Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Adamson Laurent-Perrier Champagne brunch

Nothing screams luxury more than high quality champagne with a delicious brunch in a fashionable, sophisticated bar. Looking for the ultimate stylish Sunday brunch experience, I headed along to The Adamson Restaurant and Bar at the weekend to try out their first sold-out Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brunch.

Stepping into one of St Andrew's hot spots guests were transported to what I can only imagine a contemporary bar in Marbella would resemble. With giant Laurent-Perrier balloons dotted across the room, buckets full of champagne on ice and a live DJ playing chilled out house music, this was a Sunday event worth getting out of bed early for.

Sampling both the Cuvée Brut and Rosé there was also the option for guests to order numerous champagne based cocktails at the event including the Parisian - Laurent-Perrier champagne, with vanilla vodka and lemon, Kir Royale - Laurent-Perrier champagne with crème de cassis and others.

As bottles popped and friends toasted to one another, the champagne brunch was off to a fantastic start. Tuning my attention to the menu, myself and Kate from Citylicious - who I was hanging out with for the day - fretted over what to order.
To begin, we were treated to an array of canapés which I very much enjoyed and polished off within minutes.

The trio included; a Thai spiced fish cake, a parma ham arancini, and a goats cheese and red onion marmalade tart. The parma ham arancini was crisp and quite creamy, and the goats cheese tart was scrumptious - its red onion marmalade placed on top was divine and it provided just the right amount of sweetness to the taster.

The showstopper for me had to be the Thai spiced fish cake. It was slightly zesty and was full of exotic flavours. Partnered with the creamer dollop of sauce it sat on, it was delicious.
For mains, it was a tough choice between the sweet option, scrumptious pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and cherries, and two mouth-watering savoury dishes. Having decided against the sweet (due to having a peak of the dessert options) it was a toss up between the eggs benedict with crisp, juicy bacon, and the fresh avocado with poached eggs and toasted sourdough options. Avocado it was.

Bursting with flavour the poached eggs were perfectly cooked, and as my knife pierced it, the yolk oozed around my plate. The avocado was on the softer side, meaning it was ripe and ready to be demolished, and the sourdough was well toasted and provided a real crunch and texture to the dish. It was exquisite.

Kate had opted for the eggs benedict, a firm choice also. Smothered in a creamy sauce and topped with two large bits of bacon it was the silence as we both tucked into our dishes that confirmed we were both very much satisfied with our choices.
Turning to dessert, there were two choices; a Laurent-Perrier champagne sorbet with fresh raspberries or eton mess with strawberries, Laurent-Perrier jelly, meringue and champagne sorbet.

The champagne sorbet had been specially made for this event by individuals who supply The Adamson's ice cream, something I was very pleased to hear. And with this in mind, I decided to go for the lighter option as surprisingly, I was feeling rather full.

When the generous serving of sorbet arrived it was the beautiful bright raspberries which caught my eye instantly. Tucking in, the sorbet melted in my mouth and I got an immediate hit of the smooth Laurent-Perrier. The sorbet was extremely refreshing and light, and it was the perfect balance of sweet with a little hit of sour from the fresh raspberries.

Kate opted for the eton mess and thoroughly enjoyed her creamier dish which boasted a serving of the sorbet and a beautiful Laurent-Perrier jelly.
To end our delicious lunch, we were treated to a few white and milk chocolates each which were very rich and extremely delicious. It was a great way to round everything off and left a real sweet taste in my mouth.
Making these Laurent-Perrier champagne brunches a monthly event is something I am very much on board with and would love to see more of these types of events pop up. The Adamson Restaurant and Bar is somewhere I've visited every time I've visited St Andrews and I've always had a fabulous experience. The event is extremely exclusive and this particular one sold-out very quickly. 

The next event is scheduled to be on Sunday 27 August from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, and its expected tickets for this event will also be scooped up in a short space of time too. 

So whether you're looking to catch up with your girlfriends, treat your mum, toast a special occasion, or even arrange a nice afternoon out with your husband or partner, the Laurent-Perrier Champagne brunch is a must.

  For Now...

Just Julia


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Fentimans - World Gin Day

Celebrate World Gin Day in style with these awesome pre-mixed alcoholic gin drinks by Fentimans Ltd.

Perfectly balanced and ready to serve, these gin and tonics, and alcoholic gin beverages are great for any celebration and are easy to serve. Just grab a glass of your choice, add a few cubes of ice, preferably the right garnish and voila - gin served within seconds.

Living a busy life it's sometimes just that little bit easier to grab a pre-mixed bottle and bang it in a glass - as much as I do love to play around with the hundreds of gins on the market to find out what their perfect serves are. The convenience of these drinks is really beneficial, especially if you're looking to grab something from your house quickly before venturing over to a friends - and these drinks are great if you're not the most organised of people, especially when in a rush.
Having been established for over 110 years, family-run business Fentimans have grown their product offering from ginger beer and soft drinks to tonic waters and pre-mixed alcoholic drinks.

The rose lemonade and bloom gin is exceptionally sweet, as I had anticipated having tried the rose lemonade on its own. I could easily have one or two of these on a summers night, but I think after a while a drink so sweet would need to be swapped out for a good ol' regular gin and tonic. Oozing with floral tones - something I quite enjoy about this drink - the bloom gin and rose lemonade make this marriage a very sweet one.
The gin and tonic was completely different and much more crisp on the tongue. Bloom London Dry gin and Fentimans have partnered to bring their edition of the perfect gin and tonic to their customers in the easiest of fashions. Again, with slightly floral notes this gin is very much to my taste, but it's  the Fentimans tonic water which softens the sharp blow of gin creating within this beverage, making a  very delicious drink.

Both drinks are 275ml, a great size for transporting about, and for drinking of course. The ABV on both is 6.5%.

The only company in the UK to utilise botanical brewing is what makes Fentimans stand out with unique 3D flavours, the drinks have a depth of texture and a distinctive feel in your mouth and every drink takes seven days to brew using a combination of infusion, blending and fermentation of the natural ingredients. The best thing, none of their drinks have artificial sweetener, flavours, colours or preservatives All of the flavours are produced by hand from Chinese ginger root to rose oil from the Rose Valley in Bulgaria.

Also, the tonic waters were really tasty, and I really enjoyed the pink grapefruit tonic water. Having been served Rock Rose gin with a wedge of grapefruit, I partnered the Scottish gin with the pink grapefruit tonic water which went extremely well together. The slight bitterness of the tonic water complimented the sweet notes of the Rock Rose, creating a delicious partnership. I also tried the tonic out with Lone Wolf gin too and it worked really well.

The rose lemonade can be rather overpowering at times due to its pure sweetness, but partnered with a more earthy gin like Gordon Castle which also boasts notes of lavender I think this gin would go quite well with it. Any other earthier and more dry gins would also go really well too.

I decided to pair the original tonic water with Porter's gin and Esker gin as I felt these gins would be best suited to a plain tonic, and I was so right. Finish off with your perfect serve for each and you're definitely off to a winning combination there.

Whatever gin or alcoholic beverage your drinking to celebrate World Gin Day this year,  remember to raise a glass to the most fashionable spirit of the moment. And please, drink responsibly.

  For Now...

Just Julia


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Malmaison Aberdeen - The Sunday Lunch of dreams

There's nothing  quite like getting together with your friends and family, indulging in a good feed, and chilling out in a relaxing setting on a Sunday afternoon. The best thing about eating out obviously has to be the fact that you leave the full cooking experience in the talented hands of a chefs team - and that you don't have to tackle a mountain of dishes once everyone's done.

More and more people are now looking to restaurants to offer up something rather special and when it comes to giving customers what they want, Malmaison Aberdeen does just that with their Sunday lunch. A four course menu incorporating an abundance of stunning dishes, the menu is great for those looking for a good feed, and for those looking for a great foodie experience. 

For only £24.95 per person, you can fill your boots, fill your boots again, and go back and fill them one last time with the unbelievable four course Sunday lunch at Malmaison as my best friend and I found out a few weeks ago.
To kick start your experience you can expect a scrumptious soup of the day, and once you've ordered that you'll then be invited up to the chef's salad table to indulge in a selection of unlimited hors d'oeuvres. With everything from the salad classics like Caesar, Caprese, Greek and numerous other types, to shellfish and seafood cocktails, to hand carved meats including serrano ham, ibérico, salchichon, different terrines and various freshly made artisan breads, not to mention the different cheeses, chutneys and dressings on offer there's plenty for guests to tuck into. With so much on offer its hard not to tempt yourself eating too much during this second course, but with a main and dessert still to follow diners should try be mindful of this - if they can resist that is.

A few favourites of mine had to be the selection of breads and hams, as well as the rocket and parmesan cheese salad and the sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese dish. Not wanting to miss out on sampling the red pepper and tomato soup, I was extremely delighted with the delicious flavours it boasted. Coming in a mug, it was the perfect amount and wasn't too heavy either. Everything was extremely fresh and there was so many different things to choose from it was hard to figure out what I wanted to try out first.
Once you're done with the chef's salad table I'd suggest you take a break before embracing the creme de la creme, the main event. Getting the choice of something from the brunch section, or something from the main's section there's a strong array of dishes available including the classic Mal burger, a whole Normandy corn fed chicken to share, Severn and Wye haddock fish cake, as well as eggs Benedict, malted blueberry pancakes or California eggs from the brunch options.

Deciding on completely different dishes, my best friend opted for the USCA black Angus Picancha rump with thyme and rosemary Yorkshire pudding, whilst I decided on the big brunch breakfast which included pork sausages, sweet cured bacon, mushrooms, Ramsey's black pudding, tomato, Mal's signature steak sauce and two eggs cooked to preference - poached for me. The breakfast brunch option was extremely filling, so much so I had to opt out just over half way through. Delicious it was, I had eaten too much from the chef's table. Looking on in sheer jealousy, there were no complaints from Lauren about her three huge slices of beef and giant Yorkshire pudding which she drowned in the rich, gooey gravy. The jug of gravy lasted forever and went beautifully with the beef.
Moving forward to dessert a wee while later it was a really tough choice. A massive sticky toffee pudding lover, I was extremely tempted to order the sweet sponge dessert, that was until I spotted the Mal hot chocolate. A cup full of marshmallows, white chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a pot of hot chocolate sauce served on the side I was in sugar heaven. Pouring the rich hot chocolate sauce over the cold ice cream it took seconds until they started to mix together, melting to make a creamy chocolate dessert. With a sweet tooth like mine, this was an excellent choice of dessert, however, having ate almost my body weight in food, I found it very hard to eat it all and had to leave some due to being so full - not a bad dilemma to be faced with I guess.

Lauren decided to tackle the warm Valrhona caramel chocolate brownie with brown butter pecan ice cream. She loved every bite of the moist brownie which was soft on the inside and boasted a slight crunch on the outside, she even managed to polished off the last morsel on her plate with great ease.
Turning to the coffee menu I admitted defeat and we sat gossiping over some juice instead, relaxing in the Brasserie area where majority of the food is served within the hotel. The restaurant was buzzing and was really starting to fill up. It was clear we weren't the only two in Aberdeen who had got the memo on this incredible lunch and I was glad we'd managed to bag a big comfy booth where we could watch the other diners experience this dining extravaganza.

Deciding to head home, we gave up our comfortable table for the net lucky customers to snag.

If you haven't already I urge you now to don your stretchy pants and get a table booked - trust me, you won't be disappointed.

And if you're not sure what you'd order you can check out the full lunch menu here - I guarantee there will be something on it you'll be dying to get your teeth into.

   For Now...

Just Julia

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Lost In Food: Supper Club

The best thing about blogging is the community and great friendships you can make because of it. Whether that be local bloggers, others who live across the UK, or those International pen pals you can establish.

When I met Lesley Garden and Michelle Rolfe a year or two ago we hit it off right away. They were budding foodies and I was a girl who loved to eat out and learn about food, it was a match made in heaven and we've been good friends ever since. Gin enthusiasts, we've bonded over countless goblets of our favourite spirit and they're great at giving me top foodie tips on how to spruce up my dishes.

So when the duo behind the popular food blog, Lost in Food invited me and one of my other good blogging pals, Sarah of Blogs Vlogs Etc along to try out one of their infamous Supper Club experiences I immediately accepted and blocked the afternoon out on my diary. 

Jumping on a train to Inverurie last weekend, one of our fabulous hosts, Michelle, picked us up from the station and whisked us away in her car dropping us at Lesley's house. Not only did the house smell incredible on entering, her home was absolutely beautiful - and her kitchen, wow, there are no words.

On arrival we were treated to a delicious cocktail devised by Lesley's husband Keith who seems to knows a thing or two about making a mean cocktail.
Boasting Wild Island Gin with limoncello, lemon curd, and sugar syrup the drink was scrumptious and was polished off quite promptly. The table was decorated beautifully, and with an elegant set up and personalised menu for the event, it was a very professional and sophisticated affair.
For starters we received a bowl of three pieces of sun-dried tomato and ricotta ravioli, topped off with a beautiful tomato consommé which had been carefully devised by Lesley, who had taken inspiration from someone who had made it on Masterchef a few years ago. Having experimented with a few different recipes she decided to make her own stock combination. She simmered the vegetables for two hours, passed the stock through a fine muslin cloth overnight to ensure it was a clear, clean stock. The dish was extremely delicious and the taste of tomato came through very strong. The creamy pasta partnered with the light consommé was stunning and I ate every last morsel. As much as I wanted to ask for seconds, I held off knowing fine well the cornfed chicken which was sizzling away, would soon be on a plate in front of me.
Each course was perfectly paired with a wine and to accompany the rich flavours Lesley had picked a côtes de provence rosé to go with the consommé. It was very light and refreshing and went extremely well with the slightly heavier pasta dish.

Moving on to mains, Michelle and Lesley ventured back at the stove overlooking the chicken they were cooking. Taking us onto the next course was a beautiful corn fed chicken breast which was served with fondant potato, buttered leeks and asparagus. The chicken melted in my mouth, as did the potatoes which were incredibly more-ish. The asparagus and buttered leeks provided a crunchier texture to the dish and were cooked to perfection. I was very impressed with how well the different ingredients complimented one another. To top off this delicious dish, we were served a tasty jus which was just unbelievable. 
With this course we delved into a limestone coast chardonnay which had a much fuller body than the rosé to compliment the chicken. It went really well together and was very crisp on the palate. 

To finish our three course we tucked into a gorgeous lemon panna cotta with raspberry jelly, crushed pieces of honeycomb, topped with lemon thyme. Boasting a sweet tooth, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the dessert, and unbelievably, I didn't manage to finish it as I was so full - this may have been as a result of eating far too much homemade honeycomb before sitting down to dessert. The lemon flavour was very prominent and the sweetness of the honeycomb took the sharpness off of the raspberry jelly which popped with colour. The dessert was absolutely lovely and was presented beautifully.
Pairing a dessert wine, it was a sweet and smooth premières côtes de bordeaux which took centre stage. The sweetest and richest wine of the evening, it was served in a smaller glass and was much darker in colour in comparison to the other two lighter wines.

Taking inspiration from classic cooking, the food was perfect for our lunch occasion. Meandering through the menu, the duo had incorporated a hint of French bistro into their offering which appealed to me greatly. Following basic recipes they had and putting their own twists on them, Lesley and Michelle went over and above to showcase just a handful of the incredible talents they both boast.
Working in synch, they pulled together a spectacular afternoon showcasing outstanding food and drink. To say I was very impressed was an understatement and it was great to see these two in their element. The whole experience was very professional and I'll definitely be looking to ask them to create a bespoke menu for my next dinner party with friends, oh, and hoping they don't mind cooking it too! This is one club I'd definitely like a VIP membership for.

  For Now...

Just Julia

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