Thursday, 8 October 2015

Konoba Daniela - Veleniki (Porec), Croatia

Let's be honest we weren't having much luck with restaurants in Croatia, it was starting to get frustrating, so we decided to take some advice and head out of town.

There are two restaurants named on Frank About Croatia's blog that are a short drive out of Porec, they are apparently much better than a lot of the places you'll find around the coast or in the old town. The major disadvantage of this being that D would need to drive and we were also warned that Croatia has a zero tolerance for drinking and driving so he couldn't even have a shandy. 

We chose Konoba Daniela for no other reason than it looked the best on Frank's blog. 

The drive out of Porec is a short one taking approximately 10-15 minutes which takes you in to the small town/village of Veleniki, where it quickly becomes clear everyone is there for this one restaurant. We struggled to find parking and this worried us, would be able to get a table without a booking? With the car safely(ish) parked down the road we wandered in. We approached a waiter apprehensively waiting for the abrupt 'no' that we were becoming accustomed to whenever we asked anyone anything in Croatia, and enquired about a table. He replied "of course" and we were promptly shown to a table on the decking outside.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Face Food - Pula, Croatia

This place was horrendous.

I don't even know what we were thinking.

Why would we choose to eat somewhere with Facebook branding calling itself Facefood.


I guess we were just tired of wandering around all the time trying to find the best place to eat, the best place in town.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Hrast - Porec, Croatia

Day 7 in Croatia and we went out in Porec in the evening on a mission. I had seen a restaurant that looked good and had briefly seen it referenced on a website. We circled the streets of old town a few times before we found it...

When we found it? The entirety of the menu was fish. With our experiences in fish eating still at the beginners stages (think white fish and tuna) we drifted away.

We didn't get far until we stumbled across the number 1 restaurant on Trip Adviser. Konobo Aba. We wandered in, no one approached us, everyone seemed to be staring at us. I felt self conscious and nudged D forward to enquire about a table. The response from the waiter 'No'. Brilliant. There was a bit of a language barrier and a lot of 'No' from the waiter until we sulked away. Never to return I might add.

As we returned to the cobbled streets I remembered the name of restaurant I had seen on Frank About Croatia's blog - Hrast. We just needed to find it.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Artha (Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant) - Porec, Croatia

Following our unsuccessful first night where we failed to find a non-tourist trap place to eat I carried out a little research before next heading out in to Porec for dinner. Personal blogs were not getting me very far and so I turned to Trip Adviser.

*Warning trip adviser rant follows*

Trip Adviser isn't a medium I normally use to find referrals on places to dine, as I tend to think most people that leave a review  on this site are doing so out of spite having had a bad experience. Thus making its reviews slightly biased, I also tend to find that the number 1 restaurants aren't always the best in town, but instead a place that is new and only has a few reviews and most of them positive, which isn't a bad thing when you're looking for somewhere new to eat in your home city but not so great when you're just visiting and looking for those hidden gems and long-standing local favourites. There are a lot of positive reviews on Trip Adviser, I don't deny this, but one bad review can (and has) put me off places. It's the Trip Adviser curse.

Enough of the Trip Adviser rant, I didn't opt for the number 1 restaurant as rated by users but instead number 4 or 5. A vegetarian and vegan restaurant in a country that apparently loves it's meat and seafood seemed like an interesting option and there were some inviting visitor pictures uploaded to boot.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Montona Gallery - Motovun, Croatia

Day Three in Croatia.

We decided to head out of base camp, Porec, away from coast inland to the hills on the third day of our holiday. Motovun (Montona in Italian, Istria is officially bilingual) was pinned to my 'Croatia board' on Pinterest.  A tool I love to use for generating and finding places to visit, as well as food inspiration, outfit ideas, home decor and more. D and I had been pinning points of interests for months, we saw the pin of Motovun the day before and decided that was the place we wanted to make our first road trip, it was relatively close by about a 40 minute drive away from Porec. 

To give you some background on Motovun, it is a village that lies on top of a hill 270 metres above sea level. Motovun is a medieval town, however it was established upon the another city, the ancient city of Kastelijer. In the 13th century it was controlled by Venice and a third of the village still speak Italian as their first language today. A high solid wall surrounds Motovun that was built by the Venetians, and it was used a defence against invaders. The towers and walls in combination with the high altitude it gave the people of Motovun an advantage on their enemies who they could see coming long before they would arrive at the town walls. The walls are still intact today providing a pleasant walk in which you can soak in the beauty around you. We were surprised to see that cars made it up the hill and drove along parts of the wall too, although you had to watch your toes when they came past. 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Marconi - Porec, Croatia

Day one of our Croatian adventure and we arrived in Porec around 12pm, having been awake since 3am we promptly napped as soon as we got in to our apartment. We awoke a few hours later hungry and ready to explore our local area.

After stopping by the supermarket (Konzum) to grab some essentials and breakfast for the morning we headed out in to Porec old town. 

