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First day back at work after two weeks away is always a struggle but I'm happy to get back into a healthier routine after far too much dim sum and ramen! 😋 I've added Hong Kong and Tokyo to my Stories highlights for those who missed my updates!

We found this pretty street in Shibuya, Tokyo, near the famous and very hectic Scramble/crossing. So nice to see some more traditional streets hidden amongst the super modern tower blocks and huge neon lights.

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First day back at work...

After a long hiatus from the blog, I've just shared some of my recent favourites. From @oddboxldn to @olio_ex, they're all helping to make our lives more sustainable! Click the link in my profile and let me know what you think.
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Featuring my beautiful WWF KeepCup!
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#sustainability #sustainableliving  #keepcup #london #thisislondon #wwf #noplanetb #sustainable #ecofriendly #londonblogger #plasticfree #londonbylondoners #climateweek #reusable #reducereuserecycle #foodwaste  #olio #oddbox #allplants #eatlessmeat #londonblog #ecofriendlyliving

After a long hiatus from...

Spending a few days enjoying Sicilian views, sunshine, food, and spritz!
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#sicily #topsicilyphoto #sicilia #sicily_my_love #ortygia #syracuse #siracusa #ortigia #italy #topitalyphoto #prettylittleitaly #ladiesgoneglobal #gltlove #girlsborntotravel #thetravelwomen #travelgirlsgo #girlsjustwannatravel #darlingescapes #girlslovetravel #sheisnotlost #letsgosomewhere #athomeintheworld #guardiantravelsnaps #lppathfinders #lpfanphoto #postcardplaces #prettylittletrips

Spending a few days enjoying...

Take me back please!! đŸ™đŸ» The walk to the calanques near Marseille was tough in the heat but the views made it worth doing! Loved having a picnic in the shade before going for a swim in the clear waters.
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#provence #southoffrance  #frenchriviera #igersfrance #merveillesdefrance #travelblogger #travelblog #travelfrance #topfrancephoto #visitlafrance #jaimelafrance #france_photolovers #marseille #prettylittletrips #darlingescapes #athomeintheworld #neverstopexploring #travelfolk #iamatraveler #mytinyatlas #letsgosomewhere #postcardplaces #lifeofadventure #traveldeeper 
#calanques

Take me back please!! đŸ™đŸ»...

When you spot a pretty backdrop! đŸƒâ€â™€ïž Marrakesh was 10x more beautiful than I had been expecting, with decorative arches, colourful tiled courtyards and orange trees being common sights. I loved the smells as well - argan oil, orange blossom and fresh mint all remind me of Morrocco now.
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#marrakech #marrakesh #maroc #Morocco #visitmorocco #africa_vacations #moroccovacations #simplymorocco #moroccotravel #visitmarrakech #inmorocco #exploremorocco #ladiesgoneglobal #gltlove #girlsborntotravel #thetravelwomen #travelgirlsgo #girlsjustwannatravel #darlingescapes #girlslovetravel #sheisnotlost

When you spot a pretty...

I think the cats of Essaouira and Marrakesh deserve to have a post dedicated to them, given how much time I spent admiring them! 😍 #catsofmorocco
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#marrakech #marrakesh #maroc #Morocco #visitmorocco #essaouira #africa_vacations #moroccovacations #simplymorocco #moroccotravel #visitmarrakech #inmorocco #exploremorocco #ladiesgoneglobal #gltlove #girlsborntotravel #thetravelwomen #travelgirlsgo #girlsjustwannatravel #darlingescapes #girlslovetravel #sheisnotlost #cats_of_world
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I think the cats of...

London: Roast Restaurant Review

By Posted on 3 min read 309 views

Roast Restaurant

After what felt like a very long week at work, I took Chris to Roast Restaurant for a special date night dinner last Friday. I’d noticed the elegant restaurant above Borough Market before but hadn’t had a chance to try it.

The restaurant has great big windows with views over the hustle and bustle of the market below and St Paul’s Cathedral in the distance.

We were lucky enough to get a fantastic table by the window – I’d definitely try to request one again next time!

Roast’s menu was perfect for Chris – he is definitely a meat-eater whereas I’m quite happy to go veggie now and then. His picks were so predictable! The Welsh man chose to start with chorizo Scotch egg followed by a Welsh rump of lamb. I wanted something a little out of the ordinary, so ordered crab and avocado to start with, followed by the famous “Roast” burger.

If you enjoy wine, Roast has a sommelier who can help you to pick the perfect bottle to go with your meal. He was so lovely but we’re just not wine drinkers! Instead, we had gin cocktails and craft beer.

