Jessica Elphinstone heads down to Fulham Market Hall to check out what everyone’s talking about…
A disused Edwardian ticket hall jazzily revamped as Fulham Market Hall brings serious sparkle to Fulham Broadway, offering a much-appreciated hub for some of West London’s best food and drinks. With ten different counters serving up everything from Hawaiian poké to fried chicken sandwiches,
Begin with a Fulham Spritz or two, served from the original London Underground ticket office booths. The sparkling elderflower cocktail is a real winner for balmy August evenings.
An array of homemade bread and pastries, cheese boards, charcuterie and colourful salads are prepared to order at Claude’s Deli.
Following the huge success of Thai street food restaurant Farang, chef Sebby Holmes serves fiery South East Asian dishes at Thima. Whole crispy sea bass with fresh Asian herbs and a lime dressing is a particular favourite.
We love the free-range, fried buttermilk chicken sandwiches from Butchies, served with OG sauce and plentiful pickles.
Finish it all off with a weird and wacky ice cream sundae from Asian-inspired dessert bar Soft Serve Society. Topped with everything from candyfloss to bubble waffles to charcoal coconut, they’re certainly a novelty.
Find the Market Halls adjacent to Fulham Broadway Underground Station, SW6 1BW. Visitwww.markethalls.co.uk
Hot in the city! But with so many top tipples to choose from and foodie favourites, here are our top picks to refresh and treat yourself here in south-west London….
Here, at Round & About Magazine, we are passionate supporters of local pubs, restaurants and producers. After all, anyone working in the food and drinks industry will know it takes a lot of hard graft to create the perfect recipe for punters to relax.
One fellow foodie who followed her hunger ( and her heart) is British-Italian entrepreneur Lavinia Davolio. Her sophisticated handmade confectionery, made with fruit, nuts and more goodies wrapped in chocolate and spices and a delicate sugar-spun shell are decadently delicious (not to mention pretty in their William Morris gift tins). Parsons Green-based Lavinia left a high-flying career in investment banking to pursue her dream and has lots of events planned for August and September –visit www.lavolio.com
Best for drinks
Gin has seen a surge in popularity and there are some interesting local distilleries and bars worth checking out. Did you know gin started out as a medicine (it was thought to cure gout and indigestion)? In the 18th century, alcohol was safer to drink than water and gin was cheaper than beer (it was untaxed until the government cottoned on, sparking hooch production). Much of the gin was drunk by women (with historians saying it resulted in child neglect and wet nurses giving gin to babies to quieten them), landing many in debtors’ prisons or the gallows, or driving them to madness, suicide and death (hence the term Mother’s Ruin). However, these days it’s a more joyful summer spirit, and best enjoyed in the sunshine. The Star & Garter, overlooking Putney Bridge, has 140 years of history and is home to Putney Gin Club (as well as serving good food, including charcuterie boards and cheese); www.thestarandgarter.com.
The Sipsmith Distillery in Chiswick is the first of its kind to open in London since 1820, and offers weeknight tours, a “sipper club” and delicious tipples; visit www.sipsmith.com.
We’ve also enjoyed a visit to the fun Mr Fogg’s gin parlour, tavern and house of botanicals in Mayfair and Covent Garden – visit www.mr-foggs.com.
A refreshing choice for those who love the botanical flavours and want a delicious summer drink without alcohol, Seedlip’s non-alcoholic spirits are served in some of the world’s best cocktail bars, Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels; have a look at www.seedlipdrinks.com and enjoy!
We have so many great brewers and booze-makers here in this corner of south-west London. Parsons Green-based Pilango Cideroffers exceptional cider with a global twist. The team’s offering is inspired by their travels across the world and their house ciders, Liberated and Hopped, are 100% juice ciders made from community-sourced apples.
We have too many to mention that are especially beautiful in summer. For starters, our top picks include Claude’s Kitchen in Parsons Green, SW6 4JA, – our resident food fanatic Jessica Elphinstone is a big fan, especially of the tiramisu; call 020 7371 8517 or visit www.amusebouchelondon.com. She’s also a fan of vegan haven Picky Wops in Fulham’s North End Road (especially the pizza); www.pickywops.com.
So, we’d like to know what’s your favourite pub or restaurant and why? Join in the conversation and comment below.
We asked Atul Kochhar the twice Michelin-starred chef, and owner of Benares in London, Sindhu in Marlow and many other restaurants, about his summer favourites
Q: What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
“I wouldn’t be without a wok or a karahi. A slightly heavier wok is best as you can stew, braise and fry. It’s a good idea to season a new wok before using it for the first time; Put plenty of salt in and heat then take a kitchen cloth and rub the salt all over the sides and base, wash with weak soapy water and dry.”
