Foodie Weekend in England
Many of you may have heard the buzz on the internet and certainly on Twitter about Food Blogger Connect (fbc) in London. I had the pleasure of speaking at this dynamic, fun and informative conference, that brought food bloggers from the UK and around the world together to share ideas and learn from one another. I presented with Jeanne of Cook Sister! and Jamie of Life’s a Feast on writing style and how to find your voice; and with Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie about getting published and finding feature work. Other talks that had me furiously taking notes were on dissecting my camera by Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry, and on achieving magazine cover-worthy photographs by talented stylists Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey? and Mowie of Mowielicious (who revealed “my many faces” on his fbc blog post). All in all, it was a very successful event, put together by Bethany of Dirty Kitchen Secrets and her little elves. Keep an eye on the fbc site for updates and blog posts by participants, and be sure to check out the video too. If you attended fbc10, I’d love to hear what you thought.
I was lucky to have some down time before and after the conference to get to know London (and the aforementioned group of fellow bloggers) a bit better. And also discover Brighton, “London by the sea.” A mix of England, Miami and San Francisco, with a touch of the tropics, I fell for its charm. I also fell in love with the Lanes, a cluster of quaint, narrow streets, with a tempting food shop behind almost every other door. [Note to self: make sure to return!]
I have been to London before and my sweet radar took me right to Ottolenghi, for their gorgeous prepared foods (if a tad heavy on the spices) and tempting array of sweets that always follow. Their rugby ball sized meringues were a favorite of mine, and I have since recreated them here in Zürich, more than once. This time, I arrived in London armed with a long list of addresses. Most travelers might have category headings like museums, shopping, restaurants, etc. For me, it was chocolate, ice cream and cupcakes. London certainly has its fair share of temptations, and I’ll have to return to check them all off. Stay tuned for my sweet report soon. But first, a few tastes from my foodie weekend.
Does it get any more British than having fish and chips with mushy peas in a tavern overlooking the Thames River? I think not. The more formal dining room of the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich offers traditional fish and chips with mushy peas, a sweet tomato salsa and tartar sauce. Impeccably fried to a perfect crisp, the fish (pollack) tasted fresh and light. The tavern also serves a beer-battered version at the bar, using haddock.
As far as British puddings go… I have but three words for you: sticky. toffee. pudding.
The above dessert was devoured at the Tate Modern Restaurant. If I were in a ranting mood, I would disclose that my dining companions and I had service less than impeccable, if not downright unprofessional and disrespectful. But I am not, so I will just say that if you order the lemon sole on a dinner menu and receive plaice on your plate, do speak up. Its quality and price are at a whole other level (much lower). The Tate’s food was delicious nonetheless, and I thoroughly enjoyed my slow-roasted Hebridean salmon with borlotti bean stew, borage shoots and basil dressing, as well as the line caught pollack with aubergine caponata and aged balsamic vinegar. While sounding superb on paper, the (cold) Swiss chard and Comté tart would have probably been more enjoyable if warm. The view is spectacular, but you have been warned about the rest.
Last but certainly not least, a few treats for the eye to officially kick off the sweet series from London that is up next here on the blog…
Clockwise from top left: Ottolenghi in Belgravia; Ms. Cupcake stand at Greenwich market; chocolates at Rococo; signature boxes at Rococo; macarons at Ladurée (food styling by Meeta); churros at Greenwich market.
Food Blogger Connect
June 4-6, 2010
June 3-5, 2011