Mushroom and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

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Mushroom and goat’s cheese frittata. And coffee.

“Have you put tarragon in that?”

Henceforth comes the question from my usually unfussy husband when I bring anything to the table that has the faintest hint of anise. Apparently, excessive generosity of tarragon use is my biggest flaw in the kitchen.

Sometimes, when cooking for others, I do wonder what I’m letting myself in for. It is, unquestionably, the thing I enjoy most in life, but it is not without its tribulations. This weekend, for example, my parents came to visit and the conversation eventually moved over to the Christmas Dinner I would be cooking them this year:

Dad: “I don’t like Christmas pudding.”
Me: “Yes, I know. You’ve never liked it. So I’m also making that steamed chocolate pudding you like. You know, the one with the chocolate fudge sauce? And I’m making vanilla ice cream to go with it.”
Dad: “No custard?”

This is a fairly typical exchange whenever my parents come to visit, which infuriates me immeasurably. My dad, having never cooked a Christmas dinner in his life, fails to understand the sheer enormity of the undertaking; the weeks of preparation, the juggling of multiple pans on the cooker and the precise timings upon which everything hangs. He just wants custard. Under usual circumstances this is a perfectly reasonable request, however, when you’ve spent hours planning a dinner that is festive enough, doable in a small London kitchen and parent-friendly; one that uses every pot, pan and utensil in the kitchen; whimsical alterations will cause you to roll your eyes in the best case scenario and completely tip you over the edge in the worst.

Fortunately, my husband has 11 years of experience to know when to just leave me to it, except where tarragon is concerned. With the merest sound of the knife hitting the chopping board, I find him peering over my shoulder to appraise my choice of herb. As so happened when I made this frittata for breakfast on Saturday morning. For me, tarragon is the perfect companion for mushrooms and goats cheese; for him, less so. If I were a better wife, perhaps, I would leave it out altogether, or concoct some inventive method for stirring chopped tarragon into one side of the pan once the eggs had already been poured in but, alas, I am a selfish being. At least when it comes to breakfast.

The beauty of frittata is that you can add more or less anything you like. I would have liked this particular one with a layer of thinly sliced fried potatoes at the bottom, but only realised I didn’t have any as I started to cook. I used a mixture of chestnut and shiitake mushrooms, but you can throw in whatever is in season. And, of course, you can leave out the tarragon if you absolutely must.

Mushroom and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Olive oil
250g mixed mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 eggs
Splash of milk
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
75g soft goat’s cheese
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180°c.

Heat a little olive oil in a large, deep frying pan, or chef’s pan, and sauté the onions until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, gently fry the onions and garlic until soft, but not browned.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk, salt and pepper and three-quarters of the chopped tarragon and whisk together.  Return the mushrooms to the pan and spread out to cover the base. Pour over the egg mixture.

Crumble over the goat’s cheese, then sprinkle over the Parmesan and remaining chopped tarragon. Allow to cook on the hob for a couple of minutes before transferring to the oven for 15 minutes, until the eggs have set. Allow to cool a little before serving.

Serves four.

Thank you to everybody on Twitter who cleared up the conundrum of where the apostrophe should go in ‘goat’s cheese.’ After a great deal of debate, the general consensus is that before the ‘s’ is correct.

Other frittata recipes from More than Just Toast:
Cherry tomato, prosciutto and ricotta frittata
Pea, asparagus and goat’s cheese frittata

Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto

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Smoked haddock and leek risotto

In the past few days, the world has been turned upside down. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable about introducing politics into my writing, for I know that you’re not here for my views on world events; but it feels wrong somehow not to comment on the past six months. In a world where Donald Trump is elected as President of the United States of America, and Britain votes to leave the EU, it is easy to become despondent, depressed even. For me, it is difficult to remember waking up the day after votes are counted to an outcome that I can feel positive about. Initial disbelief and disappointment turns to anger, which eventually fades into a feeling of general powerlessness. At the moment we’re looking into an uncertain future, wondering how on earth we can weather what we all fear lies ahead, and feeling pretty unsettled.

