Category: Food & Drink

If you watched the same weather report as me you'll be feeling that this week is probably one catered more to staying than going out.  And although we live in an amazing city that's so full of wonderful things to do I still advocate staying in and cooking your own dinner here and there!

So here is a recipe to fit in with both the weather and Thai New Year for an authentic Massaman Thai Curry from Head Chef Sanguan Parr at Nipa Thai

Songkran is the annual festival which takes place over three days during the traditional Thai New Year, this year falling on Friday 13 – Sunday 15 April 2018.  Throughout Thailand there are celebrations, festivities and plenty of food; all culminating in a momentous country-wide water fight!

Massaman Gai is a popular but classic recipe from the Southern region of Thailand, the curry it's simple to make but you always have the back up of the restaurant if it all goes wrong!


Ingredients (to serve four):

2 Chicken breasts

600ml Coconut Milk

2 tbsp Roasted Peanuts

5 Small Onions; sliced

4 Medium Potatoes; cubed

3 tbsp Massaman Curry Paste

2 tbsp Fish Sauce

3 tbsp Palm Sugar

3 tbsp Tamarind Juice

3 Bay Leaves

1 piece Roasted Cinnamon; 1cm long

5 Roasted Cardamom Pods

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil



Step 1: Cut the chicken into chunks, around 2 inches in length.

Step 2: In a wok, heat the vegetable oil, curry paste and 200ml of coconut milk. Keep stirring over a low heat until fragrant.

Step 3: Add the chicken to the wok, turning frequently so all the meat is covered in sauce.

Step 4: Pour in the remaining 400ml of coconut milk and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Add the cubed potatoes, roasted peanuts, onions, fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice, bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon. Keep over a low heat to simmer until all the ingredients are tender.

Step 6: Remove from the heat and serve with steamed white rice.

Throughout Songkran 2018, Nipa Thai will be offering its traditional menu. Nipa Thai is open from 5pm-10.30pm, Monday-Sunday.


Nipa Thai, Royal Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY

Tel: 020 7551 6000 or

In my opinion, an amazing afternoon tea is a vital cog in the massive and exciting wheel of London life. Theatre is certainly another one. And when you bring the two together? Well, that's a masterpiece.

If you want to try a masterpiece look no further than OXO Tower Brasserie and their newly launched Theatre Not Afternoon Tea. Inspired by London’s iconic auditoriums and the famous productions that have taken place within them it will give you not only the taste for high tea but also a taste for the rich history of London's Theatrical heritage.  Let cake help you journey through neighbouring theatres including the Shakespeare’s Globe, the Old Vic and the National Theatre.

You can book the tea from today at the OXO Tower Brasserie for £38 per person or £18 for children.

So what's included?

The first act will begin at the Globe with a sour cherry and bergamot-filled white chocolate skull, paired with a goblet of Hamlet’s poison. For the main act, OXO has cast a quartet of stunning cakes, each representing a famous show; Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Matilda, paired with an ensemble of matching bespoke cocktails.

To round off the theatrical experience you'll have a homemade gingerbread biscuit, served with a pot of tea and those hoping for an encore will get a box of treats to take home.

OXO Tower Brasserie’s Theatre Not Afternoon Tea will be available from Wednesday 4 April, Monday to Friday 3pm-5pm and Saturday to Sunday 2pm-4.30pm.

Cocktail lovers rejoice! There is a whole new cocktail menu at Madison that needs to take it's rightful place on your hitlist! You'll find Madison at the top of One New Change just off Cheapside.  It's a really handy place to know about as it doesn't get overly busy with after work drinks, it has an amazing terrace and you can combine it with a bit of shopping so what's not to love?


Combining so many things I love - a great view of the city, alcoholic beverages and an ode to Manhattan,  Madison and it's new cocktail menu kept us company last week along with some particularly good mini burgers whilst we waited for spring to kick in.


If you are a little strange like me you will love the fact that you can be outdoors with heaters here even though the weather's not quite what you would call 'balmy' yet.  You get a great view of St Paul's and you can always duck inside for a bit if you are more sensitive to the cold!

An additional reason to pop along to Madison now though is their twelve new themed cocktails- you may have to plan a couple of trips to get through them all. Celebrating the dizzying heights of Manhattan, New York the new collection helps you sip your way through America’s colourful cocktail history from the Victorian ages right through the Prohibition era to the present day without the flight, Air B&B costs or needing to find a working time machine!


Half of the menu honours six world-famous classics from the cocktail Hall of Fame in their original form. Hailing from the golden ages of cocktail culture, these serves have travelled through generations to gain glory around the world.

The other half of the menu is formed of six contemporary twists guaranteed to delight any cocktail aficionado. Unexpected but delicious, these modern-day masterpieces champion ambitious experimentation on par with New York’s own world-class cocktail bar scene.

The menu has been devised by Madison Assistant General Manager Fred Tartas and his team. Having previously worked at German Gymnasium, Blue Bar at The Berkeley Hotel and The Ritz, Paris, Fred has years of experience under his belt when it comes to creating the very best in cocktails

Our favourites were the Maple & Almond Sour. A nutty twist on the much-loved whisky sour, featuring Armagnac Gaspard infused with roasted almond, dark chocolate and spices, lemon juice, maple syrup and egg white.

And The Mist. Which takes on the Southside cocktail with a mix of Death’s Door Gin, honey & spinach syrup and
lemon juice. This cocktail is as fresh and tasty as it gets.

The Drake and Morgan Group have a whole collection of restaurants that are very dog-friendly. I still don't really understand why there are so many restaurants in London that won't allow even smaller dogs in..

Luckily The Allegory, part of the group is so doggy friendly it even has a drinks menu for our furry friends. There's Bottom Sniffer beer for the boys and Pawsecco for the girls, or the other way around of course!

Tank (my dog) was lucky enough to get a staring role in this review, what with it being all about our four legged friends. He loved the Bottom Sniffer (it just feels so wrong writing that) and also all the attention he got.

He's wondering why he doesn't have a drinks fridge and a copper plated shiny drinking bowl at home now!

The menu for the non-furries doesn't disappoint with firm favourites including burgers, steak, fish & chips and pies, perfect for this winter weather that just does not want to budge.

Our recommendation? The burger with truffle and rosemary chips - it'll warm anyone coming out of any level of Beast from the East!

It's crepes, crepes and more crepes on the menu at L'Ami Malo, the new French eatery in Artillery Passage, East London.

Making the best of a small space L'Ami Malo is friendly and comfortable with just the right amount of background buzz.

You may think that three courses of crepe sounds a bit like too much crepe.. but with the range on the menu we promise you, it works.

Starters include buckwheat crepes (to keep healthy eaters happy) served in a maki roll style with avocado and tomato salsa. Everything is so visual here - the prettiness you can see below is a starter of Buckwheat Goat’s Cheese Croquettes with heritage beetroot and a pansy adorned sour.


Onto the mains and I went for the confit of Duck which sees braised red cabbage wrapped up in the obligatory crepe and crisped up duck leg done to a T to the side. A caramelised pear tops it all off perfectly though it can be made more perfect with a pairing of Cider.

L'Ami Malo has some really special craft ciders on the menu,  try the Cidre Bouché Breton, Brut - so crisp and perfect with a dish like the duck!

L'Ami Malo opens from 5.30 daily and can be found at 14 Artillery Passage, London E1 7LJ.