Brighton's pasta with port recipe

Brighton's pasta with port recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta types
  • Tagliatelle

This is a very plain and simple vegetarian pasta recipe that was born out of the imagination of 3 hungry friends in Brighton, who thougt adding a bit of port in the sauce wouldn't hurt.

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 (250g) punnet white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (250g) punnet brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium courgettes, thinly sliced
  • 1 (400g) tin of whole tomatoes
  • 1 (500g) packet fresh tagliatelle
  • A huge bunch of fresh basil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 250ml port
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions over a medium heat until golden brown. Add the garlic, mushrooms and courgettes; cook until soft.
  2. Pour in tomatoes and cut them up roughly in the saucepan with wooden spoon. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add herbs, Worcestershire sauce and port.
  4. Leave to simmer for 45 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
  5. After half an hour, bring 2 litres of lightly salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the fresh pasta and cook uncovered for 2-3 min.
  6. Drain pasta and serve hot, covered with vegetarian sauce. Leave large bowl of freshly roughly grated parmesan on table for people to sprinkle on top.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (3)

Made it vegetarian.Substituted worcestershire sauce (which is made with anchovies) with tamari, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice-06 Sep 2010

Used vegetarian Worcestershire sauce...and a little more port.-05 Sep 2011

Supermarket delivery Tain

You want to know more about supermarket delivery in Tain? Get your groceries such as Pip Nut Peanut Butter, Easterfield Dunicel Table Cover 138x220cm and Mr Kipling Battenberg at home! Items from the supermarket from known as shelves Waitrose Premium Range and / or Plasters of popular brands such as Philips and Viennetta. You find it all effortless and dirt cheap using your tablet or smartphone. Supermarket delivery Tain can even come to your house for free. Discover whether well known supermarket chains like Morrisons and Spar already started their service in your neighborhood. In Minchinhampton this may be different than for people in Gretna. Just search for your postcode (e.g. HA5 4QB0 or CB7 5AS0). That way, you can see whether the Tesco delivery in Tain is already active. Elon (27, Quantity surveyor) Orders quite often at the digital grocery store. “The click and collect feature is also great”.

A slightly eccentric foodies’ guide to Brighton

So I headed off to Brighton on business…. but business doesn’t take up all day thankfully, so I had the evening, the night, and the Saturday to enjoy what it has to offer…. what is there to do for the lightly adventurous of heart?

Brighton was recently selected by Totally Money as one of the top five most cultured cities in Britain. The judges were swung by the fame of the city as a destination for anyone with a love of modern or alternative art.

Another study by relocation company, MoveHub, named Brighton as the world’s ‘most hipster’ city, with 37 vegan restaurants, 125 coffee shops, and nine record stores per every 100,000 people.


Of course, there are the standard offerings you will find on TripAdviser…. But I wasn’t interested in those. I was choosing from the following:

  • No 27 – only five rooms in this boutique hotel in a nineteenth century building
    which describes itself as ‘creative, bohemian, and downright eccentric’. But the Pelirocco (below) trumps it for sure on the eccentricity scales.
  • Where I went, the really TRULY eccentric Pelirocco, a rock-themed hotel whose 19 rooms are given a regular refresh by an enthusiastic room designer who I met at the bar. My single room had a Rough Trade (a group of independent record shops which opened in the seventies) theme. I can also vouch for the breakfast – a poached egg on spinach toast, cooked to perfection.


  • If you are a vegetarian, try Terre à Terre, and once ensconced choose a Terre à Verre, a six-dish selection plus a glass of organic wine.
  • For inventive seafood, try English’s. Or alternatively The Little Fish Market, run by Duncan Ray, formerly of The Fat Duck.
  • For an imaginative take on afternoon tea, try The Salt Room. Or for a traditional English tea, go to Blackbird Tea Rooms.
  • For a coffee and a free-play juke box in a sixties’ diner try Rock Ola.
  • For tapas go to Circo by Señor Buddha, Spanish-asian small plates.
  • For gourmet burgers…Burger Brothers are something of a local legend.
    serves southern Indian cuisine on railway trays.
  • There’s a very original menu at Murmur, set in six arches in Brighton’s new seafront plaza.
    has twice won ‘Best Restaurant in Brighton’ awards.
  • Then there’s Cin Cin, which is in a converted MOT garage and the inspection pit has been turned into a sort of antipasti wine bar. There’s an open kitchen and the food is simple but, by all accounts (see Kathryn Flett in The Telegraph), outstandingly good.
  • Or try Britain’s favourite street food – fish and chips on the beach.
  • Look through the list of winners of the top twenty best restaurants in Brighton.
  • Try Bincho Yakatori – just around the corner from my hotel. I met Peter Marshall, editor of Chef magazine there, and we both agreed that the cauliflower tempura was the best we’d ever tasted…I’ve attempted to replicate it at home, but never even nearly succeeded. They have an excellent selection of sake there (go here for more information on sake). It’s an informal place, known by locals for its excellence, so often full to bursting.

Activities for foodies

  • Book a place on a VIB (very independent Brighton) food tour.
  • Brighton has a lively and original cookery school: follow this link for that website.
  • Go to the top of the British Airways i360 tower – the world’s tallest moving observation tower. Head for the Nyetimber Sky Bar – and try the Nyetimber, some of the best English sparkling wine.
  • If it’s a simple ice cream you’re after, go to Jon Adams’ Gelato Gusto. The owner tired of his commute, remembered fondly childhood visits to an ice cream parlour in Catalonia, and took himself off to study at the Gelato University in Bologna. Armed with his new-found knowledge he opened Gelato Gusto in the centre of Brighton. Try a G&T sorbeto, or a richer sea-salt caramel.
  • Chocaholics should visit the first Choccywoccydoodah shop. Co-founder, Christine Taylor recalls that the day before they opened in 1994 they tried to make the shop look eye-catching, but they didn’t have enough stock, ‘probably because we’d eaten it all’. They went into a mania of baking and ‘as we became ever more delirious, so did the cakes great pillars of tumbling chocolate’. The shop is a rococo cake masterpiece!
  • If it’s cheese you’re interested in, buy some Brighton Blue – a semi-soft, mellow, fragrant cheese and a Bronze award winner in 2012. A very good place to buy this is at a wholesale warehouse called The Cheese Man, which has just opened a counter for the public. Brighton Blue (made by High Weald Dairy) is one of the 250 odd cheeses they stock. Fascinating place!
  • More interested in alcohol? Try Brighton Gin – made for ‘free thinkers and good time girls and boys everywhere’.

