Monthly Archives: June 2010

Designer water, the next big thing?


As temperatures soar across the UK, S. Pellegrino has teamed up with Italian fashion house Missoni to quench our thirst with a  limited edition water bottle.

Exclusive to Selfridges nationwide from the 1st July 2010, the bottle is the next big Italian accessory for dinner parties across the UK.

The S. Pellegrino Missoni limited edition marks the start of new project ‘’Italian Talents’’, which will see the famous S. Pellegrino bottle entrusted to a different Italian designer each year.

Having recently attended a water and wine harmonisation session with S.Pellegrino, I can think of no other brand better suited to be paired with a fashion label.

Sourced and bottled at a thermal source in the Italian pre-Alps, S. Pellegrino has a delicate aroma of minerals, coupled with fine bubbles.  Not being too salty either, it is perfectly paired with structured foods and wines, rich in flavours and aromas.

If the price stays the same, I can’t see why I wouldn’t want grab one off the shelves.

S.Pellegrino meets Missoni will be available from 1st July 2010 from Selfridges food halls.


New funky clubhouse launches in Chelsea: The Phene


In the building of the old Phene Arms, a new intimate clubhouse with funky terrace opens its doors to the public. The Phene‘s aim, under the creative direction of Lily Bourne, daughter of Sally Greene and Robert Bourne, is to provide visitors with traditional Chelsea townhouse home comforts coupled with a sleek, contemporary style.

Designed to be a ‘home away from home’ the club offers a place to relax, eat good food, drink and generally just chill. It is open day and night, with four different areas for different moods, a deli, saloon bar, elegant lounge and even a heated terrace for all year round outside dining.

The menu promises to provide a range of options from a quick bite to a three-course meal throughout the day, including something for the health conscious and those with food allergies. The result appears to be an honest and unpretentious menu to suit all palates.

I was unable to attend the launch night yesterday, but by all accounts this looks set to be a great venue. I can’t wait to go and sip a few cocktails on the terrace, it might just become my summer venue of choice – I just hope my bank balance holds up!

The Phene: 9 Phene Street London SW3 5NY

Open daily from 10am to 11.30pm, 7 days
a week serving food and drinks throughout
the day.

Taste of London: Ever thought about pairing water and wine?


Many of you will choose your wine according to the food you are going to pair with it, but have you ever questioned what type of water you should be drinking at the same time?

I know very little about the water harmonisation and tend to choose by what feels right at the time, and the brand that is on offer.   I know I like some bottled water and not others but what I never really take into account is the effect that different water flavours have on the taste of the food or the wine that I will be drinking it with.

I’m going to find out more at Taste of London, so if you are interested in learning more about this as well, why not head down to the S.  Pellegrino stand (J17).  Andreas Larsson, voted the ‘Best Sommelier in the World,  will be giving free sessions on water and wine harmonisation throughout the whole of event, so you can learn from the top dog!

Taste of London: Glorious! soups set to revolutionise those ‘feeling lazy, can’t be bothered to make lunch’ days.


I always look forward to every meal, and can therefore never settle for a nasty pre-made packet sandwich at my desk for lunch.  It just feels like such a waste of a meal to do that –and seeing as I eat three times every day, why not enjoy it as best as I can!

While I cook pretty much every night, there are always those evenings when I am just too tired to think about preparing lunch for the next day, so I often end up buying something to eat at my desk.  While I am lucky to be based in Soho and have so much to choose from; Thai to Japanese, Mexican to Italian, it’s neither friendly on the bank balance, nor on the waistline.

Last week, I came across Glorious! and tried its new soup range.  The range, which comes labeled either as ‘meal’ or ‘skinny’, will be unveiled at the Taste of London festival this week.  There is a fab selection of flavours including Goan spiced tomato and lentil, Malaysian chicken and Toulouse sausage and bean and at under £2.00, they are fantastic value!

I admit that when I first saw them, I was a bit nervous that I was going to look at the ingredients at the back of the pot, and find masses of calories and loads of weird enhancers and preservatives.  But, this was not the case at all! I was really impressed not to see one thing that I wouldn’t already have in my cupboards at home.  I have tried two so far; the Tuscan chicken and orzo meal, which was filling, tasty and warming, and the skinny fragrant Thai carrot and lemongrass.

As it was a boiling day, I thought I would really put the soup to the test by eating it outside, so I grabbed a spoon, my ‘cold’ pot of soup and hit the park. The Thai carrot and lemongrass did not disappoint, it was absolutely delicious – perfect for a cheap, healthy and quick lunch, and at only 160 calories for half a pot, even if you have the whole pot, (like I did) you have still only eaten 320 calories!

What I really like about these soups is that they are low in fat and calories but certainly not low on flavour, having Simon Gamble, Senior development chef and creator of soups and sauces, to thank for that!

