Brighton & Hove food and drink festival

Last month, Billy and I went to the Brighton & Hove food and drink festival on Hove Lawns. We have been before and love the relaxed atmosphere and the wide range of food on offer. The weather held out with no rain (miracle on bank holiday weekend!) and we ate our way through stalls and demonstrations hosted by Andrew Kay.

First things first, we hunted down the Gin…

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We wanted to eat everything, far too many choices to decide! I went for a seitan pulled pork burger from a great vegan stall run by Earthlings Edibles. Billy opted for a Lamb flatbread with, literally, everything in it made by Space and Thyme who make delicious healthy kebabs.

 

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*I couldn’t wait to eat it, excuse the bite marks! I cant rave enough about this burger, Im not a big meat alternative fan and as tend to opt for options with vegetables instead – this was one of the best I have eaten, had great texture and the spicy sauce was so tasty. As you can see, Billy was starving too!

We had a walk around staring at other peoples food (and the 100’s of cute sausage dogs that took over Brighton that weekend) We grabbed another drink from the Blackdown stall which was a summery Gin cup full of fruit and definitely full of alcohol. brighton2

Suitably full and a bit tipsy, we decided to watch some demonstrations in the tent with Andrew Kay. Started off with Matt Gillan from Pike & Pine, who made new season lamb with strawberries and samphire and charcoal hollandaise; it looked amazing and smelled great (I didnt eat it as I’m Pescatarian but watching Matt create this dish was a treat)

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Next up was Dan Cotton from Market restaurant, who was getting ready to prepare a mouth watering dish of confit tuna, compressed watermelon and wasabi; it tasted as incredible as it sounds, all of my favourite things on one plate. It was so good that we forgot to take a photograph!

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Once we had tried and tested almost everything and made the most of the festival, we walked to the Cocktail Shack which is part of the Artist Residence hotel. The atmosphere in this place makes it feel like summer, the bartenders are wearing Hawaiian shirts with matching decor and light flooding through the bay windows.

We had a Brighton cocktail week wristband and made the most of the special weekend cocktail offers on the menu. Billy went for a Truffle Shuffle – Havana 3 year old, banana, truffle honey, ginger and lime (plus, who doesn’t love the Goonies?)

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I opted for the Keffir and Loathing – Casabel Tequila, Montolobos Mezcal, Campari, Pineapple, Agave, Lime and Keffir leaf. It was delicious, I love Tequila anyway but this was really fresh and zesty.

 

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We stayed at the Grand Hotel for the night, again deciding to try out their cocktails on offer for the Cocktail week. We both went for the Espresso Martini which came served in dry ice. The drink itself tasted perfect and did the job at waking us up and giving us both an energy boost ready for dinner.

Dinner was booked at 64 Degrees, somewhere I had been dying to try for months after it had won so many awards. When we walked it, the Chefs pass was full with people eating and drinking, watching the theatre of making the dishes. Billy and I decided on a table when booking as we wanted more time to enjoy the evening. Sitting down and looking around, the restaurant is tiny and only seats under 20 guests, so booking is vital.

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As soon as we took our coats off, water was bought over and we ordered a bottle of wine which came in minutes served on ice. Once we had ordered our dishes (we ordered a lot, and it took a while to decide but the waitress wasn’t pushy)

We were presented with homemade dark rye bread rolls, which came with marmite butter; was the nicest combination, so much so we asked for more.

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When you order, they tell you that the chef will decide which dishes he wants to send out to the table first so that he can make the tasting experience work as best as possible. Each dish came out one by one, in the middle of the table, with sharing plates. The first dish was the grey mullet, red pepper and mussels. The fish was cooked perfectly with a crispy skin and crunchy seasoning, it was sitting on a bed of red pepper puree, pepper and herb oil and steamed mussels.

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After a short break and some chilled wine, the next dish arrived – this was the asparagus, grapefruit and brown butter. I couldn’t shut up about how tasty this was, the asparagus was al dente and salty surrounded but a caramalised butter crumb which gave amazing texture but the crowning glory had to be the pool of rich hollandaise next to it – beautiful!

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Following this, came the jerk trout, avocado and pineapple. Usually I order spicy food and don’t feel the heat, and end up being disappointing but this had a real kick! The fish was served as a ceviche with the spiced pasted around the fillet, blobs of avocado puree, red chilies and pineapple cubes. Was full of flavour, didn’t want to share it with Billy!

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Next was another of the vegetable dishes, the pressed potato, parsley and baby gem; again the title of the dish allows for a little surprise once it arrives. This came as a stack of potato, crispy,  full of leeks and butter served with a grilled gem lettuce and herb puree. I loved the contrast between the bitter lettuce and almost creamy potato.

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Lastly from the savoury dishes to some to the table was; cauliflower, pangritata and grape. Beautifully roasted vegetables, against the sweet dried fruit.

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We were SO full but had to try out the desserts. I chose the rum bear, which was a grown up giant gummy bear full of alcohol and sour with sherbet – so nice! Billy had chosen a ridiculously huge coffee, caramel and chocolate dessert with malted ice cream and so many textures I had to steal some. Overall, 64 Degrees was one of the most down to earth and relaxed places to eat, some of the most experimental and delicious food which makes the most of minimal ingredients. Ten out of ten.

 

The next morning, before we drove back home, we had to grab an ice cream and take a nap on the beach. We tried some lovely favours from Boho Geleto – Vegan custard cream and salted caramel.

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Love,

Kayleigh

 

 

 

Taste of London Festival

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Last weekend we went to Taste of London festival at Regents Park, we went last year and we were blown away all over again. We go to food markets and festivals whenever we can, but this set up tops everything!

