The weekend is here and for many that just means having time to turn eating into a serious leisure activity.
There are enough hours to prove bread, to make slow roasted joints of meat, and to get down to the serious activity of afternoon tea. As well as a couple of destinations, I've included a couple of recipes here in case you are entertaining people at home. As for me, I've set myself a bread challenge this weekend. I usually buy Hovis but I am making my own rendition having spotted the branded flour in store. No guessing which will taste better slathered in butter straight out the oven. To gluttony and beyond...
Best for brunch:
Gails Bakery (www.gailsbread.co.uk)
In South London, Gails bakery is in keeping with the affluent, yummy mummy essence of its Northcote Road location in Clapham. As well as picking up a loaf of artisan bread, take a minute to grab a coffee and try their brunch menu. The standout dish has to be the buttermilk hotcakes with maple roasted pears, toasted pecans and a dollop of Greek yogurt. Oh and there is a market and Doves butchers (www.doveandson.co.uk) right outside in case you should wish to carry on the food odyssey.
Best for Afternoon Tea:
Kettners is a London institution. Opened in 1867 by Auguste Kettner, chef to Napoleon III, it is located in Soho, home of debauchery. That might make it seem an odd place for afternoon tea, but at around £18.67 a head, you can sip on teas with fabulously outrageous names like, 'Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong'. Don't have a tea fetish? Then you'll be satisfied with dining on fine finger sandwiches, macarons and miniature tarts. I will be back to try the 'G&Tea' cocktail - Jasmine tea infused Plymouth Gin, apple juice, elderflower cordial and fresh cucumber.
Best recipe for cake:
Madeleines. A delicious French treat, I ordered a madeleine baking pan straight after seeing Rachel Khoo make them on her show 'Little Paris Kitchen'. You can find her recipe here & see my attempt below http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/madeleines_with_lemon_65371
Best recipe for Sunday dessert:
Apple crumble. It's simple, warming and utterly delicious. My favourite recipe is the Delia Smith one, as made by my mother. Best served after roast chicken and at least 6 crispy roast potatoes per person (paying homage to my Irish heritage). You can make it in advance and for little money so it's great for entertaining the extended family. Make enough for seconds. http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/galleries/apple-pie-and-other-delights/best-ever-apple-crumble.html