Blog, Cookery, Lessons

Working with Hadrian’s Wall Gin

Recently, I got in touch with the guys at Hadrian’s Wall Gin offering to provide them with a granita recipe where their Gin is a principal ingredient. It was worth a try and it paid off, they love the recipe and have been promoting it on their social media this week.

They like it so much, that i’ll be doing future recipe collaborations with them. I’ll keep you posted.

The recipe is below, I use it as a palate cleanser for dinner parties as it’s the perfect adult alternative to a sorbet. This serves 4.

Top Tip: Always use chilled glasses, this delays the granita from melting too quickly.


100ml Hadrian’s Wall Gin

200ml Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Tonic

250ml Water

150g Caster Sugar

Juice of 1 Lemon

Juice of 1 Lime

Few Sprigs of Dill

4 Cucumber Ribbons

Plus your choice of garnish


Make a stock syrup from the caster sugar and water by placing both in a pan on a gentle heat and allowing the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, in a bowl combine the syrup, gin, tonic, juices from the lemon & lime and a few sprigs of dill. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for 1 hour. Place four tumblers in the refrigerator.

Remove the mixture from the freezer and stir, breaking up the ice crystals.. Freeze for a further hour. Repeat this step twice more.

To Serve;

Add a cucumber ribbon to the chilled tumbler to resemble a spiral. Spoon in some of the granita mix and top with a garnish of your choice. I recommend lemon zest, apple matchsticks, edible flowers or for a peppery taste, nasturtium leaf.



Check my Instagram post here:

To find out more about Hadrians Wall Gin, visit

Let me know your thoughts…

Blog, Cookery

Learning Food Photography From A Pro Food Photography Workshop @ San Lorenzo, Gosforth

One of my goals is to improve the shots I’m taking as they are now being used not just by my business but other businesses too.

I recently found out via a Facebook group I’m a member of that, local photographer Chris Ord was hosting a food photography workshop at San Lorenzo in Gosforth.

With that in mind, I booked on the workshop and headed along to San Lorenzo on Gosforth High Street on a hot July morning.

I had never been in San Lorenzo despite previously living in Gosforth for a couple of years. It’s a really smart space inside and every member of staff I interacted with today were friendly, polite and welcoming.

Chris introduced himself and the workshop and he was very engaging from the start. The focus of the course was how best to use natural light when shooting, managing aperture speeds, iso and using light reflectors to get the best shot and a lot more in between.

After a small amount of theory, we got stuck in taking some shots of the food that was cooked by the staff at San Lorenzo, which smelled and looked great. It was good to use our own kit to work with as it meant I could get a better understanding of my camera. (A big thing is to take the lens cap off before starting to take shots, I’ll not make that mistake again… haha.)

The dishes we photographed had different textures, colours, plating styles, shapes, and sizes; so, it was invaluable learning about angling the shot correctly.

We also got to ask Chris lots of questions about software, equipment, props that can be used. No question went unanswered from the workshop and Chris was a great teacher throughout.

Once all the photos were taken, and the workshop was drawing to a close, we got to eat the food; it tasted great. I’d highly recommend Chris for teaching you about photography if it’s something you are interested in as the cost of the workshop today was very reasonable.

Here are a couple of shots I took from today’s workshop, let me know what you think, in the comments below.


Keep up to date with Paul’s Private Dining including my food photography on Social Media, my profiles are:

Instagram: Paul’s Private Dining
Facebook: Paul’s Private Dining
Pinterest: Paul’s Private Dining

Thanks for reading,


Blog, Cookery, Lessons

Free Summer Recipe!!!

With summer finally reaching the North East this week, here’s a perfect recipe to enjoy with a good glass of dry white wine.

Baked Seabass with Caponata – Serves 2

For the Fish

2 x 200g Seabass Fillets

1 Lemon, Juice Only

Salt & Pepper

For the Caponata

1 Aubergine, peeled and chopped

1 Red Onion, chopped

1 Celery Stalk, chopped

1 Red Pepper, choppedcaponata

2 Tbsp Golden Raisins

6 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

1 Tsp Capers

2 Tsp Cider Vinegar


Olive Oil

Basil, to Serve


Preheat the oven to 180C. Make a foil parcel for the fish fillets. Squeeze on the lemon juice and some salt and pepper, set aside. In a large frying pan on a medium heat add a lug of oil and the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the aubergine and celery and red pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. To the pan, add the raisins, oregano and 1 cup water & simmer for 8 minutes. At this point place the fish in the oven, it should be in for 10-12 minutes then 3 minutes to rest. Add the cherry tomatoes, the vinegar and capers to the vegetable mix and allow to cook for a further 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place Caponata on the base, top with the fish and shredded basil. Serve with crusty bread.

Top Tip: Caponata is great on a bruschetta, so if you’ve got leftovers pop it in the fridge and use it to make a great brunch.

Enjoy the summer,

Paul x

If you would like to download or print this recipe, click the below link:

Caponata Recipe

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Blog, Cookery, Kitchens, Lessons

Rattling the Pots & Pans at OutCook

On Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May, I spent my first weekend at OutCook cookery school in Alnwick, rattling the pots and pans doing a few demonstrations and teaching a class on the respective days.


On Saturday, the Outlook HEC (OutCook’s big brother) Showroom was re-launched with invited guests given the opportunity to check out the gorgeous new collection including a stunning Mereway kitchen.

The kitchen space in OutCook, which is located on Outlook’s first floor, is really well designed with purpose built worktops with ovens, grills and smart storage solutions and polished marble worktops. A Chef’s dream.



The dishes I picked to demonstrate were 2 brunch dishes and a nice simple summer dessert. The brunch dishes were an Avocado baked with Northumberland Eggs & Northumberland Smoked Salmon and A Brunch Salad that contained Northumberland Eggs, Turnbull’s award winning pancetta and grapefruit. The dessert was a Lemon & Basil Posset topped with a shortbread crumb, a nice simple dish that is perfect following a heavy meal.

One thing I did learn myself about doing demo’s was about Soft-Boiled Eggs, they are very tough to peel in front of an audience! It was good fun meeting people with an interest in food and getting to share some of my knowledge with them.

ppdoutcook2 ppdoutcook3

Sunday was really fun too getting to teach a Blokes in the Kitchen Class based around Curry & Spices. We cook a range a dishes including My Special Chicken Curry, Caraway Flatbreads, Mango Lassi Dessert, Lamb Kebabs, Raita and A simple Salad. It was a great session that was relaxed and informal, talking about food and the local area. We made really good use of the equipment and space, it was a treat to teach my recipes.


I’ll be back at OutCook soon doing a few different classes, I’ll be updating my social media closer to the time so if you want to keep updated my twitter is @_privatedining , Facebook page is Paul’s Private Dining and Instagram is Pauls Private Dining.

Have a great week



Who would be my Dinner Party Guests If I had a time machine…

How many times have you been asked the question, Who would you have as dinner party guests if you could invite anyone?

For me it isn’t an easy answer but I’ve tried to narrow it down to myself, my wife and six others so that the table doesn’t get too crowded!!!

Winston Churchill – The Greatest Briton of All Time, he defeated Hitler, had a great palate, smoked Cigars and drank Champagne.

Gordon Ramsay – Intelligent, Creative, Unpretentious. Tells it like it is. I read his autobiography in under 4 hours

Barack Obama – So he’s the leader of the states, cool as ice, smooth as silk, a musician, a sports fan and a family man. Changed America for the better.

Marilyn Monroe – What was the lady behind the beauty and glamour really like?

Ian Fleming – The man behind the greatest secret agent. After seeing a drama about him recently, I would love to know more of his real life.

Beyoncé – One of the most influential people in the world today. Mother, Wife, Fashionista, Queen of Entertainment industry, Philanthropist and many more things aside, I’m sure she would have plenty of stories.

There’d be plenty of drinks flowing, meat and vegetarian options, some coffee and cognacs in a drawing room afterwards.

Who would you have at your dinner party?