o2BW%M0WTom4bJwDWQhAbA_thumb_261b0

When I was down in the Cotswolds last month, we took a day to drive through to Oxford and spend the day at the Ashmolean Museum. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for years, and I am happy to say, it did not disappoint! We spent the whole day weaving from exhibit to exhibit – the museum has everything from Egyptian mummies to modern art, so as you can imagine, there was a lot to see!

m6BBXs7eRke0T1zbHqhWwA_thumb_261ed

So to fuel up, we headed around the corner to new Oxford spot Franco Manca. The restaurant only opened up a couple of months back. Located in the centre of town, it’s a roomy spot, which was filled with a mix of students, locals and tourists, all munching on Oxford’s best pizza.

%%Md+MWNTD2rbjdILLpuIg_thumb_261b4

If you are a student, Franco Manca has an incredible offer currently going on – every Monday & Tuesday, students can receive a No Logo beer or Aperol Spritz on the house when you buy any pizza! Just use the buzz word ‘Brixton 2008’ & show your student card. This is running until 31st December, so there’s still tonnes of time to enjoy!

qqAVTMIxRZaS5NTsfvkELw_thumb_261b7

As we perused the menu, we munched on Green Olives (£2.35). I love how simple the menu at Franco Manca is – mains consist of 7 main pizzas, as well as a few daily specials, and some salads.

x00c3QlbQACML21pMojl%g_thumb_261bd

We were absolutely famished after day spent at the museum, we couldn’t resist starting off with a Garlic Bread with Mozzarella (£4.95).

Served piping hot, it was the definition of melty, cheese and garlic-y goodness! We shared one between two of us, and it was a seriously generous portion! Made with the same slough rising sour dough as the pizzas, it was a perfect start to the meal.

+g4rYHP3SSGy+qTlGCUz9g_thumb_261c7

In what can only be classed as something of a review fail, neither of us could resist Pizza 6 (£7.55)- which comes with tomato, cured chorizo [dry + semi-dry] & mozzarella. For some reason I developed something of a chorizo habit on the trip, and the promise of it on a pizza was too much to resist.

Franco Manca cook their pizzas in wood burning ovens which reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees, so when they get to the table, they’re piping hot, and covered in the most glorious of toppings.

Ours, topped with copious slices of chorizo was equal parts cheesy and spicy. I just loved how the meat was quite thickly sliced, so you could really appreciate all that great flavour. The wood stove gives the crust a delicious flavour – and Franco Manca want to make sure you eat them all up! If you’re not usually a crust lover (which, admittedly, I am) you can order a selection of homemade dips to enjoy!

VvDI63h7Sf+MePeq0TB%UQ_thumb_261da

Even though we were absolutely stuffed from the main course, we could resit in indulging in a little Italian dessert. As with the menu for the main course, the choice of dessert is wonderfully simple – for us though, there was only one choice – a classic tiramisu (£3.95) to share!

Presented simply, the slab of pudding was an airy cloud of whipped cream and boozy sponge. Topped with a dusting of cocoa powder, we savoured spoonfuls of it with coffee, as we planned our days ahead. It was an absolutely wonderful way to refuel after a day spent in Oxford’s best museum!

You can find out more about Franco Manca, and see their menu here.

fullsizeoutput_16b4

Anyone who knows me, knows I have something of a coffee habit. It’s a rare day that I don’t pop into Starbucks for a vent latte, and I’ve been known to pop in for a second on particularly hectic days. I know all that caffeine can’t be great for you, so recently, I’ve been making a real effort to introduce teas back into my routine.

fullsizeoutput_16b2

Clipper very kindly sent over a trio of minty options, and I cannot tell you how addicted I’ve become to them! I’ve been starting my mornings with a cup of the Organic Green Tea & Mint, for a refreshing kick-start to my day. Ii’m not going to lie – a latte still tends to sneak in if things are busy, but I’ve been finding the Clipper teas far more refreshing.

fullsizeoutput_16b3

The range of teas and flavours that Clipper offers is incredible, so even if mint isn’t quite your (tea)bag, there will be something for you! All of this lovely new tea, obviously necessitated the purchase of a lovely new mug! I’m obsessed with this Anthropologie option. It’s much bigger and more colourful than my regular options, but I’m just obsessed with the pink ombre and the gold rim!

Clipper teas are available here and the mug is available here

VJg3CYmLTnaA1VQuQao5cw_thumb_25f4e

After driving down from Edinburgh to Gloucester in a single day, it’s fair to say we were ready for a lazy evening on our first night at Tewkesbury Park. Rather than going out and exploring, we’d booked in for dinner at the hotel’s Garden Restaurant.

Occupying most of the bottom floor is the newly renovated Garden Restaurant. A stunning mix of colours and filled with the most glorious velvet seats and sofas – it looked like something straight out of Pinterest! Seated by the plate glass windows, we were able to enjoy the most stunning sunset over the golf course as we perused the menu.

qrNZORVZTeq02JY7gwb4Vw_thumb_25f57

The first of the starters to catch our eye was the stunning Beetroot and gin home cured salmon gravlax (£6.95). A colourful medley of salmon, fennel, mouli, and appleslaw, it was a wonderful mix of earthy savoury with bright, zesty notes.

The accompanying pumpernickel toast was a delicious accompaniment to the freshness of the dish, and it was such a delicious way to start the meal.

RVA093rGQuy8ocs+z1V1bQ_thumb_25f52

For my starter, I opted for the World Cheese Award Winning Cerney Ash Goat’s Cheese (£6.95). It was an absolutely beautifully presented plate, and I just adored the creaminess of the cheese with the balsamic glaze.

qDZZSihXR7iX4PO6WxO7jQ_thumb_25f56

The balsamic pearls burst in the mouth, giving little explosions of flavour, and the ripened figs were the perfect accompaniment. I could have eaten this all evening – and I’ve gone hunting for the Cerney Ash Goat’s Cheese in Edinburgh!

J1YDd+zKQF6El4tqkNcAYg_thumb_25f5f

Since we were sharing a bottle of red, we opted for red meat main courses.

iIq2q%uuSWu6PYOF292M4w_thumb_25f60

Since it’s in season, I couldn’t resist the Loin of fallow deer venison (£24.95), and I’m so glad I did! The venison was perfection – rich and tender, it was paired with a venison bolognaise, confit potatoes, kale, and a blackberry jus.

neE1%+aLRtei%0ITjDVjSA_thumb_25f65

It was such a warm, wintery dish, and was perfect for fueling up after the long trek down south. The mix of rich meat and berries is a real favourite of mine, and the addition of kale and the confit potato was inspired!

FTDVfCXpSLybUdCQgh9kMA_thumb_25f67

To lighten up our rather indulgent choices, we opted to share some Seasonal Vegetables (£4.95). A mix of broccollini, carrots and runner beans, they were such a yummy accompaniment!

I managed to sneak a mouthful of 8oz Sirloin of Hereford beef steak (£24.95), and I have to say, it was incredible! The steak was perfectly cooked – charred on the outside and rare on the inside, and it was wonderful with the hot and crispy hand cut chips. The fresh watercress gave a peppery hit to the dish, and the cooked mushrooms and tomatoes were delicious!

LrLH%1uuQaeRxM%%BmiGTg_thumb_25f72

Even though we were absolutely stuffed, the meal had been so heavenly, we couldn’t resist sharing Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6.95). Presented to the table warm, with a brandy snap and honeycomb ice cream, it was a heavenly way to finish the meal!

The whole meal was an absolute delight – and one of the highlights of our whole trip! From the stunning dining room, to the fabulous waitstaff, who couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful throughout the night! You can find out more about the restaurant here.

 

I’m through in Edinburgh most days, and end up in Bruntsfield regularly, which means I’ve driven past The Apartment Bistro hundreds of times, and every time, I’ve wanted to pop in. Just yards from the King’s Theatre, it’s a perfect spot to pop into for a pre-theatre supper, and it’s wonderfully cosy, if you fancy a longer, more indulgent dinner.

We visited on a rainy weeknight – starved from a busy day at work, and was welcomed into the cosy restaurant. Lit with tea lights and twinkling fairy lights, it was exactly what we needed to relax – and we got to grips with the menu.

To start we shared one of their Chunky Healthy Skewers with halloumi, sweet potato, pepper & courgette, zaa’tar lemon dressing (£12.70). I have to admit, I was obsessed with halloumi when I was at uni, and for some reason, I haven’t really eaten it since. This brought back my love for the stuff! Skewered with roasted sweet potato, the mix of salty, savoury and sweet was absolutely delicious.

DSC_0411

Alongside the skewer was a flat bread, potato salad, coleslaw and greens. It was a fabulous way to begin a meal. Over mouthfuls of warm, melting cheese and potato we discussed plans for the weekend, and vowed to recreate the dish at home.

For mains there was no resisting the 80z Flat Iron steak (£17.40). Served with hot and crispy fries, parmesan & rocket sauce, and a pepper sauce, it was a hearty portion. I managed to sneak a few of the fries, and they were delicious!

fullsizeoutput_1677

We had opted to share a portion of Sautéed Greens (£3.30) to go along with our mains. A hot, buttery mix of cabbage, it was a perfect accompaniment to our meaty mains.

fullsizeoutput_1678

At this time of year, it’s impossible for me to resist venison when I see it on a menu, so when I spotted Roasted Venison Haunch, Hasselback potatoes, Confit Carrots, Baby Onions & Bacon, Gravy (£17.40) there was no other option.

fullsizeoutput_167a

The whole dish felt like autumn on a plate! The venison was rich and tender – cooked medium rare, it melted in the mouth, and was just perfection. Paired with the sweet potato mash underneath, the confit carrots and hasselback potatoes was exactly what I needed on a cold Edinburgh night!

fullsizeoutput_167b

I loved the baby onions and charred cauliflower – it’s a combination which isn’t used nearly enough!

fullsizeoutput_167c

After all of the delicious mains, we were well and truly stuffed, but one look at the dessert menu ensured we couldn’t leave without sampling something. We opted to share the Lemon Tart (£5.70) – deliciously tart, with a gloriously custardy filling, the tart was perfection. I just loved the addition of the crystallised peel on top – it added a wholly new texture to the dish, and I could have easily demolished the entire thing!

Thank you so much to The Apartment Bistro for a fabulous dinner!

fullsizeoutput_15f0

A couple of weeks back I decided it was time for a little r&r, and headed down to Oxfordshire. It’s a trip we’ve started to do annually, usually in the autumn, where we throw a couple of bags into the back of the car, book into a couple of gorgeous hotels, and just relax in the countryside for a bit.

This year was no different, and we were lucky enough to catch the whole of the countryside in the most vivid throes of autumn. As well as getting to enjoy copious amounts of countryside, a visit to the Cotswolds also means I get to stop off at possibly England’s finest farm shop – Daylesford.

Nestled in the hamlet of Kingham, Daylesford is everything you could wish for from a countryside retreat, and a whole lot more. With cottages to stay in on-site, a spa stocked with the finest Bamford products, and the best homeware, fashion and food, I always find myself spending afternoons pottering around, treating myself to a few little luxuries.

fullsizeoutput_160d

There are also a couple of restaurants on-site. Like the rest of Daylesford, the products are organic, locally grown, and the dishes change seasonally. We snuck in on a Friday afternoon for lunch, and it was an absolute delight.

fullsizeoutput_1615

We couldn’t resist the sound of Roast Baby Beets, Beetroot cured salmon, honey & wholegrain mustard (£9). A dainty, beautiful coloured plate of tender, flavourful salmon and sweet vegetables. The honey and wholegrain mustard mayonnaise gave a little heat, and is a combo I’ve already tried to replicate at home!

fullsizeoutput_1618

I ordered the hand-sliced Venison Tataki, white radish and ginger – the butcher had the most incredible looking haunches of venison in the store, so I couldn’t resist! The Tataki was incredible delicately flavoured, and just melted in the mouth. Paired with the accompanying soy and cabbage and ginger salad, it was incredibly moreish.

fullsizeoutput_161a

In something of a blogger-review fail, we both ordered the special – and honestly, who could resist? A homemade fish pie with seasonal greens (£16) was exactly what was needed to feast on, and it was absolute perfection.

fullsizeoutput_161b

Huge hunks of salmon and egg were encased in a silky sauce, and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes you can imagine. After a morning spent outside, exploring Oxfordshire, this was exactly what we were after!

fullsizeoutput_161c

We also had to try the Triple Macaroni and Cheese (£4.50). All creamy, cheesy goodness, with an added hit of truffle and wholegrain mustard, this was a deliciously grownup take on my go-to comfort food. I loved the gratin topping, and the mix of three cheeses was absolutely divine!

fullsizeoutput_161d

Filled up with the best of Gloucestershire produce, we ended the meal with a cappuccino (£3.50) and a Cinnamon Latte (£4). When I say I’m obsessed with the coffees from Daylesford – I don’t think you quite understand how good they are! Piping hot, and just a hint of cinnamon, I started every morning off with one when we were down, and I may have finished every evening with a hot chocolate from the to-go counter!

Thank you so much to Daylesford for our lunch – you can find the menu here.

 

Close Me
Looking for Something?
Search:
Post Categories: