21.06

No11-Pimlico-Road-review-Cider-with-Rosie

There’s been a lot of buzz around No .11 Pimlico Road recently, and I can see why…

My sister and I had had this past Thursday booked in as a ‘post-exams, almost-wedding, any-old-excuse-will-do’ London day for easily six weeks. We each had a shopping list of odds and ends to pick up (mine all wedding themed, naturally, and Cesca’s prom-centric), and, aside from a fun event with Bailey Nelson & Astrid and Miyu in the evening, had cleared the decks for a day of quality sister time. So naturally, you can imagine how quickly I jumped at the opportunity, when it landed in my inbox, for us to head to No . 11 for lunch and see what’s been causing all this buzz!

Here’s the full story…

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The restaurant is only a minute’s walk from Sloane Square, and is a total dreamboat. Even my little sister, never normally one to note these things (I’ve told you before how totally different we are on pretty much everything!), commented on how beautifully styled the restaurant is. I’ve never been more proud of her, truly ;) The space is airy and bright- high ceilings, big windows, and so much space between the (marble-topped, be still my heart…) tables you’ll almost forget you’re in London!

We kicked off lunch with a couple of cocktails- peach bellini with champagne for Francesca, and an elderflower and earl grey gin fizz for me. I’ve got to give it to her, Cesca out-ordered me here. The gin fizz was delicious, but I always forget how fantastic a really well made bellini is. And, speaking of which, watching the barman whip up our drinks was mesmerising. I think in my next life, I’d like to train as one of those bar(wo)men who do all the juggling and spinning and throwing whilst they make cocktails. Can you even imagine how popular you’d be at parties? And can you even imagine how dreadful I’d be at it now, given that I drop my phone so frequently I have to have the world’s ugliest case on it, and have yet to master the art of not screaming whilst attempting to catch things?

Anyway, I digress…

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^^ Isn’t the bar itself just beautiful? Forget #IHaveThisThingWithFloors, for me it’s #IHaveThisThingWithBars. I never fail to take dozens of photos every time I’m in one. Anyone would think I was a big drinker, judging by my camera roll! ^^

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The struggle came when deciding what to opt for for our mains. Should we go ricotta and sage gnudi, or lamb shank? Burgers, or burrata? In the end, we settled on the chicken and chorizo schnitzel, the cod with lentils and toasted almonds, plus a couple of sides to boot (one saintly, one sinful).

Now, the schnitzel and remoulade (and fries!) all were nice, but I can’t speak too much for them because I was too busy diving face first into the miniature tub-full of truffle macaroni cheese pictured just below. I mean, would you just look at it? I’d forgotten what a total dream macaroni cheese is, and combined with truffle? Killer.

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The real star of the meal though was this cod. I kind of want to direct everyone I know to No . 11, and force them to order the cod just so they can taste how great it is for themselves! The fish was so incredibly tender, topped off with a salty pesto, toasted flaked almonds, and then set on a bed of simple, softly cooked vegetable-y lentils. It tasted like it’d come straight from some sun-soaked Mediterranean kitchen, and I absolutely adored it. You absolutely must order it, if you go!

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Finally, came dessert. It was pretty hard to choose between all the options (Pannacotta! Crumble! Raspberry possett!) but eventually, we opted for rhubarb and passionfruit roulade, and the chocolate and salted caramel mousse. And I’ll tell you, that mousse? Mindblowing. And I don’t even like chocolate mousse! It’s light as air, set on a rich brownie base, and topped off with caramel sauce, crushed hazelnuts, and a pinch of flaky sea salt.

The kind of dessert you order to share, and then immediately regret the sharing part of the deal. The kind that has you wishing it was served on a Harry Potter-esque magically refilling plate, and regret the fact that you’ve got wedding and prom dresses to fit into in a few week’s time or else you’d most definitely order a second portion of without even an ounce of shame. That kind.

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So No . 11 Pimlico Road, we loved you!

The food’s excellent, the menu is reasonably priced, service is warm and friendly, and the restaurant itself is just beautiful. I’m itching to go back and sample more of the cocktail menu especially. I think there’s an espresso martini with my name on it…

* Thanks to the No . 11 for our lunch, which was complimentary. As ever (does it go without saying, by now?), the rule I stick to is that if I don’t truly love something, I won’t share it here!

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18.06

Cider-with-Rosie-hm-shirtdress

Opaques in June? Whatever next.