We timed it perfectly by accident, as we walked towards the Roman streets and harbour the sun was beginning to set, giving us our first glimpse of how beautiful Croatia is. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Zed Bar has a new look - Kith and Kin

Zed Bar (by Arc Inspirations) in Chapel Allerton has been a firm favourite for bar drinkers for some years, rarely do you ever hear anyone raving about the food there. Rarely do you hear of people remembering the whole night there.

It was well overdue a make over.

Kith and Kin as it is now known, has gone with an on-trend potting shed theme, with cutesy crockery and local produce and suppliers to boot.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Rarely do you get a bar menu as good as this - Rare, Leeds

Admittedly before writing this post I had never been to Rare before. It has been at the top of my hit-list for some time. The reason I haven't been? It's one of those meals that needs to be saved for a special occasion. Why? For me, if I'm honest it's the price. The average meal at Rare will set you back £65-100 for two people, if you're steady on the booze.

Rare invited me to try their new bar menu, a more affordable option (that means you can visit them more than once a month), without scrimping on the quality and in a more informal casual setting (not that they're a fine dining restaurant but a bar menu is much more relaxed than sat eating a three course meal).

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Jamaica Rum Tings - Belgrave Music Hall

This event has already been and gone but because I had such a good time I wanted to share my experience with you all.

However, they are also on tour and will be popping up in London over the bank holiday if any of you are gracing our capital with your presence that weekend, or failing that if you're planning on heading to the Merrion Street festival they'll be a Mojo's with offerings of BBQ jerk chicken.

Plans for next year are certain but if they come up to Leeds again you'll be a fool to miss them.

The event was Jamaica Rum Tings sponsored by Wray & Nephew Rum, it ran at Belgrave Music Hall on 22nd August and involved rum (yay!), Caribbean food (yay!) and Reggae music (yay!). Perfect combination for a night out in Leeds.

Grassington House and Hotel (Bar and Terrace Menu) - Grassington, The Yorkshire Dales

When the sun comes out in England everybody dons on their summer wear and heads out in to bask in its rays. Last Sunday was no different, despite it being predicted to rain from 6pm (and boy did it rain) hence the quick race out to somewhere pleasant to enjoy it. We're running out of 'new ' places to explore but having passed Grassington on the way to other Dales delights we decided to take a drive up and explore a little. 

Grassington is a small village in the southern part of the dales just slightly North East of Malham. It's often used as base for walkers and you'll find numerous B&Bs and eating establishments in the main square. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

That's Amore - Meanwood, Leeds

In Napoli where love is king, when boy meets girl here's what they say...

When the moon hits your eye it's a like a big pizza pie, that's amore.

That's Amore is a new (ish) pizza and espresso bar on the divide of Chapel Allerton and Meanwood, I struggled to pinpoint it's exact geographic definition in terms of Leeds suburb so I am relying on local knowledge that it is in fact in Meanwood. It is most definitely not in Napoli.

That's Amore, or in complete English, that's love. Was it love? Well the boy didn't meet this girl in there, we travelled together in his car and he deliberated where to park it. Parked it. Then left whilst we waited for our pizza's to drive around the block and park it in the same place again. Not quite how the lyrics of Dean Martin's song goes but I guess he lived in a world which was much more romantic than modern Leeds and didn't have a car crazed lover.

Did the moon hit my eye like a big a pizza pie?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

LS6 Cafe a.ka. The Clock Cafe - Hyde Park, Leeds

One rainy day in July D and I found ourselves in Hyde park after a day of junk shop routing and vintage hunting. We were headed for Retro Boutique however our bellies were rumbling so we decided a spot of lunch was needed first. I poked my head in to an old favourite, Cafetiere, it looks exactly the same as when I was a student and when I first blogged about it and I felt that it was starting to look a bit tired and it really wasn't inspiring me to eat in there. 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Le Creuset Cheese and Wine Collection and a guest appearance from Friends of Ham

Le Creuset invited me and some fellow bloggers (and D) to view first hand their cheese and wine collection in their Leeds store located in the Victoria Quarter. Le Creuset are lesser known for their wine products but are fast gaining popularity in the culinary world. Following the demonstrations I could definitely see why and it's fair to say I've added a few more items to my wish list.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Coffee Chronicles #3 - Barista Training at Laynes Espresso and Tassimo by Bosch Coffee Maker

This post is in association with Argos

Last weekend I attended a Barista training course at Laynes Espresso to learn a little more about coffee. Learnt the basics such as where coffee comes from, the different varieties, how to make good cup of coffee and how to look after your coffee machine. This was not an exclusive course that only ran last weekend and only available to a select few, in fact Laynes offer a range of training to all who are interested, such course include: barista training (that I attended), latte art training, coffee at home training (next on my list) and commercial training.

The sessions are run in small numbers, with only 3 in my class (including me) and lasts around 2 to 3 hours. There's discount to be had if two of you are booking on the class so grab a coffee enthusiastic friend and sign yourselves up.