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All Posts By Jade Hallas

Father’s Day at Levi Roots

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Levi Roots’ Caribbean Smokehouse offers a special menu for Father’s Day, together with carnival vibes and jerk flavours of the Caribbean. Inspired by traditional Caribbean cooking, both the food and the cocktail menus boast a collection of modern twists on the island cuisines served in a unique, casual environment in the heart of Stratford.

Customers can begin their Caribbean journey with the brand new Little Plates of Paradise including Fried Fish & Bammies, white fish coated in jerk buttermilk batter, with pepper, onion, traditional Jamaican fried cassava patties; and Cou Cou Bites, tasty morsels of soft cornmeal and okra seasoned and deep fried, with Levi’s dip.

Follow the starters with a main from a bunch of delicious dishes, including the Levi’s Smokehouse Platter for those who love sharing. The perfect summer mash-up consists of half BBQ jerk chicken, smoked lamb sausage, mango & ginger chicken wings, beefy BBQ burnt ends, fried cinnamon festivals, cassava chips, corn on the cob, creamy Bajan slaw and juicy watermelon.

If you prefer having your own plate, then choose from the more traditional Curry Goat and Guyanese Fish Curry, or tuck into the epic Star Bwoy – a slow cooked beef short rib topped with beefy BBQ burnt ends in a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato and pickle mayo and soused onions.

“My Summer menu brings lots of new and diverse flavours inspired by my recent travels across the Islands. I wanted to introduce more variety to the menu – all authentically Caribbean, but delivered in my own Smokehouse style. The new dishes bring some serious flavour and spice to the menu bringing a bit of reggae and the Caribbean to everyone,” said Levi Roots about the new menu additions.

The cocktail menu makes sure it transports anyone on the coast of Jamaica, with The Painkiller, made with Pusser’s Navy Rum, the national cocktail of the Virgin Islands. Opt for Levi’s Guinness Punch for a spin on the classic, where the expert bartenders mix stout with condensed milk, vanilla, over proofed rum and finish it off with a sprinkle of nutmeg.


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Low Calorie Cocktail Launched this Summer

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The purest, low calorie cocktail in the world will be launched this summer and is set to become the serve of summer 2018. Mineral 89 is made using Tequila Enemigo, the new ultra-premium tequila, mixed with mineral rich sparkling water and a dash of lime.

Tequila Enemigo doesn’t require sugar-filled and complex cocktail mixers, as it is designed to be sipped and not shot. The talented team behind Tequila Enemigo have created a unique serve made up of the mineral infused spirit and sparkling mineral water with a dash of lime. This refreshing drink is only 120 calories and nutritionists have advised drinking tequila instead of wine for its low calorie intake and agavins, which are said to lower triglycerides.

“Enemigo’s Tequilas are revolutionary in their taste and profile, ideal for sipping or in simple serves, and hence we are proud to put them on our menu at the new Annabel’s,” said Luis Simoes, Group Beverage Director for The Birley Group.

To make the Mineral 89 cocktail, 50ml of Enemigo 89 is blended with 100ml of sparkling water with recommended calcium concentration of over 150 mg/l and a magnesium concentration of over 50 mg/l, with ice cubes made from the same water and served with half a lime. The serve is finished with an iconic stainless steel reusable straw chosen to promote sustainable consumption, and to ensure the purest drinking experience when served. Moreover, it is also vegan so it is suited for all preferences and is made with entirely natural ingredients.

“This unbelievably refreshing simple serve represents the next step in breaking existing Tequila stereotypes. The idea that a Tequila can be served long with just sparkling mineral water is still draw dropping to some of the most well-travelled London consumers, but as soon as people try it, everything makes sense, and their perception of Tequila instantly changes,” commented Max Davies-Gilbert, Tequila Enemigo Co-founder, on creating Mineral 89.

Mineral 89 is being served at select bars and restaurants across London and Europe. Head to some of London’s finest including Annabel’s, Coral Room: Bloomsbury Hotel, StreetXO, 5 Hertford Street, Mr. Fogg’s, Isabel and Bart’s to experience the new age of tequila.

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Celebrate the Great British Beef Week

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Monday, the 23rd of April, represents the beginning of a full week dedicated to Britain’s most respected and versatile ingredient: beef. This is how a few of London’s restaurants will celebrate it:

Social 24 has not only changed its name but has launched a new menu as well. Diners can enjoy a beautiful selection of dishes that use seasonal, British ingredients, with British beef taking centre stage in two of Social 24’s new dishes. The Buccleuch beef and stout pie can be found on the ‘Social Lunch Hour’ menu, with a thick, puffed pastry lid and a rich, meaty body, while the succulent Buccleuch estate beef fillet, served with duck-fat chips can be found on the evening A La Carte menu.

At LIMA London, guests can enjoy a mix of ingredients sourced from UK producers mixed with Peruvian cuisine. One such dish that combines British and Peruvian produce is the Loma Steak Huancaina which is served alongside Yellow Aji sauce and coriander cress. The beef used is a highly-marbled award-winning Rhub beef, made from grass-fed Aberdeen Angus which is aged for 35 days in a Himalayan salt walled chamber.

If you decide to celebrate Great British Beef Week at the refurbished Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea, choose from two exquisite beef small plates; Cumbrian beef tartare with black garlic aioli, new turnips, puffed rice and mustard seeds and melt-in-the-mouth Soya Braised Beef cheeks with garlic purée and cabbage.

Combine the flavours of Mexico with the local produce of the UK at Ella Canta. Choose the guest favourite Aberdeen Angus beef fillet with black chichilo mole, aubergine ashes and artichokes, served with a rich sauce incorporating up to 50 ingredients that complement the Scottish beef.

On Sunday, enjoy a Sunday Lunch at The Game Bird at The Stafford London. The star of the show is the roast British grass-fed beef carved tableside from a bespoke silver trolley and served with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and lashings of gravy.

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City Social Embraces a New Name and a New Menu

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Starting with Thursday, the 12th of April, Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred City Social will be known as Social 24. The new name will also be joined by a new drink and food offering, as well as a resident DJ on Thursday and Friday nights from 9pm. Located on the 24th floor of Tower 42, the new menu hopes to attract late night diners and drinkers to the City.

The new cocktail menu was curated by Group Bar Manager Jay Doy and it will maintain the same flair and creativity as the previous menu. Inspired by London’s landmarks, ‘The Shard’ (£12) is made with Bacardi heritage, lime, watermelon, passion fruit, Sekforde rum mixer and Mojito granita, while ‘The Monument’ (£13) cocktail pays homage to its fiery history with Don Julio, fire roasted pineapple syrup, dragon fruit, jalapenos, charcoal and cinnamon.

The ‘St Pauls’ (£12) cocktail, served inside a pineapple glass, represents Sir Christopher Wren’s integration of the fruit into his architecture and is made with Absolut Elyx, pineapple, sage, chartreuse, communion wine and a wafer. Meanwhile, ‘The Thames’ (£12) is presented in a tea glass and is made with Reyka, Sea rosemary, watercress, apple, celery sugar, citrus and seaweed. There will also be an interesting selection of beers, spirits and non-alcoholic cocktails available, as well as a wide list of wines and champagnes to choose from.

Alongside the drinks menu, Executive Chef Paul Walsh also created a new food menu for Social 24. There will be a 3-course set ‘Social Lunch Hour’ menu priced at £28 and including Heritage beetroot salad, goat’s cheese and watercress; Cotswolds chicken and Madeira terrine with grilled sourdough and a choice of Vanilla crème brûlée or Valrhona chocolate mousse. In the evening, an a la carte menu will be on offer, with a selection of small and large dishes, such as Frenchman Creek oysters with dashi, melon and yuzu; Smoked pork empanadas with harissa and red onion compote and Buccleuch Estate beef fillet with duck fat chips accompanied with béarnaise or peppercorn sauce.

Social 24 will be open from midday until 2am, Monday through to Friday, and from 4pm on Saturdays, providing the City with a chic, late-night bar.

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Tom Barnes Is the New Chef Patron at Rogan & Co

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Simon Rogan has announced that his former Head Chef Tom Barnes is returning to the business as the new Chef Patron of Rogan & Co, Simon’s neighbourhood village restaurant in Cartmel. Tom returns after spending a year at three Michelin stars Restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen.

“I’m really excited that Tom is re-joining our team. He was a brilliant Head Chef at L’Enclume and his return to the business has been met with real enthusiasm by the whole team up here in the Lake District. Having worked with Tom for years I know that he shares my ethos of working with the best possible ingredients and for creating authentic, delicious dishes. I’m confident that he will bring some exciting new developments to Rogan & Co with his new role and really look forward to seeing what the future holds,” said Simon Rogan.

Born and raised in the Lake District, the decision to move to Rogan & Co is something of a homecoming for Tom. Prior to his overseas placement, Tom began at L’Enclume as a Chef de Partie at the start of 2011 and worked his way up to become Head Chef in spring 2014. Tom held the position for over three years, taking charge of day to day running of the kitchen and working alongside Simon with the menu development and team training, all practices which will serve him well in this new role at Rogan & Co.

“I’m really proud to be back to work with Simon and start my new position as Chef Patron at Rogan & Co. I have been very lucky to have worked alongside Simon at L’Enclume and have had a very rewarding career already within the business. It feels right to return to the team now, and to my home in the Lake District. I’m very excited, driven and ambitious, and am ready for this new challenge,” commented Tom Barnes.

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New Healthy Caramel Option from Ricola

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Ricola, the Swiss herbal confectioners, has launched on the market a new caramel product, Herbal Caramel, its first new flavour for 2018. Herbal Caramel is expected to bring a new health-conscious audience to Ricola, who are looking for a natural sweet with a great creamy taste.

The new product is sugar, lactose, and gluten free, it is sweetened with Stevia plant extract, and it is accompanied by a pinch of Swiss Alpine salt. It delivers a delicate creaminess, with a unique blend of thirteen herbs, including marshmallow, cowslip, elder, and sage, all naturally grown in the fresh air of the Swiss mountains. The company hopes that it will become a hit among caramel products, especially due to its free from credentials.

“With consumer demand for indulgent sugar free confectionery showing strong growth, we’re confident that Herbal Caramel will attract many new customers to Ricola and will be a powerful addition to the sugar free confectionery category,” said Rebecca Collison, Brand Marketing Manager for Ricola UK.

Ricola Herbal Caramel sugar free sweets are available in convenient click-shut boxes, perfect as snacks and to keep in your purse, backpack, or pocket. They can be found in all good health food stores and independent pharmacies all over the country, starting with early February at the price of £1.35.

Ricola sweets are renowned for their flavours and healthy properties, with their full sugar free range including: The Original, Fresh Mountain Mint, Delicious Elderflower, Refreshing Lemon Mint, Scrumptious Orange Mint, Delectable Alpine Sage, Luscious Apple Mint, Bracing Glacier Peppermint, Luxurious Liquorice and Tasty Cranberry.

At only six calories per sweet, Ricola’s range is all packed with natural goodness, using only natural colours and flavours.

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Chef Patron of Bistro Vadouvan Details Innovative Turkey Recipe

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The Chef patron of the newly opened destination restaurant Bistro Vadouvan, located in Putney Wharf has released a range of last minute tips about Christmas Turkey including the best turkey recipes with a twist and how to avoid dry turkey.

Durga Misra, the Chef patron of Bistro Vadouvan has revealed a new take on the classic Christmas roast turkey dinner. This new twist on the traditional meal is expected to WOW diners and critics this festive season. This new dish that has been created by Durga Misra reflects his unique French & Spice cooking style, which is critically acclaimed, while also offering an innovative solution to the old ‘dry-turkey’ issue.

The new recipe see a boned turkey breast stuffed with a pork farce and packed full of flavour, with the addition of fennel, chilli, black pepper, chestnuts, sage, parsley, olive oil and white wine. The Turkey breast is then wrapped in bacon and the glazed in a sweet spiced honey and five spice glaze before being slow cooked. The stuffing for this dish is packed with amazing flavour and really moist which helps to stop the turkey meat drying out. The bacon and the glaze also have the same benefit while also offering amazing flavour to the dish.

The dish is then finished off with a cassis sauce and Durga’s delicious spiced sweet potatoes, which have been cooked in an orange glaze and includes the multilayered flavours of angostura bitters, chilli and sage which offers a spicy sweetness to the dish with a hint of bitter undertones. This special turkey will be available at the restaurant for a ‘special’ lunch or dinner at Bistro Vadouvan throughout December. The turkey with a twist is also offered as a main option for set Christmas Party menus, available for groups of 8 and over.

