Sunday, 30 April 2017

Bottomless Bucks Fizz and brilliant brunch at Timmy Green, Victoria

Up until six months ago, I worked in Victoria. Now I've got a new job and am based in Kensington. But in the six months since I changed jobs, Victoria has suddenly blossomed in to a foodie hotspot. I mean, seriously?!

It's all down to the opening of the Nova building which has attracted a whole host of brilliant eateries. And as soon as I found out about Timmy Green I was desperate to pay them a visit. Plus I hadn't brunched in a whole two weeks so was craving my fix.

I've realised that brunch seems to have replaced afternoon tea in my life. I'm totally still down for three tiers of deliciousness, don't get me wrong, but - the millennial cliché that I am - I bloody love brunch.

And guys, Timmy Green has made it into my top three brunch spots in London I think. For reals.
I absolutely loved the vibe - floor-to-ceiling windows, two levels, plants on the ceiling, neon signs - it's bright, fun and chilled. There were fresh flowers on every table and even a very talented singer/guitar player when we visited. It was also packed.

Oh, and there's prosecco on tap so what more could you want really?
My dear friend Tasha and I decided we'd indulge and go for the bottomless brunch which entails two courses and two hours of Bucks Fizzes or prosecco (and you can switch between the two).
I was a big fan of the presentation of the Bucks Fizzes and they were freshly-made each time - whilst at some bottomless prosecco brunch spots you end up getting sloshed because the staff top up your glass before you've even drunk half, at Timmy Green it's a slightly classier affair.

They also have a cracking cocktail menu so I'm going to have to go back to make the most of that for sure.

For our first courses, we shared the banana bread and the granola.
Warm, squidgy, moist banana bread with light mascarpone cream, fresh berries and honey. It was huge, stodgy and oh-so-delicious.
Homemade maple granola, thick Greek yogurt, fresh berries, coconut flakes, honey, chia seeds, and flaked almonds. The granola was wonderfully crisp and there were chunky clusters too, which I loved. 

And to quote Tasha: "Cute plates." She was not wrong.

After a brief pause we were ready for our next courses - and let me tell you it was not an easy choice as the whole menu sounds amazing.
I ummed (my laptop just tried to correct that to bummed lol) and ahhed for a while but eventually settled on the broccoli and corn fritters. And chums, it was an excellent choice, if I do say so myself.

The fritters were fluffy and flavoursome, the avocado on top was the perfect ripeness, my egg was poached to perfection (just look at that yolk!) and I liked the courgette ribbon on the side too. I wasn't fussed about the chilli jam but that's just because I'm not a spicy gal.

I thoroughly recommend - unsurprisingly - getting a side of halloumi.
It was a rather inspired addition to the dish IMHO. Unfortunately our halloumi was actually forgotten but it didn't take long for the v friendly staff to bring it out.

As I reached three-quarters of the way through my meal, I was so full, but it was so delicious I just couldn't stop. I know there's no judgement here.

Tasha went for the avocado on charcoal bread served with homemade labneh, dukkah and spinach.
Weirdly enough, you can opt to add an egg to the dish (as you can see above), but Tasha didn't ask for one because she doesn't like eggs. So we weren't sure what happened there but hey - two eggs for Rachel!

I was really intrigued to try the charcoal bread as I'd never had it before. It was, well, rather like regular bread, but with a slightly smokier flavour. I liked it.

The trouble was - especially sans egg - the ratio of bread to toppings was a bit off, Tasha found.

But all the food was exceptionally delicious and the quality was brilliant. It's classic brunch food, with slightly creative twists. I may have just found my new fave brunch spot...

Tasha and I were guests at Timmy Green but all opinions are of course our own.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Piña Colada smoothie

A smoothie is my go-to breakfast when I want something healthy and light (OK, usually after indulging myself more than one should the previous night).

Now I know what you're thinking: that's all very well and good, Rachel, but I can't be bothered to get up early to make one. 

Well neither can I, chums. I make my smoothie the night before, pop it in the fridge (covered) overnight and either sip it whilst getting ready or take it to work in a handy portable bottle thingy.
What's more, with frozen and tinned fruit, I can pretty much always whip something up even if I haven't been to the shops for daaaaays.

Some people think smoothies won't keep you full, but it depends on what you put in it if you ask me.

And how much you drink.

A pure fruit smoothie probably wouldn't sustain me for long, plus that's a hella lotta sugar, so I usually try and make my concoctions a bit more filling with oats and nut butters and the like.
This here smoothie is my current fave because it literally tastes like a piña colada. Minus the alcohol. And let's be real, in the best cocktails you can't really taste the alcohol (which is why I always drink them far too quickly but what are ya gonna do?).

Heck, you could add a shot of rum to this and you'd be on your way to, um, Hawaii? Jamaica? Brazil? Spain? Clearly I don't have a clue where piña coladas come from.

I made this smoothie with the rather fab Panasonic blender I was lent. Now, I've used a lot of blenders in my time, but this is definitely one of the best. It's stylish, super powerful and exceptionally big, if a tad heavy.

This recipe would serve two people as a snack or one person who wanted a big old smoothie as breakfast.

(I would make some sort of pun about going loco-coco or something but I just can't bring myself to do it.)


300ml coconut milk
1 tbsp flaxmeal
1 tin pineapple
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp vanilla Oppo dairy-free ice cream or thick Greek natural yoghurt
1 squeeze honey
Drizzle of Pip and Nut coconut almond butter and extra honey (optional)


1. Blend everything bar the coconut almond butter.

2. Pour into a drinking vessel, drizzle with almond butter and extra honey, and enjoy.

This post is sponsored by Panasonic as part of their #ExperienceFresh campaign.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Brunch at Smith & Wollensky, London

A steak restaurant might be a slightly rogue choice for brunch, but stick with me, I think you might be swayed.

Smith & Wollensky is an American steakhouse but they opened their first branch across the pond almost two years ago. Just off the Strand, it's a brilliant central location but it's unlikely you'd have walked past.

From the outside, it looks like it's been dropped straight out of New York, and the interior is similarly cool.
Elegant and stylish with the most wonderful 20s vibe, I couldn't help but imagine how fabulous a spot Smith & Wollensky would be for a party.

I was there for brunch with my dear friend Caroline - we hadn't seen each other for months so had a hell of a lot of catching up to do, and Smith & Wollensky provided the ideal setting.

Despite them not being on the drinks menu, our craving for Buck's Fizzes was gladly satisfied.
I do love a Buck's Fizz.

As someone who actually doesn't like steak (please don't hate me), I was originally concerned that Smith & Wollensky would have nothing for me. But I was wrong, chums. Boy, was I wrong.
Helloooooo, burger!
Dayum, this was an exceptional burger. As one would expect from a fine steak restaurant, the quality was noticeably higher than your average high street burger joint. It was just so buttery!
Caroline went for the signature steak sandwich and loved it.
Oh, and by this point I'd moved on to a bellini and highly enjoyed its pinkness.

Alongside our burgers we shared some hashed brown potatoes.
It wasn't quite what I was expecting but it was utterly delicious.

And purely for the sake of health...
A spot of salad. Which was, ya know, salad.

Then we sat and chatted and explored the restaurant and generally digested our huge, meaty meals.

A little while later, we decided we could go for another bellini and Buck's Fizz. We placed our order, but a few minutes later the bartender came over and said he didn't want to make them.

Um, what? Why wouldn't he make our drinks?

Well, he said they were boring and he wanted to make something more exciting.  Now, I always trust a bartender so was happy to go with it...
We were duly brought two Old Cubans - like the lovechild of champagne and a mojito, it was ace. Did you know the drink was invented by a woman called Audrey Sanders? Well it was.

And by this point we were ready for something sweet. Don't try and tell me multiple courses for brunch isn't a thing. It's totally a thing.
 For Caroline, a rather ridiculously epic stack of blueberry pancakes.
 So fluffy and thick! Proper American pancakes.
Because I am powerless to resist, I went for the sticky toffee pudding.
Less American, equally delicious.
Ohhhhh it was so so very tasty. There's nothing worse than a dry sticky toffee, and this was far from it.

The staff and service had been absolutely delightful throughout and the food was, quite frankly, faultless. Quote Caroline: "Everything was delicious."

I'll definitely be going back (maybe for a Great Gatsby-themed party..?).

Caroline and I were guests at Smith & Wollensky but all opinions are honest.
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