Friday 16 October 2020

Private dining at Lemore Manor...

During my recent stay at Lemore Manor* in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside, I spent an evening enjoying the company of the owners Ben and Margaret over dinner.
I always like it when a hotel has a range of dining options available and Lemore Manor offers both fine dining and casual dining - on this occasion I was fortunate enough to be showcased a new addition to the sprawling grounds of Lemore Estate, The Hub which allows for fully self - contained private dining. 

From the outside, The Hub is a space – age construction of metal and glass and inside, there are two large tables with wraparound banquette seating. The Hub also has its own heating, sound system and soft lighting – everything you could possibly need to set an intimate mood for your dining experience. The table was set in readiness for our meal and fresh flowers and candles added to the elegance of the mood. As we settled in, I connected some music for the evening on my phone which streamed through the Bluetooth speakers and before long our wine selection arrived, along with freshly baked bread straight from the oven, accompanied by some divine Marmite butter.

After chatting over our bread and wine, the amuse – bouche was set on the table and dinner got underway in earnest with a silky velouté of onion & Herefordshire cider, made with onions grown on the Lemore Estate. The warming velouté was filled with a delicate sweetness and the Truffle almonds added a nice crunch and a hint of earthiness. I also liked the whimsical presentation of the amuse, which was served in a vintage cup and saucer. 

The fresh flowers and candlelight added to the cosy ambience of dining in The Hub and it felt like we were members of a top secret club, as we enjoyed such a private dinner! 

Next on the table was a starter of Cornish lobster with heritage tomatoes, lobster bisque mayonnaise and garden leaves. The lobster bisque mayonnaise added an indulgent element to the dish, while the heritage tomatoes rounded things off with a burst of zesty flavour which conjured up summer.  

It is admirable when chefs source premium quality produce as locally as possible and the next course to arrive showed off Herefordshire venison to perfection - the venison was paired with carrots, beetroot grown on the Lemore Estate and garden chard. This dish was sophisticated in its simplicity and the beetroot gave the venison a depth of flavour which worked so well with the richness of the meat. The ragu of venison leg which was served on the side made a hearty addition to the plate and this dish was popular with all of us. 

It was music to my ears to hear that we would be treated to two desserts – the pre-dessert of caramel mousse with Lemore pear, brown butter crumb and mascarpone was my personal favourite and the juicy homegrown pears tasted incredible against the crunch of brown butter crumb. 

The second dessert of caramelised apple crumble was impressive in both taste and presentation – served in a light honey filo pastry case, the crumble was topped with spiced cherries which gave this dish a pleasingly autumnal feel. 

I must make a mention of the wine selection we savoured during the course of dinner too - a lovely light drop of  Alsace Pinot Gris, (Cuvée René Dopff) was delightful with the lobster and one of my favourite red wines going into the winter season has to be Pinot Noir, so I was delighted to share a bottle of full-bodied Domain Road New Zealand Pinot Noir which made the ideal partner to the venison. 

The evening was a resounding success in every way and Margaret and Ben made the most genial hosts and kept me entertained throughout with their stories of owning Lemore Manor over the years. After dinner, we were joined for coffee by the accomplished head chef James Wilson and I thanked him for such an enjoyable dining experience. 

Lemore Manor 


Lemore Manor is a great choice for a relaxing stay combining excellent hospitality, luxurious accommodation and accomplished fine dining. A break here offers a chance to unwind and forget the pressures of everyday life, in tranquil surroundings - what could be more appealing with everything going on in the world at the moment! 

What do you all think, do you like the idea of private dining in The Hub and which of these dishes catches your eye? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post. 

Until next time,



*I was invited to stay at Lemore Manor, my stay and dining experience were complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Sunday 20 September 2020

A luxury stay at Lemore Manor...

 Over the last few months many of us have not had the chance to get away and since travel is one of my passions in life, I am so happy to have the opportunity to indulge in it once again. When I received an invitation for a luxury escape in the charming setting of rural Herefordshire recently, I could not wait to pack my suitcase and hit the road.
The Lemore Manor Estate* is located in a stunning part of the world, surrounded by rolling countryside and tucked away in a peaceful setting, flanked by vast landscaped gardens. 

The manor house itself dates to 1640 and it was originally constructed as a hunting lodge for the Bishop of Hereford, but nowadays it has established a reputation as a luxury hotel, wedding venue and event space thanks to the owners Ben and Margaret Owen, who have poured a huge amount of work into Lemore. 

I expected that I was in for a treat as soon as I turned off the main road and wound my way along the stately tree-lined driveway to the manor house. Upon arrival, I was struck by the elegant proportions of the house and I made my way into the entrance hall where there was a vintage croquet set to reinforce the refined country house theme. 

There was a warm welcome from general manager Michelle, who escorted me to my room and offered to send up a tray of tea or coffee whilst I settled in. There is a choice of accommodation available at Lemore and guests can stay either in the main Manor House as I did, or one of the lodges in the grounds - more on those later. 

There are 15 stylishly designed bedrooms and I immediately felt at home in my spacious en-suite room, which afforded me a view of the fountain outside. A comfortable four poster bed, chaise longue and antique furniture added to the overall sense of grandeur in the room.

After unpacking, I headed downstairs to explore more of the manor, and I discovered that the drawing room is the perfect place to unwind and read a book, while sinking into one of the leather Chesterfield sofas! The Coach House makes the ideal venue for wedding ceremonies while the orangery plays host to parties and wedding receptions, and the space is flooded with natural light due to floor to ceiling windows. 

I was impressed with how many features there are at Lemore Manor to ensure that guests have a relaxing  stay and when I looked around downstairs, I found myself in the games room where guests can enjoy a game of pool. 

There are numerous scenic spots in the grounds where you can capture some Instagram - worthy photos during your stay - including the famous 'blue doors' which are a favourite location for guests to pose! 

The expansive landscaped gardens at Lemore Manor are a good place to while - away some time with your thoughts, I saw so much bird life in the grounds and the picturesque courtyard garden is filled with fragrant David Austin roses and a 200 year old olive tree. 

Lovers of a drink or two will not be disappointed while staying at Lemore Manor and they have a superb selection of gins in particular - there were a few behind the bar which I had not tried before, some of which were sourced from the local area. 

I was scheduled to meet Margaret for pre-dinner drinks in the bar and we had a good chat about Lemore while sipping a delightful Williams Chase en Provence chilled rosé, which was suited to the warm evening. 

 Margaret is an utterly charming host and she regaled me with tales of running the Lemore Estate while we sipped our drinks and before long we were joined by her equally charming husband Ben and we all had dinner together in The Hub, a new addition to Lemore Manor which allows for fully private dining in the grounds. I will share more about the dining experience in a separate review which I have upcoming, but suffice to say that we ate and drank well and it was a pleasure to have dinner with the owners. 

After dinner, I had a stroll in the grounds which somehow looked even more enchanting by nightfall, before I headed back to my room for a blissful night’s sleep. 
The next morning, I enjoyed a continental breakfast which left me energised for the day ahead, before Margaret escorted me on a tour of the Lemore Lodges and another exciting addition to Lemore which is a secret for now, but which will be completed soon! 

I feasted on a selection of fresh pastries and rolls, granola and yoghurt and a platter of cheese and charcuterie - what a way to start the day, I always maintain that one of the best aspects of staying in a hotel is the breakfast! 

The room where I had breakfast makes an extremely restful place to unwind and it is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the interior design of each area of the property. 

The fountain in the grounds adds to the elegance of Lemore and it was the first thing I noticed when I arrived to check in. 

On my tour I learned more about Lemore Lodges, which make the ideal choice if you prefer total privacy and seclusion during your stay. The lodges are all individually designed with a bedroom, en – suite bathroom, kitchen and mini bar in each of them. Outside, the lodges have their own wood-fired hot tubs and pizza ovens and you can get all the goodies needed to make your own pizzas delivered from the Manor House. 

As my stay drew to a close, I left Lemore Manor feeling thoroughly refreshed and recharged by the seamless blend of exceptional hospitality and peace and quiet which Lemore delivers. 

Lemore Manor 

A big thank you to all at Lemore Manor for making me so welcome. What do you all think, do you like the sound of a country estate with a range of accommodation options and the choice of  fine dining and casual dining? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,



*I was invited to stay at Lemore Manor, my stay was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Thursday 16 July 2020

Restaurant style curry at home from Perfect Samosa...

Now that restaurants have reopened, it is a delight to go out to eat again, but on those evenings when you feel like taking it easy there is nothing better than having a restaurant quality meal delivered to your home. Things have been really busy for me over the last few weeks, so it was perfect timing recently when Perfect Samosa* got in touch and asked if I would like to sample one of their meal boxes for two. 
Perfect Samosa specialise in Bengali and Indian gourmet bistro style meals delivered to your home and they deliver all across the mainland UK. As you can guess from their name, artisan samosas are their signature dish and they have sold over half a million of their samosas over the last four years!  Their subscription meal service allows you to chose from weekly, fortnightly or monthly meal delivery and there is a different theme to the menu each week to ensure variety. The meals are designed and cooked by chefs, then they are delivered by courier, in temperature-controlled packaging. You can also store the meals in the fridge for three days or freeze them for up to four months.

I selected a vegetarian menu and it arrived by courier, neatly packaged in a chilled box. Receiving a restaurant style meal like this at home is just so convenient and everything was well-packaged with simple instructions for how to reheat your food at home. 
In the evening when it was time to get dinner ready, I heated everything through as instructed and it was quick and easy to get our feast ready. 
We sat down to eat in the garden, as there is nothing I like more than eating outside – unfortunately the weather was a little temperamental though as is typical of the British summer! 
After pouring the wine, lighting candles and plating everything up we moved on to the important part – eating! 
Firstly, we enjoyed some of the signature samosas as a starter. I always order samosas when I go out for a curry and these were some of the best I have tried with golden pastry filled with spiced pumpkin, sweet potato and nutmeg – they proved the ideal way to begin our dinner.

On to the main course and we had a cox bazaar tarka dall with butternut squash – the curry was filled with delicate flavours and it was very filling paired with the aromatic basmati rice with layered coconut. Curry is one of my favourite meals and I have eaten in some amazing Indian restaurants over the years - this food was easily on a par with any of them and everything tasted authentic.

I enjoy getting my Balti dishes out of the cupboard when I have a curry at home, everything just tastes so much better when you take the time to present it in style! 

The clay oven baked chapati were perfect for tearing up and dipping into the curry and the whole meal was so satisfying. Apart from adding a sprinkle of peanuts and coriander to the curry and putting out some mango chutney for us, there was minimal effort required to rustle up the meal and it was such a treat.

Perfect Samosa offer free delivery on orders over £40 and if you order before 8pm on a Friday you can receive your meals any day from Tuesday – Friday the following week. I would recommend this service if you have a busy lifestyle and want to enjoy a restaurant experience at home. At the moment, they have a 'two can dine' offer, which includes a meal box for two, for £29 and free delivery.

Check out the menus and delivery options from Perfect Samosa on their website:

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Perfect Samosa 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 invited to try Perfect Samosa, this meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Dinner from Kilty & Co ...

One of the major advantages of writing about food is becoming friends with a lot of lovely chefs along the way and last week I had a good catch up with a friend of mine who also happens to be a talented chef – Eddie Kilty.  Currently based in Liverpool, Eddie has worked with several renowned chefs and he is building a reputation for excellence in his own right. He has launched a successful business, delivering restaurant quality meals to your home – At Home with Kilty & Co* 
At a time like this, having a special meal at home has never been more of a luxury and I recently got the chance to sample one of his menus for myself.

At Home with Kilty & Co currently deliver their meals in Liverpool and Wirral areas of the UK and they change their menus regularly, which start from just £28 per person. I tried the small plates menu last Friday and it did not disappoint. Kilty & Co are happy to deliver locally, but I chose to meet up with Eddie to collect my food so that we could have a chat at the same time!
I was immediately impressed with the way the food was packaged, with all the components for the meal labelled and packaged up in a brown paper carrier bag. Eddie sends detailed instructions by email to his customers, so you know exactly what to do when it is time to get your food ready. I rolled my sleeves up and sipped a glass of champagne as I prepped the meal – the instructions were easy to follow and I soon had the first course ready to go. I grazed on the beef dripping popcorn as I was getting the meal ready and I have to say it is seriously addictive!

The menu sounded amazing and it was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the components of each dish. We started with tiger prawns with Chimichurri sauce and the prawns came in a marinade, so it was only a question of placing them into a hot frying pan for a few minutes until they were cooked to perfection. The prawns were tender with a delicate flavour from the marinade, while the Chimichurri was bursting with zesty green freshness.

Next up was the pickled Cornish white crab with English pea panna cotta, shellfish oil and English peas. Again, this was so easy to prepare and the crab was meaty, while the pea panna cotta added a lighter note.

The wine was flowing and the music was turned up, so we were feeling pretty festive by the time our pig tacos were ready – we shredded the pork croquettes over the soft tortillas and drizzled the coriander yoghurt over the top. The tangy slaw and pickled red onions offset the pork perfectly and this somehow conjured up the ambience of Mexico on a cloudy June evening.

I am a big fan of patatas bravas, so I really enjoyed the Hasselback bravas and the sauce had a spicy kick, which I added to with a sprinkle of chilli flakes. 

Nothing says summer more than a spectrum of tomatoes and the heritage plum tomato salad was vibrant and sweet, with added sharpness from the white balsamic and a smattering of Elderflowers which completed the plate. This was ideal as our final course because it proved to be a refreshing note to conclude the meal.

If you are missing your favourite restaurant, services like At Home with Kilty & Co are the ideal solution and I would highly recommend giving their menus a try if you are in the Liverpool or Wirral area. This is an affordable way to enjoy stunning food at home and everything was straightforward to prepare, leaving more time to enjoy the evening. Three course menus from At Home with Kilty & Co start from £28 per person and you can order on their Instagram @kiltyandco or email  with enquiries.

What do you all think, do you like the sound of having restaurant quality food at home 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 invited to sample one of At Home with Kilty & Co's menus - this meal was complimentary. All opinions stated herein are my own and honest. 

Friday 22 May 2020

Dinner at Scottish Steakhouse...

I am sure that during these uncertain times, many of you are looking forward to the moment when we will be able to travel and dine out freely again - I am certainly anticipating the day when I can plan my next food and travel adventures.
I was reminiscing about a recent trip to Scotland when I remembered that I had not shared with you my experience dining at Scottish Steakhouse* during my stay at the four star Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa. You can read the review of my stay at the hotel here and during my visit, we booked a table for dinner at the in-house restaurant Scottish Steakhouse. The design is stylish and welcoming, with warm tones and splashes of tartan which highlight the Scottish location. After a couple of pre-dinner drinks at the bar, we settled in at a large booth where we perused the menu – diners at Scottish Steakhouse can expect plenty of good quality local produce, including steaks and seafood.

As the name suggests, the 21 day aged steaks are somewhat the star of the show here - they are selected from grass-fed Scottish beef and cooked simply on a charcoal grill to make the most of their depth of flavour. I didn’t feel like ordering a starter, so instead I asked for the artisan stone baked sourdough which did not disappoint – we shared the crusty bread which was was still warm from the oven, with whipped sea salt butter and extra virgin oil with aged balsamic. Not a crumb was left as you can imagine, freshly baked bread with butter is one of life's great pleasures after all. 

Meanwhile, my dining companion selected the crackling ham hock terrine served with a tangy homemade piccalilli and topped with pork quaver crisp. There is something pleasing about the elegance of a terrine and this one showcased well balanced flavours which worked perfectly together. 

There is an impressive wine list available at Scottish Steakhouse, with wines served by the bottle and by the glass. We opted for a glass of light and fruity Terre Forti Sangiovese as well as a glass of Spy Valley New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which was zesty and refreshing. 

I love to eat fish and chips once in a while and for me the best setting for enjoying this classic dish is definitely at the seaside, but having it in a restaurant makes a close second! The beer battered haddock with chunky hand cut chips and crushed garden peas was a winning combination and the huge portion almost defeated me, but I ploughed on regardless. The standard of the ingredients really stood out and the golden beer batter revealed white, flaky haddock beneath,while the lemon and piquant tartare sauce made the ideal finishing touches.

Who can resist macaroni cheese? Certainly not me, so I felt it was my duty to add it on as a side order and it proved to be a wise addition, with heaps of macaroni in a rich cheddar sauce with extra grilled cheese on top.

My dining companion was undecided between a steak and a burger, but the burger won out in the end and he ordered the prime Scottish beef steakhouse burger. All burgers are served in a toasted brioche bun, with gem lettuce, sliced beef tomato, pickled red onion, house coleslaw, house ketchup and thin cut chips. As if that wasn’t indulgent enough for all you burger fans out there, a variety of extra toppings are also available and he added Isle of Mull cheddar and grilled dry cured bacon to the towering creation. There is something so satisfying about having a quality burger in a restaurant and this one delivered on every level. I particularly loved the Scottish Steakhouse signature ketchup which had a sweet and smoky taste. 

I was struck by the generous portion sizes of the food, as well as the stylish presentation - I love places like this which bridge the gap between pub style dining and fine dining, offering an elevated experience in a welcoming setting. 

It was time for dessert and despite being full we decided to order one anyway in the interests of either greed or a thorough review, depending on your perspective! A silky chocolate mousse with shards of honeycomb made a delightful sweet note to conclude the meal, while traditional sticky toffee pudding was a good option too. After a quick coffee, we called it a night and wandered around the grounds before we returned to our hotel room for a restful night.  

I would recommend Scottish Steakhouse, which makes the ideal place to dine whether you are staying at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel or not. We were impressed by the hospitality and the level of attention to detail and there was a perfect mix of comforting recipes and lighter options on the menu.

Scottish Steakhouse 
Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa 
Grange Road 

I cannot wait to plan my next visit to Scotland. What do you all think, do you like the sound of Scottish Steakhouse 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 kindly invited to sample dinner at Scottish Steakhouse, this meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.