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50 foodie things to do before you die

24 Sep
Betty's tea rooms is second on the foodie bucket list (or Betty's house, as I used to call it as a youngster. Surely she lives there?)

Betty’s tea rooms is second on the foodie bucket list (or Betty’s house, as I used to call it as a youngster. Surely she lives there?)

The appliance people at Kenwood have recently released a bucket list of all things food related. It comprises of 50 foods to eat/cook, interspersed with some of the world’s finest restaurants to be visited, before your life can be complete.

I’m not going to use this post to explore the rights and wrongs of the list, but let’s just say the list goes from the sublime to the ridiculous: from fish and chips (errr, obviously) to dining at one of California’s finest restaurants (not so much.) However, it’s an interesting read and it has inspired me to start to think about drafting my own. So, here is the list: how many have these foodie experiences have you tucked into?

1. Take-away with posh plonk

2. Afternoon tea at Betty’s

3. Fresh British asparagus

4. Marinated barbecue lamb

5. Beluga caviar

6. Bread and butter pudding

7. Breakfast at the Wolseley

8. Catching and cooking a mackerel on the beach

9. Dining at Chez Panisse, California

10. Chocolate fondant pudding

11. Eating a hotdog at a baseball game

12. Coffee and croissants at a Parisian cafe

13. Collecting and cooking fresh eggs

14. Cooking a curry from scratch

15. Cornish clotted cream

16. Crispy crackling

17. Curing raw fish at home

18. Dining at L’enclume

19. Dining at Racine

20. Fresh seafood by the sea

21. Chocolate eclairs

22. Woodland glade picnic

23. Set lunch menu at La Gavroche 

24. Blackberry picking

25. Greengages

26. Growing your own vegetables

27. Homemade mayonaisse

28. Baking your own bread

29. Making your own soup

30. Fresh honeycomb

31. Visiting Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakech

32. Learning to joint a chicken

33. Dining at the Walnut Tree, Abergavenny

34. Making homemade ice cream

35. Making your own marmalade

36. Early morning breakfast at Carnegie Deil (New York)

37. Cooking a perfectly timed Sunday roast

38. British ale with a scotch egg

39. Guinness at the Stag’s Head, Dublin

40. Pork pies

41. Dawn fry-up at Smithfield Market, London

42. Street food in Kuala Lumpur

43. Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

44. Take away fish and chips

45. Tapas at San Miguel Market, Madrid

46. Dining at the Seahorse, Dartmouth

47. Toasting a haggis with Scotch whisky

48. Wild British strawberries

49. International wine trail

50. Cooking chocolate cake with your children


I’m on a not too shabby 26. My favourites include street food in Kuala Lumpur (authentic satay is my absolute favourite food in the whole word) and Betty’s tea rooms (I was brought up on Betty’s caramel shortbread. Delicious.) Watch this space for my own banqueting bucket list.


Wakefield Rhubarb Festival

24 Feb

This weekend we braved Baltic conditions to pay our first ever visit to Wakefield Rhubarb Festival. Living bang in the centre of the (sort of) famous rhubarb triangle, I thought it was about time we went to see this homage of the local delicacy.

A lovely farmers market greeted us outside the cathedral – a smaller version of the Leeds Loves Food festival, but a great excuse nonetheless to stuff our faces on a Friday afternoon. A few mulled ciders, chocolate brownie, pulled pork sandwich and a rhubarb-flavoured sausage later, we sought shelter in one of the town’s newest cafes, Deli Central. It’s a lovely place serving some fabulous homemade goods, but I only had space left for a small glass of wine…

In the festival’s demonstration tent, we caught a glimpse of the Fabulous Baker Brothers and their rhubarb recipes and I learnt that the ingredient can go with…pretty much anything! Although I’m yet to give it a try myself at home.

Now, I’ve never been Wakefield’s biggest fan (it’s a long story) but it’s great to see a bit more going on there, with decent new eateries opening and a new shopping centre with a good mix of one-off shops and high street favourites. My opinion of the place is slowly starting to change from images implanted on my brain of drunk young girls vomiting outside pound shops, to somewhere I might venture to a little bit more often!

Leeds Loves Food

31 May

Me, the sunshine and my chicken

This weekend I spent a very sticky Sunday afternoon at millennium square, checking out the Leeds Loves Food festival.

Every restaurant in the city you could think of had a stand there, so choosing lunch was tricky. Having the little one in tow did save me from an afternoon sat outside the stand hosted by champagne bar, Epernay. Not a bad thing for my waistline or my wallet.

Nonetheless, we had a lovely afternoon checking out the food the city has to offer. For my lunch I decided on some delicious Korean chicken skewers from Chino Latino’s bbq, a Pan Asian delight served in a fabulous oriental tray. A lovely detail. And for my main course, a safe, by scrummy slice of authentic Italian pizza from Casa Mia, all rounded off with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Whilst we ate, we watched a demonstration on the main stage from Gaucho on different cuts of beef. Very amusing given that this was demonstrated on a bloke!

A must visit again next year.

Cakes and Camembert at Kirkstall Deli Market

31 Mar

The beautiful Kirkstall Abbey was the setting for my lunch of many courses today as I paid my first visit to Kirkstall Deli Market. Taking place on the last Saturday of every month, the market brings together the best local food producers around, showcasing everything from bison burgers to home-brewed beer. Today, the abbey hosted some familiar faces from the Leeds foodie scene such as Salts Deli and some new names too.

Despite wishing I’d arrived as soon as the doors opened to ensure a parking space (carnage) I was in foodie heaven. After a few laps of the stalls and some cheeky free samples, I polished off a starter of an Indian onion, coriander and rice roll, then tucked into the main event, a juicy, flavoursome venison burger, courtesy of  Round Green Farm. Packing the boy off to work with an Oreo cookie chocolate brownie, I went home with friends to get out of the blustery conditions and enjoyed tea and cakes, purchased from the very friendly ladies at Number 37 cafe. Those passionate bakers are certainly not shy with their portions!

Not one to know when to stop, a few more courses were also purchased, so the eating carried on well into the evening. In fact, I write this having just polished off an awesome fish pie, created by new take away fine dining experts, the Secret Kitchen. The Mediterranean Yorkshire fish pie contained succulent seafood and a generous helping of mushrooms and spinach, topped with ploenta and parmesan. Although the presentation wasn’t top notch and no cooking instructions were enclosed, I didn’t care. It was amazing.

And tomorrow, we have vension sausages for breakfast, followed by a selection of cheeses from Cryer and Stott Cheesemongers. Gym on Monday…?

Piling on the pounds in lovely surroundings.