A Love Affair with Nice (Part 2)

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I naively thought I knew ALL the hot spots in Nice from when I lived here… oh how I was wrong! So wrong. On one of our walks we stumbled on the amazing Le Plongeoir – a unique restaurant / bar on the edge of the coast. The views are absolutely stunning.

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It’s the perfect place for a long boozy lunch whilst catching some sun and taking in the views. Honestly, time does fly here. Without wanting to sound corny, I got lost in my thoughts just taking in my surroundings. It’s breathtaking.

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Sadly, the food at Le Plongeoir didn’t match its views. It was a little on the pricey side and didn’t feel it was great value for money. However, this is the kind of place you come for the overall experience. Also, I’d say at night the restaurant / bar comes alive and it’s definitely worth a visit just for drinks and charcuterie.

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During our trip I took my fiancé to all my favourite places. I was surprised to see that not a lot had changed. Yes there were a number of new restaurants but mostly it felt the same as seven years ago. In many ways I found that comforting and reminded me of all the good memories I had.

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A restaurant I’d recommend without question is Olive & Artichaut located in the Old Town. It’s a very cute, small-cover restaurant with an open kitchen. Being the first to arrive, we grabbed the best seat in the house – right opposite the kitchen and watched the chefs work their magic.

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A warning: it was hard to get a table here, clearly a popular spot. It took three attempts before we managed to bag a table for lunch. Definitely would recommend booking in advance.

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The food is well executed, the menu is creative and flavour is right on point. The standout dish was the seabass with pumpkin purée. I could have happily just eaten that and would have been satisfied.

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After our mega three-course lunch, a long walk was needed and it doesn’t take much convincing for my favourite stroll in the city – walking along Promenade des Anglais up to the port.

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The port is colourful – the buildings are a beautiful backdrop to the yachts and fishing boats. It’s also really relaxing here – ideal if you want to escape the noise from the rest of the city. A walk to the lighthouse gives fantastic views of the coastline. There were a few snapping away on their cameras but the majority like me, sat in silence taking in the natural beauty and just being in the moment.

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www.nicetourisme.com

S.L.

REVIEW: The Fitzrovia Collective

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It feels like such a long time ago now but I lived in Fitzrovia from 2005 – 2010. I lived in a wonderful flat just off Goodge Street. Back then the food scene was limited to only a few good restaurants. I spent most of my time drinking in Charlotte Street Hotel (oh how I miss those days) and dining at Fino (now sadly closed).

For special occasions I would head to Pied à Terre or Roka. I’d often meet friends in Soho or Mayfair for meals out. Now the area has completely transformed, it’s bursting with amazing restaurants – I regret ever leaving!

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When I heard that chefs Jun Tanaka (The Ninth), Ben Tish (Salt Yard) and Allan Pickett (Piquet) were collaborating for a special event: ‘The Fitzrovia Collective’ I knew it was a night I couldn’t miss.

Plus I recently visited The Ninth and was totally blown away by the skill in the kitchen – so knew this event would be a winner.

‘The Fitzrovia Collective’ is a series of one-night-only dinners offering a six-course tasting menu with the option of wine pairing.

The evening began with a wonderfully crisp Lampo Prosecco served with House bread sticks with anchovy and crème fraiche mousse (Piquet). Followed was Salt Yard’s delicious Pinchos of slow cooked Dorset snail, Iberico pancetta and potato – the Iberico had just the right amount of fat.

Our favourite of the night was the Flamed mackerel, pickled cucumber and sea pursiane cooked by The Ninth.

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Up next was Piquet’s heavenly Roast seabass with yeasted cauliflower purée and mushroom persillade.

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To finish was The Ninth’s Tart Tatin – it was an absolute thing of beauty! The pastry was light just how it should be and the caramalised apples – just wow. It was served with rosemary ice cream, a first for me but it didn’t disappoint.

I left the restaurant happy and content my only regret of the evening was that I was no longer a of resident of this blooming neighbourhood.

How to sex up your food pics

If you’re like us and you’re always taking pics of your food then this post is for you.

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This weekend we did something a little different and booked ourselves on a ‘Level 1 Food Photography Course’ with the super talented William Reveal. Will has years of experience and also teaches courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine.

What first appealed to us when we signed up was that the course promised to be practical with hands-on teaching… and it was just that!

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In the morning when we arrived we were welcomed with fresh juice and pastries – a good sign of what was to come.

The morning was spent with Will teaching the class how to correctly use our digital cameras – manually. That’s right folks, there was no automatic usage allowed! We were told the best food images are ones where the user controls their own exposure. Exposure = Shutter Speed + Aperture + ISO. Admittedly it took us a little while to get the hang of it but once we did we spent the rest of the day in the studio shooting, styling, using props, understanding the importance of lighting and capturing our shots from different angles.

