Photograph-a-holic's style diary

Food & Dining

Insta-Food : September

Roasted butternut squash soup with added smoked chilli flakes for extra kick, with garlic ciabatta // Natural yoghurt, blackberries, raspberries and (homemade) killer granola // Sushi // Smoked bacon, asparagus & poached eggs with tonnes of cracked black pepper – sometimes simple is best // Pork & apple sausages with smashed baby potatoes with garlic, rosemary and lemon // Take out // Chilli prawns with garlic flatbread // Fruit snack // My latest addiction, Crunchy Nut Clusters // Smashed potatoes with garlic, rosemary and lemon with roasted shallots and tomatoes // Baked potato with crème fraîche mushrooms // Starting to find my love for autumn with apple and cinnamon muffins

When I’ve got my stressy pants on, one of the first things to go out the window is my regular eating.  Time for home cooking seems to evade me, and grabbing on the go starts to take it’s tole.  However this month, I’ve started to take the reigns again and get my regular eating habits back, which in turn has helped rid those little over jean bulges that had started to creep in.

I’m soon(ish) to move (again), and I hope to get some ‘how to’ recipes up for some of my favourite foods (expect simple, no fuss, full of flavour food that won’t use up every pot in your kitchen).  I currently have the world’s smallest kitchen (seriously, I put the chopping board down on the worktop, and I loose my worktop altogether) and whilst I’ve thought about it, my knickers would soon become twisted with frustration again trying to cook AND get some awesome photo’s in zero space.

So, in the mean time, with my focus on starting to love my arch enemy winter, it’s going to be all about finding some warming autumn recipes.

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Pizza & Laughter : Plymouth

I never want to not live by the sea, ever.  And yesterday Plymouth, the usual grey bleak little city that it is, made me do a double take, and think actually Plymouth, you’re not that bad.

After a couple routine weeks at work, I decided we all needed some much needed fun and bonding time.  (And good food, but that’s pretty much always a given with me.)  So, I got the team together and we took ourselves for an amazing deal on the Barbican.

Once a month on a Thursday sees The Vauxhall Quay and Annabel’s come together.  And what do you get?  For a crisp £10 note you’ll receive 1x comedy ticket at Annabel’s, to be enjoyed after filling your tum’s with pizza (and not of that horrid frozen stuff, this is REAL pizza.  Stone baked, super thin base and oozing with cheese) washed down with a chilled glass of vino, or beer, whichever the preference.  All (sunshine permitting, so I know it’s a big IF) whilst overlooking a view like this…

I know, you can see my reason for the double take now right??

It was also open mic night at The Vauxhall Quay, and it was so tempting just to stay, fill up the glasses and enjoy the view, much needed sunshine and performances.

However I have to say we were glad we popped next door to Annabel’s as the comic’s that night were hilarious, there was hardly a dry eye in the place.  Not only were our tummy’s already hurting from pizza over indulgence, but now they were being torn apart from laughter.  If you’re local, I highly recommend checking it out.  For the deal you need to book in advance, but the 10 I dragged along with me are already talking about booking next month’s already after their first experience.  A hard earned £10 well spent.

And, if you’re like me and you enjoy a cocktail (ok or two, or three), buy yourself a Cherry Popper.  Sweet yet sour, Disaronno and cherry brandy, my absolute favourite.  If you’re one of those crazy ones however who does’t like almond or cherry, treat yourself to a Espresso Martini instead.  You can thank me later.


Cardiff Park : Wales

So, last weekend myself and BF spent a whirlwind weekend in Cardiff.  We did however manage to get in as much good food and sunshine we could physically fit into it.

Considering the forecast was pretty horrific we managed a decent amount of lounging around Cardiff park.  Before heading out for food and (more) cocktails that evening, we strolled back to the hotel via Cwtch Mwar – a little bar tucked inside one of Cardiff’s boutique hotel’s.  The service was great, however sorry guys, you may have cocktails on the menu, but you can’t make them!  If I’d have opted for a decent glass of chilled white, I’d more than happily recommend this place.  The location is pretty random surrounded by (what looks like) council offices and petrol stations, but the bar and hotel look inviting and has an air of unpretentious swank about it.

However, back to the delectable food…  When we were planning this weekend we specifically wanted Cardiff as I had wanted to return to my favourite restaurant, Bully’s.  (You can just tell there’s a ‘but’ coming with the past tense of that sentence).  So (non refundable) hotel all booked, I go to reserve a table at THE best restaurant.  What I hand’t planned for was it being closed the week we were visiting.  Yes I sobbed, literally, and instantly text BF all in capitals my utter panic and distress that he must find somewhere, like NOW, that’s going to reduce my pain.  The restaurant is run by a family of four.  That’s it.  Four family members.  So, I can’t deny anyone a holiday, and they close their restaurant 4 weeks a year so they can do just that.  It does’t stop my selfish ‘but why, WHY the weekend I want to eat in your delectable, stomach bulging, amazingly serviced restaurant, do you have to go on holiday then? WHHHHYYYYY??’

So, a few rapid text’s to friend’s from the BF and we have new places to eat.  Both utterly lovely, despite not being THE restaurant.  If you’re visiting Cardiff, Bully’s should 100% be on your speed dial if you want great food, and possibly even better service.  Failing reservations, another 2 to check out would be The Potted Pig and The Meating Place.  (Both I’ve since found out part of the same family of restaurants).  Both medium priced, will fill your tummy’s well, and very enjoyable.  If you want slightly more theatre, I’d go for The Meating Place however, as if you decide to order one of their meat skewers (and they’re delicious so why would you not) they hang them from the ceiling over your table so you can pull the meat off and add it to your platter of roasted vegetables, cous cous, flat breads and tempting sauces.   Yum.