The Ubiquitous Chip , Glasgow – One of my best finds for years.

Ubiquitous – having or seeming to have the ability to be everywhere at once;omnipresent Chip   Ermmmmm …..No sign of those in this establishment ….or maybe there is. The myth speaks of the fact that the restaurant owner totally refused to serve chips to the people of Glasgow and this actually lasted for 30 years.Over the…

The Waterfront – Whitehaven and my home town Gem.

The picturesque and sleepy little Georgian fishing port of Whitehaven nestles cosily against the western fringes of the English Lake district national park on the Cumbrian coastline…. Hey , i would definitely get a job with the tourist board wouldn`t  i ?  Ok….ok….so  it`s an ex mining town , an historical slave trading port and has strong association…

Rampsbeck Country house – Ullswater.

The problem that i always encounter when dining out is that basically i`m a total creature of habit. I always seem to go for the places i`ve been to before and where i know i`m going to get well taken care of…..hence all of my repeat visits to the same places. On this occasion it…

THE RITZ , London – More Stunning food , Wine and James Bond.

When I`m eating at the Ritz i`m like a child on christmas morning , i`m excited , i`m all smiles and it`s simply because i know exactly what`s waiting for me as soon as i walk through the doors….My own little heaven. As i`ve said on previous Ritz blog posts i can never see myself coming down…

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley – Visit 3

It was my third visit to Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley hotel in a year , i`m a very blessed guy i guess. I keep intending to try somewhere new when i`m in London but i end up heading to the Berkeley as i know i`m going to get totally pampered by the staff ,…

The Square, Phil Howards “Tasting Menu” – London

Phil Howard bounced through those kitchen doors just as if he was leaping out of the starting gate on one of his marathons ,  flashing the biggest smile and radiating the energy of a child in a playground…..what a happy guy .Handshakes , welcomes , a quick conversation and off over he went  to another couple of tables…

The ” Worlds best dessert ” ? – Gauthier Soho.

The start of my…..  erm….  Let`s call it  ” Big Birthday ” weekend in London , I really don`t want to talk numbers right now so Ssssshhhhh….sore point. A weekend gastronomic trip around the capitals top of the tree eating establishments.Tasting menus all the way from the start along with accompanying wine flights,  just a…

A Pudding in a Plantpot …. Blooming crazy.

During the “Race for life” week we carried out a charity cake bake in the office which raised a few hundred pounds for a fantastic cause.My contribution was a HestonBlumenthal variation of a   “Pudding in a plantpot ” . I adapted the BFG ( Black forest gateaux ) into 7 layered chocoholics dream desserts…..inside plant pots , covered them with “edible compost…

SoLITA – The place to be seen in Manchester.

SoLITA  ( south of little Italy ) opened its doors to the public this week in Manchesters Northern quarter.The creation made by a pair of nutty brothers Dom and Franco Sotgiu they came up with the most amazing and very comforting menu teamed up with one hell of a  bar and cocktail list. It was my job…

Lenclume , Cartmel – Rogan reaching dizzy new heights.

I`ve been following the Lenclume  gang around since the place opened almost 10 years ago. I`ve watched Simon Rogan evolve through many stages of cuisine , endless experiments and i have to say it`s been one hell of a journey. Simon has now levelled out and the new phase of Lenclume food over the last…

The Samling – Summer Lunch at a country house.

As far as bargain lunches in high end restaurants go then The Samling on the banks of Windermere in the Lake district has to top them all. Its called the “Cumbria life” set lunch offer , normally £35 but running through the summer at £25…i simply had to go. I`ve mentioned the fact that in…

Aumbry , Manchester and Mary Ellens Tasting menu.

My nutty friend Franco ( sausagemaking man ) and the even nuttier Hungry Hoss have been chattering on about their favourite Northern restaurant Aumbry for many months now but i`ve always been busy on their suggested dates so our meet up was never set.Finally an opportunity came up whilst i was in between jobs so i headed off from…

Restaurant “Nahm” in the Metropolitan hotel , Bangkok.

I was sitting in the sticky heat of a Bangkok bar recently with a friend from Sheffield.He was with his Thai girlfriend and our conversation got around to discussing which was the best Thai restaurant in Bangkok. Apparently “Nahm” at the Metropolitan hotel  is the place to be if you want to eat Thai food at its best. “My girlfriend…

Late Spring Foraging , There`s lots to be had for the food lovers.

