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2015

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The BBC Good Food Show Scotland kicked off in sensational style yesterday with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry doing the honours of cutting the ribbon. I for one was very excited for another year of the best food and drink being showcased in all its glory.

After a hectic first day of doing the circuit around 6 times, feet feeling like they were on fire and wanting my bed by 8pm, I’ve highlighted the best things to do and see throughout the show for the rest of the weekend.

BBC Good Food Show Scotland 2015- Showguide

I cooked Italian food at the weekend, something that I rarely do. I don’t know why I don’t cook Italian cuisine more but I think it’s because I haven’t educated myself more on the regional variations of dishes that Italy provides. Instead, I stick to cooking the standard dishes that quite frankly, I’m bored of. 

In comes Tuscany Now, who challenged me discover Italy through their food and wine pairing tool. Always up for trying something new, I set upon my mission to browse recipes from twenty different regions in Italy. Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Less is definitely more.

After much deliberation, I decided to make Orecchiette alla Potentina which is a traditional Sunday dish from Potenza, the regional capital of Basilicata. Now what on earth is Orecchiette alla Potentina? It’s pasta with a spicy meatball sauce and heaps of cheese. Since my dad was over from Paris and my boyfriend was at my house, it was the ideal time to whip the recipe up to have at the dinner table (something we rarely do together).

This year marks twelve years that I have been blogging under the ‘ananyah’ pseudonym, an extremely long time in the blogging world, in any world really. I’ve had my ups and downs since starting this blog back in 2003 and I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Through this blog, I’ve documented my thoughts, feelings, expectations and inspirations, letting you all into a part of my life. Ananyah evolved from a personal blog that I started while at University in Aberdeen into the Food & Lifestyle blog it is today. 

In Scotland, we need to make the most of a sunny day. As my dad is currently over from Paris for a few weeks, we thought that we would make the most of the giant shiny thing in the sky and go on a little road trip along with the dog, Bobby (the dog formerly known by the code name Doggy Dog).

When we set off on Sunday morning, we weren’t 100% sure where we’d end up as we had no set plans. As my mom was driving, we left it up to her to decide. Ayr Beach it was. Located on the western coastline of Ayrshire in the south-west of Scotland, it has been recognized as one of the best beaches in Scotland. Yes, we have beaches here. Sadly, we rarely have hot sunny days. 

Ananyah- Road Trip Adventures- Bobby at Ayr Beach

& to make it even better, it’s a dog friendly beach. Clearly it got a paw of approval from Bobby himself!

Do you know someone who deserves a VIP night out? Someone who has gone the extra mile for you or others, whether it’s big or small? Someone who you’d love to treat to an unforgettable night at The SSE Hydro? 

With Clydesdale Bank, you can nominate someone and be in with the chance to win 2 premium seated tickets for you and your nominee to see one of Glasgow’s best acts and have access to the VIP Hydro Club.

Take That Glasgow 2nd May 2015- Dancers

Sounds good?

Definitely! I was lucky enough to watch Take That and Ella Henderson with Clydesdale Bank and felt like a VIP every step of the way. With premium seated tickets, you get incredible unobstructed stage views ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

Say hello to the new baby on the block, Bó Kantina, the brain child of Burger Meats Bun duo Ben Dantzic and James Forrest. The original Korean-inspired concept bar & restaurant will bring a taste of East Asia to Glasgow when it opens its doors on Tuesday 1st September 2015.

Where is it opening?

Located at 48A West Regent Street, Bó Kantina will combine a laid-back interior and atmosphere with serious Seoul cuisine, using only the finest ingredients sourced from local artisan suppliers and producers, to create a relaxed, but high-quality experience. It will be a hub for east meets west cooking, where bright and tasty dishes will be created through a fusion of sweet, spicy and pickled influences and traditional Western slow-cooking, finished off with a Mexican twist. 

Ever since I first visited Glasgow Central Station’s underground restaurant Alston Bar & Beef,  I’ve been a firm fan, going back time and again. I like to think of Alston as Glasgow’s best kept secret which you enter via a secret passage door – blink and you’ll miss it. I cannot keep raving about the food to everyone around me and if someone asks for any restaurant recommendations in Glasgow, I make sure Alston is at the top of the list. If you want to check out my previous review, just click here.

This time around, I climbed down the Timorous Beasties staircase to sample their new Wednesday Steak & Lobster deal. For £40 for two, you can order a 250g dry aged rump steak, 1/2 North Atlantic lobster or a North Atlantic lobster roll each. The deal also includes a large portion of chips, lashings of garlic butter and a bottle of house wine to share. Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Wednesday. What’s even better is that the deal starts at 12 until closing which means if you want a rather decadent lunch, you can!

Alston Bar & Beef- Steak & Lobster Wednesdays

I’ve walked past The Millennium Hotel on George Square numerous times, all the while peaking through the glass windows at the diners. It is a place that I had never really thought about eating in as Glasgow has an abundance of great restaurants. That was until I was asked to visit the hotel and meet executive head chef Jean-Paul Giraud over dinner. 

Only a stones throw away from Queen Street Station, The Brasserie on George Square couldn’t be in a better location if it tried, right in the heart of Glasgow.  The hotel is always filled to the brim with tourists and business travellers alike. My mom and I were welcomed by the Brasserie Manager and shown to our table in the conservatory overlooking George Square. The perfect location for people watching as you eat. 

Chef Giraud developed the Brasserie menu, which reflects his French training, upbringing and incorporates the best seasonal Scottish produce. Just by looking at the menu and décor, you can tell that it has French cuisine at its core. 

I’ve loved going to the zoo ever since I was a little kid. I can’t get enough of the animals, in particular, flamingos, lions, chimps, koalas, giraffes and orangutans. One of my most memorable trips was visiting Singapore Zoo with my grandparents when they came to visit. I had a python wrapped around my arms, rode an elephant and joined an orangutan family (I fitted right in with my red hair!). It was fun!

I had never been to a zoo in the UK until I visited Edinburgh Zoo last month for one of their Edinburgh Zoo Nights. This is an adult-only event where you can enjoy street food in a relaxed atmosphere, wander round and see the animals in the early evening along with some life-sized animatronic dinosaurs in their own lost world enclosure. Snazzy! 

Even though I’m addicted to coffee, there are times when only tea will do. I love nothing better than a big ol’ mug of tea on days when my stomach is killing me- the downfall of having severe IBS and the stabbing pains that go along with it. 

The Tea Makers of London recently sent me Dragon Well Supreme Green Tea and Peppermint Tea to sample. They offer a large selection of high-end teas from tea gardens across the world, hand-picked by experts. Their aim is to offer a range of teas that are different from the usual teas other brands provide. 

The Tea Makers of London- Green Tea Leaves

When I feel like steak for dinner, I usually get a rib eye for its soft marble, succulence and flavour. It’s been my staple go-to cut for a number of years. However, when Donald Russell contacted me to ask if I’d give their Pave Rump Steaks a try, I welcomed the change. 

Royal Warrant holders, Donald Russell, opened its doors to trade customers in 1974. They supply gourmet meats to high-end restaurants and hotels in the UK and worldwide, and over the years has become one of the UK’s best-known places to buy meat online. A huge selection includes beef, lamb, pork and mutton as well as veal, poultry, venison and game. They also have a rather impressive seafood selection. A place after my own heart.

Donald Russell- Pave Rump Steak

I’m personally not a fan of a lot of fat in red meat due to an accident with Roast Beef when I was a child. Some fat wrapped around my uvula (or dangly bit!) and I was fighting to breathe while choking. Luckily my parents performed the hymek manoeuvre on me and all was well again. It still haunts me. 

I first heard about Maître Choux on Twitter after one of my followers retweeted an article about the newly opened shop. The pictures of their eclairs, choux and chouquettes sold the deal for me. I was definitely going to make the trip to buy some fluffy pieces of heaven.

Brainchild of Joakim Prat, he has a rather impressive Michelin starred resume and has been working with choux pastry for over 15 years. Joakim came to London to work as Head Chef for Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier, then went on to Mayfair’s The Greenhouse. He also held the same position at Can Fabes in Barcelona, which has resulted in making Maître Choux the only UK pastry shop with a three Michelin star experienced chef.

Only a few minutes from the underground station, Maître Choux is situated in the, what seems to be, the French Quarter of South Kensington. Perfect location for a French patisserie. It was the last day of our trip to London and I was adamant that I was going to buy some goodies to take back to Glasgow so that my mom, fellow member of the chocolate eclair appreciation society could try one. Or two. 

Walking along Harrington Road, we weren’t quite sure if we were in the right location but then I spotted the unique colourful shop front and the wonderful full length glass window giving passers by a rather tempting glimpse of the full array of eclairs they offer. Swoon.

Maître Choux- Shop Front

When we entered Maître Choux, a friendly waitress offered us a warm chouquette while browsing and Ross ordered a Monmouth coffee espresso. My little beady eyes instantly spotted pistachio eclairs and choux. Boy did they look good. In fact, everything did!

Maître Choux sell eclairs and choux in a range of flavours- Pure Arabica Coffee, Spanish Raspberry Pink, Italian Lemon Meringue, Persian Pistachio, Tahitian Vanilla and Pecan, Salted Butter with Homemade Caramel, Very Dark Multi-Origin Chocolate, Violet and Wild Berries and lastly Tiramisu.

Maître Choux- Eclairs

Maître Choux- Choux

After much debate, we settled on a box containing Tahitian Vanilla and Pecan, Very Dark Multi-Origin Chocolate, Pure Arabica Coffee, Italian Lemon Meringue and two Persian Pistachio. I may have also purchased a Persian Pistachio choux thrown in for good measure to eat while walking around South Kensington.

Maître Choux- Eclair Purchases

At around £5 for an eclair and just over £3 for choux, they aren’t cheap by any measure. However, if you look at the list of high quality ingredients, time, effort and design that goes into each individual pastry, it is well worth it.

They transported well back on the plane to Glasgow and I’m led to believe that it was their first time ever on an aeroplane! I’m also happy to report that they tasted as good as they looked. My favourite, other than the Persian Pistachio, was Pure Arabica Coffee. Delicious.

Maître Choux- Persian Pistachio Eclair

After a few bites, they were all gone. Now I’m back to my eclair-less existence. It’s a dark dark place.If you’re in London, make sure you add Maître Choux to your go-to list. You won’t regret it!

Maître Choux
15 Harrington Road
London, SW7 3ES
Tel: 020 3583 4561
Web: http://www.maitrechoux.com