Path from The Castle Drogo

A Delicious Weekend in Devon at The George Hotel

Mr WFD took me away for the weekend recently, on a surprise trip to Devon! He took me to The George Hotel in Haverleigh and we had a wonderful time. It’s a quiet village but it was really nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of London. We found plenty to keep us occupied including a trip to Castle Drogo and the River Teign. We spent hours walking around, enjoying nature and even getting a little bit lost once.

Of course food was top of the list of priorities to me and The George certainly did not disappoint. We inadvertently ended up eating all our meals at the hotel, we had the intention to eat out but we had left it too late to reserve anywhere. This turned out to be a good thing as the food at The George was actually very good.

We arrived just after 9pm, and the hotel’s kitchen had closed, even the local chip shop had closed (that’s how small the village is). The team was kind enough to get the chef to make us some sandwiches though. I’m not a fan of sandwiches full stop so I’m not going to spend too much time on the sandwich I had…it had fresh salmon and brie, I love salmon and I love cheese so it worked.

 

 

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The next day we decided to go for a big breakfast. There was plenty of choice; croissants, yogurt and cereal and a great menu, the only thing missing for me was fresh fruit. we both had full English breakfasts, I had the veggie option as I don’t like pork. As you can see they were healthy sized portions which kept us going until well past lunchtime, we actually skipped lunch! That’s how big the breakfast was. I didn’t particularly enjoy my eggs, I probably should have requested for them to be scrambled as I’m a fussy egg eater but overall it was a good breakfast.

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Later that evening we had the most wonderful dinner, that was definitely my favourite meal of my stay. We had homemade chicken liver pate to share as a our starter, with chutney and toasted bread. The texture of the pate was perfect, smooth and creamy just as a pate should be. For my main I had steak and chips (I know! I know! But you know how much I like steak!) and Mr WFD had Roast pork belly with sage mash & vegetables and cider sauce. My  10oz rib-eye steak was cooked to perfection, I mean it literally melted in my mouth and the chips were freshly made. I had some of Mr WFD’s vegetables and really enjoyed the snap peas, I think I ended up eating most of them. Mr WFD fell in love with his pork belly, even the crackling (which he’d never tried before). All in all, we were very happy people after that meal. The service was superb and the overall atmosphere was perfect.

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Chicken Liver Pate

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Rib-Eye Steak

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Pork Belly & Sage Mash

The George Hotel is the perfect place for a romantic weekend or for just an opportunity to get away from it all. The food is homely and well-made, befitting of the hotel and the location. It may not be haute cuisine but that’s OK because sometimes all you want is good food, in a great location with a wonderful person.

You can book yourself a lovely getaway to The George Hotel by visiting http://www.thegeorgehotelhatherleigh.com/. Have fun and let me know if you do end up there.

Beautiful Food at La Bella Rifa’s Caribbean Cuisine

Just wanted to write a quick review on a lovely little food van I discovered about a month ago in Woolwich! La Bella Rifa’s is located in Woolwich Market and serves fresh caribbean food at great prices. Mr WFD and I shared a large portion of Curry Mutton with rice and peas and it was so good, I almost forgot to take a picture.

The mutton was cooked to perfection, with the right balance of spice, sauce and additional vegetables. I added hot sauce because I love that extra kick but to be honest you could eat La Bella Rifa’s food without. As you can see you get a generous portion of food for about a fiver! It really was a beautiful meal, the kind of food that hits the right spot at the right time, you know what I’m talking about! Friendly service from a great entrepreneur who knows how to cook great Caribbean food.

IMG-20140624-WA0002Follow La Bella Rifa’s on Instagram http://instagram.com/labellarifas and tweet her @labellarifas – she caters for events too, so why not invite her down for your next function!

Ohhh and here’s a crowdfunding link to fund-raise for the restaurant that she dreams of opening one day: http://www.gofundme.com/ajjt4c.

Who’s For A Recipe? Hijiki Quinoa Salad with Orange Ume Plum Dressing

My new favourite “superfood” is Quinoa and this fantastic recipe from the team at Clearspring, looks fantastic. It’s perfect for the summer and totally different from the usual salad recipes, the plum dressing sounds divine!

Have a go at making this and let me know what you think! I’ll be giving it a try one day soon.

Hijiji Quinoa Salad

Hijiki Quinoa Salad (Image from Clearspring)

Hijiki Quinoa Salad

Ingredients;

1 cup Clearspring quick cook rice & quinoa
3 cups filtered water or organic vegetable stock

½ cup Clearspring hijiki (rinsed and soaked for 10 minutes)

½ yellow pepper very thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh watercress
1 small bunch of red radishes, very thinly sliced
Fresh sprouts, mung beans or alfalfa

3 tbsp. Clearspring roasted seeds with goji berries

Directions

Prepare the quick cook rice and quinoa as per pack instructions. Remove to a large bowl and leave to cool then fluff up with a fork.  Cook the soaked hijiki in a small saucepan with enough water to cover, simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain any excess water and allow to cool.   Add the hijiki to the rice along with the watercress, yellow pepper, radishes and sprouts and mix gently. Pour over the orange ume plum dressing and top with the Clearspring roasted seeds/goji berries.

Yields 4 servings

Orange Ume Plum Dressing

A delicious dressing that works well with hijiki salad or simply serve over fresh greens or noodle salads in the summer.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Ingredients;

Juice of half a lemon
Juice of 1 orange
2 tsps. Clearspring umeboshi puree
2 tbsp. Clearspring omega a day flaxseed oil

2 tsps. finely chopped chives

Directions

Place the lemon and orange juice with the umeboshi puree and flaxseed oil in a blender, and blend until smooth.  Stir in the chives.

Visit http://www.clearspring.co.uk/ for more recipes

Image by Paola Bassanese

A Taste of Korean Cuisine at Kimchee with Paola Bassanese

I’m lucky enough to have great pals and one of them happens to be Paola Bassanese, a phenomenal woman of many talents, one of which is being able to write an awesome restaurant review.

Here is her review of Kimchee which was first published on her blog and has been re-booted for the WFD blog! Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Image by Paola Bassanese

Image by Paola Bassanese

Hands up if you remember the Korean Barbecue in Covent Garden’s Maiden Lane, tucked away in a little courtyard? Back in the day (I am talking the 90s, baby!) you would select the fresh ingredients and condiments and take them to the barbecue chef who would grill them to perfection. I still have fond memories of those dining experiences. Recently I ventured to Kimchee in Holborn, all sleek interiors, feng-shui’ed within an inch of its life (in a good way!), attentive staff and hectic cooks in full view. A less “democratic” dining experience than the Korean barbecue of yesteryear, however the dishes were all cooked beautifully. The menu is rather complicated and the website displays the food pictures separately from the text-only menu. Surely the pictures could show up next to the dishes on the menu to make choosing your meal a bit easier?

Image by Paola Bassanese

Image by Paola Bassanese

I studied the menu before going to the restaurant – I had actually chosen the Roseu Puen Che (rolled up slices of roast beef with vegetable and dipping sauce) as a starter, but that wasn’t included in the Holborn menu. So instead, I chose the radish pickles as a starter (which went down very well with my vegetarian friend while she waited for her own starter) and as a main I chose the Kimchee Jjigae, a fragrant and spicy soup with thin slices of beef, tofu, kimchee (which I had never tried before – fermented cabbage) and enokitake mushrooms. The food was very spicy and the flavour was very satisfying. The restaurant was buzzing with the Friday trade of office workers and friends’ gatherings. Overall thumbs up!

Perfect for:

  • Catching up with friends
  • Informal dining

Kimchee is at 71 HIGH HOLBORN LONDON WC1V 6EA. Tweet them @kimcheerest

Original blog can be found here http://www.energyanaturalfacelift.com/2014/05/kimchee-korean-restaurant-holborn-review/

Follow Paola on @paolaenergya and make sure you visit her blog too http://www.energyanaturalfacelift.com/

Who’s For A Recipe? Native Jollof Rice from K’s Cuisine

I’m a member of a VERY active food group on Facebook called “So You Think You Can Cook?” and once in a while a picture or recipe will capture my imagination, this recipe from K’s Cuisine caught my attention. I can cook jollof rice with the best of them, sometimes I try new ways of preparing it to make it a little more interesting. I usually make my Jollof rice in the “party style” but this native style was new to me and I was excited to try it at home, I have had it at events but never homemade.

Here’s a picture of the end result, I didn’t include all the fish, although I did include the dried crayfish. I was having a “Meatless Monday” so baked my plantain to be even healthier and had Brussels sprouts instead of meat (I love sprouts so I was in heaven).

Native Style Jollof Rice

Native Style Jollof Rice

I have to give this recipe a BIG THUMBS up! It was delicious, and made a change from the usual style of jollof that I’m used to. I adapted the recipe to suit my taste, but that’s because I am a confident cook, if this is your first time try your best to follow the recipe as closely as possible.

Please be sure to visit K’s Cuisine’s site for the full recipe here: http://kscuisine.com/2014/04/native-jollof-rice-concoction/