The chorizo Scotch egg with piccalilli was perfectly done: slightly crunchy on the outside and a slightly runny yolk. The chorizo was a nice twist on a classic.

My Dorset crab and avocado with cucumber, white radish and apple was beautiful. The combination of flavours worked really well and I found the whole thing very light and refreshing – perfect before a hearty main!

Next time I’d like to try the charcoal soufflĂ© – it looks incredible! Check it out on Katy‘s blog.

Chris’ Welsh rump of lamb with tabbouleh and harissa carrot was perfectly cooked and the Welshman connoisseur was very satisfied. They did his national dish justice!

I was amazed when my main arrived. It looked glorious!

The ‘Roast’ burger included 48 Day dry aged sirloin of beef with ale cheddar, pickled red cabbage, carrot piccalilli, and Yorkshire pudding. It even came with its own little jug of gravy! The beef was cooked just the way I like it, the gravy was better than most, and the cheese was so tasty and mustardy. The Yorkshire pudding was perfect as well (and not dry like the one I had in York!).

Don’t I look happy?

As if all of this food wasn’t enough, I got greedy and ordered a side as well!

The grilled field mushrooms with garlic and parsley butter were sooo delicious. I am a big fan of garlicky mushrooms.

And now for the most important part of the meal for me…

I went for one of my very favourite desserts: sticky date pudding with toffee sauce, almond brittle and clotted cream. IT WAS FABULOUS! I was very, very full by that point but that didn’t stop me from gobbling up the whole thing. The pudding was beautifully moist and the sauce was almost like salted caramel.

cheesecake

Chris had the Dorset blueberry cheesecake with stem ginger shortbread. It was an unorthodox take on the traditional cheesecake, with a combination of textures: jelly, crunchy meringue, shortbread, ice cream and creamy cheesecake. This made Chris a very happy man!

London blog restaurant review

I’d definitely return to Roast just to have that sticky toffee pudding again.

Overall:

  • the food was delicious
  • the service was friendly yet professional
  • the atmosphere is relaxed but still feels special
  • the location in Borough market is fabulous – I’d recommend going for a drink at one of the neighbouring bars before or after your meal here.

I’ll be recommending Roast to anyone who wants to try British food done well. I find that the UK doesn’t deserve its bad reputation for food – you just need to visit the right restaurant or gastropub to really come to appreciate it!

We were guests of the restaurant for this review but I will definitely be back for a good Sunday roast and that excellent sticky toffee pudding!

London Burgers: Patty & Bun Review

By Posted on 2 min read 299 views

Patty & Bun London Fields

PATTY & BUN

After an afternoon of cycling through Victoria Park and a lot of East London, Chris and I were thirsty and hungry. It was the perfect time for us to head over to the very cool railway arches of London Fields and give Patty & Bun a try. We’d been meaning to do so for a long time!

Patty & Bun

My crazy thirst was quenched by the most delicious peach and lemon iced tea. It was fruity but not too sweet.
[pipdig_left]Iced Tea Patty & Bun[/pipdig_left] [pipdig_right] Chris [/pipdig_right]As you can see, Chris was rather happy with the food situation!

We shared sides, including ‘Winger Winger Chicken Dinner’, AKA smoked confit barbecue wings with spring onions. Pretty delicious (if you like barbecue sauce!).

Patty & Bun Barbecue Wings

…and legendary fries.

[pipdig_left]

chicken salt mayo

[/pipdig_left] [pipdig_right]

Patty & Bun fries with chicken salt[/pipdig_right]The chips with roast chicken mayo and chicken skin salt were SO GOOD. Very salty, so maybe ask for less salt if you’re not too keen on it. The mayo was delicious, with a hint of chicken taste.

Patty & Bun Review

Chris had the ‘Lambshank Redemption’ burger:

lamb burger patty bun

And what a great choice that was! It’s a pretty unusual burger, with a thick lamb patty with coriander and chilli, buttermilk courgette, pickled aubergine, cumin aioli, and feta. Of course the brioche bun was lovely as well (after all, it is Patty & Bun). Chris is convinced that his burger was better than mine (we’ve agreed to disagree).

Patty & Bun Lamb Burger

I went for the gloriously dirty Smokey Robinson burger – just look at that CHEESE!

Patty & Bun Cheeseburger

With a perfectly cooked aged beef patty, wonderfully gooey melted cheese, bacon, smokey mayo and caramelised onions, it was very tasty, smokey, and messy. Burgers aren’t meant to be pretty, and this one definitely wasn’t. It 100% satisfied my craving for a good burger.

Unfortunately because of all the excitement I only took photos of the restaurant after we had eaten, by which time the lovely tables and chairs outside had been put inside. London Fields is the perfect place to spend a quiet sunny afternoon – lots of outdoor seating and independent coffee shops.

London Fields

There are a few great parks nearby too. Victoria Park is definitely worth a visit and is so much bigger than most people think.

Patty & Bun burgers

I’m ashamed to say that we had to ask for a doggy bag for the wings! We ate them at home later that evening and very much enjoyed them.

Thanks to citizenM for collaborating on this post! Check out their travel website, citizenMag, for great tips for different cities including London (and another review of Patty & Bun).

What’s your favourite burger?

Have you tried Patty & Bun?

Vegetarian London: The Gate Restaurant Review

By Posted on 4 min read 219 views

The gate vegetarian restaurant islington

The Gate

There’s a quote on the wall at The Gate that says “The Gate isn’t a good vegetarian restaurant, it’s simply a good restaurant”. I totally agree with this.

I’ve already mentioned how I feel about eating vegetarian – I think everyone should eat meat-free at least a few times a week, but I don’t feel like I could make the full transition to vegetarianism. One reason why is because I think restaurants still have some way to go in offering vegetarian dishes that are just as tasty as their meaty dishes. That’s why I love vegetarian restaurants; they know how to make veggie dishes that are really delicious!

A few weeks ago, my vegetarian friend Sofia and I had tried to get a last minute table at The Gate in Islington on a busy Saturday evening – no luck! So naturally I was thrilled when I got an email from the restaurant asking if I wanted to do a review – um, YES PLEASE!

We started things off with the homemade focaccia served with virgin olive oil and black olive tapenade. It warm and delicious. I’m a big fan of tapenade!

vegan focaccia the gate

We quickly ordered drinks that our lovely waiter recommended. The Hibiscus Blossom cocktail is prosecco-based with a hint of hibiscus, and the Quince & Vanilla Margarita is a slightly sweet margarita made with vanilla-infused tequila.

the gate vegetarian cocktails

Both were delicious!

The first thing we both spotted on the food menu was the miso glazed aubergine starter…

miso aubergine

It was glorious! Seriously, I am going to have to go back to The Gate just so that I can have this aubergine again. So, so delicious. I’ve had this dish before at Japanese restaurants but this aubergine was top notch!

We also ordered the three lentil terrine, thinking that we needed to try something a little more unusual…

vegan lentil pate

The terrine was made of red lentil with smoked paprika and sun dried tomato, green lentil with basil, and beluga lentil and olive. To be honest this was the only real disappointment of the night. If you really love lentils you might like this, but otherwise I’d give it a miss.

Now, on to the mains! We decided to try something that sounded a bit unusual again, so we ordered the minted peas and feta rotolo.

peas and feta rotolo

When it arrived, it looked beautiful! 10/10 for presentation.

Made with layered potatoes stuffed with minted peas and feta cheese, it was a great combination of flavours. We loved the subtle minty taste and the homemade goat’s cheese curd on the side.

Next up, the sweetcorn and cilantro cake. Again, we ordered this because where else are you going to try this? Also, anything with Mediterranean vegetables and chunky guacamole gets my vote.

sweetcorn cilantro cake guacamole

You could really taste the Mexican flavours, with the black bean and corn salsa and the fantastic guacamole. Success!

Oh and as if we hadn’t eaten enough already, we went for a side of polenta chips with vegan garlic aioli. SO GOOD! We were amazed at how good the aioli was considering you would normally expect it to be made with egg.

polenta chips

We didn’t finish the chips because we had spotted quite a few things on the dessert menu that sounded really amazing. It took us quite a while to decide what sweet treats to go for! The honeycomb cheesecake with butterscotch sauce was very tempting, as was the banoffee pie.

After much deliberation and some tips from our waiter, we went for the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream…

sticky toffee pudding

and the glorious vegan (!) strawberry Eton mess:

vegan eton mess meringue

We were very impressed by both. The sticky toffee pudding was what you’d expect, moist and datey. I would have liked a bit more toffee sauce with it but I’m pretty greedy! The Eton mess amazed us – how you can make it without eggs or cream and it still taste this good is beyond me. Our waiter said something about chickpeas being used to make meringue, which just makes it even more amazing.

As you can imagine, we left The Gate feeling very full and very happy. We will definitely be back soon to try the rest of the menu and have that amazing aubergine again!

This is the perfect restaurant for groups of vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends, as the food is so good that you truly don’t miss the meat even if you’re usually a carnivore. It’s also perfect for any vegans and gluten-free foodies out there – look out for the V and the G on the menu.

Have you been to any good vegetarian restaurants? I’d love some recommendations!