Tag Archives: heaven in a glass

Phony Plastic Party Glasses

As I’ve mentioned before, I do like things that aren’t what they seem. These wine glasses are designed to look like disposable plastic cups, but their glass stems make you look again.

Plastic Cup Replica Glass - Up To You Toronto

I reckon you’d get the same naughty thrill drinking out of one of these as you do from drinking wine out of a mug. Or is that just me?

They are $50 Canadian dollars each from Up To You Toronto plus postage, so they’re definitely a treat but I’m hankering after them nonetheless.

What do you think?

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Hawksmoor at Home

Hawksmoor serve the best steak I have ever tasted in their three restaurants in London – Covent Garden, Spitalfields and Guildhall. I mean it’s melt-in-the-mouth amazing.

We went to the Covent Garden restaurant a few weeks ago as a treat for my husband’s birthday and it was glorious. We started with cocktails in the bar area from their extensive list, it took about 10 minutes to choose as the descriptions were all so wonderful. In the end I went for a Hawksmoor Fizz and my husband was won over by the description of shipwrecked oak barrels that the brandy for his Shipwreck Sour was aged in.

The decor of the basement restaurant is stunning, with dark wood parquet floor, leather chairs and solid tables it is what I imagine a gentleman’s smoking room to be like (but with no smoke). I almost expected to smell sandalwood when I walked in. There’s a beautiful row of mismatched sliding doors that separates off part of the restaurant and had me hankering for our own version at home.

When I booked the table I mentioned we were celebrating a birthday and the staff were so friendly and gave us each a glass of Prosecco and my husband’s pudding on the house. Ordering is slightly different here if you are having steak. You choose from the different cuts available on the day and order and pay by the weight so that everyone at the table eating steak shares the same cut of meat. Be warned, if you start ordering the Chateaubriand it can get expensive quickly, but there’s also an express menu so it is possible to spend much less.

We had a fabulous birthday lunch, the highlight for me (apart from the steak) was the peanut butter shortbread with salted caramel ice-cream. Heaven in each salty, nutty, creamy, caramel mouthful.

This was our second visit to the Hawksmoor but for us it’s the kind of place we’d only go to as a real treat. But now Hawksmoor have put their recipes in a book ‘Hawksmoor at Home’ I can try to recreate the dishes at home.

Hawksmoor At Home

Don’t think it’s just steak in this book, the recipes are so varied and there’s lots of information. The sauces are inspiring, the Stilton Hollandaise recipe is at the top of my list to try. As I’ve mentioned before I’m quite scared of cooking seafood but the guides on preparing seafood in this book are clear and not at all scary looking. The cocktails sound delicious and there is a whole chapter on trifles.

So far I’ve made the Potted Smoked Mackerel which was very fishy but creamy too and had a nice tang of horseradish. The pickled cucumber to go with it is really simple but tasted wonderful and cut through the buttery fish perfectly.

You can order Hawksmoor At Home for £20 and all proceeds go to Action Against Hunger. It says on the website that shipping is ten days but mine was delivered within four days.

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Hendricks & Cucumber Tonic

How better to finish off the week which started with ‘Blue Monday’ than with a tonic?

I was flicking through Leon: Naturally Fast Food Book 2 and saw their Cucumber Cooler recipe which looks lovely, refreshing and healthy. However my brain saw the word ‘cucumber’ and told me to replace the water with tonic and add Hendricks gin. So on New Years Eve that is exactly what I did.

Hendricks & Cucumber Tonic

  • 1 litre tonic water (I used Schweppes tonic with lime)
  • 450ml Hendricks gin
  • 1 cucumber
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ice

Add the ice and Hendricks to a large jug. Peel the skin off the cucumber and discard, then continue peeling the cucumber from top to bottom into the jug until you reach the seeds in the centre. Squeeze the lime into the jug and top up with the tonic water.

If you’re on a January detox just omit the gin, and if you like, replace the tonic with water.

This drink might be more suited to summer but in my mind there’s never a bad time for a G&T. Enjoy!

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Hendricks Tea Set

I love gin and I particularly love Hendricks.

I had been hankering after this Victorian inspired tea set ever since my husband and I enjoyed a Gin Punch for Two at Kopapa in Covent Garden a few months ago.

Henricks Gin Tea Set

My husband is very good to me; he willingly sat in public drinking a gin cocktail (he hates gin) out of a dainty china tea set and even extended his pinky finger with me – now there is a man secure in his masculinity.

These limited edition tea sets were only sold commercially so I kept an eye on EBay and my fingers crossed. I found two or three sets but bidding was fierce and they all sold for around £160, I didn’t want one that much. But then I saw a second-hand set with an unpopular auction end time and, probably as I was the only person awake, I got it for much less than £160. Even better, when it arrived there were 7 cups instead of 6!

My Hendricks Tea Set

Hendricks Teapot

I love the quirky design in the sage green. I think originally my set must have come from two different sets as the green is a slightly different shade on some of them and there are a couple of minor chips to the cup bases, but it just adds to the quirkiness of the set.

I had a go at recreating Kopapa’s gorgeous ice-cold Gin Punch for Two with some success, although I fiddled about so much with the quantities that I ended up with a massive pitcher full of the stuff and a sore head the next morning. I didn’t keep track of the measures to post the recipe here, but if you’d like to give it a try the ingredients are:

  • Hendricks gin
  • Chamomile tea
  • Cloudy apple juice
  • Gewürztraminer

If you’re interested in a tea set of your own there are a couple on EBay at the moment.

There’s also a limited edition Hendricks ‘Time for Tea’ gift pack with a bottle of the good stuff and a similar style cup and saucer to the set above. I found it for £34 at Harvey Nichols.

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