Toad-in-the-hole with garlic, chili and paprika sausages from Stocks Farm at Stoke Newington Farmers’ market.

A farmers’ market bargain?!

Who ever heard of such a thing.

Well hold onto your fascinators, babies, because I’m about to blow your minds.

I think I have found the philosopher’s stone of the farmers’ market - a bargain!

The Location: Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market, St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington High St, N16

The Time: 10am-2.30pm,every Saturday

The Holy Grail: Moist, delicious cake-bread in an array of fruity, spicy and boozy flavours

The Source: Global Fusion Creole Vegan bakery. (I know, it sounds like something Charlie Brooker would invent to snark at, but it’s true! Deliciously deliciously true!)

The Price: £4 for a sizeable loaf (I reckon about 10 good portions).

For some reason, I didn’t want such a good bargain so I bought half a mango and linseed loaf for £3. Still a great price for a moist cake with an intriguing and irresistible tangy/sweet-savoury flavour. It would go brilliantly with homemade cocount icecream, if anyone wants to bring me some.

Afternoon tea fans! Do you want to indulge in some of the finest cakes known to London, served by lovely ladies in beautiful vintage gowns, all for the amazing price of £5!

You do? Of course you do. Well, head over to…

…hand over as much dosh as your heart and purse will allow and reward yourself with the lightest scones, the moistest sponge and the daintiest cucumber sandwiches.

Afternoon tea in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care
3-5pm, Sat 30 July
Avo Hotel, 82 Dalston Lane, London E8
020 3490 5061

As I was heading out this morning a lovely man appeared as if by magic, bearing a box.

What was inside?


Sweet-strawberry-stuffed fluffy and still warm at heart.

£1 each. I only had a fiver. He only had one pound change. I bought four.

As you can see, there are two in the photo.

You do the delicious, sweet, naughty naughty math.

Hopefully my mystery cupcake man will return and I will get his details to post here in case my dear readers would also like a magic morning cupcake moment.

Lunch today: leftovers from my Abkhazian feast yesterday. Shredded chicken in a yoghurt, walnut and polenta sauce spiked with the famous Abkhazian spice paste, adjykha, along with eggs in adjykha-spiked yoghurt and spinach also dressed with adjykha and yoghurt.

The feast was research for part one of my new series: Around the world in more than 80 dishes without leaving London. Catchy title, eh? 

I’m eating my way alphabetically through the 203 sovereign states as listed by Wikipedia ( This includes some states with limited international recognition, such as Abkhazia, which makes for some interesting geopolitical discussions over dinner. 

Look out for a proper report on my initiation to Abkhazian cuisine, coming here soon!

Best kebab?

Well, Best Turkish Kebab. But this well-worshipped doner temple wisely doesn’t qualify the ‘best’ in their title.

Is it the best in the world? Or best in Hackney? Or best between 123 and 127 Stoke Newington Road? The acres of gushing newsprint on the walls, featuring glowing reviews from the likes of Charles Campion and, one assumes, his Turkish equivalents, might lead you to conclude ‘best in the whole darn universe ever ever ever’.

As this suggests, the BTK has been widely recorded elsewhere, so I won’t go on.

Things I liked:

The time taken to cook my lamb shish fresh.

The crisp salad fixings.

Moist tender meat, with only the merest gristle (well, it is a kebab).

Things not so ‘best’:

Rather chilly attitude from servers when everyone else seemed like an old pal.

The large customer sneezing wetly several times onto the wall.

Oh, and there’s a signed photo from Ainsley Harriott.

Ainsley knows Best.

Best Turkish Kebab, 125 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BT, 020 7254 7642

Cardamom-infused chocolate brownies, made to a recipe from Tara Stevens’ Clock Book.

I just love the utter prettiness of the pistachio green and rose pink decoration. 

But they also taste damn fine.

Lesson learned, though - thick ceramic dish does not a good container for baking brownie make.

The man who eats all the organic waste in Hackney’s blue boxes is getting a lot of burnt brownie crust this week. Bon appetit, Horace!

Three things you should do

1. Subscribe to Fire & Knives magazine, edited by the Guardian’s Tim Hayward. Inside you will find stories of well-considered consumption and want-worthy products such as…

2. Rare Tea. Buy some from Waitrose or online and try not to choke on the price. Remember, you are buying real tea leaves not paper bags and tea-ish dust. I got four cups out of 2g of the Lost Malawi (otherwise known as Hampstead builder’s) tea, which works out at about 6.5p of leaves per proper… 

3. …cup. It may be my age but I am increasingly fond of a proper cup of tea in a proper cup and saucer. I bought some second-hand (you might say vintage) ones from my local tearooms called, er, The Tea Rooms.



Aphrodisiac sausages

Seen in the window of the Enjoy Café, on Kingsland High St. 

Don’t get my gutters running, I must say.

Possibly the best greengrocer in the world

Newington Green greengrocers are possibly the best in the world… or at least in Newington Green. And they’ve just expanded next door into larger premises so there’ll be less unseemly jostling among the organic lemons.

Why so good? Because, among other things, they have this….

Yes, real fresh turmeric for grating (surely you have a microplane!) into your dhals.