Anglo, Clerkenwell

Back in March, we fell head first, love at first bite style, with Forest Avenue, where we had the best meal of 2017.

The only problem? It’s in Dublin. So not so convenient if you want to pop in and treat yourself.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

But, I discovered last weekend, that’s not too much of a problem, because Anglo’s right on my doorstep.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Nestled in the heart of Clerkenwell, Anglo is simple looking but universally acclaimed amongst London’s food critics and connoisseurs.

And with good reasons – our impromptu Saturday night meal was without a doubt the best food we’ve had in ages.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

As many have said before, Anglo’s food – a daily-changing 8-course British-made-modern set menu – will not be to everyone’s taste.

Forget the classic ‘meat with two veg’. Here, the food is innovative, even borderline challenging at times but every morcel is absolutely succulent.

The pre-dinner snacks especially so.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Mushroom broth with thin mushroom slices and truffle.

So simple, deeply umami and absolutely brilliant. Starting strong with my favourite dish of the night!

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyAnglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Ika (squid) tartare wrapped in jellied dashi.

Delicate and textural.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Burnt leek tartlet with chive ‘snow’.

A creamy allium-on-allium creation that’s simply too good for words.

Needless to say, I was rather excited to move onto the proper dishes…

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Cauliflower with smoked herring roe.

A beautifully saline dish, balanced by the deep, earthy notes of the cauliflower.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pork belly with coco beans, cranberry and pickled fennel.

A very interesting combination of ingredients which was only let down by undercooked, slightly chalky coco beans.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Seabass with salsify and quince.

Probably the least enjoyable of the lot and the only dish I wouldn’t re-order again should I get the opportunity.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Wild fallow deer with white onion puree, nasturtium oil and meat jus.

Cooked to perfection and absolutely incredible.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Cheese and onion on malt loaf.

Or, as it should be called – cheese on toast on crack.

Very cheesy, veeeeery satisfying and incredibly comforting.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pine parfait.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

A refined take on the After Eight – I’d really love getting a box of those in my Christmas stocking!

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Matcha cake with clementine and miso ice cream.

So festive.

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And last but not least, lemon thyme granita, crème pât and apple.

Lovely and fresh – the perfect way to end the meal!

Anglo, Clerkenwell ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

All topped off with petits fours (salted caramel truffles and chocolate mousse cubes with raspberry powder and lime).

So yes, a meal at Anglo is a bit of a blow to the Christmas budget.

But it’s worth every penny. The food is stunning and the service attentive without being stuffy.

The perfect spot to make the most of a special occasion with your favourite foodie(s).

Anglo, 30 St Cross St, London EC1N 8UH
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Anglo, Clerkenwell

The best bread + butter pudding

As you might have noticed, I’m all about comfort food at the moment.

Soup is still my absolute favourite (with cream of tomato, tomato & lentil & butternut versions featuring heavily in my diet this month), but I’d be lying if I pretended like what I really crave lately is carbs.

Pasta, mash, rice and all sorts of nursery puddings… basically all the beige things!

Bread & Butter Pudding ● Classic pudding recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Best of them all though?

This incredible, festive take on the classic bread & butter pudding.

Bread & Butter Pudding ● Classic pudding recipe ● Cake + Whisky

There’s something so comforting about bread & butter pudding – and this version, made with Karaway Bakery’s delicious cinnamon, walnut and raisin brioche loaf takes this classic British pudding a step further.

Bread & Butter Pudding ● Classic pudding recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Soft and indulgent, with crunchy nuts and moist raisins scattered through and the warm aroma of cinnamon, it’s the sort of food winter is made for.

So make the most of the cold season and pud‘ it on your menu… You can thank me later!

Bread & Butter Pudding ● Classic pudding recipe ● Cake + Whisky

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More comfort food recipes

Italian-style sausage casserole

Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

French apple turnovers (V)

Sticky date porridge (VE, GF)

The best bread + butter pudding

Tray roast salad (GF, V option)

Sunday roasts are the most comforting meal in the world.

And, in this weather, they’re pretty much all I want to eat, all day, every day.

Tray roast salad ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Unfortunately, this plan is not quite compatible with health recommendations, eating your 5-a-day and all that.

Unless of course, you take the best bits of a Sunday roast and mix them into a salad… which is exactly how that tray roast salad was born.

Tray roast salad ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

This recipe is a winner for a number of reasons:

1. It’s quick, easy and requires minimal input on your side.

2. You can make it for as many or as few as you like – great for solo dinners and hoard-feeding situations alike!

3. It’s gluten free (as long as your sausages are too!) and can easily be made vegetarian/vegan.

4. It includes all the best bits of a roast dinner (hellooooo there, roasties and sausages!), balanced out by a lot of green leaves, all tied together with the most delicious Dijon & balsamic dressing.

Tray roast salad ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Comfort food made healthy, so you don’t have to choose…

Isn’t that what greedy foodie dreams are made of?

Tray roast salad ● Easy dinner recipe ● Cake + Whisky[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:45]

More easy dinner recipes

Italian-style sausage casserole (GF, V option)

Indian-spiced lentil soup (VE)

Spicy Xi’an style noodles (VE)

Tomato-coconut pasta (VE)

Tray roast salad (GF, V option)

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba

It’s been a week since we came back from our big trip to Cuba.

We had been planning this holiday for about 6 months, deciding on our itinerary, noting down things to do, places to see and dishes to eat.

In that time, we did our research. We read every guide book we could get our hands on and dozens of blog posts, we talked to friends and colleagues who’d visited, saved pictures on Pinterest, pinned everything down on an offline map…

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky 13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

And yet somehow, there was still so much about Cuba that surprised us.

As my friend Kristin put it when she was sharing her top Cuba tips ahead of our trip – no matter what you expect, it’s not quite what it’s going to be like, but it’ll be amazing regardless.

So here are a few things to keep in mind on your first trip to the Pearl of the Antilles.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

1. It does look just like the pictures

Seriously – everywhere in Cuba is just gorgeous.

From the pastel-coloured, half-crumbled streets of Havana, to the breath-taking landscapes of Vinales and the island’s white-sanded beaches, every single bit of Cuba is simply gorgeous.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

2. Everyone runs a business from their front room

Seriously – Cuban are so enterprising. They make the most of whatever situation they’re put into and whatever space they can get hold of.

There are people running restaurants in their living room (the paladares). People selling coffee / souvenirs on their door step or through their window. People running flower businesses from their building’s entry hall…

Most of those are regulated by the state, extremely good value for money and an incredible way to get a look into what Cuban life really looks like.

3. People will want to talk to you

Partly because they’re very aware that tourism is the best way for Cubans to make money, through network and referal fee systems.

But also because the locals are also incredibly curious and genuinely interested in you, where you come from, why you’ve decided to come to Cuba, what your travel plans are…

As a consequence, Cubans get quite offended if you ignore them when they greet you in the street. So don’t. Greet them back, indulge in a bit of chit-chat and if people try to sell you something, a simple ‘no gracias’ and a smile should be enough.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

4. Rum is (almost) as cheap as water

In most restaurants, you’ll actually pay the same price for a mojito or a bottle of water, which is completely INSANE.

And you know, amazing.

5. Health and safety isn’t really a thing

Most cars don’t have seat belts. A lot of staircases and tower-type buildings don’t have banisters. Emergency exits aren’t clearly maked…

And you know what? It’s okay. You’ll survive it.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky 13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

6. Eating a full casa breakfast is a challenge

If you’re travelling to Cuba on a budget, casa breakfasts (as in, the breakfast served by your casa hosts for a small fee) will be your new best friend.

Your typical breakfast will include a plate of fruit, toast with butter, eggs, a cheese and ham toastie, varied treats (potato or plantain fritters, French toast, pancakes, cheese with guava paste, cookies…), freshly squeezed juice and a lot of strong coffee.

It’s really quite the spread and it will definitely keep you full until well into the afternoon!

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

7. Cats & dogs are everywhere

A lot of them seem to be semi-stray (some even have an identification card attached to their collar) and most are absolutely adorable.

Over the course of our holiday, I stopped approximatevely 3241 time to pet cats in the street and have been tempted to take one home about as many times.

8. And so are old-school American cars

They come in every colour of the rainbow and absolutely no shock absorbing system.

A tour in one of the iconic, old-school American cars often comes up on the list of must-do activities in Cuba, but a lot also run as regular taxis or taxi collectivos if your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

9. Unless you call your bank ahead of time, your card won’t work

Make your life easier – take a lot of cash with you (changing cash is quite easy).

Also make sure you call your bank ahead of time with your travel dates and ask them to lift security locks in case you need to withdraw more money.

It’ll save you a lot of time (and £30 phone calls) to get it all unlocked…

10. Internet isn’t really a thing

There is internet in Cuba, but you have to buy a top-up card (about 5CUC for 1h) and will only be able to access it from the very few wifi hotspots.

Most cities will only have one of those. But despite its scarcity, the wifi was surprisingly fast everywhere we used it, so you know, you win some, you loose some.

11. And neither is public transport

There are actually quite a lot of local buses – but they’re really just for the locals. As a tourist, you can use taxis, cyclotaxis or ‘mango taxis’ for short distances (my favourites!)

Trains however simply don’t exist, and neither do intra-island flights, which means your only options to go from city to city are Viazul buses or taxi collectivos.

Inbetween cities, we only used taxi collectivos. They can be arranged with your casa hosts, run a door-to-door service and are typically quicker and similarly priced as the bus service.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

12. Experiencing the real, local Cuba can be challenging

As explained above, Cubans are very aware of the importance of tourism to their economy. As a result, they will go above and beyond to ensure you make the most out your trip.

But they don’t really mingle with you – casa hosts are always happy to cook a feast for you, but they’ll eat separately. Taxi collectivo drivers are often happy to show you around a city but they’ll wait for you in the car while you take in the sights. Locals will happily recommend restaurants to you but will rarely eat there themselves.

Not to forget that Cubans use a whole different currency altogether and most places only accept one of the two currencies, making the divide very ‘official’.

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky 13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba ● Cake + Whisky

13. No matter what you expect from your first trip to Cuba, it’s not what you’ll get

Cuba will surprise you. The city- and landscapes will take your breath away. The native’s generosity and ingenuity will melt your heart. The music and the rum will never fail to put a big smile on your face.

No matter how much you prepare for your first trip to Cuba, you’ll never be quite ready but you will definitely have an amazing time!

13 things to expect on your first trip to Cuba

Italian-style sausage casserole

November is simply the worse.

I mean, it was bad enough before the end of daylight saving time.

But now, it’s dark at literally 4pm (on a good day), and it’s not quite time for Chrismas cheer just yet. Which is just depressing.

Italian-style Sausage Casserole • Comfort Food Recipe • Cake + Whisky

So unless you’ve escaped to a warm, sunny part of the world (!!), comfort food is the only way forward.

From late October to about March, this Italian-style sausage casserole is an absolute staple in my house.

Italian-style Sausage Casserole • Comfort Food Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Warming, comforting, satisfying, suuuuuuuper easy to make and -all things considered- healthy, it has all the good adjectives going on!

Italian-style Sausage Casserole • Comfort Food Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Make a big batch – have it for dinner, save some for lunch (it’s even better the next day!) and put leftovers in the freezer for lazy days.

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Italian-style Sausage Casserole • Comfort Food Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Talk about a real kick-asserole!

 More warming recipes

My favourite squash soup (VE, GF, DF)

Apple & black pudding sausage rolls

Spicy pork dumplings

Banana bread porridge (VE)

Polenta plum cobbler (V)

The above recipe was originally published in March 2015. It was retested, rephotographed, rewritten and republished in November 2017.

Italian-style sausage casserole

11 tips to pack light for every trip

A lifetime ago, I didn’t have the first clue how to pack light.

I was the kind of person who’d pack everything and the kitchen sink.

I was infamous for frequently bringing several pair of heeled shoes to school (TO SCHOOL!!) in case I’d suddently feel like wearing one of them. (hint: I never did. Not once.)

Thankfully, I’ve improved significantly since.

11 tips to pack light for every trip ● Travel Tips ● Cake + Whisky

So much in fact that I can’t remember when was the last time I traveled with anything other than a carry-on.

It didn’t come easy but I did it. With loads of work and concious effort, I taught myself how to pack light.

And so can you!

  • Make a list

    Packing in a hurry is never a good idea, so make sure you think ahead and compile a list of what you’d like to pack.

    Get everything clean, dry and layed out before you start putting stuff in your suitcase. That’ll help you avoid dead space and make sure it’s all organised in a convenient manner.

  • No ‘what ifs’ and ‘just in case’

    Repeat after me – (most of) the world is civilised and they have stores there. And 99% of the time, you’ll be able to purchase any and every emergency item you might need from one of the stores at your destination.

  • Versatility is key

    There are many ways I’m not the Frenchest of French people, but when it comes to clothes, I’m the absolute French stereotype. My wardrobe is all basics in black, grey and stripes. Unsurprisingly, the whole ‘pick a colour scheme and stick with it’ thing isn’t a really difficult one for me to stick with.

    Having helped a few other desperate souls to pack though*, I can confirm making sure most of your clothes work together is absolutely key to packing light and always have something to wear whilst on your trip.

*oh, how I wish I could pack other people’s suitcases for a living… #dreamjob

11 tips to pack light for every trip ● Travel Tips ● Cake + Whisky

  • How much to pack?

    It really depends on what sort of holiday you’re going on. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need a lot less if you’re on beach holiday than you will for a city trip and so on.

    And quite a lot less than you think altogether. Most of the time, 1 pair of underwear per day, 1 top per day +2 and one pair of trousers for 4 day is more than enough. And if it’s not, there’s this great thing called laundry…

    Oh, and pack a pashmina. There’s a reason why every single airline employee I know never go anywhere without one.

  • Cube it up!

    I know a lot of people put all their weight behind the rolling and stuffing method, but I’m more of a packing cube girl.

    I like how cubes help you save space AND keep things neat, tidy and unwrikled, which mean you’ll know exactly where to look whether you’re trying to locate your pyjamas, your charging cables or your bikini!

    Plus, the impressed nod from the airport security staff if they need to check your luggage is just priceless. #truestory

  • Careful with the shoes!

    Bulky, heavy and weirdly shaped, shoes are the #1 space waster when it comes to packing.Unfortunately, the only solution is to go by the age-old ‘less is more’ motto.

    One pair of flip-flop (always), one pair of comfortable but pretty day shoes (I’m a ballerina girl through and through) and one pair of trainers/heels and you’re good to go!

  • And the toiletry / beauty stuff!

    I’m the laziest person when it comes to beauty. The most I do is wash my hair, maybe put on some mascara and basta.

    Therefore, I must admit that the likes of hair dryers and straighteners/curlers never found their way in my bathroom, let alone my suitcase.

    Though, if it’s important to you, most hotels have hair dryers (you can call ahead to check if you so wish).

    When it comes to beauty bits, samples are your best friends. Their small size means they won’t exceed the cabin size limitation, and you can leave the empty bottles behind so you have more room available for souvenirs!

  • To towel or not to towel?

    Towels are bulky and annoying to pack.

    The good news is, if you’re not going camping or to the beach, you probably don’t need to pack one.

    But if you insist on taking your own anyway, make sure you get a fast-drying, super thin microfiber towel. You can thank me later.

11 tips to pack light for every trip ● Travel Tips ● Cake + Whisky

  • Invest in a good international travel adaptor

    By which I mean the kind with USB plugs so you don’t have to carry all the power supply things.

  •  Pack a backpack/tote IN your carry-on

    It’ll come in handy for your day-to-day adventures, be it to the beach, mountain climbing or getting lost in an urban jungle.

    And possibly even more so if all the beautiful souvenirs you found don’t quite fit in your teeny tiny luggage on the way back…

  • Learn from your mistakes

    Whether you forgot to pack something essential or you didn’t nail the right number of dresses to pack, make sure you make a -mental or physical- note of the things that didn’t quite work that time around.

    After all, learning how to pack light, much like Rome, can’t really be done in one trip!

More travel tips

How to find the perfect travel companion

My 5 top tips to plan a city break

Copenhagen 3-day itinerary

Paris for first-timers and seasoned travelers

11 tips to pack light for every trip

Sticky Date Porridge (VE)

Forget about date night – it’s all about the date morning nowadays. The sticky date porridge mornings, that is!

Sticky Date Porridge (VE) ● Vegan Breakfast Recipes ● Cake + WhiskySticky Date Porridge (VE) ● Vegan Breakfast Recipes ● Cake + Whisky

My love for cake-inspired porridge is really no secret (see here, here and here).

But what can I say… If it tastes like pudding whilst actually having the nutritious values of the breakfast of champions, I just can’t resist it!

Sticky Date Porridge (VE) ● Vegan Breakfast Recipes ● Cake + WhiskySticky Date Porridge (VE) ● Vegan Breakfast Recipes ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect crossing between the traditional British pudding and the most comforting of all breakfasts, this sticky date porridge is the ultimate cold-weather breakfast.

Warm, comforting and utterly satisfying!

Sticky Date Porridge (VE) ● Vegan Breakfast Recipes ● Cake + Whisky

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Sticky Date Porridge (VE) ● Vegan Breakfast Recipes ● Cake + Whisky

So what do you say? Breakfast date?

More seasonal recipes

The best squash soup (VE)

Apple & black pudding sausage rolls

Spicy pork dumplings

Polenta plum cobbler (V)

Sticky Date Porridge (VE)