Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Supper Club at The Club House...

Grey skies and snow showers, the weather recently makes springtime feel far away so it was just the right timing last week to soak up the coastal ambience of The Club House* in Liverpool who were launching their supper club with a new food and cocktail menu. The Club House has a beach house style inspired by the Hamptons and walls lined with quirky ephemera, a sweeping staircase and a glittering chandelier conjure up a feeling of grandeur. A visit here is a great way to inject some sunshine in to the day even when winter is still clinging on stoically outside and the new supper club has a limited edition rotisserie menu which makes me dream of beach barbecues. There are plenty of mouth-watering dishes to choose from including meats cooked ‘low and slow’, deli boards and vegetarian options and we started the evening with a farmhouse loaf and chicken gravy; this is the perfect sharing dish and the crusty warm loaf was a treat with the rich gravy.

Camembert is hard to beat as a starter and the baked Camembert with honey, rosemary, skewered croutons and Braeburn apple wedges was a winner and the nutty cheese worked well with the tangy apple.

I can never resist the Club House houmous, which is made in house and has a rustic, chunky texture and a subtle chickpea flavour. This was topped with tangy blackened tomato salsa and crudités and toasted flatbreads rounded off the dish. 

I am a big fan of halloumi so I was immediately tempted by the rotisserie salad of grilled halloumi in Moroccan spices with bulgur wheat, apricots, chickpeas, pomegranate and toasted almonds. I don’t often order salads as I am usually drawn to something a little more indulgent, but this one was full of flavour and the pomegranate and apricot added sweetness while the mint and cucumber dressing added a summery quality. 

My dining companion went for the outdoor reared pork seasoned with rosemary and garlic sea salt. The ‘low and slow’ style of cooking made the pork very succulent and the accompaniments of skin on fries and honey and cider mustard complemented the dish.

There could be no question that we had to try the warm baked white chocolate chip cookie dough with salted caramel ice cream and toffee sauce – the soft cookie dough was served in a skillet and it made a decadent and fun treat to end the meal.

We also ordered sticky toffee pudding, it is no surprise that this timeless classic appears on most dessert menus and its appeal never fades. This was a delight, with rivers of toffee sauce over the sponge and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Since the new cocktail menu was also launching, we were lucky enough to be treated to four cocktails. The Miami Vice was a delicious blend of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri and its tropical taste made me yearn for summer. Peach Bellini is another favourite cocktail of mine, so I loved the Peach Melba Bellini blended with ice, which was so refreshing. The Strawberry and Pomegranate cooler topped with Old Mout cider and garnished with frozen fruit was equally inviting and the Pineapple and Coconut Mojito was a cooling blend which will be perfect to sip in the sunshine once the warmer weather finally arrives! 

The Club House
Chavasse Park,
 Liverpool One, 
L2 9SQ

What do you all think, do you like the sound of a Supper Club and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,



*I was a guest of The Club House for the launch of their Supper Club, this meal was complimentary. All opinions stated herein are my own and honest. 

Friday, 9 March 2018

Burgers and shakes at Almost Famous...

There are some restaurants which I have been meaning to visit for a while but somehow I never seem to get around to it and Almost Famous* is one such place. I have heard so much about over the years yet somehow I have never made it to dine there - I missed two recent launches of their new menu in Liverpool and Manchester due to other commitments, but I finally arranged to pop in to the Great Northern location of Almost Famous in Manchester last week to sample their new menu, thanks to my lovely pal Martin who is the General Manager there.

I love the vibe of Almost Famous, which sets a fun and relaxed tone with a décor featuring neon signs, bold artwork, cascading fairy lights and an eclectic playlist which gives the space a real buzz. It was busy when we arrived, with plenty of people tucking in to towering burgers and indulgent milkshakes to banish the winter chill outside.This is just the place if you feel like a casual dining experience and to get the evening underway, I ordered a boozy shake which came topped with lots of fresh cream and a Bourbon biscuit. My companion went for the equally decadent 'fudgin ridic' made with chocolate fudge and Oreos.

If you have not already guessed, Almost Famous are all about American diner style cuisine and sometimes there is nothing more appealing than to let your hair down and tuck in to a burger so big it is nearly impossible to hold. They tick all the boxes in this regard and the sheer scale of my partner’s choice of the Awesome HQ was a sight to behold – this huge creation consisted of a double cheeseburger topped with buttermilk fried chicken, halloumi, slaw, peri peri BBQ and bacon bacon mayo – phew. Silence fell as he enjoyed every bite and he confirmed this was one of the best burgers he had ever tasted, which I had already discerned from his silence as he dedicated himself to eating it.

I have something of a fixation with halloumi and you can always find a couple of blocks of it stacked in my fridge, so when I saw the Phok-Meat burger on the menu, I just had to try it. This vegetarian option did not disappoint, with deep fried halloumi tossed in smoky and sweet pho-king sauce topped with iceberg lettuce, red onion, jalapeno, smashed avocado, chipotle mayo and jalapeno mayo. This was a seriously tasty take on a vegetarian burger and there was a generous amount of halloumi, while the other toppings added heaps of flavour and I loved the subtly spicy chipotle mayo.

The loaded fries served at Almost Famous elevate the humble potato to something spectacular and an order of Phoenix Fries topped with bacon rain, JD maple glaze, shoestring onions, frazzle dust, chillies, bacon bacon mayo, redneck BBQ were full of flavour.

Meanwhile I opted for a classic side of Winning Fries, a mixture of skin-on and sweet potato fries  served in a generous portion.

Another side of Mac Balls - crispy coated mac n cheese balls served with bacon bacon mayo dip were the kind of treat which you can just carry on eating. I love mac n' cheese at the best of times, and coating it in breadcrumbs and frying it just makes it even more irresistible.

We also ordered some Blasts  (Boneless buttermilk fried chicken pieces) smothered in delicious Pho-King (hot teriyaki) sauce, which made the ideal side dish to share. 

It was time for dessert and while I was too full to contemplate it, my dining companion enjoyed an ice cream cookie sandwich, vanilla ice cream sandwiched between chewy chocolate chip cookies and topped with salted caramel and cookie dust. It was quite a creation, just perfect for a sweet tooth and there was easily enough to share between two. 

The food was delicious and the vibe was fun, this was a perfect laid-back evening and I enjoyed finally dining at Almost Famous!

Almost Famous 
Unit 2 
Great Northern 
Peter Street
M3 4EJ

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Almost Famous and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,



*I was a guest of Almost Famous, this meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sampling Pothecary Gin...

It feels like winter is dragging on forever, so if like me you are ready for a little dose of springtime then I have just the drink to recommend to you. I was recently sent a bottle of the award winning Pothecary Gin to try and I can honestly say I have never tried such a delicious gin before. Last weekend when the sun was shining (a little!) I mixed up some gin & tonics with Pothecary Gin and I ventured outside to take photographs of them before we settled down to enjoy the drinks. I garnished the gin and tonics with ice cubes, blueberries and pink grapefruit and they tasted so refreshing - I was transported to the heat of summer as I sipped my drink.

I love when the Snowdrops begin to bloom as these are usually the first sign that spring is on its way. I thought the Pothecary Gin looked really pretty photographed with the Snowdrops as a background. Pothecary Gin is made by Lukasz Dwornik and Martin Jennings, two friends united by a passion for gin which inspired them to create their own.

Pothecary won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards and it is no wonder, considering that the blend includes botanicals such as Provencal Lavender, Anatolian mulberries and Tilia flowers as well as Juniper from Bulgaria and Sicilian lemon.

This is a gin with real character and plenty of flavour, it has a taste unlike any other gin and the bottle has a lovely vintage feel to the design, which means you can display it with pride as part of your drinks collection. I will be saving the rest of the gin for when the warmer weather comes around so that I can sip a Pothecary Gin and Tonic in the sunshine!

When Lukasz and Martin first started making their gin, they bought a 35-litre copper still and they began making the gin in the spare room of Martin's house! This has been an incredible journey and it is great to see something which started off as an idea between friends flourish in to such a successful and growing gin brand.

The fact that Pothecary Gin contains so many unusual botanicals is what gives it such a rare quality of flavour and I never thought that I would sample a gin which contains lavender but I love it.

Thank you so much to the team at Pothecary Gin for sending this bottle to me. It is such a treat to enjoy a gin of this taste and quality and you can order Pothecary Gin from their website:

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Pothecary Gin and are you looking forward to sipping a Gin & Tonic in spring? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,



Saturday, 24 February 2018

Healthy snacking with Hippeas...

I have to admit that sometimes when I am having a busy week, eating well slips to the bottom of the agenda and I find myself realising that I have not eaten anything for hours. This is ironic of course considering that I am a food writer and I love food, but I enjoy eating more when I have good company to share a meal with, so during the day I do not always make a priority of eating. With this in mind, I am always happy to hear about tasty and filling snacks which I can easily carry in my handbag for those moments when hunger rears its head. I was recently sent a box of Hippeas to try and they are just the thing when it comes to healthy snacking on the go and they come in several tasty varieties including 'cheese & love', 'far out fajita' and 'sweet & smokin'.

Hippeas are organic, gluten free and suitable for vegans too. I was kindly sent a big box to try, food is my favourite delivery to receive in the post! They are tasty and surprisingly filling too. 

Hippeas are the perfect snack for those busy days as they are so easy to carry around with you and the flavours are appetising. I tried all three varieties over the weekend, and they were the ideal treat when I settled down with a coffee (or a glass of wine!) and a magazine. 

These would a great accompaniment to a light lunch of a salad or sandwich and they are perfect to share with a friend while watching a movie. It is nice to have the enjoyment of a savoury snack without the high fat and calories in most packets of crisps and Hippeas come in at 90 calories per bag which is not bad.

For every bag of Hippeas sold, they donate to Farm Africa. They are high in fibre, a source of protein and free from trans-fats and MSG. I think these will be a regular fixture in my bag for those busy days and my favourite flavour has to be the far out fajita which are slightly spicy. Made from chickpeas and with the philosophy of tasting good and doing good, these are a snacking winner.

Check out Hippeas here:


What do you all think, do you like the sound of Hippeas and which of the flavours would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,



Sunday, 18 February 2018

Dinner at Bistrot Pierre Stockton Heath...

I love all sorts of food, from fine dining to street food but sometimes all I want is rustic and hearty food which leaves you feeling happily full. One place I always rely on for this is Bistrot Pierre, a French style bistro which serves dishes which feed the soul. I recently went to dine at their Stockton Heath restaurant in Cheshire, which has been newly refurbished. The French bistro aesthetic is hard to get just right, but Bistrot Pierre has a warm ambience replete with French charm. Think retro framed prints and black and white photographs, wood panelling and pendant lights which conjure up the appeal of renowned Parisian bistros like Café de Flore without trying too hard.
We perused the menu as we sipped a light and fruity Cuvée 94 rosé, the perfect summery wine to banish the wintry night outside. Nibbles of bread and mini chorizos au miel started off dinner in style and the honey roasted chorizo was both sweet and smoky.

My starter of ravioli aux truffes was delicious and the light and buttery cream sauce was hard to resist with the ricotta and truffle filled ravioli.

My dining companion enjoyed a starter of crottin de chèvre – the baked goats’ cheese worked well with the accompaniments of toasted walnuts and earthy marinated beetroot while chicory, watercress and peppery grain mustard dressing rounded off this elegant dish.

On to mains and tarte à l’oignon is one of my favourites when done well and the sweet caramelised onions paired with creamy Le Saint Mont des Alpes cheese in rich shortcrust pastry was a treat, while garlic aioli and leafy salad provided the finishing touches. The portions are at Bistrot Pierre are generous and the starters are equivalent in size to what some restaurants would happily serve as a main, while the mains are similarly hearty – no bad thing when the food is this tasty.

My dining companion savoured his main course of poulet fermier de Normandie and the half roasted Normandy chicken was well seasoned with roasted garlic and parsley butter and served with dressed leaves and crispy fries - this was just the meal for a chilly evening. We also shared a portion of Dauphinoise potatoes to round off the bistro experience.

On to dessert and for me the apple and rhubarb crumble was the ideal way to complete the meal, not too sweet with a satisfyingly tangy rhubarb flavour and a good texture to the crumble topping.

As it was Pancake Day, my dining companion decided on the French style crêpes with mixed berry compote and vanilla ice cream.

The bustling atmosphere and efficient, friendly service are further plus points to Bistrot Pierre and there is a wide range of choice on the menu including steak, seafood and French inspired dishes. There are locations nationwide.

Bistrot Pierre 
85 London Road 
Victoria Square 
Stockton Heath


What do you all think, do you like the sound of this classic French style bistro and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,



Sunday, 11 February 2018

A weekend exploring Swansea...

There is nothing like a weekend away to leave you feeling recharged and this weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Swansea*, a Welsh city which has it all in terms of things to do. The lovely team at Visit Swansea Bay had planned a super itinerary and I arrived full of anticipation for the weekend of food and fun which lay ahead. We checked in to a spacious suite at the four star Dragon Hotel which is centrally located, close to the city attractions. Our suite was equipped with a separate lounge as well as the bedroom and bathroom and every amenity needed for a comfortable stay was on hand. The hotel has great leisure facilities including a swimming pool and an AA Rosette Brasserie and there is so much to explore close at hand. 

After checking in to the suite, we drove a short way up the coast to the pretty seaside village of Mumbles where we hastened to discover the delights of Verdi's; a traditional Italian style café, ice cream parlour and restaurant with a reputation for delicious gelato. Verdi's has amazing views as it is located on the sea front and there are 30 flavours of ice cream to choose from! We ordered a cookie crunch sundae and an artist's palette sundae and I can confirm that the ice cream is amazing - so rich and full of flavour, 

Knab Rock ,

After those indulgent ice creams we strolled along Mumble's Pier - the Victorian pier was first built in  1898 and although the weather was a little damp, we enjoyed the beautiful views across the bay and we found a rugged cove with a lighthouse at the end of the pier. 

After heading back to the hotel to get ready, later in the evening we went out for dinner to Grape and Olive which is situated right at the top of the tallest building in Wales and offers panoramic 360 degree views across the five mile expanse of the bay. The dishes are inspired by land and sea and there is plenty of variety on the menu, from comfort food classics to vegetarian dishes, steaks and seafood. 

The meal commenced in style with a tasty duo of starters, my dining companion decided on the classic choice of baked Camembert topped with roasted walnuts and served with celery, Granny Smith apple, carrots and toasted bread. This was well presented and served in a generous portion.

I selected the crab and crayfish ravioli; a wise choice as the pasta was light and the rich lobster bisque complemented the filling, while the pea shoots added freshness.

Fish and chips is a favourite of mine, so for the main course I went for the beer battered haddock with thick cut chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. You just cannot beat this comforting dish and it tasted even better with the tremendous views.

My dining companion indulged in the Tomahawk steak which was perfectly cooked medium rare and served with Café de Paris butter, confit tomato, flat cap mushroom and thick cut chips as well as Bordelaise sauce. 

We rounded off our evening with the dessert sharing slate of chocolate and almond brownie, sticky toffee and date pudding, apple and blackberry crumble and winter berry Eton mess served with vanilla pod and peanut butter and caramel ice cream. 

Dining at Grape & Olive was an experience and it is renowned for both its great food and exceptional views. 

Grape & Olive 
Meridian Quay, 
Maritime Quarter, 

The next morning, a hearty breakfast at The Dragon Hotel set us up for the day ahead. My partner had the 'Full Dragon Breakfast' of bacon, sausage, fried egg, baked beans, mushroom and hash brown while I went for the vegetarian breakfast which made a satisfying start to the day. I loved the inclusion of Glamorgan sausage too (a traditional Welsh vegetarian sausage made from cheese and leeks).  

After breakfast we went for a walk around the city to do a little shopping and sightseeing. We headed to the Maritime Quarter and we browsed the Marina Market held in Dylan Thomas Square where there were lots of street food stalls including poutine, vegan pies and wood fired pizza! There is plenty to do in the area including visiting the National Waterfront Museum, but it was time for us to make our way to lunch at The Swigg, which serves small plates made with local Welsh produce. The restaurant has a cool and contemporary feel to it, with a stylish tiled bar area flanked by a chalkboard menu and the space is filled with light thanks to the large windows. 

We were immediately served water for the table and I cannot emphasise enough how much I appreciate restaurants which do this, as it allows you to feel refreshed on arrival rather than waiting to order drinks. We chose a few dishes to share as recommended by the friendly team - the fishcake with laverbread, samphire and lemon mayonnaise was an elegant dish with flavours of the sea which worked well together. 

Welsh rarebit with homemade brown sauce was another treat, and the Gower Gold Ale really brought out the nutty flavour of the cheddar while the brown sauce was tangy and fruity.

A vibrant Tabbouleh salad with bulgar wheat, tomatoes & parsley was a refreshing dish which conjured up summer and it contrasted well with the rest of our order.

We also added a portion of Aspen fries to our meal and these thick cut chips topped with Parmesan and truffle oil were pure indulgence. Small plates make for such a varied meal and I enjoyed the combination of flavours here, as well as the use of local produce which is always a huge plus for me when considering where to eat. It is easy to see why The Swigg was voted Welsh eatery of the year 2017.

The Swigg
Unit 1B Waterfront Museum
Swansea Marina

After lunch we went for a stroll along the sweeping sands of Swansea Bay. The vast beach is so pretty, with expansive views for miles around. The sea air left us feeling refreshed and it was time to bid Swansea a fond farewell in time for the drive home.

I was so impressed by the diversity of this city, there is so much to do and a really cosmopolitan atmosphere abounds, with something new to appreciate around every corner. A big thank you to Visit Swansea Bay and their partners for creating a wonderful trip which allowed me to experience some of the many highlights of the area. I already cannot wait to return and Swansea has so much to offer as a destination for a holiday or short break, with all the attractions of a city combined with the peace of the seaside to enjoy. You can find out more by visiting:

What do you all think, would you like to visit Swansea for a short break? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post. 

Until next time,



*I was hosted as a guest of Visit Swansea Bay for this trip. Opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.