The Sybarite

Gustare Honey summer newslette

Dear Honey lovers,

Hello and welcome to the first ever edition of the Gustare Honey newsletter!

In this issue we give you the buzz on Gustare Honey and announce our presence at the Speciality Fine Food Fair - together with the launch of our exciting CrowdCube campaign.
That’s not all…. We’re also offering one lucky reader the chance to win an exclusive cooking course! And to keep you in the summer spirit, we’re sharing a wonderful recipe for Grilled figs with goats cheese, that’s made even better by our Gustare DELICATE Honey…

Keep reading - and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  - for the full lowdown and all that’s great about Gustare Honey.


Our warmest regards, as always.

Paul Costa and Jason Howard Jones
Co-founders, Gustare Honey

 

Introducing Gustare Honey
Once upon a time having honey at home was all about a squeezy bottle, stuffed at the back of the cupboard. Fast forward to 2016 and the natural sweetener is finally getting the attention it deserves thanks to high quality honey producers like yours truly.

Created by Paul Costa (who has been producing honey in Australia since 2000, after learning the trade from a local beekeeper who kept hives on his land) and Jason Hayward-Jones (a farming and rural food expert), Gustare Honey - now available in the UK - offers a range of mono-floral premium raw honey produced by artisan beekeepers from Australia’s pristine natural wilderness.

Our bees are never exposed to chemicals or antibiotics, increasing their natural resistance and health, to provide a tastier, purer honey. Each variety is produced seasonally in its own provenance and distinctive terroir, resulting in a truly unique product.

There are currently five flavours to choose from - take a bow Delicate, Mild, Rich, Strong and, new favourite, Manuka Jelly Bush - with each flavour boasting a unique flavour and character.
Find your flavour at www. gustarehoney.com

 

Panel 2:  Enjoy a taste of honey at Speciality Fine Foods Fair
Gustare Honey is taking a stand (no 3903) at Speciality & Fine Food Fair (www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk).

That’s right: your favourite Australian Premium raw honey brand will be at The Speciality & Fine Food Fair - aka the UK's leading showcase of fine food and drink -which, this year, is talking place at Olympia London from 4-6 September.

We’ll be giving out complimentary samples, in addition to demonstrating the power of food pairing by serving Gustare Honey with ice cream, cheese et al.

What’s more, guests will be able to get the buzz on Gustare Honey straight from the horse’s mouth: co-founder Jason Hayward-Jones will on hand to share the story of how Gustare Honey came to be…
 

Gustare Honey launches crowdfunding campaign
On 26 August 2016, we’re launching a Crowd Cubecampaign - giving people a chance to invest in the future of Gustare Honey.
Donors who contribute £100 or more toward the campaign, will be rewarded with a gift pack containing our current range of products.
Interested in investing and playing a part in helping Gustare Honey flourish and reach new markets? Visit the Gustare Honey website for more.

 

Recipe reveal: Grilled Figs with Goats Cheese
A tasty and light option for these summer nights, made better by our Gustare DELICATE Honey: harvested from the Eucalyptus Melliodora tree in Western Victoria, New South Wales to south central Queensland. Smooth and delicate to taste, light in colour, with a generous aroma and widely regarded as one of Australia’s premier honeys.

What you will need:

40g walnut pieces

8 large fresh figs

100g rindless Goats’ cheese

3 tbsp Gustare DELICATE honey

4 large mint leaves, finely shredded

Half a Pomegranate

 

How to prepare:

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and carefully roast them for a minute until lightly golden. Remove and leave to cool.

2. Cut a deep X mark into the top of each fig, about two-thirds of the way down to the base, then give them a gentle squeeze to open them up slightly. Divide the Goats’ cheese between each fig and place them on a baking tray. Grill for 34 minutes until the figs are soft and the cheese is bubbling and lightly golden.

3. Lift the figs onto plates and drizzle a little honey over each one. Sprinkle with the walnuts, mint and Pomegranate seeds before serving.

Et voila!

Be social and share your cooking skills with Gustare Honey via Instagram:@gustarehoney

On the rise: mobile spas

Is the daily grind getting your down? Instead of schlepping to a spa, why not let the spa come to you… The Sybarites shows you the way to go

If you’re anything like The Sybarite, chances are your weekends are no longer about hobbies and hedonism.

