Sunday, 28 February 2016

Piccolino - Ilkley, West Yorkshire

The last time I visited Piccolino was on a disastrous date in 2009, the guy turned up in a long leather jacket and pasty white vitamin B deficiency skin, I was almost certain he was a vampire. The meal was long and boring, I couldn't tell you what I ordered and when the bill came to £50 I gladly took up his offer of him paying (I was just fresh out of uni and debt laden after all).

Hop and skip a few years and I never revisited Piccolino, traveling and discovering a food scene in Leeds I never knew existed had shied me away from chains and a left me forgetting about long standing establishments. Piccolino was back on my radar after a sweet tweet from Carlotta the Sales and Events Manager at Piccolino Ilkley, they have a new roof terrace that they wanted me to see. Ilkley is a one of my favourite places to visit on a weekend, if I could afford a house there (that isn't a pokey flat) I'd happily settle there too. I love the moors and I love the quirky town centre, therefore I wasn't going to pass up the chance to for a relaxing Saturday lunch and stroll on the moors afterwards.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Prezzo - The Light, Leeds City Centre

Prezzo has over 200 restaurants but I’d honestly never heard of them (or perhaps noticed them) until they arrived in the Light. Prezzo lies at the bottom of the escalator that I use when exiting the gym, I’m usually ravishing and stare longingly at the pizza and pasta being eaten or advertised. I’m surprised I’ve held off visiting for so long.

As a food blogger you’re not exactly ‘praised’ for going to chain restaurants, they’re often seen as the enemy taking away the custom from the local independents, but I guess we forget that at one time they were probably a local independent too. Despite the ‘foodie’ (a term I use loosely) world frowning upon chains they are still very popular with regular folk, they offer a sense of security for most and not only this, people actually like their food (shock horror).

Monday, 15 February 2016

The Deer Park - Roundhay, Leeds

I’ve written previously about the Deer Park, more specifically about their Sunday lunch option. I mentioned in my last post that I have eaten at the Deer Park a few times but had never blogged about it. The food has always been relatively expensive for what it is especially when ordering the lamb dish (as I normally do) which costs near to £20. The previous head chef is a friend of D’s and whilst under his care I never had a bad meal here. We returned last weekend to have one of the worst meals I’ve had since… well probably since Bar Soba if I’m being honest.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Leeds Kirkgate Market - The Next Generation - Food Hall and Artisan Food Producers

Picture Courtesy of Leeds City Council

I’ve been visiting Leeds Kirkgate Market for as long as I can remember. Some of the stalls I loved the most have gone but thankfully some of them still remain. I remember holding my nose as I was dragged through the fish market, I remember the lady who hung around on the steps with the long hair, I check in to the pets shop to see if they have any kittens and wish that I could have one, I enjoy handing over my list of ingredients which I have no idea what they are to the Indian lady on my favourite Indian produce stall, I buy soy sauce in bulk at a cheaper price from the small Chinese supermarkets whilst staring avidly at the strange ingredients that look like insects (perhaps they are). It’s fair to say the market is like an old friend to me. 

Friday, 12 February 2016

Afternoon Tea at Oulton Hall - Oulton, Leeds

Afternoon tea is a sweet luxury that is enjoyed by many, whether it is for some mother and daughter(s) bonding, girlfriends catching up or a loved up couple enjoying some extravagance and overdosing on sugar and tea.

I was delighted to be invited to Oulton Hall for afternoon tea, I was intrigued by the bespoke butler service and I was surprised to find that they were more than just a golf course and wedding location.

I'm a bit of a history geek so I did a little research beforehand to find out more about the hall and estate that was (feel free to skip if you find history boring!).

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Black Swan - February 2016 Menu Launch

I'll start by stating that this isn't a review, it's merely a glimpse of Black Swan's new menu. I was invited alongside many, many, many other bloggers to their menu launch last night; hat's off to Black Swan and their PR Company it was a brilliant event and I got to meet some lovely people to boot.

So what can you expect should you take a trip to Black Swan in the next coming months?

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Iceland - A Travel and Food Guide for Beginners

I know six days is a bit of an odd number of days to spend in a country, but if I'm being honest then it was actually 7 nights and 6 days and this was all down to when the cheapest flights were. My head is buzzing with information about Iceland so I thought it prudent to write it down whilst it's still fresh and worth something (perhaps) to somebody. I'd also like to one day be a travel blogger but money and work currently restricts that ambition (hint hint). 

Tapas Barinn - Reykjavik, Iceland

On our final night in Iceland we decided to visit Tapas Barinn, it was the last remaining restaurant on the list (if we discount Dill as we couldn't get a booking during our stay). I'd looked briefly at the menu before travelling and had noticed it to be quite extensive but hadn't really paid much attention to what was on it. Alongside the traditional tapas items such as patatas bravas, Spanish omelette etc you will also find Icelandic inspired tapas such as whale, rotten shark, puffins and some milder dishes.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Stofan Cafe - Reykjavik, Iceland

Not wanting to restrict ourselves to just the one coffee shop, although it was hard not to with a place like Reykjavik Roasters on our doorstep, we ventured to Stofan a less raved about coffee house.

Situated near the harbour it consists of two floors of second hand furniture; it is coffee house by day and bar by night. We'd had a busy morning taking the car to the garage to have four new wheels fitted after we burst one in the snow the night before (who knew if one wheel goes on a four by four all of them have to be replaced). We had no food in the apartment but were desperate to get the tired fixed so headed straight there, a couple of hours later we were hungry and drained we needed coffee and food.