Showing posts with label Updates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Updates. Show all posts

28 June 2016

The Japan Centre's 40th Birthday!

I absolutely love the Japan Centre. Recently Michelle from Daisy Butter and I visited and tucked into gorgeous vegetarian sushi, fresh juices and picked up a haul of beautiful Japanese products. From wakame seaweed for a refreshing salad to naughty sweet treats for after work, the Japan Centre literally has everything you could imagine on sale.
This July Japan Centre, London’s only dedicated Japanese Food Hall, will be celebrating its 40th birthday with a series of promotions, masterclasses, tastings and more. Running from the 10th - 24th July the Shaftesbury Avenue location will showcase their passion and expertise in Japanese cuisine and culture.

Set up by entrepreneur Tak Tokumine in 1976 who started with a small bookshop, the Japan Centre has since grown to become one of the largest and most influential Japanese stores in London, adding a food hall, bakery, deli, restaurant, home-ware department and online service to its portfolio.
On Sunday 10th July the birthday celebrations will launch with 10% off everything in store and online. For the following two weeks, 40 of Taks all time favourite products will be on promotion with savings of up to 40%. 

On top of the promotions, the Japan Centre will host a series of free masterclasses and sampling sessions as well as tastings from some of their notable suppliers. Amongst the list of events will be two ‘Miso, Tofu and Seaweed’ tastings from Clearspring and four Gekkeikan Sake samplings. There will also be ticketed masterclasses where guests can learn the art of sushi, matcha and sake as well as take part in a class run by Masterchef finalist Andrew Kojima, where attendees can learn how to cook with miso and 5th taste, umami.
For a full list of events and to book click here.

To run alongside the 40th birthday celebrations there will be 40 prizes available to win in a prize draw including 3 pairs of return flights to Japan, a Clearspring luxury sushi making kit and cinema tickets. To enter into the draw that opens on June 10th please head to the website. The Japan Centre will also be posting specially created video content and recipes to watch on their social media channels, @JapanCentre, throughout July.
The stores sister restaurants Ichiryu Udon House and Shoryu Ramen will be joining in on the celebrations by offering free sake to all diners o nSunday 10th July and a limited edition Japan Centre cocktail for the whole two-week celebrations. The ‘AKA Forty’ will be a unique Japanese twist on the classic Negroni, which has been aged for 40 days. The bright red colour of the drink symbolising the rising sun of Japan, and will be finished off with a secret ingredient.  

2 March 2016

Why I am Vegetarian/Vegan

I mentioned in a recent Twitter post that things were changing. Oooh, what could it be!? Ellie's being all mysterious and weird. It's fair to say that I haven't posted my regular amount of reviews for a while and the obvious answer is my recent engagement. Although this has taken up a lot of my time, there's been more going on in the world of TYDG than just wedding planning.

So here is goes: I am going vegan. Oh, my god, I've said it, I've written it, this is actually happening.

I've been so passionate about health and nutrition for a while, so for some lovely readers, this will not come as too much of a surprise. Alongside this I am committed and passionate about charity work, supporting those less fortunate and helping to improve life for everyone in this world. Sometimes when you're constantly bombarded by negative media you can think that the world is an awful place, and yes there are people out there who chose a path of destruction rather than a path of love and peace, but as the old proverb goes: "the line between good and evil runs through every human heart." We can all chose to be good or evil, and every decision we make is an opportunity to make changes for positive and loving reasons.

Alongside the above passions, I have also always had a love for our animal friends and a true appreciation for our environment. I am of the generation where we were told to recycle as much as possible, not waste water and even grow our own where possible. The threat of climate change and the impact this has is very real to my fiancé and I. The terrifying truth is that all the recycling in the world will not make the difference we need. We need to make a bigger change to help turn the world back onto the right path and continue to nourish our children for generations to come.

That change is not eating meat or the products of farmed animals. Yep, I found this crazy too when I first heard it. The thing that completely changed my view on this issue was a documentary called Cowspiricy. My in-laws and I watched this on Netflix a couple of weeks ago and we were all absolutely shocked. I'm sure they won't mind me saying that as a family my in-laws love meat cases dishes, BBQs and more. For them to recognise that this documentary was so shocking is a statement to the power of this documentary's message. If you haven't seen it, please go watch it (you can download Netflix free for 30 days here).


As you all know I took part in Veganuary this year and it has really changed my perspective on eating as a vegan. Since February first I have had minimal amounts of eggs or dairy (never eating them intentionally in their 'pure form') and each time I have to say I've felt, well kinda bad. I know the reality of these farm animals' lives and the sad process that they have been through to become a pizza, or a doughnut, or a chocolate bar and the guilt I feel sometimes can be overwhelming.

So I'm sorry if you will miss the meat dishes around here and the recipes with eggs and dairy. Going forward please expect very little to no meat in my restaurant reviews (depending on my guest) and 99% vegan recipes. Becoming a full-on vegan is a challenge but it is something I will continue to pursue as long as possible.

Lots of love, E x 

1 January 2016

I'm Joining Veganuary- Are You?


Beyoncé has given it her seal of approval, a vegan cookbook was the fastest-selling of all time this year, restaurants and cafés are ever-expanding their vegan options, vegan restaurants are becoming the places to visit, it’s better for you, for animals, and for the planet, so join the movement, embrace the lifestyle and try Veganuary this 2016.

Supported this year by lead sponsor Nākd, pioneers of the Wholefood Revolution, Veganuary is an accessible awareness month designed to encourage the vegan-curious, vegetarian, health conscious, or those people just looking to feel better, to take the pledge to try something different and eat like a vegan for a month.

Launched in the UK in January 2014, Veganuary (pronounced vee-gan-uary) is also supported by Ten Acre, Dee’s Wholefoods and Indigo Herbs.

Veganuary 2016 will be launched to a worldwide audience via Veganuary.com. The website is packed full of helpful hints, tips, advice and resources to help make the switch to veganism as easy as possible: an approved product directory, an extensive, vibrant recipe section, eating-out restaurant guides, case study stories to inspire and motivate, and information on animals, the environment, nutrition and health. To help you on your journey, Veganuary has released a Vegan Starter Kit that answers questions to all things vegan. The kit contains everything from label reading and shopping guides to weekly meal plans. There are a range of meal plans covering different lifestyles and needs - from gluten free to sports nutrition - to help you through the month day-by-day, meal-by-meal.

Veganuary’s Co-Founder Jane Land said, “By signing up, you’ll receive hints, tips and advice in the lead up to January, as well as support throughout the month, we’re aiming to have 50,000 people on board! Now is an opportune time to suggest the challenge to friends, family and colleagues – you can try it as the ultimate New Year’s resolution…”

Veganuary is free to join, simply sign up at Veganuary.com. Get involved in the discussion @WeAreVeganaury, fb.com/Veganuary and at @nakd and fb.com/eatnakd.

6 August 2015

Time to Try Something New? *AD POST*

Everyone has their favourite local Chinese or pizzeria, but hungryhouse reckon people should break out of their culinary comfort zone this summer and instead tuck into some new and exciting dishes from cuisines that they’ve never tried before.

hungryhouse have therefore launched ‘Try Something New’, which is a 20% discount for anyone who orders for the first time from Thai, Korean, Brazilian, and loads of other exotic takeaways on hungryhouse. In order to get people’s juices flowing for Thai food in particular, hungryhouse have also created the ‘foodfindr’ tool, which allows you to swipe left or right depending on whether you fancy something spicy or mild, meaty or veggie, with the tool then showing you just the Thai dish you need!


To be in with a chance of winning these prizes just follow hungryhouse on either twitter or instagram and then tag a tweet or photo with the hashtag #trysomethingnew and @hungryhouse. The closing date for entries is August 31st, with hungryhouse choosing winners out of a hat. All of the details about the competition can be found on the hungryhouse blog.
So what are you waiting for? Break out those chopsticks, pour yourself a margarita, and get ready to Try Something New!

To celebrate the Try Something New campaign hungryhouse are giving out prizes including Rebel Bingo tickets, £25 hungryhouse vouchers, and even some £100 red letter day vouchers which you can use to book an adrenalin-packed day of bungee-jumping, or perhaps something more serene like a day at the spa.

20 March 2015

Redefining The Young Domestic Goddess

I’ve been thinking about writing some sort of explanation post, or an open letter, to you, my lovely readers.  If you’ve been around a while then you know that this blog has changed massively since its starting days. My camera and image sizing has improved; my writing style changed; even the content has shifted completely from a home cook to a London restaurant scene hopper. And although change is always good, I feel a sense of commitment to define, or redefine what this here blog is about and explain some recent changes.
So! This is pretty major for me. My regular readers will know that I generally post 5 times a week with restaurant reviews, breakfast series, recipes and fitness class reviews. If that’s you then you’ll also have noticed that in the last few weeks that level of content has dropped off a cliff. I have been posting quite sporadically, sometimes three posts and week, sometimes only one. And the range of content has dropped too with a stronger focus on restaurant reviews (especially expensive restaurants) and fitness commentary. I have felt like I am jumping between posts and leaving bigger gaps between content, which can be really annoying not just for me but for you.

Maintaining five posts a week is, much to my disappointment, near impossible. I have a full time job with a long commute that I have to prioritize during the week and at the weekends I just want to chill. I am only 22, about to turn 23, and I find myself working around the clock. This isn’t a life I prescribe to or encourage. It’s really unhealthy and impossible to maintain. I have been reading books such as Thrive by Arianna Huffington which show that the less time we dedicate to ourselves the worst we perform in the workplace. For me, the workplace has become more than my desk at F&F; it’s become my living room, my bedroom, my kitchen, every tube and every restaurant I go to. I went to a restaurant for my birthday last week and found it really hard to not ‘review’ while enjoying my food. This was the moment I realised that things needed to change.

I’m also constantly attached to my laptop or my iPhone, checking social media. Now I don’t deny that social media, especially Twitter, has helped my blog grow more than I could ever imagine. I still get excited when even 10 people have read my latest post, let alone nearly 70,000 of you!, and that’s down to the power of social media. That all said (and I am truly grateful), obsessively checking Twitter or Instagram at 2am because you can’t sleep ain’t a good thing. I find myself spending less time in the moment with Alex, my family and my friends and constantly thinking about what my next post will be. Now this could be seen as a true commitment; but I can see in myself that it's piling on totally unwarranted pressure onto an already stressful life.

Further to this, my health has also become a really important thing for me mentally, emotionally and physically. For example, going to the gym a few times a week and giving a half-arsed effort isn’t giving me results and isn’t making me happy, hence I have joined ClassPass and committed to trying as many studios as possible. Another example is that although I LOVE eating out at some of the best restaurants across London, having three course meals with drinks multiple times a week is not only wreaking havoc on my physical health it is also making me exhausted and burnt out.

So rather than recommitting myself to an impossible goal I want to, over time, work to redefine my blog and the relationship I have with it. Firstly, I will aim to post between 2 and 3 times a week. This content will be similar to before with recipes, restaurant reviews, breakfasts and fitness posts, but may be shorter in length depending on the experience. A 2,000 word review for a restaurant can take me up to a week to finish when I fit in the rest of my life. This will definitely be changing. I really like Sam Stewart’s layout for her reviews with a brief overview of the restaurant and description of what we ate. Check out her blog and let me know what you think. That said, my choice of restaurants is unlikely to change. I still love going to places like Chisou and Oka as much as I love Roots & Bulbs and The Juice Man (coming soon), so you’ll still get a foodie fix there. Perhaps just less often!

There will definitely be a health-focussed spin to my recipes and some restaurant reviews. I read in a Women’s Health article that Rosie HW (love her), eats well at home so that she can treat herself when she’s out. This is a philosophy I truly believe in. My daily diet at the moment is homemade granola (recipe coming soon), with strawberries, blackberries and banana, a turkey and quinoa salad, healthy snacks (coming soon), then a protein and vegetable rich supper. This way I can go to somewhere like Shackfuyu (coming soon) or Hutongand eat whatever I want.

Alongside healthier recipes you’ll be seeing a lot more fitness related work. As I said I recently joined ClassPass and I can’t wait to share all the amazing classes I’ve been going to. Aqua Spinning anyone? Or how about pole dancing?! Exciting right! One week I may be interviewing an instructor at Reebok, the next talking about my pre-/post gym snacks.  I want things to feel fresh and inspiring.
To clarify on the health/fitness related posts; I haven’t won the lottery so don’t expect to see expensive and hard to find ingredients in my recipes.  When I did Live Below the Line last year I found an article expressing that it’s impossible to eat healthy during the challenge. This is wrong. We ate protein, carbs and loads of vegetables during our experience and although it was incredibly tough we still maintained a healthy, balanced diet. From this, I know that being healthy shouldn’t cost hundreds of £s. My weekly shopping is between £25-£30 for two people. This may be expensive for you, but please remember that you can shop around, always use voucher codes and definitely look for your local market. At Chapel Market in Angel last week I got three full bags of vegetables and fruits (including cherries, mangoes, onions, potatoes, carrots, mange tout etc) for less than £10. If you’re going meat free too (don’t worry I’m not), then your shopping can be even cheaper. I would love to share my top tips on keeping your food shopping cheap as well as healthy, so let me know if you’d be keen on seeing that. I’ve certainly got plenty to share!
I also still have my nut allergy, so no nut butters or nut-anything recipes here. That’s something I have really struggled with across the Blogosphere, so hopefully I can help my fellow nut-allergy people with nut free, health focussed recipes. I can’t wait to share my take on the Detox Kitchen’s chocolate and beetroot brownies, or my favourite cookie recipe; both of which are nut free and packed with amazing nutritional goodness.

And that’s it. This post may mean absolutely nothing to you, or be really inspiring. I don’t mind either way.  For me this post was about defining who I am as a blogger and showing that it’s OK to write fewer posts, but have content that people really want to read. If you have any suggestions or things you would like to see please hit me up on Twitter or in the comments below.

Love, Ellie 

2 January 2015

New Year's Goals, 2015

You didn't think I was going to have New Year and not jump on the resolutions bandwagon, did you?

Last year I decided to make goals for the new year, rather than resolutions. New year's resolutions generally cover the following; go to the gym, lose weight, save money; and although these are perfectly reasonable, they are often forgotten by January the 6th. Take it from experience. Thus I chose to make goals - attainable challenges that I can work on throughout the year to improve my life socially, emotionally and professionally.

 Before jumping into my goals for 2015, first I want to reflect on 2014. It has been a manic year for me, and I know every year is packed with change and excitement 2014 has been one of the busiest and most change filled year ever.

Achievements of 2014 (and a few of my favourite snaps):

  • I got my first ever real job. I've been working since I was 14 part time and interning, but in 2014 I got my first permanent role as a fashion writer. This has helped secure my future, my home and even helped run this blog!
  • I have taken this blog from a hobby through to a second job, earning amazing feedback from across the food industry and, of course, you lovely readers

  • I have got my first flat with Alex! After living in shared housing, a studio and even halls for the last four years, Alex and I finally got our own place together and we love it.
  • I have worked with some of the countries biggest brands and companies to promote Freedom Foods, British produce and share some of the most delicious products available in the UK
  • I have worked with numerous charities to raise money and awareness for those in need. These include Meals That Matter, Curry For Change, Live Below The Line, Hospitality Action, One Feeds Two and more.
  • With the help of Alex, I redesigned my blog to give it a professional and fresh feel.
  • I climbed my first mountain, went on my first camping trip, visited five countries (three of them new), and acquired then got over my fear of flying
  • Completed my first race, all be it a 5k, for Cancer Research
  • Interviewed Valentine Warner (pretty awesome)
  • Met and worked alongside Edd Kimber (very awesome)


  • Was interviewed by Vanessa Feltz live on Radio 2 (also pretty awesome)
  • Won several competitions including Curry For Change and came 2nd in the Jude's Ice Cream Competition!

 My goals for 2014 were pretty food focussed - I even called the post my foodie goals for 2014! These have helped steer me in the right direction with regards to my blog's focus and have allowed me to achieve all of the above things. So, how many did I stick to?
  1. Eat 5 a day, everyday. I pretty much stuck to this one, gaining a strong interest in clean eating, health and fitness. Of course I had off days and Christmas was a wipe out.
  2. Make the most of the weekend. Yes! I created a schedule allowing me to explore London, eat food and enjoy my time with friends and family on Saturdays, then write and research on Sundays.
  3. Get a food piece published in print media. Yes I achieved this with a local food magazine in my London borough. I have also been published across numerous websites and food blogs.
  4. Learn to cook Indian, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern food. I definitely had a good stab at this but would like to learn more and continue growing as a cook. 
So a pretty good year I reckon. And here's the part you've all been waiting for; my goals for 2015. This year's goals are less food related and more life focussed, y'know being all well old and mature and that mean's one is a bit more broad in one's thinking (yada, yada, yada).
  1. Work really hard on this here blog and earn revenue to continue building it's presence. 
  2. To focus more on health and fitness, building a good gym regime and learning more about clean eating.
  3. To see at least two new countries - meaning I have to get on a plane.....
  4. And a final maybe goal: To finally take my driving test.
I wish you all, my lovely readers, a fruitful, healthy and happy new year. No matter what life has thrown at you over the past twelve months now is the perfect time to be focussing on what matters most; love and happiness. So tell me, what are your goals for the year?

29 October 2014

From Seed To Spread Video

Ever wondered about the journey Flora goes on before it ends up on your toast, crumpets and delicious cakes and bakes? As well as sunflowers, are you curious to discover what other natural and simple ingredients go into Flora?

Well now’s your chance to find out all about your favourite spread. Flora invited four food bloggers the Young Domestic GoddessMrs Bishop’s Bakes and BanterOne Pink One Blue and UpAllHours.com along with celebrity chef Edd Kimber to visit a Flora farm to find out how Flora gets from farm to fork and what’s in the tasty spread.

11 March 2014

Easter Treats from Cadbury's

It feels like Christmas was only a few days ago but guess what everyone; Easter is just around the corner. And in the UK Easter of course means chocolate, in fact 76% of Brits will give chocolate this year! The classic chocolate Easter egg has been given to loved ones for years, but as with all traditions it's about time for an update. Cadbury's, who are not only the UK chocolate leaders but also my favourite chocolate company, have released a bunch of new chocolate goodies in time for the Easter season. In this post, the team and I have reviewed all these goodies and share out favourites.

17 February 2014

Live on Vanessa Feltz BBC London 94.9FM

The most amazing news ever!

In case you missed it this morning I was live on Vanessa Feltz on London 94.9FM. We chatted about taking photographs in restaurants and how readers enjoy a mix of photos and words in blog posts. What do you guys think?. You can download the podcast here, and I appear at around the 2hrs 35 mark!

I want to just say a huge thanks to every single reader of this blog for all your support and for enjoying my posts! Opportunities like this do not happen with you guys and I am incredibly grateful. You have allowed me to realise my dream of being a successful food writer and this radio interview has taken me one step closer. 
Image from here.

22 January 2014

We're Going to Scandinavia!

You heard that right folks; this Spring Alex and I will be headed to Scandinavia for my 22nd birthday. More specifically we will be exploring the beautiful cities of Copenhagen and Stockholm in Denmark and Sweden respectively. I'm really excited for this trip as I have never explored this area of the world (I'm more of a Paris girl), and a cold holiday will definitely be a new experience. Most of all I am looking forward to tucking into the incredible Scandi cuisine that I sampled at The ScandiKitchen a few weeks ago.

I hope to bring you daily posts from my visit showing you around the city and discovering hidden beauties - food and otherwise! Expect lots of seafood and hot drinks to combat the freezing weather. I will be visiting in late March so if you have any recommendations for while we are there, please leave them in the comments below or Tweet me using the link at the end of this post.

13 January 2014

We Came 2nd in the Jude's Ice Cream Competition!

Guess what! We came 2nd in the Jude's Ice Cream competition!

Several weeks ago I posted up a recipe for Jude's Salted Caramel Ice Cream & Cinnamon Apple Mille Feuille, which you can read here. Well we only went and won 2nd place! I am absolutely delighted and incredibly grateful to the judge; winner of the great British Bake Off 2013, Frances Quinn. I am amazed and humbled by this surprise and looking forward to bringing you even more dessert recipes in the future! 

22 November 2013

The Pig Idea

The Pig Idea Feast, held yesterday in London's Trafalgar Square, was one of this year's most exciting food event. Over 5,000 members of the public descended on the tents of free food with dishes prepared by Wahaca, Bistrot Bruno Loubet, Cabana, The Delaunay, Paternoster Chop House, Le Pont de la Tour and Soho House all in the name of feeding our pigs. The Pig Idea feast aims to bring to light the issue of food waste in the UK, and look at improving our futures. 

21 November 2013

Cadbury Crispello Tower

With the Christmas season literally upon us, foodie treats are definitely on the brain. It can be incredibly difficult to come up with unique and show-stopping ideas for canapés, desserts or table pieces. Thanks to Cadbury’s, however, desserts can be so much easier.

19 October 2013

Heston Blumenthal wins Observer Food Monthly Chef of the Decade

Today came the fantastic announcement that Heston Blumenthal, one of the best chefs in the world, has been awarded the Observer Food Monthly Chef of the Decade award.

After launching The Fat Duck in 1995, the restaurant is now better than ever, allowing Heston to massively develop over the last decade. "The last 10 years have just been the most incredible of my life; it's this wonderland that keeps on growing", Heston explains in an interview with The Guardian.
Heston has worked tirelessly to bring attention of the culinary elite back to Britain, and prove that British food, despite it's history being in his words 'broken', is definitely one of the best in the world. "If even in one small way I've contributed to a change in cooking in Britain, and helped put Britain on the map to be respected for it's food, even in a very small way, then I'll be a very happy man."

Read the full interview here, and watch the video here. Congrats Heston!

Read my review of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal here.

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