Since we are nearing the end of 2015, I would like to vote Hotel Café Royal my best afternoon tea of the year. It is rare to come across a restaurant that offers great food, attentive service, fervent atmosphere and a reserved British culture, Hotel Café Royal was just that. The Oscar Wilde Bar in Hotel Café Royal was established in 1865; a place where Oscar Wilde himself dined on a regular basis. The bar is surrounded by mirrored panels with golden gilded frames, not to mention about the red sofa chairs and rich decorative ceilings. Okay let’s put the history and the tedious description of the environment (I have photos below anyway!) aside, read on,and I’ll explain why you must visit Hotel Café Royal for their afternoon tea. 🙂
London is becoming London again, as the breezy cold weather is emerging, which means we need to try twice as hard to beat the post holiday blue. How do you do that with food? Well, what’s better than warming your flat up with a home-made cottage pie baking beautifully in your oven? Living in a small flat in London gives me the privilege to do that! Cottage pie is always my kind of food that offers comfort and warmth. The idea of creamy mash potato on top of some lean minced beef and most importantly, 2 portions of my 5 a day, carrot, peas and shallots. Click here to see how I ‘scooped’ my cottage pie. 🙂 For the healthier options, you can replace the potato with butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
A girls gathering doesn’t necessarily need to be an elegant afternoon tea in a hotel, but if you prefer this type of location, Sunday roast with a glass of red in a classy environment is equally as enjoyable, especially in Conrad London St James. Ever since I was enticed by the Sunday roast Conrad hotel had on offer for just £12, I’ve been longing to re-visit to try it out. I felt cosiness as soon as I entered this beautiful 19th century decor restaurant, the Blue Boar, on a Sunday afternoon.
I attempted to make macaroons a few years back, but the result wasn’t pleasing, as it was shapeless and didn’t taste good. In fact, it was diabolical, so I decided to attend a macaroon making class, which was a deal I purchased via Groupon. The recipe provided by the class was quite complicated and it wasn’t particularly easy to follow either. I’ve almost given up, as I thought I’d never master this little French meringue that I love so much until I was invited to another macaron making class for Charlotte’s hen party. This time, the macaroon making class was fun and the recipe was fairly easy to follow. I guess it really does make difference when it comes to who and how you are taught.
As a massive fan of seafood, I normally opt for seafood dishes from the menu when I lunch of dine out, especially, at the Italian chain, Zizzi. At Zizzi, I only ever order the spicy crab meat linguine, but since their menu changed, for whatever reason, they decided to remove such a popular dish from their menu, so I decided to make it myself with the extra white clam I ordered from Ocado. Here is a nice and quick meal solution when you happen to run out of pasta sauce!
Hello Fresh Day 5 – Instead of scratching my head contemplating about where and what to have for lunch, I made butterflied chicken with feta, leek and minted potatoes, which was perfect on a relaxing Saturday afternoon at home. Sadly, this is the last of the 5 meals that were in my first HelloFresh box. This low-fat recipe is highly recommended for those who keeps tab on their calorie intake.
Hello Fresh Day 4 – my Hello Fresh week is coming to the end very soon! Our second to last dish is Pork Chops with Roasted Fennel Medley and Mashed Potato. I totally adore this recipe and particularly love the roasted fennel medley. The aroma from the roasted fennel medley (roasted red onion, apple and fennel) totally enhanced the taste, despite the lack of seasoning and herbs. A forkful of pork chop, roasted fennel medley and creamy mash potato makes me wonder why should I bother eating out anymore? I genuinely thought I cook my pork chop better than Gordon Ramsey did! Okay let’s have a look how to make this kick-ass pork chop recipe.
Hello Fresh day 3 – A lot of healthy eating in the past couple of days, but my quest of cooking every available dish from the Fresh Box continues. Tonight, I’m making ‘authentic’ Penne all’Arrabbiata! This special Italian dish is basically pasta with spicy sauce made from garlic, tomatoes, and red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. The recipe below gives you a chilli kick, but not overly spicy where it destroys your appetite. Cooking by following recipes 3 days in a row feels like attending international cooking classes every night at home! Okay let me show you how to make Penne all’Arrabbiata now.
Hello Fresh day 2 – I made grilled lamb pittas with cucumber salsa and salad today simply because I’m not a fan of lamb and being able to make a lamb dish that I like will be insanely challenging. Again, the recipe is from Hello Fresh, so it can’t be that bad! With the knowledge that the minced lamb is from a good quality butcher, I knew for sure the lamb wouldn’t taste gamy! Anyhow, the result was pleasing because my lovely husband and I absolutely slaughtered the tasty lamb pittas.
Hello Fresh day 1 – I was given a HelloFresh classic box by my cousin and felt excited because I’ve always wanted to own one of them! In simple terms, it’s a box packed with organic ingredients to cook up 5 meals and tonight, we decided to cook the Mimi’s Coastal fish curry to kick start the week. When I was preparing the ingredients, I was impressed with how fresh the tilapia fillet was and surprisingly it’s from James Knight from Mayfair (the same fishmonger in London Selfridges food hall). I was really amazed with Hello Fresh because they take their ingredients seriously. I am sold! (Not to mention I had the best vegetable stock pot in my entire life.)
Let’s have a look at today’s recipe and how easy it was to cook.