Well, 8 months have flown over with no posting from me but a lot has happened in that time…
- so much lovely food has been consumed at home and in restaurant, in London, Ludlow, Milan and Puglia
- I opened a new shop which took ALOT of time, energy and focus (but well worth it)
- I tried to start running……….
But this morning a friend of mine set me a 4 point challenge for the day, et voila! yumseaker.com is back!I will look forward to sharing some great foodie ideas with you. In the meantime here are a few photos of some happy times.
It’s my birthday next week but I have to work, and it’s a Saturday, which is cruel- although I have been promised a cake and have a lunch date so I really shouldn’t complain! But as compensation I simply pretended that it was my birthday this weekend which was a great excuse for some treats.
So yesterday I booked a table at The Bluebird in Chelsea.
I used to live in Putney and shopped on King’s Road so had been to the Bluebird a couple of times before, not for ages though, so decided to brave the Chelsea set once more. It is a gorgeous restaurant, art deco in design, and incredibly stylish. The service is amazing and did make me think that more men, not just waiters, should wear braces……..
For me a roasted cod with lentils and a side order of orange glazed carrots- incredibly tasty, I could have eaten it twice over. For Colin burger and chips which he also raved about. All washed down with a bottle of Gavi di Gavi which made for a very happy pretend birthday lunch! I’ll defintiely be back when I am next in that area- even if I was the only northerner in the room.
In the evening I decided to so some cooking. After a fairly European lunch something hot and spicy was called for- so an aubergine and tomato curry was created!
I sauteed some baby aubergnes with curry leaves, mustard seeds and ginger, then added some tinned tomatoes, turmeric and chilli and simmered until the aubergines were really soft. If I say so myself it was gorgeous, and just what the Thomas household needed.
Sunday has seen much clearing of clutter- definitely the beginning of spring!!! A present fairy also visited the house which was lovely.
Tonight I am going to experiment with a sea bass so watch this space……..
Let’s hope my actual birthday weekend is as yummy.
I must just start by stating that I hate rugby, and I can not pretend otherwise. Stupid sport, don’t get it at all. I grew up in Newcastle/Gateshead and rugby just didn’t happen……. So why my Friday night has to be spoilt with this I do not know.
So I escaped earlier to the kitchen, and to the kitchen I will return. Firstly a drink:
My favourite home made cocktail- cointreau, cranberry juice and prosecco. Needed very much after a very odd week.
Then I set about making a Libyan Salmon Tagine…
Firstly I sautéed some new potatoes with onions, celery, cumin seeds, turmeric, paprika, chilli and a little garlic. When the potatoes were crispy and the veg softened I added some tinned cherry tomatoes, fresh lime leaves and simmered until thick. In the meantime I roasted some salmon in the oven to serve on top of the tagine.
Very lovely if I say so myself!
Now how do I escape from the rugby…….
After a good nights sleep and some sweet dreams I made myself a very lovely juice: pineapple, papaya, lime, ginger and raspberry! Now that must be good for me right?
One of my colleagues in Horsham sent me a photo of the snow down there, and I know it is snowy up north, but here in Twickenham no snow- just a crisp wintry day. So a walk was called for, followed by a lovely lunch.
Broca Antica in St Margaret’s is a lovely Italian place, with a Puglian slant. I have always enjoyed every mouthful and today was no exception……
I had some pasta with crayfish, prawns and clams. Very, very tasty. C had some pasta with wild boar which looked and smelt lovely too! A bottle of Verdeca to wash it down went down a treat.
On the way home I indulged in a little retail therapy, stuff for the house which will involve a fair amount of rearrangement tomorrow, but I guess that will keep me out of mischief!
I am officially on holiday!!!
I am writing this in a cafe in a town called Bishops Castle, near Ludlow. I am drinking coffee and eating a chocolate cornflake crispy cake whilst Colin is trawling through thousands of books and music in lots of little rooms- I have 2 ginger cats and 1 black and white dog as friends with me in the mean time……
Ludlow is a lovely little town in Shropshire which I have visited many, many times- a town that is odd for its plethora of foodie places: shops, delis, wine shops, markets, restaurants, its just great! I could very easily move here but it would be quite an enormous drive to Horsham every day!
On the way here yesterday we popped into Cheltenham- another place I could live I think- and went to Brasserie Blanc for lunch. Burger for Colin, Scallops for me. Really lovely, if a little rich, and with bacon in the stew part of the dish it was the first meat I have eaten in quite a few months.
In the afternoon we popped into The Ludlow Food Centre- which I love almost as much as I love Wholefoods (but not as much as Borough Market of course!!!). I have a really fond memory of the food centre as I was browsing around here 3.5 years ago when I got the phonecall to offer me my first BM position in Waitrose.
The cottage is gorgeous, quiet and cosy, with a very well stocked kitchen! I made some pasta last night, drank some lovely wine, and slept like a baby…
If we ever get away from this book emporium we’ll find some food and maybe visit a really good Indian restaurant tonight. But I may be in this cafe for some time!!!
Last Monday I took my managers into London to have a look at foodie places- all in prep for my lovely new shop due to open in May! The day was great- well it was for me……. a day looking at food and thinking about what food to buy is a perfect day in my view. But everyone seemed to have fun, and a lot of cheese and fish were purchased. I have also purchased a mini drone which I can not get to fly properly….
We ended the day by making pizzas at Pizza Express in Soho. This is something they normally do with groups of children………….. but I can not recommend it more as it was so much fun!!!
As usual I piled way too much onto my pizza making it a little sloppy in the middle, but it was tasty! Other pizzas around the table looked gorgeous, and very Italian-like.
A really good day, a lovely evening and finished off with some cocktails at the end of the night…. Team Horsham do London!
As a post Christmas treat I booked a table at Benares- Atul Kochhar’s michelin starred restaurant in Mayfair. What a treat!!!
The restaurant is really gorgeous- the decor beautiful, service impeccable and the food truly delicious. I would definitely say this was one of the best meals I have ever had.
For starters I had soft shelled crab with white crabmeat and coronation slaw. I had never had this kind of crab before (maybe a little squeamish?!?) but it was crisp, full of flavour, and utterly lovely. Colin had a little chicken tikka pie- fragrant and spicy, with a tomatoey sauce on the side.
My main course was superb! Prawns, squid and razor clams with tomatoes, spices and baby leeks. Colin’s looked and smelled amazing- duck with a 3 bean vindaloo and spicy matchstick potatoes.
And, wow, dessert was a showstopper….
My dessert was a pear and quince millefeuille, crisp and fragrant with the quince. Colins was a yulelog, but I have never seen a yulelog like that before!!!
With a great bottle of Portuguese wine to wash it all down I can honestly say this was a thoroughly lovely experience. And after a very tiring few weeks this was definitely what the doctor ordered.
Now, what to make for New Year???