Tag Archives: seafood

Flavours of Portugal – A Foodie Foray to The Algarve

10 days of utter food bliss in Quarteira courtesy of M’s fabulous Mum, a couple of perfect seaside tavernas and the perfection of everything that flops out of the sea of Portugal…

Cozido – a rich stew of pig ears and trotters, blood sausage, farinheira sausage, cured ham, potatoes, carrots and cabbage…

Crab pate, with steamed fresh crab claws…

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Moustache-less at The Botanist

The Botanist - Sitting proudly on Sloane Square

In case you’ve been on planet zog for the last month, you’ll know that this is “Movember” – up and down the country, teenagers with smelly socks disguised with Lynx have been trying desperately to grow a bit of chin fluff for charity, and older generations have relished the thought of finally finding out exactly how they’d look with a Hercule Poirot ‘tache. Everyone, that is, except Neil of superb whisky blog CaskStrength who in a defiant mood shaved OFF his legendary groomed moustachio and faced this chilly month with nary a protective bristle for his upper lip.

Which is how we met him at The Botanist – under the thin pretense of a press lunch, I was here to sample to goods and see if it lived up to the hype I had created for myself. Continue reading

Oysters Shmoysters at Hix

Oyster Shmoysters. Yummylicious!

It doesn’t bode well that I suffered manic food poisoning two days after lunching at Hix – although I have since realised this had nothing to do with the large plate of fabby Kingdom of Mourne rock oysters, nor the sweet, plump Duchy of Cornwall natives. It was in fact an office-borne 24-hour bug-like monstrosity that had me hugging the loo for dear life and seeing a repeat  reemergence of a Marks and Spencers mexican chilli chicken salad… Continue reading

Risotto ai frutti di mare – Seafood Risotto

Risotto ai Frutti di Mare

On my recent trip to Rome, I took advantage of the local fishmonger selling “seafood risotto” mix by weight, a delicious mix of calamari, muscles, clams salmon and hake. I’d make roast seabass the day before so made a good strong fish stock form the bones and some leftovers of fennel, celery and carrots and some crushed fennel seeds and flat leaf parsley. Continue reading

Divine Wine Hotel – The Yeatman, Portugal

As if I didn’t enjoy drinking the stuff enough, stunning new hotel The Yeatman has now opened on the banks of the undulating Douro river at the heart of the vibrant city of Porto which not only offers to educate you in wine, open your senses to wine, explore the tastes of wine but also bathe in wine (Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa – opening soon!), sleep in vats of the stuff (empty, of course), walk through the vineyards from whence the wine comes and generally enjoy a completely delectable wine experience at the heart of one of the most exciting emerging wine destinations: sunny northern Portugal. Continue reading

Rick (Stein) or Treat in Padstow, Cornwall

Cornwall was a week of gastronomic bliss. We dined at one of Rick Stein‘s umpteen million establishments in and around Padstow, which, love him or hate him, have done nothing but bring money, tourism and a good sprucing up to this exquisite little village overlooking a sandy estuary dotted with sailing boats. We chose the Rick Stein Cafe, which is the lower-range priced offering, but still a proper restaurant. Continue reading

Polpo – A Slice of Venice in London

Polpo touts itself as a Venetian bacaro in London. I’ve never been to Venice, so far be it for me to say how authentic it may or may not be, but frankly it looks just like an enoteca to me… It serves the Italian equivalent of tapas, “cicheti” the kind of small, taster dishes you’d find in any good wine bar in the major Italian cities.

The place is always buzzing and you can’t book, just bowl up and don’t expect to find a quiet table. The one really authentic Italian element to this place is the noise level, and that’s without the massive family christening parties with screaming babies. Continue reading