Review: Origin's Of pop up, Blessings, Spitalfields

After sampling my first Lebanese meal in Cologne last month, I was eager to try more Middle Eastern inspired dishes. So when an invite to the launch of Origin Of landed in my inbox, it seemed like fate. I hotfooted it down to Spitalfields with Lily to see what the new Middle Eastern inspired pop up had to offer.

Situated in the instagram friendly venue of Blessings - see picture below for reference - we were taken upstairs where the food didn't stop coming. First up for the absolutely tantalising spice infused buttermilk chicken topped with crunchy radishes, cucumber ribbons and a slither of scotch bonnet mayo on a flatbread. to give it a satisfying kick. This was by far my favourite dish and I could have eaten it all night. Next was the veggie version. Buttermilk fried cauliflower poppers. Just as addictive.

The pace was changed with the introduction of beetroot falafel and a selection of mouth-watering dips such as sumac yogurt, tahini hype and fresh sweet chilli. The falafel were perfectly cooked with a delicious soft middle topped with sesame seeds to give them a crunch. Finally we rounded off the evening with a bowl of creamy hummus and soft flatbread. The olive oil was the perfect finishing touch.

The kitchen is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm till 11pm. Get yourself down to Spitalfields and make sure you don't miss out!


Recipe: Apple cider cake

When Waddlegoose offered to send me some of their cider to try, I immediately thought of baking with it. Coming in two delicious flavours, crisp apple and fruity berry,  the first flavour seemed the perfect one to create a cake. The flavoursome new launch from Aspell, gave the cake a delicious flavour without being too over-powering. It's even better the next day served with a steaming hot cup of tea!

Taken from a Paul Hollywood recipe

100g unsalted butter
100g unrefined light muscovado sugar
2 free range eggs
225g plain white flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp of cinnamon
150ml of cider

For the glaze
Icing sugar


1.  Heat the oven to 160 degrees - adjust the temperature if you don't have a fan oven. Grease a cake pan and line with baking paper.

2. Beat the better and sugar together using an electric hand mixer. Once fluffy, beat in the two eggs.

3. In a separate bowl, shift the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together.

4. Using a metal spoon, fold in a third of the flour into the beaten mixture. Then half the cider. Fold in another third and then the rest of the cider. Finally fold in the final third of flour.

5. Transfer the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Cook for around 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it as mine was ready within 20 minutes.

6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before taking it out and leaving it to cool full on a wire wrack.

7. Once cool, it's time to make the glaze. Mix icing sugar and cider together to create a thin glaze. How much you use is depending on your taste. Pour over the cake before leaving to dry.

8. Tuck in and enjoy!

As always please do tweet me if you try this cake at home. It's definitely one I'll be trying again!


Hotel review: Hotel Lyskirchen Cologne, Germany

For our trip to Cologne we wanted a hotel that was central yet far enough away from the main strip to still be quiet - it's never about only having a few hours sleep. We stumbled across Hotel Lyskirchen*, a modern hotel close to the River Rhine.

Offering 105 rooms, free wifi and air conditioning, the hotel is located 1.5km away from the famous Cologne Cathedral and just 300 metres away from the old town. Our economy room was a good size, with a fridge, sofa and wardrobe offering lots of storage space. It was so lovely to not feel cramped as what is common with many city hotels. Check in was a doddle and the staff were extremely helpful - I felt like I could go down quite easily if I had any queries. The breakfast buffet was the perfect way to set us up for the day - so much food! I'd really recommend booking Lyskirchen if you ever find yourself in the city!


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