It seems it’s finally happening. The sprogs are back at school, the nights are drawing in, and bar the odd warm day, there’s a slight chill in the air. Yep, autumn’s definitely here. And it doesn’t only show in the weather. Look at most menus and you’ll see they’re changing. No more salads and fizz. As the mercury plummets and the leaves start to fall, it’s all about comfort food and ruby red wines or earthy ales.
But don’t worry, just because the season of barbecues and picnics in the park is fading fast, it’s not quite hibernation time yet. I’ve got plenty of things for you to get up to this month. New places to go, new things to try, and plenty more. So without further ado, here’s my October round-up.
If it’s a taste of warmer climes you’re after, you might want to head to LIMA in Fitzrovia. It’s been open since 2012, and the following year became the first Peruvian restaurant in London to earn a Michelin star. Four years later and LIMA has had a full revamp, complete with a more spacious and welcoming entrance, more room for diners, and a new awning outside.
More important if you’re a food fan, you’ll be excited to hear that chef Robert Ortiz spent the summer back in his native Peru along with other members of the team, including chef proprietor Virgilio Martinez, checking out new ingredients and techniques to bring back to LIMA’s new menu, which launches on October 6.
Robert’s discoveries include roots native to the region, like white and blue sweet potatoes and other unusual roots ready to be baked in aromatic herbs and served alongside duck and beef, while Peruvian seaweed will be added to fish dishes like turbot and zander. The new menu also features coffee sourced from Lonya Grande near the Maranion River, which will be used to marinate meat, along with Peruvian beer, Chicha. Other changes include a new version of ceviche, as well as changes to the dessert menu. Lots to try then!
LIMA, 31 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1JH. Nearest stations – Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Goodge Street
Authentic Italian food, refined interiors and seamless service are the name of the game when Margot opens its doors in Covent Garden on October 10. Seasoned professionals Paulo de Tarso and Nicolas Jaouën have teamed up to open the 104-cover restaurant, with their signature service style at its heart. The aim is to make guests feel relaxed and welcome, and make every dining experience exceptional.
Inspired by the architecture and design of Italian greats Giò Ponti and Carlo Mollino, Margot will sit across two floors – the upstairs flooded with natural light and the floor below giving a “cosy escape from the bustle of Covent Garden’s Great Queen Street”.
The menu will apparently bring diners an authentic taste of Italy’s various gastronomic regions, with dishes spanning cured meats, carpaccio and tartare dishes, salads, homemade pasta and a range of meat and fish main courses. The autumn menu will include seafood dishes like scallop carpaccio to hearty meals including veal ossobuco, and many dishes will be available in two sizes to fit with what you diners want.
Margot, 45 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AA. Nearest station – Covent Garden.
Autumn at D&D Restaurants
You’re getting a whole bunch of places for the price of one with this one, and for a whole month too. From October 3 to 30, D&D London restaurants is celebrating the arrival of autumn with a whole load of stuff from menus to masterclasses and cocktails to supper clubs, all under the banner of The Wild Table initiative.
The aim of the exercise is to showcase the best of the season’s produce, from truffles and caviar to langoustines, across some of London’s top restaurants. If I include every single detail of every venue, you’ll be here forever, so I’ll give you a quick list and if they take your fancy, you know where to look.
Sartoria, Wednesday, October 19. Four-course dinner with chef patron Francesco Mazzei’ssignature Italian twist on autumn’s finest ingredients. £85pp including paired wines and cocktail on arrival.
Orrery, Wednesday, October 19. Five-course white truffle tasting menu. £160pp.
South Place Chop House, Tuesday, October 18. Sharing feast including suckling pig. £50pp.
Angler, Tuesday, October 11. Seven-course tasting menu dedicated to langoustines. £120pp. Champaigne Laurent-Perrier pairings available for an additional £80pp.
Quaglino’s, October 24-30. Autumnal dishes inspired by foraging.
Le Pont de la Tour, Thursday, October 13. ‘A Night of Caviar’ in partnership with Kings Fine Food Ltd. £75pp, including Caviar masterclass offering and three-course dinner.
