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’…..Β 

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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As you can see, the pricing for this is so reasonable, for a fresh steak burger to cost Β£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….

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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!

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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.

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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 – Β£12.50 for two courses, with an additional Β£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

Vapiano – Great Portland Street

It’s been another super busy week, so in order to catch up with a friend and have a tasty meal we decided to head to Vapiano on Great Portland Street – extra lucky because it’s literally around the corner from my office!

If you’ve never been to Vapiano before, it’s not quite like normal restaurants! You are given a card upon entry, which you take to your table with you. Then you go up to a counter to choose your food, either pasta or pizza or an array of other bits! We both opted for pasta and then comes the decision of what pasta to get! There’s an array of different choices, plenty to choose from!

Then comes the choice of sauce and other ingredients to have with your pasta! There are so many! I chose the Estiva, which consists of chicken breast, ginger, chilli, mint, rocket, sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes! As you can imagine, this was insanely good.

The best part about Vapiano, and the special selling point is that the food is all cooked in front of you!!!! It’s all fresh and cooked as you wait so that once it’s ready you take it straight back to your table and eat! Such a good idea and a really lovely restaurant to match! The table had lovely additional features like oil and balsamic vinegar, and with the pasta dishes comes a free portion of bread! Everyone loves bread so this obviously goes down well, especially with me!!

After this trip I would definitely recommend checking it out – for a delicious meal with a slight twist it is a fabulous place to visit! I would give this is an 9/10 for value for money as the portions are large, the service is amazing and the food literally couldn’t be more fresh! For lunch or dinner it’s worth it, but beware the portions are large (this of course isn’t a negative but on this occasion I’d say make sure you’re hungry!!!!) If you know of any restaurant worth a visit with a twist let me know in the comments!

Love, Maddie x

South Bank Christmas Market

It’s been a super busy week and so this weekend needed an injection of Christmassy joy! We headed up to the South Bank Christmas MarketΒ to have a little look around and see the sights.

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This outdoor market is set up with loads of little wooden stalls selling an array of festive items, from ornaments and lights to hot brownies and waffles. We had a wander through the stalls, which is beautifully accompanied by the reflection of the London Eye on the river and the array of Christmas lights.

The Rekorderlig Cider Lodge returned this year, bringing its classic ciders as well as the Christmassy mulled cider! We bought a pitcher of the Passionfruit flavour and had a seat outside at the benches. The cider lodge is surrounded by stalls and also has a perfect insta worthy view of the London Eye.

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(stupid me forgot to save the photo pre sticker)

This day out was such a nice experience – full of festive cheer and definitely would recommend, just make sure you wrap up because as Christmas gets closer it’s only going to get colder!!

Know any Christmas markets worth the visit? Leave a comment and let me know!

Love, Maddie x

Ask Italian – Lakeside

All sorts has happened in my life recently, including getting a new job! As a treat for this, my Mum, Nan and I went over to Lakeside Shopping Centre for a day of workwear shopping and of course a stop for lunch!

We headed to the Boardwalk for a browse of where to eat and chose upon the brand new branch of ASK Italian. The restaurant, we later found out, had only been open a few days!

Sitting down in the beautiful front window, we were given a tester of the restaurant’s craft lemonade, which went down a treat! I opted to order the Raspberry still lemonade and my Nan chose the classic flavour. The drinks were served in these beautiful bottles which I absolutely adore!!

We then struggled to choose our food, as it all looked so appealing and the menu included lots of new dishes.

I chose the Spinach and Ricotta Girasole which, ‘Meaning ‘sunflower’, these pretty pasta parcels are served with spinach and a mascarpone cream sauce.’

My mum chose the Speciali Purple Basil Pesto Genovese, which is a ‘Fresh egg tagliatele in a green pesto and cream sauce, with fine green beans and pine nuts, topped with purple basil pesto.

We both chose vegetarian dishes on this occasion, and we were so pleased with how filling they were, we both had to ask for takeaway boxes as we were so full we couldn’t finish them! (Always love this because I get to have the dish again later or the next day, easily pleased!)

My Girasole dish was seriously creamy, and I’m a big fan of the mascarpone sauce so would recommend this dish which is new to the menu!

The dishes were around Β£12.00 each which is quite a lot for a meat-free pasta, however, most ASK Italian restaurants currently have an offer with VoucherCodes! This code entitled the user for 30% off main courses! I think this makes the food far more affordable and therefore would give this a 7/10 for value for money – especially as the food was so filling I used it for two meals!

As this restaurant was brand new unfortunately they were not accepting vouchers at this early stage, however, paying full price wasn’t bad and I didn’t regret the trip at all!

I definitely suggest taking a trip to this new restaurant as the decor and the quality of food is amazing! Everything had been thought of, including the Christmas decorations and I especially loved the lighting and the beautiful pink marble effect tables. If you know a new restaurant opening please leave a comment and let me know!

Love, Maddie x