Thursday, 27 July 2017

Los Hermanos Combinados

Los Hermandos Combinados are definitely no stranger to me in Bristol. A street food stall, run by two brothers with a passion for cooking insanely tasty food, with a nod to their Spanish father.
Popping up at the Harbourside Market, Tobacco Factory Market and other local street food events and festivals, these guys are proving to be a massive hit! 
Los Hermanos strive themselves to create the freshest dishes with a combination of smoking, curing and brining. Adding in to the fact they use all local and sustainably sourced ingredients in to their dishes, make these guys top of their game in flavours and quality. 

Imagine my sheer delight when I arrived at the screening of Wayne's World at Dinema a few weeks back (more to follow on this event) and found Los Hermanos cranking out the favourites! 

I went straight for my usual, 'El Pepito'



Consisting of sugar cured pork belly, chorizo butter, roasted red peppers and roast garlic mayo in a brioche bun. And of course I went with a side of some hearty, confit potatoes. Bliss!


My husband, being forever needy, wanted a hibrid of both meaty options and had the El Pepito and Pollo Locco hybrid- with the alteration of chicken skin mayo (holy balls!) and a curry, honey and almond bun 



I'm already a huge fan and follow these guys around like a weird stalker. If you're in Bristol, you can too! 
You can find the various visiting locations on the Los Hermanos Facebook page here or Twitter here

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Refreshing Summer Cocktails with Hayman's Gin

As warmer weather is fast approaching, Hayman's the original English Gin Makers, have added a dash of Englishness to classic cocktails - perfect to enjoy on lazy summer days in the garden. Introducing three refreshing cocktails; English Ruby FizzLavender Lady and Victorian Mojito, each recipe incorporates Hayman’s London Dry Gin, seasonal fruits, mixers and flavours to create traditional summer cocktails but with a delicious twist.



I thought these sounded so lovely, that I couldn't resist making one. I'm a big mint and lime fan so I just had to make the Hayman's Victorian Mojito which was not only refreshing and delicious but also so quick and simple to make. Perfect if you have company and need to batch make some cocktails quickly. 




Hayman's Victorian Mojito

Nothing says summer like a sun lounger, a good book and a refreshing minty mojito in the back garden.   The Victorian Mojito combines Hayman’s London Dry Gin with fresh mint and lime juice balanced with sugar syrup to create an ideal English classic.

Makes 1 cocktail;

50ml Hayman's London Dry Gin
25ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
20ml Sugar syrup
Premium tonic water or soda water
Freshly picked mint leaves

Method:
1. Fill a highball glass with cracked or crushed ice and a few fresh mint leaves
2. Pour in the Hayman’s London Dry Gin and let it run down over the ice
3.  Add the lime juice and sugar syrup
4.  Churn vigorously ensuring the ingredients are well mixed
5.   Top with the tonic water or soda water
6.    Garnish with a mint sprig

Or how about trying one these; 



Hayman’s Lavender Lady

The Lavender Lady is the Hayman’s take on the traditional sour White Lady cocktail.   The egg white creates a silky mixture, which perfectly accompanies the honey and Cointreau.  Top the cocktail with a sprig of Lavender, and sit back in the garden and relax.

Makes 1 cocktail; 

50ml Hayman’s London Dry Gin

20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

10ml of locally sourced honey or 20ml of honey water

10ml Cointreau

1 medium egg white

Dash of orange bitters

Sprig of lavender to garnish

Honey water:

1. Combine equal parts of honey and hot water

2. Stir until mixed

Method:

1.  Add cubed ice to a cocktail shaker

2.  Pour the Hayman’s London Dry Gin over the ice

3.  Add all the remaining ingredients, except the garnish

4.  Give all the ingredients a very hard shake and strain into cocktail glass

5. Garnish with a sprig of lavender


Hayman’s English Ruby Fizz

Semi-sweet, refreshing and with an eye-catching pink tint, the English Ruby Fizz is the ideal al fresco cocktail.  The sweet taste of the raspberries partners perfectly with the spicy ginger notes.

Makes 1 cocktail;

Ingredients:

50ml Hayman’s London Dry Gin

20ml lime juice

10ml sugar syrup or Grenadine

4-8 fresh raspberries or raspberry syrup

Ginger Ale to top with

Lime wheel and fresh raspberries to garnish

Method:

1. Fill a highball glass with plenty of large cubes of ice

2. Set aside the ginger ale and garnish, and combine all remaining ingredients in a shaker with the ice

3. Shake well for approximately 12 seconds

4. Double strain into the highball allowing the liquid to run over the ice

5. Top with ginger ale

6. Garnish with a lime wheel and raspberries

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Sunday Lunch at Backwell House

If you read my last post on Backwell House then you'll know just how much I loved this place. A 9 bedroom house hotel that has been listed in The Sunday Times Ultimate 100 British hotels. Imagine my sheer joy at an invite to return and try out their Sunday roast.

Usually a stickler for roast beef, I made an effort to order something different so I went for the superb pork belly and pressed shoulder with carrot purée. I was not disappointed with this succulent slice and was relieved that crackling was super crisp. The pressed shoulder was a great addition and was not only tender but full of flavour.



Meats were accompanied by roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, baby carrots, spring greens and a generously sized Yorkshire pudding 



Dessert was a double chocolate delice which was super rich and fudgey, topped with the most delicious cocoa nib tuille and raspberries 






Backwell House is open from Wednesday to Sunday lunch times. 
For telephone enquiries 
For email enquiries 

quiries@backwellhouse.co.uk


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bs5 Food Market, A Local Produce Haven

Last Sunday morning I visited the Bs5 Market in St George, Bristol. And boy, what a delight!
The market itself is pretty small but showcased an array of various produce, including organic vegetables, extract coffee, vintage clothing, homemade bread and cakes, plants, soaps, pies, cured meats, gins, beer and preserves, various hot food stands and free bike checks!  

Here's a selection of the foods I scoffed whilst I was there. Yes, I ate ALL of this in the 30 minutes I was there - No judgement please!




Jerk pork belly with rice and peas from Blu Fire

Gluten free coconut cake from Pearly King Cakes


Onigirazu from Tsukemono


How beautiful is pickled lotus root?!


South African Milk tart from Cook Sista 
(Possibly one of the best things I've ever eaten!)

And a few shots of the stalls, 










The BS5 market can be found in the car park of St George's park, Bristol, on the first Sunday of the month (not August) from 10am-2pm Traders vary each month and full updates can be found on both Facebook and Twitter


Saturday, 1 July 2017

Backwell House, A Bristol Retreat

With a short drive out of Bristol on the A370, you'll find the little village of Backwell. Hidden by a roadside boundary hedgerow, lies this absolutely stunning 19th century, Backwell House.




Arriving on a particularly hot summer evening, what more could I ask for than a welcome glass of Pimms to enjoy as I took in the beautiful sights of the surrounding countryside. Every now and then, I completely forgot I was just 15 minutes outside of Bristol city centre! Raised above the road, no traffic noise could be heard or seen, adding to the feeling of being tranquil and remote. Bliss! 



A group of us bloggers were shown through in to the house, first taking in the cosy lounge area with plump leather sofas and a log fire. Everything about this room was cosy and snug and screamed dark winter nights in front of the fire. Yet being summer, it still felt light and captured a wonderful amount of sun through its large windows. Through here, we were led through to the impressive bar. Handmade from reclaimed flooring by Guy Williams, the hotels manager. Just one of several projects taken on by Guy and his friends and family who have all pitched in to turn what was once an almost derelict home in to the stunning guest house it is today. 









We were then taken for a look around a couple of the suites. Backwell House currently has 9 rooms, ranging from £95-£245 a night and include breakfast. My favourite by far was 'Toogood' with bedheads made from reclaimed floorboards, huge basin sinks and a freestanding roll top bath overlooking the walled gardens. Every room has its own charm, with handmade furnishings, Bakerlight phones and industrial fittings. 





We returned downstairs and toured the stunning walled gardens. With a growing house, rose gardens, vegetable patches, free range chickens and floral drenched archways, I was in love! There was also an old swimming pool which we were told will be refurbished and roofed so it can be enjoyed in all weathers. Backwell House prides itself on being as self sufficient as possible. With their own cattle at the rear of the property, you couldn't get more locally sourced meat! 







Within the basement of Backwell House was a home cinema room, and there are current ongoing works to turn empty rooms in to a day spa. There are also plans to turn the unused outbuildings in to more bedrooms taking the occupancy from 9 to 25 rooms. 


I just loved the feature walls in the basement toilets that were decorated with 100 year old receipts! They were discovered behind a fireplace, intended for kindling. What a find!


We were seated for our evening meal in the front dining room, with views of the sun setting over countryside. The tables, again, handcrafted from reclaimed timber that was in the property. 
Chef Ross Hunter strives to create simple yet creative British dishes with his signiture twist and did not dissapoint! 






Starters; Brixham Crab, apple, beetroot and nori seaweed


Mains; 60 day aged Hereford sirloin, ox cheek, alliums, oyster mushrooms 


Dessert; Strawberry Cannelloni, meringue, Cheddar Valley strawberries

Dinner was finished with coffees and Petit fours. I found the food superb and extremely reasonable price wise, with 2 courses for £29 or 3 courses for £35. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday evening. Sunday lunch is also available and a review will follow.

Backwell House is also available for weddings and events. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

A Crochet Crush from Simply Be

It's been almost a month since I blogged about fashion! Feel like it's almost a record for me.
Well, now what perfect way to ease myself back in than showing off this absolute belter of a dress. Now, I'm going to be honest here; I deemed this dress as ugly. Channelling ultimate granny vibes, this dress looked like it belonged on the back of a couch. But putting it on, I clearly had to eat my words!

 

 

I usually steer away from tunic style dresses as they do nothing for my shape but this one clung to my curves just beautifully. 
With 3/4 length sleeves and sitting at the perfect height on my knees, it was not overly hot to wear either. I will say though, this dress does not come with a slip and was pretty much see through so I wore chub shorts and a little vest underneath. But not forgetting, this would be a great dress to pop over your bikini too. Or how about pairing it with cute boots for the ultimate festival look?

 
You can find this beauty at Simply Be here.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Brace and Browns Bottomless Brunch

For my birthday, I very kindly got treated to bottomless brunch at Brace and Browns on Whiteladies Road, Bristol. I've been meaning to come here for over a year now and had to cancel previously made reservations- which are hard to get! - Bookings fill up ridiculously fast and are rare to get up to 2 months before you plan to go. They are now already fully booked until August!

Arriving with an empty stomach, I didn't come here for an eating challenge but to sample practically everything they had on offer! The fact it came with unlimited Prosecco only sweetened the deal. We chose the Classic brunch for £28.50 Unlimited dishes and Prosecco at that price, it was certainly value for money. 
We were sat tucked away in a cosy corner, lit by candles which although felt wonderfully intimate, I did feel a bit hidden from the glorious midday sunshine outside which was a shame. 

 

We started with this delightful breakfast platter, consisting of cheese scones, yogurt topped granola and mini raspberry Danish pastries. I gave each a little taste, not wanting to spoil my appetite for the more 'brunchier' goods on offer. The yogurt and granola was the winner by far. Thick and very creamy yogurt was delicious. 

Smoked mackerel and guacamole bagel. This was my favourite of all dishes. 


   
Pulled pork hash brown with poached egg. The pork was a little under seasoned causing the flavour to get lost. However, the egg was cooked to perfection.

 
Smoked back bacon with hash brown & Romanesco sauce. This was also another beautiful dish. The Romanesco sauce was light and delicious.

 
Chorizo & tomato patatas bravas with sour cream. This was full of punchy flavours and incredibly hearty. My guests favourite. 

 
Field mushrooms & truffled spinach bruschetta. These were wonderfully light and earthy.

 
Coffee and walnut cake with chocolate sauce. Not a huge fan of this one if I'm honest. It wasn't overly sweet and had a bitterness.

 
Belgium waffle with espresso mascarpone. This was the perfect dish to end the meal on. I was incredibly full at this point but dessert stomach was in full swing! 

If there was one thing that did take me by surprise, it was the lack of toast on offer. Many of the dishes contained potato, which is possibly there to fill you up quicker, rather than toast that is easier to eat. Clever! But I'm a self confessed bread addict and felt a little cheated that there were so few bread based dishes on offer. I was also expecting a lot of avocado which is often a brunch staple but there was very little of that too. There was also pea shoots served with every dish. I do love a garnish but thought a variation could of been better. 
All in all, I really enjoyed my morning at Brace & Browns and look forward to returning now that the menu has now changed.