Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


January detox denial and some delicious food combos from New York

As January intentions sweep across the land along with icy winds, driving rain and relentless grey weather, my indulgent food and drink habits have remained unabated.  I know I'm putting off the inevitable call to arms, but while I hold out a little longer, I'm savouring memories of the fabulous food I dined out on when in New York state and city earlier this month.

Brioche French Toast with huckleberries, mascarpone and pistachio
Beginning with my absolute favourite at The Barn, Bedford Post, in New York state we were served the most unbelievably good Dutch pancakes with syrup as well as the most amazing Brioche French toast.  The Brioche French toast was served with huckleberries, pistachios, mascarpone and maple syrup.  It looked gorgeous and tasted so good.  The Dutch pancake also looked delicious, although not much different from any other pancake I've ever seen, however the taste was sublime.  Without doubt the best tasting pancake I've ever had, I promise you!
The Bedford Post itself is also home to an eight-room luxury inn, yoga studio with two distinct restaurants: The Barn, for relaxed dining, and The Farmhouse, for formal affairs.
Bedford Post Inn Dutch Pancake
The Barn at Bedford Post, 954 Old Post Road, Bedford, New York

Also offering fabulous food was the Plaza Food Hall in New York city itself, aka The Todd English Food Hall.  Diners sit at high tables surrounded by various bars specialising in a huge array of delights - Dumplings, Pasta, Sushi, Grill, Ocean Grill and Oysters, Bakery, Pizza, Wine and Cheese and Charcuterie.

TE Sliders and red wine at The Plaza Food Hall
We shared classic flatbread with roasted tomato sauce, bufala mozzarella and basil along with TE Sliders (mini hamburgers) served on brioche with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, fried onion and sweet mustard relish, it was the perfect filling lunch.  The room was a buzz with light and colour and delectable foods, which all added to the warm and welcoming ambience that enveloped us.  Designed by Jeffrey Beers the Food Hall also plays host to interactive events in wine tasting and cookery demonstrations with Todd English and other visiting chefs taking part.

The eaterie is accessed via the new Plaza Food Hall, where more purveyors of delightful delicacies display their wares. The list includes the likes of Luke's Lobster, No. 7 Sub, Tartinery, FC Chocolate Bar by Francois Payard, Pain D'Avignon, Three Tarts, William Greenberg Bakery, Billy's Bakery, Maison du Chocolate, YoArt and Lady M Cake Boutique.

Classic Flatbread at The Plaza Food Hall
Open: Sun - Thurs 11:30 am - 10:00 pm and Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Reservations are accepted for dinner only at The Todd English Food Hall and can be made by calling 212 986 9260.

One West 59th Street, Concourse Level, New York

Chicken slider and sweet potato fries

Finally, a mention to the Grand Old (she's just turned 100 years old), Grand Central Station.  We headed to the indoor market, packed with customers, tourists and locals tasting, purchasing and admiring the choices on display.  Two favourites included Ceriello Fine Foods, serving aged beef, meats, poultry, Italian deli items and Italian groceries and Murray's Cheese, of Greenwich Village offering a wide selection of cheeses along with selling crackers, preserves and cheese serving pieces and accessories. 

Organic white truffle honey
Wild boar salami

Grand Central Market 2013
Spices, Grand Central Market 2013

Open: Mon – Fri 7:00 am - 9:00 pm  Sat 10:00 am - 7:00 pm  Sun 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Grand Central Station, 89 E 42nd Street, New York


Opportunity for crafty sorts to get on tv, but be QUICK!! 12th of January deadline

Each week two teams, with only £20 in their pockets will hit the town to beg, buy and borrow items to make a range of crafts to sell on a pop-up stall – the very next day.  The team whose crafts make the most money will be the winners.

Crafty Beggars 
If you live close enough to travel to Brighton for the day, love hand-made and craft-making, here is your chance to show off your skills! 

From Hobbycraft Facebook page
Crafty Beggars are looking for teams of two: men and women, mums and dads, sons and daughters, friends, relatives, work colleagues or anything in between, just make sure you are over 18.

You will be asked to come up with ideas for making things to sell and be available to present a crafty pitch to Julie and Wendy in Hobbycraft, West Worthing on Wednesday 15 January 2014.
Katrina Kitten from Hobbycraft Facebook page

To be in with a chance of getting your handmade skills on TV and taking home any crafty cash you make, you will need to complete the form by 12 January 2014 to be considered as a contestant.

You must also be able to commit to filming over two consecutive days in the Brighton area in February and March – with filming mostly at weekends.

Please check that you have the permission of the second participant before you submit the form.

Please also note :
They will pay £50 per day, per contestant for travel expenses, but no other payments will be made (they will provide food and drink whilst you are on the set).
You will need to sign a release form so that the episode that you feature in can be televised and repeated – and that your inclusion in it may be used to promote the show through all media platforms.

If you’d like to receive the Crafty Beggars newsletter and details of forthcoming programme dates and times, visit the Crafty Beggars website.


New terrain and Christmassing in Connecticut

Happy New Year 2014 to one and all!

What a grey and blustery day it has been. So, to introduce some warmth and colour I'd like to share my latest discovery.  It's a store full of beautiful plants and homeware with a restaurant serving delicious food, events programme and a website providing recipes and guides for stylish living.

Terrain, Westport, Connecticut, photo by modern bric a brac

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