We opted for VIP tickets and jumped the queue (it was huge and in 30 degree heat we were thankful for it) I had already looked at the timetable and  jotted down some of the restaurants and demos to sign up for – theres SO much to choose from we were struggling to little it down; luckily Billy booked a ticket for re-entry so we were there for 8 hours!

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We spotted Ember Yard straight away because of the amazing smells coming from the smoking barbecue, and it didn’t take us too long to ask for some Octopus a la Plancha which consisted of blistering padron peppers, juicy prawns and slow cooked octopus cooked on the grills; served with a chickpea and heritage tomato salad – perfect in the sunshine sitting on the grass, even better whilst watching Billy choose the short straw with the spiciest padron ever!

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We had to quench our thirst with something, we couldn’t wait for an ice cold Gin and Tonic, headed to Fever Tree and they had a mammoth amount of options to choose from with a very enticing stall. I chose a ‘Pink Pepper’ which was was made with grapefruit tonic, Billy went for a drink mixed with Chase orange Gin. They were delightful – Plus, look at these lovely glasses.

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Next we noticed the Natoora stall, here these guys were barbecuing fresh vegetables (with peppers the size of your head!) the smell and sound was unforgettable, we had a look around and noticed the large dining table full of buffet style dishes made from the grilled veg. We grabbed a plate and started dishing some up, some people seemed to be rooted here all day living off the free tasters. We tried aubergine, courgette dishes with fresh burrata and some romesco sauce and yoghurt dip – delicious!

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We tried some brilliant cocktails and drinks; a little Tiki hut featuring Pina Coladas made with the Barbadian Plantation Rum and muddled in cups made from fresh pineapples, shots of smooth Pirates Grog rum ranging from coffee to aged vintage and a great Gin bar called Gin Parlour who used some new tonics from Lamb & Watt (the Basil one is so good!)

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We made the most of our VIP passes and used the lounge and grabbed our complimentary glass of champagne in the sun, before it got so hot we had to seek out more refreshments…

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Next was a visit to the AEG take taste further tent, where we had a go at making a dish using their equipment – smoked Haddock and poached egg salad with a honey mustard dressing (they walked around looking for the best plate – we decided to grab the flowers from our gin to add something fancy ha!)

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After all that hard work, we felt we needed a little rest on the grass with some ice cold Italian Geno Prosecco and a plate of Grana Padano cheese- yum!

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Up next was a demonstration at the AEG theatre delivered by chef Francesco Mazzei, and hosted by Rosie Birkett – two of our favourties. Chef cooked a dish from his restaurant Satoria; a rustic saffron, wild mushroom and truffle risotto. Watching such a complex dish cooked in a matter of minutes by such a renowned chef was such a good experience, tasting it was even better.

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One of my favourite dishes of the day (there were a lot to choose from) was the tandoori spiced octopus with chutney aloo and picked fennel from The Cinnamon Club. So well balanced and soft with just the right amount of spice – tasted great whilst sipping a Sipsmith citrus gin.

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Lastly, we visited the Taste of travel with Celebrity Cruises, the Galapagos Islands. We were seated with a passport and menu card which made my mouth water. We were poured a glass of wine to taste along side a stunning avocado shrimp ceviche which was the nicest I have ever eaten, followed by grilled cod, achiote potatoes and chimichurri.

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So, that was a brief snapshot of our brilliant time at the Taste of London festival. We’ll be doing it all again next year (maybe even in November!)

Love, Kayleigh

 

 

El Fuego La Hechicera

Personally, theres only one thing better than Gin, and thats Rum! Heres a very simple twist on a Rum and ginger ale.

 

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  • cocktail shaker & strainer,
  • Fresh ginger,
  • Fresh chilli peppers,
  • Good quality rum. Ive gone for La Hechicer, aged in white oak barrels, gives a tobacco and roasted coffee note. (Definitely give this rum a try),
  • Chilled glass and ice,
  • Ginger ale.

 

Method for 1 glass:

Fill your shaker with ice, most important. cut a chilli in half and put the bottom part in the shaker. Put one whole slice of ginger in too with a double shot of your rum. Shake vigorously! strain over ice and top up with ginger ale. Garnish with chilli and ginger! Hot and tasty!

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Cheers, Billy

Spiced Banana Pina Coladas!

So, were having a scorching start to the summer so far and for me that means cocktails in the sun! Who doesn’t like a good pina colada?! This a real simple one to make at home too, and will definitely impress your guests.
What you will need:


Banana spiced pina colada

  • Blender of some type, I personally use a nutribullet for all my blended cocktails.
  • measuring jig (ml),
  • Sailor Jerry spiced rum and Old J spiced rum. (If you can’t get hold of these maybe go for Captain Morgans spiced. ) Both sailor Jerry and Old J have vanilla and lime essence running through them already.
  • Bananas… I know these aren’t in a standard recipe, but who likes just standard!
  • Nutmeg, whole if you want to grate it, ground if you don’t!
  • Coconut milk,
  • Pineapple juice,
  • Fresh lime,
  • Ice and a chilled glass.

 

Method for 1 glass:

Put a small scoop of ice (around 6 cubes) into your blender. Next add the juice of half a fresh lime, half of a ripe banana, 50ml of coconut milk, 25ml of Old J rum, 25ml Sailor Jerry rum, 100ml of pineapple juice. Blitz all this together until the ice and the banana has broken down.

I personally do not put ice in my glass as the cocktail will already have a slight frozen feel to it, hence why i just have a chilled glass. As you pour you mix into the glass you should have a nice foamy top which is perfect for where we sprinkle some nut meg onto. Garnish with whatever you like! go sophisticated with a pineapple leaf or mint sprig, or go classic with a fresh pineapple wedge and cherry, have fun with it!

 

Cheers, Billy