A fine breakfast at Simpsons in the Strand

Simpson’s in the Strand is a name that connotes luxury, empire, tradition, majesty and upper class-ness. In London recently I didn’t have the time for lunch, for which they are rightly famous for their servings of beef or lamb carved off massive haunches at the table. But I can manage breakfast. I know what I am having well before I get there. It’s a treat I have promised myself. The Great British Breakfast at Simpson’s is “Cumberland sausage, streaky and back bacon, Stornoway black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked tomato & egg (fried, poached or scrambled)”. It is just wonderful. Beautifully
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Hop On Hop Off bus is a good way to see Noumea

Like many tourist destinations Noumea offers a dedicated hop on hop off bus service at a modest price to encourage visitors to see as many of their attractions as possible. In Noumea it is called the Explorer Bus and costs 1000 Central Pacific Francs (XPF) which is about NZ $15 for a whole day’s travel. There are ten stops on the route and with the normal bus charging a uniform XPF 210 per journey, the Explorer is reasonable value. Its best feature is that it goes to the zoo, which is not on any bus route, and also to the
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A Mediterranean tour at Avida

Avida bar and restaurant in Featherston Street Wellington takes its diners on a gastronomic tour of the western Mediterranean with an emphasis on Spanish food and on small plates. Its lunch festa menu features four starters and seven larger servings, tapas style, for parties of ten or more. It’s a good introduction to its wider menu and the servings are generous enough to satisfy. The starters include: warmed flat bread and olive oil, a chicken liver pate served with a spicy apple chutney and toast, warm choux pastry puffs filled with goat’s cheese, the sharpness softened with honey, which dribbled
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All I want is my coffee served hot

From time to time our family re-unites over brunch. It’s not exactly a tradition or even a regular ritual. It happens when it happens, typically when someone says it hasn’t happened for a while. It happens at cafes and the like all over town. A day is agreed; a time is made, and a place is designated. The session begins with coffee, and here our tale unfolds. Coffee should be many things, strong, flavoursome, reviving, taste-tingling, good to the nose. The sought after qualities would fill a page. But one thing it must be is – hot. So often it
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Cooking memories from childhood

One inescapable fact influenced every aspect of our domestic life when I was growing up. My father was diagnosed as a type one diabetic when I was four years old. According to the medical practices of the day this meant that he had to avoid certain foods high in sugar, and seek a balance of protein and carbohydrate in each and every meal.Meals were to be taken at the same time each day – which suited his temperament anyway. He tested his blood sugar three times a day and injected insulin twice a day. Adjustments to food intake were made
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Raw is good

The worldwide movement to natural food has many origins: the desire for clean, fresh tastes, a lack of time to prepare complex dishes, and a reaction to rich, fatty, cholesterol laden sauces heavy with wine and cream. The organic movement and the arrival of farmers’ market have spurred demand for food grown close to home. Food consumed raw, or with a minimum of additives, has a long history and takes many forms. Food cooked without heat is found all over the world from the Pacific Islands where raw fish marinated in lime and coconut has long been common, to meat
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