1. BLUE HARBOUR HOLIDAYS: NOTHE VIEW - REVIEW - 5TH TO 9TH MAY 2014
At the beginning of the month I was lucky enough to spend a few days in a townhouse by the sea in the Dorset seaside town of Weymouth.
My friend Alice and I arrived by train and the townhouse was just a short 5-minute car journey, tucked away from the main hub of Weymouth but still only a short stroll to harbour and its shops, pubs and restaurants. 
Situated next to a small collection of other properties, Nothe View is 3-storey modern townhouse with four bedrooms, an open-plan dining and lounge area and a decked raised garden. From the kitchen there are glimpses of the sea and the master bedroom has views over Nothe Gardens, with the property just a short walk to Nothe Fort and harbour. 
Since the house sleeps 8 and there were only the two of us staying, we found it very spacious but didn’t think it would be cramped even with the house at full capacity. The property was very clean and tidy and there was everything you could need in the kitchen (apart from picnicware, which we were thinking of having one day but there were no tupperware boxes, plastic plates etc), which came in handy as we stayed in and cooked dinner a couple of times during the few days we were there.
We expected to find a small welcome hamper on arrival, as I have often received in the past when staying in holiday properties, and this would have been a nice touch especially as it meant we had to wait for our Sainsbury’s delivery to arrive before we could have a cup of tea!
The beds were very comfortable, and the corner sofa and dining chairs were perfect for sitting and chatting on for hours over a glass of wine. The only downside for us was that we found the house lacked a bit of character as there were no personal touches from the Weymouth seaside area and it felt a little flat and sterile for us. Even some tasteful artwork or local photographs on the walls would have made the property feel a little warmer. 
During our visit, we found the location of the house perfect for us. We went running on a couple of days and the Nothe Fort was a great area for this with it’s hills and steps making the run a bit more challenging! The harbour was only a short stroll away and you could get a little ferry across or wander around over the bridge, which we did, and it was a pleasant walk.
On one sunny day we spent some time on the beach, which has a really picturesque view and is a really cute beach with deckchairs and lovely soft sand. One rainy and cold day we relived some childhood memories on the 2p machines in one of the arcades on the seafront and then did a spot of shopping. Weymouth town centre is not huge but there are some good high street shops to visit such as Debenhams, TK Maxx and Marks and Spencers, to name a few, plus the local gift shops and boutiques. 
We found some nice places to eat and drink during our stay and particular favourites were the fish and chips at Fish ‘N’ Fritz, which had photographs of the celebrities that had visited over the years adorned on the walls, and The Red Lion pub, which was just a short stroll from the property, and was cosy, friendly and a pub you could definitely get lost in for hours. 
We had a lovely few days in Weymouth and we really did miss waking up with the gorgeous sea air every morning and being able to stroll to the sea in just a few minutes. Nothe View was a great base for our trip and is the perfect spot for a holiday in Weymouth.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Nothe View and Blue Chip Holidays. 
* Nothe View is available to book from £480 for three nights and from £671 for a week. Bookings can be made by calling 0844 7044987 or visiting www.bluechipholidays.co.uk. *
    High Res

    BLUE HARBOUR HOLIDAYS: NOTHE VIEW - REVIEW - 5TH TO 9TH MAY 2014

    At the beginning of the month I was lucky enough to spend a few days in a townhouse by the sea in the Dorset seaside town of Weymouth.

    My friend Alice and I arrived by train and the townhouse was just a short 5-minute car journey, tucked away from the main hub of Weymouth but still only a short stroll to harbour and its shops, pubs and restaurants. 

    Situated next to a small collection of other properties, Nothe View is 3-storey modern townhouse with four bedrooms, an open-plan dining and lounge area and a decked raised garden. From the kitchen there are glimpses of the sea and the master bedroom has views over Nothe Gardens, with the property just a short walk to Nothe Fort and harbour. 

    Since the house sleeps 8 and there were only the two of us staying, we found it very spacious but didn’t think it would be cramped even with the house at full capacity. The property was very clean and tidy and there was everything you could need in the kitchen (apart from picnicware, which we were thinking of having one day but there were no tupperware boxes, plastic plates etc), which came in handy as we stayed in and cooked dinner a couple of times during the few days we were there.

    We expected to find a small welcome hamper on arrival, as I have often received in the past when staying in holiday properties, and this would have been a nice touch especially as it meant we had to wait for our Sainsbury’s delivery to arrive before we could have a cup of tea!

    The beds were very comfortable, and the corner sofa and dining chairs were perfect for sitting and chatting on for hours over a glass of wine. The only downside for us was that we found the house lacked a bit of character as there were no personal touches from the Weymouth seaside area and it felt a little flat and sterile for us. Even some tasteful artwork or local photographs on the walls would have made the property feel a little warmer. 

