Celebrate Bob Marley’s Birthday in style!

Celebrate Bob Marley’s Birthday with a special cocktail – or two…

Turtle Bay is offering 241 on Marley Mojitos all day from Friday 3rd – Monday 6th February.

Bob Marley Commemorative Cocktail

Cocktails at Turtle Bay, Manchester

The Marley Mojito is Turtle Bay’s twist on the classic Mojito and a tribute to Jamaica’s most celebrated musician. Made with Appleton Estate Special Jamaican rum, green melon liqueur, fresh mint & watermelon and home-made ginger beer, the ginger gives it that extra Caribbean kick!

Turtle Bay has more than 40 different rums to sample and all their other cocktails are also 241 during happy hour (12-7pm and 10pm – close, daily)

Cocktails at Turtle Bay

Happy Hour at Turtle Bay, Bristol

Visit www.turtlebay.co.uk for more information.

 

Summer Recipe Corner: Guest Chef Scott Turnbull

Adventures in tea and food…

Changing my diet and lifestyle over the past few months thankfully hasn’t put an end to my tea adventures!

Teapots from The Teapot Dude

A fab range of teapots from The Teapot Dude – one for every occasion, from festivals, to weddings, to birthdays!

I was delighted when the lovely team at The Teapot Dude sent me a selection of their fantastic teapots – the versatile teapot peg design brightens up an ordinary cup or mug and can be matched to any important occasion.

Groovy Festival Tea from The Teapot Dude

Groovy, baby! A pre-Foodies Festival cuppa from The Teapot Dude – All you need is love!

I particularly enjoyed trying out the very latest design, All You Need is Love, inspired by festival fever, to get myself in the mood for Foodies Festival not far from my home in beautiful Syon Park.

Tasked with changing my diet to gluten and dairy free, I was a little worried about finding anything I could eat at Foodies Festival in Syon Park. I needn’t have worried – I came back with all manner of gluten and dairy free goodies!

In the process of experimenting with new dishes and alternatives to my usual favourites, also avoiding a number of other foods that cause me problems, I asked my dear friend Scott for some recipe ideas. Some summery, simple dishes that would complement some of my latest teas.

Tasty dinners for tea people

Tea People Tea and yummy Foodies goodies

Fabulous tea and goodies from Foodies Festival at Syon Park

These dishes go particularly well with the very different teas from Tea People that I picked up at the Syon Park Foodies Festival, especially the Masala Chai and the Choco Mint Rooibos. Tea People is a wonderful social enterprise organisation, blending a delicious, unique range of teas, giving half their profits to education projects in tea growing regions. I met the lovely team behind Tea People at Foodies and they have a wonderful story – find out more at www.teapeople.co.uk/our-story

Scott has come up with some mouthwatering recipes that fit the bill perfectly – I hope you enjoy them!

Bean Salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

Bean salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

Scott’s Bean Salad

Ingredients

215g Butter bean
235g Cannellini beans
1/2 finely chopped red onion
Handful of fine beans (topped & tailed)
1/2 handful of fresh chopped mint
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1tablespoons lemon juice
1tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 the chopped red onion
1/2 the chopped mint.
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice & pomegranate jewels.

  1. Cook the tinned beans as per instructions ( I do mine in the microwave – quick and easy!)
  2. Drain in a sieve under cold running water, then leave over bowl to drain further.
  3. Boil some water in a pan, add a pinch of salt, then add the fine beans once water is boiling. (Make sure you only leave in the water for 90 seconds, as you want the beans to still be green and crisp)
  4. After 90 seconds, drain and put into ice cold water to stop them cooking.
  5. Drain all the beans & place in a large salad bowl, add 3 tablespoons pomegranate jewels, 1/2 of the finely chopped red onion and 1/2 the mint and gently toss together.

For the vinaigrette:
Add all the ingredients from the list and whisk together until it begins to emulsify. Drizzle over the salad & enjoy. It’s that easy!

Mojito Chicken
This is a fab summer chicken dish, and the flavours complement the bean salad perfectly. Also great with summer cocktails!

Mojito Chicken

Scott’s Mojito Chicken

Ingredients
12 chicken legs (washed)
1tablespoons of soft brown sugar
1/2tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons of white rum
1 tablespoons of dark rum
1 lime
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (half the lime)
1/2 handful of fresh mint roughly chopped or torn.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and finely ground white pepper into a large plastic container, add the chicken legs, and shake it up, baby!

Ok, now you’ve had your daily exercise, lets get to the fun part…!

Sprinkle the sugar  all over the chicken, pour over the lime juice and rum and sprinkle in 1/2 of the chopped mint. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate.

Once marinated, set the oven to Gas Mark 7/200 degrees in a fan assisted oven/220 degrees in an electric oven.

Place marinated chicken on a baking tray covered in tin foil, pour over the remaining juice, fold over the foil so it’s 1/2 covered and leave to cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

After this time, open up the foil, turn the chicken legs and leave for another 10-15 minutes to crisp up a bit.

Once done, decorate with a sprig of mint, place on plate and enjoy! Perfect with summer cocktails, iced mint tea, or a nice pot of Chocolate Mint Roiboos!

I hope you enjoy trying out these fabulous, healthy summer recipes. Follow Scott on Instagram at Callisto22 for more fab recipes and drool-worthy pictures of his latest creations!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Rachael and Scott xx

Scott and me at the Labyrinth Masked Ball

Guest Chef Scott Turnbull with me at the fabulous Labyrinth Masked Ball!

Rock and Roll Tea, anyone?

Tea with RachaelA month of yummy tea!

I have been lucky enough to have had a number of fantastic tea experiences over the past month – both in the UK and across the pond, in the ever-amazing NYC!  I would like to share them all with you over the coming weeks, but first, I must tell you about the fantastic W Rock Tea afternoon Tea at London’s W Hotel in Leicester Square.  Remixed by the fabulous Gizzi Erskine, the menu features sandwiches, scones and sweet treats named after famous rock and roll artists and songs.

Founder of The Secret Tea Society, Claire Worrell

Our afternoon tea outing was organised by the charming tea-loving ladies at
The Secret Tea Society, a membership group for like-minded ladies who, well, love tea!  And what a wonderful way to spend the afternoon it really was!  I encourage you to join this fab group of fellow tea lovers!

The tea looked amazing, as I’m sure you’ll agree!  We started with “Dark Side of the Moon” sandwiches, followed by the aptly-named “Rule Britannia” currant scones (with jam and clotted cream, of course!), then  the beautiful and sweet-smelling “Every Rose has its Thorn” (Rose financier with rose petal jam), the “Cherry Bomb”, a colourful and sparkly bomb of chocolate, mascapone and cherry.

Rock and Roll Remix afternoon tea Salted caramel eclairs and other cakes at Rock and Roll Remix afternoon tea

Then came the cakes, designed by Gizzi herself!  My favourites were the utterly gorgeous “Wild Things” – salted caramel and popcorn eclairs – which just melted in the mouth!  These were closely followed in my affections by the equally fabulously-named “Rockabilly Rebel” cakes, made from Devil’s Food Cake layered with peanut butter mousse and topped with peanut brittle.

Mmm…even more delicious then the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups that I was addicted to for a long time!  There were also the delightful “Flips Ville” – miniature Cherry Cola and Yuzu tarts with sparkles and popping candy (still popping when they arrived – amazing!)

The delicious food was all washed down with a fine selection of teas from Harney & Sons, a really lovely range of teas that I discovered in New York, first when I was served it with breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria where I was staying, and then being served almost everywhere I went!  I brought some of the very tasty and quite unusual blend of English Breakfast back to the UK with me, so was delighted to have more of this and also sample their refreshing Earl Grey with my W Hotel tea!

Secret Tea Society cocktailsWe had a wonderful afternoon of great tea, yummy food and even better company!  To top it all off, after a leisurely afternoon taking tea, we also tried out the delicious cocktails at the W Hotel bar.  I had the very appropriate “Royal T” – a fragrant, floral mix of jasmine tea, rose syrup, gin and lemon juice, topped up with Prosecco.  Refreshing and delicious!

I heartily recommend this scrumptious tea – and the extensive cocktail menu!  In fact, I will have to go back again at some point just to try the other equally tasty-sounding cocktails!
So, until next time, “Cheerio”, as we said at the end of our afternoon!  Enjoy your tea break – perhaps rock and roll-style and even followed by a cocktail (or two?) Fabulous! 🙂

Rachael X

Time for a Tea Party – Tipsy Tea?

  

Fun in the sun?

The beautiful summery weather at the weekend inspired me to think about summer parties – sipping cocktails and fruity drinks in the sunshine, music and a BBQ! And my visit to the Foodies Festival provided even further inspiration, tasting yummy food and sipping summery drinks in the blazing sunshine on Hampton Court Green! (A full review of the fabulous Foodies Festival will follow soon!)

And then the sky went grey, the wind started to blow, and it rained!  My thoughts turned to hot drinks – tea, of course, and also proper coffee.  I have purchased some fab vintage finds over the past few weeks, having been on several successful charity shop rummages and bagging bargains from my favourite online vintage sellers, like the lovely Seld Emrys Jones.

So, I started to think about adapting summer parties for the great British weather, and came up with some more interesting ideas!

It’s all gone a bit Gatsby…

The Roaring Twenties are all the rage again, with the release of Baz Luhrmann’sThe Great Gatsby, and Boardwalk Empire being one of the box sets of choice, so why not live it up, Prohibition style, and enjoy a British-American summer party indoors, in the warmth of the house?  I’m a huge fan of all things 1920s – the fashion, art, furniture, jewellery – and love the decadent feel.  What better way to recreate that feeling that using your vintage teacups, saucers and other tea paraphenalia for the cocktails?

Tipsy Tea Cups

I love the idea of serving cocktails in tea cups (another nod to the 20s era!), like this fabulous Absinthe cocktail from the Powderpuff Girls at the Powder Room (very appropriate for the launch of Paul et Joe’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream themed summer range last year.)There are some fab places where you can try tea cup cocktails out and about, like The Tea Box in Richmond, and I’m hoping to get more inspiration from a visit to Prohibition and the 20s architecture in New York!

But far more fun to try it at home with your own vintage pieces, using vintage cups to serve the cocktails and retro coffee pots instead of jugs.

And then I found out about the lovely people at Tipsy Tea Cups, who decided to make their own very special vintage glasses after inspiration from a stay in a fab hotel.  They use their own (top secret!) bonding technique to fuse tea cups and saucers with wine and cocktail glasses to create some really unique and eye-catching pieces, that will certainly add that vintage feel to your party.  I particularly love the shades of blue in some of these beauties, which would go very well in my dining room (particularly the pearlescent piece with matching pot – perfect for pouring those cocktails!)

And Tipsy Tea Cups or vintage tea or coffee cups and saucers can help create the right mood and atmosphere, setting the tone for the evening, filled with tealights.  Why not match the scented candles to the cocktails or food being served?  For example, rose scented tealights to go with my rose and red berry cocktail, rosemary scented candles to go with rosemary foccacia, or lavender scented to go with lavender tea?

More tea?

But why stop the tea association there? Why not make some of the cocktails with actual tea? I tried this with loose leaf tea from the fabulous Monkey Char, a Richmond based tea company who make some really unusual fruity and floral blends that work particularly well for cocktails, as well as a refreshing brew!

 

 

 

Tipsy Tea with Rachael – The ingredients…

How to make it…

Simply brew the tea, let it cool, mix with a small amount of cordial and equal parts liqueur, and serve with ice!  And why not have the bubbly version, topped up with Champagne?!  The beauty of this cocktail is that it makes an equally delicious non-alcoholic “mocktail” version as well!  (Just add sparkling water for the fizzy version!)

My other favourite year-round cocktail, Rachael’s Ray of Sunshine, mixes apple juice, ginger beer, Belvoir apple and ginger cordial, apple flavoured vodka and a twist of lime.  I’ve included a picture here of some I made last Christmas, proving it really does work beautifully, come rain or come shine!

When the weather gets better, I’ll also share some summer cocktail ideas, including Mojito and Margarita-inspired cocktails using organic fruit juices.

So, until next time, whether it’s pouring with rain or the sun is pouring in the window, pour yourself something nice.  Enjoy a tipsy tea tipple (or perhaps a warming cuppa?) when it’s time for your tea break!

Rachael X