A Saturday morning out and about in the hedgerows and woods with a little call off at the beach on the way home for an ice cream.Must have taken all of an hour in all and this is just what`s available for the wild food forager right now….a total feast for free.As far as chefs go then there…

Good value Sunday lunch at Miller Howe in Windermere.

Sunday morning i was bored and wondering what i could do in the Lakes.As far as decent choices go then i think i made a fairly good one here.One hours drive and i`m at Miller Howe country house hotel on the fringes of Windermere, a great excuse for a trip into Cumbrias Lake district.They`re everywhere up here , country…

Simon Rogan – A Spring lunch at Roganic,London

I think most of you will know by now that i`m ever so slightly potty.I can only blame the Cumbrian air and breeding for that one.Last week i even amazed myself and decided on a whim to make a 14 hour , 700 mile round trip…just to eat lunch at Roganic in Marylebone.Car , train , tube ,…

Hipping Hall – An absolute bargain lunch up north.

Just feast your eyes, and as far as country house hotels go then this one is a little gem of a place to go and hide out at for a weekend treat…or even simply an overnighter on the  journey up north.It`s called Hipping Hall country house hotel and sits on the border of Cumbria and Lancashire…

Martin Wisharts Tasting menus in Edinburgh , Scotland.

Foodies have been singing from the Edinburgh rooftops for years about Martin Wisharts food yet it was a restaurant that i`d never quite managed to get around to trying.It was always on my list along with Tom Kitchin , The Witchery and 21212 so when an opportunity came my way for a weekend break in the…

“Rhubarb” at Prestonfield – another hidden diamond found.

A wee hop over the border for an Edinburgh `chill out` weekend break and i`m rewarded with another sparkling gem  to add to my culinary crown. We`re all quite familiar with Edinburgh`s best eateries by now…Martin Wishart ( report to follow soon ) , Tom Kitchin , The Witchery , Castle terrace , 21212 etc…

Alyn Williams at The Westbury Hotel.

Another trip down to London and three more fantastic restaurants arranged for our weekend.First night would be the tasting menu at recently opened Alyn Williams at the Westbury hotel.This would be followed by Truffle tasting at Ducasse and Sunday lunch tasting menu at the Ritz…fantastic. The critical couple had been raving over Alyns cooking for…

LENCLUME – The 2012 Winter menu.

So ,  my first post of the year and my little “easing into” the flow of 2012 and hopefully some pretty good eating. As i said in an earlier post i do have a new years resolution to get 2 stone off before my annual trip to Thailand in June. A`light` lunch at Lenclume would…

2011 – THE VERY BEST OF THE “CUMBRIAFOODIE” BUNCH

It`s been a wonderful 2011 for me when it comes to eating out , meeting people and generally having a good ole time. The London restaurant scene has played a big part in my year and i`ve thoroughly enjoyed travelling down to the capital to eat in some of the countries finest restaurants over the…

The Ritz , London – An amazing Sunday lunch.

It was the end of yet another cracking weekend in London , fantastic food , amazing wines and good banter.How could we ever top off the two amazing meals at the Ledbury and Marcus Wareing ? Well,  i had two places in mind that might just hit the spot .First choice was The Ritz and…

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley – The Autumn Menu 2011.

A CHANGING MENU BASED UPON THE IMAGINATIVE CREATIONS OF MARCUS WAREING AND HIS TEAM. My crazy dining companion the ever so eccentric Laird Bell was a tad jealous when i managed to get into the Berkeley before him last August.He`d planned to go there for quite a while and he had dinner booked but was totally…

Cumbrian Hidden Treasures.

When driving through the Cumbrian lake District there`s normally somewhere to eat at every turn.It might be a corner chippy, a village pie shop , a cosy country pub or a fine dining Michelin starred restaurant. I was rather amazed at just how many country houses there were around the Windermere area during my drive through there last weekend.There…

Restaurant Sat Bains – The Tasting menu 2011.

Anyone travelling down the country from my neck of the woods and wanting to eat a meal at Restaurant Sat Bains would best be advised to plan their journey well in advance of their visit. The restaurant is definitely a bit of a pain in the backside to get to from the North but boy is it worth it once you`re there.My…

Visionary Dining – Young Chef of the year 2011.

An amazing and very enjoyable evening at the lakes hotel school in Kendal last night , 11 wonderful courses of fabulous food , enjoyable wine, top class chefs and lovely people.The evening started at 4.30 and i ate , slurped lots of wine and fell into bed at 1 am……then got back up at 4.30 for the journey back…

LENCLUME – An Autumn lunch by Simon Rogan.

Another great year for Simon Rogan and Lenclume in Cartmel Cumbria.The team seem to be going from strength to strength by the week lately. Their newly opened Roganic in Marylebone, London headed up by Ben Spalding has been receiving rave reviews from both  critics and diners alike.My meal on opening day was fantastic ( click here to view…

” The Paul ” – Copenhagen and my strange Danish weekend.

I often wonder which one of my parents i inherited my `ever so slightly` nutty behaviour from.They both deny at times that i`m their son and said i was delivered on the doorstep in a parcel. Apparently our local Milkman showed signs of madness when i was a baby and neither of my parents would ever discuss this with me…

“Dinner” by Heston – and the Legendary “Meat fruit” .

Dinner by Heston  – There`s not a great deal that i can write about the place that hasn`t already been written in the many blogs and media reports during the 7 months since the place opened. Obviously the main question that people will want to know is ” how do i secure a booking at…

The Ledbury , London – Brett Grahams Tasting menu 2011.

I`ve been noticing quite a lot of hype about the Ledbury lately .The Masterchef finalists took on a service there , the food bloggers have been giving the place quite a lot of praise with some lovely photos, and Michelin awarded Ledbury a second star in their 2011 guide.I`ve been going back and forward to London on a number…

September / October – Wild Mushroom time in the Lake District.

   It`s that time of year again up here in the Lake district. Unfortunately for the southerners, great chefs like the Legendary Simon Hulsone stuck down on the south coast in Torquay they`re having a very poor time of it ( shame Simon ) but up here in the Lake district….its full gear ahead.So August…

GALVIN @ Windows at the Park lane Hilton , London

As far as decent lighting for taking photos goes then surely right up in the clouds on the 28th floor of Londons Park lane Hilton has to be the best foodie blogger destination of them all.The restaurant is Galvin @ windows and it`s situated right up on the top floor of the Hilton hotel with…

3 Star Michelin food by James Knappett @ Marcus Wareing.

22 Courses in the Berkeley hotel , Knightsbridge , London I`ve eaten quite a few meals over the years in a number of  high key restaurants scattered all around the UK.Some bad meals , lots of good ones and a “couple” of top of the ladder ones. I say “couple” because only that amount stand out…

Helene Darroze at the Connaught – The Inspiration Menu 2011.

Helene Darroze at the Connaught  – For a high class, fine dining  Michelin two star restaurant  things are unusually quiet and pretty low key here in the UK for the “Parisienne queen of the cooking scene”. I`ve never seen Madamemoiselle Darroze on the TV before , rarely seen her in the Media and for a 2…

Sketch – The Tasting Menu at Pierre Gagnaire.

       I`ve been meaning to get down from Cumbria to eat at Sketch for quite a few years now but i always seem to deviate somewhere else.Finally , i managed to get leave from work , booked the train , hotels and the trip was on. Sketch reports seem to come in a mixed bag…

And finally sir, “The Pigs Trotter “, it only took 25 years to try.

“Pigs trotter Pierre Koffmann”…A timeless classic in the foodie world ,there isn`t a chef worth his or her salt who hasn`t heard of this `top of the ladder` dish, one which many of the leading chefs would be eating as their`last ever meal on earth`. Strangely enough its one that has taken me almost 25 years…

ROGANIC – Simon Rogan and Ben Spalding take on London.

Just by a stroke of luck i happened to be in London on the weekend that Simon Rogans new `pop up` restaurant “Roganic” was opening on a two week`ramp up` soft start.Even luckier for me that i was searching around for somewhere to do lunch on Roganics first day and happened to discover that i could book…

Pignuts – A little hidden gem for the forager.

It`s the end of May and the beginning of June and now`s the time to go foraging for Pignuts.They`re everywhere at the moment , Woods , Roadsides , Hedgerows and Riverbanks. They`re very east to spot and identify so hopefully this quick guide will make it totally foolproof for you all. In the photo below you`ll be able…

Tom Yam , making Thailands national soup.

                                            Click the photos above to view full size Tom Yam or Tom Yum ,are two names for two very similar and very popular Asian soups originating from Thailand and Laos.They`re now very popular in neighbouring asian countries and also throughout the world.The soup is characterized by its…

Finally….Our town gets a Fish shop.

I live in a small town called Whitehaven .It sits on the west coast  of Cumbria on the fringes of the English lake district. It has one of  those picturesque little fishing ports straight off a holiday postcard with a small fleet of fishing boats and bigger trawlers that operate out of the port. The…

William Drabble – Gourmand menu at 7 Park place ,London.

Lunching in London – The Menu Gourmande at William Drabble , st James Hotel and club I had to get the `Google street maps` fired up on my mobile to find 7 Park place ,as it`s tucked away pretty well in a very quiet little corner of St James near Mayfair. Fortunately my nifty little…

The Good Food Guide celebration dinner.

The Good food guide celebration dinner with Simon Rogan and Jason Atherton at Lenclume , Cartmel. Opportunities like this don`t tend to crop up every week  up here in Sunny Cumbria, so as soon as this special Good food guide celebration dinner came up on my radar i grabbed the chance to sample what two of the…

Le Champignon Sauvage, 12 course, 2 star michelin.

The  12 course ” Menu Surprise ” at David Everitt Matthias – Le Champignon Sauvage restaurant. I had already studied chef David everitt – matthias cooking techniques and style from his two cook books full of recipes from his restaurant “Le Champignon sauvage” down in Cheltenham.I say “down” because its quite a long way down to eat…

“Meat Fruit” – Making a Heston favourite at home.

Mandarin ” Meat fruit ” filled with a surprise Chicken liver parfait. The word “Heston” seems to be rapidly becoming a household name of late. A new series on the T.V., daily appearances in the National press, Blumenthal supermarket grub and a second restaurant just opened in Londons Mandarin oriental hotel.I was really excited when i heard Heston…

Temptation from my diet , Sticky Cumbrian Gingerbread.

Sticky Cumbrian Gingerbread , White chocolate mousse , Sea Buckthorn jellies , Jeffersons Rum Gel and Caramelised Hazelnuts…..a challenge to any hardened dieter. Sticking to the annual diet really isn`t an easy task and when each new year comes around things always seem to get harder and harder and the weight gets more and more…

Who mentioned diet ?

I`ve got a crazy friend called Terry who lives with the sheep in Wales ,a bit of a mountain man and loves to think he`s a “special forces” killing machine who can survive on tree bark, roadkill and berries out in the Welsh wilderness for weeks on end.

Xmas favourites – Mince Pies and Carrot cake

A great Mince pie recipe passed down through the family generations definitely holds one of the top spots in my all time xmas favourites. As far as pastry goes , then this one has to be the best i`ve ever tasted , light , buttery and very flaky but also a bit of a nightmare to work with.The…

Golden Egg drops from Alinea

There`s a  famous restaurant in Chicago called Alinea , it holds the coveted 3 Michelin star status and like all of these world famous restaurants, comes with its own cookery book based upon what the diner eats during their visit to the place.It`s one of those amazing books that seem to carry the same weight…

A Xmas dessert from the local Cemetery

Having a Czech girlfriend aint easy , infact it can be pretty tough at times.The first problem is the obvious one – “The language barrier” , i can speak very few words of the Czech language, luckily in my case Sarka can speak English virtually word perfect, plus she also subscribes to Viz magazine….so readers of…

Nice day for a beach forage

I suppose i tend to take things rather for granted living in a quiet little coastal town on the western fringes of the English lakes.One step out of my front door and i have the most amazing choices and secret little places to disappear to.If i decide to head north then within a minute I`m at the…

Truffles in Umbria…..or Cumbria ?

I couldn`t resist venturing up to my nearest lake for a foray through the woodlands this morning , it was just too nice to stay indoors.I guess i`m a lucky guy because within 10 minutes i was out of the house, out of town and looking at this fantastic view on my way to the forest…

Hestons Fat Duck

Jeez….talk about difficult to get a table. Seeing as though im trying to get back into my food again i thought it would be a great idea to take my girlfriend along to Heston Blumenthals fat duck restaurant for a double birthday treat.A great chance to experience what it would be like to eat the “Worlds…

L`enclume – Michelin Star food on my doorstep

“A gastro-laboratory in the middle of nowhere that redefines the notion of food? Is this yet another paean to Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli in northeastern Spain? Actually, no. This is a paean to Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in the village of Cartmel at the southern end of England’s Lake District. When El Bulli closes for two…

Fruit Crumble -A quick stop on the way home from work.

Here`s a quick one , maybe 30 minutes start to finish. One of the guys from work brought a bag of apples in today , Highly perfumed and pink through the middle , possibly “Pink pearls”.He asked me to knock a crumble up for work that he could eat cold as he didnt like hot fruit. Here`s the…

New Camera – Time to move up a step

I`ve always been close to my Fuji for the last few years , a finepix S9600 has been by my side for all my food pics up to date.But now i`m looking for something with good depth of field control and a better quality lens also…..Enter the world of Canon EOS. I managed to get…