    During our visit, we found the location of the house perfect for us. We went running on a couple of days and the Nothe Fort was a great area for this with it’s hills and steps making the run a bit more challenging! The harbour was only a short stroll away and you could get a little ferry across or wander around over the bridge, which we did, and it was a pleasant walk.

    On one sunny day we spent some time on the beach, which has a really picturesque view and is a really cute beach with deckchairs and lovely soft sand. One rainy and cold day we relived some childhood memories on the 2p machines in one of the arcades on the seafront and then did a spot of shopping. Weymouth town centre is not huge but there are some good high street shops to visit such as Debenhams, TK Maxx and Marks and Spencers, to name a few, plus the local gift shops and boutiques. 

    We found some nice places to eat and drink during our stay and particular favourites were the fish and chips at Fish ‘N’ Fritz, which had photographs of the celebrities that had visited over the years adorned on the walls, and The Red Lion pub, which was just a short stroll from the property, and was cosy, friendly and a pub you could definitely get lost in for hours. 

    We had a lovely few days in Weymouth and we really did miss waking up with the gorgeous sea air every morning and being able to stroll to the sea in just a few minutes. Nothe View was a great base for our trip and is the perfect spot for a holiday in Weymouth.

    Dotty Dishes was a guest of Nothe View and Blue Chip Holidays. 

    * Nothe View is available to book from £480 for three nights and from £671 for a week. Bookings can be made by calling 0844 7044987 or visiting www.bluechipholidays.co.uk. *

  2. THE GORING HOTEL - REVIEW - 12TH APRIL 2014
A few weeks ago, I had one of the best meals I think I’ve ever had in London. It’s a strong statement to make but the evening I experienced at The Goring Hotel was so memorable and delightful that I will remember it for a very long time.
First of all, it was lovely to go out for a meal on a Saturday evening and get really dressed up. The Goring is a 5* hotel and although we weren’t told we needed to dress up, we knew that it wasn’t the sort of place you don’t turn up in your jeans to. It felt exciting to make more of an effort and it made us feel like we were really going out for a special evening. 
When my other half Steve and I arrived at The Goring, we took a seat in the bar, which is just off the main reception area, and ordered a glass of wine and a beer to start the evening off. We hadn’t been sat down long when one of the restaurant managers came over to introduce himself and asked us if we’d like to peruse the menu. We declined as we wanted to save the surprise for when we sat down to dinner and we’d heard such great things about new chef Shay Cooper - The Goring’s first new chef in 15 years - that we couldn’t wait to try his food later on.
Whilst we finished our drinks, a waiter came around the bar with a silver tray of canapés, which we thought was a lovely idea, especially for guests that weren’t dining in the restaurant that evening. 
When our table was ready, we were taken through to the restaurant area (along with our drinks on a silver tray) and seated at a lovely table for two by the window. We were given menus and spent a little while deciding on what to order, with information on the dishes from the friendly and knowledgable restaurant manager, helping us to decide on our final dishes. 
Straight away we noticed how observant, polite and welcoming all the staff were at The Goring and they continued to be helpful, but not obtrusive, which is sometimes something hard to get just right, all evening. 
For starter I decided on Day Boat Plaice Fillet with Cucumber, Dill and Potted Shrimp Butter and Steve chose Arbroath Smokie Kedgeree. Once we had ordered, the sommelier came over and told us he would be matching wines to each of our courses, which is something we always love when having a nice meal and were pleased to experience this at The Goring.
For with the first course, I was given a glass of Saumur Chateau De Fausse Seche, Arcanes 2009, France and Steve had a glass of Chateau Ste Michelle & dr Loosen Eroica Riseling, America 2012.
We were also told by the restaurant manager we must try the Eggs Drumkilbo, which The Goring is quite famous for with the dish having been the Queen Mother’s favourite, and even though on paper it wasn’t something I would have ever chosen, we thought we should sample it. The dish came with a glass of Cotes Du Rhone Vin Gourmand, Domaine Dauvergne Ranvier, France 2011. 
The dishes arrived presented beautifully and the plaice completely melted in the mouth and was complimented perfectly by the fresh tastes of cucumber and dill and the delicious potted shrimps. Steve’s kedgeree was delicious with Quail’s Egg and an unusual addition of puffed wheat on the top of the dish which added a lovely crunch to it. The Eggs Drumkilbo consisted of chopped Boiled Eggs, Creme Fraiche, Mayonnaise, Tomato Jelly, Lobster and Prawns topped with Caviar. It was served chilled in a glass dish and was very fresh tasting, with the tomato jelly adding a lovely texture to the bite of the prawns and lobster and the creaminess of the egg and dressing. Eggs and mayonnaise are too of my least favourite things but it was surprisingly enjoyable for me!
All three of the wines were dry white wines and really brought out the flavours of the fish in the dishes but I think we both preferred the taste of the Riesling out of the three wines. 
We thought we were moving onto main course at this point but were brought out another starter to try chosen by the chef - Rose Veal Tartare, Smoked Anchovy and Fresh Horseradish. We were given another wine for with this dish of Mercurey La Framboisiere, Domaine Faiveley France 2010. I would never have chosen veal tartare from a menu but it was a very light dish and the saltiness of the smoked anchovies and strong taste of the horseradish really worked with the delicacy of the veal. The crispness of the wine was just right with the dish.
For main course I ordered the Glazed Pork Belly, Pig’s Cheek, Crisp Suckling Pig, Turnip and Mustard and Steve chose the Oxtail Bun, Dry Aged Sirloin, Malted Parnsip Puree and Ale. Both came with a glass of red wine and Zisola Maseii Sicili 2009 was matched with my pork and Alamos Malbec, Argentina 2013 came with Steve’s.
Both courses were rich, comforting and absolutely divine. The pork was all cooked perfectly with the belly wonderfully soft, the pig’s cheek melting in the mouth and the suckling pig a mixture of the two. The pork came with a rich and meaty sauce that also complimented the flavours of mustard and turnip. The sirloin was cooked perfectly medium rare and the taste of ale and parsnip were a perfect match to the richness and heartiness of the oxtail in wonderfully buttery puff pastry. The Malbec, which is actually Steve’s favourite red wine, was good but we both decided the Zisola was exceptional and I thought it was the nicest red wine I’ve ever tasted. 
We were quite full after our main courses so were given a relaxing breather before we decided on dessert. After pursuing the cheese menu for a long time (yes, there is a separate menu devoted to a huge variety of cheeses on offer) and seeing other diners order cheese with it arriving on it’s own cheese trolley, we both decided to go for something sweet, even though the cheese looked quite amazing. 
I opted for the Manjari Chocolate with Smoked Caramel and Milk Ice Cream and Steve decided on the Ice Lemon Meringue Parfait with Limoncello. Both dishes looked spectacular when they arrived and we were glad we’d decided on something sweet.
The chocolate was very rich but balanced out well with the smoked caramel, which was thick and slightly salted, and the creaminess of the milk ice cream. The lemon was meringue parfait was zesty, fruity and sweet with gorgeous smooth lemon cream, soft and toasted meringue and a sharp lemon sauce with just the right amount of limoncello. It was probably the nicest lemon meringue we’ve ever eaten. 
After finishing the fruity Madeira Henriques & Henriques, Bual, Portugal that came with my dessert and the sweet yet refreshing Jurancon Charles Hours uroulat, France 2012 that accompanied Steve’s lemon meringue parfait, we ended the meal with a cappuccino and an espresso and some homemade petit fours before retiring to the comfortable sofa area in the bar for a final drink of Amaretto Sour. 
We had an absolutely amazing meal at The Goring and could not recommend a visit enough. Opulent surroundings, impeccable service with waiting staff that could not assist you enough and of course most importantly, delicious food and drinks. We never visited The Goring before Shay Cooper arrived but I think the food at The Goring would be hard pushed to be better than we ate during our visit. It was a meal that was fine dining without being over bearing and was traditional whilst also incredibly new and exciting. 
We are already planning our next visit - thank you The Goring for our 5* evening of pure delight. 
A 3 course meal at The Goring costs £52.50 for dinner and £42.50 for lunch. 
Dotty Dishes was a guest of The Goring.
The Goring, Beeston Place, London, SW1W 0JW.
    High Res

    THE GORING HOTEL - REVIEW - 12TH APRIL 2014

    A few weeks ago, I had one of the best meals I think I’ve ever had in London. It’s a strong statement to make but the evening I experienced at The Goring Hotel was so memorable and delightful that I will remember it for a very long time.

    First of all, it was lovely to go out for a meal on a Saturday evening and get really dressed up. The Goring is a 5* hotel and although we weren’t told we needed to dress up, we knew that it wasn’t the sort of place you don’t turn up in your jeans to. It felt exciting to make more of an effort and it made us feel like we were really going out for a special evening. 

    When my other half Steve and I arrived at The Goring, we took a seat in the bar, which is just off the main reception area, and ordered a glass of wine and a beer to start the evening off. We hadn’t been sat down long when one of the restaurant managers came over to introduce himself and asked us if we’d like to peruse the menu. We declined as we wanted to save the surprise for when we sat down to dinner and we’d heard such great things about new chef Shay Cooper - The Goring’s first new chef in 15 years - that we couldn’t wait to try his food later on.

    Whilst we finished our drinks, a waiter came around the bar with a silver tray of canapés, which we thought was a lovely idea, especially for guests that weren’t dining in the restaurant that evening. 

