Page 1

ISSN 2397-3420

L O N D O N , O N E B I T E AT A T I M E


Black & Cola







Copyright © 2018 Southern Comfort. All rights reserved. Southern Comfort is a registered trademark.

The uk’s first plastic-free coffee range

Now avaliable in Waitrose.

The perfect gift this Christmas

Award-winning gin from the Silent Pool in Surrey Now available in Waitrose, Majestic, and UK Duty Free

FRONT COVER: Photography by Ian Dingle



Jordan Kelly-Linden TRAVEL EDITOR

Lydia Winter BEER EDITOR



Amanda Brame, Ian Dingle, Izy Hossack, Mark Ogus, Martin Morales, Neil Davey, Prue Freeman, Tom Hunt EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Jon Hawkins


Matthew Hasteley DESIGNERS

Emily Black, Annie Brooks JUNIOR DESIGNER



Mark Hedley


Alex Watson


Charlotte Gibbs


Carolyn Haworth, Ellen Cook, Lewis McClymont, Lily Hankin, Izzy Hardie, Jason Lyon, Rhianne Cochrane MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Kate Rogan


AJ Cerqueti


Matt Clayton, Dignified Sorinolu-Bimpe FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Cole FINANCE

Jess Gunning, Jenny Thomas, Caroline Walker CEO


Tom Kelly OBE

foodism uses paper from sustainable sources


0 2 0   7 8 1 9   9 9 9 9


can still picture it. I put the spoon to my lips, took a sip, and bit down on something solid. It was disconcerting. I was eating soup. But then, I realised. Because this wasn’t just any soup – it was Boxing Day, and this was my mum’s Christmas dinner soup, made of everything left over from the day before. And what I bit down on was one of the pigs in blankets that had just managed to wriggle away from the whir of the hand blender. Its meaty richness spread its way across my palate and I smiled. My mum’s Christmas dinner soup is always great – this made it almost otherworldly. You see, despite the fact that I spend my days and nights obsessed with weird and wonderful food and searching for the delicious shock of the new, when it comes to Christmas my family and I bow to tradition. My mum’s Christmas dinner is absolutely flawless. It comes directly before a walk up and down the road and presents around the tree, and exactly 22 hours before that soup. And I never want anything – and I mean anything – about it to change. But while I maintain my family’s Christmas is the objectively correct way to do it, so does everyone else. Everyone has their own tradition, which fits their own family and lifestyle and creates their own unique potted history. That’s why we wanted to ask how other people do it, too: in our festive feasting feature on page 44, we’ve also asked the likes of Daisy Green’s Prue Freeman how they do it in the Australian summertime, and Mark Ogus of Monty’s Deli about a different kind of festive food around the Hanukkah table of his childhood. Elsewhere, you’ll find Andrew Wong’s five careerdefining dishes (p66), Calum Franklin on his pie empire (p54), and we’ve put together a food and drink gift guide to make sure everyone around the tree’s happy (p80). Merry Christmas to you and yours from all at foodism (even if you’re doing it wrong).

GRAZE 016 






023  030 






FEAST 044 















ABC certified distribution: 88,932 Jan-Jun 2018 Square Up Media is a Square Up Group company



++ Foodism was highly commended for its covers in this year’s Drum Design Awards

++ Foodism won the Campaigning and Investigative Food Work Award at the Guild of Food Writers


© Square Up Media Limited 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.


















— PART 1 —




This month: Olly’s Olives


This Christmas, it’s time to reembrace the classic London chocolate shop, says Jordan Kelly-Linden


OST OF US have childhood memories of plunging an arm deep into our stockings on Christmas morning and pulling out a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Of course, this assumption mostly depends on two conditions: that you celebrate Christmas and that you were a child at some point in your life. One of those is most definitely true, the other perhaps not; either way you can probably appreciate the rite of passage that comes with being gifted that distinctive sphere of segmented, citrus-scented choc. Christmas and chocolate goes hand in hand. Throughout the festive period, we gorge ourselves on after-dinner minty treats, nutty shell-shaped bites and crack into bar after bar of the good and the bad. But here’s a stark reality for you – and no, I’m not talking about your Christmas calorie count, but that our addiction to cheap chocolate might be about to bring the planet to it’s knees. I know what you’re thinking: “stop


snowing on our Christmas cheer.” It sucks, I agree. But in a recent conversation with chocolatier Paul A. Young, he enlightened me to the fact that most if, not all, supermarket chocolate contains palm oil. Mixed with other veg fats, it’s a cheap alternative to cocoa butter, which manufacturers can cash in on by selling to the beauty industry, instead of swirling it through your favourite £1 bar. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of places in London and beyond where you can indulge in some amazing chocolate that hits the spot but doesn’t cost the earth. From Paul and his giftworthy chocoalte truffles to Chantal Coady OBE’s classic combinations from Rococo, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to sourcing sustianable chocolate in the capital. So this festive period – a time of giving and new resolutions – why not resolve to give the planet its best chance by purchasing with purpose and spending just a touch more on our favourite food group? You might even find something orange-flavoured... f

What’s the product? Punchy packets of fat and juicy marinated Greek olives that are so full of flavour they’ll make your lips pucker up and kick your tastebuds into overdrive. Seriously, grab a napkin, ’cause as soon as you’ve ripped open the bag, those saliva glands will get a serious workout.

Who makes it? Olly Hiscocks, a self-confessed olive addict who, after completing his degree in neuroscience at the University of Manchester, ended up turning down an offer to study postgraduate medicine to take his Chiswick-based olive business to the top.

What does it taste like? Olly’s basil and garlic olives are by far our favourite flavour. Perfectly seasoned and intensely buttery, they taste great and smell great – although maybe your colleagues might disagree with that if you crack one of these pungent packets of joy out in the office. The lemon and thyme are briney and sharp and aren’t too bad either. Chilli and rosemary didn’t quite do it for us, but maybe that’s just because we couldn’t handle the heat.

Where can I get it? Olly’s Olives started out as a stand at Richmond food market in 2016. It didn’t take long for people to get a taste for his wares and now you can spot Olly’s bright packets in pubs and stores across the UK including Selfridges, Sourced Market, Brewdog and Craft Beer Co, as well as




We can’t get enough of GAIL’S Bakery’s collaboration with Notting Hill chocolatiers Melt London. 24 little bits of chocolate peppered with caramelised pieces of the bakery’s French dark sourdough? Now that’s worth getting out of bed for. Pick one up at your nearest GAIL’s (£18) or online at



Get merry (or should we say beery...) this Christmas with a little help from craft beer experts HonestBrew. With 24 different beers (seven of which are exclusive to the set) in 15 different styles, this strictly adults-only Advent calendar is packed full of the rarest and most sought-after seasonal brews. Word to the wise though, it’s sold out every year for the last three... Order yours (£69.90) at



Popcorn isn’t just reserved for movie nights, this year you can have it everyday of Advent with Joe & Seph’s foldout calendar. You might be picking kernels out of your teeth well into the new year, but we reckon you’d agree it’s worth it for a taste of Joe & Seph’s white chocolate and strawberry and raspbery cheesecake corn. Get it (£25) at

Photograph by (melted chocolate) Paul Winch-Furness; (gails) STEVELANCDFIELD


Alex Ridley, co-founder of South East Cakery, on swapping dance floors for flour stores


HEN WE FIRST met, my wife and business partner Maria was working as the events organiser for Bloomsbury Lanes in Euston. I meanwhile was working a handful of regular DJ bookings at a few South East London bars. With a desire to party to goldenera hip hop, we teamed up and started putting on our own Nineties club nights. With our days freed up, we started spending a lot of time visiting cool food spots across the capital – more specifically, great sweet spots, bakeries and cake shops. As our obsession with brownies

grew, we started to bake at home more and more; trying to make the things we loved just the way we liked them. Not long after, Maria took a position baking in-house for Anderson & Co nearby in Peckham. With a combined drive to work for ourselves, Maria began to bake and I would sell the goods on to local cafes in our spare time. Soon we started to built up a regular client base (most of whom we still supply today) and had to cut our DJ schedule (Liquorish in East Dulwich and our monthly club night ‘Pinkie Ring’) down to

just a couple of nights a week. By the spring of 2014, we had traded at a variety of markets and events and were lucky enough to join Street Feast’s Model Market in Lewisham. Fast forward to 2018 and, after a few months of searching for the right premises, we found a great spot just near our kitchen in East Dulwich and set about launching the South East Cakery & Cafe. Our bold colours and explosive decorations have proved to be pretty popular and we’ve even baked for the likes of Katy B and Lily Allen! Whilst we’ll still smash a DJ set for the right party here and there, we’ve mostly ditched the decks and swapped our hobby for our living instead. f


WEAPONS OF CHOICE A drip coffee machine with style, and the gadgets you need to nail the perfect roast PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON


DRI P SMA RT SMEG DRIP FILTER COFFEE MACHINE, £179.95 This beautiful American-style drip coffee maker is decked out in Smeg’s classic retro Italian curves and available in all the usual pastel colourways.

Photograph by ###


T RAY B IE N WILKINSON VULCAN ROASTING TIN, £29.99 A roasting tray whose ‘volcano’ puckered holes help joints of meat cook evenly and seal in moisture.


M E AT SM ART MEATER+, £99 A handy meat thermometer that won’t only guarantee precision roasting, but it can be left in and tracked on your phone over Bluetooth, too.



GIVE IT A FRENCH TWIST Michel Roux Jr’s new book is full of simple, classic French recipes that are perfect for entertaining PHOTOGRAPHS BY CRISTIAN BARNETT


T’S OFTEN SAID (because it’s true) that the highest-reaching cuisine in the world – the kind that grabs Michelin stars and spots in the World’s 50 Best Lists – is all rooted in French technique. Whether Michael Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche in Mayfair or a tasting menu from Alex Atala’s D.O.M, Sao Paolo, regardless of the country or the cuisine, it’s the ideas of nouvelle cuisine, forged in France in the last century, that underpins all of it. But that doesn’t mean that the French don’t know how to do simple food, either.

And that’s exactly what you’ll find in Roux’s new book The French Revolution: fresh, straightforward French recipes that go big on flavour and are guaranteed to please. The ones we’ve picked out are deliberately towards the simpler side of the scale. The festive season is a time that’s already filled with juggling plates, from Christmas dinner to drinks parties and more. If you need some winning recipes for the quieter times in between, look no further than these, delivered with the approachability that’s characteristic of one of the UK’s greatest chefs. f




Photograph by ###

Belazu Ingredient Company sources and creates Mediterranean and Middle Eastern products that are known and loved by chefs in some of the UK’s most highly acclaimed restaurants. Since 1991 the independent company has developed longterm relationships with the most premium suppliers to provide natural, authentic

and vibrant flavours. Belazu’s range includes menu stalwarts from olives, oils and vinegars to the signature, awardwinning paste selection. The company delivers chef-quality ingredients directly to your door and gives home cooks a hard and fast pathway to live life in full flavour. For more details head to


Michel Roux Jr’s

SWISS CHARD OMELETTE It might be super simple and incredibly quick to put together, but that doesn’t mean this dish isn’t a total breakfast or brunch showstopper


uyère Pancetta, gr rn a tu d ar ch d an into te et el om simple ial ec sp something


◆◆ 10 mins


◆◆ 15 mins


◆◆ 4


OMETIMES – ESPECIALLY if you’re entertaining – you need a quick, tasty breakfast, and this certainly fits the bill.


I N GREDI EN TS ◆◆ 400g baby swiss chard, washed ◆◆ 120g pancetta, diced

◆◆ 1 shallot, peeled and chopped

◆◆ 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped ◆◆ 1 tbsp olive oil ◆◆ 1 tbsp butter

◆◆ 6-8 free-range eggs

◆◆ 50g gruyère or emmental cheese,

grated ◆◆ Red wine vinegar ◆◆ Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Wash the chard well and remove any damaged leaves or stalks. 2 Bring a pan of water to the boil, season it with salt, then add the chard and cook it for 3-4 minutes. Drain and refresh the chard in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. When the chard is cold, drain it again and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Roughly chop the leaves and stalks. 3 Add the pancetta to a frying pan over a medium heat and cook until it has rendered some of its fat. 4 Add the shallot, garlic and oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the chard, season well and fry for another couple of minutes. Tip everything into a bowl. 5 Heat the butter in the same frying pan until foaming. Beat the eggs in a bowl with the cheese, then add the chard mixture. Pour this into the pan and stir with a spatula until it starts to set. Cover the pan with a lid and leave the omelette to cook gently for 6-8 minutes until completely set. 6 Don’t fold this omelette – turn it out on to a plate and cut it into 4 wedges. Sprinkle with a few drops of vinegar and serve at once. f

Michel Roux Jr’s


Meaty monkfish borrows the classic pairing of garlic and rosemary from lamb to create a fragrant dish that’s a cracking alternative Sunday lunch

ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 4 large garlic cloves, peeled

◆◆ 1 large monkfish tail (about 1.25kg),

bone in, skinned and trimmed

◆◆ 1 rosemary sprig ◆◆ 2 tbsp olive oil

◆◆ 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped ◆◆ 150ml dry white wine ◆◆ 4 tbsp crème fraîche

◆◆ Salt and freshly ground black pepper

hite flesh The pearly w kfish is on m e th of roasted to en seared th r seal in flavou



◆◆ 10 mins


◆◆ 30 mins


◆◆ 4


ARLIC AND ROSEMARY make an obvious match for lamb, but in Roux’s recipe they pair with a hunk of robust monkfish just as well. “You do need a nice chunky piece of monkfish for the recipe to work properly, so talk to your fishmonger,” he says. “The sauce is full of flavour but not rich – I’ve kept the amount of cream down and there’s not a lot of oil.” Roux suggests serving this with buttery new potatoes.


1 Cut each clove of garlic into 4 slices. Cut little incisions in the fish and push a sliver of garlic and a few rosemary needles into each one. Preheat the oven to 220°C.

2 Rub the fish with olive oil and season it well with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a roasting tin on the hob, add the fish and sear it on all sides. 3 Place the tin in the preheated oven and roast the fish for 15 minutes. Remove and take the fish out of the tin, then set it aside to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. 4 While the fish is resting, make the sauce. Place the roasting tin over a high heat, add the shallot and cook until it’s just starting to colour. Add the wine and any juices that have run from the resting fish and boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the crème fraîche, then bring the sauce back to the boil, check the seasoning and serve. f


Michel Roux Jr’s

DUCK CONFIT PIE It’s a shepherd’s pie, but not as you know it… Here, the hearty winter classic gets a seriously luxurious upgrade


Preparation ◆◆ 40 mins


◆◆ 25 mins

Serves ◆◆ 4


ARMENTIER WAS THE man who popularised potatoes in France in the 18th century. Whenever you see his name on a dish, it will contain potatoes,” Roux says. “This dish is a special version of cottage or shepherd’s pie and very delicious.” There’s something about a warm, meaty filling covered in potatoes that’s just perfect for autumn and winter. As for the duck, “In France, you can buy confit duck legs in most butchers’ shops,” Roux says, “but if you have trouble finding them in the UK, look for vacuum-packed or canned.” Or, alternatively, you can buy duck legs and confit them yourself – you can find simple recipes online.


1 Cut the potatoes into quarters. Put them in a pan of water with the garlic cloves and season with salt. Simmer until cooked, then drain, tip the potatoes and garlic back in the pan and leave them to steam and dry. 2 Remove the garlic, pop the skins off and put the flesh in a small pan with the milk. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then blend together until smooth. 3 Pass the potatoes through a ricer, mix in 30g of the butter and the garlicky milk, then


season well. Set aside. 4 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the skin and bones from the duck legs and shred the meat from them. 5 Warm a little of the fat from the confit in a frying pan and sweat the chopped onion until soft and lightly browned. 6 Add the duck meat, parsley and the truffle, if using, and check the seasoning. 7 Tip the mixture into a pie dish and press it down. Spread the mashed potato on top and run a fork over it to make a pattern. 8 Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake the pie in the oven for 20 minutes. Place the pie under a preheated grill to brown the top. f

INGRE DIE NTS ◆◆ 1kg floury potatoes (King Edwards or

roosters), peeled

◆◆ 4 garlic cloves, left whole and


◆◆ 250ml milk ◆◆ 60g butter

◆◆ 4 confit duck legs

◆◆ 1 onion, peeled and chopped ◆◆ 2 tbsp chopped parsley

◆◆ 30g truffle, sliced (optional) ◆◆ 2 tbsp breadcrumbs

◆◆ Salt and freshly ground

black pepper


The French Revolution: 140 classic recipes made fresh and simple by Michel Roux Jr is published by

Seven Dials in hardback at £25.

