After my short August-blog-hibernation, I’m back with my first of two food blogs about South Devon and they’re not to be missed.

The Beachhouse is a shabby-chic, cosy and inviting restaurant located in South Milton in Devon. The converted beachhouse may look like nothing more than a shack from afar, but step inside on a chilly evening or sit outside on a sunny Summer afternoon and you’ll be knocked off your wooden bench by the food served here.

thumb_img_7344_1024

Beautifully battered calamari with a rich garlic aioli

It’s a guaranteed thing that there will always be fresh, delicious seafood on offer here. A classic Beachhouse dish (which has been there the last three years I have visited), is garlic & chilli king prawns – just make sure you ask for a spoon to mop up the delicious and super spicy sauce.

thumb_img_7347_1024

Garlic & Chili Prawns

Seafood haters don’t fret, the Beachhouse offers an eclectic menu that changes fairly often and there are always plenty of other options available. I had beautiful arancini balls for my main which reminded me slightly of the stuffing balls I have at Christmas, but that’s never a bad thing. Wherever you sit in the Beachhouse for dinner you will be able to see the sun setting over the ocean, which always adds some romanticism to the venue.

thumb_img_7346_1024

Arancini Balls

The Beachhouse have a slightly unique dining experience, especially for an area usually frequented by families or couples. The wooden tables that fill the dining area seat around six people comfortably and eight at a push, so unless you come here in a group of five or more you will probably end up sharing your table with others and end up talking. This has always been great fun for me as we have met some lovely people in the Beachhouse. For all of you dog owners out there, dogs are warmly welcomed.

So in the unlikely event that you haven’t heard of The Beachhouse and you either live in Devon or you’re going to South Devon next Summer, then this is the place to visit for a memorable dining experience.

If you want to visit: TQ7 3JY

If you want to book: 01548 561144

Hello, fellow foodies!

The last four weeks have been the most intense of my university life. I can finally say that as of Monday I will be done with my degree and done with university. I can’t wait to be a graduate and have time to blog again. Here are my top recommendations of the week, they’re going to include some of the best places I have eaten at over the past month. Enjoy!

The Orange, Chelsea

English classics with a twist

IMG_0121

Rabbit pie with asparagus. This dish was rich and tender with articulate presentation, far more artsy than your standard steak and ale!

IMG_0120

Tender lamb rump with potato puree, new season onion and wild garlic. This was my dish, I’ve never had pink lamb before but it was beautiful.  

IMG_0123

I wish I had picked this! Gnocchi with smoked garlic cream. Rich and heavenly.

Il Borgo, Kensington

A slice of Italy in London, the wall art and fish tanks will keep you looking around the room, rather than your phone!

IMG_0141

IMG_0152

After craving gnocchi since visiting The Orange, I had to have the gorgonzola gnocchi at Il Borgo. Definitely worth a visit just for this.

IMG_0146

Calamari will always be a personal favourite, especially when served with aioli.

IMG_0145

Laduree, Covent Garden

Macarons are a food of the gods, the vanilla and salted caramel ones blew me away! Thanks to my bestie for getting me these for my birthday. Macarons used to scare me because I thought they were all marzipan flavoured for some unknown reason, but low and behold they’re not, and they’re awesome.

IMG_0336

IMG_0307

Pix, Soho

This is something for a fun Friday night. Instead of going out for a normal meal, go to Pix in Soho and pick and choose exactly what you want to eat, the tapas style portions are so much fun and it’s great for sharing and conversation!

thumb_IMG_0457_1024

With the same idea in mind as Yo Sushi, you pick as many tapas portions as you want and pay at the end. Tapas with the long sticks are £3.50 and small sticks are £2.50. It’s easy to rack up a big bill in here if you aren’t watching what you are doing, so be careful!

thumb_IMG_0456_1024

thumb_IMG_0461_1024

The truffle oil, artichoke and parmesan toast were my favourite, closely followed by the prosciutto and quails egg. This is a great spot for people who love picky food or just want a light dinner.