As Londoners we spend Monday-Friday working (70+ hours weeks are now the norm) and playing (post work drinks, dinner at the latest IT restaurant, theatre dates) HARD.

So it’s little surprise then that, when the weekend finally rolls around, we’re drained –in every which way. This disturbing new trend is what’s being referring to as the Shatterday/Shunday phenomenon.

Here at Sybarite HQ, two days of ‘me time’ has been replaced by the supermarket shop, dry cleaning drop off, DIY on the flat you own but barely get to spend anytime in, essential “life admin” et al.

And, having spoken to other Sybarites, it seems we aren’t alone: Londoners are following the 5:2 plan not only when it comes to eating, but with everything!
 

Enough. If you, dear Sybarite, have reached October determined to reclaim some ‘me’ time yet can’t stomach the thought of enduring Transport For London’s endless weekend (basically the time that Londoners want to venture out and make the most of the metropolis) engineering work, we have the answer!

Allow us to introduce you to mobile spas -  highly trained beauty therapists who will travel to YOU to administer facials, massages, manicures, meditation and more - meaning you can enjoy some pampering at your convenience.

Spa themed private parties are also on the up with mobile pampering hen parties proving popular with brides-to-be who want to recreate spa experiences with their hens in the comfort of their homes, where groups of friends can channel their inner Carrie Bradshaw and sip Cosmos together in terry robes and slippers- without risking smudging their nail polish.


But more than this, who couldn’t do with a dash of magic in their life? For like a good hotel concierge, mobile spas make you feel truly cosseted - and eliminate that stressful commute home…

 

 

 

The great retro food revival

London's restaurants have developed an appetite for retro food. The Sybarite has the low down

When you think of London’s food scene, Chicken kiev, Prawn cocktails, Curried eggs, Arctic rolls and Cheese and pineapple sticks are probably the last thing you’d expect to find in the UK’s charismatic capital.

Think again. Seventies-esquefood is firmly back on the menu - something the success of Coin Laundry (www.coinlaundry.co.uk/) - the 70s inspired restaurant that opened late last year - bears testimony to.

The Exmouth Market dining spot positively celebrates the seventies - expect to find Cauliflower cheese steak, Black forest trifle, Soda stream cocktails and Angel Delight dominating the menu - and has garnered rave reviews from critics and customers alike.

The restaurant’s devotion to 'the decade that taste forgot' - can be seen in the decor too: think wooden floors and tiling, slouchy sofas, kitsch tableware plus a vintage pinball machine.

Coin Laundry isn’t the only restaurant turning back the clock… Mosey on over to Mayfair to discover that sweets at Sketch (https://sketch.london/) - Pierre Gagnaire’s gastronomic playground - are being served on an improbably old school hostess trolley straight out of the seventies.

Elsewhere 45 Jermyn Street (https://45jermynst.com) - Fortnum & Mason's newest restaurant - boasts a caviar trolley: take your pick from Iranian Beluga 000, Golden Oscietra or Siberian sturgeon, all served with scrambled eggs (the scrambling is done table-side so expect quite the show!) blinis, toast and miniature baked potatoes.

Make no mistake: Londoners are appear to be pining for seventies inspired dishes all of which begs the question is: why?

The Sybarite suspects that in these tricky times (think terrorist threats, that shock US Election, and a Brexit that is going nowhere fast), Londoners are looking for comfort and finding it in foodie pleasures from a simpler time, a golden age if you like.

And with the world in turmoil - Syria is dying, the International Criminal Court is collapsing and the era of Trump-ism is on the horizon - The Sybarite can’t see the fascination with seventies food fading anytime soon…

Living like a local

Because these days no one wants to feel like a tourist….

Culturally we’re stepping away from being holidaymakers, and moving on to becoming travellers. Sybarites no longer want to simply escape - rather we want experiences. Consequently we crave authenticity. We want to know the low-down on the hidden spots: read the locals only beaches, the off-the-beaten-track coffee shops… Of course it can be hardto find these… after all, if they were featured in the guidebooks, then every Tom, Dick and Harry would know about them right?

Fortunately for you, dear reader, The Sybarite has done the hard work for you. Here are six ways to seek and find authentic travel experiences, enabling you to truly live like a local whole overseas…

Eat with locals
Arguably there’s no better way to both literally and metaphorically get a taste of the local culture than by eating with a local. Enter VizEat (www.vizeat.com) - Europe’s largest social dining network (which can be accessed via the platform on your desktop or on your iOS mobile) which enables you to find locals in your travel destination du jour, with whom you can share an unforgettable and authentic travel experience. 

Travel with locals
Get around like the locals. If the city you’re visiting is cycle friendly - takea bow Brussels, Berlin and Copenhagen - then head to the cycle lanes! If pedal power has yet to catch on, use an app like GoEuro (www.goeuro.co.uk) to help you navigate your way around the local public transport system. While you’re at it, take the road less travelled. When you purposefully turn left instead of right, or take a few turns off of the main high street, that’s when you’re more likely to find a quirky boutique, hidden gem of a cafe, undiscovered park or even - depending on where you are - a secret back-beach!

Stay with a local
Thanks to platforms like Airbnb (www.airbnb.co.uk), this is easier to do than ever. Just jump on, search for your destination (currently there are hosts in over 191 countries - for the trivia buffs out there, that’s nearly all of them!) and request to stay. If you’re new to the platform or have any reservations about making a, ahem, reservation, just seek out the properties with lots of five star ratings and check out the user feedback.
 

Shop with the locals
Try and learn a little of the local language before touching down in your chosen destination. It’s not always necessary – particularly in places like the UAE and Oman where English is the lingua franca –  but will help integrate you into the community, in addition to making it easier to hit the shops. Sure you might not able to speak the languagefluently but you will feel more confident in stepping off the well-trodden high street equivalent paths. Local markets, particularly those not right in the tourist hotspots, can provide hours worth of fabulous people watching opportunities and local interaction and are a great way to observe first-hand the sights and smells and the cultural business and social interactions of your destination. Our message? Download language learning apps like Duolingo (www.duolingo.com) now and pick up a few usual phrases to try out during future shopping expeditions.
 

Sightsee with the locals
When you’re in a new place, there’s nothing better than having a local guide to take you around. There are loads of commercial tours - both on foot or by bus - available to be found and booked online but the best tours are those run by life long locals. London bound? Book a tour with Talk of the Town London (www.talkofthetownlondon.com) - a dynamic walking tour company comprising life long Londoners who are on a mission to share their love of London because they don’t want Sybarites to spend a minute of their time in Europe’s most exciting metropolis, lost in the tourist trap that is Leicester Square… For other European destinations, look out for Free Walking Tours By Locals (www.freewalkingtoursbylocals.com) where you can sign up for a free tour run by, you guessed it, a local.

And last but not least, plan - only not too much. Be sure to leave time in your itinerary for those unexpected, unforgettable travel experiences….

Bon voyage!

 

 

Grand Cayman: the Caribbean’s cultural capital

Located as it is, close to both Barbados and the Bahamas, Grand Cayman often gets overlooked – like a middle child overshadowed by its siblings. Grand Cayman may not be as fashionable as Barbados et al, but who cares? We can probably all survive a holiday without bumping into Simon Cowell and co says The Sybarite

Goodbye Barbados. This season, it’s Grand Cayman that is the winter hot spot we want to head to. And for good reason: gone is the cliché of a backwater Caribbean island with dated social habits. 

Rather Grand Cayman is a vibrant, first world island with a strong rule of law,  a higher per capita income than either the US or Britain and an enviable standard of living. Case in point? Eric Ripert - the acclaimed celebrity chef and co owner of top New York restaurant Le Bernardin - has created an award-winning restaurant on the island.

Make no mistake: after years in the second rank of Caribbean destinations, this small (despite its name Grand Cayman measures a mere four miles by 22 miles and is home to only 45,000 people) island that first shot to fame in the Tom Cruise film, The Firm, is back on the international travel map.