Photograph by ###

ted Truffle-scen akes m ck du t confi ate m ti for the ul ng lli fi e pi r te win


Michel Roux Jr’s


If you’re going to do dessert, do it properly… In the case of this sweet ensemble, that means plenty of butter, lots of sugar, and a dollop of cream for good measure

ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 1 free-range egg

apples Caramelised ple ap and fresh great e ar ks ic st match ead br t ee with the sw

◆◆ 125ml milk

◆◆ 1 tsp ground cinnamon ◆◆ 4 tbsp sugar

◆◆ 2 thick slices of stale bread or


◆◆ 3 tbsp butter

◆◆ 2 eating apples ◆◆ Calvados

◆◆ 150ml whipping cream ◆◆ 1 tbsp icing sugar



◆◆ 10 mins


◆◆ 15 mins


◆◆ 2



OMETIMES YOU NEED a pudding that’s unashamedly luxurious, and this is it,” says Roux. “It uses up stale bread and it’s quick to make for a once-in-a-while treat.”


1 Mix the egg, milk and cinnamon with a tablespoon of the sugar in a bowl. 2 Dunk the slices of bread into the mixture to moisten them. 3 Heat a tablespoon of the butter in a pan. Take the slices of bread out of the milk mixture and place them in the hot pan with the butter. Brown the bread on both sides, then add a tablespoon of sugar to the pan and

another tablespoon of butter to caramelise. Take the slices of bread out and set aside. 4 Cut one and a half of the apples into wedges – there’s no need to peel them. Heat the rest of the butter and sugar in the pan and then fry the apples until they are just cooked and browned. 5 Add a good splash of Calvados and then set the pan aside. 6 Whisk the cream with the icing sugar. Cut the remaining apple half into thin matchsticks. Divide the warm apples between the slices of bread, spoon on some cream and sprinkle a few strips of raw apple on top. 7 Serve at once. f


In the latest instalment of Tom Hunt’s handy guide to waste-free living, he takes on cooking without recipes



to use our recipes. A chef’s wizardry is bravado: there’s no trick or secret to making a good meal other than a little care for the produce and its origin. Cooking with recipes can be time-consuming and costly, often requiring many different ingredients to be purchased in greater quantities than needed, leading to potential waste. Cooking creatively without recipes, however, and having confidence in our own techniques so that we can freestyle our meals using up what’s good at the market, affordable or leftover is ultimately rewarding and a huge accomplishment. With good produce and the confidence to get something wrong cooking becomes a joy and not something that has to be followed and learnt. Cooking is intuitive and about learning as you go. Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong.

Five in five With that in mind, here are five foods that are quick to make from scratch – and are also around five times cheaper than store-bought. 1 Nut milk takes minutes to make and costs a fraction of a store-bought product. 2 Hummus is incredibly cheap and easy to make at home, and freezes well if you feel like making it in a bulk batch. 3 You can make your own artisanal soda bread in 15 minutes. 4 Spend an afternoon in the kitchen to make a year’s worth of marmalade. 5 Nut butter is cheap, fun and healthier than bought stuff (and you know what’s in it). Check out for a recipe. f Tom Hunt is a chef, sustainability campaigner and patron of the charity Plan Zheroes. Find out more about Tom on Instagram at @tomsfeast or online at

Petersham Nurseries’ Amanda Brame tells us how to make the most of a small city garden It almost goes without saying that any planting or sowing that you were planning to do is now best left until the weather begins to warm up again. That said, you might still be reaping the benefits of all your hard work. Leeks sown in spring will sit happily in the ground until you need to use them, are a favourite winter veg and a perfect one for container gardening. If you still have a few to use up, Alex Dome, sous chef from La Goccia at Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden has a warming recipe that makes the most of home-grown seasonal produce: brill with mussels, saffron and leeks. Clean and chop a leek, then gently sauté in butter until soft, not allowing it to colour. Add a small pinch of saffron, picked leaves from a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf and continue to sauté until the aromas of the herbs are released. Add 75ml of white wine and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, add 200g of washed mussels, beards removed, cover tightly and cook until the mussels open. Remove from the heat and de-shell the mussels discarding the shells and returning the meat to the leek broth. Heat a heavy-based frying pan, over a high heat add a little oil and fry two 180g of fish fillets for a few minutes until the fish is almost cooked then add the remaining butter to the pan with a pinch of salt, turn the fish over and continue to baste with the foaming butter until the fish is cooked through. Check for seasoning, spoon mussels and leeks onto a serving dish and top with the fish fillets. Amanda Brame will host Kitchen Garden Planning at Petersham Nurseries on 12 March 2019;

Photograph by (Tom Hunt) David Harrison; (Amanda Brame) Lewis McCarthy

S A CHEF and food writer it’s my passion to inspire you to cook and enjoy food. I want to share my love and knowledge of ingredients, recipes and sustainability. But sometimes I fear that us chefs and food presenters are doing the opposite and are actually hindering people’s culinary creativity. Some chefs are revered culinary gods and gurus who make the trickiest of recipes look simple. But are chefs and the food media having the opposite effect than they intended? Are our primal needs for cooking and fire satiated by the virtual reality of cooking shows and food social media? Most of us spend more time scrolling through pictures of food than we do cooking. The average time we spend watching food now exceeds the time we spend cooking by an hour. In fact, according to the Telegraph, Britons spend more than five hours a week consuming ‘food media’, this is time spent scrolling through Instagram, looking at cookbooks and watching TV programmes such as The Great British Bake Off, Come Dine With Me and MasterChef. Of course we’re not all time-rich. A takeaway is a luxury or treat, and sometimes feels like all we’re capable of. However, cooking from scratch whenever possible is a no brainer with a multitude of benefits and pleasures – from nutrition and time spent around the table with the family to a reduction in both food and packaging waste. So what’s the answer? How can we cook more during our busy lives? Chefs and the food media cook food lavishly and with abundance because it’s attractive. We aim to wow and impress with our skills and techniques, trying to convince our audience









Drinking Grazing Dining Trending

THE RADAR We take you through the best new bar and restaurant openings from now until the end of December Trending



If Rohit Ghai’s track record is anything to go by then Kutir is going to be an absolute treat. Inspired by feasts consumed on royal hunting exhibitions in the lush Indian countryside, the menu will feature indulgent dishes such as truffle mushroom khichadi (rice and lentils), lobster bondas (deep-fried potato snacks) and slow cooked 24-hour rogan josh. Will Ghai be able to replicate his Michelin-starred success with this new venture? Only time will tell. SW3 2TS;





London’s food market revolution continues as Market Hall opens its second site in the abandoned arcaded bays of Victoria’s Terminus Place. Cosying up to Victoria Station, Market Hall Victoria plays host to an impressive line-up: keep an eye out for that salt beef sarnie from Monty’s Deli, unbeatable udon noodles from Koya Ko, and superior Cantonese dumplings from BaoziInn, plus plates from the likes of Flank and Breddos. SW1E 5NE



Croissant ice cream made from leftover breakfast pastries and paired with blood orange, coffee and brown butter? Excuse us while we pick our jaws off the floor, because that sounds incredible. Richard Falk, former head chef at The Dairy, leads the way with a lowwaste menu at Lino, a new bar and all-day restaurant in a former linoleum and carpet warehouse in the Square Mile. EC1A 7BN;




Self-described as a”multi-experience venue”, Ninety One will open its all-day café, co-working space, chef residency restaurant and latenight bar in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane this December. E1 6QL;




Chef Simon Whiteside’s first solo venture takes the form of Roe, a sustainable seafood restaurant in the evertrendy Pop Brixton. SW9 8PQ;

Photograph (Roe) by Justin De Souza; (Kutir) Stuart Milne; (yamagoya) Paul Winch-Furness; (market hall victoria) Christopher Horwood

Michael Sager and Marcis Dzelzainis nailed the modern wine/cocktail bar and restaurant format at Sager + Wilde, so it’s no surprise they wanted to try something new. At Fare Bare + Canteen, you’ll find an upstairs bar with 27 cocktails on tap (don’t try them all at once), while downstairs is a restaurant serving inventive Middle Eastern food. EC1V 9HL;


This December, Southwark’s favourite ramen joint takes its famous rainbow cake and moreish roast beef ramen to Soho as the Japanese restaurant launches a second site on Wardour Street. W1D 6LU;






London’s best breweries and where to find them


3 Institute Place, E8 1JE

The brewery Tucked down an alleyway just next to the eponymous Five Points junction in Hackney, Five Points Brewing Company has been busting out a dazzling, instantly recognisable line of core beers for the last five years. Since 2018, it’s also been the owner of a classic Hackney boozer, too – The Pembury Tavern just over the road (more on that shortly).

The beer Because of its compact size and the massive demand London has for its beer, Five Points focuses on a well-oiled range of core brews sold in colourful, minimalist cans. These include a pils, a pale, the tropically hoppy XPA, the super-rich Railway Porter and Citrus Pale, which has cats on the can (we like). The latest addition is JUPA, a juicy pale ale with bold notes of pineapple and mango backed up with plenty of body thanks to the addition of wheat and oats. That doesn’t mean there aren’t banging seasonals, too – a small barrel project sees aged releases of Railway Porter,

while the annual series of super-fresh greenhop ales celebrates hops like Fuggles, Kentish Goldings and Bullion from the UK.

What else? Five Points revamped the Pembury Tavern earlier in 2018, but not a great deal has changed at the characterful Hackney boozer: it’s still got a great pizza menu, it’s still got an excellent selection of beers on tap (some of them cask versions of Five Points classics), and – perhaps most importantly – it’s still got a bar billiards table for you to play on. f





Your all-knowing guide to the complex world of beer styles, classic and modern. This month: porter F IVE POINTS RAILWAY PORT E R


Perhaps the quintessential beer of London, the porter came into being in the early 18th century, often as a fortifying drink for porters – or manual labourers, to you and me – on a break from work. And that (or so it’s thought – the history of UK brewing is as dark and foggy as the beer itself) is where the name ‘porter’ came from. Back then, these beers were often aged in vats for six to 18 months to give them depth, but these days they’re often fermented with milk, sugar and extra ingredients like chocolate and coffee. They tend to taste a little more of dark fruits than their cousin the stout – perfect with Christmassy puds.

Hackney, London, UK A contemporary craft take on the oldschool London porter. Available on cask and (occasionally) barrel-aged, too. 4.8%, 330ml;



When Chicagobased brewer Goose Island opens a new brewpub, they do it properly. They slap it right in the thick of the action on a busy street in Shoreditch, they enlist an ex-Fourpure brewer to brew in-house and they let you get your lips around classics like Goose IPA and 512 wheat beer, as well as seasonal one-offs brewed on site. Oh, and because of the brewery’s Chicago heritage, they also serve a ton of deep-pan pizza to help soak up all that beer if you start to get hungry.



If you can’t leave a bottle of beer lying around the house without drinking it, you’re in luck: HonestBrew has just launched its cellar project, which gives you access to a unique range of beers that are designed to be aged in the bottle after you’ve bought them. From limited edition collabs to barrel-aged beauties, they age them so you don’t get your thirsty mitts on them first. Sound good? Yeah, we thought so.

Leeds, UK Roasty bitterness, hazelnut and chocorichness shine in this coffee porter. 5.9%, 330ml;

B UXTON X OM NIPO L L O T E X AS PE CAN IC E C R E AM PORT E R Buxton, UK A super-strong porter brewed with caramel sauce, vanilla beans and lactose sugar. 10%, 330ml;


Want to impress your family and friends with a banging selection of small-batch and rare beers this Christmas? Give these five bottle shops a peruse 1 The Bottle Shop 128 Druid Street, SE1 2HH

As much a fixture of the Bermondsey Beer Mile as any brewery, The Bottle Shop is a shoo-in for craft connoisseurs that want to look a little further than the best brews from South London. Browse its eclectic range and you’ll find exclusive European and US imports that have shipped in coldchain storage, meaning they’re as fresh and flavourful as if they’d been brewed next door. 020 3583 2065;

2 Ghost Whale 70 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PX

This Brixton-based shop is packed to the rafters with the best London and UK craft Photograph by (porter) iStock; (gooseisland) SETH EKBERG; (Ghost Whale) COLIN MOLYNEUX


cans, but it really comes into its own with its great line of US rarities. If you fancy splashing the cash, there are usually sharing bottles from the likes of Evil Twin, Hoppin’ Frog and more across the pond. 020 7207 1641;

3 The Experiment 19 Bohemia Place, E8 1DU

Sure, they might only sell beers from two UK breweries, but for the access to limitedrun collabs and one-offs it’d be rude not to mention Pressure Drop and Verdant’s The Experiment. Found in the former’s old railway arch brewery on the ever-developing Bohemia Place in Hackney Central, it’s a joint tap room and bottle shop with a fridge full of fresh beer from both breweries. 020 8533 0614; @theexperimente8

4 Beer Merchants Tap 99 Wallis Road, E9 5LN

Hackney Wick is home to Beer Merchants Tap: a physical version of an online beer shop that holds onto more than 500 bottles and cans for your delectation. As well as selling dozens of Belgian brews, they’ve just opened a blendery that makes lambic-style sour beers using wort from the likes of Wild Beer Co, Burning Sky and Duration, too. It doesn’t get much more limited-edition than that. 020 3222 5592;






5 Utobeer Cage Borough Market, SE1 1TL

Utobeer has been selling great brews since way before British craft beer was even a proper thing. Since opening in 1999, this compact market stall has developed a constantly rotating range of top-class limited editions from old-school heroes and new craft upstarts as far flung as California, New Zealand and, er, Norfolk. Follow on Instagram to keep up to date on the very best stuff. 020 7378 6617; @utobeercage



Looking for something a little bit special to drink this festive season? Something that really sums up 2018? Aside from checking out our festive drinking guide on p80, give Camden Town Brewery’s new Beer 2018 a try. Inspired by the two grandaddies of the drinking world, the pilsner beer and the old fashioned cocktail, this tasty, limited-edition concoction is a 10% imperial pilsner made with mandarina bavaria hops to give it an orange peel character, then aged in bourbon barrels for six months. Grab yourself a cold one for the festive season while stocks last, because once it’s gone – copper screenprinted bottle and all – it’s gone. 500ml, £7.99;



Canopy cans are inspired by the old parlour game of Consequences, where a different artist draws a portion of an image without knowing what the rest looks like. The brewery got some of their favourite artists to draw an animal, then chopped it up to create the misfit you see below. This magnificent melange includes art by ZEBU [top], Camilla Perkins [middle] and Oh Papa [bottom].


Your guide to the artists and designers behind beer labels. This month: Canopy


Photograph by Ian Dingle



Herne Hill-based brewery Canopy has been creating craft gems from its railway arch home near Brockwell Park since 2014, brewing everything from green hop ales to a core range of IPAs, kolsches and porters. Its new range of cans celebrate the creative moments and happy coincidences that lead to great things. And no drink does so more than Amaretti imperial stout – a limited-edition 9% brew that’s rich, luscious and packed with notes of vanilla and biscuity almond. It’s perfect as a hard-earned drink on a cold winter’s evening.

A world of flavours, one beer for them all.

Cobra’s brewed using a complex recipe to create a beer that’s smooth like an ale yet refreshing like a lager, which makes it the perfect accompaniment for any type of food, not just the kind you might expect.

And we’ve set off to prove it with a little road trip around NYC, where you can sample cuisine from anywhere in the world. Follow our journey at YouTube/Cobrabeer.


Grand Gold Winner 2018

Grand Gold Winner 2018

— PART 2 —



SEASON’S EATINGS No matter where you come from, the festive season is a time to eat as much food as possible. We celebrate traditions from around the world, and throw in some of our own, too


T Photograph by ###

HE THING WE love about Christmas and the festive season is that – aside from most of us getting a well-earned few days away from work – everyone has their own unique tradition, no matter how big or small. Another beautiful thing about the festive season is that customs vary dramatically from country to country and region to region, yet you know that most people are gearing up for a season of celebrating and gathering together. That’s why, this year, we’ve spoken to a few of our industry favourites to get their insight on different festive traditions from around the world, from eating wild chicken roasted with chilli and soy in Iquitos City in the Peruvian Amazon to the gloriously crispy-edged rostistyle latke eaten at Hanukkah, and flavourpacked veg dishes that are a worthy rival to the usual meaty fare. Of course, we like to share our own traditions as much as we like to find out about news ones. That’s why, on the pages that follow, you’ll find festive tales from the foodism team, as well as a few hints and tips on some of our favourite dishes. Elsewhere, we’ve got your cheese board line up sorted, and we’ve included a few ideas for gifting, too. You’re welcome.


