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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

Batch Organics Delivers Healthy Products

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 1 m read

Batch Organics is a straight-up, fuss-free, ‘nothing but the truth’ food brand that promises to deliver healthy goods without the hassle. Its produce offer includes flash-frozen, pre-prepared breakfast bowls and smoothies, all convenient, organic, unprocessed and unrefined, packed with goodness and ready to go when you are.

Their recipe to a deliciously healthy product is picking and flash-freezing the produce at peak maturity to lock in the all-important nutrients that are otherwise lost when in transit. All that’s needed to make the smoothies is a blender and some water, whilst the frozen produce in the breakfast bowls is left to soak in water overnight, ready to consume in the morning. If milk is more your thing, Batch Organics also sell almond, coconut and tiger nut mylk.

The smoothie flavours include: Espresso & Dates, Mint & Chocolate, Strawberry & Peach, Cocoa & Hazelnut, Greens & Ginger, Acai & Berries, Cherry & Charcoal, Matcha & Kale, Mango & Chai, Avocado & Mango and Pineapple & Greens.

All Batch Organics products are 100% recyclable, including their straws, which are made of plant-based PLA that take under 12 weeks to decompose. Their products can be purchased in a box of six for £23.95 (£3.99/cup), in a box of 9 for £31.95 (£3.55/cup), or in a box of 12 for £39.95 (£3.33/cup).

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Little Kolkata Opens Its First Restaurant

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Little Kolgata will be opening its first restaurant in June on Shelton Street, London. The new addition to Covent Garden’s diverse dining scene will celebrate everything that guests have come to love about the original sell-out supper clubs, whilst welcoming a more extensive Calcuttan menu, cocktail list and exclusive themed evenings.

The focus of Little Kolkata is on authentic Bengali cuisine, incpisre by co-founders Prabir Chattopadhyay’s upbringing in Calcutta and Biswajit Deb Das’ ancestral roots in Bangladesh. Typical dishes on the menu will include sharing plates of Maacher cutlet (£6.50), a cod fish cutlet served with the typical Calcuttan mustard sauce Kashundi, and Lilish Maacher Deemer (£8.50), a spiced fish egg from the Hilsa, a very popular fish with Bengalis.

The speciality dishes, such as Chicken liver sautéed with generous amounts of spice and fresh chillies, which can be accompanied by Home-made truffle paratha, full of fragrance and bold textures, will add another point of interest in the menu.

In general, the menu maintains the communal and familial nature of the supper clubs, featuring sharing plates throughout ranging in price from £5.00 – £13.50, alongside flavoursome side dishes, priced from £2.50 – £5.00. Traditional concepts follow in the dessert menu, such as the Calcutta Mishti Doi (£3.50), a baked sweet yoghurt, and the Cardamom coffee brownie with rose ice-cream (£4.50), which has been inspired by the famous Swiss patisserie in Calcutta, Flury’s.

The contemporary yet classic style continues into the signature cocktail menu. For example, the use of saffron in the Saffron Spritz (£11) pays homage to the use of the ingredient in Indian cookery for centuries. Little Kolkata will also serve Jasmine vodka – Indian Summer Garden (£9), bringing the distinctive and earthy aroma found in Indian flower gardens to the centre of Covent Garden.

Little Kolkata will be a welcome addition to the West End’s ever thriving food, arts and music scene and will open just in time for the warm, summer season.

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Enjoy What-a-Melon this Summer at Dominique Ansel Bakery

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

What-a-Melon Soft Serve is available for purchase in Dominique Ansel’s London Bakery daily from 11am. Specially create for as this summer’s treat, the dessert is made from ripe watermelon that is filled to order with Dominique’s refreshing homemade watermelon soft serve ice cream and is completed with chocolate “seeds” to finish. The price for this summer delicacy is £6.50 as take-away or £7.80 to eat in.

James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef, Dominique Ansel, has shaken up the pastry world with innovation and creativity at the heart of his work. As Chef/Owner of eponymous bakeries in New York, Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles, as well as his first-ever restaurant that recently opened in Los Angeles in November 2017, Dominique has been responsible for creating some of the most fêted pastries in the world, including: the Cronut® (named one of TIME Magazine’s “25 Best inventions of 2013”), The Cookie Shot, Frozen S’more, Blossoming Hot Chocolate, and many more. For his prolific creativity, he was named the World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2017 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.

Food & Wine has called him a “Culinary Van Gogh” while the New York Post coined him “the Willy Wonka of New York.” He was also named Business Insider’s “Most Innovative People Under 40,” one of Crain’s “40 under 40,” and was bestowed the prestigious l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, France’s second highest honor. Prior to opening his own shop, Dominique served as the Executive Pastry Chef for restaurant Daniel, when the team earned its coveted third Michelin star and a four-star review from The New York Times.

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Wimbledon Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

To celebrate one of the highlights of the UK summer season, Sopwell House will launch a grand slam Wimbledon Afternoon Tea, available from the 2nd of July until the 15th of July 2018.

The Wimbledon Afternoon Tea will feature an array of British treats including gorgeous Wimbledon themed cakes, as well as a classic Pimms & cucumber jelly and strawberries and cream. The tea will be complete with warm baked scones and freshly made sandwiches, accompanied by a chilled glass of Taittinger Rosé Champagne.

The full Afternoon Tea Menu will include cakes, such as Pimm’s & Cucumber Jelly, Sopwell Battenberg, Pistachio and Lemon Macaroon, Fresh Strawberry Tart, Chocolate Opera, Lemon Drizzle Cake and Mango Truffle, and Praline Éclair. The cakes will be followed by plain and fruit scones, as well as a selection of sandwiches, including Smoked Chicken on Mediterranean Bread, Cucumber & Cream Cheese on Basil Bread, Smoked Salmon & Cracked Black Pepper on Brown Bread, and Egg & Cress on White Bread.

Available from 12.30pm until 5pm, the Wimbledon Afternoon Tea will be served in the Cocktail Lounge and Conservatory, priced at £44.95. The tea will be half price for children under the age of 14 years old.

Sopwell House is a stunning 18th Century Georgian house located in the city of St. Albans deep within the Hertfordshire countryside. Located only 20 minutes from London St. Pancras, the hotel is the idyllic getaway just outside of the hustle and bustle of the capital. The hotel is the perfect place to dine boasting a 2AA Rosette restaurant, a vibrant Brasserie, an elegant cocktail lounge, and conservatory bar, all of which look out on 12-acres of beautiful gardens.

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New General Manager Drives Business Forward at Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

As part of Legacy Hotels & Resorts redevelopment programme, the hotel appointed Gary Install as general manager at Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa, just outside Chester city centre, six months ago. Gary brings over thirty years’ experience of hotel management and an extensive resume of senior hotel management knowledge to this role.

Having a history of working with Legacy Hotels & Resorts, as well as with Chief Executive Officer Andy Townsend during their days at Lansbury Hotel together, the appointment has been an additional strengthening of the Legacy team. Gary has undertaken hotel management roles throughout the UK, as far south as Lewes near Brighton, all the way up to the Isle of Islay in Scotland. Gary is well versed in approaching properties with a fresh perspective and driving success.

“I’m delighted to be working with Legacy Hotels again and relish the opportunity to assist in the next stages of a fabulous property. The team has been incredibly welcoming, and I have been thrilled with the response from guests to our latest plans and activities,” said Gary about his appointment.

Gary has seen some exciting plans come to fruition during his first six months, including the refurbishment of the leisure facilities and gym. They have also recruited a new Head Chef, Peter Hazlehurst, who has been tasked with transforming all of the menus and growing the restaurant side of the business. Moreover, Gary has also been the driving force behind the start of a new project to add an additional seven guest bedrooms to the historic property.

Speaking about the future months, Gary said: “The next six months will be just as exciting as we develop new wedding packages, launch a new afternoon tea menu, and host our very first Murder Mystery dinner in September. There’s a lot of new opportunities to get excited about!”

The four-star Crabwall Manor Hotel & Spa in Chester comprises 48 elegant bedrooms and suites, the Earl of Chester restaurant, and a locally renowned spa. Set in over 10 acres of landscaped grounds, the Grade II listed property plays host to around 80 weddings a year across five stylish function rooms.

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Chef Derek Johnstone Shortlisted for National Chef of the Year Awards

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

Chef Derek Johnstone from Borthwick Castle, Scotland’s finest fifteenth century keep near Edinburgh, has been shortlisted for The Craft Guild of Chefs – National Chef of the Year Awards.

“We are delighted for Derek and wish him well in the semi-finals. Derek’s food is a delicate and contemporary take on Scottish cuisine which supports Borthwick’s primary desire to remain authentic whilst offering modern luxury. His finesse is obvious; his courage is inspiring; his demeanour is engaging –during his interview at Borthwick Castle, Derek presented a soufflé for dessert, bravely whipped up in a kitchen he hadn’t used before; it was truly the piece de resistance,” said a spokesperson from Borthwick Castle.

The Awards are overseen by Gary Jones, executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir as Chair of judges, David Mulcahy, Alyn Williams, Peter Joyner, Andrew Bennett, Russell Bateman, Phil Howard, Steve Scuffell, Sarah Hartnett, Gary Hunter and Willie Pike who whittled the impressive list down to 40. At this stage, all judges scores are based on descriptions of dishes, cooking method and photographs of the completed menus.

After the restoration work at Borthwick Castle came to an end in 2017, Chef Johnstone joined the team, turning the Castle into Scotland’s leading food connoisseurs private hire venue. His menus are classical based with contemporary presentation incorporating modern cooking techniques and seasonal produce. In late 2017, Johnstone launched an exclusive seasonal Dining Club at Borthwick which celebrates bespoke experiential menus paired with fine wines.

Before joining the Borthwick Castle, Johnstone won the inaugural MasterChef the Professionals in 2008 and started working with Michel Roux Jr. at Le Gavroche. After that, he continued to work with the Roux family dynasty in both London and Scotland. In 2014, as Chef Patron, Johnstone transformed the 1830s-built Golf Inn in Gullane, East Lothian, into a boutique restaurant-with-rooms.

The Sheffield semi-final of the Awards will take place on the morning of Tuesday, 12th of June 2018.

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Katy Perry Returns to the UK

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

This June, Katy Perry will be returning to the UK for her WITNESS tour. Tickets will go on sale on the 9th of June and the programme for the tour is as follows: 14th and 15th in London at The O2, 18th in Birmingham at Barclaycard Arena, 19th in Sheffield at Sheffield Arena, 21st in Liverpool at Echo Arena, 22nd in Manchester at Manchester Arena, 24th in Glasgow at The SSE Hydro and 25th in Newcastle at Metro Radio Arena.

With Witness, Katy finds liberation, in the changes in her own life and in the world around her, delivering songs that inspire both thought and movement. The singles released thus far – the Platinum-certified “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley, and the new singles, “Bon Appétit” featuring Migos and “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj – hint at the breadth of the musical and thematic elements found on Witness.

The British and European tour will kick off on 23rd May, 2018 at LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany and will make stops in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle in June 2018. The run will include a Paris show on 29 May at the AccorHotels Arena and London on 14 June at The 02 – plus additional stops in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on 6 June.

The Tour is Katy’s first run since the sold-out, 151-date Prismatic World Tour, which concluded in 2015 and was hailed by Rolling Stone as “a show to damage retinas and blow minds.” Sponsors include COVERGIRL and KATY PERRY PARFUMS.

Katy made her Capitol Records debut with 2008’s One of the Boys after signing to the label in 2007. She cemented her status as a global superstar with the follow-up album, Teenage Dream (2010). PRISM, her 2013 album, debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 100 countries and has sold more than 12.5 million adjusted albums worldwide.

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Create Your Perfect Gin Drink with Jawbox

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

This summer enjoy your very own Jawbox Gin cocktails made at home. Distilled in Belfast using a unique combination of botanicals, including local Belfast Black Mountain Heather, Jawbox gives you the perfect opportunity to branch out from the ordinary G&T and enjoy different combinations of gin.

To create your own relaxing summer evenings at home or to impress your guests at a summer garden party, the team at Jawbox has come up with some suggestions for you.

1. Gin and Ginger; an original and feisty combination of refreshing ginger ale and Jawbox Gin. To make it, you will need to pour 35ml of Jawbox Gin into an iced filled glass and then top up with 100ml of premium ginger ale. Squeeze and drop in a lime wedge to finish.

2. Jawbox Mojito; a different take on the original recipe of a mojito. In a tall glass, muddle 6 to 8 mint leaves, 15ml lime juice and 15ml sugar syrup and stir. Add some ice and 50ml of Jawbox and stir, top up with soda water and continue stirring. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

3. Jawbox Gin and Honeycomb Cocktail; a cocktail that will definitely impress your guests.
Pour 35ml of Jawbox into a large ice filled gin goblet. Top up with some refreshing ginger ale and finish with some shards of honeycomb.

Jawbox is a classic style juniper-led gin that starts on the palate with citrus and juniper developing into pepper and subtle rootiness. It is triple-distilled very slowly in traditional copper pot stills and in small batches using a unique combination of botanicals including local Belfast Black Mountain Heather.

Distilled near Belfast, at the Jawbox Distillery located on a 300-acre 16th-century estate where the grain for the spirit is grown and harvested, Jawbox Gin is perfect for the adventurous, confident and curious gin drinker.

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No Dough Pizza Available in Supermarkets Nationwide

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

No Dough Pizza Co. has launched the perfect balance between delicious and healthy with its cauliflower-based, gluten-free pizza, available in Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Co-op stored all over the country. Moreover, this is also the first cauliflower-based pizza that can be eaten by hand, with no need for a knife and fork.

No Dough uses an innovative process in creating its base, which contains over 70% cauliflower, resulting in a meal that is less caloric and has lower carbs than the traditional pizza. In addition, it also qualifies as ‘one of your five a day’.

“We have been perfecting this recipe for quite some time and are now more than excited to announce the launch of No Dough in not just one, but three different supermarkets, across hundreds of stores throughout the UK. Our mission is to make great, healthy food accessible for everyone to enjoy. No Dough offers our customers the opportunity to enjoy their favourite pizza without having to worry about too many carbs or calories, so it no longer needs to be a treat saved only for the weekend,” said Philip Pinnell, Managing Director of No Dough Pizza Co.

Available from the chilled aisle, No Dough pizza is the quick and convenient solution for a delicious and healthy dinner. Sainsbury’s will be listing the product in two flavours: Ham and Mushroom and Vegan Margherita, while ASDA will be listing Pepperoni, the standard Margherita and Ham and Mushroom. Co-op will also be offering the Ham and Mushroom and the standard Margherita.

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The Bird Game Welcomes Chef Lisa Allen in an Exclusive Dinner

Cristina Diaconu By Posted on 2 m read

The critically-acclaimed restaurant The Game Bird launched a series of guest chef dinner events, welcoming many of the greatest chefs around the UK in its Stafford London restaurant. Following the great success of the event with Michael Wignall in March, Lisa Allen will be hosting the second dinner of the series on Thursday the 7th of June.

Lisa has created a unique four-course menu for the event, using seasonal British ingredients, presented in new and inventive ways. Guests will be welcomed with a glass of Moët & Chandon alongside canapes, including Lancashire brawn and English mustard and Southport potted shrimp muffin. These will be followed by Wild sea bass, young garden leeks, charred lettuce and iron cross oxalis, and Lisa’s signature English onion in its own skin. Veal ‘Rossini’, mushroom, aged madeira and parsley will complete the savoury dishes, whilst ‘Strawberries and Cream’ with organic mint will provide the perfect conclusion to the dinner.

Lisa Allen is the Executive Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Northcote in Lancashire. Her passion for local produce and seasonal ingredients can be found in her visual, elegant and flavourful dishes.

The third dinner of The Game Bird Guest Chef Series will be held on Thursday, the 27th of September with the renowned Edinburgh-based chef and restaurateur, Tom Kitchin. Tom will be showcasing seasonal Scottish produce with his signature ‘From Nature To Plate’ philosophy, and cooking dishes from his upcoming cookbook, Tom Kitchin’s Fish and Shellfish.

Lisa and Tim will both cook alongside the team at The Game Bird and Culinary Director of The Stafford London, Ben Tish. Further guest chef appearances will be announced in due course.

Tickets for the event will be priced at £80 per person and will include canapes, the Moët & Chandon on arrival, as well as the guest chef’s menu. Wine pairing will also be available on the evening.

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