So there we have it, those are my top foodie picks from the last month. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to visit these places, because they were all to die for.

Happy Friday!

La Piccola Deli in Kensington is an authentic Italian deli, perfect for a quick bite to eat or a coffee. All of the staff are Italian, Italian music can be heard throughout the deli and yep, you guessed it, all of the food is 100% Italian. There are deli’s in Holland Park and Maida Vale too.

thumb_IMG_8670_1024

La Piccola stock authentic Italian brands and products that you would probably struggle to find in England without ordering them specially. Many customers were dashing in and out to grab a takeaway coffee or pastry. There’s a long table to sit at by the window with enough seats for six people.

thumb_IMG_8667_1024

thumb_IMG_8665_1024

Delicious pistachio cannoli.

thumb_IMG_8664_1024

A lovely decaf Americano.

thumb_IMG_8661_1024

Just a selection of some of the pastries and treats on offer.

thumb_IMG_8673_1024

La Piccola offer traditional Italian dishes for around £6 to have in heated up or take away. I’m yet to try them but they look and smell divine and they must be if they use all of the Italian ingredients on sale in the shop!

thumb_IMG_8672_1024

My favourite part of any deli is always the cold meats and cheeses section. If you live in the area and you’re planning on having an Italian style dinner party then I would recommend heading here to check out the selection.

If you want to visit in Kensington:La Piccola Deli, 20 Stratford Road, Kensington, W8 6QD

Opening times: Monday – Saturday 07:00 – 08:00

Sunday 07:00 – 19:00

Take a peak at the website: http://lapiccoladeli.com/index.html

thumb_IMG_7835_1024

Daylesford Organic Farm Shop

Being a country girl I was more than excited to discover a “Daylesford Organic Farm Shop” tucked away in Notting Hill. Even though there are supermarkets like Whole Foods available around London, it is still nice to find a smaller and less commercialised organic food shop. Once you’ve made your way past the vibrant organic food, you’ll find a lovely restaurant which offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and supper. There was no queue to get a table and the service was fast and friendly, rare for a restaurant offers brunch on a Sunday!

thumb_IMG_7836_1024.jpg

The shop

thumb_IMG_7829_1024

The restaurant

I headed here for brunch on a Sunday morning and being a poached egg and smoked salmon fanatic I had to get the poached eggs, smoked salmon and hollandaise (£12.50), the eggs were cooked to perfection. However, I definitely could have done with more sourdough bread to mop up the hollandaise sauce (to die for) and the egg yolk. I would thoroughly recommend the hollandaise, it was rich and creamy, just as it should be.

thumb_IMG_7828_1024 2

 

George had scrambled eggs, toast and streaky bacon (£9.50). The eggs were buttery and there was plenty of them but even though the bacon was delicious, it wasn’t crispy enough for me!

thumb_IMG_7819_1024

Organic love heart, what a lovely view!

I’m a fan of anywhere that serves a Bloody Mary or an alcoholic beverage with brunch, However, I opted for a non-alcoholic Virgin Mary (£5) at Daylesford – it definitely packed a punch! The fiery pepper and tomato juice gave more of a kick to my morning than any caffeine could have done and it’s far better for you, worthy of try if you like it hot and spicy.

thumb_IMG_7826_1024

Virgin Mary

The highlight of my meal had to be the walnut and fruit toast with jam and butter (£4) which I ordered separately. I’ve never felt so comforted and satisfied by a piece of toast and I probably could have eaten three to four slices more. At least you know you’re getting some protein in from the walnuts whilst curbing your carb cravings, it isn’t all bad!

thumb_IMG_7973_1024

So, it may not have been the healthiest meal in the world with the creamy hollandaise, streaky bacon and bread. However, Daylesford do some seriously healthy and yummy looking yoghurt bowls with ingredients such as goji berries and flax seeds if you’re trying to stay fit this January. I think I’m going to have to head back here just for the fruit toast.