FELIZ NAVIDAD Ceviche’s Martin Morales shares insight into Peru’s diverse Christmas celebrations


BABY, IT’S WARM OUTSIDE Scarlett Green is the latest site from Aussie-inspired restaurant group Daisy Green. Director Prue Freeman explains what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in summer Christmas – which takes place in the middle of Australian summer – has a very different feel and is quite foreign to imagine. “Baby, it’s cold outside” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it that Michael Bublé may have intended in 40-degree heat! That said, Aussies have their unique brand of Christmas, which sees hazy jacaranda blossoms replace falling snow, log fires give way to lounging deck chairs and mulled wine get an upgrade to frosé (frozen rosé) or an ice- cold craft beer. Most Australians will have a pretty big family dinner affair and much of it will involve being outside. Lots of families have barbecues where fresh seafood is heavily featured and glazed hams are an Aussie staple around the holiday season. At its heart Australia is very eclectic in its food scene, and this is represented at Christmas when every family has a heritage dish that pulls from many different cultures. At Daisy Green, we’ve brought the Australian love of the outdoors and fresh produce to our festive menus, with modern Aussie culinary twists such as our fire-roasted aubergine with crispy rice, kale, miso tahini, coconut and Aleppo chilli. Our festive menu really caters for everyone and that is a big part of growing up in the Australian food scene. This inclusivity is a core theme for families in Australia and something we hope to bring to the table. That and a good pavlova, of course... 4 Noel St, Soho, London W1F 8GB;

Photograph by [Austalia] Leyla Kazim; [Peru] Rick Foulsham

Peru is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, which means Christmas traditions vary drastically from region to region. In Lima, where I grew up, we start Christmas in the early evening of 24 December, when people brave the awful traffic to visit relatives and close friends. Around 10pm, you get home and have the Christmas dinner – marinated turkey or suckling pig, served with salads, flavoured rice, champagne, pisco sour, hot chocolate and panetón, or panettone. Just before midnight, everyone heads off to church for what is called the Misa Del Gallo, or The Cockerel’s Mass. After that they go home, wake up the smaller kids for midnight, toast Christmas with a pisco sour and open all the presents together. A few hours down the road, in Ica, the predominantly Afro-Peruvian community celebrates what they call the ‘Black Christmas’. Children and adults dance the zapateo to percussion and native instruments, and key dishes include arroz con pato (duck with rice) and steel drumsmoked pork with panéton Near Lake Titicaca, in Puno, some families read the coca leaves to see what tomorrow brings, while in Cusco Christmas carols are sung both in the native Quechua language and Spanish. Andean huayno music is played while families gather together to eat pachamanca, guinea pig or suckling pig. In Iquitos City in the Amazon jungle, Christmas dinner features ingredients like plantain and the carachama fish, and the bird is a roasted wild chicken marinated with a local chilli and soya sauce. This is served with juanes – similar to the more familiar tamales. Ceviche Old Street, 2 Baldwin St, EC1V 9NU;

SPECIAL DELIVERIES Gifts that keep on giving Craft Gin Club Get the lowdown on the best under-the-radar craft gins with Craft Gin Club, which will send you a full-sized bottle every month, along with snacks and its own Ginned! magazine. £40 per box.

Books + Beer If you’re anything like us, you’ll like books, you’ll like beer, and you’ll definitely like them both at the same time. New subscription service Books + Beer pairs two craft beers with a new book, and 50p from each box will go to mental health charity CALM. £10 per box.

Nosy Wine Club Who doesn’t want three bottles of wine picked by an expert to arrive at their door every month? For each box, Nosy Wine Club asks an expert to choose their favourite hidden gems. £53 per box.




– Prue Freeman on Aussie Christmas

As as child I was a seriously fussy eater, and mainly survived on a diet of spaghetti with butter and cheese. Weirdly, one thing I never had a problem with was brussels sprouts, and these days you’ll find me roasting them and dipping them in sriracha mayo as a light snack throughout winter. Come Christmas, the sprouts are my thing to prep, and I like to mix it up. Last year was sprouts roasted with lemon and ginger, inspired by cookery writer Meike Peters, and this year I’m going to roast them till super crispy and serve with toasted hazelnuts.


BETTER LATKE THAN NEVER Mark Ogus of beloved Hoxton restaurant Monty’s Deli shares his memories of Hanukkah



No hassle. No mess. Just perfectly ripe avocado every time.

– Mark Ogus on Hanukkah traditions


When I was growing up there were two things we’d look forward to in December: latkes and doughnuts. We’d go to Southport to stay with my grandma, and the long drive staring out the window at an endless procession of whizzing pylons was forgotten when she handed us a plate of her latkes – finely shredded potato, crispy, almost burned round the edges, and so delicate you didn’t feel gluttonous having three at a time. And if my brother and I could eat a whole doughnut without licking the sugar off our lips, the prize was another one. Back home, over Hanukkah, my mother would make chremslach – fried matzo meal dumplings dusted with caster sugar – like a heart attack dipped in another heart attack. Everything was sweet; I particularly remember the squeaky crunch of iced dreidel cookies. These days, Hanukkah is my most lethargic time of year, and I tend not to cook at all. That said, one year I smoked a whole turkey in my parents’ back garden in North London, having salted it the night before. I had to get up at 4am to light the smoker. It was freezing cold and snowing, and I had to crunch through the dark with the torch on my phone, but it was worth it. Monty’s Deli, 227-229 Hoxton Street, N1 5LG;



My Christmas food memories mainly involve piling a plate high with gravy-soaked roasties (until two years ago that was the only part of Christmas dinner I was interested in) and then wandering off for some alone time with the Dr Who Christmas special and my carb fest. One less child at the table was a bonus for my family, so I got away with that strange behaviour for a long time. I was a weird kid. I’m a bit of a weird adult. No, I’m not sure why I’m included in this column either. Oh well.



Photograph by [potatoes] Benjamin Hoh/Getty; [latkes] Frank Weymann/Getty

When you’ve slogged your way through Christmas brekkie, the main event, the puds, the cheese board, the cold cuts and all that booze, it can be hard to keep your stomach going – least of all when the next thing in line is the flavourful (and sometimes, erm, putrid) bubble and squeak. That’s why I trick mine out by rolling my mashed leftovers with a little sprinkling of salt, slicing them into circles with a cookie cutter and frying them on each side until crisp, a bit like a patty. It’s tastier, and it probably means you’ll waste less in the long run.



No dairy, no gluten, no sulphites, and absolutely no preservatives. Just fresh, nutritious ingredients you’d use at home.

CHEESEY DOES IT Upgrade your cheese board with old favourites and new classics The hard cheese: Paxton & Whitfield manchego semi curado Manchego’s distinctive flavour makes it stand out from the crowd on a festive cheese board. £7.75 per 250g;

The cheddar: Godminster organic cheddar A good strong cheddar is always a classic, and Godminster’s soft and creamy version is certified organic by the Soil Association. £15.40 for 400g;

The blue: The Fine Cheese Co Beauvale The Beauvale is a buttery, softer, milder cheese for those who find the tang of stilton too strong. £6 for 250g;

The goat: Neal’s Yard Dairy Ragstone Densely creamy, Ragstone goats cheese is ideal for a day devoted to indulgence. £10.40 per 200g;

The soft cheese: Fen Farm Baron Bigod Suffolk-based Fen Farm’s Baron Bigod is the only brie-de-meaux style cheese made in the UK. £24 for roughly 400g;

The crackers: Peter’s Yard crispbreads Photographs by Diana Miller/Getty

Unbelievably light and crispy and with an unmistakable sourdough tang, these cult crackers are just begging for soft cheese. £2.95 for a box;

The relish: Tracklements Apricot & Ginger chutney Sweet, spicy and salty, this chutney would hold its own with a gorgeous mature cheddar. £3.70 for 320g;



At this time of the year, it’s the stuff not eaten at Christmas dinner I particularly love – an enormous bird carcass waiting to be made into risotto, or added to the rest of the Christmas ham and leeks in a pie. For my family, it’s usually about 10pm when those pappy, ghostly white part-baked baguettes get thrown in the oven, to be stuffed with lettuce, mayo and as much of the Christmas dinner that’ll physically fit in them. Add in doorstop wedges of stilton and crackers, sweet biscuits, stocking chocolate and anything else you fancy.



Photograph by ###

My father-in-law’s salt beef occupies a quasi-divine role in my in-laws’ Christmas. Were aliens to rock up and watch the day unfold, they’d assume the whole celebration pivoted around the wheeling out of this big lump of pink flesh, slices of which are served cold on toast for Christmas-Day breakfast, with butter (anything else – mustard or horseradish, say – is forbidden). The beef – brined in a blend of sugar, spices and saltpetre, then cooked – is delicious, it’s part of a tradition, and it’s ceremonial; it’s the perfect Christmas food, basically.


A VERY VEGGIE CHRISTMAS Izy Hossack, author of The Savvy Cook and blog Top with Cinnamon, on creating flavoursome vegetarian and vegan versions of the Christmas classics



– Izy Hossack on veg

Photograph by [top] Anna Kurzaeva/Getty; [bottom] Enrique Diaz/Getty

My favourite part of Christmas meals has always been the sides, and luckily most of them are already veggie. For me, it’s all about getting as much flavour into those veg as possible because you can’t just rely on the meat to be the star of the show anymore. Instead of roasting potatoes in animal fat, scorching-hot vegetable oil on the tray does the trick and a good amount of salt in the water when they’re boiling helps to get them crisp. You can make a mean gravy by caramelising onions then stirring in some thyme, cornflour, marmite and vegetable stock until thickened. And instead of going for boiled veg, I like to roast halved brussels sprouts with some olive oil and salt until golden then cover them in a maple-mustard vinaigrette. For the main event, a whole roasted cauliflower is a great one to serve a crowd – you just need to rub some sort of flavourful paste (e.g. harissa) or marinade (e.g. mustard, hard cheese, garlic, oil, thyme) on the outside of a steamed cauliflower and shove it in the oven for 30 minutes. You can jazz it up even more by pouring garlic butter/oil over it before serving. Just saying. There’s also always the

classic of substituting cubed, roasted beetroot or butternut squash for beef in a ‘Wellington’. Many brands of ready-made puff pastry are vegan so it can be an easy way to make a showstopper main. If you’re not vegan, crumble some cheese into it, too, before wrapping up for extra flavour and indulgence. Canapés are probably one of the harder aspects to make. One of the easiest things would be to use vegetarian frozen sausages instead of regular sausages in a standard sausage roll. You can make your own pastry or just buy pre-made puff pastry for ease. Or you could also easily make little bruschetta and top them with a cannellini bean, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice puree and some roasted veg. f Read more recipes at

Curating Christmas since 1698

For more than 300 years, Berry Bros. & Rudd has played its part in many wonderful Christmases, helping our customers choose wines and spirits to give, to share and to savour. Whether you’re trying to decide what to put on the table or what to leave under the tree, our collection of hampers, gifts and bottles suited to the season is guaranteed to make Christmas this year that little bit more special.

Shop at




PIE HARD: Calum Franklin has made a name for himself with his focus on classic British dishes, none more so than his beautiful pies


Calum Franklin’s pastry creations have earned him a devout Instagram following, but he’s more than just a pretty feed, writes Tom Powell

Photograph by Thomas Bowles




pistachio en croûte served, there’s a long photographic history of recipe tinkering, a gorgeously intricate loaf-sized pie and – if you’re lucky – a glorious video of the first slice shared for all to see on social media. For a lot of restaurants, this kind of standing on social media might require an ever-changing list of specials to keep things fresh, but Franklin feels no such pressure to innovate – some of their recipes having taken upwards of six months to perfect: “Instagram’s an incredible tool for communicating what you’re doing in a restaurant, but we’ve never designed anything or created anything to fit in with social media: we’ve always stuck to our guns. What you’re seeing online is exactly what you’re seeing in the restaurant” And what you’re seeing in this restaurant is probably what you’ll be seeing in many more across the country in the coming years. For every DM or comment he gets from a pieloving punter, Franklin gets another from a chef trying to emulate the old-school style of cooking he’s breathing fresh life into. “For me, the positive thing about Instagram is seeing other chefs taking on the work we’re doing,” he says, “I’m very open about the processes we use to get to the final product: I’ll show photos of first attempts, second attempts and third attempts so that people don’t find it as daunting to start out as I did. That means that almost every day now I have chefs hammering me online with

MAKE ROOM: (clockwise from top) Calum Franklin in Holborn Dining Room’s Pie Room; a beautiful creation; the interiors at Holborn Dining Room

Photograph by (Holborn Dining Room) Durston Saylor; (Pie Room) John Carey

AY BACK IN 1936 – before the Second World War, the colour television, the mobile phone and the dawn of the rockstar chef – a German philosopher called Walter Benjamin said that the infinitely printable artform of photography made the world easier to explore and understand, but fundamentally painted everything in a duller light. But he never met Calum Franklin. With more than 80,000 followers on Instagram, Holborn Dining Room’s executive chef has demonstrated the power of food photography to unite, enthuse and – more so than anything else – brighten the overall experience of eating. His medium? Swoonworthy pictures of pies. “You really see the power of Instagram when people come into the restaurant from abroad to talk about our pies,” says Franklin, sitting at the marble counter of the Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room. “A guest came in from Australia just to try one earlier today – it actually happens quite a lot.” But it doesn’t stop there: when Franklin runs a pie-making masterclass, tickets fly out the door, with a fair few going to pie lovers who are prepared to fly into the country specifically to learn from the man himself. In his own words, it’s all “a little bit insane”. Franklin’s Instagram profile – a grid of pies, wellingtons, pâté en croûtes and other non-pastry-covered plates of goodness on offer at Rosewood London’s Holborn Dining Room – is like an extension of what you see on the plate in the restaurant. Behind every gorgeous slice of gala pie or duck and

pictures of pâté en croûte, asking me where we get our pie moulds or just wanting tips: that really makes me happy.” What Franklin is overseeing – however quietly – is a revival of an archaic style of cooking that was probably nearing extinction in the UK. When he found a bunch of tarnished tins in the Rosewood’s basement about three years ago, he knew they were for making savoury pastry, but didn’t know how to use them. His 30-strong team of chefs had no idea either, so he set off on a mission to uncover some old recipes and make something authentic with the kit that used to be used in the century-old kitchen long before his time as exec chef there. “These old, traditional techniques are getting forgotten, and potentially could

completely disappear if a generation skips learning them,” says Franklin, gesturing to the now-glistening pie moulds that adorn the shelves of the Pie Room. “For me, it became a matter of importance to teach myself, then all of the chefs in my team, these skills: because then it just spreads from there – they’ll teach their teams when they’re a head chef.” In fact, HDR’s Pie Room is just that: a kitchen that transplants the creative (read: messy and space-consuming) pastry work from the main kitchen, while upskilling promising chefs and ensuring heritage recipes continue to find their way onto restaurant menus. His chefs are now rotating through the Pie Room for six months at a time, trading the demanding aspects of a high-pressure kitchen for the ornate confines

and jazz music of the Pie Room, and Franklin hopes that it’ll have a positive effect on mental health in the kitchen. These chefs, plus the thousands of food lovers who follow him on Instagram, are what’s helping him capture the imaginations of London foodies with fine-tuned versions of the humble pie. The bulk of his following being British helps too, of course: “Pies are part of our family table history as a country. They evoke nice childhood memories, and people are quite nostalgic about them. There’s no snobbery about it, either – you can have a rich, decadent pie, or you can have a very simple one, and they’re equally as pleasing.” And while Franklin’s pies are a damn sight more ambitious than the standard →


PIES ARE PART OF OUR HISTORY AS A CITY → supermarket iteration you’ll find on kitchen tables across the country, he feels there’s scope for big things in a more grassroots way in the coming years: London’s pie shops. Having fallen out of fashion (and increasingly out of business) in the last two decades thanks to high business rates and low margins, pie and mash shops seem to be in terminal decline, halving in number across the city. But with a little love, Franklin hopes they could make a comeback: “They’re part of our history as a city, and I think it’s really sad that they’re falling by the wayside. I think we might see a revival of the pie shop with better ingredients and a slightly higher price point, but built to survive in the current market. It’s a horrible way of looking at it, but it has to happen for those businesses to survive. It needs to – it’s part of our heritage.” Heritage is the one thing that runs deep in Franklin’s cooking. Holborn Dining Room’s menu is nothing if not riddled with excellently executed versions of classic, largely British comfort food. Beyond the pies, he’s known for an award-winning scotch egg and a great line in iconic desserts, PATTERN BOLDNESS: (from top) A crisp pie from Holborn Dining Rooms; a beautiful Pie Room creation shown on @chefcalum’s Instagram feed

when I finally broke off the chains of fine dining and stopped being worried about what other chefs think about you and your food. From that point all I cared about was making people happy in a restaurant, and I knew that this would. A well-made fish finger sandwich will put a smile on the face of a stressed-out lawyer or a businessperson, they get to sit there and eat something from their childhood – and that’s more important to me than what people think of what we’re doing here.” That sentiment rings true each Wednesday evening with the restaurant’s #WellyWednesday night. As well as being the only time the self-professed pastry deviant puts beef Wellington on the menu, it’s also the busiest night of the week – weekends included. The catch? The Welly makes a loss every time it’s sold. “We might lose money as a restaurant”, says Franklin, “but it affords more opportunity to people that might not have been able to afford it somewhere else. It’s one of those dishes that we should be proudest of as a nation when it’s done properly, so we treat it with the respect it deserves.” And that sums up Franklin’s kind of cooking perfectly: it’s nostalgic, it’s generous, it’s respectful, it’s British and – more often than not – it comes wrapped in a delicious layer of pastry. And as his Instagram feed can attest, it has never looked better. f Follow Calum on Instagram at @chefcalum. For more information, go to

Photograph by: (bottom) @chefcalum


including sticky toffee pudding and a lemon curd slice. All very British indeed. “The reputation of British food matters to me,” Franklin adds, “It’s something that’s looked down on across the world, and it shouldn’t be. People quite often say British food is just boring stews and things coated in brown sauces, but I cooked a stew the other day to remind myself they’re not. Some British dishes aren’t much to look at, but there are so many different levels of flavour in them, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” This love of British food no doubt springs in part from his upbringing, but also comes from the series of restaurants he’s worked at. He traded his first job in the “tough kitchen” and “great training ground” of Chapter One in Kent for the classic British cooking of The Ivy, before jumping back into fine dining at Aurora at The Great Eastern hotel, and then One Aldwych. After that, he joined Roast in Borough Market, where he set himself on the path to cooking the food he really wanted to cook, British comfort food rather than a modern, overtly gastronomic version of fine dining: “As a young chef, you’re told that’s the be-all and end-all of cooking, the pinnacle. But that attitude’s changed in the last ten years, and you can see that through the rise of casual dining all over the city.” According to Franklin, nothing on Holborn Dining Room’s menu epitomises that attitude more than the fish finger sandwich: “putting that on the menu was

PERFECT PARTNERS: Sandia Chang and James Knappett serve their signature hot dog at the championships in Copenhagen


From bar snacks to tasting menus, culinary power couple Sandia Chang and James Knappett have the dining spectrum covered. Mike Gibson joins them as they step up to the next challenge: Copenhagen’s World Hot Dog Championships 60


Photograph by Rasmus Flindt Pedersen

AKING MY WAY through a car park on the outskirts of a city while being utterly drenched by sheets of rain might be a sorry situation. But the city is Copenhagen, which means the industrial estate I’m running through is both beautiful in its grimy, gritty way, and also home to art galleries and Michelin-starred restaurants. I’m off to meet the quietly magnetic Sandia Chang, who’s in the city to take part in the World Hot Dog Championships in a couple of hours’ time, and I’m here to shadow her and her husband and fellow restaurateur James Knappett as they represent the UK. Rain or not, who could be sorry about that? Copenhagen is not a city that does food lightly. Which means that a hot dog contest – which could feel a bit ‘village fete’ in different circumstances – is put on to exacting standards and with an obsessive eye for detail. It’s part of Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival, a ten-day celebration of the city’s eclectic, compulsive food culture. The festival comprises pop-up events, competitions, food tours and Copenhagen restaurants putting on collaborative menus with chefs who fly in from all over the Nordics and the rest of the world. It also complements – although isn’t not directly related to – the MAD Symposium, an annual gathering of some of the best-known chefs in the world, curated (of course) by Rene Redzepi. None of this is new to Chang, she explains to me in Amass restaurant, where she and Knappett are overseeing the prep for the 150 hot dogs they’ll give out at the competition and I’m drying out. Both of them lived in Copenhagen together. Chang grew up in LA, worked for Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Napa Valley after training at the Culinary Institute of America, then moved to New York. “I just packed a bag of clothes and my knives and moved. I had the Zagat guide, I went to the ten best restaurants in New York, and I gave my resumé to those and then I landed a job at one of them,” Chang recounts. After suffering burnout from long hours, low pay and not enough time off, she started from scratch at Keller’s Per Se, running food from the kitchen while training to be a sommelier. It was there that she met the Suffolk-born Knappett. They reunited again at the first incarnation of Rene Redzepi’s era-defining Noma, long enough ago that Chang remembers the staff struggling to fill the restaurant for lunch. “James and I met at Per Se, and then we got married and then he was waiting for a green →


card to come through,” Chang explains. “So in the meantime he couldn’t live in the US. He went and did a stage at Noma and absolutely fell in love with it. And then he’s like ‘I’m not leaving, I’m staying.’ I was like ‘What? No, I’m not leaving New York.’ At the time I was at the height of my career at Per Se – I was loving it, life was great, I knew everybody in the city. It was just a really great time for me. I was like ‘I’m not leaving.’ So he worked at Noma for a good year before I came over.” From Per Se and Noma to a hot dog competition might seem like a bit of a strange jump. But Chang’s career progression has been unusual, to say the least. Having trained both as a chef and a sommelier, Chang followed up on her dream of opening up a bar celebrating grower champagnes when she and Knappett moved back to London. They settled on a dual concept: a champagne bar that served hot dogs for her, with a hidden restaurant for him at the back. “I said that I wanted to open a wine bar because I was so done with fine dining after Per Se,” Chang says. “And James was like ‘There’s no way that I’m going to waste my whole career to end up cooking hot dogs for the rest of my life.’ He wanted to do something more in tune with how he was trained. So he wanted to do Kitchen Table, and I wanted to do Bubbledogs. And we kept arguing and then we finally decided to split the restaurant in half. So I could have the front part to do what I want and he could have the back part to do what he wants. People are like ‘You’re so smart, you share the same overhead costs, you have shared staff costs.’ But it wasn’t for that reason – it was just because we couldn’t compromise. We couldn’t agree, so we just agreed to disagree.” Bubbledogs and Kitchen Table arguably


work better together than they have any right to. Kitchen Table is full every night, with the occasional cancellation gold dust to the London food populace when it’s circulated on social media. It also won its second Michelin star in this year’s guide. Bubbledogs, meanwhile, is a standout restaurant and bar even in Fitzrovia, an area that’s blessed with its fair share of talent. “Living in Copenhagen, especially at Noma, we had the best champagne list ever and everything about it was just so real. It was just normal wine. And I was like ‘Well I want to create a wine bar that serves great champagne, but feels normal. I wanted to create somewhere where people felt like it was easy – it wasn’t just all about the champagne, it was just an easy place to go. And being American, I was just like ‘Why not serve hot dogs?’ Champagne is amazing with charcuterie; champagne is amazing with cheese; champagne is amazing with french fries – that’s one of my favourite combinations – so I just thought, ‘Well, the hot dog is the friendliest food; people are not afraid of hot dogs.’” But if there’s one thing that binds these two markedly different restaurants – the body that encases these seemingly split personalities – it’s the standards both Chang and Knappett set for themselves. “It’s the way we were trained in our career, especially by Thomas Keller,” Chang says. “No matter if it’s a bowl of peanuts or if it’s a £125 tasting menu, it’s the same dedication and the same respect to everything. It’s a standard. I feel like if I ever slipped on a standard, if I ever decided one day that I was going to be lazy, I would never be able to forgive myself, because I can just feel Thomas Keller behind me, looking down at me.

HOT DOGS ARE THE FRIENDLIEST FOOD. PEOPLE AREN’T AFRAID OF THEM “It’s so ingrained in our in our minds and the way we work. Like everything, it was about the way he taught us. So we were really proud to be able to serve hot dogs with the same ingredients, from the same suppliers that supply Kitchen Table. And we make everything ourselves.” It’s why, a few hours before the competition, both Chang and Knappett – who wanders nomadically between the table we’re sitting at and the kitchen in an archetypical chef way – are quietly confident. The competition includes chefs from eight international restaurants, including Frederikshøj in Aarhus, Denmark; El Baqueano in Buenos Aires, Argentina (a mainstay in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for Latin America); and female butchers from the international Butchers Manifesto initiative. “As long we’ve had a hot dog restaurant, we’ve heard about it. Paul Cunningham – a great guy and English chef who has a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the outskirts of the very west coast of Denmark, Henne Kirkeby Kro, and had a restaurant in Tivoli called The Paul – was always talking about this competition. I think he might have started organising it. I said ‘How come we never get invited?’ And so this year we were invited. I was so happy. And then I looked at the lineup of chefs and nobody has a hot dog restaurant, and then the pressure became bigger. It’s like ‘Man, if we don’t win, we’re gonna look so bad.’” Chang and Knappett don’t collaborate as much as you might think at the restaurants – Chang sources the wine for both and

Photographs by (Bubbledogs) Paul Winch-Furness; (stage) Rasmus Flindt Pedersen

occasionally weighs into the structure of Kitchen Table’s tasting menus from a drinks perspective, and Knappett will taste and critique the occasional new hot dog that pops up on the list at Bubbledogs, but aside from that, they’re largely separate entities. But their hot dog here is a true partnership, created by both of them. “Whatever we do, even if it’s a hot dog, it’s the most intricate everything: every sauce, every garnish – everything is thought out. It’s like a Michelin-starred plate,” Chang says. The result is an American-style frankfurter handmade with British pork, mango chutney, peanut, cucumber relish, yoghurt, coriander and more – every topping designed to hit a different flavour note. With that, I leave them to explore a little more of the city’s food scene, as I’ve been doing in the couple of days before. I take a tour around Reffen – a street-food complex around the corner named after the colloquial name of the former industrial district we’re in – with its creative director Dan Husted, a big, effervescent Dane with a touch of the Jurgen Klopp about him. Street food is booming

here, and Reffen is forward-thinking, with clever use of shipping containers and a flexible rent structure that prioritises the traders. The food is eclectic (and what I try, from cactus tacos to Gambian peanut stew, is delicious). It’s next to a skate park and a beer bar and brewery from Danish brewer Mikkeller. There are elements of Pop Brixton and Street Feast’s markets here, but it’s identifiably Copenhagen. Elsewhere in Refshaleøen, Alchemist is rising phoenix-like from the ashes of its old space to become an enormous, three-storey restaurant, aiming to open in early 2019. The infuriatingly young chef Rasmus Munk, not happy with one Michelin star in the old space, is aiming for three and a place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list once it reopens. The expansive space will do just 45 covers a night and serve one menu, but include a lounge and test kitchen, too, and aim to use it as a mouthpiece to drive conversations around sustainability, organic food and staffing issues – not unlike the position Rene Redzepi’s worked himself into.

DOG EAT DOG: (from left) The interior of Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia; a selection of entries from the championships; Sandia Chang on stage

I have a fantastic lunch at Aamanns 1921, a brasserie-style restaurant from Adam Aamann and an offshoot of the Michelinstarred (naturally) Aamanns, which aims to reinterpret Nordic food, particularly smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches served on rye bread. And I’m invited to the Freja Symposium, too – a series of talks and panel discussions held in the Nimb Hotel’s beautiful Gemyse restaurant by food luminaries in the Nordics that hinge around gender equality in the hospitality industry, where the speakers present a stark reminder of how far there is yet to go. As I said, Copenhagen is a city that’s compulsive about its food and about its effect on culture. It all feels a world away from a hot dog competition, but a hot dog competition is what I’m here for, so I meet the lively marketing director of the festival, Stephen →


PANEL SURFING: The judging panel run the rule over the participants’ entries


frankfurter itself anchors it, with salinity and umami notes coming through. At the end of the competition, as judges, chefs and diners battle on through that intermittent but drenching rain, the winner is announced. I hold my breath, as I’m sure do Chang and Knappett, who are next to each other on the stage, now packed with competitors as well as judges. It’s El Baqueano, from Buenos Aires. Afterwards, Chang and Knappett are clearly despairing – chefs are nothing if not competitive, whatever the scale of the competition, after all, especially those trained to Thomas Keller and Rene Redzepi’s sky-reaching standards. But whatever they might think in the immediate reaction to the announcement, their visit hasn’t been in vain. They’ve returned to a one-time home that is, even more so in this ten days or so, a hive of activity designed to kick on conversations in the industry at the highest level. They’ve battled with chefs from across the globe, to diners and judges who I’d say will surely look out for Bubbledogs the next time they’re in London. And there’s a strange kinship between them and the city: it’s a hot dog championship in the midst of a festival and initiative that brings together some of the most ambitious chefs in the world; where a

type of food that’s hawked at baseball games and on street corners is given the same level of care and attention as a tasting menu. In that sense, Chang and Knappett are perfectly at home here in the city that once housed them. They’ll be back, and I’m sure I will be, too – even if I have to brave a little rain. f;


There are already a whopping 252 events confirmed for next year’s festival across the length and breadth of the city. As well as the return of Top Dog’s World Hot Dog Championships, there’ll be pop-ups, feasting dinners, collaborations, and a mini-festival in the Frederiksberg district of the city, including the Harvest Feast – a long-table banquet set across an entire street. All of the festival’s events aim to show off the food culture of this unique city. Copenhagen Cooking and Food Festival runs from 23 August-1 September 2019. For more information, go to

Photograph by Rasmus Flindt Pedersen

→ Kastberg Haar, back downtown. Temporary hot dog kitchens are set up on a closed street between two of the city’s leading food halls, with a stage at one end to host a panel of international judges that includes Lara Gilmore, the wife of chef Massimo Bottura, who runs their restaurant Osteria Francescana – voted the best restaurant in the world in the World’s 50 Best List – as well as their food-waste charity Food for Soul; and to introduce the competitors and the charity, Top Dog, that’s redirecting the funds raised to great causes including CARE Denmark. It’s not a competitive eating competition (despite most people’s default assumption when I say I’m going to the World Hot Dog Championships, which probably says more about my lifestyle than them), but I try as many as I can. The Butchers Manifesto dog is simple, letting the meat speak for itself, with just mayo and dried shallots, and it’s all crunch and richness; the meat in the Danish effort is beautiful, although fresh fig and chutney make it possibly a little oversweet. I go and see Chang and Knappett, tinkering with each hot dog to that familiar Thomas Keller standard before it goes out, and maybe I’m biased, but theirs is my favourite: acidity from cucumber relish is tempered by a punch of mango; chilli and peanut sit low in the mix; and the brined

Mionetto. More than just a Prosecco. Since 1887, Mionetto has inspired Italians to truly taste the good life.

of golden apple, honey and white peach, Mionetto Prosecco helps you celebrate all of life’s moments, big or small.








Photograph by ###


MY MUM’S AN AWFUL COOK. SHE GAVE US SUGAR SANDWICHES With unbounding confidence, restless ambition and a drive to make Chinese cuisine better understood in this country, Andrew Wong is a chef on a mission. Mike Gibson talks to him about the dishes that have shaped his life, and his professional career Photography by David Harrison



IKE MANY SECOND-GENERATION Chinese immigrants growing up in the UK in the 1980s, Andrew Wong was the son of restaurateurs. His parents opened Kym’s in Pimlico in 1985, serving food that “was Cantonese-heavy, obviously, because that was what Chinese food was in the Eighties. “My mum’s an awful cook,” Wong says. “She used to give us sugar sandwiches. My dad was an OK cook, but he was more interested in the business side of things, and he was very good on the floor.” Restaurants may have been in his blood, but Wong’s career as a chef came almost by accident. After short-lived stints at Oxford University and then LSE, he returned to the family restaurant in 2004 to try and fill the void that was left by the passing of his father. It was a pivotal moment: eight years later – after time spent honing his craft and feeding his passion for Chinese cuisine, along with a voyage around China to learn as much as he could about the diversity of food and culture in his ancestral home – he and his wife

Natalie closed Kym’s in 2012 and reopened it as A. Wong the same year. Since then, it’s garnered near-universal acclaim for its take on regional Chinese dishes and its ambition to drive conversation around what Chinese food really is. It won a Michelin star in 2017. The difference between the two appears stark: while the aim of his parents’ restaurant was to provide a service, Wong’s interpretation of the same venue is a concept – he serves foams atop traditional dim sum, operates within the upper echelons of the restaurant industry, and makes it his mission each day not only to better understand Chinese cooking, but to use food to educate his diners, too. After six years of runaway success, Wong opened his second restaurant this year. Housed in the slick new Bloomberg HQ near Mansion House, it’s a loungier space, different in feel and in concept, which has already received similar acclaim to his first. The name? Kym’s. It might feel like a career that’s gone full circle, but the truth is, as his five dishes suggest, Andrew Wong is a chef who’ll never stop moving forward.

INSTANT NOODLES Photograph by ###

The core ingredient is instant noodles. And actually that’s not so much professional – it’s more because the one uniform thing I have in my life besides my family is going home at night and eating instant noodles. But, you talk to most British-born Chinese chefs, or all across the whole of China, and they’re very, very particular about their instant noodles. I’ve cooked with fresh noodles, we make noodles. But in terms

of instant noodles, Nissin is my brand of choice. It’s iconic within the Chinese community, so it’s very important that we include it. Normally if you go home at night, it will just be a case of taking whatever’s in your fridge and lobbing it into a pot with these instant noodles. Yesterday I had some watercress and some leftover fish balls in there – you just throw it all in and that’s dinner. So it’s a very, very important dish, because chefs don’t eat foie gras and truffles when they get home.


SHANGHAI DUMPLING Photograph by ###

The Shanghai dumpling, professionally, is very important to me, because it’s a dish in name that has always been on our menus. Even when we first opened there was a Shanghai dumpling with pickled tapioca on top, pickled ginger, and a little bit of spring onion on the menu. Over the years, in a kind of covert way, we’ve learnt a lot about


it. Making the pastry has been a massive journey in terms of understanding the science of starches, the science of flour, and how it behaves; learning about the stock and how it jellifies, plus we inject vinegar into the dumpling now – it really has been a constant evolution to what it is today, and I’m sure it’ll continue to evolve. Many, many hours have gone into finding small things to tweak the dish. That’s why it’s very important to me.


