Wine Connection Cheese Bar

Wine Connection was definitely the place to be in Singapore this Valentine’s Day.
Most tables were pre-reserved for loved up couples, ladies carrying rose bouquets and nervous first dates.
This was also where I was taken for my Valentine’s date – no roses for me though just lots of cheese, cheese, cheese and wine, what more could you want?!

Located on Robertson Quay, Wine Connection is the perfect escape for expats, or locals, wanting to pass on the noodles and rice for one night and try some European culinary delights.
Consisting of three bars in total, Wine Connection is made up of a wine shop (the cheapest one I’ve found in Singapore so far), a buzzing tapas bar and, my personal favourite, the cheese bar.
AJ surprised me with a booking in the cheese bar and as we took our seats with an old wine barrel as a table it felt like we had been transported back to Paris for the evening…oh la laaa

The cheese menu is split between hard, semi-hard, soft, blue and goats cheeses with all but one of the cheeses coming from France.
We went for one of each type which was served to us with condiments and a selection of breads – there is an option for cold meats as well.
I washed this all down with a glass of South African Cabernet Sauvignon.
The perfect date restaurant with a calm and relaxed atmosphere and a touch of Parisian chic.
You can find more details about Wine Connection here.
What did you do this Valentine’s Day?


Christmas Day

It was that magical time of year again.
The whole house was up early to check that Santa had left presents under the tree….
DSC03041……which he did and this year he had been to all the right shops….

The day always starts with a mountain of chocolate and satsumas for breakfasts…
DSC03043…. before the Christmas jumpers come out….
Christmas jumperAfter sharing gifts and opening our presents, it was on to the big task of cooking the Christmas lunch.  This year it was my turn…   Christmas turkeyThe table was set….

…and we cracked open a bottle of champagne and started with melon wrapped in Prosciutto….
DSC03053 DSC03054…and followed it all up with the mighty main course – turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, special sprouts, peas, stuffing, pigs in blankets and gravy….
Christmas dinner

…everyone finished with clean plates – even the apple and bacon covered sprouts were all gone!
DSC03055After all the excitement, food and wine it all started to get a bit silly before we all collapsed into a giant food coma….
DSC03058 DSC03059

My last Christmas Day in the UK before the big move to Singapore.
Next year it’s my brother’s turn to cook Christmas lunch – I can’t wait to try his festive pizza!

Mighty Mince Pies

It was the night before Christmas………!

So, what better way to get in the festive spirit than by hitting the kitchen and cooking up some good old Mince Pies.  From November, mince pies take over the supermarket shelves throughout Britain but nothing compares to making them yourself and they can be surprisingly easy and quick to make.
Mince pie recipe - 01

Turn up the Christmas tunes and pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and get cooking some mince pies for Santa.

Firstly, you will need to get these ingredients:
Mince pie recipe - 02

375g Shortcrust pastry
1 egg
Caster Sugar

The shortcrust pastry is the part that can be most time consuming.  I prefer to make my own pastry although you can get some ready-made in all supermarkets now.  The Londoner has a great, easy to follow shortcrust pastry recipe – the key is to keep it as cool as possible while you are making it.

Once you have your pastry, roll it out thin and use circle cutters to create the mince pie bases – you can use a wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin and a wine glass to cut the circle shapes.  Place each circle into a mince pie or shallow cupcake tin which has been greased with a little bit of butter.

Fill each case with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat…
Mince pie  recipe - 03Cut smaller circles or star shapes with the remaining pastry and place them on top of the cases and seal the edges together.
Create an enticing glaze on your mince pies by brushing the tops with a beaten egg and don’t forget to pierce two small holes in the top to prevent them from exploding in the oven.
Then sprinkle over some caster sugar and place in the oven at 200 C for around 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Mince pie recipe - 04Leave them to cool on a wire rack and then you’re ready to start the Mighty Mince Pie Challenge! For those that can’t quite meet the challenge, they can be stored in a sealed tin for a few days.
Mince pie recipe - 04

Don’t forget to leave a mince pie and glass of sherry for Santa tonight!