Newsletter 2 November 2011

Win a meal with Michael Caines, Gin Making Workshop and the latest openings and foodie news…

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News & Events…

1253 Newsletter 2 November 2011

Free lunch @ OXO Building with Michael Caines & Fairy Platinum

Not only is there such a thing as a free lunch, with Fairy there is such a thing as a free Michelin starred lunch.  Opened to celebrate the launch of the new Fairy Platinum range, the public have the chance to win a free meal with Two Michelin-starred Michael Caines at a pop-up restaurant at the OXO building.  All you have to do is go to their Facebook page, waste some time playing the annoyingly addictive pinball game and enter your details.  Lucky winners are picked at random, not based on the game scores, and will win one of 25 two course meals for four people on 18 or 19 November.  Enter before 7 November. 

Gin Making Workshop @ The Forge, NW1, 5th November

With so many recipe variations based on a world of botanicals, gin is one of the most expansive categories in terms of flavour profile.  Attendees of this Gin Making Workshop will have the privilege of being able to create their very own perfect gin.  Sacred Spirits Company, who create widely acclaimed gin and vodkas in Highgate, will host the hands-on workshop, showing attendees how to blend the fruits and spices to create personalised versions of the popular spirit. Tickets cost £25, including canapés.  From 5pm-6.30pm.  Tel: 0207 383 7808 to book.

1222 Newsletter 2 November 2011Speakeasy Sundays @ The Hideaway, SW16, starting 6 November

South London’s latest live music venue, The Hideaway, is set to liven up Sundays with its new twice-monthly Speakeasy Sunday nights, providing guests with a host of top class live New Orleans funk, jazz and some roaring R&B.  Getting into the “Big Easy” vibe will made even easier with signature Four Roses Bourbon cocktails served in Speakeasy jam jars for the first 30 through the door, as well as a special creole menu in the restaurant.  Tickets are £8, with the evening starting at 7pm.

New Openings…

Carom, W1

Having recently collaborated with Atul Kocchar on a pop-up at Meza in Wardour Street, D&D Group has decided to permanently convert the site into an Indian restaurant with the opening of Carom.  Head Chef Balaji Balachander (former Executive Chef at Benares) has created a menu of regional Indian dishes designed for sharing, allowing diners to pop in for a drink and a bite or an all-out feast.  The drinks are strongly influenced by India too, with a range of spice based cocktails, Indian wines and Indian whiskies, including the multi-award winning range of single malts from the Amrut distillery in Bangalore.

Chakra, W11

Having been one of the pioneers of proper Indian cuisine in the 90′s with his eponymous restaurant, Andy Vama has return to the kitchen with a new restaurant in West London.  Chakra is inspired by Andy’s recent travels through India in search of authentic recipes, ranging from the traditional cooking of Lucknow to the regal kitchens of Hyderabad.  The result is an eclectic mix of dishes designed to share, including Sandalwood powder infused Coriander & Garlic Grilled Lamb Chops and Smoked Tandoori Tiger Prawns cured with Ginger and Chilli Oil.

1254 Newsletter 2 November 2011Azulito Bar @ Wahaca Wardour St, W1

Wahaca has pretty much single-handedly changed our perceptions of Mexican food, showing us how tasty, healthy and varied it can be.  Next on their agenda is to turn us into a nation of tequila drinkers with the launch of their new bar in the Wardour Street branch.  Visitors will be treated to the UK’s most comprehensive range of 100% agave tequilas, with around 80 to choose from, as well as a tequila cocktail list and Mexican bar snacks.  The vibe in the bar should be pretty cool too, with DJs mixing Mexican urban tracks and table football to while away the night.

Try This Week…

1255 Newsletter 2 November 2011Magners Specials

Not content with turning us into a nation of summertime cider drinkers, Magners have embarked on a cunning plan to ensure we keep drinking their alcoholic apple and pear ‘juices’ through the colder months with the launch of their Specials range.  Blended with wintery flavours like rhubarb and infused spices, the Specials range is designed to be drunk without ice, preferably near a roaring fire whilst wearing a pair of cords and a Barbour jacket.  Flavours include Pear & Ginger, Spiced Apple & Honey and Spiced Apple & Rhubarb.  Widely available from major supermarkets for around £2.25.


Church View Beef from Allen’s of Mayfair

1256 Newsletter 2 November 2011Whilst I haven’t been blessed with the greatest of skills in the kitchen, one of the key mantra’s I live by is to always buy quality meat.  Generally, not only does it add infinitely more flavour to your dish, but key to any novice cook, it is also normally harder to ruin.  Latest to pass the Love Food Love Drink rubbish cook test is the unbelievably delicious Church View Beef from royal butchers, Allen’s of Mayfair.  Farmed by the cow experts at Blade Farming SW, Church View Angus cattle is grazed for at least 6 months and finished on a high cereal diet with a mineral supplement, whilst the meat itself is matured for a minimum of 21 days.  The result is incredibly tender, succulent and flavoursome steak that even the most inept of wannabe Jamie Olivers could muster into a seriously good meal.  Available in a range of cuts in-store and online at

1257 Newsletter 2 November 2011Pescatori Fitzrovia, W1
Some of the finest fish I’ve eaten has been along the Italian coast, so hopes were high for this Italian seafood restaurant.  Indeed, it was during a visit to Sicily that I enjoyed an unprecedented three day pescatarian stint; admittedly, I did wake up on the fourth day craving meat, which lead to me breaking my 15 year abstention from beef, but that’s another story.  Fortunately, our visit to the recently spruced up Charlotte Street branch of Pescatori largely lived up to the expectations.