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Celebrity Cruise Taste of London

The greatest restaurant festival, Taste of London, returns to Regent’s Park next Wednesday, running for five days, it’s a chance to eat, drink take part in master classes, try a  little bit of this, a little bit of that, meet some of London’s top chefs and discover new restaurants.  

This year also sees Celebrity Cruises returning for their second year, as the first ever cruise line to showcase its cuisine at Taste of London, is set to bring a flavour of their award winning food from the high seas directly to the capital. Inspired by the Lawn Club Grill; an al fresco restaurant which sits on their real grass lawn on the top deck of their Solstice Class ships, the pop-up tasting restaurant aptly named ‘Deck Fourteen’, will showcase a range of food and wine curated by chef, John Suley, and is set to be one of this year’s highlights.

Celebrity Cruises are offering three pairs of tickets for Friday 20th( for the evening session 5:30pm - 9:30pm)  the winners will have an opportunity to sample some of the delicious dishes served on board with a tasting session lead by Celebrity Cruises’ Corporate Executive chef, Rufino Rengifo as well as enjoy a wine pairing experience with selected fine wines from around the world!

To enter, head to @thehandbooknews on twitter or for more information about Celebrity Cruise events, click here.

www.celebritycruises.co.uk 

Posted by Emily Gray at 11:10 am | Comments »
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A table at the Garden Grill

Summer is just around the corner and The Montague on the Gardens Hotel invites you to celebrate the warm-weathered season with its al fresco dining options now available. The culinary experience at this bistro style restaurant will be enjoyed in a peaceful and secluded setting overlooking the sculptures in the gardens of the Bedford Estate. 

In addition to these seasonal dining options, the Bloomsbury-based venue brings back its popular BBQ and Milkshake menu. The barbecue options include items such as bratwurst with sauerkraut and Dijon mustard served in a pretzel bun and a free range chicken burger with avocado and tomato relish served on a brioche bun. 

As for the milkshake selection, they are divided into two categories: naughty (alcoholic) and nice (non-alcoholic). Indulge in an Irish Monkey blended with banana liquor and ice cream, but with a dash of Jameson Irish whiskey and Baileys or sip on a Strawberries & Shortbread shake filled with sweet strawberries, crumbly shortbread and smooth strawberry ice cream.  

The Montague on the Gardens events team is also available to organise your private summer barbecue bash through a range of packages and options. 

www.montaguehotel.com

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 09:55 am | Comments »
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Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea at Milestone Hotel.

Celebrate Father's Day with a curious kind of experience that even dear old dad will enjoy. The Milestone Hotel now features the Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea, which welcomes both men and women but caters to a gent's appetite.

Popular fare prepared in mini proportions include home made pork pies, Cornish pastries and toad in the hole. Old time favourite finger sandwiches with rare sirloin beef and horseradish, honey roast ham and English mustard, as well as smoke salmon with cream cheese are served with unlimited tea.

However for those in search of something a bit stronger to sip, other drink options include a Whiskey Flight or Ale Flight - and the booze doesn't stop there. Cupcakes topped with whiskey cream cheese frosting, brandy soaked berries tart and a chocolate and orange liqueur torte are delectable desserts on the spread. 

Now we all know that tea time is not complete without a scone or two, and this gentlemen's tea is no exception. Maple-cured bacon scones served with truffle butter will satisfy the manliest of paletes, but are also be served amongst the traditional pastry with clotted cream and preserve.   

The fellow-friendly menu sounds rather delicious and would be a fabulous way to spend Father's Day with the special man in your life. The Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea will be served throughout June and reservations are essential. 

Afternoon Tea is £39.50 (unlimited tea)
With Ale Flight £49.50 (3x Ales plus unlimited tea)
With Whisky Flight £59.50 (3x 25 ml Whisky plus unlimited Tea)
 

www.milestonehotel.com

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 12:26 pm | Comments »
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Kitchenette Interior

Kitchenette: Review

June 10, 2014

Since having opened in Istabul in 2005, the Turkish café, bar and brasserie, Kitchenette, has gone from strength to strength with a total of 24 being opened well across the borders into Baku, St Petersburg and last November it came to Putney.

Situated on Putney Bridge Road, the 80 seat café and bar is light and airy with earthy, natural colours reflecting its Istanbul roots.  Seeing as the sun was shining though, we took to the terrace outside, ordered two spicy Bloody Marys and perused the all-day dining menu.

