Now that was different

I was at a conference in London at the Shaw Theatre. In the afternoon break we had something I have never had before at an afternoon tea break.

Usually at this time, in virtually all conferences I have been to, you can get tea, coffee, and usually a cake, or biscuits. Sometimes it is merely a packet of biscuits, other times it can be a proper slice of cake. 

At this event, yes there was cake, but they also had deep fried battered slices of courgette with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

deep fried battered slices of courgette with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Now that was different!

What was it like, to be honest no idea, as I just had some coffee.


Cañoncitos de dulce de leche dipped in chocolate

I generally don’t buy cakes and pastries at the street food markets, but the cakes and pastries at the Lunita Pasteleria stall at the Finzel Reach street food market looked really good and tasty.

I decided I would have one and went for the Cañoncitos de dulce de leche dipped in chocolate.

This was a croissant style pasty filled with dulce de leche (caramel) and then dipped in chocolate.

It was rather nice, and not as sweet as I thought it might be. Certainly will look out for Lunita Pasteleria at future street food markets.

Time for a Coffee: Top Ten Blog Posts 2022

In 2022 I wrote 236 blog posts. More than 2021 when I wrote 107 blog posts, slightly less than in 220 when it was 120. In 2019 it was 58 blog posts, 2018 just 36. 

At ten was Tasty Bao Buns was a review of a meal of bao buns I had at Master Bao in January 2020.

Shiitake Mushroom Bao - teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions and miso

Dropping five places, the ninth most viewed post  from January 2021 was about Truffled Cauliflower Cheese is no more… at M&S. It had disappeared, as I did want to get some for our Christmas lunch. Never saw it again in 2022 either.

Time for La Lola was the eighth most popular post, a review of my first visit to La Lola in St Nick’s Market in Bristol.

The seventh most popular post was about how the chain German Doner Kebab is opening in Weston-super-Mare. Well the post in January 2022 was about it opening, here we are year later in January 2023 and it still isn’t open.

Rising two places to number six was my review of Lidl Fritto Misto. Though I have bought the Lidl Fritto Misto from their Italy week quite a few times, the reality is that it’s okay, but not good. 

The fifth place spot was another on German Doner Kebab not yet open in Weston-super-Mare.

The top post from 2020 dropped six places to number seven in 2021. In 2022 it was my fourth most popular post, and it was my review of some Lidl Sol Mar Cod Croquettes

Having been the most popular blog post for both 2018 and 2017, second in 2019, and  dropping seven places in 2020, using from tenth place to third place was a post asking the question could you use Sirloin for Beef Wellington? This was a response to the high ranking of another post about using sirloin steak in a Beef Wellington rather than fillet steak due to the way people were (at the time) searching Google. 

The post at number two, sticking there, was a review of Lidl Coffee Ice Cream. They are not huge tubs, but what you get is a tasty creamy coffee ice cream, with a little chocolate in there as well.

Lidl Coffee Ice Cream

So the most popular blog post on Time for a Coffee in 2022 was German Doner Kebab still not open in Weston-super-Mare another post on the kebab chain.

Quite refreshing to see posts from 2022 being in the top ten.



We got some sweets in for Halloween, however due to the heavy rain we didn’t get many trick and treaters. So as a result we’ve had them hanging around the house for too long…

They are little bit too moreish…

Bonfire Biscuits

Take a chocolate digestive.

Add a dollop of buttercream (vanilla or chocolate). Use some Matchmakers broken up to represent the logs of the bonfire. The new(ish) honeycomb ones work well, from a flavour perspective, otherwise the mint can be overpowering. At this point you can dust with icing sugar to represent the ash.

Then using some torn up red shoelaces (the sweets, not actual shoelaces) place them around the chocolate logs to represent the flames.

Add some (fallen) mini marshmallows around the edge.

Sin Gluten

Sin Gluten

On our recent holiday to Spain visiting the local supermarket I was impressed with the quantity and types of products that were labelled “sin gluten” or gluten free.

These were mainstream or “normal” products and not products found just in the gluten fee aisle. This made self-catering gluten free so much easier.

The types of things that were labelled included pasta sauces, salami, chorizo, fish, meat and a range of other things. 

I do wish that labelling in the UK was just as clear, yes there are some (mainstream) products labelled gluten free, but normally I am there reading the ingredients list for those that contain gluten.

Free Glazed Doughnut

So there I was in Cabot Circus in Bristol in the early evening, anticipating a visit to the cinema, but doing some shopping before the film.

I noticed that people were going into Krispy Kreme being given a glazed doughnut from the conveyer belt and walking out. So I went in and I got a free doughnut from Krispy Kreme. They appeared to be giving away their excess stock.

In the past I haven’t thought highly of the Krispy Kreme doughnuts, they’re okay, but nothing special. However who am I to say no to a free doughnut.

Actually this one was still warm and very fresh. It was rather nice, quite enjoyed it.

Conference Pastries


One thing that I find irresistible at conferences is the small danish pastries that are often served with the pre-conference coffee. It is something I missed from the online conferences I have been attending (due to covid) over the last couple of years. 

Obviously the pastries aren’t the only thing I have missed from in-person events, but having some pastries in London recently I was reminded how nice they are…

I suspect it is something to do with an early start, a couple of hours on the train into London, onto the underground, and then a walk from the tube to the conference venue. By that point I have been up for a while, worked up an appetite and right there on the table next to the coffee are some freshly baked pastries. Just what is needed after a long journey.

Nice Gin

Received a bottle of Aviation American Gin as a present.

I have had the gin before out and about, and enjoyed it. So it was nice to get a bottle of it as a present.