Top 5 rums to pair with coconut water

Coconut water is the perfect partner in crime for rum. The combination of subtle sweetness, savoury edge, and firm nuttiness gives it a complexity that can elevate your rum. In Rum the Manual, Dave Broom shares his top five rum and coconut water pairings. LA HECHICERA 40% ABV This rum …

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Weekend Recipe: Claus Meyer’s Smoked Salmon

As we enter autumn, ­­it’s time to embrace the seasonality of our Nordic neighbours and get the most from the food and flavours in season. This week, we’re sharing one of our favourite recipes from The Nordic Kitchen by Claus Meyer. 150g pearl barley (uncooked) 300ml water sea salt flakes …

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Handpicked: Edith’s House

Tucked just off Crouch End high street, Edith’s House is the perfect spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of London. As you step through the door, you’re whisked back in time to a cosy living room filled with chintz armchairs, sepia-toned family portraits, floral wallpaper and mismatched crockery. You may be tempted to immediately curl up on the couch with a cup of tea but we recommend exploring the rest of the café first. A meal at Edith’s House feels like a proper family gathering, with the party spilling out to fill every nook and cranny. Around the corner, you’ll see people seated at a dressing table having a natter over cake and others enjoying genuine breakfast in bed. You’ll have to (politely) fight others for the most coveted spot in the café – a pink powder room-turned-dining booth where you can perch on a fantastically frilly seat cover as you tuck into brunch. The menu features everything from tuna nicoise to a good old fashioned bacon sarnie on white bread, but we think it’s worth making the trip up for the scones alone. Edith’s House offers a selection of show stopping scones, you can pick from cinnamon, white chocolate, peanut butter, honey, almond or coconut. We recommend the white chocolate scones with strawberry & black pepper jam. These are the scones saved for the favourite grandchild. Large and fluffy, the generous helping of chocolate is melted perfectly throughout the scone, making each mouthful something to savour. If your nan makes scones as good as these, we’d love to pop around for tea.

Edith’s House

59 The Broadway, Crouch End, N8 8DT

Images taken with permission from @edithshouselondon (Instagram)


Edith Compilation


Ham Croquettes

Croquetas de Jamon Ham Croquettes This recipe comes via Rachel McCormack – yes, a Scots writer who is a bit of an expert on Spanish cuisine. It originates with Spanish TV chef Karlos Arguiñano. For well over twenty years he has been cooking for Spanish television from his home town …

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Where’s the buffet gone? – Gizzi Erskine


Where’s the buffet gone? It agitates me that we only really have them during the winter festive period. How did we get here? I guess we went through a stage of embracing formal dining. With the popularity of celebrity chefs and cooking shows on TV, people are bringing the things even I find ludicrous in restaurants into the home. Going to someone’s home and having canapés, then an amuse-bouche, then starters, a main course, dessert and petits fours is my idea of hell. Trust me when I tell you that a Michelin-starred chef does not cook like this at home. This is just showing off. Your guests don’t want it. They want to feel comfortable and have your focus. And don’t get me started on canapé parties, the ultimate way of “keeping up with the Joneses”. As a trainee chef I catered for so many events like this. The same vibe at each… starving people hovering close to the kitchen, never quite getting their fill, and a room filled with people who’ve drunk too much and not eaten enough. A frantic host (or head chef in my case) never quite being on top of anything… and food that’s not as good as proper cooking!

When in my home, I want to eat family-style. Big platters filled with food that you have to help your neighbours to. A vat of something delicious placed on the table for people to fill up on, with a few complementary sides. This is how I prefer to dine… but at Christmas, when I’m entertaining more than 10 people I want a buffet!

A buffet doesn’t have to be of the retro kind, with cheese-and-pineapple hedgehogs and depressing soggy sandwiches. I truly believe that laying on a fantastic spread means you can go to town with an opulent and varied array of food. This is a much more practical way to feed larger groups. One of the best weddings I ever went to offered guests a buffet instead of a formal meal. It was beautiful, with a suckling pig, a huge platter of seafood, amazing salads… There is something so celebratory about seeing a copious display of food in front of you, which you just don’t get with formal dining. Indeed, I believe that the secret to a buffet’s success lies in this very informality. People can take what they want, and there is something so convivial about helping to serve each other. In this way I really feel it can help create a festive atmosphere.

Also, there are loads of pragmatic advantages to serving a buffet. You will undoubtedly find it cheaper to prepare than a formal meal, as you will be able to feed more people with less food, (while giving you the opportunity to use up leftovers you might have). What’s more, much of the work can be done in advance – instead of being stuck in the kitchen between courses, once the buffet’s laid out you can be part of the party and relax and enjoy the food with everyone else.

This is not to say you shouldn’t try and WOW when doing a buffet by providing a wider variety of tastes while still showcasing great cooking. The key is to have one main focus. As it’s Christmas, I’m going to use the Spiced Pineapple Christmas Ham as the main attraction. It then needs a decent terrine – I give you The Creamiest & Lightest Chicken Liver Parfait. Some Quickest Pickled Pineapple to go with each, and a Seafood Platter with the Best Marie Rose Sauce You’ll Ever Eat over ice. I take on some buffet classics such as Curried Eggs, a few salads and some carbs in the form of potatoes or simply, good bread. A cheese plate, or charcuterie for the lazy? This is still glam eating, but it’s homely and most of all it’s FUN! What’s not to like? I hereby rest my case for the resurrection of the buffet: bring it out from the Dark Ages and into the modern-day party!

Gizzi's Season's Eatings

Extracted from Gizzi’s Season’s Eatings by Gizzi Erskine.