Tag Archives: food

Spirit Show London

1 Dec

A trip to the Spirit Show London today to view and try lots of different brands in one place.

It took place at the Business Design Centre in Islington and we booked ‘premium’ tickets at £35 each which included:

  • Fast track entry to the show
  • Limited edition tasting glass
  • 6-bottle jute bag to carry all your shopping home!
  • Access to VIP Lounge
  • Complimentary mixology class and cocktail
  • Private cloakroom and ‘Shop and Drop’ facility
  • Canapés
  • All drink samples

The show itself was interesting and we enjoyed getting to see so many different spirits (mainly gin it seemed), talk to brands and try them.

We got to try lots of different things and purchased some from that including:

Elephant sloe gin- my favourite!

Elephant sloe gin

Haycocks spiced liqueur

These fabulous vermouths from Regal Rogue

These delicious snacks to accompany drinks from Made For Drink

I would have expected more ‘unusual spirits’ to try as it was hard to distinguish between all the gin brands or determine which ones to taste (there’s no limit on tastings other than what you can physically handle!)

It was good that there were lots of good places you could park your shopping and even have it easily and cheaply shipped to you.

I thought the premium tickets were worth it mainly as it gave us somewhere to return to and sit down every now and then but that wasn’t really worth £15 extra and there should have been seating for everyone. But we did get early entry and seeing how much it was filling up by the time we left we were glad of that.

My main criticism of the show is that even though their website said:

‘As well as eating, visitors are encouraged to drink plenty of water in between tastings and take regular breaks from tasting during the Show.

There will be free drinking water available in easily visible locations throughout the venue’

There was no easily accessible, or free, water. We asked multiple members of staff, asked at the VIP section and even tweeted the show (which they’ve ignored) but nothing.

Instead you had to go upstairs, potentially walk the whole length of the show, and buy some at the cafe – a ridiculous situation which showed a complete lack of care and would make me consider even giving them my money again available in easily visible locations throughout the venue.

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Negroni Popsicles

8 Jun

In celebration of Negroni Week and the heatwave London’s having at the moment I made some Negroni Popsicles.

I used white/ yellow grapefruits hence the colour difference but they gave them an added bitterness which is great to counteract the sugar in the recipe.

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These are amazing and I’ll be sure to always have some on standby this summer.

 

The Hinds Head

6 Aug

A visit to The Hinds Head in Bray has been on the cards for a long time, since we purchased some vouchers, and as the day has grown nearer our anticipation has mounted.

The sign outside

The sign outside

As we were early we settled into the bar to grab some drinks and had the first very pleasant surprise of the evening – the drinks were amazing. For some reason I hadn’t put much thought into what the drinks would be and just assumed they’d be run of the mill pub drinks- but of course that was foolish of me and as much thought had been put into the drinks menu as the food and it really showed. From the glassware to the spirits used everything had been thought through and it made for exceptional drinks that would make a trip back worthwhile just for those.

I always love a Negroni and so was pleased to see one on the menu- and even more delighted when I read the ingredients and descriptio:

“Cynar, 1786 Antica Red Vermouth, Rangpur ginand Blood Orange Syrup.

The original Negroni used equal amounts of Campari orange bitter liqueur, vermouth and gin. Sticking to the same flavour profile we have used lime infused gin,original red vermouth, blood orange syrup and Cynar artichoke bitter liqueur”

So there was no way I could resist ordering one – and it lived up to its billing.

Cynar, 1786 Antica Red Vermouth, Rangpur ginand Blood Orange Syrup.

Cynar, 1786 Antica Red Vermouth, Rangpur ginand Blood Orange Syrup made for a great drink

Next up was a Caipirinha that my sister ordered and once again this blew us away- being a fool and so distracted by the quality of the drinks I forgot to take a photo of the drink menu (or this drink) and so can’t tell you what rum they used I just remember it was rum) but the combination of the great spirit and the flavourful sugar used meant this was a drink that has already gone down in legend between us all and even though we wanted to try as many drinks as possible this was one we ordered again and again.

Soon it was time to be seated so we could peruse the menu and order more drinks.

The menu most of us ordered from

The menu most of us ordered from

As part of the deal we had a cocktail each was included and though I can’t tell you any more than one had Earl Grey tea in it I can let you know that they were once again delicious.

The food and drink were so good I forgot to ake any notes and barely any photos- there can be no higher recommendation!

The food and drink were so good I forgot to ake any notes and barely any photos- there can be no higher recommendation!

