Friday, 29 August 2014

A Little Brown Competition

Win £30 to spend on a weekend brunch for two at The Proud Archivist with Zomato

I've recently discovered the wonderful world of Zomato, a website bringing together all things food. Because they are lovely and keen on making our stomachs smile, I have teamed up with them to offer one lucky person a bit of a treat. FREE FOOD! Come on now, who could turn that down?!.. especially when it comes in the form of a weekend brunch at one of the most delightful places in the pages of The Little Brown Book. Welcome back to The Proud Archivist, the perfect canal-side getaway! 

All you have to do to win, is head over to my Twitter page and retweet the following message: 

"#Win £30 to spend on weekend brunch @ProudArchivist, simply RT and follow @EllaPaskett and @Zomato -

.. simples!!

On my last visit to The Proud Archivist (here), I was stunned by the tranquility of the location. Sitting dreamily on the canal near Haggerston station, The Proud Archivist will take you out of London without leaving the city. Filled with an ever changing art exhibition in its gallery which surrounds the refreshingly bright restaurant, this is a gem you'll wonder why you haven't visited sooner.  

Here are a few of my favourite brunch menu choices at the Proud Archivist, to get your drool on!

* Proud granola- with hazelnuts, almonds, dried berries, Greek yoghurt and maple syrup*
* Eggs Royale – Proud Archivist English muffins topped with smoked salmon, wilted spinach and two poached eggs *
* TPA Burger, Emmental, Aioli, Leaves, Chips *
* Pork belly, spiced vermicelli, courgette *

Now for a little bit about Zomato ...

If you do have the pleasure of being crowned the winner, please pop a word or two onto Zomato and spread the Proud Archivist love. Aside from it being a website to discover new restaurants, Zomato is also an ever expanding social network for foodies, travellers and inspiration hunters alike. Using their handy app, you can have the restaurant world at your fingertips with menus, reviews, contact details and hints to help you find exactly what you didn't even know you were looking for! 

Don't forget to get tweeting! Good Luck my fellow adventurers!
(One last little word: this fantabulous prize expires on the 30th September 2014 so make sure you redeem it before it's too late!)

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Bocca Di Lupo

Italian Stallion

It happened again, a new favourite to add to my list of ever growing 'favourites'. Here at Bocca di Lupo (which appropriately means 'into the mouth of the wolf'), you'll find a different and more authentic take on Italian dining.

Choose from different sized sharing plates which you can mix and match to your heart's and stomach's content before you focus your attention on the delicious and award-winning wine pairings that compliment the dishes and with a large array of both to choose from, you'll be hankering for a return visit to try them all. 

Freshly grilled fish will be prepared infront of your drooling lips along with a sublime, creamy duck ragu papardelle to rival the best of it's kind (Trullo, you have some competition)! 

Our feast also included a pulled pork salad, Pumpkin flowers filled with mozzarella and a plate piled high with beans mixed in a chunky tomato sauce.

I am a firm believer in being able to leave a restaurant in at least a semi-upright position instead of having to hire a crane to lift me out of my seat and Bocca Di Lupo have achieved the perfect balance of satisfyingly full but not bursting. The inventive menu is constantly being amended to keep in line with the season or chef preference and everything is prepared with a light simplicity leaving you feeling (almost) guilt-free. Tasty olives too. 

Glowing bulbs surround the diners who can either sit at the bar and observe the magic or be seated in a more traditional restaurant environment away from the grilling and chopping.

And now for dessert. I couldn't resist the espresso gelato and my companion went for a creamy egg-based short coffee. Both were the sort of choices that send one spiralling into a caffeinated heaven to which I fully intend on finding again soon!

After a cheeky trip to the toilets to check they lived up to the high standards set by the meal we had just inhaled (they did), it was home time.. (well, actually we hopped over to Opium, but I'll let you in on that secret another time)!

The restaurant is a busy one and booking is a must as it is no secret to Soho. It's popularity reflects the quality and comfort oozing out into the street from the brightly lit windows and luring unsuspecting diners inside. Here we have something special and I am strongly considering moving into their kitchen. 

Find the menu on Zomato

Bocca Di Lupo on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Brooklyn Brewery & #LondonMash

Dinner on The Farm

London never ceases to surprise and a couple of weekends ago I made my way to Surrey Docks Farm for a delightful dinner and event run by Brooklyn Brewery and London Mash who had collaborated for a week's worth of fun and games celebrating a sense of 'community represented by thoughtful food, whimsical beers and good, solid company'. I couldn't have put it better myself! 

We were serenaded by jumping bluegrass music care of The Absentees who inspired jaw aching grins and many a tapping foot!

Our jars were never left empty for long and the craft beers and ales kept on flowing throughout the evening. We clutched the drinking vessels which were now our very own to keep.

These ingenious arancini balls kept us entertained with little pipettes filled with lemon to squeeze in and over. 

The guys from Cold Brew were manning a stall of this unique, new coffee concept; a (surprise, surprise) cold brewed coffee which was served with ice and had a extraordinarily fruity taste. 

We were treated to cheese tasting from Kappacasein dairy in Bermondsey who made nutty and smooth English cheeses which can be found in Raclette and grilled cheese form at Borough Market. 

This fully functioning, inner city farm looked out over the river and onto the towering offices of Canary Wharf. Totally oblivious to it's bizarre location were a multitude of animals that excited me probably more than they should have considering I have seen many a duck before! 

Also a goat, apparently I'd never seen one of these strange creatures either!

We prepared to take our hay bale seats ... 

And were introduced to dinner; a refreshing array of salads, meat, vegetables and cheese, all sourced from the farm and prepared by Chef Craig Morris of the farm's very own Piccalilli Caff and Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson. 

The food was absolutely delicious and as we sat munching, it was decided that dinner on a farm was the perfect way to escape the stress of London while never actually leaving the city.

The Cold Brew boys joined the group and sat rocking their Cold Brew t-shirts.

Scones piled high with cream and summer fruit were devoured in true British fashion.

As the sun set over Canary Wharf, it was almost time to leave and we felt a twinge of sadness that this excellent way to spend a Sunday evening was nearly over. Even though the Brooklyn Brewery Mash has now moved overseas back to America, the Piccalilli Caff is definitely one to return to for a surreal taste of the countryside in London.

Make sure you say hi to this cool creature when you visit, she just wants a bit of the action!

Thanks must go to London Mash for inviting me, it was definitely an experience not to be forgotten and hopefully one to be repeated soon!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Chicago Ribshack

Rib Fest

Way down south in a land far away sat a castle full of ribs just waiting to play. 

The place was filled with meaty aromas, sending even the most foolhardy into full on food comas. 

Arriving at the glowing, light drenched door and the happiness inside was hard to ignore. 

Everyone tucking into juicy huge juicy ribs, protected by some super cool bibs!

The guys at the bar were whisking up drinks, concoctions in jars to tickle us pink!

We sat with expectant grins on our faces, almost grabbing our knives and forks from their places!

Then arrived the grub and the emotion in our eyes was nothing but love!

Pulled pork rolls

Macaroni balls

Chicken wing and scotch egg

Cheesy, bacony, jucy burger

Macaroni cheese

With fingers coated in sauce, these handy wipes were a welcome cleaning force!

Not the only one taking snaps, my dining companions were also paps!

We laid the dessert out in a line, cheesecake, chocolate and creamy lime.

Sadly our meal had met it's end, but we'll be back with each and every friend!

Thanks to everybody at the newly opened Chicago Rib Shack in Clapham for making our experience such a tasty one, we felt truly loved. For all you northerners, this may just be a good enough reason to cross the river!