Recipes from Brixton Village

Recipes from Brixton Village is the new cookbook by Miss South, one half of the duo behind the North South Food blog. Award-winning Miss South has lived in Brixton for ten years and for the last four she has shared recipes and reviews of local restaurants on her site (alongside her brother Mister North). Her dishes are seasonal and feature the best ingredients she can find at local markets (she shops on a limited budget and rarely buys food from supermarkets).

Miss South first book "Recipes from Brixton Village" features contributions from the traders of Brixton Village, a place I adore and which I have blogged about a few times already (here). Publishers Kitchen Press invited me to the press launch in Brixton Village last month, during which Miss South and Lindsay Faller of London walks' company Fox & Squirrel guided me on a tour of the market to put the book into context, meet traders and sample some of the dishes featured in the book.

Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village

Recipes from Brixton Village celebrates the incredible diversity on offer in the market. Miss South has pulled together a vibrant collection of recipes contributed from many of the traders as well as her own recipes showcasing the wonderful produce available from the fishmongers and grocers in the Village. Ranging from real market favourites like Jerk Chicken and Okonomyaki to seafood treats like Etta’s fish soup or Barbecued Mackerel with Amalfi Lemon and Rosemary, the recipes come from every corner of the globe.

Kitchen Press Website

We started at Brixton Cornercopia, a neighbourhood restaurant and cornershop by Anne Fairbrother and chef Ian Riley, where you can sample dishes prepared with local and sustainable ingredients.

We ate Beetroot & Sheep's Milk Cheese Pasties and Three Cornered Leek Fritters that were cooked to perfection and tasted amazing.

Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village

After a brief chat with Anne and Ian we walked to Jalisco, a Mexican restaurant by Venezuelan Wilson Porras and Yexeli Sanchez. Jalisco's menu features Mexican dishes that the British people know and love, although Wilson still uses his mum recipes, making Jalisco effectively a Mexican-Venezuelan food joint.

We tasted their delicious Shredded-Beef Tacos and Tamarind Margaritas, made with tamarind pulp and twice-distilled "silver" tequila.

Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village

Next stop was Fish, Wings & Tings, the Caribbean restaurant by Brian Danclair (I blogged about it here).

Brian showed us how he makes his famous Codfish Fritters with Ginger & Lime Aioli, a recipe featured in Miss South book which looks super easy to make at home. All you need is boiled salted cod, flour, chilli peppers, onions, spring onions and water (though I'm sure it would take me years of practice to make it as good as Brian's)!

Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village

After all the savoury dishes it was time for some dessert at nearby Lab G, an artisan ice-cream shop where you can taste authentic Italian gelato freshly made by Giovanni every day.

The Salted Caramel Ice-cream is Lab G's most famous flavour, so we had to try it of course! Obviously I had already tasted Lab G ice-cream before, you know being Italian and all it is my duty to find the best gelato in London! ;)

Look at those creamy cups of joy! I reclaimed one from the other bloggers and journalists and ate it all by myself. It was incredible!

Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village

The final stop of our food walk was Snugg: a recent addition to Brixton Village, it's a tea room and café where you can also enjoy fantastic food platters by chef Ella Killingley, cocktails and live music.

Visit Snugg for coffee and cakes, as well as their savoury dishes which are a mix of classic English, Mediterranean and African. We were treated to their Cheese & Mushroom Tarts and Salmon and Pate Crostini with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee made with a French Press.

Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village
Recipes from Brixton Village

I have a copy of Miss South book and I can't wait to start cooking from it, recreating at home my favourite dishes from the market!

Recipes from Brixton Village was published on the 22nd of May and went straight to number one in the Restaurant Cookbook category on Amazon UK! Check out the book and most of all visit Brixton Village (and nearby Market Row) to support our amazing market traders!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book and I was invited to the food walk as part of the book press launch. All opinions are my own.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

While on holiday in Trieste two weeks ago, my parents, my husband and I decided to drive across the border to Slovenia and explore its capital city of Ljubljana. Only one hour and a half away from Trieste, it was the perfect destination for a day trip.

My aunt warned us that Ljubljana would be a few degrees colder than Trieste and that is because the city is located in a basin surrounded by the Alps and Dinaric mountain ranges. We left the sun and a balmy Italian weather behind us and drove through a thick fog until we reached Ljubljana.

