Eat With Ellen’s September Round-Up

I hope you enjoyed last month’s inaugural round-up from yours truly, and would love to hear if you tried out any of the suggestions. In just the way summer seems to be carrying on into September, so is the foodie fun, with plenty on offer to keep you busy as those nights start to draw in and autumn beckons. So without further ado, here are some ideas for you:-


Maman Le Mot

Imagine a hidden bunker, a trip back in time, and your own chance to join the French resistance – all whilst supping fine wine and dining on some French classics with a twist. Those in the know might remember The Tick Tack Club – brainchild of the guys from A Place In Time. Well, they’re back, this time with Maman Le Mot, a trip to 1943 and the middle of the Second World War.

In short, you’ve been recruited as a top secret agent and you have to find your way to the centre of operations for the French resistance. You’ll be guided to the bunker near London Bridge by clues, before learning to speak French and get yourself immersed in coded messages and maps. Don’t worry – all this while enjoying some smuggled French wine, cocktails and lager, then heading into a Parisian Bistro with French classics, followed by a night of dancing.

Maman Le Mot launches on September 9 and runs every Friday and Saturday from 7pm to 1am. Our very own Belle Zuzana Pagacova is off to check it out, so don’t forget to pop back to see what she thought.

Maman Le Mot is hidden in a bunker in London Bridge. Its top secret location will be revealed upon ticket purchase. Nearest station – London Bridge. Buy tickets here.

Conflict Cafe

If you’re after doing a bit of good while filling your face, Conflict Café is returning to London for its third year at the end of the month. The pop-up restaurant by peacebuilding charity International Alert aims to inspire strangers to talk about building peace through food. You sit at communal tables in the underground tunnels of House of Vans on the South Bank, enjoying traditional dishes from countries ravaged by conflict.

Conflict Cafe LondonThis year’s event, which runs from September 22 to October 2, starts with Conflict Cafe Lebanon (Sept 22-24) led by chef Imad Ghossain and conclude with a special brunch by Lazeez Lebanese Tapas and their chef Michael Sallaum. The focus then moves to Sri Lanka, which has suffered nearly 30 years of conflict. Conflict Cafe Sri Lanka (Sept 29-Oct 2) will start with chef Mini of ZG Events and finish with a special brunch by Ruby Kughanathan of Papi’s Pickles.

Conflict Café is part of the Talking Peace Festival organised by International Alert. Tickets are £35 for dinners and £20 for brunch. They are available online at

House of VANS, Arches 228 – 232 Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW. Nearest station – Waterloo.

Barbecues at The Kensington Roof Gardens

If you’re desperate to keep the summer going for as long as possible, you could head to The Roof Gardens in Kensington for their shared barbecues, which run until September 24. Grab a group of 10 guests or more and enjoy an evening barbecue 100ft above the capital, complete with live entertainment.

You’ll get a feast of meat, seafood and veggie dishes, all cooked on the outdoor coal-fired barbie, along with a glass of bubbles, a starter with fresh breads and homemade sauces & oils; and a choice of ten main courses, seven salads, seven desserts plus tea and coffee to finish. And if you’ve still got some energy, the £55 a head cost includes entry to The Club, where the party carries on until 3am.

Oh, and don’t worry that the English summer might not fit in with your plans. The tables are undercover and they give you blankets for those chilly September nights.

99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA. Nearest station – High Street Kensington. For reservations call 020 7368 3960 or email


The good old-fashioned carvery isn’t exactly a ‘must-do’ when it comes to eating out these days. But what about a carvery with a modern-day makeover? Carve on Tooley Street promises a break from the norm when it comes to carveries. Forget plates piled high with lukewarm veg and rock-hard roasties, and think more high quality, healthy, tasty twists on a classic.

Created by Euphorium bakery founder Daniel Bear, Carve is aiming to ‘redefine the roast’, offering high protein ‘carvepots’ including hard-carved premium cuts of meat, fish and tofu – all carved in front of you by experts stationed on a carving ‘podium’ – served with superfoods, spices, relishes and roots. You might get eight-hour slow cooked salt beef with beetroot chrain and English root horseradish, spinach and new green pickle relish, or for brekkie how about Cumberland sausage meatloaf with sides of bubble and squeak and rumbled free range eggs?

It’s not just the food that’s been modernised. Carve is designed for your time-starved belles and beaus, with a ‘one-price, one-screen payment system’ and arrow floor markings to get you through as quickly as possible. No more queuing up for your soggy sarnie.

2TH, 116-120 Tooley St, London SE1. Nearest station – London Bridge

Brazil Day 2016

Brazil Day Trafalgar Square

(Picture: Embassy of Brazil in London/Simon Richardson)

Us Brits have embraced Brazil this summer, and that love is continuing with ‘Brazil Day 2016’ in Trafalgar Square on September 10 – a huge celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Of course there will be Brazilian music, sport and plenty more, but it wouldn’t be in this round-up if it didn’t involve a fair bit of food. Brazilian street food will be out in full force, from a churrasco barbecue to cheese bread and plenty more.

Trafalgar Square. Nearest stations – Charing Cross, Embankment, Piccadilly Circus. Visit here for more information and here for tickets. 

O ver

Pizza at O ver, LondonSpeaking of street food, if you fancy some traditional Neapolitan street food, try O ver, which has just opened right next to Borough Market. Not just happy with all the traditional goodies that Neapolitan food brings, O ver claims to be the UK’s first restaurant to use the unique ingredient of pure sea water in its dishes.

Unlike table salt, which the guys at O ver claim has been stripped of its minerals, pure sea water maintains its natural composition and is a way to season food using less sodium chloride while boosting our consumption of trace minerals.

O ver is open for a quick lunch or a longer evening meal, or even somewhere for an after-work prosecco.

44 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1UN. Nearest stations – London Bridge, Southwark. 


Onken Wholegrain Redcurrant and BlackcurrantYoghurt is a bit of a staple in my diet. Breakfast, snacks, puddings. It makes a regular appearance. So when I was asked to try a new one of Onken’s offerings, I happily said yes. The yoghurt giant’s new wholegrain range had kind of passed me by, but the latest to add to the list is its Onken Wholegrain Redcurrant and Blackcurrant yogurt.

If you’re wondering what the wholegrain bit’s about, basically Onken has added five different types of whole grains to the fruity yoghurt – barley, oats, wheat, rye and rice. The idea is they will add some slow-release energy to your yoghurt and keep you from getting hungry again. The Redcurrant and Blackcurrant variety is also fat-free, which is always a winner with me.

I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed it. Sweet enough, but still with that slight tartness you get from redcurrant and blackcurrant, while the grains added a great bit of texture that somehow makes you feel like you’re having a bit more than just a runny substitute for a pudding or snack.

The new Onken Wholegrain Redcurrant and Blackcurrant 450g, priced £1.40, is available from Tesco, Waitrose and Co-op stores across the UK.

I was sent some vouchers to try Onken’s new Wholegrain yoghurt, but my thoughts are all my own honest opinion.


Luke Tipping

Luke Tipping, chef director of Simpsons, with Sheree Murphy. (Picture: BBC/ITV Studios/Steve Green)

Bake Off is back, in case you hadn’t noticed. But it’s not the only foodie show around. A brand new daytime show set to air on BBC One this month will pit some of the UK’s best chefs against each other. Yes Chef, hosted by TV queen Sheree Murphy, will feature 16 Michelin-starred chefs who each work alongside and mentor an amateur cook.

The amateurs are set a series of challenges by the professional chefs, with each day’s winner going forward to the final at the end of the week. In the final the amateur has to recreate a restaurant-quality dish after being briefed by their professional mentor.

Pierre Koffmann, chef-patron of Koffmann’s at the Berkeley hotel, who held three Michelin stars whilst at La Tante Claire in Chelsea, takes on the role of head judge in the series, while chef contestants include Atul Kochhar, Galton Blackiston, Luke Tipping, Mary Ann Gilchrist, Michael O’Hare, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, and Theo Randall.


Graham Garrett at The Gallivant

Graham Garrett Chef

Graham Garrett will be taking over the kitchen at The Gallivant

Just in case there isn’t enough on offer in the big smoke for you in this list, you could take yourself just two hours of London to the south coast for a one-night Michelin-starred takeover at The Gallivant on Camber Sands. Since 2014 The Gallivant in Camber has introduced a series of gourmet evenings with world-renowned British chefs, and this month you could get yourself along to one.

On September 19, Michelin starred Graham Garrett will be taking over the kitchen at the south coast bolthole, offering a five course dinner with canapes and paired wines.

The former rock musician worked for both Nico Ladenis and Richard Corrigan and has cooked at both 10 Downing Street and for the Queen. He bought The West House in 2002, and has held a Michelin star since 2004. Alongside The Gallivant’s head chef Oliver Joyce, he’ll whip up a menu include courses of Dungeness cod beignet and Roast Sika Deer, with all ingredients sourced from a 10-mile radius.

This gourmet event is £75pp and includes the five course dinner, canapés and paired wines. It starts at 6.30pm and bed and breakfast is available from £100 if you want to make a night of it. To reserve a table or room call 01797 225 057 or visit

New Lydd Rd, Camber, Rye TN31 7RB. Nearest station – Rye

Guernsey International Food Festival

If you’re thinking of going slightly further afield, how about popping to Guernsey for its International Food Festival. The 10-day festival from September 23 to October 2 celebrates the quality and variety of island food and produce from Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark, with special promotions in restaurants and cocktail bars, live cooking demonstrations, chef masterclasses, gastronomic tours and gala dinners.

Highlights of the festival include The Big Guernsey Market (Sept 24-25) in St Peter Port, while the final weekend will see the Guernsey Beer & Cider Festival (Sept 30 to Oct 2).

Entrance to the Big Guernsey Market and Beer and Cider Festival is free, as are the live cooking demonstrations. Prices for individual events vary. Check for details.

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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