I’ve heard at least three different people over the course of the past few weeks say that this summer is supposed to be the warmest we’ve had for five years/ten years/since records began…and yet despite being hopeful that they’re right, I’ve got to say that I’m just not seeing it so far. The odd glorious day- sure! We’ve loved them! Made the most of them too- BBQing and picnicing and sunbathing in the garden and all that other good stuff we British are prone to do when the sun blazes hot. But consistently lovely weather? Not so much of that.

But, there are plus sides to this sometimes-summer. Like how much easier it makes it to wear awkward dresses like this one, the kind that is, for prudish 24-going-on-74 year olds like me, just that bit too short to wear comfortably with bare legs. (It’s the split up the front that gets me. I’ve tried safety pinning it closed, but it just won’t have it!). And needing to wear tights in June means also not having to shave your legs in June, which is an unseasonable bonus! So really it’s just a case of swings and roundabouts, right?

What I’m wearing ::
Shirt dress – H&M {on sale at the moment, going absurdly cheap!}
Navy tights – M&S
Leopard slippers – Hobbs, identical from Dune
Bracelet – Monica Vinader
Watch – Olivia Burton.

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^^ I call this photo ‘a study in sitting down-wrinkles’. ^^

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I took myself and my tights and my dress up to London last week, for a day of press events and lunch with a handful of blogger friends.

We first of all headed to Cath Kidston to ooh and ahh over all things floral, then to lunch on Marylebone High St, and then finally over to Laura Ashley to mentally redecorate our homes. Our lunch was at CocoMomo- a new-to-me restaurant, and a total treasure! Salads the size of your head (which is how I like my salads, just FYI), fruity, non-alcoholic cocktails (special shout out to the virgin passionfruit mojito!), and, for the Instagram-minded among you, positively *bathed* in natural light! ;)

I went for the very best kind of salad- salad with a whole cheese in it. Leaves, roasted vegetables, pearl couscous…and a giant ball of burrata on top. (Autocorrect REALLY wanted that to read ‘a giant ball of burrito on top’. I definitely did not eat a ball of burrito.) The burrata was beautifully creamy, the vegetables were fresh and roasted to perfection…and yet I was so busy chitchatting with Sara and Kat about Instagram photo styling and layout techniques (it’s a thing, so I’m learning!) that I barely tasted a bite of my food!

If that’s not an excuse to go back, I don’t know what is. Perhaps next time to be tied in with a visit to my Marylebone High St-based spiritual home

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Posted in LONDON, RESTAURANT

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16.06

Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-SERIES

Up until now, this little ‘three ways with’ series has been concentrated mainly on dinnertime meals. Today though? Today we’re all about lunch.

Now, I’ll admit to you, lunch is by far in a way my least favourite meal. Unless I’m out and about in London somewhere with endless exciting food options to hand, I’d usually rather just have lots of different snacks spread out through the middle of the day than go to the trouble of making and sitting down to a proper lunchtime meal. And to be honest, even when I *am* in London with endless exciting food options to hand, I’m usually far more tempted by the prospect of a ‘cake and hot chocolate’ lunch than by anything else! But since having cake for lunch isn’t the choice a sensible 24 year old is supposed to make, lately I’ve been trying to be better ;)

These three simple grain dishes have become some of my favourite lunchtime meals. The grains do a wonderful job of at filling the belly and sating the appetite without leaving you feeling heavy and sluggish (looking at you, sandwiches), and they’re all easy to put together and ready in under 20 minutes. I like to think of the first as being for grey, drizzly weekend lunches (it’s beautifully creamy and comforting), the second as a burst of Mediterranean sunshine on a plate, and the last being the one to make on a Sunday evening, and portion up for grab-and-go weekday sustenance.

Shall we get to it?

O N E :: Bacon + leek spelt risotto.

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Serves two.
Ingredients ::
150g rolled spelt/quick cook farro {they’re the same!}
3 leeks
8 rashers smoked bacon
A sprig of thyme
3tbsp creme fraiche
Splash dry white wine
Parmesan {to taste}

- Place the spelt into a saucepan, and cook in salted water for approximately 10 minutes.

-Whilst the spelt cooks, slice the bacon into small pieces and the leeks into half centimetre rings, and then add to a large frying pan along with the thyme, a knob of butter and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Cook slowly over a low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the leeks have softened and turned sweet. Add in a splash of white wine, and turn up the heat briefly to allow the alcohol to cook away.

- When the spelt is cooked, drain it thoroughly and then add to the leek mixture. With a low heat under the pan, in the creme fraiche, then grate in some parmesan before tasting and adding in any extra parmesan, salt, and pepper.

- Serve with a squeeze of lemon over the top, and an extra grating of parmesan because there’s never too much of a good thing.

T W O :: Tabbouleh with quick pickled onions.

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Ingredients ::
T A B B O U L E H
70g bulgar wheat
70g fresh parsley
70g fresh mint
6 large ripe tomatoes
1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt

Q U I C K   P I C K L E D  O N I O N S {recipe here}
1 large onion {preferably red, I only had white to hand!}
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1tbsp sugar
1.5tbsp salt

- To make the onions, mix together the vinegar, salt and sugar, then finely slice the onion and cover in the pickling liquid. Set aside for one hour.

- Cook the bulgar wheat according to package instructions, then, whilst it’s still hot, squeeze over half a lemon and mix together with a pinch of salt and splash of olive oil. Set aside.

Finely chop the parsley and mint, then deseed then dice the tomatoes. Mix together with the cooked grains, add the juice of the second lemon half as well as another splash of olive oil, and salt if you feel it needs it.

- Serve with the pickled onions, as a side to just about anything you fancy! Keeps well for several days in the fridge, and tastes better after having sat overnight to let the flavours infuse.

T H R E E :: Red pepper + feta lentils with marjoram.

Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-grains-red-pepper-feta-lentils

Ingredients ::
250g puy lentils
100g feta
3 red peppers
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls fresh marjoram

- Place the peppers into a roasting dish (no oil necessary!) and roast them whole at 200 degrees celsius for 35 minutes, until the skins are blackened and the flesh is tender. Allow the peppers to cool for at least ten minutes before attempting to remove the skins.

- Peel the skins from the peppers then shred the flesh back into the roasting dish, discarding the skins and seeds. Season well with a good splash of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and add in half the marjoram leaves.

- Cook the lentils in salted boiling water for 25-30 minutes, then drain well. Add the lentils into the pepper dish to allow them to soak up the flavour of the marinade, then finally crumble in the feta and top with the remaining marjoram leaves.

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Do tag me in on photos if you have a go at making any of the recipes! Find me on Twitter, and Instagram (@ciderwithrosieblog), and tag #ciderwithrosiecooks! :)

Want more ‘Three ways with’ recipe posts? ::
:: Chorizo.
:: Hummus.
:: Roast chicken.

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14.06

Cider-with-Rosie-summer-dress

It wouldn’t be summer if I didn’t dedicate a post to the garden at my Mum’s now, would it?

We moved into that house when I was 17. Jason and I drank tea in the kitchen there after our first date (to a local Italian restaurant, he ate risotto and pannacotta, I ate salad because I was 18 and felt that was what I should do on a date, HA!), an acceptance letter from the dance school I’d trained my way towards for a decade came tumbling through that letterbox (I got halfway through reading the first sentence of said letter, then promptly burst into tears and screamed myself hoarse in joy!) and some of our most treasured family memories took place within those four walls.

And yet, despite how special the house itself is, it’s the garden at Mum’s I love the most of all. I love the sunken patio and how the garden itself slopes up and away from the house. I love the fact that, when the grass is long, you can see the track the cats follow as they cut a path up the garden. I love the twisted lilac tree branches that bloom for the briefest moment each spring, and the shushing noise the big tree makes in the wind. And mostly, I love the silly, insignificant memories attached to that beautiful outdoor space- like the time I hung tealights from branches when my Mum, Grandma and I sat out late one summer evening, and peace turned to drama when a tealight set fire to the bay tree, and the competition we all once had of who could spit cherry pips farthest down the length of the garden. The many, many glasses of Pimms drunk, and parties held, and meals eaten al fresco.

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We gathered in the garden last Sunday evening for dinner. My sister is busy revising for her final few GCSEs and stressed beyond belief, so we left her to her frantic highlighting and scribbling and paperwork-shuffling and sat outside drinking cider instead. Mum cooked duck with bay leaves and juniper and roasted new potatoes and threw together a couple of different salads, whilst I pottered around twirling in my dress (it begs to be twirled in, what can I say!) and taking photos of bees and things.

Then, as if the evening couldn’t get any more perfect, a cheese board was produced as if by magic after we’d finished our duck, featuring a wedge of brie so runny and ripe it looked as though it’d spend the afternoon in a sauna. It was heaven.

Here’s to another hazy summer spent making memories in the most perfect little garden that ever was

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What I’m wearing :: Dress – H&M {sold out now, but if you like the shape of this one you’ll absolutely love *this one*, and also *this* and *this*!}
Hat - Topshop
Necklace – Monica Vinader.

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Posted in FAMILY, MUM, SUMMER

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