Disclaimer: In support of my trip to Jersey, some expenses were kindly covered by the tourist board, Visit Jersey. As always, all words and opinions are of course my own.
48 hours is all it takes to fall in love with Jersey. In fact, I think I knew right away. The largest of the channel islands, sitting between England and France, has an awful lot going for it. Impressive actually, how much can be packed into an island just 9 by 5 miles and yet still feel slightly off the grid. Jersey will spoil you with good food, breathtaking coastal views (many, in fact) and friendly faces. Just an hour direct flight from Bristol, it’s an easier reach than I thought. Quiet in Winter but no less beautiful, the perfect time for a getaway to escape city life for a weekend.
What to see, do and eat in Jersey coming right up…
St Brelade’s Bay Hotel
With cosy rooms and seaside vibes, St Brelade’s is the perfect base for a stay. Step onto St Brelade’s Bay, one of Jersey’s many beautiful beaches, right from the entrance door.
EAT & DRINK
Locke’s Coffee & Grub
What began as a coffee cart, is now a bustling brunch and coffee shop in a former National Trust building (much of the detail from an old, beautiful apothecary still remains). The menu is inspired by the Melbourne brunch scene, influenced by their travels before opening and cool enough to rival any of London’s hippest brunch spots. Busy with locals, a firm favourite to add to your list.
A popular beach cafe, sitting on the harbour at Rozel Bay. Renowned for their burgers and bacon sandwiches.
La Brecque du Nord, Rozel
Seafood always tastes better by the sea and it doesn’t get any fresher than this. Faulkner’s is a unique set up, catching and storing the fish in a converted World War II bunker. In summer, enjoy the local catch prepared on their BBQ!
Creative, thoughtful, small plates of modern British food served in a relaxed setting. A menu led by the seasons and quality produce with flavour at the forefront of every dish. Make sure to end the meal with their hay baked custard with seasonal fruit.
A Michelin star restaurant with an impressive number of other accolades under their belt and for good reason too. Executive chef Steve Smith presents imaginative food with incredible attention to detail. Fine dining at its best.
Serving speciality coffee through Monday to Friday from two locations in St Helier. Coffee by Allpress, with a small breakfast and lunch offering too.
Unit 2, Conway House, 7-9 Conway Street & 4 Eagle House, 31 La Colomberie, St. Helier dandycoffeeshop.com
La Corbière Lighthouse
An iconic landmark on the very south western point of the island, reachable via the causeway at low tide. Stay alert for the sounding alarm warning it’s time to return.
St Helier Central Market
A Victorian market hall with a number of specialist food shops and a good place to find produce Jersey is well known for; the dairy, potatoes and even Jersey black butter!
Walk the walls of this 13th century castle, overlooking the picturesque fishing port of Gorey. Rich in history, as the castle protected Jersey from French invasions for 600 years.
Jersey is not short of beautiful beaches and long stretching, peaceful coastlines. Of all the ones I visited I found this to be the most impressive. Weave in and out of the caves at low tide, where you can admire the beach behind the veil of a natural waterfall.
For more information on Jersey head to the Visit Jersey website and you won’t be short of ideas for your island break.
Disclaimer: In support of my experience with Pure Food Camp, all expenses were kindly covered by Visit Skåne. I was not under any obligation to write this post. As always, all words and opinions are of course my own.
I’m still looking back on my last visit to Sweden with Pure Food Camp as one of the best I’ve ever been on. Figured it was high time I shared a little bit more about my experience.
Pure Food Camp is headed up by two wonderful women, Lotta Ranert and Titti Qvarnström. A passion project started for no other reason than to connect people from all over the world and to reconnect us to where our food comes from. And I have to say, they are doing just that. Food is such a powerful connector, isn’t it?
