Reviews to come

Due to an unfortunate incident involving a slopey path and a pair of ridiculous shoes I now have my arm in a plaster cast.  This slows down the typing tremendously so the next two reviews, the Gallimaufry in Bristol and Roux in Parliament Square will be a bit slow to post.  The interviews have gone to Kennet Radio already so it is just the reviews to come.  Below are four photos of what the reviews are about


My mum with my squirrel phobic sister, Beth.  She is holding my mum tight in case there is a squirrel in Roux at Parliament Square.  Brave brave girl.  Mum is holding her MBE which she was presented by the Queen that morning.  An amazing woman.  Murray is holding the two mad ladies together.

IMG_0415An example of my more sensible shoes

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A few of Gallimaufrys small plates


One of the amazing dishes we had at Roux, this is a tempting teaser

Finally Beth and I are taking a daughter each on a mini cruise on P&O so may blog a bit of that although it may be a bit limited with one arm, indeed I am in fear that my last few limbs survive.


Radio interviews coming up – Brebis and Minimalism

How exciting.  Finally managed to send off the Brebis Interview so I am looking forward to hearing that on Kennet Radio.  It was a delight to record because Sam the chef, James front of house and even Harry, sous chef, are all so passionate about what they do.  In fact we may have to slow the whole interview down as we were all talking so fast and wildly there is a risk that no one will understand the individual words.  James shoots out names of chefs (usually French), concepts, ideas, ethos almost too fast for your brain to keep up.




Sam the Chef of Passion, Harry the sous chef of loveliness and James, front of house and sorter of all.

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An example of Sam’s passion, his tattoos.  Or maybe he needs reminding which bits of the animal are which.


This is NOT the Brebis review, that is to come as it needs to travel around the country to visit somewhere else first although you can listen on Kennet Radio if your brain is fast enough.  It is a wonderful interview because of their love and passion for really good quality food.  Yes they care about sourcing, locality, seasonal but at the end of day it has to taste the best it can taste.  I love this.


Minimalism.  Anyone who follows my personal facebook page rather than my Leilas Local Larder facebook page will have noticed that it is becoming saturated with articles about decluttering and refocusing,  I have been invited to talk on Kennet Radio about this subject and it will be broadcast on Easter Day.  The only thing I am not minimalist about is talking about it or reading about it.  A good lesson would be to actually do more of the decluttering rather than just reading what to do.  There is an answer.  Also on the programme will be a lovely lady called Jo Cooke from Tapioca Tidy who helps us novice minimalisers get started.  She is an amazing lady who has helped me start the process.  This does have a link with food in that my principle now is that life is about family and friends, experiences not possessions.  For my birthday I asked for vouchers for meals rather than things.  I have two left, one for Brebis and one for The Vineyard.  I am also selling some of my enormous collection of shoes which will enable more meals.  See, ideal link.


Not so Punchy

I met up with one of my lovely bubbly sisters, Beth,  while I was in London recently and checked out one pub (not sister) that was available on a discount card.  Punch Tavern in Fleet Street rang a bell so that is where we aimed for.  It looked like a wonderfully ornate old London pub on the outside and there was a table by the front door with a variety of gin bottles on it.  They must have had word that I was coming their way.  Beth and I were given a choice of tables and got a large one by the fire where I didn’t have to worry about too many items on the table.  We are quite animated talkers and sometimes table items suffer the consequences.

The server was delightful, not too intrusive, and offered us tap water immediately.  Big points.  There was a fair range of food on the menu, not huge but enough.  Pies seemed to be their thing, indeed there was mention of an award winning pie.  There were also nearly FIFTY varieties of gin, who knew, it almost seemed like a challenge but I was getting the train and may have ended up in Brighton by mistake (not for the first time sadly) so I just ordered the one and Beth had a glass of Pinot Noir.

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She ordered Quinoa, halloumi, roast pepper salad £6.5.  This was Beths starter and it was interesting.  I have never been a huge fan of halloumi, it can be rubbery and is like the tofu of the cheese world in that it seems to pick up the flavours of the food it is snuggied up with.  The quinoa was lovely with chopped tomato and onion and a very fresh taste.

Wild Mushrooms on toast £ 6.5.  This was my choice for starter but I wasnt thrilled.  The sauce was very salty and had made the toast soggy.  However it was rescued by some of Beths refreshing quinoa salad which saved the dish.

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Smoked haddock, king prawn, salmon, squid, mussels and mushroom sauce £12.5.  This could have been amazing but the sauce was cold and the pastry a little heavy.  Overall Beth seemed to enjoy it.
I had the Gammon steak, free range eggs, hand cut chips £9.5.  Again a bit of a shame, the gammon was cut quite thin and very overcooked and I really couldnt eat it.  The chips were good, thin and crispy and home made.  The eggs had a lot of seasoning, salt and pepper piles, on them which didnt help overall.  I would have preferred much less salt on both dishes with the option to add my own and I do like salt, this was just too much.
Would I go back, no not really although we may have just hit a bad day, it wasnt at all busy and the service was good.

2015-03-02 14.28.08                        This is Beth, my younger sister ( we are two of six siblings ) and it was a pleasure to spend time with her.  She is a town mouse and I am a country mouse, there are no shops within walking distance of my house in Padworth and we get excited when we hear a police car.

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This is Beth leaving the pub.  She doesn’t actually have a bike but had a very traumatic incident with a pack of squirrels when she was very young.  The effect of this is that she has to wear a helmet at all times and turn her coat into a squirrel defending tent over her head.  It is sad but she is considering getting professional help for it.  She even makes a funny squirrel face at times of stress.  Poor lass but very very brave.

Apple Tree, Daughter Mother

Love love love the fact that Rachel Lawrence is setting up her food blog.  Also loving the phone calls that start with menu items; love also that they come from my step children as much as my children.  Have heard of an amazing place in Bristol, The Gallimaufry, that sounds like it definitely needs a visit and an interview for my radio slot.  Double plus is that Rachel tries out the food because as you know I dont review rubbish, my taste buds need reviving not dulling.

Coming up an interview and review of Brebis and and interview and review of the handsome Kiren of the Bladebone.

Berkshire Chefs I need you for radio interview and blog

Having woefully mistimed my reserve of interviews I am now in need of some 20 minute interviews with a review for my blog as well if that works for you.  I can do you again (ooh err) if I have already done you but I am looking for changes of menu, major staff, change of ethos etc.  To those who have contacted me can you come back with some suitable times please, I am mostly in your hands for time etc.

Love to you all my wondrous food makers and eaters  and please RT  xx

Bored, 2.30 am, so I must be hungry, right? Midnight Bruschetta

One slice of sourdough, toasted, butter it well then grate a garlic clove over the buttered side.  Then squish an aromatic tomato and spread it onto the toast.  Hmm something missing.  Mmmm, slice a mozzarella over the toast then a beautiful line of fresh basil.  Could go as it is but for me there is meat missing.  Oh yes, back of the fridge chorizo steps up to the plate.  All under the grill until chorizo crisps up a bit.  Guess I could have put the mozzarella over the chorizo.  Maybe that can wait for another exciting middle of the night snack.  Oh and a bit of 90’s balsamic glaze.

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