September has come and all-but gone now, which means time to wrap up another recap of some of the best venues we've been frequenting over the past month. In no particular order, here's our tfp loves list for September.
Maison Pic, Valence, France
The highlights of this incredible experience were the tomato medley, consisting of different varieties of tomato, infused in a marinade of tomato water, sugar and vinegar, combined with elderflower and saffron ice cream with overripe olive oil and blackcurrant mint, and the Duroc pork rib which had been matured for 80 days, a process which encourages flavours to become concentrated and the fat to diffuse, creating the most tender meat. This was served with Stichelton and alfalfa honey marinade beetroot, barberry and blackcurrant.
The Griffin Inn, Fletching, West Sussex
The Griffin Inn is a cosy little pub in a little village in West Sussex and serves the perfect balance between pub classics (minus a burger!) and exceptional bistro style meals. I ate an organic chicken breast with wild mushroom risotto, parmesan & olive oil – so simple yet so delicious. With low beams and a Tudor style décor, it truly is a homely place to be. The garden is stunning as it overlooks rolling hills although you may have to save the views until next summer!
Arcade Food Theatre, London
Only opening in July this new food hall is already causing a stir by bringing fancier restaurants to the street food scene. Oklava, Chotto Matte and TATA Eatery all have spots serving their most iconic dishes. There are options for steak, chicken and tacos as well as Popham's bakery at the heart of the space with a delicious selection of freshly baked goods. It goes without saying that you have to have the pork Katsu sando but the Iskender and the cheese pide from Oklava are true favourites.
Sweet Pea Café, Sturminster Newton, Dorset
A visit to a local café was surprising, as they serve very en-trend food, (unusual for where I live). The Superfood Boost salad was scrummy, with blueberries, beetroot, goats cheese, orange segments and mixed seeds, the salad was full of flavour, colour and texture. I did think they should learn how to segment an orange properly, but then decided that serving the segments whole was not only healthier for me, but means less food waste too. The service was excellent as well.
Ca's Patro March, Mallorca
One of the month's highlights was on holiday, eating fresh seafood at Mallorca restaurant Ca's Patro March. The pickled anchovies and whitebait croquetas were a particular hit, washed down with cold sangria (of course!).
Isaac At, Brighton
Eating out can, all too often, be a question of compromise. Indulge or be healthy; eat anything or eat pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan? The issue of sustainability has become preeminent over the past few years, so to have the chef take that particular issue out of your hands is so much the better! Isaac At is centred around the philosophy of local, homegrown eating. Indeed, the reverse of the menu provides you with an itemised ingredients list along with the distance in miles said ingredients were sourced from the restaurant (several were locally foraged, most were c.5-20 miles, with the only large anomalies being flour and sugar). Accompanied by a superb English wine flight, the menu ensured any concerns over the 'compromise' of eating sustainably were dispelled instantly. Particular highlights were the 'Acer Leigh Beetroot, Slipcote & Horseradish' and 'Oyster Mushroom, Shallot & Thyme', whilst the 'Shortbread' (topped with Salted Apple Caramel) was a wonderfully fun and Autumnal way to finish.
The Sandside Café, Whitby
Sarah W says:
Looking for lunch after a morning walk on the beach we picked up a sandwich from a little café called The Sandside café on Sandsend beach in Whitby. The crab sandwich was the best sandwich I have ever had – it was packed with deliciously sweet white crab meat that had been locally caught.
Simply seasoned with a little bit of lemon, and the most generous filling of crab that I have eaten, this sandwich with a view was memorable. The café serves lots of home made cakes, and sandwiches, and is set on top of a cliff with amazing views of the sea.
Escriba Xiringuito, Barcelona
There are not many dishes that evoke and summer holiday abroad that paella in Spain. But, when it come to this most humble of rice dishes, they range in quality is massive. Not so at Escriba Xiringuito. This restaurant serves perhaps the best paella in Barcelona. Yes, this dish originates in Valencia, down the coast but this restaurant stand up to it's southern rivals. The rice is cooked in a master stock that is a dark with roasted chicken and shellfish bones. It bubbles away furiously both being absorbed by the rice and reducing – concentrating the flavour. The chefs stand red faced behind about a dozen individual burners - masterfully orchestrating paella at different stages of doneness. All with a confidence of a well practiced art. Pick your paella, grab a bottle of local wine from Penedès and relax – you are in the hands of professionals now!
Easy Tiger, Brighton
Not just a great pub, Brighton's Easy Tiger serves a great selection of Indian street food couples with an impressive selection of craft beer. In Brighton you're spoilt for choice for good pubs, and the food here makes the difference. The KFC - Keralan Fried Chicken - is one not to be missed, but then again so is most of the menu.
The Ivy, Manchester
Instagram Heaven – very cool decor on different levels and even the Loos were insta- worthy! On a foodie note the Monk Fish Curry was delicious and lived up to the stylish ambiance!