Their approach is traditional Turkish cooking with a modern Istanbul inspired twist and on the menu you’ll find dishes such as Moussaka, Menemen (baked onion, tomato, thyme, peppers with chilli oil and bread), Sucuklu (fried eggs with spicy Turkish sausage), Prawn Brochette and Sumak Lamb Köfte. At weekends they serve breakfast 10am – 4pm, perfect for late risers and if you don’t want a whole meal you can drop in for coffee and cake.

We started with excellent Manti (ground lamb dumplings with yoghurt)- you must order it and a light mezze platter of hummus, ezme, vine leaf dolma, beans pilaki, baba ganush (which we adored) and falafel.

The Sumak Lamb Köfte (grilled lamb mince skewer, cracked pilau, rose harissa yoghurt, pomegranate) was perfectly cooked and light, which is exactly what you want when the sun has made an appearance and you can finally say goodbye to the winter comfort carbs you’ve been gorging on for so long. The rose harissa was neither too spicy or fragrant as we thought it might be and the Külbasti (thinly sliced lamb, sautéed potatoes, peppers, spinach) was demolished in minutes, a true sign of a great meal.

We finished with a slice of sticky, gooey walnut baklava, crisp and flaky on top and sweet and dense under the pastry – I was impressed by the size of portion, being so use to restaurants offering up a few tiny bite sized pieces and charging a small fortune.

It’s hard to find fault with the food at Kitchenette, normally there is something that can be changed – you know more bread here, larger portions there that sort of thing. At Kitchenette there was none of that. In fact the only thing which could have been improved was that despite asking several times for a jug of water they seemed to prefer to bring individual glasses of water – which on a day as hot as it was, seemed a hassle.

 If that is the only improvement though, then Kitchenette is on to a winner. 

www.kitchenettecafe.co.uk

Posted by Emily Gray at 12:22 pm | Comments »
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Mark Hix's Kitchen Table Demonstration

Mark Hix is hosting several events this summer, offering you the chance to discover the secrets behind the menus at his iconic restaurant franchise.

HIX Selfridges is holding a dinner with a difference. Guests can dine on a three-course meal with its makers on 1st July. The men who supply the finest British ingredients will be sharing their expertise with Miles Irving from Forager discussing his herbs, Reg Johnson from Johnson and Swarbrick enlightening guests on the Bantam eggs and Indian Rock Chicken, Peter Hannan from the Meat Merchant providing info on the Guanciale and Himalayan Salt aged Chateau briande and Julian Kirk from sparkling wine company Nyetimber. The restaurant’s very own Mark Hix will of course be present too to talk about his signature De Beauvoir smoked salmon.

To really be in the know about how the London restaurateur creates his dishes why not pop along to a Kitchen Table Demonstration at his own Charmouth home. Every month, Mark cooks up a sensational feast of four courses with matching wines based on the best ingredients that the seasons have to offer. The open cooking demonstration is the perfect opportunity to learn new cooking techniques, to ask Hix questions about his food and to savour the British cuisine he creates in front of you.

Tickets to Meet the Makers cost £65 with a 6pm arrival for a 6.30pm start. Mark Hix’s Kitchen Table Demonstration classes cost £175 including a signed copy of Mark’s new cookbook, HIX Collection, and run from 11.30am till 2.30pm.

www.hixrestaurants.co.uk

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 09:29 am | Comments »
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Buddha Bar Afternoon Tea

Buddha Bar has recently launched a new afternoon tea and they are doing away with the scones. That’s right. Their tea is a scone free zone. They have a created a lighter tea with an Asian twist which is perfect for the warmer months and especially now that we are all supposed to be fixated on getting that bikini body- supposedly being the main word.

Sip on a glass of Champagne or one of their simple oriental teas and start with the likes of hoisin duck steam buns, Buddha-Bar’s renowned tuna tartare served on toasted fennel bread and Vietnamese summer spring rolls. Follow with original delicacies such as chilli chocolate mousse, a green tea cheese cake and a passion fruit and mango tart, well it certainly makes a change to cucumber sandwiches.

When tea sounds this good, who needs a scone anyway?

www.buddhabarlondon.com

 

Posted by Emily Gray at 15:31 pm | Comments »
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Dad's Day Out Logo

Le Caprice is creating the ultimate al fresco gentleman’s lounge to celebrate Father’s Day on the 15th June and not ones to do things by halves they’ve gone all out.

They’re only going to go and close the whole of Arlington Street for the afternoon! They will carpet and furnish it with sofas and put papers and magazines on hand, so fathers can indulge in such much needed down time.  Once the papers have been read, there will be chances to taste fine whisky and Cognac, drink at the two pop-up bars or enjoy a menu of Caprice classics including the Caprice burger.

