LOVE FOOD, LIVE FOODIE:
Weddings are a big thing and having got married this year (which was great), I am hopeful that I will not have to organise one again.
A good friend of mine from school and his wife set up their own business in Wedding Accessories last year and here, I interview Tailored Occasions about their new business and their motivations.
I remember them telling me about this idea a while ago at another friends wedding and they have been busy during the wedding season and provide great quality for all their customers. They have many happy customers, so read below more about their passions, their motivations and their goals.
BTW - if you are planning for a wedding get in touch with them at email@example.com
Who inspired you to open up Tailored Occasions?
Coming from a business family background, and with my dad being a business man, the desire to start a business has always been there from a young age. I just had to first determine what I wanted to focus on.
What top advice would you give to someone planning their wedding?
My overall top tip would be to try and organise things as early as possible, and use help available to delegate tasks. Having things done in advance, will let you enjoy the run up to your big day, and appreciate what is about to come.
When did this idea become a reality for you?
It was through planning our wedding I became conscious of how difficult it was acquiring everything I required from one place, tailored to my needs and theme. I ended up spending a vast amount of time (and money!) sourcing all the materials, accessories and decorations needed to create everything from invitations and stationery, to ring cushions and guest books, constantly feeling anxious about the outcome.
Recognising that not every bride and groom have the time, patience or perhaps inclination to do this, together with my husband, the idea of Tailored Occasions was created.
Timing was key, and once we researched the market, and believed we could actually commit to this, we launched Tailored Occasions.
Where do you see the company in five years time?
Why do you think weddings are so important to people?
Weddings are the beginning of a new phase, the start of a marriage, a start of a new family, and the start of a lifelong commitment full of unconditional love and joy.
WHICH one wedding accessory is key to a successful day?
Jai thinks ALCOHOL lol :-) Rather than one specific accessory, I believe it is about happy guests. Knowing that your guests are having a great time gives you a great sense of relief and satisfaction
...as a foodie site, can I get your Top 5 restaurants please?
hmm top 5 - no particular order (yes i know i added a 6th) :)
The Fat Duck
L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon (covent garden)
L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon (Hong Kong)
Juliana's Pizza (Brooklyn)
A husband and wife team. This is a dream come true for many couples; or a nightmare for others.
Thank you Roshni for your help with this and best of luck with another busy wedding season ahead of you.
DON'T FORGET firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I love food?
There are many reasons why I have evolved (Pokémon GO reference) to a foodie. One key reason is that food brings people together and for this review, this was key. A catch up with friends is always needed and it had been a while. The choice of restaurant shouldn't be such an issue but we eventually decided to go to Lavash on Henleys Corner, near Golders Green. Why? Ask Monir.
Lavash classes itself as a contemporary Persian Grill. This Iranian restaurant has been around for a while, but for some reason I was not aware it was serving Iranian food. When I found out and being Iranian I was excited because I knew roughly before I got there what I was going to have. This would be the Iranian national dish - chelo kebab ( rice and kebab). A simple but an amazing dish.
One issue I have with Iranian restaurants is that they are never as good as my parents food. Dad and Mum have that familiarity and quality that makes you run back to theirs quicker than other places. There's no place like family and home.
As a restaurant Lavash covers for about 100 people and on a quiet Monday there were a few groups dotted around. Nice tables in dim lighting (the flash was needed for pictures) , Lavash and its menu surprised me. Halloumi? Steak? Chips? What is going on?
They have all the classics too such as Mriza Ghasami ( aubergine dish) and Mast Mousier (yoghurt with shallots) and rice and kebabs too. With such classic dishes there is no need for these western dishes. These two dishes were very tasty, with the aubergines nice and smokey and with a fair bit of garlic involved too, all Iranians would be very happy with this.
The Mast Mousier is a dish that I happily go to restaurants for. Here, i gobbled up the majority of two portions and thankfully my friends did not complain. Best eaten with fresh and warm Iranian bread (none here), this starter with its shallots was very creamy. Not so light and fluffy but quite dense, but packed full of shallots, I was still happy.
The main course of rice and kebab was good too. Lamb Fillet layered across my plate with a good helping of rice and cooked tomato. This was a big meal and I just about managed to finish it all. JUST AS ONE SHOULD.
Iranian Food is the ONE. My last meal will probably be rice and kebab; with a side of Steak, Sushi and lots more too. IT'S MY LAST MEAL AND I'LL EAT WHAT I WANT.
Lavash is what I would expect for Iranian. I think the one issue is that they are trying a bit too hard. Forget all the contemporary stuff and stick to the classics. Halloumi, Steak, there is no need for that. Keep to the good Iranian dishes and people will come and more importantly STAY and then come back again.
National Curry week ends today and I treated myself to two curries. The first of these was a visit to Est. India near London Bridge. I was invited by the team there and decided to take my parents with me.
I had never heard of the restaurant, but was excited to go. Est.India brings traditional street food to urban fine dining in London. Street food along with Rustic dishes are what the owner Shafiol Alom aims to delight customers with, and we used his guidance to help us order.
Located off Flat Iron Square on Union Street, this new foodie joint is needed in a place sparsely populated with good restaurants.
The menu here is a good mix of current trends, especially in Eastern and Asian cuisines. Think gunpowder, Hoppers and Talli Joe; small plates are offered and aimed to be shared, these along with Dosas and more traditional mixed grills are an easy way to try a lot of different things.
We specifically went for the Kebab platter and a vegetarian Dosa to share between the three of us. We were quite hungry but also wished to experience as much of this new restaurant as we could. The Kebab Platter had sheekh kebab, lamb chops and two varities of chicken. All were very tasty and the lamb chops were nice and meaty. the light char gave more texture which went well with our naan.
The dosa is something that I have only recently begun ordering. I feel like I am becoming a better foodie and this dish I feel highlights this. This south Indian dish or pancake was full of masala veg with coconut chutney and potatoes. It was a nice change and was a good contrast to the kebab platter. Light and airy and it worked really well with some chutney chucked on top.
P.S - my dad was a big fan of the spicy chutney.
For our main courses, we again wanted to try as much as possible. We ordered a Lamb biryani, The Railway curry and then a dish specially created for us; a mix between a jalfrezzi and a bhutani lamb, but with CHICKEN. Thank you for this Shaifol.
The service from the staff was a bit slow, but we were told that this was due to a spate of the flu going around. At the time I was slightly annoyed but the owner was very attentive and even let us have a local beer from Beer By Numbers. This beer was very sour like a hoegarden, my dad wasn't the biggest fan, but I was.
Looked after and treated well. The influence of Persia and Iran is heavily felt here. |This fits well with the name as Iran had established itself in India. The railway curry is the clear example of this. This dish was very familiar to an Iranian dish of Khoresht (stew) with Aubergine. The rich tomato sauce with potatoes was very nice and with the lamb cooked in the sauce, it pulled apart so easily. I am a big fan of the Iranian dish and this one too, bringing back memories of my parents cooking.
The dish that we all really liked was the special concoction developed by the manager. The mix between jalfrezzi and the bhutani was really good. The aromatic flavour came from frying the onions first and this with a creamy sauce and big bites of chicken were very pleasant. The richness and depth from the spices were a key reason to enjoying this dish. The extra heat from the Jalfrezzi side of things were what my dad especially liked and made sure this dish was well liked by all three of us.
The Biryani was also a dish that we don't usually order, but again, we went for a change. This was a subtle dish with the lamb stored right at the bottom. This was a problem as by the time I found the lamb pieces I was stuffed from all the food. This night was definitely a case of 'eyes bigger than my belly'. Luckily I was able to take this home and Laura was able to have the leftovers. She too, was a fan of the interesting flavours and aromatic herbs and spices used in all the dishes.
The evening was memorable and we did enjoy this new London Indian joint. For National Curry Week, Est. India proved a great venue and more importantly provided great food. Ask the waiters for their recommendations as they will look after you well. Be brave and avoid the classics and try something new.
The new location of Flat Iron Square will hopefully be one for the foodies and Est. India will fit perfectly.
Thanks for a great night and I hope you all enjoyed National Curry Week. See you next year.
WOW- Now I am almost half way through my global cooking challenge. M was a big month.
Big in the sense that there was about twenty countries to choose from. From Malta to Mozambique, with the Maldives, Mayotte and many more in between. Although there was a lot of options, the winner was a mere formality with Malta winning very easily.
I think this was probably down to one person voting over and over again, but I have no proof. So Malta won and because Malta won, my colleague Tim, who was born there, tried the Rabbit and wrote a few words about the Country and Dish.
Take it away BOSS.
"Although the Maltese national football team lost 2-0 to England last night, they did the country proud and the same can be said of Shayan's adventure in Maltese cooking via the traditional Rabbit Stew! I've followed Shayan's virtual trip around the world and was delighted when the 'users' of Life of Shayan chose Malta as the country beginning with M whose food he should cook. I'll come clean, I's never had rabbit before and was expecting a brown gamey type meat, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was white like chicken and fell easily away from the bone. Actually, the whole stew reminded me of Coq au Vin, a great comforting autumn dish, the meat was delicious and Shayan's right to say the potatoes and carrots really added to the dish, making it the prefect autumn stew.
Why was I so delighted that Shayan cooked the Maltese national dish? I was born in Malta and although I've only been back once I still feel a real affinity for the tiny island (population 450,000) and a pride in their achievements. Aside from the Knights of St John, one of the most notable periods of Maltese history came in the second world war when the island was under siege by Axis powers with little to defend it apart from three ancient bi-planes. British forces, with the help of the Maltese people heroically defended Malta throughout the siege and this courage earned Malta the award of the George Cross, the first time to medal was awarded to a nation / organisation, which is still seen on the country's flag today.
So Malta might not have beaten England yesterday, but as Shayan's cooking proves, does boast some world beating cuisine!
Rabbit Stew! You heard right. This was my first time cooking rabbit and after this experience, it will not be my last.
Rabbit, believe it or not, is a white meat and I have eaten it before on maybe a handful of occasions. Once quite recently by the lovely Chiara, once in Barcelona and also at Morito on Hackney Road. There is no special name for this Rabbit dish, just Rabbit stew.
The recipe and ingredients for this dish is available for you here: Not exclusive, but available. I used the red bistro blog for help.
A bit more info on the cooking process.
I was very happy with this dish. The rabbit fell off the bone and this was important as rabbit can be very fiddlely.
The carrots and potatoes together add more to the stew and made it great for a autumn evening. The crusty bread and whole grain mustard mash were delightful for mopping up the tomato and wine juices. Well seasoned, hearty and filling; rabbit stew from Malta makes me 100% happy that I started this challenge.
On to Letter number 13 and N. Officially half way through.