I’m sure like everyone in the run-up to summer, I’m far more aware than normal of what I’m eating and how much exercising I’m doing. As it goes, thanks to long hours in the office, I’m not in the gym as often as I would love to be, and as a result, I tend to grab a cup of Pret soup or a sandwich and call it a day. So it felt more than serendipitous when I was incredibly kindly invited the Madeleine Shaw’s Supper Club which was held on the store’s Forth Floor last Wednesday.
Over the past month or so, Madeleine has been on a tour promoting her ‘Get the Glow’ cook book – it’s filled with delicious and healthy recipes which are perfect if you’re looking for meals which are as yummy as they are good for you. Before Wednesday, I hadn’t tried out any of Madeleine’s recipes, but after the awesomeness which was the meal, I had ordered it before I even got home! The night was one of the last of the tour, and it was a sold out event, and before Madeleine even got to introducing herself and the book you could feel how excited the room was to get stuck in!
Before everyone was let into the dining room, which was absolutely decorated, I got to meet Madeleine for a bit of a chat. She is an incredible advert for her recipes – all smiles and toned limbs, and we discussed what got her started on her healthy journey. After leaving school Madeleine travelled to Australia, and began to work cooking in a cafe. Like most of us, she was focused on counting calories and choosing low fat and fat free options – think diet cokes and rice cakes, and she developed a multitude of digestive issues. After consulting with multiple doctors, but having no luck, she really ‘cleaned up’ her diet, focusing on eating what was fresh and in season rather than what’s low calories. Protein plays a big part in Madeleine’s diet, and her cook book is filled with the most delicious and wholesome recipes which feature everything from great cuts of beef to detox smoothies. Throughout our chat, her enthusiasm and knowledge for the subject was seriously inspiring, and I learned how important a truly balanced diet is. Along with her nutritional knowledge, Madeleine is also a bit of a gym class buff, and regularly practices Pilates and Boxing, so I think I might be dusting off my gloves soon!
Once Madeleine took to the stage, you could just feel how excited everyone was to hear her tips and test out her recipes. The night’s menu featured sharing dishes of some favourite recipes, as well as just about the yummiest mix of cocktails and mocktails!
Even though I’m a bit of a drinks-lightweight, I couldn’t resist the passionfruit cocktail which mixed together two kinds of vodka with passionfruit and raspberry. It tasted heavenly and such an incredible drink for summer, the whole table commented on how easy they went down! For those being incredibly virtuous, or driving, there were strawberry mocktails, which although I didn’t try, looked delicious – all frosty glasses and pink puree!
The whole night, the entire dining room was buzzing with conversation, and the room itself was absolutely beautiful. If you’ve never visited Harvey Nichols’ Forth Floor before, you’re definitely missing out. The entire front of the restaurant is plate glass, and you can see the Edinburgh skyline, and the castle absolutely glowed in the evening light. The main courses were a fabulous mix of dishes with Thai beef salad, salt and pepper cashews, Spicy salmon, cucumber and yoghurt, Mexican BBQ-grilled corn and quinoa, chilli salsa and Green goddess salad. With the plates popped into the middle of the table, everyone oohed and ached over the choices, and we all had our favourites.
The Thai beef salad was to die for, with succulent strips of beef topping a crunchy salad, this felt like an awesome choice for a summer barbecue. I think my favourite was the Spicy Salmon, which included a huge filet which was cooked to perfection – I’m not always a big fish fan as the flavour can be a little strong, but this was so delicate and more-ish, I’m sure I took more than my fair share! The salmon fillets were topped with a spicy paprika yoghurt sauce which was so flavourful, this is definitely bookmarked to try at home!
As if the fish and meat weren’t enough, we also got to sample the Green goddess and Quinoa salads. The Green Goddess dish was inspired by Madeleine’s time in Australia, and I challenge you to find a better tasting kale! It featured a mix of kale and spinach which had been wilted and dressed with the yummiest dijon mustard dressing. I could have just plowed through the entire plate it was so good! The Mexican BBQ-grilled corn and quinoa, with chilli salsa was such a fresh tasting dish – I could easily enjoy this for lunch everyday! The whole table commented on how flavourful it was compared to regular Quinoa which can taste a little ‘blah.’
Our whole table absolutely devoured the sharing plates, and after an hour or so of chatting, laughing and enjoying the dishes, we were served up with the most glorious dessert. Saying a pudding is healthy sounds a little too good to be true, but the dairy free coconut ice-cream with raw chocolate cherry fudge was absolutely incredible. The coconut ice cream was so light and fresh, and I loved seeing the little vanilla beans in it! I honestly can’t believe that this was dairy free – it just tasted so creamy! The raw chocolate fudge was amazing too – this was another dish that just tasted decadent. It was so rich and chocolately, I can’t wait to try whipping up a batch myself! It went so well with the ice cream and was such a decadent way to end a fabulous meal!
Getting to meet Madeleine, as well as try out her delicious recipes was such a fun experience. The food was absolutely divine, and I had the best evening filled with awesome people! Seeing an entire dining room so enthused about healthy eating, and enjoying the delicious dishes was really lovely, and as you can probably tell, I had an absolute ball!
Thank you so much to Harvey Nichols for an incredible evening, and thank you to Madeleine for her yummy recipes and great inspiration!
The last of Madeleine’s Harvey Nichols Supper Clubs is happening tonight in London, and if you can you should definitely go! You can also check out the yummy dishes as part of Harvey Nichols Get the Glow menu (find out more about it here)