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Sunday Afternoon tea with the girls – FAWSLEY HALL HOTEL & SPA, Northampton

Steeped in tradition and history Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa in Northamptonshire is a beautiful country house hotel surrounded by acres of beautiful gardens and parkland, so we couldn’t think of a better place to spend a 40th Birthday celebration (not mine) with my ladies.

Fawsley Hall is a beautiful place and this was my 2nd visit (previously I stayed over and used the spa facilities – equally a good evening) … Walking into the great hall always takes your breath away its  beyond stunning. We was seated in the restaurant area so was slightly disappointed we where not in my beloved great hall. Maybe next time …

Champagne
Champagne

We chose to have the Fawsley Full Afternoon Tea which was served with champagne and it didn’t disappoint.

There was a fab choice of finger sandwiches that were fresh and tasty served with some lovely home made fancies (the raspberry macaroons rocked), and followed with some great scones along with plenty jam and cream.

 

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The girls
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Afternoon tea – cake selection
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Scones and macaroons

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Savoury Afternoon Tea
Savoury Afternoon Tea

But I did have massive food envy when my friend choose the savoury afternoon tea with such delights as: Chicken Liver Parfait with Quince Jelly, Smoke salmon on rye with capers, Pastrami Bagel with mustard mayonnaise and dill pickles…. huuuuuuummmmm serious food envy. Am defiantly having that next time!

Savoury Afternoon Tea
Savoury Afternoon Tea

I love Fawsley Hall and its defiantly a place of beauty will be heading back for the savoury afternoon tea sometime soon will be requesting to be sat in the great hall for sure.

Contact: 0845 458 0901

Address: Fawsley Near Daventry, Northamptonshire,
NN11 3BA, England, UK

fawsleyhall@handpicked.co.uk

www.handpickedhotels.co.uk

Deal or No Deal – My experience

The question maybe where has hungry caterpillar been? Its all been a bit quiet on the blogging front but have no fear I am back and been sourcing loads of delicious info on my travels… I’ve been on Deal or no Deal in the dream factory in Bristol and have just grace the screen of Channel 4 for the last month.

Now if you’d have asked me a year ago would I appear on my Dads favourite (not even mine) TV programme with an opportunity to win £250,000 by just opening red boxes … I’d have told you to jog on!

But the strangest things happen to you in this world and due to a Facebook post and too much yellowtail red wine … I found myself applying to the be apart of the dream factory at Deal Or No Deal on Channel 4.

A year went by and with slight memory loss (am not going to lie)  I’d actually forgot I had applied when I received a phone call from Dan from Deal Or No Deal to ask me about my application form. Shocked, slightly excited and wondering if it was a joke … was my initial response.

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Selfie – just getting ready to leave!

But in full Myers style I went with it and got through the telephone interview and was asked if I wanted to pop to Bristol for the auditions and Dan popped my info to me via email along with my bronze ticket … and this is where it all began, TOTAL PANIC especially in when I read you had to get the silver ticket as part of your audition ….. (I have never been good at tests or being competitive… Driven maybe!!!) but I told myself to just go with it and that’s exactly what I did ….

Audition day came … I’d researched the show – watched a few programmes and off I set to Bristol with my good old friend Vicki (chosen carefully from my friend to keep me calm and just have a laugh) … We arrived.

I must admit I was scared that I’d fail and not bring home to my friends that silver ticket and surround this experience with sadness but to my surprise I got one!!! (my friends sad they never doubted it and I love them for that). I can’t tell you all the details of the day as we sign contracts along the way to not let us reveal specific details about the show …. but after a long day and please when you watch the show give these people credit as its a tough audition … I was shaking in my size 5 boots at times ! But at the end of the day when I got back to Vikki I knew i had done my best and secretly was aching to get that gold ticket as it just seemed like too much fun to miss out on!

They had said at my audition it could take up to 2 years to hear back  so not to really think too much about it…

The phone rang from an unknown number and it wasn’t a PPI claim …. But by GOSH 10 days later and I have received my gold ticket… Whooooooo!!!

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Me with my practice box – Ready to meet Noel!

I’ve got to admit from a girl who use to suffer from panic attack this ways taking me way out my comfort zone but sod it you have got to go with it …

I arrived in Bristol with a car full of clothes and nervous/excitement feeling… but my nerves soon went when I met everyone. Everyone was beyond friendly and I felt part of the group from the of set and everything you see on the TV is true these people are electric and uber friendly.

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Me and my fellow newbie – Liam

My first game came and boy was I nervous but you just get into the swing of things and hope people do well.

My time there went quickly doing 24 show … you see people come and go and it all happens really quickly. You see games that change people lives in a good way and some in a sad way. It really is a dream factory but a game of luck that can also be truly cruel…

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Looking glam lol! I have never wore some much make up!

Everything is done by random and you dont know when your game is… My day came and luckily my friends had turned up. I don’t think I could have done it with out them.  I was so scared!

I was stood there getting mic’d up stood on an X, meeting Noel and I did think to myself how the bloody hell did I get here and can I run …

My actual game flew by I must admit it didn’t go exactly to plan I hit the £250,000 in my first box and it went down hill from there… after several offers and digging my heals in. The Banker offered  me £13,000 that was the best offer I had had and in my eyes time to get the hell out off there! There was a Deal or No Deal twist where the Banker offer for me to give him my money back and go for what was in my box which was £50,000 (I found out in the end) or a 1p …

I stuck  with my £13,000 and I am very happy with that it will give me time off to spend on this blog and drive my design business forward Creative Caterpillar.

What an experience …. only 2,700 people have ever played the game to date and I have met some fab friends…  and feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

Give it a go… www.dealornodeal.co.uk/show/appeal

Anyway best get cracking with this Blog … I have loads of stuff to share!

 

 

 

Can a girl really not love chocolate? – Hotel Chocolat

Hum am sat here working very late  on some menu designs, am hungry and tired and in need of a hit…  and I remembered about the chocolate I bought from Hotel Chocolat  the other day! Happy-Chocolate-Days….2015-01-26 22.53.07

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Hotel Chocolat: The brand

I don’t usually like chocolate but had been having a bit of a craving so popped in and found something to take the edge off and get an emergency pack.

But it’s got me thinking about a conversation I had today about me being the kind of girl who doesn’t even have the sprinkle of chocolate on my cappuccino ….

Most nutritional website suggests that chocolate cravings may be linked to low blood sugar, stress or changing hormonal levels prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle.

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Salted Soft Caramels

So am popping Salted Soft Caramels into my mouth and thinking maybe I have changed my cholcolate mind due to these little chocolate bullets of loveliness or are my stress levels deceiving me thinking I am now in love with chocolate? Or have I simply be sucked into the  Hotel Chocolat brand whilst waiting for the train?  I’ll keep you posted…

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Visit: hotelchocolat.com

Hail the Kale … Kale T-shirts & clothing

Over the last few months my love of kale has grown, I add it to every thing … I nutribullet it in my detox juice daily, I add it to my stir fries and am even partial to kale chips.

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Kale Racer Top

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Navy Kale sweatshirt

So you can imagine (or maybe not) my excitement when I seen these kale tops. I just had to get them.

I can now clearly communitcate my love for the leafy stuff on a contemporary raglan sweatshirt boasting a contrasting “Kale” graphic.

I just love them and cant wait to wear them …  I got the  racer tank for the gym and navy sweatshirt to keep me warm and snuggly.

2015-01-26 08.15.54Go get … www.suburbanriot.com

 

It really was a feast!! – Feast, Gorey Pier, Jersey

Feast is what Sundays in Jersey are made for. My hungry buddies drove me out for lunch and a wintery walk on the beach upto part of the Jersey Island I hadnt been too,  the beautiful Gorey Pier before I had to catch my flight home. The girls had heard that feast was a fairly ‘known’ restaurant and with 2 dogs this seemed the best place we could park ourselves outside, it was overlooking the boats and right under Mont Orgueil Castle. Lovely.

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Rated in Jersey’s Top 10 restaurants (TripAdvisor, Jan 2013) Feast is situated on beautiful Gorey Pier. A relaxed but stylish restaurant serving a succeessful menu either inside or on the terrace.

2014-11-30 13.10.47The food offers honest quality food including a pan of  sizzling garlic prawns with crusty bread, antipasti sharing box, mussel pots , crispy salt and pepper squid, foie gras beef burger , steaks and seafood.

The staff are very friendly and make Feast a relaxed but buzzy place to be and are extremely passionate about the food they are serving with ample advice and nods of pleasure when you choose there favourite dish.

Food loves:
Oh my goodness what didnt I love might be the easiest place to start ….  I kicked off with the feast’s crispy salt & pepper squid, chipotle chilli sauce, roast garlic aioli and rocket. I did have food envy when Kathryns sizzling garlic prawns with crusty bread came out but with this amount delicious squid. I was happy!

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crispy salt & pepper squid

After filling myself with squid I had choosen the fish pie for main course, much to the delight of the waiter who had confirm this was his favourite dish the  crunchy topped creamy fish pie which was served with a dress side salad. It really didn’t disappoint, it was truely amazing filled with cod, salmon, prawns and smoke salmon and topped with mash…  I can safely say this is the best fish pie I have ever dived my fork into.

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fish pie
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side salad
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fish pie

 

Design loves:
This place has got it so right… The branding is tidy, simple and relaxed a true reflection of inside. It lets the food talking, it’s a  welcoming place with lovely little twists of design that guide you through even to the toilets.

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business card

 

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our Sunday menu

2014-11-30 13.09.19The shoes on the doors indicated males or female toilets … these little design features sent my design head into a spin so much so I nearly ended up in the gents!

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wall art

This is my restaurant of choice along the pier. I Love this place. The food is full of passion and so are the staff … Feast is more than just another resturant with a good sea view. Go visit.

Phone: +44 (0)1534 611118
Address: 10-11 Gorey Pier, St Martin, Jersey, JE3 6EW

 Website: feast.je

Forty Twenty Three – Mediterranean Food hits Birmingham

On a busy Saturday lunch time at a womens networking event in Birmingham centre we ran out for lunch with just under an hour to find something to eat. We discovered Forty Twenty Three, a new Mediterranean cafe whilst trying to avoid a last minute sandwich grab from Tescos…. Phew we did it!

Based in Stephenson Street in Birmingham. The restaurant is small but perfect.  There are a few places to sit and it isn’t designed for big numbers of diners.  But that was good as we where only a table of 3 and got seated straight away by the window.

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Fascia

The menu is also small, but perfectly formed. You can choose from koftas, mezes, pitta wraps & perek pastry wraps, salads and home made specials and these can all  be served to take-away or eat in. The menu might not have a huge selection, but is done right and cooked fresh with amazing  flavor.

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Menu board

 

Chicken Wrap
Chicken Wrap
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Hand cut chips

Food loves:
The menu is an enticing selection of Mediterranean classics.  I went for  a chicken wrap and a side of hand cut chips.  The chicken was beautifully cooked and well seasoned, and accompanied by salad and yoghurt dressing.  Simple food, expertly done, for days after I couldn’t stop thinking about about this delicious wrap. Dreamy.2014-11-22 13.59.14

 

Design loves:
There branding is simple, there menu is simple and there decor is simple with pretty little touches. It’s all about selling good food and that’s what comes first at Forty Twenty Three.

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Gosh, I loved this place and am sure everything is made with love and passion. Best things always come in small packages…  Go visit!

Visit: 34 Stephenson Street Birmingham B2 4BH

Facebook: 4023uk

Website: 4023.co.uk

Call: 07846 497080

A Great start to the day – Le Braye Beach Bistro, Jersey

My dear friends (hungry buddies Kathryn and Louise) moved to Jersey just over a year ago and my love affair with the Island keeps growing. It was an unexpected love affair, as my first trip over there was just to check that the home sick girls had settled in ok and then BOOM my Jersey addiction took hold as soon as I hit the beach of St Ouens and entered Le Braye Cafe for breakfast.

Always buzzing throughout the day  it seems a popular venue for locals as well as tourists on holiday. Its always my first food adventure in Jersy  when I get off my 8.15am flight and I always call ahead to check we are definately going, a bit like an excited child.

Le Braye also serves hot and cold meals; speciality teas and coffees; homemade cakes and pastries. In the summer an ice cream parlour opens, separate from the main café, offering a large variety of Jersey whippy and scooped ice cream goodies.

The Cafe just ozzes coolness and makes you feel instantly relaxed. The decor is simple, stylish and welcoming. There are fun little quirky yet homely elements throughout the Cafe from the stone wall, to the indoor fence and geckos running across the walls.

Food loves
The breakfast of course I usually took into the vegetarian lifesaver for £8.45 which is served with loads of toast and Jersey butter which rocks my world. Delicious … it’s always freshly made and I love the way my beans are served in a little tin cup! Service is to a good standard and nothing is too much for the team.

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Design loves
The whole decor its makes me feel instanly relaxed and part of surfers world thats is just a stone through away. It bring the peacefulness and the nauture from the beach indoors in a stylish way… Gosh I love this place.

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Its standard I will always visit Le Braye Cafe, it goes hand in hand with my visit Jersey… Thank you xx

 

Visit: La Grande Route Des Mielles
St Brelade, Jersey
Channel Islands
JE3 8FN

Facebook: LeBrayeCafe 

Website: lebraye.com

Call: +44 1534 481395

Mercado San Miguel in Madrid – Meating point

 

Mercado San Miguel … Is an open food Market that serves as a eat out place all day long. You can dine there, drink there or just spend some time taking in the beautiful colours and smells of the food.

Meating Point by Razanostra was a place that stood out to me from a design perspective … The name made me smile and the design elements where clean and modern.

Visit restaurant: www.hamburguesanostra.com

Visit market: www.mercadodesanmiguel.es

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Destination: Urban Grill T2, Madrid

At Madrid Airport… To be honest at this point I had got to the stage of just wanting some simple food, after overeating and drinking my way around Madrid. So the design of this place got my size 5s hotfooting over-to-the-counter…

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Urban Grill Fascia

The Urban Grill had air of funkyness and informal dinning, just what was needed ahead of our flight home.  It’s a modern, informal restaurant catering for people in a hurry. It serves quality grilled meat and fish, vegetables and homemade pizzas with fresh seasonal ingredients , all freshly prepared.

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Feature wall

Design :
Loved it (and if honest little surprised to find this in an airport), from the trendy wall art to the grass dividers this place got me excited.

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Seating
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Outdoor seating area
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Vegetable Pizza

Food: Nothing else would do than a fresh vegetable pizza which really hit the spot and was washed down with a beer!

It was fairly priced at 8€s but I was more excited about the design of Urban Grill that the food but I guess thats the designer in me.

 

 

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Urban Grill was simple yet cool and had space to move around without taking anyones ankles off with my suitcase and the crazy moo cow confirmed my love of this place.

Great design… Urban Grill!

www.aena-aeropuertos.es

Location: Aeropuerto De Barajas T2. Zona de embarque, Spain

 

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Morphy Richards

FRESH ROOTZ – tasty dishes made with love!

Only a short distance from Hungry Caterpillar HQ I heard a rumble that award-winning Fresh Rootz was going to appear on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch (they had popped it on their BLOG ).

So we made a quick dash over there this lunch time to see what all the fuss was about …

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Counter area

You walk into an open-plan light room where the atmosphere is chilled and has a family eco vibe. You can tell you have walked into the home of Organic Vegan/Vegetarian dishes. It’s lovely and not stuffy in the slightest.

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Nice touch – Free sample cake!

The girls behind the counter are helpful and the menu is not overwhelming.  So service is swift and you can help yourself to chocolate and apricot cake while you wait! Delicious….

The decor is simple, white with chalk boards, vintage frames and plenty of mirrors with homely beach wooden tables and quirky furniture pieces dotted around. The green view from the large windows brings home the organic vibe.

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Wall art
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Outside view

For our lunch we choose the Lancashire cheese, spring onion and spinach tart severd with a raw slaw and side salad.

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Cheese tart

And the, Sri-lanka vegetable coconut curry served with raw slaw,  and couscous. The food was tasty, fresh and mouth-watering and  the whole vibe from the Fresh Rootz experience just made me feel relaxed and kind of wholesome.

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Sri-lanka coconut curry

For 2 main meals and 2 speciality coffees (they serve a macchiato – a big tick from me) our bill totalled £18.50.

So close to Hungry Caterpillars HQ it would be rude not to pop back.

 Website: www.freshrootz.co.uk

Address: Ryton Organic Gardens
Wolston Road | Ryton on DunsmoreCoventry CV8 3LG

Call: 02476 308213