Monday, 25 April 2016

London Coffee Festival 2016

My love for coffee exceeds the standard brown gloppy wake me up fix most people seek in the early hours of the morning. My love for coffee exceeds bitter instant powder leaving grit in your teeth and a sensation of burning ash. My love for coffee was finally matched in what I like the call the mother ship of Coffee Festivals, the haven for coffee enthusiasts... or even toughs who are partial to the odd brew. 

The London Coffee Festival held in Truman's Brewery near Brick Lane was the epitome of hipster chic, you know, that rare breed of hairy vegans with a penchant for anywhere but Starbucks. 

There was a buzz of contagious caffeinated energetic enthusiasts all enjoying repeated conversations of how their brand offers different blends of arabica and robusto beans with the cherries being dried differently. 

It was thrilling to see all the stall holders with such passion for what they were selling, my favourites among the blur of latte art and french presses, were a company called T2 and Brewed in a Bag. Surprisingly, my favourite stands were the ones selling tea; they were a refreshing, literally, change to the caffeinated energy erupting in the rooms.  

As well as the sellers, there were coffee competitions held throughout the day, it was interesting to see how invested people were in coffees and passionate about different blends; it's a whole different world. 

I would definitely recommend the London Coffee Festival if you get a chance to visit next year, Enjoy Xx

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Bluebird Chelsea

My friends and I have been meaning to go and visit Bluebird in Chelsea for a while now, not just because it has made a few appearances on Made in Chelsea, but because the food and atmosphere is meant to be sublime. As chef students you can imagine that all of our friends and family are now reluctant to go out for a meal with us because we are rather judgmental about the food. So on a cold March afternoon we marched down Kings Road in our heels and finally got a table at the beautiful Bluebird. 

The outfit I wore was inspired by the lovely blogger Arabella Golby [] and consisted of a trench cape coat, white pussy bow blouse and some vintage lace up boots which have been in my family for years. Feeling like Blair Waldorf I felt at ease in Chelsea, a place renowned for it's sophistication and opulence. 

Blouse: Warehouse link. Trench Cape: River Island link. Boots [similar] link.

The food in Bluebird was gorgeous, what we loved most of all was the atmosphere and decor, you cant go wrong with a blossom tree indoors. 

Although the waiters were subpar the food totally made up for it, perfect place for a catch up lunch

As you walk in, there is a magnificently large bar; from the price of the cocktails you'd expect them to be made of gold, but they tasted delicious and it was lovely to see them being made with such skill... of course we didn't mind paying, they were served in a strawberry!

If you're looking for somewhere to indulge for a lunch time treat, Bluebird is definitely the place to go, enjoy Xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

T2 - Tea Store Review

For tea lovers like me, there is nothing better then being surrounded by the smell of fresh tea... with a biscuit or two, or five. 

So when I discovered the T2 tea company down Kings Road, I was in heaven.
In the store there were samples of the most amazing unusual lose leaf tea, every flavour you can imagine.
Established 19 years ago in Australia, the tea company surely has some experience of concocting some pretty incredible flavours such as Strawberries & Cream and Crème Brûlée.

I was lucky enough to be sent some flavours including Melbourne Breakfast, Fruitalicious and Earl Grey. 
Each were beautiful and uniquely scented, I honestly will probably never drink 'normal' teabag tea because compared to lose leaf tea - nothing will ever compare. 

As well as tea, the company also sell flasks such as tea diffusers, stylish travel flasks and intricate cups & saucers.
In the future the company are progressing on to Matcha, a firm favourite of mine which is meant to, energize, boost memory and concentration, fight cancer and is great for the immune system. 

So if any of this sounds like it's your 'cup of tea' [sorry I had to] then visit one of their 77 stores in Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK.
Enjoy Xx

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Valentines Heart Prints

Valentines Day is coming up, sorry to remind you... try not to think of who you will be spending the day with, or not Just try to imagine what you will be wearing on the day, that's why I'm here, to give you some inspiration on what to wear and eat on this one lovely day of the year. Whether you eat it in bed watching repeats of gossip girl, because no boy will ever be like Chuck Bass, or if you give it to your loved one, it's still a perfect seasonal dessert.

What I'm wearing. Cape [h&m] here. Blouse [similar] here. Gloves [Jaspar Conran, similar] here. Boots [ASOS] here.

If you reside in the UK then you'll probably be aware that February the 14th is bound to be freezing... and raining. So instead of making an outfit with adorable dresses and heel, I decided to be practical, unlike me I know. 
2016 is housing Burberry's Prorsum cape, whilst obviously not being able to afford such grandeur, I found a high street cape which is similar, and almost as lovely. As the majority of the outfit is black, including my leather gloves, longer than most, and boots, I decided to put in some 'accent' arms which fit in to the Valentines Day love theme, being heart printed and all and match the swiss roll considerably well. 

On to the heart printed swiss roll recipe: 

Swiss Roll: 
3 eggs
75g caster sugar
75g self raising flour
9in x 12in Swiss roll tin 
Heart Pattern [you may have some spare mixture]
50g margarine
50g icing sugar
50g [1 and half] egg whites
50g plain flour
pink food colouring
Piping Bag
100g icing sugar
50g butter
1/2 tsp pink/red food colouring

1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 6
2. Cut out the exact amount of greaseproof paper to fit the base of the tin
3. Making the pattern in the roll, combine the margarine and icing sugar until smooth and well combined
4. Whisk in the egg whites until combined
5. Stir in the plain flour and then once incorporated add the food colouring until you get a light pink colour
6.Add mix to a piping bag and pipe out heart shapes onto the greaseproof paper you have previously cut to size
7. Place the patterned sheet into the fridge to set for around an hour. 
8. To make the swiss roll whisk the eggs and sugar into a bowl until light and fluffy
9. Fold in the flour to the mix - careful not to over mix
10. Take out the cool, set pattern and spoon the swiss roll mix over the pattern
11. Bake for 7 minutes until springy. 
12. Once baked remove from tin and place on to another piece of baking paper
13. Roll up the swiss roll around the baking paper so that when you come to fill it, it will roll up easily. 
14. To make the buttercream icing, combine the icing sugar, butter and colouring until smooth
15. Unroll the cake and fill the middle with buttercream, re roll up, using the greaseproof to help if needs be. 

There you have it, a perfect Valentines Day treat and an outfit to match, hope you have a lovely holiday. Enjoy Xx

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Pastel Lace - Sugar Biscuits

Fashion and food have always been my two most favourite topics; I could honestly talk for hours about what Valentino put on the AW runway or how to make the best chocolate brownie, what Anna Wintour did with last seasons Vogue cover or where the best coffee shop is in London. For a long time I couldn't decide how to combine both passions, until I realized that the bakes I was laboriously decorating were actually inspired by outfits that I wear, which really plays with my blog name, Fashionable Food. 

Lace. If I had to reorganize my wardrobe into different texture categories, I can confidently say 3/4 would be lace. Burberry's spring summer collection was home to lots... and lots of lace, which obviously I am extremely excited about. Wanting to pair that trend with a typical spring pastel colour, found in Valentino's native couture spring collection which focused on pastel colours like light pink and took inspiration from that to pair the dress with a gorgeous vintage Topshop coat. 

Dress: here. Shoes: here. Coat: vintage, alternative here 

On to the beautiful lace biscuit recipe: 

Biscuits - 
100g butter or margarine / soft
100g caster sugar
1 beaten egg
275g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Greaseproof paper
Circular biscuit cutters 

Icing - 
1.5 oz warm water
1.25 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
225g icing sugar (powdered sugar for the Americans reading)
piping bag
pink/red food colouring

Recipe - 
1. Preheat your oven 190C/375F/Gas 5 
2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lightly with margarine/butter to prevent sticking
3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth
4. Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla until combined
5. Sift in the flour and stir until incorporated in a ball - you may need more or less mixture depending on how wet it is. 
6. Roll on to a floured surface until the dough is 1/2cm thick and cut out circles
7. Place on a baking tray for around 8-10 minutes until golden brown 
8. Place on a cooling rack until cool 
9. On to the icing. whisk together the meringue powder with water for 30 seconds
10. Add the cream of tartar and whisk for another 30 seconds 
11. Sieve in the icing sugar and whisk for 10 minutes 
12. Place a quarter of the mixture into a piping bag with a thin nozzle 
13. Add red/pink food colouring to the remanding mixture along with a tablespoon of water, this will make it easier to spread on to the biscuits
14. Cover the cool biscuits with the baby pink icing and allow to set
15. Once set you can now pipe whatever lace inspired design you want to with the white icing prepared earlier. Be creative, I used henna patterns as inspiration. 

There you have it, a delicate lace inspired sugar biscuit recipe with royal icing! Enjoy xx

Friday, 1 January 2016

Birthday Celebrations at Ting, Shangri La - The Shard

Happy New Year! Any place where you can view the sights of the cityscape of London whilst eating far too much food and drinking overly expensive cocktails is a good time in my books! My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and after much deliberation of where the prettiest location would be, I decided that this would be the perfect excuse to go the the Shard, however the Sky Garden was a close second choice if you'd like to check out the breathtaking views. The sights 128 meters above the city makes your ears pop and takes your breath away... literally!
Our restaurant was called Ting at the Shangri La hotel which is located in the Shard, I found that out the hard way after going up to the 31th floor and having to come all the way back down and into a separate entrance, lovely little excursion though - so if you ever want to visit the shard and not eat just pop into the right hand side entrance and you can visit the 31st floor which is were the Aqua Shard restaurant is.
I decided to show you what I wore as I thought the occasion and dress code would be rather formal so I went with a lace dress which I had previously bought from ASOS (where else), and paired it with simple black tights and boots - which later were changed for stiletto heels, not such a great choice when walking on London's cobbles. 
Watch - Olivia Burton                        Dress - ASOS                            Earrings - Accessorize

To start I had an amaretto cocktail which consisted of passionfruit and amaretto and also came with little amaretto biscuits!

The Amuse Bouche was a celeriac soup, which, although it had the same texture as baby food, was gorgeous

Starter of salmon and caviar risotto

Traditional Christmas Dinner

Chocolate Yule Log

The entrance was sublimely decorated and we'll just pretend that when I entered through the magnificent archway they didn't all topple over and crash, causing the whole restaurant to look at me... typical.

I hope you all has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year, I'd highly recommend the visiting the Shard for any celebrations you have coming up!
Enjoy xx

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Mulled Wine Cupcakes with Fondant Baubles

It bemuses me how Christmas is the only time where the thought of warmed up wine with cloves and cinnamon sounds vaguely appealing, so here is a festive recipe of spiced cupcakes with a mulled wine syrup, buttercream and pretty fondant baubles. So if you have a few moments in between the racing around the supermarket, elbowing children out the way to get that perfect Christmas pudding or frantically wrapping last minute presents where the ribbon never seems to curl properly... 6 INCH RIBBON CURLS, then take a sip of wine put on some Michael Bublé and get started on baking probably the most festive cupcakes ever. 

On to the recipe:

Cupcakes -
225g butter or margarine
225g light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp (or glugs;)) of red wine
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
1tbsp cinnamon
1tbsp mixed spice
240g self raising flour
!! Pre heat oven to GM 4/175°C and Line cupcake tins with cases!!
1. Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is soft, smooth and lump free
2. Gradually add the 4 eggs, one at a time until they are all combined
3. Add the red wine and stir to combine
4. Sieve in self raising flour a little at a time and fold in carefully not to knock any air out
5. Add the spices and combine
6. Place into cupcake cases until around 3/4 full
7. Put into oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown and springs back when touched

Mulled Wine Syrup
30ml orange juice
30ml red wine
60g caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
1 star anise
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Place all ingredients into a small pan and bring to the boil
2. Turn the heat down until the liquid is just simmering
3. Allow the mix to continue to simmer for around 10 minutes stiring occasionally until you have a medium - thick syrup.
4. Take off the heat, sieve and allow to cool

Buttercream icing
300g icing sugar
150g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine icing sugar and butter until smooth and pale (this could use a lot of work but it's a great work out to burn off those extra christmas calories)
2. Add the vanilla extract and transfer into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Fondant Baubles
Colour some white fondant with pink food colouring preferably gel and liquid colouring will alter the consistency.Roll into varying sized balls and leave to dry and set until hard. Shape the white fondant into little cones to act as the top bit of the bauble and loops to be stuck as the string. One all componants are dry stick together and place on top of the cupcake

Pour mulled wine syrup over the spiced cupcake, pipe some of the buttercream over the top and finish with the baubles and maybe a sprinkle of glitter... or more than a sprinkle.

There you have it, mulled wine spiced cupcakes with fondant baubles that will make any scrooge feel festive. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, Enjoy Xx