Posted in Eating

Hand & Flowers

For Christmas this year, I booked a table for a surprise lunch at the Hand & Flowers for Lee and I. It’s a step up from our previous Michelin-starred dining with two shiny stars, and it’s run by jolly-man-turned-waif Tom Kerridge.

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This is more-or-less just a gratuitous food porn post, I warn you now. If you find photos of slabs of meat offensive, best pop off now.

Smoked margarita and some snack items to kick things off. We also had some paprika pork scratchings and a Bellini because we fancy like that.

As well as being truly delicious, everything was served on exquisite handmade ceramic plates, as well as condiments etc being made of the highest-quality crafted woodwork. I love that every little detail had been thought out and care taken over them.

That blackberry souffle with baked cheesecake ice cream and pear sauce was definitely in my top 10 of things ever put in my mouth. I feel bad eating any other dessert now as it would only sully the memory of it.

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All in all, top notch experience – everyone, especially the lady called Coral who welcomed us was so super-nice and it was well worth the lengthy journey.

Never ones to turn down a mini-break, we made a getaway of it and stayed in the countryside, on the river, outside Marlow for a couple of nights.

Once again, I won the Airbnb lottery. If you’d also like to stay in a cosy wee boat house with lovely unobtrusive hosts, then check ’em out.

Turns out old Kerridge has a second pub in Marlow, The Coach, which has earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand (a star for cheaper places). You don’t need reservations and so we stoated in for breakfast the day after our Hand and Flowers experience. Oh my GRAVY do they know their way around a pig. That bacon is hands-down the best I’ve ever eaten. I am not ashamed to say I bellowed my admiration of it to the lovely ginger man who cooked it as we left. Again, more delightful hand-carved wood and ceramics – ACE.

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All this and pies on the way home. Lolz.

Posted in Eating, Travel

NYC 16 – Katz’s Deli

Warning – contains gratuitous meat-based food porn.

Have you ever seen When Harry Met Sally? Needless to say, to those who know me personally, I haven’t (I haven’t seen many classic movies at all). But I am familiar with the scene in which Sally has a really good sandwich.

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I’m fairly sure that’s what she was shouting about, anyway. One of the things on my small list of must-dos this time around was to have a really good sandwich, so we moseyed down to Katz’s Deli for brunch whilst on our way to the Tenement Museum (which is really ace, you should go).

Oh my. That pastrami. To die for. The matzoh ball soup, I was less keen on. I’d always wanted to try it and can safely say that’s done and I don’t have to do it again now. Super-pricey for a sandwich, but I’d say, as someone prepared to pay for good eats, that it was worth it. I need to sign off now, I’m drooling on my keyboard.

Posted in Eating, Travel

NYC 16 – The National

I’m a big fan of watching competitive cookery, especially American competitive cookery. I think I’ve exhausted all of Netflix, both UK and US versions (although new episodes of Chopped AND Cut-throat Kitchen just popped up, goodbye spare time).

So when I booked us up for NYC secretly, I thought I’d throw a little something for myself into the pot by booking into Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National for dinner on our first evening. Luckily, Lee is also a fan of good food and drink, so it was no hardship for him to tag along!

The food was incredible, just as I’d hoped it would be. It’s not cheap by any means, but it is great ingredients cooked with skill and care and that’s pretty much my requirement when it comes to dining out.  That cauliflower dish was to die for, but the star was the cider and mustard-glazed brussels sprouts. I know, right? Amazing.

I’d mentioned when I booked that we were in town celebrating Lee’s birthday and they sweetly made a note and brought out a free dessert complete with candle – such a nice touch which really made our first night in NY special.

And as it’s just round the corner from the Waldorf Astoria, we were able to waddle back to the hotel and collapse into bed after a very lovely evening indeed.

If you are turning into a bit of a foodie, like me, then you might like peruse the menu here. The signature NTL. Mule cocktail was also HELLA good – I may have had more than one (three).

Definitely will be heading back here once my credit card recovers next time I’m in the region.

More tales from the City soon!