The Delaunay

9th April 2014

Hello friends.  I’ve been storing this one up for a little while!  

Those of you who are London based will probably have heard me go on about The Delaunay at some point.  It’s a Corbin & King classic – if you haven’t heard of them, they’re the restaurateurs behind The Wolseley. More recently they’ve also opened Brasserie Zédel (W1) and Colbert (in Sloane Square) – both also great.

I love going to The Delaunay.  It’s the perfect place for a special treat meal, without breaking your budget for months to come.  Don’t think ground-breaking morsels of gourmet food, topped with froth and exotic flavour combinations.  Think – comfort food… if you were about town in Vienna circa 1930.  

Delaunay Bar

Things I like about it: The grand entrance and marble floors, the handsome bar, the white linen table cloths, the sharp service, the pastries and mille-feuille peeking out from glass covers, the antique clock, the leather banquettes, the Tarte flambée (see below)

Things I don’t like about it: Not much

One evening a little while back, L and I made our way down Aldwych, and met at the Delaunay bar.  A glass of wine later, we were joined by A and B (who has since gone to New York – we miss you!).  This is what our evening looked like at one of my favourite restaurants…

Delaunay

Delaunay Bread

Delaunay Table

Delaunay Menu

Tarte Flambee

Tarte flambée – the absolute must to order.  A thin, crispy delight – and no, it’s not too big for a starter (promise).

Tabasco

Oysters

Delaunay

Oysters Delaunay

Delaunay Table

Weiners, schnitzel burgers, steak tartare, crispy fish goujons – you’ll find them all on the grand European Café style menu.

Fish Goujons

Steak Tartare

Schnitzel Burger

Final note – when The Delaunay first opened, I had in my head that it was pronounced ‘The De – lane – ey’.  Not sure why.  But O and I had a disagreement about it, resulting in me phoning up to hear them say ‘Hello, The Delaunay’ at which point I said ‘Thank you, that’s all I needed to know’.  So, O was right, and I was wrong.  (Not often I’ll admit to that!)

Spring might be sprung now, but if you need somewhere to pass a rainy evening, you can’t go wrong with cosy glamour at The Delaunay.

The Delaunay

Thames Skyline

                                                          Walking South of the River Thames after dinner

The Delaunay on Urbanspoon

Cookie Karma

11th December 2013

Christmas feels like the best time of year to top up your good karma, and reinforce those feelings of positivity towards others.  I stumbled across The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap by chance, and immediately fell for the concept.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

Here’s what happens: you donate $4 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, who are a non-profit organisation raising funds for paediatric cancer research.  Then, the lovely hosts of the scheme (Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen) send you 3 participating food bloggers for you to post cookies to.  You send each of your matches a dozen cookies, and you in turn will receive a dozen cookies from 3 different people.  Then everybody blogs…!

What I like about the idea is – firstly, you’re supporting a fantastic cause, secondly, there’s cookies involved, and thirdly – it works because everybody does their part.  Which is how I come to the karma thing… it feels kind of great to send off fresh cookies into the unknown, for others to enjoy.  And it also feels great when you start getting them back.

Cookie Karma…see?

So, with a mouthful of crumbs (because I’m still making my way through the ones I received), here is my recipe.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Stack

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies

To make a dozen, you will need:

  • 170g plain flour
  • 110g unsalted, melted butter
  • 100g dark brown soft sugar
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • a dash of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 large egg
  • a generous handful of raspberries
  • white chocolate chips, or chopped up white chocolate

Fresh Raspberries

White Chocolate Bar

I spent a Sunday afternoon happily baking away my batches of this recipe, with some mulled wine and the SATC box set keeping A and I company in the house.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Get your oven preheated to about 180°C, and then weigh out and sieve together the flour, bicarb and salt
  • Cream together the 2 types of sugar and the melted butter

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  • Beat in the vanilla essence and egg

3

4

  • Mix in the dry ingredients

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  • And then stir in the chocolate and raspberries slowly, by hand

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  • Line a baking tray with parchment, and then drop the cookie dough on to it in blobs about the size of golf balls.  Leave lots of room between the blobs, because they’ll grow (more than in this photo I think!)

Cookie Dough

  • Bake them in the oven for 12-14 minutes, before removing and allowing to cool on a wire tray

Don’t cook them for too long, as good cookies need to have a bit of chew and a bit of crunch.  Actually, I felt that some of mine were a bit ‘cakey’, and needed to be slightly smaller.

27.1

15.1

I packaged the cookies up into Paperchase boxes, with sparkly tissue paper, and sent them on their way.  Because they’re sweet, I think they taste best with a nice old fashioned cuppa tea.

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My cookies went to Emma, Mehrunnisa and Pat – and I’ve enjoyed reading their blogs since.

So, I hear you ask, what was I lucky enough to be sent?

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string… YES.  What could be better in this technological day and age than a package tied up with string?  

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Chocolate Chip Truffle cookies from Nazia at This Baker Girl Blogs – have a look at her recipe – genius!  I am definitely making these bad boys soon.

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Beautifully packaged and scrummy Cardamom and Cinnamon Spiced Shortbread from Gill at Tales of Pigling Bland.

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Dark Chocolate, Orange and Hazlenut cookies from Sophie at The Cake Hunter.  The smell of these cookies alone… wow.  They were delicious.  (And she’s just had a baby, so must be the most efficient lady on the planet).

I’ve been having a slightly hectic time at work recently, and discovering the blogs I hadn’t read before and reading the friendly notes (and eating the cookies) really cheered me up.  I’ll definitely be joining in again next year!

P.S. Daddy I told you it wasn’t a cookie Ponzi scheme :)

Caravan

31st October 2013

Have you been to Caravan in Exmouth Market?  I am sometimes laughed at for loving brunch too much, but this place backs me up.

It’s about a fifteen minute walk from King’s Cross station – I met K there one Saturday morning before she jumped on a train to Yorkshire.  If you’re craving proper breakfast food but want a refreshing upgrade on the standard fry up, Caravan is the spot.

Start, as lots of good mornings do, with a Bloody Mary…

Bloody Mary

Caravan

I had a fresh carrot, apple and ginger juice and it was scrumdiddlyumptious.  I often think that fruit juices in London restaurants are a rip off – you get a small portion of something that doesn’t taste special for a big price.  I was very pleasantly surprised by the juice here.  A generous glass, and really delicious.

Apple Carrot Ginger Juice

Caravan Outside

Caravan Sign

Food arrived quickly – for me a countryside feel, carbier (can I use that as a word?!) twist on Eggs Benedict.  

Ham hock hash, poached eggs, peas and honey mustard hollandaise.  

Ham Hock Hash

K had avocado on toasted sourdough, with olive oil and chilli flakes…

Avocado on Sourdough

And she ordered some extra bacon to pop on top (fantastic shout).

Avocado and Bacon

Poached Eggs

Egg and Peas

Great eggs, and the potato hash was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Oh, did I mention we also had a side of sausages?  Why not.  I love it when a restaurant has a good selection of side orders – it lets you get more creative.

Sausages

All rounded off with one of the prettiest coffees I’ve had in ages.

Latte

Next time I go to Caravan I’ll be trying the coconut bread with fresh strawberries and lemon curd cream cheese.  Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Happy Halloween everybody!  If you want a giggle, check out these sexy food themed costume ideas…

Caravan Exmouth Market on Urbanspoon