One type of food I don’t have very often is Lebanese, I’ve been to one Lebanese restaurant before and I really enjoyed that so I was excited to hear about a new restaurant launching in Belgravia called Abd El Wahab. They already have some popular branches in the Middle East so I was excited to see what they had on offer.
Upon arrival we were given a glass of Prosecco and made our way to the table where Sam and I were sat with some other bloggers. The restaurant decor is elegant and modern with a unique green nature wall.
The Lebanese culture is to share lots of mezze dishes together, so to start we shared a range of hot and cold starters such as stuffed vine leaves, fattouch salad, sausages and baba ganoush. The fattouch salad was very fresh with peppers, tomatoes and crunchy toasted bread pieces. Lebanese food wouldn’t be complete without some hummus, this was deliciously creamy and served with fresh warm bread, it was hard to stop myself filling up on just this. Another very tasty dish was the cheese rolls, the crunchy filo pastry complemented the soft creamy cheese so well.
Next up was the mixed grill, this was definitely my favourite savoury dish. The chicken was incredible, it had been marinated with spices and was served with crisp tomato flatbread, potato and marinated lamb.
We then moved onto desserts, sampling an array of fruit and baklava’s. The baklava’s were sweet with a crispy pastry. The maamoul flake was the star of the show, it looked a bit like a cloud with candy floss on top. It had a floral taste of rose and a sugary sweet taste from the Ghaz El Banet (Lebanese cotton candy) which went really well with the crunchy biscuit base.
I love a takeaway, it’s the perfect treat after a busy day at work or if you just don’t fancy cooking. Deliveroo and Just Eat offer a huge range of takeaway options in London and one that’s recently been added is Yikes Kitchen.
Yikes Kitchen was created by a professionally trained chef who wanted to produce quality food at an affordable price.
I was invited to the launch of Yikes Kitchen in Shepherds Bush. They’ve recently opened one in North London too. They’re a delivery service offering quality food for affordable prices.
Sweet corn soup £4.00
To start we had sweet corn soup, I’d never tried this before and was very impressed with this. It tasted delicate sweet and creamy, I also loved that is was seasoned with herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Next up was Bruschetta topped with Parma ham, tomatoes and mozzarella. I’m a huge fan of Bruschetta so really enjoyed this dish.
Lamb kofte with cous cous £8.00
The fragrant cous cous was mixed with sultanas and topped with fresh herbs. The lamb was very tender and complimented the cous cous and mint yoghurt well.
Jerk Chicken Burger £8.00
The jerk chicken was served with jerk mayo and plantains. This was a tasty dish but wasn’t my favourite, I probably wouldn’t order it off the menu.
Hazel nut chocolate tart £4.50
The sweet crust pastry was filled with delicious chocolate. I really liked this dish and it was the perfect size as I wanted something sweet but not a huge pudding.
Eton Mess £4.00
I really enjoyed this dish too it was full with whipped cream, mini meringues and strawberries. This dish had more cream than meringues but I don’t like meringues that much so preferred it this way.
By the end of the evening I was very full from all the courses but I had a lovely evening. I was impressed by the quality of food and mixture of cuisines available.
Have you tried Yikes Kitchen yet?
*Disclaimer I was given complimentary food and drink in exchange for this review but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by complimentary services.*
I was invited by Jo at Bookings For You to spend a day in her home to meet the Giovannini family, they had flown all the way from Tuscany to show myself and some other bloggers how to cook some traditional Italian dishes.
The husband and wife team, Giancarlo and Fabiola, along with their son Dario and his wife Vera spent the afternoon teaching us how to make Italian food, focusing on specialties in Tuscany.
First up was one of my favourite classic Italian starters Bruschetta, we got to try out two different versions. Bruschetta Toscana which was topped with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Bruschetta al Pomodoro had the same toppings but with fresh tomatoes and basil. We also had Crostini con Fegatini, which was bread topped with chicken liver pate. These looked very easy to make and were very tasty, I’m sure I’ll be making the Bruschetta al Pomodoro at home soon.
The Wild Boar dish was then preppedas this needed to be in the oven for a few hours. The boar was stuffed with fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, salt and garlic. Olives where then added to the oven near the end, I’d never tried wild boar before and was so surprised at how tasty it was. The seasonings and herbs made this dish taste fantastic!
For the vegetarians the Giovannini’s made Melanzane all Parmigiana, aubergine and cheese in a tomato sauce.
We then moved onto making homemade pasta, something I’ve never tried before and the Giovannini family made it look very easy. We made Pici all Estrusca homemade pasta topped with a lovely herby sauce filled with mint, basil, parsley, pecorino cheese and olive oil. We also made ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese.
