Who’s cooking at Quarter Bar & Lounge?

Ever wanted to meet the man behind the platters? Well our next staff profile is for you… meet Head Chef Guy.

Guy has always had a passion to cook, ever since he was a little boy – “I was always going to be a chef”. He likes dishes with big flavours, which explains why the Deep fried brie with beetroot jam is a particular favourite.

With the menu for Quarter Bar & Lounge, Guy takes his inspiration from the local markets and their seasonal fair, to create a number of modern dishes with a British or Mediterranean flavour.  At home, however, he enjoys nothing more than traditional Congolese food.

So the all-important question that all chefs must be asked – what ingredient could you not cook without? A simple answer from Guy – all of them, they are all as important. Without salt you have no flavour but without meat and vegetables you have nothing to season!

Oh and one more – what football team do you support? Even faster with the answer this time – Man U!

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn Photography: Sue Lowry

Quarter Bar & Lounge and London Bridge Hotel are clients of Magellan PR.  Follow them on Twitter: @Quarter_Bar and @LondBridgeHotel and become a fan on Facebook: QuarterBar and LondonBridgeHotel or visit www.londonbridgehotel.com.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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In the Frame: A killer on the wing

For this episode of “In the Frame”, we bring you the life blood of the Arabian Desert, the falcon.

The speed and natural instincts of this intrepid hunter were long admired by the nomadic peoples of the desert. Needing a tool to help them find food, the Bedouin would trap wild falcons, then use them to catch prey for a time before releasing them back into the wild.

These stunning birds are beautifully protected at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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Azerbaijan Week – Zaha Hadid’s Baku Vision

Zaha Hadid has created – in my humble opinion of course – one of the most beautiful buildings in the world with the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre in Azerbaijan’s capital city, Baku.

Sweeping curves twist around the visitor with no one side like the other.  Coloured white for purity with an ever-lasting line to depict eternity, this has to be one of the most difficult buildings to construct as well as one of the most intriguing.

Having just visited Basel or rather the Vitra complex just outside and seen her very first building, you can certainly see how her vision has grown and expanded with this work finally completed on 10th May 2012.

A series of overlapping fluid surfaces, with all evidence of the frame of the building concealed, the building seems to defy gravity with its very shape.

I have taken quite a few people to see the building now and none are left unmoved by it. For me, I could come back and walk around it and within it and take something new from it, every time.

Others might disagree – but I stand by my first statement.  It’s a masterpiece of modern architecture and a must visit when travelling to Baku.  It really is the perfect building to showcase Baku’s cultural programme.

Contributor & photographer:  Sue Lowry.  For sets of images of Baku, Fairmont Baku, Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, Flame Towers, Khinalig, Gobustan, Ateshgah Fire Temple and Yanar Dag, visit Sue’s Flickr stream.

Sue Lowry travelled as a guest of Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers (a Magellan client) and British Airways.  For a three night stay, prices – to include accommodation and flights – start at GBP808 – subject to change.  A visa for entry is required which can easily be arranged through the hotel.

Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers is on twitter @FairmontBaku and on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers.  Follow British Airways @British_Airways and on Facebook:  British Airways.

Magellan PR is on Twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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Azerbaijan Week – Khinalig – the highest village in Europe

If you are feeling adventurous and have a spare day to go exploring when next in Baku, Azerbaijan, then why not take a day trip to Khinalig, Europe’s highest village?  It’s the furthest excursion I could do to see something of the country, passing via Guba, without having to stay overnight.

It’s not for the faint-hearted however for the track through the mountains en route to the village is extremely narrow and at times, just a little – gulp – worrisome but the scenery becomes more and more dramatic.  I am told the road has recently been resurfaced and our 4×4 adventure would not have been possible in such comfort before.

It is an all day trip and we stopped en route for a traditional Azerbaijani meal which I will cover in another post.  Our outdoor restaurant was situated in a beautiful forest and the food – fresh and delicious – served with efficiency and speed – accompanied by tea, of course.

Generations of villagers have lived in Khinalig where the buildings are constructed on top of each other – the roof of one, the foundation for another.  The inhabitants are generous and hospitable – curious to know more about a visitor who has come to see them – and to share their own life stories with you.  One family invited me in to tea.

Numerous family members of all ages come in and out to sneak a peak at you, chattering on their mobiles, whilst rushing back to watch their satellite TV channels.   Tea and pakhlava is offered and accepted – a contribution towards the cost is courteously refused with thanks and smiles.

I have to say, I really enjoyed my visit to Khinalig and would recommend it to anyone but the apprehensive.  The scenery en route was truly spectacular.

Contributor & photographer:  Sue Lowry.  For sets of images of Baku, Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Khinalig, Gobustan, Ateshgah Fire Temple and Yanar Dag, visit Sue’s Flickr stream.

Sue Lowry travelled as a guest of Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers (a Magellan client) and British Airways.  For a three night stay, prices – to include accommodation and flights – start at GBP808 – subject to change.  A visa for entry is required which can easily be arranged through the hotel.

Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers is on twitter @FairmontBaku and on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers.  Follow British Airways @British_Airways and on Facebook:  British Airways.

Magellan PR is on Twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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Azerbaijan Week – Rock of Ages

If you visit Baku, I highly recommend that you schedule a half day to go and explore Gobustan – a vast 540 hectare enclave of magnificent petroglyphs or carvings.

Gobustan – otherwise known as the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape – is about 65 km (40 miles) outside of Baku and features more than 6,000 carvings, discovered around the area’s natural caves and shelters, last inhabited in the Middle Ages but dating back to prehistoric times.

The carvings depict everyday life back in the day – hunting, canoeing, prey – and are best seen accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who can show you the key sites.

The relatively new museum is your first port of call and you hear about the history of the site and what you need to look for.  You then return to your car and head further inside to walk around the site itself.

Try the drystone and hear the resonating sounds it still makes.  It is thought that it may have been used as a means of communicating between distant tribes.

Also of interest is the Roman stone.  The Romans used to leave a keystone to mark the furthest part of their empire.  With the discovery of this stone, it currently marks the easternmost evidence of Roman occupation yet discovered.

Contributor and photographer:  Sue Lowry.  For sets of images of Baku, Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Khinalig, Gobustan, Ateshgah Fire Temple and Yanar Dag, visit Sue’s Flickr stream.

Sue Lowry travelled as a guest of Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers (a Magellan client) and British Airways.  For a three night stay, prices – to include accommodation and flights – start at GBP808 – subject to change.  A visa for entry is required which can easily be arranged through the hotel.

Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers is on twitter @FairmontBaku and on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers.  Follow British Airways @British_Airways and on Facebook:  British Airways.

Magellan PR is on Twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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Be my Valentine’s

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When I’m cleaning windows …

When a hotel is housed within one of the most innovative architectural buildings in the world, where there is no straight line in evidence and when it is Azerbaijan’s tallest building, cleaning the windows takes on a whole new meaning.

When it is housed within the iconic Flame Towers Complex in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city, you can immediately sees the window cleaning challenge when faced with a building whose towers are curved and shaped like a burning flame.

When looking at the photograph of the complex with this post, focus on that black line near the top of the building or the “flick” of the flame as it is called. An automatic three man cradle is housed within on this, the maintenance floor – and the contraction swings out and descends slowly so the team can carefully clean each window.

Where does the sky start? By Sue Lowry

Above the black line, well mountaineers are called for as there is really nothing for a cradle to latch onto. On ground level, it is relatively easy with just extended poles required for the building’s rather tall windows.

It has to be said, a head for heights is the most important job requirement for a window cleaner at the Flame Towers Complex!

Contributor:  Sue Lowry.  For sets of images of Baku, Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Khinalig, Gobustan, Ateshgah Fire Temple and Yanar Dag, visit Sue’s Flickr stream.

Sue Lowry travelled as a guest of Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers (a Magellan client) and British Airways.  For a three night stay, prices – to include accommodation and flights – start at GBP808- subject to change.  A visa for entry is required which can easily be arranged through the hotel.

Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers is on twitter @FairmontBaku and on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers.  Follow British Airways @British_Airways and on Facebook:  British Airways.

Magellan PR is on Twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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Shaken not Stirred – Whiskey Sour

For this episode of Shaken not Stirred we bring you a classic that has been on the cocktail menu since 1870, the Whiskey Sour!

To make this classic you will need:

  • 50ml bourbon
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml sugar syrup
  • 3 drops of bitters
  • 1 egg white

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice (add the egg last) and mix well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry. Sit back and watch the day go by!

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn Photography: Sue Lowry

Quarter Bar & Lounge and London Bridge Hotel are clients of Magellan PR.  Follow them on Twitter: @Quarter_Bar and @LondBridgeHotel and become a fan on Facebook: QuarterBar and LondonBridgeHotel or visit www.londonbridgehotel.com.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

Posted in Lifestyle & Gastronomy, London Bridge Hotel, Quarter Bar & Lounge, Shaken not Stirred Series | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Frame: Valentine’s Day… this is you 7 day warning!

Did you know that well known romantic, who preferred the chopping block to the divorce court, Henry VIII declared in 1537 that by Royal Charter that all England would celebrate 14th February as St Valentine’s Day.

Photo taken during the Lyon Festival of Lights 2012 by Sue Lowry. Contributor:  Alexandra Pinhorn

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR / on YouTube: MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

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Shaken not Stirred – Kiwi Daiquiri

For this episode of Shaken not Stirred we bring Quarter Bar & Lounge twist on the classic Cuban cocktail, made with fresh kiwi, white rum and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

To make this fresh and fun cocktail you will need:

  • 1 ripe kiwi peeled and sliced
  • 50ml white rum
  • 50ml pressed apple juice
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup

In the bottom of a cocktail maker muddle the kiwi and add the rest of the ingredients and shake well over ice, then double strain and garnish with a slice of kiwi. Sit back and enjoy!

Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn Photography: Sue Lowry

Quarter Bar & Lounge and London Bridge Hotel are clients of Magellan PR.  Follow them on Twitter: @Quarter_Bar and @LondBridgeHotel and become a fan on Facebook: QuarterBar and LondonBridgeHotel or visit www.londonbridgehotel.com

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com.  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

Posted in Lifestyle & Gastronomy, London Bridge Hotel, Quarter Bar & Lounge, Shaken not Stirred Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment