Bitta Beef

Good Monday to you.

I’m feeling a bit fragile today as I went to the evening of a work colleagues wedding last night, it was excellent and a huge Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs! The location and venue were beautiful, if you’re thinking of a wedding  “The Old Kent Barn” in Dover is lovely.

I’ve only got one place to review today. I thought I’d review it whilst it was still fresh in my mind and so there wouldn’t be such a huge post on my next one.

Yesterday my Mum and I tried out a restaurant that had been on my list for while, Powder & Magazine in Upnor, Rochester. The roast looked incredible, and I recently found out my family’s fish mongers supply their fish- will be back to try that 😛😏

I booked it online a few weeks ago, the process was super easy and they send you an email confirmation at time of booking and then a reminder the day before your booking. https://www.powderandmagazine.co.uk/

 

The location itself is sooo nice, looks like an old warehouse (I think it may be- don’t quote me on that though) and it’s right next to the river, I bet it’s lovely on a nice day. Unfortunately for us it was raining hard yesterday so it was a quick dash to and from.

Once inside, the staff were really friendly and welcomed us in, we were half an hour early but this was no problem. It’s really cool inside too, really airy and light, and you don’t feel on top of each other. The décor is super cool, I think it’s based on a dockyard vibe (Being near Chatham dockyard). We managed to get seated upstairs, which we were pleased about, it was people watching heaven. The only thing about being up here, we were the only ones for a while and couldn’t get anyone’s attention, i.e. when we wanted extra gravy.

They give you two options:

Two Courses
Three Courses
£21.00
£26.00

However, I didn’t like any of the dessert options and asked if it would be ok to have something from the normal menu. They were really accommodating and said this way fine. We didn’t fancy a starter either so just chose the two course option. I don’t know if you can just have the one course, It’s worth an ask if you don’t fancy a starter or dessert (the desserts are fab though so you should definitely opt for)

We both went for roast beef (I need to start having other meat, can’t say no to a bitta beef) It came out really quick, about 10 mins after we ordered and it looked fab!

The roast itself was delicious, the veg was well cooked and the carrot was really tasty, I ended up eating both mine and my mums. The potatoes were crispy yet fluffy, I do wish they gave you more gravy though. The beef was nice in places, however it was quite chewy and the knives they give you are pretty crap, they ideally need steak knives for this. However it wouldn’t stop me from ordering the beef again, but next time I’d like to try a different meat. The cabbage was so flavoursome and really tasty, as was the cauliflower cheese (yas to that) It was a really nice roast dinner and I’d 100% go back and have a roast, the Yorkshires were lovely (forgot to order two-devastated😩)

Next up- pudding. My mum opted for the Eton mess and I went for the white chocolate cheesecake (off the normal menu). These WERE SO GOOD. When they first came out, the pig inside my head thought *jesus they are small* BUT, they were small and mighty, I think if they were any bigger they would of been too sickly and rich. My white choc cheesecake was to die for! 🤤🤤The flavours were so lovely and mum said the eton mess was good, she got quite a lot of strawberries in it.

Overall, I really really enjoyed this restaurant and I’d recommend it all day. The staff were lovely, the food was great, the ambience was good. They actually had some live music, they were I think a swing duo, one guy was playing the double bass and the other, playing a guitar and singing. They were so good! https://www.powderandmagazine.co.uk/news/23rd-september-sunday-lunch-with-live-jazz/ I didn’t realise this when I booked it, they were excellent, good voices and not too in your face.

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We paid £25 each, and I don’t think that’s badly priced at all considering we had Roast beef, a dessert and a drink each. It probably is a tad steep, but I’m a full believer of you get what you pay for and this was very deserving of the cost. Please do try it 😊F32F817F-C7C3-4CF2-A01C-1EED35EA0CE3

I really would like to go back and try their normal menu. All in all, a fab sunday lunch with my favourite person made even better by amazing food!!

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Have a good week! If you go here please let me know what you think 🙂

 

@ellhales

Ellie xxx

 

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It’s been a while

A0BE022E-BDD1-47AB-9323-FBC82A1541EAHello! It has been a hot minute, I went on holiday, had a charity event and got really busy.  I went to Portugal and it was lulllllyyy. We went to Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon and Albufeira. I hadn’t been to Portugal before and I honestly can’t wait to go back, just wish the sea was warmer it was ICE COLD. Anyway, here is a few food pics from there. We ate out every lunch and evening lol. Albufeira was the best for food, there is a literal strip of restaurants (my kind of strip.) We were out there whilst the World Cup was on (It wasn’t planned), and the atmosphere was electric! I would definitely go away again for the world cup.

21st July- Ela Kendro

When I got back form holiday it was my Dad’s birthday and he decided he wanted to go to Ela Kendro on the Saturday for his bday meal. I hadn’t been before but had heard good things about it. The layout of downstairs is a bit squashed but I assume that’s so they can get as many people in. We went quite early but I can imagine it can get quite loud in there later on in the evening. The staff were really attentive and lovely. Constantly asking us if we were ok or if we needed anything, they were also very helpful explaining the menu. They also gave my dad a Happy Birthday rice pudding with a sparkler. My dad and I decided to share a few different plates and my mum went for the mixed grill platter. I think mum and I paid £40 each and that was with the food and drinks, which isn’t too bad. Overall the food was nice and it wasn’t badly priced. However, I don’t think I will be rushing back, just because I feel like you’re paying for overpriced glorified kebab. That’s just my opinion though, if this is your kind of thing you will love it.

Eight Restaurant- Rainham 29th July.

I’ve always fancied going to this restaurant, so one Sunday my Dad, mum and I decided to try their Sunday Lunch. They were really welcoming and such nice people. The roast is only £9.50. It was actually a really nice roast and you got cauliflower cheese too. Mum and I went for the chocolate fudge cake for pudding, it was soooo good. Quite sickly but heavenly. I will definitely return to this restaurant, it’s nice when a local place is good food and nice people. I’d like to try their normal menu too.

Brighton- Weekend of 11th August

My best friend and I had a weekend of buying each other well done presents (hers for completing the London Marathon, mine being my Charity night.) On the Saturday night she had booked something called Proud Cabaret in Brighton. Which, like it says in the title is  Cabaret show, and a 3 course meal. The show was really really good, super tongue in cheek and fun.  For starters we went for: Sea Bass Ceviche with Avocado Mousse and Corn Tortilla Chips & Balsamic Marinated Tomatoes with Creamy Mozzarella, Walnut Pesto. Both really nice and light. Then for mains we both went for Herb Crusted Lamb Cutlets with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and a Light Mint Jus it was sooo nice! My only complaint is there wasn’t more. Then for pudding we both had Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream (v) Also really really good. All round a really good night, and also a bit different! (No idea what happened in the second picture)

The Sunday I had booked a spa day and an afternoon tea in the Brighton Hilton. The spa day was lovely, the spa was called schmoo! The afternoon tea was ok. The sandwiches were nice but the sweet stuff was very peculiar. I’ve had much nicer afternoon tea’s. I would recommend the spa day but not the afternoon tea part.

D7203E52-7352-41B7-A2DF-2145E51F55DDWe then mooched about a bit and decided to eat before I drove home, we went to Meat Liquor in Brighton. The place itself is super quirky and cool. It’s a bit dark and underground vibey. The food was nice, but I won’t go back there. I’ve had way tastier burgers. The onion rings were really nice though.

Overall a fab weekend.

The Red Lion, Hythe- 19th August 2018.

For my charity event I had included a raffle. My mum won a few of the prizes (no it was not a fix) One of these being a 2 course Sunday meal for two at the Red Lion, Hythe.  Obviously I gate crashed my parents lovely romantic meal and went with them. The staff in there are sooo welcoming and lovely. For starters we had the breaded brie, and my dad has the tempura prawns & whitebait. All really really tasty. Then for mains we all has the roast beef. Again, this was really nice. Not one of the best roasts I’ve had, but still nice! The beef could of been much more pink for me. Then for pudding I had the chocolate brownie and mum had the lemon meringue soufflé thing. Again, sooo nice! I would 100% go back there, the food was good and the staff were excellent. When it came to the bill, they had only charged us for one 3 course meal and the drinks which was around £25.

Brighton (again) Friday 24th August.

I always take the Friday off closest to my mums birthday so we can have a girlie day (aka shopping and eating.) She didn’t really know what she wanted to do so I booked up a table at Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton. I did try and book the afternoon tea but that was fully booked all day (I was devo because it looked unreal.) Our table was booked for 1 o’clock, so glad we booked as every table had a reserved sign on it. It is quite cramped in there, it’s not a comfortable place, more quirky then anything. We both ordered cake and a hot chocolate each (and some tap water to break it up.) They came really quick and looked sooo cool, they do not hold back on anything here. In hindsight we shouldn’t of ordered both a cake and a hot chocolate as it was sooo sickly. They did give us doggy bags to take the cake home. They cake was really good, my mum went for the choc orange and I went for the red velvet, the cakes were fab, nice and (I bloody hate this word) moist, not too heavy either. The hot chocolate was insane, I have had it before but to takeaway and sat on the beach. It’s suuuuper chocolatey. If you have a sweet tooth, definitely try this place, they have a few in London I believe too. It cost me £18-20, so not too bad.

We then explored the lanes and did some shopping before realising we were hungry for some normal food, we went to Wahaca. I’ve been here loads before and the food is always really tasty. I always opt for the loads of little dishes and it’s nice to be able to have bit of everything. Their food always tastes fresh and you never leave there feeling groggy, always “just right.”

Coppa Club St Paul’s- 25th August.

So, another freebie (sort of) In my charity raffle my best friend won a three course meal for 2 with a bottle of bubbly (I PROMISE it was not a fix.) It had to be used by the end of August so we chose this date. 3 of actually went. So we got 2 free starters or sides, 2 free mains and 2 free desserts. We ordered

S E A R E D K I N G P R A W N S 6 . 9 5
four juicy prawns, garlic,
lemon, chilli & extra virgin
olive oil

G A R L I C B R E A D | V G

M A R G H E R I T A 7. 9 5 | V G
tomato, buffalo mozzarella & oregano

and 2

P E N N E C A R B O N A R A  1 1 . 9 5
peas, egg, Parmesan
& crispy Coppa

S T I C K Y T O F F E E P U D D I N G 6 . 4 5 | V G
crushed honeycomb, vanilla ice cream
& toffee sauce

and

2

J U D E ’ S 4 . 9 5
S O R B E T S |  Lemon

The Prawns were really tasty. I’d get them again. However the rest of the food was very mediocre, the carbonara was really strange and not like I’d had before. It was a stange texture and I really wasn’t a fan of the peas in there. I’m very unlikely to return to here. This company are the ones that are responsible for the cute little pods you can have dinner in by the Thames, my friend ate there last year and said the food wasn’t great. It must just be the chain as a whole. I’m just glad we got 80% of it for free! After we went to b@1 and then went and watched Chicago WHICH WAS SO GOOD.

