A foodie weekend in Brecon Beacons, Wales (plus a peanut chaat recipe)

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London is fantastic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is 4 airports with a multitude of cheap flights. It means I have been to some wonderful places recently (Rome, Israel, Munich, and Andalucia, to name but a few), but sometimes, I forget the wonders that are right on my doorstep. This year, I’ve resolved to explore Great Britain a bit more, and so far in 2016, I’ve been to Bristol, Bath, Wales, and Cornwall (more on that one here)!

The trip to Wales was borne out of the desire for a getaway with a lot of hiking, and very little civilisation. My friends and I interspersed decadent eating with hiking and games, and after four days, I felt more relaxed than I have ever felt in London! Of course, as you’d expect, I did focus on eating a lot, and all the food we ate was truly outstanding. As my friends are foodies (could it be any other way?), we decided to divide and conquer in terms of meals over the 4 days. So here’s the lowdown…

On Thursday evening, we took a little stroll and explored Tretower Castle, an incredible 12th-century castle that was conveniently located right behind our cottage.

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Dinner that night was a recipe from the Honey & Co book: roast chicken with red onion, apricots, and potatoes. I can take no credit for this one apart from devouring the last few bits of chicken once everybody else was full!

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Preserved lemon and mint salsa

Preserved lemon and mint salsa

Friday was our first active day, and so we decided to start it off right: with pancakes.

We then hiked up the Sugar Loaf mountain, which was tough and windy, but oh so beautiful and worth every huff and puff. My newly acquired Fitbit measured us climbing 161 floors and completing just shy of 13km – not too shabby, in our opinion!

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Our sustenance on the hike were various snacks and the amazing BASH sandwiches – bacon, avocado, spinach, and halloumi. Invented and prepared by The Baking Medic, they were exactly what we needed when we reached the summit!

On Friday night, it was my turn to feed the masses, and so I tossed up some peanut chaat before serving a flavoursome, chicken biryani. The recipe for the chaat recipe is right at the bottom of this post, and you can find the biryani recipe here.

Me and my kitchen helpers

Me and my kitchen helpers

Biryani!

Biryani, plus cucumber raita!

Saturday was our day of leisure, and so we started off with a whole round of Eggs Royale, including hollandaise made from scratch. I was in charge of poaching all the eggs and was extremely nervous that I would mess up the whole brunch, but luckily, everything turned out okay!

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The afternoon saw us embarking to Hay on Wye, a gorgeous town filled with beautiful bookshops. I had to seriously control myself and only bought one book. And by one I mean three…

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Once we got back from book shopping, my friend, the founder of FADP, casually prepared a three course extravaganza for all of us.

We started off with antipasti…

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Then, we continued with a classic bolognese and the most amazing roast vegetables I’ve ever had, based on a Dishoom favourite. They were outstanding, and even made me eat tender stem broccoli, which I’m not normally a huge fan of!

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We then rounded off the evening with some rude Charades, but also a frangipane tart with vanilla ice cream.

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On Sunday morning, we were already feeling somewhat sad about heading back to our real lives. But some homemade croissants and an assortment of other delicious goodies soon perked us right up!

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As we had a few hours before we had to get our train, we decided to hike up Ysgyryd Fawr (or as we liked to call it: Isengard). It was very steep in parts, but absolutely idyllic nonetheless.

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We were so sad to leave our little Welsh cottage (or Wottage, as we started calling it), and so we have resolved to do this every year, somewhere remote! Stay tuned for more foodie adventures…

Ice cream in Hay on Wye

Ice cream in Hay on Wye

Peanut chaat recipe (serves 6 as a starter/snack)

  • 400g salted peanuts
  • 1 packet fresh coriander
  • 1/2 white onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Chaat masala, to taste (around 2-3 tsp)
  • Lemon juice

This couldn’t be easier! Mix everything together in a big bowl and taste and season to your liking with chaat masala and lemon juice. If you’re making this in advance, simply toss everything except the tomatoes and lemon juice, and add the last two just before serving. Enjoy!

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