This week has involved lots of lunches (more below). So the weekend may be rather more abstemious salads for me. But a few tips for things for places to go/things to bake:
- Tuesday’s lunch was a fabulous visit to the newest Barrafinaaddition on Drury Lane. You can’t book, but get there early to secure your stool. You must have the crab bun and cuttlefish empanada. The first, pillowy brioche sandwiching deliciously flavourful crab meat, the second a slice of flaky puff pastry stuffed with inky black cuttlefish. If you go this weekend, the specials might be the same – if so, have the octopus on potato with chard.
- Wednesday’s lunch was at Lurra on Seymour Place (opened earlier this month); the little street getting even better for eating/drinking (there is already The Lockhart for the best fried chicken, one of the branches of Vinoteca, Lurra’s sister restaurant Donostia). A beautiful light room, and delicious Basque food including the best almonds, toasted sourdough with smoked butter, smoky grilled peppers and courgette flowers stuffed with cod brandade. Their grill is expertly used for the bigger fish/meat, including these imposing octopus legs (with piquillo sauce) and the wonderful 14 year old Galician beef (blushing, with a proper line of golden fat). Grace Dent’s review made me go, and I will carry on the recommending.
- It’s the time for gluts of apples if you have trees. Or lots of the lovely English ones in the shops. My favourite cake is one of my Granny’s, her curly handwriting a little difficult to decipher. My translation below, for Donna’s wonderful almond/apple cake. Still keeping the imperial for a vintage recipe:
Mix 5 ounces melted margarine/butter, 2 large eggs, 8 ounces caster sugar, 1 tsp almond essence, 1 tsp baking powder and 8 ounces self-raising flour in a bowl. Spread half in a tin (roughly an 8” loose bottomed). Cover with 12 ounces of bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced. Roughly dot with the other half of the mixture. Sprinkle with 1 ounce flaked almonds and a little demerara sugar. Bake at 160 for approximately 50 minutes, until a skewer comes out cleanish (cover with foil for the last 20 minutes if looking too brown).