April’s Food News With Eat With Ellen

Well, this is a bit of a delayed foodie round-up, so apologies food fans if you’ve been waiting for the news on what’s going on in April. There’s still lots of time though, with plenty of excitement coming up this month, from new openings to special Easter events and the obligatory chocolate treats for this time of year.

Plus, the sun’s finally started to shine so it’s just about time to polish off that barbecue, pour yourself a G&T and enjoy the arrival of lighter evenings and the imminent arrival of summer.

So without further ado (since I’ve made you wait long enough already!), here are my ideas for some April foodie fun:-

MUST GO

Lupins

After the success of their catering and pop-up restaurant company ‘The Cooking Collective’, Lucy Pedder and Natasha Cooke are embarking on new venture Lupins this month.

Lupins creators Lucy Pedder and Natasha CookeBilled as ‘sunshine food’, Lupins will take British ingredients but infuse each dish with global flavours in an array of small plates and snacks.

Snacks will include dishes like Sumac lamb scrumpets and pomegranate molasses or cornmeal fried spring onions with smoked chilli aioli while the small plates collection includes dishes such as polenta-crusted anchovies with a wild garlic and onion salad and spiced beef short rib with purple sprouting broccoli.

To finish off, there are choices like a plate of Neal’s Yard cheeses, or rhubarb with ginger, vanilla yoghurt and shortbread. And then there’s the drinks menu, packed with wines of which 75% will be natural, organic and biodynamic.

Lupins, 66-68 Union Street, London, SE1 1TD. Nearest stations – London Bridge, Borough 

 

Stagolee’s

Hot chicken at Stageolee'sIf you’re after a bit of southern charm, check out Stagolee’s, a hot chicken and liquor joint that’s just opened this month.

From Skillet Fried Chicken to Hot Spinach Dip, there are plenty of southern staples to choose from, all served with a selection of American liquors, beers and cocktails that will transport you to the Southern States.

Run by Nashville native Jordan Harris and Ashley James, who not only hails from Texas but trained under Tom Aikens and worked at the Rainbow Room in New York, Stagolee’s is welcoming Londoners to discover both the cuisine and culture of Southern America, be it dinner before a night out of dancing or a weekend catch up over brunch.

 

Stagolee’s, 453 North End Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1NZ. Nearest station – Fulham Broadway

Scout

Scout, LondonThere’s a new bar coming to Shoreditch this month. Scout, launched by top bartender Matt Whiley, will feature a seasonal cocktail menu using only fresh produce from the British Isles, as well as foraged ingredients and house ferments.

It will serve a small bar ‘Snacks’ menu and will also have a basement laboratory with a 10-seat private area giving guests a front row look at how Matt and the team create, adjust and perfect cocktails. Available for bookings, Scout will also reserve space daily for walk-ins.

Scout, 93 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3HZ. Nearest station – Old Street

Afternoon Tea at Aquavit London

New for the spring, Aquavit London has launched a Nordic Afternoon Tea, offering an array of traditional Nordic delicacies.

Guests will be able to enjoy an assortment of open sandwiches featuring classic Nordic flavours before moving on to traditional Swedish pastries including Semla and Punsch-roll.

There will also be Mums Mums and Chokladbollar, a favourite amongst children in Sweden and a nostalgic treat for adults, as well as seven different types of cookies, which, according to a Swedish tradition dating back to the 1800s, is the ideal number that should always be offered to guests!

Guests will be able to choose between three different afternoon tea packages, priced between £27.50 and £65.

Aquavit, St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ. Nearest station – Piccadilly Circus

Little Moons

Little Moons is launching the UK's first ever mochi ice cream barLondon-based artisan mochi producer Little Moons is launching the UK’s first ever mochi ice cream bar at Whole Foods Market High Street Kensington.

With the choice of a self-serve counter and bar, you’ll be able to sample delicious gelato spheres made from the finest British dairy, wrapped in hand-rolled sweet, soft mochi dough. From the self-serve counter, you’ll have the opportunity to take home an assortment of Little Moons mochi ice cream balls in a freezer bag box or at the dedicated bar, you can create your own Little Moons ‘Mochi Pop’, a skewered stack of coloured spheres of mochi ice cream designed to be enjoyed immediately.

 

MUST TRY

R London’s Easter selection

Easter Egg crate from R ChocolateOkay so it wouldn’t be a proper round-up if I didn’t include some Easter treats. How about R Chocolate London’s Easter selection, perfect for you no matter what your age. You would try the the Egg Crate, or your own bespoke giant Easter Egg. They’re also running masterclasses, including one for children in the afternoons.

Founded by self-confessed chocoholic Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, R Chocolate takes inspiration from the best chocolatiers around the world.  Sourced exclusively from award-winning chocolate makers Original Beans, its creations are made from the highest quality ingredients and never with preservatives or additives.

The full range can be found on the website here.

 

New Breakfast Pots from Rachel’s Organic

On a slightly healthier note, Rachel’s Organic has improved its Greek Style Breakfast Pots to include on-the-go spoons to make them that little bit easier to eat on the hoof.

OUT OF TOWN

If you’re looking for an Easter escape, The Varsity Hotel & Spa is bringing gin and gingerbread together on Sunday, April 23rd.

The hotel has teamed up with a local gin specialist and artisan cake-maker to stage an hour-long Gin & Gingerbread masterclass, teaching guests how to build gingerbread houses and treated them to a talk and tasting of speciality gins, before enjoying a two-course dinner with a view.

The Gin & Gingerbread masterclass is available to book for the evening of April 23rd at 6pm, priced at £18.50 per person for the master class only or £39 per person for the masterclass and a two-course meal at SIX bar and brasserie. To book: Call 01223 306030 or email info@thevarsityhotel.co.uk.
The Varsity Hotel & Spa, Thompson’s Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8AQ. Nearest station – Cambridge train station

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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