 

thumb_IMG_7839_1024

So, this has to be my favourite dessert of all time! My mum has made it for me on countless occasions and I have her to thank for this recipe. As opposed to English cheesecakes which are often heavy and thick and made using Philadelphia or other cream cheeses, this cheesecake is whipped full of air and made using low fat quark.

IMG_7929

The final product – berries optional

Ingredients

Base

75g butter

15 digestive biscuits

Filling

5 egg yolks

140g (5oz) vanilla sugar  *make in advance* – Scrape the vanilla out of two vanilla pods into a container with 140g sugar, then mix the vanilla and sugar together, add the used vanilla pods to the sugar mix and leave to infuse.

IMG_7924 (1).jpg

Vanilla sugar

1/2 kg (1lb.) quark

1 tablespoon cornflour

5 beaten egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla essence

4-6 oz. berries of your choice to cover the cheesecake (optional)

Nutritional Information: One serving (1/8th) without icing sugar or berries = 263 calories, 33g carbs, 12.4g protein, 9.8g fat

Making the biscuit base

IMG_7893.jpg

Cake tin with removable bottom, measuring 23cm wide x 7cm high

  1. Butter up the cake tin until the whole tin is covered. It’s important that you use a cake tin with a removable bottom, so that when it comes to removing the cake from the tin there are no disasters!
  2. Crush 15 digestive biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or any other kitchen utensil that can do the job. Make sure they are crushed to a fine mixture.
  3. Melt 75g of butter in a pan, make sure it doesn’t boil or burn, then turn the heat off and add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter and mix well until completely blended together.
  4. Pour the biscuit & butter mix into the cake tin and using the bottom of a big spoon, compact the mix into a layer that should be around 1cm thick.
  5. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.

Making the filling

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.
  2. Cut a section of greaseproof paper that is 14cm high and 74cm wide, then fold it in half length ways and cut it down the middle. This will be used to line the cake tin when the biscuit mix has cooled.
  3. Cream the egg yolks and vanilla sugar until a golden smooth mixture has been made.IMG_7897IMG_7905IMG_7906
  4. Add the quark, cornflour and vanilla essence and whisk thoroughly.
  5. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl, if you haven’t already done so, until they become so stiff they can create peaks.
    IMG_7898

    Egg white

    IMG_7908

    Whisked egg white with stiff peaks

  6. Last of all, add the beaten egg whites by folding it in to the mixture slowly, adding the egg whites bit by bit. Make sure you don’t stir or whisk the egg whites into the mixture, only fold to keep adding air to the mixture – this is what is going to give it it’s fluffy and light texture.
    IMG_7911

    Fold in the egg whites with a spatula to add air

    IMG_7910

    The finished filling

  7. Take the cooling biscuit base out of the fridge. Line the circumference of the tin with the greaseproof paper, ensuring that the waxy side is facing inwards. Place the greaseproof paper on top of the biscuit base so it is resting. Don’t push the greaseproof paper in between the biscuit base and the tin and don’t leave a gap between the greaseproof paper and the tin. Make sure your greaseproof paper pieces overlap by at least 1-2cm to ensure that the cake mixture won’t stick to the tin.IMG_7916
  8. Pour the mixture into the cake tin on top of the biscuit base, making sure that the sides don’t collapse or move.
  9. Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade for 45 minutes. IMG_7921.jpgIMG_7922
  10. Take out and leave to cool for half an hour minimum. Don’t be alarmed, it will come out absolutely huge and probably looking a little charred on the top. However, you must leave the cheesecake to cool for at least half an hour. In this time it will deflate to around half the size and the “burnt” looking topping won’t taste burnt at all.IMG_7907
  11. Add around 3 -4 handfuls of berries if you wish, we used mixed berries but you can use whatever you want. The sour berry flavours compliment the sweetness of the cheesecake, you could even be adventurous and make a raspberry coulis which would also work wonderfully as a sauce to accompany the cheesecake. IMG_7935.jpg
  12. Finally, dust over some icing sugar to finish off the cake.
    IMG_7934

    Delicious!