Tuesday 18 November 2014

Cotswolds Cloudy G&T

Everyone I'm sure is aware for my love of gin. Newly released CDG, the fruit of the labour from the chaps at my distillery is my new gin of choice for a G&T - fresh, citrusy and slightly floral with spice - it's bloody delicious. One thing I love about a CDG&T is the louching, like a fine whisky or absinthe even. And here's the explanation as to why that happens…

CDG is distilled incredibly slowly and is packed full of botanicals. After an overnight maceration of the base botanicals; juniper, coriander seed and angelica root, the remaining botanicals are added to the still for an eight hour distillation. This means the gin has an exceptionally high botanical content explaining the luscious mouth feel, even at 46% abv, coupled with the big nose and full flavour.

All of this flavour, aroma and mouth feel is down to the high levels of essential oils in the gin. At 46% and at room temperature these oils remain dissolved in the alcohol, but when you chill the gin or dilute it, the oils separate slightly causing the cloudiness you see in CDG. This could be prevented by chilling the gin, encouraging cloudiness and then filtering this out, but by doing so the flavour, which is contained in the suspension of these oils, would also be removed.

We’ve decided to keep our gin as it is; non-chill filtered, keeping the cloudiness, the full flavour and aroma and the mouth feel. Much like a fine single malt, we are celebrating the cloudiness and the flavour that this represents, creating and coining the ‘Cotswolds Cloudy G&T’ as well as the ‘Cotswolds Cloudy Martini’.

My perfect CDG&T - 50ml CDG, 200ml Fentimans Light Tonic, heaps of ice, garnished with pink grapefruit peel and a bay leaf.

Cotswolds Cloudy G&T

Bloody Mary Soup

This weekend we had a couple of friends to stay. Also in the industry, I knew of our shared love for fine booze and so decided to whip up a Bloody Mary style soup - complete with real voddy! It was delicious - a real treat. Spicy, peppery, tomatoey and just topped off nicely with a little kick from the vodka, I used Vestal - made with potatoes harvested in the Kaszebe region in northern Poland, this has a stunningly rich creaminess and has a glorious depth of flavour.

Bloody Mary Soup

1.5kg tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, roughly diced
3 fresh red chillis (or to taste), roughly sliced
4 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly diced
450ml good chicken stock
3 sprigs curly parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons crème fraiche

This was souper easy to make (apologies for the awful dad joke but it had to be done!). Pop all of the tomatoes and the garlic in a roasting tray and add to the oven at around 180 degrees. In a large pan on a medium heat, brown the onions, then add the celery, carrots and chilli. Once the veg in the pan softens add the chicken stock, remove the tomatoes and garlic from the oven and throw into the pan. Simmer this all down for a good 20 minutes and leave to one side to cool. Hollow out a round granary loaf and pop a few hunks of the hollowed out bread into the soup (this gives a lovely thick creaminess to the soup once blitzed). Add in the parsley, season to taste and transfer to a blender for blizting. Ladle into your hollowed out bread bowl to serve and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche and a leaf of parsely. Boom.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Bubbles, Browns and The Blind Pig

So, it's been a while since I've written as I've been so busy! BUT, since my last post, I'm very excited to announced that I'm engaged! It happened in NYC in December and it was utter perfection (not to mention a complete shock!) but more on that later, this post is about the hunt for the dress. It's started, and oh my gosh is it fun.

This weekend I was lucky enough to spend in London with my beautiful bridesmaids and maid of honour. A treat in itself, but tied in with the fact that I got to spend it with them at the incredible Browns Bride and Vera Wang, with a sushi lunch from Nobu and nibbles and bubbles from The Blind Pig-this was one weekend I will not be forgetting for a long time!

I have to especially thank my MOH who arranged the whole day for me, booking appointments at Vera and Browns (where she managed to get all 5 of us in, with champagne in our very own private VIP fitting room!), and boy did I feel special!

I've loved and longed for a Vera Wang wedding dress ever since I knew what a wedding was! I love the fabric manipulation that she's famous for, and the figure hugging designs that are so perfectly executed it's like wearing a work of art. Everything, just everything was sheer perfection, and I went away with more than a few favourites. I can safely say I was made for Vera, and I think she was made for me! Unfortunately no pictures of the masterpieces were allowed, but trust me pictures do not do these dresses justice!
After Vera we scooted over to Browns on Hinde Street, where again I was spoilt rotten! These ladies know their stuff and go out of their way to make your day the best it can be (and the dresses aren't half bad either)!
But this wasn't a weekend just about dresses, we indulged on some tasty treats from a firm favourite of mine when visiting London; Nobu, and a new found favourite in the form of The Blind Pig in Soho. With 'bites' of some deliciously executed classics (like duck fat chips and truffle mac and cheese) mixed in with some alternative dishes, like the chorizo hot dog with paprika aioli in a brioche bun (I know!), the food was to die for, the décor divine and the champagne seemed bottomless.
What more can a girl ask for??


Friday 12 July 2013

Designer Profile; Dion Lee

Sexy, sharp and uber cool. Three things that are top of the list when describing the phenomenal collections by Australian designer Dion Lee. At only 27 years of age, his creations show an understanding and gift for tailoring that many twice his age are still seeking. Structure is a big part of his design, but so is fluidity and both exist in perfect balance throughout Lee's collections. There is also an air of minimalism to his clothes, akin to that seen in Philip Lim or Alexander Wang's collections. 

When asked what inspired him, Lee's answer was music to the sartorially savvy's ears... "I really enjoy the design process on how things are made, and the more technical aspect of how you pull a collection together. I’ve got a really strong interest in pattern making and how the garments are constructed, and that really motivates me." All I can say is whatever you're doing it's working!

Dion Lee, fashion, SS13, net a porter
Dion Lee SS13 Collection

Adored by many, most notably on the red carpet by Karlie Kloss and Rooney Mara, whilst in the retail world his collections have been picked up by Net-a-Porter and Shopbop, this really is someone to keep your eye firmly fixated upon.

Dion Lee, fashion, SS13, net a porter, Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss in custom Dion Lee with the Designer.

Dion Lee, fashion, SS13, net a porter, Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara in Dion Lee. Source: Grazia Daily.
What do you think about Dion Lee? Are you as enamoured with his work as me?!

Wednesday 10 July 2013

My Weekend at Henley

This weekend I was lucky enough to have an invitation to experience the Henley Champagne and Cocktail Club at the Royal Regatta. Myself, Mr PP, his brothers and few others in our group travelled down on Friday night to spend the weekend and I was not disappointed! World class racing, beautiful sunshine and delicious cocktails provided by Chase Distillery made this a weekend I will not forget in a hurry!

But instead of me waffling on about it, why not enjoy some pictures instead!

Henley regatta, Imperial college, Isis cambridge, rowing
Watching Imperial vs. Isis from the towpath

Henley regatta, Lady lucinda, boater hat, waistcoat
Lady Lucinda, I just love the waistcoat and boater!

Watching the racing from the Henley Champagne and Cocktail Club
Henley royal regatta, Hotel du Vin, bus bar, vintage bus
Further down the towpath, HdV bus bar.

Chase vodka, Chase cocktails, Henley Champagne and cocktail bar
A watering can of Chase cocktail!

 This was my favourite part of the weekend, wearing a vintage Chanel bow that was given to me by Mr PP's mum- très chic, non?

Vintage Chanel bow, headpiece, hairpiece, hats, fascinator, Chanel

Wednesday 3 July 2013

My Guide to Henley Royal Regatta

Today sees the start of what is one of the great British institutions; Henley. Five days of racing in this beautiful town sees thousands of spectators watching over 200 races, sipping on Champagne and enjoying the ambience. Here’s my guide on where to go to enjoy the event in style...

The Henley Champagne and CocktailClub; this year the delicious cocktails on offer have been concocted by award-winning bar tender Dominic Jacobs, using the finest single-estate spirits from our CFW sponsor Chase Distillery. From Marmalade and Rhubarb Vodka, to Seville Orange Gin, the flavours on offer from Chase are quintessentially British and oh so delicious. Don’t worry if cocktails aren’t your thing, grab a glass of bubbles from Perrier Jouet or G.H Mumm.

While enjoying your drinks, this is the perfect place to take in the racing, mingle with other racegoers and party to DJ sets from some of London’s Top night clubs. And If all that works up an appetite, Soho-based Pizza Pilgrims will be offering some tasty treats to keep your hunger at bay. With all this, and a few surprises in store, this is going to be the destination to enjoy Henley this year. Buy tickets here.

The Steward’s Enclosure; open only to members and their guests, and there's on a select few of those, if you receive an invite to the Steward’s Enclosure, I recommend you say yes! This is the most exclusive enclosure and the dress code reflects this, think top hats and tails for the gents and a fabulous headpiece for the ladies.

The Regatta Enclosure; a little less formal than the Steward’s Enclosure and open to all with a ticket (buy here), and promises to have a lively atmosphere and a family feel.

Fancy making a little more of your visit? Rhubarb Henley; once again taking over the River lounge, the views are incredible and canapé and champagne breakfast on offer makes this an experience to remember. This is great as a birthday getaway, hen do or just something to feel a bit fancy!

And if rowing isn’t your thing, Mahiki is teaming up with Lexus for a riverside experience where the atmosphere is the focus. With a big screen showing all the Wimbledon matches, and a menu of cool cocktails, this is the ideal haunt for those attending for more of a social event rather than race appreciation.

I'll be sipping on some Chase cocktails in the HCCC on Saturday and Sunday, come and say hi if you're there!

Tuesday 2 July 2013

What I'd Wear to Wimbledon

So Wimbledon fever has once again taken hold of the nation, I for one am glued to it on TV. Unfortunately I don't have tickets to the real thing this year, but that doesn't stop me fantasising about my ideal Wimbledon outfit. As it's summer (even though this cloud cover is trying to fool us), I have opted for a pretty tweed tea dress in pastel colours, because let's face it...a quintessential British event needs quintessential British styling!

1. Moschino Cheap and Chic Embellished Printed Dress, available at Harvey Nichols, £230 from £580.

2. Accessorize White Straw Trilby, £12.

3. Mulberry Medium Lily in Oatmeal Micrograin Calf, £895.

4. Sophie Gittins Viola Pearlised Strappy Sandals, available at YoungBritishDesigners.com, £260 from £360.

I'd love to hear what you think of my ideal Wimbledon outfit! What will you be wearing to enjoy the tennis?