Category Archives: Food

Breakfast at the Wolseley

When it comes to breakfast places; breakfast at The Wolseley is definitely a London institution. “Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life,” as written by A. A. Gill in his book ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’.

Ever since moving to London it was one of those bucket-list-experiences that I just had to do at some point.  I can’t believe it took me almost 4 years to tick it off. Useless I know!

The Wolseley is an all day café-restaurant located on Piccadilly next to the Ritz hotel. Starting at 7am on the dot from Monday to Friday (and from a gentler 8am at the weekend), breakfast at the Wolseley is served from an extensive menu. The Wolseley actually manages to turn 350 covers in a day and you can see how when you experience their smooth and speedy service (without making you feel like you need to eat and leave asap, as some places can be).

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On weekdays breakfast at the Wolseley seems to be the place for advertising execs, media types and business folk conducting their early morning meetings over coffee and delicious pastries. To get a table it is definitely necessary to book in advance, so when my best friends birthday was coming up and seeing are both pretty swamped at work, we decided to have a pre-work celebration with breakfast at The Wolseley! Our booking was for 7.30am and when we arrived the place was already buzzing with people. The interior and feeling is one of a Vienna grand cafe that feels posh but without being over-pretentious.

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I had been out for dinner the night before (where I’d consumed a few too many  wines – whoops) which meant I had a bit of a hangover, so the first thing I craved was coffee and a freshly baked pain au chocolate! It went down a treat. Oh and my friends’ boyfriend knows his coffees and confirmed to me recently that, to him, the cappuccino at the Wolseley is one of the best around! And that says something ;)

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I told the waiter it was my friends birthday so had asked them to surprise her with a candle on her pastry (which they couldn’t do unfortunately) but they did provide a lovely marzipan birthday plaque!

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When it came to ordering breakfast it was a pretty tough decision because I’d read so many good things. The breakfast menu offers everything from bircher müesli, fruit and porridge to bacon & fried egg rolls, fish cakes and croques monsier to a traditional full English fried breakfast. However my hangover seemed to be craving a sweet & salty fix that morning, so when I spotted the french toast with bacon, I was sold!

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The birthday girl had the ‘potato rösti with avocado, tomato and a hen’s egg’ and her boyfriend went for their much-raved-about-signature dish the ‘Eggs Benedict’.

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The french toast was one of the best I’ve had in years! Some people think bacon with french toast is a strange combination but trust me once you’ve tried it you won’t go back, it’s delicious and the perfect sweet and salty combination. The bacon was super crispy and I demolished this breakfast. The service was very friendly and efficient and I can see why The Wolseley such an institution in London. It was a great way to start our Friday morning. We both went to work full and happy! I will definitely be back for breakfast and can’t wait to try their afternoon tea which is also meant to be divine.

The Wolseley
160 Piccadilly London W1J 9EB
www.thewolseley.com

Note; it’s definitely worth making a booking ahead of time for breakfast at The Wolseley!

  
1 Comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Easter Hot Cross Bun Pudding Recipe

Looking for a great pudding recipe for an Easter feast this weekend? Well, look no further! This Easter Hot Cross Bun Pudding recipe is super easy and super delicious. It’s a great way to use up leftover or slightly stale Hot Cross Buns to have as a dessert on Easter Sunday or any time over the Easter holiday. To transform your generic hot cross bun into a warming treat check out the recipe below.

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Easter Hot Cross Bun Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 Hot cross buns
  • Butter (spreadable)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 30g Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 350ml of (double) cream
  • 350ml of milk
  • Chunks of chocolate (optional)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C and butter an ovenproof dish. Slice the hot cross buns in halves and butter each side. Then arrange them in a dish just big enough to fit your six hot cross buns. If the sound of more chocolate appeals to you (and trust me you won’t regret doing this step!) then now add some chocolate chunks in and around the buns.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over and around your buns and squish them down a bit in the liquid to help them soak up all the creamy goodness. You can let it soak for about 30 minutes or just pop it straight into them oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until puffy and dark rich brown.

Serve hot straight from the oven with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!

