Eat With Ellen’s February Food News

Eat With Ellen's February food news

Usually by this point in the year I’ve stopped hibernating and eating warming one-pot meals and I’m even thinking about switching from wintry red wine to G&T in the pub. Not this year. It still feels like we’re in the deepest, darkest depths of winter and just when things look like they’re brightening up, the news people tell us this week was due to be one of the coldest weeks of the winter.

There’s nothing for it, I guess, than to hunker down and plan some foodie fun. I’ve found a few things around for you that should tide you over until spring hopefully sorts itself out and turns up to the party in March.


Gin Festival at Tobacco Dock

I know I said I hadn’t yet switched to G&T this year, but I reckon a whole festival could persuade me to do just that. Gin Festival London is at Tobacco Dock from Thursday, February 15th to Sunday, February 18th. I’ve been to the Birmingham one and trust me, you won’t be disappointed. More than 100 gins, gin cocktails, masterclasses, music, street food. If that doesn’t cheer up the February blues I don’t know what will.

Plenty of sessions are sold out but there are a few options available, so visit

Tobacco Dock, Wapping Ln, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF. Nearest stations – Shadwell, Wapping


Fondue Thursdays at The Cheese Bar

What better to warm you up than a rich, oozing, melty cheesy fondue. Every Thursday this month, The Cheese Bar in Camden are having fondue evenings. You can choose different versions and pick from an array of sides like truffled roast potatoes, or deep fried sprouts. I’m not sure it gets any better than that…..

The Cheese Bar, Unit 93, 94 Camden Stables, London NW1 8AP. Nearest stations – Chalk Farm, Camden Road


Francesco Mazzei and Tom Aikens go head-to-head

Here’s something a bit different – on Monday, February 19th, chefs Francesco Mazzei and Tom Aikens will go head-to-head in a Cook Off to raise money for The Felix Project charity.

The Felix Project collects surplus stock from supermarkets, wholesalers and retailers then delivers it to various charities, providing vulnerable people with food and nutrition.

Mazzei has invited Aikens, founder of Tom’s Kitchen, to the open kitchen at Fiume at Battersea Power Station for a competition that will see both chefs and their teams cooking with ingredients provided by the charity.

Both chefs will create a range of sharing dishes for guests to enjoy and diners will be encouraged to choose their favourite – with one team declared the winner at the end of the night.

I think it sounds fab, and a great way of raising money for a food-related charity.

Tickets, priced £35pp, include a 3-course meal and a glass of fizz and can be bought from the D&D London gift shop or here All proceeds will go directly to The Felix Project.

Fiume, Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, London, SW8 5BN. 




Bryn Williams at Somerset House

It’s not quite here yet, but this spring, Welsh chef Bryn Williams will open his first London restaurant in a decade – at Somerset House. It’ll offer modern British dining and seasonal dishes where the fruit and veg is centre stage, though it’s not necessarily vegetarian.

Williams has already got Odette’s in Primrose Hill as well as beachfront restaurant, cafe and bar Porth Eirias on the North Wales coast. He shot to fame in 2006 by beating several established chefs to cook the fish course for the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations on the BBC’s Great British Menu.

Bryn Williams at Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station – Temple –


The Eat & Drink Festival 2018

If you’re looking to plan some foodie fun to look forward to, tickets have gone on sale for the Eat & Drink Festival next month.

The festival is back for its second year at Olympia from March 17th to April 2nd. Celebrating the best of food and drink, it brings together street food vendors, artisan producers, top food brands and experts, as well as offering us mere mortals everything from demonstrations to late night dining and shopping for fresh produce.

There’s a ‘Foodie Stage’, ‘The Great Eat’ area, ‘Late Night Thursdays’ and ‘The Drinks Station’ – need I say more?

Advance ticket prices start from £14 for weekday adult tickets and children aged 15 and under go free. Tickets are available on and by phone on 0844 858 9071.

Ellen started as a news reporter on her local paper straight out of university, working her way up to become the chief reporter at national news agency the Press Association. There she spent six years gallivanting around the country – and the world – reporting on everything from troops in Afghanistan to the Olympics. After a stint writing telecoms news, she’s now freelance and indulges in general wordsmithery for a variety of publications.

Her real passion is food, whether it’s talking about, thinking about, or eating it. She’s got her own blog Eat with Ellen ( and you’ll most likely find her dragging her husband on a food-filled mission, either at home or further afield. Ellen’s on board as Belle’s resident food expert, giving you a monthly lowdown on upcoming events and openings, trends, issues, and what’s hot and what’s not in the world of food.


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