Eat well - travel often

Month: February 2018

Grenada: Recipe for Crayfish Bay Chocolate Cake

Grenada: Recipe for Crayfish Bay Chocolate Cake

Scroll down for a unique recipe from Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Farm for their chocolate cake. The first time I visited Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Farm on the north western side of the the island of Grenada I absolutely fell in love with it. I […]

An Easy Guide to Making Preserved Lemons

An Easy Guide to Making Preserved Lemons

Easy-peasy guide to making preserved lemons at home. Scroll down for the recipe to make these easy preserved lemons at home. For the longest time I have wanted to make preserved lemons. Somehow I thought it would be messy and time consuming.  It was actually […]

Restaurant Review: Bill’s Restaurant St Albans New Menu

Restaurant Review: Bill’s Restaurant St Albans New Menu

Bill’s Restaurant in St Albans New Menu and Re-design

Bill’s restaurant St Albans

Bill’s restaurant in St Albans is one of their select sites that have recently undergone a refurbishment and new menu launch.  Mr R and I live in St Albans which made a nice change for us to review a local restaurant instead of plodding up to London.

Bill Collison founded his chain of restaurants in 2000 as he opened a small greengrocery-deli in Lewes, East Sussex.  Today Bill’s restaurants number 1090 (21 in London and 79 spread across the UK) with St Albans being chosen to spearhead the refurbishment program.

We arranged to dine at Bill’s the Monday following their launch.  The staff were really friendly.  When I asked our server Henry for his recommendations he passionately pointed out his favourites.

We had the Warm roasted garlic and herb bread and Hummus with smoked tomatoes and mixed seeds to nibble at.

Bill’s restaurant warm bread

Bill’s restaurant hummus

For starters I picked the Squid with a garlic and lemon aioli (mayonnaise) – the squid rings are soaked in buttermilk to tenderise and coated in a really light coating making them really tender.

Bill’s restaurant squid starter

Mr R had the Duck Puff, spiced shredded duck in little puff pastry pillow with a rich sauce.

Bill’s restaurant duck puffs

On Henry’s recommendation I ordered the 10oz Dry Aged Rib Eye steak,  Served with a smoked tomato bearnaise, rosemary salted chips and roasted tomatoes.  Rib Eye is one of my favourite cuts of steak which if cooked wrongly can be tough or incredibly fatty. However when respected and cooked properly, as it was on this occasion, it is tender and delicious.  Good choice Henry!!

Bill’s restaurant ribeye steak

Mr R usually has steak if it is on the menu but this time was enticed to try the Bill’s Steak and Rarebit Pie. Descrived as ‘Rarebit Cheddar topped pie with Bill’s beer braised steak, served with root veg mash and farm greens.  When this arrived we both let out a sigh of respect for this really unusual steak pie.

Bill’s restaurant rarebit steak pie

Vegetarians are aptly catered for with a plethora of delicious sounding meat-free meals.

These days I often don’t have a pudding however even though we were really full Henry insisted we had to try the signature Stick Toffee Pudding.  He said this would probably be one of the best I had ever tasted.  This of course meant I had to try it!  He wasn’t wrong! Oh my goodness this was an incredibly light sponge with the most delectable toffee sauce poured over the top and creating a sticky moat of gooyness around the sponge! Served with a clotted cream ice cream and toasted hazelnuts this was indeed a Sticky Toffee Pudding from heaven!!

Bill’s restaurant sticky toffee pudding

The inside of the restaurant has undergone a re-furbishment. The new decor reminded me of bygone days in halcyon Hemmingway times.

Bill’s restaurant interior

For some reason I kept imagining that Earnest Hemmingway would have just been sitting at the table across the room by the shuttered window. If there had been a ceiling fan and cigar smoke I would not have been surprised!

Bill’s restaurant Hemingway

I was a guest of Bill’s Restaurant St Albans. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and photographs are my own. No photographs may be reproduced without my written permission.
Insomnia – Ten Top Tips for a Better Sleep

Insomnia – Ten Top Tips for a Better Sleep

Insomnia – my ten top tips for a good night’s sleep. Insomnia or sleeplessness is described as any or all of the following:- difficulty falling asleep, waking up often in the night, trouble getting back to sleep and not sleeping long enough to feel refreshed. […]

Recipe: Best Blood Orange Drizzle Cake

Recipe: Best Blood Orange Drizzle Cake

Scroll down for my recipe for the best blood orange drizzle cake:- I saw some beautiful red skinned blood oranges recently.  All I could think of was using my lemon drizzle cake recipe but substituting blood oranges for the lemons to make a blood orange […]

Tailgate Party NC State vs Univ of North Carolina

Tailgate Party NC State vs Univ of North Carolina

What is an NC State Tailgate Party?

A Tailgate party is a relatively new way to attend and celebrate your American football team’s game.  On a recent trip to North Carolina in the USA I was invited to a tailgate party.  Not really sure what this meant however everyone was talking about how fun they are.

Tailgate party is when supporters of sport and in this case American football park together in a field or open space, open the boot or trunk of their vehicle and bring out the drinks and snacks.  Raleigh North Carolina has two rival teams – North Carolina State (known as The Wolfpack) and University of North Carolina (the Tar Heels). When these two teams play each other the tailgate party makers mean business.

Tailgate party seat

All around the car park cars line up in a circle (kind of like the early wagons in the wild west). Supporters pour out of the vehicles, crack open the beers and watch the game on a portable TV or listen on the radio routing for their team as and when necessary!

Tailgate party crowd

The tailgate party I went to was hosted by the owner of a select gentlemen’s club in Raleigh who had a custom made trailer complete with two large and two smaller television screens to watch the game.

Tailgate party trailer

The trailer has a BBQ attached at the back to provide loads of food to go with the drinks!

Tailgate party BBQ

with seating and beer coolers outside.

Tailgate party seating

Inside there is a place to sit out of the sun with of course one of the small screens and even it’s own portable toilet where you guessed it you will find the other small screen so the guys don’t miss a goal!

Tailgate party inside trailer

Complete strangers stop by to check the scores as groups nearby play popular football games.

Tailgate party games

Even the dogs wear clothes to support their favourite team!

Tailgate party dog supporter

And if walking around gets too much for you flag down a ride – local college students earning to make a dent in their student debts!

Tailgate party taxi

As quickly as the party is set up it is taken down and put away as everyone heads home! But the mood is a little bouyant as NC State won – so happy faces all around!

Read about a local beer brewery in North Carolina.

Read about my visit to a moonshine distillery.

I was not required to write a positive post. All opinions and photographs are my own. No photographs may be reproduce in any form without my written permission.