As we waited for our food we were treated to amazing pork crackling and breads. Anywhere that makes a feature of butter and salt is a winner in my eyes and I was delighted to see they had done so here.

The butter deserved its own platform

The butter deserved its own platform

Crackling and delicate crackers with an apple sauce to accompany

Crackling and delicate crackers with an apple sauce to accompany

To begin my meal I’d orderd potted shrimps which came with griddled toast drizzled with shrimp oil and a pea jelly.

Potted shrimp and its accompaniments

Potted shrimp and its accompaniments

Pea & ham soup - packed with both

Pea & ham soup – packed with both

All the started were voted an absolute triumph and we vere excited for our main courses.

I ordered Shepherd’s pie and it was delicious- so full of savoury flavour that I could have eaten bowls of it.

 

Shepherd's Pie and accompaniments

Shepherd’s Pie and accompaniments

More cocktails were ordered and enjoyed- and some came with theatrics

More cocktails were ordered and enjoyed- and some came with theatrics

 

Soon it was time for dessert.

I was looking forward to the Quaking Pudding but also wanted to try the Chocolate0 Wine Slush from the main menu so between the 5 of us (one of whom doesn’t eat dessert) we managed to order 6 desserts. And though we were full to the gills we managed to try and love all of them.

The dessert choices on the main menu

The dessert choices on the main menu

Some of the desserts came with information sheets

Some of the desserts came with information sheets

The dessert was a winner with me

The dessert was a winner with me

Wobble and delicious flavoured combined

Wobble and delicious flavoured combined

Some of the desserts we ordered

Some of the desserts we ordered

I really like the Slush though its taste and texture didn’t go down well with anyone else. The uaking Pudding was just the right side of rich and flavourful with the wobble I’d hoped it would have.

By the end of the night we all agreed we’d had a wonderful time. The food and drink were amazing and the service friendly, funny, accomodating and patient. Any fears I’d had about being treated differently due to using a voucher were soon allayed and this restaurant (or even just the bar) has leapt right back to the top of my ‘must visit’ list.

Take it from me the lack of memory about what we had and names or ingredients just shows how much we enjoyed the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quo Vadis

21 Jul

Quo Vadis in Soho has long been one of my favourite places to go. Sadly between it being slightly more awkward to get to now we’ve moved and geenral travelling and busy-ness we don’t go as much as we used to.

The food, drink and service are alays exceptional and no their ‘theatre set’ menu runs all evening it’s an affordable option for a fantastic experience.

Tonight we began with a Gin & tonic and a Hemingway’s Breakfast (Belvedere grapefruit, maraschino, grapefruit, lime)

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Then I had chilled pea soup followed by roast goose- all delicious and all worth making a trip for.

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Summer Flavours

6 Jul

The sun is out and I’m craving freshness and hydration.

I sliced cherry tomatoes and sprinkled them with salt to get their juices flowing before covering them with pesto and olive oil.

 

To accompany the food I added a splash of Monin Cucumber syrup to sparkling water with a dash of tonic water for a long, non-alcoholic drink

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Tiger Tail Ice-Cream

23 Jun

I’m travelling in Canada at the moment and we’ve popped out for a walk and some ice-cream. Usually I’d be unable to resist the lure of coffee ice-cream but once I’d spotted Tiger Tail on the menu and been told it was a mix of liquorice and orange there’s was no way that wasn’t going to be what I ordered.

tiger-icecream

It lived up to its promise and was a weird mix of liquorice and orange that bemused my tastebuds but pleased them at the same time. Sadly it left an awful lingering plastic and rubber after-taste but I’m hoping that was just this brand and that if I ever see it on the menu again I can try it and fall in love.

Or maybe one day I’ll even make it.

Portugual Purchases

27 Feb

One of the joys of travel is trying local food & drink and our trip to Portugual was no exception. As well as plenty of fresh fish and fruit we also got to discover Amarguinha– an almond liquer.  Delicious as is, even better over ice and out of this world with lemon this drink proved to be a favourite with us and I made sure to come home with a bottle.

On our day trips out we discovered a great alcohol shop with varieties and specialities from around the world so I made sure to snap up as many as our luggage would allow.

My Portuguese purchases

My Portuguese purchases

Piri chicken for lunch

Piri chicken for lunch

fresh oranges for dessert

fresh oranges for dessert

 

A Pina Colada by the pool

A Pina Colada by the pool

A Caipirinha playing mini-golf

A Caipirinha playing mini-golf

Tapas in Sevile

Tapas in Sevile

An amazing blue concoction I drank every night

An amazing blue concoction I drank every night

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