Aug 012017
 

As a rule when visiting a new city I like to book onto a city tour – it is a great way to get your  bearings and learn a little bit about the history and local culture. However they can sometimes lack a little imagination so I am always on the look out for a tour with a little je ne sais quoi and I am pleased to say that my hunt has been rewarded with the discovery of London’s Chocolate Ecstasy Tours – mmmmmm!

Chocolate Ecstasy Tours began in 2005, the founder, Jennifer Earle, wrote a list of things she loved which included chocolate, meeting people, talking, eating and London. From this she brainstormed how she could start a business and – voila! – Chocolate Ecstasy Tours was born. It began as a part time hobby and attracted other passionate chocoholics to join her guiding some of the tours as well. Now Jennifer spends the majority of her time guiding tours and tastings, judging chocolate and other food awards, tasting and consulting for various chocolate companies and travelling to attend conferences or visit plantations, boutiques and factories in the UK and beyond. In short, she is obsessed with chocolate.

All of the team love chocolate. They are also super-friendly, genuine people who care about guests having a wonderful time. Many of them are experienced tour guides, but none of them will deliver a lecture. The tours are personal small groups so they are able to tailor the information to what people are most interested in learning about.   They research every area thoroughly before launching a tour, ensuring they’re well-versed in local history and armed with a collection of fascinating stories and obscure facts to entertain you en route.  Many guests – especially locals! – say this is their favourite part of the tours.

The best bit they guarantee that you leave the Chocolate Ecstasy Tour completely full of chocolate.  Apparently some guests start to falter along the way – who are these people(?) –  if this is the case the team provide crackers to help you try more!

What’s next? Not content with just chocolate and London, Jennifer and her awesome guides are on a mission to support and explore chocolate and other fine foods in the UK. At the end of 2016 she launched Taste Tripper which aims to connect people to high quality food and drink retailers, first in London and then beyond.

For more information on the tours and how to book visit – www.chocolateecstasytours.com/tours. Get social Instagram: @chocolatetours / Twitter: @chocolatetours / Facebook: ChocolateTours

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn / Photos: Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Instagram Magellan_PR. For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.

Jun 292017
 

The other week I was lucky enough to visit Timmy Green – the all-day Australian restaurant and bar is part of the popular brunch haunt Daisy Green – at Victoria’s newest upscale development Nova Food. The space is light, bright and open with great service and of course excellent food.  Intrigued by this little dining gem I was determined to find out more.

Named after founder Prue Freeman’s late brother, a true Australian cowboy whose life was devoted to the land and whose legacy inspires much of the menu, the restaurant focuses on big prime grass-fed steaks and creative small plates designed to share – as my reverse vegetarianism is not going overly well I had the amazing veggie burger pictured below.

Timmy is set over two floors with an alfresco extended outdoor seating area, all of which moves effortlessly from casual coffee spot to buzzing evening bar and restaurant. Extensive local craft beers are served alongside an almost all Australian natural wine list and innovative cocktails.

Most importantly they do the all important and ever so fashionable  all-day brunch offering favourites from sibling Daisy Green including the “Fancy bacon roll” (paratha roti, back bacon, crispy onion crusted poached eggs, the Ribman’s Holy F*ck hollandaise) and the “award-winning banana bread sandwich” with mascarpone, fresh berries, flaked almonds and honey. Exclusive new dishes such as “steak & eggs” (crispy rice, rump steak, fried eggs, mushrooms, chimichurri) and “Hot and healthy breakfast greens” also join Timmy’s brunch menu. The renowned Beany Green Espresso blend is complimented with changing single origins, hand roasted by fellow Aussies, The Roasting Party.

I have already told all my friends and anyone who will listen that they must go there, so go there, go there now! You will find Timmy Green at Nova Victoria on the corner of Bressenden Place and Buckingham Palace Road – opposite Hotel Rubens. This place will be the next big thing so reservations are recommended so email reservations@daisygreenfood.com before you visit.

Get social Instagram: @daisygreencollection / Twitter: @daisygreenfood / Facebook: daisygreenfood

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn / Photos: Leyla Kazim / Food Styling: Fran Day

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Instagram Magellan_PR. For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.

 

Feb 012017
 
The Ivy courtesy of Sue Lowry

The Ivy is one of London’s most celebrated restaurants and definitely a place to be seen. Throughout it’s long history, every celebrity and notable has been seen to eat at The Ivy, so many in fact that its probably easier to simply input here a copy of Who’s Who! Film stars such as Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, to theatrical royalty such as Noël Coward and Dame Maggie Smith, politicians like Maggie Thatcher, to Tom Cruise, the Beckhams or Benedict Cumberbatch with Sophie Hunter – anyone who is anyone has eaten at The Ivy. What makes it so much fun is that once you book a table, some of that fairy dust can rub off on you too – and that’s its magic.

The Ivy courtesy of Sue Lowry

The restaurant is celebrating 100 years of history from its humble beginnings as a small cafe launched in 1917 by Abele Giandolini in the midst of The Great War. Somewhat appropriately given the turmoil of the time, his business was named after a sentimental song popular with wartime sweethearts at the time – “we will cling together like the ivy”. Monsieur Abele, as he was affectionately known, also embraced the theatrical location of his restaurant and endeared himself to the theatricals by delivering meals to the dressing rooms of the theatres around him. It’s appropriate therefore that throughout this centenary year, there will be theatrical vignettes performed by today’s West End elite at the restaurant.

The Ivy courtesy of Sue Lowry

This landmark now boasts its very own Green Plaque, will be launching their own limited edition Ivy Gin in April together with a new book on its history in June whilst in the kitchens and the sparkling new bar, there are cocktails and menu items that are clearly inspired by 100 years of history. There’s even an opportunity to dine at The Ivy for their ever-popular pre and post theatre menus at just £19.17 until March. It’s a London must-visit for sure.

Contributor: Sue Lowry – Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.