Barefoot in London

Category: Drinks

Pact Coffee

Phone 563

Phone 570

Lovely little Pact Leopard pal.


So, I am currently sorting through some of the lovely recipes I discovered/cooked up over Christmas and New Year, however, I have been meaning to write about one of my final Christmas presents which was delivered to me in early January.

Adam had bought me a V60 filter gift set from Pact Coffee which  entitled me to 3 lovely bags of coffee and (as the name would suggest) a V60 filter, a mug and a cute wee tea towel. Anyone who knows me at all will know a foodie/drinkie (?!) – what the devil is the word for those of us also interested in drinks too? Snobs? ; ) – present is pretty much always going to be a winning present with me.

My first bag of coffee I received was Inza Cauca from Colombia and is described as “blackcurrant and cherry crumble” and, let me tell you, from the second you crack open that bag you get a big old whiff of a scent that really is reminiscent of the beautiful, caramelised crumbs you find on top of good old fashioned crumbles. And when you take your first few sips you’ll feel the kind of acidity that cuts through your mouth when eating sour, or tart, fruits like blackcurrant or cherry. This makes this coffee perfect for the mornings and will clear your palette off nicely!

I’d never used a V60 before – and I have to say I do prefer a cafetiere – but it’s great for making one quick cup of coffee and because you can just plop the filter filled with coffee grounds straight into the bin (unless you save your grounds for the compost heap? Does wonders for the soil!) it makes it an extremely no-fuss affair. Sometimes extricating coffee grounds from the cafetiere seems like far too much effort of a morning.

Pact are a great company based in Bermondsey – they roast their beans in small batches, will grind for you if needs be and let you decide how frequently you have your coffee delivered (they deliver to anywhere in the UK). I think it’d be a great investment if you, like me, love a really good cup of fresh coffee and I’m pretty certain I will be signing myself up to regular deliveries once my Christmas Present is all used up!


Wonderful Weekend: Burnt Toast + Coffee Workshop


This weekend has been, as the title of this post indicates, utterly wonderful. I have spent it with some of my very favourite people and visited a couple of new foodie places that I’ll be sure to be going back to. Now I know this post is a little out of the ordinary for me but I’m going to try and start reviewing places I go out and eat in as well as posting recipes!

Friday evening was spent with my friend Sam at the National Theatre watching the wonderful new production JOHN by theatre company DV8. This completely blew me away and I think I’m definitely going to try and get back to see it again before it finishes. If you’re around in London be sure to check this out – or, I believe it’s going to be broadcast in cinemas as a part of NT Live so if you can’t get down here maybe see if you can see it in your local cinema!

I love the National Theatre and I love walking along the South bank; I can’t wait for the Christmas market to arrive here bringing with it all those delicious scents of festive food and drink. Without any street food to choose from this time though Sam and I decided on Wagamamas for dinner which is always an excellent shout!



Saturday morning and in fact most of Saturday was spent in Brixton with my best friend, Lorna. Now Brixton isn’t an area I know particularly well in London but I have been there a few times recently for one reason or another and I’ll be making sure I go back again and again as Brixton Village was absolutely chock-full of wee eateries and incredible food stalls that I want to visit.

We decided upon a place called Burnt Toast for brunch; there was a little bit of a queue but we didn’t mind as we had plenty to catch-up on and a good brunch is always worth the wait. There were several little wooden tables and chairs (all seating outside; don’t fret as cosy blankets were provided) and the inside looked to be a tiny crowded hubbub of kitchen activity. There were toasters and condiments set up next to the tables so you could toast your own bread and top with whatever you heart desired.

Being indecisive, and not wanting a horrible case of food envy, Lorna and I decided to share something savoury and something sweet. Brunch main and dessert, if you will. We went with the feta, tomato, kale and mushroom baked eggs and the blueberry, raspberry and maple pancake.

It was absolutely delicious. The eggs were nice and tender and full of flavour and the pancake was so big I thought we were never going to even make a dent in it but we did our utmost and nearly saw the whole thing off! I wonder, perhaps, if they may have been better off serving two slightly thinner pancakes as this was certainly “cakier” than I expected, however, if I get to eat half a plate-sized cake for breakfast who am I to nitpick?!

The coffee – a black americano – was also wonderful with beautiful, mellow caramel notes.

I definitely want to go back and try some more of their menu!

Saturday evening was spent with Adam, drinking red wine and cooking up a spicy, tomato-y Indian curry which I will definitely post a quick recipe for later this week as it was pretty healthy, very tasty (if I do say so myself!) and super easy. After a somewhat exhausting week, I definitely needed a Saturday night filled with Shiraz and a home-cooked meal!


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Sunday afternoon this week was reserved for spending a few hours with my lovely Jozef. He’s been off travelling the world this past year and having him back in London is downright excellent. He suggested we try Coffee Workshop on Clerkenwell Road which is in between the gorgeous Farringdon and Clerkenwell.

It was pretty busy with Sunday brunchers and we had a wee bit of a wait but it was a gloriously crisp and bright day so standing outside whilst we waited for a table to free-up was no hardship. It’s a fab place with a real mesh of aesthetics – bare-brick walls, wooden floors, skull covered wallpaper, walls of shrubbery, Marmite and mustard jars lining shelves. There was a great balance of edgy, quirky and twee and from the mini Kilner jars filled with sugar to the industrial looking black lamps hanging from the ceiling everything felt perfectly suited.

The food looked amazing but we opted for aeropress coffee and cake instead of eggs or burgers (I have to go back and try some though!).

We ordered both their blends of aeropress – the Githiga from Kenya and the El Rodeo from Costa Rica. It was excellent and has made me want to look for classes on making aeropress coffee; I had a quick chat with a lady who worked there and she briefly explained the process. I can feel my inner barista stirring again!

I was also incredibly naughty and had a giant brownie (which I woefully couldn’t finish) but it did go perfectly with my coffee so it would have been really rude not to. It was so crisp on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside; I always forget how much I love a good brownie because so often they’re disappointing and dry and I’m certain one decent throw and they could knock someone out! However, I’d highly recommend sampling Coffee Workshop’s one if you’re knocking about in that part of town!

Coffee Workshop is totally worth a visit; it’s cool and chic and should be something that is full of espresso snobbery and Shoreditch hipster kids but instead it’s welcoming, inviting and the staff are super cheerful and chatty. I really couldn’t recommend it enough for a lazy few hours of laughing and chatting with friends.


I know. Monster post.

How was your weekend?

Rhubarb and Mint Julep




I’m going to start off by saying I don’t really think this is much of a julep. I don’t know if I’ve even ever had a proper julep. In fact, I think I just really bloody enjoy saying the word julep. But what this is, is a refreshing and summery wee cocktail that would be perfect for sipping in the garden on one of these gorgeous evenings, of which there are plenty of as England seems to be playing ball with Summer this year!

You have to make up a wee rhubarb simple syrup first – which can be used to flavour no end of cocktails! – and, well, as the name suggests, it’s very bloody simple to make. Too simple, in fact, y’all going to think I went and got lazy…

And then it really is a case of pouring, muddling and drinking. And who doesn’t love all three?



Rhubarb Simple Syrup

3 large stalks of rhubarb

4 tbsp granulated sugar

300ml water

  1. Chop the rhubarb up nice and small.
  2. Pop rhubarb, water and sugar in a pan and whack on the hob on a low heat.
  3. Allow to simmer and bubble away until the rhubarb is soft. Strain the syrup and allow to cool.


The Non-Julep Julep

6/8 mint leaves

50ml gin

Rhubarb syrup

Crushed ice

Soda water to top up

  1. Pop mint, syrup and gin in a glass and muddle together.
  2. Add a little ice and continue to muddle.
  3. Fill the rest of the glass with ice and top up with a little soda.
  4. Garish as you see fit and enjoy!



Zesty Energizing Summer Smoothie

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Yes, yes – another smoothie. Now don’t worry I won’t be posting every single one I make, just when I feel like I’ve hit upon a piece of fruity genius. And this, this is definitely fruity genius that tastes exactly how a summer’s day should. Now, I am an absolute addict for sharp flavours – lemon, lime, raspberries…I can’t resist for them – so this recipe is just absolutely perfect for me (and in fact you could blend it all together, pour it into a container and freeze for a gorgeously refreshing sorbet too!).

What’s more, not only is this beautifully tasty, it is possibly the most stunning bright reddish-pinky raspberry colour you could ask for – who could resist that?!



1 Mango

1 Lime

A generous handful of frozen raspberries (or fresh ones with a few ice cubes!)

100ml cold water


  1. Remove all the mango pulp and pop in the blender (I made the mistake of putting the frozen raspberries in first and it made a horrendous racket and refused to blend for an age!).
  2. Add the raspberries and pulp from your lime and blend until at your desired texture. Pour into a nice big glass and enjoy!

Fruity Breakfast Smoothie

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So, smoothies have been creeping back into my diet since the weather turned a little nicer (who am I kidding, I’ve been pretending it’s summer for at least three weeks now) and then this morning I realised I hadn’t put a single recipe for one on this wee blog of mine. Now this is my basic fall back smoothie – nothing too fancy but filling and tasty – and I generally have all the ingredients knocking about the house. If you want to add a little more texture/sustenance to this maybe add a small handful of oats.


1 banana

1 handful of raspberries

1 handful of blueberries

1 tbsp natural yoghurt

2 tsp honey

100ml milk

Tip; I tend to add frozen fruit as then I won’t need to use ice!

There’s no great mystery to this one, my darlings, pop all ingredients in your blender and blitz until it’s a consistency you’re happy with. Easy flipping peasy.

Necessarily decadent hot chocolate

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      I know Christmas is over and we’re well and truly into January 2014 now and everyone is grumbling about those extra pounds or having to stop ourselves buying those new shoes or – heaven forbid – they’re on this dry-January thing. Don’t be daft, of course I’m not partaking in the latter. However if you are giving up the vino this recipe is a perfect way for you to wind down in the evening and, if you’re definitely not abstaining, add a slug of whiskey or Baileys – see, a cheeky recipe for all (unless you’ve been utterly mad and decided to give up chocolate for the entirety of 2014)!

      I find luxurious wee treats like this once in a while make the January blues dissipate a little; just because it’s cold, and Christmas lights and sparkles have been put away, doesn’t mean evenings can’t still be cosy on the sofa, in front of a film, with mugs of glorious hot chocolate.

For 3 helpings…


300ml milk

200g good dark chocolate

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cocoa

½ tsp cayenne

1 tbsp golden caster sugar

  1. Pop your milk in a saucepan and heat gently.

  2. Stir in all the cinnamon, cocoa, cayenne and sugar.

  3. When all has been stirred in, and the milk is just below boiling, add in the chunks of chocolate and stir well until it has dissolved into the milk.

  4. Serve up and enjoy!

They are particularly tasty with marshmallows (homemade if you can gather up the strength for it!).

Boozy tea party cocktails!


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     Now, when I think of the words Britain, vintage and food the image instantly conjured is one of mismatched crockery, flowery tea cups, sweet little sandwiches, twee cupcakes and, of course, a good cup of tea. It is the quintessential tea party however, in my mind, it always seem a little less high society and a little more Madhatter and March Hare! Tea parties, or high tea, served in the afternoon in between lunch and dinner in a lady’s parlour with a few of her friends began as a solitary snack for Anne, the Duchess of Bedford around 1804 – she simply needed something light to stave off the mid-afternoon munchies – but by the late eighteen hundreds, they had transformed into a social affair amongst friends. Nowadays, however, when we attempt to recreate tea party kitsch at home it isn’t nineteenth century dresses we’re squeezing into but instead donning flowery tea dresses, rouge lipstick and intricately tied head scarves; we pay homage to the 1950s, when the rationing of sugar, butter, eggs and, perhaps most importantly, tea was ceased and suddenly food could become something fun and frivolous once more.  Recently I decided to have a go and throw a tea party of my own. But as I am one of the those anomalies who hates English breakfast tea and couldn’t care less for a soggy cucumber sandwich I knew my tea party needed a little twist…a little twist of gin, that is. I think the idea of holding a boozy little high tea is an excellently cute and intimate way to celebrate (birthdays, engagements….days ending in Y) with a small group of friends whilst looking fabulously vintage. I served two of my delicious cocktails, More Earl Gray, Vicar? and the Sourpuss, and accompanied them with a gorgeous plate of lemon cupcakes. Now, of course you can have the iconic cucumber sandwiches (but for goodness sake, add a little cream cheese and a few chilli flakes) and mini quiches (pancetta, stilton and apple, please!) but, really, what’s more darling than a cup of tea and a piece of cake?

More Earl Grey, Vicar?


150ml Earl Grey tea infused gin

50ml elderflower cordial

The juice of 1 lemon

Tonic water



150ml gin

150ml grapefruit juice

The juice of one lime

Tonic water

Fill half a teapot with ice and add in all the ingredients except the tonic water. Muddle together and pour into your teacups up to the half way point then top up with tonic (perhaps keep this in a milk jug on the table!) and pop in a slice of lemon or lime to decorate and enjoy!

Written for Britain does Vintage.

Berlin knows how to do Christmas

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I’ve returned from Berlin and am brimming with Christmas spirit; the markets, the lights and the food. That whole city is lit up with twinkling fairy lights and festive markets which are jam-packed with decorations, handmade treats, pastries, stollen, honey-roasted nuts, chocolate (of all shapes and sizes), mulled wine and tasty hot chocolates (sometimes with a cheeky glug of baileys). The smells permeating the air from all the stalls was just heavenly and have inspired me to fill my house with similar scents; I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen. This week I am intending on baking several tasty Christmas-inspired treats so keep your eyes peeled for festive kitchen fun!

How is your Christmas baking coming along?


Luscious Limoncello Tray Cake

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I love lemon drizzle cake – I mean, who in their right mind doesn’t? It’s tangy and zesty and scrummy, however, this is a somewhat more grown-up (read: boozy) version of the well loved classic. Limoncello is a beautifully lemony Italian liqueur and is often served after dinner. We have a gorgeous bottle of Crema di Limoncello and it’s a less sharp, creamier (well, duh) version and, as we had an Italian inspired dinner the other evening, I decided it’d go perfectly in a cake for after our dinner.

Now, you can bake in this in any tin you fancy but I wanted quite a thin cake (I sometimes think it looks more desserty than just having a large wedge of cake), also if you wanted a tangier cake you could use regular limoncello and not the creamy version we have! You know, whatever does it for you.


200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

200g caster sugar

200g unsalted butter

The zest from half a lemon

Juice from half a lemon


60 ml limoncello

3 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and grease a 12” rectangular tray.

  2. Cream together the zest, butter and sugar.

  3. Add in the sifted flour, baking powder, eggs and juice and mix until the batter has all combined.

  4. Pop into a tray and slide into the oven for 15-18 minutes – or until you can stick a skewer into the sponge and it comes out clean. Careful if you’re doing quite a thin sponge as there can be just a minute in-between perfectly cooked and slightly crispy!

  5. Mix your icing sugar into the limoncello and when your cake comes out of the oven, and when it’s still warm, take a fork and prick holes into the top. Then proceed to drizzle your limoncello glaze all over it until it’s coated. Leave to cool and serve with a lovely dollop of whipped cream (take 3 tbsp of icing sugar and mix with double cream then whisk until nice and firm!). Powder everything with a little icing sugar and serve. Horrendously simple, gorgeous tasting lemon cake with a kick.

G&TEA: Earl Grey Tea Infused Gin (and a cheeky g&t recipe to boot)

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Well, if you know me, or have read previous posts you’ll know that I am a little bit of a gin fiend. I mean I don’t knock it back neat or anything but a cheeky g&t or gin based cocktail will always go down well with me and about a year or two ago (who on earth really remembers exactly when these things happen?) I discovered gin infused with earl grey tea. I love the lemony notes in earl grey and have used it a few times in baking but today I decided I wanted to be able to make my own citrus-y cocktails with some beautiful, almost floral tasting gin.

So, and this is embarrassingly basic, this is how you make your own batch of earl grey gin…

250ml of decent gin (I used Sipsmith because I discovered it this summer and fell in love…a gorgeous little London distillery)

4 Earl Grey teabags (I used Twinnings because that’s what I drink!)

  1. Pour your gin into a glass and pop in your teabags.
  2. Give the mixture a swirl and leave it at room temperature for 2/3 hours.
  3. Strain the gin into another bottle and enjoy!

A gorgeous way to serve:

Pour 50 ml of your earl grey tea gin and the juice from a quarter of a lemon over ice and top up with tonic water. A beautiful twist on the regular gin and tonic.

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