Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Holy Birds

The Holy Birds
Holy Negroni at The Holy Birds
Holy Negroni : Beefeater 24 Gin, Campari, White Port topped with an almond and
orange foam
Uptown Manhattan and Babycham
Uptown Manhattan:
The smooth flavour of Wild Turkey washed with Extra Virgin
Olive Oil combined with the sweetness of maraschino played
off against Lillet Blanc and the crisp celery, notes makes for an
unusual but balanced twist on a Manhattan. - Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, Lillet Blanc, De Kuyper Marasquin, celery bitters and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Back in the day we went to The Library at The Lanesborough hotel where Salvatore Calabrese, The Maestro,  was concocting some very lovely Lavander Martini. It was a very enjoyable experience.  Fast forward  I've now been to his son's place where the cocktail menu is created by Salvatore, The Maestro himself.

The Holy Birds is a commercial establishment located in London’s Petticoat Lane Market. The two-floor bar and restaurant has an interior design that was inspired by 60s Danish modernist movement, very much to my liking. You might feel like you went back to that era as soon as you enter the door.  Play attention to the reception table, lots of colourful 60's phones.

On the ground floor of The Holy Birds, you’ll find a cocktail lounge that serves late-night refreshment. The interior design is a combination of personalised design and mid-century decors. It features a top of the line sound system that is used during performances of live acts and in-demand DJs. More often than not, they play music that has been inspired 60s era.

On the second floor is the restaurant that specialises in poultry. Its menu consists of dishes made from free-range birds that include ducks, grouses, wood pigeons, pheasants, quails, and chickens. It is said to be the first of such restaurant to be established in London.

The Holy Birds is the first time that the Calabrese Brothers collaborated with their father, Salvatore Calabrese, who is a world-renowned mixologist. The maestro started working in the industry in the 60s and has developed designer cocktails since then. The Holy Birds is just one of the bars in London that offers these cocktails.
downstairs bar

This is just one of the ventures of the Calabrese Brothers in the London bar industry. Their company was also responsible for other successful establishments in the city, such as the award-winning Hoxton Pony in Shoreditch and Hoxton Gin. Another recent project of their business is the Wringer and Mangle restaurant and music venue in London Fields.

The meal

Wings with soy sauce and Dijon mustard and crispy chicken skins

The snacks were on pint at The Holy Birds,  well seasoned chicken wings

Beaujolais, France 2014
Serious Cru Beaujolais, soft and juicy, with hints of raspberries, strawberries and violet

Heritage carrots, roasted parsnips, curd & curry oil salad, a very tasty and divine salad
Roast duck breast - succulent, well prepared and perfectly cooked

The Holy Birds buttermilk chicken burger with hand-cut chips and
Celeriac remoulade (off picture)  a majestivc burger with juicy chicken and so much flavour.
Chocolate & sea salt Baked Alaska - how gorgeous does that look?  Sweet and chocolaty
Hot chocolate pudding with Kirsch & cherry sauce- I just love the chocolate and cherry match always a winner!
The service was very amicable and polite. It wasn't a very busy evening when we had dinner there. It' a quite sizable place  - I am sure they can cope.

Disclosure:  I was a guest of The Holy Birds. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Devour Seville, a foodie adventure

My wanderlust list is quite extensive, and my top ten destinations keep changing, but Seville has always been in my top five places to visit.
The time came that I actually made it to Seville this January.

Being a food-lover, Seville was a dream destination for me to explore Andalucian cuisine. What better way to enjoy the cuisine than to jump into tapas and wine tasting through Devour Seville food tours?  It was an excellent choice.  From the first contact to booking, and the tour itself, it was super organised—The website was clear and easy to navigate, booking was very easy, and they really made sure that I was reminded about the tour up to the day.

The meeting point was very central and just a ten minute walk from my hotel.  I was quite surprised that there were about ten people on tour; for cold January, that was pretty impressive.  It was a colourful and diverse group of American guests, one Irish guest, and me, Brazilian.  Some of the guests from the US were on holiday, and others lived in Europe, like me. I was all good banter.
This particular tour was about tapas and wine, but when they say wine, it includes vermouth, varieties of sherry, and local wines.
Vermut and local cold meats

We started with a short walk to our first stop, Maestro Marcelino, a tapas bar with a mixture of deli and boutique-style foods located in the Sant Cruz area near the Seville Cathedral. They have barrels selling wines by the glass, or you can bring a bottle to fill up.  We tried their local cured meats, mojama, chorizo, chicharrones, caña lomo, Iberico Bellota, and montaditos—little sandwiches. We had the grilled pork loin, and we washed it all down with a sweet red vermouth on tap.

The next stop was Las Teresas, a busy traditional tapas bar; there, we tasted Jamon Iberico de Bellota—acorn-fed Iberian ham, aged sheep cheese, and a glass of dry manzanilla sherry, a variety of fino sherry made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. It's very pale and dry.  We also tasted Amontillado, a sherry wine characterised by being slightly darker than fino.

The final stop was Vineria San Telmo. This place serves a modern take on tapas using fresh local ingredients. We had hot-off-the-grill tapas and three modern style local wines from Cadiz, Rioja, and Sierras de Malaga. It was just a fantastic place for a degustation of modern Seville cuisine.
Panko Prawns - delicious king prawns cooked in Japanese panko breadcrumbs, served with arugula, grilled zucchini/courgette and paired with a soy mayonnaise

A mild chicken liver pate aperitif served with caramelized onion, melted cheese and a tomato confit and crispy toasted bread - ideal for stacking!

A crepe de morcilla, using delicious blood sausage mixed with rice to create a unique texture and amazing taste, typical from Burgos in Northern Spain, served in a crepe with caramelized onion and lightly fried beetroot on top and a sweet pepper sauce.

beautifully prepared pluma ibérica, a cut of pork taken from near the ribs, served on a bed of pumpkin with a deliciously light curry sauce - so good!!

Our guide, Fleur was fabulous, knowledgeable, and very patient. She is British but has been living in Seville for the last six years. She told us various local curiosities, and it was a very entertaining evening.

The tour was a mix of traditional and modern establishments in Seville. At the end of it, I was fully satisfied and needed no more food until the next day. The tour was supposed to take 2.5 hours, but it ran over a bit, although no one seemed very preoccupied. It is ideal for first timers and an intro to the Seville food scene.  It is highly recommended.

Disclosure:  I was a guest of Devour Seville. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

London: Mercato Metropolitano

Mercato Metropolitano

Last month I finally made to Mercato Metropolitano,  launched last year it houses a vibrant foodie community of small farmers and local producers offering delightful street food and drinks. Located just a few minutes from Elephant & Castle in London is a dynamic and social space.

I really enjoy going to bazaars and food emporiums are always a joy of discovery! Going to this market is like travelling the world without leaving London.

Their primary focus is well-being and champion small and artisan produce. I won't find big chains in here. Their motto is based on  fundamental principles of ‘small is beautiful’ and ‘natural is good.’ On arrival, you already sense the positive community vibe which has created jobs for the locals as well as increased social and cultural values to the newly regenerated area.

They thrive on sustainability, environmental, economic and social aspects of the community.  There's a cinema and arts centre, on-site urban garden and music space; it's children-friendly, `a Body Studio fitness studio and boxing gym. There's also a workspace for the emerging entrepreneurial community.
Soon there will be a designated cookery demo area.
Mercato Metropolitano is a commitment to sustainability; recycling is high on the agenda - lots of bins and signs remind you of that and no-frills layout.

The range of fresh food vendors is vast including Vietnamese, Italian,  Argentinian,  Lebanese,  Spanish and French. They have a fabulous Italian supermarket too. It's a very diverse and exciting space so near Central London with easy access. 


Fresco Pizza

award winning ice cream at
Badiani Ice-cream

Make your own  at Tiramisu

Sicilian Donuts at Mercato Metropolitano


tapas time!

Inside Enoteca at Mercato Metropolitano

Arepa! at

Chicken deliciousness

Brisket at
Chicken & Foxes

Vietnamese rolls at
Quintessentially Vietnamese

making risotto at
Risotteria Primavera

Mercato Metropolitano

Mercato Metropolitano

42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR
Monday    Closed
Tuesday    11am–11pm
Wednesday    11am–11pm
Thursday    11am–11pm
Friday    11am–11pm
Saturday    11am–11pm
Sunday    10am–9pm


* Caffé Torrelli Great coffee and Spritz
* Salcicciamo Italian sausage producer
* Tiramisù,  Tiramisù made to order: choose your base, your mascarpone and your toppings
* Tortellino
Handmade pasta from the Emilia-Romagna region.
* Badiani Ice-cream
Award-winning gelato from Florence
* Piadina
Italian flatbread from the east coast of Italy handmade on site
* MM Bar
Mercato Metropolitano’s very own bar: beer, wine and cocktails.
* Freeto
Italian style fried fish and vegetables
* Fresco Pizza
Pizza from Naples
* Enoteca
Italian wine shop bringing over 100 different producers from all over the world
* Champagne+Fromage
Cheese and champagne from small French producers
* Los Pibes
Argentinian Churrasco cooked on an open fire
* Guasacaca
The best Venezuelan Arepas in London
* Italian Job Craft Beer
Craft Beer from Italy and UK: a great selection of bottles and draft
* Lebanese Canteen
Lebanese wraps with fillings such as falafel and chicken
* Chicken & Foxes
Chicken roasted on a spit on site and served with a range of sides
* Prairie
American Style BBQ and smoke house
* Quintessentially Vietnamese
Homemade Vietnamese food and coffee
* Risotteria Primavera
Italian rice producers
* Tiny Leaf
Organic and zero waste vegetarian food

Food Trucks
* Little Sicily
Arancini and Cannoli
* That’s Food
Great cocktails from a gorgeous caravan
* Oyster & Bellini Fantinel
prosecco and local oysters

 Backyard Cinema, Rooney’s Boxing Gym and Prezzemolo e Vitale and the fantastic supermarket selling fabulous products and produce from Italy.

Disclosure: I was  a guest on  a private tour of the market. All views are my own.
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