dinner at Cafe Rouge, The Strand

It was turning into a potentially bad day; as I had headed the hour East into London the weather had been closing in behind me and on arrival into the start of the evening rush hour I found that my evening tutoring session had been cancelled. My off-peak ticket meant that I had about three hours to kill so I headed up into central London for some retail therapy.

It was a bitter evening though and, with some new books purchased, my stroll through Covent Garden didn’t yield anywhere that I fancied eating at. Possibly resigned to a sandwich on the train I headed for Embankment tube and as I turned by Charing Cross into Villiers Street there on the corner was a Cafe Rouge. It is another of those banker chains; if you can’t find something new and exiting to try or just want to play safe then a Cafe Rouge is a welcome sight and I often plan eating at one into my trips here and there (Cheltenham and Newbury are regular haunts).

I’d not eaten at this one before, but was greeted like a regular and found a table for one without any fuss and despite it being a pretty full restaurant. Service was prompt and friendly, the steak baguette and frites fresh and hot and the glass of house red very welcome.

With coffee and a tarte citron to follow I was just right on time to head back to the soulless cavern that is the modern Paddington station and catch what the guard referred to as The Polar Express back to heavy snow in Wiltshire. Thanks Cafe Rouge at The Strand; you saved my evening.

Check their web site here: Cafe Rouge

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Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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lunch at All Bar One, Cannon Street

On this trip I was the guest. We had agreed to meet at Cannon Street station in London as a convenient spot and, with the weather being awful, decided to just cross the road to All Bar One (ABO) rather than get soaked heading over the Brasserie Blanc (should have met at Mansion House?). (more…)

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 9:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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lunch at The Fleece in Cirencester

The Fleece is in the marketplace in Ciren and this was my second lunch there, both with a couple of contacts. The welcome and service has been good on both occasions and the food is pretty good too. (more…)

Published in: on January 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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dinner at The Trout at Tadpole Bridge

Thursday night is apparently sausage club night at The Trout and very good sausages they are too.

This was a business dinner, and hastily re-arranged, so I had no preconceived notion of sausgae and mash as I headed out into the hinterland between Buckland and Bampton for our rendezvous. I have no idea how many times I have driven past The Trout over the 30 odd years I’ve lived in this part of the world, but it has always been busy at weekends when I’ve passed by. On a cold Thursday evening in November it was quiet, but there was a friendly welcome from the bar team and the group of customers at the bar. (more…)

Published in: on November 10, 2012 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Jamie’s Italian Reading – a third visit for lunch

Two of us again, and we arrived just after twelve on a Thursday; good timing as it turned out for it got busy over the time it took us for our single course. Mostly ladies who lunch, but some couples and some with young children (it seems a child friendly place which may or may not suit you). (more…)

Published in: on November 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Waitrose Christmas Cake Kit – Cook’s Log 2012 – update 15/1/2013

Cook’s Log, Cake Date 1st November 2012. Well, here we go again with our third year of baking the Christmas Cake Kit from Waitrose, albeit that this year there is no mention of Delia Smith on the packaging. (more…)

Published in: on November 1, 2012 at 10:45 am  Comments (2)  
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soft rye bread made using the starter mix

I wrote the other week about having made a starter and of plans to make a stage 2 starter, or sponge, from that.

We’re trying the Soft Rye sandwich bread recipe from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Fast book (as seen in the background to the photo). Well we made the stage two sponge and left it in the fridge overnight as per the recipe, and then I split the dough in two and made one sandwich loaf that day, keeping the other half of the dough in the fridge overnight again to use the next day. (more…)

Published in: on April 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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the aroma of home baking and the joy of making your own bread

We’ve been a bit quiet here of late, mainly due to working away from home for long spells, but one of the background things that we have had on the go is a bread starter. It has been sat in the fridge for a lot of the time just keeping it quiet, but today some of it has gone into making a sponge, or stage two starter and that has just gone into the fridge to sit await some of it being used to make a loaf, prbably a sourdough, later in the week. (more…)

Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Vredenhof Chardonnay 2010/2011

South Africa does throw up some great wines and this one is a real steal currently at just £4.99 a bottle from Waitrose. It runs to 13.5% by volume and goes very well with fish and pasta, but is a generally easy drinking Chardonnay from the Western Cape region. (more…)

Published in: on January 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Smoked Haddock Chowder for Two

We have been making this for some years now as a Winter warmer. The recipe here is for two people and will suffice as a main course, so vary the quantities as necessary for more people. It is one of those dishes where you don’t have to be too precise with the quantities, and is a one pan meal. With preparation, you should have it on the table within about 25 minutes of starting so it is quick to make. (more…)

Published in: on January 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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