Street Food Circus 2016

I loved Street Food Circus last summer and it’s back this year in a perfect new location. It’s in Sophia Gardens which is basically right in the centre of town and very easy to find. It has more space, more cover from the elements and more food choices.

I was invited to attend the first feast clwb for this year’s launch. The feast clwb was run by Milgi and was a delicious 3 course meal served by candlelight in a supper club fashion. 

There was sunflower and carrot galette to start, harissa tempeh as a main and raw blackcurrant cheesecake to finish. I washed it down with some refreshing kombucha (a fermented tea served iced). 

Milgi will host the feast clwb every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a special guest host each Thursday. Guest hosts will include Dusty Knuckle, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Wright’s Food Emporium with Lia’s Kitchen hosting next week. There is space for up to 50 people and I’d highly recommend booking in. The atmosphere eating by candlelight was wonderful. 

As well as the feast clwb there are a variety street food trucks and other pop ups in rotation, with every stall offering a £5 dish, making it easy to try a variety of things. It’s going on until 25th September so there’s plenty of time to visit. 

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Afternoon Tea at the Early Bird

As it’s currently afternoon tea week what better time to share the experience of my most recent afternoon tea visit? The Early Bird is currently offering afternoon tea as a showcase of their apprentice’s work who is coming to the end of their time. After a friend showed me photos of the afternoon tea I booked as soon as possible as I didn’t want to miss out. 

Firstly, we had a choice of Welsh Brew teas to choose from. We went for a green rooibos with orange as we wanted to go for something caffeine free. 

Once we had been given our tea the afternoon tea was bought out on a glass cake stand. It’s one of the most impressive looking afternoon teas I’ve been presented with. Hearty sandwiches, the cutest little scones with honey & raspberry butter and salted caramel pretzel brownies were among the treats on offer. 

Paullovestea had the vegetarian option which just meant he had some different sandwiches but there was no less thought put into the flavour combinations as can often be the case. I ate as much as I could but as it was so indulgent I had to take some bits home to enjoy with another pot of tea later on. 

I’m not sure exactly how long the afternoon tea will be on offer for so I recommend booking as soon as possible. Hopefully it will be something that can continue with future apprentices. It’s £15 per person and worth every penny. 

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Tea Flavour Ice Lollies 

In this heatwave something to cool down is desperately needed! My favourite things to make are matcha, chai and cold brew tea ice lollies. Here are some rough ideas for inspiration…

Matcha ice lollies

I measured how much liquid my ice lolly moulds hold before starting. I added a few scoops of matcha to milk (unhomoginised to make the lollies creamy or add a splash of cream when using whole milk) and mixed them together cold. If you want a bit of sweetness then heat the milk before whisking with the matcha and add some coconut sugar. If you add the sugar to cold matcha it will be grainy in texture. Pour the cold (or cooled) matcha into the moulds and put into the freezer. It’s as easy as that! [You can use coconut milk if you want to make the lollies dairy free. It’s still creamy and coconut and matcha work well together.]

Chai ice lollies

Make chai as usual and after allowing to cool pour into the moulds and put in the freezer. Again, you can use coconut milk instead (but if you do then prepare your chai with 100% coconut milk without adding any water). 

Cold brew tea ice lollies

I don’t have any photos but any cold brewed tea can be poured into the moulds and frozen to make ice lollies. Even a refreshing tea brewed warm (such as Sencha) can be left to cool and frozen. These are great ideas for sugar free lollies. 

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#PanasonicSlowJuicer Party

I’ve been planning on getting a juicer for a while so when Come Round invited me to hold a party with a Panasonic Slow Juicer (MJ-L500) I started coming up with ideas straight away. 

I bought loads of fruit from the local farmers market and my favourite fruit and vegetable stall and invited some friends over for a Sunday afternoon juice party. I had a play with the juicer myself first and it was so easy to put together and use that I didn’t have to do much in advance. Although it’s called a slow juicer this refers to the way it works and it doesn’t take long to make juice at all. It presses the fruit slowly meaning it doesn’t have to heat it and the pulp separates really well. All I needed to do was wash the fruit and chop some up to put on the freezer to use the frozen dessert function. 

Upon arriving everyone wanted something different but this wasn’t any hassle at all. All the pulp just goes into a separate container so there is no need to clean the machine in between different juices if you are making them one after the other. We made apple juice, strawberry juice, orange and pineapple juice and watermelon juice. 

I really enjoyed my orange and pineapple juice but the overall favourite was watermelon. 

I froze some pineapple in advance and after allowing it to thaw a bit I made a pineapple sorbet style dessert. It was so easy to do and it’s lovely to be able to have a pure fruit sorbet. I can’t wait to do a few more experiments with dessert ideas, such a frozen yoghurt. 

I’ve been experimenting with my watermelon juice [as I made so much!] and have made ice lollies by freezing pure watermelon juice. 

I also made ice cubes with pure watermelon juice and added them to a cold brew Darjeeling I prepared overnight. They add a hint of natural fruity sweetness and look really good too. 

The pulp left over from juicing can also be used so nothing goes to waste. I used the strawberry pulp in some brownies. As there is no juice left the pulp is fantastic to bake with as it doesn’t make recipes too wet like pure fruit can. The brownies worked very well. 

The juicer is very easy to clean, is compact yet stylish (meaning it can stay out on display) and is so versatile. I’d highly recommend it to everyone. 

I think the guests at my party enjoyed it too… 

Photo by Tom

Photo by @paullovestea

It’s great to see that people have been inspired by my party like Rachel of Tea with Me and Friends

Photo by Rachel

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Summer Jam Making Class with Food Adventure

When it comes to tea there is no better accompaniment than homemade scones and jam so when Carol of Food Adventure invited me to their summer jam making class I gladly accepted. I always really enjoy making preserves for Christmas gifts but I’ve just followed recipes from cook books or online. I knew learning in person from someone as talented as Angharad Underwood of The Preservation Society would mean I’d learn the kind of tips that can only be learnt in person.

Upon arriving I was welcomed with a delicious fruity drink and flapjacks while we all introduced ourselves and learnt a little about Food Adventure and The Preservation Society. 

Food Adventure is run by Carol and Mark Adams and is now in it’s second year. Carol and Mark have been blogging about the Welsh food scene for a number of years and started Food Adventure to share their passion for Welsh food and Welsh food producers with others. They only work with the finest producers and eateries with local, seasonal and sustainable food underlying all they do. They offer a variety of different adventures including cooking classes, foraging and farm visits and can also organise bespoke tours for birthdays, corporate events and hen and stag dos. 

Angharad started The Preservation Society in 2011 and has won multiple awards including True Taste, Great Taste and World Marmalade Awards. She supplies prestigious places such as The Hardwick and The Whitebrook restaurants. My favourite of Angahard’s products that I’ve tried is her Candied Jalapeños for which Humble by Nature now grow the jalapeños. 

After introductions we got down to making jam. The class is only open to four people as it is held in Angharad’s home in Chepstow. This means everyone has plenty of working space and that Angahard can give her full attention to everyone.

Everything was included so all I needed to bring was myself. The class was a celebration of strawberries and rhubarb. First we made a strawberry jam using a WI recipe. 

Then we made a more technical rhubarb jam following a Christine Feber recipe. 

We learnt how to tell when the jam is at setting point, how to jar it up properly among other useful tips. I’ve since used what I’ve learnt to make a cherry jam and I have gooseberry jam planned next. 

After we finished our jams we indulged in an afternoon tea made up of finger sandwiches, our jams on Mark’s homemade scones and some Ceylon and Assam teas from the South Wales based Waterloo Tea. It was a lovely end to the day and meant we could all appreciate our hard work together. 

It was a lovely end to the day and meant we could all appreciate our hard work together. 

I’d highly recommend attending one of Food Adventure’s classes with the Preservation Society. It’s perfect for all skills levels. You don’t need any experience as you learn as you go. Even if you are very experienced you will still pick up ideas and handy tips that will only improve your preserves. They are holding two Christmas Preserves Classes on the weekend of 12/13 of November which would be perfect if you want to make Christmas gifts or just make preserves for your own Christmas dinner table. I want to try one of Food Adventures foraging classes next. It would be wonderful to make some preserves from foraged food.

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