Wednesday, 19 October 2016

NY-LON Lounge Bar, at the O2 - Review

Who goes to the O2 unless they are going to a concert? Well, quite a lot of people, apparently. I was invited to the 1st birthday bash at NY-LON cocktail bar, nestled in the Entertainment Avenue behind TGI's, and what a treat it was. Lots of people, tourists and Londoners alike, were milling round the arena. I don't think there was any event on, it's actually just a nice place to go! A destination venue, shall we say. Lots of chain restaurants, some classier ones too, lots of bars and a proper pub. There's even a cinema and a bowling alley - giving the feel of a town centre hub for going out to enjoy.

But, of course, I am here for cocktails. NY-LON Lounge Bar opened at the O2 just over a year ago. Since then they've been serving up cocktails pre- and post-gigs, in celebration of one of my favourite travel routes - London to New York, flying with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines, the official airline partners of the O2. To celebrate one whole year in this lavish, airport lounge exclusive bar, with steward-eque staff and streamlined interiors, resident mixologist Massimilanio Bua has created The Venturer: a blend of Bacardi, vanilla Galliano, Peychaud's, lemon and lime juice, egg white and apricot jam. This signature cocktail is available for the whole of October for only £6.

Accompanying canap├ęs are themed on both UK and NYC traditional fare - so expect sharing boards with scotch eggs, mini goat's cheese tarts, and pastrami on crispbread.

Soothing music in the background with a super cool DJ, and the NYC skyline filling one wall, you may just feel like you're about to fly...

NY-LON Lounge Bar
Unit 4.03 Entertainment Avenue
O2 Arena, SE10 ODX

Open Tue-Sun 4pm-midnight
Food served 4pm-8.30

Images thanks to Crisp Media Ltd.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes - Recipe

 It's official. I am married to a grumpy old man. Himself turned 50 last week, and amidst several trips away (Dubrovnik is stunning, people) and a Saturday night out (don't worry, it wasn't out-out), I managed to squeeze in these little scrumbags.

He's not a cake fan, so I opted for what I thought was the simplest, easiest to make, but delicious cupcake, to cater for 50 or so guests. Lemon cheesecake. In its simplest form. Without any cheese.

Apologies for the rubbish photos. Completely forgot to style them... ;) The toppers I ordered from eBay, and the sprinkles are black glitter.


Makes: 12 (obviously I did several batches) 

Prep Time: 20 mins
Bake Time:15 mins
Decorate Time:20-30 minutes


For the cupcakes:

115 g butter
115 g golden castor sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
115 g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 lemon, zested

For the filling (this makes enough for about 30 cupcakes):

1 can of Condensed Milk
300 ml double cream
Juice and zest of 2-3 lemons (depending on how lemony you like it)


Place 12 (or however many) gold foil cupcake cases in a muffin tin and heat the oven to 190 C.

Cream the butter and sugar together for a few minutes then add the eggs and milk. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and gently mix through until smooth. Add in the lemon zest and stir it through so it's evenly distributed.

Spoon the mixture into the cases, about two-thirds full. Bake for about 15 minutes. Check they are cooked through with a skewer.

Allow to cool on a wire tray while you make the filling.

For the filling, whisk the cream and condensed milk together for a few minutes until it starts to thicken.
Next, add in the zest and whisk briefly. Slowly add the lemon juice as it should thicken quite quickly, stop when it's the right consistency (you may not need it all, and you don't want to go too far).

Filling a piping bag, with a large round nozzle, and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes. Don't use a star-shaped or flower nozzle, as the zest with get stuck in the nozzle and it'll come out all wriggly - trust me!

Decorate with rice paper toppers, edible glitter, lemon zest, or as you wish.

Link up your recipe of the week
See #recipeoftheweek for more delicious recipes.

Friday, 14 October 2016

G by Godiva Tablets - perfect for Chocolate Week

Everybody's favourite week of the year. CHOCOLATE WEEK!
Godiva, those purveyors of luxurious chocolates sent over some of their latest indulgence - G by Godiva tablets. Squares of pure heaven, I particularly love the Blond - a blend of white chocolate and caramelised milk chocolate, enhanced with crunchy buttered salted caramel. I dare you to try and resist...
Here I have tried to recreate an Instagram post of Godiva's... not quite doing it justice! I couldn't wait very long to get stuck into the tablets.
Blond Chocolate with Salted Caramel
Also munched my way through the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp. It's all very ethical you know, made with single origin Mexican chocolate, so it's quality AND authentic. Promise.
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp

Available in:
Milk Chocolate
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp
Blond Chocolate and Salted Caramel
Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut
Dark Chocolate Orange and Ginger