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All Posts By Cristina Diaconu

RAC ‘Everyday Heroes’ Campaign

By Posted on 2 m read

Do you consider yourself a nice person, a Good Samaritan? Are you the kind of person who lets someone jump ahead of you in the supermarket checkout queue if they’ve only got a basket while you’re armed with a heaving trolley? Do you always hold the door open for other people?
If so, fair enough – you do sound an all-round nice guy or girl. But even the nicest of people can change behaviour when they’re behind the wheel; driving can sometimes bring out the worst in us, especially if we’re running late or stressed out because of traffic.
So, how nice would be you out and about on the road? How would you react if you saw another motorist in need of help? Would you stop to offer that help, or drive on, leaving someone else to come to the rescue?
Take this quickfire quiz from the RAC to find out. You might not be as nice as you think you are…

Overview of the campaign
The RAC is putting motorists’ good nature to the test, with a quiz to reveal driving habits that tell all.
The quiz will reveal who the most commendable roadside heroes are, asking some fascinating questions to understand the type of drivers that grace our roads.
We would like you to encourage motorists to take this fun quiz which will reveal which type of driver they are:
Everyday Hero
You’re the real champion of the roadside: a modern-day white knight, saving the day for the broken-down and stranded. If only there were more drivers like you…
Reserved Rescuer
In an emergency, you’ll step into some hero boots – but you’d rather stay safely behind the wheel. After all, you do have a life to lead.
Drive-on byer
You cruise down the road and don’t care for interruptions. You’d rather drive on by than help road users in dire straits. In your car, time behind the wheel is about looking after Number One.
The quiz can be viewed here:

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Dalloway Terrace Transformed into a Frosted Winter Wonderland

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us; when the highly anticipated ‘Winter At Dalloway’ returns. The sought after spot of the season, described as ‘One of London’s most Instagrammable restaurants’ by the Evening Standard, has transformed into an icy haven of crystallised white, pink and silver petals. Bloomsbury’s enchanting hideaway, Dalloway Terrace, completes its frosty festive transformation with Truffle Cheese Fondue, Warming Cocktails and a new seasonal menu of decadent winter delights.

Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart has once again transformed Dalloway Terrace into a winter wonderland in time for the festive period. The new installation features an abundance of champagne coloured frosted foliage, such as leather leaf, gogo, eucalyptus and magnolia. Natural lichen also adorns the ceiling and walls, with additional metallic silver and pink leaf and icy white magnolia included to keep the frozen space cosy, creating an enchantingly chilled hideaway in the middle of the city.

Guests are able to fully embrace the festive season with Dalloway Terrace’s a choice of either Swiss Cheese Fondue (£20) or Truffle Cheese Fondue (£25) to share, alongside a cocktail list of Winter Warmers in collaboration with Belsazar Vermouth. Creations include Hug In A Mug (Belsazar White, Cachaça Yaguara, Chamomile Tea, Honey – £14), Going Home Home (Belsazar Dry, Ron De Jeremy, Campari, Fever-Tree Tonic Water, Caramel – £15) and Mulling It Over (Belsazar, Riesling, House Gin, Milk, Sugar – £12).

New additions to the seasonal all-day dining menu include a comforting Pigeon Pie with Creamed Potatoes and Savoy Cabbage (£25) alongside treats such as Spiced Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pumpkin and Cinnamon Chantilly (£7) and Original Beans Dark Chocolate Fondant with Roasted Hazelnut Ice Cream (£7.50) for guests with a sweeter tooth.

For weekend brunch, Dalloway Terrace will be offering guests warming delights such as Truffle Croque Madame with Watercress (£18) and hearty Green Shakshuka with Clarence Court Eggs, Spinach and Kale (£14), while Afternoon Tea has also had a transformation for winter. Sweet options include seasonal treats such as Cranberry Cream with Spiced Sablé Breton, Original Beans 70% Chocolate Mousse with Clementine Gel and Candied Chestnuts and Spice Financier with Cinnamon Glaze.

‘Winter at Dalloway’ is complete with festive touches such as cosy hot water bottles, Foxford woollen blankets and a chiminea on the patio. The all-weather terrace is fully covered and heated, allowing guests to enjoy the festive season in London’s most cosy winter wonderland.

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Gregg Wallace Opened Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

After a successful few months of serving some of the best steaks in the South East, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill at the Clifton Hotel in Folkestone hosted its official Grand Launch Party. Attended by Kent ambassadors, local business leaders and MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace, the night was an opportunity to network, sample delicious food from the menu and soak up the celebratory atmosphere.

“It is an absolute pleasure to be here. Steakhouses have a fine tradition in this country and I’m pleased one has come to Folkestone and is in such capable hands. I live in Kent and am always really pleased when a great eatery opens up. It is fabulous to see life flowing back into the Kentish coast – something really special is happening here,” commented Kent-resident Gregg Wallace, who was the guest of honour on the evening.

The Steakhouse Bar & Grill menu is exclusively curated by Marco himself – and represents his ethos – classic dishes, simply cooked using the best locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant has been garnishing great reviews across the country with one journalist describing it as “a great place to enjoy your steak with a laid back and chilled vibe.”

“I am so proud to be opening the first Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill in Kent. It was always my vision to serve high-quality locally-sourced produce alongside the finest customer service. Opening this restaurant brings a new dining experience to the area and adds to the county’s impressive culinary offering. We’re also giving something back with 20 new jobs for the local community,” said Mr K. Rajamenon, Managing Director at Clifton Hotel.

“The opening of this restaurant wouldn’t have been possible with the support of my devoted team and family, and it’s been amazing to see the positive feedback we have received from the county thus far,” he added.

The restaurant that boasts 82 covers is a welcome addition to Folkestone, which has seen a resurgence in recent times thanks in part to the popularity of the Creative Quarter. It is set to become a must-visit for local food lovers and hotel guests.

The patron himself will be visiting the restaurant on Friday 30 November where guests will have the opportunity to meet Marco in person and receive a signed copy of his new book, before enjoying a three-course lunch. Places can be booked at the Marco Pierre White Folkestone website.

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Vegan Christmas Dessert from Merchant Gourmet

Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake


  • 230g Merchant Gourmet Dried Polenta
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 50g buckwheat flour
  • 4 tsp arrowroot flour
  • 5 tbsp cacao powder
  • Zest + Juice 2 oranges
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp water
  • 250ml almond milk
  • 180ml maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil + extra for greasing
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For the orange glaze

  • Juice + Zest 1 orange
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
  2. Add the chia seeds to a small bowl or mug and combine with the water. Set aside for 10 minutes until a gel forms.
  3. Heat the 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan until it melts.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the cake ingredients (including the thickened chia seed mixture and melted coconut oil). Stir until really well combined.
  5. Grease a 18cm cake tin with coconut oil then spoon in the cake mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until you can poke a knife through the middle and it comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cake to cool for 30 minutes.
  8. To make the glaze, simply add the ingredients to a saucepan and heat on a low-medium temperature until everything is smooth and a kind of syrup forms.

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EAT. Announced Its Christmas Range

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EAT.’s executive chef, French-born Arnaud Kaziewicz, a MasterChef: The Professionals finalist, is bringing together the tastiest ingredients from the Christmas larder to create a fully festive menu to suit a wide spectrum of tastes. Using quality ingredients sourced from the best suppliers and drawing on his experience of working in some of the UK’s most renowned Michelin starred restaurant, this year’s Christmas range is EAT.’s best yet.

Highlights of the new seasonal Christmas menu include:


  • ROAST IN A YORKSHIRE PUDDING WRAP (from £4.99): The ultimate Christmas treat – succulent turkey, sage & onion stuffing and crispy bacon with sage mayonnaise and cranberry sauce, all rolled up in a giant Yorkshire pudding.
  • KERALAN TURKEY CURRY (from £6.25): A delicately spiced Keralan Curry with all the Christmas Dinner favourites – turkey, parsnips & potatoes. Served with jasmine rice and topped with zingy lime pickled vegetables.
  • THE CORONATION ON ONION SEED BLOOMER (vegan, from £3.75): A vegan triumph, the Coronation bloomer pairs delicate Indian spice with crunchy cauliflower and sweet raisins sandwiched between onion seed bloomer slices.
  • PIGS IN BLANKETS POT (from £2.75): EAT.’s classic pigs in blankets pot with a little Christmas helping of cranberry sauce on top.
  • PIGS, MASH & GRAVY (from £5.75): Pigs in blankets, creamy mashed potato and lashings of gravy.
  • FESTIVE MAC N CHEESE (Vegetarian from £5.50): Creamy mac n cheese with a festive topping featuring cheddar, sage & crispy fried onions.
  • PIGS IN BLANKETS ROLL (£3.99): A very festive breakfast (or lunch or dinner)! A crusty roll packed full of pigs in blankets, lashings of wholegrain mustard mayonnaise and sweet ale onion chutney.
  • FESTIVE FULL WORKS ON MALTED WHEAT BAGUETTE (from £4.25): The full works in a malted wheat baguette. Turkey, stuffing, bacon, cranberry sauce, chicken mayonnaise & spinach topped off with crispy onions.
  • FESTIVE FULL WORKS MULTI-SEED BLOOMER (from £3.99): Butter basted turkey, sage & onion stuffing, smoked ham, mayonnaise, cranberry sauce & spinach on multi-seed bloomer.
  • BRIE, CRANBERRY & STUFFING ON ONION SEED (Vegetarian, from £3.99): A veggie festive favourite. Creamy Brie and crunchy nut stuffing with sweet peppery cranberry sauce and spinach on onion seed bloomer.
  • TURKEY & CRANBERRY (from £3.50): A simple classic. Butter basted turkey and cranberry sauce on malted bread.
  • THE MINCE PIE (from £1.50): The only mince pie you will need this Christmas. Delicately thin and crispy all butter pastry filled with 18 month aged mincemeat and topped with a cinnamon crumble style topping.
  • MINI YULE LOG (£1.75): A decadent all butter chocolate cake filled and topped with Belgian dark chocolate buttercream and scattered with milk chocolate flakes & sweet snow dusting.
  • MINI STOLLEN BITES (from £1.75): A mini take on the German Christmas classic. Bite sized stollen packed with vine fruits, glace cherries, cranberries and marzipan.
  • SALTED MAPLE CARAMEL & GINGERBREAD CAKE (from £2.65): A ginger sponge cake layered with ginger buttercream, caramel, maple drizzle & little chocolate gingerbread men.















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Shake Shack’s Christmas Treats

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Shake Shack is rockin’ around the Christmas Treats with the launch of the Xmas Shack, a crispy chicken breast topped with gruyere cheese, pickled shallots, sliced kale, cranberry bacon chutney & gravy mayo. It will be available at all UK Shacks from the 21st of November until the 8th of January 2019.

Spreading even more holiday cheer, Shake Shack will also offer a selection of festive tipples and beverages:

  • Christmas Cookie Shake with sugar cookie frozen custard, topped with whipped cream, crumbled shortbread and red and green sprinkles.
  • Mulled Wine, which is a blend of Shack Red wine, fresh orange juice, star anise and a housemade spice mix.
  • Hot Chocolate, a Shack blend of bittersweet dark chocolate and fresh milk, which can be made naughty or nice, with mint or blood orange liqueur and whipped cream on top.

A critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand, Shake Shack has earned a cult like following around the world. A fun and lively community gathering place, Shake Shack is known for its 100% Aberdeen Angus beef burgers, griddled flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard and crispy crinkle cut fries, beer and wine, and more.

Shake Shack operates eight restaurants in London, most recently opening at Mansion House, and one outside London, in Cardiff.

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Vegan Christmas Roast Recipe from Merchant Gourmet

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Chestnut, Mushroom and Sage Roast


For the roast

  • 2 x 180g pouches of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts
  • 250g of chopped chestnut mushrooms
  • 3 chopped medium carrots
  • 1 finely chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped almonds
  • ½ cup of sultanas
  • ½ cup of brown rice flavour
  • 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds + 6 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper


  1. Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a small bowl mix the flaxseeds with water. Leave them onto one side for 5-10 minutes until they assume a gloopy kind of consistency.
  3. In a casserole pan heat up 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the chopped onion and the chopped carrots and gently fry them for 5-7 minutes until the onion have softened. Add the grated garlic cloves. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, rosemary, sage and nutmeg and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Chop 1 pack of chestnut in bite size pieces. Put them on one side. With a fork mash down the 2nd pack of chestnut until you have a crumbly flour.
  5. Add the chopped almonds, sultanas, the flaxseeds, salt and pepper, chopped chestnut and the chestnut “flour” to the pan. Mix everything well together.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the brown rice flour, combine everything well together.
  7. Line a bread tin with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the tin and press it down with a spatula or with your hands.
  8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  9. Half way through cover the top with some foil to prevent the top from burning.
  10. Once the roast is cooked remove it from the oven and slice it before serving.

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HOP Vietnamese Launches Its Best Site Yet

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HOP Vietnamese, the City’s grab-and-go eatery, will launch its biggest and best site yet at the base of The Leadenhall Building on Tuesday 4th December. The new venue will offer an evening sit-down dining experience alongside its much-loved take on Vietnamese lunchtime street food. Open all day; HOP will serve breakfast and coffee, lunch, and a menu of small plates and cocktails in the evening, exclusive to this site.

Open from 7am, HOP Leadenhall will kick things off with a brand new breakfast menu including breakfast banh mi baguettes, coconut porridge, congee and egg pots. Plus coffee from Taylor St Baristas alongside Vietnamese drip and iced coffees, condensed milk optional but recommended!   

HOP regulars will be familiar with the popular daytime menu offering hot and cold Vietnamese street eats. The signature HOP box, inspired by com binh dan – “working people food”, pairs a warming curry with steamed rice, crispy shallots, fresh herbs, spring onions, Viet shredded salad and pickled vegetables, with five options to choose from including lemongrass chicken, vegetable coconut curry and chargrilled caramel pork. Banh mi baguettes are made to order and served hot; fillings include soy and ginger beef or vegetables and pork meatballs. Aromatic pho soups marry fragrant broth with rice noodles and fresh herbs, with options such as leek dumplings, chicken and pulled beef. HOP also offers salad boxes; bun noodle salads of vermicelli noodles, herbs, peanuts, cucumber, pickles and signature nuoc cham dressing, and Viet Shredded salads which leave out the noodles, both with a choice of meat or vegetarian toppings.

The all-new evening menu will see the new HOP position itself as a post-work destination for quick and easy dinners and drinks. Small plates designed for sharing will include a variety of chicken wings and vegetable gyoza. Individual portions or platters of steamed bao buns with a choice of fillings including Hoisin pulled beef, pumpkin croquette and chicken satay are set to be a house favourite. The cocktail list will see Asian twists on classics such as the Hot Damn, Vietnam – a spicy margarita with a sriracha salt rim.

The new Leadenhall site will be HOP’s flagship venue; the 80 cover space is set to become a new hub for breaks, meetings, remote working, quick catch-ups and socials.

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Harvey Nichols Unveils Its Christmas Windows

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The world’s leading luxury retailer, Harvey Nichols, has unveiled the most glamorous window scheme of the year – the Christmas windows. Inspired by festive celebrations, the displays have been designed to entice and capture the attention of customers by using a sparkly metallic colour palette and dazzling product displays to create a celebratory festive feel in the iconic Knightsbridge windows.

A giant Champagne bottle fills the first and second window, before it pops and magically pours hues of gold and silver that fill the remaining windows along Knightsbridge, producing breathtaking displays.

Each window has an eye-catching lime green backdrop brimming with twinkling lights and 3D bubbles bursting out of the windows to delight passers-by. The finest gifts from fashion, beauty, food and wine, are displayed in every window, surrounded by hanging baubles and luxurious gold leaf to excite and inspire our customers when shopping this Christmas.

“Our 2018 Christmas windows are all about the exciting festivities that take place during the season; celebrations, parties and catching up with friends. This inspired us to create a luxurious display of dazzling metallic colours, lights and shapes, filled with hero gifting ideas – helping our customer get into the Christmas spirit,” commented Janet Wardley, Head of Visual Display at Harvey Nichols.

To celebrate the new Disney film Mary Poppins Returns, four original costumes designed by Academy Award-winning designer Sandy Powell and worn by the cast will be showcased in Harvey’s Knightsbridge windows alongside gilded umbrellas – Poppins’ preferred method of travel.

Gold and silver umbrellas run from the windows through the store, taking customers on a journey to the Fifth Floor, where Harvey Café shimmers with a metallic umbrella-strewn canopy, while a cherry tree bursts through the floor to the ceiling.

Customers will be able to enjoy Christmas delights and hot beverages in CANVAS, and to complete the picture-perfect setting, a giant snow globe takes centre stage, where you can have your photo taken within to be printed as memento of your festive day out.

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Ferrero Rocher Launches Personalisation Pop up for Christmas

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The premium chocolate maker Ferrero has launched its first ever Grand Ferrero Rocher personalisation pop up just in time for Christmas, now open at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge and Manchester.

For £8.50 customers can instantly personalise a 125g Grand Ferrero Rocher with their choice of name or message, which is printed onto the label before being beautifully packaged into a Ferrero gift box.

So treat a friend, partner or chocolate loving colleague to something extra special this Christmas and step up your gifting game with a personalised Grand Ferrero Rocher – perfect to place under the tree or as a thoughtful stocking filler.

The Grand Ferrero Rocher is a unique and special taste experience of contrasting layers: A milk chocolate and hazelnut shell, with two Ferrero Rocher inside, that each consist of a whole roasted hazelnut dipped in smooth velvety filling, wrapped in a crispy wafer shell, coated in milk chocolate and covered in hazelnut pieces.

Those in a hurry looking to unwrap the taste of Christmas can also find pre-printed Grand Ferrero Rocher products with messages such as ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Congratulations’, ‘Thank You’, ‘I Love You’ and ‘Darling’, online and in all Harvey Nichols stores.

The Grand Rocher personalisation service is now available in Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge Fifth Floor Food Market and on the Second Floor Food Market in Manchester, until Sunday, the 30th of December 2018.

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