A Travelling Foodie- Saving Money and Eating Well

Gluten Free, Other Adventures

Travelling is by no means a cheap experience, but there are many things you can do to stick to a budget, whilst having fun and eating well. I would love to share some tips and tricks I found on my recent travels.

Travelling is incredibly different depending on your destination, so travelling in Bali, exploring South America and heading down under in Australia will introduce many different opportunities in terms of food and a foodie adventure.

At the beginning of January I began travelling down the East Coast of Australia, beginning my journey in Cairns, and finishing down in Sydney. Myself and two friends travelled, by bus, a total of 3115km, stopping at 13 different locations on route for 4 weeks. With so much to offer, we wanted to save our money for the day trips and exploring, so we had to come up with a plan for the cheapest eating and drinking.

Here are some things I found along the way, and I will definitely use in the future:

  • Look for hostels that offer free breakfast- A quick search on Hostelworld brings up lots of different hostel options, and sometimes this can be daunting, but by narrowing down your search it can make the job easier. In many cases, we found that hostels with free breakfasts weren’t in fact more expensive than those that didn’t, and this was such an easy way to reduce costs. However, I must admit, that many hostels don’t provide gluten free breakfast options for free, and I had to sort my own brekkie out. The other girls were able to make the most of toast and spreads, cereals and sometimes fruit and yoghurt too.
Cheap Breakfast with a Brekkie Voucher!
  • Don’t fancy free breakfast? Head to the supermarket!- So, if like me, you can’t eat what’s on offer, you can still eat at a low cost. A trip to the supermarket in each location allowed me to buy big bulk sachets of flavoured porridge and top this with fresh fruit that was on offer at the time. Although, during the trip I had decided apricot flavour should be avoided, I became very fond of apple and cinnamon. These big boxes cost less than $5 and oats have slow releasing energy too- keeping me fuller for longer.
  • Packed lunches are your friend!- The thought of packed lunches may take you back to school, but you can do a lot better than cucumber sandwiches and a chocolate bar. Grab a plastic container from the supermarket- ours were from Woolies and only cost around $3- and your lunchbox potential is limitless (well not quite). A big pack of rolls, ham, cheese and salad will not break the bank, and, although grabbing something whilst you’re out seems easier, you can get a lot more for your money if you buy from the supermarket. Cereal bars will be your saving grace- I wish I had counted how many I ate!
  • Sharing is caring!- Group meals are great for many reasons. I find cooking relaxing, so after a long day of trekking, cycling, surfing or even a trip to the shops, I love to rewind by making a big meal. Making your own food not only means that you can have a great social experience, but it also saves money and allows you to control exactly what you’re eating. Even as a solo traveller, making a big meal means leftovers, so if you’re staying in one place for a few nights, a big curry or pasta dish is a great idea. With a whole veggie meal costing around $7, or a meat one around $10/12, this creates about 4 portions which gives you so much for your money. However tempting a Dominos seems, a big veggie stir fry will save your pocket and your waistline. Tinned food, for example mixed beans, rice packets and stir fry/curry sauces make cooking quick and easy!
  • Do your research! – Food deals and happy hours occur everywhere, and are the great chance to get out and about without breaking the bank! I LOVE eating out, and drinking and exploring bars and restaurants, but when travelling, I have to be sensible. Checking with hostels about local restaurant deals, and by having a quick check on Google, you will be loads of choices. Taco evenings are a great option, and many Mexicans also do drinks deals too. Some hostels may even put on dinners, we were able to have all you can eat tacos for $7- including GF corn tortillas. Happy hours can save you pennies on house beers and wine, and many hostels offer wristbands for nights out and free drinks at local clubs and pubs. A frequent check at the local supermarkets for ready meals and snacks in the reduced section mean you can save money and put it elsewhere- e.g on beers!

These are some of my tips as a travelling foodie, specifically in Australia. It can be simple to save money, eat well and have fun whilst exploring the most amazing places. Just remember to be wise, plan and enjoy everything that comes your way!

My Fijian Foodie Experience

Gluten Free, Other Adventures

After a hectic, busy and lively semester at Flinders University I was well in need of a holiday. I am not very good at relaxing, and love keeping busy and experiencing everything a destination has to offer, so Poppy and myself booked a guided tour around Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. I was so looking forward to the sun, sand and of course, delicious food!

