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.

Farm Shops, Antiques, Beer and a Bird

Hope everyone’s had a lovely bank holiday weekend…I’ve had busy one with lots of fun and foodie things accomplished, but perhaps the biggest bit of news is the new addition to our family…

Meet Iago…

Yes that little bird on my shoulder is Iago, our very first pet. He’s a beautiful Pineapple Conure – pretty much the perfect pet so far. He’s low maintenance, but loves human company and is all together adorable!

So he’s been keeping me busy recently, but there was time this weekend for a visit to Hungerford Arcade (antique heaven!), which was of course followed by a trip to Cobbs the farm shop.

A must visit if you’re in the Hungerford area

I picked up some lovely bread, smoked salmon pate and juice – there was just enough time to enjoy a cup of earl grey and goats cheese panini in the coffee shop with my sister and mother.

Later that day we headed out  to the Queen Inn, Winchester for a beer festival. I tried a few halves of the many different ales on offer – but  not being a natural real ale drinker I soon switched on to the wine (of which there was a great selection).

Ale fuelled festivities

The evening was a great success, busy but not over-crowded, with great live music and an all-important barbecue for the post beer munchies!

Perhaps the best bit of this weekend was a trip to Hotel Du Vin in Winchester for a fabulous three course meal with lots of sparkling rose.

One of my favourite places in Winchester

I had a delicious dressed crab starter with walnut toast, followed by some absolutely beautiful lemon sole and finished off with a great selection cheeses (of course!). I’m not a very good food blogger as I forgot to take any photos of the food as it came out, I just dived right on in and ate! Who are these supposed foodies that take a pause to photograph their food anyway?! Just eat it and enjoy it I say!

Today I had fun transforming a cheap old CD shelf into a very cute shabby-chic storage shelf…

Pretty

My sister found some wonderful old floral wallpaper in her new home and very kindly donated some to me – enabling me to create this shabby chic beauty (if I do say so myself!). Now, does it go in the kitchen or my dressing room? Dressing room I think!

Well that’s my weekend in pictures…time to go to and face the week ahead…

Prawn, Salmon & Mushroom Lasagne

Here’s a yummy pescetarian recipe I mish mashed together in the kitchen this evening and it turned out to be quite delightful…

Prawn, Salmon & Mushroom Lasagne ingredients (not that many!)…

– Cooked & peeled prawns (you could cook up raw ones or use frozen)

– Mushrooms (obviously!)

– Creme Fraiche

– Garlic salt

– Dill (dried is fine)

– Smoked salmon pate (you could use actual Smoked Salmon – this was all I had!)

– Marscapone cheese

– Splash of white wine

– Parmesan cheese

– Pre-made lasagne sheets

You can probably guess what to do just from looking at the list above, but here’s how I cobbled them together…

Firstly I fried the mushrooms in a little butter, white wine, dill and garlic salt, then mixed in the Creme Fraiche to make a creamy consistency and added the prawns at the last minute. Then I layered the mixture  in a baking tray with the lasagne sheets, adding smoked salmon and marscapone cheese to the other layers and topping off with Parmesan cheese. Popped it in the oven until the cheese was golden brown (about 25 mins) and then Tom and I promptly demolished it!

Bite Size Brilliance…The Joys of Little Food…

Last night saw me making an appearance at the launch party for PA Life Magazine, a brand new glossy magazine for PAs and Executive Assistants – as you might expect it was extraordinarily well organised (probably by an amazing PA!)…but being slightly food-obsessed I want to comment on the canapé offering – mini burgers were the main feature. I know they now make a fairly regular appearance at events of all sorts these days, but I had yet to encounter these delightful little miniatures and they didn’t disappoint – even down to itsy bitsy piece of melted cheese – just scrumptious! And with free cocktails and champagne on offer I could have really done with more than one, never mind I did at least manage to consume some miniature fishcakes and a gazpacho shot!

Hello Heaven...

Isn’t little food just lovely? Allowing you to have full on flavourful taste of a larger dish in one perfect mouthful. It just like in the classic Cher film Mermaids where the whole family only ever eats finger foods – sounds like heaven to me as an indecisive foodie!

Right now I’m craving classic canapés like smoked salmon blinis and retro party time treats like cheese and pineapple on a cocktail stick. Why can you only have these little treats at parties and gatherings? What’s so unacceptable about preparing them for a TV dinner? There should really be a restaurant specialising in little foods, sharing pieces, platters and bite-size delicious things – I’ve often shared this idea with other women and it’s a real hit – someone needs to put it into action! You heard it here first people.

Retro party food cravings...


I guess ultimately little food leaves you hungry, as my visit to Waterloo station’s WH Smiths to purchase a pack of salt and vinegar crisps at the end of the evening sort of confirms! …if I only could haveconsumed a couple more of those baby burgers!