Author: Megan Hallinan

Dining at The Forest Side, The Lake District

I’m becoming acutely aware that every time I try a new tasting menu, I say it’s one of the best I’ve had. But the tasting menu at The Forest Side really was spectacular, and I think a big part of this was down to the freshness and seasonality of the dishes. It boasts a superb kitchen garden within the grounds of the hotel, which I wrote about in my previous post about our stay (you can read here). This extended to all of the food and even drinks at The Forest Side. Upon arrival, while most people were sipping coffees and tucking into Afternoon Tea, we got started on the cocktails! I kicked off proceedings with a Flowering Currant Margarita, with blanco tequila, flowering currant, cointreau and lime. It was stunning! I stupidly didn’t write down what Tim ordered and looking at the menu it’s impossible to work out what it might have been – the menu and selection of foraged ingredients is vast! Those cocktails went down very nicely (and rather quickly!) so we …

The Spa at Goldeneye, Jamaica

It seems like SO long ago since our incredible trip to Jamica at the end of February and rarely a day goes by when I don’t find myself daydreaming about it. You can catch up on my previous posts about where we stayed and the food if you’d like to know more about the resort, Goldeneye. One of its many superb features is the ‘FieldSpa.’ The spa is located right on the lagoon and for us it was directly opposite our cottage – this photo was taken from our terrace. You can easily canoe or paddle board over to the spa, but we thought we’d go for a wander around the grounds leading up to it, which have cute little messages dotted around reminding you to be quiet and maintain the peacefulness of the area. There’s a vast menu of treatments at the FieldSpa with massages, body scrubs and wraps, it was difficult to choose. We were booked in for a couple’s session so we could relax and unwind together at the same time, but …

Taste of London 2017

Last month was my absolute favourite foodie event of the year, Taste of London. I’ve attended and written about it in 2015 and 2016, and now it’s time for this year’s instalment. And I was craving it more than ever. Food festivals are becoming increasingly popular in this country and I visit as many as I can for both work and pleasure. One of these was the London Evening Standard ‘Night Market’ a few weeks ago which I’d been really looking forward to, but unfortunately it was a big disappointment. There wasn’t many food stalls (or at least, not as many as I was expecting) and because the stalls were street food rather than restaurants with kitchens, the queues were long. Seriously long. In the whole evening I had two dishes and one drink. It was a real shame. As soon as I walked into Taste of London on a beautiful sunny evening at Regent’s Park, I breathed a sigh of relief. The atmosphere is always fantastic and each year I’m honestly like a kid …

VOC’s new small plates menu in King’s Cross

I’m loving discovering the new bars and restaurants tucked away in little streets and courtyards around King’s Cross where our new office is. Just over a year I reviewed VOC Restaurant, just a stone’s throw from the station in Varnishers Yard. During my last visit I was impressed by the cocktails and the steaks were very tasty – the restaurant was being positioned very much as a ‘grill’ style venue at the time. Last week I was kindly invited back to the restaurant to try the new menu. While it still has big meaty dishes on the menu for main courses, they have recently introduced a big selection of new ‘small plates’, which are categorised into ‘from the sea’, ‘from the land’ and ‘from the field’. This time I visited the restaurant with my friend Kelly and we tucked into a wide selection of dishes – Garlic Pan Fried Prawns with garlic, chilli and garden salad, Sea Farer Batativa Scallops with dutch gin, baby greens and tomato salsa, Five Day Air Dried Crispy Duck with …

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 hereĀ 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 …