The only problem is that it seems you can only buy them in Asda, Morrissons and Sainsbury’s, and I have none of those near home or work!

Either way, I think we’re going to see a lot more of Glorious!  I like the choice of different flavours from around the world, the taste, the branding, the nutritional aspect, its mission statement to ‘go beyond expectations’ and the website is pretty cool too.  If you’re going to Taste of London this week, then don’t forget to swing by the Glorious! stand.

Is the World Cup bad for our health?


According to the latest research from Ocado, 83% of Brits will be choosing to watch World Cup matches at home instead of their usual pub outings, citing cost on pints and bar snacks as the principle reason.

Preferring to watch at home because they can eat and drink whatever they please, the average Brit will be eating an extra 340 calories per match watched and will worry about putting on an extra 4lbs.  So, if the average person is planning on watching 11 matches at home and 5 in the pub (as detailed in the findings), according to my calculation, we will each be consuming an additional 5,440 calories and worrying about putting on a huge 64lbs – eeek!!!

As well as adding to our waistlines, the research revealed that watching World Cup matches down the pub will cost each person a whopping £63.74 more than if they were to stay at home (£94.75 compared with £31.01).  Quite disturbingly, 85 million packets of crisps and 85 million pints of lager are expected to be consumed during the tournament…with pizzas, chocolate and crisps labelled as our favourite World Cup snacks – what about burgers?

The sofa vs. pub spend breakdown shows quite a significant difference!

Pub: Alcohol: £61.20  Food: £33.55

Sofa: Alcohol: £17.12 Food: £13.12

In a bid to encourage more people to watch from home, Ocado has partnered with The England woman’s captain, Faye White, to launch an innovative campaign called the ‘world recipe challenge’.  For the campaign, Ocado asked customers to submit recipes to its online library, and 32 of these (one for each qualifying nation) are battling it out to receive the most amount of page views and recipe downloads. Jason Gissing, co-founder of Ocado comments, “We’re hoping that our unique World Recipe Challenge prompts shoppers to try something different. We’ve got some great World Cup dishes on our website, everything from Japanese salmon to peppy Ghanaian stew.   It’s a feast of football in more ways than one.”

The recipes will go live on Ocado’s website on Friday, they sound pretty tasty so do let me know if you try any.

What really made me laugh about the research is that Ocado found that lager and champagne sales increased significantly during the previous World Cup (53% and 23%), but smoking cessation products declined by 17% – so what it really boils down to is that The World Cup is just bad for us in so many ways – we spend more money, put on weight, eat unhealthy food, drink more alcohol, smoke more and take no exercise! AWESOME, crack open the champers!!!

GastroGossip wordle


I just thought I would have a look and do a word cloud or ‘wordle’ to see which subjects feature most prominently on my blog.

Good to see that ‘food’ figures highly, although as I write a food blog, I would have been surprised if it didn’t!

Interesting to see ‘Italian’ features the most, but I am more pleased to see that ‘pizza’, ‘beer’ and ‘cheese’ are particularly prominent.  A bit sad that my other passions ‘seafood’ and ‘wine’ don’t seem to be mentioned at all – clearly time to eat loads of seafood and get drinking me thinks!:

Taste of London 2010: Rick Stein is appointed as ambassador for Malaysia Kitchen


In the first of my Taste of London posts, I wanted to write about the main sponsors of the 2010 festival (Regent’s Park June 17th and 20th), Malaysia Kitchen.

Malaysia Kitchen has been conducting a year-long campaign to raise awareness of Malaysian food in the UK, and to help drive awareness, it has appointed a new ambassador, Rick Stein!  After seeing Rick’s BBC TV Series Far Eastern Odyssey, it’s not hard to see how his support of Malaysia Kitchen has come about.

As official ambassador, Rick will be sharing his passion for Malaysian food by opening the Taste of Malaysia area.  He will be offering a series of experiential activities and cooking a load of yummy recipes throughout the festival.

In addition, three of London’s best Malaysian chefs from restaurants Tukdin, Awana and Satay House will be cooking their signature dishes.  I actually went to Awana last week, and had a fab time (not just because Top Table was offering ‘50% off the food’).  While the dishes weren’t as ‘authentic’ as you might find in Malaysia, having being jazzed-up for a London audience, I thought the food, especially the Laksa was good.

Other  attractions at Taste of Malaysia will include a tea lounge,  where guests can sample Malaysia’s many tea varieties and watch the famous Teh Tarik or ‘pulled tea’ ceremony – where  black Malaysian tea and condensed milk are poured back and forth repeatedly between two cups from a height, resulting in a thick frothy top – not sure how this will pan out, but should be fun!

There is also going to be a cocktail bar, that will see highly skilled ‘flairtenders’ serving up an assortment of cocktails using Malaysian fruits which sounds great to me!

For more information visit:
Awana on Urbanspoon

Click here to get a restaurant discount voucher for 50% off at Awana