ANNA BARNETT
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Exploring my london favourite haunts with peroni

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HERE I SHARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE LONDON HAUNTS. THESE ARE GREAT FOR ESCAPING THE CHAOS OF LONDON FASHION WEEK THAT CAN AT TIMES BE CHARMING AND AT OTHERS FAR LESS SO! I’M ALWAYS KEEN TO EMBRACE LONDON’S VARIED CULINARY OFFERINGS AND THESE ARE THE SPOTS YOU’LL FIND ME AT. SPANNING FROM PIZZA AND PERONI IN SOHO TO NORTH LONDON FOR FRESH PRODUCE, VIA COFFEE AND CAKES, THESE ARE MY GO-TO PLACES TO TAKE A BREAK FROM FASHION WEEK.

AS A HUGE FAN OF THE TEAM BEHIND JACOB THE ANGEL, I CAN NEVER RESIST POPPING IN FOR A COFFEE AND CAKE AFTER A SHOW ON FLORAL STREET IN NEARBY COVENT GARDEN OR WHEN CUTTING THROUGH NEAL’S YARD. THEY ALSO HAVE THE PALOMAR, THE BLUE POSTS AND THE BARBARY (WHICH IS INCREDIBLE, TRY THE OCTOPUS) AND SEVERAL OTHERS WHICH I’M YET TO MAKE IT TO.

THE COCONUT CREAM PIE, WHICH IS EXACTLY THAT BUT TOPPED WITH AN INCREDIBLE SILKY MERINGUE, HAS BEEN AN INSTAGRAM HIT. THEY MAKE A GENEROUS BATCH DAILY AND IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE WHY. YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY! THIS SMALL AND PERFECTLY FORMED BOLTHOLE SERVES A GREAT COFFEE AS WELL AS PASTRIES AND SALADS FOR THOSE DAYS WHEN YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO STAY OFF THE CAKES. MADE FROM ONLY THE BEST INGREDIENTS, THIS LITTLE PASTRY HAVEN IS ONE WORTH MAKING SURE IS ON YOUR LIST. THE WINDOW SPOT OR JUST OUTSIDE IS PERFECT FOR A BIT OF STREET-STYLE SPOTTING TOO. IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE A FEW KEY PLACES YOU CAN DUCK INTO WHEN IN SOHO AND THE PACE OF THE WEEK STARTS TO GET THE BEST OF YOU.

SLAP BANG IN THE CENTRE OF SOHO, CECCONI’S PIZZA BAR IS A NEW LATE-NIGHT FAVOURITE. OPEN UNTIL 3 AM THURSDAY TO SATURDAY MEANS LATE NIGHT DRINKING AND SNACKING BETWEEN AFTER-PARTIES JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT EASIER. PREVIOUSLY WE’D FIND OURSELVES AT BAR ITALIA BUT THE BEER AND COCKTAIL OFFERING ALONGSIDE SOME GREAT PIZZAS MIGHT HAVE JUST MADE THIS OUR NEW GO-TO! THOSE OUTDOOR TABLES MAKE THIS CENTRAL SPOT ON OLD COMPTON STREET AN EVEN BETTER OPTION TO STOP FOR A PERONI ON THOSE SUNNY AFTERNOONS. PLUS, IN TYPICAL SOHO HOUSE STYLE, THE DÉCOR’S ON POINT, AS IS THE LIGHTING AND LOWLY LIT BAR THAT WILL EASILY LURE YOU IN FOR HOURS!

COVENT GARDEN HAS ALWAYS BEEN A BELOVED DESTINATION OF MINE, FROM MY EARLY TEEN YEARS AS A SHOPPING ADDICT, TO TODAY, WHERE NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED OTHER THAN MY RESTAURANT CHOICES! IT’S FULL OF CHARACTER AND HAS NOW TURNED INTO A HUB FOR INCREDIBLE RESTAURANTS. PETERSHAM NURSERIES IS MY FAVOURITE RECENT ADDITION AND HAS THE MOST GORGEOUS OUTDOOR SPACE THAT CUTS THROUGH TO FLORAL STREET WHERE THERE’S AN ABUNDANCE OF BEAUTIFUL SHOPS; THE SHOP AT BLUEBIRD BEING ONE OF THEM. IT IS AN INCREDIBLE AND VERY DESIGN-LED, MULTI-BRAND STORE THAT HAS IT ALL! COVENT GARDEN WILL ALWAYS HOLD A VERY SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART. MY VERY FIRST JOB WAS IN FACT IN NEAL’S YARD SO WHEN LONDON FASHION WEEK COMES AROUND; I’M ALWAYS EXCITED TO HAVE AN EXCUSE TO COME BACK TO THIS PART OF TOWN.

PAID PARTNERSHIP WITH PERONI


A BRUNCH WITH GREY GOOSe vodka

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This summer not only did I have the opportunity to head out to the most gorgeous chateaux about an hour from Bordeaux with Grey Goose but I also had the opportunity to work on creating the ultimate French inspired- true to their roots, brunch menu. Using incredible produce and pairing dishes not only to the five key taste profiles; Sweet, Bitter, Sour, Salty and Umami but also to cocktails. Working with the head of bars at The Ned hotel Dan Berger we created a ridiculously indulgent brunch and you can see all the pics of it below.

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5 alternative ways to wow your dinner guests this festive season

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1. Turn your fruit bowl into a centrepiece
This festive season is all about making the most of your seasonal produce and using your fruit and vegetables as beautiful (and edible!) table decorations. So throw out the plastic decor, tinsel and ball-balls and head straight to the fruit and veg aisle. Add in cinnamon sticks and adorn your fruit with cloves to add an extra festive scent to your table. 

2. Something to take away
Give your guests a little something to take home…this season I can’t get enough of the scent of fresh herbs, especially fresh rosemary, thyme and sage.  So why not turn them into a bouquet garni? I love decorating each place setting with a herb bundle which guests can take and use when cooking up their next winter soup or stew. The added bonus is that they look super pretty too.

3. One colour fits all
Having a colour theme doesn’t need to end at decorations and place settings. Go bold with food and drink choices, creating striking dishes in colour ways that complement their surroundings.

4. Keep it on trend
Think on trend tones…this season is all about colour blocking, so scrap traditional tartans, red bows and things that sparkle and go understated and considered with varying shades of pinks, greens or greys.

5. By candlelight
Candles are a must and the more the merrier. Even if your overall look is pretty pared back be sure to go all out on the candle front. You can even use candles during daytime meals where they add a sense of warmth and luxury whatever the time. 

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Antonio Carluccio and food writer Anna Barnett are championing vegetarian and vegan dishes 

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The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent in the past decade. But they're not the only ones hungry for meat-free dishes. Recent YouGov research found that more than half of us think meat is not a necessary component of every meal, and many in the restaurant trade are responding by offering a more veg-centric approach.

High street chains such as Asian fusion favourite Wagamama and pub behemoth JD Wetherspoon's are now offering vegan and vegetarian menus. Even McDonald's is after a slice of the vegan pie: this month, the franchise announced it is testing out a McVegan burger (available in Finland only, for now).

World Vegan Month,which takes place in November, has encouraged even more restaurants to take up the challenge. Italian restaurant Carluccio’s has just launched its first exclusively vegetarian pop-up: Cucina Verde will take place on #MeatFreeMondays throughout November. It's set to showcase over 20 Italian veggie and vegan dishes from Antonio Carluccio, created in collaboration with cook and food writer Anna Barnett.  

Meanwhile, the autumn menu features newly launched vegetarian and vegan staples (all to be washed down, of course, with vegan wines). Antonio Carluccio's personal favourite is the orecchiette al cavoflore (caulifloweR purée with kale and chilli).

For Carluccio, the simplicity of vegetarian and vegan food reminds him of the "peasant cooking" of Italy, and ties in with his essential motto, "mof mof" (minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour). "You only need two or three ingredients to make a wonderful dish," he tells me. 

This philosophy is exemplified in his latest cookbook, titled quite simply Vegetables (scroll down for an exclusive recipe for sweet and sour pumpkin from the book).

He suggests a considered way of using spices and herbs when it comes to vegan and vegetarian dishes, and laments the fact that Brits often consider a dish to be Mediterranean simply because it contains plenty of garlic and a mish-mash of herbs.

"Oregano disturbs almost every dish. You feel the taste everywhere. There are many other herbs like chevril and tarragon and so on that you can play with, and if you don't put them all together, that's ok. It's a question of balance," he advises. "A pepper or an aubergine can be treated in such a way that it becomes as tasty as meat." 

He particularly recommends that fans of plant-based dishes experiment with the cardoon, which is similar to an artichoke, dipped in anchovy butter and garlic. "It's delightful," he sighs. 

For Carluccio, the rise in the popularity of plant-based eating is a trend that's here to stay: "I don't like something because it's in fashion. That means it's going to go away. Vegetarian or vegan food is a question of nourishing the body with something pure and nice. It's not a question of the fashion, but of taste, variety and requirement."

Similarly, Anna Barnett sees it as a cultural shift away from the ingrained meat-and-two veg model, rather than merely a trend. "I think everyone is more educated, and more conscious of the environmental impact, as well as the impact on their own health," she says. "There are so many incredible recipes being shared now using seasonal produce, so you don't need to feel like you're missing out with a veg-centred dish."

