If two of you are attending a restaurant by car, one of you has to forgo alcohol.
I’m not a big drinker, as I’ve probably mentioned before. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, preferring apple juice to cider, fancy fizzy pop to champagne and milkshakes to White Russians. This makes me the natural designated driver, and while I’m always hopeful of something interesting yet non-alcoholic on the drinks menu, often as not there’s nothing that inspiring.
Therefore while H perused the amazing cocktail menu at Stovell’s (125 Windsor Road, Chobham), I was feeling a bit left out until I noticed on the menu it said to ask about soda, cordials etc. The incredibly helpful bar guy asked me what I liked, and I mentioned how the rhubarb puree in one of the cocktails had caught my eye. A few minutes later I was sipping a rhubarb, nettle, chocolate bitters and soda concoction, and feeling content.
This excellent start set the tone for the meal. After ordering, wonderful warm rolls with two types of butter (one smoked) arrived, accompanied by a pea shot and some interesting large crisps of different varieties, including parmesan and potato.
Continue reading Stovell’s, Chobham
Picture a couple in a gondola, gently propelled along a narrow canal by a skilled gondolier. Now add 3 other passengers, a crap ton of rain, umbrellas and cameras in all hands, and the romance rapidly evporates. We watched them drift past us as we splashed our way through the streets on the first full day of our recent brief trip to Venice.
It was sunny the next day. And to be fair, Venice is pretty amazing whatever the weather. Dilapidated ornate buildings lapped by lagoon waters, maze-like passageways, tiny steep bridges over miniature canals – it certainly isn’t like anywhere else I’ve ever been.
But other people can tell you more about that stuff. I’m all about the food.
Continue reading A Few Venice Highlights
The average hot chocolate you get in the UK is pretty uninspiring. I mean, sure, it has a chocolate taste and is warmly comforting, but its lacklustre nature is undeniable, and it doesn’t matter how much whipped cream or marshmallows are piled on top.
I’m always in search of pure, intense hot chocolate. The kind you get if you make it yourself at home with real chocolate and milk (or even, eep, cream).
I’ve had a killer one in the renowned Angelina in Paris*; an excellent shot in Chocolat Chocolat, Cambridge; a dark and delicious 70% courtesy of Mink, Vancouver; and what I swear was just a cup of melted chocolate down in Brighton’s Bar Du Chocolat. However a particularly fond memory comes from a brief visit to Barcelona and assorted stops for chocolate and churros.
Continue reading Food Analysis: Paladin Minuto
Two posts about home-flavoured vodkas in a row may cause you to worry about my alcohol intake, but there’s no need. I’m not actually very fond of alcohol, but it is fun to play with.
In years gone by I used to make sickly experimental vodkas by chopping up chocolate bars, pushing them into a vodka bottle, sealing the whole thing back up and putting it through a dishwasher cycle. They turned out surprisingly well, but you need a confident stomach to drink more than a shot or two.
Continue reading Mint Vodka
Way back in sunny July I wrote a post about gooseberries.
Towards the end of the post I mentioned some experimental gooseberry vodka I was making, and promised to update you with the results.
Continue reading Gooseberry Vodka