    When our table was ready, we were taken through to the restaurant area (along with our drinks on a silver tray) and seated at a lovely table for two by the window. We were given menus and spent a little while deciding on what to order, with information on the dishes from the friendly and knowledgable restaurant manager, helping us to decide on our final dishes. 

    Straight away we noticed how observant, polite and welcoming all the staff were at The Goring and they continued to be helpful, but not obtrusive, which is sometimes something hard to get just right, all evening. 

    For starter I decided on Day Boat Plaice Fillet with Cucumber, Dill and Potted Shrimp Butter and Steve chose Arbroath Smokie Kedgeree. Once we had ordered, the sommelier came over and told us he would be matching wines to each of our courses, which is something we always love when having a nice meal and were pleased to experience this at The Goring.

    For with the first course, I was given a glass of Saumur Chateau De Fausse Seche, Arcanes 2009, France and Steve had a glass of Chateau Ste Michelle & dr Loosen Eroica Riseling, America 2012.

    We were also told by the restaurant manager we must try the Eggs Drumkilbo, which The Goring is quite famous for with the dish having been the Queen Mother’s favourite, and even though on paper it wasn’t something I would have ever chosen, we thought we should sample it. The dish came with a glass of Cotes Du Rhone Vin Gourmand, Domaine Dauvergne Ranvier, France 2011. 

    The dishes arrived presented beautifully and the plaice completely melted in the mouth and was complimented perfectly by the fresh tastes of cucumber and dill and the delicious potted shrimps. Steve’s kedgeree was delicious with Quail’s Egg and an unusual addition of puffed wheat on the top of the dish which added a lovely crunch to it. The Eggs Drumkilbo consisted of chopped Boiled Eggs, Creme Fraiche, Mayonnaise, Tomato Jelly, Lobster and Prawns topped with Caviar. It was served chilled in a glass dish and was very fresh tasting, with the tomato jelly adding a lovely texture to the bite of the prawns and lobster and the creaminess of the egg and dressing. Eggs and mayonnaise are too of my least favourite things but it was surprisingly enjoyable for me!

    All three of the wines were dry white wines and really brought out the flavours of the fish in the dishes but I think we both preferred the taste of the Riesling out of the three wines. 

    We thought we were moving onto main course at this point but were brought out another starter to try chosen by the chef - Rose Veal Tartare, Smoked Anchovy and Fresh Horseradish. We were given another wine for with this dish of Mercurey La Framboisiere, Domaine Faiveley France 2010. I would never have chosen veal tartare from a menu but it was a very light dish and the saltiness of the smoked anchovies and strong taste of the horseradish really worked with the delicacy of the veal. The crispness of the wine was just right with the dish.

    For main course I ordered the Glazed Pork Belly, Pig’s Cheek, Crisp Suckling Pig, Turnip and Mustard and Steve chose the Oxtail Bun, Dry Aged Sirloin, Malted Parnsip Puree and Ale. Both came with a glass of red wine and Zisola Maseii Sicili 2009 was matched with my pork and Alamos Malbec, Argentina 2013 came with Steve’s.

    Both courses were rich, comforting and absolutely divine. The pork was all cooked perfectly with the belly wonderfully soft, the pig’s cheek melting in the mouth and the suckling pig a mixture of the two. The pork came with a rich and meaty sauce that also complimented the flavours of mustard and turnip. The sirloin was cooked perfectly medium rare and the taste of ale and parsnip were a perfect match to the richness and heartiness of the oxtail in wonderfully buttery puff pastry. The Malbec, which is actually Steve’s favourite red wine, was good but we both decided the Zisola was exceptional and I thought it was the nicest red wine I’ve ever tasted. 

    We were quite full after our main courses so were given a relaxing breather before we decided on dessert. After pursuing the cheese menu for a long time (yes, there is a separate menu devoted to a huge variety of cheeses on offer) and seeing other diners order cheese with it arriving on it’s own cheese trolley, we both decided to go for something sweet, even though the cheese looked quite amazing. 

    I opted for the Manjari Chocolate with Smoked Caramel and Milk Ice Cream and Steve decided on the Ice Lemon Meringue Parfait with Limoncello. Both dishes looked spectacular when they arrived and we were glad we’d decided on something sweet.

    The chocolate was very rich but balanced out well with the smoked caramel, which was thick and slightly salted, and the creaminess of the milk ice cream. The lemon was meringue parfait was zesty, fruity and sweet with gorgeous smooth lemon cream, soft and toasted meringue and a sharp lemon sauce with just the right amount of limoncello. It was probably the nicest lemon meringue we’ve ever eaten. 

    After finishing the fruity Madeira Henriques & Henriques, Bual, Portugal that came with my dessert and the sweet yet refreshing Jurancon Charles Hours uroulat, France 2012 that accompanied Steve’s lemon meringue parfait, we ended the meal with a cappuccino and an espresso and some homemade petit fours before retiring to the comfortable sofa area in the bar for a final drink of Amaretto Sour. 

    We had an absolutely amazing meal at The Goring and could not recommend a visit enough. Opulent surroundings, impeccable service with waiting staff that could not assist you enough and of course most importantly, delicious food and drinks. We never visited The Goring before Shay Cooper arrived but I think the food at The Goring would be hard pushed to be better than we ate during our visit. It was a meal that was fine dining without being over bearing and was traditional whilst also incredibly new and exciting. 

    We are already planning our next visit - thank you The Goring for our 5* evening of pure delight. 

    A 3 course meal at The Goring costs £52.50 for dinner and £42.50 for lunch. 

    Dotty Dishes was a guest of The Goring.

    The Goring, Beeston Place, London, SW1W 0JW.

  3. DOTTY’S DRINK & DINE SUPPER CLUB IN ASSOCIATION WITH VILLEROY & BOCH
A couple of weeks ago, I held the first ever supper club for Dotty Dishes named ‘Dotty’s Drink & Dine Supper Club’.
I have long admired the ambition of people who run supper clubs and since starting Dotty Dishes over two years ago, I have always wanted to try one of my own.
When Villeroy & Boch contacted me a few months back asking if I would like them to supply their tasteful crockery, glassware and cutlery for a dinner party or meal, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to launch the Dotty Dishes supper club. 
I have a huge passion for entertaining and these days, I much prefer having friends over to my home for a meal and a few drinks from our retro boat bar ‘H.M.S Del Buoy’. I know traditionally, wine is what should accompany fine dining but these days, we always end up drinking an array of cocktails when we cook a nice meal. Now don’t get me wrong, I love wine, but there is something so fun about conjuring up a cocktail to match the flavours of the food you’re eating. 
And that’s where the theme for Dotty’s Drink & Dine Supper Club came from; instead of matching wines, why not have matching cocktails to each course! So that’s what we did and the supper club became a joint effort by myself (food) and my partner Steve (cocktails). 
Above are a selection of pictures of the 6 courses I cooked and some of the matching cocktails by Steve. Here are the food and drink menus in full:
FOOD MENU:
Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil
Salmon, Avocado, Beetroot
***************
Chilled Pea & Mint Soup
***************
Goats Cheese & Beetroot Two Ways 
Toasted Sourdough
***************
Seared Tuna Loin
Crushed Herb Potatoes, Quail’s Egg, Fine Beans, Garlic Croutons, Tomato Vinaigrette
***************
Rhubarb Jelly & Custard Ice Cream
With Poached Rhubarb, Shortbread Crumble
***************
Blacksticks Blue, Barber’s Cruncher, Beacon Fell Lancashire
With Spiced Red Wine Poached Pear & Plot 44 Rhubarb & Date Chutney
***************
Lavazza Coffee

DRINKS MENU:

69er 
Vodka, Amaretto, Chambord, Lime Juice, Prosecco, Maraschino Cherry
***************
Ginger Sting Thyme
Whiskey, Honey, Tequila, Apple Juice, Ginger Beer, Fresh Thyme
***************
Aloha Hawaii
Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Sugar Syrup, Barcardi, Cocktail Umbrella
***************
Bombay Breeze
Gin, Cranberry Juice, Grapefruit Juice
***************
Wines
Red: Argento Malbec Mendoza, 2013
White: Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Viogner, 2012
***************
My guests all had favourite courses but I think mine had to be my pudding as it was the first time I’d made my own custard, ice cream and jelly from scratch and I really have to say, it was the nicest version of each I’d ever eaten! The dessert was basically a summer version of Rhubarb Crumble and Custard and I have to say, it was delicious. The main, which was my take on a Tuna nicoise, was something that was both impressive in taste and on the plate. The starter of Goat’s Cheese and Beetroot two ways was my way of taking two flavours that work together incredibly well, but making those flavours into something a bit more interesting and exciting than the norm. The meal had to start with some homemade canapés and a simple Amuse Bouche of chilled Pea & Mint Soup and of course, had to end with a cheeseboard. And for this, I selected three of my favourite cheeses and served these with half a poached spiced red wine pear, which complimented the saltiness of the cheese perfectly. 
As with the food, everyone had their favourite cocktail. Each was completely different with the evening kicking off with a champagne cocktail with a 69er before moving to a sweet and savoury cocktail of Ginger Thyme Sting, where the flavours of honey and thyme worked perfectly together. The last two cocktails were both fruity in taste with hints of lime and pineapple complimenting the tuna and cranberry working well with the rhubarb. The two wines we selected were both favourites of ours - a Malbec chosen by Steve, which worked perfectly with the cheese and pear, and a Viogner chosen by me which was delicious with both the goats cheese and tuna. 
You can also see the gorgeous crockery, cutlery and glassware supplied by Villeroy & Boch which included NewWave crockery and cutlery and Boston glassware. They also supplied a spectacular 3-arm Candelabra and two Modern Grace wine decanters. 
We had a splendid evening and the matching tableware from Villeroy & Boch really did make the evening extra special. I do love my mismatching retro tableware but there is something about a clean white plate and crystal glass that really makes food and drinks wonderfully elegant. 
Now, onto the next one! If you would be interested in attending a Dotty’s Drink & Dine Supper club, please express your interest at dottydishes@hotmail.co.uk.
    High Res

    DOTTY’S DRINK & DINE SUPPER CLUB IN ASSOCIATION WITH VILLEROY & BOCH

    A couple of weeks ago, I held the first ever supper club for Dotty Dishes named ‘Dotty’s Drink & Dine Supper Club’.

    I have long admired the ambition of people who run supper clubs and since starting Dotty Dishes over two years ago, I have always wanted to try one of my own.

    When Villeroy & Boch contacted me a few months back asking if I would like them to supply their tasteful crockery, glassware and cutlery for a dinner party or meal, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to launch the Dotty Dishes supper club. 

    I have a huge passion for entertaining and these days, I much prefer having friends over to my home for a meal and a few drinks from our retro boat bar ‘H.M.S Del Buoy’. I know traditionally, wine is what should accompany fine dining but these days, we always end up drinking an array of cocktails when we cook a nice meal. Now don’t get me wrong, I love wine, but there is something so fun about conjuring up a cocktail to match the flavours of the food you’re eating. 

    And that’s where the theme for Dotty’s Drink & Dine Supper Club came from; instead of matching wines, why not have matching cocktails to each course! So that’s what we did and the supper club became a joint effort by myself (food) and my partner Steve (cocktails). 

    Above are a selection of pictures of the 6 courses I cooked and some of the matching cocktails by Steve. Here are the food and drink menus in full:

    FOOD MENU:

    Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil

    Salmon, Avocado, Beetroot

    ***************

    Chilled Pea & Mint Soup

    ***************

    Goats Cheese & Beetroot Two Ways 

    Toasted Sourdough

    ***************

    Seared Tuna Loin

    Crushed Herb Potatoes, Quail’s Egg, Fine Beans, Garlic Croutons, Tomato Vinaigrette

    ***************

    Rhubarb Jelly & Custard Ice Cream

    With Poached Rhubarb, Shortbread Crumble

    ***************

    Blacksticks Blue, Barber’s Cruncher, Beacon Fell Lancashire

    With Spiced Red Wine Poached Pear & Plot 44 Rhubarb & Date Chutney

    ***************

    Lavazza Coffee

    DRINKS MENU:

    69er 

    Vodka, Amaretto, Chambord, Lime Juice, Prosecco, Maraschino Cherry

    ***************

    Ginger Sting Thyme

    Whiskey, Honey, Tequila, Apple Juice, Ginger Beer, Fresh Thyme

    ***************

    Aloha Hawaii

    Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Sugar Syrup, Barcardi, Cocktail Umbrella

    ***************

    Bombay Breeze

    Gin, Cranberry Juice, Grapefruit Juice

    ***************

    Wines

    Red: Argento Malbec Mendoza, 2013

    White: Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes Viogner, 2012

    ***************

    My guests all had favourite courses but I think mine had to be my pudding as it was the first time I’d made my own custard, ice cream and jelly from scratch and I really have to say, it was the nicest version of each I’d ever eaten! The dessert was basically a summer version of Rhubarb Crumble and Custard and I have to say, it was delicious. The main, which was my take on a Tuna nicoise, was something that was both impressive in taste and on the plate. The starter of Goat’s Cheese and Beetroot two ways was my way of taking two flavours that work together incredibly well, but making those flavours into something a bit more interesting and exciting than the norm. The meal had to start with some homemade canapés and a simple Amuse Bouche of chilled Pea & Mint Soup and of course, had to end with a cheeseboard. And for this, I selected three of my favourite cheeses and served these with half a poached spiced red wine pear, which complimented the saltiness of the cheese perfectly. 

    As with the food, everyone had their favourite cocktail. Each was completely different with the evening kicking off with a champagne cocktail with a 69er before moving to a sweet and savoury cocktail of Ginger Thyme Sting, where the flavours of honey and thyme worked perfectly together. The last two cocktails were both fruity in taste with hints of lime and pineapple complimenting the tuna and cranberry working well with the rhubarb. The two wines we selected were both favourites of ours - a Malbec chosen by Steve, which worked perfectly with the cheese and pear, and a Viogner chosen by me which was delicious with both the goats cheese and tuna. 

    You can also see the gorgeous crockery, cutlery and glassware supplied by Villeroy & Boch which included NewWave crockery and cutlery and Boston glassware. They also supplied a spectacular 3-arm Candelabra and two Modern Grace wine decanters. 

    We had a splendid evening and the matching tableware from Villeroy & Boch really did make the evening extra special. I do love my mismatching retro tableware but there is something about a clean white plate and crystal glass that really makes food and drinks wonderfully elegant. 

    Now, onto the next one! If you would be interested in attending a Dotty’s Drink & Dine Supper club, please express your interest at dottydishes@hotmail.co.uk.

  4. FOODIE NEWS: BIRCHBOX 
I don’t usually post anything beauty related on my blog as Dotty Dishes is solely about food, drink and travel but when Birchbox got in touch about their ‘Good Enough To Eat’ box, I thought it sounded too good not to do a Foodie News post on. 
Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service who deliver a personalised box to their members every month filled with must-try beauty and lifestyle treats from over 500 global brands. 
This month their box is themed around being ‘Good Enough To Eat’ and I received a Birchbox in the post recently which arrived in a brown & white cardboard box with a hessian bag inside containing:
theBalm Cosmetics ‘How ‘Bout Them Apples?’ Cheek & Lip Cream
Lord & Berry Couture Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil
Color Club Gala’s Gems Nail Polish
Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes 
Laura Mercier Vanille Souffle Body Creme 
Propercorn Sweet Coconut & Vanilla 
When I opened it, I thought it was a delightful little box of goodies and I loved the way Birchbox had thought about the flavours to make it a ‘foodie’ beauty box. They also included a fold-out postcard that included a section on DIY beauty using honey, natural yoghurt and salt and a recipe from Hummingbird Bakery for Salted Caramel Cupcakes along with some cool food and beauty pictures that could be torn off and added to a pin-board or  picture frame. 
As much as I love my foodie deliveries, it was a nice treat to receive some beauty products and I love that they’re all miniature size to take with me for weekends away! 
For more information visit www.birchbox.co.uk. 
    High Res

    FOODIE NEWS: BIRCHBOX 

    I don’t usually post anything beauty related on my blog as Dotty Dishes is solely about food, drink and travel but when Birchbox got in touch about their ‘Good Enough To Eat’ box, I thought it sounded too good not to do a Foodie News post on. 

    Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service who deliver a personalised box to their members every month filled with must-try beauty and lifestyle treats from over 500 global brands. 

    This month their box is themed around being ‘Good Enough To Eat’ and I received a Birchbox in the post recently which arrived in a brown & white cardboard box with a hessian bag inside containing:

    theBalm Cosmetics ‘How ‘Bout Them Apples?’ Cheek & Lip Cream

    Lord & Berry Couture Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil

    Color Club Gala’s Gems Nail Polish

    Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes 

    Laura Mercier Vanille Souffle Body Creme 

    Propercorn Sweet Coconut & Vanilla 

    When I opened it, I thought it was a delightful little box of goodies and I loved the way Birchbox had thought about the flavours to make it a ‘foodie’ beauty box. They also included a fold-out postcard that included a section on DIY beauty using honey, natural yoghurt and salt and a recipe from Hummingbird Bakery for Salted Caramel Cupcakes along with some cool food and beauty pictures that could be torn off and added to a pin-board or  picture frame. 

    As much as I love my foodie deliveries, it was a nice treat to receive some beauty products and I love that they’re all miniature size to take with me for weekends away! 

    For more information visit www.birchbox.co.uk

  5. MILLENNIUM TANDOORI - REVIEW - 29TH MARCH 2014
Since I love cooking so much and when I’m not cooking, eating out at many restaurants across London, I don’t get the chance to eat a lot of takeaways. However when I do get the urge to order a food delivery, Indian is the culinary route I always take. 
Living in South East London, we’re really lucky to have the brilliant Millennium Tandoori on our doorstep. We first tried Millennium Tandoori after reading a feature in the Evening Standard about the Hungry House Best Takeaway Awards which voted it Britain’s Best Takeaway. We thought that was the strongest recommendation we could probably ever get to try out a local takeaway and knew we had to make an order. We are really glad we did as it’s now the only Indian takeaway we use. 
A few weeks ago, my Mum was visiting so we decided to have a Saturday night treat, get a takeaway and watch a film. We’d told her how nice Millennium Tandoori was and she is a big curry fan, so we ordered a selection of dishes for the three of us. 
We chose Poppadoms & Chutney (£0.60 each), Onion Bhaji (£2.10), Chicken Dosa (£3), Lamb Samosa (£2.10) and Lamb Tikka (£2.80) to start and for main chose Chicken Tikka Taba (£6.20), Anarly Chicken (£6.30) and Green Lamb Masala (£5.90) with Saag Aloo (£2.60), Coconut Rice (£2.40), Peas Rice (£2.40) and Mixed Naan (£2.20). 
We popped the oven on low and when the curry arrived we kept our mains warm while we sat down and enjoyed our starters. The samosas were packed full of minced lamb and spices with really crisp filo pastry, the lamb tikka was tender and really tasty and the bhajis had a great texture but were slightly greasy, which was a little disappointing. The Chicken Dosa however is by far our favourite starter from Millennium Tandoori and it didn’t disappoint. Wrapped in a wholewheat roti packed full of nicely spiced chicken curry, the dosa is always perfect and something I could always eat more of and I often wish I’d just ordered a whole one for myself and some peas rice to accompany it! 
We decided to share the main courses so we could all try a bit of everything. I’d already tried the Anarly Chicken, which is very flavoursome with a strong taste of cinnamon but the Chicken Tikka Taba and Green Lamb Masala were new to us. The Tikka Taba had a good amount of spice with flavours of ginger and garlic and the lamb was very darkly coloured with a much thinner sauce but despite looking unappealing, was delicious with lots of fresh herbs coming through and the lamb was perfectly tender. 
Both rices were fluffy and perfectly cooked, the saag aloo had big chunks of potato with really tasty spinach and spices and the naan, filled with cheese, potato and tikka was unusual but really good. 
All of the dishes from Millennium Tandoori were fresh, flavoursome and not greasy at all, as some curries often can be. My Mum enjoyed her takeaway and we were left very satisfied, as we always have been, by the fantastic Millennium Tandoori. 
If you’ve not tried their curries yet, you really should, and make sure you try the Chicken Dosa!
Dotty Dishes reviewed Millennium Tandoori as a guest of hungryhouse.
http://hungryhouse.co.uk/millennium-tandoori 
http://hungryhouse.co.uk/blog/top-takeaways/london/south-east/
    High Res

    MILLENNIUM TANDOORI - REVIEW - 29TH MARCH 2014

    Since I love cooking so much and when I’m not cooking, eating out at many restaurants across London, I don’t get the chance to eat a lot of takeaways. However when I do get the urge to order a food delivery, Indian is the culinary route I always take. 

    Living in South East London, we’re really lucky to have the brilliant Millennium Tandoori on our doorstep. We first tried Millennium Tandoori after reading a feature in the Evening Standard about the Hungry House Best Takeaway Awards which voted it Britain’s Best Takeaway. We thought that was the strongest recommendation we could probably ever get to try out a local takeaway and knew we had to make an order. We are really glad we did as it’s now the only Indian takeaway we use. 

    A few weeks ago, my Mum was visiting so we decided to have a Saturday night treat, get a takeaway and watch a film. We’d told her how nice Millennium Tandoori was and she is a big curry fan, so we ordered a selection of dishes for the three of us. 

    We chose Poppadoms & Chutney (£0.60 each), Onion Bhaji (£2.10), Chicken Dosa (£3), Lamb Samosa (£2.10) and Lamb Tikka (£2.80) to start and for main chose Chicken Tikka Taba (£6.20), Anarly Chicken (£6.30) and Green Lamb Masala (£5.90) with Saag Aloo (£2.60), Coconut Rice (£2.40), Peas Rice (£2.40) and Mixed Naan (£2.20). 

    We popped the oven on low and when the curry arrived we kept our mains warm while we sat down and enjoyed our starters. The samosas were packed full of minced lamb and spices with really crisp filo pastry, the lamb tikka was tender and really tasty and the bhajis had a great texture but were slightly greasy, which was a little disappointing. The Chicken Dosa however is by far our favourite starter from Millennium Tandoori and it didn’t disappoint. Wrapped in a wholewheat roti packed full of nicely spiced chicken curry, the dosa is always perfect and something I could always eat more of and I often wish I’d just ordered a whole one for myself and some peas rice to accompany it! 

    We decided to share the main courses so we could all try a bit of everything. I’d already tried the Anarly Chicken, which is very flavoursome with a strong taste of cinnamon but the Chicken Tikka Taba and Green Lamb Masala were new to us. The Tikka Taba had a good amount of spice with flavours of ginger and garlic and the lamb was very darkly coloured with a much thinner sauce but despite looking unappealing, was delicious with lots of fresh herbs coming through and the lamb was perfectly tender. 

    Both rices were fluffy and perfectly cooked, the saag aloo had big chunks of potato with really tasty spinach and spices and the naan, filled with cheese, potato and tikka was unusual but really good. 

    All of the dishes from Millennium Tandoori were fresh, flavoursome and not greasy at all, as some curries often can be. My Mum enjoyed her takeaway and we were left very satisfied, as we always have been, by the fantastic Millennium Tandoori. 

    If you’ve not tried their curries yet, you really should, and make sure you try the Chicken Dosa!

    Dotty Dishes reviewed Millennium Tandoori as a guest of hungryhouse.

    http://hungryhouse.co.uk/millennium-tandoori 

    http://hungryhouse.co.uk/blog/top-takeaways/london/south-east/