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Showing posts from 2009

Taste of Christmas 2009 - A Carol

Because it's Christmas and I think I am going very slightly insane, I now proudly present to my dear readers:

The Many Tastes of Christmas

At Excel's Taste of Christmas, my true love gave to me:


Beautiful tome wonderfully illustrated by the great Dave McKean (famous for collaborating with Neil Gaiman) and well worth £30

A Fat Duck cookbook in a bag-gy.

At Excel's Taste of Christmas, my true love gave to me:


We got Mr Bunbury's Millionaire Flapjacks, Brownies and Tiffin Mini Bites. All deliciously home-made tasting.

Mr Bunbury's baking
And a Fat Duck cookbook in a bag-gy.

At Excel's Taste of Christmas, my true love gave to me:


Vegan caviar made from soy from Caviar 4 Everyone. A laudable venture but sadly no discernable taste.

Caviar a-faking
Mr Bunbury's baking
And a Fat Duck cookbook in a bag-gy.

At Excel's Taste of Christmas, my true love gave to me:


Roast Duke of Berkshire pork belly, sweet potato and fenugreek mash with green pepper relish from Anna Hansen at the

Ten Years of ATP - The Best of All Tomorrow's Parties

So last weekend I went to Butlins for "Ten Years of ATP", the tenth birthday party of the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival aka ATP.

I'm going to steal from Wikipedia to explain what ATP is all about.

Named after the song "All Tomorrow's Parties" by The Velvet Underground, it was founded by Barry Hogan in 1999 as an alternative to larger, more corporate festivals like Reading or Glastonbury, with a tendency towards post-rock, avant-garde, and underground hip hop, along with more traditional rock fare, but presented in an environment more intimate than a giant stadium or huge country field. ATP is a sponsorship-free festival where the organisers and artists stay in the same accommodation as the fans.


... Artists, usually musicians (but sometimes visual artists like Matt Groening or Jake and Dinos Chapman) are asked to curate the festival by inviting their favourite performers to play. The idea is that it is akin to dipping into the curator's record …

A Pie and a Pint at The Warrington

Q: When is a pie not a pie?
A: When it's a stew with a pastry hat on.


Like Murray, the inimitable manager of Flight of the Conchords, I like pie. So when I was invited for a pie and a pint at the relaunch of The Warrington in Maida Vale (part of Gordon Ramsay's empire), I was hardly going to say no.

But my standards are high and a bad pie won't fly *cough*, and I was a tad dubious thanks to previous intel that Gordo's gastropubs cooked their meals off-site for reheating just before serving (in fact Marina O'Loughlin mentioned this the very next morning).



photo copyright EssexEatingHowever, it's all change at The Warrington - with a new head chef, sous-chefs and general manager, they're determined to start with a clean slate.

Apparently there's been a refurb - not that I'd know, as I'd never been before - but what I saw, I liked. With beautiful original features such as stained glass windows, marble pillars and wood carvings, it felt quite Dickensian,…