The House of Corona in Havana will be rolling Cuban cigars which can be enjoyed there or taken home, Thomas Pink will be on hand to offer tailoring, whilst grooming emporium ‘The Refinery’  will be offering complimentary barber and skin care services. They’ll be luxury vintage cars parked in Arlington Street to lust over and jazz vocalist James Tormé and jazz musician Matthew van Kan will be providing the soundtrack for the afternoon with live performances. 

Tickets are available now priced £35 and include entry, a specially created cocktail, live music, bespoke tailoring advice and Cuban cigar rolling.  For tickets click here

Posted by Charlotte Knight at 10:45 am | Comments »
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Afternoon Tea at Hotel Cafe Royal in the Oscar Wilde Bar

Ever wanted to dine with Oscar Wilde? Well now you can…kind of. Hotel Café Royal is celebrating the arrival of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ at the Harold Pinter theatre, with a specially designed afternoon tea.

Executive Chef Andrew Turner and Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Blas have created the unique and fanciful menu using influences from the characters and history of the play. Paying tribute to the infamous cucumber sandwich furore are the Original ‘cucumber’ sandwiches, which are not at all as you’d expect. The sandwich selection also includes Everyman’s smoked wild boar, crackling pickled apple and English mustard bun, Gold puff goat’s cheese and wine jelly engagement, and London cure smoked salmon, quail’s egg and cress Prism. Inspiration from the play is carried through into the playfully named pastries with Chocolate box ‘n’ ring, Lady Bracknell lollipop and Dandy Raspberry Regent.

Most afternoon teas involve scones and cakes and this one is no different. With traditional tea marinated golden raisin, apricot and plain scones served with clotted cream and a choice of preserves alongside Hotel Café Royal’s speciality cakes. Guests can also have the option of additional ‘Savoury Terminus’ including scrambled egg and fresh truffle ‘Royal’ and Anchovy on toast and Gentleman’s relish.

Held in the iconic Oscar Wilde Bar, the tea will be available from 16th June, priced at £42 or £55 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

www.hotelcaferoyal.com

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 09:30 am | Comments »
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Merchants Tavern launches new Kitchen Counter

Shoreditch restaurant and bar Merchants Tavern are launching a slightly different version of a restaurant Chef’s Table. The new Kitchen Counter opens next week on Tuesday 10th June, and to celebrate its arrival guests receive a welcome glass of champagne or the ‘Sharpener of the Day’.

The Kitchen Counter will offer guests exclusive access into the high-adrenaline kitchen giving a unique insight into the fast-paced methods of cooking. Head Chef Neil Borthwick and his team will prepare and serve dishes directly to guests whilst talking through each course and its individual ingredients. This more personal and relaxed approach makes the Kitchen Counter the perfect place for a lunchtime business meeting or a casual dinner-date; something memorable but perhaps less stuffy than other alternatives.

Instead of picking something from the A La Carte menu, ask Neil and his team to rustle up a bespoke ‘Chef’s Menu’. Courses are influenced by the seasons and demonstrate Neil’s signature Modern European style. Dishes include spring vegetable salad, coppa and lemon thyme emulsion, roast saddle of new season lamb with confit shoulder, wet garlic puree, spinach and golden raisins and for dessert, dark chocolate tart with salted almond ice cream. Priced at £50 for five courses or £65 for seven, with the option to add matched wine pairings or select your own from the extensive wine list.

Escape your own kitchen counter and head to the 10-seater one at Merchants Tavern for a new dining experience.

www.merchantstavern.co.uk

Posted by Jessica Loveridge at 11:35 am | Comments »
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Wing Fest

It's no secret that Londoner's love their wings, and this year over 300 people are expected to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo Wing at the city's first Wing Fest. 

As apart of these festivities the capital's best vendors, including Red Dog Saloon, Randy’s Wing Bar and Smokey Tails will compete against each other in order to be crowned King of the Buffalo Wing.

Those in attendance will be able to sample every single wing before casting their votes for the two categories: The Buffalo Wing and The Wild Wing - where anything goes. London’s first chicken wing show-down will take place at The Liquor Store, in Dalston on Sunday 8th of June from 1 - 6 p.m. 

For £35 you get 32 wings (four from each competitor), one beer, one cocktail, an opportunity to compete in the Hot Wing Challenge and Nuclear Wing Challenge in addition to Frank's RedHot Sauce $wag. 

www.wingfest.co.uk 

Posted by Maddy Ewles at 14:23 pm | Comments »
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