All aboard the SS Great Britain

A great day out at SS Great Britain

What makes a great day out with children? Roaming freely and the opportunity to relax over tasty food come high up on the list

Spicy Squid Stew – Comfort on a plate

The finished squid stew - doesn't it look appetising?

A warming, tasty recipe

When challenged to create a recipe using new potatoes, I immediately thought of this dish. I know many of you love crispy rings of squid, but have you ever tried squid stewed? Most people haven’t.

Indeed if you’ve ever tried to cook it, you might have said “never again” as the squid turned out rubbery. Not with this recipe. It’s easy to prepare and it’s a dish that you can leave to cook slowly whilst you go off and do other things, the result is amazingly delicious and tender. Spanish inspired flavours including smoked paprika make this dish very special

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The Ethicurean Restaurant: good food with a conscience

Stand out dishes at the Ethicurean

In that peculiar time between Christmas and New Year if you are lucky enough not to be working, deciding what to eat can be difficult. You know you still have oodles of turkey and perhaps mincepies and pudding to finish up, but you are looking for something fresh and tasty.

We set off for lunch at the Ethicurean not that far from Bristol airport,  on a crisp, beautiful day. The restaurant is perched at the top of a hill with what must be quite a view but it was wreathed (rather beautifully) in mist.

An ethicurean is a person who attempts to combine ethical food consumption with an interest in epicureanism, eating ethically without depriving oneself of taste.

Barleywood Walled Garden
Barleywood Walled Garden

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My 7 foodie favourites in 2016

Gloucestershire is just bursting with amazing produce

It’s been quite a different year for me this year – about half in Edinburgh, half in Gloucestershire. One half saying goodbye, one half hello. So, let me indulge, this is my year in food. It is in no particular order, nor does it cover everything, but I think it sets the tone!

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Hot Foot to Zero Degrees Bristol

Zero degrees Bristol

We don’t know Bristol well, and we managed to arrive at Zero Degrees by the hardest route, up two flights of the Christmas Steps. Somewhat out of breath, but a few calories down, we were ready to taste.

Zero Degrees was founded in 2000. Although microbreweries are quite common these days, at the time of launch they were rather unusual. Now each of the Zero Degrees venues (there are 4) has its own microbrewery. You could not get a fresher pint.

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Classic Pierre Koffman

Pierre Koffman with young team at Bath Priory

What would you say is a chef’s finest accolade? It could be the number of Michelin stars gained, the length of time in business or perhaps the number of our finest chefs who were trained in his kitchen. For Pierre Koffman it must be all three.

A spread from Classic Koffman. Beautiful photographs of the finished dish and of preparation
A spread from Classic Koffman. Beautiful photographs of the finished dish and of preparation

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Let’s reclaim jelly

Make jelly for yourself not the kids!

When I was little, I loved nothing more than chewing on jelly cubes usually red and made by Rowntree. They were almost as good as the “proper” jelly itself.

As I got older, I rarely ate jelly. It was only when Marks & Spencer introduced their pots of raspberry jelly and again I was hooked.

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Escape to Thailand at Thaikun

Thaikhun Bath - Warm and welcoming

Last week I ate in Bangkok. Bath masquerading Bangkok to be exact. It was a chilly evening when my husband and I walked into Thaikhun. There was an immediate assault on the senses: colour, noise, people and stuffLook up and there are all sorts of items hanging from the ceiling including signs in a language we didn’t know, household utensils, some very old TVs, networks of wires wrapped round what looked like telegraph poles. We then noticed the bar to the left where much energetic shaking was going on and to the right a very shiny kitchen semi-open to diners. The space is large but cleverly split into different areas.

A peep into the kitchen - lots of training going on
A peep into the kitchen – lots of training going on

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Top 7 foods and drinks you’ve got to try

Inspirational food and drink producers

Think about autumn, and no doubt that phrase “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” will pop into your mind – can you remember the rest of the poem? No me neither, but it does evoke that golden time at this time of year.

The days are much cooler but they can be so sunny and crisp. Today I went to a Harvest Festival for the first time in many years. This Harvest Festival was a little different. It was organised by Jolly Nice at Frampton Mansell between Stroud and Gloucester. It’s aim? To celebrate their local producers who create a fascinating range of products stocked in the shop.

The day was dry, thank goodness, after the torrents of rain yesterday. It was the perfect opportunity to sample, discover and indulge. So let me share seven producers you should really seek out. Many sell online and at local farmers markets in addition to Jolly Nice.

Top 7 foods and drinks to try this Autumn

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