Chilli Pickle, Brighton

Our vacations in UK are usually spent, for the most part in Brighton, where my son Ed is based – a fair amount of eating out is usually involved! So, this piece on HotelChatter caught my eye – the name too – chilli pickle happens to be brilliantly made in Zambia by Rivonia and was the subject of a previous blog post. Can’t wait to try the restaurant next time we’re in Brighton.

“The ever-burgeoning London hotel scene may have most of our attention at the moment, but we’re far from immune to the charms of Brighton, especially with the news that one of our favorite fun hotels there, myhotel Brighton, has just opened a restaurant devoted to one of our favorite foods: curry.

Not just any restaurant, either – it’s the new site for The Chilli Pickle, which won the prize for most innovative restaurant at last year’s British Curry Awards, and received two AA rosettes and a Michelin BiB Gourmand thing too. The restaurant got all its plaudits (and rave TripAdvisor reviews) in its old location in Meetings House Lane but it’s now upped sticks to the hotel, and opened its doors Monday.

It’s owned by the same team and will have the same menu as before, as well as introducing some new dishes from a recent trip to India.

Prices are really reasonable, too: vegetable dishes from £3.50, mains from £6.95 and thalis for £9.95 for lunch and from £12.95 for dinner. The one to go for? The new Mutton Laal Mans – pieces of mutton in hot red chilli gravy from Rajasthan, courtesy of their latest trip.


Vivien Eva Chanter 1914-2007

Today is the 4th anniversary of my mother’s death at the ripe old age of 93. She passed away peacefully in Dorchester, England on 19th March 2007 and is still sadly missed by the whole family.

My parents lived most of their married lives in Devon and loved walking and rambling – the photo shows my late mother on one such occasion.



George Mukwita writes:

ZMusicTV is an online registered broadcasting entertainment company based in the London Borough of Greenwich, England – an area which has a large multi-ethnic population. Within the borough there are extremes of wealth and poverty, and Greenwich includes both typically inner-city and suburban areas. ZMTV aims to broadcast Zambian Music and Art as a way of engaging fellow Zambians, and others interested in Zambia who are actively online, promoting talents in people such as musicians, models, fashion designers and dancers as well as showcasing cultural events such as Zambian Independence Day celebrations.

Included in the focus is a desire to expand, using visual imagery. ZMTV’s overall passion is to develop the sense of belonging and to build the Zambian motto “One Zambia One Nation”, reaching out to as many fellow Zambians in the UK and around the globe via the internet as possible, to deliver an inspirational and positive message and share Zambian culture. ZMusicTV seeks to highlight, strengthen and re-enforce Zambian identity within Zambian communities, and project the same to non-Zambians in Europe.

In this age of globalization, cultural identity is crucial to the survival of communities and individuals. It will help people to connect with their home culture, and to connect Zambians to their communities which exist in Europe. From the outside, these communities don’t appear to be as close or as solid as other African communities e.g. in comparison to say, Nigerian and Somalian communities living and working in London.

ZMusicTV seeks to play a central role in bringing Zambians together, strengthening and reinforcing the Zambian communities which exist abroad by projecting Zambian music and culture into them. ZMusicTV can also be a bridge between Zambia and the non-African communities of Europe by promoting Zambian music and culture, creating an interest in Zambia, and encouraging people to visit the country, helping its economy through tourism etc.

George ends: Can’t wait for ZMusic TV to air my music videos lol.


Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1

Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal’s performance in their 2-1 Champions League victory over Barcelona and labelled the occasion a “special night”. The Gunners went a goal down at the Emirates Stadium after David Villa swooped in the first half but staged a stirring comeback thanks to late strikes by Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin.

It was the first time Arsenal have beaten the Catalan giants and puts them in a great position to qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition. But Wenger remained cautious with the second leg on the horizon in three weeks’ time, especially considering Arsenal’s 4-1 second-leg defeat at the Nou Camp last season which saw them exit the competition.

“I am highly delighted. It was a special football night,” said Wenger. “The game promised a lot and fulfilled that promise. It was two exceptional teams who tried always to be positive. “We are not favourites now, but what is important is the belief that we have a chance. “Barcelona are still favourites. We know now that we can beat them, though. We did not know that last year.

“Tonight gives us a chance to to go to Barcelona with belief. Every game is difficult but we will prepare well and be highly focused.


Chuka Umunna

Don’t usually blog about politics but this caught my interest. Could this chap be the UK’s first black Prime Minister? That’s the speculation in some circles.

“Chuka Umunna was elected as Member of Parliament for Streatham in May 2010, becoming the first MP for the constituency to have grown up in the area. He was selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the seat in March 2008 by the Streatham Labour Party after Keith Hill MP, who first won the seat for Labour in 1992, announced his retirement at the next general election.

Born in October 1978, Chuka studied Law at the University of Manchester and the University of Burgundy, followed by Nottingham Law School. An employment law solicitor by profession, prior to his election Chuka worked at a law firm primarily acting for employees but also employers, having trained as a solicitor at a City law firm.

Chuka is a board member of Generation Next, a not for profit social enterprise providing activities for young people in London. He was formerly a trustee of the Anthony Bourne Foundation and the 409 Project – both youth charities – and has also served as a school governor of Sunnyhill Primary School and Children’s Centre in Streatham. He sits on the management board of Compass, the centre left pressure group and is a member of the Fabian Society, GMB and Unite. He is a patron of Latimer Creative Media, a social enterprise which trains young people in digital media and a supporter of Cassandra Learning Centre, a charity raising awareness and working to stop domestic violence.

In the May 2010 general election, Chuka was elected to represent Streatham having received 20,037 votes, with the number of votes received by Labour rising from 18,950 in the previous general election in 2005. Turnout in Streatham increased by 11.5 percentage points at 62.8% compared with 51.3% in 2005. In June 2010, he was elected by his parliamentary colleagues to serve on the Treasury Select Committee and in October 2010 was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party.”

What do you think?


Weather in Wiltshire

My sister Ruth (above) was on BBC Radio 4 in UK on Saturday talking about the weather, the subject of her latest book. Here’s what ‘Open Country‘ was all about!

“As a nation, we are obsessed with the weather. Studies have shown that over half of us talk about the weather at least once day and check the forecast regularly before making plans and heading out. We despair when it rains, we swoon in the sun, we can’t bear the sight of clouds in the sky, yet we hate the thought of hosepipe bans and appear to be spectacularly unprepared for extreme weather events, even when expected or forecast. The weather certainly seems to matter to most of us, but is extremely important to some those whose livelihoods and way of life can depend on the forecast. And for centuries, we’ve tried to predict the weather by looking at the sky above us and the landscape around us – the different ways in which plants, animals and the countryside around us can give us clues about what is coming and reflects what has been.

For this week’s Open Country, Helen Mark is in Wiltshire to find out about the ways in which the weather gets under our skin and impacts on our lives and on the landscape around us. Helen hears from meteorologist, Liz Bentley, about how her own obsession with the weather led to her setting up the Weather Club, an organisation for like minded souls who appreciate the weather for all its wonders. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society explains how our lives would be immeasurably poorer without the clouds in the sky above us. Wiltshire farmer, Stephen Horton, has been collecting rainfall data for the last 25 years, having taken over from his father who did the same for 25 years before him and Helen also hears from National Trust Conservation Advisor about how Wiltshire has coped with the extreme weather conditions seen earlier this winter and how traditional seasons can actually help our flora and fauna.

Helen is joined by Ruth Binney, author of Wise Words and Country Ways to put to the test some of those centuries old countryside theories and sayings that we have used to predict the weather we get. Finally astrologer, David Rowan, explains how how astrology and the ancient wonder of Stonehenge have been used to predict the weather and the changing seasons.”

Great stuff Ruth!


Penny Black Restaurant, Chelsea, London.

As you may have seen earlier in the week, my son Jan-Martijn has recently been appointed Head Chef at Penny Black Restaurant in Fulham Road, Chelsea. Opening is scheduled for the 3rd week in February, so you can imagine the hectic pace of his life at the moment. The photo of Chef doing dangerous things at Victoria Falls was taken some years back! I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the menu and I’ve chosen the following to tickle your taste buds!

London Particular
As I haven’t a clue what it is!

Mussels & Cockles, Cider & Mustard Broth, Carrots, Kohlrabi & Cress
It reminded me of Sweet Molly Malone as she walked the streets broad and narrow – and the dish sounds thoroughly exotic

Pigs Head Terrine, Pear Chutney, Toast Brawn sounding favourite and I love pears – and chutney for that matter!

Ginger Pig Sausages & Mashed Potatoes

Roast Lemon Chicken, Bread Sauce & Vegetables
A firm favourite, especially the Bread Sauce

Pigeon Pie, Bacon and Red Cabbage
Something I’ve never eaten but sounds very ‘London’

Chocolate & Rum Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream
Just this thanks very much!

Made your mouth water? I bet it has!


Jan-Martijn Chanter – Head Chef

I had this news the other day via Facebook and it’s congratulations to Jan-Martijn, one of my sons, on this exciting new appointment. Of course you might not know that Jan’s kitchen training started very early in his life and was conducted by his granny and his dad, as the above picture proves!

Congratulations Jan! Who wrote:

“Good news is that I have accepted a job as head chef at the Penny Black Restaurant. The owner is an old comrade from the days of the Atlantic Bar and Grill – Tony Ho. I’d noticed that he was opening a place and I messaged him that I’d be interested in sorting out the kitchen. He called me back and we have moved on from there. The food concept is British Seasonal.”

On further investigation I discovered that the restaurant is due to open in February, and here’s what I also found on the internet:

“The Penny Black Restaurant is a traditional British restaurant, evocative of fond childhood memories and creating a home from home on Fulham Road, Chelsea.

Traditional British long lost favourites such as; Beef Wellington, Toad In The Hole, London Particular, Braised Oxtail, Scottish Lobster, Cottage Pie, Grilled Dover Sole, Bread & Butter Pudding, Apple & Rhubarb Crumble and Arctic Roll are just a few of the nostalgic dishes on the wholesome and hearty menu. All are cooked in the indulgently classic style using the finest of ingredients from British farmers and producers.

The team behind The Penny Black Restaurant has over 30 years experience between them in the London restaurant scene having worked with legends such as Oliver Peyton on his eponymous and much missed ‘Atlantic Bar and Grill’. The comfortable yet opulent décor features original artwork from Simon Claridge the up and coming Washington Green artist whose work is currently on display at galleries worldwide.”

The restaurant is quite near Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC and Jan-Martijn as an Arsenal fan (it’s compulsory in the family) says he’ll have to ‘set aside his Chelseaphobia’ while at work.

He’s a wonderful chef and of course we wish him the very best of luck in this exciting new project!


The Ashes Are Coming Home!

Congratulations England on a stunning 3-1 series win in The Ashes cricket in Australia! First time England have won it on Australian soil for 24 years and it was achieved in some style! Basically mates, you were thrashed!

Above Alastair Cook, man of the series with a batting average of around 126 and more than 700 runs, is pictured with satisfied skipper Andrew Strauss.

To our many Australian friends and Clients we say, hard luck! (Or something like that! Lol!)

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