On the menu: Courgette flowers; The King's Ginger; Hendrick's; Kusmi tea; Lindt chocolates
This week I've been eating... courgette flowers
As summer starts to finally fight its way through the gloom, it seems a good time to reacquaint ourselves with courgette flowers, or as some prefer, zucchini flowers, a delicate and delicious treat of the season.
When we went to Monty's wine bar, it featured in two dishes – one was a version stuffed with rich ricotta and the other, on the daily specials, an excellent risotto, where it was combined with asparagus and black truffle.
Monty's itself was a great find and although its name might sound like a venue that has been there since at least the 1980s wine bar heyday, is in fact a new addition to London's Fitzrovia. Simple, classic cichetti combined with neighbourhood Italian fare and grappa-fuelled bonhomie, much of which is down to Antonio Cerilli – the main in charge of the wine list. Go on, treat your loved one to some (courgette) flowers. montyswinebar.com
Heir of the dog
The King's Ginger might be a headline being held in deep storage in case William ever abdicates the throne to his brother, but for now it's one of the odder liqueurs you – or indeed Her Maj – will drink this summer.
Berry Brothers, the estimable wine merchant, has been making the King's Ginger since blending it for Eddie the seventh in 1903.
In honour of this royal prestige, the drink will be served in a "royal teacup" cocktail as part of July's Coronation Festival at Buck House. Chin chin. bbr.com
All night long
Last week saw the longest day of the year and the celebration of the summer solstice.
Hendrick's decided to mark this with a boozy (£55 a head) event rejoicing in the power of the sun and storytelling at The Ten Bells in east London. Cocktails included the Sunbeam Brewski and gin martini made with elderflower extracts.
The brand's obligatory (but very friendly) brand ambassador was on hand to tell some tales, but after the cup of joy (mainly gin) and five delicious courses had done the rounds, it was pretty much impossible to follow what on earth was going on. That's probably the point. hendricksgin.com
Don't spill it!
I don't know about the claim by Kusmi, the upscale Parisian tea firm, that its detox blend will help us attain the unblemished complexion of a supermodel.
But one thing is for sure, I've become quite accustomed to a sip of the green tea and mate blend, which is made more palatable by the addition of rooibos.
Perhaps too accustomed given that it costs – whisper it – almost £13 a tin. Brew on earth has that much to spend on their cuppas? Kusmitea.com
The new packaging on Lindt chocolates has not gone unnoticed by this paper. But what about the fresh flavours? Caramel brownies, strawberry cheesecake, cookies and cream. It seems the venerable Swiss firm has drunk the American Kool-Aid and decided, well, if it's sweet, might as well stuff it into a bar. lindt.co.uk
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