Sunday Social

Today marks the start of my Sunday Social – they will be posts about the lovely places I have been and the gorgeous food I have eaten. I wrote a post about Baltzersens in Harrogate last year and it’s inspired the Sunday Social, because lets face it there is nothing better on a Sunday afternoon than perfect food and company.

Today’s post is all about Orchid, the beautiful adored Thai restaurant within the boutique Studley Hotel on Swan Road in Harrogate. I spent 3 gorgeous hours with my favourite second family, Amanda, Tim, Luke, Harry & Chloe have been in my life since the kids were tiny, in Harry and Chloe’s case before they were born! To sit with Luke, 17 whilst he has a beer and we chat about Uni makes me feel ancient, but at the same time so lovely to have been a part of his life for so long.

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The beautiful Studley Hotel

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The stunning private room we ate lunch in 

This restaurant is regarded as one of the best in town, it is full booked most weekends of most weeks throughout the year, but for me the absolute best time to go is Sunday Lunch.

I bet you have all been to an all-you-can eat, but I bet you have never been to an all-you-can eat like this before. The food is just incredible, the blend of Thai and Pan-Asian flavours and textures, just divine. Unlike a lot of buffets, the Orchids buffet offers the best of the main dinner menu.

Included in the starters section of the buffet are the incredible succulent duck pancakes, light tempura vegetables, a sharp and creamy cucumber and avocado salad. I followed that by the beautiful Red Duck Curry, jammed packed with roasted duck, pineapple, lime leaves and sweet basil, paired with the aromatic rice and spicy soft noodles.

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I cannot describe how beautiful the food at Orchid is, it’s also a wonderful place to people spot as Sunday Buffet seems to bring out the who’s who of Harrogate.

You can also indulge in some wonderful beer from all over Asia, includes Singapore’s Tiger, Singha from Thailand and my favourite Tsingtao which hails from China. There is also nothing more scrummy that a glass of ice cold Rose to cut through the rich Thai curries and to cool the palette after the chili ginger beef.

It’s a great date night place if you are out to impress and with the beautiful hotel attached its easy to make a weekend of it, walk off all the food and booze in the Valley Gardens afterwards.

Would love to know what your favourite restaurants in the area are, then I can add them to my ‘To Visit’ list and for my Social Sunday in the future.

E x

Halloween Challenge

So on October 22nd Miss Snare from The Magic Square Foundation siddled over to my deak at work and informed me of this awesome challenge she had come up with – Can you really create things that appear on Pinterest – so I created a baking board on Pinterest and the picture that jumped out to me was the Brain Cake! Something truly greusome to look at but amazing to eat! Add into the mix, today is my birthday and I am have made the Brain Cake for all the ace cool kids I work with.

This is the image from Pinterest that I was working from

So here is how I did it!

If you want my advice, buy a boxed cake mix, I love baking, I did it for a living but these cakes are perfect for a quick and means there is no excuse for throwing together a gory yummy cake.

So these are the things that you need…

To go into a basic cake, you need 3 eggs, 75ml of vegetable oil and 250ml of cold water. Then you can add whatever else you wish, I went for glacier cherries, mini marshmallows, and oreo cookies.

Set your oven to 180 degrees. Add the dry mix, eggs, oil and water to together and whisk, you can use a stand mixer like a Kitchen Aid or just use some brute force and a hand whisk. If you are adding extra bits them this is the time to add them. I chopped up the oreo cookies, and cherries and mixed them in with the marshmallows.

I then added a little red food colouring, gives the chocolate colour something a little more. Then grease and line the cake tin and pour in the tin and into the oven for 40 mins.

Once a skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean your cake is done! So out of the oven and onto the side for 10 minutes to cool. Then once 10 minutes has passed take the cake out of the tin and leave to completely cool.

Then the fun bit! Making the brain! You need cocoa powder, red food colouring butter and icing sugar. Add 500g icing sugar, to 200g of softened butter and mix, then slowly add a teaspoon of red foo colouring at a time until you have a pink shade, then finally add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to darken and flavour the icing. A final mix to blend it all.

Then comes the icing! I suggest a narrow nozzle and a bit of patience!

And hey presto! Here is the finished result….

Then as a cheeky extra, I had my halloween birthday party, so I decided to recreate one of my favourite make up artists Sam Chapman did, Marla Singer from Fight Club, one of my favourite film characters of all times.

Happy Halloween!

E x