Dec 312014

I’m wont to extremely long and rambling annual round ups, when it comes to the end of the year. When I start looking back, I get so excited about so many things I saw, did and ate that I struggle to narrow it down. This year is no different!


PREVIEW (c)KavitaFavelle-ChickenHeartYakitori-Sept2013-5134

My recipe for Yakitori Chicken Hearts turns out to be the most popular one of the year, which I find encouraging, given how many people I know turn their noses up at offal. I posted this at a time when my culinary heart was still yearning for Japan (which we visited for the second time in late autumn 2013).

I also had fun learning all about cooking sous vide.



The older (and more experienced I get) the better I become at adapting recipes to suit our tastes. There have always been some dishes I have been able to cook more instinctively, but when I was younger, I didn’t have the confidence to make changes that might improve upon the recipes of others. Making a few minor adjustments to this Baked Chorizo, Cod and Potato dish elevated it into a firm favourite that we’ve made again more than once.

Much of the content I published in February harked back to the second Japan trip, including several photo essays, a review of Burger King’s Kuro Ninja and a visit to Suizenji Joju-en Park in Kumamoto.



My most popular recipe this month (and one that continues to garner praise from those who make it) is my Mum’s Lucknowi-style Lamb Biryani.

March was definitely a recipe-lead month, with my primer on sous vide steak, our Japanese yakiniku at home experiment and cheese, ham and chilli jam pancakes for pancake day.

I was also surprised and fascinated by the responses to my little survey about ready meals versus home cooking.


SousVide-Deep-Fried-KFC-Chicken-titled-5323 Spicy-Paprika-Coleslaw-Condensed-Milk-Cider-Vinegar-5372

There were two recipes I loved sharing in April – my Sous Vide Southern Fried Chicken and this unusual Smoky Paprika Coleslaw recipe featuring, of all ingredients, condensed milk! It really works! I also made a home made Mr Whippy ice cream; it worked superbly well but is a bit of a faff.


Heston 12 Heston 15

The filming was earlier in the year, but May was the broadcast date for Heston’s Great British Food Chocolate episode, to which I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest. An incredible experience!

Individual Marzipan Cakes

These Individual Marzipan Cakes, a tweaked Nigella recipe, are definitely overdue to be made again.


Salivating as I think of it, I had one of the best Lebanese meals I’ve had in the UK, at Warda restaurant in Southgate (North London). We’ve been again several times since and love it so much we’re taking my mum there for her birthday next month.


Green-Bean-Shiraae-KaveyEats-KFavelle-text-1 Quick-Easy-Yuzu-Ice-Cream-KaveyEats-KFavelle-800text-6761

More inspiration from Japan this month in two of my recipes – Green Beans with a Tofu, Miso and Sesame Dressing (Saya Ingen Shira-ae) and Quick & Easy Yuzu Ice Cream.

I also had great fun filming a recipe video for vouchercodesuk. You can view the video but also access the written recipe for my Chorizo, Spinach, Onion & Potato Frittata, here.

Another recipe I posted in June must surely be my simplest ever, with just a single ingredient! But readers and friends have let me know they have been delighted to learn about the slow cooker method of cooking jacket potatoes.


Brussels-Kavey-Eats--(c)-KFavelle-5652 Brussels-2014-KaveyEats-KFavelle-6552

In July, I shared a mammoth travel post, rounding up all my favourites from a city break in Brussels.


The recipe of the month was definitely these deceptively simple, beautifully bling Brazilian Brigadeiro Chocolate Bonbons but a second runner would be Little Orange & Lime Cakes, also from Brazil.


White-Chocolate-Vanilla-Ice-Cream-KaveyEats--(c)-KFavelle-7049-titletext Courgette-BlueCheese-Soup-KaveyEats--(c)-KFavelle-7081-fulltext

In August I shared some great recipes made using my new Optimum 9400 Blender by Froothie. This smooth-as-silk White Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream was one such recipe, as was this Quick Courgette & Blue Cheese Soup.

Our garden and allotment began to reward us with lots of delicious courgettes. Unlike some, I relish the glut and shared a long list of courgette recipes including fabulous Sausage-Ragu Stuffed Globe Courgettes.

This month, I also launched my Meet The Blogger series, in which I introduce readers to some of my favourite bloggers by way of an interview.


Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-153405 Croatia Instagram KaveyEats KFavelle (c)-184241

The undisputed highlight of my summer was attending my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Sharing images from the day, not to mention our dining highlights, was a lovely way to relive the occasion. I can’t wait to go back when it’s less searingly hot!

Pete and I also had a great experience attending the Billingsgate Seafood Cookery School’s evening class on smoking fish.


Burnt-Apple-Bourbon-Icecream-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-addedtext-8489 Bacon-Wrapped-Icelandic-Hot-Dog-KaveyEats-(c)KFavelle-addedtext-8442

This tasty month included a recipe that turned out even better than I hoped; this Burnt Apple & Bourbon Ice Cream plus a taste of Iceland, after our 20th wedding anniversary trip to Iceland in August and September.

I was also very happy with my Chorizo, Pumpkin, Spinach & Giant Couscous Salad.


Celebrating my end-of-September birthday with lunch at Kurobuta restaurant was an excellent choice, one that still has me dreaming about some of the dishes. My review went up in October.


Reykjavik-Iceland-KaveyEats-(c)KavitaFavelle-181016 Reykjavik-Iceland-KaveyEats-(c)KavitaFavelle-095907

I shared more from our trip to Iceland, with my Reykjavik Postcard full of our favourite sights, food and drink.


Having been reworking the recipe since I first posted a version last year, I finally posted an updated recipe of my Easy Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon Brittle.



First, another postcard from our late summer visit Iceland, the fantastic Viking Sushi Boat Excursion.

Agrobio-Almeria-(c)KavitaFavelle-2014-8764 Agromark-Murcia-(c)KavitaFavelle-2014-9037

More travel, but this time in the form of an educational visit to Almeria and Murcia to learn about their agricultural Green Revolution.


And my latest recipe, a choice of two recipes for lemongrass and coconut ice cream and decorative dried pineapple flowers with chilli.


Alongside all of that has been a steady flow of restaurant reviews, lots more Meet The Blogger interviews, some cookery book reviews and recipes featuring home grown produce from our garden and allotment.

This year I finally also joined instagram which I’ve really been enjoying, sharing the little food experiences (and wider life ones) that don’t make it onto Kavey Eats. This has proved particularly food fun during my travels, with friends kindly letting me know how much they’ve appreciated travelling along with me via the images and captions.

To readers old and new, thank you for taking the time to visit Kavey Eats. If you enjoy a post, a recipe, a tip or a story, do please leave me a comment with your thoughts or feedback. I love hearing from you.

Wishing you all the best for 2015!