I wasn’t really sure what to expect before arriving but I always head into these things with an open mind. I got off the train somewhere north of Malmö and within 20 minutes, I was deep in the woods with the rest of the group. Welcomed into our homes for the next few days, at Nyrups Naturhotel, sleeping in a cosy yurt lit by oil lamps and heated by log burners. A far cry from the city apartment I’m used to but an experience I welcomed with open arms!
There’s no electricity here. It turns out to be a blessing in disguise. We have a little introduction to survival in the forest from expert forager Pontus, he teaches us to chop wood and start a fire. Going right back to basics!
Learning to cook outdoors was a real highlight of the trip. There’s something about preparing food over an open fire that makes you enjoy the food so much more. Everything tastes better too. We didn’t have recipes but between us all, still made a 5-course dinner happen.
Foraging in the woods
As you might already know, I’m keen on learning more on the subject of foraging. The endless supply of wild food available still blows my mind. On day 2 of the camp, we were lucky to spend the day foraging with Pontus in the surrounding woodland of the camp. Perfect time of year for mushrooms, although I’ve always been intimidated/slightly terrified of picking them myself. This was my chance. I wanted to absorb as much knowledge as possible from Pontus and I cannot believe the number of mushrooms found!
I’ve finally got over my fear of wild mushrooms. There’s a small number I’d confidently pick myself after this trip, porcini being the main variety. Now I hope it goes without saying but don’t go out picking mushrooms yourself without an expert guide! There are too many edible ones looking almost identical to poisonous, not a risk worth taking. I hope I can apply this new found knowledge to mushroom foraging in the UK, we’ll see how lucky I get with that. Maybe next year.
Although mushrooms were the star of the show, we found so many other edible wild plants on our walk. ‘Chickweed’ was a favourite and one I’ll be looking out for back home. It smells and tastes like peas and in fact, has the same proteins as green peas. I can imagine this would be great in salads or sandwiches.
Pontus had us stop and appreciate the beauty and properties of these plants, which really got me thinking about the growing trend with wild food in the UK. Restaurants here are picking for the economical and that could easily lead us down a path of extermination. Yes, it’s amazing all of this food is available to us to help ourselves but it’s important to gather with your heart in the right place. I’m grateful for a quote that was shared with the group, perhaps it will resonate with you too.
“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi.
Back at the camp, we put our foraged bits and pieces to good use for a wonderful evening meal. All mucking in to prepare the dishes but it was an honour to be led by chef Titti Qvarnström (the first female chef in Sweden to be awarded a Michelin star). Titti is so humble and generous with her knowledge, I was very lucky to experience this trip with her on board.
The mushrooms were simply fried in lots of butter and I had my first encounter with pickled herring. Not sure I’ll be in a rush to eat that again but I’m glad I tried it!
Moving onto the second part of Pure Food Camp, out of the forest and into the luxury at Ellinge Castle. I was a little sad to leave the outdoors behind but then the rain came and my first hot shower in 3 days was a welcome treat.
Here we enjoyed a typical crayfish party. A celebration of the season and usually held outdoors because it’s such a messy affair. Crayfish aplenty, with side dishes of cheese, cold cuts of meat, salad and quiche. Then the celebrations go a little something like this…eat, sing Swedish songs, a shot of Snaps and repeat. I’m laughing thinking about it now, such good fun!
Just a short walk from the castle to Bränneriets Gård, an organic farm shop where the grown produce is available to the public for self-picking.
I could’ve spent all day here. We gathered ingredients for dinner and made our own bottled apple juice. It survived the journey home and lasted all of one day, so delicious. There was jam making too. Seabuckthorn and whitecurrant, I’ve been enjoying this on my porridge all week and doing my best to use sparingly! Seabuckthown is actually something you can forage for, it grows near the coast and is jam packed full of vitamin C.
pictured below, seabuckthorn:
I think this is the best food trip I’ve ever been on. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it. Disconnecting from modern comforts reminded me that food is so much more than just what we eat, it connects us. All of us.
Thank you Lotta, Titti and everyone else involved in making this trip what it was. There are trips and then there are experiences, Pure Food Camp was definitely the latter.
Disclaimer: This post is in paid collaboration with SCHOTT CERAN® and sisterMag. As always, all words and opinions are of course my own.
Just a few weekends ago, I found myself back in the wonderful city of Berlin. Here I joined the sisterMag team and other international bloggers to celebrate the launch of SCHOTT CERAN’s® exciting new cooktop innovations.
Now I have to put my hand up and admit, I didn’t really know much about SCHOTT CERAN® before this trip. I’m guessing you might not either? Well, they make glass ceramic cooktops and one of them could be in your home right now! SCHOTT CERAN® is the world’s best-selling cooktop panel brand and companies like Miele, Siemens and Grundig are just some of many using their cooktop technology.
The two-day event was built on the idea of ‘FUSICS’, which highlights six major trends SCHOTT CERAN® believe will shape the future of our cooking appliances. Function, Urbanism, Sustainability, Illumination, Connectivity, Social experience.
We gathered around a beautifully styled table under an umbrella of spectacular florals by BotanicArt. For lunch, we enjoyed some traditional home-cooked style food served up by Markethalleneun and it is was here we touched on one of the themes for our event; sustainability. As much as ‘sustainability’ is a bit of a buzzword right now, I’m really happy to see brands like SCHOTT CERAN® pushing forward with this in mind. Their cooktops are the first of their kind to be manufactured without toxic metal additives.
To highlight the ‘urbanisation’ element, we had a chance to explore the surrounding and upcoming area of Berlin, Wedding. This part of the city was totally new to me so it was great to have a lovely tour guide leading the way through some of the interesting spots.
My favourite spot was an urban gardening project. Home to a cafe and community beds where people come to harvest or plant their own fruit and veg.
There was a sneak preview of an open studio weekend too, looking into the spaces of creatives has always been so fascinating to me. Pictured here, the work and space from designer Jakob Roepke:
The inspiration continued back at the studio with styling and photography workshop. Focusing on ‘illumination’ and how best to create a mood through lighting with food, using the SCHOTT CERAN® worktops as our base. I would normally wince at the sight of sea salt on a ceramic cooktop surface but as these are totally scratch resistant – the world’s first and only, might I add. Good for messy cooks like me!
The SCHOTT CERAN® experience continued in an event space across the city to see the newest exhibitions of their functional and intelligent designs. The second day involved selected highlights at IFA Berlin, it was here I really got to see the ‘connectivity’ and ‘social experience’ elements, how they can come to life in the kitchen at home.
I haven’t thought much about what cooking looks like in the future, have you? The new light inspired FUSICS prototypes from SCHOTT CERAN® really blew my mind with all of the exciting possibilities! Voice control systems, recipe videos accessible on the worktop, downdraft systems instead of a hood…a lot to think about. And I’ll definitely have SCHOTT CERAN® in mind when I do. You can read more about the latest tech developments from SCHOTT CERAN® here.
Huge thank you to SCHOTT CERAN® and sisterMag for having me along for this wonderful experience! I can’t wait to see what the future of food looks like.
Disclaimer: My entry to The Lost Village Festival and expenses were kindly covered by The Botanist Gin. As always, all words and opinions are of course my own.
Honestly, I thought I was done with festivals. The camping, being knee deep in mud, not showering for four days, naff pints of warm beer, eating cold beans out of the can. I loved it at the time but had definitely had its day for me. Then comes an invite to The Lost Village Festival with The Botanist Gin. I pondered…cocktails and a teepee with a real mattress? Go on then, I can handle that!
The Lost Village Festival
Glamping aside, this isn’t your typical UK music festival. It feels hidden and mysterious, set up in amongst a forest in Lincolnshire. The small stages are spread out in the green, with decorative installations hanging from the branches. Such creative attention to detail sets Lost Village worlds apart from any other festival I’ve been to. Music and comedy, plus workshops (bookbinding, make your own pom-pom headband, to name a few) and talks. Even yoga was an option by the ‘Lake of Tranquility’ and steaming hot tubs!
The Botanist set up an incredible greenhouse at the festival, literally built around and in between the trees. Serving up their gin in a specially curated menu of delicious cocktails, many with a nod towards the wild ingredients. The classic Negroni was a hit with my boyfriend (always is) but the bramble, using Aelder elderberry liqueur, was a definite favourite for me.
My love for The Botanist knows no bounds ever since my trip to their distillery on Islay last year. Read a bit more about their story on my last post with them but what makes this gin so special, is its 22 additional foraged ingredients distilled into the gin along with the usual botanicals. All hand-foraged locally on the island. I have the greatest respect for everything they do, the way they do it and the people involved.
We had a chance to sit down with brand ambassador Abi Clephane at one of the workshops running over the weekend, mixing cocktails and learning more about the foraged ingredients. And maybe had one gin too many because it was from here things got a little hazy and the dancing started! All in the name of research…right?
All of the drinks needing soaking up with food. Not something we struggled with, there were so many brilliant street food vendors to choose from. We paid a visit to Dishoom, 26 Grains and Breddos Tacos too.
The Lost Village Festival doesn’t stop there and I’m glad it didn’t. There was a ‘banquet’ tent, hosting ticketed dinners, including a pop up from the likes of Michelin star winning Tommy Banks. We dined lavishly on a seasonal 4-course supper in aid of Cook For Syria. This is not your usual festival eating experience, what a treat!
In case it isn’t obvious from the photos, we had an absolute ball! Already looking forward to next summer and the possibility of more festivals to come. And there was me thinking I was done with them, not yet. Not while there’s all this good food and drink involved.
I have been meaning to revisit Edinburgh for gosh, I don’t know how long. Great British Food got in touch and invited me on an overnight stay to experience some of the cities food highlights and the Royal Highland Show. I extended my stay to make the most of being on the other side of the country. Good job really, Edinburgh has so much to offer!
If you find yourself there sometime soon, definitely add these places to your list.
What a treat. I’d go back to Edinburgh for here alone. The restaurant is family run and well known for doing remarkable things in food. I hope the dishes you see here speak for themselves. But Timberyard is so much more than the pretty plating and interiors. Lots of pickling, foraging and smoking. Everything is sourced within the parameters of Edinburgh. Including the ingredients to make their own soft drinks, inspired by the wild and land around them (a consistent focus with the food too). Think crab apple soda and strawberry woodruff kombucha, just to give you a flavour!
Although I didn’t get a chance to go here, everyone has recommended it to me. They host guest chefs, offering a creative tasting menu with a focus on seasonal produce and local suppliers. I can’t tell you much more than that but worth looking up at the time of your visit to see who is heading up the kitchen.
Good, honest and simple food in this relaxed neighbourhood style restaurant. They’re not pushing the boundaries here but then they don’t need to. I would recommend the steak or short rib and to take advantage of the natural wines they have available. Leftfield reminded me how service is a big part of an enjoyable restaurant experience, such a warm and welcoming bunch! Good spot for people watching in the summer (or any season, really) as it looks out over the meadows.
Another great restaurant with seasonal and local produce at the heart of the menu. The lovage, pea and pancetta soup pictured here will be a dish to remember. Worth pointing out it is actually an old stone cottage (once home to a gardener and built in 1836) and a little off the beaten track from the city centre, in the surrounds of a beautiful terraced garden. And unusually so for this kind of food, long communal tables for a different dining experience. Don’t let that put you off though! I promise you’re in good company with anyone who chooses to eat here.
Another opening from the wonderful people behind Twelve Triangles bakery. Serving all day breakfasts at a communal table adorned with in-house made chutneys and jams to serve alongside your chosen dish.
A few weeks ago now, Visit Sweden invited me on a culinary adventure to explore the food over there. It was my first time in Sweden and I am completely floored by the amount of great food this country has to offer. And I barely scratched the surface! Here are some of the highlights and talented people making a mark on West Sweden’s food scene right now.
Meeting Jonas Pettersson and learning about foraged seaweed was possibly the biggest highlight of all! Jonas and his wife started Catxalot back in 2014. They forage and supply local chefs, alongside running similar excursions with anyone who’s keen to learn more. Jonas was so incredibly enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge, would highly recommend booking onto one of the courses should you find yourself in the region.
pictured: Elly Pear and Anna Jones braving the sea. I decided to stay warm and dry on the side!
I have an interest in all things foraging but what I didn’t know, is that none of the seaweed is poisonous. At worst, something will taste bad. You can even eat it straight out of the sea. I was really quite surprised by the different tastes of each variety, not one of them tasting like an accidental seawater gulp, as you might expect. Once it has been air dried, seaweed has a huge range of uses from flavour in bread making, using in stocks and adding that umami hit to dishes. Even face creams! Obviously, I don’t recommend you eat those.
Sustainability is a huge incentive for seaweed foraging too. It keeps on growing back and can even be farmed like mussels.
pictured: sweet seaweed energy balls and seaweed tea
When we arrived here in Grebbestad, our host at Everts Sjöbod was already pulling the oysters straight out of the water! It doesn’t get much fresher than that, does it? 90% of Sweden’s actually come from this area so what an experience to try them first hand. We later enjoyed a feast of langoustines, crayfish, prawns and shrimp. There is nothing else quite like the seafood of West Sweden!
Sofia B. Olsson at Restaurant vRÅ
Back in the centre of Gothenburg, I met head chef Sofia B. Olsson at restaurant vRÅ, where Swedish ingredients are used in a Japanese way. On the rooftop of the Clarion Post Hotel (where the restaurant can be found), there’s an urban garden growing all manners of fruit and vegetables. We learned of Sofia’s approach to sourcing local ingredients, the importance of seasonality in food and how more and more restaurants are becoming attuned to the complex issues of sustainability. It was a joy to meet Sofia and as soon as I am back in Gothenburg, her restaurant will be the first place I return to!
…more seafood feasting at the recently opened Isabelle. The oyster paired with apple and herbs was one to remember!
You can’t visit Gothenburg without a trip to the indoor fish market. Otherwise known as the fish church, I thought this might be a converted church but it gets its name from the Neo-Gothic artictectural resemblance. I always love visiting food markets in other countries. Upstairs there is a neat little restaurant called Gabriel. Enjoy fresh seafood (obviously) and Valencian beers made with 10% sea water.
HUGE thank you to Visit Sweden and West Sweden for inviting me on this trip! As always all words, thoughts and opinions are of course my own. Head to either of their sites if you are looking for a place to start in planning your trip.
You can’t always rely on British weather for a picnic. But haven’t we been lucky this year so far? The best picnics are spontaneous ones and this was just that. Mackerel pâté seemed like the perfect choice for a quick whip up of ingredients, paired perfectly with these newly discovered Arden’s Oaty Thins. We made it down to the pier just in time before the rain came! It was obviously meant to be.
You don’t need a basket full of food to feed many for a good picnic. Keep it small. A little prep for the mackerel pâté, Arden’s crackers ready to go, throw in some seasonal fruit and maybe olives too. That’s all you need really! I’d much rather be on the seafront than fussing over dishes in the kitchen, wouldn’t you?
Most mackerel pâté recipes call for a food processor but I’ve kept this quick and simple. It’s only a subtle difference in texture. And I think it pairs brilliantly with these oat-based thins, I’d also recommend them for any other kind of dip or spread you had in mind. Hummus would be great too!
*This post is in paid partnership with Arden’s. As always, all words and opinions are of course my own.