Polenta is one of those dishes that is so often bland and disappointing. It might therefore seem an unlikely dish on which to base an entire restaurant. However, the owners of La Polenteria are on a mission to show us just how great polenta can taste when it’s made properly. Polenta is a golden-yellow cornmeal made from ground maize and despite its association with GMO crops, all the polenta used at this new Soho restaurant is GMO-free. Their dishes lean heavily on traditional Italian cuisine, with hearty main meals and beautiful healthy salads, and polenta featuring to a greater or lesser extent across the menu. Polenta is a great alternative for people going gluten-free and many of the dishes are vegan and vegetarian friendly. Having recently sampled the menu, we are more than convinced that polenta is worthy of its very own restaurant. La Polenteria, 64 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UQ
Fashionable Blend & Press
Neal’’s Yard has always been a little haven of health, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden. Its newest addition is Blend & Press, the latest cold pressed juicing establishment to join London’s collection. Blend & Press has collaborated with Neal’s Yard Remedies and uses their natural health products in its recipes. Along with juices, Blend & Press makes superfood smoothies, natural ice lollies and snacks. We’re in love with their hand-made matcha green tea snack balls which are absolutely to die for. This week they have given some of their juices and smoothies names to celebrate London Fashion Week. We’re quite sure the Cacao Chanel has accessorised many a fashionista at the shows! Blend & Press, 16a Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden London WC2H 9DP
FreeFrom Eating Out Awards
London has come a long way in recent years with respect to food innovation and adaptability. People with food allergies, intolerances and even mild dislikes can be catered for quite easily across the city. The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards were launched to spread awareness and encourage high standards of “free-from” food within the food service industry, especially as new allergen regulations are coming into effect this December. Independent judges will be assessing entries from restaurants, pubs, cafes, hotels, hospitals, prisons and the military, and awards will be given out at Food Matters Live in November. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed closer to the time to find out who the winners are!
Festival of Heat 2014
Last year’s Festival of Heat was a veritable hit, with approximately 3,500 chilli-loving Londoners venturing out to sample everything from chilli jam, to workshops on growing your own chillies. The Festival of Heat returns for a second year at Spitalfields City Farm with a range of stalls, demonstrations, cooking workshops and even live music. Chillies have a great number of potential health benefits thanks to their high levels of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C and the spicy substance called capsaicin. In fact, just two teaspoons of red chilli peppers provide about 6% of the daily value for vitamin C and more than 10% of the daily value for vitamin A. So for a weekend activity that is both great fun and potentially good for you too, be sure to add Sunday 28th September to your diary and head out East to the hottest festival in town.