Top Tips for Edinburgh Fringe Eating and Drinking

Union of Genius takeaway soup - photo by Brendan MacNeill

Edinburgh’s annual festival bonanza each August is always a blast. But how you approach it depends on whether you’re a local or a tourist, a first timer or a seasoned visitor. And in turn, that’ll determine what and when you eat.

48 Hours in Edinburgh

If you’ve decided to cram everything into 48 hours, quick and filling will be your go-to. Luckily, there are plenty of options around the “Big  venues, Assembly, Pleasance, Underbelly and Gilded Balloon. Clustered in the heart of the Old Town, they are surrounded by Fringe-only pop-ups and year-round stalwarts.

Continue reading

Drink in Champagne for the Weekend

Top 7 Seven TIps

A city break to Reims

Do you love driving in France? I do. Of course the cities are busy, but get on the autoroute and generally you fly along, enjoying the countryside. Bliss after our clogged motorways.

Top 7 Seven TIps

Take a long weekend off and you could head for the Champagne region as we did. It was our first crossing using the Eurotunnel and we were seriously impressed. Giving ourselves plenty of time in case the infamous M25 was slow going, we arrived way before our set train time. We were waved through. Subject to availability you can travel two hours before or after your chosen time.

You might think that the carriages you drive in to are claustrophobic. Not at all. The carriages are light and airy. You can get out and stretch your legs. After 35 minutes, your through and as customs were passed through on the English side, you are straight on the motorway. We had 2 1/2 hours to drive.

Our focus was food and drink naturally so we planned ahead. Reims is a compact city. Astonishingly, after the First World War just 60 houses remained. So 400 architects were engaged to create the new city with very few constraints. Now the roads are wide and reminiscent of Paris with touches of art deco too. It’s an easy place to get around – we walked to most of our destinations.

We spent 3 days in Reims. Here are our Top 7 things to do

Continue reading

Discovering Cotswolds food and drink

Cotswold Cookery Book

If you visit a new area, where do you choose to eat and drink? Of course you ask people you meet, but with an area as large as the Cotswolds, you’ll inevitably not find all the gems.

Cotswold Cook Book

The Cotswold Cook Book will help. It celebrates the amazing food and drink in the Cotswold and includes more than 40 recipes. I’ve been reading through and getting very hungry. I’ve also started to plan visits to many of the places mentioned. What better way than to read a recipe and think, “I’d like to visit and try more”.

Continue reading

Gourmet pizzas and ciders at the Stable

Cider tasting board, West Country Porker, Neptune's Fortune

Cider tasting board, West Country Porker, Neptune's Fortune
Cider tasting board – a perfect match to pizza

My dream job

Andy Briggs has my dream job. He tours the region seeking out the very best local produce – meats, charcuteries, cheeses and other delights. He loves meeting producers and tasting their products to gain inspiration. He’s the creative chef behind Stable Pizza’s recipes inspired by this wonderful produce. With 17 different locations, local really does mean local. Each restaurant has a specially tailored menu including a GCHQ pizza for Cheltenham.

Continue reading

Lunch in Bristol, Bath or Tetbury?

Baked oysters with bone marrow and parsley; roast cauliflower, clams, grapes and chervil; ravioli of Cornish cheddar and yarg, Roast langoustine, Cornish duck and shellfish sauce at Lee Skeet's

When did you last eat out for lunch? The average person takes less than 30 minutes to eat lunch, and according to a BUPA survey, it’s affecting productivity. So let’s get lunch back on the menu!

When you do have the chance to eat lunch, do you treat yourself? Taking afternoon tea as a treat just grows and grows, but why not lunch? We’ve found it an amazing way to try a Michelin-starred restaurant for under £30 or to try out another to see whether an evening meal will tempt us. Here are three different suggestions for lunch.

Continue reading

Casamia Bristol – My kind of dining

Brown Trout in crab bisque Casa Mia

Recently I was discussing whether ratings helped when choosing restaurants. Reviewing is such a subjective thing. You are there one night, does it adequately reflect what the restaurant is always like? What makes a perfect night out might not be the same for you as it is for me.

Caribineros, seaweed Casa Mia
Caribineros, seaweed

I know people who dislike the descriptions delivered by staff of every dish – me I love this. Especially when the menu only hints to what that course will actually be.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Afternoon tea – Basque style

A journey to London by train from Edinburgh used to take us at least 4.5 hours. Now that we’re under two hours away, a day out in London is feasible. A couple of art galleries were on the menu, but what and where to eat before we returned home? Afternoon tea would hit the spot.

The Bar at the Halkin - ready for tea?
The Bar at the Halkin – ready for tea?

Continue reading