Cool! London opens doors on its first People’s Fridge

An innovative new scheme to fight food waste and food poverty is growing with a new London initiative launched this week…

Ben Longman, Olivia Haughton, Rebecca Trevalyan and Sebastian Wood launch the People's Fridge (photo Sebastian Wood)
Ben Longman, Olivia Haughton, Rebecca Trevalyan and Sebastian Wood launch the People’s Fridge (photo Sebastian Wood)

The People’s Fridge (similar to the community fridges championed by Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty on their Friday Night Feast in January) has just moved into Pop Brixton in south London. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, residents and local businesses are invited to stock it with edible goodies that would otherwise, needlessly, have to be thrown away.

A community fridge can be used by anyone for free – those who want to share food that would be otherwise go to waste, and those for whom access to fresh and free food is hard to come by. Like other community fridges dotted around the country, the Pop Brixton fridge, London’s first, will be helping to solve the pressing problems of food waste and food deprivation.

Did you know that restaurants throw away 900,000 tonnes of food a year, while UK households bin approximately 24 meals’ worth of edible food every month? When an estimated 8.4 million people are living in food insecurity, relying on food banks to feed themselves and their families, The People’s Fridge movement is such as essential, and smart, answer to this problem.

Similar fridges operate in Frome in Somerset and in Derbyshire, with Spain, Germany and India also running similar schemes. If you’d like to see a community fridge set-up in your area, get onto your local council and help drum-up some local support. Next time you’re going away for a few days, you could be putting that milk, cheese, salad or glut of homegrown courgettes into a People’s Fridge for anyone to have. Now that’s cool!

Follow London’s first community fridge via Twitter

3 of the best eco travel experiences in Jamaica

While Jamaica is well known for its stunning beaches and reggae vibes, the island has a lot to offer the eco traveller…

Here are three top picks:

Something interesting to see and do…

As the home of Rastafarianism, few experiences are as unique, or immersive, as a visit to Jamaica’s Rastafari Indigenous Village. This is one of the best ways to learn about the life, skills and experiences of Rastafari people. Visitors can take a tour of the village, participate in organic farming, learn to make traditional crafts and receive music lessons.

Rastafari Indigenous Village
Rastafari Indigenous Village

Something delicious to eat…

Next up, it’s time to explore the very best natural foods that Jamaica has to offer. One of the big trends in rural food right now is the ‘farm to table’ experience, and a trip to Stush in the Bush is a great example of this. Set on a 15 acre organic farm in the cool hills of St Ann, things move slowly here, and everything is connected to the earth.

Join Chris, the owner, for a walk of the farm. He’ll talk about his ancestral origins, when plants were medicine, and the earth’s bounty was the only source of food. You’ll sample herbs, spices, fruits, birds, flowers and ornamentals, and even get to plant a tree. And, after taking in the sweeping views of Jamaica’s north coast, you can sit down to a lovingly prepared meal featuring freshly made preserves, sauces, dressings and breads.

Stush in the Bush, Jamaica
Stush in the Bush, Jamaica

Somewhere lovely to rest…

Finally, after so much exertion, what’s needed is a visit to the Zimbali Retreats, for some much needed R&R. Located in a tropical mountain valley, complete with river and spring, this farm retreat has achieved almost 100% off-grid status.

Zimbalist Retreat - Drummers in studio
Zimbalist Retreat – Drummers in studio

Amid more than 500 fruit trees, guests enjoy modern technology infused with an ancient and natural way of life. There are a range of properties to choose from each with their own distinct personality. All are surrounded by the beauty and peacefulness of nature.

Zimbalist Retreat
Zimbalist Retreat

Frankly, the hardest part is choosing whether to kick back, relax and do nothing, or explore and sample the 700 odd varieties of fruit available, from pineapple to banana to plantain…

Birdwatching in Jamaica
Birdwatching in Jamaica


‘Elly Pear’s Fast Days & Feast Days’ reviewed

New cookbook Fast Days & Feast Days by Elly Curshen (or ‘Elly Pear’ of Bristol’s Pear Cafe) is out now. We took a look…

If you’re not a resident of Bristol, you may not have heard of Elly Pear and her hugely popular Pear Cafe. But now everyone can benefit from her creative foodie mind with the new book Fast Days & Feast Days (published by Harper Collins).

Elly Pears Fast Days & Feast Days

Don’t be put off by the title’s reference to the 5:2 diet – yes, it is designed to help you stick to this fasting/feasting eating plan (Elly herself tried it with success when she found herself ‘eating’ her way through all the exercise she was doing!), but you hardly notice when all of the recipes sound so wholesome and delicious. Most recipes are vegetarian, some vegan, and some with fish. This is health food for 2016 – a book full of vibrant colour and Elly’s passion for food which almost leaps off the page.

Getting started guide to kitchen essentials

The book starts off with a few pages dedicated to storecupboard  and kitchen equipment essentials (some obvious pulses, herbs and condiments, but also healthfood staples you may need to stock up on such as buckwheat, raw cacao powder and smoked tofu).

Elly also offers our kind of handy tips including using leftovers, shopping local (and in small, independents including corner shops and online suppliers), using organic, and organising your weekly shopping, cooking and eating to help minimise waste.

recipes in Fast Days & Feast Days

From breakfasts and brunches to weekend entertaining

Now to the food…I couldn’t help lingering on every page as I (initially) flicked through the book to get an overview. Stopping at each page, there’s something new and interesting to devour in each recipe. I couldn’t even tell on first look which recipes were for fast or feast days.

My first attempts at a recipe will most certainly be the brunches – ‘Avocado and miso butter on toast’ and ‘Italian-style baked egg’. Or perhaps one of the salads (‘Smoked trout and cauliflower rice salad’ sounding particularly good) – drizzled with some of the ‘Golden Amazing Sauce’ which sounds so simple, yet totally new.

Weeknight dinners include a fab sounding ‘Sweet potato, lentil, kale and coconut curry’ and ‘Cornershop stew’, for those very “too tired to cook” evenings.

Weekend entertaining offers the opportunity to really impress with ‘Tofu and kale gyoza’, ‘Sea bream in crazy water’ (yes, really), and ‘Blue cheese polenta with mushrooms and hazelnuts’.

After sauces and dips, the book ends on puddings and other sweet treats with ‘Rosemary and lemon posset’ sounding fresh but indulgent, although not as indulgent as ‘Fatty’s salted caramel sauce’ (surely for a feast day!). For little ones, the ‘Banana and oat bars’ sound like a good, homemade alternative to a certain organic supermarket brand…

Beautiful photography and styling

Like any great cook book worth its (Himalayan) salt, Fast Days & Feast Days is full of beautiful photography and fabulous food styling. Has it been designed with the Instagram generation in mind? Whether that’s so or not, this is a great book packed with natural, sustainable food advice, and, most importantly of all, delicious and super healthy recipes!

Elly Pear’s Fast Days & Feast Days by Elly Curshen is available now, priced £20.

recipes in Fast Days & Feast Days



All rise for Real Bread Week (14-22 May)

Are you ‘doughing it’ for the kids? Sourdough, rye or wholemeal, learn to bake a real loaf and get the kids involved in a celebration of our daily crust…

Take a slice of Real Bread Week, returning for an eight year from 14-22 May 2016. Part of the Real Bread Campaign, this is a week celebrating additive-free loaves and the people who make them. The theme this year is sharing the delicious delights of real bread with children and encouraging baking skills and real food knowledge.

learn to bake during Real Bread Week
learn to bake during Real Bread Week

Campaign ambassador, and Fabulous Baker Brother, Tom Herbert of Hobbs House Bakery said: “Real Bread has the power to thrill taste buds and transform lives. Real Bread Week is the number one time of the year when bread lovers go all out, showing off delicious loaves, and winning people over.”

Campaign supporters are organising events including:

  • Cucina Restaurants: after-school family bread making sessions at many of the 40 schools it caters for around England
  • Bridging the Gap (an organisation that trains 15- and 16-year olds to mentor younger students): Real Bread making and storytelling class at St. Francis Primary School in Gorbals, Glasgow
  • The Hearth: afternoon of drop-in pizza making sessions for children in Lewes
  • Fordhall Community Land Initiative: Learn to build and use a cob (mud or clay) bread oven in Market Drayton


To help people dress for the part and raise some dough, Balcony Shirts has created limited edition On The Rise aprons and organic cotton t-shirts, making a donation to the campaign for each one sold.

