Mima & The Curing House, Middlesbrough

We spent the Sunday after The Raby Hunt wandering around Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough Transporter BridgeMiddlesbrough

The weather was absolutely amazing that day, so we checked out the transporter bridge, as well as Anish Kapoor’s Temenos – a 110 metre long and 50 metre high sculpture by the dock.

MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough

We had a little bit of time to kill before lunch, so we stopped of at Mima – the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art – to see the Basil Beattie exhibition. I really liked the gallery – modern, light, with amazing high ceilings.

MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough MimaMiddlesbrough

My favourite piece was the one below, which made such great use of the space.

MiddlesbroughMiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough

We popped into The Curing House for a spot of Sunday lunch – they usually specialise in Charcuterie, but on Sundays they usually do a roast. I opted for the beef, which was lovely, and it was such a nice venue, too.

MiddlesbroughMiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough, The Curing HouseMiddlesbrough, The Curing House

They also had a lovely selection of desserts – I opted for a pannacotta topped with granola.

Middlesbrough, The Curing HouseMiddlesbrough, The Curing HouseMiddlesbrough, The Curing House5Middlesbrough, The Curing HouseMiddlesbrough, The Curing House

Have you been to Middlesbrough? Be sure to comment belowor let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle is a wonderful place to go for a celebration.

Duck & Waffle, LondonDuck & Waffle, LondonFantastic coffee, dramatic views – and, of course, their signature dish – Duck & Waffle.

It’s also open 24 hours, as well, which is handy – although getting a booking can sometimes be tricky, so you’re better off doing it in advance! Also, it’s probably worth not trying after a night out – I’ve spent several evenings trying to get in after being out on the town and (surprisingly) they don’t seem to go for letting in a tipsy group of girls at 2am.

Duck & Waffle, LondonLatte, Duck & WaffleWe were celebrating something rather exciting, so we all opted for morning mimosas to go with our duck & waffle. Mine was, of course, gluten free, and was delicious.

Latte, Duck & WaffleDuck & Waffle, LondonDuck & WaffleThe duck & waffle is so simple, but so good – the confit leg of duck is served on top of a waffle, which is topped with fried duck egg over which you pour a little jug of mustard maple syrup.

Gluten Free Duck & WaffleGluten Free Duck & WaffleGluten Free Duck & Waffle, LondonI haven’t tried any of the other breakfast items, as this one is seriously good – but I’ve also been for dinner and I can wholeheartedly recommend it (and you can get duck & waffle on the evening menu, too!)

If you do pop in for dinner, I definitely recommend the crispy pig ears. Life-changing.

Gluten Free Duck & WaffleDuck & WaffleDuck & WaffleDuck & Waffle is hands-down my favourite brunch spot in London – you really cannot beat that view!

Gluten Free Duck & WaffleGluten Free Duck & Waffle^^ or that one, either!

Have you been to Duck and Waffle? What’s your favourite dish? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Duck & Waffle is located  at:

110 Bishopsgate
40th Floor
London EC2N 4AY

 

Duck & Waffle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Afternoon Tea at The Kensington

I do love a good afternoon tea.

The Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, London I’m also a massive sucker for grand, luxurious London hotels, so when The Kensington invited me to try their gluten free afternoon tea, I couldn’t resist!

The Kensington Hotel, LondonThe Kensington Hotel, LondonI’m rarely in South Kensington, but whenever I am it’s usually to go to a museum – the V&A is one of my favourite places in London, and it’s such a beautiful area of London.

The Kensington is gorgeous, with a lovely atmosphere – the dining room complete with a roaring fire. It was unbelievably cosy, and very welcome with all of this changeable weather at the moment!

The Kensington Hotel, LondonThe Kensington Hotel, LondonI opted for the gluten free champagne afternoon tea (£45).

The Kensington Hotel, LondonThe Kensington Hotel, LondonThe Kensington Hotel, LondonThe gluten free option started off with a red pepper hummus feta on grilled gluten free flat bread and a fresh Superfood salad with red chicory leaf. The gluten free option is described as being a ‘lighter’ option but there’s really nothing light about it – it’s all incredibly rich and delicious!

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonThis was followed by the cake stand – all of the sandwiches are the same as the normal offering, except with gluten-free bread, which meant I didn’t get any of the food envy I usually would!

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonI prefer savoury over sweet, and I loved the sandwiches: Dorset crab & avocado with lemon purée; Wiltshire ham & tarragon mustard with pea shoots; Braised salt beef with English mustard & cornichons and Cucumber & cream cheese on white bread with baby watercress. The ham sandwich was a definite favourite.

Gluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonGluten Free Afternoon Tea at the Kensington Hotel, LondonThe sweet offerings were also incredible: carrot & walnut cake with a cucumber & cream cheese icing; vanilla & raspberry macaron; dark chocolate & cherry pannacotta with sea salt caramel and date & almond balls, dipped in chocolate & grated coconut and pâte de fruit. I went for the scones with clotted cream and jam first (they are always much better fresh) and was given a cute box to take the rest home in – there was so much to choose from!

Afternoon tea at The Kensington felt like such a treat – and just what I needed after a stressful few weeks at work. The service was impeccable, and the food was divine – what you’d expect from Steven Gibbs, who was previously at Hix and The Ivy.

If you book afternoon tea at The Kensington, you also might be able to get free tickets to Botticelli Reimagined, the latest exhibition at the V&A!

Have you been to The Kensington? Where’s your favourite place for afternoon tea? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

I was invited to The Kensington for the purposes of review – all views my own.
Town House - The Kensington Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Weekend in Wales

When the team at Visit Wales invited me to spend a weekend in Bangor, I was very excited – but I don’t think I could have pictured just how amazing it was all going to be.

Menai BridgeMenai BridgeMy holidays are usually based around food, beaches, museums, and architecture – I’ve never really gone on an adventure holiday before, and really wasn’t sure what to expect. In the original brief, I was going to be spending a weekend in Bangor, going on a high-speed RIB ride around the Menai Strait – and it was only as an afterthought that an afternoon on a zipline course was added, too.

Menai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideI hadn’t really appreciated how stunning this part of the world is. Dramatic, snow capped scenery surrounded us on the RIB ride – a high-speed journey that had our hearts racing.

I really enjoyed the ride, which combined a little bit of local history and sightseeing along with some manoeuvres that had me digging my nails into the seat! I managed to snag the very front of the boat for the last few minutes, and was fully convinced that I was going to fly out of the boat at any moment.

Menai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideAfter a windy trip we headed for a bite to eat at Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn in Beaumaris, where we tried some of the amazing locally sourced seafood.

Menai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideMenai Strait RIB RideIt was only over dinner that I looked at the itinerary for the next day – and my heart almost stopped.

I was expecting something along the lines of what I’d experienced a few months before at Go Ape. What I was not expecting was that Penrhyn Quarry is home to Zip World, the longest zipline in Europe. Not only that, but I would be five hundred feet in the air, at 100 miles per hour. As someone who is terrified of heights, the thought of what I had just signed myself up for filled me with total, utter fear.

Zip World UK, WalesZip World UK, WalesIt was only with a lot of encouragement from my boyfriend that I even managed to get there at all, I was so petrified. Even once I arrived, I remained unconvinced – I burst into tears around three times just at the thought!

 
First up was the Little Zipper (which is still the fifth biggest zip line in Europe!) I was so, so scared, but the staff at Zip World were so professional, and really reassuring, that once I got going I was able to enjoy zipping over the trees, and I felt like I was flying.

Zip World UK, Wales
The biggest challenge, though, was the Big Zipper – even the drive up to the top of the quarry was making me feel dizzy, and once I got up to the top I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it.

Zip World UK, WalesZip World UK, Wales
Despite all the tears, and all of the fear, I did it! It was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I still can’t quite believe I managed it.

 
I keep finding myself watching the video of me doing it over and over again – it is something I will never forget.

Zip World UK, WalesZip World UK, WalesI had an absolutely amazing weekend in Wales, and had such an incredible time! It was truly unforgettable, and I can’t wait to go back.

I was invited to Wales, and to try the zip line and RIB ride for the purposes of review – all opinions are fully my own!

The Ship Tavern, Holborn

One of my favourite things about living in London is its rich history. I love the fact that the barbershop down the road from my house is over 100 years old, or that the fact that I work by a 17th century galleried coaching inn, almost directly under the Shard.

The Ship TavernThe Ship TavernSo when the team behind The Ship Tavern asked me to drop by, I was intrigued. Tucked away in an alleyway behind the chaos of Holborn station, The Ship Tavern is a 16th century pub filled with a rich and vibrant history. It was used to shelter Catholic priests at the height of the reformation,  and was also a masonic lodge at one point, too!

The Ship TavernThe Ship TavernOur important business took place in their upstairs dining room, where we got to sample some of their Valentine’s Day menu.

The Ship TavernThe Ship TavernAlthough it was my first visit to The Ship Tavern, it wasn’t my boyfriend’s, who had actually arranged a welcome lunch there previously for colleagues who had just moved to the UK. I think it’s a brilliant choice for taking tourists, or people from out of town. It’s steeped in rich history, and the oak panelled room and decor means you can get the full pub experience without compromising on ambience or the quality of the food.

The Ship Tavern - Scallops with RabbitThe Ship Tavern - Scallops with RabbitThe Ship Tavern - Scallops with RabbitWe kicked the meal off with two starters – the scallops with rabbit and the deep-fried soft shell crab served with caviar. I preferred the former – the scallops were beautifully done, and the rabbit was such an unusual addition, and was really delicious. This was actually the first time I had soft shell crab dish that wasn’t tempura, and while I enjoyed the combination of flavours with the caviar, I missed the light crispiness of the Japanese batter.

The Ship Tavern - Fried Soft Shell Crab with CaviarThe Ship Tavern - Fried Soft Shell Crab with CaviarMy boyfriend went for the Beef Wellington, which came with truffle mash and kale in a red wine jus. The truffle mash was incredible – the portions were extremely generous. It was the ultimate comfort food dish for someone nursing a particularly brutal hangover!

The Ship Tavern - Beef WellingtonI went for the venison steak au poivre, which was served with a haggis and potato pithivier and buttered green beans.

The Ship Tavern - Venison SteakThe Ship Tavern - Venison SteakThe Ship Tavern - ChipsThe portions were unbelievably generous, and I couldn’t manage the entire thing, but the venison was perfectly cooked – just the right amount of pink.

The Ship Tavern - Valentine's Day Chocolate Creme Brulee with Raspberry SorbetThe Ship Tavern - Valentine's Day Chocolate Creme Brulee with Raspberry SorbetJust when we thought we couldn’t possibly manage any more, the chef popped out to convince us otherwise – and a chocolate creme brulee with raspberry sorbet, and a passionfruit pannacotta magically appeared before us.

The Ship Tavern - Valentine's Day Passionfruit and Raspberry PannacottaThe Ship Tavern - Valentine's Day Passionfruit and Raspberry PannacottaBoth items were part of the Valentine’s menu, although I think they need to seriously consider adding the latter to the a la carte menu – pannacotta is my favourite dessert, and passionfruit is one of my favourite fruits, so I was a massive fan of this (and I’m not a dessert person usually).

The service was wonderful – the staff were all very friendly and attentive in the dining room, and we had a really lovely meal.

On our way out we left through the pub – which, compared to the dining room upstairs, was much more familiar. Match of the day, pints, old men – the works, but in a really charming and rustic setting.

The Ship TavernThe Ship TavernThe Ship Tavern I had a really wonderful meal at The Ship Tavern. While it’s a higher price point than the usual pub fare, I think you do get what you pay for regarding the atmosphere and the quality of the food. It’s not necessarily a place I’d recommend to go with little kids, but for visitors to London and history buffs I would definitely recommend it.

Have you ever been to The Ship Tavern? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

The Ship Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
I was invited to The Ship Tavern for a fair and honest review – I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t like it!