Saturday, 21 October 2017

Worth the hype? America's Halloween Treats

Now I'm back from my trip to America, I'm enjoying the fruits of our travel, mainly the stash of treats I hauled back in my hand luggage. As we were over in the run up to Halloween, I could not not search out all the pumpkin flavoured treats I'd been seeing all over the internet. Getting these through security was heavy and led to my bag being searched, but it was definitely worth it so I could dig in when I was back on English soil and in the British Autumn weather.

As these products are all not accessible to us in the UK, I thought I'd put you out of your misery and let you know my thoughts on them. If you should be pining over their existence, or simply forgetting about them...
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice

A quick story about how I came to purchase these little Halloween treats. Whilst on a march across Atlanta to find a quirky bohemian type area I noticed we were pretty close to Target. Through my online searching, I found that Target was the place to be if you wanted to indulge in America's hoard of Halloween treats.

The internet was certainly not wrong and when we stumbled across the Halloween section I was so ecstatic. I quickly filled our basket with Oreos and M&Ms. Upon waiting to leave the store I also noticed they had Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts, so had to rush back in. I was very happy that these guys all survived the Atlanta heat and the excessive walking we had to do to get back!

First up are the Oreos. We all know that America always has the best and newest flavour Oreos - like birthday cake, cinnamon bun & red velvet - and during Autumn they came out with pumpkin spice and apple pie. I decided I obviously needed both in my life...

My favourite out of the two is pumpkin spice, its really light without too much spice and not too sickly. When you have your first bite of the apple pie one, it is so yummy and you can taste apple pie but as you keep eating they start to get very sweet and super sickly. Lovely as a small treat now and then but I don't think I could have more than one at a time!

Pumpkin Spice - 7/10
Apple Pie - 5/10

Another one of the items that was on my list to pick up was M&Ms. Again America have some innovative flavours that you can't get easily over here like peanut butter, white chocolate, mint and almond. In the Halloween section I found these two that I'd not tried before - white pumpkin pie and cookies and screeem.

White pumpkin pie was the first flavour to be tried and I can attest to the fact you can definitely taste pumpkin spice. For me its a bit too much and to be honest I'm not a fan of white chocolate so this one isn't a winner for me.

Cookies and screeem doesn't taste much to me like cookies and cream but more of a muddled chocolate that isn't sure what it is. As much as I like what they look like, I'd say to stay clear of these too.

White Pumpkin Pie - 3/10
Cookies and Screeem - 4/10

American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice
American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice

Finally the last product to try and thankfully America's saving grace. I'm a real lover of Pop Tarts but I don't get them much as they are far too bad for you, especially as a breakfast. These ones looked too cute and too pumpkin-themed not to pick up and I was glad that when I finally tried them on my first day back at work, they lived up to my hype.

These little heavenly morsels are just pumpkin enough for my liking with the right amount of spice that fills your kitchen with the scent ALL DAY (if you toast them I mean). These are lightly sweet balanced out with the not-so-sweet pumpkin filling. Definitely a perfect ode to the great pumpkin pie.

Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts - 9/10

So although my Halloween treat haul was not all I thought it would be, I still got some super tasty treats and it satisfied my curiosity. And to be fair my haul in Target cost a lot less then some of my other spends during my trip - I'm looking at you Bath and Body Works.

Take my thoughts as you please, but it you're a Halloween pumpkin-lover you now know which ones I'd suggest you pick up.


American Halloween Treats Oreo M&Ms Pop Tart Pumpkin Pie Spice


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails | 2

When I was in the kitchen making my first Halloween cocktail, I decided to get a few other bottles of alcohol out and try to make a few more. Looking through my flavour thesaurus for some inspiration of what might go well together, I decided to try melon and orange. After I had my base, I decided to make it a little more gruesome adding it to a cauldron looking jar and dropping in a few extras.

When I sat back and looked at my creation I decided that it reminded me of Hercules the film. The jar looks like the cauldron that the witches use and the red and green layer with the speckles of orange zest represent the Underworld which Hercules brought Meg back from. Well that's what I thought anyway, overall its just a lovely drink!

The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails
The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails

For this you will need:
1 shot of Midori
1 shot of Triple Sec
Soda water
optional: orange zest

1. In your glass put in some and then add your Midori and Triple Sec, mix, then top with soda water.

2. To add a red layer to the bottom on your glass, pour a little bit of grenadine in being careful to pour towards the edge to keep the layer.

3. Finally to add the grizzly spirits whirling around in the 'Underworld' grate an orange over the top of the drink.

The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails
The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails

I'm only a real fan of sweet, fruity drinks and that is what this is. The melon and the orange work really well together and the addition of grenadine works well with any drink.

Let me know if you make this or if it inspires any other Halloween creations. I have one more Halloween cocktail recipe left which will be up next Tuesday!


The Underworld - Halloween Cocktails


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails | 1

I took a trip to TKMaxx in September when all the Halloween and Autumn homewear was released in early September and came across the most adorable pumpkin copper mug. This inspired me to create a few Halloween-themed cocktails which I'll be posting throughout October! The first one is very comforting and Autumnal, presented in the gorgeous copper pumpkin mug.

The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails
The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails

For this you will need:
300ml Milk
1 shot of Irish cream
1 shot of Triple Sec
1/2 tbsp Pumpkin spice
optional - marshmallows to top

1. Warm your milk in the microwave in a microwave safe mug or jug for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each until you're happy it's at a good temperature.

2. Add a shot of Irish Cream and Triple Sec to your cup/mug and sprinkle in your pumpkin spice. If you can't find pumpkin spice simply make your own. I made mine with a recipe from Pinterest.

3. Finally add your warm milk, mix all together, then decorate with your marshmallows and enjoy.

The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails
The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails
The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails

This is a very sweet and comforting drink with a subtle orange undertone. It makes a great alternative to hot chocolate and would be a great accompaniment to a night out at the fireworks (just make you're not the designated driver!).

I'd love to know if you try this out and I can't wait to share my other drinks with you! Hope you're excited for Halloween.


The Spiced Pumpkin - Halloween Cocktails


Friday, 29 September 2017

Trying out the latest cut at Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto

If you're from in and around Teesside you will have heard of the new restaurant in town, Tomahawk Steakhouse. What used to be The Dog and Gun in Potto has now been taken over and transformed into a modern, trendy steakhouse specialising in meat. Established by the people behind the Lotus Lounge, Tomahawk has now been open for seven months, so I thought it was about time I tried it out.

Organised by my fellow food-lover Rachel, we decided to go for the Early-Bird Menu which was fantastic value for money. I went for two courses at £13.50 whilst Rachel opted for all three at £15.95.

On arrival into the car park, we were greeted by two life-sized fake cows which confirmed to us that we were in the right place. The layout of the restaurant is very much the same as it was when it was The Dog and Gun but it seems much more modern with lots of clean colours and wooden furniture.

Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto - North Yorkshire
Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto - North Yorkshire

After a quick browse at the menu, it was time to order. Rachel chose the Salt and Pepper Squid to start which she throughly enjoyed. For our main course and dessert we happened upon the same options; 8oz 28-day Himalayan salt dry aged rump steak followed by Vanilla Creme Brûlée.

Although I'm not a fan of pink meat, I decided to have my steak cooked medium as the past few times that I've gone for medium to well, I haven't enjoyed it. When it came it was pretty pink in the middle but it tasted great. The steak was really flavourful and I paired it with a Diane sauce which was very rich. The chips and salad that accompanied it were perfect too.

Tomahawk Steakhouse, Potto - North Yorkshire

Next up was dessert and having only had Creme Brûlée once before so I'm not able to tell what's a good one and what isn't, but this was pretty tasty. The little shortbread biscuit that came with it was good for breaking through the sickly sweet topping.

Overall I had a really great time at Tomahawk. The interior is elegant, the staff are very friendly and the food is really fantastic quality and full of flavour. If you're looking for a new spot to try in the North East, this should definitely be on your list.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Further steps I'm taking to reduce waste

Last month I wrote about how I'd come across the zero waste initiative and the community that are actively promoting this lifestyle. I noted the few ways I would try to help out the environment myself. I thought I'd write a follow up post about my thoughts on trying to reduce waste and what has been working for me.

Reducing waste on fresh produce
Living quite close to a lot of farmland, I've been searching locally for fresh produce that I can purchase package-free. Although I pass it most times I go into Tesco, I've never really looked properly at the fruit and vegetable stand that's located outside. I visited with my new reusable produce bags and picked up a great haul of delicious produce. I was so pleased with what was available without plastic and shopping this way enabled me to pick up just what I needed. I did have a quick look in Tesco for a few extra bits I needed and it is crazy to see practically all their fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic! Have a look around and you can definitely find plastic-free alternatives.

Being more aware of plastic packaging
In this day and age, avoiding plastic is so hard when shopping for food. Everything is wrapped in a layer of plastic film and when you start really looking it's quite astonishing how much is used. It now fills me with joy when I find something new that is unpackaged and ready to pick up as it is. Making more with fresh is definitely an option but sometimes it is more work which you just don't have time for. I tried to make my own bread during last month which wasn't too successful but hopefully I can nail it. I am now on the lookout more and more for package-free food like bread, nuts, rice and grains.

Straws are EVERYWHERE!
Seeing people with straws or getting a drink handed to me with one in honestly now makes my heart sink. The idea that we use a piece of plastic for literally an hour or so and then chuck it in the landfill is so wrong. It's hard to anticipate when you get a drink, if the bar staff are going to try and pop a straw in your drink so you're always on guard. I recently went to a wedding and forgot my metal straws but I was happy to see that they didn't stick a straw in every drink! I would urge people to really consider if they need a straw. If not desperately needed, refuse it.

I'm desperate to compost
We tend to throw away quite a few bits of vegetables and fruit such as peelings or odd ends. Every time I pop something in the bin I desperately wish I had a compost bin. It is definitely on our agenda but we are currently sorting out garden out before we can find one its forever home. If anyone has any tips in the meantime about composting, please let me know!

Taking in part
Recently I took part in a beach litter pick in which we surveyed the amount and the type of litter collected. Having never really looked at the litter on the beach in this way before, it was astounding to see what people will drop and leave, or unknowingly dispose of. I'm definitely going to continue to help with litter pick ups with Friends of Redcar as they do these monthly. If you live in the area and fancy it too, have a look at their Facebook for dates.

Ridding plastic from the bathroom
I'm trying and actually succeeding in reducing plastic in our bathroom. I've got myself and Matthew a bamboo toothbrush which took a few uses to get used to, but now it is no different. I now use Earth Conscious deodorant (as seen in my last blog post), Lush bar shampoo and condition, Lush face soap and Sanex soap for washing. I'm still using up other products such as body butters and my face moisturiser but I will be looking for alternatives once they're gone. The switch for me has been relatively easy as I love Lush and their products.

The term 'zero waste' can seem very intimidating but I think it is really important to make the small changes you can. Although you make think this is all a fad, when you actually read into the problem that plastic and our waste is causing the planet, it is extremely saddening. To think we can all make relatively easy changes to improve how we live and how the next generation will, it is really a no-brainer.

What small changes have you been making?

Friday, 8 September 2017

Sunderland Restaurant Week | Saturday 9th - Sunday 17th September 2017

Sunderland isn't a place I visit often, to be honest the last time I was there was to try out the football ground's Sunday lunch and the time before that was most likely to attend the first Safari supper. Like Middlesbrough, I think that Sunderland is going through a little bit of a revamp. The foodie scene is definitely upping its game and now it's hosting its third Restaurant Week. Nearly 50 restaurants are signed up to bring hungry guests some fantastic deals on food from Saturday 9th September to Sunday 17th. I was invited along with other local bloggers to try out some of the restaurants taking part in a 'safari supper'.

We started our trek in a restaurant I'd visited on the first Safari Supper, the Funky Indian/Prosecco Bar, and enjoyed canapés and drinks. Since I'd last been there they'd had a little switch up and now the Prosecco Bar is situated downstairs and the restaurant is on the ground floor. We heard all about the various Proseccos they serve at the bar and were treated to some delicious onion bhajis and masala fries.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Prosecco Bar
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Prosecco Bar

After accidentally eating too much of the gorgeous canapés in the Prosecco bar, it was time to move on to Asiana Fusion which was situated on the riverside. They served up the starter part of our meal which was a selection of Asian favourites including Satay chicken, duck parcels and vegetable spring rolls. During restaurant week they will be offering three courses for £15.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Asiana Fusion

After tucking in at Asiana Fusion, it was time to hop in a Station Taxi (sponsor of Restaurant Week, offering a £5 off voucher!) across to Port of Call's new teepee tent bar. Having already visited Port of Call at the previous event, I knew what to expect from the main venue but walking into the teepee was something else. It was such a gorgeous place to be and whilst we were there, we were treated to our main meal which was an abundance of meat. We had loads of different items offered to us including hot dogs, brisket, chicken burgers and mac n cheese. This is definitely one for the meat eaters and during restaurant week you can get two courses for £15.

Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Port of Call teepee
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Port of Call teepee
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets
Sunderland Restaurant Week - Saturday 9th-Sunday 17th September 2017 Serendipity tea and trinkets

When we'd finished getting our fill at Port of Call, we jumped in a taxi again which took us to our final destination, Serendipity Tea and Trinkets. Inside it was very cosy and cute with lots of knick knacks adorning the walls. At the back was a selection of cakes that we could try, and as I usually do, I picked the most chocolately one - Death by Chocolate. Accompanied by a cup of tea it was delicious. It was a great place to finish the night and after hearing the deal that they are doing during restaurant week, I think I might be back soon! They're offering a pot of speciality tea, a piece of cake and a bag of tea to take away for only £5.

As someone who is passionate about the North East, I loved being back in Sunderland to see what it has to offer so that I can spread the word about another part of our region. If you live in Sunderland or fancy the travel, I'd definitely suggest checking out the website to see what deals are on for Restaurant Week!

Let me know if you try any new places out that you think I'd like!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Taking on the challenge at Man vs Food Grill House, Middlesbrough

I've been extremely lucky to be invited to try out a couple of exciting restaurants and bars recently including Sunderland FC's Riverside Brasserie and the Potting Shed in Northallerton. Another invite popped into my inbox last week which was for the new Man vs Food Grill House opening in Middlesbrough. With locations already in South Shields, Newcastle and Consett, Middlesbrough was just another string to its bow lower down in the country. Boasting massive portions, extreme challenges and amazing meat, it was time to try...

I popped down after work the day before it's official opening with my friend Kirsty. Having booked the earliest slot, the restaurant was relatively quiet when we arrived but soon enough it was full of excited people ready to get their first try of this exciting new venue.

The menu is pretty vast with options from burgers to full sandwiches, meat platters and parmos. With so much choice it was hard to decide what we were going to try. After quite a time browsing the menu, I decided on the brisket pickle 'bad boy sandwich' whilst Kirsty chose the pulled beef. When they arrived we were both plesantly suprised by the sheer size of the portion we were being served. My sandwich was piled high with meat, pickles, coleslaw and chips, and with this I got a portion of chips and a side of pit beans. Kirsty's pulled beef was in a neat little dish topped with hot peri peri sauce accompanied by fries and coleslaw.

There was no way I was going to be able to pick up my sandwich and eat it conventionally. I did try, but it was not possible, so I went at it with a knife and fork. It was very tasty but also super filling and when I couldn't eat anymore, I still had quite a bit left. The side of pit beans was very tasty, like a bbq-style baked beans. Kirsty enjoyed her pulled beef, but again the mass of food beat her.

We were seriously feeling full at this point having taken on our main meal and failed miserably. We did however feel like the amazing-sounding dessert menu deserved to be taken on. Filled with cheesecakes and waffles, the dessert menu is the stuff dreams are made of. We decided on a cheesecake each, and then made the decision to have half of each others. I chose the Nutella whilst Kirsty went for Aero mint chocolate. Again the size of these desserts was ginorous. There was no way we were going to finish half let alone a full portion. We had a good few bites and decided the rest had to be boxed up to come home. Our favourite was definitely the Nutella one as the Aero just wasn't chocolately enough for us!

Although this restaurant might be considered an expensive choice, the portions they serve are seriously worth it. With quality meat and exceptional sides, it really is a place to consider for a meal out with friends or family. Just make sure to order less and share! Especially with desserts, unless you want more for later...

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Kicking it up North for Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie

When it comes to football, I'd have to say I'm a Middlesbrough supporter. It's my hometown and everyone here feels so strongly about it that you'd be a fool not to go along with it. However when I got an invite through from the Riverview Brasserie at Sunderland Football Club, I threw my allegiance out of the window for the day. Well I'll do anything for food...

This was an especially special meal as it was Sunday Lunch. The Riverview Brasserie only a few weeks ago started serving up a delicious Sunday Lunch menu again and we were invited to try it. To really test out this iconic meal I invited my Mum and my one year old nephew.

We booked our slot for 12.30pm and on arrival found that we were the first to eat. It was very quiet but it gave us a chance to get to grips with the layout, menu and for my nephew to start on his bread bun. As he happily chomped away, we started to scour the three-course menu which changes weekly.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review
Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

There was a good selection for each course but as I'm a picky eater there were some choices which were obvious for me. For starter I chose the leek and potato soup which can be quite a bland soup but this one was very tasty with lots of flavour. My Mum chose the prawn cocktail which looked very fancy.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review
Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

For my main course there was no way I was going to pick anything but a beef dinner. I mean isn't that the best roast to choose! Mum however decided she was going to try something totally different and get the emmental cheese souffle with beetroot compote, herb salad and house dressing. She wasn't quite sure her pick had paid off as it wasn't what she expected, nevertheless she ate it up and enjoyed it.

My beef dinner was lovely. There was plenty of beef and the vegetables and roasties were served separate so you could ask for as much as you wanted, without being greedy of course! For my nephew, they even filled up a little bowl for him with mash, carrot and turnip, gravy and some other bits of vegetable which he throughly enjoyed.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review
Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

Although we were pretty stuffed by this point, we couldn't give a full review of the Brasserie without trying dessert. As always I had to go with the chocolatey-est item which was chocolate and orange truffle torte with forest fruit compote. This was extremely decadent and delicious. I did try, but I just wasn't able to finish the whole slab, although my nephew did give me a hand. Mum chose the black forest slice with thickened cream and coulis.

Sunday Lunch, Sunderland FC Riverview Brasserie Review

Overall we were really pleased with out visit to the Riverside Brasserie. The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. If I'm ever up in Sunderland on a Sunday, this will be definitely one I'll return to.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Trying to get to zero waste

Recently I've been trying to be more environmentally conscious and look to reduce the waste that I create from my life. Reading blogs such as Tamsin's 'Eco Fluffy Mama' and delving deeper with blogs including Lauren's 'Trash is for Tossers' has opened my eyes to the zero waste community. I've never really considered how our actions are impacting the environment. I've always recycled but I feel like my lifestyle needs to change to reduce the waste I'm creating that can't be recycled.

For instance, did you know that a plastic bag, which you'd use for no time at all, takes 100-300 years to fragment. Even when it does fragment, it never disappears, it just stays in our environment.

A plastic straw takes 100s of years to break down and many of them end up in the Ocean. "It's estimated that 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate."

These stats make me think that these items are really not worth their use. I want to ensure that my impact on the environment is reduced, so I'm trying to add more zero waste initiatives into my life starting with these 5 things.

Reusable Straws
At home I don't often use straws but I do love the comfort of having one on hand if I need it. I recently invested in some Klean Kanteen straws from Babi Pur which have some silicon toppers (so the metal doesn't touch your teeth). A few weeks later on my birthday, Mum gave me some fully metal straws (as you can see below) which are just what I was looking for. Now I've got these I can happily use a straw at home and I'm going to start taking these out in order to stop using plastic straws all together.

Metal Straws, reducing waste, zero waste

Reusable metal water bottles
Whilst out and about, I always try to use a reusable bottle but in the past it's been plastic. I wanted to change to something sustainable and more robust. I picked a bottle up for myself and one for my boyfriend from TK Maxx. They have some really cool bottles and they're all one of a kind. I love having my reusable bottle and using this at work everyday. I now just need to find more places when I'm out and about that I can refill at.

Reusable Metal water bottles, reducing waste, zero waste

Choosing more package-free food
If you look at a lot of the plastic wrap that covers your fruit and vegetables you'll read that it isn't yet recyclable. Looking around in the supermarket you will see that this type of plastic is everywhere. It's very disheartening. I'm going to try and source my produce from places that sell it package free, as nature intended. For that purpose, I've bought some reusable produce bags from Earthwise Girls so that I'm not having to use those plastic ones. I do also what to try and find places that I can bulk buy grains, rice and pasta so that I'm not having to buy it packaged. This is proving to be more tricky in the UK!

Earthwise Girls order, reusable produce bags, earth conscious deodorant, reducing waste, zero waste

Less packaged toiletries
This is something new for me that I haven't quite started to get into. I purchased the above deodorant after hearing great things about it on Eco Fluffy Mama. It's a natural deodorant stored in a metal container rather than plastic or an aerosol can. Following purchasing this, I want to try and pick more package-less products such as shampoo, conditioner and soap. I'm thinking that Lush will be good for this unless I start searching online.

Reusable menstrual products
A few months ago I made the decision to try out a menstrual cup. I think at the time, a lot of bloggers and Youtubers were raving about them and I came across some really useful resources from Bryony at Precious Star Pads and the girls from Put A Cup In It. Using the quiz from Put A Cup In It, I picked a menstrual cup that I thought would work for me and ordered it from Amazon. It took a little while to get used to but now I love it and would not go back to tampons. It's so much more comfortable and reduces menstrual waste! Next up to try is reusable menstrual pads...

Taking bags shopping
One that I've adopted more and more since the plastic bag charge came in is bringing my own bags to the shop. My Mum bought me the below shopping bags two Christmases ago and using them every time I've done my big shop, I'm bound to have saved hundreds of plastic bags that I don't have any use for. I've just purchased a little handy pocket bag that I can carry round and have on hand for anything I purchase.

trolley bags, shopping, plastic bags, reducing waste, zero waste

These are the little things I'm trying to alter in my life to reduce the waste I produce. One more thing that I'm looking into is composting. The concept really fascinates me as I've read about how food breaking down in bin bags produces a greenhouse gas, methane, which I didn't realise before. Composting is a much more natural process which allows oxygen to access the waste and break it down with little methane. Plus you get natural nutrient rich compost that you can use in your garden. It's a win-win. I'm looking into a compost bin for next month and thinking about where to put it in the garden. If you compost I'd love some advice about it!

I'm not delusional that my lifestyle is going to change over night. I'm going to continue to work on lessening the waste I produce and be more mindful about my choices when purchasing and when I'm out. I've just signed up to take part in a beach clean up on our local beach which I think will really open my eyes to this worldwide issue.

What are your thoughts on this? What are you doing to reduce your waste output and become more environmentally friendly?

*All statistics credited with URL linked in the text.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Going Vegetarian at The Waiting Room, Eaglescliffe

For two birthdays on the trot now I've visited The Waiting Room and on both occasions the food has been delicious. The Waiting Room is a vegetarian restaurant located a stones away throw from Eaglescliffe train station. 

Its menu changes seasonally and is always full of amazing creative items that won't make you miss having meat for the night. We visited on Friday night and this year sat in the back conservatory area. With its reclaimed cinema seating and eclectic decor, this area sits away from the main eating area at the front, giving you a feeling of privacy.

Having already surveyed the menu before we visited, I was pretty sure of my choices. For our starers I picked the hazelnut, mushroom and parsley pate and Matt chose the goats cheese, spice red onion and almond baklava. Both were very nice, but I kind of wish I'd picked Matt's dish as mine was a lot of hazelnut and not as mushroom flavour as I'd hoped. 

The Waiting Room Eaglescliffe Teesside Stockton Restaurant Review Vegetarian
The Waiting Room Eaglescliffe Teesside Stockton Restaurant Review Vegetarian
The Waiting Room Eaglescliffe Teesside Stockton Restaurant Review Vegetarian
The Waiting Room Eaglescliffe Teesside Stockton Restaurant Review Vegetarian

For our mains I wanted to go with something that I knew I would enjoy. Last year I decided to go for items that sounded nice and were a bit of a different meal for me, but I ended up being disappointed as I'd gone too far out of my comfort zone.

On our most recent visit I chose the infamous and highly-reccommended puy chilli wholemeal enchilada and Matt went for the roast garlic, courgette and spinach buckwheat galette with organic poached egg.

When mine arrived it was massive! It tasted amazing, so full of flavour and heat from the chilli. I didn't manage to finish it all but they kindly packed it up for me to enjoy the next day (which I did). Matt thought his dish was gorgeous with a good mix of flavours and the addition of the egg on top really tied it all together.

Although we were both bursting at the seams, for a birthday meal it would be rude to not get dessert. Matt went for his regular, sticky toffee pudding, and I chose the chocolate pecan brownie. The sticky toffee pudding did not disappoint and the brownie was super decadent and gorgeous with the ice cream.

Overall I really enjoy visiting The Waiting Room. There is always something different to try and as I'm a fussy meat eater, I know I'm always going to enjoy all the vegetables!

Have you visited The Waiting Room?
© gingerbread smiles.

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