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Street & Co – Food & Drink Trends 2018

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Food from Galleries

Cultured art enthusiasts are no longer content with a soggy sandwich when visiting galleries and museums, instead they want to enjoy their art paired with good quality food and drink. Tates innovative food programming in 2017 saw Tate Modern residences from Carousel and most recently, pop up vegan junk food concept Pure Filth. The gallery carefully curates its menu to complement its featured art exhibitions, and 2018 will see one off dinners and events around Tate Britain’s Impressionists exhibition and Tate Modern’s blockbuster Picasso show. Tate Britain’s Rex Whistler restaurant meanwhile not only serves the best of British cuisine, but has one of the capital’s finest wine cellars, overseen by CEO Hamish Anderson and head sommelier Gustavo Medina.

Rise of Veganism

The huge surge in popularity of vegan food is here to stay and Camden Market’s extensive vegan offering makes it a non-meat eaters paradise. From Young Vegans, London’s first vegan pie and mash shop, to Club Mexicana, a vegan take on Mexican cuisine, Camden Market caters for the increasing number Britain’s adopting flexitarian diets. Other vendors including Crosstown Doughnuts and Voodoo Rays offer vegan takes on their popular classics.

Zero-food waste

Scratch menus have grown in popularity this year, proving that awareness around zero-food waste continues to rise in the restaurant industry. For Pancake Day 2018, pancake pros Where the Pancakes are and condiment connoisseurs Rubies in the Rubble are joining forces with a shared aim to fight food waste. To mark the occasion, the pair have created two ‘Thoughtful pancakes’ using excess produce, harking back to the roots of Shrove Tuesday, using up waste ingredients before lent.

Rise of the Seasonal Tasting Menu

Hailed by Conde Nast Traveler as the latest comeback dining trend of 2018, the tasting menu is experiencing a revival. The Derbyshire-based, Michelin Star restaurant at Fischer’s Baslow Hall offers Taste of Autumn Tasting Menu, serving up 7 seasonal courses at lunch and 9 at dinner, all using locally sourced and home-grown ingredients. Following the growing trend towards plant-based dining, Fischer’s is proud to offer a dedicated vegetarian tasting menu, delivering the same commitment to using the very best British produce with dishes such as Pumpkin Tortellini and Marinated Tofu with bok choy.

Taiwanese Chicken

Fried chicken has always been a favourite but in 2018 the popular fast-food with take on a Taiwanese twist. Found at foodie gems such as Good Friend in Chinatown London, their chicken is tossed in three different flours and fried-to-order at two different temperatures to ensure unforgettable crispiness. Good Friend adds the finishing touches to their Taiwanese fried-chicken with your choice of seven flavoured powders to round-off the Asian street food.

Craft Spirits on the rise

Following on from the popularity of craft beer, 2018 is the turn of craft spirits. Consumers are demanding the type of unique and authentic spirits created at small, family run distilleries like Dingle Distillery in Ireland. Coupled with the increasing demand for gin and malt whisky, with volumes expected to rise by 28% and 13% respectively next year, Dingle Distillery is looking to scale up its production capacity in response to the changing drinks market.

Instagram’s influence

The age of Instagram is encouraging diners to take pictures not just of food but of the restaurants themselves. Poppies Fish and Chips in London has always been an ‘Instagram-able’ destination with its three restaurants evoking eras of the past. Both Poppies Spitalfields and Poppies Camden take diners back in time to the mid 20th Century through their nostalgic décor, displaying everything from juke-boxes to 1940s posters. Newest addition, Poppies Soho embodies 70s retro with its colourful painted anaglypta wallpaper and funky tongue and groove panelling, making it an oft-snapped spot for the Instagram photographer.

Japanese Dude Food

Japanese food has been on the radar for a while now, but 2018 marks a turn away from the delicate dishes of miso and noodle soup, to more indulgent and hearty cuisine combining Japanese flavour with the ‘dude food’ of the American south. With its wagu beef burgers and Sakura Blossom milkshakes, Ichibuns Chinatown embraces this delicious trend arriving in Asian restaurants.

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New services for visually impaired people now open

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Two brand new services in the West of Scotland for blind and partially sighted people are now open.

Scotland’s largest vision impairment charity, Royal Blind, has constructed Jenny’s Well, a specialist 54-bedroom residential care home for visually impaired older people in Hawkhead Road, Paisley.

Its sister charity, Scottish War Blinded, has built the Hawkhead Centre, a state-of- the-art activity centre for veterans of the armed forces with sight loss on the same site. Scottish War Blinded supports veterans regardless of how and when their vision impairment happened.

The £17m project has created around 150 new jobs in Paisley. Nearly 100 military veterans have already signed up to use the Hawkhead Centre and 11 residents of Jenny’s Well will begin moving into their new home from this week.

Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Royal Blind Group, said: “We are delighted to officially open Jenny’s Well and the Hawkhead Centre.

“This has been a unique project for the Royal Blind Group as it is the first time that we have constructed a Royal Blind service and a Scottish War Blinded service side by side, and they will be our first centres in the West of Scotland. We have recruited a fantastic team of talented, knowledgeable and hardworking staff, and I am confident they will make these much-needed services a success.

“We never forget that it is only with the help of our supporters that we are able to provide education, care, support and employment to blind and partially sighted people, and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped make this project a reality.”

Local residents and health and social care professionals toured the services last week, with
open days on Thursday and Saturday.

Jenny’s Well is designed to be a ‘home-from- home’, the specialist facility reaches two storeys and is spread across four inter-connected pavilions which has a sensory garden at its core.

Jenny’s Well Manager, Stewart Whyte said: “I am delighted to welcome all of our new residents to Jenny’s Well. I feel passionately about making care for older people right, and know that all of us together can make the home the very best it can possibly be to both live and work in.”

The Hawkhead Centre is fully accessible and has been designed so that Scottish War Blinded’s members find it easy to remember and navigate. Facilities include a sports hall, specialist arts and crafts workshop, an IT suite, a rehabilitation room, and a peaceful garden room to promote relaxation.

Hawkhead Centre Manager, Sally Ross, added: “It is a privilege to build a new service at such an amazingly well equipped and beautiful new building.”

The services are located at 196 Hawkhead Road, Paisley PA2 7BS.

To find out more, or to enquire about places, visit

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World Vegetarian Day and International Vegetarian Week Approaches

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It’s World Vegetarian Day of Sunday the 1st of October, with International Vegetarian week following. With more and more people making the change to vegetarian whether for environmental, ethical, or health reasons, companies are going that extra mile in order to deliver dishes that are as well thought out and produced as the rest of their menu. It is great to see companies working hard to make vegetarian cuisine the best it can possibly be.

Twins Garden is one such restaurant. About to open in Moscow, twin brothers IVAN and Sergey Berezutskiy are getting ready to open this new restaurant that will offer fresh, local and seasonal ingredients as a part of their amazing menu. Twins Garden will open along with its own 120-acre farm in order to guarantee the supply and the quality of the ingredients used in the restaurant. It is hoped that Twins Garden will be 80-90% self-sufficient.

Orto di LUME is a mesmerizing restaurant that offers guests a grey, green and white oasis in the middle of Milan. A calming restaurant away from the city’s busy streets, with a 160 square meter outdoor area with a large bird cage for guests to sit in. The Executive Chef Taglienti adopts a simple and seasonal approach to cooking that uses a range of innovative techniques that also works to deliver the best vegetarian food possible.

On the 7th November, at the end of international Vegetarian week, the scientific team that worked to create the sell-out Modernist Cuisine trilogy will be releasing the Modernist Bread: The Art and Science. The five volume work is the result of four years’ non-stop research, photography, experiments and writing about baking by the Modernist Cuisine team. The volumes feature 1,500 new recipes with modern twists.  

Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social offers veggie and vegan taking menus as an essential part of the restaurant offering. Jason’s first Michelin-starred restaurant uses British grown, seasonal produce in their delicious vegetarian tasting menu.

Meraki at Fitzrovia, Tootoomoo the Pan-Asian restaurant group, La Dame de Pic at the Four Seasons Hotel London. Theo Randall at the Intercontinental, The Vurger Co., Tommi’s Burger Joint and Blanchette in Brick lane and Soho are all working hard to deliver amazing flavour and quality for the vegetarian guests this upcoming World Vegetarian Day and International Vegetarian Week.

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