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Eating Out|| Sunday Roast @ Coin Laundry, Exmouth Market

I’ve been dying to go out for a roast for ages. I mean, I do make a bludy good roast at home – in fact, I brag about my mini herby roasties! But I still haven’t nailed those yorkshires. And to be completely honest it’s quite nice to go out for one, take a slow stroll back on an Autumn afternoon, and not worry about the clearing up. Especially if you can find a good spot…

Coin Laundry is a cool, relaxed spot on the corner of Exmouth market. It has an empty warehouse feel, with its high ceilings and open plan – almost like it’s been moved from the heart of Shoreditch or Hackney. It’s light and bright, and the interior is filled with blues, greens and woods, with flowers on the tables. It gives off a spring/summer season vibe, as though they’re bringing a bit of the outside in, yet it’s still cosy. Service was friendly and accommodating from the off, and it didn’t take us long to get our Sunday roast orders in.

Coin Laundry Sunday Roast

The Sunday menu runs from 11am through to 9pm – pretty good for a menu featuring roasts. There are a number of snacks, sharers and small plates for if you’re just popping in for a light lunch or nibbles over a catch-up, as well a few regular mains too (including a beef burger and cauliflower and okra curry). But on a sunday afternoon, there’s just one thing for it…a roast.

Coin Laundry Sunday Roast

The roast menu features four options, three meat and one veggie.

All served with roasties, seasonal veg, a Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

Coin Laundry Sunday Roast

Vegetarian options often get slated when it comes to roasts. But this one, the Beetroot and woodland mushroom Wellington with porcini gravy, was actually pretty good! No soggy bottoms here – the wellington was delicious. Whilst whole/larger pieces of mushroom would have been preferred to finely chopped, alongside the beautifully roasted beetroot, it still had a great flavour. The mushroom gravy was delicious too – and there was plenty.

Coin Laundry Sunday Roast Coin Laundry Sunday Roast

The Slow roast lamb leg with mint sauce did however steal the show. The lamb was tender, with a fantastic flavour. There was plenty of bold mint sauce to accompany the dish too.

Coin Laundry Sunday Roast Coin Laundry Sunday Roast

The roasties were fluffy inside and nice and crisp outside, and the selection of seasonal veg was great too. We loved the mix of greens and pearl onions which is being served right now! As for the Yorkshire puddings, well they were massive! Overall a super generous portion – I was stuffed!

As for the drinks, as we all know we need a good drink to accompany a roast…

The drinks menu features a handful of cocktails, draught, canned and bottled beer, plenty of wine and spirit options too. The Mortimer’s Orchard Cider (draught), was delicious and helped continue the early autumn vibes as it was pretty warm out. The Stiggins’ Daiquiri, a mix of pineapple rum, lime and cardamom, was strong and a little tart, but went down oh so well.

Coin Laundry Sunday Roast

We literally had not even a slither of space for dessert. But if you do have a sweet tooth to satisfy, there is a dessert menu with three options – dark chocolate fondant, panna cotta and cheesecake.

OVERALL:

  • Price: Roasts are priced between £13.50 and £18 which is pretty reasonable for London. Drinks are pretty reasonable too – the pint was only £5 and the cocktail was £9.
  • Food: Fab roasts – the veggie option impressed, but the lamb did steal the show. Very generous portions.
  • Drinks: Plenty of options. The Stiggins’ Daiquiri was a fab cocktail!
  • Atmosphere: bright and contemporary, yet cosy, spot for Sunday lunch. Friendly service.
  • Wait: Not overly busy the Sunday we visited. Do book ahead if you can though.

There is a basement area too, with bar, which opens into the evening – open until 1am Thursday to Saturday. I’ve been along before for drinks and nibbles, and it’s a fab spot for this – read my post on this here.

Chloe xx

*I was invited along to review for East London Girl, but it was SO good I wanted to share with you too!

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Travel|| A festive weekend in Edinburgh

This was my first ever trip up North, to Scotland – and I fell in love. Like seriously. We walked many stunning streets, ate lots of delicious food, had plenty of gin and mulled wine, and stayed in the cutest airbnb. It was such an amazing weekend away with some of my fave girls – you can’t beat a girls trip! I’m already dying to go back. Here’s why…

Edinburgh festive weekend break

Where to stay…

I highly recommend doing airbnb, especially if you’re heading up with a group of friends. I’ve done airbnb a few times now, and it’s always been so simple and easy. It’s great having a place to yourself too, you can come and go and chill out all together. We made the most of it on the first night and ordered in takeaway, something you don’t necessarily do in the same fashion in a hotel.

