When I visited my good friend Alison at Hop Inn Hornchurch last week she introduced me to a beer with a difference. It was a Smoked Beer from Germany and when she was describing it to me it really grabbed my attention. So yesterday afternoon I decided to try it and the end result is that it was amazing. As soon as you open the bottle the chargrilled smoky aromas hit you straight away and they don’t stop there. As with every sip you take and yes I said sip as this is a beer not to be rushed the smoky flavours just dance around your palate. The amazing smokiness is created by using malt , hops & burning beech wood logs and the result is a sensational soft smoky delight.

This was another great food & wine pairing to add to my collection. On sunday we decided to have a homemade Chilli so was therefore looking for a nice wine that was easy to drink and have enough body to hold itself against the spiciness of the dish. The wine we chose was a 2017 White Burgundy from the Wine Society which is made from 100% Chardonnay. It was a medium bodied wine with flavours of Apple , Pear & Citrus with a smooth finish on the palate. I’m glad to say it was indeed a delightful match

During the times that we’re in at the moment it’s always good to support local businesses and we were fortunate enough to continue this on saturday. Trying to think of something different to do we noticed that Casa Mia were offering a Takeaway Afternoon Tea for two people at £19.50 which we thought would be a nice idea especially as it was a glorious sunny day. So on the Thursday I placed my order and all you had to do was pick your sandwich selections and what bread you would like. It came to saturday afternoon where I made the 10 minute walk to pick it up.

This is my local Fish & Chip shop in Hornchurch and on saturday we thought it was about time we visited them again. This also finally gave us the chance to put the theory to the test that champagne is the best drink pairing. So in the morning the Laurent Perrier Brut went into the fridge and we chilled out at home waiting for lunchtime to come around. We then took the 10 minute walk to get our Fish & Chips. We received a friendly welcome from the staff and the placed our order. I ordered the Large Cod & my wife went for the Wing of Skate.

So with the current situation still going on it’s making this task even harder now. But I’ve still been able to come up with a few delights for you thanks to my local patisserie , home baking and a nearby coffee shop. Looking forward to getting back to normal soon but in the meantime I hope you enjoy these for now

Over the last month or so I’ve been asking my good friend Alison Taffs at the Hop Inn Micro Pub in my hometown of Hornchurch for her expertise in pairing wine with food. To which I am also pleased to say that her results have been an absolute delight. So when we popped in last saturday I was in for a surprise as Alison had set a challenge for me. I was given a bottle of red wine and was told that my challenge would be to find a dish that would pair perfectly with the wine. As you would expect I gladly excepted the challenge

This Dark Horse 2018 Californian Chardonnay was a absolute delight. It had amazing flavours of pear & vanilla which were followed by caramel that led to a very smooth and creamy finish. This turned out to be a perfect pairing for our Chicken Piri Piri as it complimented the spices of the dish perfectly

This weekend it was time to once more challenge my good friend and wine expert Alison Taffs from the Hop Inn micro pub in Hornchurch. The task was to pair a wine to go with my favourite Indian food from Tandoori Lounge. Well I can tell you right now she absolutely smashed it. She chose a Mar de Frades Albarino Atlantico 2019 and it was stunning.

A fabulous sweet wine & dessert pairing from earlier this year at Caractere in Notting Hill. For dessert I chose the new Bergamot & Lemon Tartelette with a hazelnut praline that was an absolute delight. This was paired beautifully by assistant manager Antonella with a fantastic Pieropan 2015 Soave Classico which although was a rich golden colour it was delicately sweet and with the flavours of exotic fruits & apricots made this a perfect match for the dessert.

I’m a massive fan of sweet wines but have never bought a bottle to have at home. This is because I thought that once opened you had to finish it. So due to the fact that my wife doesn’t like sweet wine I’ve not bothered. Well all that is about to change as I was advised by a very good sommelier that once opened and if you keep it in the fridge it will last a few days. With this in mind I decided to treat myself to a Muscat de St Jean de Minervois while I was in my local Sainsbury’s. I opted for this one for a few reasons