Month: June 2017

Staying at The Forest Side in The Lake District

Despite growing up as a child in Yorkshire, I rarely visited The Dales and never made it over the border to the Lake District. I guess perhaps when places are close by you’re less likely to spend your free time there. On our holidays my Dad wanted to spend as little time in a car as possible (he did a lot of driving for his job) and as much time on a beach/by a pool as possible. Tim and I are the complete opposite of that at the moment – we spend most of our week at a desk, so ever since we got a car at the end of last year we’ve been loving being able to explore more. So over the May bank holiday weekend, we set off on our ‘staycation’ adventure in the Lake District and the Dales. It was an early start for us but we made it up to the Lakes by lunch time. We were staying at a hotel in Grasmere but not knowing if there would be much …

A light lunch at Mannion & Co, Helmsley

On a recent trip up to Yorkshire to see my Mum, we went for a light lunch at Mannion & Co in the quaint market town of Helmsley – the only market town in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. I’d been to their York restaurant a couple of years ago which I wrote about here and since then, the company has been going from strength to strength. The new location in Helmsley definitely has a different vibe to York – it feels a lot more cosy and rural given the setting, welcoming dog walkers to take a pew downstairs, with views across to the beautiful Helmsley Castle from the top floor. It’s also incredibly popular with queues at times – good reviews travel fast! They also sell a range of superb cakes, pastries and cheeses. Mum and I were just looking for something fairly simple as we were going out for dinner later that day, but having said that, Mannion & Co doesn’t really do simple! I ordered a scotch egg and Mum ordered a …

Dining at Goldeneye, Jamaica

I still catch myself daydreaming about the soothing sound of the waves gently hitting the sand, a reggae music beat in the distance, with a rum coconut in my hand. Our visit to Jamaica was a few months ago now, and it’s starting to feel like a wonderful dream. You can read about our stay at the superb Goldeneye here, if you haven’t already. But this post is about all of the fantastic food and drink that the Jamaican resort has to offer. Goldeneye has two restaurants within the grounds – The Gazebo and The Bizot Bar. I must admit, I was a tiny bit concerned there might not be enough variety, especially as we weren’t really planning to venture out of the resort in the evenings – we wanted to relax right where we were and not have to travel far. But I needn’t have worried, because both of these restaurants offered everything we needed, and more! The Gazebo, located on the left hand side as you enter the resort, before you cross the …

Cocktails and Platters at Brick & Liquor, Tooting

There are more and more new bars and restaurants opening in my local neighbourhood of Tooting, and I couldn’t be more excited by the prospect. One of these is Brick & Liquor. I say it’s new, it actually opened in October last year but shamefully, I’ve only just got around to visiting. I think the reason for this is that I just saw them as a ‘bar’ and I will usually meet friends for drinks somewhere central (very few of my friends live around my area). Tim and I will regularly go for meals in our local establishments but not usually just for a drink (which is why we still haven’t visited The Little Bar yet, also on our list!) Brick & Liquor is owned by David Layton, who has run venues for major brands across London for 12 years, but this was his first independent venture. Seeing the opportunity in up and coming Tooting, he decided on a derelict spot on Mitcham road, which used to be a news agent which had been lying …

Experiencing Norse’s new home in Harrogate

You might recall in December I took my Mum for a superb tasting menu at Norse restaurant in Harrogate. If not, you can refresh your memory right here. I was very impressed with the intricacy of the dishes and combinations of flavours, and I was so pleased that a restaurant of this quality (and excellent social media channels, always a bonus for me!) had opened up in my Mum’s ‘neck of the woods’ in North Yorkshire. The restaurant offered the tasting menu during the evening, in the restaurant where Scandi café ‘Baltzersen’s’ was housed during the daytime. Quite simply, it wasn’t ‘theirs’ (although owned by the same owner, Paul Rawlinson). And this was reflected in the ambience, design and décor of the restaurant. It felt like a café, which indeed it was. But with fine dining and higher prices in the evening, it was a little jarring. I’d heard that they were hoping to relocate to their own premises, and so when I saw their Kickstarter campaign, I knew I had to back them. The …

Learning about Soy Sauce with Kikkoman at Sushisamba

How much do you know about soy sauce? If you’re anything like me, then probably not a lot! I love it, and happily pour it over stir fries and sushi (mixed with a little wasabi). But I was embarrassingly ignorant about the story and history behind it. I was recently invited to an event by Kikkoman and I was excited to learn more about it, and banish my soy-related ignorance. Not only that, but the event was hosted on the 38th floor of Heron Tower at Sushisamba, a Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian restaurant which had been on my list for some time but I’d just never got around to visiting. Upon arrival (after getting rather giddy and excited by the glass lift journey to the top – I know I’m late to the party but I challenge anyone not to get excited by it if you’re a Sushisamba lift virgin. Unless you’re scared of heights, then it’s probably not for you!), we were greeted with cocktails. With Kikkoman soy sauce in them. As regular readers will know, I’m …