Q. What’s your fave al fresco dish?
“Anything I can do on the barbecue, meat, vegetables or fruit. You don’t need to add lots of spice; keeping it simple with salt, pepper and lemon juice is ideal. Try to retain the juices as much as you can by grilling on a high heat so the food seals quickly and retains flavour.”
Q. Do you have a favourite pub or restaurant?
“I love The Footman in Mayfair where, once in a while, I go for a pint with my team. A great place.”
Q. What about a fave farm shop or supplier?
“Laverstoke Park Farm [in Basingstoke] does the best cheese, especially buffalo mozzarella.”
Q. Which British summer produce do you love?
“Early this year I made a pact with the family to spend less time travelling and more time at home so I’m mostly in the UK. Strawberries are my favourite. Chard and rhubarb I love, too, especially at this time of year. Chard is best blanched quickly, used in the same way as spinach. If I’m cooking a chicken curry I’d add the whole leaf to the pot – which makes it slightly salty but amazing, since it absorbs all the juices. The eating is fantastic! If you’re a vegetarian chard is a great option.”
Here at Round & About Magazine, we are passionate supporters of local pubs, restaurants and producers. After all, anyone working in the food and drinks industry will know it takes a lot of hard graft to help punters relax!
We have so many to mention that are especially beautiful in summer. For starters, top picks for a romantic meal include Kinghams in Shere (GU5 9HE, once known as Hangman’s Cottage) and Jodie Kidd’s wondrous Half Moon in Kirdford, RH14 0LT, (check out the events and sun terrace!). The March Hare in Guildford, (GU1 3SY), hits all the right gastro notes and The Dog & Pheasant in Brook, GU8 5UJ, is famed for its amazing roasts and garden – for free-range children. The roof terrace at Guildford’s Thai Terrace (GU1 3RW) is perfect for tom yum and cocktails while The Windmill in Ewhurst (GU6 7NN), offers great views. Oliver Reed’s old boozer, The Plough Inn at Leigh Hill (RH5 5RZ) might just be the quintessential village pub, especially when a summer cricket match is on, with its own brewery.
We asked Ching He Huang, one of the many chefs starring at Woking Food Festival 31st August – 2nd September, about her kitchen faves
Q: What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
“My Lotus Wok is a one-tool wonder; you can braise, steam, shallow fry, deep fry and make pop corn in it. Woks have thousands of years of history, but this humble tool is in danger of extinction as Chinese embrace western cooking equipment like the oven!”
Q. What’s your favourite summer dish?
“I love a noodle salad. A Chinese-style salsa verde with ginger, spring onion, sichuan pepper chilli oil tossed with courgetti noodles, sliced radishes, basil and fresh hand-picked Cornish crab – British produce with a slight Chinese twist.”
Q. Do you have a favourite food supplier?
“My husband’s family have taken me to visit Garsons Farm recently – you can pick blackberries and sugarsnap peas. I love the farm shop there; you can get organic milk from Goodwood Estate and Woodhall’s ham, which is perfect sliced and stir fried with scallops and black rice vinegar.”
Q. What’s your fave summer fruit and tipple?
“Strawberries – my garden patch has produced quite a bit this year so I’m delighted! They’re perfect in a glass of Pimm’s, of course…”
Round & About Magazine has a signed copy of Ching’s book, Stir Crazy, and one of her Lotus Woks to give away. Simply answer the following phrase: Which ingredient would you find in Ching’s noodle salad… a: Homegrown Strawberries b: Cornish Crab c. Woodhall’s ham
We uncork some of our favourites food and drink places to enjoy this summer, starting with Cherry Butler’s visit to one of Bentley’s sparkling wine-producing beauty…
Once home to hops, the fields at Jenkyn Place are now filled with vines – although at one point, it could have been Christmas trees. After buying the Hampshire estate in 1997, property entrepreneur Simon Bladon considered farming festive firs. Then he tasted some “Champagne” that turned out to be from West Sussex which he enjoyed so much he set about growing grapes.
Judging by the delicate, fruity rosé I tried (and found especially moreish), this was a wise decision. Jenkyn Place has won numerous awards, its brut cuvée scoring gold several times. Since 2016, the vineyard has produced vintage sparkling wines every year, as long as the grapes pass muster. The North Hampshire Downs climate and chalky “greensand” soil is ideal for growing the classic Champagne varieties: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Camilla, Simon’s daughter, manages the business, with dogs Bertie and Oscar and brothers Freddie and Jack lending a hand/paw. Heat killed a fifth of the first vines in 2004, when the fledgling viticulturists planted them before laying down polythene sheeting. Rebecca, Simon’s wife, informed him that of course they should have laid down the poly first (like Nigel Pargetter just had on The Archers). Despite this, they let me – a rookie – plant a new vine; I hope to return one day to taste the fruit of my labour!
Right at the top of the first field, a wooden gazebo provides a sheltered spot to take in the view, and some wine. On the north side of the Wey Valley, the sloping site is carefully landscaped. Oak trees form a windbreak; and each row of vines is bookended by roses, which act as a “canary in the mine”, picking up any pests or diseases before the vines do. An 18th-century red-brick house and walled garden with a fountain complete the English country scene.
Anyone can visit, since Simon and his winemakers offer tours on selected dates. Wine buffs will appreciate the chance to see how the grapes are produced and ask questions, while casual enthusiasts can have fun soaking up the setting and tasters. Bottles to take home are available at a discount. Happily, Jenkyn Place is a five-minute taxi ride or half-hour walk from Bentley station, so there’s no need for a designated driver.
It’s said that if Wimbledon fortnight is sunny, the autumn harvest will be good, so we wine-lovers – and the Jenkyns team – should be able to reap the rewards of a particularly fine 2018 harvest.
We live in a rich and fertile part of the country with many hard-working food & drink producers to appetise you! Here are some nibbles…
The Hampton Estate produces mouth-watering grass-fed beef from their pedigree cows which graze the southern slopes of the Hog’s Back. The meat is hung for three weeks to mature and is sold directly from the farm at the famous monthly Hampton beef days. Also check out the Hampton Herby sausages, beef bangers and wild estate venison. To order email [email protected]or call 01483 810465.
Cordon Bleu-trained chef/proprietor Suzanne Rose has been delighting fellow foodies with her Lavender Hen Catering Company catering services in the Virginia Water area for 30 years. Suzanne has worked at prestigious establishments in the UK and honed her craft around the world, too. Her Supper Club is well worth checking out for five-course feasts in a beautiful summer house setting and BYOB booze (no corkage). Visit www.thelavenderhen.co.uk
Planning a summer bash? Wrights of Farnham has been operating since the 1950s and is now the area’s longest-standing family-owned off-licence and wholesale outlet, catering for all your liquid needs! The business has a fresh look but the same vintage charm and ample parking. Lion Brewery, GU9 7AB; 01252 715749 www.wrightsoffarnham.co.uk
Some saucy news for health-conscious foodies! Henry Kay and Nick Briggs, local founders of In The Buff, launched their Sweet Paprika Ketchup in May and it’s not only delicious (we’re addicted) but made with all-natural ingredients, high in fibre, amino acids, vitamins A, E and B6 and iron, suitable for vegans and coeliacs and has anti-inflammatory properties. www.in-the-buff.uk
Liz Nicholls chats to musician, cheese maker and dad Alex James, 49, ahead of The Big Feastival which takes place 24th-26th August, in the Cotswolds
Q: How do you start planning each new Big Feastival?
“The first thing we do is invite The Cuban Brothers and Justin Fletcher; then we’ve got a party. Justin turns up and marches on stage with his little red nose on to sing One Man Went To Mow and brings the house down, without fail, every year. As time goes on it gets easier to attract the big stars. I’m delighted Marco [Pierre White] is involved this year; the whole British food revival started with him. Raymond Blanc and Pierre Koffmann complete the trio of culinary granddaddies.”
Q. Do you love the local food scene?
“Totally. We’re lucky with such a brilliant culture of food, starting with Daylesford just up the road and that’s drawn loads of brilliant chefs to the area. I love all the great pop-ups, farmers, producers…”
Q. Do you get to enjoy the festival once all the hard prep work is done?
“Yes; it takes all my charms and the odd cheese parcel, as well as loads of hard work. But when the sun’s shining and everyone’s jumping up and down, having a good time, it’s worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as this – it’s an absolute scream. I get the whole family involved; everyone’s got a role.”
Q. You make parenting look easy, with your big brood!
“Haha! Yeah but I do get stressed too, man. Having a big family teaches you to roll with the punches, focus on the horizon, keep pushing.”
Q. You seem very productive?
“I’ve made five children, six cheeses and seven records. That’s the only reason I can do a food, music and family festival. You’ve got to care to make it happen.”