Slightly eccentric shops

  • There are antique shops in the famous ‘Lanes’ area near the Pavilion, one of them is particularly eccentric – try Mark Hawkins’ shop, The Lanes Armoury. Interviewed in The Telegraph Hawkins explains:

“Comparing a Japanese sword to a European sword of any era is the same as comparing the finest Ferrari one could imagine to a 50-year-old Austin Cambridge with a broken gearbox”

And he explains that he and his brother have specialised in Japanese weaponry as well as trading all kinds of other curiosities such as wild west pistols, cap badges and even a Royal Navy cannon. You might also find some unusual war related books there.

  • Weapons don’t float your boat? Eric Danot set up his bonsai emporium, Bonsai-Ko when he didn’t make it as a film star. “People are often surprised to learn that ‘bonsai’ is the name of the technique, not the plant, and they don’t have to be trees: I have bonsai fuschia, sage, rosemary, ivy….” Danot explains in The Telegraph. “…when the stem is still slender, they have had their branches pruned nd tied back with wire to give them the twisted shape often taken by older branches on full-sized trees. Once you’ve done that the stem won’t grow any wider”.
  • Perhaps you are of a more practical turn of mind? If so, you are bound to find something of use at Utility. Owner, Martha Tiffin explains (again in The Telegraph) that they began stocking “things we all had that we’d nicked from our parents because they didn’t break. Why would you replace that ancient spud peeler if it still does what it’s meant to?”. The focus of the shop is on products designed from the turn of the century to the fifties.

When to go

This is England remember, so to get anything like seaside-worthy temperatures go in the very crucible of summer – July – when the temperature should be about 21°C. If you are there when the weather is good, you may find there is a good film on at The Luna Beach Cinema – the cinema under the stars. Follow this link to find out what’s on. If you go in June, you can go to the Brighton Comedy Garden, a new boutique festival.

What to read

Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock is an obvious choice. It’s about a teenager moving through Brighton’s criminal world in the 1930s.

It’s also a bit grim. For something much lighter-hearted try Lynn Truss’s delightful, A Shot In The Dark.

Around Brighton

  • Have a look through the latest Sussex Food and Drink award-winners.
  • Visit Wobblegate cider, and buy some Brighton Rocks cider (go here for an interview with owner, Tom Stephens to find out how the cider comes to win so many prizes).
  • Visit Eggs to Apples – the village farm shop at Hurst Green, housed in a vast chestnut-clad barn.
  • There’s a fishmonger in Hove run by a fisherman’s co-op, called Brighton and Newhaven Fish Sales.
  • The Little Fish Market, fish restaurant in Hove – offers food, according to Kathryn Flett in The Daily Telegraph, “perfectly and delicately realised, with unexpectedly happy juxtapositions (wine-wise too) beautifully presented.”
  • As a happy contrast to the ‘hipsterness’ of Brighton, you could visit The Shepherd & Dog, a 14th century pub in the pretty hamlet of Fulking.
  • In a former Augustinian friary in Rye you will find The Monastery, the storehouse of the antique dealer Alex MacArthur who specialises in grand, oversized architectural pieces. She is open by appointment only, contact her on alexmacarthur.co.uk, 07931 765488.

Other posts you might find interesting

For other travel guides and restaurant reviews on Saucy Dressings follow this link.

Music to listen to as you read

Rough Trade artiste, Joan As Police Woman – with Holy City.

The Hungry Seagull

With this post I want to shine the spotlight on some fantastic cheeses which I feel don't get the attention they deserve. Everyone knows such favourites as cheddar, parmesan and brie but there is a whole world of flavour out there and I want to discuss three of my favourites.

In choosing my cheeses, I have tried to pick ones which are a little unusual but not so rare as you need to go to horrendous lengths to get them. If this means you already know about them I apologise in advance for the vexatious time you might experience reading the rest of my piece. There is nothing worse than an flush-faced guide ‘introducing’ you to the path you travel down to get to work everyday.

Anyway, for those who don't know I present three wizard cheeses which you should definitely try now!

Red Leicester

A mature red leicester is a thing of beauty. Crumbly, salty and tangy, this hard orange cheese is as fantastic raw as it is melted. It tastes REALLY good melted on granary bread with pickle but can generally be used as an interesting alternative to cheddar as they are both salty and have a similar consistency whether at room temperature or melted.


This cheese is truly magical. Combining the strength of stilton with the consistency of a really soft camembert, taleggio is rather disconcerting to look at, surrounded as it with an orange rind sprinkled liberally with mould. Honestly, this is fine and does not need to be removed.

Tangy with pleasing herby undertones, Taleggio is a fantastic lunch cheese as it is both the perfect counterpoint to sweet fruit such as figs and the perfect complement to salty olives. It is pretty strong, so really stands out when smeared on bread or crackers even in small quantities.

Taleggio also melts surprisingly well. I frequently use it in pasta and risotto dishes, where it completely dissolves into creamy loveliness without loosing any of its strength.


Jarlsberg is a hard Norwegian cheese with a rubbery rather than crumbly texture. The flavour is exceedingly nutty and lacks the sharp tang of many cheeses, giving it a fabulous fresh quality in the eating. It is wonderful eaten raw but I also very much enjoy baking with it. Its flavour brings a clean, meadowy taste to breads and muffins as opposed to the salty heaviness or, frankly, blandness given by many other cheeses (I'm looking at you edam!).

Well, there they are, three cheese which are not in the mainstream psyche but which I just adore. But that's just me - which are your favourites? And, if you've had any experience of the above selection, what do you think of them? Leave a post in the comments below and we can talk cheese until we're blue (veined) in the face!


Whilst we are stuck at home with time on our hands, we want to help you bring a taste of your favourite hotel home to you, with these inspiring recipes from some of the world’s best chefs…



In Italy, particularly by the coast, dinner traditionally involves a lot of seafood. This is where a dish such as Chef Christioph Bob’s favourite Lobster Tagliolini comes in. Created with fresh lobster and minimal ingredients such as garlic, basil, tomatoes and olive oil, it serves as the perfect starter or main course that is delicious yet simple. Ristorante Il Refettorio at Monastero Santa Rosa on Italy’s Amalfi Coast received its first Michelin star in November 2017 under the helm of Chef Christoph Bob. Christoph has worked in some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants and his insatiable love affair with food is reflected in every dish on the menu at Il Refettorio. He has created an innovative Mediterranean gastronomic experience using the freshest ingredients from the surrounding Campania region including flowers that are grown in the hotel’s own herb and vegetable garden.

400g of fresh egg tagliolini
300g semolina
100g flour
6 eggs
1 lobster (around 600g)
200g cherry tomatoes, peeled and pitted
1 garlic clove
200ml lobster stock
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh basil
A pinch of salt

Split up the lobster, chop the cherry tomatoes and peel the garlic clove
Add the lobster to a pan with the olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes and cook over a medium heart for 2 to 3 minutes
Carefully flip the lobster and let it cook for another 3 minutes on the other side
When the lobster is cooked, remove from the pan but keep it warm
Add the lobster stock to the lobster sauce and let it simmer
Cook the pasta al dente in salted boiling water, then drain and add it to the lobster sauce
Toss it all together adding the basil cut into thin strips and cook for another minute
To serve, divide the pasta and place half of the lobster on the hot dishes


There’s no taste quite so satisfying as the first bite of a freshly baked, gooey, chocolate chip cookie. Better still, the all-American kind, which has yet to be beaten. Enter the Ocean House, an iconic New England seaside resort dating back to 1868 just after the Civil War, where the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, Donna Yuen has perfected the art of the moreish chocolate chip cookie. Now graciously sharing her recipe with guests and beyond to recreate in the comfort of their own kitchen, these cookies are the perfect pick-me-up for sweet-toothed bakers, with a little more spare time than usual spent at home. Perched high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, Ocean House overlooks a private stretch of beach and has sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Montauk and Block Island. The hotel reopened to great acclaim in 2010 following after a six-year, multi-million-dollar renovation, with the style today casually elegant with furnishings that bring together British colonial, early American and seaside aesthetics in sun-drenched colours of yellow, blue, turquoise and cream.

1 cup, packed – light brown sugar
½ cup of sugar
1 cup or 2 sticks butter (unsalted softened)
2 eggs
2 tsp. coffee extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C
Cream the light brown sugar and sugar in a small mixer with the paddle attachment
Add the softened butter and mix to form a grainy paste
Add the eggs and coffee extract, mixing until just blended. Do not overmix!
Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined
Drop cookies with a scoop onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Slightly flatten each scoop of dough and bake for 8 minutes, rotating half way



Of the many hats Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu wears, that of chef ranks among the highest to his close friends. Wu has long been a fan of luxury boutique bolthole Hotel Esencia on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, even marrying at the property in 2016 at which time the ‘chic set’ flocked to Xpu Ha (pronounced ‘shpooo-ha’ by those in the know) for the nuptials – widely considered the most beautiful white sand beach on the Riviera Maya. Now, Wu has created a number of signature dishes as Hotel Esencia’s new ‘Guest Chef in Residence,’ including his delectable salad.

180g shredded cabbage – green and red
200g shredded chicken breast
5g spring onion
1g coriander leaves (save a few for topping)
2g sesame seed mix – save a little for topping
25g roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
25g thin tortilla strips – crispy fried save a few for topping
50g orange supreme segments
Sea salt & black pepper

Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl, serve on a pretty dish and top with a dash of sesame seeds, a few more coriander leaves and crispy tortilla strips

15g fresh garlic
5g fresh ginger
15ml sesame oil
100ml soy sauce
100ml rice vinegar
50g brown sugar

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.



Famous to all those who know and love The Doyle Collection hotels, their homemade Guinness Bread is a staple on the menu at all restaurants across The Doyle Collection properties and is a nod to the collection’s proud Irish heritage. Served as a side or a light bite, this deliciously moorish bread has almost a cake-like texture and can be enjoyed as it is, or accompanied by smoked salmon for breakfast at the likes of The Marylebone’s 108 Brasserie, or Dorset Crab with apple and mayonnaise as a quick bite at The Bloomsbury’s The Coral Room. At the heart of each Doyle Collection property there is a warmth of service that stems from family ownership, imbuing each of the eight hotels with the familiarity of a member’s club and the intimacy of a private home. Each hotel sits within a landmark building in Ireland, London, Washington and Bristol in unrivalled city locations. Each has their own distinct personality that is rooted in, and authentic to, its local neighbourhood. The design-led properties offer social hubs for modern day travellers, as well as stylish bars and stand-alone restaurants for local consumers and guests alike.

Guinness Bread – Recipe by Byron Moussouris, The Bloomsbury Executive Head Chef.

310g Whole Wheat Flour
410g White Flour
140g Rolled Oats
1 teaspoon Table Salt
2 ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
2 tablespoons Butter
270g Milk
70g Black Treacle (or molasses)
140ml Guinness

Preheat oven to 180c
Mix together the whole wheat flour, white flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles small crumbs.
Add the milk, black treacle (or molasses) and Guinness, and mix until well combined.
Use cooking spray to coat 2 bread loaf pans, and pour the batter into the pans.
Sprinkle a little more oatmeal on top.
Bake at 180c for 45 minutes to an hour, until the centre is cooked through and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.



Long considered a bastion of gastronomic excellence, Palace hotel Le Bristol Paris holds three Michelin stars at revered Epicure, and one Michelin star at ‘brasserie de luxe’, 114 Faubourg. Acknowledged by foodies all over the globe as ‘Chef Royalty’, Eric Frechon – who has been at Le Bristol’s culinary helm for over a decade – has now shared one of the secrets of his trade, no doubt much to the delight of parents who are running out of ideas for how to occupy the kids while stuck indoors. A quick, easy and ever so quintessentially French recipe, is Frechon’s Hazelnut Spread Madeleines. Highlighting his passion for baking, last year he installed a working flour mill at the hotel, making Le Bristol Paris today the first and only hotel in Paris to produce its own homemade fresh flour from ancient wheats.

Eric Frechon has spent over 35 years in restaurants, having presided over some of Paris’ most prestigious kitchens throughout his career. Today, he is one of the most celebrated names, unanimously hailed by critics and gourmets the world over for having raised Le Bristol to become the hotel to bear the most Michelin stars in Paris.

1 small pot of hazelnut spread
35ml milk
100 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g flour
125g melted butter
2 small eggs
½ packet yeast
1 tbsp butter (to grease the mould)
1 tbsp flour (to dust the mould)

Melt the butter over low heat
Grease the madeleine mould with melted butter and dust with flour
Preheat oven to 210°C / 410˚F
Beat the eggs in a small bowl
In a mixing bowl, add eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract
Add melted butter, flour and yeast and stir until combined
Add mixture to madeleine mould until half full
Add a dollop of hazelnut spread to each madeleine and top with the remaining mixture until full
Bake for 10 minutes in the oven until perfectly golden
www.edenbeing.com/2020/03/27/2-easy-recipes-by-eric-frechon-to-make-with-the-kids / www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/le-bristol-paris



Possibly one of the few fine-dining restaurants that encourage its diners to come barefoot, Ba’theli restaurant at Milaidhoo Island Maldives is the first modern Maldivian restaurant in the Maldives. Reflecting its heritage, Ba’theli’s architecture takes its name from the local word for a traditional wooden sailing boat and has been built in the shape of three boats that stand on stilts over the lagoon. Led by Maldivian chef Ahmed Sivath, Ba’theli’s dishes are steeped in Maldivian tradition, with each dish inspired from the Maldivian Spice Route. The story began over 5,000 years ago when The Maldives became a key port of call for traders sailing from Indonesia and India to Arabia with cargoes of cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, ginger and pepper. The Maldivians bartered coconuts, sun-dried fish, cordage and sails woven from coconut fibre, and cowrie shells (which became currency) for spice, rice, ceramics and silks. Locally-made cargo boats, ‘ba’theli’, sailed throughout the archipelago with these goods, spreading knowledge about different lands, their customs and cuisine. This story comes alive at Ba’theli restaurant at Milaidhoo, as their chefs serve gourmet dishes using local herbs and spices to enhance natural flavours. The menu features classic Maldivian dishes such as the signature Filolhu Ihi Riha (grilled white snapper fillets, with Maldivian lobster, tomato essence, coconut espuma).

200gr red snapper or any meaty white fish
0.5Kg fresh lobster
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 tomatoes
300gr grated fresh coconut
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 curry leaves
1 tsp lemon juice

Put the onions, lemon juice, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, salt, curry leaves, cumin and turmeric powder into a blender and blend until the ingredients form a paste. Marinate the lobster with the paste, keep for at least one hour in a refrigerator.
Take a pan, add a dash of vegetable oil then grill the lobster and fish until it is golden brown and crispy.
Serve the grilled lobster and the fish on a thin bed of curry sauce with white rice or grilled vegetables.
Chef’s tip: I recommend to serve the lobster and fish with cucumber raita as well as to add some preserved lemons and green chilli. As a garnish, fried onion and fried curry leaves are great.
For the curry sauce

2 onions, finely sliced
1gr curry leaves
5gr pandan leaves
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
3 cardamom seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
200 ml coconut cream/milk
300 ml water

Sautee the onions, garlic, ginger paste, curry leaves and pandan leaves in vegetable oil, add the chilli powder while stirring no more than 30 seconds. Lastly add the cumin and turmeric powder, add water and cook on low heat, stirring frequently.
When the paste starts boiling, add salt to taste as well as the cardamom and continue cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally. To finish, add the coconut cream and simmer to the preferred consistency, about 15 minutes.


Michelin-starred chef Stephane Gortina leads the team at The Legian Seminyak’s restaurants and bars: The Restaurant, The Pool Bar and The Ocean Champagne Bar. Chef Gortina’s favourite dish is an exotic and colourful dish: Marinated Mahi Mahi with hearts of Palm and a Passion Fruit sauce and Gortina has shared the recipe for keen foodies to make at home. This dish would also work with snapper or sea bass if Mahi Mahi is not available. One of the finest hotels in Indonesia, The Legian Seminyak, Bali is world-renowned for its exceptional culinary offerings. Arguably the best ocean-front dining destination in Bali, The Restaurant showcases a contemporary cuisine with a twist of Asian flavours and focuses on using local, organic and sustainable ingredients.

1 fillet (400g) mahi mahi / snapper / sea bass
The juice of 1 lemon
The juice of 1 lime
1 red chilli
1 shallot
Handful of basil
Handful of rock salt
Black pepper
A large piece of fresh ginger

Put the fillet in a tray and cover with rock salt for 5 minutes. Remove salt, then rinse, then dry with paper
Squeeze lemon and lime and chop ginger, chilli, shallot and lemon and stir and mix altogether
Marinate the fillet for 5 minutes in the mixture
Slice into small pieces

For the passion fruit syrup and garnish

Passion fruit
Star anise
Long pepper
Black pepper corns
Cinnamon stick
Hearts of palm julienned
Green mango julienned
Soft red chilli
Lemon skin
Olive oil
Basil leaf

Cut the passion fruit and separate the seeds from the pulp
Dry the seeds and keep for decoration
Heat the Nectar to get a caramel, add the spices and passion fruit pulp and cook until you have a syrupy texture
Leave to cool
Mix the hearts of palm, mango, chilli, olive oil, lemon skin and basil leaf together to make the garnish
To serve, place pieces of fish on the plate, add the mixed garnish on top, pour the syrup around the fish and finish with seeds and basil



Chef Director of Parker’s Tavern restaurant is well-known for his unbeatable spaghetti Bolognese, which always goes down a treat with patrons of all ages at University Arms hotel’s destination restaurant. A classic British dish, it is a staple on the menu at Parker’s Tavern, which specialises in reimagined British classics, using locally sourced ingredients from the surrounding fields, fens and seas. Headed up by Tristan, it is an English tavern inspired by the communal dining halls synonymous with Cambridge Colleges, designed by interior designer of the moment, Martin Brudnizki. Alongside the 110-cover restaurant, Parker’s Tavern also has a 61-cover bar which leads into the hotel’s beautiful library which serves a ‘Historical Cambridge Afternoon Tea’. To make Tristan’s famous Bolognese at home, Tristan advises really pouring time and love into the process, which will elevate this home classic to an unforgettable delight, as Tristan notes, all good meat dishes like this are a labour of love.

600g braising steak
6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
4 cloves of garlic
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 generous tbsp tomato paste
4 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 medium onions
1 stick celery
½ bottle red wine
2 litres stock beef
1 Tbsp butter

Pre heat your oven to 140c.
To make the Bolognaise sauce heat the butter in a large oven proof sauce pan, season the steak with salt a pepper and brown with the bacon for about 20 minutes.
Finley chop the celery, garlic and onion, add to the pan, and continue to cook until softened.
Stir in the tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme, fry gently for minute, add the wine and let bubble a little allowing the alcohol to evaporate.
Dilute with stock, cover with grease proof paper and place in the oven for 3hrs checking every 30 minutes or so, add a little more stock if it starts to dry out.
Once cooked allow to rest stir with a wooden spoon to break the tender meat into smaller chunks.
To serve cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than it says on the packet reserving some of the cooking water, warm up the bolognaise sauce add a little of the pasta cooking water stir in the pasta and boil for a minuet allowing the pasta to soak up the sauce.
Serve hot and for an extra British touch, serve it with freshly grated Berkswell cheese, its slightly similar to parmesan which naturally works well too.



Beaufort is one of the great French mountain cheeses from the Haute Savoie alpine region, famed for its firm yet buttery taste, and melt in the mouth texture. A favourite in the kitchens of Les Fermes de Marie, this exquisite fromage inspires a whole host of dishes at Megève’s most iconic hotel – owned and run by the Sibuet family, purveyors of French hospitality and Alpine-chic. This traditional and comforting Beaufort Cheese Tart is perfect for all the family, accompanied by a green salad with a tangy red wine vinaigrette, for a Spring twist. Megève’s most classic hotel, Les Fermes de Marie is a collection of traditional farmhouses and chalets, painstakingly restored by the Sibuet family and converted into a 70-room hotel, with accommodation across nine interlinked chalets. Located in a two-hectare parkland on the outskirts of Megève, the style across Les Fermes de Marie is rustic chic with exposed beams, natural light and cozy furnishings, and the two restaurants offer traditional alpine dishes.

1 roll of puff pastry
300g smoked bacon lardons
3 eggs
300ml of fresh cream
250ml milk
150g grated Beaufort cheese
Grated nutmeg

Remove puff pastry from refrigerator 30 min prior, so it unrolls more easily
Preheat the oven to 250°C and in an oven proof dish, spread the puff pastry across the dish, pricking the base with a fork to prevent it from swelling
Bake dough for 10 minutes, until it lightly browns and take the dough out of the oven to let it rest

Heat a pan on a high heat and throw in the lardons – whilst cooking, drain the lardons with a colander to remove the melted fat. This will allow you to fry them more lightly, giving them more flavour. Set aside
Break the eggs in a bowl and mix them with the crème fraiche
Gradually pour in the milk while continuing to mix with a whisk
Season with salt and pepper and add 2 pinches of nutmeg. Set aside
Spread the lardons evenly on the pre-cooked dough base and pour over the egg and cream mixture
Sprinkle on the grated Beaufort cheese
Bake the tart at 250°C for 25 min
Remove from the oven and prick with a knife – if it comes out dry without traces of fresh cream, the tart is ready!



Those at home with pent up wanderlust can begin their days as if they are off-the-beaten track in Singita Kruger National Park at the stylish Singita Sweni Lodge, with a bowl of indulgent yet nourishing granola. Tucked into the banks of the Sweni River, Singita Sweni Lodge is located in Singita’s private 33,000-acre concession in South Africa. Having collaborated with award-winning Cape Town-based chef Liam Tomlin, Singita Sweni offers guests the opportunity to experience safari dining unlike anywhere in the world.

1 cup bran flakes
1 cup corn flakes
1 cup puffed rice
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup linseeds
1 cup poppy seeds
1 cup honey
1 cup butter

Melt the butter and the honey together in a small saucepan over a low heat
Pour the mixture over the other ingredients while still warm and mix well
Bake at 120°C for about 2 hours, checking and stirring regularly. It can burn easily so keep an eye on it
Remove from the oven and allow to cool
Serve with fresh, seasonal fruit, your favourite yoghurt and a drizzle of honey


The team at global pioneer medical and holistic wellbeing, SHA Wellness Clinic believe that keeping yourself healthy is more important than ever in this current climate. The brand’s cookbook is the go-to recipe guide for creating delicious, nutritious and immune-boosting food while staying at home. For a classic comfort, self-isolators can try this healthy take on an indulgent comfort food classic – the humble apple crumble.

Two cups whole flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup warm coconut oil
½ cup rice syrup
½ teaspoon baking powder
One cup roasted chopped nuts
Four cups of apples
One cup apple juice, a pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 250°
Place the fruit in an ovenproof dish then add the apple juice, the pinch of salt and tablespoon of maple syrup
In a bowl, mix together the flour, the baking powder, the nuts and the sea salt
In another smaller bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil with the rice syrup until completely combined and then pour into the flour and nuts mixture
Crumble the dough over the fruit
Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes
Uncover and allow the top to golden for 5 minutes


Nestled deep in the Cederberg Mountains is Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat. Set within 7,000 hectares of flora and fauna, the property is home to crystal-clear waterfalls and the world’s largest outdoor gallery, with over 130 ancient rock art sites dating back 10,000 years which has earned it a South African National Heritage Site accreditation. Much of the food is grown on site at Bushmans Kloof with the organic garden creating an authentic farm to fork feel. This Roobois milk heart utilises the tea which is indigenous to the region and is most probably stocked in the cupboards of self-isolators the world over.

500g cake flour
7.5ml cream of tartare
500g butter
200ml ice water
Pinch of salt
For the milk tart filling

500ml milk
One cinnamon finger
Whole zest of one orange
Six Rooibos tea bags
60ml sugar
45ml cake flour
15ml corn flour
Pinch of salt
30ml butter
3 eggs, separated
Cinnamon sugar to serve

Sift the flour, cream of tartare and salt into a food processor
Cube the butter and add to the flour mixture
Pulse the butter into the flour, slowly add the water until the pastry comes together
Wrap and put into the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours
For the milk tart filling

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry quite thinly and line a 25cm tart tin
To make the filling, bring the milk, cinnamon, orange zest and Rooibos to the boil and put aside to cool down for 30 minutes
Mix the sugar, flour, corn flour, egg yolks and salt together in a mixing bowl. Slowly strain the milk into the mixture and mix well
Cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens
Take off the heat and stir in the butter
Whip egg white to soft peak stage and fold into cooked mixture. Spoon mixture into a tart case and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180ºC for another 10 minutes
Allow to cool slightly, dust with cinnamon sugar and serve



Executive Chef at The Strathearn, Simon Attridge loves to use the finest locally-sourced and Scottish ingredients, presenting menus that celebrate the best of the season, making his dishes a decadent affair, with traditional gueridon service for theatrical flair – such as his fillet of East Lothian beef, braised truffle barley and Scottish girolles. Few things speak of Spring quite like the bright colour and delicate flavour of girolles and, thanks to an abundance of the damp, dark woodland conditions in which these delicacies flourish, Scotland has attracted an international reputation for producing arguably the best in the world.

200g pearl barley
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic
600ml vegetable stock
160ml whipping cream, whipped
20g fresh truffle, grated
For the beef

600g beef fillet
100g unsalted butter
3 sprigs thyme
Rapeseed oil
For the tenderstem broccoli and girolle mushrooms

12 spears tenderstem broccoli
400g girolle mushrooms, cleaned and air dried
Salt, to taste

To start, pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Next, add the barley, herbs, garlic and stock to a large pot. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, or tin foil, then place in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes until the barley is cooked. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before folding through the lightly whipped cream and freshly grated truffle.
Next, season the beef fillet and place in a hot roasting pan with a little rapeseed oil and brown, until evenly coloured on all sides. Add the butter and thyme and baste the fillet until well-coated, then place it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until it is medium rare, making sure to baste every four minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling wire before pouring over the remaining butter from the pan and leaving the fillet to rest for ten minutes. Once rested, carve into slices.
Now prepare the tenderstem broccoli and girolle mushrooms. Boil a pan of salted water and blanch the broccoli until just cooked. Add some butter to a frying pan and heat until foaming. Add the girolle mushrooms and sauté. Drain the broccoli and add to the pan, season with salt and pepper and heat through.
To serve, place the barley on a serving platter, top with the sliced beef and arrange the broccoli and mushrooms. Garnish with the freshly grated truffle and enjoy.



One of the world’s most unique lodges, Deplar Farm is a luxurious 13-suite adventure retreat located in the remote Troll Peninsula, Iceland. Throughout their stay guests will feast on local Icelandic delicacies cooked by the private chef, Chef Gardar, who recently won first place in Iceland’s Chef of the Year competition. Gardar was born in Reykjavík and raised in the western countryside of Iceland. His parents were vegetable farmers, and as a result, Gardar became familiar with homegrown produce at a young age. He is passionate about fresh food, and he incorporates this into his cooking.

4 onions – cut into pieces
2 leeks – cut into pieces
2-3 sweet potatoes – cut into pieces
3-4 garlic cloves – crushed
1/2 red pepper (chilli)
1/2 celery cut into pieces
Dash of olive oil
– lightly slow-roast the onions in the oil until golden brown
100 ml white wine
– cook it down by 50%
3 litres coconut milk
500 g coconut cream
5-6 red tomatoes diced
60 g tomato paste
2 spoons red curry paste (spicy)
salt and lemon juice for seasoning
500 g chicken or Butternut squash if you want the soup vegetarian

Boil the mixture for 15-20 minutes or until creamy and rich


With its restaurant Le Royal awarded its first Michelin star a mere six months after opening, Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is a bastion of gastronomic excellence in France, and a real game changer in the Champagne area. Hailing a new era in the region’s culinary scene, the dining outlets here preserve French know-how while injecting a contemporary touch into traditional cuisine. The hotel’s Pastry Chef, Cédric Servela, has now unveiled his recipe for the much-loved comforting, traditional Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce for housebound armchair travellers. Servela hopes that cooking enthusiasts will get creative and personalise the rice pudding according to their lockdown cravings. He recommends a spice-rich rice pudding with plenty of star anise and cinnamon, to create a fragrant dessert for the whole family to enjoy.

125g pudding rice
750ml milk of your choice
125g sugar
100g single cream
zest of 1 mandarin
zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
½ tonka bean
1 cinnamon stick

Rinse the rice with boiling water to remove excess starch
Combine the milk, rinsed rice, sugar, zest of mandarin and lemon and all spices and bring to the boil
Once boiled, lower heat to a simmer until the rice has softened
Allow to cool and add desired amount of single cream to taste
For the caramel sauce

500g sugar
150g glucose syrup (or honey)
650ml water

Tea and a Chat with Isabelle Legeron, RAW Artisan Wine Fair

Thank you for joining us in the Pantry at The Holborn for Tea & a Chat, Isabelle.

What would we find if we poked around in your pantry?

I love my pantry – it’s full of glass jars, you won’t find any plastic. I’m a big believer in a “one single ingredient” policy, so everything we cook at home is made from scratch. We’ve just made a huge batch of pâté and we have kombucha and kefir fermenting in one corner of the kitchen. Aside from that, there are rows of homemade jams and lots of dried wild herbs for tea. I also like to forage, so we currently have some extra herbs macerating in oils too. Everything you can think of, we’ve got a jar of it!Continue Reading &rarr

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Brighton's pasta with port recipe - Recipes

I love the North End. I love the cobbled streets. I love hearing the snippets of conversation in Italian as I weave through the tourists. I love the restaurant managers who stand on the streets and try to entice the passerby into their restaurant. It is a jovial atmosphere, one of indulgence and excitement. It is quintessential, and it is wonderful. However, with the seemingly hundreds of restaurants lining the streets, how do you choose which to go to?

The thing about the North End, is that though there are many many options to pick from for sustenance, there is little variation. Sure, there are stand outs, Mare, for example does an incredible job on Italian style seafood, as does Neptune Oyster. The Waterfront bar does a great job with pub grub and a great sports atmosphere, and Giacomo's delivers consistently good food, reasonable prices and great staff. However, for the most part, the restaurants offer the same fare- red sauce Italian, dishes loaded with cheese and butter (not that I have a problem with either), and heaping portions of pasta. Much of the imagination seems to be lost, and in it's place, a "feed the masses" approach has been taken on. The dishes are stereotypical, they cater to the tourists who want "real Italian food", and therefore serve up Chicken Parmesan by the platter.

Friday evening a friend suggested that we dine at Gennaro's 5 North Square Restaurant, located in my favorite part of the North End. The North Square is a beautiful area, removed from the hub bub of Hanover Street, where the streets are cobbled, the buildings quaint, and the smell of flowers always seems to be in the air. I transport back to Rome every time I walk through the area. Having never dined at Gennaro's I was excited to check it out.

I relished the North End that evening, skimming through Hanover street in my flats, maneuvering past the groups of Boston visitors, pausing at the corner by Gennaro's to change into heels- a practice I engage in far too often to protect against sprained ankles on those lovely streets I admire so much. I was greeted by the restaurant manager outside the address, and he went through the obligatory sales pitch to have me dine there, as he found that my plans led me to his establishment already, he waved me to the bar to wait as my friend had not yet arrived. Wait I did. I waited to be greeted by the bar tender who appeared to be chatting with friends, I waited for the wine menu (still chatting), I waited for my order to be taken (a broken bottle the culprit this time), I waited for my glass of wine (more chatting), and then I waited to pay my bill (reason for this delay unknown). Finally though, I had my wine, my bill was paid, and we were seated at our table, menus in front of us.

We chose to start with an order of Calamari, the squid fried golden brown with slices of banana peppers in the mix. The Calamari were served hot and crispy a fair amount of breading to make them really tasty, but not nearly enough of those fried, spicy banana peppers for my liking. They were served with two dipping sauces, a standard Marinara, and, bunking tradition, a sweet chili pepper sauce. That second sauce left me a bit perplexed. Calamari is such a delicious vehicle for flavors, it seemed odd that this wholly Italian restaurant, un touched by "fusion" cuisine, would add in a sauce that tasted more Thai than anything. It was ok, but nothing to write home about. Additionally, the Marinara was served cold, which was a strange sensation with the hot Calamari.

I settled on the rolled stuffed eggplant as my main course, described as grilled eggplant, stuffed with ricotta cheese, roasted garlic and spinach, baked with marinara sauce and cheese, and then served with a side of pasta. A few things, the side of pasta was actually placed below the rolls of eggplant, so it was impossible to ignore (as I had hoped to do) so I indulged in the nicely al dente spaghetti. The Eggplant itself appeared more fried (bread crumb coating) than it did grilled, however the texture was a welcome relief to the soft eggplant and creamy stuffing. The ricotta, garlic and spinach came together nicely blending their rich, sweet and hearty flavors into a single note which was well accentuated with the acid of the tomato.

Gennaro's definitely delivered in providing a typical North End experience. Big portions of food, nicely settled into the red sauce variety, executed soundly. There isn't anything overly exciting there, but there is that warm, comfortable feeling that you want if you were visit your Italian grandmother's kitchen. The wait staff was pleasant, even remembering my friend from a previous visit. They were efficient, and knowledgeable. Gennaro's is a place that I can add to my list of "would return to, but not in a great hurry" spots in the North End.

By Sportsmail Reporter Updated: 09:26 BST, 30 August 2011

Andy Murray is hoping changes in his diet will prove the missing piece in the grand slam jigsaw.

The Scot begins his quest for a first slam title against India's Somdev Devvarman in the first round of the US Open, and this time there will be no complaints from Murray if he is scheduled first on court.

Change for the better: Murray has felt the benefits of new diet

The 24-year-old is famous for not being a morning person but he insists that is now a thing of the past after he cut the glycoprotein gliadin out of his diet.

Murray is following in the footsteps of world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who went gluten free before embarking on his run of 57 wins from 59 matches this season.

Gliadin is involved in the production of gluten, meaning Murray must eat a similar diet to Djokovic, and the world No 4 declared he has never felt better, even if it does present a few challenges.

He said: 'I'm having a lot more fish and vegetables and trying to have a more balanced diet rather than just the typical pasta before matches and steaks and chicken.

'Breakfast is quite difficult because normally I could have bagels and any spreads. And then snacks during the day. Rather than having a chocolate bar, I'm having an apple or a banana.

Food for thought: Djokovic went on gluten free diet before winning run

'It's something that, now I know how I feel, I wish I had been doing it longer. I feel way better. I wake up at 7am now and feel great. Before I would wake up at 9.30 and feel terrible.'

There were two British headlines made on the opening day of play without Murray as youngsters Laura Robson and Heather Watson both acquitted themselves brilliantly on their main draw debuts.

Robson was leading Ayumi Morita 7-6 (7/5) 1-0 when the Japanese player quit because of a right shoulder problem and she will play 30th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues in round two, while Watson came close to a monumental upset.

Playing third seed Maria Sharapova, the 19-year-old, who two years ago won the junior title, led by a set and a break before the Russian hit back to triumph 3-6 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 34 minutes.

Watson and Robson have long been hailed as the future of British women's tennis, and they are pushing each other rapidly up the rankings.

Watson said: 'I think it's a good rivalry. We're friends and we support each other. But, at the same time, when we see each other doing well, of course we're competitive, that's why we're in this sport, and we want to do better than the other one.'

Flowers and sours

The most beautiful pearls are the ones that are best hidden, that is definitely the case with Flowers and Sours on the Coolhaven in Rotterdam. Even before they were officially opened we had the pleasure to have a look and meet Sanne Zwart en Maidie van den Bos, the lovely owners of this new treasure in the biggest port of Europe.

While the paint on the walls wasn’t even dry and everybody was fighting against time to get everything done before the official opening, Maidie and Sanne still took the time to welcome us as we came by to have an unannounced sneak peek. We got instant pampering with their homemade elderflower drink before they enthusiastically talked about their new pearl, Flowers and Sours.

Entrepreneurs Sanne and Maidie met each other at a market and had an instant click, although their companies are totally different their vision is the same. The both are intrigued by the origin of food and the pureness of nature in ingredients. When they combined their ideas, Flowers and Sours was born. This tasting room and foodlab wants to tell a story about the origin of products and the creative process of preparing the products.

The name of foodlab is actually a literal translation of the individual specialities of both foodies. “Ferme Kolen” is the company of Sanne, who is passionate about the beauty of fermentation. A technique where bacteria are used to work up new products from basic ingredients. Maidie is owner of “Bloesembar”, with which she scours the city of Rotterdam and surroundings to find eatable flowers, seeds and herbs.

These urban gems are transformed into sirop which is used for lemonade, cocktails and steaming cold icecream. Their little place on the Coolhaven breaths creativity, with their open kitchen guest are involved with the whole process. An aspect which is paramount for this innovation food concept. However, they do not want to leave it at just selling their products together, their future dream is to turn Flowers and Sours into a creative network of independent food creatives from Rotterdam. A foodlab, a stage for entrepreneurs and a learning environment for everybody who wants to learn and experiment with the pureness of food.

Their main goal is to open the discussion regarding food, sustainability and the makers movement. To connect with likeminded creatives and to inspire those who are interested in food in all its forms. Maidie and Sanne believe people lost the connection with the origin and the possibilities with pure and honest products, their mission is to revive this knowledge in a world where food shortage because a more current topic every single day.

Extremely curious and always searching for little weak signals that tell us things are changing. Cecile is a trend researcher and creative concept developer with the wanderlust of a cosmopolitan.Her aim in life is to develop things that matter to others and to help others change their strategy to be ahead of the future. Because she believes “The future is ours”.

Brighton's pasta with port recipe - Recipes

The city of Portsmouth in the county of Hampshire, lies mainly on the island of Portsea, the only island city throughout the United Kingdom.

Considered to be the home of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth has been a crucial port for centuries and includes the world’s oldest dry dock, which is featured on Historic England’s Heritage List.

Tourism numbers continue to grow at a remarkable pace visitors are aptly rewarded with a fascinating glimpse into the colourful kaleidoscope of Britain’s maritime history, and there is much to see and do.

In the summer of 1545, during the Battle of the Solent, Henry VIII’s majestic warship, the Mary Rose, which was built in Portsmouth, was sunk a short distance from the harbour by the French armada, led by King Francis I.

Today, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard remains the city’s most popular attraction and the wreck of the Mary Rose, which was discovered in 1971 and raised from the deep in 1982, is on display in all her glory. The vessel, now in the last stages of conservation, is housed in the Mary Rose Museum, along with thousands of artefacts recovered from the site of the wreck. We examined a tankard made of oak, poplar and pine and lined with pitch, and imagined the crew members collecting their day’s ration of a gallon of light beer and how much of that would be immediately consumed to quench a raging thirst after a hard day’s toil. The most commonly found personal objects recovered were 82 nit combs, all made of wood, except one, which was made of ivory, clearly, it was to deal with a higher class of nit! The exhibit features moving holograms of the ship’s crew projected onto the vessel and accompanied by sound it provides the viewer with an intriguing insight of life aboard.

Another vessel, which attracts the crowds, is HMS Victory, launched in 1765 and the flagship of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson’s fleet. From 1794, the Royal Navy, led by Nelson, continually defeated Napoleon, and HMS Victory was triumphant at the heart of the Battle of Trafalgar against the combined forces of the Spanish and French fleets in October 1805. Stroll along with the decks view the cannons, and note Nelson’s surprisingly cramped sleeping quarters, which lack any real home comforts, apart from a portrait of Lady Hamilton.

We stepped on board HMS Warrior constructed in London and launched in 1860, she was the UK’s first iron-hulled, armoured battleship and measures 418 feet in length with a width of 58 feet. Built to deter the French battleship, she was powered by steam and sail and was the largest and fastest vessel of her day. Now a museum ship, visitors are encouraged to experience a ‘hands-on’ approach and to explore the four decks, touching exhibits and trying things out in order to have some understanding of the harsh life at sea for Queen Victoria’s navy.

Another popular attraction, and for those with a head for heights, is the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. Take the high-speed lift to the view deck and at 100 metres you can admire the spectacular panoramic view across the South Coast. And if that experience has made you a little light headed make your way to The Clouds and indulge in a traditional ‘high tea’ experience, which includes an array of delicate sandwiches and an assortment of delicious sweet treats and scones served with fruity jams and clotted cream.

And as you sip on your piping hot tea you’re sure to spot the National Museum of the Royal Navy, below, which is the ideal place to wander around and work off those calories.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy invites visitors to examine three centuries of naval history under one roof. Exhibitions include HMS – Hear My Story, which tells the tales of ordinary men, women and ships forming naval history over the last one hundred years. Make your way to the Victory Gallery and experience the multi-media show ‘Trafalgar!, which introduces the audience to Nelson and Napoleon and places the viewer on the gun deck amidst battle and then in the confined space of the cockpit where the ship’s surgeon treats the wounded.

If that incident hasn’t affected your appetite for some first-class ‘scran’ and a generous serving of ‘grog’, Loch Fyne, located in the Vulcan building in Gunwharf Quays, is the perfect spot. I savoured the succulent pan- fried, line-caught, cod fillet, served with roasted chilli oil and sautéed potatoes and accompanied by the smoky and fruity flavours of the Pouilly-Fumé Cuvée D’eve, it is an exceptional dish.

Or, should you prefer French cuisine, Brasserie Blanc, located on The Plaza of Gunwharf Quays, serves the first-rate Chateaubriand for two. The Chargrilled and 30-day dry-aged beef, which is sourced from prime, pasture reared, Cornish cattle, is served with a choice of sauces, and I opted for the Béarnaise and the delicate flavours of a glass of Margaux Château Durfort-Vivens enhanced the dish perfectly.

For weary explorers seeking a spacious abode, the ultimate place to stay and right in the heart of the action, is the Esa luxury serviced apartments located at Admiralty Quarter. We stayed in an enormous property featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a comfortable lounge and modern kitchen with a dining area and all stylishly furnished. Taking advantage of the freedom that a real home-from-home experience affords, we relished a lie-in without those time restrictions imposed by hotels.

I prepared a ‘hearty’ breakfast using all the appliances provided, including a dishwasher, and those all-important gadgets that you rely on in your own home make all the difference, and of course, there is ample opportunity to enjoy your meal at leisure. Amenities include an allocated parking space, complimentary Wi-Fi and a ‘welcome pack’ of essential groceries. The property is within walking distance to Portsmouth Harbour railway station, Portsmouth Dockside and the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, which is crammed with designer outlet shops, bars and restaurants.

For a hearty Italian ‘al fresco’ dining experience we headed to Carluccio’s, where we selected a table next to the waterfront and admired the view of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. I sampled the delicious festoni pasta with smoked salmon and vodka and it was served with panache. We ordered a bottle of Vermentino Belguardo Mazzei Italy’s most popular white wine and held our glasses aloft whilst reflecting on our stay in Portsmouth and the words of one of the city’s most famous residents, the writer and Nobel Laureate Joseph Rudyard Kipling, who once said ‘This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures’.

For more information on the featured apartment and other Esa properties throughout the UK visit esa-servicedapartments.co.uk, email: [email protected] or call 01635 904019

Avoid traffic and parking problems and travel by rail. Use Trainline’s ‘best fare finder’ and/or sign up for a ‘ticket alert’ email. Make Portsmouth reservations in advance and take advantage of discounted fares. For more information visit Trainline.com

By Rebecca Underwood Image credit: HMS Victory (exterior shot) courtesy of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

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