Omelette Arnold Bennett at Balthazar

Sunday morning I meet friends for brunch at Balthazar. We are promptly seated in a cosy booth next to a quartet devouring some deliciously flaky looking pastries. Coffees are ordered, and champagne. Our neighbours second course arrives at the same time as our coffee. They place their pastries to the side and hoe into their plates…

A pilgrimage to Pophams Bakery

Sometimes you hear about people going on pilgrimages, and the way that it’s described it’s always a transcendent experience. They often find things, whatever it is they are searching for. Peace, forgiveness, enlightenment, acceptance, understanding. A way of being, a way of seeing, a path. Now, I’m not a religious person, but I do believe…

Five gauges of success – El Ganso

I’ve been learning lately about the relative perceptions of success. Six year old me thought that ‘making it’ was being prima ballerina Margot Fontaine. When I was in high school it was getting grades as good as my sister. After finishing university with a fashion degree I saw it as becoming head designer at Dior….

Wood Pigeon at Brawn

On Friday night I had plans to visit a Vietnamese Supper Club. Unfortunately, it was cancelled last minute due to lack of attendees which was disappointing for all involved. My friends and I had been looking forward to it all week, and now we were at a loose end. Luckily there are an indefinite number…

Truffle’s beef shin nuggets at Broadway Market

It’s saturday and the sun is shining, unusual for London. I have become used to the grey and my unmistakeably ghostly pallour. Now the sky is bright and I feel a warmth across my back. I am wearing slippers but I soon discard them and walk barefoot around my small patio. At intervals I bend down to pull up weeds from…

The Great Chase – Modern British Halal Fine Dining

Come to dinner he tells me. It will be great he enthuses, they make modern British food; it’s halal, and they make amazing cocktails. No alcohol though – it’s a dry bar, no booze. Great cocktails! What on earth are you talking about? I think, but I agree to go, on the proviso that I…

Andy Waugh – Mac & Wild

I first met Andy Waugh, founder of Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild, a few weeks ago at a work event. I was happily downing the prosecco and he was presenting a haggis masterclass. It was the evening before Burns night, the perfect time to be learning about haggis. While I know intellectually what haggis is,…

Temple of Seitan – Hackney

Towards the end of 2017 I agreed to a two-week vegan challenge with my friend. She had just watched ‘Cowspiracy’ on Netflix and was experiencing the after effects of having a perspective of reality slap her across the face. It was decided, she was going vegan and I was joining her in the quest. Months…

‘Mae’s Ancient Thai Food’ by Carole Mason and Ning Najpinij

The first thing I notice when I open Mae’s Ancient Thai Food is how vibrant it is. It’s exciting, brimming with colour, energy and undeniable joie de vivre. The book begins with a tribute to its inspiration, Gobgaew Najpinij, followed by a minutely detailed introduction to Thai herbs, spices and techniques, including a page devoted…

Fried Green Tomatoes and Po’Boys at Plaquemine Lock

For some time I worked down the road from an abandoned pub called the Prince of Wales. I’d always felt a bit sad for it. There it sat, on the corner in Angel, Islington, across from the Regents canal. It looked dilapidated, deserted and unloved. I had hoped some Good Samaritan would come and give…

Tortilla at Laxeiro Tapas Bar and another life lesson.

Here’s this thing, life isn’t always perfect. Sometimes it’s great, other times it can be stressful, disappointing, underwhelming. I’m going through a bit of a process at the moment. The more I live, get out of my own head and relax into the moment, the more I have a tenable understanding of how lucky I am…

Psyche of an Asparagus

Look at me, I’m green and long I’m not a beet, I am not corn, I’m classy, both raw and fried, there’s nothing wrong with that.    Look at me, I’m white and fat I don’t care what you think,  Of that. I have a tip, a crunchy end. I’m great with butter, oh, and…