Today is Kavey Eats’ 5th Birthday! Where did the time go? Over 800 posts shared, and I’m still learning, still bubbling with ideas, still enjoying the process and still feeling like a newbie in so many ways. Thank you for visiting, for reading, for commenting and for sharing my content with your friends. I am so grateful!

To celebrate, I thought I’d share some Favourite Fives with you. Click on the links to go straight to any section or settle in for a long scroll down!

Five Favourite Kavey Eats Recipes
Five Favourite Travel Posts
Five Favourite Cookery Book Reviews
Five Favourite Lessons on the History of Food
Five Favourite Recipes by Pete
Five Favourite Hotel Stays
Five Favourite Random Lessons
Five Favourite Restaurant Reviews
Five Favourite Gardening & Allotment Moments
Five Favourite Cookery Classes
Three Favourite History Lessons


Five Favourite Kavey Eats Recipes

Many of the recipes I blog are by way of reviewing a cookery book, but here are five of my own that I’m particularly proud of:


A chicken tarragon pasta bake that turns leftover roast or poached chicken into something special.

LemonPossetCandiedClementine-0815 ConfitBabyTangerines-0993

Candying (confit) clementines is surprisingly easy, as is making rich, sharp-sweet lemon posset.

BangersBostonBakedBeans-0664 BangersBostonBakedBeans-9545

Although I love boston baked beans, Pete was never keen on the belly pork that is a common accompaniment. I created a culinary handshake between America and Britain with these British Bangers & Boston Baked Beans. Leave soupy or cook longer to reduce to a thicker, stickier mass.

AppleDateGingerChutney-0076 AppleDateGingerChutney-0080

I won first prize for chutneys in our local allotment show with this apple, date, ginger and chilli chutney so I’m very proud of it, especially as I had to be encouraged to enter by an allotment friend!

BeerandNutsIceCream-9355 BeerandNutsIceCream-9361

I adored my stout (beer) and salty roasted peanut ice cream – the representation of a pub in a sweet frozen treat. I wrote this as a guest post for my husband’s blog, Pete Drinks.

Other recipes I really like are my chicken liver and port pâté, these fun bacon pancakes, coffee and rum walnut brittle ice cream featuring home made walnut brittle, and a home made strawberry vodka liqueur that turned out wonderfully thick, sweet and fruity.


Five Favourite Travel Posts

I love to travel, especially when there’s also great food involved!

Lebanon AbuKasem-7454 Lebanon AbuKasem-7493

The day we spent talking za’atar with Abu Kassem was a highlight of our trip to Lebanon.

Amsterdam-0208 Amsterdam-0460

We had great fun spending a weekend eating and drinking our way around Amsterdam. There was so much to eat, so little time!

KVEats Falklands-1653 KVEats Falklands-2219

I can’t pretend the Falklands Islands are a dream foodie destination but we ate well and spent lots of time appreciating the local wildlife.


Our latest visit to Islay for the Islay Whisky Festival 2013 saw me eating fabulous fresh seafood as often as I could, which turned out to be every day!


It’s been so hard to pick just one of my many Japan posts to include here, but I’ve chosen a little place in Kyoto selling Japanese specialities, amazake and warabi mochi.

Also in my shortlist was a really old introduction to eating in Morocco, that I originally wrote for a short-lived travel blog I abandoned almost as soon as I started!


Five Favourite Cookery Book Reviews

I own far far far too many cookery books!

LeonBook4-3751 LeonBook4-3756

The book I was probably the most excited to see was Leon Book 4, featuring three of mum’s recipes, photos of mum with her parents and with baby me, and an explanation of how Mamta’s Kitchen came into existence.

SarabanBook-6259 SarabanBook-6266

Saraban, by Greg and Lucy Malouf, is enchantingly beautiful. The recipe I shared, Tahcheen-e morgh, proved very popular, and more recently it inspired my Persian Peri Peri Fusion version.


I’m a big fan of Angela Nilsen’s approach of taking a classic recipe, researching it, sourcing tips from a range of experts and then creating the ultimate recipe and she shares 50 such recipes in this book. Here, I make her Ultimate Quiche Lorraine.


My friend Uyen Luu’s book is a visual feast, full of beautiful images, evocative writing and delicious recipes. We made several recipes, including her Caramelised Sardines in Coconut Water.

Vareniki-6136 Vareniki-6140

My last choice is a book I wish I had on my own shelves, the wonderfully named Please To The Table, full of Russian recipes. Pete made Cheese Vareniki and Meat Pelmeni and they were mighty fine!

A few that didn’t quite make the top five but offer tasty treats include a fabulous smoked cheese gnocchi from The Amalfi Coast, Gastrogeek’s Roasted Aubergine Macarone Cheese and Billy Law’s Coca Cola Chicken.


Five Favourite Lessons On The History of Food

Sometimes a topic really catches my attention; when that happens, I love to read as much as I can to learn all about it and then pull everything together into an essay-like post!

BrogdaleNFC-1482 BrogdaleNFC-1506

Our visit to the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale last year was fascinating. We learned a great deal about the history of the collections from our super guide, Mike, and I was inspired to do more research about the history of the apple in the UK, when I got home.

KellyBronze-3995 KellyBronze-4013

These days, turkey is relegated to little more than a Christmas staple, but a visit to the Kelly Bronze farm prompted me to look more closely into the history of turkey eating and breeding in the UK.

Japan2013-3234 Japan2013-3226

This post had been simmering for several months, the majority of it written after our first trip to Japan in autumn 2012 but not completed until after our second trip in 2013. I only just got round to posting it! It gives a history of yakiniku in Japanese cuisine.

Parma-8226 Parma-8499

A press trip to Parma allowed me to discover the origins and methods of making parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan cheese) and prosciutto de Parma (Parma ham).


Five Favourite Recipes by Pete

Pete does so much of the cooking in our house. Here are five of my favourite recipes he’s created.


I’m always begging Pete to make his Chocolate & Porter Cake. Most recently, he made it for an afternoon tea, and it went down very well!


Pete’s Cheesey Potato Bake is simplicity itself but so very tasty. It’s also a great way of using up the remnants of a varied cheeseboard.

CobnutBread-1145 CobnutBread-1170

Home made bread is one of Pete’s fortes and I loved this Cobnut Bread he made using British cobnuts and oil.


I dubbed this invention of Pete’s Courgette-Saka, in a reference to Moussaka, though I’ve come across similar dishes called courgette lasagne. It’s made by layering ragu, slices of courgette and bechamel before baking.

PeteCrumpets-0334 PeteCrumpets-0339

Pete’s Crumpet recipe is a winner. Nothing like hot, freshly made crumpets oozing with melted butter for a fantastic weekend breakfast!


Five Favourite Hotel Stays

I guess this could come under travel, but in these posts I’m focusing on the beautiful places we stayed.

