Vibrant and Delicious Caribbean Cuisine

Never tried Caribbean cuisine before? Be prepared to taste a combination of the freshest ingredients, a wealth of spices and a diversity of dishes influenced by countries from around the world. There’s definitely nothing mundane about the vibrant cuisine from the Caribbean.

If you’re one of the 25 million people set to take Caribbean holidays in 2014 then prepare to taste some of the most delicious food imaginable while you’re sunning yourself on the isles. You will enjoy a tantalizing array of dishes influenced by those who colonized the islands including the Dutch, Americans, British, Spanish and French. Throw in Africa, Asia and Latin American influences and you’ll soon realize that diversity is a key ingredient in Caribbean dishes. If you were under the impression that Caribbean cuisine was simply about jerk chicken and sweet potatoes then it’s time to think again.

Island cuisine

A major factor in the food you will eat in the Caribbean is that most of the islands have their own specific dishes and key ingredients. French cuisine plays a big influence, as you would expect in French Caribbean islands such as Martinique, while the Dutch Antilles is of course influenced by cuisine from the Netherlands. Cubans prefer dishes with cumin and black beans while the English islands have a penchant for curried dishes. However spices are a major element no matter which island you visit or which dish you try.

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Coffee at Bar Italia

An English cup of tea is a quintessential part of the British culture, but there’s no doubt that coffee also has a stronghold on the British psyche. In recent years we have seen an amazing growth in coffee bars, especially in London.

For coffee lovers in London, there is now a wealth of fabulous cafes throughout the city. One of these is Bar Italia located on Frith Street in the heart of Soho. Bar Italia is as true to the busy Italian coffee bar culture as they come. The design of the coffee shop is intimate and cozy and kitted with high spec equipment. The walls are also awashed with black and white pictures of old Italy to give it a genuine Italian feel.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

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JUST EAT Tried & Tasted London Award – Get Involved

JUST EAT - Tried & Tasted 2014

JUST EAT – Tried & Tasted 2014

JUST EAT is running its third consecutive Tried & Tasted Awards, a campaign aimed at giving quality restaurants the recognition they deserve for their hard work. And what’s more you can get involved too!

From the 3,800 takeaway options available in London on the JUST EAT website, the Tried and Tasted 2014 panel have chosen 124 of the highest rated restaurants as nominees across various food categories and across 6 London areas.

JUST EAT are giving away great prizes to those people who get involved, including 10 LIMITED EDITION JUST EAT ONESIES. So if you’d like to vote, take a look at the Tried & Tasted page and follow the 3 simple steps on the JUST EAT Tried & Tasted 2014 website.

The restaurant with the most votes will be crowned ‘Best Chinese in North London’ or ‘Best Italian in South West London’, etc. The ballots close on 31st of March and the winners will be contacted by 28 April 2014.



Coffee at The Liberty Bounds

One of the best places to drink coffee in London is The Liberty Bounds. Located in a beautiful Edwardian building on the banks of the Thames, The Liberty Bounds overlooks the historic Tower of London and the gorgeous Tower Bridge.

The Liberty Bounds

The Liberty Bounds

The Liberty Bounds is a pub so it might surprise you that it also offers coffee. But The Liberty Bounds lays host to some of the best coffee bar equipment around, so it’s worth considering as a stop off point for a drop of the dark hot beverage considering the delightful views that are on offer or if you happen to be en route to the historical Tower of London and the famous stories that lie within its walls.

The Liberty Bounds

The Liberty Bounds

There is also an extensive menu serving decent pub grub at reasonable prices. There are also beers (of course!) and the service is solid. Moreover, the décor of the pub is typically English and is charmingly decorated in a warm woody finish with a grand and spacious feel.

Considering The Liberty Bounds’ proximity to such a prime tourist location, its diversity of offerings, it makes for great value for money.

Note: This is a sponsored guest post.


Malta Vacation: Indulging In Maltese Food

One of the highlights of a holiday to Malta is the food. The island has been occupied by many cultures throughout its history and all have left their mark in the food, making it a vibrant and unusual cuisine. These occupiers included the Italians, the Spanish and the British; there is also a strong Arabic influence in Maltese dishes. Historically, the Knights of St John were based on Malta. These men came from across Europe and brought their native dishes with them, some of which were adopted and adapted by the Maltese. For example, the Maltese dish aljotta originates from the French fish soup, bouillabaisse.

