It’s time to brine your turkey!

Like most of you, I’m sure, our Christmas Day food prep is under way.

Just in case you need it, here are a couple of tips for the best roast turkey:

Brine it – You can do this 24/48hrs in advance and it’s well worth it for a succulent end result.

  • Find a container such as a bucket (very clean) or another similar container which will hold your turkey.
  • Mix about 3 ltrs of water with 250g sea salt, 200g

About last night……

So, it’s stunningly beautiful and it opens today!

I give you:

The Ivy Montpelier Brasserie


This is hugely welcomed in Cheltenham and much anticipated.

Last night was launch night and it was really such a pleasure to be there amongst some great friends. For a start off there were members of our lovely local blogging community, with which I am so pleased to be associated, as well as loads of industry mates and, well, just some very good friends.…

The Lygon Arms reinvents Itself

I left The Lygon Arms in 2003, shortly after it was sold on by The Savoy Group. I have treasured memories of my time at the dear old Lygon, associating with the hotel legend who was Douglas Barrington and some other remarkable people at the Lygon itself, including MD Kirk Ritchie, and also within The Savoy Group, such as Ramon Pajares and Willie Bauer.

The past few years have witnessed a very sad decline in its food offering, style and …

Blah, Blah, Blah

It’s been a busy old year!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was asked to help open a farm shop in Chipping Campden, called Fillet & Bone, earlier this year. I had the best job of putting together a collection of amazing suppliers, many of whom are local to The Cotswolds. It’s been an eye opening to the rich and diverse collection of artisan foodstuffs available in the area. Here are just some of them:

Toddenham Manor

A Whizzy Update!

Bazza’s Catch Up

I apologise to all my loyal supporters for a lack of posts this year. I am pleased to say life has been very busy!

I have missed all the interaction and so I have given myself a slap on the face and decided to get on with it.

So here is a resume of what’s been happening in my life.

On a personal note, the greatest thing is the arrival of another gorgeous grandson, Solomon Herb Smith …


Firstly, a massive thank you to you all for the touching responses to my last blog. It has made a big difference and now it’s time to move on and occupy my mind with the life ahead. Whilst it took a lot of deep breaths to make the issue so public, it would never have been possible without the support of family and, in particular, my gorgeous grandson Ezra.

So what has Bazza been up to?

Cooking, eating, so usual …

Food and the brain

Well what, in heavens name, do these two have in common, you may well ask. Well they don’t generally but they do apply to me. So this time I’m going to fill you in on the brain part of me!

Deep breaths

Now this is generally something we shove under the carpet and let it stew (messy!) Well for me mental health is a big issue and bouts of depression are something I have lived with for many years. Depression …

An eating out blow out

So much in life, for me, is eating (and drinking)! Recently I have enjoyed a truly gluttonous but thoroughly enjoyable few weeks, mostly to celebrate a birthday (not a particularly special one)

So let’s split it into two segments. Here and abouts and London.

I’ve had two truly great experiences recently.


In my last post, I mentioned a new pop-up restaurant in Cheltenham recently opened by Andrew Kojima, a previous Masterchef finalist. I have got to know “Koj” over the …

Foodie News Update

Eating Out

Delighted that The Wild Rabbit in Kingham has, deservedly, been recently awarded a Michelin Star. Congrats to Executive Chef, Tim Allen and the team at ‘The Rabbit’

Masterchef finalist, Andrew Kojima has opened a pop-up Japanese restaurant in Regent Street, Cheltenham. I’m going tonight and greatly looking forward to the¬†experience. Specifically, no sushi on offer, as Koj wishes to broaden the appreciation of Japanese food. Get there soon as it is only open until Christmas. I’ll report …

The Howard Arms, Illmington


It’s been a number of years since I last visited The Howard Arms, when it was under the ownership of the Greenstock family. It was a pleasure to return to a familiar haunt. It has recently undergone a restoration by the new owners. I think, as far as the restaurant and bar are concerned, they have done a great job in so much as they have retained the character and style without the modish effect that some pub operators feel …