Sunday, 30 March 2014

Celestial Cakes, goodies from the heavens

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely Sarah from Celestial Cakes and having checked her baked lovliness out for myself at last weeks Farmers' Market I wanted to let you all know about her business in my latest reveal.

She started Celestial Cakes 4 years ago and bakes with all the good stuff, organic eggs, milk and flour as well as locally (or homegrown) veggies - with these all going into her cakes.

I had the pleasure (and boy were they pleasurable) of tasting the Beetroot Brownie and Coconut, Lime and Courgette cake - here they are for you to drool over.....

I think that last photo is my favourite and trust me when I say that cake makes your mouth water.

Coming from a big family of cake lovers (hi Dad) but not being an especially good cake baker, I'm glad Sarah found me so I could visit her whenever I'm next in need of home cooked delicacies I can pass of as my own (joke!).

I found her at the Ealing Farmers' Market, but when you go, make sure you get there nice and early (it opens at 9am) as I got there at 11ish and a lot of Sarah's goodies were being snapped up.

Sarah's business (she is based from her house, aptly named 'The Old Bakery') is one of the reasons I feel lucky to live in Ealing and I will most definitely going back.

PS Happy Mother's Day to all the Momma's out there!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Bimbling to the Farmers Market

I've got a really embarrassing confession to make, before last Saturday I had never been to the Ealing Farmers' Market...........

Still talking to me?

Good, then I'll tell you all about it!

We started out on a relatively sunny Saturday (Spring is being such a tease this year!) with a stroll across Ealing and through Dean Gardens, a little park that runs alongside the Uxbridge Rd with lots of blossoming trees and a seemingly popular play area.

We quickly stumbled across Leeland Rd and, oh my, were we impressed with what we found.

I'm not going to say that I'm a Farmers' Market expert, but both myself and my bimbling partner in crime were VERY impressed by the small but perfectly formed market.

I will let my pictures do the talking so you can see for yourself, but there were meats, fresh fish, cheese, fruits, raw honey, organic cakes (watch this space for a future post about Celestial Cakes), mind blowing tomatoes, bread (baked in North Acton) and lots of lovely plants (much to my PiC's delight!).

I know I've said this a few times now but we were really impressed, everyone was so friendly, all the produce came within 100 miles of M25 and quite a lot of it was local to Ealing.

To know that you're supporting independent businesses and local entrepreneurs is immensely satisfying (and to do so is immensely important!), but to be able to do this and then get the tastiest, freshest lunch I've had so far this year means everybody wins.

Ealing Farmers' market is every Saturday morning from 9am - 1pm, details on the below flyer and more info on the website here

So, it's Saturday tomorrow so why not check it out for yourself?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Amalfi Caffe, revealing Ealing's latest little gem

Like most Ealing residents I've walked up and down Mattock Lane a few times over the years, but apart from needing the practicalities of the newsagent and pharmacy or wanting some lovely fresh fruit and veg I really haven't ever seen St John's parade as anything other than a functional row of shops.

That was until last Monday.

Because last Monday, Amalfi Caffe opened.

I drove past it a few times during the week, causing mini traffic jams every morning during my commute to try and see what was going on and working out how soon I could check it out for myself. 

You see, before Amalfi opened, the site was Cafe Rosata - a spot that I'm sure was loved by some but it never turned my head (and if I'm honest looked a bit too close to the greasy end of the greasy spoon spectrum).

But Amalfi Caffe have refreshed the site a treat. The fascia is contemporary and the inside has a modern and friendly vibe.


Our first trip (of many I'm sure) was just for a coffee, but while we were there we witnessed a hungover group refueling themselves on a selection that included smoked salmon & scrambled eggs on toast, an impressive looking sausage sarnie and a full English, a young family munching on toast and pastries and an older gentleman having a tasty looking fry up. The latter asked if there were any papers to read and the main lady serving went next door to get him one!

As I said, we just had some coffees, but they were good and strong (the owners are Italian after all!) and made even better thanks to the amooooooozing jug!

You can check out the full menu on their Facebook page here but I would just go and see it for yourself.

Anyone else spotted a new or refurbed spot that should be checked out?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Santa Maria, Ealing's own pizza Naples

Pizza is just something you don't joke about if you live in Ealing.

You can keep your Dominoes, Pizza Huts, Papa Johns etc if you live here, because we have Santa Maria.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but it is the best pizza I've ever had. 

It's a true destination restaurant with a reasonably quick turn around (but I've never felt rushed), prompt and friendly service, excellent wines, dribblesome ice-creams (Affogato is my personal recommendation) and the best god damn pizza you'll ever eat EVER. 

Got it?

If you don't believe me just look at the reviews it gets - The ES have it at #1 Pizza to try before you die (read the review here). The FT have it in their 'five of the best' (list here), they pop up regularly in Time Out and the Guardian love them.

All the reviews and their location can be found here on their website

Now apart from the first pic, all the others here are from my archives from old visits so I think it's about time I went back - don't you?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Kerbisher & Malt - fish & chip heaven

Daddy or chips...............Daddy or chips.............CHIPS!!!

It's always going to be chips really isn't it? They are an institution, a British icon and the 'go to' naughty treat.

Whether you're using them to mop up too much booze or as the perfect partner to a cup of tea when you need some potato-ey comfort, it's all about the chips!

Well, that's what I thought - and then I went to Kerbisher & Malt.

At Kerbisher, it's not ALL about the chips (although they are bloody good), it's also a lot about the fish, and the mushy peas, and the curry sauce (hey, I'm from Birmingham!), and the heinz tomato ketchup (nothing else will EVER be a suitable alternative), and the bread & butter (if you're my Dad)......

The list goes on and on and on as soon as you look at the Kerbisher & Malt menu you realise there are so many more additions you can have. 

Calamari, White Bait, Pickled Onion Rings, Sweet Chilli Sauce............I'm going to stop now as I'm drooling.

Me and my partner in crime went for the classic cod  (one battered, one grilled) and chip combo with a decent selection of condiments, a craft beer and a bottle of Muscadet. Dreamy!

I will let the obligatory food pics talk for themselves, but I must say if you don't believe me then maybe you'll take the word of these people....

HESTON BLUMENTHAL......"K&M takes the very essence of a chippy and just makes it so much better"
THE TIMES......"Bringing fish & chips into the 21st Century"
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH......"I almost want to write a love poem to their chips"
EVENING STANDARD......"Delicious. A little piece of the British Seaside"
TIME OUT......"Beautifully, succulent fish encased in golden, light & crunchy batter" (5 Stars)
SQUARE MEAL......"Redefining the standards for local chippies - Bravo!"

Pretty impressive huh!

Needless to say we left pretty satisfied!!

Have any of you been to Kerbisher? Where do you think the best fish & chips are?