29 April 2011

The Borlotti Bean Wedding Brunch


The Borlotti Bean
 Wedding Brunch



~  When it comes to Royal Weddings, I find it best to enjoy with family.  As my sister, heavily pregnant at the time had an inexplicable urge to re-decorate, we headed to Caroline and Ben's.  Ben is a fantastic cook and inspired by a picture he once saw he decided to create his own version and provide us with a great brunch munch.  Not knowing how it would turn out, but rather fancying our chances that it would be good I followed my brother in law around faithfully recording progress with photos, while Caroline and Judy painted.  It seems rather apt that this should be a photo-based recipe as my brother in law was initially inspired by a picture.  Although this is called a Wedding Brunch, this can be enjoyed with family and friends on any weekend.

Soak a pack of borlotti beans overnight and simmer for an hour in the morning, then drain



Soften onions slowly, add garlic and bell pepper



Season

Roughly chop tomatoes and add along with borlotti beans
fresh thyme
smoked chilli flakes

crack eggs on the top
Serve with bolly and lollies
Add crispy bacon and toast to finish

27 April 2011

Going Out for Will and Kate

Going Out for Will and Kate



With a right Royal Wedding only days away even the most dis-interested of people have started to consider what they might do this Friday 29 April.


Although I was never against, ‘the best PR event the royals have had in years’, I have found myself acting out of character and enthusiastically purchasing some kitsch commemorative memorabilia. Ok, it’s not for me it's a present, but I still bought it and am looking forward to my travels north to join in with the mood of the nation.


That said, I thought I should do a quick scan and see what’s on offer in Brighton too for those who want to get involved, but not enough to buy a fifteen pound saver (not valid on the Gatwick Express) to London Victoria.


Eve of the balcony scene, an impartial observer contemplates what tomorrow will bring


Duke Of York’s Picturehouse

Free, however reserving seats recommended tel: 0871 902 5728

Starts 10am

With a Right Royal Name and steeped in history what could be more appropriate than watching the event at the Duke of York’s?  There will be a toast to Will and Kate and then a screening of the multi-award winning The King’s Speech for a tenner, cake and wine included.

Duke of York Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4NA

Playgroup Royal Wedding

7:00pm - 10:30pm Pop Up Venue Launch, formerly The Ocean Rooms

10:30pm Wedding coaches

11pm Concorde 2

Although the DoY is good in its own way, something a little more irreverent may be the ticket.  Offering free cocktails along with live swing bands, cabaret and performances Playgroup bring their own brand of fun fun fun to the launch of their latest venture, an exclusive Festival venue. From there the party removes to another location, Concorde 2 for a kinda reception.  Transported in Wedding Coaches on-board entertainment will be provided in the form of shots and wedding cake. Now, this is my type of wedding, hope the shots are sambuca, second choice tuaca of course. Upon arrival the guests will be greeted by confetti and cameramen before enjoying a night of more live bands and DJs including the dude from The Specials and the band Los Albertos.

Concorde 2, Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1EN

ENTRY £10

The Treason Show – Royal Wedding Special

7:00 pm doors open

However, if you are fed up with the royal hype, are anti-royalist or just quite bah-humbug by nature and want to get involved in an un-involved sort of way then get your miserable, grumbling ass down to the Brighton Dome and cheer the flock up! The Treason Show will be bringing their own brand of humour to Brighton for the night and providing the only alternative left to those without a shred Cath Kidston on them.  Oh shame on you.


01273 709709, Brighton Dome, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1EE

ENTRY £12.50 / Concession £10


The Mall, Friday 29 April at about 5pm


21 April 2011

New but old but new yeah

Latino's
36 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FN
01273 770355


Spare ribs and octopus
Maybe I was hungry, maybe it was just very very good, whatever the reason, the spare ribs had us sucking on them to get off the last remnants of meat from the bone and dipping everything else in the sauce.  That said the dish of octopus, a personal recommendation made by the manager Michael was so tender that it came a close second.

Although Latino's has been providing spanish cuisine to the residents of Hove and beyond for the last nineteen years its spectacular new make-over has transformed it into the brand new kid on the block.
Michael, the son of Enrico and Mariela has taken over the running of the family business and brings with him a desire to embrace change, including the replacement of the Chef from his father to a Spanish Chef, fresh from the mainland, called David.

Pintxos (pronounced pinchos) which literally means spike are a trademark of the Basque Country where Mariela comes from and are snacks similar to tapas and eaten in almost all the bars of that region. Generally referring to slices of white bread with assorted toppings and displayed on plates on the bar top for patrons to choose for themselves, Latino's revamp has incorporated this traditonal bar concept within an ultra-modern and chic interior.  

As the night developed the place soon filled with groups of people and the atmosphere was buzzing.  With new management, young staff and an eagerness to create a welcoming environment, the team have a winning formula for this well established fixture in central Hove.  In fact the welcome was so warm I ended up hugging the waitress who had served us on our departure.  Maybe it was the hosptiality, maybe it was the bottle of Tempranillo.


Latino's re-launch


17 April 2011

There's only one place to get your almond croissants

~  I’m a bit behind the times with this particular newsflash relating to Kemptown village, three weeks late to be exact, but it is still such exciting news and deserves a post anyway.

The Real Patisserie has set up shop just behind my seaside square. Thank the Lord for incomparable almond croissants in shuffling distance from home. Even before this great piece of good fortune the Real Patisserie was high on my list of shops to cover by my blog on a must-not-miss bespoke eating tour of B and H.

Real Patisserie, Kemptown
It meets all the criteria, Brighton based, great product and thriving business. All their edible creations are made on the premises in Brighton, the Real P√Ętisserie is an independent bakery specialising in traditional French breads and cakes. Their expertise lies in producing an extensive range of artisan breads, with every loaf hand moulded and chosen from a selection of traditionally popular loaves in France, Spain and Italy. Quality is so fundamental to their standards of perfection that the flours they use for the dough is sourced carefully from selected mills in order to create a range of rye sourdough, wheat sourdough, spelt, wholemeal, multicereal breads and their most popular, the chewy brown.

However, that is nothing compared to their, in my opinion, greatest culinary achievement, the almond croissant, which I cannot speak highly enough. In moments of desperation, when the Real Patisserie has been shut or out of reach I have tried many, many other establishments’ attempts, all of which, without fail have not even been on the same page. Such is my commitment to the cause it has resulted in me meeting the guy responsible for preparing them, who, as it goes was delighted to learn that the care he takes over his half crescent creations does not go un-appreciated. At this point I should also explain that, although I don’t know how many calories it has in it, I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t think it’s pretty. But there we are, that’s the price you’ve got to pay in the name of food critiquing.


The Real Patisserie
St Georges Road
KempTown
Tel: 01273 609655

Also available at:

43 Trafalgar Street
BRIGHTON BN1 4ED
tel: 01273 457019
7am - 5.30pm Monday - Saturday.
Closed Public Holidays

25 Western Road
HOVE BN3 1AF
tel: 01273 457018
8.00am - 6.00pm
Monday - Sunday

5 April 2011

A Roman Holiday

Three budgets three suggestions for taking in the sights in central Roma

Although I never tire of my beloved square mile that is Kemptown, Brighton, sometimes familial ties take me abroad for explorations of other people's Kemptowns.

This time it was Rome and there is one thing my family love almost as much as good food and that's brand new trivia, which by the way comes from the Roman tradition of posting notes for travellers at crossroads, or where three roads meet, informing them of where to go for fresh milk, buy a cow that type of thing.

So, quartered in Centro Storico with Piazza del Popolo at one end of the street and the river Tiber at the other end, the mum, sis and I were well placed in the vintage boutique Hotel at Hotel Locarno.  The breakfast here suited me perfectly offering a buffet that included cake, as much as you like, sparkling wine in an ice bucket, an apple for later and coffee brought to the table.


View from Hotel Locarno

Our more affluent American family stayed close at The Inn at the Spanish Steps, where their breakfast was enjoyed on an idyllic terracota tiled balcony surrounded by orange and lemon trees.

For those who can afford the best that the Roman capital can afford the best option of all is Hotel De Russie.  Keen for research purposes to experience a little of what the uber fashionable and exclusive may expect, we went for aperitifs in the courtyard.  The service was attentive, polite and polished, the suroundings were exquisite with a terrace reaching upwards towards the Borghese gardens.









4 April 2011

The Best Fish and Chips in Brighton, possibly the World

~  Arguably, Brighton is the premiere seaside resort in the whole of the UK and as Fish and Chips goes with a day trip to the seaside as salt goes with vinegar, then it's an easy step to make from there to saying the best Fish and Chips in Brighton must be the best Fish and Chips in the World, probably.
Bardsley's Fish and Chips

This weekend I was lucky enough to catch up with a dear friend and her son who is of an age where his personal tick list consisted of:
1) Scary rides on the pier - easy, give us another.
2) Build a sandcastle - slightly more challenging at Brighton but not impossible, next.
3) Fish and Chips - sorted, let's get on it, the number 5 to Patcham that is.




However, at the time of reaching Fish and Chips hunger point we were still on the pier and just opposite Harry Ramsden's, an obvious choice if you are not from Brighton and don't know where to go.

I blurt out, I know where you can get the best Fish and Chips in Brighton, it's so good.
My dear friend says, let's go there.  I immediately start to back track, thinking it's a bit of a trek, maybe it's not as good as I remember.  Maybe I've over-stated, a bit.  Maybe we should go to Harry Ramsden's.
No, says my DF, let's go, I'm sure it'll be worth it.

I start to bite my lip as we rock up on the number 5 to Patcham, alighting after the London Road Post Office (a landmark which deserves a post all its own). 
What was I thinking, I think, turning up without booking at the best Fish and Chips in Brighton, of a Saturday.  At teatime.

Luckily the good people of Bardsley's welcomed us like we were seasoned regulars and offered us a reserved table booked for slightly later, where we settled ourselves surrounded by Max Miller Society memorabilia.


Having already been made to feel special, the service continued throughout as attentive, friendly and sincere.  The fish itself was plump, white and fresh, the chips chunky and crisp, the servings generous. 

Bardsley's, established in 1926 has been serving in-house dining and takeaway dinners from this site for the last forty years and is still run by the same family, in itself a great achievement.  But to achieve this without losing its friendly charm or quality of supper shows real commitment and they deserve all the recognition that has been heaped upon them.

The bill arrived with sweets for the Little Kipper, which wasn't necessary as our diminutive food critic had already decided on a ten out of ten.  As we passed the buckets of Veuve Cliquot on the side bar I considered ten out of ten a reasonable score for any diner that offers quality Fish and Chips with everyone's favourite pick-me-up, champagne.

Outside Bardsley's, Brighton



Bardsley's of Baker St, BN1 4JN. 
Tel: 01273 681256