London for Foodies

picDo you eat to live or live to eat? The right answer can perfectly assess whether you are a diehard foodie or not. If you like to explore the cuisine of various places around the world, London is surely a must visit for you. With a wide range of luxury restaurants, bistros, pubs, bars and cafes, get ready to tickle your taste buds on your holiday in London. A good idea is to stay at a hotel near Euston Station, since it is part of the Central London terminus that has train links via both the London Underground and Overground for convenient travelling options for tourists and locals. Central London is also a hub for foodies, since it has some of the top cafes and budget restaurants that serve delicious food without burning a hole in your pocket. Moreover, the food is healthy and of the best quality, since it is subject to various food laws that are part of England’s code of practice. According to the UK government’s Food Standards Agency, the current code of practice came into force in April 2014 and aims to make the quality of food being served at the various outlets across the country better for consumers. Be it fine dining or casual snacking, the capital of England not only holds such safety measures in high regard, it is home to several affordable, healthy and thriving dining options.

Where should a Foodie Stay?

A number of budget & cheap hotels in Central London will also be close to popular eating joints while providing great accommodation facilities for foodies. A good idea for foodies would be to stay at a hotel near St Pancras Station, such as Comfort Inn Kings Cross St Pancras London, located just a stone’s throw from the Central London station. With budget & cheap hotels near Kings Cross and St Pancras, you not only get to easily explore the centrally located restaurants, cafes and food junctions of the city, you can conveniently travel to various other places and try the diverse cuisine with ease. Let us take a look at a few budget cafes, restaurants and food streets in Central London for you to check out.

Popular Budget Restaurants and Cafes in Central London

If you love junk food, then Koshari Street is a slick canteen that offers Egyptian snack food at affordable prices. They serve soup, wraps and salad with an Egyptian twist, topped with unique herbs, spices and nuts. If you prefer traditional comfort food, you will not be disappointed by Honest Burger, popular across London for serving 35-day aged beef in burger buns and attracting locals from all across the city. The delicious and meaty burgers may be moderately priced, but make sure you plan on an early arrival since a number of hungry burger lovers will be already waiting in queue. For a unique taste of London coffee, Foxcroft & Ginger is a hip, utilitarian, white tiled, coffee and snacking junction that resembles a quintessential modern cafe or bistro. With a brilliant display of cakes, brownies and other bakery products, you can pick up a goody bag of munchies and delicious coffee at F&G.


A Brief Look at Adult-Orientated Slushy Drinks

For many kids there is nothing better than a refreshing and cooling icy and sweet slushy on a hot day in the summer.  As adults, we know the feeling all too well and although we are older and maybe feel too grown up for a straight forward slushy, there are other options open to us.  In a similar way to popcorn, ice-cream and even candy floss machine being available to buy for your home, there are now a large variety of slush machines available.  This means that you no longer have to pay extortionate prices at shops or restaurants and cafes to get your kids an icy liquid treat 

It has also open the doors of creativity for adults who are looking for a great way to enjoy the buzz and chill of a slushy drink with the flavour of something a little more grown up than red or blue.  Yes, we are talking about alcoholic slushy drinks!  The chance for you to take your favourite cocktail or alcoholic beverage and transform it into a slushy!

If the thought of a Mojito flavoured slushy has you salivating in front of your computer, then you are probably wondering how you would go about making these alcoholic versions of a childhood classic.  There isn’t really a secret technique or special ingredient required.  All you essentially need is a selection of your favourite drinks to explore and test in slushy form, some slushy syrup or fruity drink and a slushy machine.  Even if you don’t have a slushy machine like those featured on you can still make slushies using a blender and some ice.

slussyTo make the process even easier companies such as Chilly Drinks have their own selection of adult-orientated syrups available, such as the Summer Cocktail Slush Syrup.  This features 6 different flavours, all of which are summer time cocktail favourites.   The flavours included are Sour Apple, Super Sour Cherry, Jungle Juice, Pina Colada, Blue Lagoon Margarita and Strawberry Daiquiri.

You use specially flavoured syrups in the same way as normal syrups and juices in your slush machine and add a touch of your favourite tipple at the end to make them extra special and give them an extra kick!

Even if you don’t buy one of those of packets you can still easily make alcoholic slushy drinks.  Dilute some of your favourite fresh fruit juice, squash or soda and make a batch of slushy in the machine.  At the end add an alcoholic drink.  We recommend you use vodka as this mixes the easiest with virtually any flavour.

In our opinion the best thing about normal kid-friendly slushy drinks and the more adult-orientated varieties is how much fun it actually is to mix and match different flavours, spirits, wines and even ginger beers.  When we were young, slushies were a lot of fun, and when you start experimenting with different cocktails and alcohol you can have fun again drinking new and exciting variations on a childhood classic.

Best Cheesy Appetizers and Snacks for the Big Game

Best Cheesy Appetizers and Snacks for the Big GameWith football season underway, Sunday afternoons have never been better. Great food and cold beer are a must at any football party—whether that’s at home or tailgating at the stadium. While chips and dip are always a game day staple, adding in a few new cheesy and meaty dishes will definitely kick it up a notch in the food department.

Here are three Sargento Cheese Recipes that are quick to prepare and always a fan favorite:

1. Mini Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches


1 lb. ground chicken or turkey

¾ c barbecue sauce

½ c sliced green onions

½ tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)

8 slider rolls, split in half and toasted, if desired

8 slices of Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby Cheese

Beginning with the meat, sauté either the chicken, turkey, or mix of both over medium heat until the meat is lightly browned and no longer pink. Once cooked through, about 6 minutes, drain the meat and return it to the skillet.

Pour the barbecue sauce and green onions (and hot sauce if using it) over the meat, stir until the meat is coated, and allow the mixture to simmer until it is heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Lay open rolls and spoon the mixture over the bottom of the rolls. Top the meat with a slice of cheese and place the tops of the buns on.

With the layers of barbecued meat and melted cheese, it’s safe to say these will be gone before halftime.

2. Cheddar Bacon Stuffed Potatoes


4 baking potatoes

1 ½ c Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Double Cheddar Cheese

4 slices cooked bacon, diced

2 c broccoli florets, cooked crisp-tender

½ c thinly sliced green onion

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Optional: salsa or sour cream

In a 400-degree oven, bake potatoes for 55 minutes. Once they have cooled 10 minutes, cut potatoes in half, and scoop out the potatoes with a spoon, leaving ¼” thick shell.

Mash potato. In a separate bowl, mix cheese and bacon. Set ¼ c aside. Add broccoli, onion, salt, pepper, and remaining cheese and bacon to the potatoes. Add mix back into potato skins, top with set the leftover bacon and cheese, and bake for 20 minutes. Top with salsa or sour cream.

The mix of cheese, bacon, and potato kick game day food up to a whole new level.

3. Avocado and Tomato Quesadillas


4 large tortillas

8 slices Sargento Colby-Jack Cheese, halved

2 avocados, sliced

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 chopped red onion

On one side of each tortilla, layer 2 slices of cheese, avocados, tomatoes, and onions, and 2 more slices of cheese. Fold the tortilla over, and cook in a skillet until cheese is melted and each side is golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

These three cheesy appetizers are pure comfort food. So, regardless of whether your team wins or loses, these snacks are perfect to drown both your sorrows and elation in.

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International restaurant culture

Japanese joy on a plateNothing gets a food lover’s mouth watering quicker than the prospect of an international restaurant tour. Let’s take a virtual trip around some places where food is served up in different ways. Every corner of the world has its own take on how food should taste, be prepared and served and whether it’s the formal traditions of French cuisine, or the casual grab-it-while-you-can street food of the East, everybody sees it differently. A country’s cuisine is an expression of its cultural heritage and crucial part of their identity – so let’s see who is on today’s menu.

Japanese joy on a plate

The country that introduced the world to sushi has a rich restaurant culture. In cities such as Tokyo, you can grab plated food from conveyor belts that circulate the restaurant, choosing whatever looks tasty as it passes by. Alternatively, sample grand Japanese cuisine, prepared and served with high drama by chefs that really become stars of the show. Japanese cuisine is centred on rice, with fermented foods such as miso, natto, soy and plenty of fish. An emphasis on tradition and ritual is important and dining is viewed as a social and communicative event. Interiors in Japanese restaurants are usually dimly lit with low tables and seating positioned for optimum interaction. Rice paper screens, lacquered surfaces, wood, and natural materials are commonly used in Japanese restaurant design.

Italian idyll

Justly proud of their culinary heritage, the Italians take immense pleasure in what’s on their plate. Pizza, pasta, ice cream and many other mouthwatering creations originate from Italy, making it a popular destination for foodies. The Mediterranean diet is globally famous for its flavour and health-giving properties, and traditionally meal times are celebratory and family oriented. At weekends, dining tables in trattorias and bistros are packed with hungry diners enjoying the traditional look of gingham tablecloths, bread baskets, jugs of olive oil and blocks of Parmesan – to share and enjoy a feast just like Mama used to make…

Moroccan magic

Dining in a Moroccan restaurant is all about comfort and relaxation. The furnishings will be richly coloured and luxurious. Cushioned benches, tapestry covered walls, ornate wooden carved screens and exquisite jewelled tiles and brass lamps give interiors a welcoming and hospitable edge. Traditional Riad courtyard buildings make popular and atmospheric restaurant settings. Order spicy tagines, couscous, seafood and sweet Moroccan pastries washed down with mint tea.

Thai taste sensation

In Thai taste hotspots such as Bangkok, the choice of food on the streets is vast. Vendors sell exotic meals cooked to order right in front of you, either from a stall, converted tuk-tuk or window onto the street. Choose from noodles, sate, omelettes, bean curd, meat balls and much more, all boasting that bold blend of sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavours for which Thai food is famous. For dining at a more relaxed pace in comfortable surroundings, there are many traditional Thai restaurants. Generally, interiors feature lots of dark wood, bamboo, colonial styling, spiritual iconography and carved and gilded screens that evoke a real sense of opulence and calm.

Great food requires a complimentary setting and whether you choose to dine out on sushi, pizza, tagine or noodles, make sure the surroundings match up to the mouthwatering menu.



How to Build a Better Hamper

People love food gifts. We all know that the ultimate food gift is a hamper. I always remember my mum opening Christmas hampers as a child and watching her face as she delved into them to see what treasures they held. Build a hamper for someone and you are giving them moments of joy when they open it up. Here are some tips to help you make that perfect hamper.

What Are You Putting it in?

There are all sorts of hampers. You can be as basic or as special as you like, it doesn’t matter. The person you are giving it to will still love you for it. Before you can even start thinking about what to put in it you will need to decide what you are going to use to contain your goodies. Is it a themed hamper? How big is it going to be? Is it going to contain just one type of food? Think about what you need to fit into the container.   For inspiration, look at places like Maille Cooking Gifts. Understand the size and weight of the contents and you will know how sturdy the container needs to be. Lots of people think of wicker baskets and rattan containers when they think of hampers but it doesn’t have to be. Cardboard boxes wrapped in pretty paper or material works just as well.


Think About the Contents:

You can spend a lot of time building hampers. There are so many variations that you can come up with its awesome! Think about the person that you are making it for. Do they have something that they have a special weakness for? Cater to that and make them feel special. They will remember you fondly for it. Always try and find out if someone has an allergy that you should be aware of before you go putting a hamper together. You can theme hampers and make them interesting. There are so many options, Italian, Mexican, sweet-tooth mixes, fruit hampers, and Christmas hampers. Think about what would make the recipient happy.

Add a Bit of Flair:

You do not need to be amazingly artistic or creative to make a hamper look amazing. You will find that it is the little touches which make all of the difference. Get something like coloured cellophane. It is easy to use and when tied with a ribbon looks amazing. It also means that the person you are giving it to gets teased by all of the goodness inside. If you want it to look really professional you can even use your hair-dryer to shrink wrap it. The tighter you get the wrapping the more firmly the contents will be held inside.

The nice thing about making hampers is that you can experiment. There is no right or wrong way of doing it and all of your efforts are sure to produce a winner.


Image courtesy of phasinphoto/

Exciting Ways of Cooking with Eggs

eggsUnless you happen to be allergic to them, eggs should be a staple part of your diet. Even if you don’t like eating them for the sake of eating eggs, the chances are that every day you will eat something that contains egg or one of the parts of an egg. Eggs are an essential ingredient in many recipes, both sweet and savoury. As well as forming part of some delicious foods, they are also extremely good for you.

Cooking with Eggs

Eggs are one of the most versatile foods you will find. As well as the fact that they can be eaten as a food in their own right, they can also be used as a key ingredient in some great recipes. If you prefer to keep it simple, then try your eggs boiled with toast soldiers or scrambled on an English muffin with some smoked salmon if you are feeling indulgent. Another great thing to do with eggs is to make an omelette. This can be made with whole eggs or just the whites if you are trying to be very healthy. Fillings could include ham, mushrooms, cheese and tomato. Alternatively, a frittata is similar to an omelette but also includes potatoes for a more filling option.

Eggs are a key ingredient in many sweet dishes, from simple desserts such as cakes and muffins to more complex ones such as meringues. Desserts such as Pavlova, which uses meringues, and soufflés require the white of the egg to be separated from the yolk, while savoury sauces such as hollandaise and mayonnaise, as well as dessert accompaniments such as ice cream and custard, need you to use the yolk rather than the white.

Although it is now possible to buy eggs from a huge variety of birds, including ducks, geese and quails, the most commonly used eggs in cooking are still the ones from hens. As we become more conscious about how and where our food comes from, it is possible to buy eggs that have come from free-range hens, hens kept in barns and ones that have been reared in an organic way. If you are cooking something that only requires you to use the white of the egg, then rather than buying whole eggs it is now possible to buy liquid egg whites such as those available from

Eggs Are Good for You

Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids that are required for a healthy balanced diet and the BBC confirms that they provide a great source of protein. Although egg yolk is traditionally seen as less healthy, it does still contain some vitamins. The egg white, however, contains more vitamins and minerals as well as having less fat and cholesterol. Egg whites as part of exercise and diet disciplines are a very useful foodstuff.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to get in the kitchen and start cooking, whether you are making something as simple as cakes or more complex dishes such as soufflés and meringues. Eggs should be an integral part of any healthy diet and lifestyle.

Image attributed to / antpkr


Furniture to Enhance the Dining Experience

Furniture is a key element of any restaurant’s decor. While providing good food, polite service, and a welcoming atmosphere are all essential to any establishment’s success, the furniture plays a significant role in the overall dining experience.

Each restaurant has its own style: one place may favour chic modern pieces, while another may prefer a more rustic choice. When choosing the furniture, it needs to be the perfect fit for the restaurant’s overall décor and character: as long as it’s comfortable, clean and well-arranged, customers are much more likely to enjoy their experience with you.

Take a look at our selection of amazing restaurant furniture below:



The furniture here is a combination of style and sophistication, with wooden seats, couches and a luxurious corner table complementing the warm, ambient tones created by the lighting. For the diner, this creates a relaxed and comfortable environment in which to enjoy their meal.



This establishment provides a cosy, intimate dining experience, with simple tables and chairs ideal for the space. The wooden tables and chairs blend with the subtle tones created by the wall-lighting and the enclosed dining area.



Unlike the previous two restaurants, this features a brighter, more colourful aesthetic, favouring bold reds. Thanks to the deceptively simple design, diners will be comfortable in a relaxed, modern environment.



This restaurant features a modern, sleek aesthetic which makes the most of the space available. The use of transparent surfaces and bold colours creates a bright, vibrant tone, perfect for diners to relax in. While the tables and chairs complement each other (with their reflective surfaces and soft curves), the couches are more unusual, but each piece combines beautifully overall.



The furniture in this restaurant is simple but stylish, featuring a basic wooden design which complements the earthy browns and greys in the décor. Again, this is part of an intimate environment, allowing diners to sit comfortably whilst they eat, maximising the space available. Whilst this might not be ideal for every establishment, this restaurant has picked the right furniture for their style.

Sakina Murdock writes regularly about interior style and fashionable additions for home and business, and contributes to a variety of websites including




Recipe – Broccoli and Cauliflower Mac’N’Cheese

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 people

Broccoli and cauliflower mac’n’cheese is considered as a winter-warming comfort food. It is a great side dish, but is also equally good by itself.



Macaroni – 250 grams

Cauliflower split into florets – 1

Broccoli split into florets – 1

Cold milk – 700 milliliters

Butter – 50 grams (keep some extra quantity for greasing purposes)

Plain flour – 50 grams

Wholegrain mustard – 1 teaspoon

A pinch of nutmeg

Grated cheddar cheese – 200 grams


Fill a cooking pot that is large enough to contain the cooked pasta, cauliflower, broccoli with water and bring it to boil on a stove at high heat. Add macaroni and continue cooking for 12 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets into the pot 5 minutes prior to the pasta getting completely cooked. Add the cauliflower florets two minutes later. Cook for about 3 more minutes and then drain the water. Keep the pot aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/180 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6. Grease an ovenproof baking dish of size 25 cm (L) × 25 cm (W) × 5 cm (D). Pour the milk into a saucepan and keep it on the stove at medium heat. Whisk after adding flour and butter until the mixture attains a steady simmer. Continue to cook till the sauce becomes thick.

Now, add three-quarters of the cheese, a pinch of nutmeg and the wholegrain mustard. Season using ground black pepper and salt. Mix thoroughly until the cheese melts. The cheese sauce can now be poured over the macaroni, broccoli and cauliflower. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer the contents from the pot on to the baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese that is left and keep it in the oven for about 25 minutes or till the top turns to golden color and the sauce bubbles up the sides. The baking dish can now be removed from the oven and allowed to cool down a little before serving.

Recipe – Chicken Curry

Here is a recipe for an easy-to-make chicken curry that is flavored with cardamom, mace, turmeric and coriander seeds. It is one of the ways in which you can use up the leftover chicken roast. Preparation and cooking times are 20 minutes and 40 minutes, respectively. It serves four people.



Mace – 3 blades

Green cardamom – 9

Black cardamom – 6

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Vegetable oil – 4 tablespoons

2 onions finely sliced

Bay leaves – 3

Cloves – 10

Chilli powder – half a teaspoon

Ground turmeric – half a teaspoon

4 Finely chopped galic cloves

3 cm fresh ginger piece grated

Chopped canned tomatoes – 800 grams

Double cream – 50 milliliters

Cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces – 500 grams

Coriander leaves freshly chopped – One handful


Toast the mace, coriander seeds and cardamom pods gently in a large frying pan over medium to low heat for about one minute so to get their flavors and aromas released. Transfer the spices into a mortar and using the pestle pound to break them.

Pour the oil into the frying pan and keep the stove at medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they become soft but not brown. Now add the bay leaves, toasted spices, cloves, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic as well as ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Stir only occasionally.

Add the canned tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium to low heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the frying pan from the stove and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan into a food processor. Whiz until it becomes smooth.

Put the sauce on to the frying pan and add the cream and the chicken pieces. Bring the mix to a gentle simmer and maintain the heat for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry and serve with naan bread or basmati rice.