Saturday night’s all right for troffing

Last Saturday was enjoyably spent around at G&Ds with a few other Troffers, with all contributing food and drink for the evening.

P&T put the starter on the table – oven roasted wild salmon on a bed of chili and coriander noodles,mmm. And they were spicy too.

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G&D prepared a superb main course of fresh local partridge (from Bentley’s of Pudsey of course) with potato cakes, wild mushrooms and local farm shop vegetables.

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J presented one of her inimitable cheesecakes for our considerations with fresh fruit (and we quaffed a brilliant Royal Tokaji with it) and T held up the rear (ahem) with a selection of British cheese. A fantastic troffer evening with everyone contributing (apart from me, ha) and much wine was consumed as is the tradition at these events.

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Sunday morning was spent viewing the world through rather fuzzy goggles.

September

Well, September has been a busy old time in the Dean household.

Apologies for the lack of posts, but work has dominated for us and on top of this, we’re getting ready to send Josh off to Uni, so it’s been all go (you all know what it’s like…).

I thought it would be good to pull together a mini roundup of foodie stuff that might offer a bit of a snapshot of what’s been going on at our end from the foodie front. There’s been nothing super dramatic, just a few things going on…

We missed the Proms bash at Harewood as it was our wedding anniversary (although in the end we didn’t go away as planned, but had a lovely time at home) but on the Sunday, J and I enjoyed a late, luxurious lunch at Anthony’s. The restaurant was very quiet as it was teatime on a Sunday, but as ever, the quality was there and the  service was back on track. We had whitebait as an appetiser, cured meats and cheese to start and main courses featured calves liver and fillet steak, all very good indeed. I don’t think we even got to desserts (we may need to consider our Troffer position – no desserts!)

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I’ve been doing a fair bit of UK-wide travelling though work in the past weeks and there has been some interesting culinary experiences along the way. Nothing super amazing and fancy, but nice and comforting when you’re on the road – you know what I mean.

First up is the Frontline Club. A great meal spent with long standing client David at his journo/media club in Paddington, very cool in a laid back, shabby chic vibe that seems to be de rigeur in many London media spots. I had pork loin that was bob on and we finished with a couple of Lagavulin just for the hell of it.

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I stayed the night at The Colonnade Hotel (highly recommended) near Maida Vale on David’s recommendation and it was a good call. Great local bar and restaurants nearby. This shot was taken in the boozer round the corner, very civilised.

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Big client meetings the following day were prepped in Carluccio’s in Covent Garden. I had the wild mushroom risotto (not as good as mine, thanks Jamie) but good fodder all the same and I reiterate my call to get one in Leeds. Our Italian restaurants are local – and very good, I might add – but the level of quality that comes out of Carluccio’s would decimate the likes of Bella Pasta *ug*.

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Julie has been giving the Jamie O US book some hammer too and I have to mention the cheesecake and the Chilli as outrageously good recipes.

The chilli just gets better after a few days in the fridge (hot, hot, hot) and there was the merest sliver left of a HUGE lime cheesecake extravaganza for me to try after she cooked it for the Fulneck cake fiends.

Ring her now and beg her to make them both – super nice.

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Finally, in a moment of foodie weakness (and I have many) I was really hungry at Kings Cross today on my way back to Leeds so I hoovered up one of the new McDonalds M Burger and you know what, it was really good. I realise that I’ll get pilloried by the foodie purists, but it was actually quite good and the meat and emmental were real and tasty. Mcdonalds in half decent grub shocker!

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Cafe Atlanta, Pudsey 16-09-09

Whilst waiting to pick Chester up from the doggy parlour(bath time) and my visit to the dentist….we had an hour to spare so we ventured into Pudsey looking for somewhere to have a quick sandwich.

Cafe Atlanta was packed but we managed to squeeze in on a corner table. After viewing the menu of baked potatoes with various filling, sandwich fillings on different breads and a specials board, G decided on a hotdog with onions and homemade chips and I opted for the Chicken fajita wrap served with salad,tortillas, salsa and sour cream all very reasonably priced. Drinks were promptly brought to the table by a friendly, smiling lady who was rushed off her feet but did not seem to mind. We sat and read the papers until our food arrived . The dishes were well presented and tasted great, just what we needed.

Once we had finished, our plates were removed and we sat and watched the world go by noticing that the staff were busy cleaning tables and sweeping up after the rush of lunchtime(on leaving we noticed an award in the window for cleanliness) and we reflected on a most unexpected pleasant lunch..If you are in Pudsey, worth a visit…(at the moment also open Sun morning 10am- 1pm)

D.

Monday Night at Diva Italiana

I was supposed to be visiting Diva Italiana with a couple of mates but they had to rearrange so D said it would be rude not to go. This would be our third Monday night multi course  £15 menu visit. The 1st was with the Globetroffers and was great, the 2nd with the kids and was ok so we did wonder what to expect…..

We opted for a mix of seafood and meat. The 1st course consisted of a small pot of leek and mushroom soup which was delicious, 2nd course was a combination of langoustines, mushroom bruschetta, tomato bruschetta and Tuscan ham, superb!

Next we had duck ravioli, fantastic and finally Italian pork and herb sausage grilled prawns and a grilled polenta which was amazing!!

As if that was not enough Tiramisu and Vin Santo with Cantucci to finish…….Yummy

Drinks; champagne beer for me, Venezian cocktail for D then a bottle of Gavi and sparkling water to share.

Massimo was on top of his game again. Diva Italiana on this form is very hard to beat at £35 per head.

Sorry no pics which is a shame as always the presentation was good. 

G.

One Wedding and a Swiss Chalet 12th September 2009

Last Saturday we set off with great excitement to Buxton for the wedding of first Devanney (Rebecca)of her generation to get hitched. The girls(Dawn, Julia and Tess) packed wedding outfits plus extra dresses just in case……….

We arrived at the hotel at 12.05 and the church was a 15 min drive away. By the time the girls were dressed and Tony decided which trousers to wear it was a case of “get me to the church on time”! Wedding to start at 1pm we were seated for 12.59pm………..phew. The wedding ceremony was very personal and fun with giggles from the bride and groom who looked fabulous. A special mention has to go the Vicar of Chinley.

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After the Wedding we had a gap to fill until the evening do so we returned to the hotel and as the sun was out we sat on the lovely lawn for a drink. We decided to go find somewhere for lunch in Buxton, at the end of the hotel gardens we crossed the road and found an Italian/Swiss restaurant by the name of “St Moritz”. The staff were very friendly and seated the seven of us straight away. We ordered Prosecco for the ladies and a Moretti for the fellas. Starters included a shared antipasto, squid, pasta arrabiatta, melon and parma ham as well as parma ham with figs, all were very good.

The mains were varied with Jess and Julia opting for the Sea Bass special, Tony had Black pasta ravioli, linguine gamberetti for G, D and P had Spaghetti bolognese, T had Pizza Margarita all were well presented and tasty. We shared 2 bottles of the house red(Lupo Nero from Puglia) at £13.95 per bottle an absolute steal!

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We were asked to go look at the upstairs dining area(downstairs was traditional stylish Italian) and what a surprise, lots of wood and stained glass with skiing stuff, just like a Swiss chalet. Various choices of Fondue were available on the menu.

After a super lunch we wandered back to hotel and decided against a nap as we may have slept and missed the evening do so we had one(perhaps two) more drinks whilst watching football. After refreshing showers and a change of clothes we met in lovely big room to celebrate some more. Live band and top DJ(Chris) plus a hog roast, a fantastic day all round.

Congratulations and thanks to Mr Ben and Mrs Rebecca Timperley!!

G&D

7th Sep 2009 Marine and The Star Inn, Perfect Day

After a great weekend we awoke on Monday to find the sun cracking the flags. D suggested we make the most of the weather and have a trip out to Whitby, what a great idea! Off we set with Chester in the back of the car, quick stop at Gilchrist’s for a sausage sarnie for breakfast. The drive over the moors was spectacular and we had a stopped at The Hole of Horcum to take in what must be one of the UK’s most stunning views.

Just a couple of hours after we had left home we arrived in a busy and bustling Whitby. A sparkling calm sea and a warm breeze encouraged us to promenade through town and to the end of the North pier to take in the views of the Abbey and a very busy beach, we decided to break for a nice glass of wine and G had a snack of 6 oysters (looked absolutely amazing)

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We then had a walk around the old town before getting a bag of chips to share on the beach, Chester sat and patiently waited for his share. We walked to the end of the South Pier and again enjoyed the views ….. how pretty the town of Whitby is!

On the way back we decided to visit Helmsley to check out some possibilities for our 25th Wedding Anniversary celebrations next year.  The Feversham Arms is a favourite of ours so a quick coffee by the pool and some fact finding  then over to the Star Inn at Harome. We sat outside in the garden and both the Pern’s were having drinks with friends. The sun was beginning to go down but it was still warm so we decided to have some dinner in the garden with Chester hoping for scraps under the table.

We shared a starter that was beautifully divided in two, Salad of Whitby Lobster “Nicoise” Style with “Mollet” Ledstone Quail Eggs, Marinated Anchovies & Garden Beans. AMAZING FLAVOURS AND TEXTURES!!

 For mains, G had, Charles Ashbridge’s Loin of Milk-fed piglet with 24 hour-braised Belly, Black Puddind Scotch Egg, Garden Sage-scented Apple Puree and mulled Ampleforth Cider. WOW even better than the description!

 

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D opted for A plate of Swaledle Lamb, Cutlet, Braised Shoulder, Kidney and Liver Moussaka with “Nicoise” Gravy. Presentation was superb and the Moussaka got D’s 10/10 vote.

We shared an assiette of deserts that tasted fabulous and were well presented.

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The Michelin star is well deserved.

D had a couple of glasses of Champagne and G had a couple lager shandy’s, coffees to finish what could be described as a perfect day.

G&D

Proms Spectacular, Harewood House, 05-09-09

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As you can see from the pic’s , we had a splendid night at Harewood.

Starting with a flyover by a WW2 Spitfire the crowd was suitably warmed up for the evening event. The very entertaining conductor Jae Alexander kept us amused and the English National Orchestra professionally played their socks off……Soprano, Sarah Ryan and tenor Wynne Evans made the Proms Spectacular an evening to remember…

Lovely picnics, plenty of beverages, decent weather and a fabulous firework display helped the night pass too quickly. img_15231

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A good time was had by all. We will be back next year!

D and G.