HAR GAO Har gao means prawn dumpling. This dish is one of the few times that we use foams on our menu, and it’s the one time I eat something where I really understand what foams actually do. Foams aren’t meant to be just for people who do cookery competitions – there’s a purpose to them: they’re basically aerated sauces. With this particular dish, it’s a very simple foam made up of rice vinegar, sugar, water and lecithin, and it adds an incredible dimension to the dumplings. I remember eating



these when I was growing up – you’d get four har gaos delivered to you at the table at any dim sum restaurant, and by the time you got to the third one it all tasted quite samey-samey. I think that the rice vinegar foam, plus the little bit of sweet chilli that we put on the dumplings, gives the dish an extra set of flavours that are needed to avoid that samey-sameyness. We’ve had the incredible honor of having Ferran and Albert Adria, who invented the foam, come to eat at the restaurant, and it was really nice to have the opportunity to take what they’ve done and give it back to them.


Photograph by ###

In Chinese cuisine there is this massive misconception about wonton soup: that it’s just something a bit ‘blah’ – it arrives in a bowl and you eat it. But it’s massively technical: it uses a hard rice flour dough, dried shrimp roe, a broth made of whole chickens, and dried flounder powder. So as an authentic staple that you might get in Hong Kong for about £6, for the amount of work and effort that goes into it, its apparent simplicity is deceptive. When we

do wonton soup here, we try our best with the ingredients that we can get (or smuggle), to pay homage to the traditional processes. In Kym’s we serve it with just a soup; at A. Wong we serve it with a brunch staple, chee cheong fun: a rice roll with dried shrimps on top, and then it’s got a soy sauce which we modify with different aromatics, spices and seasonings. When you go to Hong Kong, wonton soup and chee cheong fun is breakfast or brunch central. It’s an important food memory for me, and one which I hope that I can get people to appreciate.




5 Photograph by ###

Kym’s centres around soy chicken. It’s an incredible process where chicken is effectively slow-poached in a mixture of soy sauce, rock sugar and aromatics. A lot of chefs in 2018 talk about sous-vide cookery – this is sous-vide cookery from 2,500 years ago. The finish is very, very special: you get this lacquered chicken. People come into the restaurant all the time and they still think it’s Peking duck. It has this beautifully soft, slithery skin – in China or Hong Kong we talk about this ‘slithery’ texture of

the skin, which is quite foreign to the British vocabulary, but that suppleness of the skin before you bite into the flesh is an incredibly important part the chicken. And then you have the relish, which I think is the ultimate relish: it’s minced ginger with spring onion, oil, sugar and salt, and I don’t think I’ve found anything yet that you can’t put it on. It’s like the tomato ketchup of China. You can put it onto your soups, your noodles, your rice, your soy chicken. You can put it on everything and it works. f For info: Read the interview in full at

Crumb Perfect in the kitchen for all types of cooking and baking. Blacksticks Blue Crumb adds a twist to sauces, pastries, toppings and just about anything else you fancy.

whole cheese Blacksticks Blue in its purest form, straight from the mould. This 2.5kg

Baby whole cheese

wheel is a perfect part of any cheese lover’s celebration cake or for the serious cheese fanatic.

Bright like the early morning sun, this baby whole cheese dazzles as a centrepiece - top with pistachios, chopped figs, raisins and drizzle with honey.

150g With just enough blue bite to tingle your taste buds, this stunning little wedge looks amazing sitting on your cheese board, serve with fresh pears and sticky fig chutney.

cheese shot The perfect portion of ready to melt Blacksticks Blue goodness. Melt and ooze over your favourite meals - perfect for nachos or steak.





ROLLING STAG The Frog Hoxton’s speakeasy Iron Stag has enrolled two London bartending luminaries to celebrate whisky in all its forms, writes Mike Gibson



A drink that blends sweet and spicy, cute and serious, Matt Whiley’s Super Soaker is a classic London cocktail for a reason. It blends watermelon freshness with the rich, woody notes of bourbon and a touch of bitterness from vermouth beautifully.

INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 30ml Woodford Reserve ◆◆ 15ml watermelon juice ◆◆ 30ml Cocchi Vermouth di Torino ◆◆ 1.5ml Campari sugar

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass over ice, stir and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass.


DAM HANDLING ONCE told me that he considered it a sin for a Scotsman to hear The Proclaimers’ ‘500 Miles’ and not get up from wherever they’re sitting and dance. What that has to do with his new bar Iron Stag, situated underneath his newly relocated restaurant The Frog Hoxton, might be tangential, but the fact remains that Handling is nothing if not a proud Scotsman. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the more expansive and ambitious of the two bars in his hospitality empire (the first, Eve Bar, sits underneath Frog by Adam Handling in Covent Garden) is a subterranean cathedral of whisky, largely the kind of scotches that make the perfect fuel for 1am Proclaimers screamalongs, with some US whiskey, too. Handling is a canny restaurant operator and a uniquely skilled chef, but he’s not (necessarily) a bartender. That’s why, for this, his flagship drinking den, he enlisted the help of not only former Peg + Patriot and current Scout owner Matt Whiley, but also Rich Woods, one-time head bartender at Sushisamba and Duck + Waffle. Their deft touches – as well as a couple of signature drinks, like Whiley’s watermelon-kissed manhattan twist the Super Soaker – are evident on the drinks list, which expands from a nicely curated scotch list into a menu divided into whisky soda-style serves, stirred and serious whisky cocktails like the Working Class Hero, which takes infused Woodford Reserve bourbon into rich dessert territory, serving it old fashioned-style with caramel and chocolate infusions. Elsewhere, there’s a small list of non-whisky-dominated drinks like the Scottish Porn Star, and all this is served in a moody-but-playful room set off by the massive wall-mounted art piece that gives the bar its name, antlers resplendent. And it’s not just the room that’s playful: the Scottish Porn Star lists both Irn-Bru and Tennents Super in its ingredients. Hey, we told you he’s a proud Scotsman… f

45-47 Hoxton Square, N1 6PD;

Photograph by ###



Silent Po £20 fo ol Ice Buck e r 6L c apacit t y

Silent Pool Gin Ultimate Gin Lover’s Christmas Crackers £65 Also sold separately £12 Silent Pool Gin Liquid Garnishes £10 per mist (3cl)

Bergamot Orange,

Kaffi Silent Pool Gin Bergamot Orange, Kaffir r Lime and Christma s SpiritSpirit Candles Lime and Christmas Candles £35 each £35 each

Silent Poo £36 for l Gin 70 c l

Silent Pool Gin Copa Glass Set of six £40 Set of two (individually boxed) £24 Silent Pool Presentation Gift Box £65 Silent

Pool Gin Ice Bucket £20 for 6L capacity

SilentPoolS38.indd 1

TEL. 01798 344481 07831 886402 A L A N _ C O R D E RY @ YA H O O . C O . U K

Silent Pool Gin Smoked Salmon £12.50 for 200g

Silent Pool Gin Gift Box £67 Silent Pool Gin £37 for 70cl

Christmas Gifts F RO M




A classic piña colada is undeniably delicious. In this cocktail, it gets a twist with hopped Cuban rum, a little caramel flavouring and cardamominfused soda water to lengthen it.

ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 30ml Hopped Bacardi Cuatro ◆◆ 20ml pineapple cordial ◆◆ 10ml coconut water ◆◆ 2 dashes caramel flavouring ◆◆ Black cardamom soda water

Build all ingredients in a highball glass and top with the soda water and a large ice cube. Photograph by ###



We’ve got everything you need to make the food lovers in your life happy this Christmas Day. Browse our handy gift guide, buy online, and get the wrapping paper ready… PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON



F YOU ASK anyone at foodism what we want for Christmas, we’ll likely give the same answer. Food. Or kitchen stuff. Or drinks. Or more food. Because as people’s interest in eating, drinking and cooking grows, it gets easier and easier to pick Christmas gifts for friends, family and colleagues – just get them something they can eat, drink or cook with and you’re golden.

But there are millions of products out there, which is why we’ve taken the opportunity to guide you to towards some of our favourites. From big-time gift sets and hampers to kitchenware that ranges from really serious to really cute, a screen print from a London bar, the best booze and even some stocking fillers, we’ll see to it that no one around your tree’s disappointed…

Photograph by ###





Photograph by ###


Gift sets and hampers

Check out these beautiful sets put together by some genuine London food luminaries. An amazing present for anyone as nuts about food as we assume you are. 1 BRINDISA 30 YEARS HAMPER: This assortment of beautiful cured

meats, wines, cheese and other goodies from Brindisa comes in a giant wicker hamper alongside the Brindisa book by founder Monika Linton. £150, 2 CANNON & CANNON CONNOISSEUR’S COLLECTION: Underneath this smart red tin

is an amazing, diverse range of London-cured charcuterie. £55, 3 CAFE MURANO NO. 1 HAMPER: A gift set full of Cafe Murano chef-patron Angela Hartnett’s favourite Italian ingredients. £25,



Kitchen tools make a reliable Christmas gift for very good reason – check out this pick of presents to refresh anyone’s kitchen. 1 TOG PARING KNIFE: A beautiful folded steel blade for serious cooks. £100,


2 KITCHENAID PRECISION PRESS: This is more than just an insulated stainless-steel cafetière – it’s also got a built-in weighing scale and timer for an even brew. £99, 3 TEFAL INGENIO SET: A range of gorgeous non-stick pans with a

single removable handle, from two pieces to a whopping 13. Sets from £64.99, 4 DOIY CACTUS JUICER: A handy ceramic juicer that’ll handle any citrus fruit. Oh, and it also happens to be really, really cute. £22,

2 3 1


Lifestyle gifts

2 Photograph by ###

For the food lover in your life who doesn’t want, er, food – try out these books and gifts.

3 1

4 5

1 PIKAPLANT ARABICA JAR: A self-sustaining coffee plant in a terrarium jar to brighten up a desk. £69.95,

2 BAR TERMINI NEGRONI ROSATO POSTER: One of four beautiful, limited-edition screen prints from Tony Conigliaro’s iconic bar. £75,

4 THE HOME BAR: A one-stop guide to home cocktails. £25,

3 SIMPLE: One of the best cookbooks of the year from the much-loved Yotam Ottolenghi.

5 LATERAL COOKING: Niki Segnit’s unmissable cooking compendium. £29.99,



Got your hipster colleague in the office Secret Santa? After a stocking filler for your significant other that won’t break the bank? We got you.

2 GLENCAIRN CUT CRYSTAL GLASS: A patterned version of distiller Glencairn’s iconic whisky glass. Cheaper options available, too. £25,

1 BERRY BROS. & RUDD DOUBLE LEVER CORKSCREW: A cute, handy corkscrew that’ll fit in a drawer. £5.50,

3 THE PICKLE HOUSE BLOODY MARY MIX: A spicy, delicious ready-made mix. Just add vodka. £4.75,

Secret Santa and stocking fillers


4 THE BOTANIST 20CL: A miniature version of the delicious Scottish gin from Islay in a handy size. £15.99, 5 FUSIONBRANDS HERBZIPPER: A useful little bit of kit that nips the leaves off stalky herbs in a single swipe. £7.50,

2 1

4 3


Food and booze

Photograph by ###


2 5

3 4

From posh olive oil to ethical chocolate, some mulled wine and the obligatory bit of delicious whisky and cognac, we’ve got your food-loving friends covered. 1 PUMP STREET AWARD WINNERS SET: A set of four single-origin chocolates from the

chocolatier and baker. £23.95, 2 RÉMY MARTIN 1738: A beautiful, balanced cognac at an excellent price – perfect for classic drinks lovers. £38, 3 HARVEY NICHOLS MULLED WINE: A delicious, rich spiced

wine – just stick in a pan to heat up. £15, 4 QUERUBI EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: A sumptuous oil – great for dipping. £22.50, 5 PORT CHARLOTTE 10YO: A fantastic smoky, rich Islay singlemalt. £48.95,


A MATCH MADE FOR CHRISTMAS Ahead of the festive season, we’ve picked out six wines and spirits from Berry Bros. & Rudd – and six dishes that pair perfectly with them, too PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON STYLING BY EMMA POWER


F ALL THE things to look forward to most about the festive season, good food is up there. And there’s nothing better with good food than good wine – a bottle handpicked to set off a meal perfectly, that’ll make sure the flavours of both of them live long in the memory. That’s why we’ve partnered with wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd to preview five amazing wines and a whisky that suit Christmas eating and drinking down to the ground. Not only that, but your favourite foodism elves have also tasted all six bottles to give you our exclusive tasting notes. And that’s not all: we also paired them


to some quintessential seasonal dishes that we cooked up in the foodism kitchen. The wines picked out range from a classic Pol Roger champagne and a big, rich burgundy to a couple of the brand’s iconic Own Selection range, which encompasses everything from classic Bordeaux to a Californian pinot noir and a sherry cask-finished blended scotch. And, from a simple classic dressed crab to posh fish and chips, tried-andtested Christmas leftovers to original creations, we hope you’ll find some pairing inspiration this festive season. Buy the wines and browse Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Christmas range at






This is a beautiful, rich champagne, full of brioche and marzipan on the nose, with lime zest on the palate and a hint of nuttiness about it, too. 75cl; £31.50

There’s notes of honeysuckle, lemon peel, kiwi and yuzu on this quintessential Loire wine. 75cl; £17.50


It’s full of fresh citrus flavour but with richness, too, so we paired this one with a chunk of grilled hake served with thick-cut chips and parsley butter.


Photograph by ###

A classic oysters rockefeller – oysters grilled on the half-shell with butter, green herbs and breadcrumbs.




Buy the wines and browse Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Christmas range at


WITH DRESSED CRAB THE TASTING NOTES A beautifully balanced Burgundy wine – woody, with notes of flaked almond and coconut, with cox apple and honey flavours and a subtly saline finish. 75cl; £21.95

THE PAIRING A classic dressed crab inside its shell, with buttered bread and a light salad on the side.






Photograph by ###




Palma violet on the nose, with liquorice and black cherry flavours on the palate. 75cl; £9.95

A lighter-bodied wine, this one’s got a touch of black cherry too, but also notes of strawberry coulis and some minerality. 75cl; £24.95

There’s tonnes of orange peel and marzipan notes on the nose, with stem ginger and muscovado flavours. 70cl; £32

THE PAIRING We paired Berry Bros.’ classic Own Selection Bordeaux with a roasted duck leg served with black cherry sauce, roasted cabbage and a celeriac purée.



A bubble and squeak using leftover Christmas ham and bolstered by redcurrants, served with salad.

A classic sticky toffee pudding, with a dollop of rich crème fraîche and a toffee sauce made with candied orange peel. ●


Yes, you should be able to enjoy having family and friends over. No shopping. No cooking. No cleaning.

It’s not just for superstars anymore. Book a chef for a unique culinary experience in the comfort of your own home without the Hollywood prices.

Birthday Party. Date Night. Christmas Party. Or Just Can’t Be Bothered To Cook.

Use code ‘AMOFOODISM’ until 31 Dec to enjoy a discount on bookings.

— PART 3 —






KEEPING IT REAL Tradition is at the core of India’s food culture, so how do you take the cuisine forward while staying true to its roots? Neil Davey asks the people leading the way 94

HEADING FOR A STALL: Simple, informal food stalls like this one in New Delhi are popular all over India, and some have been going for over a century.

Photograph by Tom Hanslien Photography/Alamy




outside – are also about as good as it gets. My main reason for being in India is to try Farzi Café, a very successful chain that’s brought global influences and modernist techniques to the country’s classic cuisine, and is about to open in London. Attempting to understand its twist on Indian food is a very good excuse to try some of the best traditional dishes. In a whistlestop tour, in addition to Karim’s, we sample the celebrated butter garlic crab at Trishna in Mumbai, and a remarkable biryani

at Shah Ghouse in Hyderabad. And they’re all so good, you wonder if Indian food actually really needs any ‘Farzi-fying’. That thought veers into my favourite culinary soapbox subject: the stupid notion of authenticity about which I’ve ranted many times (particularly in The Bluffer’s Guide to Food which, cough, makes a wonderful Christmas present). I mean, can any cuisine ever be seen as ‘complete’? Is there a point where you refuse new influences and preserve it in aspic? Or does it have to move forward to survive? I mean, India didn’t get chillies until the

Photographs by Neil Davey

NEES IN. AND arms.” There’s a certain irony getting health and safety advice from a rickshaw driver in India. It’s not that he’s necessarily wrong. It’s just that, as he pulls into oncoming traffic, he seems to be the one putting me most at risk. While it’s not quite up there with a bungee jump in New Zealand, or diving with great whites off the coast of South Africa, zipping around the busy, crowded and really bloody narrow streets of Old Delhi still causes quite the adrenaline rush. And a remarkable amount of involuntary squeaking. The destination, however, makes my shredded nerves worthwhile. Karim’s has been serving great simple food for over a century and, judging by the depth of flavour of the restaurant’s mutton korma, it might even have been cooking that long. The breads – expertly kneaded, flipped and grilled


DAILY BREAD: [clockwise from here] Traditional bread-making techniques are still used at Karim’s in Old Delhi; bags of dried chillis ready to flavour curries; Farzi’s tacos; a water stall in Delhi.