Real Bread Week for children

Follow the action on Twitter using hashtag #RealBreadWeek. For full details of Real Bread Week including many more public events, local Real Bread bakeries and classes, and how to join the campaign to enjoy a range of special offers, visit

The Real Bread Campaign is part of the food and farming charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, with supporters around the UK and in more than 20 other countries.

Starting from a basic definition of real bread as made without any artificial additives, the campaign’s mission is to find and share ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.

Other highlights of the week include:

Saturday 14th May – Jo Bottrill will be serving up and talking about her Real Bread at Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet’s pop-up restaurant at the Parkside Farm Shop in Bedfordshire.

Sunday 15th – To mark both Real Bread Week and Dying Matters Week, this workshop in Pembrokeshire will explore good bread baking and good funerals that celebrate life and the role of the community.

Sunday 15th – To celebrate National Mills Weekend, the wheels of Cogglesford Mill will be turning to produce stoneground flour and Greenfield Bakers will be selling Real Bread.

Tuesday 17th – Love Bread Bakery in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, is running a free family learning breadmaking class for parents and pre-school children. It will teach families the Real Bread basics, with recipes they can try together at home.

All week (14-22 May)  – Emma’s Bakery is running workshops at the Real Food Store in Exeter through the week, with a view to setting up a scheme to get more Devonshire kids into bread.

All month – On Monday 16th, Hobbs House Bakery launches its annual #KingOfTheSourdough competition runs, with a weekly winner being announced every Monday. It culminates in a final bake off at Hobbs House Cookery School during Sourdough September.

Cook up a superfood curry with Hemsley + Hemsley

Superfood sisters Hemsley + Hemsley will be cooking up a treat at the BBC Good Food Summer Show this month.

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley will be at the BBC Good Food Eat Well Show featured at BBC Good Food Show Summer in the City on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May. They will be cooking live in the Supertheatre, appearing on the BBC Good Food Stage  and signing their new book Good + Simple. For tickets visit

As a taster, we share one of their delicious new recipes – a curry that works just as well in the summer heat as the cold winter months!

Courgette and Aubergine Curry

Courgette and Aubergine Curry

(serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a side dish)

Red split lentils provide a quick-and-easy creamy base without the need to soak them. Thecoconut and ginger have incredible immune-boosting properties and, as usual, we like to sneak nourishing homemade broth into all our cooking. With this fragrant curry, the bone broth is purely for the nutritional value, so you can afford to skip it if you don’t have any to hand (but please don’t be tempted to use stock cubes).

Serve with a pile of watercress on top or add in lots of finely shredded cabbage towards the end of the cooking time.


  • 200 g bar of creamed
  • coconut (use the oil for frying) or 2 tins of full-fat coconut milk plus 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee for frying
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh root ginger (about 80 g) – unpeeled, if organic – grated
  • 6 large garlic cloves, diced
  • 200 g red split lentils, rinsed (no need to soak these)
  • ½−1 litre bone broth or water (use a little less if you are using coconut milk and depending on how thick or saucy you want your curry to be)
  • 1 large aubergine, chopped into 1.5 cm pieces
  • 4 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 large courgettes, diced
  • grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime or lemon (avoid the bitter white pith)
  • 2½–3 tsp tamari or 2 large pinches of sea salt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • a handful of roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as coriander, mint or basil (Thai basil if you can get it)



