Sunday, 22 July 2018

Honest Burgers Bristol

Last week I headed down to Clare Street for a masterclass with Honest Burgers, the latest offering Bristol has in its forever expanding and competitive burger field. With owner Tom Barton,  proudly boasting that his burgers are the best in terms of quality in the UK, I knew I needed to try these for myself! 

After an intro from Tom about his journey from tiny stall holding, catering for friends and then in to the world of running a business, Honest Burgers is now a chain of 23 branches spanning the country. With some of the bigger burger chains failing to win over the ever loving independent market in Bristol, Honest Burgers has a lot to prove. 
During the earlier talk, we got to sample a solo patty. So tender that you could of cut it with a spoon-we didn’t! Seasoned at the point of cooking so no moisture was drawn out, you could taste the quality of the beef and the fat really sung out.

The restaurant itself was much like any other new restaurant here, using reclaimed wood, the mixture between long benches and comfy booths, instudial style lighting and light walls, it lets the food do the talking. 

The menu isn’t huge. With only 1 chicken and vegetarian option, the menu really focuses on the use of its (very good) beef patty. Using chopped chuck and rib cap and 20% fat in their patties ensure not only a juicy, flavoursome burger but they can also serve these medium rare due to being approved to do so due to high quality cuts of meat used.
All sauces and their rosemary chips are house made and all other produce are sourced locally. 

With a table full of hungry bloggers, we were given plates of chicken wings, onion rings and house sauces to try. 

When it came to choosing my burger, I went with The Bristol (£12.95) beef, Westcombe Dairy smoked cheddar and cheese curds, bacon, shoestring fries, white onion, cider gravy and pickles. What a beast!! 

As expected, the burger was superb! I loved the addition of the housemade pickles that cut through the meat and gave it a sharp crunch. The smoked cheese worked well with the saltiness of the bacon but sadly this meant I couldn’t really taste the cheese curds. Of course with this particular burger giving a nod to the classic poutine, I had high hopes for that expected cheesy squeak. 
All burgers came with a side of rosemary salted chips. They were the thick cut, skin on kind but possibly a little too salty for my taste. I couldn’t get enough of the side of cider and bacon gravy which was rich and deliciously sweet and I happily dunked anything I could in to it! 

It’s fair to say that Honest Burgers really did live up to the hype. Good, honest food without pretentious ingredients that left me feeling full up and satisfied. With the owners attitude, passion and knowledge, I really do hope they do well in Bristol. 

Although I received my meal in return of a review, all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

It’s All Good! Ft River Island Plus

Have you tried the River Island Plus range yet? After digging out last years wardrobe, I quickly realised I needed not only a few new clothes but opted for a bold new look. I love how River Island manage that chic, stylish look but with added character in their prints, fabrics and cuts, and I’m so glad they have tried to carry this through to their Plus range. During the summer months, it’s all too easy to pop on a simple dress or our favourite vest and shorts. But what about dressing up? Personally, when it’s blazing outside, the last thing I want is to wear something overly formal or fussy so I thought I’d go for something a little different for me. I browsed the plus section on the River Island page and instantly fell in love with these pink trousers.

I love the tie waist for that cinched in look, and the way the bottoms taper really show off my great legs. (I’m modest, I know!) I might have been swayed by the fact they cake in baby pink, but these also came in black. You can find them here. I ordered a size 22 to air in the side of caution but it wasn’t necessary as they were very generous in size, as was the t shirt. 

The T shirt added that fuss free feel but with a simple slogan on fresh white cotton, it gave it that clean sharp look. Unfortunately the T shirt is no longer available in plus size but a similar version can be found here or here.

The white curved heel shoes really set the outfit off. I love the pointed toe with the tapered trouser hem and although they have no straps, they are surprisingly comfy and easy to walk in.

Have you recently seen something from the range that caught your eye? X

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!