Tag Archives: Fish

Sailing Away

19th July 2013

You might have heard already, but the weather’s been quite nice in England.  Last weekend, I jumped at the chance to get out of London and head towards the coast, in search of any kind of breeze.

My parents, along with some friends, had planned a little sailing trip – meet in Southampton, sail down to Lymington on Saturday and return on Sunday.

Sunshine, sea, sails…


On Friday night we went to the Jolly Sailor in Bursledon, which is just outside Southampton.  It’s a pub that’s right on the water, with beautiful views.  To get there, you have to walk down a very long set of wooden steps, but it’s worth it.  Inside is cosy and welcoming, and they serve proper food.




Sardines, butternut squash and onion croquettes, mezze board.







Roast cod and chorizo salad, falafel and haloumi burger, fish and chips (with battered peas!)




After dinner, I tucked into my cabin on the boat and went straight to sleep.  I always sleep really well on board – I love the sound and movement of the water!

The next morning we went for a spin in our friends’ power boat…


and then returned to the yacht and prepared to set sail!


Out into the Solent, and then away…






6 41


Obviously I was hard at work…




It’s the best spot!

We moored at Lymington Yacht Haven.



Champagne on deck – before dinner at Haven Restaurant in the marina. 

The yummy mummies had their white skinnies on…


I’m always scared the boats will fall off those big wooden stilts.

Luckily, we had the food to distract us, which was amazing.

Pan fried scallops with sweetcorn purée and curried pea fritter…



Wood pigeon breast with rye bread and watercress salad with red wine dressing…


Pan fried turbot fillet and Solent crab cakes



I couldn’t stop raving about my main course: monkfish tail, with olive oil, mashed potatoes and clam sauce.  The clam sauce was a total dream, and went perfectly with the mash.




All this, and a gorgeous view across the Isle of Wight – the clearest we’d ever seen it from here.


Sunday dawned sunny (again!) and we made a relaxed passage back towards Southampton.  We anchored up for a long lunch – sunbathing and reading the papers.




The skipper decided that swimming was on the agenda.  The sea… has not warmed up like everything else.  Let’s just say it was fairly refreshing.


The sail home was calm, and I got the train back to London with salt in my hair, happy and tired.

What have you been up to in the sun?


5:2 Day – Smoked Haddock, Spinach & Poached Egg

17th July 2013

On Monday I was feeling in need of nutrients.  I had a flick through ‘The Fast Diet Recipe Book’, and decided on Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg.

B vitamins, iron and protein.  All good.  Even if you don’t follow the 5:2 diet (500 calories or less on 2 days a week), I recommend this recipe book.  It has lots of good ideas for healthy meals and if you’re not restricting calorie intake you can just scale up the portion sizes.


I’m relaxed about diets – I think that everybody needs to find their own way to be healthy.  I have found so far that 5:2 has made me more aware of what I eat, prevents me overeating in general, and results in me eating loads more vegetables (which can’t be bad).  And of course, with a little planning, you don’t have to cut out restaurant dinners or your favourite treats – like cupcakes!

J came over for dinner, so I was cooking two portions.  The doubled up recipe is as follows-

  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • 150g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  • 480ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraÎche
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg



The fish came as 240g, so I weighed my portion and served the extra to J.


Wilt the spinach in a pan with a splash of salted water.  Season it with nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Poach the fish in the milk for about 10 minutes, and check it’s cooked through.

With poached eggs, I like to play it safe.  These poach pods are brilliant, and well worth buying to avoid faffing around with vinegar, swirling water or cling film.  You can buy them here (and get ready to feel smug next time you make Eggs Benedict).


Crack the eggs into the pods, then pop them into a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes.  Remember to put the pan lid on.


When everything is ready, serve the fish and spinach onto plates.


Turn the poach pods inside out, and place an egg on top.

Garnish with the crème fraÎche and spring onion.  I sprinkled a little more nutmeg on as well.




Each portion is only 211 calories.  Enough said really.

The Lockhart

11th July 2013

Last night I went for dinner at a new restaurant, and I left feeling absolutely certain that I would return.


The Lockhart serves upmarket US Southwestern food and has taken a calm, gentrified approach to the ambience and flavours.  There’s no tacky tourist Tex-Mex here; the décor is a soothing palette of white walls, exposed brick and thoughtful, quirky features.  

I made my way towards Marble Arch from Edgware Road, and with the weather still being lovely, I found H sitting at one of the tables outside.  


We had lots to catch up on, and managed to successfully be those annoying customers who don’t read their menus.  We did however quickly wolf down the scrumptious baked jalapeño and cheddar scones that were brought out.



The side plates are charming old fashioned china, each with different patterns.

Having lived for some years in Texas, I have a serious soft spot for this type of food and I was definitely a bit overexcited at what was on offer.  Nachos, tortilla soup, enchiladas – the favourites are all there, but the plates coming out of the kitchen looked healthy, fresh and beautifully presented.  Forget that bright orange cheese...


By the time we were ready to order and our very patient waiter had answered all our questions, it was getting a little chilly and we migrated inside (typical Brits!).  

But not before the man at the next table had informed us that the chicken wings were ‘as good as crack’…now there’s a review!


The tables and floorboards are polished wood, the napkins are linen and there are tea lights dotted around. 


Look at the ceiling…


I ordered a Strawberry Fields cocktail – vodka, fresh lime juice, strawberry, cucumber, basil and black pepper.  There are some deadly sounding tequila cocktails on the list – if only it wasn’t mid week!



We started with some ‘crab hush puppies’ which came with cajun dipping sauce.  These are breaded balls of brown and white crab (one of my greatest weaknesses) and they are actually miniature bites of crabby heaven.  (Not sure if that reads right, but I’m gonna go with it).


For main course, I had one of the sharing boards – how could I resist the combination of lobster and nachos?  Also, why have I never thought of the combination of lobster and nachos?

So here it is – Dunny’s lobster nachos: native poached lobster, crisp tortillas, piquant pepper salsa, house smoked mozzarella, dorset cheddar, and fresh guacamole.


I was a bit worried at first that I wouldn’t get full up, but these nachos are packing some serious stuff.  Each one – lobster, cool sour cream, tangy salsa – I think I could live on these.


H had the seabass, which came with lobster, mexican chorizo, crayfish bouillabaisse and summer greens.


On the side (strongly ignoring the mac’n’cheese) I went for succotash, an ole Southern favourite.


It was a smoky, bacon-y mix of corn and beans and I was very pleasantly surprised.


After scraping our plates and talking a whole lot more, we popped downstairs to check out the bar.

It’s genteel take on a classic American bar, with a subtle nod to the saloon in the low lighting and wood details.  There are more tables as well, which I have no doubt will be filling up fast over the weekend and coming weeks.



The Lockhart has been set up by two Texan couples who live in London.  They have done a beautiful job and I would highly recommend putting it on your list to visit.

It’s my dream to help set up a restaurant like this one day…



Lockhart on Urbanspoon