Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Restaurant Review: Amma, Newcastle

It's fair to say that when we moved to Benwell earlier this year it wasn't because the area's thriving restaurant scene. While there are a lot of things I like about living round here, nipping down to the local cafe for a latte or bite to eat isn't one of them, as no such place exists. The few Just-Eateries that loiter around do not inspire any kind of enthusiasm, so it was with no little interest a few weeks back that we noted the opening of Amma, just up off Scotswood Road, claiming to specialise in South Indian and Sri Lankan food. There are no shortage of "Indian" restaurants around town, although most, as anywhere in these sceptered isles, serve up the same ghee-heavy selection of standard curry action. The promise of a more regional south Indian cooking within walking distance of our door was tantalising stuff.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Fade To Grey

The Hooded Composter
I couldn't get Visage's 1980 masterpiece out of my head while we were down at the allotment on Saturday, no doubt in sympathy with the conditions which were the very epitome of dreich. Days like this are, I think, the ones which remind us that no matter how much we enjoy this caper, we're never going to be what you might refer to as hardcore. A bit of drizzle and a notable lowering in temperatures were all it took for us to collectively decide to sack it off after just a few essential tasks were hastily completed.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Autumnal harvesting and planting

It's a nice time of year on the allotment right now. The flurry of high summer seems like a while ago; temperatures are well suited to working, there are still things to harvest, but there is that pleasing feeling that when you hoik up a weed, it won't be back with reinforcements anytime soon. There are some lovely colours around as well, not least of which being the Blueberry plants, whose leaves have turned a (un-photoshopped, honestly) vivid shade of pinkish red. We made the most of a nice Saturday afternoon to get a good amount done, although very much at "pottering about" speed.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Restaurant Review: The Ledbury, Notting Hill

Canapes: Gruyere tartlets
With an impending "big" birthday uppermost in our minds, we took the chance while at a lunch with some of the North East's best chefs recently to ask where in London would be a suitable venue for a full throttle celebratory blow-out. A couple of places garnered honourable mentions, including Kitchen Table, but a fair consensus seemed to be that we'd struggle to do any better than The Ledbury. That was my cue to cancel the booking that I'd made elsewhere, and then spend a considerable portion of the next week on TopTable, stalking a box-seat booking. It paid off, as I snared a prime time 7:15 seating. Hurrah.
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