Making Martinis and Oh La La Macarons


I know it may seem hard to believe but most of my weekends aren’t half as fabulous as I’d like them to be. Most of them involve Friday AND Saturday night trips to the cinema (seriously, my boyfriend and I have cineworld cards) and way too much sky sports. (Not my choice!)

Enter Oh La La Macarons.

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Meredith and her bunch of merry macarons invited my pal Alex and I down to their amazing masterclass last Saturday on the promise they’d tell us the secret to making amazing macarons and ply us with as many martinis as we could stomach (turns out, a lot!).

After a stroll through Farringdon under the most beautifully blue autumn sky…

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I found myself outside the shop of designer duo, Antoni & Alison. The event itself was being held in their tea room upstairs. It’s a beautiful space with lots of natural light and was the perfect setting for our afternoon of sugar and slurping.

The only minor issue was the steepness of the stairs…fine on the way in but on the way out, after the aforementioned martinis…weeellllll, let’s just say we had to take it slow!

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There were 14 of us including the lovely Lydia from Lydia Elise Millen and her boyfriend Ali (I swear these two could be straight out of a Twilight film, they are picture and real life perfect and a power couple in the making).

There was also Emily from Curious London (who amazingly had attempted making macarons before…oh, y’know, with her mate, at 3am, completely pissed – hilarious),

Mehreen from Wrap Your Lips Around This (I’ve since devoured many of her reviews, this girl knows her food!).

Singer songwriter Liz aka Queen of Hearts (rocking a great pair of jeans)

…and Kristabel from I Want You to Know – who, bless her, was running late and arrived after the 2nd cocktail but gained some serious points when she revealed; she had two boxes of macarons stowed away in her bag, go on girl!

Once we’d all taken a seat and been handed a Lychee Martini by the wonderful Lucy who was there purely to churn out as many Martinis as possible and has won a place in my heart as THE BEST cocktail makerer ever…

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…So yes once we’d all taken a seat, Meredith from Oh La La Macarons started talking us through her fail safe steps to make a batch of sugary delights that would rival that of Laduree.

Of course we were invited to help her out during the process and I volunteered to mix up some of the ingredients and basically be a jolly good sport – although when I flung ingredients at the rest of the attendees (BY ACCIDENT FYI!) I’m thinking that they wished I hadn’t.

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The good news was that we wouldn’t actually be eating this batch I’d helped mix up – phew!

As there is no cooking on site, once Meredith had shown us the initial recipe and technique it was goodbye mix, hello pre cooked macaron shells! At this point we were plied with yet more delicious Martinis and invited to pick out some shells and pipe some pre-made flavours (I’m talking passionfruit, salted caramel and sweet, sweet chocolate) into the middle of our macarons to take home.

Each of us were given a box of 12 to fill and basically this is when things got really good and really hot! Turns out the venue is a bit of a sun-trap and with everyone moving about body temperatures started to rise…nothing that a few more martinis won’t solve though, am I riiiight Alex?

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Before I began assembling my macarons I made a bee-line for the lovely Lucy and demanded she show me how to make a mean Martini, she’s a total pro hailing from marvellous Mayfair haunt Sketch.

Trust me when I say, she is a mega mixologist. And turns out I’m a total natural behind the bar too, me + alcohol a match made in heaven? Who knew! (OK so I may have had a bit of previous experience working behind a bar READ ABOUT IT HERE)

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In no time at all I’d whipped up a Vodka, Lychee, Juniper & Raspberry concoction which I decided to call the HAZZA. Egomaniac much? Why couldn’t I have gone for something more along the lines of the Oh La La Lychee? Nevermind.

I’m pretty drunk by this point so I hand out a few of my Hazzas to the rest of the gang and then set about choosing my macarons.

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And before long my box looked like this…

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Which, in my opinion is pretty bloody awesome. Honestly they look like macarons from a shop! And once I managed to force the lid on my box and wrap a pretty purple ribbon around it I was so amazed at how good it looked that I honestly started to consider a career in the macaron business.

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Talk about star pupils!

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Just kidding. BUT when you think you can make up a batch of 60 macarons from the recipe Meredith gave us and they’re sold for about £1.60 each in places like Laduree, well, my macaron business idea doesn’t seem so stupid.

Then I remember I’m terribly panicky when it comes doing anything in the kitchen so wouldn’t do well running a business that invovles baking thousands of macarons. I absolutely will be trying to make some at home though.

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For me, the day was a lot of fun. Knowing absolutely nothing about macarons before attending (other than they’re sugary bites of heaven) I came away with a fountain of trivia that I really hope comes up in next weeks pub quiz (did you know that macarons can be frozen and therefore most ones you buy won’t have been baked fresh that day – well now you do!).

Everyone at Oh La La (shout-outs to Tiffany and Jess as well as the gorgeous Meredith) were absolutely lovely and it was dream to spend the afternoon with them.

I’d really recommend Oh La La Macarons for a baby shower or a hen do or just a group of girls wanting a fun and fancy day out.

The event is £80 pp (but that reduces if a big group of you books) and for that you get unlimited martinis, the full macaron recipe and a box of 12 macarons each to take home. Events are running every weekend in various locations but the team can also come to at any venue in London.

http://www.ohlala-macarons.com/

After the masterclass, high on sugar and drunk on martinis; Alex and I decided to grab something savoury from Caravan at Exmouth Market.

We enjoyed ham croquettes, peppers & goats cheese and a portion of fries…with erm, a carafe of red wine (turns out we also needed yet more alcoholic refreshment). Alex and I are big fans of Caravan after our brunch trip to their Kings Cross branch earlier this year. We love it so much that I left them my macarons by mistake as a thank-you. Another classic Harry.

Luckily I realised half way down the road and sprinted back to get them – and rather amazingly they hadn’t been devoured by the lovely staff.

http://www.caravanonexmouth.co.uk/

Thanks for reading!

Harry x

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