Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Oysters at The Drunken Duck

This was a big tick in the gastronomical box for me. I've wanted to try oysters for a while now. There was something about the way the oysters were described on the menu at The Drunken Duck in Ambleside that made me go for it. They were served with a red onion relish and a bloody Mary. It was probably the alcoholic content that did it.

I ordered two oysters for my starter. They were served on ice with lemon and the relish and bloody Mary came on the side. I knocked them back and wow you get a bit of a rush as you eat them. They were kind of salty and juicy yet quickly disappeared into nothingness. The vodka and tomato juice went down a treat as a chaser. I was so impressed with the size of the shells I took this little picture afterwards on my phone.

Now I've ticked that box I need another little foodie challenge...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum Hotel, London

This was a weekend of pure treats for me and my gorgeous friend Cotty. Not only were we going to the Kylie Aphrodite concert at the O2, we also went for afternoon tea at The Athenaeum Hotel in London. Our booking was for 3pm so after a few not so ladylike pints of Magners on Carnaby Street we made our way down Piccadilly to the hotel where we were greeted by concierge in a top hat and tails.

There was a formal sitting at 3pm so all the guests waiting in the reception area were shown through in person to their table in the garden room. We opted for the pink champagne package which was around £35. The tea sommelier brought the menu over showing all the different kinds of leaves you could choose from. I went for Assam. The sandwiches were then brought over, followed by warm scones and crumpets (yum) which were then followed by an enormous cake trolley.

You get a lot of afternoon tea for your money here so it is definitely worth a visit. The atmosphere was lovely with various parties enjoying tea; hen parties, birthday parties, groups of ladies. We booked months in advance and it is obviously a popular choice. Perfect for ladies who lunch.

Berry Nice Pancakes

I've made pancakes before and they have turned into a disaster so I wasn't too optimistic about making them. However a little bit of Delia instruction worked wonders and made a whole batch of these bad boys.

The filling was the best bit; blueberries and strawberries mixed into syrup warmed in a saucepan. It also had a few slices of banana thrown in. A nice treat which required a gym session the following day to run off the guilt.

Easy Peasy Pasta Sauce

This was a bit of an experiment which turned out ok. I basically didn't have much in to cook apart from pasta and some fresh items in the fridge. So I put garlic, red onion, peppers and tomatoes into a roasting tin with some salt, pepper and olive oil and put it in the oven. Once cooked I chopped it up, put it in the blender and whizzed it into a sauce. I mixed the sauce into some penne and served with parmesan. It could have done with some fresh herbs but was an ok mid week tea in front of the telly.

Bone Suckin Sauce

I can't quite decide if it's the name, the size of the jar or the taste of the sauce I like best about this. My mother in law used it to marinade some fillet steak we were cooking on the barbecue when in The Lakes recently. If you fancy trying some you can buy it from Lakeland for £4.99.

Described as a great all-rounder it goes with a variety of meats. It has a nice smooth tomato and honey flavour which compliments the meat and doesn't overpower it.

I've looked in a variety of supermarkets for a similar thing including Waitrose but it seems Lakeland is the only place you can buy it. So I then searched for it online and found the Bone Suckin website which is American and shows the whole family of related foods including Bone Suckin Mustard and Bone Suckin Yaki. Have a look.