Sunday, 9 June 2019

REVIEW: THE HARROW, WARLINGHAM


I don't think there's anything I love more than doing food reviews, which might be quite obvious considering the direction of my more recent social media posts and blog reviews. We were recently invited to review The Harrow in Warlingham, so keep reading to find out what delicious food and drinks we enjoyed on the day...



The Harrow is a beautifully eye-catching country pub located in Warlingham, a town about 30 minute drive from us in Epsom Downs but surprisingly somewhere we hadn't visited until now. Our visit was on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon so we felt it was ideal to make the most of the pub garden, this just means you need to go up and order at the bar instead.





I decided to go for a English Garden Gintonica (£7.50), a flavour I hadn't tried before. This drink is made from Bombay Sapphire gin, rose bitters, lavender syrup, refreshingly light Fever-Tree cucumber tonic garnished with cucumber. This was really refreshing d with the cucumber tonic water and also had a floral taste to it. 


On Sunday's Vintage Inn's offer a different menu, so to start we shared the Stone Baked Flatbread (£5.95), very tasty and went a bit too quickly as me and James both love garlic bread (give me all the carbs)! 
Another popular starter we noticed so many people ordering was the Sticky Meat Platter (£15.95), it looked incredible and perfect so sharing with a small group of people. This includes Maple Glazed Chicken, Prawns & Chorizo, Sticky Ribs, Calamari plus Stone Baked Flatbread. 


For the main course James chose the Hunters Chicken (£12.95). Just incase you haven't had Hunters Chicken before, its chicken breast topped with smoked cheddar, streaky bacon and barbecue sauce, which on this occasion had in the gravy jug so you can choose the amount you add. This dish also comes with triple cooked chips and salad. 


It may have been over 20 degrees but it was Sunday, which meant I had to opt for a Roast Dinner, personally I don't think there's anything better. I went for the Roast Breast of Turkey (£11.95), served with a Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes, Thyme Roasted Carrots, Parsnips, Seasonal Greens and Gravy. 

If you want extras, you can add another Yorkshire or extra Roast Potatoes for around £2.50. They also offer Cauliflower Cheese on the menu which I definitely should have added. That said, the plate of food as it comes is already ginormous so I'm not sure if I could have eaten any more, and thats saying something because I can eat a lot! My only complaint was there wasn't quite enough gravy for my liking, however I'm sure I could have asked one of the lovely staff for more at the time.

Whilst being nosy and eye-ing up each plate that came out from the kitchen we caught a glimpse of the epic Pie's available at Vintage Inn's, I can't say i've tasted them but I can say they look incredible - and enormous. 








Yes, we we're pretty stuffed after our main courses but after looking at the menu we we're massively tempted by a few of the desserts. We decided to share the Rich Banoffee Pie (£6.95), this was really rich indeed, which actually meant it was the perfect portion size for two of us. 



 If you fancy a free pudding, simply sign up to Vintage Inns at the moment and enjoy (available with any main course purchased)... 












We had such a lovely afternoon sitting out in the sun, enjoying food, drinks and the lovely atmosphere of The Harrow. We really hope to return again soon! 


This was a gifted experience courtesy of The Harrow, Vintage Inns and Spottydog Communications. 
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Thursday, 28 March 2019

MOTHER'S DAY INSPIRATION WITH THE BENTALLS CENTRE


If you're a little last minute like me, don't worry there's still time to surprise your Mum with the perfect gift this Mother's Day. Keep reading as I'll be talking about our recent experience at The Bentalls Centre in Kingston, along with some gift ideas you can pick up, all from under one roof. 

[This experience has been gifted to us in collaboration with The Bentalls Centre]

So, myself and my Mum were recently invited to The Bentalls Centre to enjoy a pamper day in celebration of Mother's Day. Our day started with a beauty appointment at MAC, located in The Bentalls store and hence the no make up 'before' photo you'll see below. We had Make-Up artists Sarah and Tanesha, who took the time to discuss the styles we both liked, along with our skin types and suitable products. 


I personally wanted to learn a little more about creating an eyeshadow and winged liner look. To create this look Tanesha primed my skin and then focused on the eye make-up first, this is to avoid any pigment dropping on the skin and spoiling face make-up. I learnt a fair few tips from this, including using setting spray on eye make up brushes for a more pigmented look, this meant the glitter shadow really stood out as part of this look. 


For me, Make Up never feels complete until I've got something on my skin. I love the dewy look that Tanesha created and will definitely be investing in some of these products to include as part of my everyday routine such as the NW20 Pro Longwear Concealer, Goldlight Strobe Cream and the Matchmaster 1.0! 


My Mum went for a very natural look which focuses a lot on skincare and then including a champagne shade of eyeshadow. She really loved the look that Sarah created and decided to treat herself to some of the products, including one of my favourite products -the mineralize highlighter.





It was then lovely to have our photos done together with the finished looks. MAC have a ring light in the Bentalls Centre store to ensure perfect selfie lighting! 



Make Up ready, we then went off to enjoy a special lunch at Maison Du Mezze, also located within the Bentalls Centre Shopping Centre. 



The Maison Du Mezze restaurants are beautiful, I had previously done some work in the Leicester Square restaurant and shot some content for them before, also meaning i've had a sneaky taster of some of the food. I hadn't visited the Kingston restaurant before though and again the interiors are gorgeous with a Middle Eastern theme, buzzing atmosphere and open plan kitchens to see the chefs in action. 






We started our lunch with a glass of Prosecco.







To give you a quick overview of the food, I don't think we've ever eaten as much as we did on that day! Everything was absolutely delicious and so great to try so many new things recommended by the lovely staff at Maison du Mezze. So to keep things simple, i'll list the different foods with a description below...


Maison Mixed Cold Mezze 
(pictured above)
Hummus, moutabal, al rahib, labneh and
warak inab.

Tabouleh

Chopped parsley, cracked wheat, tomato,
mint and spring onion salad in a lemon and
olive dressing.

Falafel  

Freshly fried falafel, served with pickles, green
vegetables, tahini dip and Lebanese bread.

Kallaj

Freshly baked Lebanese flat bread topped with
halloumi cheese and dry mint.








Lamb Cutlets 


Charcoal grilled seasoned lamb cutlets, which were absolutely delicious. 

Shish Tawouk  

Char-grilled marinated chicken, served with our homemade
garlic sauce and served on a tasty flatbread.

Spinach Fatayer

Lebanese pastry boats filled with spinach,cinnamon, onions, pine nuts and lemon juice.






Monkey Cookies Shake

Made with cookies from Dubai, this creamy shake tastes and looks incredible- yes that colourful decoration is all edible too, stuck on with chocolate. Absolute heaven! 

The food was just so delicious, we couldn't finish everything but did take a few bits away with us too as I hate to see food go to waste. 




So if you're looking for an experience that'll truly spoil your loved ones this Mother's Day, I can truly say The Bentalls Centre is the place to be. If you're still looking for a gift to give this Mother's Day, the Bentalls Centre have rounded up just a few of the perfect gifts that you can find whilst shopping in Kingston. 




We truly had the perfect Mother and Daughter day, thank you to all of the staff who made it extra special and looked after us. Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day! 


[Gifted Experience]


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Monday, 4 March 2019

REVIEW OF THE ALBANY, THAMES DITTON




The Albany, Thames Ditton has recently re-opened its doors to a luxurious new look and we were kindly invited to a sneak preview evening before its official opening. The Albany is a premium riverside pub, bar and restaurant offering seasonal dishes, pub classics and delightful drinks within its stylish interiors. 







When we arrived we were greeted with a colourful selection of canapes, including one of my favourites from this menu - the deep fried brie. We also enjoyed Tanqueray Orange Gin cocktails. 




Starters

To start myself and James enjoyed the Carne Platter, which includes Southern-fried Buttermilk Chicken with Katsu Sauce,  Lamb Koftas, Crispy Sweet Chilli Beef, Spiralised Carrot Salad and Garlic Flatbread. This was such a great option for us as it meant you got a taster of everything.

My favourite from this platter is the Southern Fried Chicken, especially for the delicious Katsu Sauce that comes with this. 




Mains

Vegan Spiced Coconut Curry

The Albany cater for everyone with plenty of Vegan dishes, therefore I really wanted to give something different a try and decided on the Spiced Coconut Curry. The clue is in the name with the words 'spiced', this definitely packs in some spicy flavours. Overall the dish was very tasty and filling, served with sesame aubergine, broccoli and sticky jasmine rice and one that I would love to have again! 




Battered Halloumi

James had the Battered Halloumi, served with triple cooked chips, minted pea puree and tartare sauce. Again another very tasty main course, especially with the triple cooked chips! 









Clover Club Cocktail

This was my favourite drink from the evening, the Clover Club. This drink is a slightly different take on a traditional martini. Chase GB Gin & Martini Extra Dry shaken with fresh juicy raspberries, egg white and lemon. My favourite part is that the drink is garnished with edible flowers. 






Pudding

The House Sharer

My favourite part of any meal is the pudding and sometimes it's just too hard to choose, so this has to be the best pudding of all time, 'The House Sharer' a.k.a four puddings in one. Believe me, I didn't eat all of these to myself, James helped too but it did again mean I could try a bit of everything. The pudding platter is made up of Chocolate Brownie, Baked Vanilla Cheesecake, Mango & Berry Mess and lastly a Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich - yum! 






We had such a fantastic evening at The Albany and can't wait to go back again soon, especially in the summer to enjoy the riverside views! Fancy visiting The Albany to see the stylish new look, then check out the all the menus here!

[This experience was kindly gifted to us by The Albany, Thames Ditton]



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