Humble Grape

The name of my blog is a bit of a give away that I like wine. No, scratch that, I love wine. Being brought up in an Italian family, there has always been wine on the table, designed to enhance each and every meal. So when Humble Grape got in touch and offered to send me a couple of bottles of vino rosso, I couldn’t say no.

What I really love about Humble Grape is how accessible they make wines. There is a lot of snobbery around the what’s, where’s and how’s of this age-old drink, but Humble Grape’s philosophy is simple; that wine is there to be enjoyed regardless of how much or how little you know about grape varieties and tannin levels.

The first of the two bottles that Humble Grape sent me to try was a Shiraz by First Drop Mother’s Milk. First of all, I think you’ll agree that the label on the bottle is fantastic. It would definitely make it stand out on the shelf, but once we’d popped the cork, the clever illustrations no longer mattered. The wine was speaking for itself and it was incredibly drinkable, especially paired with a selection of meats and cheeses – it seemed to go really well with chorizo in particular.

The second bottle was a Corvina by Massimo Ronca. I had never tried this variety of wine before, but I’m so glad I’ve now been introduced to it. We cooked with a little of this medium-bodied red in a warming winter stew, before enjoying the rest with our meal. This was a really memorable wine.

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Humble Grape. Their fantastic ethos is paired with a great selection of well-considered wines with something for everyone. If you’re in the market for a wine tasting event, check out their website. If I lived in the London area, I would be a regular at their events.

Are you a wine drinker? Do you have any favourites?

Posted in Reviews, Wine | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

10 delicious porridge toppings

Scotland is known for its cold weather at this time of year. The chilly, dark days and nights can make it hard to eat healthy, when all I really want to do is indulge in comfort food. But one area where I haven’t fallen off the wagon is breakfast. I’ve been eating a steaming hot bowl of porridge or oatbran every morning, which isn’t only a healthy way to start the day, but it really warms me up. Here are 10 different toppings I regularly add to my porridge:

1.Peaches baked with vanilla and cinnamon (pictured above)
2. Blueberries and chia seeds
3. Almond milk and walnuts
4. Hazelnut milk and cacao nibs
5. Almond butter and dates
6. Raisins, honey and flaked almonds
7. Cinnamon-stewed apples
8. Flax seed and dried figs
9. Soya milk and walnuts
10. Frozen berries

Do you eat porridge? What are your favourite toppings?

Posted in Breakfast, breakfast recipes, Winter | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Winter whiteout

I’ve been to a few Google City Experts events, and so I know those guys can show people a good time. And last Wednesday evening’s event was no exception. In fact, it might have been the best one yet.

The venue for the evening was The Pompadour by Galvin restaurant, which sits proudly in the five-star Caledonian Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The theme was winter whiteout and this spectacular hotel looked even prettier than normal decorated with snow-laden branches and wintery back drops.

The evening started with a gin cocktail and a selection of moreish canapés. What followed was a three-course meal of the highest standard, which was so delicious. We started with shellfish, which I am a huge fan of, before moving onto partridge. I’d never tried partridge before, but I loved it and can’t wait to have it again.

When it was time for dessert, it was an event in itself: a 3D cake of one of Edinburgh’s landmarks. It looked almost too pretty to eat … but in the end I did. You can’t say no to cake, right?

After we had chatted to a few other city experts and made the most of the photo booth, we returned to our table for coffee and petit fours. They tasted as good as they looked and the mini donuts really were to die for!

Do you have the Google City Experts programme in your city? If you do I would recommend signing up – it’s a lot of fun!

Posted in Edinburgh, Events, Out and about | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Tales from the weekend #4

We have just had one of those joyful long weekends. It kicked off at 1pm on Friday with lunch at the Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, where we had steak and chips. You know you’re having a good day when steak and chips is on the menu, or at least this is the case in my world.

Following our meat feast, we went for a wander around the city centre. Edinburgh does Christmas really well and at this time of year, certain areas of the city play homage to the festivities, with stalls serving mulled wine, fairground rides, ice rinks and lots of amazing food. It was super cold on Friday, which was the perfect excuse to drink cups of mulled wine as we explored the markets.

From the market, we went to see The Imitation Game. If you haven’t seen it yet, go whilst you can still catch it on the big screen. It was a fantastic film.

The rest of the weekend was spent catching up with friends, cooking lots of delicious food and finishing off Christmas shopping. How did you fill your weekend?

Posted in Christmas, Edinburgh | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Dear diary

Is anyone else out there still a fan of a proper diary? Sure, the diary on my iPhone is great and definitely handy, but at heart I’m a pen and paper sort of girl.

If you are like me and buying a diary is a bit of an annual event, purchasing one early is essential – the good ones go really quickly. So with that here are four of the best diaries I could find.

1. Life Balance Planner from Anthropologie 2. Cath Kidston Kingswood Rose Diary 3. Paris Patchwork Diary from Paperchase 4. Iconic Journal from Anthropologie

Which one is your favourite? And do you still use a diary or do you do all of your organising with your phone or tablet?

Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , | 23 Comments