Pimms with berries

I associate Pimms with summer.  It is on sale in winter, but I never saw anyone drink it then.  Its popularity seems to have increased to such an extent that Sainsbury’s now offers its own brand equivalent, Pitchers, which seems to have pretty similar ingredients and the same alcoholic strength (25 percent).  My recipe is […]

Straightforward sandwiches

Well, not totally straightforward.  For one thing I never use white bread, and I nearly always used sliced bread.  I prefer wholemeal medium sliced, and preferably the stuff that stays fresh longer that Sainsbury’s sell.  One version has light mayonnaise spread onto each slice, then sliced cucumber, smoked salmon, lemon juice and black pepper.  Another […]

Sausage and mash

You go to the Greencoat Boy (in Greencoat Place, Westminster) for pub food, not wine bar food.  That said, the food is usually appetizing and there are some quite good wines.  There were two sausages on offer, Toulouse or pork and apple.  I chose Toulouse.  It came with peas and mashed potato, which was quite […]

Cold compôte

I had a couple of comice pears and an apple from Sainsbury’s basics range.  I bought in some yet-to-ripen plums and some luscious black cherries.  I peeled the pears, but not the other fruit.  I cored the apple and pears and chopped up the fruit into about half-inch pieces.  I halved the plums, removed the […]

Spicy chicken hot-pot

I had one piece left of chicken I’d marinated in peri-peri sauce.  I cut it into pieces and seared them in oil on the stove top.  I added half a pint of chicken stock from a cube, then potatoes I’d par-boiled for 8 minutes.  Then I added the peppers, red, green and orange, and the […]

Sharing it out

Two of us lunching at Balls Brothers wine bar in Buckingham Palace Road opted for the ‘British Farmhouse Platter’ which is shared between two (or more).  The third person went for the calves liver and mash.  The platter turned out to be pretty large.  It had rare roast Scottish beef (which was quite excellent), honey […]

Fish pie

Fish pie is sometimes called fisherman’s pie, and I make it myself.  I tend to put in things like squid and prawns, we well as chunks of salmon and white fish.  I make the white sauce from goat’s milk and cornflour, season with parley, then top with instant mashed potatoes.  Usually I do a butter […]

Tuna lunch at Loose Box

We used to go when it was the Puzzle on Horseferry Road.  Now it’s the Loose Box with a much better menu, and still pleasant to sit outside on a warm day.  We sat just inside, reckoning that the humidity would soon produce a rain shower.  I ordered the seared tuna steak.  It was pretty […]

Seafresh fish and chips

For some reason all four of us felt like fish and chips.  The last time that happened a group of us went to the North Sea Fish Restaurant, justly renowned for the high quality of its fish.  This time we went to the Seafresh restaurant in Wilton Road.  One had a prawn salad, two ordered […]

Wild mushroom bruschetta

It’s a lovely starter dish, with virgin olive oil, fried wild mushrooms, sea salt, cracked black pepper and flakes of parmesan cheese.  I remember how enjoyable it was, and I’ve since looked up recipes with a view to trying my own version of it.  I found the photo in my file, but I can’t remember […]

White River

I tried White River chenin blanc at a restaurant, and liked it enough to buy a case of it when Laithwaite’s Pemiere wine club had a really good offer.  It’s a Bersig estate wine from South Africa’s Breede River Valley.  It comes in at 12.5 percent and has what one critic described as a sorbet-type […]

Cambridge day

I spent what friends call a “Cambridge day.”  It included a riverside picnic for which I made up sandwiches.  On wholemeal bread, some were of smoked salmon and cucumber with lemon juice and pepper, and some were of honey cured ham and cheddar cheese with Dijon mustard.  We ate these and drank Sainsbury’s vintage cava […]