  1. In a large wide pan, dry fry the peanuts or cashews for a few minutes to toast them, roughly chop and thenset aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat the coconut oil over a medium heat and fry the onion, ginger and garlic for 10 minutes until soft (don’t let the onion and garlic go brown).
  3. Add the lentils, the roughly chopped coconut solids or coconut milk, and then most of the bone broth or water (a bit less if you’re using the coconut milk) and stir well.This should be enough liquid for the coconut solids to dissolve, but keep an eye on the liquid levels so that the lentils don’t stick and burn at the bottom.
  4. After 6 minutes of cooking over a medium-high heat, add the aubergine and stir.
  5. After a further 10 minutes, add the tomato, courgette, lime or lemon zest and the tamari or salt. Add more bone broth or water if you think your curry needs it.
  6. After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and add the lime or lemon juice, the maple syrup and fresh herbs, then stir and taste.You might need a little more tamari or salt or lime or lemon juice to add sourness.
  7. Top with the nuts and serve with watercress or your chosen side dish. If we’re having guests round,we like to serve our curry with some little bowls of extras (nuts, herbs, lemon or lime wedges and a bowl of tamari or sea salt) so everyone can help themselves to extra toppings – a handful of peanuts or cashew nuts (preferably ‘crispy’)


Wild food foraging with Primrose Matheson

Wild food has never been so popular. Want to forage for your own? Primrose Matheson, founder of Primrose’s Kitchen, shares her expert tips…

When she’s not producing her gluten-free, organic museli in her home county of Dorset, Primrose Matheson loves to browse the hedgerows and beaches for all that nature’s larder can provide. Now she shares her own tips for foraging for those who those who want their food a little bit wilder.

Primrose Matheson goes foraging
Primrose Matheson goes foraging

What got you into foraging?

“Having grown up on the island of Guernsey I spent my childhood scrabbling over rocks to go shrimping and ormering at low tides or scouring the beaches for polished glass and little yellow periwinkles, it seems to me that the world of foraging has always been close to my heart!

“Although the word foraging (‘to wander or go in search of provisions’) covers all manner of foods, we are more familiar with its association with plants and as a vegetarian now this is also where my attention is spent. I love the connection it gives you to your environment, it allows you to really notice the changing of the seasons.  This in turn helps you feel more connected to your body, using the seasonality of plants, you become aware of good times to cleanse or build up your system.

“Foraging is a meditational process which connects you to the moment and living in Dorset where everything seems so plentiful it does also instil a sense of gratitude for nature and its beauty and abundance. I love the magic of the doctrine of signatures which states that herbs resemble, through shape or colour, various parts of the body and can be used to treat ailments related to those parts of the body.

“This reminds us that everything in our life, the things, the people, the animals, the children, the herbs – are all our teachers and we have something to learn from them all if only we learn to listen. A clear example of this are the elder berries of the elder tree whose purple alveoli like berries drop in bronchial like branches. Purple is associated with respiration and circulation whereas yellow plants tend to be kidney and liver related.

Where have you foraged?

“I have foraged on the beaches in Guernsey for things like sea lettuce (Ulva), a green algae that can be added to broths or dried as a snack as well as sea beet often called wild spinach. I’ve spent time in beautiful Holkham, Norfolk and also on the Sussex coast picking samphire which is one of my favourite sea vegetables, delicious steamed with a simple dressing as a starter like asparagus.

“In Dorset I’ve stayed inland picking my favourite horse mushrooms (Agaricus Arvensis) as well as looking for more easily recognizable plants like Elderberry, Nettles, Cleavers, wood sorrel and blackberries.

Tempted? Look for these…

Elderberry trees are wonderful as not only can you make delicious cordials in the summer months when they are flowering you can also make wonderful chest tonics from their berries in the winter months.

Nettles, often described as weeds, are a powerful anti-inflammatory and cleanser for the liver and the young leaves can be made into soups, pesto’s and infused for teas.

Cleavers otherwise known as “sticky willy” or “goose grass” are a fantastic blood cleanser and is great for thickening stews.  You will notice it by the way it sticks to your clothing as you walk past it!

Wood sorrel, distinguished by its clover like, three heart-shaped leaves, is found in shady locations and makes a decorative addition to salads with its distinctive lemony taste.

Blackberries growing in the autumn are a rich source of Vitamin C. Nature in its wisdom provides them for us at this time to stock up our reserves before the cold winter days set in.

Top tips for foraging beginners

  • When foraging stay away from busy roads or areas where dogs can get to so that your foraged plants are free as far as possible from pollution or contamination.
  • Do not eat anything you cannot positively identify and deem safe.
  • Forage after a rainfall means the plants are more lush and clean and if you are removing roots easier to remove.
  • Take a small sharp flick knife with you so as not to tear the stems of the plants.
  • Always forage sustainably by leaving some behind in order for it to continue to be there each year.


