Knoops, hot chocolate

I have been to knoops before, back in 2018. The hot chocolate was amazing. Both excellent and very different. As I was back in Rye just last weekend I thought I would pop in and try it again. I looked up the knoops website and was interested to find out that there are now four stores. The one in Rye is still there, but there are a couple in London and another opening soon. When I had visited a few years ago I had no idea it would franchise out into a chain. Somehow that just didn’t seem very likely.

But I was wrong. Now knoops is a chain and the Rye shop is just one of the outlets. But, most importantly, was the hot chocolate any good? The short answer, yes, it was. It was very good, but there was one thing missing. Something not as it was back in 2018. When I had originally visited the Rye shop was run by the owner and he was brilliant at explaining everything about the different percentages of cocoa and what that meant.

This time round it was just like going to any other chain. Perhaps a bit nicer, but it didn’t have that local feel, that independent feel. I guess that is the price you pay for things expanding. The loss of the personal touch. The loss of that feel of something truly unique.

Knoops is still good though. The hot chocolate is still good, and I would still recommend it to anyone who likes hot chocolate.

If you have never eaten one of these then you’ve never lived

The last time I went to Beyond the Border I discovered these. That was back in 2014. I’ve waited two years to have the pleasure again, and it was worth the wait.

I’d hoped that these would be available again at Beyond the Border, and they were, possibly one of the best foods I’ve ever had. The amazing Onion Bhajee Scotch Egg. Believe me when I say that there is truly nothing better at all.

I ate quite a few of these last weekend and I love them so much that I ended up bringing home a box load of them. They’re awesome.

Now when can I get them again?

Rail Ale 2015

Front of the Rail Ale train, 31st July 2015
Front of the Rail Ale train, 31st July 2015

It’s been a couple of years since I was on the Rail Ale train. It’s a lovely evening on the bluebell railway in Sussex and well worth trying out if you’ve never been. The format is simple. Steam train + Real Ale + Sausage and Mash supper + Jazz band. Easy.

The Rail Ale train, 31st July 2015
The Rail Ale train, 31st July 2015

The atmosphere is lovely, especially if you have a really nice sunny evening to enjoy as well. The crowd is all there to have a good time and enjoy the beers, of which there were many, and all good in terms of those I managed to sample.

It isn’t the cheapest evening out, but as an occasional outing it’s well worth the money, and of course, as the Bluebell railway is a charity I don’t begrudge them the cash.

A beer voucher from Rail Ale, 31st July 2015
A beer voucher from Rail Ale, 31st July 2015

My favourite ale of the evening was called “Piston Broke”, which seemed apt in some ways for a pleasant evening of beer and music.

A great night out all in all.

Scotch Bonnet Chilli Pepper Crisps!


I admit to having high hopes for these. Most chilli flavour crisps are a sad let down so I envisaged something really good with the packet’s description of “fiery hot”. Sadly, I was to be disappointed. The crisps were a real let down. Slightly hot is the best description I could give them.

Currywurst, Really?

I had no idea what this was until I tried it. Thanks to Sebastian from Audanika for treating me in Berlin station. Wouldn’t want to have left without trying it out!

Taste the World

I’d never been to the Taste The World tent at WOMAD properly before, so this was a bit of a new experience for me, and it was really good. To the point where I’d like to get hold of some of the recipes actually. Not that I can find them on the WOMAD site as yet, so I hope they haven’t been taken down already.

I thought it was a great idea to get some of the artists showing their favourite recipes and how to make them, and next time I’m at WOMAD I’ll certainly give it a go again.