Loch Fyne- Monday 27th August.

On my mums birthday we went to the mini golf place at bluewater (It’s actually really fun and I thoroughly recommend it) After this we went to Loch Fyne, I’ve been to Loch Fyne soooo many times and it’s always fab. We told them it was my mums birthday and they gave us all a glass of champagne each (after this and 2 cocktails, I was pretty merry) All the food was great and the service was brilliant. A lot of the time they have discount vouchers too- just google it! I definitely recommend this chain 🙂

Valencia- 4th-7th September

So I took my mum to Valencia for her birthday and mothers day. We ate at some bloody fab places and a few of them are here below. Our hotel was super cute with a terrace too! I think Valencia is one of my new favourite European city breaks, everything is sooo pretty and clean and everything is super chilled and laid back. The beach is lush too, so empty and the water was sooo warm. I’d definitely go back in Summer.

Coal Shed Tower Bridge- Sunday 9th September.

My friend and I had tickets fort The Arctic Monkeys at the O2, London. Whenever we have anything like this we tend to make a day of it and go for food or whatever. I’d actually come across this restaurant on Professor Green’s instagram account and it looked lush. I booked for 3pm, (the online booking system was super easy.)  Not going to lie- it’s not an easy restaurant to find at all. Make sure you look on the website for directions, not iPhone maps as it takes you somewhere completely different. It’s in a really nice location, I’d say like an area that oozes money. The restaurant is really nice, quite open and when we got there, it was really busy (a good sign) but it wasn’t as if you were shouting over one another to hear each other. The staff were really efficient and lovely, always topping up our water and making sure we were ok.

We ordered the pink lemonade, wasn’t that great, a bit weak. After, we ordered the normal homemade lemonade and that was much nicer. For food we ordered the sharing beef roast-500g black Aberdeen angus, 35 day dry-aged roast sirloin of beef For two to share
Beef fat potatoes, cauliflower cheese, honey roast root veg, seasonal greens, Yorkshire pudding & smoked gravy.

It came out pretty quickly, I suppose all they have to do is serve it up. It came out on a huge sharing wooden board. It was SOOOOO bloody good. The carrots and greens were so tasty. We actually ended up with macaroni cheese instead of the cauliflower cheese as they had run out, it was actually really nice and complemented the roast really well. The beef was unreal tasting. The only thing I didn’t like was there was a lot of fat, I’m a bit of a skank and normally like fat but this was pure gristle and wasn’t nice. I’m normally a HUGE Yorkshire fan-will order 2 Yorkshires with a roast- no qualms. However, these tasted burnt and I didn’t finish them. I think they are meant to be like that, I mean if that floats your boat, you do you boo.

So for this huge roast, 2 drinks each I think we paid £30 each which included the service charge. For a roast in London and for how good it was, I think it was really worth it and I’d recommend it 100%. I’d like to try their normal menu as I think that is meant to be lovely too. After, we went to My old dutch which I’ve spoken about before, if you like pnacakes you must go here. Think there is 3 locations, so pick one and enjoy 🙂

 

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I think I’m going to end this blog here, it’s been a pretty big one. The weekend just gone I did eat out (lol obvs) at Miller and Carter Bexley (my fav) and Zizi- bluewater. I’ve spoke about these both in my blog before, they were both really good and again, would recommend them. Here is a few pics.

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If you have any questions about anything above please message me 🙂

Also- my best friend is leaving me to go travelling tomorrow for 8 months so I am on the hunt for a fellow foodie, will take applications on various social media channels. Must be up for food any day, must not ever ring me (I hate phone calls), not a noisy eater and must be willing to occasionally share food or drinks. (I’m sort of half joking/not joking at all)

haha anyway, have a lovely week and i’ll leave you with this life advice I came across.

Ellie

@ellhales xxxx

M I A

Hello! Sorry it’s been so long. I’ve actually been eating at the same sort of places I always do therefore they were pretty boring to post about. However, I ate out every day this weekend just gone (lol help me) and they were pretty fab so I thought I’d blog about them.

Before I start, if you live in/around the Medway towns (unlucky for you/me) and you haven’t been to Pier 5 dockside Chatham, you MUST go. It’s good for  just casual drinks (loads of ales apparently) but the food is SO good. I mean it’s not cheap, average prices but everytime I’ve been I’ve not had a bad meal. The burgers are soooo yummy, they sort of melt into your mouth, apparently the loaded fries are nice too. Last time I went I had a pizza, it was huge and I didn’t manage it all but it was so tasty. The mocktails are really refreshing too- strawb lemonade is my fav.

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I also went to the giggling squid in Tunbridge a few weeks back ( we went to an indoor climbing place  http://www.chimeraclimbing.com/ before hand which I HIGHLY recommend, I got a deal on groupon for like £7 each) I really didn’t enjoy the food if I’m honest-the chicken satay starter was nice. It’s a chain thai restaurant, but I’ve had much better Thai’s elsewhere and it’s quite expensive for what it is.

 

At the end of May, I went to see a ballet with my Mum and Grandad in Canterbury.We went to Cote before the show as we know it’s nice. My Grandad is quite hard to please but thoroughly enjoyed it! (THANK GOD) I drove so I had a soft drink, they had an alcoholic drink each, I had duck, they both had steaks, and we had a side of creamed spinach. We all had a dessert too and it came to £30 each, not bad for a really nice meal.

 

 

 

Lastly, the other week went to the Three tuns in Lower Halstow for a “light lunch” (I don’t think food is ever light with me) I’ve been here a few times and never been disappointed with the food. It’s a real village feel pub and you can take dogs in the front bit (yay Tilly was very pleased). I’ve had something different each time and it’s always so fresh tasting.

 

Friday 15th June.

So, Friday just gone my friends and I had tickets for Beyoncé and Jay-Z (YAAAAS-IT WAS SO GOOD.) We had a reservation for the Goodman in Mayfair. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from Bond Street station. I didn’t think it would be very busy but it was packed, I’m glad I had booked. It was full of working people on their lunch break, but it wasn’t loud, it was a nice atmosphere, only thing I’d say is it was quite dark (think Hollister vibes back in the day) which was a shame because it was a sunny day outside- really nice and clean though. The bread they give you as a starter is really nice! They have a lunchtime menu which we all opted for.  Two of us had the steak frites and two had the half rack of ribs. The half ribs came out and there were only two ribs paha- we were so shocked we didn’t get a picture. Good job we got sides. My two friends said the ribs were really nice but they wished they’d had the full (which they did ask for.) Our steaks were soooo tasty! However they got my friends and mine mixed up and gave me the medium-well which I didn’t like so I asked them if it was correct and they said no and quickly got me a new steak (medium rare) The creamed spinach was DELISH and so were the mushrooms. The lunch menu wasn’t too badly priced but I can imagine the evening menu gets very pricey. I think mine was £30-£40 and that was steak, sides and a drink so I guess it is expensive actually. But definitely worth it for the food, service not so much.

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After this we went to b@1 in Piccadilly, had a few drinks before we set off to the stadium. I think I prefer the covent garden b@1 as this one is quieter, but this one was still fun and the drinks were still amazing. I think it’s because it’s a lot larger than Covent Garden so you don’t get the atmosphere as it’s more spread out. I tried a new cocktail called “bit of me” and it was LOVELY- it contains Hendrinks Gin, Rhubarb, Strawberry and soda. I’m not usually a gin fan but this was so nice and you can’t taste the gin.

 

 

 

Saturday 16th June

On Saturday I’d planned to meet up with one of my longest friends Shannon, we planned it months ago because we are both nightmares of not seeing each other so if we book a date in advance we know we’ll stick to it! We decided to go up to London and go for dinner in the evening as she works on Saturdays. We headed up there about half 5/6ish and our meal was booked for 8. We got to Temple about 7:15 so went to radio rooftop bar which is next to STK. The staff on the door are quite intimidating but they let us in and when we got up there they told us we could only sit on a certain table. Weird. We ordered two cocktails and it came to £34 with a service charge- not cheap. I suppose it’s what you expect in London and it being a “prestige place” the waiter who did our cocktails was so rude too. The views are nice here but I really wouldn’t rush back. 

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So we then went to our table at STK. We were shown to our table straight away, the atmosphere is really cool in here. Side note- I went to Milan STK last month and the service was AWFUL. We complained about one of our steaks as it was full of fat and inedible and they argued with us and and told us it was meant to be like it😅 don’t bother going there if you’re in Milan!

Back to London, I’ve been to this one before (see previous blog post) so I knew to expect the heavenly bread. However we hadn’t even finished the bread and they brought out our mains which was strange. We both had a small (it’s huge) fillet, then we had a grilled lobster tail, Roasted Broccolini, Chilli, Pine Nuts & Pecorino, creamed spinach and French fries for sides. It was all sooo tasty! I didn’t try the broccoli thing so not sure how that was, and I’m not a huge fan of chips so didn’t have many of those, but the creamed spinach and lobster tail were great. We didn’t have dessert as we were so full. We had a glass of white wine each and the meal was £70 each which included a 12.5% service charge. It’s a pricey evening but always good food, I’m just a bit gutted the service was so fast we felt like we were rushed, we had ordered and ate our meal in 45 minutes. Hopefully it was just a one off. After this we went to b@1 in Covent Garden and had a fab evening and thankfully made the last train home, if anyone saw two girls running through Victoria station on Saturday evening-that was us.

 

 

Sunday 17th June 2018.

Fathers day

My dad chose where he wanted to go on Fathers day, it’s a restaurant called The Black Horse in Pembury. He likes this restaurant as every once in a while they do a seafood extravaganza where it’s basically a seafood carvery. I went with him once and no lie he went up 7 times and came back with a plate full each time- animal- probably where I get it from. However fathers day was a normal carvery and their normal menu was available too. The carvery did look nice but none of us fancied it as it was quite a sunny day. My mum went for the –PRIME BRITISH FILLET STEAK With mushrooms, onion rings & tomato and chips £25. My dad went for the SURF ‘N’ TURF Prime British fillet steak & ½ lobster with lashings of garlic butter and chips £35 and I went for the BATTERED COD In crispy Black Horse Beer Batter with peas & chips or mushy peas £14 as I was all steaked out from the two nights before. We also ordered a side of onion rings. The onion rings were TO DIE FOR THEY WERE SO SO GOOD. You know the crispy ones, that the onion doesn’t follow you when you bite it? THOSE. AMAZING. MUST GET AGAIN. My mum and dad said their steak was really good, my dad actually said the best steak in ages, and he asked for his medium-well and it took around half hour so you know it’s cooked properly. I probably wouldn’t go for the battered cod again as for me there was too much batter (which is a big deal as I’m always pinching leftover batter when I go with people who don’t like it)

 

 

I was really full up and didn’t really like the look of any of the desserts and my dad isn’t a dessert person. However my mum is, she originally asked for A Flapjack topped with Vanilla ice cream and banana. Served with a flick of chocolate sauce  which is advertised on their website but they didn’t have clue what she was talking about. So she ordered the ‘DIP ‘N’ LICK’ Fresh strawberries, banana, marshmallows, chocolate brownie, Paula’s shortbread. Served with warm chocolate sauce. I obviously had to try a marshmallow (or 3), a bit of shortbread and a brownie (thought I said I was full…) and it was amazing. The brownie was the best bit but the sauce was delish. It was more of a dark choc sauce, so tasty! It doesn’t look big but you get loads in it.

 

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the meal came to £90, which I think for 3 mains, sides, a dessert, loads of Guinness’, a gin and tonic and 2 orange juices isn’t bad at all. My dad gave me £20 even though I told him I didn’t want it as it was fathers day. Then mum and I went halves on the rest. Really recommend this restaurant, it’s always busy and the staff are really nice! if you can, try and sit in the conservatory as it’s more airy and bright out there. http://www.blackhorsepembury.co.uk/

 

Now I’m off to give my liver a break for a few days before I go on holiday. I’m sure i’ll be eating at some good places 🙂

 

Have a lovely weekend.

Ellie
@ellhales

xxxx

Bit of everything

Hello! Hope you had a fab sunny bank hols, hooray for the not stereotypical British bank hols weather! ☔️❄️☃️❌⛔️Apologies if you are elsewhere in the world and you did not get a bank holiday/ the weather was pants.

Saw the below picture and thought it was VERY accurate.

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BRGR.CO Saturday 28th April.
So for my birthday back in February my lovely friend bought me a voucher for burger afternoon tea (such a good idea, I thought it was so good I actually bought it as a wedding presents for my friends wedding also in April.)
It was a buyagift voucher and it was super simple to book online, pretty sure you can book a month in advance, that’s the furthest it goes up to.
Its just off of Tottenham Court Road, perfect because you’re super close to Oxford Street (which is where we went after- shopppppppingggg)
We were booked in for 3pm, when we arrived it was really packed so we were seated by the door on a window seat so we were sat next to each other rather than opposite. We were a bit like “merh” about this at first but actually it was GREAT because we got to people watch, and as it’s Soho, it provided the goods-people watching heaven. This was the menu below, the prosecco came out pretty quick. I asked if I could change the chips for sweet potato fries and they said that was no problem, however I didn’t realise that the chips were to share, so are the onion rings. It’s not made very clear so just to make you aware.
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The food came out about 20 minutes after, so not too long and I don’t mind waiting a little while as you know it’s fresh that way. Amber swapped her lobster roll for one of the burgers and they were totally fine with that. The burgers were soooooo good! I actually really enjoyed the lobster roll too, I just wished it was bigger! I really enjoyed all of it, apart from the onion rings, they weren’t the best onion rings I’ve had.

 

 

We were both quite surprisingly full after, but pudding was still to come! The waitress asked us if we wanted the pudding straight away but we asked if we could leave it 10 minutes and she said that was fine. When it did come out we were surprised because we thought we would share them but you get one each which was good! They were really good! However I didn’t enjoy the pear & almond frangipane, just not my kind of thing. It was just enough to finish it off. My friend made me laugh, halfway through she said ” not to be obvious, but where is the tea?” Which is so true, there is no tea! Which we didn’t mind because I don’t thin burgers, prosecco and tea would be a great taste infusion.

 

 

Overall I really really enjoyed it and if you fancy something different or you want a quirky gift idea I really recommend it!
After this we went shopping and went to Chinatown later In the evening. I always go to the same restaurant in China town, it’s called The Golden Dragon. I’ve been going there for years, the food is really good, the service isn’t the best. You cannot knock their food though. A bit pricey but really worth it. Excuse the pictures- I’m a messy eater, Indian and Chinese restaurants must hate me because without a doubt I always get food all over the table.

The George – Trottiscliffe Sunday 29th April

My friend and I decided to go for Sunday lunch with our mums, Rosie and her mum had been to this pub a few times before so suggested it.  You wouldn’t be able to ifnd this place by accident, definitely a sat nav job. It’s super close to West Malling. The two mums and Rosie went for Roast beef and I went for Roast Lamb.

If I were to go again I wouldn’t get a roast, my lamb was quite dry and my veg was really hard. The potatoes were good and so was the Yorkshire, I didn’t eat my lamb so put it in a doggy back to take back for my dog- spoilt. However the other 3 really enjoyed their roast, my mum did try a bit of my lamb and agreed it was dry so at least I know it wasn’t just me. I’d like to try their normal pub food though as they do other stuff on a Sunday as well as a roast.  I went for the cookie dough cheesecake for dessert (SO good) My mum went for the gypsy tart and said this was fab, I think we all enjoyed our puddings. It was around £34 each, that was for four roasts, four puddings, 6 G&T’s and 6 elderflower drinks. All in all I don’t think it was that bad. I need to try their normal food to make a proper decision on it.

 

 

 

Byron- Bluewater.

 

Just a quick one, I went to Byron on thursdsay for the first time in ages. It was SO good, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I got the grilled chicken SMASHED AVOCADO burger, it had Smashed avocado, dry cured bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, Byron sauce £10.50. I asked for no bacon and they said that was fine. My mum got the beef BYRON burger which had Bacon, mature Cheddar, shredded iceberg, tomato, red onion, Byron sauce £9.00. We then shared onion rings £3.50 and sweet potato fries £4.00. They were the best onion rings I’ve had in a long time! Everything was bloody lovely. The only bummer, if you’re a student they don’t take NUS card (which I have) but they do accept unidays (which I don’t have.)

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Saturday 5th May- London.

 

So for my dads birthday last year I bought him tickets for Motown. His birthday is in July but we only managed to get a date where we were free May 2018. He has a season ticket for West Ham and I’m quite often busy so we got there eventually. We picked a good date to be honest as the weather was BEAUTIFUL. Before we even got to London I’d had 3 Smirnoff ice’s through a straw (lethal.)

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We decided to head to covent garden TGI’s for a drink before the show, it was a 2:30 showing so it was still pretty early. Thankfully it was dead inside and we got a drink super quick. I LOVE their bubblegum daiquiris so much- brain freeze will be imminent.

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We then went to Motown- IT WAS AMAZING. If you’re even slightly into the Motown era you MUST go, it’s such a good show. We both loved it! Caught my dad singing a few times but that’s fine.

 

We had a dinner reservation for 6:30, we came out of there about 5:15ish (I think, I’d had two drinks in the show so it was starting to all blend into one) so we quickly went for another drink in Covent garden, in I think it was the Nags head and stood outside and people watched.

 

 

My dad really likes seafood and did some research and found a little restaurant called Seawise in Camden that was a seafood/fish and chip restaurant. Seeing my dad in Camden was hilarious, if you know my dad and if you Camden you’ll know why. Before we went into the restaurant, we went for another drink (help me) It was just a little pizza place but we sat outside on the benches and the pornstar martini was fab.

 

We then went to the restaurant and It looks just like a café. It was really clean and the toilet was really looked after too. It was packed out though so must be good!

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For starters dad went for oysters and I went for calamari- oh my god it was the best calamari, tasted so fresh! The batter wasn’t too overpowering either, Dad tried some and agreed.  The mojito here was really nice too

 

Then for mains I went classic fish and chips and he went for a sharing mixed platter- to himself paha. At this point the walls were well and truly spinning ( I declined my dads suggestion of getting a bottle of wine to share), I still powered through and ate my dinner and it was sooooo tasty! The fish was so white (dad said this is a sign it’s fresh) and it just fell apart it was so good, the chips were delicious too. Dad really enjoyed his platter too, I tried some of it and it was really flavoursome.

The meal came to about £65 and that was two starters, a main, a sharing platter and 3 alcoholic drinks. The portions were massive too! Not stingy at all, and the staff were really lovely too, I’ll 100% come back here, definitely try it! Here is their menu below. All in all, we had a fab (boozy) day!

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Hope this hasn’t been too long a blog.

 

Have a good week.

Ellie
@ellhales

xx

Dublin

So over New year my friend and I went to Dublin, it was freezing but fun. I’d like to go back just for the day to go to Kilmainham Gaol which is a former prison and now a museum. It was SO cold though if I were to go back I would go in June-August time.

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We ate at some really good places so, thought I’d give my opinions and recommendations if you are off to Dublin or thinking of going. It’s pretty similar to London food prices but just euros.

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This little place is on one of the main streets near Trinity college, we actually went here by chance because the décor outside was cool and omg it was super tasty! We shared a pizza and garlic bread- both were amazing! I wouldn’t say expensive either, very reasonable and lovely staff. Wouldn’t go for the chocolate dessert- I found it quite dry. Other than that, really nice! I actually put a trip advisor review of them up and they replied with the below.

Dear ellieh,
It is with great pleasure to read your 5 star review. Since your very kind words we are the first restaurant in Ireland to receive the prestigious award last week from the Verace Pizza Napolitana in Naples. We thank you for recognising the true authentic Neapolitan pizza we are so passionate about. PS the fondant is back as a light, moist chocolate dessert that oozes! Thanks for keeping us on our toes…Come back, show this response to your server and enjoy a Fondant on the house!
Sincerely
Forno 500°

So really lovely management too! Definitely try this gem.🤗

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Hard Rock Café

Definitely recommend, good atmosphere and good food. Pricey but all hard rock cafe’s are. (I try to always go to a Hard Rock Café in every city I vist, so far London, Venice, Amsterdam, New York, Barcelona, Koh Samui and now Dublin.) Really friendly staff. I found a hair in my food and they were so understanding, offered me another meal but I declined so they took it off the bill and gave us a free cocktail each too. Great customer service.

Thai Orchid

We both fancied a Thai on our second night so I googled Thai’s in Dublin and I think this was in the top 3. It was actually the best Thai I’ve had in ages. It’s a very authentic Thai restaurant, I’ve been to Thailand and I’d say it’s one of the closest to Thailand food itself I’ve had. Definitely recommend it! The ducks suuuuper tasty too. If you like Thai food definitely try and pop here.🤤

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Toddy’s Bar and Bistro

Another by chance restaurant, we were starving after a morning sightseeing on the hop on hop off bus (always do these on city breaks as they are really good for getting your head around whereabouts everything is and also take you to places you haven’t thought of going) This place is actually a hotel, it looked super posh (no idea if it is) The restaurant was really quiet but it was new years eve afternoon so people were probably prepping. Our waitress was lovely and really chatty. Rosie went for the stew and I went for the fish and chips. Both of us really enjoyed our meals, the fish tasted super fresh and you got loads of chips, I don’t normally like chips but these ones were fab. Would recommend if you’re stuck for somewhere to eat. It’s location is at the end of one of bus lines and the beginning of another, Upper O’Connell Street.

