Sunday, 26 July 2015

Culinary Captures - July 2015

With Culinary Captures now in full swing, here is my round-up of foodie finds that I have encountered on my travels this month:


Wimbledon may have ended, but the love for strawberries is still shining through well into July.
Photo:  Courtesy of The Highfield
Photo:  Courtesy of The Highfield
On the back of their successful Dip Your Own Asparagus dish this spring, The Highfield (Birmingham) has adopted the same stance for summer but this time with strawberries sourced from Lower Ruele Farm in Staffordshire. 
Dip Your Own Strawberries come with dipping pots of Valrhona Chocolate Sauce and Chantilly Cream and form part of the restaurant’s dessert specials priced £5.75.  It is available on the menu until the end of July! 
Photo:  Extracted from

Appreciating that strawberries are seasonal, the Ottolenghi brand have launched Freeze Dried Strawberries which are available all year round for those that want them outside of summer. 
They can be served whole, lightly crushed or blitzed into a powder, these are wonderful sprinkled over vanilla ice cream or layered with cream in a simple sponge cake.

Alex Claridge
Photo:  Extracted from
For those in the Midlands area, you may have heard of local chef Alex Claridge whose mission is to break the boundaries of cooking, especially for vegetarian food.  In recent years, having developed the menu for Bistro 1847 in Birmingham, he is now in-situ (until August at least) at Kitchen Garden CafĂ© in the city’s Kings Heath area where his supper club NOMAD has taken off with a wonderment of plaudits. 
Creating menus for vegetarians and separately for meat eaters, he challenges the tastebuds with his ‘No Rules Menu’ where diners are asked to arrive with an open mind and he promises combinations and ingredient inclusions to rival no other. 
A sample from one of his recent vegetarian menus includes:  Sea Buckthorn Doughnuts or Burnt Cauliflower, Hay Infused Curds, Ash Dumplings with Sea Herbs. 
For details of future NOMAD events, contact Alex via
The Cotswolds is a stunning place to visit, especially this time of year when everything is in full bloom and the weather (all being well) is sunny and clement.
Taking a trip to Cotswold Lavender earlier this month, Mum and I enjoyed taking in the fresh air and a walk round their lavender farm.   The vivid purple rows of lavender bushes were a spectacular sight against the horizon of rolling countryside and sandy coloured Cotswold stone houses.

Although most people think lavender is only suitable as a pot pourri component or to fragrance toiletries, it has recently been become en vogue to use it for culinary purposes. 
Over at Cotswold Lavender, they sell culinary lavender (which are sold as lavender kernels) and they can be sprinkled on salads or used in cake mixture.  There is also lavender sugar which again, can be used for baking or to be used as you would use sugar ordinarily.  
As a little trial, you could always buy a slice of lavender shortbread from the farm’s tea room to see if you like it!  To see the lavender at its peak, the flowering season ends early August so there is still time to go and visit – check out for details.

Photo:  Extracted from
If you love the coveted Emma Bridgewater kitchenware collection, then you will love her new range which is exclusively sold at amazing department store Liberty’s of London. 

The design focuses on the gorgeously colourful pomegranate fruit bearing its crimson seeds and pretty stalk.  It is a delight for all Emma fans and those who are lovers of kitchen crockery!   Is it too early to start a Christmas list and put this on it I wonder??!!   

Mugs, teapots and bowls etc all feature with prices starting from £19.95 .  See  for more details.



Note:  All items/services featured have been personally selected and I have not received any incentive or compensation to feature them. 

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