Mormons, Lobsters and London…

I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been about seeing Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s musical, The Book of Mormon! I’d booked the tickets waaay back in November as a special treat for Tom and at last the weekend had finally arrived!

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To make a real occasion out of the day (I don’t do London all that often) we went for a spot of lunch first. We headed to the Burger & Lobster – nearby restaurant serving you guessed it…burger or lobster. There’s only three choices on the menu so all are done really well, there was a choice of lobster with a salad and fries, a burger with bacon and cheese and a lobster roll. I opted for the lobster roll, which was to die for, I’d eat it again right now if that were possible! The lobster roll was actually toasted brioche bread, with cold lobster in a lemon mayonnaise, accompanied by salad and fries…so good!

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Lobster Roll - delicious!

Here’s a look at the other two dishes on the menu…

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Burger at Burger & Lobster

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Lobster and chips, a classic!

Being as it was a special occasion, I enjoyed a few lunchtime cocktails too. Here’s a Winter in the City, a vodka based cocktail with cranberry, elderflower…and I forget what else…it somehow tasted like an iced mulled wine, if you can imagine that tasting good.

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Winter in the City - beautiful and delicious

A few wines were also enjoyed at lunch and then a few more at the theatre too…so it did end up little messy that evening, but lots of fun. The show was fantastically funny, Trey Parker and Matt Stone at their best. Highly offensive but totally getting away with it, by being so on the mark and amusing. There were actually points when my theatre companions had tears of laughter in their eyes! It’s hard to conceive of how a musical about Mormons could be so brilliant, but like South Park and Team America, it just somehow is. If you enjoyed Team America you’ll enjoy The Book of Mormon for sure, definitely worth the trip to London!

New Year’s Eve – A Night of Fabulous Food!

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Okay my New Year’s Eve was a little mad towards the end, but sensational to begin with – I spent it at the Bugle Inn, Twyford – where the menu for the evening was fabulous from start to finish. From the canapés and mulled wine to begin with to the collection of desserts and the generous cheese board at the end, every course was spot on…my favourite was the fish course:

Halibut – Brill – Sauce Beur Blanc – Capers – Langoustine – Spinach – Fennel, Shallot & Celeriac Puree – Salmon Caviar – Parsley Puree – Lobster Coulis

It was that good, it was even enjoyed by someone on the table who claimed not to like fish!

It was the small, but indulgent little touches that made the evening feel extra special, like the amuse bouche – Celeriac & Apple Veloute  with Curry Oil and Pine Nuts and the Champagne to finish.

Needless to say with a flavoursome trio of duck, a beautiful loin of Hampshire Lamb and several bottles of Champagne also part of the proceedings that evening – I certainly left feeling full food and cheer!

Anyway I think I’ll just say Happy New Year and leave this post here…and not elaborate on how the evening ended with me tucking into some Ainsley Harriott’s Cous Cous at 8 in the morning…

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Festive Eating Continued…

It was a four day weekend for me this week, with plenty of festive foodie moments to savour. It’s just a lovely time of year for friends, family and food – and I’m making the most of it!

My Friday evening may sound a little sad but actually it was a dream, although I was home alone while Tom braved his work Christmas party, I had my own little Christmas party. A few mugs on Winter Pimms and some favourite films saw me through the evening after wrapping a heap of presents. It was also time to do the ‘Christmas Shop’ – you know…the excessive,  wildly indulgent, you’ll-never-eat-that-much, heart attack in a trolley festive food shop? Well I did mine online  with Ocado in an effort to be a little more conservative (didn’t go so well) – suffice to say I’ve now got an assortment of alcohol that would put any cocktail bar to shame – including Baileys Biscotti, Ameretto (for my new favourite – Ameretto and Cranberry – you must try it!), fruity red wines for more mulled wine, St. Peter’s ales and Kopperberg Fruit Ciders. I tried to be a little less spend-happy with the food, preferring to pick a lot of it up at the local farm shop and farmers market.

Time to be merry...

Saturday afternoon saw me repeating the festive food shopping experience, this time in a real supermarket with my little sister. We’re both spending Christmas Day with my parents and decided that as grown ups – we’d do the ‘nibble shop’ for my mum and dad. The trolley was laden with cheese straws, mince pies, Yule log, Christmas cake, nuts and lots of miniature food favourites – Christmas Day is going to be good!  Loose fitting clothes advised.

Hello festive food

Saturday evening I met with some good friends for mulled wine and other drinks and thoroughly good catch-up. With one friend staying the night at mine, we enjoyed a bit of Baileys Biscotti as nice night-cap – a lovely way to end the evening.

Ultimate night cap

I spent the next day braving the busy streets of Winchester, buying gifts from the art and design market and enjoying yet more mulled wine and some sweet crepes with a dear friend at the Christmas markets. We wandered till it was dark and our fingers froze before wishing each other a Merry Christmas and retreating to the warmth of home.

I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday evening than dinner at The Black Rat with Tom. We haven’t been there for ages, but it’s always been amazing…and it didn’t disappoint!  Every course was deliciously interesting. I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly what I had in as much eloquent detail as the menu itself, but I had a delightful crab starter and monk fish with curried leeks for a main course – and of course cheese to finish…although I could have been tempted by almost all of the desserts on the menu. Needless to say the Black Rat is the foodie highlight of the week for me!

Possibly the best Sunday evening ever at The Black Rat...

That about rounds up this extended weekend’s eating really…all that’s left is to cook up a curry for tonight’s tea.

Festive Food (part 1)

This week’s entry is all about the locally sourced festive treats I’ve enjoyed…I’ve really been getting into the festive spirit (well I’ve sort of  been in the spirit since November!)…but now my Christmas tree is up and the house is beautiful!

And what better accompaniment to Christmas decorating than mulled wine? I used Hambleden Herbs Organic Mulling Spices, with honey, sugar and dash or orange juice to make a lovely spicy cup-full (ok…whole bottle full) for the occasion. Truly delicious and soul-warming, certainly spirit lifting!

On the subject of winter warmers I also picked up some Whisky Toddy Spices as special little stocking filler from Suma Wholefoods – should go down very nicely with my dad!

It being a weekend in December, a few cheeky mince pies were of course consumed. My village stores stocks a pretty tempting range of locally produced mince pies which I’m slowly working my way through, in my own personal taste test (being the only mince-pie fan the house – it is a slow task – but one I take very seriously!). On test this week were some charming mince pies from Can Do Cakes – these were scrumptious, with lots of tasty filling and just the right texture and size…small and light enough to enjoy a few without feeling too greedy! Festive food heaven.

Other foodie highlights this weekend, include a fab dinner at my good friend Miss Penn’s house, a King Prawn Delight at Rimjhim – Contemporary Indian Restaurant , refreshing Rekorderlig Fruit Cider and Tyrell’s Lightly Salted Popcorn – which I cannot recommend highly enough, it is just too good.

Party in my tummy

At the party in my tummy this weekend are nachos, chicken chassuer, mince pies, apple and cinnamon tart and good old fashion baked potatoes, washed down with mulled wine, Earl Grey and strawberry beer, elderflower wine and vodka sodas…Not all in one day I might add.

It’s been so crazy busy that I can’t even begin to tell you the stories surrounding the foodstuffs I’ve consumed this weekend, I’ll leave that to your imagination…

Have a good week and eat well!