On the Menu: Tate & Lyle; Corinthia Hotel; Eggs; The Chocolate Shop; Osprey

  • @SAMuston

This week I've been eating... sugar and spice and all things nice

Is there any better way to launch a range of sugar than by turning a London townhouse into an edible hotel? If there is, I've yet to see – or indeed eat – it. Earlier this week, Tate & Lyle, purveyor of the sweet stuff since 1978, threw open the doors of its Tasting House to 50 competition winners to celebrate its new Taste Experience collection of golden and brown Fairtrade cane sugars. Eight rooms were themed around a different sugar, and with the help of mad confectionery genius Miss Cakehead and 14 cake artists, guests were treated to an edible Aztec temple made of fudge in the Mayan room, a giant sweetie-filled treasure chest in the Caribbean room, treacle tarts in the shape of the British Isles in, you've guessed it, the British room and a rug made from rainbow-coloured marshmallows in the bedroom where one lucky couple got to spend last night. My favourite had to be the chocolate-cake take on an Easter Island statue. Not life-sized, of course, at only two metres high...


Waiter and see

It's a brave decision by London's Corinthia Hotel to give its artists in residence the run of its collonaded halls.

The Look Left Look Right theatre company challenged the hotel to allow them to lead audience members, made up as waiters, through all parts of the hotel in a series of 70-minute audience-led plays. And gamely the Corinthia have let them.

Immersive theatre experiences are nothing new for actors or audiences but they may be something of a surprise to the paying guests at the hotel and restaurant, where rooms start at £355 a night. corinthia.com

Shell out

I wish I'd had Rose Bakery's How to Boil an Egg when I was at university. Back then I was a master of the three-egg dinner. They were my strength and stay and did me very cheaply. This book is more ambitious than I, though. It has 84 recipes, kicking off the perfect poach then moving on to things like eggs baked in dashi, lacy eggs over vegetables and the stunningly lovely Japanese chawanmushi, which is a savoury egg tart with chicken. My only gripe – if gripe it be – is that not all the recipes are really primarily egg-based. Can you really claim sponge cake is primarily made of egg?

£22.95, phaidon.com

Peak oil

It's probably the poshest cooking oil on the shelf. Osprey, the leather goods-maker, is making moves into gastronomy. It now sells cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from Crete. It has a pleasing grassy flavour. The only downside is the price: £39 for 500ml, ospreylondon.com

Dessert wine?

I like chocolate. I have some Lindt chocolate bunnies in my top drawer as I type, in fact. I also like wine. I am, however, not so taken with The Chocolate Shop's combination of the both. The bitter concoction is not something I'd like to drink by the glass.

Duerr's chocolate marmalade is another confused hybrid, with the texture of firm marmalade, chunky bits of orange and vast amounts of sugary chocolate. Does everything really taste better with chocolate? Hmmm.