Monday, 23 May 2016

Take the dog for a cuppa at Wags and Whiskers

I don't actually have any pets, although I did grow up with them. We had dogs, cats, fish, birds, lizards, rabbits and guinea pigs. At its peak, our house was described as a zoo! Now I've moved out and Mum has the house to herself she has two dogs, two cats and is also looking after my sister's dog. It's always nice to pop round and see the animals as I can't see myself getting any of my own anytime soon. I get all the nice aspects of the dogs without having the bad bits!

Recently the pet shop that Mum frequents, Wags and Whiskers, opened a new cafe. The cafe is special in that it not only allows dogs, it welcomes them, offering a dog-only section of the menu. On Saturday we popped along with Mum's chihuahua Peggy to see what it had to offer. 

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

Wags and Whiskers Dog Canine Cafe Stockton

We arrived about 10.30am hungry for some much needed breakfast. The cafe is located in Stockton, down Finkle Street, a popular little patch for small hearty cafes. When we arrived there were many wet noses and waggy tails enjoying their grub, eager to greet us. The cafe was bright, airy and very clean. Dog bowls were dotted across the floor to cater for customer's furry friends.

We got a seat and had a pursue at the menu whilst Peggy became acquainted with the other dogs visiting the canine cafe. I was really in the mood for some beans on toast so was a little disappointed to see no beans on the menu. Despite my initial disappointment I settled for a cheese and tomato toastie with a pot of good ol' Yorkshire Tea.

Peggy had a bit of choice on her menu with a selection of treats including doggy beer, pupcakes and cookies. Once she'd quelled her initial excitement she finally decided on a doggy doughnut. Although a bit tough to get into, once Mum cut it up for her she was thoroughly enjoying it.

Our toasties came and they were lovely, just what we needed. This cafe is such a lovely addition to Stockton bringing together lots of dog lovers and their four legged friends. It's such a lovely environment will all the other customers.  You definitely can't come in for a quiet brew with your pup as everyone wants to see everyone else's dogs. This is great though as it is so different from other places where everyone would be silent, on their phones or unresponsive to other diners. Even if you don't have a dog, but love them, you can come down have a scone and a cup of tea and be surrounded by other people's dogs!
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Being fancy at Angelina

Before we jetted off to Paris I'd been researching where we should visit, what we could see and most importantly, where we would eat. One place came up that I knew we HAD to visit. Boasting amazing cakes and desserts as well their infamous hot chocolate, Angelina was high on my list of places to visit.

I'd first come across Angelina whilst browsing places to eat in Paris over on Andrea's blog. She raved about their thick, luxurious African hot chocolate. As I'd heard Anglina was a popular place with queues out the door on most occasions I decided to book us a slot before we landed in Paris. This was super easy and could be done through their website. There are two Angelina's in Paris, one which I think most people will know about as it's not far from the Louve and another which is a little out of the main centre within a shopping centre.

Without knowing which was which when I booked, I decided to look at the map and book the one closest to our hotel. That happened to be Porte Maillot which was located about 10 minutes from the Arc De Triomphe in a very fancy quaint little shopping centre. When we arrived it was very quiet, a real contrast from the other Angelina we'd past the day before. Although we were early for our reservation we were sat down and given our menus.

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

Angelina Porte Maillot Paris France Tea Room African Hot Chocolate

As we were here for a late lunch we browsed through their food selection knowing that ultimately my beverage of choice was going to be hot chocolate. They had a good selection of lunch options, although not extensive, and in the end I decided to go with a french classic, Croque Monsieur with truffle oil. Different to the usual ham and cheese, this one contained chicken which was a lovely change up. It arrived very swiftly with a nice fresh side salad.

Now the hot chocolate. When this arrived we had our two tea cups, a bowl full of fresh cream and a jug of the good stuff. The lady poured out our hot chocolate and then we tucked in. The hot chocolate was VERY rich and oh so dark it was a little bitter. I definitely enjoyed my first cup and mixed in a bit of the fresh cream to take the edge off. After I'd finished my lunch I went in for a second cup. The lady kindly warmed up our jug of hot chocolate as it had gone cold during our meal. She then poured us both out the remains (no time for a pouring shot which saddened me greatly) and we began sipping again. Now this hot chocolate is amazing but after a while it can get very sickly and samey so unforutnaly I didn't manage all of my second cup. I think this is a treat to be enjoyed but one cup will do!

After our food we were so full that we didn't get chance to try a dessert even thought they looked STUNNING. Now that I'm back in the UK I'm disappointed we didn't just get one and put ourself through the pain of being stuffed just so we could have tried one. Oh well will have to find another way to try these pieces of beauty.

So overall I wouldn't definitely say to visit. This place is classy and backs itself up with great food, dessert and hot chocolate. It's a little pricy but when you are in Paris you want the best, am I right? Also my biggest tip, go to Angelina Porte Maillot! It may not be the fanciest one in the best location but it's quiet, easy to get to and still serves up everything the other does. It also has a takeaway part to it where you can buy their hot chocolate, cakes and macarons. Its definitely a hidden gem.

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Sunday lunchin' at Canteen and Cocktails

When you usually venture to somewhere that's known for it's burgers and cocktails, you don't think they're going to do a good Sunday Roast. But if you head to Canteen and Cocktails you're in for a treat. I've been previously and tried their burgers and can with absolute certainty tell you they are a thing of beauty. 

For a special occasion recently we went along to their Norton restaurant on what happened to be on a Sunday. Our eyes were all drawn to the amazing sounding Sunday Lunch, so that's what we all chose. Well bar one, the birthday girl, who chose a burger. Who can blame her though!

Canteen and Cocktail serve their Sunday Lunches on platters either with one meat (£9pp) or a choice of two (£10pp). You let them know how many of you are partaking in the platter and they will size it up. It's accompanied by cauliflower cheese, roasties, parsnips, creamy mash, seasonal vegetables, yorkshire puddings and C&C secret recipe gravy.

Canteen and Cocktails Sunday Lunch Teesside Stockton

Canteen and Cocktails Sunday Lunch Teesside Stockton

Canteen and Cocktails Sunday Lunch Teesside Stockton

When our food arrived we were pleasantly surprised by the sheer amount that was placed in front of us. There were plates and bowls everywhere on our table filled with amazing looking food. I instantly got stuck in piling my plate high with beef, chicken and all the other sides. It was all delicious. Like seriously. I was in heaven eating this plate of food because all the sides were just so nice. There was a little hint of spiciness and I'm not sure if if came from the mash or their secret recipe gravy but it was subtle.

I can honestly say it is one of my favourite roasts on Teesside. Everyone else on our table loved it too.  I think I was just surprised that somewhere that specialises in burgers could have such a good Sunday lunch. They certainly delivered and there is nothing like it anywhere in our area.
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