Rum & Vanilla black tea

My new fave place to get a treat for under a fiver is The Tea House in Covent Garden.

Loads of infusions and great flavoured teas including this extremely tasty rum & vanilla combo for £2.75. I was expecting the flavour to be overbearing but it was actually quite soft though the aroma is pretty strong.

The shop is full of decorative tea infusers, tubs and pots to keep tea in, teapots - including Japanese cast iron ones - and of course great tea!

The lemon and ginger fruit blend is worth a buy as well. I'm intrigued by the Chinese gunpowder range so will pop back to give it a try.

Courgette, ham & mozzarella muffins...mmmmm

I pinched this recipe from the Yotam Ottolenghi column in The Guardian the other week and my oh my are they a fine savoury treat!

The recipe is by Dan Lepard, and you can find it here it you wanna give them a go. They won't disappoint.

NB: I found that the muffins stuck to the cases quite a bit so next time I'll have to find a way to prevent that happening. Or if you've got any tips please let me know.


Wahaca chillies progress


Here's an update for the chillies I've been growing from Wahaca. No chillies yet but healthy looking stems.


Cake for Summer (sort of)

British summer is rarely a season full of blazing hot sunshine, but that doesn't mean you can't have moment of pretence. Brighten up your kitchen with this summer inspired cake - a lemon, blueberry yoghurt cake to be precise.


The ingredients burst with juicy flavour and the yoghurt makes the cake creamier than using butter. It becomes a softer, almost spongy texture like baked brioche.

1 2/3 cups or 6oz self raising flour
1 1/4 cups or 6oz caster sugar
1 heaped tsp of baking powder
A handful of ground almonds (not essential, leave out if you have nut allergies)
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup or 6 tablespoons of greek yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2oz or 2 big handfuls of blueberries
For the glaze
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon of caster sugar

How To Make:
Pre-heat oven to 160 for a fan assisted oven and 180 for normal. Grease a loaf tin and dust with flour to avoid sticking. If you have an older loaf tin which tends to stick, use parchment/greaseproof paper to line the tin with.

Put the self-raising flour, sugar, baking powder, ground almonds and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and yoghurt and beat the mixture until you get a smooth, thick consistency.
Add the sunflower oil, lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract one at a time stirring in between.
Finally gently stir in the blueberries - keep them in tact so they can burst within the cake in the oven!

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and pop in the oven for 40 mins (checking half way that it's not burning). Put some foil over the top for a further 8 mins or so on a slightly lower heat.

In this time make the glaze by heating the 1/2 lemon juice with the tablespoon of caster sugar in a pan until it goes clear and then take it off the heat.

When the cake has done it's final 8 mins remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for 10 mins. While it's cooling add the lemon glaze to the top of the cake with a pastry brush.


As a final touch dust with icing sugar and sprinkle some of the leftover lemon zest over the top for a zing of yellow among the little explosions of purple.


N.B. There are variations on recipes for yoghurt cakes as they work really well with other citrus fruit and berries. Try mixing things up and replacing the lemon with lime or orange and the blueberries with blackberries, raspberries or strawberries. I plan to give the sublime looking lime and blackberry recipe by Smitten Kitchen a go!

Très Orné Odins

Back in May the Davey family went out for dinner in full force for my Mum's birthday. Yes. May. I know I should've posted this ages ago but the sooner you can get past that, the sooner you can read about this restaurant worth knowing about...

We dined at Odins near Marylebone High Street - an Anglo-French restaurant which is part of Langan's restaurants. Now I was initially a little dubious of eating at this place for a few reasons:

1) it has a pretty awful looking website
2) the site says that Odins 'provides the perfect location for that romantic meal or relaxed business meeting' - neither of which are ideal for a birthday meal with your family
3) quite a few reviews were more complimentary about the art in the restaurant rather than the food

However...these points were forgiven
(but not forgotten) after eating there and this is why.

The relationship between traditional French and English dishes are combined beautifully and sometimes surprisingly unusual. The pairing of poached egg with chorizzo on rustic toast is something you'd instinctively know went together, but add in a red pepper sauce to the equation and oh my, it sure works on the tongue!

The appearance outside of the restaurant isn't immediately inviting - large windows totally covered by curtains during the daytime. But it's probably to conceal the vast amounts of paintings and art inside.

The waiters and staff are composed and know how to tend to your needs. Glasses were kept full, they were amusing, polite and were hot on recommending food and wine. It was particularly impressive when one waiter de-boned the Dover sole in front of us before serving it.

The food was impeccably cooked. I ordered the beef from the specials menu (medium-rare). It was superb; tender, sizeable and had a brandy and peppercorn sauce which zinged and released more and more flavour after each bite!

As someone who's a lover of chocolate, I obviously went down that road for dessert and had 'Mrs. Langan's Chocolate Pudding'. I was a bit disappointed as most of it was whipped cream with a small base of chocolate sponge. However the rhubarb crumble with custard and the treacle tart with apple compote were delightful to round off a meal.

So essentially this is one of those places where you can't judge based purely on appearances (though it is important to get that right). See past the aesthetic flaws and enjoy what's important - the food!

A few more pics...