Get your ‘5 a day’ at vegan festival VegFest, Glasgow

Glasgow gets ready to host VegFest Scotland, Europe’s largest eco veggie festival this December…

The inaugural VegFest Scotland, taking place 5-6 December at Glasgow’s SEC, is all about going vegan. This family-friendly event will include lots of ideas and inspiration to get healthy eating and vegan activism high on the agenda, including dozens of talks on nutrition, health, lifestyle and campaigns.

vegan-friendly cakes
vegan-friendly cakes

As food is top of the agenda (obviously!), you can grab lunch at the in-house Levy’s Restaurant and their all-vegan menu, or choose from 12 other specialist caterers and around 140 stalls.

Visitors can enjoy vegan cookery demos, kids cookery classes, family entertainment, live music, comedy, a Hemp Expo on the medicinal benefits of hemp, and more.

Vegan gourmet matured cheeses from Tyne Cheese
Vegan gourmet matured cheeses from Tyne Cheese

Vegfest Scotland organisers added, ”Vegfest Scotland is all about going vegan. It’s not about eating less meat, or choosing eggs over fish, or anything like that. It’s about going vegan, pure and simple. It’s a single issue campaign. Go Vegan. For the planet, for the animals, for your health, and for sustainable global food production. And it’s so easy. Vegfest Scotland will demonstrate just how easy it is to go vegan and stay vegan.”

Glasgow initiative The Only Way is Ethics is behind a number of events around Glasgow City Centre in the week preceding Vegfest.

Tickets and booking: Admission to Vegfest Scotland is by advance tickets as well as payment on the gate. Advance tickets are £5 a day or £8 for the whole weekend. Tickets on the gate are £8 for adults and £4 for claimants. Kids under 16 can enter for free.

For more information visit

Raw cakes
Vegan treats

UK’s best sustainable fish and chip shops reach highest number

The number of MSC-certified fish and chip shops in the UK has doubled this year, and diners can now choose from 50 that are dotted all across the UK.

Next time you’re choosing a chippie, look for the MSC’s ‘blue tick’ ecolabel that appears on sustainable menus to give diners an independent assurance that their fish was sourced sustainably, and is traceable from ocean to plate.

MSC certification provides traceability from ocean to plate
MSC certification provides traceability from ocean to plate

Globally, 1 billion people rely on fish for their main source of protein and around 10% of the world’s population rely on it for their livelihood, so it’s vital to ensure that the life in our oceans is safeguarded for the future. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) was set up 15 years ago to do just that, and is now the world’s leading ecolabel for sustainable wild-caught seafood. It certifies 45% of the UK’s wild-caught fish as sustainable.

World’s most sustainable fish and chip shop

Earlier this year, Plymouth’s Kingfisher Fish and Chips became the world’s most sustainable fish and chip shop, when it put 12 different species of MSC certified fish and seafood on its menu, more than any other fish and chip shop or restaurant in the world. The impressive array of sustainable choices includes cod and haddock from the Arctic Sea, Jersey lobster, prawns, pollock, salmon and even kippers.

Kingfisher’s owner, Craig Maw, says sustainable sourcing is central to the chippy’s focus on quality. “The ecolabel is in the forefront for sustainable fish certification and consumer confidence. This is why we openly endorse MSC certification and the ecolabel. Moving forward, I hope to encourage other businesses to become certified, ensuring future generations have the same choices as today,” says Maw.

Newest sustainable chippie on the list

The latest fish and chip shop to become MSC-certified is Cromars in St Andrews, Scotland. This traditional seaside chippy has also been shortlisted for the Independent Takeaway category at the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, which will take place in January.

Cromars in St Andrews is 50th chippy to become MSC certified
Cromars in St Andrews is 50th chippy to become MSC certified

Colin Cromar, the takeaway’s owner, says: “All of our food is locally sourced and we’re proud to say that we only use homemade, fresh products so we know exactly what we’re selling to our customers. We recently became the 50th shop in the UK to gain accreditation from the Marine Stewardship Council. Add this to now becoming one of the ten best fish and chip takeaways in the UK, and I’d say we’re looking to end the year with a bang.”

Seven of the 10 finalists in the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards were MSC certified, including Frankie’s Fish and Chips in the village of Brae, in the Shetlands, which was named the best independent takeaway and also scooped the ‘Good Catch – Sustainable Seafood Award’. It sells MSC certified haddock, crab, king scallops and mussels, and it also runs an educational programme to teach local primary school children about the importance of sustainable fishing. “The provenance of our seafood is of great importance to us,” says John Gould, Manager of Frankie’s. “You can buy a fish supper at Frankie’s without worrying that it causes harm to the haddock stock in the seas off Shetland or the environment.”

Other recently certified fish and chip shops include two branches of Scotts Fish & Chips, in York and Helmsley, and four branches of Rockfish, the takeaway restaurant chain that is owned by chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks, in Dartmouth, Brixham, Plymouth and Torquay.

For more about the MSC and sustainable seafood visit

SLOWmotion: Explore slow food and living at Rosewood London

It’s time to go slow this autumn and winter… From cooking ‘slow’ brunches to making your own leather tea tray, the new SLOWmotion workshops are here to teach us all the joys of slow living.

Organised by food magazine and event company TOAST, this new series of foodie and lifestyle workshops and events is all about celebrating the ‘slow life’. Mass production and instant gratification, step aside!

SLOWmotion at Rosewood London
SLOWmotion at Rosewood London

Taking place at the beautiful Rosewood hotel in London’s Bloomsbury, expect tasty brunches full of plenty of sharing plates featuring slow food ingredients from the regular Sunday Slow Food & Living Market in the hotel’s courtyard.

As well as eating brunch with foodies including Rosie Birkett and Jackson & Levine, you could even make your own tray, table runner and spoon! Join one of several workshops which each focus on a different craft, and explore mindfulness and slow living by traditional techniques. Each workshop host will teach guests how to make an item to take home (ideal for Christmas gifts) as well as discussing their story and lifestyle.

See the full schedule of events and workshops below.

Tickets: Booking is essential – tickets can be reserved via the TOAST website and are priced from £40.00.

Location: The Living Room, Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN

Doe at SLOWmotion
Doe at SLOWmotion

SLOWmotion Autumn/Winter 2015 Schedule

12-2:30pm, September 27th – Slow Food Brunch with Signe Johansen

A Slow Food brunch with Signe Johansen, Norwegian-American cook, writer and food anthropologist, and author of best-selling cookbooks Scandilicious and Scandilicious Baking; expect such delights as the Scandi Bloody Mary with tomato juice from the market, 58 Gin, Halen Mon smoked water, dill, horseradish and cucumber and Crispy Cod Cheeks with Nordic Dill Salsa, plus, to take home, Skoleboller or “school buns” – Norwegian vanilla custard filled buns with coconut

11am-1pm, October 11th – Slow Living Workshop with Grain & Knot

A Slow Living workshop with woodworker Sophie Sellu of Grain & Knot. Learn the art of crafting a spoon from reclaimed timber. During the workshop guests will learn the safest way to use wood carving knives and leave with their very own spoon. A kit of sandpaper and a homemade wood balm will be given to each attendee to continue to care for their spoons at home

11am-1pm, October 18th – Slow Living Workshop with Waffle Design and Curate & Display

A Slow Living and interior design workshop with Waffle Design in collaboration with Curate & Display, a lifestyle and design blog. WAFFLE is a fresh range of home interior accessories made using organic cotton and a tactile waffle weave. The creative lead and founder Ciara McGarrity will share Waffle Design craft secrets, and teach guests how to create bespoke table runners. Tiffany Grant-Riley, the founder or Curate & Display, will talk about her thought process with creative, modern, clean interiors. //

12-2:30pm, November 1st – Slow Food Brunch with Rosie Birkett

A Slow Food brunch with Rosie Birkett, food writer, stylist, presenter and author of the bestselling cookbook A Lot on Her Plate, a collection of imaginative, delicious and approachable recipes that draw on the culinary vibrancy of seasonal, fresh produce and simple, store-cupboard ingredients