Q. How do you stay so svelte, making so much cheese!?
“Thanks for saying; I don’t feel it! I’ve got two new cheeses out this year so each one is quite a bit of time in the gym. It’s difficult not to invent cheese without eating loads of f***ing cheese!”
Q. Where do you want to travel next?
“Marco and I were talking about this the other day – he wants to go round Europe. South America, for me, is mind-blowing. The last time I was in Chile with the band I had a great meal and there wasn’t one ingredient I recognised. There’s interest in doing a festival down there, actually. I love travelling as a family; it’s so easy to travel in the 21st century.”
Q. Do you still love astronomy?
“Yeah; I watch lots of videos on YouTube; science, physics. It’s a good way to zone out at the end of a long day. Since the kids arrived I’ve got more down-to-earth concerns but my love of astronomy has gone into a more abstract realm of higher maths.”
Q. Who’s your favourite author?
“I like to re-read those books I’ve always loved, especially Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson.”
Michael Soth of West Oxford Food Coop explains more about the co-operative making organic food available, accessible and affordable in Botley
Are you interested in buying organic food at two thirds of the recommended retail price?
Do you avoid unnecessary packaging?
Are you interested in sustainability?
Would you want to join a community group that organises wholesale delivery of more than 5,000 products? We have been organising a small neighbourhood buyers’ group for more than 20 years, buying organic products from wholesaler Infinity Foods in Brighton, whose team deliver to Oxford once a week. For many years we had been collating a collective order every few months.
Since October 2016 we have been inviting more members, to expand the group, generate bigger orders, get even better discounts and maybe establish a local cooperative community enterprise. This would help to concentrate on expanding these orders to a wider group of households to make it worthwhile increasing the frequency of deliveries to weekly, renting local storage space, so we can set up a refill station that would help us avoid packaging and make organic food available and accessible in Botley.
We intend to partner with SESI Food and Household Refills who have been operating in east Oxford for more than 10 years. In the future, we might look into cooperating with other projects to extend the range into fresh produce.
We have now expanded to include about 26 households and have had 10 deliveries since then. One of our members has calculated that he has saved 40% as compared to shopping at wholefood shops. Currently we are aiming at a delivery about every six weeks.
The big news for 2018 is that we have just transitioned to online ordering – Infinity has set up an incredibly fast and efficient online system. Each member can have their own log-in and complete their own sub-order as part of the overall Food Coop order. This makes our project fairly hassle-free and keeps the admin to a minimum.
To get an idea of the range of products available (most items you would expect to find in a wholefood shop, i.e. more than 5,000 lines), visit www.infinityfoods.coop
If you are interested in joining such a community enterprise, please contact us to receive a membership form.
Hello everyone! Is it just me or is there a feelgood factor in the air recently?
In general people seem to be quite happy and smiley. Just passing someone in the street or at the shops seems to generate a “hello” and my goodness, doesn’t it make you feel good!? I put it down to summer, the weather isn’t bad and holidays are on everyone’s mind so lots to be happy about. There also might be a measure of trying to forget that we live in quite a troubled world and the news can be depressing so let’s just live for the day! Whatever it is, I hope it lasts!
July brings hedgerows heavy with berries, fennel to liven up salads and lots more including aubergines and courgettes. Cherries and peaches are at their best and the glorious gooseberry is here. The poor gooseberry doesn’t get a good press and it’s hard to find them, even in farm shops. But there are wonderful recipes using this vitamin C-rich fruit; poached gooseberries with a creamy vanilla custard, gooseberry compote which is super used in cakes or to top a cheesecake, gooseberry jam or the very delicious gooseberry fool. Take 400g gooseberries and cook with 50g sugar over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat, crush and cool. Pour two tablespoons of elderflower cordial and 1tbsp lemon juice into 400ml double cream and whisk to medium peaks. Add 4 tablespoons of ready-made custard. Fold half the gooseberries into the mixture. Spoon half into four glasses. Layer the rest of the gooseberries, then top with the rest of the cream mix. Chill until ready to serve. You’ll love it!
Also in shops is new-season lamb (the best is from Kent). Lamb breast is a great make-ahead meal – slow cooking turns a cheap cut into a luxury. Tom Kerridge’s breast of lamb with broccoli, anchovy and caper dressing is lovely!
The Greeks and Romans are returning! Stretch Didcot’s Roman Festival at the Didcot Girls School on Saturday, 7th July (10.30am-5pm) will have more than 20 different experts and events, including me! Tickets are a fantastic £4.