14 November 2011

Pass The Plate(s)

Further to the previous post, things are steaming ahead. We're collecting more signed books for the raffle (details to follow when we get our mitts on 'em all), The Observer Food Monthly have donated a huge pile of recent review copies and The Coach and Horses have announced a special menu for during the event. 
At £1.85
Homemade black pudding sausage roll
The C & H cheese straws
Cashel Blue arancini
Crostini of chicken liver parfait with hazelnuts

At £3.65
Cured salmon, potato and dill salad, sweet mustard
The C & H Scotch egg
Heritage pumpkin & sunflower seed salad, Swaledale cream dressing

At £5.50
Cockles mariniere
Proper salt beef sandwich with pickles
Gnocchi a la pomadoro
Ox cheek, mash & red cabbage
Bargains, one and all, right? Plus EVERY PENNY, not just the profit, goes to the NSPCC. Eat, drink, help a charity and pick up some book bargains. That's got to be worth a look, hasn't it?

10 November 2011

The Great Coach & Horses Charity Book Exchange & Sale

As you may know, I'm a little bit fond of The Coach & Horses in Clerkenwell. 

As you may not know, the landlady, the lovely Col, is running the London Marathon next year to raise cash for the NSPCC

As a result of that, over the - ahem - occasional pint, Giles and I have been thinking of other things we could do to raise some money for this very worthy cause. And when you do that surrounded by loads of cookery books that you realise you've NEVER ACTUALLY COOKED ANYTHING FROM, eventually the penny drops. And that's why we're holding the first Great Coach & Hoses Charity Book Exchange & Sale on November 19th 2011. 

Having e mailed the details to various people that have asked for them, it dawned on me, ooh, about an hour ago, that it would be so much easier to just post them here. Hey, don't judge. I get there in the end... 

Where: The Coach & Horses, 26-28 Ray Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3DJ (Tel: 020 7278 8990) 

Entry: £5 (all proceeds to the NSPCC)  which will include a welcoming drink, nibbles and a raffle ticket. (More tickets will be on sale at very reasonable prices. And all proceeds will go to the NSPCC.)

When: November 19th 2011, at 4pm

The Exchange / Sale: We've all got cookery books we just don't use. How about turning them into new books while doing something for a good cause? Bring your unwanted cookery books along and our panel of experts - ahem - will value them. You'll receive a percentage of the value - typically 25% of face value - in C&H 'tokens' which you can then spend on other books that have been brought in / donated.

These will be on sale for slightly more than we "purchased" them (around 50% of face value) and you can pay the difference in tokens or in real cash.

The difference in cash then goes directly to the NSPCC. We'll also encourage bidding on popular titles to drive prices up. We like doing things like that. 

Alternatively, if you don't want to exchange a book, that's fine too. Come and buy in cash. I mean, new cookery books at half price this side of Christmas? That's got to be a good deal, right? Plus we like cash because all the cash goes directly to the NSPCC.

You can also spend tokens on food and drink at the Coach and Horses instead, either on the 19th (there's a special menu available)  or during January and February 2012. 

The Auction: At the end of the event, we'll be auctioning off some of the remaining books. For cash. Which goes to the NSPCC.

The Raffle: We'll also be raffling signed books and champagne and other goodies. So far we've got / have been promised signed books from the likes of Nigel Slater, Bill Grainger, Eric Lanlard, Hawksmoor, Jason Atherton, Laura Santtini, Signe Johansen, Niamh Shields, James Ramsden, Edd Kimber and Felicity Cloake, to name but a few. 

If you have any questions, please drop me a line / comment here. If you've got lots of books to exchange, shout and I can even collect by car in the next few days. Support so far has been amazing. As well as the signed books mentioned above, the lovely people at delicious have donated a whopping 14 boxes of lovely new books and today The Observer Food Monthly contacted us and have donated a fabulous collection of recent review titles. Cheers all. 

See you on the 19th then? Oh, and bring your canvas bags... 

6 November 2011

Simple Pleasures

Wow. Been very slack on this little thread, haven't I? And I fear I may have done this one before but: a) it's a blog not a bloody encyclopedia; and b) it's worth repeating anyway.

This year has been perhaps the best year I've ever had in terms of memorable culinary experiences. There have been amazing opportunities, amazing flavour combinations, amazing skills in amazing countries from all sorts of amazing chefs. Man cannot live by Michelin Stars alone, however. Sometimes man just fancies ham, egg & chips - especially if it comes with a pint of Doom Bar and the company of my Dad.