La Maison du Chocolat at Le Balcon

Last week was Chocolate Week and, as part of the celebrations, French chocolatier La Maison du Chocolat launched an exclusive gastronomic experience at The Balcon. Housed in Sofitel Hotel St James, Le Balcon is a French brasserie in the centre of historical London, just a few minutes walk from St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace.

I was kindly invited to taste and review the luxury three-course menu and, I must say, it was the highlight of my week!

Now, I love hotels. Even more, I love 5-star hotels. I love Art Deco architecture. I love chocolate. And I love getting out of my office on a Thursday and spend two hours in a nice restaurant eating a gourmet meal with a friend! It was just the perfect opportunity for me.

I was expecting original combinations of ingredients and delicious food, which I found, but I was surprised to… Continue reading →

Tuscan Cookery with Tuscany Now

Last month I attended my first ever cooking class, a Tuscan Cookery workshop for food bloggers organised by Tuscany Now and hosted at the Open Kitchen in Hoxton.

Chef Anna Bini was our teacher for the evening.

Anna has got 60 years of experience in Tuscan cuisine, she manages three restaurants in Paris (Casa Bini) and runs cooking classes in both France and Italy. She is charismatic, strong, smart, funny and it was an absolute pleasure to meet her. She reminded me so much of my grandmother: the way she talks to anyone despite not speaking English, sharing her knowledge and experience. I also have a soft spot for Tuscan accent, so it was lovely to hear her speak! :)

We started the evening with a Tuscan aperitivo of red and white wine, cured ham and salami, pecorino cheese and taralli crackers.

After the aperitivo, we moved upstairs… Continue reading →

Roast Sunday with Ben Spalding – Day 2

Two weeks ago I blogged about Roast Sunday, the pop-up restaurant with chef Ben Spalding. After seeing my photos on Mondomulia, the event organizer Daniel Young (of Young & Foodish) invited me to attend the next lunch as official photographer!

As you can imagine, I was very excited about taking photographs at such a cool event and being “behind the scenes” for the whole day, doing what I enjoy the most: photographing! Well, that and eating good food as well!

Highlights of the 2nd Roast Sunday were: the sun on Maltby Street, tender Belly of Land Race Pig (cooked overnight), giant Yorkshire puddings, custard and later gravy chugging contests, hot Jam Roly Poly with ice-cream.

I was there for the first and second sitting (12pm and 2pm) and snapped more than 700 pictures! After several days of editing in Lightroom, I prepared a selection of about 200 best… Continue reading →