The Albany – Thames Ditton

Unexpectedly sunny Sundays are made for a roast dinner in a pub garden – even if it is October… Plus when the views are this pretty it would be rude to sit indoors!

After a beaut stay on a boat moored near to Hampton Court Palace (blog post to come, ofc) we headed to The Albany at Thames Ditton for a sit and a dish! As it was Sunday, most of us opted for the roast menu; ordering chicken, beef and the veggie option.

The food came quickly – which considering how busy it was in the pub, was pretty impressive. I chose the roast chicken, priced at £13.95 – considering the location and the fact it was Sunday, I thought this was quite reasonable.

The roast was served with bread sauce and stuffing wrapped in bacon. There was also roast potatoes, seasonal greens and roasted roots, Yorkshire pudding and bottomless gravy. Overall this was worth the money – but me being greedy would have liked slightly more potatoes and veg!

I would definitely opt for this choice again, as the portion of chicken was large and the whole meal was really tasty! My friend chose the beef dish, which priced at £15.95 was slightly more expensive (to be expected) but we found that the portion of meat on the plate was much smaller, which was slightly disappointing; but only because it was so tasty we needed more!

One of the girls had the seared salmon dish from the menu – which looked absolutely beautiful, and was a great option if roasts aren’t your thing! The seared salmon was served on Chorizo mash, tenderstem broccoli and Bouillabaisse sauce.

All round the dishes were delicious – and I would suggest visiting on a Sunday to try these roasts and check out the amazing view over the river!

Love, Maddie x

Station 26 – Brixton Market

A sunny Saturday calls for a brunch, and luckily this week we did just that. The girls and I popped along to Brixton market and stumbled on Station 26 – a completely gluten free cafe in the covered market.

We ordered quickly and the food came to the table after a few minutes – the service was really efficient! We had a selection of dishes from the menu, including the Station 26 Brekkie, salmon and avocado and the eggs Benedict with either salmon or halloumi.

We commented that it was rare somewhere was completely gluten free and so you could choose from the entire menu!

The food was delicious and delicately arranged on the plates – plus there was the option to add sides of halloumi… which went down very well!

We would 100% recommend – especially if you are gluten free, but even if you aren’t!

Love, Maddie x

LUX* Le Morne – MAURITIUS SPECIAL

I’m back!!!!!!! After a ridiculously long break from doing any writing I figured it’s time to return and so I’m back with a Mauritius special!

For my parents 35th wedding anniversary (the coral year) Dad decided he wanted to visit somewhere with coral…. long story short, off to Mauritius we went! We visited in August which is towards the end of the rainier season on the island before it gets too hot and we would have literally started to melt…

LUX* Le Morne’s private beach which seems to go on forever!

In order to book this trip of a lifetime we used Travelbag, ‘who specialise in creating tailor-made holidays to a range of worldwide destinations.’ This company were a delight – helping to organise our trip including the flights, transfers and giving advice about how to choose where on the island to stay. Although this was our first time visiting Mauritius, I feel as though we stayed in the most beautiful, natural part of the island – surrounded by nature and the most INCREDIBLE views and coral reefs.

We stayed at the incredible LUX* Le Morne hotel which honestly felt like being royalty. I’ve never experienced a service like it and even two months on I still think about how fantastic the staff were at making us feel so special!

One of about 50 million sunset pics taken on the trip

The experience went above and beyond – the welcoming staff were happy to fulfil our every need, the cleaners were kind and made the rooms look absolutely immaculate every day and the beach staff offered a helpful service like no other.

We were staying in a room like the below picture, which fit two adults per room. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and plants, with views of Le Morne in the background and out to the sea, we literally couldn’t ask for more.

In terms of luxury and quality, the hotel was absolutely outstanding and as you can tell from my enthusiasm in this post, we enjoyed it an insane amount! But in addition, the commitment to sustainability which LUX resorts abide by was very inspiring to me. Their ‘tread lightly’ campaign is an initiative which is aiming for carbon neutral holidays – something which is so important for an island with such a diverse eco-system, both for now and for our future! From using recyclable products in each room, committing to using locally sourced ingredients and aiming to reduce the amount of laundry which each suite has to undertake, all aspects of sustainability are thought of at the hotel, which only enhances the luxury feel of the service.

The Beach restaurant – one of three at the hotel offering a range of stunning cuisine

From start to finish I would recommend a trip to LUX* Le Morne and since returning to the UK I regularly look at their website and pray I’ll be able to go back and get used to these stunning colours!

Le Morne – this pic was taken just after we finishing swimming with wild dolphins – best experience of my life!

Perhaps next time I’ll stay in one of their other resorts on the island! If you’ve stayed at a LUX* resort or anywhere in Mauritius to recommend please leave a comment – I’m so ready to discover more!

Love, Maddie x

Sinnotts Bar – Dublin

Part two of the Dublin posts takes us to Sinnotts Bar by St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre! We visited on a Sunday at lunchtime, so it was quite busy, but we didn’t have a wait for a table which was ideal because, as always, we were super hungry…

This pub was recommended to us, and we probably wouldn’t have visited if we hadn’t previously known about it because it’s quite a sneaky location and is hidden by the distractions of the shopping centre and The Gaiety Theatre that surround it!

‘The original pub stood at No 3, South King Street, which is now part of the Shopping Centre. Don’t be disheartened by this, Sinnott’s has one of the rarest and most genuine pub atmospheres in Dublin.’

When we went into the pub, it was super busy because the football was on, which just added to the appeal and atmosphere! We squished into a table at the side of the bar and got some menus and ordered some Guinness.

To continue the tradition of the weekend, a portion of fish and chips and two beef roast dinners! As you can see, these dishes were beautifully presented and arrived to the table super quickly, which we didn’t expect!

The roast beef was honestly the most tender roast I have ever eaten… It was so soft and literally fell apart when I touched it with the fork. The vegetables were cooked well, but I think needed more, especially as we ordered a side dish of further veg.

The general ambiance of the pub was great, it was super busy and buzzing, the large screens to show the football and rugby went down a treat and it seemed like the place was full of locals enjoying their Sunday with their families.

The service was also really impressive, with the waitresses and bar staff working hard to please everyone, and being genuinely friendly at the same time. This was such a good recommendation, and I would definintely suggest a visit for a drink, food and to watch the sport on a number of screens!

The Brazen Head – Dublin!

Recently, a few friends and I went to Dublin for a girly weekend. It was an absolute treat and we enjoyed so many great meals, I thought it’d be a good idea to do a little summary review of some of the places we went to eat in!

First of all we went to enjoy what we thought was a meal in the oldest pub in Ireland, The Brazen Head, although we were later told by a taxi driver that it’s just a ‘tourist trap’….. 

img_0881.jpg
Brazen Head Coutyard Signpost!

We arrived at this quaint little pub, and had a peek into the bar and restaurant area. It was PACKED. Literally so full of people of all nationalities, which was super nice and even if that is a ‘tourist trap’ we were happy with that!!

We decided, even though it was January, to sit in the open courtyard because it was super cute, well lit and warm from the heaters dotted around the yard. We squeezed into the corner and got cosy in the outdoor air! Looking at the menu we couldn’t decide what to choose, so opted for a classic Irish stew and a fish and chips. As we’d had a late lunch, we thought two dishes between 3 would be enough, and we were so right. The portions, as you can imagine in an Irish pub, were huge!

IMG_0884.JPG
Huge portions – the size of the fish!!!!

The stew was so tasty, with a large helping of mash and loads of gravy to be soaked up! Bread was also given to us to help with this… greatly appreciated by me!

The fish and chips was also insanely good, it was so fresh and the batter was crunchy but not greasy – exactly how it should be! We couldn’t believe how much food we got, and even though we were full we were desperate to eat it all because of how tasty it was! I always know its been a solid meal when I just don’t want it to end!

As a tourist, this meal was exactly what we were looking for; hearty, traditional, tasty and actually really good value considering where it was! The staff were friendly and helpful, and the setting was perfect! I think the ability to sit outside added to the appeal, and we didn’t feel cold luckily due to the heaters. I can only imagine how perfect it’d be to sit there on a summery day with a cold drink in hand! I would definitely recommend, but as always, make sure you’re hungry!!

Love, Maddie x

Flat Iron

Okay so continuing my steak theme at the moment – we visited Flat Iron on Denmark Street recently, and it really is a mysterious place.

There was a queue outside the restaurant, which is actually really difficult to find! It has a very unassuming front shop look, we only knew it was the restaurant due to my map and overhearing the queueing customers chatting! We managed to book a table for about half an hour after we first arrived at the restaurant, so went off for a look around and built up our appetites!

IMG_0335

The thing that struck me most about Flat Iron was the mystery. Their website is very plain, with no menu listings or direct marketing, the main appeal comes from word of mouth, and luckily we had been recommended by friends to visit.

img_0333.jpg

We sat down in the corner of the little restaurant, on a cosy little table, complete with our initial snack of popcorn on the house, a touch which I think is super sweet, gets you ready for the meal, and actually makes you thirsty and ready to order a cocktail, which is exactly what I did!

IMG_0336

Unfortunately for me, the cute candle lit room meant my camera photos aren’t the best, and I was too nervous to whack the flash on in such a full room!

I love a Bellini, and this sloe gin and strawberry cocktail was such a fab start to a treat meal! We then started to look at the menu, which has a small but not limited selection of dishes. I opted for the specials board’s Flat Iron Burger and Chris chose the classic Flat Iron Steak.

IMG_0334

As you can see, the pricing for this is so reasonable, for a fresh steak burger to cost £10 in central London, I was quite impressed! The side dishes is where our bill started to go up, as we got slightly carried away and ordered most of them on the menu….

IMG_0341

For some reason we thought that the purple sprouting broccoli, creamed spinach, roasted aubergine and a portion of chips wouldn’t be enough, so we ordered two portions of chips to go with our meal…. This was an error! We ate as much as possible and still had about one portion of the chips leftover. However, I can definitely recommend these dishes! The broccoli and aubergine were cooked to perfection, and the creamy addition to the spinach made it so tasty. As you can see, the burger was so large, and the steak was cooked exactly as asked for.

This place was super cute, the food was delicious, and the value for money was actually really good. I would definitely say it’s worth the visit, just perhaps book in advance as I can tell they get super busy! It’s such an insta worthy location – with everyone snapping pics of their food and the cool vibes of the setting, plus the quality of the food makes it well worth a trip!

Love, Maddie

CAU Steak Restaurant

Time to get back into it! I’ve been so busy recently and lost motivation to write, but I’m back and feeling ready to share some other delicious and amazing places to eat and go!

First on my list of places to tell you about is CAU in Blackheath – a restaurant I’ve been meaning to visit for what feels like years.

Me and Chris decided to visit for our New Years Eve meal, so I’m going back a few weeks here now! For this special occasion, we wanted somewhere to visit that would be good quality food, a nice atmosphere but not ridiculously pricey, and this is exactly what we got.

We ordered the olives and the hummus and crisp breads to start, followed by the medallions and the rib-eye steak, as well as sweet potato fries, coleslaw and the truffled mac and cheese. Unfortunately due to the candlelit room the images aren’t the best quality!

hummus

We always tend to get olives to start – mostly because I love them, but also because they’re slightly different everywhere and we like to see which are our favourites! These were such a treat and the hummus and breads went down a treat. All I would suggest is that, as there was such a good amount of hummus, there needed to be more breads to use it all up!

Usually, I am not a massive fan of steak… I don’t normally choose it on a menu, but today for the special occasion I went for the medallions. I was not disappointed with my choice! The meat was so tender and soft, it literally melted in the mouth and along with the array of side dishes that we chose, it was such a lovely meal.

mains

Everything was delicious – and I especially loved the little touches like the dishes with the spoon attached for the mac and cheese and the cute pots for sauces. For me it’s the little touches like these that make the meal special!

I would definitely recommend a visit to CAU, they have so many different steak dishes, as well as other things for people who don’t fancy such a meaty dish. They also have separate breakfast and lunch menus, as well as a Sunday roast and party menus. I will definitely be visiting again – however next I want to try their brunch menu, with the bottomless option and two courses it looks so reasonably priced – £12.50 for two courses, with an additional £12.50 if you’d like to add bottomless bubbles and beers! I think this sounds like quite a treat, it’s definitely on my list!

If you have any steak house recommendations please let me know, I’m always on the lookout! In the meantime, take a look at CAU’s Instagram, I literally feel hungry just thinking about it!

Love, Maddie x