Thursday, 17 June 2010

melt chocolates

Recently, I was lucky enough to be given a box of Melt chocolates.

I was excited when I opened the box as we normally get Godiva hastily purchased at the airport (not that I'm complaining) but instead we were greeted with Melt's UK-made, beautifully packaging artisanal loveliness.

On further inspection what was initially thought to be a box of chunky chocolate lollies turned out to be a collection of luxurious, single origin drinking chocolates. The concept is simple - heat up milk (or cream it suggests!) and dunk the chocolate-y cube in until it melts - then stir with the stick. Having experienced many a lumpy, bitter submarino in Argentina and Uruguay I wasn't holding out much hope but it turned out to be better than I could possibly imagine. The chocolate melts into the milk perfectly, and the cocoa rich chocolate lollipop turns into a creamy and rich hot choc which far exceeds those made from powdery cocoa.

I'd seen these in LIberty, and according to the company's website they are £2 each. Which is about the same price as the kiddie's hot choc in Starbucks or any other high street coffee chain.

They do also make standard bars of chocolate, mouth wateringly considered flavours like orange and cardamon and sea salted caramel. I'm quite partial to Montezuma's rice crispy bar and Melt's take - the popcorn bar - looks downright delicious too.

They do do lollies, if you're looking for them too. They just look like this.

london review of ?

To date their have been precious few cake reviews, something I'm hoping to rectify shortly. In the mean time console yourself with patisserie based cake porn courtesy of the Cherry Blossom Girl (3rd image down) and also this super amazing looking giant macaroon thing. It's making me think I should plan a visit to Laduree sometime soon...

In the meantime I could console myself with this gorgeous cookbook.

I am thinking of getting a tattoo at some point soon and joining the queue for Saira Hunjan whose doodles you'd be happy to sport into old age. I'm particularly taken by this lock and key wrist number.

In other news my favourite TV show - True Blood (don't flay me - it's nasty and nice all at the same time) is back on HBO. But I'm not in the states so I sneak a peek here....

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

berlin review of fleamarkets

On a recent sojourn to Berlin I intended to sample the Kuche and blog about any number of the wonderful cafes and what delicious confections I consumed. Instead I reverted to my holiday-ing self (the kind who has a bizarre fascination with foreign supermarkets) and instead scoffed lots of those little yoghurt and freeze dried strawberry bars and drank lots of chilled Hefeweissbier.

What I did find time to do was visit some of Berlin's eclectic flea markets. One of the city's biggest draws, it's Flohmarkts are somewhere between the messy relaxed vibe of East London on a Sunday, and the serious vintage at Portobello market. Part cash in the bin, part collectable 20th century finds.

The Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg, just across from where we were staying is one of the biggest fleamarkets, and fairly newly established to boot. The stalls are a mix of folks having a clearout, antiques and vintage dealers, 20th century furniture and serious amounts of junk in cardboard boxes.

There's a whole section dedicated to street food, with deck chairs laid out in the sun and a bar to grab a pre shopping beer to recover from the Saturday night before. Whilst serious bargains are hard to come by, prices are still relatively cheap by UK standards. Mr LROC found some rare and valuable Star Wars figure tucked into a dusty box for a mere 2 Euro.

Arkonaplatz market is an altogether more serious affair, full of 20th century collectables such a giant light up letters and genuine anglepoise lamps.


Arts organisations such as Side-Seeing are reclaiming the fleamarket as a kind of sunday, with music and art, in much the same way as we are in London, in fact Jo Braithwaite an ex-Londoner has set up We Make Party which "has attracted bargain hunters to its day-long events that combine elements of German flohmarkts and UK jumble sales with a slant on hip vintage fashion, and a roster of musical acts that add to the party atmosphere." (I've quoted because I don't have the energy to rephrase!

Anyway, those looking to start their winter wardrobe early would be well advised to head to Germany to stock up on larger-size vintage boots, fur coats, leather jackets and bags. I know I will be.

Friday, 4 June 2010

euphorium bakery. upper street

Originally uploaded by Ellieaness

Originally uploaded by Ellieaness

I'd walked past Euphorium countless times before and each time made a mental note to enter and sample and this bank holiday Monday I finally decided to give a whirl. Alain De Botton says that part of the fun of a holiday is the preparation and anticipation, the research and the carefully planned shopping trips and I had treated this proposed mission with the same fervour. Reading reviews and enjoying their very slickly designed and indeed beautiful website I felt I was fully prepared for my first true London review.
I arrived and began to snap away at the exterior including some banner about how they were revolutionising british baking, by which I presume they meant that they weren't making pies not made solely of lard as per that great British chain Gregs. Nothing new there then.
The interior was equally as pleasing. I was met with the pungent aroma of expensively brewed coffee. Next step would be to document the plentiful and attractive selection of cakes before selecting a tasty morsel to sample. This is when I realised they were almost completely sold out, just one chocolate eclair and some continental looking things remaining in the counter.
As you can imagine this is not the kind of cake related behaviour that LROC condones or expects so I left and spent the calories on a pint of Doom Bar instead, which I heartily recommend.
Euphorium, I'll excuse you this time as I'm guesing cautious baking applies on bank holiday Mondays but if I catch you doing it again this flirtation is over.
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