"After years of continuous eating,'A Girl has to Eat', a self-confessed food lover and eat-aholic, has been spurred on to create her own food guide & blog. Read about her fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) culinary adventures in her restaurant reviews. This and more!"

Skip Garden by Global Generation

Posted on Sunday, 25th May 2014

Skip Garden

Skip Garden

The Skip Garden was established in 2009 by Global Generation, a charity launched in 2004 whose core purpose is to inspire and empower young people to develop a living relationship with the natural world and to take a lead in generating positive environmental and social change in their communities.

The Skip Garden is the base for the Global Generation’s youth work programme and is located within the King’s Cross development site. It is a portable urban garden where a variety of organic vegetables, herbs and fruits are grown out of both skips and polytunnels made out of reused materials from the surrounding construction site. It is at the garden that the young people are trained in leadership and accredited vocational business and horticultural programmes, whether it be working on the garden or building furniture.

One of the skips in the Skip Garden

One of the skips in the Skip Garden

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Scarfes Bar

Posted on Tuesday, 20th May 2014

The luxurious 5-star Rosewood Hotel located at 252 High Holborn, previously the Chancery Court Hotel, reopened last October after an extensive refurbishment. The hotel’s launch also brought along some new dining options, one of which was Scarfes Bar. The bar was named after Gerald Scarfe, a London born satirical cartoonist who worked for Punch magazine and Private Eye during the early 1960s. Scarfes Bar has not only borrowed Scarfe’s name, but also his artistic vision by showing off a selection of his distinctive drawings of historical and well-known personalities.

Scarfes Bar epitomises the height of English sophistication. There are cosy armchairs and sofas, dazzling chandeliers and bookcases lined with antique books dotted throughout the room. But the focal point of Scarfes is the gorgeous fireplace that gives it an air of an old English manor.

Although a bar, Scarfes Bar also serves a lunch menu. Head Chef is Indian-born Palash Mitra who moved to the UK in 2007 to join The Cinnamon Club as the Senior Sous Chef. As such the menu is predominantly Indian, although there is a small selection of traditional casseroles and pizzas on the menu as well.

Our first starter was a half lobster with Bengali spices (£18) consisting of Indian green mustard, ginger, chilli and Indian mustard oil. The spicing was excellent and resulted in a sauce that was wonderfully creamy from the use of coconut milk. The lobster was a little lacking however as it’s texture was soft and flimsy.

Scarfes Bar - Lobster with Bengali spices

Lobster with Bengali spices

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Dieci Restaurant

Posted on Thursday, 15th May 2014

Dieci Restaurant is the house restaurant of Ten Manchester Street Hotel, a stylish boutique hotel located at (yes you guessed it) No. 10 Manchester Street. The location reigns supreme as it’s within walking distance from Marylebone High Street and Oxford Street. It’s a rather small restaurant but comfortably designed with a stylish look that exudes a masculine feel with its dark lines, bold features and plush seating. The restaurant serves an all day menu from breakfast through to dinner as well as afternoon tea. There is also a set lunch menu with two courses for £19.50 and three courses for £22.50.

We visited Dieci during a recent bank holiday to try the set menu for what proved to be a rather quiet affair. There were three options per course and we both went for the most tempting starter which was the pumpkin ravioli served with black Umbrian truffle sauce. It was exquisite, with the pasta being perfectly cooked and the filling being smooth and creamy. The rich sauce, elevated by the hints of truffle, matched wonderfully with the pasta.

Dieci Restaurant - Pumpkin ravioli

Pumpkin ravioli

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The Botanist

Posted on Saturday, 10th May 2014

The Botanist has long been a sloaney favourite, ever since it opened in 2008, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s located right on the heart of Sloane Square, and its prime location combined with a stylishly contemporary décor means its perfectly suited for a well-heeled glamorous clientele. The Botanist is hip and exciting and radiates a highly charged energy. It’s a great venue for people watching and more often than not there is nary a standing room at the bar.

This past Saturday evening was a bank holiday weekend so the size of the crowd was more temperate than usual which provided us with a more relaxed space to savour our pre-dinner drink. Space in the restaurant is a little tight, but the setting is elegant and chic with its beautiful chandeliers and an exotic back wall mural featuring some beautifully drawn pictures of flora and fauna.

Food is served all day with breakfast starting at 8am during weekdays and 9am on weekends. Breakfast transforms into lunch from 12 noon and dinner is available until 11pm. On top of the all day dining there is also a bar menu and a pre and post theatre menu for the Royal Theatre crowd.

Being May, Gull’s eggs are in season, and as part of the specials soft-boiled Hampshire black headed gull’s eggs were available with celery salt and a herb mayonnaise (£6.50 per egg). The egg was perfectly cooked with a runny centre and a lovely texture, and the celery salt gave the egg a tasty seasoning.

The Botanist - Gull's egg

Gull’s egg

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Brown Brothers Wine Ambassador Dinner – HIX Soho

Posted on Thursday, 8th May 2014

A few weeks ago I attended a bloggers event at Hix Soho to sample a selection of Brown Brothers Wines which had been carefully selected to accompany our ‘HIX Oyster and Chop Feast’ menu. Our host was Andrew Harris, a wine ambassador for Brown Brothers who provided us with a great insight into the workings of the Brown Brothers vineyards as well as background information on each of the wines that we tried that night. He spoke with such passion for the Brown Brothers products that it was easy to see how much care and attention goes into the making of their wines.

A family owned business, Brown Brothers is one of Australia’s oldest wineries with vineyards in Victoria as well as the pristine farmlands of Tasmania. Each of the vineyards in the Brown Brothers portfolio have varying characteristics ranging from cool to sun-drenched plains. Consequently the grapes from each vineyard offer different characteristics which contribute to the diverse range of wines in the Brown Brothers portfolio.

For starters we were presented with a variety of oysters which included British regional rock and native oysters, some scrumptious fried rock oysters with a dittander mayonnaise and jellied oysters with cucumber and wild chervil. The oysters were meaty and delicious and accompanied by two Brown Brothers wines, a Limited Release Banksdale Chardonnay, 2012 and an 18 Eighty Nine Sauvignon Blanc, 2013.

Hix Soho - Fried oysters

Fried oysters

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A taste of traditional Maltese cuisine

Posted on Tuesday, 6th May 2014

Malta is a hugely popular Mediterranean island with a beautiful climate, as well as pretty beaches and the friendliest of people. The Maltese definitely have a lust for life and this is reflected in their eclectic mix of dishes.

Malta attracts approximately 1.5 million visitors every year, which is a lot considering the island’s small size; the population is only 370,000. The island is an inexpensive holiday option and its popularity has grown in recent years, partly due to the many last minute holidays to Malta deals available.

The climate is conducive to outdoor activities and the beaches are a part of daily life while the restaurants with open air garden terraces are ubiquitous. If you’re a lover of long leisurely dinners with the friendliest of locals then you have picked the right destination.

Image of Maltese fruit market by John Haslam, shared under a Creative Commons Licence

Image of Maltese fruit market by John Haslam, shared under a Creative Commons Licence

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Lanes of London – Afternoon Tea

Posted on Saturday, 3rd May 2014

Lanes of London pays tribute to the great multiculturalism that is the hallmark of the English capital by drawing from its many and varied culinary pockets for inspiration. Head Chef Anshu Anghotra trained at Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc’s culinary school at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and cooks an all day menu designed for sharing with four key sections, each of which have been named after a well known London Lane. There’s ‘Brick Lane’ for some fiery, spicy flavours; ‘Edgware Road’ for some Middle Eastern exoticism; ‘Kingsland Road’ for the fragrant aromas of Asia and ‘Portobello Road’ for a touch of eclectic comfort dining. Its an interesting menu and extends to British classics including fish and chips. What’s more, there’s also afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones and pastries (£23 or £29 with a glass of champagne).

Lanes of London is a really engaging restaurant with a classically smart décor, which is sophisticated yet comfortable. Located in the Marriot Hotel on Park Lane, it’s like a little oasis that makes for a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. We had gone to Lanes of London for afternoon tea, but tempted by the rather engaging all day menu we decided to try some fried chicken with a honey and sesame sauce (£12) from the Portobello Road section of the menu and the Cornish lamb cutlets (£10.50) first.

Lanes of London - Fried chicken

Fried chicken

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Tribeca Café – New York Style Coffee in Glasgow

Posted on Thursday, 1st May 2014

If you love the energy and vibrancy of New York City and wish for a taste of the Big Apple closer to home, then Tribeca Café provides a good imitation of the New York experience. Tribeca Café is a relaxed coffee bar located at 102 Dumbarton Road in Glasgow and aims to replicate the essence of the famous city of New York with its grungy, downtown Tribeca vibe. Furthermore, it celebrates the essence of New York by specialising in one of the city’s most favourite pastimes – brunch with great coffee.

Tribeca Cafe

Tribeca Cafe

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