Cocktail Creations & Party Food

Happy bank holiday weekend everyone!

This latest post is somewhat inspired by my good friend Miss Penn’s recent birthday bash, where some very creative cocktails where enjoyed at The London Cocktail Club’s Goodge Street venue. Before I get on to that though I did promise to reference how good the pre-party food was. I am a firm believer that if you’re going to throw a party, there must be a good food offering too – crisps in a bowl doesn’t cut it! It’s just good manners and basic biology if you ask me. If alcohol is to be consumed over a long period of time, there must be sufficient food first. So to show you how it’s done here’s a picture of the spread at Miss Penn’s recent joint birthday soiree.


The mac and cheese was a winner with everyone

Not forgetting the ‘teal velvet cupcakes’ – yes that’s right…teal…you saw it here first people!

So with stomachs suitably filled with food, it was on to the cocktail portion of the evening. I sadly only stayed for one delicious drink (needed to be back down south again), but here’s a selection of the fabulous drinks we enjoyed.

Miss Pen enjoyed an earl grey infused cocktail – I approve!

The ‘At the Movies’ cocktail

My choice! Painkiller…a classic Caribbean rum cocktail that I have fond family memories of my mum enjoying over in the Virgin Isles!

Feeling inspired and with my sister’s birthday just around the corner, I got out my cocktail shaker and got to work on some cocktail creations of my own. The party was Mexican food themed and it was a hot summer’s evening so it called something fruit filled and zesty. In the end I settled on a long drink, which had took its base recipe from a good old fashion Cosmo, with a few added extras. I’m calling it a ‘Summer Cosmo’

The Summer Cosmo

It was delicious and enjoyed by all! I was frequently back and forth with the cocktail shaker whipping up fresh batches. If you’d like to try my Summer Cosmo too, the ingredients are as follows…

  • Absolut Citron Vodka (if you’ve only got normal vodka, just add lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice to the mix)
  • Juice of x2 limes
  • Cranberry & Raspberry Juice
  • Sanguinello (blood orange) Juice
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Crushed ice and chopped orange, lime, lemon and strawberries for the finishing touches

The ratio can be varied depending on the strength, I went for the Sanguinello and Cranberry as the strongest juice elements to give a red summery colour.

Enjoy – happy bank holiday drinking!


Bean Below’s Brilliant Breakfast

When you’re trying to sell your house it can often lead to you having to leave the house for half an hour or so at awkward times, while random people come view your home…all part of the process, but not always entirely convenient.

House for Sale…


So with a viewing scheduled for fairly early on a Sunday morning, what were we to do but go out for breakfast? After pleading with Iago (our pet bird) to keep quiet and a frantic tidy up, we headed out to Bean Below – the local cafe and restaurant below Twyford Stores. I have to say that this place really is a testament to just what great produce we have locally and the scrummy delights that can be created from it. The majority of the food and drink served all is locally sourced, from the Ahmad loose leaf teas to the free range eggs.

Bean Below – the lovely little restaurant below Twyford Stores


I have been to Bean Below for lunch and dinner a fair few times, but never for breakfast (I’m not known for being up in time for breakfast!). Bean Below’s food is always good quality and the breakfast did not disappoint, with hearty serving of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for me and a classic Full English for Tom, it was just what two tired people unable to return home required. It hit the spot! Well done Bean Below – you never disappoint!

Scrumptious scrambled eggs and a whole heap of smoked salmon – yum!

Even when Bean Below won’t be walking distance for us any more we’ll still make the short journey from Winchester to enjoy it’s excellent food, it’s well worth the drive.