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Celebrating Diwali with Kricket at Pop Brixton

Kricket, POP Brixton

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An evening to celebrate Diwali with Indian restaurant Kricket and British light artist Rupert Newman.

POP Brixton is a playful courtyard of bars, restaurants and shops housed in old shipping containers near the arches of Brixton train station. It is also an event space and Indian inspired restaurant Kricket, who normally occupy one of the shipping small containers upstairs, took over the decidedly more grand barn like building for a night to celebrate the ancient Hindu festival of light, Diwali, in collaboration with British light artist Rupert Newman.

The placed looked pretty incredible. There were 3 long tables set with runners and stoneware plates and Rupert’s colourful bespoke visuals bouncing around the room. I was dubious about how well British chefs were going to be able to carry off the diverse and intricate Indian cuisine but they weren’t trying to imitate. The food was Indian inspired but considerably meatier and served with lots of different flavoured mayonnaises and dips to suit the English taste. The spiced rum and masala popcorn laid out in giant bowls down all of the tables was a pretty exciting sign of what was to come. The food was brought out on enormous platters to be shared. Some of my favourites were the bhel puri served with raw mango, tamarind and sev yoghurt, the daak kachori served with chickpeas, pomegranate and coriander chutney and the goat leg raan that was served with pickled heritage carrots, pilau rice and smoked paprika raita.

After dinner, a selection of tastily sticky and sweet deserts were brought out for us to enjoy whilst watching the light show play against the enormous walls. After enjoying all that beautiful food in such a vast atmospheric space, it’s hard to believe this is normally served on a couple of benches inside a shipping container. It really was a great night and I’m looking forward to going back and enjoying the food again in a somewhat more modest setting.

Small plates £4-9

Pop Brixton
49 Brixton Station Road

Game of Thrones? More Like Game of Pubs

Games that originated in pubs

Drinking in pubs has been a favourite past time for many for centuries, and during those years many people have come up with new ways to keep themselves entertained by inventing games to pass the time. In fact, some of our most loved games might not have been around today unless it was for the local pub and ale house. Here’s a look back at how a few of our most loved games originated or were made popular in pubs.


Possibly the first ever game to be played in a pub is backgammon. The game was invented around five thousand years ago in Iraq, but it wasn’t until the 16th century that it came to Great Britain. It’s thought backgammon really took off in pubs around England because people could bet on the outcome of games. A number of Elizabethan laws were passed to ban the game being played, but by the 18th century these had all been reversed and even members of the English clergy were said to be fans of the game.


Of course one of the most popular games to have originated from a pub to be considered a sport has to be darts. The first reference to the game ever being played comes from two journals in 1819, but back then a blowpipe was used to fire the darts onto the board. The target was similar to that of an archery target, and it wasn’t until the 19th century that the board began to look like it does today. It is thought that the board was divided up into numbers by French fairground stall owners to make the game look easier than it is.

Unlike most pub games, darts is considered to be a real sport where players can earn big money from championships around the world. Tournaments like the European championships can give out big cash prizes and like all traditional sports, people can place bets on the outcome of games as well on sites like Bookies.


It’s thought skittles was one of the most popular games of the medieval ages, but its popularity in modern times is probably down to pubs. The basic rules of the game are simple, throw a ball at some pins and try and knock as many as you can down. But because there were never any federations or rule books created for skittles, most of the rules were created by people in pubs and passed on to their friends. This means that the rules and even the size of the pins differ from county to county depending on what pub you visited.

Whist most traditional pub games are being replaced by electronic ones around the country, some ale houses are still trying to keep the history of these games alive. Hopefully the rules can be remembered for new generations to continue to enjoy these games whether they are in a pub or not.



Paloma Club Sultan

Luxury all inclusive resort of Paloma Club Sultanpaloma5

Özdere, Turkey

It was the first family holiday I had been on since I was five. My entire childhood was spent travelling to and from Saudi Arabia to visit my Dad who lived and worked in Jeddah. Perhaps it was the Arabic influences which lead us to choose to travel to Turkey that, and the guaranteed heat in October half-term.
During hours of searching hotels, my eldest sister Kate voiced her wishes; “I’ve done the whole travelling thing. This time I want everything to be organised for me. I want luxury”. There was only one hotel we all agreed on, The Paloma Club Sultan in Özdere.

Wellness and Spa Centrepaloma7
It was my sister Elaine’s priority on the first day to locate the Wellness and Spa Centre. Within ten minutes of breakfast she had booked a 30 minutes Anti-Stress Massage for the afternoon. I let her be the guinea pig and when she returned to the pool praising the masseuse, Kate and I followed suit. We were both lead down a harmonious corridor and into adjoining treatment rooms. My masseuse used his strength and skill to loosen knots on my back, neck, shoulders and legs. I left relaxed, smelling like a vanilla dream.
The Wellness and Spa centre is also equipped with a Turkish Hamam, Sauna, Indoor Heated Pool and Gym which are all included in the room fee.

The Paloma Restaurant offers daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in a buffet format to all guests, with a sea view to boot. I was amazed at the choice, quality and variation of our meals. Breakfast was out of this world. Plates of seasonal fresh fruit and cheese stretched out for miles, omelettes were cooked to order and hot grilled pancakes with spicy apricot jam were a firm favourite.
No matter what area of the resort we chose to spend our day, we were no more than a minute away from the nearest cafe or snack bar. On the third day, my Dad found two ladies baking delicious traditional spinach and cheese bread on a hot plate next to the water slides. He piled up a plate and brought it back to the beach. It was devoured in seconds.
Luxury international cuisine is served for dinner in the Paloma Restaurant, as well as special themed nights such as ‘Seafood Night’ and ‘Turkish Night’.
The resort has four A la Carte restaurants to choose from in the summer; Ada specialising in flavours of the sea; Seasons with an Italian theme; Barbeque offering an abundance of grilled meat; and Safran a Turkish and Ottoman restaurant. These are included in the price, but book early!

Our time was spent equally between the Panoramic Infinity Pool, which offered spectacular views over the Aegean Sea, and the Harem Outdoor Pool, with lively music and fun activities throughout the day. But by far my favourite part of the resort was the water park. That’s right, Paloma Club Sultan has its own water park! Like most other theme parks out of season, not all the slides were open for business. We still had a good choice from 5 wiggly slides, a body slide, the combo and my particular favourite, the black hole. For younger children, the Aqua Tower houses a private splash world with slides and a multi level play area.
Having not gone a full hour without eating or drinking, I decided to spend my final day swimming off the calories. The end of season caught up on us though. Clouds prevented the afternoon sun from topping up my tan. Would that stop me? This is a Paloma Hotel. What do you think? All three Watson sisters made a bee-line for the Heated Indoor Pool. I also spent an hour at a water aerobics and aqua spin class in this pool mid-week.
If the pool isn’t your thing, there are two private beaches to choose from…

Paloma Club Sultan is located along a sandy coastline spilt in to two beaches, both awarded the Blue Flag. The Harem Beach is where guests will find the beach volleyball court, diving platform and most importantly, the water sports. For no extra charge take a canoe or pedalo out on the waves or the more adventurous can pay a small charge to be taken out on a banana boat. We were feeling adventurous. Admittedly, it was my first time on a banana boat. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get back on? I learned the hard way and I loved every second of it.
Aqua Beach is a short stride away in a secluded alcove. We set ourselves up here on our second day with our books and a bucket and spade. It is hard to relax though when you have sandcastle competitions and hidden treasure to find with your four year old nephew. All guests are provided beach towels, sunbeds and parasols on the beach for free, and you can even rent a cabana if you like.

My 7 nights at Paloma Club Sultan was jam-packed full of fun, sun and memories. It wasn’t quite the ‘lay back on the beach and do nothing’ holiday I had expected. It was much better.

Prices vary throughout the season. To reserve for Spring / Summer 2016 visit

Anti-Stress Massage €35

A Beautiful Escape to the Country!

The Hawk Inn, Amport


Geography of this region is not my strong suit, so I would advise googling the below address, however it is a 2 hour drive (even on a Friday night) from Kings Cross and a 20 minute drive from the beautiful Winchester. City mapper has conditioned me into telling directions in minutes from a location, which is why I will probably never be in charge of google maps again.

The Experience
Last Friday we decided to escape the madness of London in search of a wholesome weekend. We got out of London at 6pm and despite traffic and terrible navigating by myself, found our way to Amport, arriving just after 8pm. It is a small and peaceful village, which looked especially beautiful by night as we drove down the windy country roads and past a number of wonderfully thatched homes.

When we arrived at The Hawk Inn, we were kindly shown to our room, which was spacious in size, beautifully decorated and overlooking the magnificent British countryside. The bathroom was impeccably clean and (to our relief) filled with all the essential toiletries of a short getaway. It was perfect!

We dropped our bags and rushed down for dinner. Two hours in the car had led to starvation. The bar and dining area has been completely refurbished by the owner, who bought the pub, around four years ago. It has a neutral theme with a hint of rustic to it. The clientele was a mixture of groups, dates and a celebration for a wedding which was happening in the village the next day. They seemed well settled and only added to the jovial atmosphere already present.

Dinner was only what I can describe as a delight for the senses. We started with squid and sweet chilli sauce, perfectly crisp and fresh, coupled with the homemade pate, which was mouth-wateringly good. We then chose (from staring/ drooling over other diners’ plates) the chicken kiev with sautéed potatoes and the homemade burger with cheese and bacon. Both were equally scrumptious and the perfect way for the both of us to end a busy week at work. There was also a beautiful wild mushroom risotto and pan fried sea bass for the more health conscious. We, however, were not holding back on the calories, and opted for a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and New York cheesecake for dessert. Both lived up to their expectations and not a morsel was left on either plate. The food was great, I had done a spot of research prior to visiting and another review had described The Hawk as a locally sourced gastro pub. I would totally agree as it was perfectly made, hearty food in a beautiful setting.

After dinner, we sat at the bar to enjoy a final night cap before heading back to our room. The atmosphere was warm; there were people chatting and a mixture of ages which gave it the buzz of a country pub. The staff were also very friendly and incredibly accommodating. We were recommended a number of walks in the area, so on Saturday morning at 8am; we went for a run around the village which is home to collection of lovely houses, one pub and a primary school. We only saw one other runner throughout the entire route.

On arrival back to the Hawk, breakfast was a buffet of cereal, fruit and delicious pasties or the cooked menu. I had smoked salmon and scrambled egg on homemade bread. Jack had an English breakfast. Neither of us were disappointed.

After the ‘directions of a small child’ and the joys of a Saturday IKEA trip, we returned to London rested, refreshed and only marginally smug when seeing our hung-over friends.

The Amport is beautiful and the perfect escape for a weekend of relaxation and good food surrounded by nice people.

The Cost
Sleep:    Rooms from £90 – 130 a night
** there is a winter break deal of two nights for the price of one – see website for details**
Eat:        Main dishes from £12 – 17

The Hawk Inn
SP11 8AE



Positive Energy: Money Supermarket Creates Michelin Starred Food Through Cycling

UK-first food event with MoneySuperMarket with Pratap Chahal (That Hungry Chef)  #PositiveEnergy (Every spin class should end with this meal)


positive energy

The event was held in Jenius Social- a vibrant event space in North West London, which, on a typical day offers food and drinks master-classes. For our event however, it had been transformed. 3 bikes had been set up in the kitchen area, and using electric petals technology, had been rigged up to a gas hob which our chef was going to use to individually create our dishes. Not your ordinary Tuesday night!

The Experience
The theme of the evening was to bring together sustainable energy pioneers electric pedals, Michelin trained chef Pratap Chahal (That Hungry Chef) and a handful of exclusive guests for a culinary first, using electric pedals’ technology. With this, we were told that all we had to do was cycle for at least 5.2 minutes…

On arrival, we were welcomed with a champagne reception and canapés. These included highlights of pulled pork crostini’s and mini smoked salmon, beetroot and peppery cream cheese bites. After a drink and a taste of Prataps cooking, it took little encouragement for us to jump straight on the bikes! After a lot of giggling and a little bit of effort, we had indeed managed to power the gas hob. We were then served a beautifully presented, delicate and incredibly Moorish coconut pancake, served with spicy Bombay potatoes. I was incredibly surprised at how little energy was required to power the gas hob- and I quickly learned that this tied neatly into the concept of how surprisingly easy it is to change your energy supplier!

As the night began to wind down, we spent some time chatting to Pratap and a handful of the other exclusive guests- and tucked into dessert. An incredibly rich chilli, frankincense and ginger mousse- which when paired with a glass of red wine was absolutely incredible!

By the time the evening was over, alongside feeling deliciously full and happy and not remotely guilty after the evening’s wonderful food and drink (it must be the cycling), I felt as though I had really understood the concept of the evening. If it only takes 5.2 minutes to create the energy to cook a meal, how hard can it be to switch your energy provider online? This evening can be safely labelled as a success, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Difficult to put a price on this evening as it was a one off event (but I would have paid at least £40 a head for the experience).

Fairmont Launches New Cocktail Menu at The Savoy

The Savoy

morito 1

The Experience
Last night Fairmont invited guests to sample their new global cocktail menu: Classics. Perfected.  at the suitably grand River Bar at the Savoy.

For the first time, Fairmont has selected world-leading bartenders from across the globe to bring their individual talent and mastery of cocktail methodology to create a global cocktail menu. The all-star line-up includes Grant Sceney from Fairmont Pacific Rim, Nader Chabaane from Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Erik Lorincz from The Savoy and Tom Hogan from Fairmont Singapore. As you can imagine, for this menu

Jane Mackie is the president of the Fairmont Brand. She perfectly explained what the menu was trying to achieve and from reading the below quote and sampling last night cocktails, I believe they have achieved exactly what they were aiming for.

  “When people “meet for a drink” at one of our hotels – from The American Bar at The Savoy to The Plaza in New York – they expect the crispest gin and tonic and a truly perfect Manhattan. With this new menu that is precisely what they will get – along with quality ice and bartender’s advice when appropriate,

 The event last night was perfectly aligned with the vision of perfecting the classic. The River bar itself is so beautifully grand, the guests were all suited and booted and there was a brass band transporting you back to an era of indulgence and elegance. This backdrop was the perfect setting to enjoy the cocktails. My favourite was a tequila based cocktail, dangerously delicious, it tasted fresh, crisp and as fruity as it looked. The old fashioned was as it should be, strong, short with definite kick. We ate delicious canapés of steak tartar, oxtail croquettes and tiny and indulgent chocolate mousse. When I asked what they were the lovely waitress advised it was chocolate on chocolate. How can that ever not be delicious?!

Fairmont have not surprisingly spared no expense in selecting their spirits, each chosen for their quality and craftsmanship, the cocktails include: Remy Martin VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac, Belvedere Vodka, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, Bombay Sapphire, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Distillers Select, Cointreau, Mount Gay Rum, Casamigos Tequila and Louis XIII. I am far from an expert on mixology, but I would be confident to say that the cocktail list that has been created is perfect and of a calibre that you would that you would be delighted to receive when staying somewhere as magical as The Savoy.

Classics. Perfected., will be available at The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel starting 22nd October 2015. It will be rolled out globally from the 23rd November 2015.

The cost
Cocktails start from £15


Morito’s Seafood Festival

Morito’s Seafood Festival


Morito is a tapas & mezze bar next door to sister restaurant Moro on Exmouth Market. Since opening in August 2010, Morito has received rave reviews for its Spanish/Moorish tapas & mezze.

The experience
Moro’s younger sister Morito does not disappoint. From the moment you arrive at Exmouth Market, you forget that it is a cold Tuesday October night and feel more like you’re on a quaint street in Barcelona due to the busy and bustling atmosphere of people chatting, eating and enjoying the start of the week.

Yesterday afternoon, I was doing some pre dinner research and I must admit that normally I trust google to be law, but truly the vibrant atmosphere is not conveyed in their images.

Morito is busy, lively and incredibly welcoming. Every seat was full and the lovely staff were taking mobile numbers and suggesting nearby bars to diners who were happy to wait for a seat. This was a sure sign that we were in for a treat with the food!

I met Jo, one of the other editors for our first ever blogging date.  We were seated quickly and offered the wine list. We selected white, and despite the wine list not being extensive, it is well thought out and very varied.  We had a knowledgeable and enthusiastic waiter who had by 9pm successfully persuaded us to have tried over half the wines. Each was delightful and perfectly complimented our food.

We ordered a selection off the standard menu as well as the seafood festival menu. Out of nine dishes, all were perfect, although the barnacles were a tad adventurous for me! Highlights were honestly too many to mention all. In our first round (yes, first round) of tapas and wine- supposedly this is normal- my favourite was a beetroot, feta and dill dip from the normal menu and then a toss- up  between black beans, prawn and avocado moji  AND the steamed mussels with Spanish cider, saffron cream and sourdough. Similarly, the fried aubergine and iberico ham (simple but done incredibly well) was a certain highlight. We paired this with the Fp Branco, Filipa Pato 2014 from Portugal. It was crisp, fruity and went perfectly.

We finished with another carafe of wine and chatted until 10pm when we thought things would quieten down, however people can continue to be seated until 11pm and even on a Tuesday night it seemed they would still be busy at midnight.

In short, Morito is delicious, affordable and would be great for either a date or catch up with friends.

The cost
Wine is from £18 – 40 for a carafe
Tapas from £1.50 – 9
A meal for two would be around £70

32 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE
020 7278 7007