Tag Archives: Restaurant

Festivities around the corner…

Well, it’s nearly my birthday.  Which I can’t believe is here again already and yet the year seems as if it’s done its paces.  Last night I went out to dinner with my BF and his family to a local restaurant to celebrate as my birthday this year falls on a weekday.  The restaurant itself is reminiscent of another time, another era.  It was once the actual printing room of the local newspaper and now calls itself of course The Print Room.  It also has an attached bar called the Ink Bar.  What struck me as I first walked into this place was its enormously high ceilings and black and white checkered flooring.  It also had chandeliers, dark colored woods, and very modern yet art deco influenced interior.  

We sat in a beveled glass and dark cherry wood booth.  There was an actual piano player in the corner to provide some live music.  Above us, the lightbulbs glow in glass boxes and the windows have red neon lights all around, again, lending itself to the feeling of being in a speakeasy.  The only thing that’s missing is an outfit inspired by Coco Chanel and a Studebaker to take you there.  This isn’t a place pretending to have art deco inspired details, it’s a place that actually has all it’s original windows and features.  That’s the great thing about England is its determined efforts to conserve its buildings with upmost care.    

For my starter I selected the pan fried scallops wrapped in pancetta and served with cress and a parsnip purée, which was all perfectly cooked.  For my main, I had an absolutely delicious sea bream en papillote with potatoes Lyonnaise.  Lastly, for dessert I selected a crème brûlée with raspberry mille feuille.  Now, it was a bit too tart and sour for me with the amount of raspberries served with it.  I was expecting the crème brûlée to be the star of the show.  It was however a clever take on it.  I washed this all done with a rosé wine spritzer.  

I think the only thing I would’ve changed was my dessert–my BF ordered a spin on the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination.  Also, I would’ve liked the prices to be a bit lower.  I felt that it was over priced for what it was, albeit good tasting food.  I’d certainly go here again, but just have to keep in mind what my budget is.  

I liked the genuine decor, the attentive staff, and it’s attention to detail with its food, which is after all, why you go out to celebrate something in the first place.  

Now tonight, as I’m feeling under the weather with a nasty cold, my wonderful BF is making us chicken soup again for dinner! Mmm…I could seriously eat it by the bucketful.  We also have some nice crusty French bread to go with it.  We’ve never made so many soups before until recently.  Once you have homemade soup, which are so easy to make, why wouldn’t you want to make it all the time?!  So homemade soups it is for us.  My loving BF has bought me some nice tissues to blow my nose with.  So off I go to tend to my nose and leave you with a recipe that we made the other night (minus the homemade chicken stock bit) and thoroughly enjoyed–we have a bay leaf tree outside as well as a thyme plant, so fresh herbs are never far away.  I think it’s the herbs that make this soup so good, well, and the yummy Manischewitz noodles…and the carrots and celery…..ok, well everything that goes in this soup is what makes it good!  Serve it with some fresh French bread and the occasional smear of butter, and you’ve got yourself a meal.  Enjoy!

soup

 See recipe here: Chicken Noodle

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River Cottage

Well today, seeing as it’s snowing outside for the first time in a long time here, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about one of my favorite restaurants here in England.  It’s called the River Cottage Canteen, which is located in Axminster, Devon.  I have been to this fabulous restaurant twice now both times funny enough to celebrate birthdays–my own and my BF’s.  River Cottage Canteen is the brainchild of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  Hugh believes in serving only the freshest and most seasonal food to his clientele.  It is truly an organic experience in a non granola crunching kind of way.  The food is as local as it can be with coffee from the Dorset Coffee Company or lamb from the farm down the road.  

The seating area is large and well lit with sunshine beaming from the rafters above.  There are french doors leading to the nearby edible garden.  Many large rustic wooden tables fill the room and each table has little pots of herbs.  Attached to the Canteen itself is a small but wonderful larder shop.  Here you can buy everything from yogurt made from Jersey cows to local cheeses and breads.  It is so much fun to wander in there and have a browse and buy a few things after your meal.  

It is truly an experience to be had at this restaurant, a place where you can truly savor well prepared fresh food knowing that it as local as it can possibly be.  You can’t help but feel good and wholesome here.  It could be the organic bread, the restaurant’s sense of ease and connectedness with all things around it, or that feeling you get when you know you’ve eaten great food and food that’s good for you.  If you’re ever in the Axminster area, I highly recommend that you stop by and have your very own piece of foodie heaven.  Your stomach and your food loving soul will be singing praises.    

Ewe's Cheese Ewe’s cheese available at the store

A butterfly came in from the garden! A butterfly came in from the garden! 

Cheese Plate My BF had the cheese plate for dessert, he loved it.

The front The front of the store and restaurant in Axminster

Inside Inside the dining area

To find out more about this unique and ambitious restaurant, please see: River Cottage

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