We should, of course, be proactive. Many of us have been since the EU referendum in the UK earlier this summer; attending protests, signing petitions and doing what we can to face those who are most affected by the results; largely minorities who have faced abuse from those who hijack the political climate to spread hate. The other good advice that has been given in the past few days is that we should be looking after ourselves. When anything saddens us, personally or politically, it is easy to let our guard down, making us more susceptible to physical and mental malaise, particularly in winter. I’m a firm believer that comfort eating and drowning one’s sorrows, in moderation, has its place, but these problems we face are not short-term, so now might not be the time to just reach for the gin and doughnuts and hope for the best. Simply taking better care of ourselves – sleeping more, getting some fresh air and exercise and eating good food – makes us much better equipped to deal with anything. It is so easy to forget.

It’s up to you how you do this. I always find black and white Cary Grant films to be an excellent tonic. I also take comfort in my kitchen and try to eat well. This doesn’t necessarily mean ‘healthy’ or ‘clean’, as I maintain that a bit of cheese and butter is good for the soul; but instead well-cooked food with good ingredients. Food that reminds you of a happy time, if that’s what floats your boat. I try not to fall into my very worst eating habit of standing in front of the fridge, armed with a fork, mindlessly tucking into everything instead of preparing and cooking a meal. It’s important to find out what nourishes you – whether this be kale or chocolate mousse – and allow yourself a bit of leeway on portions for a while.

If you’re stuck for inspiration, this risotto is a dish I cook when I am in need of comfort. There is something about a bowl of risotto, with all its ingredients carelessly jumbled together in a homogenous mass, that always makes me feel better. Even more so when I eat it on the couch in front of the television. My grandmother would cook us smoked haddock regularly and the flavour always takes me back to eating supper in front of her television. The addition of the egg came later, when I realised that putting a soft-boiled, poached or fried egg on top of anything improved it enormously. Of course, my idea of comfort food and yours might be entirely different, but if you’re on the fence I can vouch for this dish.

Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto

Two smoked haddock fillets
250ml full-fat milk
Olive oil
1 large leek, thinly sliced
250g risotto rice
125ml glass of dry white wine
1l vegetable stock
100g rocket leaves
Knob of butter
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
4 six-minute eggs

Note: six-minute eggs are made by boiling the eggs in their shells for six minutes, then carefully peeling the shell away. For large eggs, this is the right amount of time for firm whites and soft yolks. For smaller eggs, try cooking for five minutes. There will always be a bit of trial and error.

Place the smoked haddock fillets into a large deep frying pan and pour over the milk. Place the pan over a medium heat and gently bring to the boil. Carefully remove the fish from the pan and discard the milk.

Heat a little olive oil in a separate pan and gently fry the leek until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the risotto rice and stir until the grains are coated in the oil. Pour in the white wine and allow it to bubble up. Cook until it evaporates.

Start adding the stock, a ladle at a time, waiting until it has been absorbed before adding the next ladle. Keep adding the stock until the rice is al denté, or cooked to your liking. This will take about 20 minute. You might not need all of the stock.

Remove the skin from the fish and flake the flesh into the pan. Add the rocket leaves, a knob of butter and seasoning to taste and gently stir together. Put a lid on the pan and leave to stand for a couple of minutes before serving. Top each serving with a six-minute egg if you wish.

Serves four.

Other fish recipes from More than Just Toast:
Smoked mackerel pate
White pizza with broccoli, anchovies and chilli

Butternut Squash, Curry and Cider Soup

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Butternut squash, curry and cider soup

Look, I’m not going to lie to you, I overindulged massively during my birthday weekend. You might, of course, assert that it is my right to do so, but I really went to town. I started each day with a large and luxurious breakfast and ended it with several nightcaps; I downed cocktails at Hawksmoor, feasted on seafood and wine at J Sheekey and ate a ridiculous amount of cake. By the end of it, I was drunk, full and starting to suspect that this is how people end up with gout. My jeans being a little tight has always been a small price to pay for my love of food, but the threat of having to invest in a whole new wardrobe because I am unable to control myself is insane.

My problem is good, old-fashioned guilt; for I am both the kind of person who cannot resist what is in front of them, but also the kind of person who feels bad about it the next day. This means that I generally veer between two extremes: ordering everything on the menu one minute and being incredibly cautious the next. I get the sense that such an admission would drive most people to shout at their screens, but you can chill, I know that one does not undo the other. During my struggles with balance, a little healthy eating after a blowout just makes me feel better.

Very often, this involves eating a lot of soup, the most nourishing and comforting of all foods. In the colder six months of the year, from September to March, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen making soup. You know enough about my love of pumpkin and winter squashes to guess that they make up the majority of them. The beauty of soup is that it is a great way to use up odds and ends that you have hanging around the fridge, not to mention the Parmesan rinds I hoard and ends of the packets of lentils I seem to collect. Very occasionally, I will use an actual recipe and, when I do, I often turn to this one. The combination of squash, apples, curry and cider is as autumnal as piles of brown leaves in the park and those pumpkin spice lattes everybody becomes obsessed with at this time of year. As unbecoming as it is to big up one’s own food, if you only make one soup this winter, it should be this one.

Even if you aren’t, like me, trying to undo the damage of several days of overindulgence, it is still worth adding this soup to your autumn repertoire. A good seeded or spelt bread lightly toasted with butter is the perfect companion. Extra autumn points if you can find a blanket to eat it under.

Butternut Squash, Curry and Cider Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp ground nutmeg
300ml dry cider
1l vegetable stock
Sea salt and white pepper

Heat the oil in your largest saucepan and add the butternut squash, apples and onion. Stir to coat in the oil and cook for 10-12 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the curry powder and nutmeg and cook for a further five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cider and bring to the boil. Cook for three minutes before pouring in the vegetable stock. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender.

Remove from the heat and blend using a hand blender. Once smooth, return to the heat and add the sea salt and white pepper to taste. Cook on a medium low heat for a further five minutes.

Ladle into individual bowls and top with a swirl of cream.

Adapted from a recipe by Orangette.

Soup recipes from More than Just Toast:
Coconut, curry and red lentil soup

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

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Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday. It was also the first day in quite a long time that I finally felt free of the lurgy that has been plaguing me for weeks. The Great Early-Winter Cold of 2016™, as it will come to be known, seems to have affected everybody. Colleagues have been dropping like flies from the office, friends have been cancelling nights out and, all across London, the deafening chorus of coughs and sneezes on public transport makes even the healthiest of commuters worry that they may not make it out alive.

I had a well-timed respite during my trip to Poland, which allowed me to enjoy our mini-break in Kraków and the wedding we were attending in Rzeszów. If you’ve never been to a Polish wedding before, do everything in your power to get invited to one, for they have everything that a wedding should have: singing relatives, a never-ending supply of vodka and so much food you think you might never have to eat again.Unfortunately, my energy to enjoy all of these things was short-lived as I flew home with a little more than a duty-free bottle of Zubrowka and the photos of us in oversized glasses and wigs from the wedding photo booth. I had a cold and some pretty terrible asthma.

When I’m ill, I hibernate. I’ve never been much of a believer in soldiering on, especially I always blame those who do so for spreading the germs around. I took a few days to stay at home and cooked one of the only things that makes me feel better: roast chicken. There is, I am told, a study that exists that hypothesises that chicken contains an enzyme that breaks down mucus in the body and fights off the common cold. This may, of course, be true, but I suspect that the real power of chicken lay in the nostalgic association with comfort food.

This particular take on roast chicken is one that I have wanted to try for some time: chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. It’s a little scary to make any dish with 40 cloves of garlic but, as you probably know, raw garlic and roasted garlic are as different as night and day. Instead of adding 40 cloves of garlic to the chicken itself, you let them roast in oil around a chicken, gently perfuming it. I like to then pop a few on the side of my plate, squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and smear them over a forkful of dinner.

The most important thing when making this dish is not to let the garlic burn, for burnt garlic is even less palatable than raw garlic. To do this, leave the garlic cloves unpeeled (some recipes will tell you otherwise, but I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work) and cover the chicken with foil during cooking. Of course, following the latter instruction does mean that you won’t get the crispy skin you would usually find on a roast chicken. I never mind forsaking it occasionally, so just remove it; but if you are determined to have it, you could try browning the chicken first.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

1 whole chicken
300ml olive oil
Sea salt
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled

Preheat the oven to 200°c. Place the chicken in a large roasting tin. Rub a small amount of olive oil into the skin, followed by a pinch of sea salt.

Scatter the garlic cloves around the chicken and pour over the oil.

Cover the tin with foil and roast in the oven until cooked through. I use this Roast Timer to calculate the cooking time according to the chicken’s weight. Check the tin half way through, and if it looks as though the garlic is starting to burn, remove with a slotted spoon and put back in at the end of the cooking time.

Chicken recipes from More than Just Toast:
Chicken and broccoli
Chicken and dumplings

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

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Sweet potato cheesecake

We’ve been together long enough now for you to know that I’m not that kind of girl.

You know, the kind that would unexpectedly ambush you with clean eating, which is what most sweet potato recipes are these days. Before we go any further, you can take a deep breath. I am not going to mash together sweet potato and raw cacao and claim they are as good as real brownies; nor am I going to put slices of sweet potato into my toaster in an attempt to reduce my carbs whilst insisting that I don’t miss sourdough toast at all. This recipe was made for a Band of Bakers event which, with 30-odd people in a room all scoffing cake, is about as far from clean eating as you can get.

I’m not judging those people; and whilst I understand the health benefits of sweet potato, and appreciate that it’s natural sweetness can be a virtuous substitute for more of the nefarious ingredients we put into our desserts; I’m just not into bastardising those items that I have as an occasional treat. For me, cheesecake is the ultimate indulgent dessert; to be enjoyed at the end of long dinners or to cry into when you’ve been dumped, and if it doesn’t have full-fat cream cheese and a base made of biscuits and butter, I’m just not interested. Sorry, but it’s true. If I want something healthy, I’ll eat something healthy. If I want a blow out, I eat cheesecake.

The theme for the Band of Bakers event this cheesecake was for was Desert Island Bakes. Taking inspiration from Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the idea was that you would bring along the one bake you would take with you if you were to be stranded on a dessert island. For those of us with an almost obsessive love of food, this is a difficult decision. For me, it was all about incorporating three things I love the most at this time of year: cheesecake, sweet potatoes and caramel. Maybe not the easiest thing to take to a desert island, but I confess I wasn’t thinking much about the logistics.

This cheesecake is pretty easy to make. If ginger’s not your thing, you can make it with a digestive or oat biscuit base instead. I cannot stress enough the importance of letting your sweet potato sit in a sieve; there is more water in them than you would think.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

For the biscuit base:
200g ginger biscuits
100g melted butter

For the cheesecake:
500g sweet potato, peeled and diced
750g cream cheese
300g caster sugar
3 large eggs
250ml single cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger

For the caramel pecans
200g granulated sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
Pinch salt
65ml water
125g pecans, roughly chopped
30g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Note: you will need to start preparing this recipe several hours before.

Boil the sweet potato until tender and then mash thoroughly. Transfer the mash to a large sieve set over a bowl and leave for six hours, or overnight, to allow some of the water to drain out.

Preheat the oven to 175°c.  Butter a 23cm springform cake tin and line with a single sheet of foil.

To make the base, pulse the ginger biscuits in a food processor to fine crumbs.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then tip in the biscuit crumbs and mix until the mixture has the consistency of damp sand.  Press this mixture into the base of the tin, but not up the sides, until the base is fully covered.

Note: if you do not have a food processor, you can put the biscuits in a ziplock bag and beat with a rolling pin until fully broken up. Depending on the size of your food bags, you may need to do this in batches.

In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand-mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until fully combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and, finally, the mashed sweet potatoes, single cream, vanilla, nutmeg and ginger. Scrape this mixture over the biscuit base in the prepared tin and and bake for about one hour. It should be mostly set with a slight wobble in the middle. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely.

Make the caramel pecans by bringing to a boil the sugar, golden syrup, salt and water in a large saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the pecans. Continue cooking until the mixture darkens, then quickly stir in the butter, vanilla, cinnamon and baking soda. Immediately pour on to a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and allow to set.

