09
Dec 13

Sausage, chorizo, butternut squash and lentil casserole

Chorizo stew

This casserole is wonderful at this time of year. It’s full of tasty morsels and is good for you too, being a complete meal in one. This casserole is very easy to make – it is best cooked slowly for as long as possible, but the amount of time it takes to prepare is fairly minimal. I assembled all the ingredients and left it to bake in my lovely new cast iron casserole dish from Pro Cook. It looks rather smart and is it makes life even easier, as it looks good enough to serve on the table.

This is a seriously delicious, hearty winter-warmer that is great served with some steamed vegetables.

Sausage, chorizo, butternut squash and lentil casserole

Serves 4 generously

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil

8 good quality pork sausages

200g chorizo, chopped into 1 cm dice

1 butternut squash peeled, seeds removed and diced

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

300ml chicken stock

400g cooked green lentils, diced

2 tsp thyme leaves, fresh or dried

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Start by adding the oil to a large non-stick pan. Add the sausages and cook for 10 minutes until the skins are well-browned. Now, add the chorizo and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Transfer the sausages and chorizo to a large, lidded casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and bake with the lid on for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve with fresh vegetables. Any leftovers keep well, freeze well too and taste even better the next day.


22
Nov 13

The Magdalen Chapter

2MC

At nearly 18 months old, The Magdalen Chapter hotel has quickly established itself as the place to go in Exeter. Formerly the West England Eye Hospital, the hotel how occupies the large red brick building situated just five minutes by foot from the heart of the city centre. The building has been sympathetically renovated, retaining many original features whilst adding plenty of twenty-first century comforts.

The Magdalen Chapter is owned by Chapter Hotels, who have a sister hotel in Cheltenham. Down in Exeter, there are 59 bedrooms, a library, a bar, a spa, pool and gym, and of course, the dining room. We arrived at around 9pm on a Friday night and found the hotel buzzing. The bar was lively, with the evening in full swing, and plenty of people coming into the hotel to drink and dine.

We stayed in a feature room – one of the largest rooms in the hotel. We were shown up to our room by Richard, one of the duty managers who was very welcoming. Once we’d been shown around the room, we were handed an iPad which would be ours for the duration of the stay, and can be used to play music and find out most things you need to know about the hotel.

Our room was large with two bathrooms – one with a bath and the other with a shower, which were particularly luxurious and equipped with REN products, which are made locally in Devon.  Technology is a feature of the rooms, as we were able to listen to the TV and music in the shower room. We also had a control panel through which we could play our own music. Our room had a complimentary mini bar, containing some beer (which we swapped for wine, being wheat free), soft drinks and chocolate, and we had a Nespresso coffee machine, too.

The Magdalen Chapter restaurant sits at the back of the hotel in a large conservatory overlooking the gardens. Head chef Ben Bulger, formerly Head Chef at Riverford Field Kitchen, is guided by TV chef and restaurateur Simon Hopkinson, who acts as a consultant at Chapter Hotels. Their focus is on cooking locally sourced, seasonal British food.

Whilst we stayed, we enjoyed an evening meal and breakfast.  We did find breakfast a bit chaotic whilst we were staying, but the food was very good indeed. The choices available for breakfast offer a wide selection of interesting and tasty hot dishes. The food was very good indeed – great quality ingredients cooked really well. The service did let down the experience though – unfortunately when we visited, it was rather un-coordinated and a waitress took our menus away from us within five minutes of us having sat down, without taking our order. We had to then get up and retrieve our menus from the table on the side of the dining room. We also had to intercept our breakfast items from being served to other tables twice.

Our dinner experience was a lot better – the food was absolutely delicious and the service was charming. Technology weaves its way into the dining room here too, as diners are presented with an iPad wine list. It may sound gimmicky, but it was quite a straightforward way of choosing wine – by the glass, by price and so on.

I finished our stay with a 30 minute massage at the in-house spa with Jade, one of the therapists. It was absolutely lovely and Jade was a delight, running me through the range of REN products in great detail.

All in all, we had a very pleasant visit to the Magdalen Chapter. The communal rooms are lovely spaces in which to relax and the restaurant and spa are excellent. It is worth noting that there is very little parking – the car park was full and double-parked for the duration of our stay, and if you can’t get in, parking is around £7 a day in a nearby car park. We would recommend it as a comfortable and relaxing place to stay.


19
Nov 13

L’Eto

L'Eto

L’Eto on the King’s Road in London is a smart, chic cafe open all day long for breakfast, lunch and dinner, both to take away and eat in.