12-2:30pm, November 8th – Slow Food Brunch with Jackson & Levine aka Laura Jackson & Alice Levine
A Slow Food brunch from London’s coolest supperclub hosts Jackson & Levine. With Laura Jackson and Alice Levine both working in TV and radio, they set up their supperclub as a passion project to create an interesting and fun environment for like-minded food folk to sit round a table and enjoy a home cooked meal and a glass (or three) of wine

12-2:30pm, November 15th – Slow Food Brunch with Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery

A Slow Food brunch with Claire Ptak, food stylist, food writer and owner of Violet Bakery in East London. Hailing from California, Claire trained in the pastry department at Chez Panisse with Alice Waters, who subsequently wrote a moving foreword to her recent book The Violet Bakery Cookbook. Claire focuses on seasonal ingredients, natural flavourings, wholegrains and unrefined sugars when baking. Bringing a Californian sensibility to everything she does, she has also worked with Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi.

11am-1pm, November 22nd – Slow Living Workshop with Doe Leather

A Slow Living and leather workshop with Doe Leather, one of the last remaining Black Country leather goods workshops. Using natural vegetable-tanned leather, Deborah Thomas will teach guests how to create a beautiful leather tray. Attendees will learn the basics of leather sewing with different coloured harness threads, burnishing (on the edges of the leather with special gum and linen cloths) and then hand-stamp their initials into the final piece

12-2:30pm, November 29th – Slow Food Brunch with Meera Sodha

A Slow Food brunch with Meera Sodha, cook, food writer and author of the bestselling cookbook Made in India: Cooked in Britain, a collection or recipes focusing on Gujarati cuisine written as she hovered over her mother’s shoulder at the stove

More events, including Christmas specials, to be announced!

Rosewood London
Rosewood London

Go boozy in ‘pub city’ of St Albans

Could this be one of the UK’s best locations for an autumn food and drink festival?

St Albans is not only the birth place of the hot cross bun, but also lays claim to having the highest density of pubs in the UK, one of which is supposedly the oldest – Ye Olde Fighting Cocks dating back to 793AD (more on this later…).

Right now, the town is hosting its eight annual food and drink festival which makes the most of its ale house heritage. Festival goers can enjoy the pop-up ‘Village Green’ in the heart of the cathedral city’s 9th century market square.

St Albans Beer Festival
St Albans Beer Festival

Get in there quick – the festival is on now and runs until this Sunday 4th October (with Ye Olde Fighting Cocks rugby screenings until the end of Oct).

Festival highlights include:

CAMRA St Albans Beer and Cider Festival – until 3rd October
St Albans hosted the UK’s first-ever beer festival back in 1974, and the event has now grown into the city’s very-own mini Oktoberfest and is the must-attend event in the real-ale calendar. There are more than 350 real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers including new beers and new breweries across the festival’s six bars. Entertainment will be provided by cult singer/songwriter Jon Otway and the UK’s number one Madness Tribute band One Step Beyond.

Real ale, rugby and roosters – until 31st October
The pub has installed a giant screen in its garden so rugby and real-ale fans can enjoy all the tackles and tries of the Rugby World Cup, while soaking up the glorious surroundings of the pub garden, supping a pint or two of real ale and tucking into some tasty barbecue food from the Famous Fighters Barbecue. This pub now boasts 10 real ales on-tap, fine wine and a menu presided over by a former chef of Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One.

St Albans Street Finale – 4th October
The city will be embracing its thriving pub culture on the finale day with the Everglades Village Green in the same location that the city has held a market since the 9th century. Some of St Albans’ finest hostelries will be setting up their pop-up pub on the city’s first-ever village green. So visitors can lounge around on a hay bale, while enjoying a pint and a tasty bite to eat from one of the 10 pop-up bars on the Everglades Village Green.

The city has also been experiencing a quirky foodie renaissance, with a number of independent restaurants and diners creating a buzz, most of which will be out in force on finale day. There will be a Chef’s Theatre with live cooking demonstrations from Masterchef finalist Theo Michaels, Michelin-starred chef Phil Thompson and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks chef Christo Tofalli. And for kids, there will be a family zone which will feature Children’s Fair-trade Chocolate Factory.

For more information visit