Best of British – the Grand Final!

We’ve had some fabulous entries for the Best of British.  Karen over at Lavender and Lovage has been running the contest for October – from Dorset and while we wait for her roundup and winners (we have two prizes this month, thanks to Dorchester Chocolates) I thought it was worth announcing the grand final.

Rather than picking any one region, this month I am making it VERY easy for you by inviting you to enter your Best of British recipe from wherever you chose in the country.  Just tell us in the Blog what makes it special and where it is from. You can also enter ANY of your previous Best of British entries by linking them up in the Linky on London-Unattached so that I don’t miss you out!!!!

Recipes entered will be judged by Brian Turner, a great advocate of British Food who you might have seen on appearances on Ready Steady Cook and other TV shows. And the prize is an amazing £300 of Amazon vouchers! So Get Cooking!!!

Best of British

Oh and, if you are worried about weight gain, well do check out my posts on The 5-2 diet. I’ve even got some traditional British recipes for you to try!


Best of British – London

A London Food Feast

This month I hosted Best of British from my own blog and rather enjoyed the diversity of clever ideas and recipes you all sent in. Karen from Lavender and Lovage who has given us a great insight into the history of ‘London’ Bath Buns with a recipe dating back to the Great Exhibition!

Fiona Burns is Karen’s sister and she’s sent in a fascinating history of the Jewish community in London, along with a recipe for salt beef to use in a sandwich.  I have to admit, I have a secret yearning to try making salt beef, but I’ve never been quite sure how much I’d manage to use!

We had the most magnificent pigeon pie from Jill at Lapin D’Or – as she said, a London icon – and of course pies are something we associate with London too.


In fact though our only pie and mash entry was a really interesting pie and mash cupcake from Caroline Bakes.  I keep thinking what a fabulous party dish these would make – rather like those mini yorkshire puddings you see sometimes!

Barfi 1 - choclette

A couple of Indian influenced entries next – with Choclette’s Blackberry, Coconut and Rose Barfi looking so scrummy I could quite easily see myself getting carried away…(and yes I know those indian places round the back of Euston on Drummond Street – they do produce fantastic indian sweets!)

pumpkin curry

Chris produced a rather fabulous Pumpkin Curry using every imaginable indian spice and promising us something RED HOT.  Well, I will just have to try for myself won’t I?

Neither would look out of place on Brick Lane or Drummond Street.

Spicy Peach Pit Panna Cotta

Janine’s Peach Pit Pannacotta also reflects what I think a lot of people understand by London food.

fish and chips

For many of us our earliest experiences of ‘London Food’ are from visits to London as children where we try new strange food from overseas – be that a curry on Brick Lane, Italian food in Soho, or Asian food in Chinatown.  And London is a great cultural melting pot.  Eventually food becomes so ingrained in local culture that most people forget the origin.  My own entry of Fish and Chips is something we see as quintessentially British but which actually has Jewish origins. Over at Galina’s blog there was an altogether more historic fish dish of Sea Bream stuffed with Faro, an ancient Roman grain, which Galina has titled ‘Ave Londinium’.  And, that’s very much what I was hoping for by challenging bloggers to show their idea of historical and multicultural London in food.

sea bream

I did very nearly make a pea and ham soup, but I doubt it would have been anywhere near as wonderful looking as this split pea and ham hock soup from Amanda at feed 5 fast 2, who like me and Karen is doing the 5:2 diet and writing up some of her recipes for us all to enjoy.  I do remember my mum describing the peasouper fogs in London, it’s something she told me we simply can’t imagine today.

bThis soup does though, for me, conjure up foggy London streets with a warm fire waiting at home (and inadvertently adding to the smog!)

Lucy - foraged blackberry bread and butter pudding

We had another lovely looking pudding from Lucy at Intothesky  who went foraging for blackberries to make this blackberry bread and butter pudding

Treacle Tart

And Camilla from Fab Food For All made this great Treacle Tart – which really made me reminiscent of my childhood.  Golden Syrup just seems to be so English!

Claire The 'Idle Hour' Burger

The Idle Hour Burger – a re-creation of the burger served at one of my favourite pubs in Barnes came all the way from South Africa courtesy of Claire at Underthebluegumtree who has entered some fabulous recipes for Best of British!

Omelette-Arnold-Bennett (Janice)

Janice meanwhile chose to go VERY upmarket and produced an Omelette Arnold Bennet a dish which originated in the kitchens of the Savoy Hotel!


Jacqueline’s Porter Steak pays tribute to Smithfields and great British Beef.  And, makes me feel hungry every time I look at the photo!

The Strapple Cake (mother Hen)

For Mother Hen, London means afternoon tea!  Something I can’t dispute.  And she’s created this rather fabulous ‘Strapple Cake’ (with strawberries and apples) specially for us.  A lovely first time entry into Best of British!

I asked my fellow blogger over at By Invitation Wine Blog to pick this month’s winner.  Why?  Well, he seldom cooks but he does love eating!  And he knows London very well.  His favourite entry was the Blackberry bread and butter pudding from Into the Sky, so, Lucy, congratulations we will be contacting you to get your postal details to pass on to New World Appliances

I’ve really enjoyed reading your entries and seeing what everyone made of last month’s challenging challenge!  For October, we are off to Dorset to  Karen and her Sister’s place as the planned host had a family crisis. I’m really grateful to Karen for stepping in at the last minute – you can read about Best of British Dorset here.

Best of British Master

This Week in Food

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of our favourite recent foodie news! Have you seen any interesting stories, or tried anything exciting recipes this week? Let us know in the comments!

1. A new survey by charity LEAF (Linking Environment and Food) has revealed that fewer than half of young adults in the UK don’t know that butter comes from dairy cows, and a third weren’t aware that eggs came from hens. Truly shocking! Two thousand people were questioned as part of the research, and other findings include that more than 30% don’t know where bacon comes from, and 7% linked milk with wheat. The findings highlight just how removed young people are becoming from where their food is sourced from – this calls for a trip to the farm and an allotment!

2. We’re all familiar with a quick tinned tomato soup lunch, but what about trying the perfect homemade recipe? The Guardian’s Felicity Cloake has shared her secrets for what she says is the very best tomato soup recipe, and perfect as a year-round meal. Whether you prefer tinned, roasted or fresh tomatoes and whichever seasonings you fancy, tomato soup makes a tasty, healthy and portable meal that can be served hot or cold (depending on the weather!).

3. Our sister brand Belling’s brand ambassador, chef Brian Turner, has created a selection of tasty Father’s Day recipes to help you celebrate all things Dad this weekend. An alternative to the usual Sunday roast, Brian suggests either saffron-roasted salmon (with warm cannellini bean salad, roasted vine tomatoes and orange and basil sauce), a classic tuna salad nicoise or minted lamb cakes. How are you planning to celebrate this weekend?

4. Tasty gooseberries – part of the same fruity family as the well-loved current – are in season at the moment, and we’ll be making the most out of them with a variety of delicious recipes! We like the look of this gooseberry meringue pie, delicately flavoured with elderflower, and this unusual gooseberry syllabub pavlova. The pavlova meringues can even be made ahead, saving on time later!

5. Monday marks the start of National Picnic Week, so we’ve been hunting for the very best picnic recipes. These chocolate slices, a variation of typical refrigerator cake, make excellent picnic treats while this tortano bread with ham and mushrooms will be hearty and filling picnic fuel.  The Guardian compiled this list of speedy picnic recipes a few years ago, and it’s one of our favourites to refer to now.



Welcome to the New World Appliances blog. Over the next few months I’m going to be writing about some of the food, design and lifestyle things I get involved with and hope to introduce you to some great ideas.

New World Cooker
I’m planning a ‘quick and easy’ meals section, reviews of the food shows and design events I go to and talks with designers and fashionistas about emerging trends and things they believe you should think about to make your house into a real home. Oh, and I’ll be reporting back on how I get on with my suite of New World Appliances!

Last year I feel as if I went to every food show possible. That included the Foodies events at Battersea and Hampton Court, the Real Food Show, Taste London and the Boscastle Food and Crafts show. Were they good? Well – it all depends what you are looking for. And I went to some rather special fashion events like the Matches and Daily Telegraph show and got some great previews of fashion trends. I got to Grand Designs at Excel but missed out on the Ideal Home show this year.

What were the emerging trends from the shows? All the food shows, but especially the Boscastle show and the Real Food Show were focussing on Carbon Neutral living, energy efficiency and using local products. The fashion and design events seemed to have a ‘colour’ trend. Either using strong colours as accent or going all the way!

Let me know if there’s anything you want to know more about.