The Chelsea Cafe, Bath

One time in Bath, pre dog walk, Mr A and I grabbed a coffee from The Chelsea Cafe, in Bath. It looked amazing inside and I was gutted we didn’t get a chance to sit down and investigate properly.

Luckily last week we had some time to sit down in the sun and take a further look.

From the outside it doesn’t look particularly amazing, just like a normal coffee shop really, but inside it has a effortless, trendy London feel where you can see that they really care about their coffee and fresh local producee – they have written a nice little piece about their suppliers here

Chelsea Cafe
We ordered two flat whites (of course) and some sandwhiches – I went for a tuna melt & Mr. A later regretted his boring chicken and mustard choice (not slating the sandwhich, it was indeed very nice just a bit boring). They also had a larger menu of brunch options but we failed to notice that before we ordered #fail

Sandwhich

The staff were really lovely and there was such a happy feel to the place, everyone in there just wanted to take some time and enjoy a coffee with a friend or family. We were lucky to blag a seat outside and had lovely views of Bath as the cafe is at the top of a REALLY BIG hill.

Chelsea Cafe
Here you can also see an amazing brownie and a gluten free flapjack which was SO tasty. Probably a little over indulgent but oh well.

The Chelsea Cafe was resonably priced – all of the above came to about £19, what I think you would expect from a independant coffee shop in a nice area.
You can check out the website HERE

CHELSEA CAFE: 8E CHELSEA ROAD, BATH, BA1 3DU

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Patty & Bun – Liverpoool Street, London

WHERE: Patty & Bun, 22/23 Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 7PD
WHEN: 20/05/14
WHY: Long overdue catch-up with a travelling friend

I had the task of of taking an Aussie friend for dinner somewhere East, easy, fun and quick (as our evening was more about cheap wine & chatting then about the food)

I thought that the newly opened Patty & Bun in Liverpool Street would be a good shout as I hadn’t tried it yet – I have been James Street branch before and had an amazing time (would HIGHLY recommend)

The Liverpool Street P&B is more take-away focused; there are a small number of benches and high tables rather than tables, they don’t serve booze, the menu is slightly more condensed and the space is smaller. We were totally down with that though and didn’t actually have to wait long to nab a table! (Just under 10 mins I think…may have been because it was a Monday or even because people don’t like burger hype as much in Liverpool Street?! who knows..)

I went for the Smokey Robinson (naturally) and my co-diner chose the ARI GOLD Cheeseburger (I think he was a little scared of the unknown so went for the safe option).

I also chose the  Thunder Thighs as a I side which I instantly knew was a mistake. I had these before and vaguely remember disliking them for some reasons – unfortunately, to me, they taste like tea. Like actual PG tips tea and and I seriously hate tea. My co-diner was having a ball though and couldn’t get over the fact “the meat is just falling off the bone!” I do think they are good thighs – they are definitely saucy enough, but just not for me.

Collage1 final
Our burgers had arrived with the wings and we got stuck in – they came on nice little trays which I suppose is trendy and there emphasis the take-away focus.

The meat is so incredibly juicy, juicer then any other burger I have tried. So juicy I would actually advise making a small well with your wrapper to collect all of the said juice!
They get literally get everything right…the bun, the condiments (the burger sauce they use is DELICIOUS) how they cook the PATTY (all burgers come medium-rare unless specified I believe) and the caramelised onions that come in the Smokey Robinson are perfection.

I’d say this could be my favourite burger place in London, I just prefer the James Street (London) branch because you can sit down and make more of a meal out of it.

Juicy

Mid-range price for the burgers (£7.50-£8.50) and the meat sides are £5.50, slaw is £3 (stupid price for slaw) and chips are £2.50

My Aussie co-diner was actually in awe, he couldn’t believe how tasty a proper burger could be. He didn’t speak for a while why he processed what had just happened to him.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Check out the website here 

HONEST Burgers, London

WHERE: Honest Burgers, 4 Meard Street, London, W1F 0EF (Soho Branch)
WHEN: 12/05/14
WHY: Long overdue catch-up with a good friend

I shamefully have never been to Honest Burgers, so when my friend suggested we go, naturally I was “proper buzzing”.
It feels far more humble than Meat & Liquor (whose burgers I don’t actually rate) and the door lady was very friendly…she doesn’t make you queue – she had an ingenious system of taking your name AND TELLING YOU WHEN TO COME BACK! Who’d of thought aye, an actual system that means you don’t have to stand outside in the rain like a pillock and queue for 2 hours (I’m still digging at M&L here if you haven’t guessed)
We  asked to sit outside in the rain (under an umbrella thing obviously – were not that crazy) to avoid waiting at all!

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I love love loved the menu, so simple and small (I have previously mentioned my love of small menus) and it’s on a beautiful wooden board. 

I ordered the Cheese Burger (wasn’t feeling bacon at the time) and my dinner date went for the Honest Burger. Both burgers came with rosemary salted chips (amazing!) and we got some red slaw on the side.

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The burger was absolutely incredible….I asked for medium rare, and yes, some bits were still mooing, but it was so SO tasty. Just the right amount of condiments were on it, it wasn’t too rich and the brioche bun was to die for. Sometimes ‘trendy’ burgers can be overloaded with bits and bobs and tastes and flavours, but not this baby. The rosemary chips were great too but a little too much rosemary for me.
The waitress was lovely and we had an amazing waiter come over and take our cash, he loved telling us that he had eaten 3 mistake burgers already that day!

 The bill came to….wait for it…£20.50! For two burgers with chips and a side of slaw.

We thought it was a joke, it wasn’t.

To conclude, I had a really great time at Honest burgers and thats me being honest 😉

Here’s the website – click here to check it out

Zealand Coffee – Roman Road, London

One of my favourite coffee shops EVER is Zealand on Roman Road, Bethnal Green.

I used to come here a lot a few years ago when my sister, who introduced me to Zealand, lived in Bethnal Green. I forgot how much I loved it!

Mr A. and I decided to take stroll and grab a coffee and bite to eat for breakfast (at 1pm ha)
The decision to go to Zealand was THE BEST DECISION WE MADE ALL WEEK.

This place is effortlessly cool, a little on the small side (not nice to sit outside when it’s cold!) and of course very rustic and healthy. The menu is so simple and the food is delicious – I do love a place with a small menu, always means that they can nail what they have on there!

We ordered two flat whites and had to sit outside for a bit while we waited for a comfy seat inside.

Coffee & menu

I went for the ‘brie, mixed leaves & caramelised onion granary s/w’ and of course, I added bacon – they had to put it on flat bread though as they had run out of granary (which totally made it better in my eyes!) Mr A. went for the ‘avo toast with chili flakes & lemon’ and also added bacon (I don’t like chili or flakes but I’ve been told this combo is one of the best known to man – and probably, if you have been to AUS or NZ,  you are  hooked anyway)

Avo

The staff could do with being a little bit nicer but hey ho. Maybe it’s not cool to be nice?!

Of course we finished it off with cake and of course it was a flour less chocolate & orange cake BUT IT WAS SO DARN TASTY.

£19 for all of that and a fresh mint tea…not the cheapest but a definite must visit.


The amazing Tales & Spirits – Amsterdam

WHERE: Lijnbaanssteeg 5-7, 1012 TE,  Amsterdam
WHEN: 12/04/14
WHY: We fancied a fancy meal out during our weekend in the ‘dam

A late post I know…time has run away with me and I seem to be a little behind…oops.

SO, during my wonderful trip to Amsterdam, Mr A. and I went to this utterly incredible restaurant/cocktail bar. I was recommended (more like ordered) by a friend so visit – so we managed to get a booking and hurrah! there we were, sat down in this beautiful cocktail bar hidden on a backstreet reading a small novel (which actually was the cocktail menu) Here’s a handy link to the website where most of their cocktails are listed
Tales & Spirits

We were greeted by a lovely, smiley waitress who knew my name (nice touch!) who I had actually already been texting to confirm our reservation and ask for directions.

We were sat down and given two small wooden books – these my friends where the cocktail menus. They had a small story behind each of their house cocktails and a lengthy list of other cocktails – all with a great description and quirky name. We started off with “Bird Is The Word” (rum based) and “Quiz Fizz” (gin based) which were both lavely!

Tales

The most AMAZING aperitif Pea soup arrived shortly after our cocktails – I honestly haven’t tasted anything quite like it. The texture was beautifully smooth and the flavours were so intense and rich without being too ‘pea-y’

Our lovely waitress came back and started her well rehearsed speech in how to order…the menu was slightly different to normal in the sense all of the dishes are small so you are recommended to order two each. I was confused though  because they are not like tapas – but a weird in-between main and starter. We got stuck in though and chose the following…
Hummus with asparagus, tempura, rye-sesame crumble, baby red chard and poppadums’
This particular combination of ingredients didn’t seem like they should work together, but they did, and it was all presented in a lovely (slightly random) flower pot
Risotto with sautéed wild mushroom, rocket lettuce & Parmesan
Really incredible but a little rich alongside all of the cocktails!
Beef fillet with dauphine potato, aceto reduction and Serrano crumble
The beef was cooked to perfection (as expected) and the aceto reduction was really, really great – a must have.
Mini ciabatta’s with dukkah and extra-virgin olive oil
They were mini and in a little leather sack – who wouldn’t love that!

The beef, asparagus tempura & risotto.

The beef, asparagus tempura & risotto.


*Sorry for the rubbish photos*

We didn’t go for a desert and instead ordered two ‘Zombie’ cocktails…the ‘Zombie‘ cocktail is a combination  of rum and absinthe and other stuff and limited to only two per person…I have had similar in London a few times (a well known being the ‘Grog’ in Meat & Liquor) so nothing to write home about but still damn tasty – and they set it on fire! Whey!

All in all I had a wonderful, wonderful experience  at Tales & Spirts. The décor was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the atmosphere and staff were great! The size of the portions was a little annoying and I would prefer actual dishes but that won’t stop me going back next time I am in the ‘dam.

P.S. It all came in at a cool 92 EURO so defiantly not the cheapest place to eat out. And we probably could have eaten more.

A lovely BAGEL bar in Amsterdam

WHERE: Raadhuisstraat 18, 1016 DE, Amsterdam
WHEN: 13/04/14
WHY: We got lost and needed to eat.

Just a quick post on an amazing bagel place I discovered when Mr A and I had a long weekend in Amsterdam last week….

We were wondering around downtown (I think it was ‘downtown’, it’s hard to know where ‘downtown’ actually is if you have no idea where you are…) and stumbled across a lovely little bagel place. Now I know you may be thinking “uh, bagels, how boring” but I have to give this place a review – the concept was amazing. All they did was serve bagels, the odd sweet treat and really great coffee.

I was in love with the menu – an intricate book on every which way you could have your bagel. There was every type of bagel available: spelt, gluten free, white, brown, oat, cinnamon, tomato and more. They have covered every part of the day – breakfast, 11evens, lunch, brunch…and even had things like ‘bagel tapas’ which I just thought was genius! The menu also told a beautiful story of how Bagels & Beans was started…here’s a lovely handy link to the menu (it is well worth a look!)

It was such a lovely, happy environment and I myself have always dreamed of owning something similar. And the bagels were really damn tasty!

What you see below is the Prosciutto Di Monastero with Parmigiano Reggiano & Pine Nuts and two great cappuccinos YUM

bagel montage
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Marvelous Mezze, Bethnal Green, London

WHEN: 21/03/14
WHERE:Mezze Barbeque Restaurant, 150 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, E2 0RY
WHY: We, a group of hungry locals, wanted some good food.

Since moving East, there has been a Lebanese food shaped hole in my life, so naturally I was thrilled when my friends suggested we go to Mezze on Roman Road. I had actually already been to this place a couple of years ago but totally forgot. I was excited to go back and actually remember what I had eaten…

The restaurant décor/space itself is nothing special, it actually looks like a low brow (can you say ‘low brow’!?) café but the staff are LOVELY…we had a great Geordie girl who was not afraid to crack some (average) jokes.

It is also Bring Your Own Booze which is amazing.

Menu and BYOB

WHAT DID WE ORDER?
Starters..Halloumi Wrap, Hummous and the Mized Meza platter
Mains…Lamb Pide (pronounced pi day) and Mixed Meza Grill.

Bread And Starter

The Halloumi wraps were amazing…they were almost a meal (well, lunch) in themselves. In my beloved Tooting Bec Meza, the wraps are literally melted Halloumi in pitabread but here, they are so much more – you get salad, dressing, the lot. The Mixed Meza platter was also great, there were some creepy beans on there that we were not sure of but with the gorgeous fresh bread they bring over with it really makes it a winner.

Pide and Meat

For mains we went for a Lamb Pide and a Mixed Grill. In hindsight, we could have ordered an extra dish. What we did order though was bloody great. The Pide is really special – the waitress described it as “Lebanese pizza shaped like a small canoe”
The meat here is beautifully cooked and well seasoned.

Overall, the restaurant and food do feel very authentic. The staff and great and we had a lovely, lovely time. Also…the food came to a total of £10.50 EACH! £10.50!

We were all extremely full after our great meal smugly headed off to a local pub (The Victoria on Grove Road, in case you wondered)

Here, you can see us being happy, full people…

HAPPY