February’s Foodie Round-up with Eat with Ellen

I don’t know about you, but it feels like January’s gone in the blink of an eye. Already we’re into the month of ‘romance’ and there are offers of chocolates, flowers and all sorts of Valentine’s treats floating around. I’ve included a few of these, but the rest are the usual foodie opportunities that I know you love, from restaurant openings to food-filled experiences to get those juices flowing.

MUST GO

Cooking courses with KitchenAid

KitchenAid Experience StoreKitchenAid has launched a new selection of interactive cookery classes at its experience store in Wigmore Street.

Each has a different theme, from Vegan to Oriental Delights to Gluten-Free Baking, and will allow attendees to get to grips with a variety of KitchenAid equipment before taking away their creations to enjoy at home.

Classes are £99 for three hours, with express classes on offer for £55. A great gift or maybe just a treat to yourself 😉

KitchenAid London Experience Store, 98 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London W1U 3RE. Nearest station – Bond Street

New cocktails at Jason Atherton’s The Blind Pig as well as a new venture in Victoria

Plenty of news coming from Jason Atherton this month. His flagship bar, The Blind Pig, is has launched a a new ‘Long and Short Great British Tails’ menu inspired by classic British children’s stories.

Hunny Pot cocktail at The Blind PigPart of the speakeasy’s first menu overhaul since opening its ‘hidden’ door above Michelin-starred Social Eating House in 2013, the 10 ‘Long and Short Great British Tails’ include the Winnie the Pooh-inspired Hunny Pot served in a clay honey pot, as well as the Dream Jar, a nod to Roald Dahl’s BFG, and each one comes with a detailed drawing inside the menu, which itself is designed to read like a storybook.

And over in Victoria, Jason and Irha Atherton and The Social Company are launching New York-Italian restaurant Hai Cenato this month. Translating as ‘Have you had dinner?’, the two-floor venue within the NOVA Food development will offer mall plates, pasta and risotto, grills and specials, as – of course – pizzas. It will also have a deli as well as a cocktail bar upstairs.

Social Eating House, 58 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NS. Nearest stations – Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square

NOVA Food development, Victoria. Nearest station – Victoria

‘Healthy Packages’ with the Great Northern Hotel

If you didn’t quite manage to embrace health and wellbeing in January, you’ve still got time. The Great Northern Hotel has partnered with Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco and Barry’s Bootcamp to create the ‘Healthy Package’, available for weekend stays until February 28, 2017.

For the healthy package, check in on Friday or Saturday night and enjoy a restful night stay then kickstart the next morning with a class at Barry’s Bootcamp on nearby Euston Road, followed by healthy breakfast at the hotel’s  Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant including a bottle of Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco – a vegan, organic prosecco with way less sugar than the average bottle of bubbles.

Great Northern Hotel, Pancras Rd, King’s Cross, London N1C 4TB. Nearest stations – King’s Cross, St Pancras

Bed, Flicks and Chill Valentine’s weekend package at Andaz London Liverpool Street

Forget ‘Netflix & Chill’ – for the romantics among us who like a bit of a foodie treat, luxury hotel Andaz London Liverpool Street is doing a special Valentine’s weekend package, allowing couples to binge-watch films in luxury, with prosecco and a decadent menu of ice cream, including chilli & chocolate, a ginger & coconut and an almond & vanilla flavour.

Suite at the Andaz London Liverpool StreetAnd if ice cream isn’t enough for you, couples can dine in the hotel brasserie Eastway for a limited edition aphrodisiac-packed six course meal with dishes including champagne-cured Scottish salmon, courgette carbonara with confit egg yolk, parmesan custard and fresh truffle, and raspberry and white chocolate pavlova.

The Bed, Flicks and Chill package is available from the weekend before Valentine’s Day until the end of the year. Priced from £199, it includes unlimited in-room movies, a chilled bottle of Prosecco, a selection of ice cream, a full English breakfast and complimentary 2pm late check out as well as 25% off room service and health club treatments.

Andaz London Liverpool Street, 40 Liverpool St, London, EC2M 7QN. Nearest station – Liverpool Street

WATCH OUT FOR

Bluebird, ChelseaBluebird has been on the Chelsea’s King’s Road for two decades, and finally there’s a second one on its way.

This winter, a Bluebird Cafe will open at Television Centre, the former home of the BBC, in White City, West London.

The new 5,000 square foot site in White City will include a café, bar, deli and an outdoor terrace. Watch this space…

MUST TRY

Chapel Down sparkling wine and trufflesFood-filled Valentine’s Gifts

There are some great Valentine’s gifts out there – why put one of these on your own wishlist, buy for a friend, or spoil your other half with? I love the Chapel Down Brut and Truffle Gift Set, or this gorgeous Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Ribbon Birdcage. Or why not try Freya, The World’s First Birch Sap Spirit? Priced at £34 on Master of MaltFreya is the first in a new line of sustainable, natural alcoholic beverages from Pure Wild Spirits Ltd. The foraged birch sap comes from the wild untamed depths of Northern European Forests, where this special elixir is harvested once a year during early spring. Freya is made from only the most sustainable methods, is completely organic in composition and named in honour of the Norse goddess of love, beauty, fertility and sensuality. A beautiful, delicious, and delightfully different gift this Valentine’s Day.

Nush

Dairy-free yoghurt NushBut enough of the romance already. How about Nush, the UK’s first ever almond milk yoghurt. I haven’t had it yet, but its creators boast that it’s made from the best quality avola almonds from Sicily with filtered water and vegan probiotic cultures and is refined sugar free and made of 95% almond milk.  

It comes in Peach Melba, Caramel & Hibiscus, Blueberry and Natural flavours and might be the answer if you’re looking to go dairy-free.

OUT OF TOWN

Love is in the Air evening at The Varsity Hotel & Spa, Cambridge

If you want to escape the city, pop out to Cambridge for The Varsity Hotel’s Love is in the Air evening – an evening of fine food set against the backdrop of the Cambridge skyline.

Six Bar & BrasserieThe evening offers a three-course dinner in the panoramic bar and brasserie, SIX, with dishes including Burrata de Buffala, pan-fried mussels, beef fillet with parmesan, Woodstone roasted salmon, crème brulee and banoffee pie.

 

Before their final course, diners will be invited up to the Roof Top Garden to release floating balloons tagged with personally-penned messages of love.

Love is in the Air, priced at £55 per person, includes a welcome Bellini, three-course sharing dinner and one balloon between each pair.

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 (www.eatwithellen.com) 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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