Salt beef on rye bread


This week I've been eating...salt beef and rye bread sandwiches

This week I'd planned to eat a sandwich quite different from the one you see above. I'd set off from The Independent''s office at 6.15pm on a Tuesday with the intention of having my gnashers around a chorizo, red pepper and rocket ciabatta by 6.45pm. My destination? Fernandez & Wells, the sandwich-maker to end all sandwich making in Soho. I arrived as planned; it was no longer serving sandwiches. Bang went the chorizo. My fault, not that of Fernandez and Wells. A disaster, then, but for passing the Beigel Bake, aglow in neon, on Brick Lane later on – where the sandwiches never stop. Indeed, I wish the rose-red mound of salt beef on rye and fennel bread (£4) had never stopped. It was fall-on-your-knees good: the moist, flaking meat collapsing as it touched my tongue and the strong mustard tickling my nose, the bread holding it together but not overwhelming the flavour. Chorizo? Who needs it?

Choc and awe

The champagne house Armand de Brignac has outdone itself in bling with its Valentine's gift set. The firm is known for its loud £200 bottles coated, cork to base, in gold. On its own it's surely enough to impress even the flintiest heiress. Perhaps not, as it's teamed up with chocolatiers The Chocolate to offer brut champagne in a lacquer case, accompanied by champagne truffles flecked with 24-carat gold, in a box with a skirt of Swarovski crystals, which, as we all know, is essential if you want to impress your date. The cost? A distinctly undelicious £400.

Enticing spice

OK, so its modish packaging does feature the word "RUB" in extra-large letters, bringing to mind something you put on your chest when you have the sniffles, but Spicentice seasoning kits for fish, meat, poultry and veg are actually pretty good. So good, in fact, that three of them won gold stars at the Great Taste Awards. The Italian, ras el hanout (north African spice) and harissa scooped the gongs, but just as good are the tandoori, barbecue and a herby fish rub. £3.99,

Posh floss

Candy floss was created in the late 19th century by a sweet-toothed American, to lure other sweet-toothed Americans to fairs. Only it wasn't. The spun tresses of sugar go much further back, originating in Yazd in Iran, where it has gone by the name of pashmak since the 16th century. It's this stuff that Harvey Nicks is now stocking. Imported directly from Iran, it has a dense, less-sticky consistency than candy floss, making it dangerously easy to scoff. Available in pistachio, rose and chocolate. £10,

Morning glory

We all know that Saturday morning feeling. You're hungover, you come downstairs hungry and all you have in is cereal, and no milk. What to do? From the 11th Londoners can call Housebites, the low-cost, high-quality takeout service, which will connects you with a local chef who will make your brekkie and deliver it straight to your door.