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Antonio Carluccio's zucca in agrodolche (sweet and sour pumpkin)

Carluccio says this pickle is great as an accompaniment, but can also be served by itself, as a little antipasto, or as part of an antipasti board. 

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS
750g yellow-orange pumpkin, with skin
Plain all-purpose flour, for dusting
Olive oil for shallow frying
6 large fresh sage leaves
1 tsp rosemary needles
50ml balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

MEthod:
Peel the pumpkin and cut it first i
nto 10cm sections, then into thin slices | Dust the slices with flour | Add enough olive oil to a medium frying pan so it is 1cm deep | Place over a medium heat then fry the pumpkin slices until golden on both sides. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

In a ceramic dish, make layers of the pumpkin slices, interspersed with the sage leaves and rosemary needles | Put the vinegar in a small pan along with the garlic and some salt and pepper. Briefly bring to the boil | Pour the hot vinegar over the layers of pumpkin in the dish. Leave for a few hours for the flavours to combine before serving.


denby pottery

A SERIES OF 6 RECIPES TO SHOWCASE DENBY POTTERY'S BRAND NEW NATURAL CANVAS RANGE

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I’ve created a series of recipes to showcase Denby Pottery’s brand new Natural Canvas range, perfectly formed for entertaining without formality.

I’m working with Denby to launch the new collection to press by hosting a dinner party style event that will showcase the range alongside the dishes I’ve created for them.


BOTTega prosecco

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Having been lucky enough to work with Bottega during their launch of Bottega Gold to the UK market; (I hosted and curated an Venetian inspired feast) I was hugely excited to take a trip not only to the vineyards where the grapes are grown but also to the winery where the real magic happens. We also were invited to spend a night in Venice pairing the Bottega prosecco and sparkling wines with incredible local food!

Located in Bibano di Godega, (45k north of Venice) the vineyards are proudly organic meaning any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are strictly prohibited. Not only do Bottega produce an incredible Prosecco; Bottega Gold which is grown in the hilly landscapes of the most expensive vineyards (it’s essentially a DOCG with only its opaque gold bottle prohibiting them from using this classification as the bottle too must adhere to strict guidelines) they also produce their own olive oil, balsamic, spirits, grappa and sparkling rose wines.

During the trip we got to see first-hand the vineyards where the grapes are handpicked and used to create the very highest quality Prosecco. We also sampled the complete Bottega sparkling wine and Prosecco collection numerous times alongside local delicacies which needless to say are completely delicious.
We also spent a night in Venice where we ate course after course of incredible Venetian seafood which couldn’t be a better pairing for the Bottega wines.

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At the helm is Sandro Bottega, the most passionate, driven, high energy figure you can imagine. His drive to constantly create something new, unique and interesting is felt across much of what he does. Watch this space…there’s plenty more on the horizon.

If you fancy trying a bottle, which I would highly recommend, the Bottega Gold is my favourite and is sold in Selfridges, Ocado plus a heap of good independent stores.

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trekstock: dine & donate at home

www.trekstock.com/dinexdonate


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THE BOTANIST GIN

Last year I was lucky enough to explore Edinburgh for the first time and I absolutely loved my time there. Everything was fantastic; from the food (go to Timberyard if you’re visiting) to the very warm welcome from the locals. There was something extra special in the air and I vowed to return to Scotland as soon as I had the chance. I was keen to venture as far north as possible after hearing incredible things about the Hebrides with stories of its dramatic coastlines, microclimate, wild greenery and ocean views offering a world away from city life. So when The Botanist invited me along to Islay, the southernmost island of the inner Hebrides I knew it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. After an hour-long flight to Glasgow followed by a short flight on the smallest of planes which gave the most dramatic of views, we arrived on Islay. Vast stretches of windswept green bordered by the ocean guides us to the Bruichladdich distillery where we’ll also reside for the next two nights. By the time we arrive the clouds have cleared and the blue sky turns the ocean from deep grey to green and blue. All the seasons in one day rings true here so we’re told and see!

For those that haven’t yet discovered The Botanist, it is a gin that is all about fragrant, bold botanicals; 22 wild, hand-foraged (on Islay) botanicals to be precise! Produced in the Bruichladdich distillery which famous for it’s single malt whiskies and iconic vibrant turquoise or ‘Laddich aqua’ packaging this is a gin with a difference and one all gin lovers should have on their radar.

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This small distillery has like many of the others born out of Islay suffered its hardships but has weathered the storm and in turn added the production of gin to its portfolio. With it’s quick ten-day turn around time gin offers a much faster return than whisky but rest assured, plenty of attention if not more is paid to the production of The Botanist. All 22 hand-foraged botanicals were decided upon due to their sustainability and availability solely on Islay. All of these are foraged, sorted and dried or made into tinctures to be added to the gin alongside nine berries, barks, seeds and peels. The laborious and lengthy season of foraging is down to one man; James Donaldson. An entirely passionate and invested forager who studied botany and is now tasked with ensuring he takes just enough from Islay’s shores to complete the ten distillations they do a year. Each distillation producing 250,000 litres of gin.

Our trip includes a tour of the distillery which although is the second smallest on Isaly, employs by far the most people; almost one hundred. Machinery is far from automated. Much of what the distillery believes in and champions is based on and around it’s employees. There’s also The Botanist foundation, which supports sustainability, research, preservation, protection and regeneration. Ensuring the longevity of the product while caring and conserving the resources it pulls from its surroundings.

We come to experience the strong sense of community that naturally comes with island life. We meet the mums, uncles, aunts and neighbours of those who guide us proudly around the island. We are also lucky enough to have time to explore the coastline and be fed by the brilliant Craig Grozier who frequently works with the distillery when they host. Food is expertly paired and is inventive, freshly foraged and as local as can be. From peat smoked sourdough with cultured crème fraîche butter to a starter of incredible freshly foraged girolles with aged halibut and an elderflower vinegar thrown in for good measure. It’s delicious and delicate with hints of sharp sweet and umami throughout. Wild hare comes next with freshly picked kale and a pear puree. Dessert is an exciting mix of dried mushrooms which deliver a deep cocoa aroma. We’re entirely spoilt and go to bed dreaming of that peat smoked sourdough.

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We enjoy our very own foraging trip which is led by James (the in-house forager) where we learn the miracles of what is grown around us. One particularly crazy delight is the ground ivy, which bizarrely tastes of rich roasted lamb with a hint of mint sauce in there too! He also picks ribwort plantain, which is known for its antibacterial qualities and for curing stings! We’re at the end of the picking season so much of what was abundant has now died off for winter.  This however doesn’t detract from the enviable scenery that the island provides. Portnahaven; where the strongest currents reside (as do the robust seals) brings with it incredible scenery and endless ocean at the most westerly point of the island. Throughout the island there are numerous beaches carved into the coastline which I’d return to in a heartbeat to explore more of.

One thing The Botanist certainly knows how to do is create incredible gin cocktails. With Abigail Clephane sharing homemade sorrel and spruce shoot juice mixed with a generous serving of The Botanist you couldn’t feel more at one with the surroundings.

You can’t help leave this special island feeling the warmth of the people that reside here. The ethos within Bruichladdich is felt through everyone we encounter. We’ve been entirely spoilt and you can see why this product is such a unique and special one.

Here’s to many more gin cocktails @Thebotanistgin


la famiglia rana

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  1. Pasta. It’s the one dish I can never say no to! So I’m very excited to be collaborating with @lafamigliarana who make this tortelloni and have done since 1962! The family business originates from Verona and champions quality produce and Nonna inspired recipes. I’ve combined their spinach and ricotta tortelloni (which cooks in just 2 minutes) with rosemary roasted squash and sweet fresh figs, a generous helping of pecorino and plenty of freshly ground black pepper for the most delicious meal... in all fairness I could have just eaten it by itself with the pecorino! They’re currently running a contest for a chance to win a trip out to Verona where you’ll get to meet the family and explore this incredible part of the world! (We got married just outside of Verona so I can absolutely vouch for its gorgeousness and incredible produce.) 


Grey goose la vanille

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photographs from the event i did in collaboration with @greygooseUK at Shoreditch’s Barbour and Parlour this october. Where we perfectly paired the brand new Grey Goose La Vanille vodka with homemade desserts which our guests added their own final touches to before diving in! I was also sharing my top tips for mastering the art of hosting, covering everything from table decorations to what to cook! Did I mention we also got to sample the new La Vanille shaken up into the perfect reinvented Espresso Martini! 


NYETIMBER Graded

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STUDIO CLEMENT: INTERIOR DESIGNERS

introducing… studio clement, i am so excited to be working with these talented ladies on my home renovations. below are the mood-boards studio clement put together from listening to my desires for my dream home and they nailed the brief! subscribe to my weekly newsletters and look out for my blog posts where i will be sharing with you updates on the renovations, brands i will be using, and products i have fallen in love with

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'Creating a home for yourself is the opportunity to really express who you are. We love getting to know our clients and helping them to translate their personal style into their homes. Our work is to understand their wants, desires and needs, all of which plays a role in the choices we make when designing. 

At the heart of every great design is a well thought out layout; this is always our starting point. We then create mood-boards for each space taking into consideration the architecture of the building and our clients wants and needs, then we layer on finishes. 

If you’re thinking about working with an interior designer our advice would be: Be bold, don’t be afraid and most of all have fun... our job is to do all the hard work behind the scenes for you.'

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