Thursday, 31 May 2018

Review; Salt and Malt, Chew Valley Lake

Lat week I had the most wonderful meal at Salt and Malt at their Chew Valley lake residence.
Now, even after living in Bristol for over 8 years and getting married just down the road from Chew Magna, I had still never had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful place. 
A vast stretch of reservoir nestled in the foot of both the Dundry and nearby Mendip hills, this little restaurant had the most amazing scenic views. 
We arrived a little earlier than planned so took a little walk around, taking in the sunset over the lake and feeding some ducks on the bank. The restaurant itself is right by the car park so it’s easy to find and there is a little playground outside, perfect for those with young children.

The restaurant itself was wonderfully spacious, light and well ventilated. With large pull open doors that can we opened in summer to give that lovely ‘outside, in’ feel. 
We were received with a warm welcome from the lovely Zowie who couldn’t of been more attentive. The staff were an absolute credit to this restaurant and made us feel incredibly special. Something I’ve found quite rare lately.
My husband and I were seated at our table, right by the glass doors so we could watch the sun setting which obviously was the best place to be sat. Enjoying a cold glass of house white, we salivated over the restaurants new tapas menu, wanting one of everything! 

The new ‘Tapas Tuesday’ menu featured plenty of seafood choices, as well as vegetarian options for the reasonable price of £3.50 per plate or 3 for £10. 
After agonising what we would go for, this is what we decided on;

This was my ultimate favourite. So much so that I ordered it twice! Curried brown butter shrimp on toast. This was heaven.

Seeing as we were at a fish and chip restaurant, I couldn’t help but order something deep fried. Halloumi with a side of chilli jam really hit the spot!

One of the nights show stoppers. Cured sea bass with orange. Incredibly light and flavoursome 

Crispy cod cheeks with a chorizo dip. The fish was beautifully firm and flaky, with a sweetness enhanced by the salty, smoky chorizo.

My husbands favourite. A punchy dish of squid with chilli and peanuts

An absolute beast of a crab claw, with a generous pot of garlic aioli for dunking. 

If that lot wasn’t enough, we shoved a pudding in too! Cinnamon Creme Brûlée with apple sorbet. Stuffed!!

It goes without surprise that Tapas Tuesday runs every Tuesday, with the full regular menu on offer too and you’ll also get 50% off your bottle of wine too. The restaurant has a no dog policy within the restaurant but are more than welcome, should you dine outside on the terrace. Salt and Malt is also fully accessible to disabled customers. 

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Review; The Jetty at Bristol Harbour Hotel

Earlier this month I got invited to go and try the new A la Carte menu at The Jetty restaurant at Bristol Harbour Hotel on Corn Street.
If you are an avid reader of my blog, you may of seen that I visited The Jetty last year for Sunday lunch (post here) and loved it and twice to the hotels spa. Fast forward a year and I’m back to sample their new summer menu. 
As the name suggests, The Jetty mainly focus on fresh seafood dishes but obviously throw in non fish offerings too. But as a lover of fish, I was a happy girl.
Settling in to our high backed sofa booth, my daughter and I enjoyed an Aperol Spritz whilst we waited for our food. 

First course of the night was the monkfish cheeks with tomato kasundi. A generous portion of two cheeks, with beautifully crisp batter on the outside, which gave way to it’s brilliantly white and flaky interior and not forgetting the punchy, rich kasundi for dipping. This particular kasundi was much thinner and paler than I’ve tried elsewhere but still delivered a wonderful mustardy punch in flavour. 

Now usually I’d always gravitate towards the fish course for my main but once I saw grilled lamb rump on the menu, I couldn’t focus on anything else. 

Melt in the mouth lamb accompanied with courgettes and basil and smoked almonds. The sauce was rich and full of flavour from the black garlic. Perfect for mopping up with my side of chunky chips. 

Feeling the effect from such rich dishes, I sat and debated about having a dessert but let’s face it, who am I kidding here? There’s always room for dessert! 

The Jetty ice cream sandwich was a beast. Two chocolate cookies encompassed a peanut butter ice cream which I could of eaten by the bucket load. Topped with a rich chocolate ganache, it finished me before I could finish it! Sadly, I couldn’t taste the coffee element that was promised in its description but it wasn’t needed. 

Even though we visited mid week, the restaurant was full to capacity with a private function which meant we had to wait 10 minutes to be seated and a further 40 minute wait between our first and second course. Although the waiting staff were highly attentive, I did feel this let our meal down slightly. 

The Jetty offer a wide variety of dishes including a specials board and early bird courses for a great price. For more info, do check out the site by clicking through the links x

** Disclaimer**
All elements of this visit was offered on a complimentary basis and all views are my own. The Jetty have not seen this review prior to publishing.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Elomi Anushka review

Elomi never let me down when it comes to stunning bras. As I’ve posted previously about the Bijou Flirt here, Elomi consistently create such stunning designs.

I’m now very fortunate to own the Anushka in both the pink (Romance) and teal (Luxury ). When you find that one bra that you keep reaching for time and time again, it’s only right to get it in each colour way! 
This half cup bra is perfect for my breast shape. I carry a lot of my tissue at the bottom and not at the top (thanks breastfeeding!) and find that half cup or balcony bras really give me that rounded shape that I like. 

I’m fortunate to have been professionally measured so I can confidently order the right size for me at Elomi, this particular style that I’m wearing is a 38G and find the banding just right. However, due to changes in hormones, the cups are occasionally too small but that’s to be expected.

With a choice of either a blush pink or green/blue base with a stunning lace overlay, I just adore that ever so feminine, boudoir look. The Anushka is available in a D-H cup with matching briefs. 

Sugar Candy Bra review

Not so long ago I was sent a beautiful new bra to review. Unlike my other bra reviews, this one was a little different.
The new range of Sugar Candy bras, by maternity company Cake Lingerie, are completely padding free, wire free and seamless, yet still offer incredible support to large cup sizes.
Meaning they are also suitable to sleep in.

The Sugar Candy bra is nothing short of an engineered masterpiece. When I was initially offered an unwired, unpadded bra, my first thought was ‘my boobs are saggy enough!’ After 3 kids and 8 months of breastfeeding, my bald heads need all the boosting and padding to make them look half decent. But honestly, once this bra was on, I was pleasantly surprised. 
The bra itself is made from a double layer of ultra soft micro yarn, which gives it the level of comfort but with each layer, is constructed of different patterns and density to add to the bras stability. The inside of the bra has a unique structure of material which mimics the shape of an underwire, almost creating a hammock to lift away the breast from the body. I absolutely love this feature! Side panels also stop the tissue from migrating round, avoiding that dreaded mono boob shelf. The back has an impressive 5 hook and eye fastenings, on a 6 row back but as someone who closes their bras from behind, I found this pretty tricky to master alone. 

Another thing that really impressed me was that this bra is designed for large busts only. Take a look at their handy size guide;

It’s so refreshing to see a core range only focusing on larger sizes. 

Now, the Sugar Candy bra is nothing sexy to look at, it’s pure goal is to give a clean, simple look without the fuss of added extras. But I did like the ribbed underband with its ‘Cake’ slogan on it, giving an almost sports bra feel. And although the straps were soft, they did seem to take an awful lot of the weight during the day but not something I was aware of when in bed. So I would say this this is the ultimate bra for lounging around in when you still need the support. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Wings Diner, Bristol

Last month I celebrated my birthday and what better way to celebrate than to go and eat some beautiful, yet dirty chicken!

Ladies, gents, those in between....I found chicken heaven...

Wings Diner, was and still are a pop up, now residing at Small Bar on Kings Street. Serving up delicious fried chicken with an Asian inspired twist. Not forgetting the veggies and vegans of course! But for me, it’s all about the chicken life. Think fried chickenburgers, wings and pieces, but not like those weak offerings from your local fast food takeaways. I’m talking thick, juicy pieces of bird that leave you so greasy and full that you’re calling for help. 

I went for the Thai style burger first. With a fat juicy chicken thigh on a bed of lettuce, topped with cheese and Srirachanaise (it’s a thing!) and I couldn’t of been more delighted that they used the softest, squishiest buns. I happen to be rather fussy when it comes to the right type of burger bun.
And because it was my birthday, I didn’t plan on mucking around. I came for food and lots of it! So next came the dirty fries. 

Twice the photo because this had double the flavour of anything I’ve ever eaten before. Crispy little fries, covered in fried chicken, cheese and Korean sauce. These were incredible. The Korean sauce was like an umami bomb, that salty, heavy taste that was suitable for eating as a solo dish but no, here I was scoffing them as a side to my already deep fried meal. I couldn’t even finish my food as not only did I have the burger and fries but I was desperate to try the blue rice and had that too. I was so not sorry, the garlic sang like a
Morning bird and of course being blue in colour just added to the spectacle. There was wings involved at some point but after a while I was seeing stars and close to removing my trousers. My husband opted for the 2 piece meal, which he promised me was some of the most juiciest of legs he’d come across and loved the crunch of the coating. 
Gasping for breath, we left full, happy and faces covered in food. We’ll certainly be back.

I seriously can’t recommend Wings enough. And if you do get the chance to go, order the spicy peanut sauce with everything. I could of bathed in the stuff!

Baileys Almande

The lovely guys over at Baileys  have recently sent me a (quite frankly, beautiful) bottle of the new Baileys Almande dairy free drink to try.
Having previously loved the original, I could no longer drink it as I’ve become more intolerant to dairy and it just added to my discomfort. Fast forward to this new wonderful creation, with delicious notes of almond that was ever so subtle and didn’t leave you with an overbearing nutty taste. Baileys Almande is not only dairy free but also lactose free and gluten free too! Suitable for those with related allergies, intolerances and diets. 
Baileys Almonde is made from sweet almond oil, almond essence -(from crushed almonds), cane sugar, purified water and a touch of vanilla. It’s also slightly less strong than the original at 13% ABV 

Of course simply poured over ice is always a winner but on this occasion, I made the most of my afternoon off work and sat in the sunshine. I decided to try it poured over my favourite dairy free ice cream as an afternoon treat. 

For other great recipe ideas, why not head on over to the Baileys page for some inspiration. I’m eager to try out the Flat White Martini!

            How do you enjoy yours? X

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Cuban, Bristol

A couple of weeks ago I popped along to a blogger event, hosted by Socialight at The Cuban, just off Millenium Square. Socialight are an upcoming website and app that aim to connect Bristol restaurants to local bloggers to collaborate together. Such a useful platform to help build a good relationship with the food scene!

Ok let’s get back to the best bit- FOOD! And cocktails of course.
We started the night with a Mojito masterclass, one of my go to cocktails when I’m struggling with choice. Perched on our stools at one of two of the main bars in The Cuban, we watched in awe as the barman whipped up multiple cocktails in quick succession. Such a pro! 

Following on from the mojito, we got a taste for Havana and were served a few more rum cocktails such as the Tormenta Negra and the Hasta Mañana. Blimey, I was going to need feeding fast before I tipped off my stool!

Hurrying to our (huge!) awaiting table, we were promptly sat down and received a warm welcome and intro from manager Ellie. We were to choose a starter and main and any choice of drinks on the house. 
I noticed from the start that this menu was very meat heavy! Unless you’re happy with a simple salad, I’d say this place isn’t very vegan or veggie friendly. I’m not too clued up on my knowledge of Cuban cuisine so I’m unsure if this is just how they eat! It did however have gluten free options.
For my starter I went for the Boquerones. I absolutely love fish and the saltier the better so it was a no brainer for me. 

These silky little fishes were brined to perfection. With the added garlic to give it kick and parsley to lift the flavours. The seaweed buttered crouton was delicious and complemented the fish perfectly. Such a great little dish that was rich enough to satisfy without adding heaviness, leaving plenty of room to go heavy on the mains. Which I certainly did! 

Opting for the belly pork was a wise decision. Served in a smoke filled cloche to add a theatrical element (I’m not overly convinced it added anything to the flavour of the dish) I loved the tender slab of meat. It was filling and cooked to perfection, the top fat retained some crispiness, the layer fat was melt in the mouth without any clagginess and the side of chorizo added that salty, smokey element. I really enjoyed the addition of the silverskin onions and the little pot of sauce but felt the bed of cassava really let the dish down. Oversized wedges that I found hard to wash down and left an overly starchy aftertaste. Maybe if the cassava was served in some other way, fries perhaps, then it would of been better. 
After our meal, the server kindly brought over a selection of desserts for us to try such as white chocolate panna cotta. I’m not a massive fan of puddings but did try them all and favoured the poached pears. I was however, relieved to see that they hadn’t gone down the safe/boring route of adding brownies to their menu, which seem to be everywhere right now. 

Throughout our meal we enjoyed a live band, Noche and Cubanna. It was such a lovely touch and really gave the restaurant a great atmosphere. If I shut my eyes hard enough, I could almost pretend I was on holiday! Almost. The Cuban have live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 8pm
For more info on The Cuban, head over to where you can find what’s on or sign up to their newsletter to claim your voucher for a mojito for just £3