Nestled on Kingsland Road, Dalston is a delightful little Italian restaurant, The Bite. We stumbled on it, late Saturday evening, tired and hungry for pizza; it didn’t disappoint.
The Bite has a casual, cosy feel, with friendly staff and a typical Italian menu: pizza, pasta, calzone.
Their pizzas are Neopoliatan style, with a thin base and lots of sauce.I went for the Capricciosa and to be honest, it was absolutely just as good as the ones I’ve had in Rome and Venice.
A lovely thin but doughy base, with a very generous helping of mozzarella, plus cooked ham, mushrooms, artichokes and green olives. For all those crazy pizza combinations out there, is there anything better than this classic?!
The Bite is a no frills kind of place, but cute and welcoming, with lots of delicious Italian comfort food.
The Bite, 533 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 4AR
A few weeks ago, I wondered into Monsoon, and immediately spotted one of the sales assistants wearing the most perfect black velvet dungarees. I had to have them.
Being above average height, jumpsuits, playsuits, dungarees are always, always too short in the body (basically, they’re all up in my business). So I didn’t have high hopes when I tried them on, but they fitted like a dream.
They’ve got a slim ‘mom jeans’ style leg, with adjustable straps that come up the back.
On the front there are silver hoops, and some really lovely covered buttons on the side.
The velvet fabric makes them that little bit smarter, so that I can be team them up with a roll neck and brogues to be work appropriate. But I’m also loving chucking them on with a stripy tshirt and trainers at the weekend. Basically, I’m going to be living in these velvet dungarees for the rest of winter.
Turn off the busy parade of Gloucester Road, and you find a handful of cute, independent restaurants along Zetland Road. One of my favourites for a special occasion is Greens; serving a small menu of traditional British dishes with influences from international cuisines, using high quality, local ingredients.
Greens is a ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant, taken over by Head Chef Martin Laurentowicz, and front of house Nick Wallace, in 2012, whose partnership began in fine dining restaurants in Scotland.
From the outside, Greens looks cute and cosy; very enticing when you walk past at night. And inside it’s decorated very simply, with a cool, intimate atmosphere. It’s the kind of place you can dress up for on date night, or pop in on the spur of the moment if there’s a spare table.
Last time we went was over the weekend between Christmas and New Year, the time when you have no real clue what day it is. There were a handful of other tables, a mix of families, friends and dates.
To start I had the wild mushroom and buffalo mozzarella arancini with aioli and truffle oil (£8.50). Mushroom and mozzarella are always a perfect combination, so these were fried delights.
This was followed traditional Cullen skink with smoked haddock, braised leeks and cripsy potatoes (£16.50). Cullen is a thick Scottish soup – the smoked haddock flavour was almost overwhelming, but the braised leeks added a little taste of sweetness. Overall, it was a little too salty for my taste, but I did enjoy it.
Finally we shared a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and cream. It was rich, decadent and amazing.
Greens is a lovely little place for an evening meal, especially if you catch their evening set menu of two courses for £17.95 or three courses for £23.95, Monday to Thursday.
Inspired by street vendors and food trucks, Got Beef initially started out as a mobile catering business for gourmet burgers, and then took up residence as a pop up kitchen at The Canadian in Adamstown, Cardiff. In 2014, Got Beef fully joined Cardiff’s growing burger scene with its own restaurant on Whitchurch Road.
Got Beef burgers
Offering a creative burger menu, and some very indulgent sides – it’s best to go there hungry. There’s a lot of mouth watering choices, and a special mention definitely has to go to the Donald Trump burger – ‘Mexican cheese, American cheese, Russian dressing, topped with a tiny pickle’!
I went ‘dirty’ with my food choices. I order the Dirty South burger (£8): a tender beef patty, with cajun onions, a homemade bbq sauce, jalapenos, cajun mayo and American cheese all served in a brioche bun. The burger itself was great, and the jalapenos gave it a real kick – I would say that the bun was a little oversized compared to the burger though, but overall it’s up there with the best burgers!
On the side I went for the dirty fries (£3.55) – perfectly cooked fries topped with American cheese, bacon sprinkles, jalepenos and chipotle sauce. It was a perfect portion size for one person; indulgent, delicious but not too excessive.
The true highlight of the meal was the halloumi fries (£3.60) – big chunky pieces of cheese fried and smothered in hoisin sauce, peanut crumble and sesame seeds.
We went on a Monday evening, and the place was buzzing – it’s probably worth booking a table. We were slightly disappointed with how long we had to wait after we ordered the food, and a long gap between burgers and sides arriving – but it was very busy and the staff were all lovely.
If you’re after a burger in Cardiff, Got Beef should definitely be on your shortlist!
Last week, on an after work trip over to Cardiff, we decided to pop down to Cardiff Bay and soak up the last of the evening sun.
I haven’t been down to Cardiff Bay in at least a couple of years, but it’s still just as buzzing as ever, with a lots of new exciting restaurants and bars around the waterfront.
Chai Street, Cardiff Bay
This is my second visit to a branch of the Cardiff local gem, Chai Street Indian Street Kitchen. It’s a really laid back restaurant, with the best, bright and dazzling decor; ideal for just dropping in on a whim, or for a special meal.
I went for the Traditional Chicken Thali (£11.95) – a spicy chicken curry, a potato curry, dal, raita, pickle, mini poppadums, rice and a naan bread. I love to try a bit of lots of different things, so thalis are ideal for that, plus the Chai Street thali is slightly different every time. Despite the heat, the chicken curry was definitely the highlight for me though.
Tom, meanwhile, went all out and ordered the non-vegetarian Chai Special Thali (£13.25). This was a meal and a half, it included: a starter (baji), a chicken curry, a lamb curry, and some of the potato vegetable curry, as well as dal, raita, pickle, poppadums, rice and a naan bread.
It was a really delicious thali (almost as good as Thali in Bristol), but I think next time I’m going to try out some of their ‘Street Delights’. The chicken lollypops (marinated with spices, ginger, garlic and then fried!), Prawn Chatpata and the samosas all sounded, smelled and looked incredible!
If you find yourself down at Cardiff Bay, hungry and fancy some authentic Indian street food, then definitely check out Chai Street. They also have restaurants in Canton and on the High Street in Cardiff – so there’s no excuse not to visit.
This weekend, I went down to Cornwall for a beautiful wedding – perfect, sunny weather, old friends, many many drinks, and a picturesque location made for a wonderful time.
We travelled down Friday afternoon, and went straight to our B&B in Harlyn Bay near Padstow. We were staying in the Harlyn Inn; a pretty basic room above a pub, but literally just across the road from the beach.
Sadly we didn’t have much time to spend on the beach, but it’s the perfect little spot for sunbathers, dog walkers and surfers. We did find a little time to dip our toes and take in the view before dinner though.
I picked this yellow floral midi skirt up in Zara’s sale this week. It’s a-line cut is so comfy and flattering, and I love the jazzy pattern, perfect for super sunny days like we’ve been having recently.
The restaurant is located in a holiday park, you go past a play area, up the steps and there’s a little inside area with a few tables and a covered outside seating area with the most stunning views across the fields to the sea.
I had the fish goujons, that came with a generous portion of fries and a delicious salad and balsamic dressing. Amy went for The View burger – beef, cheddar cheese and chutney.
The View is a lovely little, family run restaurant that’s definitely worth visiting.
Summer wedding in Trevone
The wedding was at the Well Parc Hotel, Trevone. The hotel has a perfect garden overlooking the beach and the seas, the ideal backdrop for an outdoor ceremony. And the weather was absolutely incredible.
The Lazy Dog 112, Ashley Down Rd, Ashley Down, Bristol BS7 9JR 0117 9244 809
A modern, cosy pub in Ashley Down, The Lazy Dog is a great place to end the week with a Sunday Roast.
We turned up at about 1.30pm, without booking and it was pretty busy but we found a little table in a corner. The beef was perfect, the yorkshire was huge and just the right combination of fluffy and crispy, and there was plenty of roast potatoes and vegetable.
Right next to Temple Meads is Yurt Lush, is the one permanent home of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion. Inside is pretty warm in the summer so we sat on one of the benches outside. We didn’t book a table even though you can, but at 2pm on a Sunday there were two or three empty tables. The Yurt Lush roast is a little more than some others at £13, but the setting and the food make it worthwhile.
The appetisers were delicious, and an added bonus to a great roast dinner.
There was a fairly long wait for the food, and intially I was a little disappointed with the amount of vegetables, but there was a generous helping of meat and a huge yorkshire pudding.
The Social 130, Cheltenham Road, Bristol
Stepping inside The Social feels a bit like going into a Tardis, a brief look in the window made us think it was quite small and very busy but when you go in it’s suprisingly big – we easily found a table towards the back at about 1pm for our roast dinner.
The atmosphere is laidback and cosy, perfect for recoperating after a heavy night or meeting up with friends.
However, the wait for the Sunday Roast was well over 45 minutes, and by the time they arrived we were desperately hungry!
The size of the roast dinner made up for the wait though, plenty of tender beef as well as a generous amount of perfectly cooked vegetables. It might not look fancy, but it was just want a Sunday roast should be – delicious, fresh comfort food.
I’d heard really good things about roasts at The Volunteer Tavern, so I was pretty excited to try it out. We tried to book in advance, but apparently you can only book if you’re a party of 8 or more. When we arrived at 1pm all the empty tables inside were reserved, so we ended up sitting outside at the back.
We both went for the beef, and the food came out within about 5 minutes of ordering. Unfortunately, this was the only really impressive thing about the roast.
For me some of the meat was a little fatty and chewy, so much that I couldn’t cut some bits with a knife. However, there was plenty of meat that was tender and delicious.
The vegetables were a little on the stingey side – one brocolli floret, boiled carrots and cabbage – all well cooked but nothing special. And the yorkshire pudding was minimal. The roast potatoes were the highlight, crusty but fluffy on the inside.
Overall, for the price I wasn’t impressed with The Volunteer Tavern, there was nothing wrong with it, but I’ve definitely had better roast dinners in Bristol.
Located at the top of the harbourside in Bristol, Under the Stars is a lovely little bar and restaurant on a boat. It’s ideal in the summer when you can sit out on top and enjoy the harbour, but even in the winter the downstairs area is perfectly cosy. We had a little table by the window so we could look out over the harbour.
Under the Stars serves tapas and Pizza, all of which sounded too good, so we ordered both!
Under the Stars tapas
Oak Smoked Trout with roasted piquilo peppers, sherry vinegar and chilli oil (£5) Incredible flavours, the chilli was an amazing twist to the strong fish flavour.
Spanish Chorizo cooked with Somerset Cider, red onions and garlic (£4.50) You absolutely have to order this, the meat is soft and deliciously infused with the flavours of the cider and red onions. Use the extra bread to soak up the leftover sauce – don’t waste a drop!
Patatas Bravas with tomato chilli sauce and alioli (£3.75) Not the most exciting of the tapas dishes, but the chilli certainly added a kick. It worked well with the other two intensely flavoured dishes.
Pizza at Under the Stars
Calabria – Italian nduja chilli salami, buffalo mozzarella and black olives (£10.00) Thin and just a little crispy on the crusts, there was plenty of cheese and the salami was just the right amount of spicy, and of course the olives- a pretty perfect pizza!
Under the Stars is a lovely little boat perfect for a romantic meal, or a quiet evening with friends. I look forwards to going back in the summer and sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and harbour side atmosphere.