Japan2012-2600 Japan2012-2527

We stayed in Ryokan Kankaso in Nara on our first trip to Japan and it remains one of my favourite experiences in Japan. They served us an amazing kaiseki ryori feast.

ScarletHotel-4828 ScarletHotel-6336

Sometimes when you visit a place, it seems to have been designed with your personal tastes in mind. So it was at The Scarlet in Cornwall.

SyonPark-8616 SyonPark-8639 SyonPark-8670

London’s Syon Park Hotel is shiny and new, and the exterior isn’t particularly attractive, but I really appreciated what it offers inside.

Sweden2012--11 Sweden2012--16 Sweden2012--34

I didn’t particularly love our hotel in Abisko in Sweden’s Lappland but its location and the surrounding views were spectacular!

Japan2012-2533 Japan2012-3001

Yes, two ryokans make it into the list – we also had a wonderful stay at Shiraume Ryokan in Kyoto’s historic Gion district.


Five Favourite Random Lessons

A little mix-bag of miscellaneous topics!

BordBia A Set-8147 BordBia A Set 700 (c)-8128 BordBia A Set 700 (c)-8132

I had a great time attending a food styling photography workshop by one of the best in the business, Alastair Hendy. I’ve shared lots of his tips in my post.

KaveyHeartMapProject-0819 KaveyHeartMapProject-0825

In a rare departure from the food and travel content I usually post, I created a framed artwork of heart shaped maps of places that hold special meaning to Pete and I. Here’s the tutorial on how to make your own digital heart maps collage.

ApplePieFillingCanning-0026 ApplePieFillingCanning-0034

I’ve been happily making jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys and ketchups and storing them long term in sterilised jam jars and glass bottles. But before I embarked on my first canning project (where the food is heat treated inside the jar) I did some research on the various methods of preserving food at home. This post shares what I learned and was followed by my instructions on how to can apple pie filling.

Japan2012-2154 Japan2012-3168

I found the temples and shrines in Kyoto and across Japan utterly fascinating and wrote this article to help visitors to identify a Buddhist temple from a Shinto shrine and to understand and appreciate what they are seeing. Here too are 6 earlier posts in which I shared information and images from several shrines and temples we visited.

UKFBA stall-9582 UKFBA stall-9573

This one isn’t so much a lesson as our experiences running a food market stall for just one day, in Covent Garden’s Real Food Market.


Five Favourite Restaurant Reviews

I love to eat in and I love to eat out. Here are restaurants I particularly enjoyed.


It’s probably not a huge surprise that one of the most memorable meals I’ve written about is Heston’s Fat Duck. My sister took me there for my 40th (and her 37th) and it was a great experience.

ClubGascon-9976 ClubGascon-9955

Given the distinction of being the only place I’ve written about where we ordered one of the dishes a second time during one meal, I must mention Club Gascon, which we visited when they were offering a special menu to celebrate their thirteenth birthday.

LauncPlaceTasting-3909 LauncPlaceTasting-3928

Tristan Welch is no longer at the helm of Launceston Place, but he and his team made another birthday very special for me and my friend Chaundra

Dishoom-3455 Dishoom-3465 Dishoom-3470

History was always one of my favourite subjects at school (and indeed I studied it at uni too) so I was happy that my added content covering the history of Bombay Cafes and Thums Up Cola were of such interest to readers in my post about Dishoom.

TheSportsmanKent-1964 TheSportsmanKent-1985

The Sportsman in Kent reminds me of myself, but is altogether far tastier!

This was probably the hardest category to narrow down to five! I wanted to share Hida Beef, Tempura, Yuba and Yakiniku from Japan, enjoying a Nutter Genius’ kitchen table, crying over the loss of the Oriental City Food Court, my addiction to Kookoo Sabzi, the wonderous oddity of mac’n’cheese sushi style and a most wondrous meal at Pierre Koffmann’s rooftop popup.


Five Favourite Gardening & Allotment Moments

We’ve been growing our own fruit and vegetables in the back garden and, for the last three years, at a nearby allotment too.


We spotted this fox fast asleep one morning, nestled amongst the tomatillos and gourds in the back garden. He woke after we’d admired him for a while.


I’ve never been a fan of regular broccoli but discovered that I do really like purple sprouting broccoli varieties.


Wanting to make the most of the yellow raspberries and blackberries from our allotment, I made a fruit tart. It features my homemade plum jelly, made from allotment plums, too!


Some confusion on my part lead me to make this redcurrant and port jelly but it turned out so well (despite being a little runny because of too much port) that I’ve since been eking out the remainder!

SungoldTomatoKetchup- SungoldTomatoKetchup-2

Tomatoes are one of my favourite things to grow. I adore the sweet taste and beautiful colour of Sungolds, and decided to preserve some in this lovely spicy yellow tomato ketchup.


Five Favourite Cookery Classes

It’s always a pleasure to learn new skills.

Billingsgate-7513 Billingsgate-7573

The impact of our single cookery class at Billingsgate Seafood Training School cannot be underestimated! Not so much in the frequency with which we cook fish at home, but in the way it’s helped to change Pete’s eating habits to the extent he will now happily eat fish on the bone! That increase in his fish eating habits helped give me the confidence to finally book our first trip to Japan!

HerbertBread-6732 HerbertBread-6557 HerbertBread-6598

Pete’s the bread baker in our house but we both hugely enjoyed this comprehensive two day course from Master Baker Tom Herbert, held at the Bethruthan Steps Hotel in Cornwall.

Foodat52Italian-0460 Foodat52Italian-0508 Foodat52Italian-0562

I love the warm, friendly and very hands on nature of cookery classes at Food at 52, and this Flavours of Italy class was no exception.

MKClass14May2011-8177 MKClass14May2011-8204

To celebrate ten years of running Mamta’s Kitchen (back in 2011), we decided to run some Mamta’s Kitchen Cookery Classes, to raise funds for various charities. Feedback was super and the experience was very rewarding.

HashiCooking-1544 HashiCooking-1585 HashiCooking-1632

I’ve grown ever more interested in Japanese food over the last few years and have now attended a few of Reiko’s Japanese sessions, which showcase traditional dishes with a modern twist.


Just Three Favourite History Lessons

I always loved studying history, and with these three posts, I took a little step back to my academic days.

bob 1[2]

At school, college and university I studied history, with a focus on the 20th century. For Remembrance Day 2010, I shared a history of the Battle of Britain.

650 pixTitanicpostcard

More history, this time in the sinking of the Titanic, and the stories of some of those aboard.

eic-logo eastindia

When The East India Company name was resurrected, I wrote a piece explaining the history of the original East India Company.


Oh and for those eagle-eyed readers who’ve noticed that the archive dates back to 2006; after I started the blog in 2009 I copied across bits and pieces I’d written and shared via email and online discussion boards in the previous few years. That’s the time I describe as my “stealth blogging” period – I had the enthusiasm you’d expect from a blogger to record my thoughts about food, cooking, restaurants, equipment but no actual blog!

Thanks for joining me on my slow stroll down memory lane!


When I was a child, I never could understand grownups telling me that time seems to pass faster the older you’d get. “Another year has whizzed by”, they’d say, as I furrowed my head and thought, “no it hasn’t!” What’s more, I couldn’t foresee that I would ever come to feel the same way or say those same things. And yet here I am, marvelling bemusedly at how fast another year has whizzed by and, hang on a second, wasn’t it just a few weeks ago I was trying to remember to write 2013 rather than 2012?

And yet, when I look back through the posts I’ve shared through the year, I can say that it’s been another wonderful year, regardless of how quickly it seems to have sped past.



CoffeeRumWalnutBrittleIceCream-4660 Japan2012-2818
Japan2012-2810 Japan2012-2197 BillyColaChicken-3947

On the recipe front, I loved Billy Law’s Coca Cola Chicken and was delighted with my Walnut Brittle.

The Apple, Date & Ginger Chutney I made went on to win me first prize for chutneys at our local allotment show later in the year.

I also enjoyed reliving some of our first trip to Japan the previous year, with a post on Mitarashi Dango and an incredible Kaiseki Ryori meal at Kankaso Ryokan in Nara.


MiniMoosKaveyEats-4803 KingOysterPasta-4805
CuredTrout-MaCam-13 ApplePieFillingCanning-0034

I was thrilled to be able to share my favourite food photographs on the back of my new Moo mini blog cards.

For Christmas 2012 I made a strikingly colourful Beetroot and Lemon Zest Cured Trout, finally sharing the recipe I used just in time for Valentine’s day. If that sounds too time-intensive, I also made some really quick No Bake Mini Lemon Ricotta Cheesecakes. Probably the recipe that excited me the most (and has kept on giving us pleasure as we work our way through the jars) was How To Can (Bottle) Apple Pie Filling. We’ve made variations of the simple King Oyster Mushroom & Cream Pasta a number of times since.

On a more gadget-focused note, I reviewed a spice and nut grinder from Cuisinart.


2941_el Japan2012-3137 Japan2012-2555
Japan2012-2568 Japan2012-2573 Japan2012-2584 Japan2012-2589 Japan2012-2592

I wouldn’t usually include a giveaway in my annual roundup but the chocolate badger from Bettys really caught readers’ imaginations and I’ll be sharing further news from that later this year.

Still reliving the holiday to Japan, I posted the last of my six posts about Japanese temples and shrines we visited and took you on a Meander through Kyoto’s Nishiki Market. Back in London, I found a taste of Japan at Bincho Yakitori in Soho.

Things were quiet in my kitchen, but the No Churn Jelly Belly Ice Cream Recipe was fun!


Japan2012-3048 JapanKitKats-4963 FarmisonChicken-4836
GastrogeekMacCheese-0125 ChickenKatsuCurry-4901 Skrei FishPie-5073

You’re probably realising right about now that I remained obsessed with Japan for the rest of the year! In April I wrote about Yuba and Japanese Kit Kat flavours.

There were more recipes on the blog including Butter, Sage and Lemon Roasted Chicken, Cheat’s Chocolate Cherry Baked Alaska, an incredible Roasted Aubergine Macaroni Cheese recipe by Gastrogeek, tasty Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry Rice and a Billingsgate Fish & Egg Pie.


PinterestBoards Japan2012-3084
ChickenTarragonPastaBake-0160 MisoCod-0176 Tom Soup-0168 GraigLambRoast-4914

Pinterest and I are good friends. I explained why I love it and how I use it, here.

I sneaked in another post about Japan, sharing our little rest stop for Amazake and Warabi Mochi at Bunnosuke Jaya.

And there was lots more cooking including a Chicken Tarragon Pasta Bake I urge you to try, a Simple Miso Cod which we served with pak choi and rice, a delicious Home-made Tomato Soup and classic Garlic & Rosemary Roast Lamb.


GraigLambHoisinWrap-4933 SafariCookieCutters-0534
LuizJapaneseSupperClubMay2013-0325 JoselitoJamon-0471 PhoneSock-0863

That roast lamb made a delicious leftovers meal of Lamb & Spring Onion Hoisin Lettuce Wraps.

There were fabulous 3D Safari Cookies. I tasted the best ham in the whole world.

Supperclubs have been steadily growing in number and popularity for the last few years, but I don’t get to many. I did have a lovely evening at a Japanese supperclub hosted by The London Foodie.

Oh and I got a new Samsung S4 phone, which I still love!


IslaySeafoodShack-134808 LemonThymeLimoncelloSorbet-5122
bettys-113531 EdibleOrnamentals-5024 Rodells-0896 CaldesiCheeseGnocchi-6

In late May we returned to Islay for the whisky festival, our third time attending. I loved up some Squat Lobsters and Crab.

We had some grand days out to Bettys in Harrogate and to Edible Ornamentals near Bedford.

I experienced the shock of finding great food a stone’s throw from where I was working in Watford.

My favourite recipe was a feather light Smoked Cheese Gnocchi, another we’ve made again since. You could follow that with a refreshing Lemon, Limoncello & Thyme Sorbet.


123StirFry-8 Naamyaa-183525
PeachTarteTatin-1365 Frittata-1420 BaconPotatoSalad-1583

I never did write up the lovely weekend I spend attending the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery. But I did share an excellent guest post on the basics of Cooking a Stir Fry, written by my friend Diana, who I met over the weekend.

We had a lovely meal out in Naamyaa Cafe in Islington.

Recipes this month included Flat Peach Tart Tatin, a simple and very versatile Pea, New Potato & Goat’s Cheese Frittata and a Heart Attack Potato Salad laden with bacon and gherkins.


BrogdaleNFC-1506 SungoldTomatoKetchup-2
AVBakedRice-4392 ButternutSoupCandiedBacon-1838 teabagspice (1 of 1)

A quiet month on the blog, as I was immersed in planning for our second trip to Japan.

I wrote all about the history of apples and our educational visit to the National Fruit Collections at Brogdale.

September recipes included a Persia Meets Mozambique Peri Peri Baked Chicken & Yoghurt Rice, Spicy Sungold Tomato Ketchup and Easy Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Bacon.

And a little tip on using DIY teabags to immerse spices into one’s cooking!


WatfordMarketSushiStall-2 CourtesanDimSumBrixton-1917 TapasRevolution-1724
BakedBaconEggs-102712 OpiesSalad-2199 ApplePie-172823

Another winner in Watford (who’d have thunk it?) was Grandpa’s Sushi in the covered market. I also wrote about dim sum and tapas restaurant visits.

In the kitchen, I made some quick Bacon Baked Eggs, a chef-inspired salad and a classic Apple Pie, with home-grown apples.

And just before we headed back to Japan for our second trip, Pete spent the day with the London Brewing Company in The Bull in Highgate, creating a collaboration Coffee Porter.


MightyFine-2096 Set 2, ham HiggidyPorkApplePie-4103
TheSportsmanKent-1985 DuckWaffle-2027 KaveyRosie1994 (1 of 1)

I enjoyed hot chocolate and fudge at Camden market.

My friend Diana wrote another guest post, this time sharing some comprehensive tips on making Egg Fried Rice, with many variations. Pete made a really tasty Pork and Apple Stroganoff Pie with Cheddar Crust.

I enjoyed some excellent food at The Sportsman in Kent and Duck and Waffle, in the City.

And I wrote a letter to my beautiful niece.


operation icecider WaitroseMarzipanFruits-4222
CocoaRunners-5957 BeefeaterLuton-134829 MrsBeetonScones-152426

This month has been altogether more Christmas-focused with my 2013 Gift Guide full of ideas for the best presents, my recommendations for bottles to buy for a sweet-toothed alcoholic celebration and a review of marzipan fruits.

I also introduced Cocoa Runners, a great way to buy the very best bean-to-bar chocolate from around the world.

In a fit of nostalgia, I did a restaurant review of childhood favourite, a Beefeater restaurant.

And my last recipe of the year was a really old classic – Mrs Beeton’s recipe for scones, served with home made black cherry jam.


That’s it, the year is done. Hope you’ve had a great one too!

Wishing you happiness, health and success in the new year.

Dec 302012

2012 has been busy for Kavey Eats, with over two hundred posts shared over the last year!

Here’s my pick of posts from each month:




The year started sweetly, with several tasty cookie, cake and dessert recipes. A cracker was the Confit Clementines and Lemon Posset I made for the previous year’s Christmas day lunch.


The savoury eating had a good start too, with my review of a magical celebratory meal with my sister at The Fat Duck.


I also had the pleasure of cringing at myself on the telly when the BBC food quiz, A Question of Taste aired.




Still in the grips of winter, I shared my recipe for Beef Cheeks Bourguignon, a hearty classic with a Kavey Eats twist.


But the recipe which garnered far more attention was these Bacon Pancakes, an idea I picked up from American food bloggers and had to try myself.

Towards the end of the month, I re-launched Kavey Eats, having moved from Blogspot to WordPress and created a completely new look and layout.




March saw me post another hearty recipe, this time my culinary handshake between America and Britain – Boston Baked Beans and British Bangers.


A Clafoutis Black Cherry Pudding made a great winter warmer dessert.


Memories (and photos) of childhood abounded when I made Knicker Bocker Glories as part of my second ever BSFIC challenge.


Pete and I amused ourselves by Making Triangular Omelettes in a Sandwich Maker, just to see if we could!



Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar-9943

We had fun checking out the new Hawksmoor Spitalfield Bar.

650 pixTitanicpostcard

I got wrapped up in the history of the loss of the Titanic, after a tasting at Berry Bros & Rudd.

Chicken Savoyarde was utterly delicious, though not very photogenic!

UmamiRestaurant-0041 UmamiRestaurant-0043

I was bowled over by Satong Sumbat (baby squid stuffed with spiced minced chicken) and other dishes at Umami Restaurant, all the more surprising given that it’s a hotel restaurant.




Pete and I had a fantastic weekend in Amsterdam during which we did nothing but eat and drink our way around the city. I shared a comprehensive list of local specialities to look out for, some delicious places to find Coffee, Cake and Snacks in Amsterdam and lastly our tips for Amsterdam Restaurants & Bars.


Several eager panellists joined me to carefully cogitate over as many brands of Jaffa Cakes as I could find, which resulted in the Great Jaffa Cake Taste Test. The winner surprised all of us as it was neither the best known brand nor the most expensive, by a long shot!


I shared a non-food project I was very proud of – a collage of heart-shaped maps of our significant places, which I made for Pete as a gift for our 20th anniversary of being a couple.


I was a very proud wife when Pete won Saveur magazine’s Best Wine or Beer Blog 2012 after only 6 months blogging at his own site. Go visit, have a look around, leave a comment or three and add him to your RSS reader!




I learned and shared a recipe for Easy Dauphinoise Potatoes. They’re delicious and have become a regular feature in our house!

bloom2 Bloom1

Pete and I went to Dublin’s Bloom In The Park, and encountered many wonderful Irish food and drink producers.


We tried Club Gascon’s amazing Marmite Royale & Toasts shortly before it was launched at Taste London.


Pete made the most delicious Cobnut Bread. The recipe would also work well for hazelnuts or walnuts.




We enjoyed a superb dinner at Paul Merrett’s pub, The Victoria in East Sheen.


I had fantastic fun attending The Flavours of Italy cookery class at the new Food at 52 cookery school.


Discovering how easy and tasty the condensed milk and double cream no churn ice cream base recipe is has made it even easier to make ice cream at home. This honeycomb ice cream was fabulous.


I gorged myself on crawfish at Bea’s Crawfish Boil.


This year I enjoyed visiting many more Indian restaurants, including Cinnamon Soho, for a family Sunday brunch.




My genius came to the forefront (or so I maintain) when I came up with the idea for these Pickleback Ice Lollies – yes, that’s bourbon mixed with pickled gherkin brine and frozen!


The view and the food were both pretty amazing when we attended Claude Bosi at The Cube, located on top of Royal Festival Hall.


I may have confused redcurrants and cranberries, but my home-made Redcurrant and Port Jelly made an appearance on Christmas day, regardless!




I talked about my tips for organising the freezer.


After attending two wonderful fish and seafood cooking classes with Lee Groves, I posted an interview and his recipe for Ray Wings In Pepper Brown Butter Sauce.

Monica 3

I was thrilled with how well this Sichuan Pepper Ice Cream came out. Delicious!

AtulatBenares-1549 AtulatBenares-1550

I’m not one for hero worship but I have long admired Atul Kochhar so I was delighted to not only meet him but attend a mini cooking class in his restaurant kitchen, before sitting down to a lovely meal in the dining room.




After another great visit to Abergavenny Food Festival, I enthused about my favourite exhibitors.


I enjoyed getting my chops around a Tongue n Cheek ox heart burger.


This Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with a Stout Honey Glaze was absolutely fantastic. It’s long past due for another outing!


A residual memory from summer came to the surface when I shared the photos from our day at a Kentish Hop Farm.


PicasaJapan2012 Food Mini

In October, Pete and I spent a truly wonderful 2.5 weeks in Japan. In November, I started writing up our experiences – there are so very many I want to share. First, an introduction, itinerary and resources list. On to eating, I posted about the challenges of Japanese vending machines, a delicious meal at Tempura Tsunahachi Honten and being intimated by Piss Alley before finding delicious Ramen for dinner.


Probably the post that garnered most attention was my Guide to Staying in a Japanese Ryokan.


Mum and I were very excited to finally see Leon Book 4 because we contributed a few recipes to it, not to mention some photos from the Gupta family album!


I enthused about one of my favourite cookbooks of the year, Jekka’s Herb Cookbook.


This year, I’ve discovered some fantastic teas. I reviewed my favourites for my Fantastic Teas 2012 Great Gift Guide.




After an eye-opening (not to mention palate-opening) visit to the Kelly Bronze Turkey Farm, I wrote about the history of turkeys in the UK and about the difference between intensively raised white birds and Kelly’s bronze ones.


For once, this dessert-wine drinker was given matching wines for all courses, at The Vineyard in Stockcross.


Ever keen on quick and easy recipes I shared two this month. The first was for Chocolate, Amaretto and Amaretti Ice Cream. The second was an impressive Speculoos and Mascarpone Pancake Cake.

Japan2012-2405 Japan2012-2464

More from Japan, in the form of Hida Beef and Owara Tamaten and a very photo-heavy meander through one of Takayama’s morning markets.

And there you have it! Believe it or not, that’s only a small selection of what I’ve posted on Kavey Eats this year. I hope you enjoyed my monthly picks. Happy New Year and see you in 2013!


Carved detail on Hachiman Festival Float, Takayama, Japan

Apr 022012

Today I’m celebrating three years since I launched Kavey Eats, on April 2 2009.

Sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that the archive goes right back to August 2006. That’s because I started the blog as I came to the realisation that I’d been stealth blogging (as I call it) for years… sharing my food thoughts in online chat rooms, on food discussion boards, at LiveJournal, via email and even in the comments sections on other peoples’ blogs! I wrote rambling restaurant reviews, thoughts on favourite ingredients, reports about food festivals I’d attended, notes about kitchen equipment we’d purchased, feedback on recipes we’d tried and enjoyed… much of the same kind of stuff I share on the blog today.

Despite that, when I started the blog, I feared I’d never keep it up, that I’d run out of things to say, that I’d get bored or that the enjoyment would simply fade away over time.

KaveyMakeUpTestNeetApril2012 700px
for those who’ve been asking for a picture of me without the specs, post eye lasering

But three years on, I’m still loving my tiny corner of the web, still enjoying the act of recording my food thoughts and experiences both for myself and sharing with others, still getting a kick out of the relationships I continue to build and maintain with readers, fellow bloggers and people in the food and drinks industry. I’ve met so many wonderful people, and been given such wonderful opportunities, through writing this blog, I am very thankful.

I’m really happy about the new look too. How can I describe the pleasure of going from using a template, the same one used by so many bloggers all over the web, to a design that’s all my own and reflects me so well? Do you remember those strap-on roller skates that you used to buckle onto your regular shoes as a kid? Did you ever upgrade to proper roller boots, which quickly came to mould themselves to your feet, so the skates felt like an extension of your body? Or how about finally buying your very own home and stamping your identity on it, after living in magnolia rentals for years and years? Or finding the perfect fit of jeans after pair after pair with a slightly loose waist or thighs that pinch or legs that are an inch too short or long?

Somehow, even if it’s superficial, the new look makes Kavey Eats feel more like home and gives me even more motivation to keep going, not that I often run short of things to say!

Many thanks to all of you for reading, especially to those of you who take the time to share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Here’s to the year to come!


For those less interested in my restaurant round up than in the cooking, here are the 12 recipe posts which received the most views during 2011.


Chicken, Bacon, Mushroom & Crème Fraiche Pasta

Braised Ox Cheek Bordelaise

Chocolate & Chorizo Chilli Con Carne

How to make Strawberry Vodka Liqueur

Persian Baked Yoghurt Rice with Chicken (Tahcheen-e morgh)

Lemon Posset, Candied Peel & Cordial

The Ultimate Macaroni Cheese Challenge

Homemade Terrine de Foie Gras Mi-Cuit

Chicken Liver & Port Paté

Perfect Burger & Ultimate Burger Bun Recipes!

Pete Bakes: Chocolate & Porter Cake

Choux Buns With Coffee Custard Filling


Enjoy, and if you make any of these, leave me a comment letting know how you get on!


Inspired by annual restaurant roundups from fellow bloggers, many of which have resulted in yet more additions to my ever-burgeoning restaurant wish list, I thought I’d share some of my highlights from eating out in 2011.

Follow links to read the full reviews for each restaurant.


Best Starter (Joint Winners)

ClubGascon-9958_thumb ClubGascon-9961_thumb

Now and then I talk about ordering a much-loved starter again for dessert. It’s not often I do it. But we both loved the Warm Flan of Foie Gras Bordelaise at Club Gascon‘s 13th birthday so much, we actually did order a second one later in the same meal. It’s a light but incredibly rich savoury custard packed full of foie gras flavour in a slightly sweet red wine reduction sauce. So fabulous we grinned at each other over every single mouthful.


InvernessChezRoux-8912_thumb InvernessChezRoux-8915_thumb

Souffle Suissesse at Chez Roux in Inverness is described as Albert Roux’s twice baked floating soufflé with Mull cheddar and Gruyère cheese.  It’s one of the best cheese dishes I’ve ever eaten. So light I dreamt I was eating a cloud, it was served in a cheese sauce that packed so much cheese flavour it was cheesier than solid cheese! And yet, thin and light, not thick and oily and gloopy. Truly a delightful dish.


Best Lamb

SyonPark-8726_thumb1 SyonPark-8729_thumb1

I’ve dined in a fair few hotel restaurants this past year. My meal at the Waldorf Astoria London Syon Park’s restaurant The Capability stands out, in good part because of one truly magnificent dish. My hay baked Cornish mixed lamb with pan haggerty and green sauce included slow baked belly, fried tongue, sweetbread, cutlet and kidney all of which were perfectly cooked, as was the cheesy, pan haggerty, something I’d not had before. The two sauces, a fresh and vibrant green herb sauce and a sinfully rich reduced wine and stock sauce, were also excellent.


Best Seafood


I’ve enjoyed the enormous Hot Roasted Shells platter at Bistro du Vin twice, once at the Clerkenwell branch, and again at the Soho property. Served on a platter, but unlike the traditional fruits de mer, grilled under the Josper and served hot. It’s a feast of epic proportions and I loved every messy, juice-spurting moment of it!

Sadly, it seems to have been taken off both menus, which is hugely disappointing.


Best Vegetarian Dish


Everything we ate at The Mall Tavern was fabulous – it’s not for nothing I call Jesse Dunford Wood a nutter genius. But, to my surprise, it was his red-wine poached eggs with chestnuts, cipollini onions and mushrooms on smoked mashed potatoes which really blew me away.

Also in the running was the Braised Crispy Bean Curd in Brown Sauce at Pearl Liang.


Best Burger


My Lucky Chip Sheen burger was fantastically good – juicy, full of flavour and very satisfying. Well worth the journey, the cold winter weather and the outdoor seating.

Also enjoyed during the year were a few visits to ThaT Burger, just before it closed its doors and the ever popular Byron.


Best Sweets

image courtesy of Chancery Court

I’ve not blogged this one yet, but I can’t not include the patisseries which form part of the help-yourself chocolate afternoon tea served in The Lounge, at Chancery Court. Sandwiches, scones and tea are served to your table but the rest of the sweet goodies are laid out for your delectation. As well as two chocolate fountains with fruit or marshmallows to dip, there are cakes, brownies, cookies and meringues, chocolate coated nuts and then the rather fantastic patisseries. The only word for these is magnificent and the Blackforest gateaux (a light reinterpretation of the classic cake), raspberry chocolate macaroon stack, the coffee panna cotta with baileys profiterole and the one that tasted like an extremely posh jaffa cake are firmly embedded in my mind.


Best Never-had-it-before Experience


Pumpkin koroke (croquettes) don’t, on the face of it, sound that appealing even to someone who likes bread-crumbed deep-fried things and sweet soft pumpkin flesh. But having ordered them once, at Sushi Japan, they’re now the item I most often start dreaming about, and which prompt our regular return visits.


Best Sharing Plates

Parma-8512_thumb4 Parma-8483_thumb1 Parma-8711_thumb1

I can’t round up the year without mentioning the wonderful platters of Parma ham and Parmesan cheese served as part of every meal the group enjoyed during my visit to Parma and the surrounding region. Also in the photos above is culatello, another delicious local product.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my roundup of some of my favourite eats of 2011. I can’t wait to get my teeth into 2012!



Pete and Kavey wish all the readers of Kavey Eats & Pete Drinks a very merry Christmas!


I hate shopping for clothes, shoes and practical necessities but I do love shopping for presents. There’s something wonderful about finding the perfect present for a loved one; a present you know will light up their face when they receive it; a present that fits like an oven glove!

Recently, I shared some recipes for homemade presents.

Now I’m sharing my favourite ideas for presents you can buy.

Hint: if you’re looking for inspiration for gifts for me, this should give you some ideas!


A Food Blogger’s Christmas Wish List

AdHoc Tea Infusers

adhoc2 adhoc4
adhoc1 adhoc3

These nifty tea infusers by AdHoc bob about in your mug, gently infusing your chosen tea into the hot water. Available for £8.95 plus postage from Kitchen.


Food Christmas Tree Ornaments


I’m enchanted and amused by these fantastic food and drink ornaments for Christmas trees, made by Inge-Glas, a German family glass-blowing business. There are over 125 to choose from and I’ve made a collage of my favourites, above. Thanks to My Tiny Plot for introducing me to these, via her post on Inge-Glas’ vegetable ornaments. She links to a US-based online retailer, but it’s probably worth contacting Inge-Glas directly to ask about European suppliers.


Bert & Ernie Cheese Cutters

berternie1 berternie2

I mostly love these for their names, but I like the clean and simple styling too. Available from Crate & Barrel for £4.05 each (plus postage).


Nudo Adopt An Olive Tree

nudo1 nudo2

I was invited to meet the founders of Nudo Italia recently, at an event where we tasted the latest harvest of oil before enjoying a meal incorporating the various flavoured oils. In fact I’d come across their flavoured oils a few years previously, so was already a fan of the fresh, clean flavours. I like all of them but particularly recommend the lemon, basil and garlic ones.

For £65 you or your recipient will receive an adoption certificate with information about the adopted tree and the grove it sits in. In spring, the adoptive “parent” will receive extra virgin olive oil from trees in their grove, between 1.5 and 2 litres. And in autumn, they will be sent three tins of flavoured oils, 250 ml each in size. I love unusual present ideas like this and can’t wait to receive the oil from my own adopted tree, which I was gifted by Nudo.


Le Creuset Espresso Mugs


These Le Creuset mini mugs would be perfect serving dishes for rich, home made desserts such as lemon posset or chocolate mousse. I can’t decide whether I’d go for all one colour or get a mix. Available for £6.50 each from Kitchen.


Jar Tops


I shared these clever jar tops from Dutch company, Royal VKB in my 2010 Christmas presents list but I like the idea so much I’m sharing them again for 2011. They screw onto standard jars and transform them into useful household objects. Get creative and leave the labels on some of your favourite condiments and jams for an even funkier look.


Neal’s Yard Remedies Shower Gels

ny 1 ny 3 ny 4 ny 5

Although they sell everything from bath oil to moisturisers to shampoos to perfumes, it’s Neal’s Yard Remedies‘ shower gels that I particularly love, in a range of enticing flavours such as rose & geranium, rosemary and elderflower, citrus and jasmine. Priced at £14 for 200 ml.


Fridgeezoo Fridge Pets


You could probably guess that these crazy, adorable fridge pets originate in Japan, right? When you open your fridge door, their sensors detect the light and the Fridgeezoo pets call out a greeting… in Japanese, of course! Even though our small fridge is always completely full, with everything slotted in like a 3D tetris, it’s hard to resist that cute little penguin. Available for £14.99 each from Firebox. Many thanks to MissWhiplash for bringing these critters to my attention!


Spoon Coffee Mugs

spooncoffeemug2 spooncoffeemug1

Always losing your tea or coffee spoon? These cute mugs with integrated spoon holder may help. Mostly I just think they look very funky. They come in white or “sprout” green. Available from Create & Barrel for £2.69 each or £10.75 for four (plus postage).


Contigo Autoseal Travel Mug

contigo mug

This suggestion is a recommendation from my friend Matt, who tells me the Contigo is not only a highly efficient thermos flask which keeps drinks piping hot (or refreshingly cold) but also ideal for drivers; press the blue button and sip from a small hole that opens up in the lid. When closed, it’s a tight enough seal that the mug can happily lie on it’s side on the passenger car seat without leaking. Available on for £19.99, free delivery.


L’Occitane Verbena

verbena1 verbena2 verbena3

Another food-flavoured toiletry range that I really love is L’Occitane’s Verbena range. Including shampoos, soaps, bath foams, creams and my personal favourite, their shower gel. I particularly like that they sell eco-friendly refill poaches for the shower gel, encouraging reuse of existing containers. Available directly from L’Occitane.


Egg Cups

I collect egg cups. I have hundreds and hundreds of them. Here are a few that have caught my eye lately.

Kathleen Hills Egg Cube


I love the geometric lines of this egg cup. It’s pricey though… available from mydeco for £17.50.

Egg & Soldier Egg Cups

eggandsoldier egg cup

How cute is this pair of egg cups, a little crenelated castle tower and a small horse? Available from mydeco for £23.50.

The Eggsterminator


OK I didn’t own this but, as I was writing this post I couldn’t help myself, and a few clicks later I found I’d somehow placed an order! Surely a must for all boiled-egg-loving Dr Who fans. Available for £4.98 from, free delivery.

Keith Brymer Jones Word Egg Cups


And I do own this set too, a kind gift from PR agency 84 Buckingham Road, after I enthused about the egg cups during a Clarence Court Eggs evening at Hix (Brewer Street), and they learned I collect egg cups. I think they’re just adorable. Available from John Lewis for £15.


Ultimate Pong Cheese Selection


I’ve a particular soft spot for Pong Cheese’s Ultimate Pong box because it was my idea. And it seems I was not alone, as it’s one of their best sellers; no surprise, given the delicious contents of strong, stinky and delicious cheese! Available for £28.95 plus postage.


Mrs Beeton Christmas Pudding on Stand


A bit of a bargain from Tesco Direct, I reckon. This Mrs Beeton Christmas pudding comes on a glass cake stand, for just £10. Available from Tesco Direct.


The Irkafirka Tea Ninja Mug

irkafirka tea ninja mug

Remember how delighted I was when I finally joined the hallowed halls of those who’ve been irkafirkaed? I was even more delighted when I persuaded the magnificent men at irkafirka HQ to create a mug version for purchase. They kindly made available these marvellous Tea Ninja mugs (with the text removed so it could be any Tea Ninja, even your own). Available from £11.60 at zazzle.


Australian Stickies (Dessert Wines)

yalumba bortolishow

Australian dessert wines are very well regarded by wine experts and great value too.

Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat sounds right up my street. A beautiful deep amber in colour, it’s described as very sweet with flavours of fresh, dried and candied fruits, hints of honey, ginger and burnt toffee.  Available from Morrisons for £11.99 or winedirect for £11.95 plus postage.

De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat is said to be robust enough to partner with Christmas pudding or blue cheese, both difficult matches. Its flavours are described as figs, raisins and caramel with a strong scent of rose on the nose. Available from Majestic Wine for £14.99 (or less when Australian wines are on special offer, as now).


Hand Crafted Aprons

Sites such as Folksy and NotOnTheHighStreet are a great place to find unique crafted items, such as the beautiful love bird bowls by Prince Design, which I featured in my gift ideas post last year. This year I’ve been inspired by hand made aprons.

folksy apron patchwork heart 2

The Patchwork Heart offers custom made patchwork design aprons for just £12. I particularly love the burger design but you can also have tea cups, wine bottles, cup cakes and more.


Rosie Ann offers retro vintage-inspired aprons for £20. I love the feminine styling of these and the contrasting fabric choices too.

clarecarter3 clarecarter1 clarecarter2

Clare Carter Designs decorates aprons with colourful illustrations. Food designs include cakes, jellies, sundaes and picnic items. Available for £19.99 each.


Mamta’s Kitchen Aprons

mk1 mk2

This year we launched Mamta’s Kitchen cookery classes and they’ve gone down a storm. So it’s a good time to remind you about our own Mamta’s Kitchen aprons, made by a catering industry clothing specialist, from heavy-weight 100% cotton, with reinforced corners and extra-long anti-tangle ties, they’re generously wide and long and can be machine-washed at 40 degrees, even with the embroidery.


Dunk Mug


This fun mug for biscuit dunkers comes in left or right handed versions, so that the owner’s biscuits are front and foremost. Available from Mocha for £16.99 plus postage.


Tea Tube


Also from Mocha is this clever combined tea scoop and infuser, which can also be used to stir in the sugar. Available for £11.99 plus delivery. When you drink as much tea as I do, you can never have too many tea infusers!


Opies Bottled Fruits

opies1 opies6 opies5
opies3 opies4 opies7

This range of bottled fruits makes me salivate. Whether it’s the alcoholic options such as Messinia figs with courvoisier, Fujan stem ginger with Teacher’s whisky and Bulida apricots with Drambuie or the non-alcoholic offerings such as Baby Pears With Vanilla and Halved Peaches With Cinnamon, I’m still drooling. Available from Waitrose, priced between £3.49 and £11.


Sandcastle Bowls

sandcastle1 sandcastle2

These glazed ceramic bowls by Caroline McGrath transport me back to childhood holidays by the sea. I think they’d make a great present as a fruit bowl for a seaside themed living room, or to grow herbs in the kitchen. Available for £25 plus postage.


Grenadier Stacking Mugs Set


Stacking mugs are a great space saver. This set is designed to look good individually and splendid when stacked. Available for £15 a set plus postage.



Simply Relish Hamper

relish5smrelish6smAnn Busby of Simply Relish is a friend I met online, chatting about food on various chat boards. Her relishes have won numerous awards, for good reason as they’re absolutely delicious. (I speak from personal experience, having tasted a number of Ann’s creations). Contact Ann directly to discuss the contents and price of a gift hamper or inquire about your local stockists.




And while we’re on condiments, I also recommend the historically-inspired range of condiments from Tracklements. 40 years ago Will Tullberg didn’t intend to start a new business, when he first made the first wholegrain English mustard as an accompaniment for the sausages he was then selling. It proved so popular with friends and family and local pub landlords that a new business was soon born. Today, Will and his son Guy, have added a wide range of new condiments to the original wholegrain mustard, many of which are inspired by old traditional English recipes found in ageing cookery books. Our personal favourites include chilli jam and sweet mustard ketchup. I would go for their DIY gift hampers, which allow you to choose which items to include from their range. Available for £28 or £31.50 from Tracklements.


Home Whisky Blending Kit


This is definitely a great present for whisky lovers with a secret dream of owning their own distillery. My whisky-loving husband has been salivating over this! The blending kit includes 12 x 3cl whiskies plus pipettes, measuring cylinders and a whisky glass in which to enjoy your personal creations. Available for £49.95 plus delivery, from Master of Malt.


Rococo Chocolates

rococo1 rococo2

There are many British chocolatiers I love from Paul A Young to William Curley to Gorvett & Stone, to name just a few. Thoughtful selections from any of them will light up the face of a chocolate lover. However, these Christmas specials from Rococo caught my eye, featuring two of my favourites – floral creams and high quality marzipans. Flower fondant creams £11.95, walnut and almond marzipan £13.50 from Rococo.


I hope you’ve found some lovely ideas to inspire your own present shopping or put on your own wishlist when family ask what they can buy for you.

Many of the gift ideas I shared last year are worth a look too.

© 2006 - 2014 Kavita Favelle Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha