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    Monday, 4 November 2013

    PIEMINISTER - PIE & MASH POP UP

    Pie and Mash is one of my favourite dinners because it remind me of my nan. She was born in Paddington and regularly takes me down to her local cafe for a plate of pie, mash and liquor (a green parsley sauce which looks like slime!) So when i was invited down to the launch of Pieminister's 'Cattle Drive' pop-up pie and mash shop, i was ecstatic! 

    Pieminister Pop Up

    The idea behind 'Cattle Drive' is to raise £40,000 for Bath-based African development charity Send a Cow to provide the livestock, seeds, training and support needed so that 30 families in Africa can become independent, flourishing farmers.

    In order to get to these sizeable donation, pieminister are giving away FREE pie and mash from their temporary Camden town home in exchange for a donation. They've taken over a site at 21-22 Chalk Farm Road and have turned into a querky little cafe, perfectly at home in its camden town surroundings, where they are serving up some delicious pies in cardboard boxes! You can choose a host of accompaniments including mash, shallots, cheddar and gravy (but sadly no liquor!) all to be washed down with gin, cider or beer! 

    Pieminister Pop Up
    Pieminister Pop Up
     You can get involved by either popping down to Camden (21-22 Chalk Farm Road) for some pie and mash before 17 November, or if you buy one of the special edition pies (complete with felt cow) and 10p will go straight to the Cattle Drive!
    What do you think of pie and mash? Are there any liquor fans out there or am I alone?

    Monday, 28 October 2013

    BREAKFAST WITH McCAIN

    i love hash browns - whether they come in the form of a McDonalds Breakfast, inside a KFC burger or on my plate down at the local cafe - but as you can see by the aforementioned examples, they aren't really the healthiest of options...or so i thought.

    The McCain press office recently got in touch inviting bloggers to create their perfect breakfast featuring the newly reformulated hash browns and to begin with i thought about declining due to the fact i'm meant to be on a strict weight-loss plan. It wasn't until i noticed the 2 green traffic lights on the packaging that i changed my mind!


    McCain Hash Browns


    McCain Hash Browns


    The Tesco delivery man knocked on my door bright and early on saturday morning with my goodies so that i could get to work preparing myself a hearty breakfast to set me up for the day. With my diet in mind, i opted for eggs, smoked salmon, spinach, mushrooms and avocados to go alongside my hash browns notching up a fairly indulgent 462 calories (according to MyFitnessPal).

    The Hash Browns were delicious, with the perfect amount of crunch on the outside and a lovely golden color. the best part of all is that they were so much less greasy that i was expecting - McDonalds usually require about four napkins to soak up the fat! I think these work perfectly for a breakfast treat, plus at only £1.65 for a bag, they're really handy to keep in the freezer and use as an alternative side dish at dinnertimes too!

    Monday, 21 October 2013

    USN ULTRALEAN DIET WHEY REVIEW

    Over recent weeks, I've been motivating myself to do more exercise and improve my general diet and although I had modest results I felt really achy and sluggish following a hard workout. I spoke to various friends and they all suggested I started supplementing my diet with protein but this word alone started alarm bells ringing in my head! When I think of protein shakes, I think of body builders and the sweaty creepy boys that hang around the weights in the gym - but after a bit of research on the subject, I found protein is actually essential for your body and could be the answer to improving my workout recovery!

    USN Ultralean Diet Whey
    Due to our genetics, girls aren't actually able to bulk up like men so taking protein won't leave you looking like Arnie - infact it's actually been proven that having a high protein diet can actually lead to weight loss, plus it helps the body to repair itself quicker after exercise. As weight-loss was my main aim, I chose USN's Ultralean diet whey which is a meal replacement shake.

    USN Ultralean Diet Whey

    It has a high protein, low carb formula which is specially designed to promote weight loss. You simply replace two meals per day with a shake - each shake is made up of two scoops and approx 300ml of water. One tip I would give to anyone trying this shake is to invest in a blender - it really helps with getting the consistency nice so you won't have any nasty lumps! You can also add ice cubes and frozen fruit to make it more like a smoothie!
    USN Ultralean Diet Whey
    I opted for the chocolate flavour and I have to say it was really tasty! I used the shakes for four weeks for both lunch and dinner - choosing to have my main meal at lunch whilst I was at work. I found it really filled me up and I was actually less hungry than when I had a traditional foods at meal times. Over the course of the four weeks, I also managed to drop 8lbs which I was ecstatic about, plus i found my body looked a lot leaner and more sculpted, and I hardly ached after going to gym. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to shift a little weight, although I don't think I would be able to maintain having just shakes for an extended period of time!

    What are your thoughts on protein shakes? Do you have any other brands you use?




