After years of thinking ‘what on earth is this Twitter business’… ‘I don’t think I’ve got anything worth tweeting‘… ‘only 140 characters?!’… I jumped the fence and started using Twitter in January this year. Now, I may or may not be a little hooked. The best part? Meeting a whole community of food bloggers and joining in on Twitter chats – my favourite being the #fdbloggers chat created by the lovely Loriley.
Recently she thought it’d be fun for everyone to get to know each other a little more… so here goes!
For the last year, it feels as though there have been three of us in this relationship; I’ll confess, I’ve acquired another significant other. A certain someone isn’t too jealous though, they’ve been acquainted for years but to me it’s all shiny and new. Less tragic than the Diana, Charles and Camilla love triangle and definitely not as salacious as an affair which started life through a dodgy dating app, my other significant other is quite simply London.
I knew straight away we would get along. I relish in the occasional breath of fresh country air but I’m a big city girl at heart so gimme the bright lights, breathtaking skylines and unfortunate smog any day. Just as a certain someone figured out early on, London also knows the way to my heart is through my stomach. Over the last year I have been wined and dined for my affection and it’s been worth each and every calorie.
Those of you who have been following along will have realised by now that food is probably my favourite aspect of travel. I love eating what the locals eat and tasting the speciality dishes of the country or region, be it the street food stand everyone lines up for or that restaurant-of-the-moment where the chef is pushing the boundaries and giving the cuisine they know and love a modern spin.
I really enjoy going to museums and breathtaking churches but I equally enjoy walking through the aisles of a foreign supermarket- is that weird? I love taking in the views of a city and just getting lost in the streets soaking up the atmosphere of everyday life, but I’m also always on the look out for a bite to eat in those streets. Food can tell you a lot about a country’s culture and heritage; this may be through the story behind a certain dish, the produce most frequently used or even the styles of fusion food which have developed. But while all this is true, at the end of the day, I eat because I enjoy good food!
When the lovely Frankie, also known as The Mayfairy, nominated me to whip up my own Celebrity Cruises Taste of Travel Menu, I thought it would be pretty easy. I was wrong. I have eaten so much wonderful food on my travels so far that I have been umming and aahing about it for the last couple of hours, but here goes…
Having never graced Thailand with my presence (madness I know, because who hasn’t been to Thailand) my experience of Thai food is somewhat limited to the western-friendly versions dished out anywhere but Thailand. In their defence, most are usually run by expats wanting to bring a piece of their local cuisine to their adopted home, or at the very least have a sourced a chef who does have roots in the country. But they’ll inevitably still be tailored towards the palate they are serving. What you then end up with is a large menu split into categories such as curries, stir fries, noodles and rice, soup on occasion, and 10 or so dishes in each category- something for everyone you could say.
As an indecisive orderer with a shocking case of plate envy, I hate being confronted with a multipage menu book. Add the fact that the descriptions are usually a bit lacking, and I am really in my personal hell as I try to navigate from the tom yum goong to the pad preaw wan, all the while trying to pick something I haven’t ordered before, but not wanting to choose something too obscure that I won’t like. Even when we dined at the Lotus of Siam, often described as the best Thai restaurant in America or the world even, the ridiculously large menu was still my undoing. I used to smirk at the people who always order the pad thai or the green curry after a starter of fish cakes, but over the years I have been worn down by sub-par choices (a burn-my-insides-spicy pork mince slush comes to mind) and now generally resort to a red curry or spicy stir fried type dish. It’s just easier, and there is less chance of diner’s remorse.
The weather gods may have been playing a cruel trick on us a couple of weeks ago with some unseasonably warm weather but those days are well and truly over; winter has arrived in London. There is a distinct chill in the air, and we can’t ignore the fact that darkness rolls in around 4pm but it’s also the time when things start getting festive. I don’t think there’s any point trying to hibernate and wishing for warmer weather, so just slap on a few extra layers and embrace it!
With my newfound enthusiasm for winter, we braved the cold last Thursday and headed to the opening night ofTaste of London Winter 2014to eat ourselves silly once again. Held at Tobacco Dock, this has a much cosier and compact atmosphere than the sprawlingsummer editionat Regent’s Park but there’s still plenty to explore and I was surprised to find how easily we whittled away all four hours. Once through the gates, we stopped off for a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne in the VIP lounge then set out to spend some crowns! With the menu being half that at thesummer edition, it was a lot easier narrowing down our must-have dishes and getting to them, so there was no excuse to go home with regrets.
What I’d normally be doing on a Friday afternoon around 2.30pm is weighing up how many hours/minutes are left in the working week against what I can realistically achieve in that time… before sighing and willing those hours/minutes to disappear faster. What I did this Friday was feel a rumble… casually wonder who’s got an elephant step and then rather un-casually duck under my desk! And there was the shaky start to our weekend.