What’s Hot plus… five great Independence Day recipes

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Buzz at the Ritz

The Ritz, in tandem with its near neighbour, Fortnum & Mason, has installed three colonies of bees on its Piccadilly rooftop. Each hive holds approximately 60,000 Buckfast bees producing up to 60kg of urban honey culled from the poshest of city flowers – those growing in Royal St James Park and Buckingham Palace gardens amongst them. The honey will be used in the Ritz kitchens


Oscar & French

Gorgeous, classy French linen in muted colours. The range includes napkins, tea towels, aprons and totes, table runners and table cloths

From £14 for two tea towels, oscarandfrench.co.uk

Date of the day

Famous for its maple syrup, Clarks has now launched a date version. It’s made from Tunisian dates cooked down to produce a dark, caramelly syrup. No additives or preservatives. Great on porridge.

Date Syrup £2.50/330ml from Sainsburys


Five great Independence Day recipes

Mac and cheese

The BBC Good Food’s Macaroni Cheese recipe incorporates a creamy cheese sauce, a hint of mustard and an innovative use of leftover French stick for its crunchy topping



Nigella’s American pancakes are thick, spongy and should be eaten with warm maple syrup and crisp fried bacon. ‘I love them with the syrup alone’, notes Nigella,  ‘but if you do want bacon, I think streaky is best. You can easily cook these pancakes by dolloping the batter onto a hot griddle (smooth, nor ridged, side) or heavy based pan.’


Home made beef burgers

Jamie Oliver produced a whole book of American recipes (Jamie’s America 2009, penguin.co.uk). His home made beef burger is one of the greats



Felicity Cloake’s recipe for  the perfect cornbread can be found on the Guardian website. ‘Although  it is known today as a Southern speciality’, she says. ‘There is a northern version too, which tends to be sweeter and cakier… I have to come out in favour of the coarser, more savoury Southern bread…’


Cherry pie

Nigel Slater’s recipe is probably the definitive one. ‘It is only recently I have started to think of the cherry as a cook’s fruit – a fruit for cakes and compotes, crumbles and pies’, Slater writes. ‘Jam aside, they seemed too precious to cook. Of course, warm cherry pie is heavenly if you take the trouble to stone the cherries.’


And one great place to eat American food…


Keith McNally’s atmospheric American brasserie, transplanted from New York to Covent Garden, is going all-out this Independence Day, offering a free all-American inspired menu (inc an Independence Day–Dog, layered with beef and shallots, retro cocktails)  to the first 100 patriotic diners of the day. The snag is, that you have to be dressed in Stars and Stripes to qualify.

Balthazar, 4-6 Russell Street Covent Garden WC2, balthazarlondon.com