Edinburgh festive weekend break

The airbnb we stayed in was SO cute! Minimalist, bright and airy with plenty of foliage it was the perfect Instagram spot for a group of bloggers. Yes, there were a couple of photo shoots which happened before heading out! It was super central too, only about a five minute walk to the train station, and it’s not overly pricey (from £100 a night). The host let us check in late, and was friendly and helpful on arrival too. I would definitely recommend this spot if there’s four or more of you heading up!

Edinburgh festive weekend breakEdinburgh festive weekend breakThe view from the front window of the Airbnb..such a fab location!

Where to wander…

It felt like you could pretty much wander anywhere in the city, and stumble across some of the cutest little cobbled streets and quaint shops. But there are a few spots you HAVE to stroll to…

Edinburgh festive weekend break

The Castle…a wander up to the castle is a must. Not only to see the castle itself (we admired from the outside) but for the views out across the city too!). It’s fantastic.

Edinburgh festive weekend break Edinburgh festive weekend break

Circus Lane…we actually stopped here for everyone to grab a photo too! It’s a popular little spot because it’s so sweet…living along here would be the dream!

Edinburgh festive weekend break

Dean Village – a beautiful location along the river. You wouldn’t think this was part of the city. It feels like you’re on an adventure in the middle of nowhere. A cute location for a walk!

Edinburgh festive weekend break

Where to visit…

Edinburgh’s Christmas…the Christmas market! Filled with stalls, bars, Christmas treats, rides, ice skating and a silent disco, it’s THE spot to visit to get in the festive spirit. We popped along for a mulled wine (or two), which we enjoyed on the roof terrace looking out over the rest of the market. What a spot! We also took a little stroll through too, taking in the Christmas bustle. I only wish we had more time here. I came away feeling super festive.

Edinburgh festive weekend break Edinburgh festive weekend break

The Dome…with the most amazing Christmas tree. This is one of the most magnificent bars I’ve seen at Christmas! It’s filled with twinkly lights, and so many Christmas decorations, including an incredible Christmas Tree above the bar. Another spot which is a must-visit at this time of year. Pop in for a drink or two!

Edinburgh festive weekend break Edinburgh festive weekend break

Hoot the Redeemer…a quirky, edgy basement bar with fab cocktails and music. It does get busy at the weekend, but it’s a great little cocktail spot. They looked pretty cool too…mine had a fish floating in it. Not a real one, don’t worry!

Edinburgh festive weekend break

Where to brunch…

Checkpoint was a fantastic brunch recommendation by one of my colleagues. It has a simple interior, almost like a stripped back canteen giving it a not so special feel. The service was friendly, accommodating and helpful – they even offered to take a photo of the group as we were taking pics of the food.

Edinburgh festive weekend break

The brunch itself was pretty amazing. The Winter squash dish I tried (with cavolo nero, harissa yoghurt and eggs) was something else, so flavoursome. The shakshuka went down extremely well, and the potato gratin (with chorizo, tomato butter & a duck egg) was super delicious. The coffee was fab too – so smooth. A great start to one of our days exploring – and my fave spot of the two! With breakfast dishes priced between £4.50 and £7.50 it’s really well priced too!

Edinburgh festive weekend break

The Pantry was brunch stop two – it really is all about the brunch! The Pantry doesn’t take bookings so you do need to queue for a table. We waited about 45 minutes for a table for 5 on the Sunday we visited, and it was worth it.

Edinburgh festive weekend break

Service was ok (not as friendly or efficient as Checkpoint) but food was fab. I had the porridge special, with braised pears, ginger syrup and coconut yoghurt and it was the best porridge I’ve ever had. So creamy and thick, and the toppings added so much flavour!

Edinburgh festive weekend break

The V-guy (Veggie haggis, crispy halloumi, smoked paprika and thyme roasted tomato, confit mushroom,tattie scone, free range egg on sourdough and Heinz beans) was fantastic too. The veggie haggis a hit with all. The Sunshine on Stockbridge (Sweet potato, plum tomatoes, grilled courgette, guacasaca, free range poached eggs and poblano) was also a fab choice – everything super fresh and tasty! With dishes between £6.50 and £11.25 it’s a little more pricey than Checkpoint too, but we really did enjoy this on our final morning.

And Dinner…

We had a fantastic dinner at The Bon Vivant. It’s a cosy restaurant with next level service (super friendly), and delicious food. The menu is pretty small, offering more options for bites/snacks than mains – but the mains all looked ttasty. Although there was only one veggie option. The appetisers are a must. Small, individual bites, ensure you order at least a couple per person. All mains went down a treat. The salmon dish which was so tender and flavoursome. The dishes aren’t huge, so we did get some Parmesan and truffle chips too which I highly recommend doing too! We tried the house wine to accompany our meals, which was beautiful.

Edinburgh festive weekend break Edinburgh festive weekend break

With bites at £2, mains between £13 and £18, and bottles of wine starting at £22, it’s pretty reasonable for such a  fancy dinner spot.

And there you have it…my round-up of some of the best spots (discovered so far) for a festive weekend in Edinburgh. I fell in love and I definitely want to head back again next November to help me get in the festive spirit. It’s such a magical place.

Edinburgh festive weekend break

Have you been or are you planning on going?

Chloe xx

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Recipe|| Mac and Cheese – using up leftovers

Mac and Cheese is one of my go-to dishes. It’s super simple, so even when you’ve had a long, hard day in the office, you should still have enough patience and energy to whip a huge dish up. It’s also perfect for batch-cooking and can last a good few days for lunches or dinners.

Voucher Codes Mac and Cheese Recipe

It’s great for using up leftovers too, so we can avoid all that food waste. I love throwing in whatever I have leftover from a roast, or any veggies I have lying around. This makes it perfect for this time of year – all that leftover turkey, sausage meat stuffing (great for topping it!), cranberry sauce, sprouts (just shred them), and more.

I teamed up with Voucher Codes to create a video of my Leftover Roast Mac and Cheese. It’s my first proper recipe video, so it seems fitting that it’s one of my fave recipes…

I had so much fun creating this with the Voucher Codes team! One of the girls said I should start my own cookery channel – if only! It’s now my dream – I just need someone to do the video element hahaha.

My recipe is super versatile, allowing you to throw in whatever you have, and always goes down well. I took a huge dish to a dinner party recently, and one of the girls had my slow cooked lamb version and said it tops many she’s tried. I’m obviously not feeling smug at all.

It’s also pretty cheap to make. We worked it out at bout £1.30 per portion! Making it even more perfect for December when everyone is low on money after all the celebrations 😉

What’s your go-to recipe for using up leftovers this Christmas?

Chloe xx

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Out & About|| Norris’ Bar, Piccadilly

We all know I fell in love recently with piano bars. There’s something a little magical about them. Something which adds a essence of sophistication to the fun. Even when they’re playing a rendition of Bieber’s Love Yourself, and your tipsy self is singing along to your hearts content. Oh it’s so fun.

After my evening at Studio 88, I’ve been looking for more live music spots. Then last week, Nicola (East London Girl) invited me along to Norris’ Cafe Bar in Piccadilly, with a group of other london bloggers and foodies for an evening of music, drinks and nibbles….

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

Norris’ Cafe Bar is a swanky little spot 5 mins from Piccadilly station. It’s outer wall is glass, and the interior is filled with regal colours and metallics. At the one end of the bar there are two gorgeous grand pianos. One of which is for the live pianist, whilst the second has keys which move by themselves so you can look like you’re playing too. A great little photo opp.

The live pianist when we visited was Reeday music. To put it plainly, he was amazing! He played a mix of songs from today’s hits to classics, and did requests too! He even managed to combine and do his own rendition of Metallica crossed with Bieber. His version of “All I want for Christmas” was impressive – we couldn’t resist. Honestly, so much talent it’s crazy. His voice was SO good too.

It’s all about the drinks too of course.

In particular, the cocktails. There’s a relatively small but varied cocktail list and all the ones we tried amongst us seemed to go down very well. The Espresso Martini was super smooth and absolutely delicious – a fantastic one if I do say so myself.

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

The Bloody Delicious (Tanqueray Rangpur, Blood Orange Solerno Liquor, Fresh/Maraschino Cherries or Liquor, Elderflower Tonic) was more on the refreshing side. It was fruity, with a slight fizz and really tasty!

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

The food menu changed recently, and features a small selection of antipasti, pizzas, sides and a couple of other mains too, including mac and cheese, a burger and a salad. I’d recommend sharing a few…

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

The pizzas were pretty good. The Dolce Latte, Fig & Pancetta was my fave – I loved fig on a pizza!

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

The Polpette were really good too. The pork & ricotta meatballs were so tender and flavoursome. Served in a red wine & tomato sauce, the meatballs came with ciabatta for dipping. My favourite way to mop up excess sauce!

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

The Arancini were also yummy. Fried risotto cakes filled with Fontina cheese, they were beautifully crisp on the outside, and mildly cheesy in the middle. These were served with a fab tomato and basil sauce too.

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

We had such a fab night of cocktails, plates and music. A lovely way to see in the festive season with an amazing group of girls. Norris’ would make a fantastic spot for a girls evening, date night or special occasion. I’m definitely returning as soon as I can! I’ll be making any excuse for an evening out!

Norris' bar, Piccadilly

Summary:

  • Price: Cocktails start at £9, antipasti at £6, mains at £8.50 and pizzas at £9.50, which is pretty good for such a fab spot in the West End.
  • Drinks: The cocktails were fab. Norris’ does a fantastic Espresso Martini!
  • Atmosphere: sophisticated, classy yet fun. Great date night spot, or for a special occasion – or just a Friday evening with the girls.
  • Service: Super friendly and helpful!

Have you been to a piano bar before? What’s your go-to request?

Chloe xx

*I was invited along to a blogger event by East London Girl. All views my own.

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Eating Out|| Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu @ Bar & Block

I do love a mulled wine. Practically a warm cup of Christmas. The festive notes, the sweet edge, it’s truly delicious. But it can be quite heavy and after two or three, sometimes a little too much.

This year, I tried mulled gin as an alternative and it’s fab. It’s a little lighter and refreshing, sometimes a little citrus, and almost as festive – one made with a mulled apple is so christmassy.

Sipsmith gin has collaborated with Bar and Block, the all-day steak house with seven locations, to create a Hot Gin Menu. It’s the first big national roll-out of a Hot Gin menu for Sipsmith, with the drinks featuring in all seven restaurants across the UK. 

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

Bar and Block has a relaxed, premium steakhouse vibe inside. The interiors are filled with wooden floors and tables, dark leather booths, exposed brick and low hanging lights. It’s pretty relaxed and the service is friendly and helpful. 

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

The new Sipsmith Hot Gin menu is inspired by people of the 1690s and 1700s (the earliest records of hot drinks, and food pairings).

Back in the 1700s, when temperatures were crazy cold, people used to go home and make a hot drink to warm up. It was warmed by sticking a hot poker in it and they would basically hug the cup, wrapping themselves around it. There are three hot gin drinks on the menu, all great all in their own way.

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

The first ever recorded food pairing (in 1690s) is for gin and gingerbread (amazing right?!). It was the inspiration for the Hot Gin & Gingerbread. Made with Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Sipsmith Gingerbread Syrup, hot water and an orange slice for garnish, it was delicious. A little more citrus than any other mulled gin I’ve tried previously, it was super refreshing. 

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

The Hot Winter G&T was also a little citrus, and went down well. Consisting of Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Sipsmith Sloe Gin, Sipsmith Tonic Syrup, hot water, and an orange slice, it was deeper in flavour from the sloe gin. My favourite however was the Hot Mulled Sloe. Made with Sipsmith Sloe Gin, spiced mulled cloudy apple juice, and an orange slice for garnish, it is a little heavier, and sweeter. It has a fab, almost festive, flavour. We loved it!

We enjoyed our hot gin drinks alongside (to begin, accompany and finish) a fab steak feast…

The main menu is extensive with steaks, speciality cuts, burgers, fish and veggie options, and salads. 

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

The 10oz Fillet steak (medium) was was nice and tender. It was pretty yummy. The french fries went down well alongside, and the Trio of Peppercorn sauce was creamy and so tasty. We do love a peppercorn sauce!

The 8oz Sirloin was ordered medium rare, and although it arrived a touch more to the medium end of the scale, it was super flavoursome, and tender. The sweet potato fries were fab too, not overly crispy. The Mushroom, Red Wine and Pancetta sauce , was rich, deep in flavour and went fantastically with the steak!

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

As for the sides…

The side of House Salad was a fresh, fab mix of crunchy vegetables drizzled in dressing – I was craving some extra green. The Creamed Sweetcorn was sweet, and certainly creamy – it was a fab side to our steaks.

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

The Mac and Cheese Bites were another fantastic choice, crispy on the outside, just enough cheesy mac inside. They were so tasty!

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

Portions were pretty good, but the desserts were super generous in size…make sure you save space and I recommend sharing this…

The Chocolate Churros Sundae.

Sipsmith Hot Gin Menu, Bar & Block

It was a huge sundae, arriving piled high and looking magnificent. A mason jar filled with super creamy vanilla ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, rich brownie chunks, cream and chocolate toffee sauce. It was topped with two big churros coated in cinnamon sugar and was seriously dreamy! The churros were fantastic, super sweet. There were plenty of brownie chunks and the ice cream was super tasty.

What a way to finish a feast – along with a hot gin of course!

SUMMARY

  • Price: the new hot gin drinks are all priced a £6.50 which is pretty good for a mulled drink this season. Mains range from £9.95 to £28.95, with steaks being pretty standard in price.
  • Drinks: The new Sipsmith Hot Gin menu is inspired by the 1700s, and makes a delicious alternative to a mulled wine.
  • Food: the mains were good, but space for the dessert!
  • Atmosphere: a classy steakhouse with a relaxed vibe.
  • Wait: It wasn’t overly busy on a Friday eve when we visited, so there shouldn’t be too much wait.

Have you tried hot mulled gin before? Where’s your favourite spot for a winter drink?

Chloe xx

*I was invited along to review for East London Girl, but it was SO good I wanted to share with you too!

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