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Food stylist, Tara Sura worked alongside Will for the day and created a variety of amazing dishes for us to shoot. She also gave top tips on how we could enhance our images by adding props and fresh ingredients.

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Throughout the day we took a number of pics that we’re really proud of and it was all thanks to such skillful teaching.

We highly recommend this course if you’re a keen photographer or just simply want to take better pics for your blog or instagram. We certainly feel more confident after the course, it’s amazing how much you can learn in just six hours. Don’t just take our word for it… book now.

www.foodphotographytraining.com

Jar Kitchen’s Supper Club Series – Menus

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In our last post we announced that Jar Kitchen will be teaming up with their suppliers to launch an exciting Supper Club series – LAND. AIR. FIRE. EARTH. SEA:

  • LAND: 6 June – Meat
  • FIRE: 4 July – BBQ, Grilling and Smoking
  • AIR: 1 August – Game
  • SEA: 5 September – Seafood
  • EARTH: 3 October – Vegetables

We now have full menus for each supper club, which we’re sure you’ll agree with us that this is definitely not one to miss..

LAND – PIG (WALTER ROSE)

Nibbles: Crisp pig ears with smoked mayo; Lardo croutons
Pig terrine (trotter and jowl), house made pickles and crisp quails egg
Braised pig cheeks with smoked pomme purée, cider apple fondant, sage jus
Chocolate ganache, hazelnut, piggy popcorn, fior di latte

SEA – FISH (CAPITAL SEAFOOD)

Nibbles: House made taramasalata served with seasonal vegetables; Colchester oysters
Charred octopus, grapefruit, coriander, chilli
Roasted turbot, lemon verbena, beurre noisette, cauliflower purée
Set lemon cream with raspberry and lavender shortbread

AIR – GAME / POULTRY (CANON & CANON)

Nibbles: Game based charcuterie from Canon and Canon
Mixed game terrine, house made pickles, sourdough
Pheasant, toasted sourdough purée, burnt onion, blackberry game jus
Cherry & Chocolate: cherry mousse, dark chocolate soil, milk chocolate ice cream

FIRE – BBQ / SMOKE / GRILL (TBC)

Nibbles: smoked nuts; Cured meats (smoked)
Hot smoked and cured trout, pickled beetroot, house made rye bread with herb butter
Lamb – smoked belly, cutlet, devilled kidney with wholegrain mustard jus, smoked butter potatoes, and corn on the cob
Smoked Jar Kitchen yoghurt panna cotta and grilled pear

EARTH – VEGGIE (TBC)

Nibbles: Secretts Farm baby vegetables; Baba ghanoush; Flatbreads; Dukkah
Roast potimarron, cobnuts, honey and goat curd
Griddled baby vegetables (fennel, leek, courgette) white onion purée, gremolata, vinaigrette
Cauliflower, romanesco, gubbeen, sourdough crumb
Strawberries & Cream: strawberry mouse, strawberry gel, langues de chat, milk jelly

Tickets cost £50, to book call 020 7405 4255.

www.jarkitchen.com

 

Restaurant Review: Naughty Piglets, Brixton

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There’s much more to Brixton’s foodie scene outside of the famous Village, home to a vibrant mix of independent restaurants and bars. We went along one lunchtime to a restaurant that not only had gone under our radars for far too long, but one whose name actually sums us up rather well.

Naughty Piglets is a fantastic little find on Brixton Water Lane – a ten minute walk if you’re coming from the station. It’s a small affair; there’s an open-plan kitchen with an eight seat bar, three high tables in the front room, and an intimate dining room in the back. It also happens to be very charming and we were instantly smitten.

The restaurant is owned by husband and wife team Joe and Margaux Sharratt, Magaux was there on our visit, busy tending to each table making sure that everyone was taken care of. The menu is short and changes weekly, but we were definitely not short of choice: each dish sounded heavenly, it made us almost want to order the lot. Ruthlessly we narrowed it down, our top five didn’t disappoint.

First to be served was the melt-in-the-mouth ham croquettes, some of the best we’ve ever had – we guarantee that you’re probably not going to want to share these. Next out was a deliciously light Boudin Noir served with fresh cuttle fish and capers, followed shortly by the Roast Cod with a wonderfully intriguing peanut dip. But the highlight, without a doubt, was the Grilled Pear with Jerusalem artichokes, blue cheese and hazelnuts; we’ve simply never had a dish like this. The flavours complemented each other perfectly: every mouthful was pure bliss.

Sadly, we didn’t have the time to try anything from the desserts – or sample any of their wines for that matter – but that just means we simply have to go back immediately for dessert and wine. That’s something we’re definitely ok with.

28 Brixton Water Lane, SW2 1PE

020 7274 7796

www.naughtypiglets.co.uk

https://www.instagram.com/naughtypiglets/

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