Dinner at Jesmond Dene House Hotel*

fullsizeoutput_aa0

I’m not sure about you, but when I’m on holiday, I really love to treat myself to a couple of really incredible meals. It’s such an indulgence, but honestly, sitting back, enjoying wonderful company and sampling delicious food simply cannot be beaten! I had heard wonderful things about the restaurant at Jesmond Dene House. It’s been awarded three AA Rosettes, and reviews are entirely positive, so to say we entered the dining room with high hopes is an understatement.

fullsizeoutput_a91

The dining room itself is housed in the hotel’s former music room, and is decorated in warm tones, designed to draw the eye upwards, towards the most beautiful plasterwork. After admiring the room, and perusing the menu, we were treated to a selection of freshly baked, still warm from the oven breads. From a choice of three we opted for a slice of traditional sourdough and a sun-dried tomato brioche roll. There was a selection of butters too, and I went for the seaweed option. It’s not something I’d ever tried before, but it was absolutely delicious. Delicately flavoured, and deliciously savoury, it was the perfect way to start off the meal.

fullsizeoutput_a92

I couldn’t resist the Chicken Liver Parfait which was served with Onion Marmalade and Toasted Brioche (£8.50). The parfait was an absolute delight – despite having a deep, rich flavour, it was whisper-light and satiny smooth. Piled on top of the freshly baked brioche toast, it was a study in comfort, and the onion marmalade was perfect for cutting through the richness. The salad which was served alongside was fresh and peppery, lending the dish another layer of complexity.

fullsizeoutput_a93

We also couldn’t resist the Hot Smoked Salmon (£10) which was equally delicious. A mix of smoked salmon and salmon mouse, it was a such a wonderfully flavourful dish. The smoked salmon was rich in taste, with a perfect, firm texture. The mousse was flavoured with horseradish (one of my favourite flavours) which, along with the generous slices of gherkin cut through the richness of the dish. We both agreed that our expectations had already been exceeded, and they were the perfect start to the evening.

fullsizeoutput_a94

Somewhat unusually, we both went for the same main course. You couldn’t not really. The Himalayan Salt Aged Cote de Boeuf (£35) was just too perfect not to try. Almost prehistoric in proportion, it was exactly what I was in the mood for! Served with Cafe de Paris butter alongside a garden salad and hand cut chips, it was the just the thing to enjoy on a cold, damp night.

fullsizeoutput_a97

If you’ve not tried the Cote de Boeuf cut yet, you really must! It’s a rib steak with the bone still attached, and is the most perfectly succulent, flavourful steak you can imagine. Cooked medium rare, it was just the most wonderful supper. Crowned with a slab of mustardy Cafe de Paris butter, I could have feasted on this all evening.

fullsizeoutput_a95

Honestly, this has to have been one of the best steaks I’ve had, probably ever. It was so tender and juicy, and the flavour was just out of this world! It was such a treat to be able to sit and really savour it.

fullsizeoutput_a96

Along with a delicate garden salad (complete with edible petals) the Cote de Boeuf was served alongside a bowl of what could easily be the world’s most perfect hand cut chips. Served piping hot with a light sprinkling of sea salt. They were so crisp, with fluffy insides, they were an absolute joy!

fullsizeoutput_a99

We couldn’t resist ordering a couple of desserts, and, the first to arrive was the absolutely gorgeous Lemon Meringue Pie (£8.50). It was a study in delicious contrasts – rich, buttery pastry held the most delightful sharp lemon curd. This was crowned with the most perfect swirl of meringue. Served with a refreshing quenelle of raspberry sorbet, it was a perfect way to end the meal.

fullsizeoutput_a9b

I had plumped for something a little more dramatic – the dark chocolate sphere (£10.50). I’d seen similar puddings plastered all over Instagram, and honestly, I couldn’t resist. Served a couple of beats behind the lemon meringue tart, I was a little baffled when a parade of waiters arrived table-side brandishing the gold-foiled sphere and a jug full of hot chocolate sauce.

fullsizeoutput_a9c

As the sauce was poured over the sphere, the magic really happened – the crisp outer shell simply cracked in two, revealing home made caramel ice-cream sitting on a disc of buttery shortbread. This was resting on a hunk of the most delicious caramel, as well as crisp salted peanuts.

fullsizeoutput_a9e

It was one of the most delicious and dramatic desserts I’ve ever encountered! It was such a decadent experience, and I’m it was just one surprise after another – I absolutely adored it!

www-gifcreator-me_78viks

As you can probably tell, I had an absolute ball, and I have to say thank you so, so much to Jesmond Dene House for inviting me for both dinner and an overnight stay! It was a truly wonderful stay!

Ford Farm Cheesemakers Truffler English Cheddar*

fullsizeoutput_a6b

When it comes to cozy evenings in, I’m not sure if you can beat a great cheese board. A few good cheeses, a sprinkling of crackers and some fruit is deceptively simple, yet incredibly satisfying. Add in a glass of champagne or prosecco, and I’m in heaven! So, when I was sent some Truffler English Cheddar from Dorset Ford Farm, I couldn’t wait to give it a go.

fullsizeoutput_a6c

Ford Farm’s Truffler is a rich and creamy cheddar is studded with Black Truffle.The moment it’s out in the open, all you can smell is truffle, and it’s really dreamy. Rich and savoury, it’s just the thing if you’re in the mood for something decadent. I first paired it was wheaten crackers, grapes and pear, and it was delightful.

fullsizeoutput_a6d

The next day, though, when I was scouring the fridge for an easy supper, I happened upon a remaining chunk of the Truffle. Finely grated, I turned it into the most gourmet of toasties, andI have to say, it was rather impressive. The cheddar melted beautifully, and turned wonderfully gooey, whilst the bread stayed satisfyingly crisp. I’m already getting an order together, and I don’t want to mention the ‘C’ word too soon, but Truffle would make a rather perfect addition to a festive spread!

Ford Farms Truffler is priced from £2.00 per pack and is available here

Wahaca Edinburgh*

fullsizeoutput_a47

When Edinburgh’s new Wahaca threw their doors open for the first time last week, I knew I had to check it out! Not only is it one of the city’s newest haunts, but it’s also the first Wahaca north of the border.

fullsizeoutput_a3e

Located just off St. Andrews Square, it couldn’t be a more central location, and it was the perfect spot to sneak into after a long day at work. The restaurant itself is far bigger than I expected – spread over two floors; it was packed, despite our visit being pretty early on a Thursday evening.

fullsizeoutput_a41

We were seated upstairs, and got to soak in the atmosphere. With Latin music pumping, and the staff buzzing around, it felt like we were somewhere rather more glamorous than cold and rather damp Edinburgh!

fullsizeoutput_a3f

fullsizeoutput_a40

The menu is pretty vast, and caters to pretty much everything you can think of – whether you’re in for a quick bite, or a bit of a feast, you can order as much or as little as you like. There’s even a tapas-esque section filled with morsels to savour if you fancy a bit of mix-and match in your supper!

fullsizeoutput_a46

As we pondered our dinner choices, one choice I didn’t have any trouble with was my drinks order! I’m a fan of a margarita (frozen or otherwise) and opted for a Classic (£7). Served icy cold, it was an absolute delight – sharp lime and smooth tequila was a heavenly and classic combination.

fullsizeoutput_a43

We started off with a couple of sharing dishes. Obviously we couldn’t miss guacamole, and the inclusion of Frijoles was a new one to us, so we ordered a tub of that too!

fullsizeoutput_a45

The Guacamole and Tortilla Chips (£4.50) was great mash-up of zesty and creamy, just as you want from the green stuff! Wahaca make their guac fresh daily. With chilli, lime juice and coriander, it was a flavourful way of kicking off the meal!

dsc_0290

Our order of Frijoles & Tortilla Chips (£3.50) was an unexpected delight. Comprising of twice-cooked black beans and chorizo, it was incredibly flavourful and satisfying. Paired with the crispy tortilla chips, it was the perfect accompaniment to my margarita and started the meal off beautifully.

dsc_0297

Then we got onto the mains. Neither of us could resist the British Steak the Mexican Way (£12.95) which promised an overnight-marinated Bavette steak with a crisp cheese, green rice and salad. It’s one of my favourite cuts of steak to cook at home – and happily Wahaca’s didn’t disappoint!

dsc_0299

It was an incredibly generous portion, and an absolute riot of colour on the plate. The meat was cooked to medium-rare perfection, tender and so flavoursome. It paired well with the green rice, and extra crunch was added to the salad with a sprinkling of seeds and slices of tortilla chips.

dsc_0295

Suitably stuffed by the meal, we couldn’t even contemplate pudding, but with options like freshly made churros served with warm chocolate sauce (£4.25) and salted caramel ice cream (£4.25) we were incredibly tempted!

Thank you to Wahaca for having us!

Personalised Nutella – only at Harvey Nichols!

harvey-jar_2016

So I think it’s safe to say – Nutella is pretty much everyone’s dirty little secret. There’s nothing quite like a thick schmear of it on a hunk of freshly toasted bread. And I’m not sure you can even think about visiting Paris without inhaling a crepe covered in the stuff.

nichols-jar_2016

Now though, Harvey Nichols are taking Nutella love to a whole new level! You’ve got until December 10th to grab a jar for yourself (or a loved one) and see the label printed before your very eyes! The Nutella personalisation service will also travel to Harvey Nichols stores in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Knightsbridge.

Dates:

  • Bristol (19 October – 31 October)
  • Birmingham (1 November – 14 November)
  • Edinburgh (15 November – 10 December)
  • Leeds (26 November – 10 December)
  • Manchester (11 December – 24 December)
  • Knightsbridge (mid-November through to 24 December)

A personalised jar will cost £5 (0r £8 in gift wrapped)

Clucky Balboa at Byron*

dsc_0918

When Byron announce that they’re releasing a new burger, you can imagine how excited people get! Since opening two outlets in Edinburgh this year alone, they’ve become my favourite haunt for a casual bite with friends, so, when I got the chance to try the rather brilliantly named Clucky Balboa, I jumped at the chance!

fullsizeoutput_a2b

fullsizeoutput_a2c

So, on a rather damp Wednesday, I headed over to the Lothian Road restaurant to get to grips with the newcomer. Claiming to be a new burger champion, I couldn’t not pop in and give it a go!

fullsizeoutput_a2d

If you’ve never been before, The Lothian Road Byron is a gorgeous, rather industrial property which always has a good buzz going. It’s right across the road from the cinema, and the Usher Hall is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect spot for an indulgent bite before an evening out!

dsc_0934

It had been a busy day at work, and we were absolutely starving, so we opted to share a plate of Nachos (£5.95). Happily, they didn’t disappoint. The plate was piled high with tortilla chips, with generous scoops of salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Sprinkled with melted cheddar cheese, they were an incredibly moreish start to the meal.

fullsizeoutput_a2e

We both also opted for some shakes – Vanilla with bourbon (£7.00) and Chocolate with bourbon (£7.00). Since I wasn’t the designated driver, I rather cheekily snuck both shots into my milkshake and made it (extra) hard. I can’t tell you how wonderful Byron’s boozy shakes are – incredibly decadent and they always feel like such a treat.

fullsizeoutput_a30

There was no discussion on what I’d be ordering for my main meal. I’d been savouring the thoughts of Clucky Balboa all afternoon, and I opted to go for the spicer hot sauce smothered version (Make it Buffalo) £11.85). Since it’s the restaurant’s latest special, every time one of these burgers is ordered, Byron provide a school meal for a child in need. Which means there really isn’t a real not to try it out yourself.

fullsizeoutput_a30

dsc_0974

I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed the Clucky Balboa. It’s probably the messiest burger I’ve had in a while, but the flavour was insane. A rather hearty fried chicken breast had been absolutely covered in Byron’s hot sauce, and was piled high with lettuce, siracha mayonnaise, guacamole and sliced pickles, then contained in one of the restaurant’s signature squishy buns.

dsc_0975

The hot, vinegary twang of the hot sauce worked well with cooling guacamole, and the chicken itself was moist and juicy. By about two bites in, I admitted defeat and had to get to work with a knife and fork, as the burger was as delicious as it was messy.

fullsizeoutput_a31

My friend had gone for the rather neater Byron Burger with Monterey Jack (£8.25), which was declared delicious.

dsc_0969

To go with our respective burgers, we shared pots of fries – one cheese covered (£3.95) and the other original (£2.95). The fries were hot and crisp perfection, and the drizzle of Freddar cheese helped cool some of the heat of my Clucky Balboa. The whole meal was absolute perfection, and we positively rolled back out to Lothian Road filled to the gills with the best burgers in Edinburgh

Close Me
Looking for Something?
Search:
Post Categories: