Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Xmas and a polar bear cake

Polar bear Christmas cake

I have a huge blogging backlog, but thanks to the flu have got a bit behind on putting things up here. But in 2009 you can look forward to a review of Pearl restaurant and bar, a luscious Thai duck and green been curry, the bf attempting a credit crunching meal for two for 10 pounds and a write up of my forthcoming New Year trip to Istanbul.

In the mean time, feast your eyes on my not-too-artistic polar bear Christmas cake. The cake was a gift but it was the first time I had attempted marzipanning, royal icing or indeed fashioning polar bears out of sugar paste. The bf thinks the one on the right looks more like a mouse!

Merry Christmas and here's to 2009!

The Princess

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little Chef Blumenthal is a Big Success!

Little Chef in Popham

On my way down to Hampshire to visit the Princess family this weekend, I took the opportunity to have breakfast at Little Chef. And before you ask, this was not just any Little Chef. The Popham branch has been made over by none other than Mr Heston Blumenthal as part of a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary.

The shabby Little Chef of old has been refitted in a retro, fifties diner style in red and white. We made ourselves at home in one of the banquettes and ordered from the trial menu.

Beef cheeks and green tea looked very enticing, but it was early so we decided to test out the breakfast fare that Little Chef is more typically known for. And in fact breakfasts haven't changed a whole lot since Mr B came along. The bf plumped for an omelette filled with tasty farmhouse cheddar and I went for the bacon sarnie, on fluffy white bloomer and filled with two types of crispy bacon (Wiltshire back and crispy streaky).

Retro chic in the Little Chef

Whilst the breakfasts stick fairly closely to the Little Chef staple fry up, the quality and service is top notch. There's no snail porridge, but my bacon buttie was definitely one of the better ones I've had.

There were some nice little touches too, from the kitsch tomato ketchup dispenser and retro eighties board games, to the foodie wisdom on the loo walls and mini packet of Jelly Belly beans that came with the bill.

It remains to be seen whether this makeover will save the ailing chain, but from the comments on the board it seems to be going down well. An anonymous commenter said: "Very good ox cheeks", whilst A Govett "loved" the prawn cocktail & mussels.

I would love to hear what you think too!

The Princess