The mist around the weeping willow trees by the Ljubljanica river created an eerie atmosphere, while the Christmas decorations, lights and mulled wine stalls gave the city a cheerful and festive feel.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana's major meeting point is the recently renovated central square, Prešernov trg. From there, cross the Triple Bridge to the charming medieval Old Town: a cluster of narrow streets with quirky shops, Baroque townhouses and stately churches wrapped around a castle-topped hill.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

After a visit to Mestni trg, the Town Square, we walked back along the river bank to Vodnik trg where a food market is held every day. We bought a bag of delicious apples for less than two euros (and later wished we had bought more!). On Saturday, the market square is a popular place to gather, to meet people and "be seen".

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

We stopped in one of the restaurants on the square, the Vodnikov Hram, and had a warming and satisfying meal of local food. I ordered the Ljubljanska, a fried veal steak stuffed with ham and cheese, with a side of pan-cooked potatoes. It was incredibly heavy, but equally delicious!

For dessert we shared a Gibanica, a traditional Slovenian cake made with poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins, and dry curd cottage cheese layered between filo pastry.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Afterwards we took advantage of a short spell of blue sky and took the funicular up to the Ljubljana Castle. Even without buying the ticket to the viewing tower, we could still enjoy a spectacular (and free) view of the city from one of the castle fortified walls.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

On our way back to the city centre we stopped at Ljubljana's only specialty coffee shop, Cafe Cokl, where we managed to find a small table to seat and drink a very good macchiato (they also make filter coffee on Aeropress and Chemex).

We walked back to the Town Square where the Baroque buildings were beautifully lit with Christmas decorations.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

I fell in love with Ljubljana and I hope to explore more of Slovenia soon (Lake Bled is already on top of my list)!

Roast: a very British cookbook

Roast is a British restaurant located in the Floral Hall mezzanine inside Borough Market. Opened in 2005, the restaurant's aim is to use seasonal and sustainable produce from the country's best farmers and fishermen and celebrate Britain's heritage and ingredients.

Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook

The elegant restaurant is divided into a narrow bar with glass walls overlooking the market and a large dining room with an open kitchen. I had been to Roast before for breakfast during the summer, but last week I had the chance to try their dinner menu. The occasion was the launch of Roast: a very British cookbook, written by Head Chef Marcus Verberne.

Featuring dishes for all occasions, from breakfasts and brunches through to lunches and dinners, this stunning tome recreates for the home cook some of Roast’s most popular fare. Alongside all the classics can be found a host of new favourites in this best of British selection of fish, poultry, lamb, mutton, goat, pork, beef, game and vegetables, plus many ideas for puddings, cocktails and wines.

Press Release

Roast: a very British cookbook

With the occasion of the launch last Thursday, the menu featured many dishes from the cookbook (obviously adapting some recipes depending on what's in season). The chef Marcus Verberne came to our table before dinner to present the cookbook to us and describe his experience writing it.

Roast is Marcus Verberne's first cookbook, but I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to write another one. Originally from New Zealand, Marcus is obviously very passionate about British cooking and spoke to us with great enthusiasm about the process of recipe writing and research.

While fruit, vegetables, bread and cheese are all sourced locally at Borough Market, the meat and fish served at Roast are sourced from outside London. Marcus often travels across the country to meet the restaurant's suppliers, like Coast Seafood in Dorset or different farms in Yorkshire. For the cookbook, he had the opportunity to travel with photographer Lara Holmes, who documented the project's developments with stunning photos.

Over 100 recipes illustrate Verberne’s dual approach: to source the best local produce on offer and to let the flavours and textures speak for themselves.

Press Release

Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook

What I most love about the cookbook is the "basics" section, with simple recipes like roast potatoes, bread sauce or poached eggs. My cooking skills have developed by trial and error, without guidance, so it's useful to go back to the basics and learn how to get perfect results with a few simple instructions! :)

The book also contains step-by-step photos of more unfamiliar preparations, like opening an oyster or butchering a duck. The images by Lara Holmes are evocative and beautiful, worth alone the price of the book.

