If you think of Spanish cuisine, more often than not a few key foods will come to mind. Aside from tapas (read more about Spain’s tapas culture here), jamón and paella, tortilla will likely be one of the hot contenders. But how much do you really know about this Spanish food ambassador? And do you know where to go for a melt-in-your-mouth feast of tortilla deliciousness?
When my friend, who was in town for a week, asked me if I wanted to try out the Aqua Shard afternoon tea, of course I was in. The Shard, a now iconic 95-storey London skyscraper shaped like a shard of broken glass (hence the name), boasts no less than five different afternoon teas in four separate establishments. I haven’t yet tried the one at Oblix Restaurant (32nd floor), nor the one at GONG, Shangri-La Hotel (52nd floor). But I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the highly recommendable afternoon teas offered at TING, Shangri-La Hotel (35th floor). Check out my review here to find out more about their English and Asian Inspired Afternoon Teas. Today, however, let the limelight shine on the contemporary British Afternoon Tea one can revel in at Aqua Shard.
Here it is, the first recipe posted on the blog! Who would have thought it would be a Swedish one? Certainly not me, since it was only a little over two months ago that I set foot in Sweden for the first time. We went there to spend time with friends over Easter, but ended up with plenty new food discoveries (I’m not gonna lie and tell you that I hadn’t planned to seek them out anyway..). Thanks to my newly-won friend Natsuko who lives in Sweden, cooks wonderful dishes and was happy for me to share her recipe online, I will share with you this quick and tasty Falukorv Stroganoff recipe. Skip to the bottom if you’re short for time to hear about the history of the dish, but if you do have a few extra minutes to spare I can guarantee you it will be worth it (plus when you cook this Stroganoff for family or friends you have a nice little true story to tell).
The first time I came across horchata was on a hot summer day once upon a time in Valencia, sweat streaming down my face, as I was desperately searching for something cool, something refreshing. I found it in the street, not in the form of ice cream, but in the cold, sweet, lip-smackingly delicious horchata ladled out from big metal cylinders built into mobile roadside street carts and poured into paper cones. And if you see orxata written on them, don’t be confused, it’s the same thing, written in Catalan.
When I came across a TimeOut voucher for a cream tea and scones afternoon at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, I could not pass up this opportunity to visit one of only two cat cafés in London, and take one of my best friends with me – an easy decision to make really, since we’re both cat-crazy.
sketch, with a lower-case, becomes a world of wonders as soon as you enter the building. It invites you to let go of your adult worries, and become a child yet again, immersed in the rustling leaves of a dense jungle, and the glamour of a grand tearoom entirely dressed in pink, with men in boiler suits, a tea master, and the caviar man at your service. The hopscotch greeting you at the floor of the entrance hall is only a hint at what’s to come. Be prepared for not just tea and food, but for an enveloping experience that includes everything from quirkiness in decoration to pure style in performance.
I am almost reluctant to share this secret local spot, because somehow until now it has remained hidden in plain sight to visitors streaming past in surrounding streets right in the heart of Madrid. Yet at the same time it is too good to keep secret – I’m simply too riveted by it to not share with you my experiences of El Pezcador and Spanish Tapas culture.
For me the most amazing and exciting thing about travelling is – you can probably guess – food. But it’s not just the food itself that gets me all worked up, it’s also the culture around it. Because if you try to separate the food from the culture, it’s like taking a tree, removing it from its soil and environment, and then planting it somewhere else – it’s probably still going to grow, but not in the same way. Sometimes separation can result in entirely new cultures around the food. Sometimes it’s nice to not just appropriate the food but also parts of the culture. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Swedish fika at least once during a regular working day? Wouldn’t you love to regularly fika?
Intrigued by the name of this afternoon tea, or rather “Not Afternoon Tea” as it is called, I decided to take my partner with me, mark the occasion as a romantic date, and see what it was all about. Cocktails and a view seemed like pretty good date material as well. But it could just as easily have been a girls’ night out too.