German Gymnasium, Four-course Black Forest tasting menu priced £45pp, including a glass of Champagne Laurent-Perrier.
Bluebird, Saturday, October 22. Foraging cocktail event in collaboration with Botanist Gin, starting with a foraging trip in Battersea Park followed by lunch and a cocktail masterclass. £45pp.
Skylon, throughout October. A bespoke cocktail created in collaboration with Monkey 47 Gin.
Blueprint Café, throughout October. Game & Gamay pairing, with a glass of Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Côte Du Py 2014 Beaujolais poured from the magnum, priced £10pp.
Coq d’Argent, from Tuesday, October 25. Limited edition six-course menu pairing mustard with seasonal white truffles as part of partnership with Maille Mustard. £90pp, or £150pp with matching wines.
For more info on any of these, check out their website at D & D London. I know I want to go to them all!
Holland & Barrett’s new bites
If you’re anything like me, when the weather starts to turn the snacks start to emerge. But don’t worry, the helpful chaps at Holland & Barrett are on the case apparently. They’re releasing new Bounce Protein Energy Bites – basically mini-snacks packed with protein that will apparently keep you fuller for longer in the winter months when you’re tempted to turn to sugary snacks. You can choose from Coconut Cranberry, Sweet & Salty Almond and Cacoa Orange.
It doesn’t end there. Holland & Barrett are also launching ‘Chirps’ – crisps made from egg white, and another healthy ‘on-the-go’ snack apparently. Chirps are made only with free range egg whites, so have plenty of protein and less calories than other crisps, apparently making them a healthy and satisfying alternative to the usual carb-filled crisps. You can choose from Sour Cream and Onion, Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper and Smokey Jalapeno.
Both new snacks are available in Holland & Barrett stores and online. I haven’t tried either yet, so I’m as curious as you probably are. But hey, it’s worth a try?
Glen Moray Sherry Cask Finish
Fed up with all this talk of healthy stuff when all you want to do is tuck into a hearty homely meal and get something warm down your neck? I’ve got just the thing for you, especially if you’re into your whisky (and yes, the days of whisky only being aimed at men are loooooong gone). Glen Moray have brought out their new Sherry Cask Finish.
It’s basically a twist on the traditional Glen Moray with a bit of a rich and spicy sweetness added to the normal flavours of butterscotch and lemongrass, and is apparently a celebration of the age-old tradition of maturing whisky in the finest Oloroso sherry casks. You can get it from Sainsbury’s, priced £22.
The Cracker Drinks Co
Crafting delicious fruit drinks comes naturally to The Cracker Drinks Co and as experts in brilliantly blended juice drinks they’ve now launched a delicious new addition to their no added sugar range. Perfect on its own or with a splash of rum, the new limited edition Apple, Mint & Lime flavour is less than 90 calories per serving. The range is completely natural and free from any artificial sweeteners, with just Stevia to add a little extra sweetness meaning you can enjoy all the great taste and benefits of fresh fruit without the unwanted added extras. It’s also a great option for the little ones as it remains high in fruit content to offer the added benefit of 1 of your 5 a day.
Available in 1L packs and priced at an affordable £1.50 per litre, you can now find the full range in supermarkets across the UK including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose and Asda. For stockist details and further information on The Cracker Drinks Co visit www.crackerdrinks.com or visit Facebook or Twitter @crackerdrinksco.
Glynn Purnell’s Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins
Best known as the Yummy Brummie, chef Glynn Purnell is back with his latest book, packed with recipes inspired by the dishes served at his bistro. Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins follows Purnell’s first book, Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales, which shared dishes and tales from his Michelin-starred restaurant Purnell’s. His latest offering includes 110 recipes from steaks and bakes to cheesecakes, inspired by the (I quote) ‘rustic with an eclectic twist’ dishes served at his bistro.
You’ll get recipes from breakfast through to dessert, including breads, snacks and cocktails, and apparently you’ll hear all about what Purnell perfected through reading women’s magazines at the dentists and why he feels the way he feels about sprouts.
Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins was published by Kyle Books on September 15, priced £19.99, so you’ll definitely be able to get hold of a copy by now.
LOOK OUT FOR
Jacob’s and Alex James
I get sent all sorts of stuff these days about food, but since I’m still smarting that I missed Alex James’ latest wonderful foodie festival Big Feastival, I tend to sit up and pay attention when I see his name. Especially when it’s alongside Jacob’s (yes, them of the cream cracker). How, you might be wondering? Well, James is their new ‘Chief Taste Curator’ as part of a new campaign called #CRACKINdiscoveries. According to them, Alex James is going to work with them to help Brits rethink our lunch and turn away from bread and towards, well… crackers.
This move comes in the wake of research that says apparently our national average lunch break is less than 15 minutes or less; one in three of us are bored of sarnies; and more than half of us (55% to be precise) want more variety and inspiration at lunchtime. Well, I know I wouldn’t mind a bit more of a fun lunchbox…
As part of #CRACKINdiscoveries Alex will use kitchen cupboard staples as well as fresh, seasonal produce – including some of his own cheese (obvs) – to create some inspiring lunchtime dishes. The musician-turned-foodie says: “Those who know me know how much I love food, particularly British produce, so when Jacob’s asked me to work with them on coming up with some #CRACKINdiscoveries, it made complete sense.
“I’m fired up and ready to go, and can’t wait to share some of the mouth-watering creations I’ve been coming up with Jacob’s, using produce from my farm as well as some of my own cheeses. They’re all about simplicity and convenience, but still packed full of flavour, and importantly, fun. Here’s to a cracking year!”
OUT OF TOWN
The Bell Inn, New Forest
If you’re looking for an escape, how about the New Forest? I told you there were plenty of autumn menus knocking around and one is at 18th century coaching inn The Bell Inn, where head chef Dave Basher is launching his new seasonal menu, packed with produce from the area’s farms, fishermen and growers. Longstanding faves like the Bell Inn Burger and battered fish and chips are now joined by Hampshire Pork & Black Pudding Fritters, Wild Boar Schnitzel and Roast Chicken Breast Forestiere. And if you’re like me and like a bit of game, you’ll be able to try the Warren’s Estate Venison Pasty and Pheasant Breast with leg ragu, spiced carrot and potato fondant.
Aside from the new menu, they’re staging a Glorious Game Dinner on Thursday, October 13. For £30pp, you’ll get a wine-filled evening of fun and a four-course dinner with game sourced from the family estates in the New Forest and Scotland.
The Bell Inn, Brook, Lyndhurst, New Forest, Hampshire, SO43 7HE
The Gallivant, Rye
Yes, I know I told you about The Gallivant last month, but I decided this event deserved a mention as it’s for such a good cause. After the tragic events off Camber over the summer, The Gallivant is hosting a Fish Supper on Sunday, October 16 to support the RNLI. The local RNLI volunteers in Rye Harbour were actively involved in the tragedy at Camber Sands over the summer. It’s widely known that Camber isn’t among one of the 200 beaches in the UK that has an RNLI Lifeguard posted on it during summer, but The Gallivant is trying to change it by holding events like this to encourage authorities to provide the funding for a lifeguard for next summer.
The local RNLI volunteers in Rye Harbour were actively involved in the tragedy at Camber Sands over the summer. It’s widely known that Camber isn’t among one of the 200 beaches in the UK that has an RNLI Lifeguard posted on it during summer, but The Gallivant is trying to change it by holding events like this to encourage authorities to provide the funding for a lifeguard for next summer.
It’s serving up a simple two-course fish supper, priced £15pp, on trestle tables in the Beach Hut Marquee. There’s likely to be some music, and guests are invited to bring a bottle. All proceeds of the evening – food, drinks and tips – will go straight to the RNLI. To reserve a space or room call 01797 225 057 or visit www.thegallivant.co.uk.
New Lydd Rd, Camber, Rye TN31 7RB. Nearest station – Rye