Tag Archives: foodie moments

Top 10 Foodie Moments (Part 2)

Ok so here we are carrying on with our top foodie moments. Check out our post from yesterday to see our numbers 10 – 6. These five were really hard to come up with, we’ve had so many incredible moments, hopefully in another few years we’ll have a whole bunch more memories jostling for top spot!

5. Balcony food in Montefrio, Spain

We have the extreme good fortune of having a family friend who let us stay in her beautiful house in Spain for two weeks in September 2011. Bird had been before with her parents in 2009 and was so excited to show Fats the incredible view from the balcony! We cooked a lot while we were there – the dish in the photo is some chicken fajitas (we think!) but the stand out dish we made while there was a delicious pork and chorizo stew which is basically made the same as this recipe we posted recently, only using some of the region’s famously tasty pork. We ate in candlelight so as to attract as few insects as possible but it also added a little something to the meal! The place we were staying in was not touristy at all; it was a typical Andalucian village, and the food we got was wonderful – especially the pork and chorizo! Going on a self catering holiday is such a world away from staying in hotels, you really get to get stuck in and get a feel for the local food – perfect for us.

Chicken Fajitas on the balcony... Simply wonderful
Chicken Fajitas on the balcony… Simply wonderful
Yes, this was the view while we were eating dinner! The stunning Montefrio
Yes, this was the view while we were eating dinner! The stunning Montefrio

4. Spiced lamb meatballs on our first night in Marrakech

We’ve described how to make these beautiful little meatballs in this post from a while back, as well as the drama of arriving in Morocco! Our riad was a perfect haven, once we’d established we were getting dinner we were seated in one of the recesses off the indoor courtyard, on low seats, dimly lit and served some of the simplest, but most beautiful food we’ve ever had. We started with a salad consisting of lettuce, red pepper and olives with a citrusy dressing. Then onto the main event – a tagine was brought out and the lid was whisked off dramatically to reveal the meatballs covered in baked eggs with their little flecks of smoked paprika. We barely said a word to each other for the first few minutes, we were so busy stuffing our faces! This is one of the dishes we’ve managed to recreate most successfully and still make regularly, we had some friends over for dinner on Tuesday and this made up part of the Middle Eastern spread we served them. The heady mix of relief, extraordinary surroundings and delicious food make this one of our best memories.

This was the view from the roof terrace of our riad. The smoke in the distance is from the food stalls in the Djema el-Fna (the main square) - spectacular!
This was the view from the roof terrace of our riad. The smoke in the distance is from the food stalls in the Djema el-Fna (the main square) – spectacular!

3. Macarons and Champagne in Paris

Yeah, we know, it’s a tad pretentious right? But it also had to be done! We went to Paris in February 2012, right in the middle of a severe cold snap, it didn’t get above freezing the whole time we were there. This was a bit of a double edged sword – it meant no queuing times, we got to the front of the queue for the Eiffel Tower in less than 10 minutes which is practically unheard of! It also meant that we couldn’t bear to be outside for long, our wonderful weekend consisted of dashing from museum to cafe to art gallery to cafe to the hotel to dinner. Not that we’re complaining, there’s never enough opportunities for an espresso  in Paris! This day we’d ventured to Ladurée – famous as one of the best macaron makers in the world. We passed up on the ruinously expensive (but surely worth it!) afternoon tea in favour of a box of macarons packaged in a beautiful pistachio green box to take back to our hotel room. The flavours we went for were rose, dark chocolate, salted caramel and pear and chestnut – all were amazing but we think the rose and salted caramel were our favourites. We also happened to get a free dinky bottle of champagne from the hotel so we had an indulgent half an hour snaffling macarons, sipping champagne and watching the snow from our window.

Brrr... Winter in Paris
Brrr… Winter in Paris
Mmmm..... Slightly pretentiously arrayed champagne and macarons. We were destined to be food bloggers from this moment!
Mmmm….. Slightly pretentiously arrayed champagne and macarons. We were destined to be food bloggers from this moment!

2. Wine tasting on Santorini

So for those of you who haven’t been or drooled over pictures, Santorini was once a large circular island, and was blown up by the volcano in it’s centre which, after a few eruptions left a stunning crescent moon shaped island complete with a jawdropping caldera. Perched on top of the middle of this caldera we found a vineyard with wine tasting facilities. This was actually on the same day as our no. 8 moment – mixed meze – what an amazing day! For the bargain price of €12 we were served 5 generous glasses of wine, 4 normal wines of the region and 1 glass of the local vinsanto – a syrupy sweet dessert wine. Along with this came breadsticks, cheese and olives – amazing value. Perhaps our brains were a bit fuddled even before the wine but we forgot to snap a picture until we’d drunk most of it! We also had the terrace completely to ourselves for about an hour, we made a hasty retreat as a coach party turned up. It was one of the most tranquil hours, sipping beautiful local wine with great conversation, perfect weather and the craziest view!

That view is simply breathtaking - we're so lucky!
That view is simply breathtaking – we’re so lucky!

1. Picnic in a storm in Florence

We’ve already touched on this one in this post but it really is our favourite memory. Funny how the most humble meals can be the most memorable. The day started with a trip to an absolutely beautiful food market in Florence – the Mercato di San Lorenzo – just north of the Duomo. After managing to stop ourselves from buying everything we laid eyes on we ended up with some vine tomatoes, fresh ricotta, a creamy gorgonzola, two slices of different foccacias and some plums. We then hiked up to the other side of the Arno to get the best view of the city. Climbing up through rose gardens to be greeted with one of the most famous vistas.

We were up on the Piazzale Michelangelo admiring David’s turquoise arse when a serious storm rolled slowly in, so of course we hung around watching the spectacle until fat drops of rain started landing on us. Hastily packing up the camera (Fats) and clamping arms down to save flashing everyone as the wind howled (Bird) we scurried down the hill. Sheltering under a tower for a few minutes we eventually decided to just make a dash for it and aim for the arches of the Uffizi gallery.

David's arse has never looked more dramatic!
David’s arse has never looked more dramatic!
Yep, it's heading straight for us. Just a few more snaps!
Yep, it’s heading straight for us. Just a few more snaps!

We made it there just as the heavens fully opened, the sort of rain which causes flash flooding! It was busy with many other trapped tourists… however none of them had brought a picnic along! We opened our beautiful brown-paper-wrapped packages and had the best picnic either of us has ever had. The tomatoes were like nothing we’d ever experienced before – the sweetest, most flavourful tomatoes imaginable (we had been promised as much by the lovely Italian lady who sold them to us), and they complimented the cheeses perfectly. Wherever you go on holiday we fully recommend ditching the restaurants and cafes in favour of a simple picnic from a market for at least a few meals – local, fresh food at it’s best!

The remains of our lunch in our Florence hotel room. What an amazing day!
The remains of our lunch in our Florence hotel room. What an amazing day!

So, those were our top 10 foodie moments so far – they were so much fun to write, and a great way to celebrate our 100th post – here’s to many more! What are your top foodie moments?

Top 10 Foodie Moments (Part 1)

It’s our 100th post! We weren’t sure when we started this blog back in July that it would get past the first month but we’ve absolutely loved writing it, and we’re so chuffed that so many of you read our babbling on. To mark this little milestone we thought we would share with you some of our absolute favourite “foodie moments”. You know when everything just comes together? The food, the company, the view, the atmosphere all combines to make a memory that never fails to raise a smile. Well – these are ours. We’ve split this post into two so as not to cause eye-strain from reading it all in one go! We battled this out over cups of tea in bed one Saturday morning, so many great memories failed to make the top 10… we love eating! So without further waffling, here’s our top moments counting down from 10 to 6.

10. Mackerel on the seafront in Brighton

Mackerel is so fresh in Brighton, you can buy it straight out of the old fishermen’s huts on the beach, and they also cook it fresh for you there. A perfectly cooked fillet or two of mackerel, crispy skin and all, in a fluffy bun with salad while you sit with the sun beating down on your back and people watch, just bliss! We got these while visiting Bird’s parents, an ice cold beer in hand, on one of those magical completely cloud-free weekends that you occasionally get in Brighton.

9. Cafe Rouge in Bristol

A bit of a soppy one here… this was our first date *vomits*. We went to Cafe Rouge and then to see The Imaginiarium of Doctor Parnassus at The Watershed. Bird had a salmon salad Niçoise and, like the forgetful sod he is, Fats can’t remember! It was all washed down with a bottle of white wine, lovely service and incredible conversation. The nerves and excitement probably make this memory stand out more than other, possibly better food-wise, memories but it will always be treasured.

8. Vegetarian meze on Santorini

We’d gone for a visit to Ancient Thera during our holiday island hopping in Greece. Ancient Thera is an amazing set of ruins on top of a dramatic cliff (most of Santorini is on top of a dramatic cliff) and although we wussed out and got the coach up there we decided to walk down the other side to see the famous black sands and try to find some lunch. After half an hour clambering down in midday heat we were desperate for a drink and some great food. On inspection however the only place we could see open had some cheesy parasols on the beach and a small shaded garden area outside the restaurant. Too tired and hungry to argue by this point we nipped inside and we were so glad we did! We opted for the vegetarian mixed meze and got two beautiful platters of food – sadly we can’t remember exactly what we had, there was fava, dolmades, vegetables in flaky pastry and many other delights. All topped off with a view of the crystal clear water and black sands, pretty tough to beat!

The restaurant is somewhere down there in Perissa! Shot taken from Ancient Thera on Santorini
The restaurant is somewhere down there in Perissa! Shot taken from Ancient Thera on Santorini
Delicious Meze on Santorini
Delicious Meze on Santorini

7. Nannini, Siena

The. Best. Coffee. Shop. Just incredible. This old-fashioned feeling cafe has great glass counters displaying a mindblowing array of baked goods, every biscuit imaginable, delicate pastries, larger cakes – all you can do is gawp for a good few minutes. You select what you want, tell them what coffee you would like and pay at the counter and then take your receipt round to the coffee bar and tell the barista exactly what you would like. As with most cafes in Italy you will pay a premium for sitting down so we opted to have ours standing at the bar. The coffee was some of the best we’ve ever tasted and the biscuits were divine, especially the ricciarelli which are the famous almond biscuits of the region. We didn’t stop smiling for a moment we were in there and went back for a second helping the following day!

Nanini in Siena
Nanini in Siena

6. Bell’s Diner, Bristol

Bell’s Diner is a delightful restaurant in Bristol, tucked away in the most unlikely of places on a quiet residential street in Montpelier. Our visit was a rather wonderful surprise present from Bird for my 23rd birthday – I was told to dress smart, and be ready at half 7… She picked me up in a taxi and whisked me off for a quite astonishingly good evening of food. This was our first seriously good meal out in Bristol, an eight-course extravaganza of exquisitely prepared food (with wine flight, of course!). On the menu was tomato caviar served in an eggshell, scallop and belly pork served with apple and chorizo, rabbit with lemon risotto topped with Parmesan foam, and more besides! The staff were lovely – we felt very uncouth when we had to ask we should to go about tackling one particular dish, and the sommelier was a lovely, warm, enthusiastic but very shy french man who gave introduced each glass as if he’d grown the grapes himself! Bell’s diner has had a bit of a makeover – it’s now a trendy bistro joint – but we fully intend to pay them another visit.

Stay tuned for our top 5 foodie moments – we’ve loved writing these, they’ve really brought a massive smile to our faces!

Update: you can find our top 5 foodie moments here!