Month: October 2011

Café Direct tasting

Coffee. I love the stuff. Give me a creamy strong Flat White in the morning and I’m happy for the day. But although I love the taste, my knowledge is pretty limited. So I was glad to be invited to a coffee tasting by Café Direct last week. Despite the event being held at L’Atelier des Chefs, I didn’t realise that we would be donning our aprons and showing off our baking prowess. I was half an hour late and when I arrived to a flurry of bloggers running around the kitchen, cracking eggs, melting chocolate and frantically beating butter and sugar, I was confused. I then learned that everyone had paired off and each ‘team’ had been given one of three Café Direct coffees and been asked to create a dish using a host of ingredients provided. I was paired with the lovely Kate from What Kate Baked who had decided, after watching a recent Nigel Slater programme, to make chocolate bark using dried fruit, nuts and fair-trade dark chocolate. I was quite happy …

Bill’s Covent Garden

I have wanted to go for breakfast at Bill’s in Covent Garden for a while. Last week I finally made it down and had a delicious breakfast with Helen. Bill, for those who don’t know, is a man with a true passion for fruit and veg. He started off in a shed donated to him by his father and eventually set up his first café in his hometown of Lewes on the South Coast. There are now five Bill’s cafés dotted around the UK, including the London venue in St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden. Walk into the deli and be wowed by the vibrant colours. Fresh and seasonal vegetables hang from baskets and carefully sourced deli products span from floor to ceiling and include brands such as Brindisa. Olive oil, Ortiz anchovies, paella rice, cakes, you name it. The breakfast menu features dishes such as full English, a veggie version along with sweet offerings such as waffles, eggs any way you want them and even bubble and squeak. Yum. I opted for the full English …