Eat like a Londoner

Eating Like A Londoner!

I received a copy of “Eat Like A Londoner” from the publishers Frances Lincoln to review recently. As a born and bred Londoner I was keen to see what author Tania Ballantine’s take on dining out in London would be. London is a foodie’s dream, you can eat any and every type of cuisine in this great city if you put your mind (and stomach) to it, but sometimes so much choice can be overwhelming.

Tania has done a great job of hand-picking more than 100 places which cover every occasion, from a quick pit-stop to a blow-out date, and as you can imagine each and every place has a distinctive character and of course great food.

Eating like a Londoner has probably never been so easy!

Eat like a Londoner

Eat like a Londoner

I loved the strong images, the easy to read layout and perfect travel size design of the book, as a busy Londoner who is on countless restaurant mailing lists this is a such a refreshing alternative to the online abyss. There is a great map at the back of the book and some really useful tips for “Veggie Friendly” and “Last Minute booking” venues.

Eat like a Londoner

Tania has covered pretty much every aspect of eating out in London even making reference to the multicultural nature of the London dining scene. I would have loved to see an African or Caribbean restaurant mentioned in the “Around The World” section though, that would have been a true reflection of London diversity.

Eat like a Londoner

It is probably a sign of how hectic life in London can be that I have not yet had a chance to step into one of the restaurants list, aside from Pizza Pilgrims, which I had been to before I received the book. I will definitely be using the book though, I just need to make the time to do so.

Eat Like a Londoner is an insider’s guide that sorts the great from the merely good, presenting a defining list of the city’s most outstanding eating destinations and is available to buy here.

Fillet of Beef en croute

Who’s For A Recipe? Fillet of Beef En Croute With Creamed Spinach

Bord Bia, The Irish Food Board recently shared this recipe with WFD to celebrate Irish food, drink and horticulture industry.

This Fillet of Beef en Croute recipe is perfect for this time of year and this particular recipe features Irish beef which is available in many of the UK’s leading supermarkets but of course it’s up to you which type of beef you use. We haven’t tried this recipe yet but just love the sound of it, if you do try it let us know what you think!

Image via Bord Bia

Image via Bord Bia

Serves 4


For the beef en croute:

Olive oil, for frying

350g beef fillet (in one piece)

1 egg white

1 tbsp prepared English mustard

225g ready-made puff pastry, thawed if frozen

For the pancakes:

50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 eggs

75ml milk

2 tbsp chopped fresh mixed fresh herbs, such as chervil, tarragon and chives

For the creamed spinach:

150g spinach, tough stalks removed

8 tbsp double cream

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the pancakes, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then break in the eggs and add a little of the milk. Gradually beat in the flour until smooth. Beat in the remaining milk to obtain the consistency of single cream. Add the herbs. Cover with cling film and leave for 20 minutes to allow the batter to rest

To cook the pancakes, heat a large heavy-based frying pan. When the pan is hot, smear with a little oil. Pour in a small amount of the batter and swirl it around until it is evenly and thinly spread over the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute until the edges start to curl away from the sides of the pan. Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds or so until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate and cover with a square of parchment paper. Repeat until you have four pancakes in total.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the beef. When the pan is hot, add the beef and quickly seal all over. Remove from the pan, place on a plate and allow to cool completely.  Place the egg white in a bowl and beat in the mustard until well combined. Brush all over the cooled beef fillet and wrap in a single layer of the pancakes, cutting them to fit as necessary.

Roll out the pastry to at least 6 times the surface area of the beef. Roll the pastry over the beef with a 1cm overlap, trim the ends of the pastry leaving 5cm longer then the beef fillet and then neatly fold in the ends, dampening the edges to seal. Place the pastry wrapped beef fillet seam-side down on a large, non-stick baking sheet. Break the remaining egg into a small bowl and season. Beat with a fork and then use to brush all over the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown. Remove from the oven to a carving board and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the creamed spinach. Blanch the spinach in a large pan of boiling salted water until wilted, then drain and quickly refresh in cold water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper and finely chop. Place the cream in a pan and simmer gently until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Stir in the spinach and allow to just warm through. Season to taste. Carve the beef en croute into slices and arrange on plates with the creamed spinach to serve.


Kirly-Sue's Kitchen

Who’s For Dinner With Kirly-Sue?

In this Who’s For Dinner Interview we meet the amazing Kirly-Sue (aka Susanne Kirlew) a former news anchor who has a vegan cooking show in the USA (which has been running for the past 3 years).  On the cookery show she teaches the viewers how to make vegan meals with every day ingredients. KirlySue also run seminars for large corporate organisations, charities and educational institutions. KirlySue is helping to change the image of vegan & vegetarian food, so if you think being vegan is all about boring, bland tofu and buckwheat, KirlySue will hopefully change your mind. Born and raised in London to Jamaican parents, KirlySue was a vegetarian (no meat and no fish) for over 25 years and she is now a vegan. Her Jamaican heritage is reflected in her cooking and baking. Enjoy this great interview with Kirly-Sue!

Kirly Sue

Kirly Sue

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where does your love of food come from?

I’m a vegan blogger, presenter and author born and raised in London. I have always lived cooking but when I became a vegan I was not impressed with some of the options available so decided to write a cook book called Kirly-Sue’s Kitchen ( which is now on Amazon)  I was called Kirly-Sue by some of my friends when I was a child and more recently some of my friends call me that too.

My great aunt on my my hers side owned a restaurant called “Cookie” and she was really well known in her neighbourhood for cooking delicious recipes.

My mother and her mother are great cooks too. I find cooking a really creative experience and I love to bake too.

coconut cupcakes

 How did you start your career in food? Please describe your journey

I was off work due to burn out from my high level corporate job and decided to do something with my time. Prior to that I had started to write a cook book so took this time to finish it.

I had previously been asked by a to station in the USA to record some coking shows for them but was not able to fit it into my schedule. However once I had written the book I decided to contact them to see if the opportunity was still available and you and to my surprise  they said get on a plane and come.

I started blogging and decided to use video content from my vegan cooking show in the USA to create a YouTube channel

I have a facebook page which has grown to over 15,000 followers and I have 3,000 plus in Twitter.

Aduki Bean & Bulgur Wheat Balls
What would you say has been your greatest food-related accomplishment to date?

Wow there are so many but if I have to choose I would say …Being able to help people begin their vegan journey and getting the opportunity to have cooking show in the USA oh and I have my own brand of virgin organic coconut oil coming out shortly , it will be available on Amazon

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Learning about VAT and Tax a as also learning that not everybody you know or meet will be pleased when you do well so it’s best to pick who you share success with

What is your favourite meal and why? 

Stew peas and rice  it has been my favourite since I was a child and. Love the seasoning blended with the coconut milk delicious.

 Name 3 ingredients that you cannot live without?

  • Coconut milk
  • All purpose seasoning
  • Plantain

Who’s For Dinner with you? Who would you invite for a meal of a lifetime with you and why?

Dr Martin Luther King he was such a lovely man and I love peace and justice and he personifies this

The other person would be Oprah she is such an inspiration to anyone and everyone

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