that this friend of mine, she knows good pizza. Yippee for me as it was so so good.

The menu at Franco Manca is very small with six pizzas and two salads, plus daily specials. But you can customise your pizzas with extra toppings as you wish. I like this though as it meant I didn’t have too much to choose from, too much choice is always an issue for me. I ended up going for number 6, the tomato, cured organic chorizo (dry & semi-cured) and mozzarella. My two lunch companions chose number 4, a ham and  mushroom pizza. The service was super fast and our pizzas arriving within 10 minutes. Now I know pizza cooks quickly but this seemed amazing to me, especially as I was sitting next to the kitchen so I literally watched them make and then bake my pizza. So the pizzas arrived and they were so so good. Like mouth watering and delicious and so moorish. I didn’t want to stop eating! Plus they look pretty scrummy too.

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So if you are ever in London and happen to see any of these places then go in and start eating straight away.

Now if you after reading this you really want pizza, take a look at this homemade pizza post.

Lau xxx

April Foodie Update

So from the rather awesome list below it’s pretty clear we’ve been super spoilt on the food front this month, I suppose a birthday and a holiday will do that to you! So here’s what we’ve been eating (basically all the good things ever invented!).

Five Guys – I know loads of people aren’t a fan, but I most certainly am!
Sandbanks, Portugal
Alambique, Portugal
BBQ x3 – 2 in Portugal, 1 in Surrey – hooray for Spring/Summer as this is my favourite food!
Pulled Pork
Yo Sushi
Nandos
Muriel’s Kitchen – one of our new favoruites, everything there is delicious and the decor is amazing!
Franco Manca pizza – best pizza EVER
Ready Steady Cook #6 – Sweet Potato Meatball Bake – a new favourite
Peanut butter brownies – these NEVER get old
Coffee and walnut cake – so easy and so yummy!
Easter Eggs – ALL of the Easter Eggs!

egg fried rice / Franco Manga pizza / Birthday pimms / open egg mayo sandwich / Five Guys /  sweet potato meatball bake

cinnamon roll / birthday Biscuiteers biscuits / Easter creme eggs / coffee and walnut cake / birthday crepe / Starbucks name fail 

So, tell us, what was your favourite foodie item in April – something you made or somewhere new you tried. We’d love to hear new recipe and restaurant suggestions!

Coffee and Walnut Cake

It’s time for another cake recipe. Yep, it’s been all about the sweet stuff recently! I’ve been talking about making a coffee and walnut cake for ages and ages, mainly because it’s my youngest sister’s favourite cake ever.  Plus I now like coffee which means it’s a cake that I want to actually make (and then eat now), whereas previously I just wasn’t bothered! So with Easter upon us, and knowing that Becca would be home with us for the celebrations, the four day weekend seemed like the perfect time to get baking. Trust me guys this is a good recipe that you can make with your basic store cupboard ingredients. It’s super easy with as it’s just a slightly amended Victoria sponge cake, but it looks gorgeous and tastes so good.

Ingredients – 

For the cake
175g softened butter
175g brown sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp strong coffee powder (i used espresso granules) mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water and then cooled

For the Icing
100g softened butter
200g icing sugar
9 walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two circular baking tins
2. Cream together the butter and sugar

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Add the vanilla and whisk again

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and then gently fold into the mixture

5. Add half of the coffee mixture and fold in again
6. Now divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20-25 mins

Once the cakes are cooled it’s time to make the icing.

cooling cakes

7. Beat together the butter and icing sugar into a smooth icing
8. Add in the remaining coffee and mix well. Have a taste of the icing and add more coffee as needed – we added about half the same again as we like the taste of coffee a lot!

coffee buttercream
9. Use half the icing to sandwich the cakes together and then spread the remaining half on the top. Now top with your walnut halves.

cofefe and walnut cake

Happy Baking. Lau xxx

This recipe originates from The Baking Book by Dorling Kindersley.