For me, the excitement of going on holiday is mostly fuelled by experiencing new food and culture, alongside relaxing and tanning obviously. However, food sparks the most delight and subsequently I put a lot of time and effort into research local cafes, bars and cheap eats. I do my absolute upmost to eat locally and taste traditional delicacies as much as possible. As soon as I booked my Fiji trip, my search for eateries began, whilst also trying to familiarise myself with Fijian culture.

Since becoming gluten free, this excitement is slightly dampened by nervousness around finding things I can actually eat. Although I did struggle in Fiji, I tried to not let it impact my time, and I did my best to make the most out of what was available- with a little help from my travel companions and tour guide Mike.

Poppy, Mike our guide, and Myself

To summarise my experiences in Fiji, I decided to write a little blog including a selection of my best pictures and highlighting my great finds and delicious treats.

I began my foodie adventure in Nadi, staying at a beautiful hostel right on the beach. Although the food here wasn’t amazing, there were a few other places to choose from, with wide ranges of dishes, including some gluten free options! This was also our first introduction to Bounty Fijian dark rum, which came premixed with cola. Averaging at around £3, this was delicious and a lovely way to cool off after a hot day, looking out onto the sunset.

At Bamboo Cafe, just down the beach, both Poppy and myself tried a local fish ceviche with pineapple salsa and cassava crisps. Cassava is a Fijian root vegetable, like a potato, which I was able to try cooked in a number of ways throughout my trip. The sweet salsa was a great accompaniment to the salty fish, and although we both decided not to have the coconut sauce, I am sure this would have tasted great too.

Ceviche and Cassava Crisps

Coconut seemed to be present in most dishes, and as we looked up into the huge palm trees surrounding the hostel, we understood why. Coconuts are in high supply in the tropical climate, and are, therefore, a solid base for Fijian cooking. Sadly, neither myself nor Poppy love coconut, but in small doses, I actually found it to be delicious.

I also returned to the Bamboo Café for a couple breakfasts, including a delicious porridge and fruit medley, served with cinnamon toast. I didn’t eat the cinnamon toast as it wasn’t GF, but I saved it for Poppy and she said it was delicious. The porridge was part of a traveller’s breakfast bundle, costing FJ$10 which included a hot drink. This equates to only around £4, a real bargain for the amount of food we got!

Traveller’s Breakfast Bundle

Our first stop was to Robinson Crusoe Island, where we have local Fijian buffet food. It was really delicious, and there were lots of salads, vegetable dishes and meat options to choose from. Sweet potatoes were cooking in a traditional method called lovo. Lovo involves cooking ingredients under hot coals in the ground, like a makeshift BBQ. Meat, vegetables and fish can be cooked in this method, and are wrapped in banana leaves during cooking. The potatoes had a delicious smoky BBQ flavour.

I did feel restricted during my time away, due to my gluten free requirements, but my lovely guide tried very hard to find tasty things for me to eat. Curries and rice were a great option, and I had a couple of very delicious, filling meals from local cafes. Vegetable curries and dhal were very cheap, costing around FJ$2 per pot, with rice only costing FJ$1. With this equalling just over £1, it was great value for money. There is a lot of curry in Fiji due to the large number of Indian settlers, contributing to Fiji’s wide and varied culture.

Fried rice was also a common snack for me, with a variety of fillings, including chicken, veggies and fresh fish from the coast! After a great recommendation from Poppy, I brought my lunchbox with me on the trip, which meant I was able to save leftover food and spend less money on meals. I really recommend this for travellers, especially if hostels provide free bread/fruit for breakfast. It is a simple way to save money! 

Whilst we explored new and beautiful areas on the main island, we came across many food markets. Fresh produce, grown locally by Fijian farmers was not only cheap, but delicious. The pineapples, mangos and bananas made the air smell sweet, along with jackfruit and a wide range of vegetables. With lots of travel, fresh fruit was a great natural pick-me-up, full of sweet juices. A bunch of 8 bananas cost around FJ$2, as did a plate of 4 mangos. I love food markets, and try to visit as many as possible throughout my travels, I thrive from the hustle and bustle, along with the friendly locals and great bargains. 

Throughout our tour of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, I was lucky enough to be invited to eat with a village, along with the rest of the travel group. This included a traditional Kava ceremony, which involves tasting a cup of local drink, brewed and made by hand from a Kava plant root. Kava is a type of pepper plant, and its juice is said to have medicinal purposes, including relaxing muscles before childbirth- however, I just found it made my mouth a little numb.

The local food we ate in the village included chicken, cassava, plantain, fried vegetables, spinach and coconut and many more lovely dishes. I even took my lunchbox and filled it so I could have my seconds for dinner. It made it even more special as it was cooked by the local women, they were all incredibly talented, I would happily have them cook for me every day- I am sure they could teach me a lot!

Not only were all the savoury dishes delicious, I also enjoyed my fair share of sweet treats too. In the heat, aside from a fresh bottle of bounty rum and cola, nothing was better than a smoothie or milkshake. At Smugglers Cove hostel in Nadi, they had a range of smoothes that were so refreshing and tasty. In my opinion, nothing beats a banana smoothie, even though the berry and tropical options sounded great too! A small smoothie cost FJ$4, which was just the perfect amount for a mid-morning refreshment in the 30+ degree sun. 

Ice-creams were also incredibly tempting in the midday sun, and I did succumb to buying a Magnum during one of the bus journeys. With a different range than we have in the UK, it would’ve been rude not to try at least one! Both Poppy and myself opted to a honeycomb Magnum, which was very similar to a crunchy ice cream in the UK. it was delicious- I definitely recommend. 

I am incredibly lucky to have visited such a beautiful country, and learn about new cultures and experience new ways of life. The Fijian culture is open and welcoming and we experienced nothing but heartfelt acceptance. I truly feel like I lived like a local. 

Now I am back in Oz, I am hoping to continue with my Australian cooking blogs, uncovering amazing places to eat during my upcoming travels!

Melbourne Foodie Experiences- Hardware Societe and Much More!

Gluten Free, Other Adventures, Restaurant Reviews

As soon as I have booked a holiday- and, perhaps, even before- I begin to trawl through blogs, google searches and social media to try and find some hidden gems for eating and drinking. My trip to Melbourne was no exception to this. I have had a list on my phone for weeks of cafes, bakeries, coffee shops, fancy restaurants, hawker centres and street vendors. The only problem was I only had 3 full days… how do you eat EVERYWHERE in 3 days?! Sadly, the answer is you don’t, well unless you have a very big wallet and a never-ending stomach. Although my list was as long as my arm, I did manage to tick off quite a few places, and I am saving the rest for my next trip with my Mum.

I won’t go into all the boring details, tracing my exact steps over the past few days, but I will share with you some great places I found- including one very special brunch café called Hardware Societe.

On Thursday morning, our attempt to grab a cup of coffee and some toast seemed to be slightly thwarted, with all of the cafes on my list being full to the brim with people in smart suits, carrying fancy briefcases and wearing designer shoes. However, despite the first few cafes being chocka block, including Patricia coffee shop- renowned for amazing coffee- I remembered somewhere we had walked past only a couple of days before.

I had read about the Hardware Societe online and only found it by chance on our street art tour. There was a queue out the door and a huge rooster with a sign saying, “Please wait to be seated”. Both of these factors caught my eye as you can imagine, so when we found ourselves wandering round, getting slightly hangry, I thought it would be a good place to try next- and it was.

M6NyKg2iRa6E3e4xSvVMqAWe were lucky to get a table as it was full to the brim, and although we sat on a big shared table we had loads of room. The staff were immediately lovely and accommodating and I felt so comfortable. The space was decked out with funky lighting, butterfly wallpaper and bold colours, it was eye catching yet also very homely. I really felt excited to be there, which only flourished when I read through the menu.

The first page included an Anthony Bourdain quote, which, once again, only made my excitement grow. We ordered a selection of coffees, including an oat milk latte for myself. The waitress was very knowledgable about dietary intolerances and showed me the info about gluten free options- of which there were many, with only a $1 for GF bread.


I am SO pleased there was gluten free bread because the table was decked out with a jam tree. This is as good as it sounds! The jam tree consisted of a variety of Bon Mamam jams, including cherry, strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb, apricot and finally… caramel. A jar of pure caramel.  Needless to say my healthy eating went out the window for brunch.
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The only problem I had was deciding what to choose. There was a wide selection of breads, porridge, muesli, veggie dishes, meat dishes, fish dishes… I could go on! I opted for chorizo baked eggs with GF toast. Not only did everything look and smell amazing, it also came out very quick, which was a huge plus point at this point of the morning. I can’t actually explain in words how great the eggs were. The yolks were perfectly runny, with chorizo, potato, peppers, a crispy cheese top and aioli, finished off with delicious toasted almonds. A M A Z I N G!

Everyone else ordered a selection of breads and Soph got salmon baked eggs, which looked just as good as mine!


The price for this breakfast was also extremely reasonable, I would have even paid more! With all of this in mind we returned again for our breakfast this morning before we headed off to the airport.  This time I opted for the GF toast, so I could try all of the jams, my favourites were rhubarb and raspberry. Somehow, I even managed to avoid the caramel (only because there was none on our table).

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Deco!

I’ve blabbed on a bit now about this amazing café, so you get the gist… it was brilliant. I really recommend giving it a visit, if only just for a coffee. Its right in the CBD and close to the shops, a perfect pre-shopping fuel!

I did go to a few other places whilst I was in Melbourne too, below is a little list!

Breakfast/Food

  • Operator 25- CBD
    Great breakfast and coffee with GF options. Amazing building that was the first telephone exchange building in Melbourne- full of character.

  • Long Story Short- Brunswick
    Delicious breakfast choices, smoothies and coffees. Bright and airy with lovely staff.

  • Mollies Bar & Diner- East Melbourne
    Big portions, reasonable drink prices, very fun drag bingo on a Wednesday! Cool outdoor area too.
  • Kilda Pier Kiosk- St. Kilda
    Great selection of soft drinks and some fun frozen alcohol slushies! Amazing views at the end of the pier, lovely staff.

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Bar/Drinks

  • La Di Da- CBD
    Good for drinks before dinner or before a night out. Really funky location and décor. 
  • Transit Bar- CBD
    Great happy hour from 5-6pm, $5 base spirits, draft beer and house wine. Perfect for watching the sunset, heated outdoor area too.

  • Storyville- CBD
    Alice in Wonderland themed bar with dry ice cocktails and colour changing drinks. Cool music and décor but slightly $$ for drinks!

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Tea for Two!

A Foodie Day in London…

Meat Eater, Other Adventures

For the last of Jack’s birthday celebrations I had planned for us to go to London to see a show, and luckily this also gave us the opportunity to go on a new foodie adventure! The weather was really on our side and we arrived in London at about 1pm. The heat when we got off the train made it feel like we were stepping off a plane somewhere far more exotic than London Bridge.

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Borough Market!

The food journey began in Borough Market. I love it there, all of the amazing smells, the bright colours, the food samples- what’s not to love? The only issue I have every time I go is what to choose to eat?! Yesterday my choice was slightly easier as we had already booked a table for an early theatre supper in Covent Garden, so I knew I didn’t want to be too full.

We wandered around, scoping out the food stalls and checking our options. We tasted amazing cheese, bread and oils, which fuelled our search, and after a few laps I decided on a falafel wrap. Jack was saving himself for dinner so had a few bites of my wrap to keep him going.

Borough Market was far quieter than when I have been before, mainly full of business men and women in fancy work wear- not what I would want to be wearing in 26-degree heat! However, this meant there weren’t any long queues and we were able to find a pavement in the sun to perch on. The falafel was delicious and the salad accompanying it was fresh and tangy. I have no complaints I loved every mouthful, and I think Jack liked his nibbles too.

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Falafel!

After my first Aperol Spritz of the year, and Jack’s first pint of the day, we headed off to Brixton to meet up with a friend that works in a beautiful bar called Canova Hall. The drinks list was plentiful, with gins distilled in house, a wide range of cocktails and lots of beers to try too. The space was large and light and had a great atmosphere. I went for an Apples and Pears Collins which came in a glass bigger than my head- trust me I am not complaining though. The cocktail was fresh and perfect for a summers day.

After our second round of drinks it was time to head to Covent Garden to Maxwell’s Bar and Grill for our table reservations. Booking at 4.30 we managed to time this miraculously well, qualifying for both happy our and the theatre menu.

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Maxwell’s Bar!

As I had already started on the cocktails I thought it would be a shame to stop… so my first drink was a killer zombie. Served in a large Tahiti Tiki glass with a burnt orange and crushed ice, the mix of rums and liquors was a great start to my meal. Jack also followed me on the cocktail route, starting with the watermelon martini. Somehow, he always picks flavours that I don’t like, maybe he’s scared I’ll drink it all otherwise!

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Wings, goujons and cocktails!

The theatre menu turned out being a really good deal at £11.95 for two courses. With 4 starters to choose from and 6 mains there were dishes we both liked. I started with the crispy cod goujons followed by the Maxwell’s old timer burger. Jack’s
choices were BBQ wings and ribs for his main- meat on meat!

The food was really tasty and even though the wings ended up being a lot messier than anticipated, after 2 or 3 wet towels to clear up sticky BBQ sauce we were ready for our mains. I chose to have my burger cooked medium rare and it was cooked to perfection. Still pink in the middle, it oozed with meaty juices that were soaked up in the light brioche bun. The gherkins were my fav bit! Jack’s ribs, once again very messy, were dripping in glaze and he really enjoyed them too. The fries were thin and perfectly salted and the apple coleslaw was fresh and fruity.

Although there was the option to add a pudding on, and they sounded great, we were both too full up, and instead chose another cocktail. This time I went for whiskey, having a tall Jack Daniel’s based drink and Jack kept it fruity with a lychee gin cocktail.

The food and drinks were really good, and the staff were also really accommodating and helpful. I would definitely recommend anyone who loves meat, lovely cocktails and ginormous milkshakes to give Maxwell’s a try.

Before we were due to go to the theatre we had time for one last stop… for ice cream. I must say at this point, about 30 mins had passed since we had left Maxwell’s and watching the street performers in Covent Garden flipping around had made me work up an appetite for ice cream. There were loads of shops around the main square selling sweet treats, but I decided to try Venchi. The storefront was luxurious, covered in gold, and the queue out the door could only mean good things- delicious ice cream. I only had one scoop, a tasty salted toffee flavour in a small tub. As it is central it was quite expensive, but I didn’t mind treating myself a little after a great day.

We truly did eat and drink our way around London yesterday and I am so pleased I was able to try lots of new things and go to new places. I think I will have to wait a little until my next trip as the price of alcohol is a lot and I am not made of money!!!

River Cottage- B R E A D!

Other Adventures, Uncategorized

The second day was slightly different to the first, primarily because we spent a lot of time prepping and tending to our bread we were making. I won’t go into loads of detail in regard to the bread, but here is a little rundown of what we did.

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River Cottage Cats!

We were baking two loaves, a wheat loaf and a sourdough. Although bread making isn’t something I have ever been particularly interested in, I think I saw it more as a hobby for those who stay at home, I did find it strangely therapeutic. Also, as it was unlike anything I have ever done before, I was very proud of my accomplishment when it was finished.

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Prepping my sourdough!

We actually started prepping our sourdough on the Saturday as it had to be left overnight in the fridge for proving. I think the thing that has always put me off a bit with bread making is the time you have to put into the whole procedure. The folding, and kneading and cooling and proving, and this wasn’t any different.

With precise timings, on the Sunday we had to fold our sourdough each half hour, ensuring there was lots of air so that the bread wasn’t dense. With the wheat loaf the method was slightly different, and we spent around 15 minutes kneading the bread and stretching out the gluten on our worktops. Connor showed us a few different methods and poo-pooed Paul Hollywood’s technique when he is on the TV. It was a lot more labour intensive than I had imagined, however, like I said, it was therapeutic.

One of the methods we showed us involved slapping the bread onto the metal worktop, I must say this did seem a favourite with the men in the group. There must be a link between asserting your masculinity and slapping a sticky wheat bread dough onto a steel work surface?

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Bread moulds!

Anyway, after all the different techniques had been used, finally both the sourdough and the wheat loaf were ready for cooking. After using some fancy proving baskets and rolling techniques, the loaves were shaped and put into the oven. First the wheat loaf was baked, turning the bread 180 degrees after 15 mins, it was ready in about half an hour. Although mine had a slightly burnt bottom it had actually come out very well- I was pleased anyway.

The sourdough was cooked in a big le creuset dish. This enabled the loaf to keep its round shape, whilst keeping the steam in the dish to improve the baking. Instead of spinning the loaves, this time we removed the lid of the le creuset dish and cooked the bread further, allowing the top to crisp up.

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My loaves!

I have missed out quite an important point, so I will interject it now. Before both loaves went into the oven it was really important that they were scored. Scoring meant that the direction the bread expands whilst baking can be controlled. This method gives a loaf of bread the curve on top that you see in bakeries and supermarkets.

Both of my loaves came out looking lovely, and they are now sliced and bagged ready to go into my freezer back at Uni. I have tried some of Mum’s sourdough, which was super yummy. I love the almost tangy flavour of the bread. Once my wheat loaf was sliced last night I made myself a lovely chicken and avocado sandwich for my train journey home today which I am very eager to try. However, as I am writing this now, I think that eating my lunch at 9.16am probably isn’t the best idea!

Although I will not be rushing home to become Brighton’s best bread maker, I do really appreciate the time and effort that goes into baking and will think about this for each mouthful of bread I eat.

A Celebratory Meal- The Pig at Combe, Devon

Other Adventures, Uncategorized

After first visiting The Pig near Bath for my 21st birthday in September, myself and my Mum decided it would be our goal to visit them all. Our stay was luxurious, surrounded by beautiful countryside, and spoilt for choice with amazing food and great wine- the company was rather good too.

As we now live in the South of England, there are a few branches of The Pig in the surrounding areas, and soon to be more as they are expanding in three more counties: Kent, West Sussex and Cornwall in 2018/19.

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2 pigs and a pink-legged lady!

As I said, on our first visit I was amazed by the service, the buildings, the setting and the amazing dining experience- our second visit delivered the exact same.

 

In a small village in Devon, The Pig at Combe is surrounded by beautiful green hills, large trees, and of course all of the fresh produce grown in the gardens. The long driveway leads up to a huge country manor with large chimneys, and of course, the pig statues guarding the front entrance.

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The large building was filled with huge ornamental features. Amazing chandeliers hung from the high, carved ceilings; stuffed animals perched on mantel pieces and large butterflies were beautifully displayed in frames around the wooden walls. Each table was different, with the antique wood giving the old building an authentic feel.

We were taken to our table straight away by a lovely member of staff- in fact, all the staff were helpful and friendly, and provided just the right amount of attentiveness throughout our meal. The room was light and the large windows allowed the gardens to be viewed from the warm comfy dinning room.

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We started off with tap water and freshly baked bread, and shortly after followed my espresso martini, and Mum’s non-alcoholic gin with watermelon and cucumber tonic. I am not sure how I feel about non-alcoholic gin, but she said it was refreshing.

All the food that came out looked great and smelled great, so choosing what we wanted took careful consideration. They had a selection of small plates to start, piggy bits, fishy bits and veggie bits. From the options we picked ham hock scotch eggs, sardines and sourdough and crispy kale.

 

The scotch eggs were perfect, with the yolk still runny and warm. The kale was salty and delicious, and the sardines were very fishy. Alongside our bread basket there was smoked salt, made in their smoker in the garden, and herby oil, infused in-house too- all the flavours perfectly complimented each other.

As it was a Sunday we both had our sight set on a hearty roast. When I saw that the roast of the day was beef, I said to myself, straight away, ‘that’s what I am going to order‘. All of the ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced, and I know being so close to the sea its a shame not to choose fish, but the Yorkshire puddings had already caught my eye.

In the end, we both chose beef roasts.

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Roasts

The pink beef was served with a large, but slightly dense yorkie, Brussel sprouts, red cabbage, parsnips and green cabbage. It wasn’t drowned in gravy which meant we could add more ourselves to make it just right. Mum’s came with roast potatoes too, but, slightly greedily, I opted to swap mine for an extra yorkie- I didn’t even manage to finish it!

The horseradish came in a small side dish, and was the perfect amount for the two of us, I always find it a bit annoying when you have to ask for more. It was really spicy and flavoursome, however some mouthfuls really made my eyes water.

The slices of beef were lean and pink and the knife sliced through everything with ease. After our light-bite starters I did manage to clear most of my plate, however I hadn’t left any room for dessert.

To accompany our meals we each had a glass of wine, Mum’s was a full-bodied red, and mine a crisp light white- I haven’t quite got into red wine yet.

The dessert menu was also full of choices. From thick, sticky sponge puddings, to light G&T jellies and a wide range of local cheeses, it was another tough decision to make. Like I said, my wine and beef had filled me up perfectly, there wasn’t even room in my dessert stomach. Mum had strategically left some beef, which we finished off in a sandwich later in the evening, so she could taste one of the inviting puddings.

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Pudding

It was a choice between the chocolate mousse and the iced walnut terrine… the terrine was triumphant.

On an ornate glass plate, the iced walnut pudding was beautifully presented, and it tasted great. I know I said I didn’t have any space for dessert, but I had to give it a try. The crunchy nuts balanced the smooth creamy texture of the terrine, it was a perfect, light dessert after a rich meal.

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After our meal we had one last wander around the house, exploring the rooms downstairs, and headed off into the garden. At this time of year there aren’t many types of veg or herbs growing, and sadly we didn’t see any pigs. Despite the bitter chill in the wind, the blue sky shone through, and it really was an idyllic end to a lovely afternoon.

I cannot wait to try the next one…

 

One of the best breakfasts I’ve E V E R had!- The Avocado Show, Amsterdam

Other Adventures, Uncategorized

I had seen the vids on Facebook and the pics on Instagram of The Avocado show, and I knew that I had to visit- I just had to!!

I love avocado, and truly, this restaurant gave me an even stronger love I never knew existed. Dramatic I know, but you get my gist- it was bloody good!

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The Store Front!

Located slightly outside the main central area of Dam, this eatery was in a seemingly quiet neighbourhood, and was really quite tucked away. Due to our breakfast destination I did suggest get up and active quite early, as I don’t know how/if I would’ve coped with the disappointment if we couldn’t get a table. Luckily, for me, and Jack (as there were no meltdowns), we arrived at the very green, cosy restaurant and managed to get a table.

The walls were concealed in leaves, shrubs and flowers, along with neon lights and products they sold in their store- I will come onto the store later, one exciting thing at a time.

Food is served all day, but as we arrived before 12pm we were given a breakfast menu. The only issue with this menu was that I couldn’t decide what to choose, what a first world problem I know. It sounds silly, but I was surprised at just HOW much avocado was on the menu. For example, eggs were served in avocado halves instead of bread, pancakes were made from avocado and smothered in avocado butter, and all the (nearly) juices and smoothies contained… guess what?! Avocado.

 

 

I would like to point out I am still not complaining.

After we had scanned the menu, weighing up all the options, our minds had been made. When the waitress came to take our order, I was still deliberating, but with a quick decision, I chose ‘The Benny Boy’. Described on the menu as an “Eggcellent choice”, it certainly didn’t fail to deliver. The dish consisted of 2 poached eggs, crispy bacon, homemade hollandaise sauce and flowers (I can’t say they tasted of much but they were VERY aesthetically pleasing) served in two avocado halves. On the side there was an English muffin too, which I must say added some great carbs to the dish.

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The Benny Boy

Jack’s choice was “The sinner stack”, a stack of matcha pancakes, avocado, blueberries, crispy bacon and, once again, flowers. The pancakes were served with a big helping of one of Jack’s favourite things, maple syrup.

We couldn’t find any faults.

 

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The Sinner Stack

My eggs were cooked PERFECTLY, the pancakes were juicy and sweet, the bacon was crispy and everything was presented so beautifully. Looking around the restaurant at everyone else’s food, I was so tempted to ask if I could take pictures of theirs too- it truly all looked amazing. The Avocado Show is an Instagram DREAM.

I’ve realised I have jumped right into the food, purely because I have been so excited to write this blog, but I have missed out our drinks. I chose a fresh OJ, which actually didn’t contain avocado- which I guess would have been a bit weird?? Fresh raspberry lemonade was Jack’s tipple, served with a big sprig of rosemary! They both tasted really refreshing, and complimented the breakfast perfectly.

I have realised that this is quite a long blog, and I am not quite finished yet either, sorry if you are bored.

As I mentioned earlier, this restaurant also have a shop devoted to all things avocado-y. This is located just across the street. It is hard to explain everything in the store, and I fear that would be a bit boring, so I have attached some pictures instead.

I would give this a massive 5* rating if I could, and 10/10. I do think that, although very avocado orientated, there is something for everyone on the menu. Jack isn’t the biggest fan of green things, and he managed to enjoy some pancakes. The prices around Amsterdam were all very similar, and I didn’t come out feeling like we had been charged too much. The only TINY downfall was that they only take card payment, so I couldn’t use my very precisely budgeted euros. However, they do this for environmental reasons so I really must not grumble.

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Smiles ALL round!

If anyone from The Avocado Show reads this, I am very happy to become an ambassador!