Original recipe by Liberty London Girl

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I had this dessert on the weekend at The Chameleon Social Club Easter Feast and it was incredibly moorish! I just couldn’t stop scooping up more of the custardy filling combined with the melted chocolate chunks, nom nom. My friend Emily kindly gave me the recipe so I am now making it for my friends this Easter as we’re escaping to the Cotswolds for a few days.

Do you think you will make this Hot Cross Bun Pudding this weekend or do you already have a winning Easter pudding recipe lined up?

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Baking, Food, Lifestyle, Recipe

Fail Proof Scones Recipe – Lemonade Scones

When it comes to British baking my absolute favourite treat is freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and jam! Scones are perfect for picnics, girly afternoon teas, bringing a plate along to family lunches or to share at the office. People always think that scones are hard to make but I am about to change your life by sharing with you my fail proof scones recipe. It’s super easy, using only a small amount of ingredients and it will give you delicious, perfect scones every time!

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Fail Proof Scones Recipe – Lemonade Scones

Ingredients:

4 cups self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
330ml can of lemonade
1 cup of cream
1/2 cup of sultanas (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.
  3. Add the lemonade and cream and mix lightly until evenly combined. It’s important not to over mix otherwise the scones will become tough. I like to use a spatula to gently fold the mixture together.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto a large cutting board and place the scone dough on top. Press it out into a rectangular shape roughly 4cm thick. Using a round shape, cut the dough into rounds. Or you can also cut the dough into even squares using a sharp knife. It depends on how you like your scones; perfectly round ones or a bit more rustic looking.
  5. Place the scones on a (lined) baking tray. I always place them close to each other so they rise better! Bake for 12 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
  6. Scones can be eaten while still warm or when completely cooled. Serve with jam and clotted or whipped cream depending on your preference.

Makes approximately 13 medium sized scones. Original recipe from The Best of Annabel Langbein: Great Food for Busy Lives (link)

Variation – Savoury Cheese Scones: use soda water instead of lemonade, omit the sugar and add 1 cup of grated tasty cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Add chopped bacon or onion if desired – trust me it’s a yummy little addition!)

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These fail proof scones are also extremely versatile. Into the scone batter, you could add chopped dates, sultanas, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, caramel bits, berries, pumpkin, cinnamon, nuts and much more or go for my savoury variation. The possibilities are endless!

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For my recent homemade girly afternoon (read post here) I made a batch of plain and sultana scones because I know some people don’t like sultanas. Personally I love them! I served mine with a big bowl of clotted cream, strawberry jam, blackberry jam and lemon curd and let the girls go crazy. It’s fair to say that they absolutely loved them!

Go on, this Fail Proof Scones recipe is so easy. Why don’t you whip up some next time you’ve got someone coming over for a cup of tea!

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Baking, Food, Lifestyle, Recipe

Brunch at Apero South Kensington

A little while back I tried a new brunch place in South Kensington. I am normally not one for the hotel breakfasts, but the brunch menu at Apero sounded pretty appealing so was keen to give it a go. Apero is located in the cellars of the Ampersand boutique Hotel in the heart of South Kensington. The atmosphere and décor in Apero is really nice and very casual, with wooden chairs, bricks and tiles, and it looks like your typical brunch cafe instead of a hotel restaurant. Me and a friend started off with coffee while deciding what to get from the weekend brunch menu.

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They offer a ‘help yourself’ from the counter option for £14 which means you can help yourself as much as you want from the buffet table which has: Orford smoked cheddar, Emmental, Brie, Gloucester Old Spot ham, Mortadella, Feta & Spinach croissant, Homemade muffin, Cinnamon brioche, Chocolate brioche, Assorted pastries, Banana bread, Sour dough bread, Fresh fruit salad, Loseley yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, Bircher muesli, Granola, Cereals, Dried fruits and unlimited hot drinks & juice. So if you’re hungry, go for this option!

Or you can select from the a la carte menu with options like; a Full English Breakfast, Brioche French Toast with bacon, cinnamon & banana, Cumberland Sausage Ring with fried eggs, Homemade Waffles with vanilla poached pear & chocolate or Coconut Porridge with caramelised banana. My friend went for the ‘from the counter option’ and got stuck in at the buffet to try a bit of everything!

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Back at our cute little private (cave) table by the window, we shared the many treats like Banana Bread, Fresh Grapefruit, Bircher Muesli and a selection of cheeses.

