Brighton Born and Bread

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The Chard does OctoberBest

Sometimes there are those meals that you just never want to end. On our recent visit to Chard to celebrate their October Best menu it was one of those meals. An evening of communal dining from a set menu can often cause anxiety but, with the welcoming atmosphere of the team matched by the beautiful setting of Igigi it was a great evening.. and then the food, oh the food! Each course was perfectly balanced between classic and unique flavors and we all ended up eating a lot slower than normal just to ensure that we savored each bite. But enough waffling, you want to know what I ate and what it was like...

The Extra bits

We had paid in advance for our three course meal but you can’t expect three foodies to go to an amazing venue like Chard and not have a couple of extras. We decided to share two extra dishes; duck fat caramel & pecan popcorn and seeded soda bread with seaweed butter.

I am a huge fan of popcorn already so loved the idea of a new flavor; the popcorn itself was sticky but crisp with a great caramelization around the edge. It was more sweet than savory but I loved it as a nibble with the wine I ordered. (also an extra)

I realized after ordering that I have never actually had soda bread before, but I’ll definitely be ordering it again. The softer textured bread with seeds went beautifully with the salty seaweed butter. The butter itself was such a great option and I immediately regretted offering to share as I could have eaten the dish to myself (not because of the sizes, they were great for sharing, just because I loved the butter so much!)

The Starters

When we booked the meal we were given the set menu via October best and ordered ahead of time with a choice of starters between a spiced squash, confit duck and roast chickpea dish or Salt baked celeriac with roast garlic ricotta and parmesan walnut.

I went with the celeriac as I have always wanted to try it salt-baked and I was not disappointed. The celeriac was cooked through beautifully with the hint of salt to season, I loved the earthiness of the celeriac mixed with the creamy ricotta which was not overpoweringly garlic but had a great after taste. Because of my mum's nut allergy, I rarely have nuts with dishes, particularly not savory ones, but I loved the crunch of the walnut alongside the other textures.

The Mains

Full disclosure, I will never be able to explain this dish well enough to give it justice. It was perfection. The dish I chose was pork cheek with brown sauce, Jerusalem artichoke and black pudding which I opted for over the delicious-sounding Sussex Slipcote with fried pear, red onion and crispy lentils.

I’ve never had pork cheek before but it’s definitely something I’ll be trying again soon. The meat itself was falling apart and full of flavour and the acidity if the homemade brown sauce was a perfect accompaniment. I’m a new fan of black pudding and so the crispy crumbs sprinkled over the top adding another element that brought the dish to another level. The Jerusalem artichoke came as a purée and I scraped the plate at the end to get the delicious flavours!

Sofaya, one of the people I went with, was lovely enough to let me try some of her main and it was equally as stunning. Sussex slipcote is a delicious creamy cheese that they generously served topped lentils and the sautéed red onion. Again slipcote was an ingredient I’ve never tried and after tasting it and having the glowing recommendation for Mae who was serving us, I’ll keep my eye out for it in the future.

And then it was time for dessert..

I love a pudding and will often opt for a pudding over a starter so after our first two courses I was so excited for pudding. The options were a choice between a sussex cheese, pear chutney and candied pecans or a plum, almond, amaretti crunch ice cream.

Shock, it was delicious: the plums were beautifully cooked with a soft interior which mixed sweet and sour perfectly, with the slight crunch of the skin staying to add that extra texture. The dish was served with pieces of almond cake that merger beautifully with the ice cream and I loved the shards of caramelized almond on top as well and who doesn't like a few edible flowers to end a meal?

Overall the meal was stand out and a definite highlight of October best so I am not surprised to hear they won best menu this year. The service from the team was amazing throughout, with a clear passion for what they do and an obvious love for food. I loved the communal dining element which meant listening and joining in with a range of foodie conversations, which was a great touch alongside a stunning meal. I look forward to heading back soon!

Monday, 14 October 2019

15 questions to ask your wedding photographer

We did it! We've booked our photographer and can officially say "I have something to wear, somewhere to wear it and someone to take pictures of it!"

We were lucky enough to have a photographer in mind just after we got engaged, she actually took the pictures of my mum's wedding so I already knew her and her work. To meet we just dropped her an email a little while back and arranged to meet in a local cafe for a chat. 

There are so many things that you need to think about with a photographer that you wouldn't ever think to ask, so after grilling her for a while (and working out what was useful and what was ridicuous) here are my most useful questions to ask your wedding photographer...

1. Do you have our date available?

2. How much are you for a full day/half day/this many hours?

3. How would you describe your style?

4. How many images will I receive and roughly how long will they take?

5. Do you retouch images?

6. Do you have a second shooter and how much extra does it cost?

7. What happens if you are ill/can not make the wedding?

8. Do we need to cover any additional costs like transport or accommodation?

9. Do you charge overtime?

10. Will you advise on timings and shots or will that be up to us to lead?

11. How much is the deposit and when is it due?

12. When do I need to give you the final payment?

13. How is it best to contact you before the wedding?

14. Can I send you a list/pinterest board of shots I would like?

15. What time will you be arriving on the day of the wedding?


Friday, 11 October 2019

Pumpkin pecan energy balls

It’s October which can only mean one thing, time to cook with an ingredient you only ever use once a year.. pumpkin!

To do something a little different from the traditional pie or a cake I decided to make something seasonal but also a bit sensible; pumpkin pecan energy balls. These are great with a large of tea or just as a post-gym snack. This recipe makes about 15 which is more than enough to last a week.

So first, the ingredients:

2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
(as you may have seen from my Instagram stories finding this in a can was an absolute pain! In the end Henry cut, peeled and roasted half a medium pumpkin and this blended down to about half a cup)
1/3 cup of chopped pecan
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup golden syrup

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg 
1/8 ground cloves

*Cup measurements can sometimes put people on but it’s a great way to keep it simple. As long as you stick to the same cup throughout the recipe you’ll be absolutely fine*

Step one
Put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl

Step two 
Mix together with either a wooden spoon or your hands (that are washed and rings taken off)

Step three 
Roll into ping pong sized balls 

Step four
Place into the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. If leaving over night make sure to seal after around an hour

Step five
Make a hot drink, enjoy the energy balls!


Monday, 7 October 2019

My top 10 Octoberbest Wishlist

It's October Best time! 

For those of you who don't know, October best is a Brighton based restaurant festival celebrating the top 20 restauarnts as nominted by a pnel of foodies and experts. Each year the festival runs for around two weeks with each restaurant offering £20 menus to be enjoyed at both lunch and dinner time.

This year the festival has added an additional _ restuarants that just missed o
ut on the top spot so there's even more to look forward to! So to help narrow down your options these are the restaurants on the top of my wishlist this month... 

At the time of writing this these restaurants had not already sold out. Chilli Pickle, Chard and Halisco (amongst others) had already sold out so I won't be mentioning their menus.. although they are definitely somewhere to try to get to for a special occasion another time!

Bincho Yakitori
Still one of my absolute favourite places to eat in Brighton, it had to make it on the list! This year their menu is available Tuesday-Thursday 6 to 10 and is a set menu for £20 each. Some of the dishes include Salmon tataki, pork ribs and a chicken and butter garlic rice which sounds delicious!

So a slightly different method for these guys this year. They are running their menu purely through ticket winners; a £20 nine-course tasting menu will be won for 20 people to enjoy this month so keep an eye on their social media this month!

Baby Bao
I am so excited for Baby bao's menu this year, and it's great to see a smaller more casual venue make the list. Baby Bao is a kitchen run out of The pond, a pub just down for Brighton station and is a great spot but it does have limited seating. Their menu offering is a selection of four dishes including pulled beef shin bao and soy sesame roasted aubergine which will be served Tuesday-Thursdays. They are also having a vegan menu only day on Monday 14th 12-2 and 2-3pm which has a great looking jackfruit bao and a mushroom kara-age among other dishes.  

Fourth and Church 
Dirty martini with small plates for £20, you really can't go wrong. Fourth and Church is one of those menus that I always mean to go to but have never made it down, so I am hoping to change that this year. There menu has a range of dishes to choose from but I'm loving the look of the green tea-poached monkfish and the salt cod croquettes! With a serving time of 12-5pm this is a Monday-Thursday offer.

Petit Pois
So I am actually waiting on an evening cancellation so I can get a table during the festvial to Petit pois so I'm a litle relucant to share.. but I will! A monday-Friday 12-7 menu will be served as this beautiful small french restaurant in Brighton Laines. With a choice of marinated salmon and fennel or kintoa ham croquette to start you know this menu is going to be full of flavours and stand out dishes!

Fatto A Mano 
How can I not mention my favourite pizza restauarnt in Hove, and with one of the best value for money dishes is a must visit (it's walk in onlys so you need to get organised). The offer from Fatto this month is a Monday-Thursday all day option of two starters and two pizzas for just £20 with the addition of four specials celebrating sussez produce; my eye is on the Sussex blue speccial of blue cheese, portobello mushroom, spinach, roast garlic, black olives and pancetta... are you hungry yet??

A new find for me since the Brightons Best Restauarant awards and one I'm excited to get along to! Offering six small plates including a dessert for £20 I am so excited to try this menu!

The Urchin
If you like fish you are going to absolutely love this menu! A set menu of six dishes including Oyster with tomatillo salsa, Scallops with celeriac and lemon butter and a key lime pie to finish it off, this is definitely a venue to head to if you are Hove-actually resident or fancy a little advenutre west!

The Set 
A sharing menu for two at £20 with 10 items plus a drink and a pudding! This is definitely going to be a popular option for a lot of people over the next two weeks. The menu has a lot of star dishes that I am looking forward to trying including a Merguez croquette, peach ketchup and a duck ham dish served with a sambal. The Set itself is a smaller restaurant set in The Artist residences in central Brighton and has recently had a change of menu itself. 

Lucky Khao 
The final restaurant on my wishlist still left with spaces is the Lucky Khao. Another central Brighton venue offering a large menu selection during the festival is this Northern Thai Barbeque restauarnt, with options ranging from smoked chicken wings to Ox heart there is definitely something on the menu for everyone. This offer is available for the whole of the festival so plenty of chances to head down there.

Keep an eye on the blog for some reviews coming up of some of these restaurants and others I've been lucky enough to book into as well.


Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Welcome to Blogtober; My autumn bucket list

It's back again! My absolute favorite time of year has come around again and I feel like this year is already flying by. I've been neglecting my blog a lot later and in place been spending all of my time planning the big day. However, it's my favorite time of year/my birthday mum/October best and what better reason than to kick off regularly blogging than to restart Blogtober. 
I'm doing it a slightly different way this year and combining blog posts, Instagram stories and IGTVs to give autumn content all month! 

So to start it off here is my complete autumnal bucket list. 

I've already started planning how my pumpkin is going to look this year and it involves power tools and some paint!

One of my favourite things in my old house was decorating the mantle piece with different autumn items so I'm excited to see what I can do in our new place!

It just has to be done! Not just for the Instagram but because I love it!

I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to do this but I'm committed to making smores to enjoy on one of our...

Okay so I'm not really a classic Halloween (scary) movie person but, I love Hocus Pocus and I'm a big fan of practical magic so there are plenty of options!

I didn't give in when they were first launched in September but now we are in October I really want to try some of the pumpkin spiced options out on the high street.

I have been loving prepping homemade soups over the last month and I can't wait to perfect some of the recipes and spend a Sunday batch cooking them!

I love it. I love wrapping up warm and all of the colors, I love the crunch of the leaves and even the slightly soggy boots! And now we're in Worthing there are lots of new walks to be found and enjoyed which I'm looking forward to.

This usually involves something that I use to decorate the house, but I think this year I am going full hygge; something crafty but cosey just for me!

I'm a long-standing fan of the October best menus that are launched every year by the Brighton's Best Restaurants team and this year is no different. We're already booked on to a few and I'm hoping to drop in on a couple of extras as well

What's on your 2019 autumn bucket list? Let me know what I've missed out!

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