Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Granary Grill and Deli - Restaurant Review

The Granary Grill and Deli is a restaurant in very opulent surroundings. Located in the historical, grand and beautiful surroundings of Weston Park. If you've never heard of Weston Park (where have you been?), it is a 17th century stately home located in the heart of Shropshire and also home to the infamous annual V Festival. I was only aware that this stately home has a restaurant, deli and coffee room last year when I attended with colleagues for a works do. I was impressed and if honest, felt a tad out of place, as I drove up the long driveway and was greeted by a large imposing building. As I entered I was greeted by a the deli and coffee shop, an ideal place to have a quick catch up with friends. The restaurant offers an upstairs, downstairs seating area and there is an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your meal - something which I think is very important as I like my food to be fresh. Since I first visited last summer, I have visited on a further two occasions, so needless to say the food is here is brilliant. 


My first trip in 2015, myself and a friend ordered from the lunch menu. Craving a classic British dish, I ordered the very traditional cider battered fish and chips (£12). This is simply the best fish and chips I have ever eaten, perhaps it was cider used for the batter, the moist and tender fish which was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, or the homemade tartar sauce which swung it for me, but this  dish was simply sublime. My friend ordered the club sandwich with skinny chips (£8.50) which looked impressive and very filing. Although messy to eat, my friend enjoyed eating the different elements of this sandwich. For pudding (I love a good ol pud), my friend and I shared a steamed ginger pudding (£6).

My most recent trip to Granary and Grill (June 15), my friend and I ordered from the set menu (£11.50 for three courses), which unfortunately is not available to preview online beforehand. I was pleased that the dishes on the set menu were dishes I have eaten before and there was nothing so "out there" that I would be too frightened to order from this menu.The starter on the set menu was the very retro, but still enjoyable prawn cocktail starter. I enjoyed the presentation, although this could have done with another piece of the freshly baked bread.
Prawn cocktail.

For the main course there was pancetta wrapped chicken with rosemary and thyme potatoes, which was delectable, satisfying, well seasoned and succulent.
Chicken with pancetta. 
For the dessert, a banana bakewell tart was the order of the day. This tart (a flavour which I have not tried before) was  moreish, dense and rich taste.


Overall: This restaurant gets a 4 star rating from me, the food was delicious, arrived in good time, attentive staff and very good value for money.

xxx

Saturday, 27 June 2015

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2015 Review

I'm a bit addicted to food shows, but the BBC Good Food Show Summer (and Winter) are the shows I look forward to the most as they are the best in the UK. This year's Summer show is no exception, there were familiar faces, alongside new talent, new stalls and old favourites which always makes the show exciting. As per last year, I attended on Press Day (Thursday) which is a lot quieter than other days (in previous years I've attended on a Saturday which is ridiculously busy). 
This show is HUGE and it helped this year that there was the virtual magazine of the layout and stalls before the show which really helped as I could plan where I wanted to visit and what show I wanted to see. I arrived at 10 am and met the lovely Becky from Munchies and Munchkins and we spent time visiting the different stalls. Actually, Becky had a really handful tip, to purchase the majority of the stuff later on in the day, I still managed to purchase a bit here and there but I saved everything until the end.



Here is how I spent the day:

Backstage 
The lovely Katy Truss arranged for the BBC Good Food Show official bloggers to go backstage of the Supertheatre, you know the main stage where all the celebrity chefs prepare their dishes and had a sneak peak on some of the dishes that was about to prepared. There was a number of home economists and I had a sneak peek in the backstage fridge, which was well stocked and no budget spared. We walked past James Martin who was having a chat with someone else, I was to star stuck and shy to say ola, you never know next time.......




I visited this stall last year and loved their Mellow Yellow Rapeseed oil, perfect for roasting and I love to use this for drizzling vegetables over. Rapeseed oil has a number of health benefits and maintains its natural goodness, one of the lovely ladies at the stall gave me an overview of the process which unfortunately, I have forgotten by now. Nevertheless, this oil is the real deal. 



Finally, an American stand. Not that I am obsessed with all American food, but it's nice to see some American Candy and proper peanut butter. What impressed me most from this stall, is that they stocked grits- a staple that is very popular in the Deep South and a dish which I have read about, over and over again, something which I am so happy to get my paws on.




Sponge
I first brought a sponge cake from sponge back in 2011, there flavours have increased now to include ginger and several gluten free options. I sampled a ginger Sponge, alongside a coffee sponge, which was rich, intense and delicious. Sponge offer a range of birthday cakes online and the array of flavours will appeal to all the cake lovers out there.


Black Liquorice Company
This was a new stall for the Good Food Show and are a relatively new company. I associate liquorice with my childhood, but the range of liquorice sold here is very much for grownups and children alike.   I sampled a variety of flavours of liquorice, which was incredibly addictive, liquorice lovers, you've been warned. I was instantly transported back to my childhood with the colours, flavours and textures.  This brand sells quite possibly the hottest liquorish sweet, hot,  hot,  hot, even too hot for me.




The Buffallo Company
I always visit this stand, whether it's the Summer or Winter show for lunch, their buffalo burgers (topped with cheese and chili) are phenomenal.

I love this stall and I always buy something from there, their items are perfect for food bloggers as they are so pretty and visually appeals. Also if you love pretty, cute and vintage this is the place for you and fancy having some beautiful kitchen accessories in your home (I'm sure you do). 


With an array of coconut water on sale (coconut water with guava and coconut water with mango), I was instantly transported back to my holidays, FOCO Coconut water is a brand to look out for for big things in the near future. They also sold a selection of nuts called Koh Kae which is a very popular brand in South East Asia, The Wasabi nuts are hot, hot, hot and moreish.





Yo Sushi
Low fat rice snacks at only 40 calories per packet, unfortunately I ate these too quickly and then realised I did not take a picture of these low calorie low snacks.

Blackberry Cottage
I love cake, I'm sure you do too, but there is often some level of guilt when eating copious amounts of cake (especially if you are like me and am not a skinny minny), so I'm glad when I discovered Blackberry Cottage. Blackberry Cottage make a beautiful selection of cakes using a "special ingredient" vegetables such as spinach, aubergine, beetroot and courgette.




My hearts beat a little harder for gelato and Joe Delucci specialise on bringing the finest and most authentic gelato to the UK. Having eaten gelato in Rome, I can proudly say this ice-cream is the real deal. I sampled the coconut gelato (I love coconut) but there were other lovely flavours such as lemon, mango, banana, chocolate and apple.


Lotus Biscuits
Being part of the Good Food Show Blogging Community, I received a wonderful (and perhaps dangerous) selection of their moersih biscuits.


Bluebird Tea Company
I'm not a big tea drinker, I'm mainly a coffee drinker but loved the selection of teas such as Pineapple Mint, Chinese Treasures and Ice-Cream Float. I personally love the Pineapple mint tea.

Jazzy Apples
Many thanks to for the apple slicer, I now can make perfect apple slices. Perfect for the summer months.

Firefly BBQ
Perfect for the summer and therefore BBQ season, this company specialise in making Authentic style BBQ rubs and sauces. There is such a vast rang of rubs and sauces, such as Memphis Red Sauce, Memphis Pig Rub and the very hot Kansas sauce. Perfect for marinading meats for a taste of the good ol USA.


The Demonstrations
The Good Food Show, for me, is all about getting new ideas and recipes, so a visit here would be incomplete without attending a show. I attended two Tome Kerridge (who made an amazing beef dish) and Thane Prince who made a beautiful summer pea dish. I also had my book signed by the beautiful Masterchef winner Shelina Permalloo.


Other stalls








I am looking forward to the November show ......

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Judge Kitchen and Diet Scale Review and Giveaway

Are you part of the Eat Clean trend that is sweeping over the nation? I cant say I'm completely sold, I love carbohydrates and full fat food really does taste good. But as I have my annual holiday to the Caribbean in a couple of months time, I'm desperately trying to lose a pound or 10. As I tend to eat primarily fresh food, I have no idea of how many calories are in my dishes. I can guess, but that's what it is, a guess. And when it comes to cake, well let's not go there. Although I weigh some ingredients using my standard scales, there's no calorie displayed, so I still have no clue how many calories are in per ingredient. That's where this wonderful product from Judge Cookware comes in, their Kitchen and Diet Scale is incredibly useful and an ingenious way of displaying calories of the most common ingredients used in households. Judge's Kitchen and Diet Scales weigh common staples such as chicken, beef, flour, butter, sugar, eggs and chocolate, using a number of measurements such as grams, ounces and millimetres. 
I decided to weigh a whole chicken (yes really) to test these scales out because I often eat a portion of  whole roasted jerk chicken for my Sunday dinner and I wanted to know how much a 1/6th of my medium sized whole chicken is...... drum roll 487 calories per person. I actually thought this would be less calories, say 300, but that's the good thing about these scales, they are accurate and now I know I've been consuming far too much chicken ...... 
Judge Cookware

Whole chicken being weighed.

Whole Chicken weighed.

Whole roasted Jerk Chicken.
The lovely people at Judge Cookware are offering one lucky reader of my blog one of their Kitchen and Diet Scale. To be in with a chance follow the instructions below.
  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
  • Join my blog and leave a comment (click on the left hand corner of the site and join using Google friend connector). This is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT.
  • For additional entries, subscribe to my Youtube channel, follow me on Instragram, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter and follow Judge Cookware on Facebook
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 13.06.15 - 12.07.15
  • Winners will need to respond in 5 working days.
  • Please feel free to share the giveaway.
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xxx

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

New Vlog Post: Habana Mousse de Chocolate (Havana Chocolate Pots)

Considered to be a “National Jewel”, Havana Club Rum is a Cuban institution and was a necessary purchase from my recent travels to Cuba. I can understand why Cubans would consider their trademark rum to be a national treasure, less strength that other Islands rum, the Havana Club has a subtle yet warm taste, which in this case, compliments my chocolate mouse pudding incredibly well. Hence the inspired name: Havana Chocolate Mouse (I give the Spanish name for a nod to nostalgia of my travels). 
This is one of my all-time favourite desserts not least because it only takes an incredibly impressive 5 minutes to make, providing you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients ready. I love to eat this delectable dessert mid week in the early hours of the evening, the perfect pick me up after a long day; the fruits helps cut through the rich chocolate mouse and the Cuban rum brings a warmth to the dish.



Sunday, 14 June 2015

New Vlog Post How To Fry Plantain

As many of my loyal followers know, I LOVE fried plantain. It's so easy, quick, moreish and delicious and the perfect accompaniment to many of the meals that I make. Instead of banging on how fabulous this ingredient is, I thought I would share via a vlog (my first vlog post :-) post how to fry this wonderful side dish featured throughout Caribbean, South American and African cuisine. I hope you enjoy  :-) 



I'm sharing my little morsels of plantains with the Credit Crunch Munch blogging challenge, guest hosted by Jen's Food  and the brain child of the wonderful Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food For All . As you can purchase 3 plantains for a pound, this dish certainly qualifies :-) x




Saturday, 13 June 2015

Ultimate Dinner Party with Finish and Giveaway

Dinner parties is a fashionable and popular way of socialising with those that we love and care about. Just watch an episode of Downton Abbey for example, you will see The Crawleys mingling with their friends and family members over a formal dining room table and being served a scrumptious selection of food (although I acknowledge they do not cook the dishes themselves!). I've never held a formal dinner party, more an informal dinner party where I have cooked a selection of dishes and friends have lazily enjoyed the fruits of my hard labour (ok, I use the oven a lot when I am having family and friends over). I do plan on one day have a dinner party like Come Dine With Me - with scoring charts too.
The people at Finish asked me what would be my ultimate dinner party, which gave me some food for thought. There is so much that would have to go into my ultimate dinner party, not just the food, tableware, seating arrangements, luckily Finish have some fabulous tips on hand to get you started. For my ultimate dinner party, the location would be on a beach in the Grand Turks (the beach was stunning when I visited last year) and I would serve light calaloo chowder for my starter, grilled lobster with rice and black beans followed by Death by Chocolate Cake for dessert. As for guests, I would love to share a table with Michelle Obama, Nigella Lawson, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce - Can you imagine all the gossip you would get being snuggled on a table with these fab people. As for the washing up, a selection of Finish products would help to take care of that.


As I'm sure most of you fellow foodies have people visiting and trying your scrumptious foods, the lovely people at Finish are offering one lucky ready a selection of their products, this includes: Permformance Enhancing Dishwasher Salt 5kg, Quantum Max Shine & Protect apple and lime 40 tabs, Dishwasher Cleaner 250ml and Rinse Aid Lemon 400ml.

To be in with a chance of wining a selection of these fabulous products follow the below instructions.
  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
  • Join my blog and leave a comment (click on the left hand corner of the site and join using Google friend connector. This is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT.
  • For additional entries, subscribe to my Youtube Channel and you subscribe in exactly the same way you join my blog), subscribe to my blog, follow me on Instragram, Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter.
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 13.06.15 - 13.07.15
  • Winners will need to respond in 7 days.
  • Finish will dispatch the products
  • Please feel free to share the giveaway. 
xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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