Newsletter 5 December 2012

Cool Christmas Markets, Top Mince Pies and Xmas Treats, and the latest foodie news!

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Christmas Markets Special…


Street Feast Xmas Grotto, EC1. 1-23 Dec (except Mondays)  1533 Newsletter 5 December 2012

Taking residence in the original 1940′s Shoreditch train station tunnels that have lay unused for 20 years, Street Feast returns with their crew of renowned street food vendors for some Christmas fun.   The rotating line-up include Mamma’s Jerk Station, Big Apple Hot Dogs and Wild Game Co, whilst those after a feast for the eyes will no doubt enjoy the street art from End of The Line.  Some of London’s top mixologists will also be on hand to serve up a range of weird and wonderful concoctions in the 1950s America inspired bar and live DJ’s will keep the party vibe going into the night.


FEAST Festival, N1. 6-9 Dec

1534 Newsletter 5 December 2012

FEAST will transform the vast ground floor of the former Royal Mail sorting office in Islington Square to create a food festival featuring stalls from some of London’s most popular restaurants.  Mark Hix will lead the collective, which also includes Moro, Mishkins, Ceviche, Lucky Chip and others.  Expect banquet style seating, experimental cocktails courtesy of Background Bars, a fabulous live music programme and light installations to get everyone in the mood for Christmas.  The icing on the festive cake will be a daily performance from dancers at the Royal Ballet. Tickets are around £7.50 from

Christmas #EatMeUp @ Red Market, EC1. 6-8 Dec

Street food meets technology as Christmas #EatMeUp descends on Red Market.  From morning till late, visitors can enjoy street food from the likes of Street Kitchen, Tongue ‘n Cheek and Bhangra Burger, as well as live bands and cocktails.  Curiously, using the HitMeUp iPhone app, punters can also unlock a host of offers and competitions at the market; for example, those who sing the entire Flower of Scotland can earn themselves a free venison burger and there’s also a free burrito for anyone with a handlebar moustache!

KERB @ Fifteen, N1. 15 Dec

Pioneering street food conglomerate KERB will land outside Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant for a festive food market.  Stalls already confirmed include the Rib Man, Bell & Brisket who champion all things salt beef, and Poppy Smadja with her indulgent tarts.  Beyond the food, you’ll be able to sip mulled wine and hot chocolate while enjoying some festive classics from the Cantate mixed-voice youth choir.

Yelp’s Totally Bazaar @ Camden Market. 6 Dec

Yelp’s Totally Bazaar is all about celebrating the best of London. To help you shop local, Yelp has brought together over 50 independent London businesses showcasing unique gift ideas and high quality ingredients as well as providing warming winter tipples to fuel the festive spirit.  You can feast on free nibbles and between bites, boogie the night away to live music acts. Open from 7.30pm – 10pm


New Openings…


Southsider Cocktail Club, SW11

Unbelievably, one of London’s most exciting recent bar openings isn’t a speakeasy, a tiki or an uber-exclusive members club – it is quite simply a damn fine cocktail bar.  Robin Webb and his motley crew of award winning bartenders from 64th&Social in Clapham have landed down the road on Battersea rise for their second venue.  Cocktails will range from the religiously classic to the slightly quirky, including Beef jerky infused Bloody Marys and ‘The Credence Coconut Water’ with Gin, coconut water, lavender & nettle cordial.  The venue also features cozy booths, exposed brickwork, edgy street art and a fire place to warm up in front of.  56 Battersea Rise, SE11 1EJ.


1536 Newsletter 5 December 2012

The GrEAT British
Before you all email in, no I haven’t made a formatting mistake – the name of this new restaurant really is written like this.  Fortunately, the concept at The GrEAT British appears to be far less challenging on the senses!  A joint venture between beauty industry stalwart George Hammer and Tony Zoccola, owner of East Dulwich Deli, the restaurant has opened to provide a beacon of British food and drink in Mayfair. The breakfast menu champions classics such as bacon butties and grilled kippers and evening diners can tuck into more substantial British dishes including Wood pigeon salad and Treacle cured suckling pig.  For the ultimate temptation for passers-by, they’ve even got joints of hot roast beef and pork in the window, ready to be freshly carved for sandwiches!