    Friday, 18 October 2013

    THORNTONS CHOCOLATE AFTERNOON TEA

    Tocelebrate chocolate week, a friend and I decided to try out a special Thorntons afternoon tea being served at the Park Lane Hotel!

    When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of Mumm champagne and asked for our choice of tea, i opted for my favourite Assam whilst my friend selected the daintly named tea called 'lady grey'.  


    Next up came a beautifully presented plate complete with lots of miniature rolls and sandwiches including an interesting looking mushroom and rosemary creme brulee served inside an actual egg shell! My favourite was the salt and pepper corn fed chicken ciabbatta but i was most intrigued by the smoked salmon and chocolate toast. 


    Thorntons Park Lane Afternoon Tea


    Thorntons Park Lane Afternoon Tea

    Next up came the most exciting part of the tea, the cakes! They were all exquisitely made and tasted delicious! My stand out favourite was the raspberry cheesecake followed closely by the passionfruit and white chocolate mousse! i love afternoon tea and the main event for me is always the scones which i love topped with clotted cream and strawberry/raspberry jam. sadly the scones in this tea were miniature and the preserves weren't really my cup of tea (mind the pun) but i still enjoyed them all the same! 
    Thorntons Park Lane Afternoon Tea


    Thorntons Park Lane Afternoon Tea


    The Thorntons Chocolate Week Afternoon Tea is being served at The Park Lane Hotel between 12th-27th October (3pm-6pm on weekdays and 2pm-6pm at weekends) in The Palm Court and costs £41 per person with Mumm champagne. To book, call The Palm Court on 020 7499 6321or visit www.palmcourtlondon.co.uk

    Wednesday, 7 August 2013

    FIVE GUYS

    i didn't actually mean to go to five guys when i did, it's been on my list of places to go since it's opening but i was actually on my way to chipotle when i happened upon it in Leicester Square and seeing as there was no queue i thought i had to give it a go!


    Five Guys Burgers
    Five Guys Burgers

     first impressions were good, everything is decked out in classic american burger joint fare with red and white adoring everything plus a peanut barrel for the hungry hoards in the queues. the menu is fairly straightforward but one of Five Guys USPs is that all the toppings are free and you can order whatever combinations take your fancy. I opted for a cheeseburger 'all the way' which essentially means containing all of the top row (lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mushrooms, ketchup,mustard and mayo) but i asked for no mustard and extra hot sauce and jalapenos.


    Five Guys Burgers
    Five Guys Burgers

    Once unwrapped, the burger is pretty impressive. I hadn't realised but two patties is standard and the cheese literally oozes out between the meat in the most tempting way imaginable! The burgers are real juicy as well, be warned you'll need about 3 napkins to get through one of these beasts! Sadly the actual eating part wasn't great, the meat is under seasoned, the hot sauce was fairly mild and watery for £10.50 i expected a lot better.

    I've come to expect a certain standard for burgers, and happily pay the same amount in Byron or Patty & Bun where i know i'll be getting a real burger. You also receive some kind of service in those restaurants. £10.50 for what is essentially a fast food burger and a coke seems pretty extortionate to me (chips would have bumped it up to £14.50).
    My burger arrived and looked a lot more impressive. It had two patties and the cheese was melting in the most delightful way down the side of the burger. It was one of those burgers that just makes you smile at how delicious it looks. This meal was a little more extra at £10.50 though this didn’t include fries. - See more at: http://morethantoast.org/2013/07/burger-fans-shake-shack-vs-five-guys-review-london/#sthash.b35nwRwF.dpuf


    My burger arrived and looked a lot more impressive. It had two patties and the cheese was melting in the most delightful way down the side of the burger. It was one of those burgers that just makes you smile at how delicious it looks. This meal was a little more extra at £10.50 though this didn’t include fries. - See more at: http://morethantoast.org/2013/07/burger-fans-shake-shack-vs-five-guys-review-london/#sthash.b35nwRwF.dpuf
    Five Guys seemed a great place in theory but sadly didn't quite live up to the hype....




    The brilliance of Five Guys is that you can add whichever toppings you like to your burger, completely free of charge. I plumped for mustard, ketchup, lettuce and pickles. I didn’t opt for fries this time because I’m not a monster and didn’t want to vomit on the street: I even picked a Coke Zero this time. Carlorie counting, innit (ahem). - See more at: http://morethantoast.org/2013/07/burger-fans-shake-shack-vs-five-guys-review-london/#sthash.b35nwRwF.dpuf

    Thursday, 18 July 2013

    BUBBLEDOGS

    i can't say i was overly impressed with bubbledogs. i'd heard all the hype surrounding its launch and have to admit i got swept up in it so when my mum asked if i fancied popping in after a shopping trip to Oxford street, i excitedly agreed.

    i opted for the jose dog - a mexican inspired hotdog topped with salsa, avocado, sourcream and jalape├▒os, whilst my mum went for a New Yorker with caramelised onions. the dogs are pretty substandard if i'm honest, they reminded me of those frankferters you get out of a can - not the gourmet dog i'd been expecting for £7.50. I was impressed with the sweet potato fries - the perfect combination of sweet, salty and crunchy and as expected the champagne was delicious.

    it really is a champagne bar, and the food is very much secondary to the alcohol but the gimmick factor is nice nonetheless. Would i go back - no, would i recommend it to a friend?again no but i am glad i went and gave it a go.

    BubbleDogs


    BubbleDogs


    BubbleDogs


    BubbleDogs Jose


    BubbleDogs Jose


    70 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QG

    Wednesday, 10 July 2013

    RIVER ISLAND WEDGES

    Wedges are my go-to shoe when it's a sunny day, and now we're experiencing the first signs of summer, i popped into river island to search for a new pair and instantly fell in love with these peep toe platform wedges. I loved the cut out style and ankle strap and the extra bonus is that they are as comfortable to walk in as flats...obviously when you find a shoe this perfect,  you have to buy them in both colours (right?)

    River Island Wedges


    River Island Wedges

    River Island Wedges

    What do you think?

    Monday, 8 July 2013

    FEAST FESTIVAL - "I LOVE IT WHEN YOU CALL ME BIG POPPA"

    On Thursday evening, i headed down to Brick Lane for the hotly anticipated foodie event We Feast festival. Now in its 4th year, Feast rounds up a huge collection of London's top culinary champions from Mark Hix through to Meringue Girls, all serving up their best offerings in the chilled atmosphere of brick lane yard.
    Street Feast Festival
    Street Feast Festival
    There was so much delicious food on offer, i literally had to restrain myself from eating something from every stand but here are my highlights below... first up, the ultimate comfort food in 'Carlos the Cactus' from when mac met cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, jalape├▒os and broccoli...(cue blissful coronary heartattack) 
    When Mac Met cheese
    Next up...50 day aged beef shorb rib tacos courtesy of Breddo's tacos....
    Breddo's Tacos
    The absolute star of the show though, has to be Patty & Bun's effort 'The Big Poppa' Burger. A juicy burger patty topped with chilli ketchup, double cheese, guacamole, habenero & cherry tomato salsa, pickle chillies, pickled onions all served in a brioche bun with a good squeeze of P&B mayo (my god!)
    Patty & Bun
    Patty & Bun Big Poppa
    Patty & Bun Big Poppa
    Tastes even  better when you sing 'it was all a dream' your head with every bite...

    Tuesday, 2 July 2013

    DISHOOM

    to celebrate my brother's birthday this year, he wanted to go for a curry - but "not just to the one down the road" - so we had a bit of hunt around the net for inspiration and our searches pointed us in the direction of Dishoom. 

    we opted for the branch in covent garden,as it was central for everyone to meet, but there is also a restaurant in Shoreditch. it's billed as a 'bombay cafe in london' with the walls adorned with bollywood inspired posters, trinkets and mirrors which enhance the bombay atmosphere. my personal favourite was the rules which greet you on arrival:

    Dishoom Covent GardenDishoom Covent Garden

    Dishoom Covent Garden
    As there were 6 of us so we decided to order a selection of dishes from the menu and share them out between us. we went for 2 lots of vegetable and lamb samosas, 2  keema pau, 2 chicken ruby, 2 rice, a chicken biriyani, 2 classic naan, murgh mala, dishoom chicken tikka, lamb boti kabab, gunpowder potatoes and a portion of the house black daal. sadly the one dish we really wanted to try, the lamb chops, was sold out but I guess that's the perfect excuse to go back again! Now this sounds like a lot of food but we wolfed the whole lot down and it was delicious. The keema pau was a real stand out dish for me, it's a sort of spiced lamb mince which you scoop up using pieces of hot buttered bun - almost street food style! The whole meal came to less than £20 a head which we were all really impressed with and I will definitely be heading back for those lamb chops!
    Dishoom Covent GardenDishoom Covent Garden

    Dishoom samosa

    Dishoom Covent Garden
    Dishoom Covent Garden
    12 Upper St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9FB

    Wednesday, 26 June 2013

    AMSTERDAM

    i spent a weekend in amsterdam and fell in love with the city....

    deli sandiches...
    midnight in Amsterdam Square...
    Greenhouse Coffeeshop
    waffles....
    Herengracht canal...
    Amsterdam by boat...
    singel canal...
    DAM....
    clog boat...
    munchies...
    hot dogs in vondlepark....
    strolling...
    lunch at cafe lef...

    the best fries in Amsterdam...


    i left my heart by this canal...take me back please.