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Wilderness Festival | Nuno Mendes Banquet

We made another annual trip to Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire to partake in this year's Wilderness Festival. A four day event that mixes performance art, music, food and much much more, but quite simply it has the best food and drink offerings at any festival (I don't think even Taste London plays host to the famous banqueting tables hosted at Wilderness) I've ever been to, with Michelin chefs often showcasing their ability to hike all their equipment produce etc, 2 hours out of London, to a farm in the middle of nowhere and crank through a service for a couple of hundred festival starved people. Simply incredible.

This year we joined a banqueting lunch from Nuno Mendes, chef at London's most notoriously difficult restaurant to get a reservation, The Chiltern Firehouse. I'm not sure if its still difficult to get in now days but there was a lot of hype around the restaurant who some felt didn't live up to. I personally thought folks we being overly critical of Me…
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The Royal Oak | Twickenham

I'm always interested in seeing what pub food is being served on my doorstep and after being through a number of uninspired refurbishments over the years, The Royal Oak pub in Twickenham is now under new management by new restaurant/pub group Hippo Inns. For this reinvention they have gone back to the original name and reopened with an exciting new menu in an attempt to attract family style eating.

The menu options feature hearty plates of lamb, pork, steak, in-house smoked salmon, (didn't get to try this) a deliciously popular risotto starter and many other new dishes that are proving to be quite a hit - I really enjoyed the gazpacho (if you want a healthy choice). 

If you try excavating into one their pork schnitzels (they are large) opt for a lighter starter and pair it with one of the Trumans beers. These beers are a cut above the usual selection offered at most places and without the price tag but not only that, their beer is raw and real. Unfiltered and unpasturised str…

Franco Manca Pizzeria | Richmond | London

What do you do with a former Police Station? You turn it into a Pizzeria of course - the particular type of restaurant where you can mainly consume pizzas, but in which it is often also possible to find other types of dishes. That includes using the freshest ingredients (even training their UK cheese supplier how to make the pizza mozzarella) with organic and bio-dynamic wine if you are Franco Manca. I discovered bio-dynamic or Bio wine is different from organic wine in that it takes the process further by using phases of the moon and other astronomical influences. Go figure.

They've done a great job of transforming Richmond's old Police station, next to the Odeon theatre on Red Lion Street although there's no sign of any cells down below. The restaurant itself is spacious and has a modern open feel to it. It was busy when we got there at 6pm mid week, but we were welcomed into a separate area for which we could try different foods and learn about making the sourdough.

Fo…

How To Make TACOS | UK | GoodKai

If you love Tacos (like me) and you're in the UK and was wondering how to make authentic soft corn tortillas and was having trouble sourcing ingredients in the UK, then look no further. I decided to write this post after trying to find information on what type of flour is used for soft Tacos, where to get it and how to make it. These are made with blue flour but you can make them just the same with white flour, see my Pork Tacos below (video) that were made with white tortillas.

Firstly the type of flour is important, often called Masa Harina - it's a special nixtamalised corn flour (this is a process that involves soaking and cooking maize in limewater or calcium hydroxide) so you can't use the ordinary yellow corn flour sold in the supermarket - it must be nixtamalised. None of the supermarkets in the UK currently sell nixtamalised flour however, you can get one Masa Harina called Maseca from The Mex Grocer online, I get mine from there and they can deliver within a cou…

Matcha Tea Masterclass | T2 Tea | Richmond

So if you've not been living under a rock lately, you might be aware of the unicorn memes on social media that have inspired food from the Rainbow Bagel to The Unicorn Frappuccino, which has in turn inspired the Dragon Frappuccino which is sort of an Iced Matcha Latte, whose main ingredient is actually derived from Tea. You may then ask, what is Matcha? and why is this vivid green tea based supplement popping up everywhere? Well, stick around because the kind folks from T2 Tea gave me a masterclass in Matcha, Tea and the unlimited ways in which to enjoy it. 
For me, the most inspired I ever get with Tea is to enjoy a lovely High Tea with scones, strawberry jam, clotted cornish cream and if available, a pot of Darjeeling 1st flush or Yorkshire Tea and that is as far as it goes for me. So when I went to T2 I'd classed myself as a traditional tea drinker, I was bought up on tea - before the invention of tea bags. Back then it was all loose tea leaves, it maximises flavour but yo…

The Ivy | Restaurant Richmond, London | Review

For years I've always thought Richmond and Twickenham diners have been missing out on the full experience of brasserie dining. Something often enjoyed by those within London itself at places like The Savoy Grill, Bar Boulud, Joel Brasserie and many more. So when Caprice Holdings (the company behind The Ivy Restaurant groups) secured the old All Bar One site in Richmond, it was with much anticipation and excitement that Richmond finally has a brasserie where one can in enjoy very good simple food in a somewhat opulent environment.
Well at least it tries to be - the food at The Ivy Group is probably not quite up to say those of Joel Brasserie or Bar Boulud, but it does have all the pretentiousness one could saturate oneself in - if you are that way inclined. For the rest like myself, it can be somewhere special to have steak or lobster and chips with a glass of fizz in a lovely surrounding with excellent service. After all, we have been deprived all this time and I am certain The I…

Visit to Cornwall | The South West Coastal Path | Holiday

Cornwall. Britain's most southwestern county, rich in rugged landscape, beautiful hidden coves all lapped by stunning turquoise waters. The same hidden coves were once used by Pirates smuggling contraband (wine, spirits and tobacco) after high duties were imposed by the government.

We must be mad heading down on one of the busiest most notorious road trips in all of England but being kiwis (or just plain stupid) we'd never let a bit of distance deter us, we're used to 26hr plane flights to New Zealand after all! This is only our second trip (of many) down to this stunning part of England. The last time we stayed in Rock & biked the Camel Trail from Padstow-Bodmin-Padstow and had pretty bland food from Rick Steins main restaurant in Padstow. To be honest, if you go to Padstow or 'Padstein' as it is consequently known, (due Rick Stein's monopolisation of the towns food & drink venues) just stick to his fish n chip shop - a much better place to eat is Nat…