Finest Wine Words

Friday, August 29, 2014

What's the first thing you look at when selecting wine: The label? The vintage? The discription?

The words on the back of a bottle don't mean much to me. After much deliberation I could pick 'a rich and smooth red with hints of summer berries' only to get it home to discover it's sharp and floral.

So, on Wednesday I attended a tasting event hosted by Tesco, who I believe have a great approach to wine. 

As part of the Tesco wine team’s continued efforts to help customers better understand wine, Tesco invited bloggers, journalists and wine lovers to create customer friendly descriptions for each of its 100 *finest wines. 

These descriptions were then translated into ‘word clouds’ and will be used in a variety of ways in store and online to help customers when selecting wine.

With over 100 wines on offer, I perched myself firmly at the dessert wine. Here I found the star of the show: a deliciously sweet tipple with hints of orange - perfect for pairing with cheese and rich chocolate desserts.

Hopefully my novice wine descriptions will be of some use to the Tesco wine team ('smells like Christmas' was accurate, afterall...). 

The Boat Yard

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Over the bank holiday weekend the family and I visited The Boat Yard in Leigh-on-sea. 

Set along the seafront next to the cockle sheds, the restaurant enjoys views across the eastry. 

Whilst we had lunch, we watched the tide go out to reveal the surprisingly pretty mud flats. This, teamed with upbeat (but not overbearing) live music set the perfect scene for lunch beside the sea side. 

As we visited on a Sunday, we chose a meal from the set menu. The whole family enjoyed freshly prepared food, including roast beef and the 'fish of the day' salmon, served with a lobster sauce. 

The 3 fish tartlet in particular was delicious, with a crumbly pastry case and flavoursome filling, and the cheese platter was served with a sweet rosemary chutney that we're still thinking of... 

The Boat Yard is somewhere special, yet very responsibly priced - ideal for both lazy Sunday afternoons or livley Friday nights. 

Water Revelution

Sunday, June 15, 2014

So, I've joined the water revelation and bought myself a Bobble. 

The mission? To reduce plastic waste by starting a revolution around stigmatising single-serve water bottles and the outrageous waste they create. 

To entice myself to drink more water, I've been flavouring my Bobble with sliced cucumber, mint, lemon, camomile and orange slices - flavoured filter water, without costing the earth. 

Join the revolution. Hashtag your bobble photos with taste the #waterrevolution 

Simply Seafood

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The simply seafood stall next to the Warren Wood pub in Buckhurst Hill is causal dinning at its best. 

This no frills hidden gem is based on the outskirts of Epping Forest, making it the perfect place to grab a bite after a walk around Connaught Waters. 

The Eastend styled stall may not be pretty to look at, but serves up an array of seafood such as dressed crabs, king prawn kebabs, jellied eels and hot smoked salmon. 

My favourites include their fresh water Oysters (£1 each), scallop and bacon roll (£3.50), chorizo halloumi and scallop salad (£5) and hot mackerel with horseradish (£2.50). 

If you live locally it's defiantly worth a visit on a warm day - but be prepared for queues around lunch time. 

There's pleanty of benches to sit on outside, and there's the pub next door to grab a pint from. 

The stall is open Thursday - Sunday until 11pm. 

Glowing Green

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Not all smoothies require a fruit base and creamy consistency. 

For a thirst quenching refreshment this summer, blend: 

Coconut water (my favourite is by Chi) 
1 pear 
1/4 cucumber 
A handful of kale 

Looking for something different? Add tangy ginger to aid digestion, blend a stick of celery to help lower blood pressure or for a sweeter taste drizzle in a teaspoon of  honey.