Contact Charlotte

Get in touch if you think we could work together. I'm available as a freelance photographer of food, portraits, interiors and events. I also create social media content e.g. for Instagram and YouTube.

Vauxhall
London
United Kingdom

Food and travel blog of London photographer Charlotte Hu.

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A Visual Ode To Food, Travel & People

In Fair Verona, Where We Lay Our Scene

Charlotte Hu

When the boyfriend and I take weekend trips, it is all about food. We rarely bother with 'things you must see/do' lists and instead go straight for food markets (wherever the locals get their fresh produce) and our Airbnb host's recommendations for restaurants and bakeries. This trip was a last-minute spontaneous get away. We chose Verona because flights were cheap and it is a great city to explore by foot.

Actively avoiding Juliet's balcony, it was wonderful to wander through this beautiful city. We successfully fulfilled our two goals – to eat our body weight in fresh pasta and pizza, and to carry home a suitcase worth of cured meats and cheeses.

In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug

The pizza at Pizzeria da Salvatore was so good that we visited twice in one weekend. We also sampled as many local speciality dishes as we could: horse ragu gnocchi, donkey bigoli, braised rabbit with polenta, etc. I recommend trying the local red Amarone wine – grapes are harvested and left to dry for 4 months, before fermented and aged in oak barrels. This results in a dry, rich, deep wine. Gorgeous!

Pizzeria Da Salvatore | In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug
In Fair Verona | Skillet & Shutterbug

It was fortuitous for us to visit during off-peak season. Verona is no less charming in February or March, but there are significantly fewer tourists. The folk were kind, helpful and had great senses of humour. It's easy to see why ol' Bill Shakespeare was so obsessed. You can bet we will be back!

Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes

Charlotte Hu

It always takes me by surprise every time blood orange season comes around, probably because the little beauties remind me of the sun. Nevertheless I'm always delighted when I start seeing them at the grocer's.

Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes | Skillet & Shutterbug

Have you heard of the famous Jaffa cake lawsuit? Back in the 1990s, producers had to pay VAT on biscuits (deemed as luxury items) but not on cakes (essentials, apparently). So McVities had to give evidence in court that Jaffa cakes were, in fact, cakes. My favourite criteria: biscuits go soft when stale, but cakes go hard (as Jaffa cakes do). And so the case was won. This year I decided to make them from scratch using blood oranges. They look a bit... ahem, rustic... but they taste amazing!

Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes | Skillet & Shutterbug
Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes | Skillet & Shutterbug

Juice of 3 blood oranges
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 sachet (12g) gelatine powder
2 large eggs
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
25g butter
120g chocolate

Juice 3 blood oranges over a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Add 1 tbsp caster sugar and dissolve slowly on a low heat. Add 1 sachet of gelatine powder, stirring constantly, and remove from heat as soon as dissolved. Pour the mix into a flat dish so that the jelly sets roughly 5mm thick. Cover with clingfilm and cool in the fridge until solid.

In a mixing bowl, whisk 2 eggs with 50g caster sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Fold in 50g plain flour gently. Melt 25g butter and fold into the mix. Leave to cool completely then spoon 1 tsp blood orange jelly onto each sponge. Melt 120g chocolate and cover each Jaffa cake. Chill in the fridge until the chocolate is set.

Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes | Skillet & Shutterbug
Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes | Skillet & Shutterbug
Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes | Skillet & Shutterbug

Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria

Charlotte Hu

Just across the road from Victoria rail station stands an epic red and glass structure structure. When I first saw it, I was reminded of the Hallgrímskirkja church (or a non-evil interpretation of something from Lord Of The Rings!) and now I finally know what lies within. Aster opened its doors at the start of this month. The executive chef Helena Puolakka is Finnish-born with classic French training, and has combined her wealth of experience into an impressive Nordic-French menu.

Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug

The Scandinavian interiors were gorgeous as expected, and I could easily imagine bringing a date, friends or my parents to this inviting space. We indulged in a three-course brunch (at a very reasonable £26pp) with Prosecco.

Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug

For starters we shared the meat platter (reindeer salami, caraway pork belly and hot smoked reindeer) and – perhaps my favourite dish of the day – Eggs Victoria and lobster on toasted seeded rye with truffle hollandaise. Look at that orange yolk!

Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug

I chose the potato blini, mushrooms, poached egg and béarnaise, while my boyfriend had the Alder smoked duck breast with pumpkin, roast seeds and golden raisins. Both dishes were perfectly balanced and flavoured.

Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug

For desserts: an almond cake Runeberg with blood orange, lemon meringue; and an indulgently dense chocolate tart with creme fraiche. And what mortal could possibly resist a cinnamon bun for the road afterwards?

Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug
Nordic-French Brunch at Aster Victoria | Skillet & Shutterbug

If you're passing through Victoria or attending a theatre in the area, I can wholeheartedly recommend Aster. I will certainly be back soon! Disclaimer – I was invited to attend as a guest but all opinions are my own.