16th century, but you wouldn’t declare a dish that features them now as ‘inauthentic’. So, then – is Farzi’s modernist approach natural evolution or a step too far to a cuisine with such great traditions? I turn to Londonbased Indian food expert and writer Sejal Sukhadwala for some well-informed advice. “I wouldn’t say Indian cuisine is preserved in aspic,” explains Sukhadwala. “We’ve preserved our traditions and regional differences, but then there are also no standardised recipes. In France, you make a sauce this way, an omelette that way. In India, one region uses rice vinegar in vindaloo, another palm vinegar. I’m Gujarati, and where my parents came from, the neighbouring towns all had their own traditions. Depending on where you are, if your surname is Patel or Shah, you might have a different way of cooking the same dish. It depends on which

American handheld convenience with the deeply spiced, melting best of Indian meat dishes, while the golgappe/pani puri/puchkas deserve all the different names, as they come with a selection of regional fillings to add before eating in one bite. The dal chawal arancini also make curious sense – this is a culture with leftover rice, after all. In other dishes, however, ‘global influence’ has manifested itself – to my concern but the extreme annoyance of my travelling companion, FT How to Spend It’s Bill Knott – in an over reliance on truffle oil. “That doesn’t make it ‘global’,” growls Bill. “That just makes it smell of fake truffle.” And then the chicken tikka masala – tasty as it is – arrives in a miniature London phone box… However, all of this comes with an interesting punchline. Kalra quickly deflates my El Bulli qualms by joining a select few – with palates I trust – who acknowledge that, →

city, which caste, which religion... “I think that it’s still mostly regional,” he continues. “In the cool north, for example, it’s wheat, a bread-based culture, and in the south, it’s warmer and a rice-eating culture – but it’s always changed through foreign invaders: the north by Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Mongolia; the south by Malaysia, Indonesia, Goa as a Portuguese colony… The British Raj changed things, too.” More recently, of course, it’s been less about the invaders and more that regional Indian ingredients are simply more readily available. As for the modernist Indian of Farzi Café, Sukhadwala is curious but cautious. “You can’t cook your grandmother’s food your whole life, otherwise things will never progress,” she explains, “but a lot of chefs don’t understand the basic techniques. They’re just trying to impress wealthy customers, make the World’s 50 Best, or become Instagram sensations. You have to understand techniques and flavours before you make your own riffs on it.” It’s a great point and thus my heart sinks when Farzi Café founder (and MasterChef India judge) Zorawar Kalra tells me that “El Bulli was the inspiration.” It’s nothing against Zorawar, of course, but isn’t it amazing how quickly that phrase has gone from ‘demonstrating your culinary mettle’ to ‘oh dear God, not another sodding foam?’ We’re lunching at the Farzi Café in New Delhi and Kalra is explaining the rationale behind the concept. “Indians have travelled more; they have more sophisticated palates now,” he explains, spooning food on my plate. The results, however, are mixed. When it works, it really works. Sliders combine




frankly, bloody brilliant and I’d back myself to eat a frankly terrifying amount of it. What’s particularly encouraging, though, is Udinia’s reaction to our ‘classic dish tour’. When I ask him at Karim’s if he’d attempt to reinvent the mutton korma, he looks at me as if I’ve just suggested deep-frying his grandmother, before laughing and shaking his head. “This is the best,” he says, scooping more korma. “You can’t improve on this.” And it’s a similar reaction to Trishna’s butter garlic crab, here in London. It’s my and Udinia’s first visit and it is genuinely one of the best things that I’ve ever eaten in my life; I particularly enjoy the moment when

we’re offered “more sauce” because the ‘sauce’ is basically about a pound of melted butter dotted with masses of garlic (so obviously I immediately say yes…) I look across to Udinia and, well, I don’t think I’ve ever described another man’s smile as “beatific”but it’s the only word that fits. While the ‘Farzi-fying’ of Indian food won’t be for everyone, perhaps someone does need to push that envelope, and at least here it’s in safe hands. “It’s playtime,” explains Kalra, “but we’re serious in terms of staying honest to the cuisine.” As for the restaurant’s future in London, Kalra is clearly aware that what works in, say, Delhi may not work over here, and vice versa. “The London menu will be 20% from India,” he tells me later, “and 80% new, like British dishes with an Indian twist.” I don’t even need to ask my final question. “No phonebox,” he laughs. “And no truffle oil.” f Farzi Café soft launches on 8 December. 8 Haymarket, SW1Y 4BP;

Photographs by Neil Davey

→ while their technique was mind-blowing, “some of the food wasn’t that tasty.” Echoing Sukhadwala’s comments about flavour, he’s also adamant that dishes must taste good and remain familiar – “Indians are so close to their food – mess around with it too much and they’ll hate you,” he explains, with a grin. Kalra is also under pressure to stay true to the cuisine as his father, Jiggs Kalra, is India’s leading food writer and historian. “Chefs don’t know as much about Indian food as he does,” laughs Kalra, “he’s totally steeped in the history of our cuisine, so we use his recipes as the base. If we deconstruct a rogan josh, my chefs can go mad with the ingredients, the presentation, but it still has to taste like his rogan josh.” Happily, this commitment to flavour is also demonstrated by executive chef Saurabh Udinia who, we quickly learn, knows exactly when and how to be playful and when to leave things alone. Udinia whips us up a traditional galouti kebab – the heavily spiced, melt-in-the-mouth lamb dish said to have been invented for a toothless Nawan – with sheermal, a flatbread flavoured with saffron, alongside his modernist twist on the dish, where the sheermal has been aerated into the lightest, most delicate of breads and the galouti kebab is a thick liquid applied from an icing bag. It is,

DISH OF TODAY: Farzi’s dal chawal arancini [here] and puchkas [below] exemplify the restaurant’s classic-meets-contemporary take on Indian food


PLEASE WEAR RESPONSIBLY FRIDAY 14 DECEMBER Get your free fundraising pack now at In partnership with

The Save the Children Fund is a charity registered in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SCO39570).



From five-star fish and chips to pretty coastal views, Southwold is bursting with seaside charm – make the most of it with a stay at The Swan, writes Lydia Winter What’s the draw?

What to eat?

What else?

When it comes to quaint British seaside escapes, Southwold in Suffolk has got it down to a tee. There’s a pier with an arcade (natch), fish and chip shops, antique stores and a clutch of cute pubs and hotels designed to cater to the seafront-walking, Sundaylunching masses. One of these is The Swan Southwold, which recently underwent a facelift that took it from seriously nice to seriously cool. The rooms are festooned with opulent velvets, the floors are covered in plush carpets, while rugs and soft furnishings add bright pops of colour. Then there’s the complimentary bottle of gin from Adnams, the brewery and distillery next door that owns the hotel and most of the pubs in town.

For dinner, The Still Room is a refined space serving equally refined local modern British fare. In autumn, cute baby courgettes were served alongside creamy Norfolk Mardler goats cheese, mint, and rose harissa, while paper-thin venison carpaccio came with cep mushrooms, cauliflower and an unusual yet delicious dusting of cocoa powder over the top. Sweet, plump, flaky halibut came with brown shrimp, Jerusalem artichoke and roasted grapes – a brilliant combination of flavours and textures. Elsewhere, The Tap Room is The Still Room’s more casual sibling, with 12 of Adnams’ beers on tap, and gastro pub-style battered monkfish, aged ribeye steak or barbecued chicken breast.

Team your stay at The Swan with a brewery tour, a distillery tour or both, where you’ll learn about Adnams’ history and get to sample its extensive range of beers and craft spirits. For more excellent fish, head out of The Swan and turn left; just a few doors down you’ll find the Little Fish & Chip Shop, an upmarket chippy serving Aspall cider and wine alongside bloody great fish and chips and curry sauce that won’t set you back more than a tenner. Then stretch your legs with a half-an-hour walk to nearby Walberswick, where two Adnams pubs will cater to your every food and drink need. Weekend: done. f

If you’re feeling inspired to plan your own adventure, go to where you’ll find loads more food and drink destination guides and ideas…


SOUTHWOLD ◆◆ Population: 1,098 ◆◆ County: Suffolk ◆◆ Area: 2.68km²

From £200 per night . The Swan, Market Place, Southwold, IP18 6EG;

Southwold is renowned for its pretty much perfect UK seaside credentials, including a picturesque promenade complete with candy-coloured beach huts perched on soft, golden sand.








Over-the-Water Villa at Sandals Royal Caribbean





22 Years Running



THE MOST EXCLUSIVE SUITES Our 5-star accommodation, called Love Nest Butler Suites®, are ranked among the finest and most romantic in the world. From Over-the-Water Villas to Millionaire Suites, enjoy soaking tubs on the balcony, private plunge pools and even your own personal Butler Service.




Sandals has the best pools, most spectacular beaches, delicious food, and sumptuously appointed rooms and suites. But it’s the unrivalled 5-star service provided by our staff that keeps our guests coming back time after time.


*Mandatory caddies or carts at cost. ^Cost includes two free dives per day for certified divers . Additional T&Cs may apply.

MORE LAND & WATER SPORTS THAN ANY OTHER RESORTS IN THE CARIBBEAN From championship golf* to motorised water sports like waterskiing and scuba diving^, only Sandals includes more quality land and water sports than any other resorts in the Caribbean. It’s all included, all unlimited!

PER RESORT. ALL INCLUDED. ALL UNLIMITED. Enjoy unlimited dining at up to 16 restaurants! From freshly rolled sushi at Soy, to Filet Mignon steak cooked to perfection at Butch’s Chophouse, we serve cuisine to please even the toughest foodie! You can enjoy unlimited premium brand drinks at up to 11 bars per resort. From cocktails at the swim-up pool bar to a glass of fizz on a rooftop bar overlooking the Caribbean sunset, it’s all included in the price of your holiday.



In place of Richard H Turner, travel editor Lydia Winter visits Sicily, where she encounters a surprisingly delicious bit of butchery many Brits would find troubling


N CATANIA, SICILY, where the pavements and buildings are made out of ashgrey volcanic rock, dusk casts the city in a spectral light. Above me the sky is blushing pink, yet down here on the ground everything feels dark and close; the inky blackness swallowing up the feeble glow coming from the lampposts. Yet it’s here, sat at a plastic table in a square of fluorescent light spilling from the windows of Macelleria Leone, a butcher’s shop with just one enormous slab of meat loosely covered in a cloth on a table in the doorway, that I’m about to have one of the most genuinely welcoming experiences of my life. A plastic red-and-white-checked tablecloth is produced and oh-so-carefully laid over the table – I’m getting the fancy treatment – a stack of plastic cups is placed in front of me, and a one-litre plastic bottle of chilled wine is opened and poured. Warm poppy seed buns in a paper bag are run down from a nearby bakery by a breathless little boy, and hunks of meat are slapped onto a rudimentary charcoal grill that sizzles at the roadside. Cooking these steaks is Leone, a tiny, smiling 70-year-old Sicilian who hovers around our table while we eat.

Full disclosure: I like horses, but I’ve never owned one, and perhaps that’s why I can devour my sandwich with such relish. But, all things considered, the meal makes me wonder why we don’t eat horsemeat. The horses aren’t reared to be eaten; they’re retired riding horses (not race horses because of the possibility of doping), so the animals have been looked after. The meat itself is lean and rich in iron, and is often recommended to pregnant women and children. My companions liken it to eating dog or cat, which I admittedly wouldn’t do. Yet I think there are better comparisons: goat, for example, a meat that’s become more popular in the UK thanks to companies like Cabrito, which saves billy goats that would otherwise be killed at birth. In a time when a global food shortage is looming, eating nutritious meat that from an animal that’s been reared with love makes perfect sense. In fact, it strikes me as more weird that we think it’s OK to eat meat from intensively reared animals that were born with the sole purpose of being eaten. So I think Catania, Leone and his fellow horse meat butchers have got it right – and, of course, it helps when the food in question tastes this good, too. f

Photograph by Andrzej Karwowski/EyeEm/Getty


Within minutes, I’m presented with a fillet steak, all charcoal crust on the outside and perfectly pink on the inside. I squeeze over some lemon juice, before adding a dash of vinegar, then slide it into a bun and take a bite, juice dripping onto the paper plate. Tender and flavoursome, the meat is incredible. But this isn’t high-grade beef that comes from a retired dairy cow; it’s horse, and Leone is one of Catania’s few remaining traditional horse meat butchers. To outsiders, the tradition of eating horse – which you’ll find all around southern Italy – is controversial. Some people in my group don’t eat it; others gingerly try a few bites and declare they’re finished; and a select few eat everything on the table and more as Leone continues to send over paper plates. Even within the country, attitudes are changing. Recent years have seen calls for Italy to ban the sale of equine meat, and the country was also shocked by the horsemeat scandal in 2013. Many think it is time for Italy to reconsider its relationship with horses, and reclass them as domestic pets. Today, Italy imports 84% of its horsemeat and there are 400 registered equine butchers left around the country.



CHRISTMAS SPIRIT Super-premium vodka Snow Queen raises the bar with its purity, flavour and organic credentials, and we’re giving one lucky reader a luxury hamper to enjoy this winter


HEN IT COMES to a spirit as clear and pure as vodka, quality is absolutely vital. And sometimes the answer to purity is simplicity: made with organic grains and pure mountain water, Snow Queen Organic Vodka couldn’t be much simpler, but the results are remarkable. Certified organic and winner of more than 38 awards around the world, this is a super-premium spirit that sings on the palate. But just because its ingredients are simple doesn’t mean its taste isn’t complex. Whether you drink it neat, on the rocks in a chilled glass or in a martini, the power of Snow Queen sings through – notes of aniseed and cream hitting the palate first, followed by a

peppery, mineral finish. It’s great for pairing with food, too, and will accentuate the flavours of fresh seafood, cut through dishes with high acidity and provide welcome respite from the heat of fresh chili. But the fun doesn’t stop at Snow Queen Organic Vodka – the brand also makes Snow Queen Engima, which is infused with lavender, rose and vanilla for a more floral flavour and a balanced perfume on the nose. Want to try some yourself? see competition details to the right. ● Find out more at



Getting your hands on a luxury Snow Queen hamper has never been easier. The prize includes a bottle each of Snow Queen Organic Vodka and Snow Queen Enigma, as well as chocolates, two martini glasses and £100 of Harrods vouchers. To enter, post a photo of your best cocktail on Instagram with the hashtag #snowqueenvodka. Post before 1 January 2019. One entry per person unless the photo includes a bottle of Snow Queen, in which case you can enter up to three times. Good luck.






The new Fresh Market Hall makes Harrods just as great a destination for day-today groceries and speciality produce as it is for this year’s Christmas presents


F ALL THE shops in our incredible city, Harrods is probably the one that needs the least introduction: since 1849, it’s been keeping Londoners (and a fair few tourists) stocked up on luxury goods, designer clothing, incredible food and wine, fine watches and more. The thing about such a storied, history, however, is that it can be a weight around the neck – brands can end up looking too much


to the past, not the future. But that’s not true of Harrods – not one bit. You might have read in this magazine recently about its totally revamped Food Hall, which includes a coffee roaster, a tea tailor and even an all-sourdough bakery. Now, as it continues reaching into day-to-day food and drink, it’s opened the Fresh Market Hall, which aims to place it not just as a tourist hotspot or a luxury mecca, but a food stop for regular Londoners wanting beautiful produce at affordable prices, too. There’ll be world-class cured meats from the charcuterie counter, an enormous cheese selection, a greengrocer full of abundant seasonal vegetables (including a ‘vegetable butcher’ on hand to take the sting out of the prep, should you need it), all in addition to a butchery and loads more, too. A modern twist for one of London’s oldest stores. Stopping by Harrods for your weekly shop might once have seemed like a punchline to a joke – these days, it’s very much a reality. f

E E R F R A G GO SU A L O C I R H WIT eshing Only 6 calories in each refr


Elderflower Sambucus nigra

Available from the confectionery aisle of larger Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons and Holland & Barrett stores

With our unique blend of 13 Swiss herbs

Sugar Free

Gluten Free

Lactose Suitable for Free vegetarians & vegans


The best and brightest news from food and drink industry this month

NO MEAN MEAT If you love meat, but get worried about the impact your appetite might have on the environment, you may just be in luck. Meat wholesaler Farshad Kazemian is currently crowdfunding The Ethical Butcher, a pioneering service which aims to deliver carbon-negative meat to homes nationwide. The Ethical Butcher’s meat will only come from farms that use a method of farming called Holistic Management.

ALL CHANGE Here at foodism, we love people that do good with food. And we love them even more when they do so with our morning essential: coffee. That’s why we were pretty excited when social enterprise Change Please recently opened its first London Underground café in Clapham

Common Tube station, serving cuppas to commuters and giving 100% of profits back to the task at hand. The award-winning brand trains and then employs homeless people to be baristas, helping get them back on their feet and reintegrate them into society. That make your coffee taste better? We thought so.



What do the River Café, Barrafina, Cora Pearl, Claridges, Rovi and Hero of Maida have in common? Besides serving damn good grub, they’re all involved in this year’s Streetsmart campaign, which sees more than 500 restaurants across the UK add a voluntary £1 to diners’ bills during the festive months in order to help homelessness charities and hostels. And it’s effective, too – the charity has raised £8.8m in 20 years.

With a reputed 23 billion food and drink ideas on lifestyle website Pinterest, it’s no surprise it’s launched its second UK Food + Drink Awards for recipe content hosted on the site. As well as the awards, there’s trends insight, too: we’re searching for more classic British recipes, for instance, and vegan desserts are on the up.

Female voices in hospitality are more sought-after than ever – which is why a new ’zine celebrating the amazing work women do in food and drink is fantastic news. AMP (A Meeting Place) is a collaboration between Anna Sulan Masing, journalist Victoria Stewart and chef Romy Gill (pictured), available in print quarterly and at @ameetingplace, and will touch on sustainability, too.


Photograph by [Streetsmart] Justine Trickett



MARKET LEADER Fresh from a beautiful renovation and with shopping, eating and drinking options abounding, Old Spitalfields Market is a must-visit destination this Christmas


ROM PRAGUE TO Vilnius, Vienna to Krakow, Christmas markets have always been a draw for tourists seeking festive inspiration, great food and drink, good cheer and a shopping experience like no other. This year, there’s a new kind of Christmas Market in town – and it’s on our doorstep. It’s lovingly revamped, fusing the best of East London street food with independent traders selling small batch, carefully sourced products alongside an enviable line-up of permanent stores; with all the character and charm you expect from a historic market but brought bang up to date. Put simply, if you haven’t yet been to Old Spitalfields Market since its re-launch last October, there’s no better time to experience it than this Christmas. Expect spectacular lights and a lineup of festive music from choirs, groups and local musicians. The perfect meeting place, a one-stop shop for catching up with friends and grabbing dinner and drinks – and you can also tick some of those trickier names off your Christmas present list while you’re there. This year, if you want to be the one with all the brownie points, embrace

giving with real heart and soul by shopping direct from makers. From 28 November, you’ll find pop-up guest markets from The Good Market (social action brands from the people behind people at Good Day Productions), Mother Maker (brands exclusively by mums), Urban Makers (London-based independent designer-makers). And, if you care about these kind of things, don’t miss the Small Business Saturday Market on 1 December from the East End Trades Guild. But we all know the festive season is not all about the shopping: the Kitchens, in the centre of the market, is one of the new generation of elevated food courts, a hub of East London’s most exciting street food. There, you’ll find nose-to-tail specialist Flank next to Burmese-inspired Lahpet, Jewish salt beef from the famous Monty’s Deli and handmade dumplings and noodles from the much-queued-for Dumpling Shack. Throw in a sprinkle of festive wreath-making, late-night shopping evenings, street-food safaris, weekly antiques and vinyl markets, all set off by an installation by Rebel Rebel florist, and it’s a world-class Christmas market you don’t have to fly to. ●

WHAT'S COMING UP If you’re heading down during the festive period, don’t miss the Christmas launch evening on 28 November. The market and most stores will be open until 8pm, as well as on 5 and 12 December, with a full line-up of special events across the festive season until 23 December. For more information and to see the full line-up of events this festive season, go to Christmas2018 or @oldspitalfieldsmarket






WINED UP Alternative Christmas wines, cask-finished scotch and special-occasion beers. Your Christmas drinking: sorted PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON



2 3


What a pair

Take a step up from your standard Christmas drinks pairings with these wines and digestifs. 1 MARTINI RISERVA SPECIALE RUBINO VERMOUTH: Turin, Italy. Gently woody and refreshingly herbal – this ruby vermouth is perfect with your post-Christmas lunch cheeseboard. 18%, 70cl; £15, 2 CA’DEL BOSCO FRANCIACORTA CUVEE PRESTIGE NV: Erbusco, Italy. Two years of aging on lees gives this Italian sparkling soft, delightfully textured bubbles. A great alternative to champagne on the big day. 12.5%, 70cl; £39.50,

3 METAXA 12 STARS: Piraeus, Greece. If you’re after an alternative to cognac, this bold, orange peel and spice-packed classic from Greece should be your Christmas-pud pairing. 40%, 70cl; £25, 4 TALBOTT SLEEPY HOLLOW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2016: Santa Lucia Highlands, USA. Minerality, a whisper of French oak and notes of green apple and nectarine make this Californian white a great swap for festive starters. 14.1%, 70cl; £37.50, 5 WHISTLER SHIVER DOWN MY SPINE SHIRAZ 2015: Barossa Valley, South Australia. Big, soft, juicy and bursting with notes of blackberries, this red is perfect with classic festive roasts like turkey and goose. 14%, 70cl; £30,

Photograph by ###


Ahh Britain. We’ve always been a rather quirky little island. We like to do things a little differently. We like to go against the grain. We have our ways, our habits, the little things that make us quintessentially British. We eat fish and chips in the rain. We queue. We apologise. We put on our summer clothes at the first sight of the sun. We use funny expressions. We talk about the weather for hours. But we’re also a nation who won’t be deterred from any endeavour. We applaud all the plucky souls who dare to have a go. We reward courage and encourage eccentricity. We go out in the midday sun and we take our mad dogs with us. We build extraordinary things. We’ve done extraordinary things. And we also produce some rather extraordinary wine. Hattingley Valley - Unapologetically British

Remarkable sparkling wines from Hampshire Available at Ocado, Waitrose Cellar, Great Western Wine &

1 2 3 4

Up to the cask

Fancy trying a slightly different dram this Christmas? Pour yourself one of these whiskies, each with an alternative cask finish, from sherry to cider. 1 THE GLENROTHES 12 YEARS OLD: Speyside, Scotland. This 12-year-old expression is aged in sherry-seasoned oak casks, giving it aromas of melon, cinnamon and vanilla. 40%, 70cl; £42,

Photograph by ###

2 KAVALAN CONCERTMASTER PORT CASK FINISH: Yilan County, Taiwan. A port cask finish gives this young whisky notes of dark chocolate and blackberries. 40%, 70cl; £61.45,

3 GLEN MORAY CIDER CASK PROJECT: Elgin, Scotland. Time aging in Thistly Cross craft cider casks adds a little toffee apple to an already fruity scotch. 46.3%, 70cl; £52.95, 4 GLENMORANGIE SPIOS PRIVATE EDITION 9: Tain, Scotland. Named Spios after the Scottish Gaelic word for spice, this Highland single malt is matured in casks that were previously used for characteristically spicy American rye whiskey. 46%, 70cl; £79,



2 4


2 GOSPEL GREEN BRUT CYDER: Liss, Hampshire, UK: A dry, vinous cider made using the champagne method. Holds its own next to a good sparkling wine. 8.4%, 70cl; £11.95, Beer and cider don’t often get the same level of love as wine and spirits when it comes to special occasions, but this set of sharingsized bottles are all perfect for the Christmas table.

3 BRUERY TERREUX FRUCHT CRANBERRY & ORANGE: Anaheim, California, USA. An oak-aged Berline weisse-style sour beer packed with fruit, funk and festive flavours. 4.2%, 75cl; £15,

1 WILD BEER CO JAMBO: Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK: Rich and chocolatey, with a hint of tart fruitiness thanks to raspberries, this imperial stout is a great partner to decadent desserts. 8.5%, 75cl; £11.50,

4 ORBIT GYLE #100: Walworth, London, UK. A saccharine, small-batch barley wine that was brewed with figs and dates way back in 2016. Drink it now or age it in the bottle for added complexity. 11%, 75cl; £16,

Photograph by ###


Sharing is caring


SHERRY CASK MASTERS With nearly 200 years’ experience creating the finest richly sherried single malts, Scottish distillery The GlenDronach knows a thing or two about making whisky

I The GlenDronach is a registered trademark. © BenRiach. All right reserved. Photograph by (barrels) Peter Sandground; (bottle) Paul Hampton

N 1826, JAMES Allardice founded The GlenDronach Distillery deep in the Forgue Valley of the east Highland hills. It was here that he discovered the rich depths of sherry wood maturation – and since then, The GlenDronach sources only the finest Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks from Andalucia to craft its full-bodied, robust Highland single malt whiskies, winning


awards for their deep colour and rich flavour profiles along the way. This is especially true for The GlenDronach Revival Aged 15 Years (£62), aged exclusively in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks. Regarded as one of the finest sherry cask-matured malts, it was discontinued in 2015 due to supply constraints. This year, the new release was awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The GlenDronach Master Blender Rachel Barrie describes the 15 year old Revival as “an exquisite balance of intensity and finesse, with notes of dark fruits and manuka honey enveloped into a chocolate finish.” With a tasting note like that, how can you resist? ● Available in specialists stores across the UK; Follow the brand on Instagram at @glendronach or on Facebook at @TheGlenDronach. Please drink responsibly

DARE TO PAIR How to bring out the flavour of your GlenDronach whisky ◆◆ The GlenDronach 12YO (£44)

presents smooth vanilla, soft fruits and a nutty finish that pairs brilliantly with a hard cheese, a light fish in a flavoursome sauce, or even with milk chocolate. ◆◆ The richly sherried GlenDronach 18YO Allardice (£90) has notes of fudge and muscovado sugar. These spicy aromatics pair well with sharp, tangy gorgonzola, or chocolate infused with either ginger or green tea. ◆◆ Elsewhere, The GlenDronach 21YO Parliament (£131) is infused with notes of cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg, which are offset nicely by the creaminess of French goat’s cheese. Alternatively, try this richly spiced serve with a deeply indulgent pistachio truffle.


THE PAIRING: Organics by Red Bull Tonic Water is a perfect match for a classic prawn cocktail with harissa Marie Rose sauce – the spice of harissa and sweetness of prawns offset the crisp tartness of the Tonic Water, while the freshness of romaine lettuce goes with the lip-smacking hit of cinchona bark.

MATCH MAKERS Organics by Red Bull are refreshing soft drinks made with ingredients from natural origin. And they don’t just taste great on their own, but also match beautifully with food


HEN YOU THINK about what to serve alongside your food this Christmas, a soft drink might not be your first thought. But in fact, a delicious sparkling drink with complexity of flavour and a delicate balance of sweetness with fruity or spicy notes can open up a dish just as well as wine. Meet Organics by Red Bull – a new range of soft drinks made with ingredients from all-natural origin, which includes Simply Cola, Ginger Ale, Bitter Lemon and Tonic Water. They match perfectly with food, which is why we’ve selected four unique pairing ideas, each carefully matched to the drinks’ distinctive flavours, to take your Christmas eating and drinking to the next level. ● Organics by Red Bull are available at Shell, Budgens and Amazon as well as at Street Feast and Night Tales


THE PAIRING: Organics by Red Bull Ginger Ale has sweetness and spice in equal measure. We’d pair it with rich buttercream-icing carrot cake. The heat and sharpness of ginger and bergamot will take the edge off the cake’s richness and marry beautifully with its savoury notes.


THE PAIRING: The sweet and aromatic profile of Organics by Red Bull Simply Cola – with notes of woody spice, vanilla and kola nut – pair perfectly with the dried fruits, nuttiness and almond falvour of a classic Christmas cake with marzipan under its icing.

THE PAIRING: The fresh-cut grass and citrus-peel notes in Organics by Red Bull Bitter Lemon aren’t a world away from a Sauvignon Blanc, which makes it a great match for steamed asparagus with rich, buttery hollandaise sauce.

Photograph by ###


from albariño to zinfandel


@ MOSTWANTEDWINES ● To advertise in this section please call 020 7819 9999


Enjoy Responsibly

THE SELECTOR Winter is here, and that means one thing: it’s time to eat your weight in festive goodness, from feasting menus to patisseries, great gifts and amazing themed venues for cosy drinks – about time you dived in


ESTIVE SEASON IS upon us, and with it comes a bevy of food and drink options that aren’t available for the rest of the year. No, we’re not just talking turkey – we’re talking proper Christmas blow-outs, with everything from from whole pig’s head feasting menus to rich fusion spins like three-bird wontons served with ramen and lashings of tasty miso soup. It’s obviously the season for gifting, too, so we’ve rounded up some of the best

restaurants and bakeries selling produce that’s good enough to give to your loved ones – or just hoard for your own entertaining. Christmas shopping taking its toll on your feet? Give our selection of patisseries a go to get your danish and choux fix, or just head out with your mates for a few festive bevvies at this winter’s best themed bars, terraces and afternoon tea spots across the city. Oh, and make sure to ask your family to buy you a bigger belt this year. You’ll be needing it. f




Created using a patented cold-distillation still, Oxley is a super-premum, innovative, vibrant and smooth-tasting gin. The expert team behind the spirit dedicated eight long years and 38 recipes to perfecting the process of making Oxley gin in a vacuum still below freezing point – and the results are absolutely worth it. This unique, finely

honed process enables the distillers to use fresh-frozen citrus peels, harnessing the true flavour of 14 botanicals that you can taste in each and every sip. And how does that happen? Distilling without heat results in a flavour bursting with more fresh fruit, vibrant citrus, herbal and floral flavours than traditional distillation methods.




 2  Café Lanka

 4  Pophams Bakery

9 Goldhurst Terrace, NW6 3HX

19 Prebend Street, N1 8PF

Here, modern takes on British pastries are made by Japanese chef Masayuki Hara, who trained in French cuisine at Le Gavroche. Confusing, but it all falls into place as soon as you get your chops around a green-tea éclair. This Finchley favourite specialises in modern British bakes and Ceylon teas, churning out dainty morsels of light-as-air, sugary deliciousness like pear tart tatin and a bitesized rum baba. Diet? What diet?

We don’t know what heaven is, but in our heads it’s filled with cloud-like pastries and everything is dusted with icing sugar or topped with pillowy swirls of cream… Much like Islington bakery Pophams, where you’ll find perfect creations begging to be eaten. Layers of buttery pastry oozing ginger custard and nectarine; plaits of croissant dough with rosemary and sea salt; croissants with pear and pecan. Yep, this might just be heaven, alright.

020 7625 3366;


 3  Cake Boy

 5  Maitre Choux

Unit 2, Kingfisher House, Battersea Reach, SW18 1TX

15 Harrington Road, South Kensington, SW7 3ES

The bakes at Cake Boy are nothing short of art. Layer upon layer of sponge, mousseline, marzipan and Normandy cream praline, covered in a mirror glaze and piled high with chocolate ganache, macarons and fruit coulis, created by Eric Lanlard, aka Cake Boy. Not only can you pop in for a pastry, you can also pre-order bespoke cakes, or book into the patisserie school to learn how to recreate these tasty treats at home. Dangerous.

Is there anything more extra than a leopardprint eclair that’s been piped with arabica coffee cream and topped with gold leaf? Probably not, but when it tastes this good we don’t really care. Maitre Choux’s team really are pastry, er, maîtres, concocting delectable creations out of choux pastry and cream, from éclairs crammed with Persian pistachio mousseline cream to bite-sized choux cases filled with raspberry-vanilla cream.

020 7978 5555;

020 3583 4561;





YES DOUGH From sourdough pastries to the finest choux this side of the French border, check these patisseries

 1  Little Bread Pedlar Arch Spa Business Park 4, 6 Dockley Road, SE16 3FJ


We could get lost in the swirls and whirls of pastry at Little Bread Pedlar. In fact, we already have. One minute we were looking at a rhubarb and custard danish, the next all that was left on the plate was one tiny flake of pastry. Oops. But that’s testament to Little Bread Pedlar’s team of pastry chefs, who create works of art with dough, prefermenting a ‘poolish’ starter before mixing it with flour and water, leaving it to ferment, then adding Lescure butter from France.


1  The Prince 14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT

In a world of cosy winter terraces, The Prince – a rambling woodland garden that extends across the rooftops of four buildings on the same street in Earl’s Court – just about takes the prize. This winter, the mammoth, fourrestaurant, three-bar covered terrace is fully heated, full of cosy blankets, and has food from four of the city’s finest independent traders: Patty&Bun, Edu, Coqfighter and Foley’s. Turn up and chow down.



COSY PARKER Nothing gets the festive feels going more than a winter-themed bar or terrace – here are five of the best in London this Christmas 2

Photograph by [The Prince] Pasco photography; [Hideaway] Simon John Owen; [Maitre Choux] Wookie photography

BEST OF THE REST  2  Dalloway Terrace

 4  Churchill’s Highlands Hideaway

16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN

30 Portman Sqaure, W1H 7BH

You know what elevates afternoon tea from pleasant day out to full-on winter warmer vibes? Chomping your way through tons of sumptuous sarnies, scones and cup after cup of tea at The Bloomsbury Hotel’s Dalloway Terrace. Expect festive wreaths, snowy-white floral arrangements and – perhaps most importantly – seriously plush blankets to make yourself feel extra cosy. Yes.

Take an award-winning terrace, turn it into a Highland-themed hideaway with faux fur throws and pine trees, then ply your guests with hot whisky cocktails, pies and Scotch eggs. Yep, you’ve got Churchill’s Highlands Hideaway, the new winter-themed bar at the Churchill Bar and Terrace, just off Oxford Street. We’ll meet you at the bar: ours is a fig old fashioned – just saying.

020 7347 1221;

020 7017 1808;

 3  Night Tales

 5  Après London

14 Bohemia Place, E8 1DU

Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU

Hackney’s Bohemia Place got a facelift thanks to fancy new lights last month, but that’s not the only reason you should be heading to the hedonistic little alleyway full of bars and craft breweries this festive season. Night Tales has just received its winter makeover, and is now home to East London’s biggest winter terrace, complete with Northern Lightsstyle illuminations on the roof, flickering candlelight on the tables and roaring fires everywhere else. In a word: snug.

Christmas is coming, winter is here and the World Cup cheers (and tears) we all had at Flat Iron Square this summer feel like a very, very long time ago. And that’s why the infamous Borough-based drinking and dining hangout has reimagined itself as an Austrian-style alpine village, complete with a wooden ski chalet serving winter cocktails, a mini version of the Shard and a ton of private booths inside a mock village street. Forget England, we support Austria now.

020 7684 5398;

020 3179 9800;





1  Ottolenghi Various locations

We dedicated 8 years and 38 recipes to perfect the process of making Oxley gin in a vacuum still, below freezing point.

Yotam Ottolenghi introduced us to heaps of ingredients most of us had never heard of before – harissa and za’atar, we’re looking at you – and created delicious recipes that, well, used loads of said ingredients. Which means that, sometimes, it’s easier to buy his products than it is to make them yourself. It’s very convenient indeed that the chef opened a range of delis where you can do just that, from preserves to spice mixes like dukkah. Christmas time sees the shops stock festive produce like Christmas pudding, biscuits and a whole range of hampers. @ottolenghi;

Our unique process enables us to use fresh-frozen citrus peels, and to harness the true flavour of our 14 botanicals, which you can taste in each and every sip.

Distilling without heat results in a flavour boasting more fresh fruit, vibrant citrus, herbal and floral flavours than in a traditional distillation process.






These restaurants, cafes and bakeries are all dishing out gift-worthy Christmas produce



Created using a Patented Cold Distillation Still, Oxley is an innovative, vibrant and smooth tasting gin.



BEST OF THE REST  2  Lina Stores

 4  Melrose and Morgan

18 Brewer Street, W1F 0SH

Oriel Hall, Oriel Place, NW3 1QN

With rows of jars stuffed full of sun dried tomatoes, wedges of Parmigiano-Reggiano and bags of biscuits, Lina Stores in Soho is our idea of paradise. Opened in 1944, it’s been purveying the finest Italian goods ever since, and that means one thing: panettone. There are tiny ones, big ones, ones studded with chocolate, and ones peppered with dried fruit… You just have to try them all, right?

We’d like everything in our kitchen to come in Melrose and Morgan’s gorgeous packaging, please and thanks. In fact, we’d like everything in our to kitchen to come from Hampsted deli Melrose and Morgan, period. You’ll find everything you need to take your festive feast up a notch, and, of course, Christmas hampers crammed with all that festive dreams are made of.

020 7437 6482;

020 7794 6727;

 3  Fink’s Salt & Sweet

 5  Gail’s Bakery

70 Mountgrove Road, N5 2LT


This café-restaurant serves a banging brunch, brilliant coffees and small plates in the evening, when you’ll find diners gorging themselves on roast aubergine with feta, and harissa-marinated lamb shoulder. Yum. Give yourself time to peruse the shelves, too, which hold oils and vinegars; coffees and teas; and gifts that’ll make a sweet stocking filler for even the most serious foodies.

Gail’s baked goods need little introduction, but if you ever needed an excuse to get yourself to one of London’s best-loved bakeries, it should be a freshly baked loaf of pecan and cranberry sourdough that’s so big it’ll keep you fed throughout Christmas. Other reasons include some of the best mince pies we’ve come across and iced Christmas buns, and a sour cherry and ricotta croissant.

020 7684 7189;




1  Berners Tavern 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP

If you’re looking for a space that does a special occasion justice, the enormous, opulent and gorgeous dining room at Berners Tavern will probably do it. And if you’re looking for great food, Berners more than delivers, too: there’s a Christmas feasting menu of Dingley Dell pork and pistachio terrine with celeriac and pickled mustard salad (yum); whole-baked sea bass with fennel and mussel stuffing (double yum) and Christmas crumble tart with spiced cream and custard (yum, yum and yum). 020 7908 7979;



EAT IT ALL ’Tis the season to eat in abundacne, and these five Christmas feasts are all great for a special occasion


BEST OF THE REST  2  Bone Daddies

 4  Maison Bab

Various locations

4 Mercer Street, WC2H 9FA

Christmas ramen: sounds so wrong, but in the hands of Bone Daddies, it tastes so, so right. Go for the Three Bird Wontonmen – pheasant, duck and turkey wontons in a spicy miso broth with pulled duck, freshly chopped spring onions and chilli garlic butter. There’s also a turkey katsu curry with daikon pickle, and crispy brussel sprouts, plus warm sake.

Christmas is a time to test your trousers to their absolute limit, and the place to do exactly that is Mason Bab, where you can dive into an entire pig’s head with crackling, seasonal pickles and pomegranate molasses gravy; or you could plump for the lamb shoulder with adana gremolata, meat mayo and pickled carrots. The choice is yours.

020 7240 9781;

 3  Polpo

 5  Palatino

Various locations

71 Central Street, EC1V 8AB

Grab your Christmas jumper and bundle into Polpo, where the finest Venetian cuisine is dished up on massive sharing plates, ready for everyone to bicker over. There’ll be beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish; baked sea bass and roast chicken with kale and chestnuts – we could go on...

At Palatino this Christmas, you’ll start out with bites of fried squash with sage leaves, before nibbling delicately on creamy cacio e pepe. Tread carefully, though: eat too much and you won’t have room for goose leg, cotechino (pork sausage) and mustard fruit – let alone panettone bread and butter pud.

020 3481 5300;







FRESH NEW LOOK Much-loved restaurant group Bill’s is bringing its flagship restaurants bang up to date with stylish renovations, and you could be in with a chance of winning a meal for four


HINK OF THE trappings of modern casual-dining restaurants – sharing plates, a convivial, informal atmosphere, an eye-catching cocktail list and interiors lively with quirk and personality – and it’s likely that British restaurant group Bill’s was at the cutting edge of it, even years ago. For a decade and a half, the group has carved a niche serving seasonal European food in an atmosphere best described as ‘farmhouse glamour’, taking the best of buzzy restaurant culture and collating it in a space that’s relaxed, fun and vibrant – in its central London restaurants but also further out into the suburbs, too. But even the best-loved restaurants have to move with the times in an era where the drinking and dining scene is changing fast. That’s why Bill’s is doing

just that, with plans to revamp ten of its flagship sites in London and beyond. It’ll welcome in more diners for dinner and drinks – as well as its popular lunch and brunch crowd – with not only a facelift of its dining rooms, but of its menus, too. The first big revamp is its South Kensington restaurant, where from 24 November, you’ll be able to get a taste of the group’s new direction. “We have achieved amazing things for Bill’s since the brand’s inception back in 2002,” says founder Bill Collison. “Having built local affection across all restaurants with our ‘all-day menu’, we are now developing a fantastic new environment to enjoy latenight dinner and cocktails.” If you want to be in with a chance of winning a feast for four at one of the new Bill’s restaurants, see right. ●


WIN DINNER FOR FOUR Want to win dinner and drinks for four people at one of the new Bill’s restaurants? Of course you do! Entering couldn’t be easier – all you have to do is go to and answer a WIN simple question. Good luck... Find a full list of T&Cs on the website

Go to or search #newlookbills


FEELING FESTIVE? There’s nothing better than a Christmas cheese board. For some delicious, distinctive cheeses made with love and care, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses has you covered


OR MANY PEOPLE, while prawn cocktail, turkey and trimmings, and Christmas pudding are high on the priority list when the festive season rolls around, it’s the cheese that gets the taste buds tingling at Christmas. And with good reason: a bountiful cheese selection provides a delicious array of flavours, textures and variations that match beautifully with loads of different beers, wines or spirits.


Not only that, but if you like to shop locally where possible, the UK is home to some of the best and most talented cheesemakers in the world. Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses is definitely one such cheesemaker. The family-run operation make their cheeses with only the highest-quality, highest-welfare milk sourced just a couple of miles from the dairy in the bucolic Lancashire countryside – in fact,



GET 10% OFF THIS CHRISTMAS If all this talk of festive cheese boards has got you craving some of Butlers’ cheeses, we’ve got great news: the brand is offering 10% off all products for Foodism readers, from individual cheeses or whole cheese boards. You can also buy 5 single cheeses for the price of 4 – look out for the promotional flash on the website. Go to and use the code FOODISM at checkout. Order by 16th December to guarantee delivery before Christmas

they can trace their milk back to the individual cow it was milked from. They are the only cheesemaker in the UK to make a range of hard, soft and blue cheeses. And they’re award winners, too: between them, Butlers’ cheeses won a staggering 42 awards at various local and nationwide competitions in 2018 alone. Having such a comprehensive and diverse range, of course, means that you can get an entire cheese board, full of complementary flavours, all from Butlers. So this Christmas, why not try and Butlers Family Cheeseboard, a selection of Butlers’ best cheeses? If you choose this, not only will you be able to sample a range of Butlers cheeses, from the colourful and tangy Blacksticks Blue to the sharp and rich Trotter Hill and Button Mill, but you’ll even get a ‘lucky dip’ of Butlers’ beautiful goat’s cheeses – any one of the delicious Beacon Blue, Kidderton Ash or Inglewhite.

BOARD MASTERS: (clockwise from left) A festive cheese board; a truck of Butlers cheeses; tangy Trotter Hill; Blacksticks Blue

Alternatively, if you’re catering for a large group, try the Christmas Showstopper, a larger selection of Butlers cheeses that also includes a mini truckle of Blacksticks Blue. Or why not build your own cheese board, choosing from the whole range, to curate something just for you? So many options available means you’re bound to find something that works for you and your Christmas table. So, whether you’re a keen amateur or a fully fledged cheese hound, it’s good to know there’s a sustainable British cheesemaker that can cater for any taste or preference, and kit out an entire cheese board in one fell swoop. The best part of Christmas: covered. ●




AUTHENTIC JAPAN Hankering for the flavours and textures of Japan? We’ve partnered with S&B Foods to offer one lucky winner a collection of authentic Japanese food products


HERE ARE MANY flavours that you immediately associate with Japan: rich, warming katsu, for example, or the unique, fiery heat of wasabi. And where there’s a quintessential Japanese flavour, you can be sure that the country’s premier culinary brand S&B Foods makes an authentic-tasting ingredient that helps budding home chefs cook great dishes at home. With decades of heritage in Japanese cooking, S&B Foods is proud to be the first company to develop wasabi paste in an easy-to-use tube, and continues to play a leading role in global wasabi culture – being awarded a 1-star Great Taste Award for its wasabi paste in 2017. Although the peppery horseradish-


like paste is traditionally used with Japanese foods like sashimi, sushi and soba, it’s great for adding a little bit of zest to all kinds of cuisines – head to the brand’s website to find all kinds of new uses for the iconic sauce. But S&B Foods is about way more than just wasabi. Other award-winning products in the range include Japanese chili paste Nanami, which won 2 stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards, and spicy citrus Yuzu paste, which won 1 star at the awards, too. Hungry? If you fancy cooking with a selection of great S&B products, see right. ●



Fancy getting your hands on a special package of tasty, authentic Japanese cooking ingredients? You’re in luck, because we’ve teamed up with S&B Foods to give one lucky reader just that. The prize includes the full range WIN of S&B Golden Curry sauces – mild, medium hot and hot, all perfect for an authentic katsu curry – as well as tubes of wasabi, spicy citrus and Japanese-style chili. You’ll also get an S&B apron, hand fan and tote bag. To enter, visit


TABLE TALK: (clockwise from left) A table in the dining room at Old Compton Brasserie; a cocktail designed by Talented Mr Fox; a spread including the restaurant’s signature steak tartare

ALL DAY, EVERY DAY The brand-new Old Compton Brasserie is more than just a fantastic all-day dining spot – its eclectic dining room is bursting with nods to the ghosts of Soho past


HE PHRASE ‘UP-AND-COMING’ gets thrown around a lot when people talk about London’s diverse neighbourhoods. But there are some areas that have always been there – whose streets are paved with some of London’s richest history, and full of some of its most vibrant sights and sounds. Soho is certainly one of these. And now it’s got a new venue that pays homage to the area’s history and heritage. Located smack-bang in the centre of Soho, Old Compton Brasserie is an all-day dining destination serving up modern British favourites – like the classic steak tartare with a fiery, umamirich tomato streak running through it and crisp, wafer-thin sourdough toast, or grilled lamb rump with salt-baked celeriac, and pea and broad bean relish. But it’s more than just great food: a long, two-story dining room celebrates

‘forgotten Soho’ with neon signs and Boho-style paintings depicting celebrities who’ve made Soho famous. There’s also a bespoke painting by urban contemporary artist Anna Laurini – whose work can be seen in and around the area. The cocktail list, too, is a nod to Soho. Designed by Talented Mr Fox – the brainchild of Scout, Iron Stag and former Peg + Patriot bartender Matt Whiley – the drinks are named after popular personalities, famous and otherwise, who have contributed to its rich history. So you can eat, drink and do Soho, all from the comfort of your table. ● 36-38 Old Compton Street, W1D 4TT. For more information, visit, follow on Twitter at @OCBrasserie, Facebook at @OldComptonBrasserie or Instagram at @oldcomptonbrasserie. To book, call 020 7434 2214 or email

THE KEY INFO Old Compton Brasserie is located at 36-38 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TT. For more information, visit, follow on Twitter at @OCBrasserie, Facebook at @OldComptonBrasserie or Instagram at @oldcomptonbrasserie. To book, call 020 7434 2214 or email



MAKE OR BAKE Give your baking skills a boost with a one-off baking masterclass just for Foodism readers, hosted by AEG and The Great British Bake Off’s Richard Burr

I Photograph by (Richard Burr) James Bell Photography

F THE LATEST season of The Great British Bake Off had you reaching for your apron and wooden spoon in a bid to whip up the perfect profiteroles, only to find your baking skills aren’t quite up to scratch, you’re in luck: we’ve teamed up with home applicance brand AEG to host a one-off baking masterclass with GBBO favourite Richard Burr, exclusively for foodism readers. Hosting three intimate sessions of 12 participants each, Burr will guide guests through a live bake-along that will help you finesse your skills and take your baking to the next level. The exclusive event will be held on 26 January 2019 at the HelloFresh cookery school in central London. All cooking stations at the school have been equipped with the latest AEG technology, giving you hands-

on experience with the popular Mastery Range of appliances. Don’t worry if you consider yourself a baking novice – with help from Richard, and AEG’s ultra-responsive technology, you’ll be able to create your own showstopping bake that you can take home to share with family and friends. Tickets cost just £15 for a one-hour masterclass, and include complimentary welcome drinks and canapés upon arrival. While there, you’ll have time to chat with Richard and other guests and of course, enjoy the baking experience. You’ll even get an AEG goodie bag, too, with treats for you to take away. This will be a brilliant event that’s sure to amp up your baking skills. There are only 36 tickets, though – so book your place today. ●

THE KEY INFO Want to join us? Here's what you'll get with your ticket: ◆◆ A one-hour masterclass with Richard Burr, hosted by AEG ◆◆ Three sessions available, with a maximum of 12 participants per session ◆◆ Taking place at the HelloFresh Cookery School, EC2A 2EZ on 26 January ◆◆ Tickets include welcome drinks, canapes, a goody bag – and you get to take home your bake HelloFresh, 60 Worship Street,EC2A 2EZ. Tickets cost £15; aeglivebaking.


FIRST DATE: It’s thought that dates have been eaten by humans for around 8,000 years, originating in the Middle East. They’re the fruit of the date palm, and although can be eaten fresh, are most often dried – they keep for ages thanks to their high sugar content.


MAKE A DATE: To grow date palms at home, plant a date seed in a pot of sandy soil and keep it warm; when it starts to grow it’ll look like a mini palm tree.

UP-TO-DATE: Nowadays, dates are used as an ingredient in more and more dishes and products – try adding date syrup to salad dressings and dips, spread date butter on toast, or put the chopped-up fruit in Christmas stuffing.

Photograph by ### Photograph by Burak Karademir/Getty

High in vitamins, fibre and flavour, dates aren’t just for Christmas. They’re a first-rate healthy snack and are versatile too, adding a touch of sweetness to all sorts of dishes










Copyright © 2018 Southern Comfort. All rights reserved. Southern Comfort is a registered trademark.




Black & Cola






Copyright © 2018 Southern Comfort. All rights reserved. Southern Comfort is a registered trademark.

Profile for Square Up Media Ltd.

Foodism - 31 - London, food and drink