Ready to put thousands of miles between you and your desk? Here are 10 of the best things to do on Grand Cayman…


Seek out Seven Mile Beach
Visiting Grand Cayman and not spending at least one day basking in the sunshine on Seven Mile Beach – a five and a half mile (it confused us, too) stretch of Instagram-worthy sand, is akin to flying to Rome and skipping the Colosseum or popping to Paris and passing up the chance to ascend the Eiffel Tower…. you get the gist. Seven Mile Beach is Grand Cayman’s number one attraction and yet for all its fame, it remains remarkably unspoilt. You can still take a stroll upon rising and barely see another soul - even during the frenetic holiday season.
www.caymanislands.co.uk/activities/beaches/sevenmilebeach.aspx
 

Get wet
Once you’ve had your fill of Seven MileBeach, it’s time to take to the sea… trust The Sybarite when we say that the warm, azure waters are too enticing to pass up. Never dived on a Caribbean coral reef before? Then the legendary Cayman Trough is the perfect place to make your diving debut! Expect to be utterly amazed by the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. And keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Wreck of the Ten Sails’ - the result of an event that took place one night in 1794 and saw 10 merchant vessels run aground on the reef. Local legend has it that Caymanians (as Grand Cayman residents are affectionately known) managed to save every passenger prompting King George 111 to make Grand Cayman tax free in gratitude.

Say hello to the Stingrays
Meeting the Cayman Islands’ most famous residents – southern stingrays – is another must while on Grand Cayman. To do so, simply take a boat trip to Stingray City Sandbar - a sandy shallow spot where you’ll find scores of black, velvety stingrays (many of which boast impressive eight foot wingspans) feeding and frollicking in the waves.
www.stingraycitycaymanislands.com

Get up close and personal with the Grand Cayman Iguana
Away from the water, the Blue Iguana is Grand Cayman's largest native animal. This giant dragon like lizard can grow to more than five feet in length and weigh up-to as much as 25 pounds. This unique species faced extinction as recently as 15 years ago but, thanks to a successful recovery programme, their numbers have happily risen once again.
The best place to gawp at the gorgeous blue iguanas is the Queen Elizabeth 11 Botanic Park - 65 acres of lush gardens.
www.botanic-park.ky/

Take a hike
Want to get the endorphins going? Make for the Mastic Trail – a 2.5 mile route used, up until the 18th century, by islanders as a means of transport timber from the Northside of Grand Cayman to Bodden Town. As you lace up your hiking boots and march past ancient mastic trees, wildlife (West Indian woodpeckers, endemic Cayman parrots and Caribbean doves), banana orchids (the Caymanian national flower), and more, the London pollution will seem - both literally and metaphorically -a long, long, long way.
www.nationaltrust.org.ky/mastic-trail-tour


Make a beeline for Bodden Town
The original capital of the Cayman Islands, Bodden Town is actually only a couple of kilometres away from today’s capital, Georgetown, but it feels like entering a bygone Caribbean era. Consequently expect to see islanders swigging rum from hammocks, rural roads lined with stands selling Coconut water and patties (to die for pies) and radios playing reggae at full blast. Despite the unforeseen events of 2016, when in Bodden Town you’ll believe - as Bob Marley once sang - that “every little thing is going to be alright.”

Treat your taste buds
Celebrity chef and co owner of top New York restaurant Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert, has created a world class restaurant: take a bow Blue. Located in the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, the island’s only AAA Diamond rated restaurant is the place to dine on delicate Coconut ginger soup with avocado and yellow fin tuna in a savoury soy citrus vinaigrette amid elegant, sea inspired décor.
www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/caribbean/grand-cayman/dining/blue

Quaff a Cayman Mudslide
Even if you aren’t a fan of cocktails, you must try a Cayman Mudslide while in Grand Cayman. Wondering what a Cayman Mudslide is? Allow The Sybarite to enlighten you… The Cayman Mudslide cocktail consists of frothy vodka, kahlua, tia maria and ice cream and is invariably topped with a kitsch, colourful, cocktail umbrella. The Cayman Mudslide is a dieter’s nightmare but it tastes divine - and hey: you are, after all, on your holidays, right?!
 

Check out Pedro Castle
If ancient castles are your things, potter over to Pedro Castle (also called Pedro St James). This beautifully restored three storey plantation style house - the only building to have survived a massive hurricane in 1785 - is guaranteed to give you a flavour of Cayman’s colonial period of life. It was at Pedro Castle that slavery was officially abolished in 1835.
www.pedrostjames.ky/

Take a trip to the Turtle Farm
When Christopher Columbus sailed through the region back in 1503, he saw so many turtles that he named the islands Las Tortugas.
That was then… fast forward to today and Grand Cayman’s green sea turtles sadly feature on the endangered species list but it’s still possible to see these sea creatures at the Grand Cayman Turtle Farm - which breeds endangered green sea turtles and then releases them into the wild.
www.turtle.ky/