Month: March 2015

Lunch at The Chicken Box, Boxpark, Shoreditch

Today I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages for a quick lunch in Shoreditch, where I got to try out another of Boxpark’s eateries. This time, it was The Chicken Box.     The basic premise of The Chicken Box is fairly simple, as the photo above implies. You choose whether you would like a quarter chicken with one side (£5.50) or a half chicken with two sides (£9.50). Then you choose how you would like it cooked, out of a choice of BBQ, Jerk, Roast, Buttermilk, Honey & Soya or Tandoori. There are then a wide variety of sides to choose from, including slightly more unusual options, such as potato gratin, basmati rice, and mac n cheese.     They also offer ‘already put-together’ options, such as Mexican Chicken Fajitas and Jerusalem Chicken Livers. I went for one of these options (largely because I hadn’t quite decided when the waiter came over, and I thought it would be easier to choose one of these, rather than having to put something …

Cyprus Series: Yialos Tavern, Paphos

As you may know from my ‘about‘ section, I grew up in Cyprus. We lived there until my dad sadly passed away in 2013, and my mum is now living back in the UK, in North Yorkshire, where I was born. We have so many great memories from the island of love, and over the years, we visited many fabulous restaurants. In fact, most Sundays were spent in a large group of family friends at one of the many local restaurants, where lunch could happily take up the entire afternoon and continue long into the evening. The tourism industry has suffered in recent years in Cyprus – it has become more expensive to travel there and most of the travel operators and big hotels offer all inclusive deals. The local restaurants are suffering because people don’t need to leave their hotels as often. As such, I’ve decided to do a ‘Cyprus Series’ of blog posts on GTBG, in the hope that anyone who might be thinking of going on holiday might be inspired to check …

National Butchers’ Week – The Ginger Pig Beef Class

Seeing as this week is National Butchers’ Week, I thought I’d make my Sunday post about The Ginger Pig beef butchery class that we attended last summer, as I referred to briefly in a previous post. As I mentioned, my dad worked for the Meat and Livestock Commission for his whole life up until the late 1990’s when he retired, and spent a lot of time working with local butchers and abattoirs to make sure top standards were maintained, to ensure high quality meat, which is something that has always been important to me. The message behind National Butchers’ Week is that “butchers remain the number one choice for range, service and convenience when it comes to purchasing meat,” which I couldn’t agree with more. I think the problem these days is that it’s all too easy to include meat in your weekly food shop at the nearest big supermarket, rather than having to take a detour to a local butcher. In fact, I think it’s the same with fish, and even cheese, to an …

Lunch from FalafeLicious, Boxpark, Shoreditch

I had seen FalafeLicious advertised on Facebook (via Boxpark), and had been wanting to try it out for some time. And yesterday was the day! I headed over for lunch and was really impressed by the range on offer. I originally thought it would just be falafel in pitta bread (as I’d seen on Facebook), but was surprised to see their extensive range of salads. For £4.95 you can indeed have falafel in pitta, but for £6.95 you can have falafel in a big salad box, which is what I opted for. I think I counted 20 different types of salads/dressings on offer, including things like couscous, grilled aubergines, white beans, red cabbage and marinated olives, and a particularly delicious red chilli sauce! Once I’d filled up my salad box with all of these goodies, I headed for the counter where the lady added a whopping eight freshly cooked falafel. I was asked if I wanted houmous and tahini, to which I said a big YES, as they’re two of my favourite dips, as well …

Dinner at Michael Caines – ABode Exeter

In January, Tim and I spent a night at the ABode hotel in Exeter, while we were down there doing wedding planning. For those of you who don’t know, we both went to university in Exeter and have many happy memories there, which is why we wanted to get married in Devon. We settled for Dartmoor in the end, but most of our suppliers were located around the city centre, so we generally stayed around there. The ABode hotel (formerly the Royal Clarence) is located on the beautiful cathedral green and is home to one of Michelin starred chef, Michael Caines’, restaurants. We were booked onto a ‘date night’ package, which included the room (a beautiful one, too!), a bottle of prosecco and a three course meal for the two of us in Michael Caines’ restaurant. I had been to the restaurant once before, while we were at University. We went for dinner for a friend’s 21st birthday – it was lovely, but being students, we couldn’t afford to indulge too much! For starter I …

Throwback Thursday – Fish Company, Reykjavik

I encountered a bit of a problem when writing today’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ blog post, and it’s a problem I’m going to have a lot going forward. I have some great memories of some incredible restaurants… but can I remember exactly what I ate? Probably not! Also, many of my restaurant experiences were prior to the days of being able to take sneaky food photos on my iPhone – I was unlikely to get out my digital camera and begin flashing away at the table, ruining the ambience for everyone around me! So this is the first post that tackles these issues. We visited Fish Company during our holiday to Reykjavik, Iceland, in January 2012 and it’s remained one of my favourite dining experiences of all time. Fish Company is nestled away under a bridge in the centre of Reykjavik town. The restaurant is dimly lit by candlelight and incredibly cosy. As you walk in, you’re greeted by a wall of colourful Post-It notes, from visitors from all over the world.      We decided on the …

The Porridge Cafe

When I heard that there was going to be a ‘Porridge Cafe’ opening in London (and just a stone’s throw from the office), I was excited! I wouldn’t say I’m a porridge fanatic by any means, but I love it when new ideas like this pop up! I remember visiting a rice pudding cafe in New York’s Lower East Side a year or two ago, and thinking what a good idea this sort of thing was. The Porridge Cafe opened up while I was on honeymoon, so I was keen to try it out as soon as I got back.      They serve five different types of porridge every day, with three ‘healthy and sweet’ options, and two ‘savoury and risotto’ options. As it was lunchtime, I opted for the latter, and had the salami, pecorino and porcini mushroom with grain spelt (£6.50). it was served in a big brown tub and I took it back to the office to eat. It was far too much for me (it might be worth considering smaller, …