Eight things I ate this December

I ate a lot of food last month and reminiscing about everything I ate over the period Christmas is making me incredibly peckish…

This first weekend in December I headed to the Peak District with my family and we went straight to The Red Lion in Litton. It’s one of my favourite pubs and serves good, hearty food (and the fact that they’re dog friendly is a huge bonus!)

red-lion-liton

A boozy Christmas lunch with my colleagues happened at The Blues Kitchen  where they’re all about big plates of BBQ food. I indulged in their Christmas burger, ‘the baby cheezus’ – a turkey burger served with cranberry sauce and bacon, wedged between two brioche buns, topped with a pig wrapped in a blanket, served with both sport coleslaw and sweet potato fries!

blues-kitchen

Buying groceries for one is a challenge, you either over buy or end up having the same meals again and again, and that’s where Gousto step in. Scott swears by them and has whips me up a meal from them every time I stay at his flat. I loved their spicy haddock linguine, creamy with a hint of chilli, plus there’s hardly any prep!

gousto-haddock-linguine

Scott’s birthday falls in December, so of course, we got burgers and craft beer at The Exmonth Arms in Euston with a dozen of so friends. They’ve got 32 bottled beers displayed on the ‘wall of beer’ – nothing beats a Beavertown gamma ray with a mac n cheese burger served with hashbrown bites.

For Scott’s actual birthday, I took him to Maltby Street Market, and these buttermilk waffles served with fried chicken and maple syrup where the highlight of the market – a perfect combination!

maltby-street-market-waffkeon

I also took Scott to Camino for a birthday meal after we visited the Escape Rooms. It’s a great place to head to and you’re always guartenned good food and all the Spanish classics. Although the food itself it quite basic, it’s still incredibly tasty.

camino

I’m guilty of heading into Central London when it comes to going out for dinner, and I’m attempting to try out all of my local restaurants. Last month I headed to Thalassa with my parents. The food here is plentiful and delicious, but the restaurant itself needs a refurbishment.

thalassa

To ring in the new year, Scott and I headed to The Isle of Man, where we dinned at 14 North, a cosy restaurant located in Douglas in the North Quay. I loved the fact they only use seasonal and local ingredients to showcase what the island has to offer. If you’re ever in the Isle of the Man you’ll seriously regret not going here!

isle-of-man-14-north

 

Sunday Dinner at The Winchmore

I can only apologise for the radio silence as things have been pretty hectic over here, it’s been almost impossible to fit writing a blog in over the past week. And after a week off work getting back into my usual routine was a shock – those 40 hours at work complete with 3 weight sessions, 2 cardio sessions, and 2 yoga classes almost destroyed me, not to mention I’ve had two birthday celebrations and many work pub antics. I’m currently tucked up in bed with a sore throat drinking lemsip, I’m exhausted (and seriously regretting not wrapping up on fireworks night).

A proper Sunday lunch, with all the trimmings, is a real treat and is the one thing that has kept me going through the past week. Our local pub was the perfect place to celebrate my mum’s birthday with my intimidate family and our other halves – and since I heard that they hired a new head chef, I’ve been dying to try it out.

The Winchmore is gastro pub in North London and just a short walk away from my family home. Their cosy and intimate interior really creates a welcoming environment for those lazy Sundays. I’d highly recommend booking otherwise you’ll be waiting a while for a table. But if you do find yourself without a table, prop yourself up at the bar and browse their incredible gin selection as they have over 70 different types of gin!

the-winchmore-gin

When we were seated the owners kindly brought us over a bottle of prosecco to celebrate my mum’s birthday and to sip on as we flicked through the menu. I love scallops, so as soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have them. They were served on a pea puree and topped with crisp bits of bacon, a classic combination. They were soft, light, and melted in my mouth – my only wish was that there was more of them.

the-winchmore-scallops

Scott opted for the calamari which he raved about. There are two things he loves, good food and big portions, so the dish ticked both of those boxes – plenty of squid for your quid. Both of these starters have delicate flavours and demands precision, one minute they’re tender and delicious, and the next… they can end up as tough as a bicycle tyre. But they were cooked to perfection, hats off.

the-winchmore-calarmi

There are five options when it comes to the roast dinner: beef, lamb, pork belly, chicken and a vegetation wellington. You can also get sharing platters of the lamb and chicken and it’s advised that you should share this between 4-6 people. Half of the party opted for sharing dish of the roast shoulder of lamb – and the leftovers are currently heating up in the oven as I type.

the-winchmore-roast-lamb

I went for the pork belly which was delicious and so tender and I barely had to cut into it, it simply fell apart. It was served with crackling and what can beat that satisfying oily crunch? It came with a gigantic, homemade Yorkshire puddings and ultra-cirspy roast potatoes.

Now a decent roast dinner is one where the vegetables aren’t an after thought. They served cabbage and green beans which were cooked in garlic, and honey roasted carrots with mustard, yum. My only complain what that there wasn’t enough gravy, but they brought us over a second (and third) jug of it. My family are gravy fiends, we can’t get enough of it. Every roast dinner needs lashings of gravy as it brings together everything on the plate with its soothing and savoury embrace.

the-winchmore-pork-belly

After saying I was so full I couldn’t eat another bite, I took a look at the dessert menu and was sold on the chocolate brownie with salted caramel popcorn and ice -cream. The brownie was dense and fudgey, and the perfect way to end the meal.

the-winchmore-brownie

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The Winchmore, 235 Winchmore Hill Road, Winchmore Hill, London N21 1QA

 

 

 

 

Dinner Celebrations at the Duke of Cambridge

Last week, we went for dinner at the Duke of Cambridge in Islington – we being, my parents, my sister, my brother, all our other halves, and myself. We were there to celebrate my parents 25th wedding anniversary. My parents are huge advocates of Riverford (the Devon farm and vegetable box company) and we’re been meaning to go for a while. I loved everything about it, from the copious amounts of wine and beer, to the chatter, and of course superb food.

Duke of Cambridge Pub

The short-ish menu is chalked up on a blackboard and is frequently adjusted day to day, according to availability and seasons. There are around half a dozen small plates and about the same number of large plates – always two vegetarian, two meat and two fish, a few side vegetables and a couple of puddings. We treated the small plates as starters and the large plates as main, or mix and match as all the dishes are perfect for sharing.

As we basically ordered the whole menu I won’t go into great explanation of each of the dishes and I’ll let the photos do the talking – but I will shout out a few which totally blew my mind and you should definitely order if you go. Firstly, the ‘live life on the veg’ platter went down a treat which was served beetroot – a crudite I have never thought of using before. The citrus cured salmon with topped with a  small salad and a dreamy mustard dressing was so tender and soft, and literally fell apart. The potato and beetroot curry was divine. Oh, and how can I forget about the angus featherblade steak?

duke of cambridge food 2Duke of Cambridge food

We were also wowed by the service – the staff were smart, friendly and knowledgeable, and nothing was too much trouble. Especially as we were quite a rowdy bunch.

Duke of Cambridge food 3duke of cambridge food 4

Vegetables and fruits are clearly at the heart of every dish and this only works if the ingredients themselves are fresh. It’s the perfect place for Londoners who are looking for an eco-friendly eatery.

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Duke of Cambridge, 30 St Peter’s Street, N1 8JT