On the Menu: Pimm's Summer Garden; Heston Blumenthal; Urbani Tartufi; Asian Curry Awards

 

This week I went...to the Pimm's summer picnic

Being long on Astroturf and short on grass, the Pimm’s Summer Garden is a surprising plot. But considering the capricious weather (it makes Zsa Zsa Gabor look decided) it’s probably a good idea to house it at 5 Great Newport Street in London’s Covent Garden. Rain can’t interrupt your game of swing bat then.

Anyway, here’s how it works food-wise: you book yourself a picnic blanket, settle down among the flowers (all real) to order yourself a Pimmlet (Pimm’s, Gordon’s Gin, lime juice and sugar syrup) and then you get stuck into the picnic menu.

There are miniature pasties of beef, and of prawn and seaweed. An airy goats’ cheese tart and a Cumberland scotch egg, which comes in its own potato-chip nest, which appealed to my sense of silliness. Apt because this is a whimsical, silly place. And a fine spot to escape the bustle of Covent Garden – especially if it raining. pimmsblanket@grayling.com

Sage Multi Cooker by Heston Blumenthal

When I had an email inviting me to try “Sage by Heston Blumenthal”, it did cross my mind that the bespectacled chef might have taken a stake in a plant nursery. But no, he’s teamed up with the kitchenware makers of that name to produce, among other things, a Multi Cooker. It looks to all intents and purposes like a slowcooker but is much more besides. The 3.7-litre machine will sauté and sear, steam and cook your rice, whip you up a risotto and has a “keep-warm” setting so your stew never gets cold. It’s a kitchen-top wonder and makes some of the fluffiest rice I’ve ever eaten at home. £99, lakeland.co.uk

Truffled chocs

Seldom has a piece of chocolate cleaved opinion on The Independent’s food desk like this. Returning from a holiday a friendly colleague on the gossip column bought us back a bag of Urbani Tartufi chocolates with truffle. No, not chocolate truffles, but balls of chocolate with real pig-snuffled truffles in there. To me, the aroma, the slight pungency of the truffle mixed with the white chocolate is a confectionary triumph akin to, say, Alexander conquering Asia Minor. To other friends here, they were fit only for the bin. urbanitartufi.it

Teroforma Whisky Stones

Some people say you shouldn’t ruin good whisky by diluting it with water or ice – but to them I say it’s your whisky and you can do what you want with it. One way to keep the whisky purists happy, though, is to pour your spirit over these new Teroforma Whisky Stones. They’ll chill it like any ice cube but leave the rich, complex flavours completely unaltered with melted water. £19.95, masterofmalt.com

Asian Curry Awards

The Asian Curry Awards have just opened, so send in nominations for your favourite Indian restaurant. The ACA welcome suggestions for chef of the year (among other categories). A shortlist will then be drawn and those who’ve demonstrated their skill in the heats will go through to the grand final. asiancurryawards.co.uk

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne celebrates after salvaging a point with the Southampton equaliser
footballAston Villa vs Southampton report
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
News
peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
News
The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
people
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Group Financial Controller

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible