A blog post in the middle of the week?
Yeah, your eyes aren’t seeing things. I realise I’ve been away from the blogosphere for the longest time, but that was entirely unintentional. I’ve been putting most of my time and energy into NaNoWriMo this month and a lot of other things have happened since I last posted, but I’ll write about them slowly but surely and catch you guys up.
Anyway, moving on…
A few weekends ago, I went to Hertfordshire to join some fellow bloggers in a cooking lesson at The Cookery and had the best time ever. Just need to get this out of the way but is it just me or do you start singing ‘Peng ting called Maddison, I tell her come and jump in my Addison Lee’ every time they get in an Addison Lee? No? Right, then, haha.
As soon as I entered the room, a glass of white wine appeared in my hand before we were introduced to the people behind The Cookery. The cooking area was so spacious and airy with AEG ovens installed on the back wall. After seeing what the ovens can do, I definitely need to speak to my mum about possibly getting one. (A round of gasps could be heard when Simon pulled the turkey out of the oven, I kid you not)
We started the afternoon off making winter vegetable wellington – this involved using filo pastry, something which used to give me nightmares back when I had to use it when we did Home Economics in school. I was pleasantly surprised with how mine turned out and the end result was to make it look like a Christmas present. Cute, right? Mine had a mushroom, aubergine, courgette and yellow and red peppers. It was so delicious, especially with the red wine jus. (Yeah, I said jus. I can be fancy like that.)
Mince pies were next on the agenda and they showed us how to make the pastry. Thankfully, they had already helped us out by making our pastry for us because I’m pretty sure it would have been a disaster if I tried to make it myself. We had different cutters to make closures for our pies; a mixture of stars, Christmas trees and hearts.
With Christmas music playing in the background and the room suitably decorated, it was definitely a fun afternoon. The pièce de résistance was definitely the fantastic Christmas dinner that they cooked for us: turkey, beef, pork stuffing with all the trimmings. I am so glad I wore my stretchy pants because I genuinely felt like a balloon.
The fun didn’t stop there, though, as we also got driven down to Tobacco Docks for Taste of London. For those that don’t know Taste of London is an event where London’s best restaurants, chefs and food and drink brands come together and showcase their signature dishes. It is basically a foodie dream come true.
I’d been wanting to go to Taste of London for the longest time, so I genuinely cried with happiness when I got there. After a glass of champagne on arrival, the first stop was Les 110 de Taillevent for their yellow breast chicken stuffed with foie gras, fettuccine and supreme sauce. The sauce was so delicious and creamy, and the pasta just the right amount of chewy.
It was super packed at ToL, which is to be expected, so I had to wait a bit. However, they were kind of enough to also offer me one of their desserts, which I would have taken if I weren’t allergic to nuts.
Toilet break and then it was off to go eat some dumplings from Dumplings’ Legend. I opted for xiao long bao and they were extremely delicious. I basically hoovered them up before you could say, “So, what dish is that?” What I really want to try is the huge xiao long bao where you poke a hole in the dumpling and drink the soup and then go in on the meat. The pork and soup went well together in the dumpling, and the flavouring was beautiful.
My last stop was Bubbledogs. I originally wanted to try the mac and cheese, but again my nut allergy got in the way so that was a no-go. Nevertheless, I had the most delicious hot dog at Bubbledogs alongside a shot of bubbles… geddit? Bubble. Dogs. Heh heh heh. (Okay, I’ll just leave now).
I went for their Taste Exclusive which was the Ding Dong Dog: bacon wrapped beef frankfurter, sprout slaw, brown butter breadcrumb and cranberry ketchup. The hotdog was perfectly juicy and the bacon was so crispy. Anything that has bacon in it, I am all over.
I’m not a fan of Brussel sprouts, and I don’t think many people are, to be honest, and you’re only really going to eat them at Christmas dinner, but they were actually really good in the slaw that was on the hotdog.
The whole experience was amazing right down to learning how to cook new recipes and exploring the different dishes they had at ToL. I had a fantastic time and a quick thank you to AEG, Currys PC World, The Cookery and Joe Blogs for having me!
If you’re the one in charge of making Christmas Dinner this year then be sure to check out Currys PC World post on how to nail it! Usually, my grandma makes all of it, but I might actually get stuck in this year and make some dishes too.
Note: Photos marked (*) are courtesy of Joe Blogs. I was not financially compensated for this post and the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.