No Italian meal is complete without some wine, throughout the day we got to sample some delicious red and white wines. White wine was also added to the chicken liver pate which helped bring out the flavours of the chicken and herbs.
My favourite dish of the day was the traditional pastry cake with cream and berries called Millefoglie Creama Chantilly e Frutti di Bosco. It’s one of the bestsellers at their shop in Italy and it’s easy to see why, it was absolutely delicious! Light, creamy and flaky and topped with fresh fruit.
As if one pudding wasn’t enough we also got to try a Tiramisu which was delicious, normally I don’t really the taste as I don’t like coffee but this one wasn’t too strong. They also recommended dipping the lady fingers in milk instead of coffee for anyone who doesn’t like coffee or for kids.
I had the best day learning about Italian cooking and sampling all the amazing dishes with the Giovannini family. After experiencing their hospitality and food first hand, I can only imagine how amazing it is for guests who have the pleasure of staying at their Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne villa in beautiful Tuscany.
To finish off an amazing day we were all given hampers with delicious Italian treats! Stay tuned as in the next week or so I’ll be running a giveaway, so one of you lucky lot can win your own hamper!
On Sunday Sam and I headed to Piano Works in Farringdon for a fun afternoon of brunch, unlimited Prosecco and live music.
You can choose bottomless Prosecco or Bloody Mary’s which you’ll get for 2 hours with your brunch. For Saturday’s this costs £20 and on Sundays it’s only £15. They also have a range of cocktails to choose from and some soft drinks and mocktails.
Piano Works Brunch
The menu has some unique dishes such as the Bombay omelette with onion, spinach, cumin and curry powder served with a mini naan. Another dish being the love me or hate me eggs Benedict with poached eggs, bacon and Marmite on an English muffin.
I played it safe and went for the eggs Florentine and ordered some bacon on the side, this was nice and the eggs were cooked well. It isn’t the best egg dish I’ve had but it was still nice and was reasonably priced at £8.50. Bacon and other extras such as toast, smashed avocado and sausage cost £1.50 extra.
Sam went for the full English it came with pork sausages which were delicious! It also had a mixture of onion, potato and bacon which was pretty tasty too.
Just to let you know they will try and take out anything that you don’t want in your meal but don’t offer swaps for different foods.
Normally I don’t have puddings for brunch but who can say no to pancakes, they are a brunch staple. The pancakes were nice, they were topped with some berries and ice cream. But our favourite pudding was the chocolate roulade topped with cream, it was delicious!
Not only do you get brunch and bottomless Prosecco but you also get live music! The singers were incredible, at 12pm two singers with pianos performed. At around 1-1.30pm the whole band came out to perform.
On your table are napkins where you can request songs that you’d like the band to play. Just fill these in and place them on the lamp on your table. Your waiter will collect them and give them to the band.
Top tips: If you don’t like loud music go to the 12pm brunch session as it starts out quieter (it’s still fairly loud) for the first hour. Also if you want a song played add a tip as it’s more likely to get played first.
We had a really fun afternoon and I’d love to go back especially in the evening for drinks with a big group of friends. The brunch wasn’t the best that I’ve had but the live music and bottomless Prosecco definitely makes up for this. The food and bottomless drinks are very reasonably priced too.
113-117 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3BX Farringdon
Brunch is available at weekends from 12-4pm – make sure you book in advance as it get’s busy!
*Thanks to Love London Pop Ups & Piano Works for inviting me*
It’s nearly December and I’m so excited for Christmas! It’s time to start buying presents, opening advent calendars and singing along to Christmas songs. I’ve put together a list of gifts which are perfect for food and drink lovers and bloggers.
Hygge is a Danish word which is all about enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Hygge Box is a monthly subscription box, full of Hygge goodies and items promoting self care. They also sell one off boxes which can be personalised. I’ve already got my eye on the hot chocolate box.
I recently met the lovely owners Gabby and Sally at a Hygge workshop session, where we made Christmas heart decorations. I love the concept of Hygge and the selection of treats in this box. I received a range of food items, accessories for the home and some candles.
Montezuma’s orange chocolate is now one of my fave chocs, its so delicious that it made us go out and buy more! The fudge drinking chocolate is also pretty special with the Parkin cake on the side. I love getting cosy in the evenings and lighting the candles and making a hot chocolate. I think this box is an ideal Christmas gift and a great way to treat a loved one.
Wax Lyrical Candle & Reed Infuser
Wax Lyrical is a luxury fragrance company based in the Lake District. I’ve been trying out their candle and reed diffuser which was made in collaboration with Silent Night. This set will transform your home into a haven of calm and serenity. Both products are blended with lavender, chamomile and sweet orange.
They smell lovely, I’ve been burning the candle every evening. The lavender is very calming so it helps me drift off to sleep. These products would be ideal for anyone who has difficulty sleeping. Wax Lyrical also have a gift scent range which is perfect for Christmas or Special occasions, you can also add in your own personalised message. Check out the GiftScents range here.
Truffle Hunter is a brand based in the Cotswold’s, providing a range of the finest truffles from England and Europe. They offer a wide range of gourmet truffle based products such as Truffle oils, salts, minced truffle and truffle mayonaise.
I tried out a few of their products, my favourite is the tagliatelle topped with English truffle oil. The oils are very rich and luxurious so you don’t need to use very much, you only need a drizzle on pasta, risotto or pizzas. I was very intrigued about trying the truffle ketchup. It livens food up a bit and goes well with chips, burgers or added into spaghetti bolognese. These products would make great gifts for any foodies or anyone who likes to experiment in the kitchen.
Ibiza Ice Wine
I love wine but sometimes fancy something a bit lighter and less rich, this is why I enjoyed trying out Ibiza Ice Wine. Both wines tasted very light and the ABV is only 5.5%. The pomegranate sparkling wine is fruity, bold and sweet but not sickly sweet. The lychee, lime and melon is very fruity, exotic and refreshing. Another thing I like about these wines is that they use natural ingredients with no refined sugar. The bottles are ideal to carry around and even have a stay cool aluminium bottle so don’t need to be chilled. Buy them as a gift or treat yourself to some this November as its National Pomegranate Month. They are available to buy on DrinkSupermarket.com
For Bloggers & Brands
Just Add Blog
Just add blog is a monthly subscription box delivered to your email. Each month you get 5-7 digital items to help improve your blog. Items such as flatlay photos, fonts and e-guides. My favourite item for November was the e-guide to using Facebook groups effectively. Facebook is probably my least engaged channel for my blog so I found the tips very useful, at the end it includes some great blogging groups to join. The boxes are $10 a month or $25 for 3 months. To get 25% off just add code – WFHC172H88N0. Take a look at the previous boxes here.
Printsome personalise garments such as t shirts, bags & hoodies. This can make a unique personal gift or would be great to use for a business. Check out their personalised collection services here, also if you get express delivery the items can be with you in 2-4 days.
Portable power banks are a lifesaver when your out and your phones running out of battery. USB makers provide logo branded powerbanks. USB makers sent me a motivational one saying “Make it Happen”. Adding a logo is ideal for brands and bloggers to enhance your identity and awareness. Check out the range of powerbanks here.
*Some items have been gifted to me but all opinions remain my own*
Recently I attended a brunch cooking class with fellow bloggers and Avenue Cookery School. We cooked eggs benedict, soda bread and had an endless supply of bloody Mary’s.
We had been spoilt with the amazing brands that were involved. Brands such as Pips organic who’s orange juice is delicious and Truffle Hunter truffle oil which tastes great drizzled over pasta or meats. What breakfast is complete without a good cuppa tea from TeaPigs.
On arrival I was greeted with a delicious bloody Mary served with celery, this had been made with Big Tom’s spiced tomato mix and Absolut Vodka.
So we started out making a soda bread which was really easy to make and only took a few minutes to complete. We then moved onto making the hollandaise sauce, our sauce did become a bit of a scrambled mess but luckily the chef Richard was there to fix it. To make the sauce you need 2 egg yolks, we used Clarence Court eggs and a spoonful of Belazu Chardonnay Vinegar.
We then poached the eggs, I’m pretty impressed with how ours turned out. Whenever I used to cook them at home, there would always be so much egg white left in the pan. The trick is to crack the egg onto a plate first and get rid of any of the white which is too liquidy. You then boil the water, reduce the heat and swirl the water. Allowing the bubbles to disperse and just as the water stops spinning carefully add the egg.
My favourite part of the morning was eating our creations, everyone’s dishes looked fab! We all had the option of using salmon or Denhay bacon, I couldn’t resist the bacon and it was slightly crispy which I love! On the way out we were each handed an amazing goodie bag filled with a selection of treats such as muffins, brownies, oil, bacon and eggs. Thanks so much to the Avenue Cookery School for hosting this brilliant event! The atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly, I’d definitely recommend checking out their cookery classes.
Can you believe the photo above is actually a cake!? It was very tasty too, although was strange to eat as you expect to be biting into an egg then get a sweet sugary taste.
How to get here
Avenue Cookery is located in Wandsworth, the nearest station is Wansworth Town, address below: