Quince Clafoutis

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As many of you will know, clafoutis are usually made with black cherries and are therefore a typical summer recipe. But you can actually make clafoutis with lots of other fruits. Clafoutis originates not too far from where I was raised, in the Limousin so I feel entitled to certain liberties with this dish!

A clafoutis is basically a batter that is poured over fruit in a buttered baking dish and baked.  It is usually served warm and dusted with icing sugar.  Technically the cherries should be unpitted: as they cook the stones release a slight taste of bitter almond which enhances the dishes flavour. That means you have to spit out the stones while eating your dessert though – not everyone get’s excited about that.

Anyway, we don’t need to have that debate here, as this clafoutis is a quince clafoutis, so completely out of tradition anyway … Though again, technically, a clafoutis made with any other fruit than cherries is called a flaugnarde. But that’s just too complicated to pronounce for non-French speaking people so let’s keep it simple and get down to business and enjoy these quince while they last!

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Avocado Hummus Dip

Avocado hummus

Sometimes I think of the simple little things in life that make our life easier, like post-it notes, or shoe laces, and I wish I was the person who had invented them. It seems obvious but before someone invented shoe laces, there were none (duh). There are great inventions that require a lot of thinking and technology, like smartphones, but hairpins are just as great an invention!

Same with cooking I suppose. I feel very proud when I manage to cook a full sunday lunch for 8 people after 4 hours spent in the kitchen, but I actually feel just as proud when I whip up something nice for the two of us to snack on while watching on favourite show.

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Autumn Granola – Liege syrup, cranberries, apricots, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate

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Last week a couple of friends from Brussels came to visit me in London. Even though the plan was mostly to go shopping, eating and partying, I still felt like I had to plan something somewhat cultural for the occasion and get them to see a bit of London. The weather had been so lovely and summery in the past few weeks that I decided to plan a tour of East London. I found this company called Alternative London that does tours around Spitafields Market, focusing on the amazing street art in the area and the history of the neighbourhood.

We had a great time, took lots of pictures but the weather was in no way lovely! We had all been tricked by the morning sunshine into wearing only light jumpers and flats. By the end of the 2-hour tour, if a genie in a bottle gave me 3 wishes I would have wished for hot chocolate, a onesie and a burning fireplace.

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Churchill Arms – Thai food in an historic pub

It’s odd to find some good Thai food being served at a historical British pub (it was built around 1750 and Churchill’s grand-parents were regulars), but that’s exactly what the Churchill Arms is about. This charming pub is literally impossible to miss from the outside: the place is crumbling under the plants and flowers that are hanging from its facade.

Inside it is a cosy place with wooden floors, fireplaces and some Churchill memorabilia on the walls. And there is almost as much greenery inside than outside – especially in the green house where you will find the Thai restaurant.

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Green Peas Curry savoury cake

Green pea curry cakeThe past couple of weeks have been so busy! I have been running around all the time: being away for work for days in a row, training in the evening for a half-marathon I finally completed on Sunday (2h10 mn, yeah!) and basically not having time for myself at all.

Yesterday I went to my weekly yoga class – which I always look forward to as it enables me to slow down and focus a little bit in the middle of the turmoil. I realised I was going to be away again for the rest of the week – currently in Newcastle for work until Friday – and that I would be busy all week-end as I have the lovely visit of my girlfriends from Brussels.

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