As you walk in you are greeted with enormous platters of delicious looking salads in front of you alongside delicately decorated cakes and gorgeous chocolate truffles piled onto silver platters. It all looks very inviting and is available to takeaway throughout the day. Not only would it make an excellent lunch, they do a brisk trade in takeaway quiches and meats for supper, too.

I decided to sit in and try the restaurant menu. To start, I tried a Crab and Avocado salad with soy and lime dressing, made with generous chunks of avocado, crab, black sesame seeds, fresh coriander leaves and finely chopped red chilli. It was vibrant and fresh tasting but substantial for a starter.

For the main course, I tried the Steak marinated in garlic and rosemary. The flavour of the steak was superb. It was juicy and tender, and full of flavour. With this, I tried a side of spring greens, which was a mixture of Tenderstem broccoli with kale, cooked al dente and topped with toasted flakes almonds. It was a really substantial side and would be enough for two people to share.

To finish, I managed around half a piece of the 73% chocolate cake. It’s described as chocolate fudge cake, but I’d say it is more of a deep and dense flourless chocolate cake. It was very rich and intensely flavoured and was a great way to finish a meal with coffee.

L’Eto is a lovely place to stop for a drink and food at any time of the day, and is highly recommended for its fresh, delicious food served in generous portions.  Lunch will set you back around £10-15 if you eat in, £7-10 for takeaway and dinner varies from £15-40 per head.


17
Nov 13

Autumn veg box recipes

Food shopping can be a bit of a minefield at times, particularly when choosing products you will enjoy, whilst balancing cost, environmental and ethical issues.

Personally speaking, food shopping will always be a toss up between these factors. Cost is a major factor, but I am definitely part of a growing number of people wanting to eat local, seasonal Organic food. Part of the difficulty with that for most people is actually sourcing ingredients – I certainly struggle to find a good farm shop, and don’t always have loads of time to dedicate to food shopping. So, with that in mind, I was keen to try a veg box from Abel & Cole, as they offer a wide range of groceries as well as fruit and vegetables.

My delivery arrived at my door within my allotted time frame, and included fresh vegetables, meat, wine, olive oil, fruit, vegetables and chilies. All the meat and vegetables was from within a 150-mile radius from my home, and was all Organic and very, very fresh. The wild venison from Hampshire Game was superb. Like for like prices are extremely competitive. The quality of the produce is outstanding, and it is a very convenient way to shop. All boxes come with a selection of seasonal recipes for you to try, but here are some  of my seasonal recipes for you to try – all made with ingredients from my veg box.

 1Venison

Venision steaks with Sage, Rosemary and garlic

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 Venison minute steaks (appx. 250-300g)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 spring rosemary

6 sage leaves

8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method 

Place all the ingredients into a large, shallow dish and mix well to combine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour – the longer you can leave it the better the flavour.

When you’re ready to cook the steak, preheat a pan (preferably a grill pan) under a hot heat. Add the steaks and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side. Cook the herbs and garlic with the meat, too.

Once the meat is cooked to your liking, allow to rest for 10 minutes on a hot plate to become more tender.

Serve with some freshly steamed green beans and baked squash

 1Squash

Baked onion squash with garlic and sage

Serves 2 

Ingredients

An onion squash

3 cloves garlic

6 sage leaves

A generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C

Cut the top off of the squash and remove the seeds and stringy flesh from the inside. Place onto a large baking tray and put the garlic and sage inside the squash. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-30 minutes until the flesh is lightly browned and tender. Serve immediately. 


14
Nov 13

Meluha, Bristol

1Meluha

 Meluha opened in Bristol earlier this year, and is the second restaurant from Chef Stephen Gomes and Jay Miah. Moksh was opened in Cardiff Bay in 2007, offering a more modern interpretation of Indian food. Stephen’s cooking style is a twist on the classics – traditional flavours and spices, but presented in a more modern way.

Cooking is in Stephen’s blood. He is, in fact, the third generation of chefs in his family, and has cooked all over the world in many top restaurants. The influence of his extensive travels can be found in his award-winning cooking. Stephen has been voted Best UK Indian Chef several times, including most recently, 2012-3.

Meluha is situated on Park Street in Bristol. It is a light, slick and modern restaurant with a few nods to Asia in the decor. We sat in the window, which was a great spot from which to watch the world go by on a Saturday night in Bristol.

The menu offers plenty of choice – from the more adventurous dishes, including a five course tasting menu, which seemed to be the popular choice on our visit, to plenty of choice for customers wanting a more traditional curry. We started our meal with a delicious glass of Malbec. The wine list offers plenty of choice, both of bottles and wines by the glass, which we chose. It is very fairly priced, too. To accompany our wine, we had to have some poppadoms with Meluha’s chutney tray, which included a delicious mint yoghurt, mango chutney, tamarind sauce and sweet chilli sauce packed with kaffir lime leaves. All accompaniments were superb the tamarind and sweet chilli sauces were particularly good, making a pleasant change from some of the more predictable offerings at many Indian restaurants.

To start, we tried a Maya ‘Magic’ starter called ‘With a Little Twist’, which involved three pieces of chicken cooked in different ways: chocolate and orange chicken tikka, Moksh jerk chicken tikka and lemongrass and pepper chicken tikka. The starter arrived beautifully presented with the three different types of chicken on one plate. The flavours of each piece were absolutely delectable and the chicken was superbly tender. The portion was perfectly sized, too – a generous quantity of chicken, but not too much to spoil your appetite.

Moving on to the main course, we shared the Lamb Shank Roganjosh, a Kashmiri curry, made with whole lamb shanks cooked in a rich onion and fresh tomato puree sauce with cardamom and whole spices. The sauce was deep in flavour and the meat was meltingly tender with the shank served whole. It was topped with really tiny baby plum tomatoes, which added a lovely extra layer of texture. We thought it was superb.

We also tried the Ratinagiri Mango Lamb, a lamb curry made with mangoes, coconut milk and black pepper, and loved this too. The meat was generous and tender with a wonderfully flavoursome thick, smooth, tangy sauce.

Rices at Meluha were lovely and a little different.  The Pilau rice with caramelised onions was delicious – very savoury in flavour and complemented the curry very well. We also tried the Green tea rice, which was a basmati rice flavoured with green tea leaves. The rice was dark green in colour and had a wonderfully subtle green tea flavour. It worked particularly well with the sweeter Ratinagiri curry.

Not content with rice alone, we tried the garlic butter naan and garlic butter gluten free naan. There are a wide variety of interesting naan flavours, including Chilli chocolate and honey and rosemary and chicken tikka, which sound delicious. What is even better is that all breads can be made gluten free at Meluha, without even pre-ordering. In fact, as all dishes are made fresh from the menu, pretty much all dishes can be made gluten free. It was a particularly lovely experience being told you can have any dish or bread you like from the menu made gluten free – something we’ve not experienced at an Indian restaurant before.

To finish, we tried a trio of desserts put together for us by the chef. All were excellent. Our meal at Meluha was superb. The food was divine and the service just lovely from everyone who served us. It was, without question, the best curry we’ve ever had.


12
Nov 13

A trip to Marbella

Finca Los Arcos

Finca Los Arcos

Marbella on the Spanish Costa del Sol has been a famous celebrity haunt for years. The international jet-set have been visiting Marbella since the end of the Second World War, and it seems to be more popular than ever as a holiday destination.

I recently paid a visit to Marbella to see what it’s all about. You can see why it’s such a popular destination both for holidays and minibreaks, as it is just so easy to get to. Flights are cheap and readily available on a regular schedule, making it very possible to pop down for a weekend, which is what we did.

Marbella is just a 20-30 minute taxi ride from Malaga airport. The town itself is interesting, well preserved and worth a visit. The main attraction has to be the beaches and the world famous beach clubs in Marbella.

Our beach club of choice was Nikki Beach, and it was fabulous. Glamorous and exclusive yet really relaxed and fun – it is the perfect way to spend a hot and sunny day in Marbella. Booking a beach bed out for the day is the way to do it here. You will be served by the very good-looking staff, all eager to help you adjust your towel and serve you delicious cocktails. Yes, it’s not cheap, but the cocktails are delectable and the food is fabulous – their salads are all superb – so good that the 20 Euro price tag seems reasonable.

What really made the trip special was our villa. We decided to escape the hustle and bustle and stay up in the hills at Finca Los Arcos near Alhaurín el Grande. It is an easy drive down into Marbella and not expensive in a taxi, which is what we did. Finca Los Arcos is a magical and seriously unique place to stay. It can be found at the very top of a steep, winding track. As you pass the olive groves and pomegranate orchards on the way up to the villa, it keeps itself hidden – only to reveal itself as you reach the very top of the track to find it’s large gates in front of you. The villa is, in fact situated on the very top of a plateau in the hills, with 360-degree views of the mountains all around you. The villa sleeps 14 in its large en-suite bedrooms and has a large sitting room and covered terrace – but we spent practically every waking moment there outside on its enormous lower terrace sunbathing enjoying the swimming pool. There is also an outdoor bar complete with music, making it the perfect setting for a party in the evening.

There is plenty of choice in Marbella when it comes to restaurants, bars and clubs. Marbella is definitely a place to be seen and people watch. In fact, it is most likely you will visit and spot several famous faces. Did it live up to expectations? Yes. I’m already planning my next trip back!


27
Oct 13

Brimstone

Brimstone

Nestled in the heart of the Langdale Valley, Brimstone is the newest addition to the Langdale Estate, a small leisure complex that offers self-catering accommodation and timeshares in the English Lake District.

Brimstone is different. The hotel was opened this May, so is very new, and was opened with the intention of offering the best rooms in the Lake District. The hotel itself is very impressive. A slick, new building constructed from Lakeland slate, fitting in with the surroundings very well. It has just a total of sixteen rooms and suites making it a very small and comfortable place to stay. It’s situated on three floors, with the ground floor being the underground car park, and a lift connecting all floors, with automatically opening doors along the way. This makes getting around so easy, with step-free access all the way from the car to the rooms, which was great for us, in terms of getting our luggage to our rooms.

The rooms are seriously luxurious and modern. They’d definitely be a hit with anyone liking technology, with light buttons instead of switches to adjust the lights to the occasion, from ‘perky’ when you’re getting up for the morning, to ‘tinkle’ if you were to wake up in the night. There are two interactive televisions in the room, should you wish to tweet from the TV, and a whole host of TV channels and iPlayer available through the television. Even the curtains are opertated electronically. All these gadgets don’t feel gimmicky. The room is decorated very tastefully in subtle greys, with a spotless white bathroom. It is clear that every detail in the rooms at Brimstone has been very carefully considered and is of top quality.

One of the most unusual features about Brimstone is that there is no Reception desk. Guests are looked after by the hotel’s Hosts, who are available by telephone at any time, for literally anything you could want. There is just one communal room, the Reading Room, which is great. It has plenty of comfy seating, a TV and a good selection of books, magazines and newspapers. It also has a back wall bar with refreshments, including a Nespresso machine, bottled water, wine, beer and soft drinks available free and in unlimited quantities to guests at any time of the day or night. There are also cakes and fruit throughout the day, sandwiches to take out with you for the day available in the morning and cheese and biscuits to enjoy after dinner. They really have thought of everything, and this is a very popular service with guests, understandably. I was touched when Harriet, our host, brought us gluten free brownies especially to take out with us for the day.

There were three different hosts on duty whilst we were staying and all were great. They’re there to help with luggage, bring you breakfast in your room, call to see if you would like a turn down service, and help you with any other needs you might have.

The Langdale Estate is a great place to stay in the Lake District, particularly if you enjoy outdoor activities. It is around 15 minutes drive from Ambleside, the nearest town, but is a very short distance from many of the finest walks in Lakeland. There are also plenty of activities on the Estate, with a swimming pool and spa on site. The Spa is absolutely brilliant. It’s just a minute’s walk from Brimstone to get into the main building. On the first night, I enjoyed a manicure and pedicure with Kelly in the Spa. It was lovely to have an evening appointment, as the spa was quiet and I could relax and chat to Kelly, who was a complete delight and did a wonderful job of my treatment using OPI nail polishes. I had so many compliments afterwards. On the second night, I had an Anne Semonin Facial with Rachel. Again, this treatment was fantastic. Rachel was just lovely: very experienced and knowledgeable, and gave me so much information on the gorgeous Anne Semonin products, including a huge range of samples to try at home.

While staying at Brimstone, it makes sense to dine on the Langstone Estate, unless you fancy a fairly long drive elsewhere. There isn’t anywhere in Brimstone to eat, as all the restaurants and kitchens are over in the main building. Breakfast is great however, as guests at Brimstone are given a card in the room on which to choose what you want to eat, and leave it outside the room for the morning. There are 15 minute slots for delivery, and we found our food arriving bang on time. There is a really good choice of food available and the quality is good and there is no extra service charge for this.

There are several dinner options available on the Estate. We dined in Purdey’s Restaurant, the flagship restaurant for each night of our stay.  It is a relaxed, unstuffy place to dine with very attentive, friendly service. There is a good selection of wines and the staff are keen to advise. Portions are generous – so much so that we couldn’t manage dessert. We retired to the Reading Room at Brimstone for an espresso and found other residents in there enjoying wine and cheese after dinner.

What is clear about Brimstone is how great the staff are. It is particularly nice to speak to staff who clearly love their jobs and care about where they work and their guests.

Brimstone is a fantastic place to stay in the Lakes. The rooms are just gorgeous and extremely comfortable. We particularly liked how autonomous you feel staying here – it’s a hotel room with hotel service, but a bit more freedom and privacy than some hotels to relax and do as you please during your stay. It’s so private, you could get away with hardly seeing a person during your stay if you wished.  We met a couple staying who were on their third visit since May, they loved it so much. Have they succeeded in creating the best rooms in the Lakes? A good number of guests we encountered seemed to think so.


24
Oct 13

Almond Cannellé

Almond canelle

One of the most fun aspects about baking is experimentation. I love to try different cake tins and these are the best ones I’ve found recently. They are actually for Italian Pandoro or French Cannellé. They are made from silicone and are sold online through The Cook’s Kitchen.

Pandoro is a delicious light and sweet dough cake, not dissimilar to pannetone. Sadly, like any dough recipes, they are very hard to adapt to being gluten free. So, using the mould, I have come up with a delicious and easy version of French cannellé, which would be perfect at any time of the year, but particularly at Christmas.

I should add that the mould does come with a recipe for traditional Pandoro, which I have made, and is delicious.

Almond Cannellé

Makes 6

Ingredients

150g butter or dairy-free spread

150g golden caster sugar

3 medium free-range eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

150g ground almonds

1 heaped tbsp. gluten free plain flour

4 tbsp honey, warmed until runny

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease your moulds as best you can. Quick release spray is a godsend here. Set the mould aside.

Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs gradually and beat well after each addition. Now, add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and beat well.

Finally, add the almonds and four and gently fold in. Carefully spoon the mixture into the moulds. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and risen.

Allow to cool in the mould for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool fully on a wire rack.

Drizzle with warmed honey and serve.


15
Oct 13

Gilpin Lake House

the-lake-house-hotel-2

The Lake District is, without doubt one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places to stay in England, and I have just discovered possibly the most special place in which to enjoy the peace and quiet and beautiful scenery.

Gilpin Lake House is a seriously unique place to stay. It is, in fact, the newly opened sister hotel to the highly reputable Gilpin Lodge, part of the exceptional Relais et Chateaux hotel group, and is located just a mile or so away, up a narrow and winding lane, leading to Knipe Tarn, on whose banks Gilpin Lake House sits. Its location can only be described as idyllic, with 100 very private acres and wide-reaching views for guests to enjoy.

Guests buzz through to the house from the large, black iron gates to enter, and by the time we had driven up to the house, staff were waiting outside, armed with umbrellas to greet us on arrival. We certainly felt pretty special and well looked after from the moment we arrived at Gilpin.

First of all, we were shown up to our room on the first floor; Maud, to find chilled champagne waiting for us, and we had a short while to settle in and unpack our luggage. Our room was lovely – centrally positioned in the building, up in the eaves on the top floor, with views over the garden and tarn. We had plenty of space to sit, relax, store our luggage and get ready. It was extremely comfortable and very tastefully decorated. The white marble bathroom was small, but very nice, and equipped with everything you could need, including Gilpin’s own range of Organic products, which were great to use.

What struck us first of all about Gilpin Lake House, was the seriously elegant and stylish décor. This is a very luxurious house, a mixture of slick, modern designs and elegant country-house features. Every room is full of books and magazines – many of which I would have loved to look at, if I’d had time. I almost wished we had, not only had longer at Gilpin, but a wet day so that we could have had some quiet time to enjoy more of the house. What makes this a particularly unique place to stay is just how homely the hotel feels. It is a very unstuffy, informal and personal place to stay, despite its gorgeous, luxurious surroundings.

We arrived mid-afternoon, and had a short while to get ourselves ready before embarking on the Jetty Spa Trail, which is the in-house spa; The Jetty, Lake House Spa’s signature treatment, which is designed specifically for couples. Jo Evans, the delightful Spa Manager came to fetch us from our room, and we headed off to the brand new custom-built wooden spa, nestled amongst the trees on the banks of the tarn. This treatment takes all afternoon, and is specifically tailored to every guest.

First of all, we sat with Jo in the spa with a drink of freshly made cucumber and mint water, whilst Jo created our own blend of essential oils for us each to use in our massages. Jo was very exacting when creating our blend, ensuring it was a combination of three balanced fragrances that we absolutely loved. We then had around 45 minutes to enjoy the swimming pool and salt snug to ourselves. One of the particularly special facts about the Jetty Spa Trail is that all the facilities you use are closed to other guests, so only you are able to use them at that time. Such privacy is quite unique.

Following our time in the salt snug, we each had a salt scrub shower, followed by a half hour massage using our personalized essential oil blends. The treatment room in The Jetty is just incredible. There are two treatment rooms which can be opened up to form one large room for couples. The entire exterior wall is, in fact, a glass window, with fabulous views over the tarn. It is so private, and feels very intimate. In keeping with the rest of the house, it is very tastefully decorated and would be an amazing experience both in the summer, with the windows open, and in winter, with the log burners lit. The massages were extremely relaxing, and I certainly enjoyed the fact that Jo was so entirely focused on me and my comfort throughout.

We finished the treatment with some time to relax in the Boat House, again, it is completely private, and looks over the tarn. We snuggled up under the heated fur blanket and had some time to read magazines whilst we drank tea and nibbled on some appetisers. Finally, we were shown to the outdoor hot tub, where we enjoyed a bottle of champagne together before it was time to go and get ready for dinner.

Dinner at Gilpin is a very special affair. It is purposefully served at Gilpin Lodge, its sister hotel, just a short distance away, to preserve the tranquility of the hotel. To make life special for the guests, the Lake House has its own chauffeur to take guests to Gilpin Lodge and back. Andrew, our driver was brilliant, and we felt really special being driven there and back in their Jaguar. What is great about it is that you feel like you’ve had an evening out, but you don’t have to worry about taxis, cash or being the designated driver. Andrew waits for you in the Reception area whilst you dine, so you can return whenever you like.

Dinner at Gilpin Lodge was everything we expected. The lounges and dining rooms are lovely. We were hungry, so we chose to go straight to our table instead of enjoying an aperitif in the bar. Staff were really friendly, knowledgeable and keen to advise on wines. Three menus are on offer every day: the tasting menu, the a la carte menu and the grill menu. We ordered from the a la carte and the grill menu.

The highlight for me was the steak. It was in fact a locally sourced fillet steak on the bone. It had been grilled using the Big Green Egg Charcoal grill and was exquisite. We really enjoyed the free range chicken too, which was served with some delicious sides. We loved the grilled corn with coriander and sesame green beans.

The service at Gilpin is exceptional. We genuinely felt in very safe hands. What is also exceptional is how lovely all the furnishings and décor are. This is a hotel that is immaculately kept in every area. It is unusual to stay in such a small hotel, but the Lake House is genuinely the best of both worlds, with pretty much every facility you could want available to guests. We felt as though there were no compromises being a small hotel, but you were able to enjoy a much more intimate experience as a result. This is a very special place to stay and perfect for couples. It would be a really lovely place to stay for a special occasion – you can even hire out the entire hotel, should you wish, which would be seriously amazing.

One night’s accommodation with a Jetty Spa Trail with dinner, wine and the chauffeur is around £900 per night, per couple.


14
Oct 13

Autumn slaw

AS

Just because the summer’s over doesn’t mean salads have to be off the menu. This is one of my favourite salads. It’s crunchy, fresh and full of flavour. It’s also super healthy if you, like me, are looking for alternatives to winter stodge at this time of year.

The trick to making a really great slaw is to slice the vegetables really thinly. I mean so thin they are almost transparent. Fennel can be really tough, but thinly slicing it brings out its sweetness and much more tender to eat. A really sharp knife is what you need to use here. I have been loving these gorgeous knives made by Edge of Belgravia – a favourite of the Fabulous Baker Brothers. They make easy work of any tough vegetable and enable you to cut things really, really thinly.

Autumn slaw

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

For the slaw

1 bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 large eating apple, thinly sliced

75g walnuts

50g sultanas

1 tbsp freshly chopped mint

For the dressing

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Method

Place the slaw ingredients (except the mint) into a bowl and stir together well.

Mix they mayonnaise and mustard together until smooth and well-combined.

Stir the dressing evenly through the slaw. Serve on a plate topped generously with fresh mint. Serve and enjoy immediately, as the fennel and apple will brown quickly.

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer