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Reviews of London's Restaurants, Supper Clubs and Hotels, Wine Tastings, Travel Writing, and Home to the Japanese and French Supper Clubs in Islington

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Friday, 4 August 2017

Gourmio – Authentic Italian Ingredients and Recipes Delivered to Your Home

I love cooking at home and do it often, but when I am not recipe testing or cooking for the supper club or friends, I enjoy a good quality take-away. And that will invariably mean a choice between two of my favourite things right now – very cheesy Quatro Formaggi pizza with added extras of yes, even more cheese, or the mixed kebab special from my local Turkish – a super generous assortment of barbecued meats, rice and salad. Both bring me great joy.

But I must admit I rarely buy ready-made meals – I usually find them disappointing in both flavour and quality, mass produced and made to last, these more often than not contain all kinds of e-numbers and additives I prefer not to indulge in. 

I was recently approached by Gourmio for a sponsored review of their home-delivery service of Italian pre-made meals, and was just about to delete their email, when I took a peek at their site.

At first, Gourmio intrigued me – as a lover of Italian food (I lived in Genova to do my Erasmus and return to the country often) I was curious about their claim to bring authentic, regional Italian ingredients in pre-made meals to the UK. Their website is easy to navigate, with recipes divided by either category (starters and main dishes) or by their Italian regional provenance (Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and so forth). Every recipe featured on the site is well explained with great care taken to describe the ingredients used, their provenance and the historical background of each dish. I was impressed.

Gourmio was founded in 2016 by Marco Sargiani who is a real champion for Italian agricultural produce, his family has been making aceto balsamico in Modena for over 300 years! The idea of Gourmio came from a previous business concept Marco had of trading Italian DOP ingredients online (artisan products bearing a quality seal denoting Denominazione di Origine Protetta or PDO Protected Designation of Origin). Marco wanted to help small, artisan producers who often lacked the marketing and language skills to sell their products beyond their immediate region. But this idea needed a little tweaking.

In its new incarnation, Gourmio aims to offer not only some of the country’s best artisan DOP ingredients, but also presents them in recipe combinations so that authentic Italian dishes can be recreated at home with clear, easy to follow instructions. 

And it was so simple to get started - I selected the recipes I wanted to cook from their website, and Gourmio delivered the ingredients along with the recipe cards. The recipes are detailed on their site with step-by-step photos and sometimes a short Tastemade-style video, so I pretty much knew what I was getting. They state clearly what they will deliver and what you might need at home, these are usually cooking utensils like pots, pans and spoons.

As of today, there are 10 recipes available, 3 starters and 7 mains. It is not clear from their website when new dishes are added to the website, but I would guess seasonally. In my opinion, it would be helpful to know this as well as being able to see previous dishes, even if not currently available, they would give a better idea of what else we can buy and encourage us to return for more.

I ordered four different recipes to be confident in writing this review. I ordered them on a Monday pm, and was given a choice of delivery dates from Wednesday to Friday, so delivery can happen within a couple of days, and it is free for orders over £40. Dishes (for 2 people) are priced between £10 and £15.50 for both starter and main courses.

All ingredients come from Italy and are pre-cooked and vacuum-sealed. Pre-made sauces and meats display nutritional information and a full list of ingredients. I received my meals on Friday, the 28th July 2017 and the expiry date for these ingredients was 15th August 2017, so well over two weeks. This is excellent shelf life considering that there are no additives or e-numbers added.

Each recipe is delivered in its own individual box, containing a printed card with detailed, easy to follow instructions, and photos so that you know what your finished dish should look like. Recipe cards are also detailed with times, dietary notes (like contains eggs etc), provenance, difficulty level and the number of servings, which is usually 2 people per recipe. 

One of these recipes was Sicilian “Spelt Macaroni with Swordfish Ragu and Lemon Zest” (£15). 

This was an absurdly easy recipe to put together which took me just a few minutes – cook pasta in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, re-heat ragu sauce, drain pasta, add the sauce and Bob’s your uncle!

The only minor snag about this dish is that the recipe calls for parsley and lemon zest to be added though no lemon or parsley was listed as supplied or as needed to buy. Luckily we had both ingredients in the fridge to finish off the dish. 

I loved this Sicilian dish – the pasta was al dente and had a beautiful, vibrant yellow colour from the spelt flour, the swordfish ragu sauce (one of the most ancient Sicilian recipes as explained on the card) was rich and perfectly seasoned and most importantly, it tasted fresh! I could not detect even a hint of the out-of-a-jar type of flavours one gets from ready-made sauces.

Another excellent dish was Umbrian Pancia di Vitello or “roasted belly of veal with wild fennel and a side of sautéed potatoes and courgettes” (£15.50).

I love belly meat, and veal’s is such a treat. The meat had been seasoned with dill and pre-cooked, it only took 10 minutes to re-heat in the oven, just the time I needed to chop and sauté the courgette and pre-steamed potatoes in a little olive oil and parsley (again not listed).

The recipe came with a white pork sauce, which I personally felt lacked in both seasoning and flavour and did not add much to the final dish. That aside, the meat was delicious and so tender, and the vegetables were a great accompaniment.

Our meal continued in Umbria with “Strips of spelt with cockerel sauce and Castelluccio lentils” (£10). Castellucio lentils are a delicacy of this region and I was super keen to try them.

The lentils were mixed into the cockerel sauce (cockerel is a young, less than a year old male chicken), this was a delectable tomato-based sauce with cockerel meat, paprika, onion and other ingredients which I gently re-heated. 

The Straccetti di Farro pasta, another traditional Umbrian specialty made with hulled wheat, was cooked for 2 minutes in salted boiling water, drained and added to the cockerel and lentil sauce. The pasta had a light nutty flavour and firm texture, and the sauce tasted fresh but intensely flavoured. I loved the addition of Castellucio lentils - they brought another layer of texture and great flavour to the final dish. A fantastic little starter that did not take me 10 minutes to prepare!

Though equally good, the ‘Octopus cooked Elba style” (£10) from Elba Isle in Tuscany, was a bit more problematic – the images on the recipe card do not relate to this dish and no information is given on what to do with the octopus sauce.

As the chunky pieces of octopus were heated in their juices with the pre-steamed potatoes for about 10 minutes, I re-heated the sauce in a separate pan. 

The sauce was again fresh and well seasoned, and worked a treat with the tender octopus and the serving of steamed potatoes, we thoroughly enjoyed this Tuscan dish.

I was genuinely impressed by the quality of the ingredients and the opportunity to learn about Gourmio’s dishes, their provenance and historical background. For a new start-up, Gourmio still has a few teething issues to put right, and despite the minor snags with the recipe cards, I would fully recommend their delivery service.

I love the concept of Gourmio, the quality of the ingredients they offer and their genuine passion to introduce to the UK some of the best regional ingredients and dishes of Italy, but most importantly - their food is pretty tasty too! 

To find out more about Gourmio’s dishes and try them for yourself, visit their website here and place your order!

Disclaimer – this was a sponsored feature by Gourmio. The London Foodie has however maintained full editorial control over its content as always.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Washoku Cuisine, Kyo-Kaiseki and My Favourite Kyoto Foods and Restaurant Recommendations

For the seasoned traveller to Japan, it will come as no surprise that the area in and around Kyoto is thought to have some of the finest produce in the country and I daresay, the finest Washoku cuisine in the land (Washoku means Japanese food or cooking).

The highest expression of Washoku is known as kaiseki – the word kaiseki derives from the Japanese words kai (bosom) and seki (stone), and comes from the habit of trainee monks carrying a heated stone in their robes, whose warmth helped to stave off hunger. Served as part of the tea ceremony since the 16th century, light kaiseki meals were introduced becasue the high caffeine content of powdered green tea was almost too intense to drink on an empty stomach. Today, kaiseki generally refers to a Japanese multi-course haute-cuisine meal at some of the best restaurants in Japan, and particularly in Kyoto.

Pontocho Street in Kyoto where many kaiseki restaurants can be found

Kaiseki meals are an exquisite experience on many levels. They are a celebration of the four distinct Japanese seasons and the ingredients each of these can offer, while great attention is also given to aesthetic awareness. This extends not just to the food but also to the finest crockery being selected to present the dishes in a way that tempts both the eye and the appetite. In Japan, kaiseki is considered an art form.

Whenever I visit Kyoto I make sure to try as many kaiseki meals as I can afford. As you can imagine, these meals are not cheap and are a real treat even for affluent Japanese. As we see in many top or Michelin-starred restaurants in London, there are some good deals to be had at lunch time, and I list below via @thelondonfoodie’s Instagram posts some of my personal kaiseki restaurant favourites, but more on that later.

The area in and around Kyoto has its own style of kaiseki, known as Kyo-Kaiseki. As Kyoto is some distance from the sea, the Kyo-cuisine of the area focuses on freshwater fish from nearby Biwa Lake and Kamo River, as well as local vegetables grown in the nutritious clay soil of Kyoto’s outskirts. 

Unlike in other parts of Japan, the entire region of Kansai, where Kyoto is situated, tends to favour dishes that are lighter in colour and salt content, so that the natural flavour of ingredients, particularly vegetables, can better be appreciated.

In addition to the fantastic vegetable produce, the Kansai region is also renowned for its wagyu beef (Kobe town is in Kansai) and for its yuba, which is one of Kyoto’s most notable specialties. Yuba (a by-product of tofu making) is soya milk skin, and it should be creamy but feather-light in texture. It is one of my favourite foods, and I always eat copious amounts of it whenever I am in Kyoto. I love eating yuba served 'teoke'-style in a wooden vessel with soya milk and an accompanying dipping sauce. There are restaurants which specialize in yuba and other tofu dishes which I really recommend to anyone visiting the region. For my personal recommendations on where to eat yuba in Kyoto, see @thelondonfoodie's Instagram post at the end of this feature.

A Yuba Teoke Set Lunch from a specialist restaurant in Arasiyama in the outskirts of Kyoto
Kyoto Wagyu Beef - look at that marbling!

One of today’s leading authorities on Kyo-Kaiseki is Chef Yoji Satake – he is the 11th generation of the Satake family of chefs, who originally founded the historical 300 year-old Minokichi Restaurant in Kyoto in 1716. Now a group with 16 restaurants spread throughout Japan, the Minokichi Group is run by his father Rikifusa Satake. When Chef Yoji Satake is not travelling the world to lecture on Kyo-kaiseki, he works as the Head Chef of the group’s flagship restaurant Takeshigero (formerly Minokichi Restaurant). 

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a magnificent dinner prepared by the man himself at Hampton Court Palace recently, with distinguished guests and speakers including the Japanese Ambassador to the UK Koji Tsuruoka.

The Japanese ambassador to the UK Koji Tsuruoka

The dinner was a collaboration of the the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the JA Group (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) and the JA Group Kyoto which brought Chef Yoji Satake to London for his first time to prepare the dinner. It focussed on the agricultural produce of Kyoto (vegetables and wagyu beef) flown in especially for the occasion, many of which are rare even in Japan. 

The meal was structured in four courses, with the first being a platter containing nine bite-sized morsels made from Kyoto’s seasonal ingredients. Highlights for me were the unctuously creamy Yamashina aubergine, the refreshing Kyo-mizuna greens with Manganji green pepper in dashi, and the Kyoto wagyu beef and burdock kimpira (a lightly spiced Japanese stir-fry dish). 

Equally delicious was the kombu (kelp) marinated turbot served with ponzu jelly (a Japanese citrus and soy based dressing). This is an ancient Japanese technique known as Kobujime, a method of preserving fish by curing it between layers of kombu, infusing it with umami flavour.

Our second course was Yuan-grilled salmon served on aromatic cedar wood plates. Yuan refers to a marinade created by a tea-ceremony master called Yuan Kitamura in the Edo Period - there are many variations on Yuan marinade but it consists mainly of equal parts of soy sauce, sake and mirin (sweetened sake) with the more recent addition of yuzu or other Japanese citrus fruit. The fish is lightly marinated in this mixture and then grilled. Chef Yoji Satake’s Yuan-yaki salmon was a fine example of this dish served with some local Kyoto vegetables - Kamo aubergines, Fushimi green pepper and Kujo spring onions.

For main course, we had another major product of the region – Kyoto wagyu beef! This was roasted and served with mustard leaves and a delectable sesame dressing. The meat was perfectly cooked, served medium rare and had the wonderful creaminess and mouth-feel only authentic wagyu beef can offer. I have written in The London Foodie about wagyu beef, demystifying it and suggesting places where you can find the real thing right here in UK, you can see this feature here

For dessert, a fondue of matcha from Uji was served with a selection of goodies – a mochi (glutinous rice dumpling) flavoured with cherry flowers and filled with Dainagon beans (the finest red beans used for anko red bean paste, a primary ingredient in many Japanese confections), and also black-bean cake and seasonal fruits.

Needless to say, the finest sake from Kyoto was served and matched with every course, this was a memorable meal giving just a glimpse of the endless potential of the agricultural produce of Kyoto. 

If you are a foodie (and I assume you are if you are reading this) and plan to travel to Japan, Kyoto should definitely be on your list of places to visit – if not for the amazing culture, temples and natural beauty then without doubt for the wonderful food. Below I mention some recommendations of places to visit in Kyoto – this is not a comprehensive list by any means, but it includes a few personal favourites.

Yuba is one of the most famous foods of Kyoto and I highly recommend a visit to a Yuba/Tofu specialist restaurant while in town:

If you love #tofu (and I certainly do), you may like to know that the areas in and around #Kyoto are renowned for their excellent tofu. There are a number of restaurants specialising and serving soybean curd in every shape, colour and size at every course in a meal. At Kyoto JR Station on the 11th floor, we had a magnificent tofu lunch at Shozankaku Matsuyama, the 'Yuba-Oke Bento Set' cost a very reasonable ¥3,780 (£22). #Yuba is soya milk skin and it should be creamy but featherlight in texture. It is one of my favourite foods, and I always eat copious amounts of the stuff whenever I am in Kyoto. I love eating yuba served 'teoke'-style in a wooden vessel with soya milk and accompanying dipping sauce as in this set lunch. In addition to the yuba-teoke, my bento also had sashimi, tempura, grilled salmon, sushi, tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette), rice and red miso soup among other things. #Japan #JapaneseFood #JapaneseCuisine #LoveJapan #food #foodporn #instafood #instatravel #Kyoto #LoveKyoto
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We had a fantastic 8-course kaiseki lunch at Gion Karyo for YEN 5,000 or about £35! This is my best-value recommendation for Kaiseki in Kyoto!

One of the best #Kaiseki restaurants in #Kyoto both in quality and in value (hands down) was #GionKaryo where we enjoyed a fantastic 8-course #kaiseki lunch for ¥5,000 or £30. We sat at the counter (always do if you can), the chefs were very friendly and completely unphased by all the food related questions I was asking them, in fact they were genuinely pleased to see that we were SO interested in their food. This is the only non-Michelin #kaiseki we visited on this trip, and possibly one of the best. Pictured is octopus with broad bean, yolk & vinegar sauce and bamboo shoots in kinomi dressing (in the closed shell) which was part of our lunch. Highly recommended - Gion Karyo, 570-23 Gion-machi Minami-Gawa, Higashiyama-Ku, tel. 532-0025 #Japan #JapaneseFood #JapaneseCuisine #Kaiseki #LoveKyoto #LoveJapan #food #foodporn #yum #instafood #instatravel #lovetravel #KaisekiRyōri
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Kyoto has some of the best kaiseki restaurants in Japan, with prices to match. If you fancy trying kaiseki without breaking the bank, I recommend Koryu in Osaka (only 45 minutes from Kyoto by train). Perhaps because it is not in Kyoto but in Osaka, Koryu was much better value, and it is a 3-Michelin starred restaurant.

From #Kyoto we travelled to #Osaka (a 45-min train ride) to visit the 3-Michelin restaurant Koryu - this was by far the best #Kaiseki restaurant we experienced on this trip in all regards - flavour, technique, presentation and value for money - the difference between a 3 Michelin starred restaurant and other establishments in Japan is very apparent here - a 10-course #Kaiseki dinner at Koryu costs ¥12,000 plus 10% service (about £75 per person), which is great value for a restaurant of this calibre. Pictured is Head Chef Shintaro Matsuo's stunning sashimi platter, a real feast for the eye and palate, I didn't know where to start! The tuna with soy marinated yolk was particular amazing. Service was impeccable and again we were lucky enough to be seated at the Chef Matsuo san's counter which made for a very interesting experience. Highly recommended - Koryu, 1-5-1 Dojima, Kita-Ku, Osaka, tel. 066 347 5660 #Japan #JapaneseFood #JapaneseCuisine #Kaiseki #LoveOsaka #LoveJapan #food #foodporn #yum #instafood #instatravel #lovetravel #KaisekiRyōri
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Ruon Kikunoi was another great 2-Michelin starred kaiseki restaurant we visited in Kyoto, and I thoroughly recommend it.

Roan Kikunoi is a 2-Michelin star restaurant in #Gion, #Kyoto. The 9-course #Kaiseki dinner at this restaurant costs ¥13,000 plus 10% service (about £82 per person). We loved our dinner here, the food was exquisite in both quality and presentation. I would however struggle to tell you the difference between this and other Kaiseki restaurants we visited on this trip with fewer or no Michelin stars (see earlier posts). But this is no criticism of #RoanKikunoi - just a reflection of the very high standard of cooking in #Kaiseki restaurants in #Kyoto. One of the star courses at #RoanKikunoi was the sashimi of red sea bream and Spanish mackerel which had been cured in kelp seaweed for a few hours (a popular technique known as konbu-jime where raw fish is sandwiched between sheets of konbu and marinated) before being served with ponzu jelly (citrus dressing). Highly recommended - Roan Kikunoi, 118 Saito-Cho, Shijo-Sagaru, Kiyamachi-Dori, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto, tel. 075 361 5580 #Japan #JapaneseFood #JapaneseCuisine #Kaiseki #LoveKyoto #LoveJapan #food #foodporn #yum #instafood #instatravel #lovetravel #KaisekiRyōri
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Otsuka resonates to me in a big way - this Japanese gentleman turned his home garage into a small restaurant that sits up to 30 guests and serves wagyu beef sets at very affordable prices. Otsuka is very near the Bamboo Forest in Kyoto's Arasiyama District (a major tourist attraction), I highly recommend a visit to this restaurant and the Bamboo Forest!

Another very important reason to visit #Arashiyama is #Otsuka, a restaurant run by Chef Yoichi Otsuka and his wife just around the corner from the #BambooForest. The restaurant is tiny, converted from Chef Otsuka's own garage below the family home and specialises in #KobeBeef and it is only opened for lunch from 11:00 to 3pm. I had a magnificent set lunch of #wagyu graded A5 sirloin steak ¥4,800 (about £27) with salad and rice. The meat was meltingly tender with an intense, rich flavour and fantastic marbling, possibly the best #wagyubeef I have ever tried. We also had another set of A4 wagyu sirloin, a lower grade for ¥3,800 (about £22) which was a tad less tender, with more texture but equally delicious. A wagyu set lunch in central #Kyoto would cost twice as much and dearer still in #Tokyo. Highly recommended.  #Japan #JapaneseFood #JapaneseCuisine #LoveJapan #food #foodporn #yum #instafood #instatravel #lovetravel #ficaadica
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The gorgeous Bamboo Forest in Arasiyama just a few minutes from Otsuka

Pontocho is a narrow street in Kyoto with many bars and kaiseki restaurants, it is also a great place for strolling and idling away the hours, but most importantly for geisha spotting!

For more Kyoto must-visits, you can read my earlier post on the city, with other kaiseki restaurant recommendations including Giro-Giro and Manzara-tei in the Pontocho area:


If you are not going to Kyoto just yet, but would like to experience kaiseki right here in London, 1-Michelin starred UMU serves great kaiseki-style dishes by Chef Yoshinori Ishii, you can read about my latest visit here. 

I would like to thank the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the JA Group (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), the JA Group Kyoto and Chef Yoji Satake for inviting me to this event showcasing the agricultural produce of Kyoto. It has made me realize how much I miss the city and its incredible food, but I am already plotting my return!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

#TheGrandJourney – A Multi-Sensorial Experience That is All About Flavour

For most people, it is rare the opportunity to consider the flavour profile of a single ingredient and the role it plays to a given dish – but even more so, the opportunity to reflect on 10 different ingredients, their usage, provenance and quality. 

As a food writer, I relish the prospect of such experiences - #TheGrandJourney by Bombay Sapphire is a multi-sensorial experience that is all about flavour, and it is taking place right now (17th to 23rd July 2017) in London’s Banking Hall.

Bombay Sapphire uses 10 different botanicals from around the world selected by the brand’s Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti. I am told only the finest and sustainably sourced ingredients go in to produce the brand’s gin, these include juniper berries (Italy), grains of paradise (West Africa), almonds (Spain), lemon peel (Spain), cubeb berries (Java), coriander seeds (Mexico), angelica root (Germany), cassia bark (IndoChina), orris root (Italy) and liquorice (China).

Liquorice from China - one of the 10 Bombay Sapphire gin botanicals

For #TheGrandJourney, Bombay Sapphire built a train - the Laverstock Express (named after its distillery, Laverstock Mill in Hampshire) and is taking “passengers” on a Gin of Ten Journeys, illustrating through a multi-sensorial food and gin pairing dinner, the 10 botanicals and places around the world where these are found.

Collaborating with the brand is Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers of Story Restaurant who created four dishes specifically for this campaign. Using Spanish lemon peel, Tom’s scallop two ways was a delightful dish of raw and pan-fried scallops – Tom mixed diced raw scallops and apple with lemon, crème fraiche and fine slices of radish. The pan-fried scallop was served with a super-light and zingy lemon foam, a very sophisticated hollandaise-style creation brimming with flavour, zinginess and intense citrus flavours.

Another fantastic dish, this time using Spanish almonds, was Tom’s Spanish Iberico pork (served pink) with roasted pear, fresh and sugared almonds and Amaretto jelly. I loved the toasty nuttiness of the almonds combined with the creaminess of the rare Iberico pork and the sweet touches in this dish – the sugared almonds, Amaretto jelly and roasted pear, all came together beautifully in a dish I will remember for quite sometime. Pork and almonds, who would have thought?!

Dessert was also memorable – a refreshing ice cream of herbaceous angelica (considered the 3rd most important botanical in gin, after juniper berries and coriander seeds), with salted blackberry and bitter chocolate.

But the gin botanical inspired creations were not only limited to food – there were a number of cocktails devised by brand ambassador Sean Ware using these ingredients. There were a few favourites – the cubeb berry was a peppery cup of Bombay Sapphire, coffee and cardamom cold infusion with Benedictine and tri-pepper tincture. 

Using orris root, we were served a zesty coupette of Bombay Sapphire, fig and bergamot liqueur, violet leaf tincture, bergamot juice and crème de violet – this was intensely floral.

Perhaps my favourite of the lot was Sean’s Maghreb High Ball – made from 1 part each of Bombay Sapphire gin, water, and Moroccan liqueur (a heady concoction of vodka, dried mint leaves, coriander seeds and saffron) to 2 parts of honey mead, garnished with fresh mint leaf, this was as exotic and spicy as it was refreshing.

Before #TheGrandJourney, three of Bombay Sapphire’s 10 botanicals were new to me - grains of paradise, cubeb berries and orris root. On further research, I discovered that grains of paradise are melegueta or malagueta pepper. This is a native plant of West Africa brought in to South America, especially to Brazil by the Portuguese who had a number of colonies in the continent at the time. Malagueta is the most popular pepper used in Brazil and I love using it in food for its pepperiness and citrus undertones.

I also discovered that cubeb berry is an Indonesian plant that is cultivated for its fruit and oil. Dried, they’re similar in appearance (and taste) to black pepper. I learnt that cubeb berries have long been used alongside juniper as their combination pairs well with other core gin botanicals. 

Cubeb berries - one of Bombay Sapphire's 10 gin botanicals
Have you ever wondered why gin can have such an intense floral quality? Well, one of its botanicals, orris is the root of the iris, specifically from the Iris Pallida and Iris Germanica plants. These are beautiful, blooming flower species that grow widely across the world. A lot of work goes into harvesting orris; after three to four years of growth, the roots are dug up and left to dry for at least 5 years, before being ground to powder for use as a botanical in gin. Dried orris root take on a floral, sweet smell and unsurprisingly has been used in perfumes for years.

If you have not been able to secure a spot for #TheGrandJourney, you will be pleased to hear that Bombay Sapphire will be collaborating with ten leading cocktail bars across Europe, five of these in the UK. For the next twelve weeks from the 17th July 2017, five UK bars well known for their outstanding creativity in cocktail making will be serving limited edition tipples using Bombay Sapphire’s 10 botanicals. In London, bars taking part include The Berkeley (angelica), Three Sheets (coriander seed) and Scout (liquorice), while in Manchester the Science and Industry (grains of paradise) and in Edinburgh the Panda and Sons (cassia bark).

Discovering new flavours, ingredients and how to use them in my cooking and cocktail making is what makes me tick – I have been hugely inspired by #TheGrandJourney and have created my own recipe using two of Bombay Sapphire’s botanicals: liquorice and juniper berries. If you would like to try my meltingly tender, super ‘Slow-Braised Pork Belly in Honey Mead, Soy, Liquorice and Juniper Berries’ dish, you can find the full recipe here.

For more information on Bombay Sapphire gins, cocktails and The Grand Journey, visit their website at http://www.bombaysapphire.com.

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