During our dinner at Roast last week, we were welcomed at our table with a glass of champagne and bread and olives to snack on. I didn't order any starters, but I tasted the Creamed Somerset organic spelt with woodland mushrooms and hedgerow garlic. I had no idea spelt could be used to make a creamy risotto! It was really delicious.

The Seared Isle of Mull hand-dived scallops with whipped apple mash and smoked black pudding also looked great.

Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook

As a main course I ordered the Roast breast of Yorkshire cock pheasant with sprout top hearts, chestnuts and wild boar bacon. The recipe for the sprouts is included in the Roast cookbook and I can't wait to try it: the sprouts are used like baskets and filled with a sauce of chestnuts and bacon. An original way to cook Brussels sprouts!

I also indulged in the different side dishes that were served at our table: crispy roast potatoes, soft parsnips, broccoli and cabbage. Everything was so tasty! I filled my tummy with vegetables and barely left any space for dessert…

Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook

Just kidding! ;) For dessert I ordered the Sticky Date Pudding with toffee sauce and Neil's Year crème fraîche, another recipe that is available in the cookbook and that I will surely try. It was perfectly executed and I really liked how it paired well with the crème fraîche.

Marcus came back to our table to talk us through the dessert list and recommended us the Sea Buckthorn Berry Posset, which my friend Wendy ordered (and I tasted). What makes the sea-buckthorn berries so special is that they grow on the Cornish coasts and are very difficult to pick, as their branches are very thorny. The best way is to do it is to freeze a whole branch and then break the thorns and release the frozen berries.

I also tasted the Poached pear with ginger shortbread and walnut and honey ice cream which Federica ordered and it was delicious.

Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook
Roast: a very British cookbook

Overall I had a fantastic dinner at Roast (with lovely wine) and would definitely recommend it. It is an elegant environment, so it's perfect for a romantic date or a special occasion.

Roast: a very British cookbook will be published by Absolute Press on 7th November 2013. The hardback will be available from all good retailers, online and in store, for a RRP of £25.

Disclaimer: I was a guest at the restaurant and I received a complimentary copy of the book. All views are my own.

Roast on Urbanspoon

Blog ‘n’ Bake at Street Feast

Last Monday I received an email from Street Feast inviting me to take part to #BloggerSaturday, an opportunity for London's best bloggers "to cook and sell anything they wish".

My first emotions were curiosity mixed with fear: no way I could do it all on my own, so I turned to my friends and fellow foodies Wendy, Sam and Hannah for help. They didn't immediately say yes, but as we started throwing ideas around, it was clear we couldn't contain our excitement!

We are all passionate bakers and have been baking together a couple of times in the past few months (see my pizza and pie posts), but now we needed a name to promote our cakes as a team: that's how the Blog 'n' Bake collective was born!

Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast

Unfortunately our first experience as market traders was marked by relentless rain, but that didn't affect our enthusiasm! Despite being sleep-deprived from the late night baking sessions and having to stand in rain puddles, we still had loads of fun chatting to our customers and to the other food bloggers that took part to the event!

A special mention to Honest Burgers, the best neighbours one could ever have, for trading their burgers with our cakes! ;)

Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast

It was a true collective effort as each one of us baked their favourite cakes! I made two Carrot Cakes (with and without walnuts) and one Chocolate Cheesecake; Hannah made Nanaimo Bars (Canada's favourite dessert!); Wendy made Tart au Citron, vegan Pistachio Cookies and Coconut Jam ("kaya"); Sam made Chocolate & Blueberry Brownies, Lemon Pound Cake and Lemon Bars – all paleo.

I am happy to report that we nearly sold out: only a few portions were left to take home for breakfast the next day! :)

Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast

Thank you Adam, Tweat Up and Street Feast for organising #BloggerSaturday and letting us be a part of it! Thanks to all our friends and bloggers who braved the rain to show their support and try our cakes.

A special thank you to my husband Sandy who travelled all the way to Dalston to carry my cakes – I couldn't have done it without you!

And finally – THANK YOU to Sam, Hannah and Wendy for accepting the challenge and changing their plans to be with me on Saturday! I heart the Blog 'n' Bake collective! :)

Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast
Blog 'n' Bake at Street Feast

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

At the end of January I spent a weekend in Rome visiting family and friends. My best friend Giovanna took me out for lunch in a new restaurant in the Trastevere, called Fish Market.