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From the a la carte menu we got the Turkish style eggs with yoghurt & chilli and the Avocado on grilled sourdough with coriander & lime. I was extremely excited for the Turkish style eggs (because I am addicted to Peter Gordon’s version at The Providores & Tapas room) but unfortunately they didn’t quite live up to their expectation. It was tasty, but just not what I was expecting so was a little disappointed. It basically was more poached eggs covered in a chilli & yoghurt sauce which tasted good but it just wasn’t what I was craving. The avocado on sourdough with coriander & lime was simple and delicious. You pretty much can’t go wrong with avocado on toast in my books.

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Overall I enjoyed brunch at Apero. The one thing to remember is that it is still a hotel so the vibe isn’t very buzzy but that makes it perfect for a more quiet brunch catch up morning, right in the middle of South Kensington. Oh and you can book a table online so that’s always a bonus. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2.30pm. Find out more at aperorestaurantandbar.com.

Apero Restaurant & Bar
Ampersand Hotel
2 Harrington Road
SW7 3ER.

Are you a fan of hotel breakfasts or do you prefer a little cafe?

  
Leave a comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Poached Eggs with Chilli Avocado & Pancetta

If you read my blog and follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed by now that I suffer from a pretty serious addiction to poached eggs and avocado! When I go out for brunch, it is normally the dish I have to pick from the menu. To me there’s not much better on the planet than a perfectly poached (runny) egg on toasted bread with a good dollop of avocado! But you don’t have to go out to have this for breakfast, because did you know it’s actually very easy to make this popular cafe style brunch dish at home? Let me show you how!

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First up, let’s talk AVOCADO! There’s so many ways to smash up avocado on toast (see some delicious examples HERE) but my personal favourite would have to be the simple combination of avocado with chilli flakes with a few sprinkles of sea salt and freshly grated pepper, followed by a quick spritz of lime! Here’s the basic recipe.

Chilli Avocado

Serves 2
1 perfectly ripe avocado
1 pinch of sea salt
1 pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 slice of lime

Separate the avocado by slicing lengthwise all the way around; twist to separate, and then remove and discard the pit. Scoop the avocado out of the skin into a bowl. Sprinkle on salt and chilli flakes, then spritz with one slice of a juicy lime. Mash with a fork (mash well to create a smooth spread, or mash just a few times to create a chunky spread).

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Chilli Avocado on toast is super delicious on it’s own but I think it’s even better with a poached egg and some crispy salty panchetta on top! Poaching eggs can seem daunting but it’s actually not that hard (once you get the hang of it). What I do;

  • Fill a (deep) frying pan or pot with boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and a splash of vinegar (if you prefer) which will help to bind the egg.
  • When the water is boiling, swirl the water around with a spoon to create a vortex. Now crack one egg above the pot and carefully pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. You’ll see them begin to cook immediately – don’t worry if the edges look a little scruffy.
  • Depending on your pan, a really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft to firm one will need 4 minutes (it depends on the size of the eggs and whether you’re using them straight from the fridge). To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back and give the eggs a minute or two more in the water to firm up.
  • When the eggs are ready gently place the egg onto a paper towel to absorb the excess water before transferring to a plate for serving. 

20140309 153848 Poached Eggs with Chilli Avocado & Pancetta Another thing you can do (for the less confident or experienced egg poachers) is to crack the egg into a cup first before pouring it into the boiling water. Watch a handy video HERE for step-by-step instructions to make you a Egg-Poaching-Master!

While your eggs are poaching, place some slices of pancetta on a baking sheet and put this in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees) for about 5 minutes until they crisp up nicely! Briefly place the cooked slices onto a kitchen towel to drain the fat before serving.

20140309 153818 Poached Eggs with Chilli Avocado & Pancetta Now all you have to do is spread the Chilli Avocado onto thick slices of freshly toasted bread, add the poached egg(s) and finally ‘decorate’ with some pancetta on top!

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And there you have it, pretty much my favourite breakfast dish in the whole world! Enjoy! Have you ever made poached eggs with (chilli) avocado at home?

  
2 Comments | Posted in 80/20 Diet, Brunch, Cooking, Food, Recipe