The Printing Press Edinburgh – Spring 2019 Menu Showcase*

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When it comes to choosing supper spots in Edinburgh, George Street’s Printing Press always tops the list. I’ve been lucky enough to review it a couple of times now, and each time I visit it gets even better. I’m in love with the moody interiors which are all mirrors and velvets, and the food is seriously impressive too!

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In addition to the restaurant serving up some of Edinburgh’s best food, the bar shouldn’t be missed either. They have their own No 22 Gin, and their cocktails are delicious to boot. We kicked the evening off with a cocktail tree (priced from £70) which held Pornstar Martinis, Devil wears Principal and French Martinis. Over the course of the evening I sampled a Pornstar Martini (more on that later), as well as a Devil Wears Principal. Both were exactly what I was in the mood for – fresh, fruity with a kick (much like the Principal George Street itself).

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After getting suitable hydrated, we were shown through to the dining room, where the fun could really start! The new Spring menu has just launched, and it’s worth travelling for. Filled with seasonal Scottish produce, it’s a celebration of call things Springtime, and I’m already plotting a return visit.

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The evening kicked off with and absolutely divine Orkney crab and leek thermidor tart (£8). The most buttery, delicate pastry base held soft morsels of crab which were topped with a gloriously bright leek foam.

Burrata, red chicory, blood orange, pine nuts, chilli dressing (£7.50) was up next. A riot of colour and flavour, this truly tasted like summer evenings. The burrata was a cloud of soft cream, which positively oozed just by looking at it. The richness was nicely cut through with peppery chicory, fresh blood orange segments and a fiery chilli dressing. Pine nuts and crostini provided a perfect amount of crunch.
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Honestly, when it comes to eating out, I’ll rarely order the fish. I’m not sure if I’m more or a carnivore or just a creature of habit, so the Roast Scrabster cod, broccoli, kale, caviar butter sauce (£16.50) was a lovely change. The cod itself was glorious – it flaked into translucent morsels which more than held up against the greenery it was served with. The caviar butter sauce, as you might imagine, was deliciously rich. Slightly salted and flavoured like the sea, I could have happily spooned it up.
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Talking of my carnivore tendencies, venison is quite possibly my favourite meat – rich and lean, I love the melt-in-the-mouth texture a good hunk of the stuff has, and since I’m scared of over-cooking it at home, I only ever enjoy it in restaurants. So, I was delighted when Pan-seared venison, caramelised celeriac, spinach, brioche herb crumb (£19) was served. With a seared exterior and rare middle, the dish was a true celebration of Scottish produce. The meat itself was a triumph – full of flavour, it was truly the stuff of last requests. The vegetables served alongside were similarly tasty – perfectly roasted parsnips, creamy potatoes and sweet celeriac.
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After all our savoury goodies, it was time for a palette-cleanser which came in the form of chocolate sorbet served with blood orange. Normally, a scoop of this comes alongside an orange rice pudding (yum) but we felt two desserts might just be too much of a good thing. The sorbet itself was incredibly flavourful – rich and deeply chocolate-y, none of us could believe it was a sorbet rather than a full-blown ice cream as it was so silky smooth.
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As if we hadn’t feasted enough, we ended the evening with an iconic dessert – a Vanilla crème brûlée, served with sablé biscuits (£6). There’s something wonderfully theatrical about cracking the well-fired crust. The custard below was silky smooth, fragrant and studded with vanilla beans. Served alongside (another) Pornstar Martini, we debated our favourite dishes (all of them) and whether to sip the martini’s accompanying Prosecco or pour it in (undecided). As if all of the culinary goodness wasn’t enough, we were sent home clutching bags of homemade chocolate truffles and bottles of house gin!
Thank you so, so much to The Printing Press, The Principal George Street and to Jigsaw PR for such a wonderful evening!

Wine & Cheese with Otro Edinburgh*

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It can feel like every time you visit Edinburgh, there is a new spot to visit, and as a result, my wish list of haunts grows longer by the week. One of the spots on my hit list was Otro,  a stunning Italian restaurant set in the heart of the Capital’s West End. I’d heard so many people rave about their a la carte options as well as their Sunday lunches, so when an invitation to join them for an evening of wine and cheese popped up, I couldn’t resist!

