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

 

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

Hungry Caterpillar is totally digging it – Digbeth Dining Club

After starting this blog only a few months ago I started to look out for new food experiences locally and only 30 minutes up the motorway … I was so excited to find the Digbeth Dining Club, Street food held in an industrial unit underneath a railway arch in Birmingham.

The Digbeth Dining Club aim is to bring street food to the Birmingham area. Each Friday, several  stalls showcase the best of local and invited street food vendors. The Friday I went, Canoodle, Esmie’s, Fat Duck Spuds, Platinum Pancakes, Spectacular Goat and The Bean Stall where all serving up their tasty delights.

You walk into the archway to find a music playing, people eating  and chatting, it’s buzzing and the food smells devine. At first I found myself panicking,  what food should I have? I had total  food envy from all directions so I did what I knew best  and hit the bar for a swift half to gather my thoughts!

The food is all about the taste and not too pricey,  my nephew, Jordan (see Hungry Buddies) and I had 2 tasty courses for the total cost of £17. Ace times.

Food loves:
After getting my food envy under control I dived straight into Esmie’s Salt Fish, rice and salad served in a tortilla basket (nice touch).  It was fresh homemade and reminded me of my Dad and my Jamaican roots. It hit the spot! It tasted incredible!

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Esmie’s Caribbean & Seafood
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Esmie’s Caribbean & Seafood menu
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Esmie’s Caribbean & Seafood
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Esmie’s Caribbean & Seafood – Salt fish tortilla
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Fat Duck Spuds

 Jordan Tucked into  Fat Duck Spuds burger which seemed to keep him quiet for a little while and nodded in all the right places.

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Fat Duck Spuds – Burger
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Fat Duck Spuds – Burger
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Fat Duck Spuds – Serving away!

We finished it all off with pancakes from Platinum Pancakes. These where prepared in front of you with the two owners happily giving me suggestion on what fillings to have as I don’t have the sweetest of teeth. So I had banana, cinnamon and custard … Nice and tasty and a fab round up of our Digbeth Dinning Club experience.

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Platinum Pancakes
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Platinum Pancakes – PANCAKE!
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Platinum Pancakes – Menu

 

Designs loves:
When entering the railway arch I noticed to my left the cute vintage caravan that was serving wood fire pizza which looked amazing. I was amazed with the guys and gals working away in this tiny beautiful space. I loved the bunting the cute little curtains and chalk boards. It created  great visual impact on entering the dinning club. Pizza next time for me!2014-09-05 19.36.39 2014-09-05 19.36.11

The atmosphere brings back all my memories of my creative designer days in my old stomping ground of Camden Town where the variety of food was endless. I know where I’ll be going on a Friday night from now on!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVfu4ppMhmA

 Whats on: Digbeth Dining Club

Website: Digbeth Dining Club

When: Every Friday night at Spotlight

The Nooks got us slightly hooked…

Where else is one to go on a Saturday afternoon with my oldest and dearest friend than for a delightful visit to the famous, Nook on the Square, Rugby.

The cafe was recently featured on primetime TV show – The Restaurant ManKate James and Alex Woodcock opened The Nook in January of this year, just a few months after filming the BBC Two programme . In the television show Russell Norman sees that the sisters have spotted a huge gap in the market in the quiet little village of Dunchurch.

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The Nock – outside
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Famous salmon square quiche

Katie decided to turn the downstairs of her house into a cafe after seeing a gap in the market.  The Nook serves a simple menu which features  a variety of breakfasts including a hearty vegetarian, for lunch -there are homemade specials, seasonal soup and a cream tea served after 12pm.

After watching the programme I spent weeks dreaming about the famous square quiche (I really do have a thing about quiche am wondering if its my age!), it lived upto everything I had dreamed about it was out of this world and all homemade that morning! I went for the smoked salmon and asparagus quiche and my friend the goats cheese option – I definitely picked the winner!

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Menu

The Nook has a strong square logo and is reflected subtly throughout everything even down to the food – the square quiches and the square scones.

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The Nook – inside
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Milk bottle vase

The cafe itself could be the perfect set for a 1940′s movie.  The Nook ticks every vintage box with the mix and match of furniture, chandelers,  white washed walls, tea sets on marble fire places and quirky touches that make you feel at home yet still in a modern vintage tea room.   The atmosphere is lovely it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon with an old friend, the food is great and the service is friendly.

Now all I need to do is find out how to make those quiches am totally hooked!

Visit: The Square, Dunchurch, Rugby Warwickshire CV22 6NG

Call: 01788 312459

Website: thenookonthesquare.co.uk

Menu: thenookonthesquare.co.uk/menu-july.pdf

TV programme: http://bbc.in/1duBXAT

GRUB PUB WINNERS! Best Food Pub in the Midlands

Whhhhooooo big congratulations to Stag at Offchurch, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire for winning Best Food Pub West Midlands & Wales. Good luck for Thursday 11 September 2014 at the Hilton, Park Lane, London when they go forward to the GBPA 2014 national finals.

I hear loads of great things. A must for lunch soon.

Awards: Great British Pub Awards

Visit: www.thestagatoffchurch.com

I got fruity about this idea – Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables

Every year, over 300 million tons of misshapen fruits and vegetables are thrown out because supermarkets can’t sell them. But what if they could be sold at a cheaper price?

Now that’s a winning idea

Intermarché launched the Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables, a film, print, poster and radio campaign  raising awareness about food waste by offering customers these reject fruits at a lower price to stop them from being wasted.

They launched the campaign Ugly Fruits and Vegetables and bought the fruit and vegetables from suppliers,  put them on the shelves, and sold them for 30 percent less than the regular price of the more attractive produce. They then let the customer decide if they wanted the low-priced products or not.

 

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www.intermarche.com _ Poster

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I think it’s a brilliant way to refocus people onto food quality, rather than its appearance. This is really brilliant. Go Europe!!!

Visit: www.intermarche.com