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

We arrived at noon on a Saturday; early for Roman standards, where it is common to have lunch around 2pm. It was a good move to avoid the weekend crowd and we were able to sit immediately in the almost empty room.

The idea behind this new venture is to enjoy fish in a quick and affordable way, so that you wouldn't spend more than "eating a pizza", as the owners say.

You can easily have a great meal anywhere in Rome, but rarely restaurants also impress me for their décor. At the Fish Market, I loved the food, the concept and the space, as everything was clearly done with great attention to detail.

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

At the entrance of the restaurant there is a large fish case, where the fresh catch of the day is displayed; behind it, stand the chefs in the open kitchen.

You can order anything you see on the stall and choose how to have it cooked, grilled or battered. There is also a specials' board on the wall and a menu with a few starters and sfizi di mare, small fish plates to tickle your appetite.

The ordering system is simple: you fill a paper form with a pencil, ticking the boxes of all the items you want to eat, go to the till and pay. The food is then served at the table.

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

I would have loved to try everything, but as it was just two of us, we had to control ourselves. I picked a bruschetta con pomodoro as a starter, while Giovanna ordered a Tuna Tartare.

To warm ourselves from the winter cold, we both ordered the Caciucco alla Livornese, a fish stew made with the traditional Tuscan way, with tomato sauce and toasted bread added on top. It was lovely!

I also ordered fried calamari and fried vegetables, which tasted amazing when hot and crispy. Unfortunately, everything was served at the same time, so by the time I had finished the stew, the fried food had become a bit cold and soggy.

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

After lunch, we strolled around the cobbled streets and Medieval houses of Trastevere, busking in beautiful Roman sun.

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

I crossed the river Tevere at Ponte Garibaldi and continued my walk to the city centre, through Pantheon and eventually reached Villa Borghese to watch the sunset from the Terrazza del Pincio.

What a wonderful sight! Rome, my hometown, I hope to see you again soon!

Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere
Fish Market in Rome Trastevere

Frankfurt Christmas Market

After four months of living in Frankfurt on and off, I am finally sharing a long overdue blog post about this city. I admit, at first I didn't find enough inspiration in thi city to write about its culinary traditions.

I spent a lot of time eating on my own in depressing and boring restaurants; I didn't know where to find the best food or I was too tired after work to look for it.

My impressions of the city changed when I got a flat and started shopping at the weekly market or at the supermarket, as it made me appreciate the quality of the local produce.

After work, I would spend hours in the supermarket, curious to try local products and marvelling at the huge selection of marzipan sweets, cereals and Milka chocolate; every weekend I would stuff my suitcase of sweet treats to bring back to my husband in London! :)

Every Thursday I looked forward to lunch with Kartoffelpuffer and apple sauce at the farmers' market in Bockenheimer.

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market

I loved Frankfurt in the summer, when long days allowed me to run in Grüneburgpark after work, watch the sunset over the river Main or have a dinner with Frankfurter Schnitzels at the beer garden at Atschels in Sachsenhausen.

During autumn, the city was beautiful: blue skies, red leaves, orange pumpkins everywhere!

But I was really looking forward to winter, to the snow and to the Christmas Market! Finally the time came and last week I spent a lovely evening at the market with my friend Manuela, who has lived in Frankfurt for many years and kindly showed me all the classic stalls of the market.

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market
Bembel are traditional pottery jugs, grey with a blue pattern, used to serve Apflewein.

Bembel are traditional pottery jugs, grey with a blue pattern, used to serve Apflewein.

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Gingerbread
Gingerbread

Gingerbread

Traditional Christmas Markets are held in German cities and villages every year and attract many International visitors. I have always wanted to visit one!

The festive and romantic atmosphere they evoque is unique, the food is nice and filling, the mulled wine is hot and sweet and you can get your Christmas shopping sorted with beautiful hand-crafted gifts.

Here you can buy all kinds of Christmas merchandise and gifts, especially traditional things such as crib figurines, toys, wood carvings, marionettes, candles and lambskin shoes to place underneath your Christmas tree. Many are difficult to resist – as will be the glass of delicious mulled wine you are offered and the baked apples that are very welcome on crisp winter days. The ambiance of a typical German Christmas Market is further enhanced by the aromas of hot chestnuts, grilled sausages and other tasty snacks.

Germany Christmas Market

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Glühwein: red wine combined with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar.

Glühwein: red wine combined with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar.

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market
No Christmas Market in Germany would be complete without a real "Bratwurst Sausage"!

No Christmas Market in Germany would be complete without a real “Bratwurst Sausage”!

Schmalzbrot literally means "bread with lard". Now, I wouldn't want to try that...

Schmalzbrot literally means “bread with lard”. Now, I wouldn’t want to try that…

My favourite food discovery in Frankfurt is the Flammkuchen, the "flame cake", which is actually an Alsatian dish composed of bread dough rolled out very thin in the shape of a rectangle, is covered with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and bacon.

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Kartoffelpuffer: shallow-fried potato pancakes served with apple sauce!

Kartoffelpuffer: shallow-fried potato pancakes served with apple sauce!

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market

And of course, lots of sweets! Chocolate coated fruit, candy, caramelised nuts, ginger bread and the classic German Christmas cake: the Stollen!

Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt Christmas Market
Schokokuss: sweetened egg white foam coated in chocolate. Don't call them marshmallows! ;)

Schokokuss: sweetened egg white foam coated in chocolate. Don’t call them marshmallows! ;)

Frankfurt Christmas Market

The Frankfurt Christmas Market is beautiful and big, with two hundred stalls stretching from the Ziel (the main shopping street) to the river, passing through Römer, the city's town hall. It also has a very long history that can be traced back to 1393!

If you are in Germany this weekend, make sure to visit a Christmas Market, order a mug of mulled wine and have fun! Prost! :)

Most Christmas Markets start in the last week of November and run through to Christmas Eve or a day or two before. They are usually open every day from 10am to about 8 or 9 pm.

Food Blogger Connect 2012

In the 10 months since I started Mondomulia, I have learnt a lot about food, photography, social media, and I have also met many wonderful people. I had no idea that any of this would happen. I didn’t create Mondomulia to become a ‘blogger’. I was bored with my job and depressed about it, so the blog made me feel creative, it gave me a reason to use my camera and improve my skills, and it also offered a space to share my photos.

Many people around the world have a food blog, like me. They all have different motives: maybe a passion for cooking, or the dream to be a writer, or a need to promote a business or a book. Apart from the love for food, we usually have one thing in common: we like to meet up and share our knowledge and experiences in person!

That’s the purpose of Food Blogger Connect, a convention of international food bloggers, which takes place once a year in London. FBC12 took place in the last weekend of September and, as soon as I found out about it, I wanted to be there.

Blogging is a personal activity: even though a part of what we do is going out to restaurants or attending events, the work behind a blog post happens in our homes and in our kitchens. Our writing is personal, as we talk about food while sharing our lives, our fears, hopes, dreams.

Food Blogger Connect gives to food bloggers the opportunity to meet up over three days in one of the greatest cities in the world: London. Many bloggers are willing to travel from other countries just to be here for FBC. It is undeniably a unique opportunity.

This year’s convention took place at Beaconsfield, an art gallery located a few minutes away from the river Thames, close to Westminster and Vauxhall. The location was perfect for me, as I could reach the venue by bus. The weather was also kind to us, as we were blessed with a beautiful sunny sky and not a drop of rain.



Food Blogger Connect lasts for three days, from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon. Several lessons take place in the main hall throughout each day, but there are also many breaks, so that all attendees can socialize, as well as learn.

While the lessons last only 30-60 minutes each, there are longer workshops with famous international speakers, which are the main attraction of Food Blogger Connect. One of this year’s highlights was Ellen Silverman workshop on food photography and styling (sadly I couldn’t attend, but have heard great things about).

Here are some shots I took of the props that were used during the 4-hour course.


Attending FBC12 was an expensive affair, with the minimum entry price set at £299. This gave full access to the convention for three days; there wasn’t an option to buy a ticket for one day only. Entry to the workshops was not included in the ticket and the cost varied from £35 to £99 (workshop tickets could not be purchased without paying the £299 ticket first). If you add travel and accommodation costs, you can imagine how costly it becomes and how it makes it impossible for many bloggers to attend.

