Category Archives: REVIEWS

A lovely brunch – The Nook, Rugby

Good morning… Now this is my favourite part of the day and food wise it’s the same I am always happy when diving into breakfast. The Nook in Rugby is constant in there food offering serving fresh, loved and local produce. I have reviewed the Nook previously so pop over here to read our full review. BLOG.

So I am going to keep this a short…

The atmosphere in the Nook its always a light affair and everyone is happy and relaxed so its a great way to ease you into your day.  Its the perfect place to catch up with friends and family and the staff are welcoming.

Food loves…
Browsing through the menu and its wide selection of breakfasts from breakfast muffins to breakfast bruschetta and the more traditional options. I opted for the Scottish smoked salmon & free range scrambled eggs on a toasted artisan sourdough with a glass of  Buck’s Fizz, all for the tidy sum of £8.50. The salmon was beautifully fresh and the egg scrambled to perfection and washed down with a glass of fizz. Happy times.

smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
A smoked salmon brunch

My brother chose The Nook Breakfast  with Local  English sausage,  dry cure bacon,  poached egg, slow roasted tomato,  black pudding, chestnut mushrooms and Heinz baked beans with toasted artisan sourdough for  £7.50.

traditional breakfast
The Nook Breakfast

What I love about The Nook is its constancy the staff, the food, the atmosphere… Its my local hideaway!

Call: 01788 312459

Website: thenookonthesquare.co.uk

Menu: Summer menu

Brunch at The Breakfast Club Cafe – London Bridge

The question is where can I get the best breakfast in London? Well who knows, when you look into these things on google (and review websites)  there are hundreds of places and recommendations…

So I knew I was heading to watch my friend do the marathon at  Canada Water, so looked into places near London Bridge which reduced my google search and where did I find but no other that The Breakfast Club Cafes … when I started to read about these places it blew my mind – an 80s throwback experience that serves breakfast. WOW!

I packed my bag as quick as I could and headed there like a crazed woman in search of the 80s (and brunch obviously).

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The Breakfast Club - Dining area,  london bridge
The Breakfast Club – Dining area
The Breakfast Club - Dining area , london bridge
The Breakfast Club – Dining area

Following the success of their Soho cafe, opened in 2005, The Breakfast Club has since expanded to a number of other London locations. The London Bridge, opened in 2014, comes with a license so you can have a beer or maybe a more civilised Bloody Mary with your breakfast – happy days!

It serves a wide selection of breakfasts to start your day, it then continues serving up fab things till early evening. The breakfasts are not just your standard fry up; you can choose from a US variation featuring maple syrup pancakes, to a Latin American breakfast burrito.

Like the Spitalfields and the Battersea cafes,  London Bridge also has a secret. Hidden beneath The Breakfast Club in London Bridge is Call Me Mr Lucky – a concrete den that serves cocktails with lanterns and hidden alcoves.

So … Phew after reading all the reviews on this place I was expecting a huge queue but I got straight in and was seated by the really friendly staff.

Food loves…
I decided it was time to try something new so opted for the veggie breakfast burrito filled with  scrambled egg, roasted peppers, Portobello mushroom, gucamole, cheddar and spicy pepper sauce. Delicious.

The Breakfast Club - Breakfast london bridge
Veggie breakfast burrito

 

Breakfast Burrito The Breakfast club - london bridge
Breakfast Burrito

 

Breakfast Burrito The breakfast Club

 

The breakfast club menu
Menu

Design loves…
The  atmosphere of the cafe is just right. The music plays, the staff are chatty and it’s just a happy place to start the day. The design features that made me smile to myself where the fired egg lamp shade (where do you find such a thing), the smiley face cups and the hidden bar concept.

Fried egg lamp the breakfast club london bridge
Fried egg lamp shade anyone?

 

Mug The Breakfast club - london bridge
Happy mug :-)
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Call me lucky poster

The staff where uber friendly and really looked after me. I will be defiantly heading back and looks like I did get there at the right time but the queue would have been worth the wait!

The Breakfast club - london bridge
Queue

Address: 11 Southwark Street, SE1 1RQ

Contact: 02070789634

 Website: www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com

A quick trip down memory lane – Camden Town & Market

A sunny Tuesday afternoon before I go to a blogging masterclass… Where else shall I kill two hours than in my old stomping ground of
Camden Town. It’s hot and the place is buzzing.

I decided not to eat in my usual places of Camden Kitchen and Hache and head  straight down to the Camden Market. I had a quick  mooch around and spend some time looking at the food offerings and see if anything caught my design eye.

vanessa myers - camden

Tanakatsu – a Japanese Katsu specialist caught my eye and the food looked amazing. All dishes where made to order taking  about 5 minutes to cook from fresh, with a price tag of around £5.50.

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Tanakatsu – Camden

 

Chicken Katsu Box
Chicken Katsu Box – Tanakatsu

Food loves:
I went for the Chicken Katsu Box which came with a pumpkin croquette, an Ebi Fry (prawn Katsu) , rice salad and pickle and a side of curry sauce.  The Chicken was delicately breaded and fried, and served hot.

2015-04-07 16.11.23To be honest I was over whelmed by the beauty of such a dish served in a take away box, it was delicious and the pickles that accompanied the dish where full of taste. This is probably one of the best meals I have eaten with a plastic fork.

You can really tell these guys put there passion into their food. I really never expected such great food from a vendor in the Camden Market –  WOWZERS. Camdens food offering has really raised the bar since I worked down there!

Chicken Katsu Box - Tanakatsu
Curry Sauce – Tanakatsu
Camden Market
Camden Market

Design Loves:
It’s been a little while since I spent time in Camden Market and I loved being back. But what really blew my away was the tribute to Amy Winehouse it reminded me of the time I use to see her walking (sometimes staggering)  around Camden. Sleep tight Amy.

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Amy Winehouse Statue
Amy Winehouse Statue - Camden
Amy Winehouse Statue

I had a lovely few hours spent back in my old stomping ground of Camden and the food blew me away. Camden Markets food offering seems to have moved on from the limted selection it had when I worked there may moons ago. I will be coming back to spend more trips down memory lane and sampling the new food delights.

Thanks Camden… I’ve missed you xxx

Website: www.camdenmarket.com

Address: Camden High Street, London NW1 8NH
020 7485 5511

A sunshine filled Spring market – Birmingham, Digbeth

The sun was shining, music pumping and the smell from the food was immense. By looking at the queues it felt like the whole of Birmingham had dropped by with us to visit the Spring Market at The Bond in Digbeth.

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Spring Market, Digbeth

Digbeth pop-up street food market gathers together a small selection of the best street food traders from Birmingham and beyond. This is the place  for foodies to catch such local food gurus as the Original Patty Men, Routemaster Bus Bar and The Bournville Waffle co. The Spring Market starts at midday and runs until 6pm. Entrance is £1.50 for adults and kids get in FREE.  Dishes can range from £3 – £7.50.

The Spring Market is set by the canal and has a great street vibe which I am sure the sunshine helped. There is a good variety of food and drink, I loved it.

Food loves …
The HungryToad got me excited by the food offering and the stall design, it was a little bit  shabby with its hand drawn menu and corrigated walls but the sparkly signage won me over  .. and I queued in a very long queue for these guys culinary delights. I opted for the chicken wings and the halloumi chips. Simple & delicious with a bit of sparkle!

Design loves
It was pure eye candy looking at all the ideas people had come up with to create and support their brands and food ideas. I loved it here, not just for the food but for the draw of the creativity that surrounded me.

3 stalls from the Spring Market that got my design heart pumping:

1. The Gamekeeper
Serving wraps, a shredded beef brisket and a veggie option of melted halloumi, the stall had a traditional country feel in true keeping of a Gamekeeper vision.

2. Original Patty Man
Serving kick ass burgers with a kickass branding… I fell in love with this pop up, infact am sure part of me wanted to jump behing the counter and help out. There was just something electric about this little place and it followed through into there brand!

3. Smoqued
Smoqued served the most beautiful, eye catching tacos I have ever seen from a bright yellow 1973 Citroen H Van. This little yellow machine just ozzed class and the food presentation was out of this world.

2015-04-18 14.08.17All of this was washed down with a gin …  A little bit of Saturday design and food heaven,  2 hours well spent – I’d say.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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Morphy Richards