Hello, I’m Mariana and welcome to my food blog – The Copper Kettle!
I am as passionate about food as you can get and I assume you are too and that’s why you are visiting.
A bit about me
I was born in Porto, Portugal and was brought up with honest, comforting home cooking, beautiful seasonal ingredients that ripe under a hot sun and long family meals. That, and my Mum’s influence, pretty much defines my cooking. Moving to England 16 years ago has significantly widened my horizons when it comes to food. Contrary to old-fashioned beliefs about English food, here I found an unexpected world of culinary diversity and quality, with London’s restaurant scene at my disposal. Paradoxically, food is far more important in Portuguese culture, yet we don’t have anywhere near the breath of choice that the UK has (although that has started to change). Portugal is full of gems, however, some of which still top my list of all-time favourite restaurants competing with 3-Michelin starred ones! And I will be happy to tell you about them here.
The essence of this blog
The essence of this blog is very personal – my experience and opinion based on an enduring love of all things food and a passion for good food experiences, regardless of price, style and place. That means here you will find praise for the simplest or cheapest of foods as well as the fanciest, as long as they are truly delicious.
This blog contains a mix of recipes, my personal restaurant reviews and thoughts about food, drink or cooking. I am not a very good photographer, unlike many amazing food bloggers out there, but I do try to take pictures as much as possible so you can get a good feel for the deliciousness of something or the atmosphere of somewhere. Please be patient with the quality of my photos, I can only promise I will keep trying to improve.
The recipes I post here are easy and have been tried and tested and I stand behind them. If you do try one of my recipes, please do leave a comment, let me know how it turned out, what you paired it with and who you cooked it for. I would love to hear from you, even though it may not have worked as well as you thought and welcome suggestions to improve it. I may also post someone else’s recipe if I think it’s worth sharing and will always reference it.
I know there are many restaurant review sites out there. I don’t intend to compete with them or emulate what they do, but merely share my own experience with a personal review to help if you are stuck for a place to go or happen to be near one of the places I have tried. Because time is precious and opportunities to eat out are scarce I tend to think of restaurants like films – it has to count. That means I can be a bit picky in my reviews (not at restaurant critic level though, but probably more than most people). It also means I try not to waste time going somewhere that is likely to be disappointing and so, most of the reviews here are for places I liked. I will also include recommendations from trusted, equally in love with food, friends and family.
Here you will find reviews for one-room kitchens serving food to go to busy commuters to Michelin starred restaurants. From countryside pubs to farm shops or market stalls.
As for restaurants, you will probably find a bias towards London and Porto (the northern city in Portugal), but also Surrey and Sussex as those are the cities/places I have either worked or lived in.
It’s all about food
I will also share some thoughts about food things, drinks, cooking methods and anything that has to do with food and is worth a post. This is all about sharing good experiences, like a wine I will never forget or a particularly good ale I have tried somewhere, as well as a potato that cooks well or even opening up the conversation around a debate to do with food.
A bit more about me
A bit more about me: I am a happily married mother of 2 wonderful boys who are 4 and 8. We live in the Sussex countryside and I have a full-time job and that, together with family life, can take time away from food and cooking. I still aim to post regularly and share at least one recipe a week, but do bear with me if it goes slower than that and if it takes a bit longer than usual to respond to comments or questions.
This blog will not stand the test of time without readers, contributors, commenters, friends. I look forward to getting to know you, hearing what you have to say, whether about one of my recipes or one of the restaurants I love. Keep visiting and happy eating!