Tag Archives: baking

Events in the Chilterns – 2012

The Easter weekend kicks off a season of events across the Chilterns. The list below attempts to capture some of the largest events in our area, with a focus on those celebrating locally produce food and goods. Leave a comment if you know of an event not listed below.

Calendar of events

April

Chilterns Easter Festival of Food & Drink, Great Missenden – Fri 6 – Mon 9 April

Cheese Makers’ Market, Old Beaconsfield – Sat 14 April

May

Artists and Makers’ Fair, Waddesdon Manor – Sat 5th and Sun 6th May

Rickmansworth Canal Festival - Sat 19 & Sun 20 May

Marlow May Fayre - Sat 26th May

June

Hertfordshire County Show - Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd June

Chenies & Latimer Diamond Jubilee Celebration - Mon 4th June

Marlow Town Regetta & Festival - 9 & 10 June

July

Tringe Comedy Festival, Tring, 1 – 21 July

Penn Street Beer Festival – Fri 13 – Sun 15 July

September

Chalfont St Giles Show - Sat 8 September

Berkofest, Berkhamsted, Sat 15 September

Kop Hill Climb, Princes Risborough – Sat 22 & Sun 23 September

Thame Food Festival - Sat 29 September

Other listings for events around the Chilterns

The following websites offer a more comprehensive listing of events, including museum activities and local events:

Visit Buckinghamshire Events

Herts Direct Events

Enjoy Hertfordshire Events

Amersham What’s on noticeboard

Aylesbury Vale Events

BucksFreePress Events

Watford Observer Events

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Supermarkets

Since we’ve moved to Rickmansworth we’ve predominantly shopped in the two supermarkets nearest to us: Waitrose and M&S Food. There’s certainly no knocking the quality of either, however with our wedding in the planning and much to save between now and then we’ve been looking at options for saving money. Now that we’ve finally got ourselves a car, the number of new shopping options has opened up to us, as had the whole concept of doing a weekly shop.

For our first weekly shop we took a friend’s recommendation and visited the Tesco in Amersham. It’s larger than any supermarket in Rickmansworth and has a rather superior ambience than the Tesco in Ricky. Certainly you can get just about everything there. We stocked up good and proper. 60 items for £101. Average price £1.68. Seems like a good start, food quality was fine and Tesco really promotes itself on cost, so how does it compare?

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Muffins: Fast and Fantastic?

517aso-0vvl_ss500_ We’ve become complete muffin freaks at Dara Cottage. Having bought a Jamie Oliver silicone muffin tin from Lakeland in Windermere over New Year, I started with breakfast muffins from Waitrose’s site and then used that idea to make blueberry muffins last week. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than buying coffee shop muffins and they substitute for almost any meal in an emergency.

Over the next however many weeks, I’ll be working through this recipe book on the left, which is by a Canadian author, so should be a bit more authentic than sites from the UK. That’s my thinking, anyway.

This week we have lemon and poppy seed muffins, a Caffe Nero favourite. If these things aren’t seriously lemony, I’ll be very surprised. We have lemon rind, lemon extract AND lemon juice in here. I’ve stuck very closely to the recipe, other than having to substitute about 100g of wholemeal flour for plain flour, as I hadn’t any more of the latter in the cupboard.

You mix together the dry ingredients (plain flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt), then the wet (an egg, sugar, lemon rind, lemon extract, water, oil, milk and lemon juice), then combine the two. The mixture was much drippier than the other recipes I’ve used, so I’m hoping for lighter muffins. Very clear instructions (if you want the actuallemon quantities, you’ll have to buy the book or leave your email address!).

So, to the taste test. Discovered that I really should only have filled up the tin three quarters of the way, as the tops have flopped to the side a bit (and I’d have more than the eight that made). Just off to pop the muffins out and transfer them to a cooling rack (the rack from my grill doubling up…).

The taste test: somehow (and I really don’t know how), they’re not as lemony as I was hoping for. Texture’s good, though – very light and fluffy with a firm top. Susan Reimer clearly knows what she’s talking about.

Rating: 7/10 Dara points.

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Delisserie, Hatch End

Delisserie, Hatch End
Delisserie, Hatch End

Hatch End high street is a funny yet appealing place, containing as it does a preponderance of home furnishing stores and restaurants. Following an arduous day of sales shopping it was time to try out one of the many eating options on offer. Having already tried Hatchetts (intrigingly 70′s appearance and clientele) and ASK (good service and surrounds from this chain) it was time to try another option.

We decided upon Delisserie, a spot we’d already marked out due to its breakfast and lunch offerings, although on this occasion it was an evening meal we were in much need of. The menu is a largely meat-based affair with central European influences. Dishes range from steaks and burgers to salted beef and Hungarian goulash to substantial deli sandwiches. The speciality is the salt beef, which although new to us is, as I understand it, broadly similar to jerk or corned beef, albeit prepared in a different way.

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Haché again for Christmas burgers

A month ago we visited Haché in Camden to try out what was rated as the best burgers in London by TimeOut. Although a reasonable experience we left unconvinced by the claim. Today, finding ourselves again in Camden we decided to give Haché a try to see if it faired any better than in November.

It was mid-afternoon and busy, if not quite full, however the irregularity of the appearance of staff made it feel rather busier than it should have. Indeed once again the food proved passable but the service noticably below par. We both opted for the special Christmas Burger, comprising turkey, stuffing, rocket and onions with the option of cranberry and / or bread sauce, and we plumped for chunky chips on the side.

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Catering for travellers

The Guardian features an excellent article on the seemingly declining state of railway catering, and the passing of the traditional buffet car.

It poses the interesting question as to whether the often poor quality or indeed total absence of catering on-board trains actually puts travellers off travelling by railway. The same could I’m sure be applied to the aviation industry which, unlike the railway’s golden age of waitered on catering cast so seductively by the likes Agatha Christie, has always rather been a byword for substandard food. Of course one generally has more choice in the type of transport taken when considering to travel by train, whereas by plane you typically have to fly; it’s more a question of the carrier. I may also being entirely unfair on the aviation industry’s catering, given that I’ve never flown in the silver service first class standard.

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The best hamburger in London?

Haché burgerWho says advertising doesn’t work? While reviewing the Time Out London website for what’s on suggestions for the weekend my attention was drawn by a review of the best burgers in London. Having browsed the reviews and lazily opted for the higher scoring options we chose to settle for the most conveniently located option, Hache, round the corner from Camden Town tube. This choice was aided not least by a extremely tempting product photo:

So how did it fare?

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