Getting good food ready to let the train take the strain


British Rail Sandwich? Thankfully for food lovers there are many alternatives now.


I had two trips to London this week, which is always a good opportunity to try new things, or at least new to me things. Especially when I’m on the slower train back to Nottingham at lunchtime, which means an opportunity for a train picnic from Sourced Market at St Pancras.

I’m trying to eat a gluten free diet, because I feel better without it, so all the delicious bread and sandwiches were off the menu. But no loss, as I had these chicken teriyaki lettuce wraps from Tanpopo Japanese Food. It was fresh tasting, crunchy and I loved the peanut sauce.


Chicken Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps


It does feel like an endless journey, so needed something for snacking too, and so had Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup popcorn from Portlebay Popcorn. I have to be honest, this left me underwhelmed on the flavour front (particularly given these are two of my favourite flavours). I wouldn’t be in a hurry to buy it again.


Portlebay Popcorn in Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup


I had Elderflower Green Tea from Daymer Bay to wash it down. Can’t find much about these, inspired by a bay in Cornwall, but with a Kensington address. Hmm. Not much benefit to Cornwall as far as I can see, but happy to be put right.

I saved my last purchase till I got home and did share it over a couple of nights with MGG, and we’ll definitely be treating ourselves to Peanut Butter Chocolate from Nomnom again. As part Welsh, she was happy to discover a Welsh chocolate company, I was just happy to eat great sweet, salty, nutty chocolate. I would imagine we’d like the Salted Caramel version too.


Nomnom chocolate


So, it was a mixed picnic, some things will definitely be on my shopping list in the future, but even the less good ones were better than a British Rail sandwich!

Photo by Chris Sampson on Flickr.


An unlikely place for a food festival?


Wondering at wonderful food at St Pancras


All weekend I’ve been reading tweets with envy from food festivals around the country: Ludlow, Liverpool and the Organic Food Festival in Bristol. And with immaculate bad timing I will be in the Cotswolds next weekend, just in time for the Nottingham Food & Drink Festival.

So I’m thrilled to find that over the next two weeks I’ll be able to drop into a food festival not once, but twice, and as part of the day job. Yes, instead of hanging around the depressing blank area that is the Kings Cross concourse waiting for the train north I have even more excuse than normal to hotfoot it over to St Pancras, as it is the venue for the Foodie Fortnight from 16th September.

Imagine the joy! Train gets delayed, pop over to St Panc and experience a sausage making masterclass from Laverstoke Park, a Victoria sponge masterclass from Peyton & Byrne, and cooking with Jean-Christophe Novelli, Richard Corrigan and Atul Kochhar to name a few. All this, and you can still be on 19.30 to Leeds.

All the restuarants are offering 10% off, which is worth having, and some have special menus. What I am most looking forward to is the launch of Sourced Market. Fresh seasonal product, seven days a week, right there in the middle of the station, which comes from Borough Market. It beats Marks & Spencer, with everything from fresh veg and herbs from Secrett’s Farm Direct, through to seafood, fish and organic meat.

And there’s sweet stuff too! I love the idea of very local honey from Regent’s Park, and cake and bread from Flour Power City Bakery. I can see I am going to need to be carrying extra big bags in future on my trips down to London. It was bad enough before with the temptation of L K Bennett, Foyles and Peyton & Byrne, but this takes it up to a whole new level.

And the redevelopment at Kings Cross is really going to have to be something special to stop me hotfooting it at the last minute to catch my train! Not to mention the onboard catering is going to have even less chance of enticing me now!

Stunning photograph courtesy of Unhindered by Talent on Flickr.