'Burn everything and anything, and it tastes better; leeks, onions, the house [burning down the house!]'
Martyn Meid or Tom Jones...not a direct quote...
About 2 years ago now, I was invited to a blogging event that changed my life (big claim here, it's going to get emotional guys, grab the tissues). The event was held by Miele and it was a chef's table with Martyn Meid, the Nordic genius who burns everything (EVERYTHING) he can get his hands on. What I thought was a big blogging event turned out to be an intimate 9 course tasting menu for seven of us. It's one of the best events I've ever been to, the food was amazing, the atmosphere was really great and I had such a fun night. This in itself doesn't make the event life changing, but meeting Sophie and Frankie, definitely does. We speak to each other everyday, I hang out with Sophie more than any of my other friends and I definitely know more about both of them than I should. Anyway from meeting these two gals at the Miele event, I never thought we would be so close.
Becoming friends with Sophie and Frankie has opened us up to meeting more bloggers that we'd never met before. We're all grown women and we live in the digital age (urgh I sound so old, who says 'the digital age'...I think my boyfriend's dad does...) but meeting people through the internet can be scary and you should definitely be cautious. We play it safe by meeting new people together, so if one of us meets a blogger that they think is cool or someone approaches one of us and says hey let's hang out (this mostly happens to Frankie...she has one of those faces), then we'll meet them as a group rather than one on one. It just makes it feel safer for everyone, the new person knows you're not a psycho because they're meeting you with another blogger as well, and in the reverse if the new person is a weirdo you're a lot safer with your friends. That being said people invest a lot of time into blogging and I think you could tell from a personal blog if a blogger isn't who they say they are (it's difficult to get so many pictures of the same girl eating a burger in different clothes without actually being that girl), plus you know we've yet to meet any weirdos. I've made some really great friends this way too; Persephone alongside Sophie is one of my closest friends, she's the kindest person you'll ever meet and us all together with our manfriends/P's fiancé make a good little dozen for hanging out (they're getting hitched in November, and Sophie and I are making their wedding cake [ok it's brownies but, you know, still a cake!], which I am super excited about and cannot wait for them to tie the knot), Gianni is the not-so-crazy cat lady with a talent for penning short stories and the best laugh you'll ever hear, Hannah is hilarious and I really can't say anything else without being explicit, Mike is cool and I'm not just saying that because we have the same taste in music I mean he also knows where to get the best burgers in town (not exclusively London town either, I think you could tell him a city and he'd tell you where to eat), Emma is my food twin and the adventurer I wish I was (check out her latest trip to Vienna here), and then there's Lauren, a real sweetheart with the best fashion sense.
That was completely off topic but I just wanted to show you what could happen from spending the night enjoying the food of Martyn Meid. Since that event and probably every time Sophie and I get together we always talk about how great the food was that night, so much so that my manfriend, Dan, asked if we could go to Martyn Meid's restaurant, Ink, for his birthday. A night of great food and the possibility of a second life changing experience quickly settled me booking a table for two at Ink in Bethnal Green, for the 72 hour tasting menu after all it's not everyday your young man turns 11 (first Harry Potter reference of the post...Dan's not really 11). What's a 72 hour tasting menu? Well you tell Martyn 72 hours before your booking that you want to try that menu and he creates a 7 course tasting menu for you (without any food you dislike at your request) for £72 per person with a glass of wine per course. This has got to be the best price I've ever had for a tasting menu in London with wine, I'd even go so far to say it was one of the best tasting menus we've ever had (definitely up there with those we tried in Reykjavik, see post here, and our London favourite, Pollen Street Social, which was ridiculously expensive but one of the best meals of my life). The first challenge of the night, was trying to find Ink, unless you know where it is it's really quite difficult to locate, Frankie had been before and told me it was in an estate so we were prepared but we didn't know it was actually right in the middle of the estate. If you follow the canal from Bethnal Green you'll eventually get to some blocks of flats/offices and Ink is nestled on the end of one overlooking the canal. I really hope they get a good amount of traffic, because the food and atmosphere are excellent, but the location probably isn't somewhere you'd look to find a restaurant.