Have you decided on Malta for your next trip abroad? Your last minute holidays to malta is something that you will cherish because of the country’s rich culinary tradition.

Cucina Povera

Much of Maltese cuisine is based on traditional food cooked by poor people. This is called ‘Cucina Povera’, which translates to ‘poor kitchen’. One common Cucina Povera dish is even called ‘Widow’s Soup’! As such, Cucina Povera recipes usually contain seasonal and fresh vegetables, cheaper cuts of meat and perhaps some local cheeses.

Italian-style Food

Due to the Italian history of the island and its geographical closeness to Italy, traditional Italian dishes such as pasta are very popular on Malta. Much of the Italian influence in Malta’s food comes from nearby Sicily.

Fish and Meat

As an island, seafood is a regular source of meat for the Maltese. A fish called Lampuki is served, sometimes grilled and sometimes in Lampuki Pie. A type of rabbit stew cooked with peas and wine, known as fenkata, is also commonly served. Bragioli is stuffed beef with a tomato and herb sauce.

Snacks and Appetisers

Try bigilla (broad beans with garlic) and hobz biz-zjet, which is bread with oil. In short, Maltese food is varied, exciting and one of the main reasons to look forward to your holiday to the island! Make sure you try plenty of different dishes to explore the range of Maltese cuisine.

Note: This is a guest sponsored blog post.


Bill’s Christmas Hampers

Bill’s Produce Store & Café is probably known for its good quality seasonal dishes. The food is tasty and really reasonably priced, and it’s hard to fault the super cozy setting that serves all the restaurants within the Bill’s chain. But Bill’s is more than just about serving hot food. They also offer a range of Bill’s own label products that are available for purchase throughout their restaurants.

With this, Bill’s has launched a range of hampers to celebrate the holiday season. So if you’re looking for some gift ideas to help spread the festive cheer then it might be worth taking a peak at Bill’s range of gift hampers.

The hampers start in price from £55.95 (the classic hamper) and include a variety of Bill’s spreads, sweets, baked goods and a bottle of wine. The top priced giant hamper is £110 and includes similar items to the classic hamper. But not only that, it features Bill’s own beer and a bottle of Jean Pernet Champagne as well. For something smaller, Bill’s also have a range of gift boxes.

Bill's Giant Hamper

Bill’s Giant Hamper

I adored the Bill’s lemon curd in the giant hamper as it was deliciously zingy. The oatie biscuits were crunchy and super yummy as well. A big thank you to Bill’s for playing Santa and sending me a hamper as a Christmas surprise.



Luxury Design On A Budget: Industry Tips To Help Your Business

What’s the first thing that you notice when walking down the high-street? Town and cities across the UK are full of shops and restaurants all competing for your custom. From bright lights, to amazing offers, to distinct and bold branding, businesses use an array of tactics to bring people through the door.

When it comes to food however, people are a lot more particular when choosing where to dine. It will come as no surprise that the layout and design of your restaurant, bar or café plays a huge role in people deciding between your venue and the establishment down the road. So what can you do to bring customers through the door?

Eclipse furniture

Eclipse furniture

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Wines from around the world

For wine enthusiasts, one of the best things about traveling is the opportunity to try out local speciality wines in every destination on the road. The hunt for the perfect wine is an on-going adventure for many travellers, and something that people take pretty seriously. Luxury cruise provider Cunard recently updated their extensive wine list for all their ships, so we thought it’d be fun to do a round-up of some of the most iconic and must-try wines from some of the places you can visit on a round the world cruise with Cunard.

Cunard’s world cruises visit the USA and Canada, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Central America and the Panama Canal, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and Australasia and the Pacific Islands. We’ve selected just a few wines to look out for if you take a trip round the world – although there will doubtless be plenty more to try out, and local experts should always be able to point you towards any particularly special wines.

Read more about round the world cruises from Cunard here, and see our guide below to discover some of the best wines that await you if you’re travelling across the globe any time soon.

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