Remove the cheesecake from the tin and crumble the pecans over the top.

One year ago: Scrambled Eggs with Sumac, Pine Nuts and Parsley

Other sweet potato recipes from More than Just Toast:
Sweet potato and chorizo breakfast tacos
Sweet potato, chorizo and caramelised onion hash with baked eggs
Sweet potato pancakes

Fig, Stem Ginger and Spelt Cake

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Fig, stem ginger and spelt cake

This is one of those cakes with a real history behind it.

I’ve talked a bit about Band of Bakers, the baking club I co-run with my friend Naomi, here before, but will refresh your memory: Band of Bakers a baking club that meets in our little corner of south east London about six or seven times a year. Each time we set a theme and invite everybody to bring something they’ve baked in line with that theme. Once we’re together, these bakes become a sort-of-buffet to feed us whilst we chat, catch up and hang out.

Our very first Band of Bakers meeting was held in 2012. Naomi and I sent the details to our mailing list and were very happy to see that many local people wanted to attend. Despite our fear that nobody would actually come and we would be left with an empty room, around 25 bakers attended and, by the end of the night, we had 25 new friends. Four and a half years on, Band of Bakers is going from strength to strength. Last week we held an event called Desert Island Bakes and asked everybody to bring along the one bake they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. More on that later.

For that very first event, our friend Charlie brought along a cake that would later become the most talked-about cake in south east London; the now famous rhubarb, ginger and spelt cake. A shallow spelt and brown sugar cake, studded with chopped stem ginger, topped with slender pink stems of rhubarb and finished with a ginger syrup glaze. It wasn’t only because he brought it warm from the oven that people went crazy for it, it is honestly one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten.

I asked him where the recipe came from, to which he shrugged “in a newspaper a while ago”, but I have never been able to find the original online anywhere. He kindly gave us the recipe to share on our website and, lo, rhubarb and ginger cakes were popping up all over the place. It was like the chain letter of cakes, with the recipe being passed from one person to another. I went to a party once to find that somebody had made it after getting the recipe from a friend, who got it from a friend, who got it from my blog.

For those of us who know, a cheer always goes up when somebody posts a picture online. Not only do we understand the sheer beauty of this cake, but it reminds us of those early days of Band of Bakers when things were just starting to get exciting. It’s not just for the nostalgia that I make this cake a lot; it takes no time at all and is a genuine crowd-pleaser. I even won an office bake-off with it once. I was determined not to let the fact that rhubarb is out of season at the moment exclude it from my repertoire until spring, so sought to find an alternative. Figs also work brilliantly in this cake as they pair well with ginger and break down nicely into little pockets of figgy jam. An autumnal alternative to the original. Try it warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream.

Fig, Stem Ginger and Spelt Cake

140g unsalted butter
200g soft light brown sugar
5 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
2 large eggs
200g spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
4-6 large figs, halved
Syrup from the stem ginger jar
Caster sugar, for dredging

Preheat the oven to 175°c. Grease a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until fully combined and then set aside to cool a little.

Stir in the stem ginger, eggs, spelt flour and baking powder until you have a smooth batter. Scrape into the prepared tin and level off. Arrange the fig halves on top of the batter, cut side up. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Whilst the cake is still warm, brush with the syrup from the stem ginger jar. Dredge with caster sugar and allow to cool in the tin.

Recipe adapted from a cake by Charlie Fox. Neither of us know where the original came from.

One year ago: Turkish Eggs

Other cake recipes from More than Just Toast:
Apple, date and cinnamon bundt cake
Vegan cherry coconut cake

48 Hours in Krakow

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Wawel Cathedral, Kraków

Day One:

Lunch:
Seek out some lunch as soon as you arrive to fuel your afternoon of sightseeing. Pierogi are filled dumplings and are ubiquitous across Kraków. The most traditional are ‘Ruskie’, filled with potato and onion, or those filled with minced pork. A bowl of borscht, beetroot soup with hard-boiled eggs, turns this into a quite spectacular lunch. There are many pierogi cafés in the old town and Jewish quarter, so make it your mission to get a local to recommend the best one.