Is it worth it? Yes, it is worth spending the money because FBC is a unique chance to learn about varied topics related to food blogging and to meet some really nice and interesting people.

Is the price fair? No, I personally think that the ticket was too expensive for what we received in terms of venue, food, quality of the lessons.

Will I attend FBC next year? I am not sure, I will make a decision when the time comes, based on the price, location and speakers.

I regret not taking part to the workshops, but I know that I simply could not afford spending the extra money.

What I loved the most about FBC was learning bits and pieces of every aspect of food blogging, some things I was clueless about, and yet they may well play a key role in the success of my blog: recipe writing, doing your own PR, e-Publishing, managing relations with PR agencies, self-hosting, blog security, publishing a cookbook, niche blogging and most of all…my everybody’s scariest enemy: SEO techniques! I must thank Judith and May for their incredibly valuable lessons!

I also enjoyed the lessons with Sarka of Cook Your Dream: even though I already knew about Lightroom and natural lighting, I still got some very useful tips from her.

Food played a big part at FBC12, as you can imagine. This year’s theme was “street food” and meals took place in the “Market & Social Playground”. Different street food stalls were set up every day in the courtyard, the smell coming from their grills and reaching our lecture hall every morning and afternoon! As I mentioned before, we were very lucky it didn’t rain, or else queuing for food in the courtyard would not have been much fun. Still, we were dry, but we were also cold.

That would be my negative feedback to the FBC organizers: the hall was too big for the small number of people attending the lessons (15-20 on average) and was not heated. The market and social playground were outdoor, so we were going from being cold inside the hall to being colder outside. Despite layering on clothes, I felt constantly cold and clutched paper cups of hot tea to warm up. It might be just my personal experience, but I know most of the bloggers spent the weekend with their coats on.

Every day started with breakfast in the Ragged Canteen, served by Urvashi Roe of Botanical Baker as part of Better Breakfast Week. The Wheat Bran, Baobab & Banana Muffins were delicious and I will attempt to make them at home soon!

There were hot and cold drinks available for the attendees: coffee by Nespresso, tea by Joe’s Tea Company, smoothies by Good Heavens and AMAZING apple juices by Cawston Press – my favourite discovery from the weekend! For those interested in booze, bubbly, cocktails and Wines of Lebanon were also available.

I must mention the Vitamix team, blending away amazing smoothies, soups and ice-creams in a few minutes, mesmerizing every single one of us with their amazing blender! Three lucky FBC attendees even won the Vitamix in a raffle!

Every afternoon we had the traditional English afternoon tea with scones, with clotted cream and jam…


…but also the special “High Chai” prepared by Pistachio Rose, a baker who creates wonderful Indian-inspired desserts. I loved her Chocolate Chai Tart and the Pistachio Naan dipped in hot chocolate, a re-inventation of the classic churros con chocolate.



I discovered a few London-based street food businesses that had escaped my radar until now. I only have a few photos from Sunday, but here’s a list of all the food I tasted at FBC12: salt beef bagels by Bel Brisket; pastel de nata and chocolate salame by Silmar Taste; homemade ravioli by Pasta e Basta; canapes by La Tentation; tongue on a roll by Tongue ‘N Cheek; mini-burgers by Mother Flipper; tasty potato salad by Russian Revels; Mexican flautas by Toma Mexicano.

And finally some delicious and spicy curry by Vinn Goute.



Italian focaccia sandwiches by Gurmetti.


Venezuelan food by Guasacaca

The thing that really makes Food Blogger Connect valuable is the people. Having the chance to meet face to face bloggers that we love and read about every day, people who may live in different countries and speak different languages. They come together in one place for three days and exchange ideas, get to know each other, learn from each other. At the end of the day, this is what makes it worth it.

And so it is sad to know that MANY MORE bloggers would have loved to come. The venue had capacity for a larger number of attendees and I personally know some of London’s best food bloggers, who weren’t at FBC12 because they were put off by the price.

If the best part of Food Blogger Connect is meeting bloggers, then it is a real shame that many of them cannot afford to attend it…it leaves a pinch of bitterness to an otherwise great experience.