Electric Diner & Donuts, W11

1535 Newsletter 5 December 2012Soho House has collaborated with renowned Chicago chef Brendan Sodikoff to launch Electric Diner & Donuts.  The Diner takes its inspiration from Sodikoff’s Chicago-based restaurant Au Cheval, with a French-American menu offering many of his signature dishes, including the renowned Cheeseburger and Bologna sandwich.  The menu also features a dedicated ‘eggs’ section, with Crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy particularly intriguing.  Electric Donuts is based on Sodikoff’s popular Doughnut Vault concept and offers a daily changing menu of fresh donuts, including Maple Bourbon, Bergamot Orange and Mexican Chocolate.

The Whisky Shop, W1

Just in time for the chilly months when there’s nothing better than a warming dram, The Whisky Shop has opened its flagship site on Piccadilly.  The store offers a library of around 400 exceptional whiskies at all price points, as well as a unique iPad based whisky guide to ensure you choose the perfect expression for your tastebuds.   Given its impressive location opposite The Ritz, it’s no surprise that the shop also showcases a few exclusive expressions that will have whisky enthusiasts in a dizzying drool, including Royal Salute Tribute to Honour, a truly opulent blend priced at a mere £150,000; and the The Dalmore Constellation Collection, priced at £158,000.


Our Top Mince Pies…
1537 Newsletter 5 December 2012

First – Thomas the Baker

The most classic of the mince pies was also our favourite, courtesy of Yorkshire based Thomas the Baker.  The pastry was the perfect thickness, with a sweet and mildly buttery flavour.  Take a bite and you’ll find just the right amount of rich and delicious tangy sweet mincemeat filling too.   £2 for 6 pies from

Second – M&S Handcrafted Ultimate All Butter Mince Pies

One for those after something truly indulgent, these crisp and crumbly handcrafted mince pies are filled with deliciously rich mincemeat packed with vine fruits, Kirsch soaked Morello cherries, roasted almonds and Armagnac.  The pastry is deliciously rich too, with little sprinkles of sugar over the top for occasional bursts of sweetness.  £2.99 for 4 pies

Third – Riverford Organic Mince Pies

Somewhere between the top two sits these delicious Mince pies from Riverford.  The rich and thick pastry has a lovely handmade look and texture and the classic filling is bursting with flavour.  The only reason these didn’t come first is that we felt the pastry was too thick to allow the taste of the filling to come through.  £4.95 from

Christmas Inspired Treats…


1538 Newsletter 5 December 2012

Nudo Panettone

The Italian Christmas tradition of eating Panettone has become increasingly popular in recent years.  Far lighter in both taste and texture than Christmas cake, we found Nudo’s panettone to be best of the bunch.  Made from butter and olive oil, it somehow manages to maintain a rich moistness of a cupcake whilst having an almost candy-floss like fluffiness inside.  Throw in a smattering of juicy seasonal dried fruits and you’ve got the perfect Christmas treat that’s ideal to pick on as an occasional treat or as an alternative to traditional puddings with a glass of wine.  It’s big enough to feed an entire extended family, so the £15 price tag is reasonable.

On Pâtisserie ’12 Days of Christmas’ Macarons

1539 Newsletter 5 December 2012

On Pâtisserie has created a collection of stunning macarons based around the traditional English Christmas carol ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’.  These macarons are beautifully decorated with illustrations by artist Jo Parry and feature the increasingly grand gifts given on each of the 12 days starting Christmas Day until the day before Epiphany.  The 12 seasonal flavours include everything from Brandy Fruitcake with 70% Chocolate Ganache to Christmas Tea with Milk Chocolate Ganache.  Around £25 from Harvey Nichs and

Paul A Young Christmas Chocolates
  1540 Newsletter 5 December 2012

Never one to miss an opportunity to show off his skills, ever creative chocolatier Paul A Young has come up with a Christmas inspired range of treats.  The collection of filled chocolates includes gingerbread sea salted caramel, mince pie marzipan and spiced brandy with coffee & cream.  Alternatively, for those who like to keep a bar of chocolate to hand, you can nibble on delicious flavours such as cinnamon & caramel crumble, gingerbread cookie & white chocolate and gold, frankincense & myrrh.  For your nearest shop visit