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The evening, held in association with independent Scottish wine merchants L’Art du Vin and fromage icons I.J Mellis Cheesemongers, was just the ticket for a chilly mid-week evening. As someone who loves a good cheese, but isn’t the world’s biggest wine aficionado, I always appreciate a little guidance on what goes with what, and my evening at Otro did not disappoint.

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Although Otro don’t seem to host these wine and cheese evenings regularly, all the wines served are on their wine list, and staff have all been trained to know exactly what goes with what, so you’ll be in good hands when you visit.

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We kicked off proceedings with a Ragstone Goat Cheese and Fendant, les Deux Cimes, Valais – a Swiss white wine grown by a Scotsman. The pairing was divine, and the wine my favourite. Dry and zesty, it was an easy drink which I kept returning to throughout the night. It paired with with the tang of the Ragstone, and cut through the cheese’s creaminess.

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Next up was the Tunworth Brie which we enjoyed with Le Joufflu – a rich well-bodied red. Although not technically a brie (the Tunworth is English after all), it is a wonderfully savoury option which I regularly pick up from Mellis’ St. Andrews location. The wine is from a niche grower, who have their own Parisian wine bar located in the Marais, so getting to try it felt like such a treat!

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The most traditional of the cheeses on offer was Barwhey’s Cheddar – a rich and creamy cheddar which feels absolutely made to be enjoyed as part of a Ploughman’s Lunch. Served alongside Mellis’ own Beetroot Relish it was really special. Served alongside  Hacienda Grimon, the pairing  packed a serious amount of flavour.

The evening finished with Bleu de Causses paired with an absolutely delicious Maury, Domain Lefage. The mix of rich blue cheese and sweet dessert wine was perfectly balanced, and I loved how the cheese didn’t feel too overpowering. It felt like a perfect way to end an evening, and we’re already planning a return visit!

Thank you to Otro for hosting the event, you can find out more about the restaurant here.

Celebrating Shrove Tuesday with M&S*

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Have you started planing what you’re giving up for lent yet? I’m swithering between giving up coffee or just Starbucks in general, but honestly, I’m not sure my morning productivity levels could quite cope. What’s easier however, is planning how to celebrate pancake day on Tuesday. Normally it’s a date which creeps up on me, and leaves me running around the aisles looking for eggs and maple syrup at some ungodly hour, but M&S have made it incredibly easy to get all set up with their fabulous range of goodies.

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No matter how busy you might be this week, M&S has made it insanely easy to serve up pancakes this Tuesday. Their pack of 6 pancakes (above) are perfect for an indulgent breakfast. Warmed on a griddle, and paired with sliced fruit and skoosh of cream, it’s a hearty breakfast which will keep you going well into lunchtime.

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M&S also have bags of these adorable mini pancakes, which would make the cutest little desserts. Absolutely as light as air, these little puffs can be heated up in the microwave within a few seconds, and I’m sure kids would go insane over them.

Along with sliced berries and whipped cream, we added an indulgent squeeze of Sticky Toffee Sauce. It took the dish to the next level, and next time, we want to try them paired with ice cream and sauce!

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If you’re a bit of a purist, then the Buttermilk Pancakes are a must try! Available in packs of four, they’re the hot, fluffy pancakes you order when you go for brunch, but you get to enjoy these from the comfort of home.

Again, we paired these with the Sticky Toffee Pudding sauce, but M&S also have a chocolate, a raspberry and even a lemon, gin and tonic option to choose from! These would pair beautifully with some sausages and bacon, for that real brunch effect, or they’re sweet enough that you could enjoy them simply with a glug of maple syrup.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your pancakes this Tuesday, just make sure you grab those goodies from M&S!

You can find out more about their range here

Sunday Lunch at Public House by Nico*

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If you’re looking for somewhere to eat this weekend, I’d recommend one of Glasgow’s newest spots – Public House by Nico. It’s the third restaurant to be opened by chef Nico Simone, and his second in the city. I’ve been meaning to try Edinburgh’s Six by Nico since it opened, but considering booking are notoriously hard to get, I’ve not gotten round to it yet. So, when the invite to try Public House by Nico’s Sunday Lunch popped up, you can imagine how quickly I RSVP’d!

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Situated in the heart of the Great Western Road, Public House by Nico is a cosy spot, which serves up sharing plates throughout the week, and then goes hard on brunch and roasts at the weekend. I headed through on Sunday to see what it was all about, and happily, I was seriously impressed.

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The restaurant itself is surprisingly cosy. There’s a traditional bar as you go in, complete with comfy chairs, so if you’re looking for an afternoon of great food and conversation, that’s your spot. Since we were in a group, we seated up against the side wall – a perfect place for people watching.

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We were in to try out the Sunday Roast – served weekly 2 courses are £17 whilst 3 courses will set you back £20. It’s exceptional value. I kicked off proceedings with the Stornoway Black Pudding & Potato Terrine – a surprisingly light and fluffy mix of earthy flavour. The black garlic emulsion is came served with tasted almost chocolatey in it’s richness, and the ewes cheese gave a salty tang. A perfectly balanced dish, I still can’t quite believe how light the mix of black pudding and potato was!

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Then it was the main event – I couldn’t resist the Roast Speyside Sirloin (£3 supplement). It was everything you’d want from a roast dinner: two generous slices of perfectly pink sirloin, sweet vegetable, a cloud of Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and a spoonful of fiery horseradish.

Served up in a tower, the roast is everything you crave each weekend, and it was quite the cure for a few sore heads sitting around the table.Yo0TaGGAR%WP8Y+cVKjufQ_thumb_721

The whole dish was perfection. From the roast beef, which positively melted in the mouth, to the crisp roast potatoes, and the sweet honey-roasted carrots and parsnips, I could have happily sat and feasted all afternoon.

There were even bubbling pots of cauliflower cheese to dive into (these were to die for) as if all the goodies on our plates weren’t enough. The cauliflower was divine – equal parts creamy and cheesy this was sheer comfort food. The whole afternoon was so enjoyable, and a huge shout-out has to go to the staff too, they couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful, making sure glasses were topped up, and we had everything we could think of. Even though the desserts sounded divine, I could even think about sampling any of them, even if the Sticky Toffee Pudding sounded heavenly!

Thank you so much to Public House by Nico for having me! You can find out more about the menu here.

 

 

 

Celebrating Valentines with M&S*

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I know it’s not the most popular opinion in the world, but I’m a serious fan of Valentines Day. What can I say? Maybe I’m a romantic, or perhaps it’s just the flurry of pink and red in the middle of a rather grey February, but I’m a sucker for anything Valentines. Happily though, so it seems are M&S.

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Today I arrived home right as the postman drew up to the house, and getting a big box of M&S goodies, couldn’t have felt any more indulgent. Inside were a host of goodies celebrating Valentines (or Galentines if you’d rather), and they could not be more adorable (or delicious!)

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There are your classic treats – think chocolate hearts, and lollipops, but there are also some fun new updates too! I am more than a little obsessed with the caramel milk chocolate hearts. They’re delicious with a coffee!

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There are also some gorgeous gummies! These are ‘Would it be uni-corny to say I love you?’

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I’m also rather in love with these Prosecco and Raspberry jelly sweets. Made with real Prosecco and Raspberry extracts, they’re a grown up take on a classic.

The ‘Filled with Love’ truffle balls are incredible too. There’s a choice of white chocolate, hazelnut or chocolate mousse centres, and you’d better believe these are being kept to be enjoyed this weekend!

Last up, but certainly not least, is the bottle of ‘Be My Valentini.’ Made with premium white rum, cranberry juice, lime juice and orange peel – its a fruity little treat I can’t wait to crack open tomorrow evening. It’s incredibly easy to serve – just pop it in the fridge, then serve over ice.

Thank you so much to M&S for my goodies – I’m seriously in the Valentines spirit!

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