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Typical Kraków pierogies

Sights:
The centre of Kraków is fairly small, so you should be able to take in most of the sights in one day. Either pick up one of the free walking tours that depart from the Main Square, or equip yourself with GPS and a guidebook and go it alone. Meander around the cobbled streets of the old town and up to Wawel Castle for amazing views of the city, then through the fascinating Jewish quarter, before crossing the Vistula river on Lovers’ Bridge to check out the Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow (MOCAK) and Oskar Schindler’s factory. Be sure to wear good shoes.Take a quick respite and stop for coffee in one of the cafés in the Main Square. We liked the old school grandeur of Europejska. Sit inside for a taste of classic European café culture, our on one of the outside table for people watching. The old town is circumnavigated by a small park, which is also lovely for walks.
Europejska, Rynek Główny 35, Kraków.

Drinks:
Start your evening out in the Jewish quarter with a craft beer or two at Domówka Café. They have one of the best selections of Polish and international beers in the city, as well as a decent cocktail menu. Locals tend to come here to play one of the bar’s vast selection of board games.
Domówka Café, Miodowa 28, Krakow.

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Domówka Café, Kraków

Dinner:
Head around the corner for what is rumoured to be Kraków’s best burger. The decor at Gruba Buła is somewhat spartan, but the menu is excellent. Try the ‘BBQ’; beef patty with bacon, cheese, gherkins and barbecue sauce; or the equally imaginatively named ‘Hot’ if you like your burger with a bit of a kick. They get busy at the weekend, so you may have a bit of a wait. Fortunately, there are plenty of bars around the corner where you can do so.
Gruba Buła, Na Przejściu, Kraków.

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The gargantuan BBQ burger at Gruba Buła

Late Night:
Round off the night with drinks in one of the city’s many jazz bars, which have live music most nights of the week. We like the atmospheric Harris Piano Jazz Bar in the old town.
Harris Piano Jazz Bar, Rynek Główny 28, Kraków.

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Harris Piano Jazz Bar, Krakow

Day Two

Breakfast:
Start your day with an Israeli breakfast at Hamsa restaurant in the Jewish quarter, which promises “hummus and happiness” to all. We especially liked the shakshuka.
Hamsa, Szeroka 2, Kraków.

Tours:
There are a number of day tours you can take from Kraków. The most popular is to the wartime concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. A day tour costs around 100 zloty (approx £20.00) and includes coach travel, admittance to the site and an English-speaking guide, and usually lasts around six hours. Another popular trip is to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. There are a number of tour operators in Krakow, but we organised ours with Krakville, who have a kiosk in the old town.

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Auschwitz-Birkenau

Drinks:
Head to Tram Bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. They make all the usual suspects and a few of their own concoctions. Try the rum mate with cucumber or a classic Aperol spritz.
Tram Bar, Stolarksa 5, Kraków.

Dinner:
For a proper Polish feast, head to Pod Baranem for some of the best traditional Polish food in Kraków. It’s on the more expensive side for food in the city, but still a fraction of what you would pay in the UK. Try the pickled herring, Kraków-style, with a shot of local vodka; and the Polish-style stuffed duck with sour cherry sauce. The fillet steak with pepper sauce is excellent and a bargain at just over ten pounds. A slice of traditional apple cake, Szarlotka, is a perfect ending to the meal, if you have room.
Pod Baranem, Gertrudy 21, Kraków.

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Polish-style stuffed duck at Pod Baranem, Kraków

Day Three:

Breakfast:
Before you head back to the airport for your flight home, be sure to check out a traditional Polish bakery for one of their incredible pastries. The best ones have poppy seeds and soft cheese. This, along with a strong coffee, will set you up for the day. There are a few in the Main Square, but can be found across the city.

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Pastries, coffee and route planning

You can fly to Kraków directly with Ryanair from London Stansted, Bournemouth, Bristol, Birmingham, East Midlands, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh and Belfast International.

Airbnb has a number of good apartments across the city. We stayed at Gosia and Jakub’s lovely studio apartment.

More information on Kraków can be found at:
Lonely Planet
Kraków Tourism

One year ago: Turkish eggs