Coconut Panna Cotta (Vegan)

With the weather in London flip flopping (think one day June and the next November…), I’ve been juggling with all sorts of recipes to have the sun come and stay!

One of the tricks up my sleeves to get that tropical island holiday vibes no matter what the weather throws your way are those super easy vegan coconut panna cotta.

Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta | Cake + WhiskyVegan Coconut Panna Cotta | Cake + WhiskyVegan Coconut Panna Cotta | Cake + Whisky

Topped with mango puree, a sprinkle of dried mango powder and a few coconut curls for the ultimate tropical beach vibes.

Coconut Panna Cotta 8 Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta | Cake + Whisky Coconut Panna Cotta 2

Basically sunshine in a bowl.

Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango Puree (serves 4)

Ingredients: 200ml coconut milk, 200ml coconut cream, 3 tsp maple syrup, agar (see packaging for quantities), 1 ripe mango, coconut flakes & dried mango powder (Amchoor) to serve

1. Pour the coconut milk, cocnut cream, maple syrup and agar into a big saucepan and mix until well combined. Bringing to a boil over medium heat and simmer until thickened, approximately five minutes.

2. Pour the mix into 4 small glass or ceramic pots. Let it cool down a bit before popping them in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.

3. Peel, chop and blend the mango (add a bit of maple syrup if needed). Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

4. When you’re ready to serve, take the coconut panna cottas out of the fridge, pour a couple of tablespoons of mango puree on top, then sprinkle with some dried mango powder and coconut flakes and serve immediately.

Advertisements
Coconut Panna Cotta (Vegan)

10 more things to do in London with your parents

Being a good host is such a tough job! You have to thing of everything, plan everything, double-check everything, all while keeping everyone’s interests and preferences in mind.

Luckily sometimes, somebody else (me!) does all the hard work for you and makes the whole thinking-and-planning bit far easier!

I already wrote about some ideas of things to do in London with your parents before, but in my experience, more ideas are always welcome when it comes to organising the best London trip ever for the best parents ever (obvs.).

Since my parents re-visited recently, I thought I’d share what they’ve enjoyed doing this time around!

1. Visit the Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Plants, flowers, trees & carrot cake = perfect ingredients for a blooming lovely day in London!

If your family is anything like mine (a.k.a. 100% obsessed with all tings plants & flowers), a visit to the Kew Gardens will easily be the highlight of their trip!

2. Have a Sunday roast

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Sunday Roast is one of England’s most glorious culinary traditions and one that is very family-friendly indeed.

The best roasts are to be found in London’s top gastropubs, my personal favourite being The Smokehouse (just look at these roasties!!)

3. Revisit history at the Tower of London

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Castle, fortress, prison, military GQ… The Tower of London has always played a predominant role in the history of London and the UK. With just a few steps, you’ll go from long forgotten past to present, and everything inbetween.

4. See the Changing of the Guards

Changing of the Guard | Cake + Whisky

Changing of the Guard | Cake + Whisky

Changing of the Guard | Cake + Whisky

A well-loved classic and one everyone should see once in their life, so if your family hasn’t witnessed the Changing of the Guards at Buckinham Palace, make sure you put it on the list for their next visit!

5. Have Afternoon or Cream Tea

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Tea, cake and good company…  Is there any better way to spend some quality time with the ones you love? (pictures from a lovely afternoon tea at Le Méridien Piccadilly)

6. Go to a Farmer’s Market

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Cake + Whisky | Borough Market

No matter how impressive you want your parents’ trip to London to be, don’t forget to incorporate some of your own favourites things into your plans so they get a chance to take a peak into your actual, everyday life.

… and since I spend most of my free time at farmers’ markets anyway…

7. See a West End show

The Mousetrap, London | Cake + Whisky

The Mousetrap, London | Cake + Whisky

The Mousetrap, London | Cake + Whisky

London’s theatre scene is second only to New York’s and tickets to a West End show are definitely amongst the best ways to spend the evening (especially since tickets are often not as expensive as one would expect!).

8. Go to a surprising restaurant

Things to do in London with your parents | Cake + Whisky

Be it because of the views, the settings or the food itself (traditional Japanese udon, spicy Sri Lankan curries, vegetarian delights… your call!), London always has a trick up its sleeves when it comes to food!

9. Take a Thames Boat Tour

Best things to do in London: a walk along the Thames | Cake + Whisky

Best things to do in London: a walk along the Thames | Cake + Whisky

Sure, that’s a bit of a tourist-y cliché. But then again, boats are the coolest form of public transports EVER!

10. Show them around your workplace

I know it sounds like a strange idea, but the truth is, your parents just want to know everything they can about you and your life and what you do every day and where you go and who you see. So, well, maybe showing them where you work is a nice, easy lil’ step forward, don’t you think?

What’s your favourite thing to do in London with your parents? Anything I need to add to my list for next time?

10 more things to do in London with your parents

Kew Gardens

There’s only one way to do Spring in England.

The minute the sun comes out, you have to rush out and make the most of the weather while it lasts.

Tough life, but eh, I’m not the one making the rules!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

One of the very best place to enjoy a spot of Spring sunshine is the Kew Gardens.

Founded in 1840 (!!), its living collections include over 30,000 different kinds of plants.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Including tulip fields as far as the eyes can see…

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

…and a stunning tropical glasshouse.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Complete with palm leaves big enough to double as umbrellas!

Take that, unexpected April showers!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Go up the stairways and you’ll find yourself at the top of the floral world.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

A view from above is always a good idea before going back down & explore every tiny detail of Kew’s fantastic collections.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Delicate flower bunches…

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

…leaves in every shade of green…

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

… some truly bizarre plants…

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

… and some just plain beautiful!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Take advantage of a ray of sunshine to hop to the Waterlily house.

A small but perfectly formed glasshouse, home to some of Kew Gardens most beautiful specimens.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Including these beauties, and many, many more!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

If the weather forecast is fine, take a stroll around the park to see Kew’s gardeners’ incredible flower arrangements.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

… or just let your inner dog run wild after the park’s wildlife!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

The Princess of Wales Conservatory is another must do on a visit to the Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Recreating ten climatic zones under one roof, it’s home to some of Kew’s most vibrant specimens.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

There are flowers every colour of the rainbow.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Delicate tiny blossoms live side by side with gigantic ones (such as this impressive Amorphophallus titanum, who only bloom once every couple of years and is said to smell rather horrible).

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

And then there are the always fascinating carnivorous plants…

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Newt time you’re nearby, go! I’m sure will find it absolutely succulent!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Just make sure you make a pit stop at The Orangerie on the way.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

With floor to ceiling windows, white wood, loads of evergreens and the moistest of carrot cake, the place is an Instagramers’ dream come true.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

… but then the blossoming magnolia trees aren’t doing half bad at that either!

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

A truly unbe-leaf-able place!

So many beautiful plants I didn’t want to leaf!

Find more info (and book tickets) here

Kew Gardens

One pan Broccoli Mac n Cheese

Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the ultimate comfort food in my book.

No matter how good I’ve sworn to be, I can never, ever resist it.

If I go out for dinner and it’s on the menu, I will order it. And eat most of it, even when it was originally meant to be shared. #worstdiningcompanion

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

And yet, I had never made it at home. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Especially since all you need are super basic ingredients I’m sure most of you already have in your fridge right now.

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

Plus it’s super easy and feels like a hug in a bowl.

A very cheesy, super delicious hug, that is!

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

And if you add enough vegetables in, it’s actually not that un-healthy a dinner option.

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

The perfect reward for surviving yet another Monday

(or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday and, ehh, sometimes, Fridays are tough as well right?)

One-pot Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese | Cake + Whisky

One pan Broccoli Mac ‘n’ Cheese (serves 2)

Ingredients: 200g macaroni (or other short pasta), 1/2 pint milk (about 1 mug), 1/2 pint vegetable stock (about 1 mug), small chunck of Parmesan (grated), big handful of grated Emmenthal (or Cheddar), 200g broccoli, 1 tsp oil, sea salt, pepper, Tabasco

1. Cut the broccoli in bite-sized chuncks. In a big pot, heat up 1 tsp oil, then add in the broccoli and cook until tender. Remove from the heat and pour it out in one of the bowls you’re going to be serving in (save dirtying another dish!)

2. Add the pasta to the same pan with the milk, vegetable stock, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Stir it around, cover and turn the hob down (it should be down to a very gentle simmer). Keep it covered as much as possible, stiring every now and then until the pasta is fully cooked and the milk has reduced down to a creamy sauce.

3. Check the seasoning and add more Tabasco/salt/pepper if needed.

4. Add in the cheese (Parmesan + Emmenthal/Cheddar) and the broccoli, give the whole thing a good stir and serve immediately.

‘OMG-SOOOOOO-GOOD’ eye-rolling absolutely compulsory!

One pan Broccoli Mac n Cheese

French burgers at Big Fernand

Big Fernand is ZE name for burgers in Paris.

I lived in Paris and I love burgers.

And yet I never went. #WHAAAAT

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, Big Fernand followed me to London and opened a restaurant in the heart of Fitzrovia.

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

It was only a matter of time until Michelle, Binny & I found our way there…

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

With loads of honey-coloured wood panelling and industrial-ish furniture, you can tell Big Fernand is not your usual burger joint.

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

And they take their burgers very, VERY seriously!!

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Their chairs, a little bit less ?

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

The menu’s short and sweet.

6 burgers, all made with fantastic meat and the best French raw cheese, cuddling up in an excellent sesame bun.

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Le Bartholomé (dry-aged beef, Raclette cheese, smoked streaky bacon, caramelised onions and homemade sauces)

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

Look at that cheese! Just the way to my heart!

Big Fernand, London | Cake + Whisky

A very Frenchie burger indeed, focusing on stellar ingredients and perfectly cooked burgers (believe me or not, that’s actually quite rare for me!).

I can’t quite put my finger on why it is, but those burgers felt much healthier than any other I’ve ever tried (lookign at you Almost Famous and other Lucky Chips!)

Ze verdict? Zere definitely iz a reason why ze French LOVE Big Fernand’s hamburgé. And the reason is that the burgers are truly excellent, cooked to perfection and very, very cheesy! So French, so good!

Big Fernand, 19 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1DY Big Fernand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

French burgers at Big Fernand

Weekend Getaway Guide | Manchester

Oh Manchester! What a city!

So little time, so much to see, do, explore (and most important of all, EAT!!).

So much in fact that it can be a bit overwhelming… But fear not, I went and did all the leg work (quite litterally, see below), so you don’t have to!

Ready for the ultimate weekend getaway guide to Manchester?

 

How to get there:

From London, you can jump on a train (departing from Euston station) and you’ll be there in just under 2 hours. Easy-Peasy.

Where to stay:

Location, location, location! I can’t quite stress how truly brilliant it is to only be 5 min away from bed when you’re trying to get home with a belly full of burgers and one too many delicious cocktails. And the same obviously goes for excellent coffee / pastries / brunch the next morning. Because priorities.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

We stayed in a great room in the Northern Quarter that we rented through Airbnb. Our hosts were lovely, the price was reasonable and the location was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend you give them a shout if you’re heading to Manchester any time soon and are looking for a place to stay!

 

Transports:

Manchester has a very efficient (and cheap! You can get a weekend tram pass for about £6!) public transport network.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

But then again, you can very well walk to all those places (and get one more slice of cake thanks to all the money + calories you’ll be saving! #winwin)

 

What to see + do / A few highlights:

Explore the reds & blues of Manchester: As for many cities, my favourite thing to do is just to wander the tiny streets and try to get a feel of what it would be like to live there. And Manchester is perfect for meandering!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

If you’re a bit of an architecture nerd (or as much in love with red bricks as I am), Manchester will steal your heart within seconds!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

The whole city is an absolute architectural gem. Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Most major buildings are built in a Gothic style, but there’s also a few interesting contemporary buildings out there…

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

And then the street art situation isn’t bad either…

Bookworms:

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Manchester, home to the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, has many historic libraries and each is more beautiful than the next.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

From Chetham’s medieval building, to John Rylands’ Victorian neo-gothic architecture, the Portico Library’s stunning 19th century design and Manchester Central Library’s recent refurbishment, a tour of the Mancunian libraries is a must for book and history aficionado alike!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

(very Game of Thrones, don’t you think?)

 

Football fanatics: Football is somewhat of a religion in Manchester and if you’re into it, you’ll be in heaven!

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Whether you’re supporting the Red Devils or the Citizens, there’s nothing quite like watching a live game at home. And if there’s no game when you visit, the Museum of Football makes for a great alternative!

 

Where to eat + drink:

For brunch: Evelyn’s

Evelyn’s is a small but perfectly formed café in the heart of Manchester’s hipster-dreamland Northern Quarter.

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Utterly flooded with light, it’s an Instagrammer’s paradise!

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Evelyn's Cafe Bar, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Oh, and they also happen to serve up a near-perfect brunch… AND they take bookings! #miracleshappen Read more

 

For lunch: Soup Kitchen

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Soup Kitchen, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Serving up freshly prepared, delicious British café food (think soup, sanwiches, jacket potatoes…), Soup Kitchen is a neighbourhood gem and a Mancurian (and now mine!) favourite come lunchtime! Read more

 

For tea: Proper Tea

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Located right opposite the Cathedral, it’s the most adorable little tea house you’ll ever find.

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Proper Tea, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

They serve up fantastic tea & fabulous homemade cakes, making them the perfect spot to rest your worn-out feet (and make good use of all those calories you burnt!!) Read more

 

For a special occasion: Hawksmoor

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Mancurian outpost of London’s famous Hawksmoor group, there’s no better place to go for top-knotch steak & along with all other fancy dinner sheninigang.

Really good cocktails too. And the most indulgent of side dishes (looking at you, pulled pork mac’!! ?)

 

For burgers: Almost Famous

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Possibly the best burgers I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. And god knows I’ve had A LOT!! Read more

 

For drinks: Dusk til Pawn

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Dusk til Pawn MCR 16

Dusk til Pawn, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

One of Manchester’s top cocktail bars, Dusk til Pawn’s creative concoctions are the perfect start (or end!) to an epic night out! Read more

 

For a snack: Lunya

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Part deli, part tapas restaurant, Lunya is any foodie’s dream.

If you’re particularly fond of Spanish food (I like you), then you’ll love it as much as I did.

Weekend Getaway Guide to Manchester | What to see / do / eat in 48h

Here you can buy anything you’d find in your local spanish tienda…

Perfect for a light snack or buying provisions for a picnic!

Anyhting I’ve missed? I’m already noting down ideas for my next trip to Manchester, so let me know!

Weekend Getaway Guide | Manchester

Almost Famous, Manchester

The best nights out start with brilliant cocktails and finish with even better burgers.

And there’s only ONE place to go for the most EPIC burgers in Manchester: Almost Famous.

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Up a spooky staircase, along a graffiti covered coridor and across a bar area that could have been designed by Willy Wonka himself, you’ll find the ultimate grown-up playground.

 

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Complete with loads of colourful, witty artwork…

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

A table full of candy (#homegoals right there!!)…

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And many a roll of kitchen towel!!

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

The menu is any child’s dream come true (and any calorie-counter’s worst nightmare).

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Now, I’m a bit of a burger connoisseur (a.k.a. I eat burgers far too often for my own good) and I happen to live just across the street from one of London’s best burgers, so I had my doubts…

…but they quickly fadded away!

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Johnny Mac.

Double beef patty, Applewood & cheddar cheese, streaky bacon, trailer trash onions, Cool Doritos, Million Island sauce & Winning ketchup.

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

A true beast with a lil’ mac & cheese ball on top! (def. get your greedy hands on some more of those if you can!!)

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Down & Out (in Beverly Hills)

American & cheddar cheese, Wonderdust hotdog melt, trailer trash onions, French’s mustard, Winning ketchup Million Island sauce.

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Hot dog melt! It’s a thing, people!! (and a delicious, delicious one at that!!)

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

Phoenix fries. A.k.a. fries on steroids (and with more cheese on top).

So bad but soooooooo gooooood!

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And a tiny lil’ bit of coleslaw for the vitamin intake (LOL!)

Almost Famous, Manchester | Cake + Whisky

And with the whole thing just coming up to £25, going back to reality was quite harsh if perfectly signaled!

My only regret? That I didn’t get to try more things.

Don’t do the same mistake. Grab all your favourite people (or at least the ones that’ll let you try their food!), go early and order it all!

 

And make sure you tag me (@sndguerin) in all your drool-worthy pics! Or if you’re looking for an extra person and you don’t mind me gobble-ing down all the mac & cheese balls, I’ll be more than happy to help out!

Almost Famous100-102 High St, Manchester M4 1HP  

Almost Famous, Manchester