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Beef & Lobster.

So for new years eve evening I booked this restaurant as it looked really good and I’d seen it a few times on Instagram when doing some restaurant research. We booked for about 9/10ish. We had a few drinks whilst we were getting ready which in hindsight was not a good idea because we were pretty tipsy at the meal (Rosie smashed a champagne glass and I knocked a chair over-lol help us) This place was packed so a really good sign! Oh my god I think it’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had, I wish I was sober so I could really take in how good the food was. It was a set menu of 3 courses and a glass of prosecco and think it was 70/80 euros. The starters were lovely we had duck wings and crab. Then I had Beef wellington for mains (AMAZING) and then Rosie had the steak. For pudding we had profiteroles and they were also really really good! I definitely recommend this place and I’m sad there isn’t one in England as I know many people and myself who would love it! The cocktails were also really tasty. Please go to this restaurant if you’re in Dublin. Apologies for the naff pictures🙄

 

 

 

Bewley’s Grafton Street

On New years day we woke up quite late so missed breakfast (although the lovely man at our b&b did offer to make us something but we felt really bad so declined-i’ll tell you the name of it later it was so cute and the couple who ran it were so nice.) We had a wonder around Dublin but couldn’t do too much as everything was shut, obviously as it was New Years day (divs) We fancied a cup of tea in a cute coffee shop but literally nothing was open so come across this posh place and the queue was out the door- everyone had the same idea! It was huge inside I felt like I was in an American film! It was a very nice pot of tea, had the Irish breakfast. It’s very warm if you’re near the open fire- not good if you’re layered up-which we were!  It was very cute and a different experience.🌸☕️

 

Hotels

So we mucked up and accidentally booked our flight the day earlier than we had booked it b&b for so had to find a place to stay for one night. I went onto booking.com and found Maldron Hotel Pearse Street. It’s in a really good location, close enough to walk into town but far enough to not be in the hustle and bustle. Friendly staff and helpful, and the rooms are lovely and well decorated. Would definitely recommend this hotel. It cost 139 euros for the both of us for the night so not a cheap find.

 

Avoca House Bed and Breakfast

LOVED this little place. We stayed here for 2 nights and it was so accommodating. It is decorated so lovely, a real snug cottage feel. The owners are also so so lovely and are happy to give you tips or any advice on Dublin. They also have the 2 cutest dogs, do not let this put you off if you are not a dog lover as the dogs do not go into the section where the rooms are. The breakfast is also lovely and a nice touch. It is walkable into the main area, we walked to the Guinness storehouse one day and it did take around an hour but it’s all downhill so it’s no too bad. If you aren’t a walker then a cab wont cost you much and it’s not far at all. It’s also not very far from the airport. Overall I would 100% recommend this B&B and would definitely stay here again. It cost 238 euros for the both of us.

 

Overall Dublin was fab and we ate at some bloody fab places! We went to the Guinness storehouse too but that’s a given!

 

I’ve got a couple of places booked this weekend so I’ll definitely blog about those!

Have a lovely weekend. Boo to the pants weather! ☔️ 🌧 ☹️🙁

Ellie

@ellhales xxx

I ducking love food

Hello! hope you had a lovely weekend, what a beautiful day Saturday was! Sunday not so much, I took my dog for a walk and the sun did keep popping out and then hiding again.  Also- saw this on facebook and thought it was soooo true! I am honestly evil when I’m hungry-avoid me at all costs. Anyone else?

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Thursday 12th April 2018.

So on Thursday I went up to the O2 to watch my teenage crush (that has continued into my 20’s) Harry Styles. I left work at 4 and drove up and parked at Stratford Westfield- parking during the week is only like £6/£7. At Westfield they have a shake shack so we decided to go there, anywhere at the o2 would of been soooo busy and Westfield was actually quite quiet (for Westfield.)

I love this burger place so much, I honestly recommend you go if you’re in London and there is a fair few of them around up there. However the chips were not as good as normal- normally they are heavenly. We had the raspberry lemonade too, it’s so delicious, really sweet! I had a cheeseburger, cheesy chips and a raspberry lemonade and it came to about £10. Rosie had the double shackburger which is just a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce (no idea what shacksuace is, I assume it’s just burger sauce.) Also, my name now is Eli.

 

It’s such quick service there and it’s sort of self service as you go up and order and then they give you a buzzer so when that goes off you pop up and collect your burger. It’s like five guys but tastier. Less choice though and no groovy drinks.

We were done by 6:30 so made our way to the O2 which is a straight line- so good for after the concert as everyone seems to be going in the other direction. So got to the O2 about 7. Great night and my inner fan girl was relived and I fell in love for the 293363th time.

 

 

Friday 13th April Tank & paddle.

I didn’t get home from Harry Styles (lol just his concert) until 12:45ish and I had to be at work for 7:15am to go to London- cue a walking zombie. My friend works about a 2 minute walk from my London office so we decided to meet for lunch. She suggested a pizza place and I happily agreed, I love carbs. She booked a place called Tank & Paddle for 12:45 which is in the heart of the city. It’s huge inside and the atmosphere was really good, it was rammo! It’s self service so you just pop up and order. I’m lucky as with my work pass I got 25% off. My friend had the M E A T Y O U R M A T C H which was pepperoni – Spicy Beef – Smoked Bacon – Chicken and a coke. Then I had B I L L Y G O A T ’ S S T U F F E D which was rosary Goat’s Cheese – Spinach – Red Onion Chutney and an elderflower and lemonade. It came to £9 each and the pizza was hugeeeee! it was so so good, I’ll definitely be going back there. They have a 3 locations so I’d like to try the others. If you like pizza- go to this place!

 

 

Saturday 14th April-Canterbury.

So on Saturday as it was such a lovely day my friend and I decided to go to Canterbury for a day of pre city break shopping. we left medway about 10:20 and got into Canterbury centre (after the park and ride) about 11ish. We did a few shops then realised we were hungry. We decided on going to the Old weaver House in Canterbury- I use to come here a lot when I was little as my Grandma grew up in Canterbury so we spent a lot of time here. It’s an oldy woldy kind of place, a lot of character. I always remember it being nice so opted for it. We also got to sit outside so that was cute, it’s  not that big outside but it is sheltered too. It’s actually next to the river where the boats go- I must do one of those tours one day. I was quite hungry and knew I wasn’t eating later so went for the duck (hence the title) which was a boneless half duck with orange sauce, served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. My friend went for the fish and chips- she said this was ok not the best fish and chips she had had, and that it was quite greasy. My duck was actually quite fatty- I know duck is a fatty meat anyway but it was a lot of fat- I left half of it. The veg was really good though- I really hate hard veg but this was super soft and tasty. I think this was just an off day for them as it’s normally really good! The baguettes looked really tasty and I know their roasts are good. Please do try this and let me know what you think.

 

The meal came to about £36 so £18 each which isn’t too bad for big meal and a soft drink each. My friends dad actually paid for our lunch bless him, a big thank you to him!!

Also found this photo on my phone LOL, no idea who or what I’m giving a resting bitch face too- I think I was eyeing up the wine and the chips the lady had on the table next to us.

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After our meal we decided we needed something sweet so went to the Eleto chocolate café. I’ve been here once before but in winter. It was really busy with all the tables outside taken, we managed to get one by the window inside which was nice as the sun was coming in keeping us toasty. About 10 minutes after we got here all the tables inside were taken up. We decided on a pot of English breakfast tea to share, my friend went for a milk chocolate crepe with strawberry’s and I went for a milk chocolate crepe with whipped cream. The crepes arrived super quick and pot of tea was about 5 minutes after. I really enjoyed mine but didn’t manage it all as they put soooo much sauce on it! So tasty though, I like it because it’s not the same as all the other dessert places which are everywhere and it’s nice to go to somewhere that’s a bit different. You also feel like you’re giving money back into the town as it’s quite an authentic place! It cost us about £6 each so not extortionate! I’d definitely recommend even if it’s just a coffee or hot choc (they are fab) and they do savoury stuff too!

The sign in here is also a rule to live by!

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As we were walking back to the shops we spotted a cool looking tea room- it was alice in wonderland themed and it looked so cool! I googled it when I got home and they have one in Canterbury and one in Herne bay! https://aliceandthehatter.co.uk/ it looked really fun! The reviews aren’t that great but I’d still like to try it!

 

I’ve got a busy weekend coming up but no food plans which is very strange! A wedding, a 40th and the London Marathon (not taking part, purely spectating and having a drink for every mile completed by the runners) I’m going out for an Italian on Wednesday as my friend who is taking park in the marathon wants to carb herself up. I do not need carbs but obviously going for moral support!

 

Have a good week, hopefully the weather is going to be as beautiful as they say!!

Ellie

@ellhales

xx

The Thrill of it all…

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, weird weather- lovely On Friday and Saturday then miserable on Sunday. Get me on holiday.

 

Friday 6th April- The Broadwick Chatham Dockside.

So back In February one of our colleagues took an early retirement so, of course food was on the cards. However, it was scheduled when the beast from the east hit Kent therefore it had to be cancelled. Originally we had booked Zippers in dockside however that has now closed down (gutted because Zippers was actually quite nice) In it’s place is a new restaurant that only opened in time for Easter. We were a bit apprehensive on trying it because there was about 18 people and if it wasn’t that great it would of ruined the afternoon. However on the day it opened a few people on my team went and tried it and said it was good so we went ahead and booked it for 1pm on Friday.

The layout it pretty much exactly the same as zippers, just they’ve changed the décor inside, it’s very airy and quite fresh. It was a really nice day so it was really bright in there, the view onto the boats is quite nice too. The majority of us were drinking, a few of us ordered the cocktails, the first one I went for was a mojito. It was nice but there was far too much ice in it- I went for 2 sex on the beach cocktails after and they were much better-super tasty, I couldn’t really taste the alcohol in them-dangerous. The cocktails are about £7/£8 so average prices really. For starters I went for calamari and this was really good, the portion was huge too. For mains I went for steak fajitas, I always liked these at zippers so decided to give these a try. These too were also really good, you got loads of peppers and onions too with it. (garlic too apparently as when I got home my mum informed me I stunk- lol soz sah) I’d definitely get these again, they are pretty much exactly the same as Zippers were. They are £16 though so a bit steep I guess for Chatham-really worth it though!

 

At this point I was ready for a nap-food coma galore and then the waitress brought over the dessert menu- different stomach for dessert remember. The majority of people were going for dessert so it would of been rude not to right?… Their dessert selection I guess is quite standard, I went for the profiteroles and these were good, I probably wouldn’t get them again as they were quite heavy and thick.

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I’d definitely go back here again, no doubt we will back soon. The food is great, you can see the chefs cooking as it is an open kitchen which I always think is a plus. Although we pre-ordered the food didn’t taste as if it had been sat there or been heated up. I don’t think it was, as it took the normal amount of time say if we hadn’t pre-ordered. The service was really good too and the waitress’ and waiters’ were lovely. It’s a really nice restaurant and if you don’t like any of the desserts then there is always Creams next door!

From here we went to Ship and trades for a few drinks and sat outside as it was really sunny, it’s so nice here on a sunny day- I’m not a huge fan of their food but their drinks are fine. Then from here we went to Pier 5 for a few more drinks. They have quite a good selection of drinks here, their cocktails are great. I’ve been here for food a few times too- the pizza is so nice-huge though you could probably share it between two of you. I then went home at 8 as I’d been drinking since 1 and that’s a long time for a lightweight and I was going out for the day on Saturday. Definitely try both the Broadwick (they still don’t have a website though so that’s weird) and Pier 5.

 

Saturday 7th April 2018 Flat Iron & Sam Smith.

So on Saturday mum and I were lucky enough to get tickets for Sam Smith at the O2 (we were so bloody excited) We drove up and parked at Stratford Westfield as this is much quicker than getting the train home and cheaper than parking at the O2 itself. We then got a tube to Oxford circus and decided to try the Flat Iron near Carnaby as we always go to the one at Covent Garden. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the tube -omg It was so so busy there were humans everywhere, like ants spilling on the road. We got there and were told it would be a half hour wait, which we were fine with as normally it’s around an hour. We walked along to Zara and were looking round there when 10 minutes later I got a text from them telling me my table was ready, Flat irons really good as they’ll take your phone number to tell you when a table is free so you can go and have a mooch about elsewhere. It was really small in there, mum and I were lucky we got a two table to ourselves it seemed other people were on tables with strangers. They don’t do cocktails at this one (probably a good thing really given the alcohol consumed the night before) which is a bit gutting but they do the other drinks. I went for the strawberry and basil fizz and mum went for a ginger beer. The steak at this one is £1 more expensive than the Covent garden one, at a huge £11 (sarcasm btw) and they do pretty much the same sides. They also do the burger. We both went for the flat iron steak medium rare and then ordered chips and creamed spinach. It didn’t take long to come out- 20 minutes I’d say. Really speedy service and our waitress was nice. The steak was perfect as ever and the creamed spinach was lovely. I’m not a huge fan of chips but I tried a few but they were so salty I didn’t really like them. I spilt my ice on my menu so sorry about the pants pic.

 

We didn’t get the mousse as we saw the waitress put her hands in the mousse on the tables next to ours. I’m not a fan of mousse either so it didn’t bother me. At the Covent Garden store you get free salted caramel ice cream so that’s a bit disappointing. I’d probably stick to the Covent Garden restaurant in future over this one. I plan on trying the other locations that they have. However if you are in this area and fancy a cheap eat I’d recommend this place- it only cost us £20 each for all of that and the service charge.

We then shopped some more before making our way to bond street tube station at about 6pm to go to North Greenwich to watch Sam Smith- who was INCREDIBLE OH MY GOD ONE OF THE BEST SINGERS I’VE SEEN LIVE. However just before we got on the tube we got a bottle of water, some cookies and some Percy pigs from M&S which we planned on eating on the tube but it was so jam packed we didn’t get to eat them and then when we got to the o2 they were confiscated 😥 we had to stand to the side and quickly eat a cookie each and a few Percy pigs. So if you’re going to the O2- hide your food! No I’m kidding kids don’t be naughty.

 

We had a brilliant day- wasn’t really food filled which is highly unlike me but it was still fab. Then on Sunday I went to Confucious in Chatham which is a Chinese restaurant where it is one set price but you can order as much as you want. It’s honestly the best Chinese restaurant in Medway I’d say. It looks soooo skanky from the outside and the décor isn’t that great but you know what they say about judging a book by it’s cover! I think it’s £19 for the food and it’s so worth it. If you ask nicely they may give you a 10& VIP card.  I didn’t manage to get any pictures as I was so engrossed in the food. The best thing about it is if you’re eating and you decide you want more you can ask and they’ll bring it out. The parking is a bit pants as it’s round the back of gala bingo which is pay and display. If you’re in the mood to eat loads of Chinese and you’re in the Medway area- please go!

 

I’m going to watch Harry Styles this week (so excited I bloody love him) so I’m sure I’ll get some good food there!

 

Have a good week!

Ellie

@ellhales

xxxx

Easter weekend in food

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter break, those 4 days off are heaven. Only 22 more working days until the next bank holiday, push through! A big thank you for all our emergency service teams who do not get bank holidays and work their bums off all year round.

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Friday 30th April.

On Friday evening I met up with my lifelong friend Shannon. We were besties in primary school, drifted apart in secondary school then got back in touch in the last couple of years. It’s like nothing ever changed, that’s when you know you’re good friends. We decided to go to Latino Joes in Rochester. I’ve only ever been there for cocktails so was excited to try the food. The cocktails are actually really good and it’s probably the best place in Rochester for drinks. It’s a really varied age group, on the weekend they have a DJ playing from about 9 onwards, the one on Friday was playing some absolute tunnnnes.

I’d already offered to drop and pick my mum and her friends up from Rochester so I was driving (error made by me) We booked a table for half 8, it wasn’t too busy so that was good, but there was a good atmosphere. To be honest it’s always good in there. For starters we ordered the calamari, when it arrived it looked huge and thick and in my head I thought “that does not look great.” But it was SO tasty! I’d probably get that again.

For mains we both went for chicken fajitas and got a side of nachos, you got soooo much food! If you wanted a light dinner or were not too hungry you could definitely share the fajitas with someone. The mocktails there are really nice too if you are not able or choose not to drink, but after 4/5 of them the fruit juice was burning my throat. Our meal came to £38 each but that was calamari, 2 chicken fajitas, nachos, 3 cocktails and 3 mocktails. I’d definitely go back here for food (I want to try more) and would recommend it, even for just drinks it’s a cool place.

 

Saturday 31st March.

On Saturday Mum and I went to the cinema to watch Peter Rabbit- It’s so cute, really funny too! After we popped to bluewater to grab some food and do some shopping. We wanted something quick as we were hangry so decided to go to Pizza express, the old one at bluewater (in the posh section) as they’ve just opened a new bigger one behind TGI’s near the cinema. We both went for the chicken pollo pesto( I always get this) and we tried their chips. The pasta wasn’t as hot at it normally was and I’d won’t get the chips again, They were an odd flavour! We were both unsure on them. Still a nice quick meal though, I’ll try the new restaurant next time.

 

 

Sunday 1st April.

I eventually got booked into a Miller & Carter, we had to go to the Sevenoaks one as Maidstone and Bexley were very unhelpful on the phone. It’s actually quite a nice drive out to Sevenoaks and in a cute village. 5 of us had the Sunday 3 course set menu (£24.95pp) and my nan went for the young guest menu (11.70). The children’s food was actually huge for a “child” and you got really good portion size. For starters we had, 2 salt & pepper calamari, baked cheddar mushrooms, sticky chipotle chicken and black pearl scallops and nan had the cheesy garlic bread. Each of us sampled the starters and they were soooo good. Next time, I’d get either the chicken or calamari, they were my favourites. For mains I went for sirloin medium rare and it was really good. My dad ordered the rump medium to well done and it came out really rare so he had to send it back to go back on the grill. Other than that we all enjoyed it. My nan went for the fish and chips and said the fish was proper and not frozen. My Grandad went for the rib eye and it was huuuuuge.  They always give you a lettuce wedge but next time I’m going to say no to this as I think it’s a waste, just give me the steak. For dessert I went for the brownie and this was really sickly but really good my mum found it quite dry,  it’s like a gooey brownie, I didn’t manage it all but would get this next time, or the mini dessert & coffee. We also ordered the lemon tart and sticky toffee pudding, they were really nice too apparently (I was way too full so sample these) I’d definitely go back to the Sevenoaks restaurant, the staff were lovely and the drinks were great, the toilets were clean and the layout was nice, not too squashed. It’s huge too. I think this one and the Lakeside one are my two favourites. I only managed to get a picture of my pudding, I think I was too hungry to think about taking pictures of my starters and main.

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Monday 2nd April.

Rosie and I wanted to do something on Easter Monday but the weather forecast was so poo we had to decide to do something inside. So we opted for afternoon Tea. We luckily got booked in for the chocolate afternoon tea at Fleur de The in Rochester. When you book you have to pay a £5 deposit, it’s £18.95 for all of it. This is what you get with it. You do need t

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I’m not normally a fan of sandwiches but these were so lovely! They were light and fluffy and the flavours were fab. They were super fresh too! I had the chicken, ham and cream cheese. Egg and tuna aren’t a bit of me.

You also get endless amount of tea, they kept replacing our teapot. By the end of It, if you were to squeeze me, tea would of oozed out of my pores.0B64E95E-8C8A-413A-BC0F-FBAE847FE28A

If you’ve never been here I honestly recommend it, it’s sooo cute. Even all the cutlery is sweet. The décor is vintage and shabby chic vibe, they also sell a lot of their stuff. There is so much to look at, a super cute tea room.

Next were scones, I love it here because they were not rushing us and they left it a good 20 mins/half hour between the courses. I’m not going to lie, I always opt for chocolate afternoon tea purely for the chocolate chip scones- they are just so good! These ones did not disappoint! They were still warm too, all the choc chips were melted😍🤤. You get 2 huge blobs of ganache each too. One blob covers both scones. I made an error, I put the whole blob in between the two halves and tried to eat it like a sandwich-lesson learnt for next time, don’t do that. Two pictures here because they are just so tasty.

 

The last course you get a chocolate cupcake each, you also get a white chocolate lolly to take home, such a cute touch. At this point we were full to the brim so decided to take the cakes home. All in all this is such a lovely afternoon tea and I think great value for money, I’d definitely come back and have this again. The ladies in the shop were so lovely and couldn’t do enough for us. This would make a great present too as they do offer gift vouchers. The whole place is just so lovely, even the toilets have cute little funny signs in them. I think it may of actually been the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had! So chilled and the most amazing food.

 

We were there a good hour and a half, I only had 15/20 minutes left on my car parking ticket so decided to go somewhere else. We were considering Lakeside but they were closing at 5 (rightly so on a bank hols) and Bluewater was 9. With the Dartford tunnel being so unreliable and with it being a bank holiday we opted for bluewater (again ha.) Oh my god it was SO busy, everyone had the same idea as us it seemed to get out of the rain. It took a good 20 minutes to even get parked. We had a mooch about the shops, it was so busy I actually couldn’t be bothered to properly shop. About 5:30 we decided we were hungry again (empty pit of tummys) but couldn’t decide where to eat, we walked past TGI’s, heard the lady say 45 minutes to an hour wait and decided on Cote.

I haven’t been here in ages so I was looking forward to it. We got seated down inside really quickly, it was also busy in here too, the busiest I’ve seen it actually. We were so thirty we hadn’t drunk anything since we drowned ourselves in tea. They give you complimentary tap water in a cool bottle and we got through 4 of them. We both ordered the Roast Duck Breast £14,95- roasted duck breast (served pink) with gratin potato and a griottine cherry sauce and got creamed spinach to share. I’ve always ordered this when I’ve been here, it’s just sooooo bloody tasty, the potatoes are so good, they are just the right texture-not too hard and the creamy cheese they put on them is fab-the cherries they put on there were quite sour and I only had 3 and then decided I didn’t like them. The creamed spinach was really good too. I loved this meal as it left you feeling contently full but not uncomfortable. If you’re ever near a cote or just fancy the sound of it, I would insist you go, the food is really good.

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Hope this post wasn’t too waffly or too long.

I went to Dublin over new years just gone and ate at some really nice places so I was thinking of doing a post on that. I’ll have a think!

On Friday I’m going to a new place at dockside (it’s the old zippers) that’s just opened for a works do, i’ll definitely review that.

 

Have a good week 🙂 only 4 days yay!

Ell xx

London Pig days

I go to London at least once a month, as it’s only a 50/60 minute train away and where I live is SO pants. Every time I go, I attempt to try somewhere different to eat, may that be a full meal or just a sweet snack (normally both).

STK- ME London Hotel, 336-337 Strand, London 11th November 2017

For my friends 23rd birthday last year she decided that she would like to go to STK. I’d seen this all over Instagram and it looked great so I was so up for it. Our table was booked for about 7:30/8 so we got the train about 3ish, went to b@1 at Covent Garden and had a few drinks before hand.  It was then about a 3 minute walk (*struggle, because div me wore new shoes and my feet were not ok hun.) When we arrived they kindly took our coats and our table was not quite ready so showed us to the bar. The barmen were lovely and helped us with our choices, I think we ordered 2 white wines and 2 champagnes. The two Ell’s had the white wines and the bday girl had the champagne and Rosie had this too in honour of Ambers birthday (Rosie normally hates champers but said it was actually really good.) I have to say it was probably one of the best white wines I’ve had, and the glass was huge so it was fab.

 

 

 

We sat on the cute chairs at the bar whilst we waited for our table and took in the atmosphere. It was actually so nice in there, the décor was really cool, the atmosphere was great- I was a bit worried that it would be really posh and I’d feel out of place. However it was super chilled and a good ambience. We had a few selfies- obvs. We also got a lovely lady to take a picture of us, thank you!

 

 

 

We then were shown to our table and we had one the cute little booths round the edge. We all ordered, I actually can’t remember what we ordered but we all went for the same. After we ordered Rosie and Ellen went to the ladies, whilst they were in there the waiter brought over some bread. Amber and I were starving but didn’t expect the bread so we dived in. The bread was warm, it came with an alien looking green sauce and it was SO GOOD- we actually considered eating it all whilst they were in the loo and hiding the evidence (they wouldn’t of even known.) Apologies for the pants photo’s, they are screenshots from a snapchat video lol.

 

 

Not long after our steak arrived (yay.) For sides, Amber and Rosie went for the normal chips, Ellen went for the truffle chips, I just text her and asked if they were good and she said “yesssssssss, they were so good.” So if you’re into truffle chips, these are for you! I went for the creamed spinach and it was super tasty. Onto the steak. THE STEAK. I’m pretty sure we ordered the smallest size and it was huge!! I was naht complaining. It was up there with the top steaks, we all said the same. I always order my steak medium rare, I like a bit of colour as I think it makes it more flavoursome and tender. Amber HATES blood and she said hers was a bit pinker than she’d hoped but she really enjoyed it. The only thing I wished from the meal is I hadn’t had the 4 cocktails before and I’d gone completely sober.

 

 

The dessert stomach was half full but we felt we HAD to get something because we were there. So we decided to share the Junk Chalice between the four of us. This includes, Vanilla & Caramel Pecan Ice Cream, Boozy Whipped Cream, Pop Corn, Marshmallows, Hot Caramel Sauce, Candy Floss & Gooey Brownie. Heart attack heaven. If I’m honest I was so full, I didn’t really enjoy or/could eat it. The candyfloss was really good, it probably doesn’t help that I’m not a huge fan of ice cream anyway. Amber and Ellen said it was good though. We also told them it was Amber’s birthday and they brought out a really cute little cake thing with Happy birthday on it- cute touch!

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All in all it was a REALLY good meal and the surroundings were really modern and fresh. We paid £73.50 each, so it is a splurge meal but I honestly thought it was going to be more than that. This was 4 alcoholic drinks, 4 different sides, 4 steaks and a hugeeee dessert. They didn’t charge for bread which was a bonus. I definitely would go back, they quite often do set menus so I’d like to try one of those.

 

Big Easy Covent Garden- 16th December 2017.

Rosie and I always near Christmas do a day out rather than buying each other presents. So we booked to go and watch Dreamgirls in London. Of course we had to get a meal in. I’d actually had that horrible flu thing in the weeks leading up to it so wasn’t feeling that great (I’m saying this as it might of affected my taste buds) but there was no way I was missing out on a day out. We decided to go to Big Easy beforehand as I’d heard a lot about it. It’s really cool décor in there and quite easy to find. When we arrived there was a huuuuuge queue and this was for people that had actually booked tables. Eventually we got to our table, I decided to order the crispy Calamari for starters, it’s £8.90 so I thought it would be huge so Rosie and I could share. It wasn’t as big as I’d hoped but it was still quite nice. Probably wouldn’t have it again at £8.90.

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For mains Rosie went for one of the steaks and I ordered the Texas Sliced Slow-Smoked Brisket(16/18hr) 17.9 which states “WE SMOKE ALL OUR BAR.B.Q IN OUR PIT ROOM RIGHT HERE IN CROSSRAIL PLACE SO ITS ALWAYS FRESH. ALL OUR BAR.B.Q IS SMOKED ORIGINAL DRY RUBBED AND IS SERVED WITH OUR HOUSE
MADE BAR.B.Q SAUCE ON THE SIDE IF YOU LIKE YOUR BAR.B.Q SMOTHERED. BAR.B.Q PIT-SMOKED BEANS AND SLAW ACCOMPANY ALL BAR.B.Q PLATTERS.” (Capital letters for dramatic effect) I actually really hated my meal 😦 Rosie said her steak was average “I’ve had better steak, wasn’t horrible though.” We got spinach and mushrooms as sides, I wasn’t too keen on these either.

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The meal cost us £40 each which Isn’t too bad for London with starters sides and drinks. I probably wouldn’t go back by choice, the staff were ok but it was so busy I can understand why. Like I said earlier, it may of been where I had been poorly I may of just not fancied it. I’ve heard their brunch is good but I wouldn’t go unless someone wanted to go for their birthday. Off we then went to watch Dreamgirls (brilliant) and then onto Winter wonderland and had a really fab but cold day- we had to buy these hats and gloves in H&M on Oxford street because it was SO cold. As Rosie is off travelling in September this would of been her last Christmas in England so wanted to make the most of it and have a good day.

 

 

Heddon Street Kitchen-3-9 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BE

I saw this place on Instagram and it was the beef wellington that caught my eye. It’s one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, did anyone ever watch the cocaine programme he did? All 3 of us were wondering if this was one of the restaurants that tested positive for coke in the toilets! Another Christmas tradition of ours is going to watch Disney on Ice at the O2 (Yes we are now 23 and this was our 3rd year of going) This year we’d booked to go on the Saturday so we could make a day of it. We booked HSK for late lunchtime as we were going to the 6 o’clock show. When we arrived it was really busy, it’s quite easy to find, not far from the tube and in a really nice location. It’s actually really near the Ice bar in London if you know where that is (ps the icebar is nice for a one time thing, once you’ve done it you’re probably unlikely to do it again. Another tip- don’t wear sandals when you go, not that I’m talking from experience or anything).

So the lovely staff on the door took our coats and we were shown to our table, there was a lot of family’s in there so that reassured me that it was likely to be nice. As usual we were starving, I’m pretty sure we ordered deep fried brie so start and it was really really nice. However I can’t seem to see it on the menu so maybe I’m making that up!? We ordered some mocktails (£6.50 each-bit steep for some juice but we looked past it) and they were really refreshing.

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For mains Amber went for the fish and chips (£20), said “it was lush! massive too”. The beef wellington is for two people to share and Rosie said she didn’t mind sharing it with me (Thank god-I would of been devastated if no one fancied it.) I’ve only ever had my Grandad’s homemade beef wellington and that is honestly my favourite thing in the world. He hasn’t actually made in ages (I know you’re reading this Grandad so this is a big discreet hint.) My expectations were super high, and they were not let down. It says on the menu that you have to allow 45 minutes for the beef wellington, which is a good thing because you know it’s done from scratch, they tell you this again when you order. This is why we had starters, sorry Amber you probably just wanted your fish and chips asap. The beef was SO tender and flavourful, quite pink which is what I love. The pastry wasn’t too overdone it was just right, it also comes with a brie mash. I’m not a huge fan of mash so didn’t have any but Rosie said it was really good. The gravy was the red wine jus and that is just the best gravy ever, it just adds so much to your meal.

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We all really enjoyed our meals, I can see why the beef welly is for two-it’s huge. So, I completely read the menu wrong on the beef wellington I thought it was £40 which I thought was an outstanding price. Anyway, our bill came and it said £80. It was £40 per person. Har har *oh.my.god.eighty.pound.for.some.beef* However it was our Christmas day out and Rosie’s last celebrations for a couple of years in England- this is what we told ourselves to try and make us feel better. We had a lovely meal and the staff were lovely, the restaurant cleared out about 3ish and we were the only ones in there. Before that, like I said before there were loads of families of all ages. A really nice atmosphere and it’s decorated lovely. The toilets are really nice and clean too. One of those places where the loo roll is thick and they have good hand soap and moisturiser. If you’re going for a special occasion or just fancy a splurge meal, I really recommend this place.

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Gaucho- Piccadilly 25 Swallow St, Mayfair, London W1B 4QR

On the 5th February 2018 this year my mum and I managed to get some really cheap tickets for Annie for an evening performance. So we decided to drive up to Stratford Westfield and get the tube across. We had little mooch around in the shops along Regent and Oxford street then made our way To Gaucho. I’d actually originally booked Bob Bob Ricard as that is on my list to try, but my mum didn’t fancy it so we decided to go to Gaucho. There was a man on the outside of the restaurant as we approached and he kindly showed us to the front desk, he must of been so cold bless him. I’m not sure if he was a security guard or a doormen, he was lovely anyway. The ladies on the front desk kindly took our coats and then showed us to our table, it’s quite dark in there but very spacious. We both ordered a cocktail, mine was really strong and I din’t end up drinking it. We didn’t bother with starters, just went for the mains and sides. We both went for the 300g sirloin £25.45. Sides are £4.95 each, my mum chose the fat chips and I went for the spinach. We also got mushrooms to share. The steak came out and it was huge! I expected it to be tiny. The sides were really good, if I’m honest I thought the steak would of been nicer. I know I shouldn’t but I compared it to STK and it wasn’t as good. (I need to find another word for good) My mum really enjoyed her steak and said she wanted to go back already and it was one of the best steaks she had had. I was really full at this point but my mum really wanted dessert, I persuaded her to go for the Chocolate mousse (£7.25) so I could try some. I went for the chocolate truffles £4.75. The waiter was like “try the cheesecake, it’s my favourite!” At £10 for a cheesecake it would be my favourite too, no thank you. My truffles were really yummy and my mum enjoyed her mousse, I didn’t end up trying any in the end.

 

 

I can’t remember the exact price but I think it was about £40/£50 each, which was cheaper than STK. However no free bread which was a bit gutting. I would probably go back to try it again, their burger looks really good! In the toilet, they had this HUGE candle and it smelt SO good, the toilets were freezing but really clean. If you’re thinking about going here, I would definitely recommend it.

Bunga Bunga- bottomless brunch Covent Garden- 25th February 2018.

Rosie and my birthday had come around again so we decided to go here. Our other friend Shannon, her birthday is a week after ours so decided to join all three of our birthdays in one and book Bunga Bunga. Unfortunately Shannon was really poorly so couldn’t make it. So Amber, Rosie and I trotted off to London. So the brunch is £46pp, however they add on a service charge so it’s more like £50pp. We had to pay a deposit of £10 each when we booked it to secure our place. It’s probably a 10 minute walk from Holborn station and an 8 minute walk from Covent garden tube station. If you know where School of Rock is currently, it’s just behind that. When we got there it was mayhem, a huge queue of people outside and I asked if everyone had a booking which they did. The organisation of it was really bad outside so if you’re thinking of going, we went to the 2pm slot so maybe get there about 1:30, we missed out on about 20 minutes of prosecco drinking! Probably for the best to be honest.

Anyway we got there, they filled up our glasses and we started drinking. I’m actually not a fan of prosecco but I wasn’t turning down an unlimited amount. It’s not the greatest prosecco either, Amber is an avid prosecco drinker and she said it was cheap stuff. You can ask for bellini’s instead, which I did about an hour in and It was much much better. (or maybe I was just drunk and couldn’t taste it) For starters you each get a little brioche bun, with the choice of nutella or jam. They were warm too and great. You also get a selection of cured meats and some melon. These were ok. By this point the entertainment had started, I’m not entirely sure what it was but they were good singers and after 2 glasses of prosecco it was really fun and you’d learnt the bunga bunga song.

It felt like aaggggeeesss before we got our 1 metre pizza, every other table had eaten their pizza and we hadn’t got ours. Eventually it came out, the pizza was SO good. You get three sections. I’ll attach a picture of the menu below.

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Then there was a free for all on karaoke. OH MY GOD THE BEST BIT. IT WAS HILARIOUS. There is definitely a good reason why they wait until a vast amount of prosecco has been consumed, it was soooo funny. It was super cheesy songs that people were singing and it was great, honestly I was crying with laughter, my (face) cheeks hurt. The two hours goes sooo quickly but we made the most of it. When it’s your birthday they bring out sparklers and a shot for the birthday people. However they ran out of time for ours 😦 we did tell them but they didn’t seem to care paha. It was mainly females in there but 1 in 10 were male. It’s such a good laugh! A really varied age group too. It finishes at 4, you come out at 4 o’clock, the air hits you like a ton of bricks and you realise how drunk you are. So then we went onto 2 more bars (why did we do this.) At about 6 o’clock this is when I passed out and had to go home paha-was in bed snoring by half 9. I would FOR SURE go back here, they actually have a few locations so I’d like to try the others.  I definitely recommend the brunch, however I would say make sure you eat at about 12 o’clock, just in case like us you have to wait ages for your pizza. Also, it’s not that filling so line your poor stomach before throwing some cheap proesseco down it, and ask for the Bellini’s instead.

 

The Guinea Grill- 30 Bruton Pl, Mayfair, London W1J 6NL 25th February 2018

As my birthday fell during the week, I decided to do a meal out with my mum and dad on a weekend. The only day we could all do was a Sunday, which was fine because that meant a Sunday roast. I originally wanted to go to McK Grill in Essex but one day my dad had been saying his friend at work really rated this restaurant called The guinea Grill. I didn’t know if this was a hint that he wanted to go there but I took it as that and booked us a table. We drove up to Westfield, parked and got the tube to Regent Street. We then mooched about then made our way to the restaurant. You would definitely need google maps to find it, probably a good ten minute walk from Bond street. It’s in such a prestige area, expensive cars everywhere! Then three Medderz chavs bowl through. It’s a really old building, it’s like an old boozer when you walk in. The man behind the bar wasn’t friendly at all and got a bit stroppy with me when I couldn’t decide what to drink. We had a drink in the bar bit then went round to the restaurant section. My dad started chatting to the chef- he was really lovely and actually came up to see us when we were eating to check everything was ok. Dad dropped in that he use to be a butcher and he knew his steak cuts (alright Carl calm down.) They were chatting away, he then was telling us all about the Sunday roast and what it comes with, he was also telling us about the different steaks he had and that he wouldn’t mind cooking those if we wanted them. The manager then asked us if we’d like to sit downstairs or up, we chose up and we were so glad we did, it was really airy up there and not as busy or loud. Downstairs was really busy, we took this as a good sign! We all decided to go for the Sunday roast sirloin. They offered us bread to nibble on, this was really nice bread and the butter they gave you was really thick and creamy. I bloody love bread. Our roast’s turned up and they looked unreal, All roasts are served with duck fat roast potatoes, double yolk Yorkshire pudding, honey glazed carrots and parsnips, swiss chard, curly kale, baby onions and bacon. I opted out of the bacon as I wasn’t feeling bacon that day. My dinner came out with all the trimmings on the plate. Mum and dad’s came out with their veg and stuff on a separate plate, I think this is because they had the bacon. It’s such a good roast, really tasty and everything was perfect! My dad isn’t a lover of pink meat but he said he found it really flavoursome! It was sooo filling and we couldn’t manage pudding. I’m not actually sure how much it was as I wasn’t allowed to look as it was my birthday treat, also the Sunday roast price isn’t on the website. http://www.theguinea.co.uk/restaurant?menu=716 you could probably ring and ask! I would definitely go again, the young lad who served us was really lovely and was saying the food during the week is really good and it get’s really busy. I can imagine it’s really popular. It was a lot of families in there on a Sunday, I imagine during the week it’s week day workers. The décor was really historic, pictures of a young Churchill and the Queen’s wedding day, I took a picture of these to show my nan. The Churchill pic was really hard to take a picture of because it was right near the window so the light was on it.

 

Duck and Waffle-Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY & The Alchemist 6 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7BA 3rd March 2018

I’ve wanted to go to the Duck and Waffle for about 4/5 years now, I finally managed to get booked in. You have to book 2 months in advance so it’s a bit of a faff- worth it though. It’s in the city and we went on a Saturday so the city was eerily quiet. Much better than a week day. It’s pretty easy to find and if you can’t get onto the internet just look for the tall heron tower- hard to miss. It’s in the same building as Sushi samba if you know that. If you aren’t good with height’s, do not lookout when you’re in the lift. It makes your tummy go funny, it is sooooo quick. We arrived and were shown to our table, we were quite near the window which I was pleased about, it seems that the tables that are twos are the ones next to the window. The day we went it was soooo cloudy, gutted! It was the week of the beast from the east so that’s why. I would LOVE to go at sunset. We decided to get the bread I can’t remember if we went for the HOUSE BREAD, SPICED BUTTER & SEA SALT or the ROSEMARY & GARLIC BREAD-both £6, it was really tasty anyway. It reminded me of pizza garlic bread so I think it was the rosemary one. Rosie went for the HOUSE BREAKFAST £16 Lincolnshire sausage, two eggs – any style, dry cured bacon, grilled tomato, mushroom, hash brown, Cheddar & buttermilk scone. Amber and I went for the classic duck and waffle £18. I wasn’t sure about the idea of a waffle and a duck leg, neither was Amber. OH MY GIDDY GOD WHY HAVE I NOT HAD THIS SOONER. It is one of my favourite meals ever. I actually don’t like waffles as I find them too thick, this waffle was PERFECT. The duck and waffle go together perfectly, and the maple syrup that they give you is divine. Rosie tried a bit of ours and was so gutted she didn’t go for it, she said the breakfast was nice but wished she’d gone for the D&W. We all had a coke each and the meal came to £25 each which I think for the food and experience is SO good?! Considering it’s London and you’re 40 floors up and the food is fab, I thought it was reasonable. They only have 2 female toilets which is a bit of a bum (ha) as they were quite busy. I’d definitely go back here, I really want to come here with my mum as I know she’d love the food but hate heights. I do think if you’re bad with heights this isn’t for you, which is a shame! I’m not sure if you could contact them and ask if you could have a seat which doesn’t look out. However the majority of it is glass so I’m unsure if you could get away from the height aspect. The lift on the way down is way worse too, I actually couldn’t look and I’m fine with heights.

After this we decided to go to The Alchemist which is a 2 minute walk away. I first went to the alchemist in Manchester, then 2 years ago went to the London one so knew what to expect-fun cocktails! The cocktails here are like potions and really fun to watch them make them. They aren’t cheap and probably a bit overpriced but it’s the whole experience. I would recommend going here for a birthday celebration or a special occasion, but it’s definitely a couple of drinks kind of place-unless you’ve got loads of money then drink until your hearts content. Rosie and I shared the THE MAD HATTERS
KETEL ONE VODKA, CITRUS,
ELDERFLOWER, COINTREAU AND
SUMMER FRUITS. SCIENCE. £21.
It took ages to be made but it was really cool when it came out. However, not that nice to drink, leaves a funny twang at the back of your throat. Wouldn’t get it again.  Amber went for Peaches and cream £8.50 BRIOTTET PEACH AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT,
LEMON, PROSECCO, FIZZ 
  she said it tasted a bit like soap and wasn’t that great. The screwballs are really good, and
I LOVE their Wow woo’s £9 they are really good, really sweet and sugary.

 

 

 

The Ivy Market Grill Covent Garden, 1A Henrietta St, London WC2E 8PS &

My Old Dutch, 131-132 High Holborn, London WC1V 6PS Sunday 25th March 2018
Rosie and I fancied going to Brick Lane as it’s cool and quirky there and they are only open on a Sunday, we thought we might as well get one of the restaurants that’s on the list done too whilst we were in London. We see it every time we are in Covent Garden so decided to book it. The outside is always decorated so lovely, it was an Easter bunny this time, cuuuuttee.
  It was very busy already at 12 o’clock, every table was taken. We were sat right by the door so every time it opened it was a gust of cold air. I actually don’t have much to say about this place as I didn’t really like it. I felt rushed and really on top of the other table and every time someone would walk past they were so close. I went for the steak, eggs and chips. I asked for medium but it was more well done and I just really didn’t enjoy it. Rosie had the chicken and she said It was nice, so I wouldn’t say don’t go there. I just would not rush back myself personally.
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 We then went to Brick Lane for a few hours, got come cool cheap bits. I really recommend here on a Sunday it’s so fun and AMAZING for people watching. I’m going next month with my mum, I’m going to try and get there early to see if its even better for shopping. After this we had already decided to go to one of the My old Dutch restaurant. This is a pancake shop and I believe there are 3 locations in London. We went to the Holborn one for convenience as a few tube lines were not working that day so we knew we could get there easy from Liverpool street and then easy to get back to Victoria. It’s about a 3 minute walk from the tube station, opposite The Hoxton Hotel. We got a really good seat by the window. We both ordered a pot of tea and a glass of tap water. Rosie went for the huge strawberry and nutella flat pancake and I went for the butterscotch chocolate chip & chocolate sauce but swapped the chocolate sauce for nutella because I’m a fat pig. It didn’t take long to come out and when it did I thought “wow this looks insane” and it was!! The pancakes were so good, not too stodgey and just right! We both didn’t finish them and were very pancake’d out, so worth it. The pot of tea was lovely too, it was tea leaves rather than a bag. If you’re a pancake fan, make a point of going here! It is LOVELY.

 

Sorry for this HUGE blog post, and congrats if you made it to the end. I just wanted to get a few of my recent London restaurants written up. I have a few I still want to try which are my notes below (plz ignore spelling mistakes), not all are in London but I can’t be bothered to type them out haha. If you’ve been to any of the below please let me know what you think!

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Ellie xx
@ellhales

 

The Horseshoes- East Farleigh

 

 

So, I first stumbled across this place on Instagram last year, I added it to my ever growing list of restaurants to try (no joke I have a list on my phone in the notes.) On the 23rd of April 2017 my friend and I decided to try the Sunday lunch. It’s in the prettiest of locations, in a cute quaint village. One of these villages that you drive through the twisty roads and look at all the beautiful country houses and wish you could have a peep inside/wish you lived in one of them. The pub is next to a stables, I’m not sure if they are linked but every time I’ve been there has been some sort of lessons/training going on in the training paddock-cute!

On the Sunday of April last year we arrived and thought “aw cute.” The car park is massive so no issues getting parked. We went in and were shown to our table- I’ve always booked here as it’s a 25 minute drive from me so I’d rather be safe.- We didn’t order a starter as we were not sure how big the roast would be/wanted to save room for dessert(even though the dessert stomach is separate and is always empty.) I decided to go for the roast beef (£13.75) and Rosie went for the chicken (£11.95.) 2B65F1A5-B18B-40FA-8083-73AF369039F4

Ohhhh my god. Hand on heart I have to say it was/is one of best roast dinners I have had out. The beef is so flavoursome. The veg was really tasty, and I’m not a huge fan of roast potatoes but these ones are grand. The gravy- lets talk about the gravy. It’s thick and the flavour of it is unreal. SO good. Rosie said her chicken was good but a bit aggy as it was on the bone, still tasty though. Obviously there was room for dessert- durh. I’ve seen these chocolate bombs everywhere and it was one of the main reasons I wanted to go here. I was not disappointed. This one has chocolate popping candy too, teeny tiny explosions in your mouth. Rosie found it a bit too sickly but for me it was great. I have no filter when it comes to sickliness so that’s probably why. It’s also super fun to pour, however last time I had it back in January they poured it for you so I don’t know if safety regulations have changed, or they’d run out of jugs?! If you’re not into chocolate a huge deal and just want to get this for the experience it is about £7 so maybe have a think about it. I loved it so thought it was worth it for me.

 

 

In June time I took my other friend here, it was a really beautiful day so we sat in their garden to have lunch. it’s honestly so picturesque and such a sun trap (my heaven.) If you’re not a fan of the sun or can’t sit in it for too long they do have big umbrellas so everyone is a winner. I went for the steak sandwich this time (starting to think I like steak/beef) and it was so good. We ordered two of their mocktails, I’m pretty sure they were virgin pornstar martinis. They were HEAVENLY. If you’re into these drinks then you have to get them. I’ve had a few of their mocktails now and they are really really good, I’ll either have this one or the elderflower sherbet. So refreshing-when I went with m family on mothers day they all tried my drink and loved it. 4ABF16D5-608E-4896-90A9-13AB3C3592E1

We then went for dessert. My friend went for the cookie and ice cream (does exactly what is says on the tin) and myself the chocolate brownie. If I’m honest I probably wouldn’t get it again as it was quite dry for me but my friend tried it and really liked it (the world would be boring if we all liked the same stuff eh!) Their lunch menu is really good as a lot of the stuff has FP next to it which means it’s part of their fixed price range, 2 courses £11.95 3 courses £15.50 (Available Monday – Saturday, 12pm-6pm)

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I then crashed a date day in summer between my friend and her boyfriend one Saturday and went here again with them. It was a beautiful day again so we all sat outside and had lunch. We all loved it, I honestly don’t think you can go wrong here. I’ve also been here on a Friday night for dinner, I was expecting it to be quite loud and busy but it was perfect. They also let dogs into the pub section (how brilliant) so I spent the majority of the evening staring at a dog. It’s such a comfortable environment and really homely if that makes sense. Also the staff are LOVELY.

On the 14th of January this year, my friend and I decided to come here with our mums. I somehow got lost on the way, my mum was telling me where/how to drive- I was getting aggy, words were exchanged and we didn’t talk for 10 minutes and you could cut the atmosphere with a butter knife. I have no idea how I got lost as it’s on one straight road from Tovil in Maidstone (blaming the hunger.) We walked in the pub section and Rosie and Vic were in there with a drink, our table was ready so we went and sat down (my mum and I had made up at this point, the occasional dig about driving came up but it was fine- I made it clear she could drive next time ha.) All 4 of us went for a roast. My mum literally will only ever eat her own roast dinner or my Grandad’s roast dinner, so this was either going to ruin her Sunday (and mine as I’d told her how great it was so it was all down to me) or make it. After the car incident, it would of topped it off. Thankfully all four of us LOVED it, even my mum!! Honestly she said it was one of the best dinners she’d had and wanted to go back already, my dad was so shocked she’d eaten a roast out when we got home and told him. It probably helped that they had a huge Gin selection (why is Gin such a thing at the moment?!) so she was in her element. We all had pudding, Rosie and I were food drunk, our mums were just drunk. We all really loved it and had a lovely afternoon. Oh by the way, I love Yorkshire puds so always ask for two, happy paying the extra if required.

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The last time I came here was Mothers day this year- Sunday 11th March 2018. I rang up and paid the £5 each deposit for 5 of us, my Nan, Grandad, mum and dad. Again, as this was my recommendation, it was on my head if it wasn’t great (I had faith.) My dad and Grandad were not that keen on coming, I don’t know why as I’d raved about it so much-probably because I’d suggested it!  So on mothers day it was a set menu of 3 courses for I think £22/£23 which I thought was SO reasonable. My nan is 91 this year and she is tiny and doesn’t eat much so she was going to have the children’s menu (I had rung and asked if this was ok before hand and they said it was totally fine.) We went over at 3pm, I also liked the idea of not having to pre order your food. I always get anxious when you have to do that because I think “when did they cook this, how long has this been sat in the kitchen etc” My dad for starters went for the Lobster and king prawn pot, my mum and Grandad the deep fried brie and I went for the thyme-roasted Portobello mushrooms. Everyone loved their starters (yay) we all tried a bit of each others starters and each was really tasty. My nan had a bit of everyone’s so she was the real winner. For mains we all went for the roast, apart from my mum who chose to go for the steak (she said it was lovely- you did have to pay an extra supplement for this but steak is worth it). When my Nan’s child dinner came out in my head I thought “that’s tiny and not much there.” Anyway we all got stuck in and didn’t talk for a good twenty minutes, everyone enjoyed their dinner (even my dad and Grandad which I was VERY pleased about.) My nan managed all of her dinner and I think it was the perfect size for her as it wasn’t too daunting because it was small. My Grandad and dad went for the lamb and I tried some of it and it was really good, my dad is the son of a butcher so is a good critic when it comes to meat, so if he liked it, it must of been good. The lovely staff then swiftly cleared our table and took our dessert order- I can’t remember what we all had but I know Grandad, myself and my dad went for the profiteroles and they were fab. In between this the drinks were flowing, gin, wine and beer everywhere (elderflower sherbert for me.) As I said before they have an extensive Gin list and I would say 5 different gins were tried that afternoon, they do different combinations and they are tasty (so my family said, I’m just really not into gin-more of an Smirnoff ice and/or archers/cocktail kind of gal.) So we all had our desserts and drinks and sat talking for ages. Thankfully every single member of my family loved it. My Grandad actually said he was going to take friends over he loved it that much. It was such a lovely afternoon celebrating our mums, I try to make mothers day special for my mum as my Grandma (my mum’s mum) is unfortunately no longer with us. The Horseshoes made this afternoon exactly what I’d hoped for and more, my nan also really loved it so it was perfect. The staff couldn’t do enough for us, thank you!

 

I honestly can’t recommend this place enough, it’s suitable for everyone. I just wish I lived closer! Also the toilets are always clean- which is an added bonus.

Ellie xx