Guest Post: Tasty Tomato Cocktails With The Tomato Stall

 

Not a fan of tomatoes I tasked Charlie with trying some tomato juices and cocktails. Here’s how she got on and what she did with them:

Tomatoes.

We have a difficult relationship.

Tomato soup, cooked tomatoes, dried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, I love them.

Fresh tomatoes…. Not so much. As a child I saw them as the fruit of the devil. Begrudgingly though, in the hope that my tastes change I do try them once or twice a year. Just in case.

So to be asked to sample tomato juices and a tomato cordial from Tomato Stall could be considered odd. But nonetheless, Keeley offered, I accepted and proceeded to do my best. With booze of course. What else?

2014-11-02 17.52.43

The tomato juices are, as you’d expect perfect for a Bloody Mary or it’s gin soaked cousin, the Red Snapper.

 

There are various legendary histories concerning the Bloody Mary and indeed the name being attributed to everyone from Mary Queen of Scots, to a waitress in the ‘Blood Bucket’ bar, and the Red Snapper is a just as confusing. It’s so complex, Difford’s Guide has a four part history to try to unravel it all.

Either way, what’s certain is that whether your tipple of choice is vodka, gin or tequila (a bloody Maria), there’s a perfect match for your taste buds.

The recipe base is simple:

60 ml of your spirit (in my case Tanqueray Gin).
120ml tomato juice.
15ml lemon juice.
8 drops Tabasco.
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
2 grinds of black pepper.
1 pinch of celery salt.

The two tomato juices had slightly different characteristics, quite apart from the fact that one was red and the other yellow. The red tomato juice offered a richer flavour in the mouth and a slightly sweeter taste. The yellow was slightly lighter, but no less tasty.

I might almost be convinced to like this stuff.

2014-11-02 17.56.33

But still, Tomato Stall had a trick up their sleeves. Tomato cordial. This stuff is, well not at all what I expected. When you open the bottle the most intense tomato scent hits you. It’s savoury and fruity. To taste?

It’s sweet. Fruity, sweet and rather delicious. I had ideas for something savoury and spicy, but now changed tack entirely.

2014-11-02 18.35.19

First up, I put it with Prosecco, a splash in the bottom, top it up with fizz. Yes, my goodness, this works. It becomes almost floral.

2014-11-02 18.27.26

Now for the real fun, grab a shaker and some ice. I give you the ToMartini.

A sweet Martini style cocktail, and the cucumber and mint lighten the sweetness and compliment the fruit. I’m tempted to try it with Hendricks, or even G’Vine Gin and a basil leaf in place of the mint.

2014-11-02 18.32.10

ToMartini:

60ml Gin (something light and citrusy – I used some Bombay Sapphire).
15 ml Tomato cordial.
2 slices of cucumber.
Mint for garnish.

Add everything, bar the mint to the shaker, with ice, pop the tin on top, nice and firmly and shake.

Once the tin is uncomfortable to hold, it’s chilled nicely and should be double strained into a Martini glass.

Take a couple of mint leaves, clap them in your hand to release their oils and float in the top of the glass.

Tomatoes? I think I might be a convert.

Celebrating National Sausage Week With Grandad’s Sausages

Earlier this month saw national sausage week in the UK and a foray of sausage related innuendos filled my Twitter timeline. My absolute favourite was Grandad’s Sausages with their strapline “bringing a smile to Grandma’s face over 50 years” and let me tell you, I can see why.

grandads 3

Just like Maria in The Sound of Music brown paper packages tied up with string are also one of my favourite things. Especially when adorned with a plump piggy fellow wearing a top hat. What was inside made me smile even more; a selection of the sausages available from Grandad’s Sausages for me to try.

grandads 2

Grandad’s Sausages is a Bury based company now operated by Matthew and Michael who have taken the helm from Grandad Bernard. They have been operating for over 50 years and are keen to keep the smile on Grandma’s faces across Manchester for the long term.

Their sausages are available in ten different flavours:

Traditional British pork.
Lincolnshire.
Pork and Welsh leek.
Pork and Somerset apple.
Pork and crushed garlic.
Olde English.
Cumberland.
Pork and fiery chilli.
Pork and Bury black pudding.
Pork and cranberry.

grandads 1

For me the humble banger is best served with buttery mash and a thick gravy. My absolute favourite of the sausages I tried for this was the pork and apple variety. I thought the apple flavour would be lost but it gave a tart and fruity bite to the sausage. I also really enjoyed the fiery chilli. There was just enough heat to warm my mouth without it being too hot. Not really fiery I guess and hot chilli lovers may be disappointed. Very little came out of these sausages when cooked and they were really juicy. If I were better at sharing I would have gifted the Lincolnshire variety to my Dad who is from that area of the country. Unfortunately for him I’m an only child who doesn’t like to share so that wasn’t going to happen, I ate it instead. I’d have liked a bit more sage but they are were also really good, perhaps I should treat my Dad to a packet of his own.

Grandad’s Sausages are now stocked at Epicerie Ludo but I suggest you call ahead to check they have some in stock. They are flying off the shelves to put a smile on more faces around the North West. Is yours one of them?

This item was sent for review purposes.

Working Out With Bose SoundSport In Ear Headphones

A real benefit I have found changing from iPhone to Samsung is the sound quality when I play music. I found cranking up the volume on my iPhone caused the sound to distort dreadfully and this doesn’t seem to happen when playing music through my Samsung S5. I’m a recent convert to Spotify and find working out with some decent music makes for a more enjoyable effective experience. One thing that is really frustrating is the quality of the standard headphones so when Health OnLine offered to send me some sports headphones to try I knew the Bose SoundSport in ear headphones were the perfect choice for me. When my Mum reached thirty year’s service in her previous job she treated my Dad to a Bose sound system from a catalogue of items she could choose. The sound quality is incredible and like nothing I had heard before.

bose 3

As with most products these days they are well packaged in a fairly large box for the size of the headphones but there are replacement ear buds, an extension cable and replacement clothes clips as well as a carry case included. They also cost £129.95 so I would hope the packaging protects the product whilst in transit. It did this perfectly so this is certainly not a complaint.

bose 1

The headphones themselves are a bright green which compliments the pink case I currently have on my phone. There are no colour alternatives for the Samsung model unfortunately, I’d have expected there to be something a bit more neutral.

Working in a contact centre I expected the ‘in ear’ technology to be the type that either fitted over my ear or pushed far into my ear. Both of these would be a negative for me especially when training. I find wearing a headset over my ear uncomfortable and anything pushing into my ear causes the sound of my pounding heart to be magnified. Running raises my heart rate massively so I end up concentrating on this far more than the music! Luckily for me these rest lightly into the ear with the soft clip just fitting snuggly into my ear’s shape to hold them in place.

I’ve used these a few times now; on runs, resistance training and whilst doing the housework. I actually forgot I was wearing them as they are so comfortable. The sound quality is incredible with no distortion when cranked up to full blast and they don’t budge during runs like other headphones I’ve had in the past. They are sweat and weather resistant with a handy control on the cable which allows you to either change the track or answer a call. Perfect for me who has a dreadful habit of flicking through several songs and going back to the same ones I have already listened to!

bose 2

In Summary:

Pros:

Comfortable and don’t budge during a workout.
Clear sound that doesn’t become distorted when turned up.

Cons:

Excessive packaging.
Expensive.

Ease of use: 9/10
Ability to improve workout: 9/10 (I found I worked out for longer as I wanted to listen to more music!)
Value for money: 7/10
Overall rating: 8/10

This item was sent for review purposes.

Restaurant Revisited: All Star Lanes, Manchester

Following my visit to All Star Lanes in Holborn I though it only fair that I re-visit All Star Lanes in Manchester. They won my bowl off against Dog Bowl last year and with the promise of a new winter menu, it would be rude not to.

all star new 1 all star new 2

Something that isn’t new to the menu (although I have no idea how I haven’t spotted it before) is the All Star take on a porn star martini. Pink Pigeon rum, maraschino, orange bitters, passion fruit, pineapple and apple served with a shot of Prosecco. Knowing my love of rum you can imagine how much I loved the Debbie Does. It isn’t as sweet as a regular porn star martini with a touch more fruitiness and a lovely richness from the rum. I was one happy lady.

Hitting the menu and I decided to go for the new king prawn taco with my friend Anoushka opting for the salt beef croquettes. I had those in London and they were just as good as they were in Holborn.

all star new 3

The hard shell taco was packed with jalapenos, a few too many for me but they were easy to remove and Anoushka was certainly happy to dispose of them. The prawns were plump, juicy and with lots of flavour to stand up to the creamy sour cream and garlicky guacamole. I’d have liked a few more but then I say that whenever I order prawns as a starter.

all star new 5

Onto mains and I couldn’t leave without trying the nacho cheese burger. A ground chuck and rib burger patty is served topped with shards of taco, nacho cheese, guacamole and jalapenos. The burger was cooked through however still juicy with the taco shards adding a good crunch to the dish. I’m not usually a fan of nacho cheese but this one was full of flavour although the guacamole was a little lost.

all star new 4 all star new 6

Anoushka went for a lighter option ordering the Cajun swordfish with a side of Monterey jack corn grit chips. The fish was meaty and lightly spiced served on top of crushed potatoes and green beans. Halfway through Anoushka announced she was full yet I still didn’t get a look in, she polished off the lot! I did get to try the corn grit chips which were crisp with a well seasoned centre oozing with melting cheese. I loved them and could have happily sat and eaten a full bowl with their guacamole.

all star new 8

Being a fan of both the Caipirinha (oh how it reminds me of a particularly fantastic all inclusive holiday in the Dominican Republic) and the Bramble I thought I’d give the new Caipiriamble a go whilst deciding on dessert. Finlandia vodka, grapefruit and lime are muddled with sugar to create this interesting concoction. Fresh, fruity with a touch of sweetness it worked perfectly. Not surprisingly its creator Sophie Douse won the ASL Finlandia competition this year.

Not to be outdone we decided to split a dessert and chose the choc chip cookie ice cream sandwich.

all star new 7

The cookies were more like shortbread in texture and melted in the mouth whilst the ice cream added the richness and a sweet glug of maple syrup finished things off well. I was expecting a gooey warm cookie that melted the ice cream and this was a pleasant surprise. It is so nice to see chefs trying something slightly different with their menu. We managed about a half of it before we admitted defeat though, I wish it were portable so I could take it home!

Service was impeccable with lots of cocktail recommendations when asked and also perfect breaks between courses. It’s easy to see why Lady GaGa paid a visit when she was in Manchester last week.

I need to go back and try the Astoria salad that appears to be the winter offering replacing my favourite chargrilled chicken salad yet there’s also a Christmas offering available until the 24th December. A turkey burger with cheese, bacon, stuffing and cranberry. Damn there goes my diet…

We were invited to dine as guests of All Star Lanes and weren’t asked to pay for our meal. As always this is an honest and unbiased review of the experience.

Elixir Turned One And Launched Their New Elements Themed Cocktail Menu

06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen

If there’s one place in Manchester that knows how to throw a party it’s Elixir. Their summer bash was spectacular and their first birthday party promised to be a similarly lavish affair.

It was the new cocktail menu that attracted me with the promise that they’d be inspired by their own philosophical element of fire, earth, water, air and ether. As a regular champion of Elixir as a venue of choice in general, I was excited to see what they had up their sleeves.

06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen

‘By the fire’ didn’t disappoint with a mix of rum, dark chocolate liqueur, chocolate syrup and a splash of cream before being topped with marshmallow foam and a skewered campfire treat. Perfect for the colder evenings this tasted like a boozy hot chocolate without the heat. And rum is my favourite tipple so this ticked all the boxes for me.

06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen

Another favourite was the ‘utopian cascade’ which was, as is Elixir’s way, a visual masterpiece. Calvados, spiced rum, element infused five spice syrup, pressed apple and lemon are served atop clove and star anise with a cloud of dry ice garnished with a dried apple and cinnamon star. Engaging all the senses this cocktail smells like Christmas should. Not just a pretty cocktail this also tastes incredible with the spiced elements giving a real winter warmer of a drink.

06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen

Elixir’s twist on a ‘white lady’ is the most elegant blue drink I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a fair few blue drinks in my time, the less said about those the better. This one is the ‘hope floats’ which mixes homemade bubble gum gin, limoncello, egg white and lemon juice before topping with a hubble bubble cloud float. You are encouraged to blow your own bubbles and breathe deeply to get the experience of the senses. I didn’t get to try this one as I had to dash off but did manage to get a sip of the gin which is an experience in itself. On the nose it smells sickly sweet, just like bubblegum, and I was expecting a hit of sweetness from the gin. Whilst there is some sweetness there the gin is still the overpowering taste and beautifully smooth. I can’t wait to go back and try this one.

06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen

06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen 06.11.14 Image © Phil Tragen

As we left we were shown into the basement which has been transformed into a winter wonderland with snowy white furs, silver trees and a gorgeous blue hue. I was at this point reminded why I had recommended a friend visit when she was unsure of where to hold her forthcoming wedding reception. This room is just perfect for an intimate wedding and I bet there’ll be a cracking New Year’s Eve bash down here.

Prior to writing this post I had been alerted to some disappointing news that Elixir had scored 1 out of 5 on their food hygiene rating. Keen to investigate I got in touch with the owners who confirmed that they had been visited during some structural work, transforming the basement in fact, when the inspectors had come in. The kitchen had already been closed and has since been closed permanently whilst the work is being completed. They currently have no plans to serve food at Elixir so this food hygiene rating has been rendered obsolete. To be fair, I’d never seen Elixir as a first choice to come and eat but let me tell you, it is definitely top of my list where their cocktails are concerned. Make sure you are ready to have your senses stimulated when you visit, I promise you won’t leave disappointed.

Images are credited to Phil Tragen. Drinks were complimentary for all guests.

Wine Tasting At Pride Mountain Vineyards In St Helena, Napa Valley

pride 1

Nestled on Spring Mountain over the Napa Valley you will find Pride Wines. Arriving into the Napa Valley is a daunting experience to say the least. Grapevines line the lush landscape with large and ornate buildings housing numerous wineries where you can not only enjoy a wine tasting but also a number of incredible art exhibitions.

On arriving in the Napa Valley we were completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of places to visit. So much so that we decided to hit our Lonely Planet guide for the first time on our trip. Lonely Planet recommends Pride Wines as did our tour company The American Road Trip Company. Two recommendations and a couple of tweets later we were booked in for the following day.

pride 3

The drive up to Pride Wines is spectacular with some very windy roads and the winery itself sits on the county line of Sonoma and Napa. In fact, there is a visible line on the floor where the county line meets and the winery has to declare the wine grown on each county separately. I’d have taken a photo of the line had I not let out a squeal of excited wine geekery at seeing grapes being crushed straight from the vineyard.

pride 10

I love seeing where produce comes from and as a lover of wine this made my day. Living in England means this isn’t something we see very often. Yes we have some good wines being made here but they are predominantly in the South of the country and I haven’t managed to get down there yet to witness the process for myself.

We started the tour meeting our guide Jason and sampling a particularly good viognier. Fairly dark in colour the viognier had a wonderful apricot aroma whilst citrus notes were present on the palate with a lightly oaked finish. I’d have been perfectly happy to relax with the rest of the bottle but duty calls and a tour of the wine caves beckoned. And yes I was overly excited at the prospect.

pride 5 pride 7

As we wandered the candlelit caves lined by barrels Jason talked about Pride Mountain, the different vintages and how the different soil samples across the Napa Valley create such different and interesting wines. I listened but I have to say I was distracted by the staff filling the barrels and moving them to their resting place. Not in a negative way I’d like to add, it was truly fascinating to watch a working winery in action and see just how much of this is prepared by hand. Prior to starting this blog I was the sort of person who was happy with a 3 for £10 deal on wine at Asda. Obviously times have changed and I now source my wine in different ways but the hard work that goes into this process shows just where your money goes when investing in a good quality wine. Pride Mountain wine was in fact served during Christmas dinner at the White House, well if it is good enough for Mr Obama….

pride 8

The weather has a huge effect on the grapes and how they grow. Jason demonstrated this by letting us try two cabernet sauvignon wines from different years. Until this point I had never really considered the year of growing too much but wow, there was a marked difference. The first was light, fruity with little tannin whilst the second was so dark you couldn’t see through it when holding it to the light. The tannins were much more pronounced and there were more spicy notes at the back of the throat. Both beautiful and the group were divided in their opinion of favourites. I preferred the second with most opting for the first. Jason discussed 2014 and believes, when the wine is ready to be drank, it’ll be an exceptional one due to warm weather with a little rain to keep things going nicely.

As we walked the wine caves we could hear music wafting through the tunnels and Jason explained the staff took it in turns to decide what they were going to play that day. He talked about Sally Johnson who is the wine maker here and responsible for blending the grapes to create the perfect tasting wine, a job which may sound fun but I can imagine is incredibly hard work at the same time.

Jason let us drop by the VIP tasting room to see the views of the vineyards from the terrace and then ushered us back into the main tasting room to try a very special brandy infused dessert wine.

pride 4

pride 2

As we bid farewell Jason encouraged us to have a look around the grounds and take in the sheer beauty of this stunning mountain top location. We had bought cakes earlier in the day so found the most beautiful picnic spot next to an old building to enjoy them. The end to a perfect afternoon where we were introduced to some particularly stonking wines. My only disappointment is that, as far as I am aware, Pride Mountain wines can’t be bought in the UK. As you can imagine it is now my duty to try and change that.

Tours cost $25 and last around an hour. You need to book in advance but can do so via email on the Pride Wines website.

Address: 4026 Spring Mountain Road, St Helena, CA, 94574.
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PrideMtnSally

Massive thanks to Sally for sorting this tasting and tour for us at such short notice. We weren’t asked to pay for our tour however that has not affected my opinion of this incredible place.

Food Review: Breakfast at TGI Friday’s Fast Track at Manchester Piccadilly

How many times have you rocked up at a train station and found yourself having to spend ages passing time. I usually do this on my phone in a mediocre Starbucks wasting money on drinks I don’t even enjoy.

Things are looking up at Manchester Piccadilly and there have been some superb additions in the last few months including Carluccio’s and The Hourglass. Amongst the newcomers is TGI Friday’s Fast Track and I popped in early one morning to try their fast track breakfast service where they promised to have food to us within 10 minutes of ordering.

tgi breakfast 2 tgi breakfast 1

We kicked things off with a cappuccino and a flat white. The second day of jet lag is an absolute killer and my new found love of coffee was the only thing that was going to get me through a long day at a travel conference in London. The cappuccino was ok but not as hot as I would have liked. I think they took the fast track thing a little too seriously with this one! I believe the flat white hit the mark with Charlie though.

tgi breakfast 3 tgi breakfast 4 tgi breakfast 5

I opted for the Cajun chicken hash at £7.99 whilst Charlie wanted something heavier and decided to try the American breakfast at £9.99. The chicken was a little dry in my hash yet lightly spiced topped with two runny eggs meaning my plan to leave a lot of the potatoes went out of the window. The introduction of eggs benedict fries at Splendid Sausage means runny yolk dripping onto potato products is a firm favourite of mine. Charlie’s breakfast was vast and well cooked yet all a little too sweet together with candied bacon, an American pancake and sweetened BBQ baked beans. It was much more up my street being the one with the sweet tooth.

We were in, fed and out within 30 minutes which is pretty good going considering we can talk for England. There’s an array of technology for the commuter including wifi, usb charging sockets and numerous regular power sockets for all those iPhone users trying to get near the 2 plugs near the ticket office. Yes, I’ve been there. As well as a decent breakfast menu there’s a fast track lunch/dinner menu too as well as a cocktail list and a selection of desserts. The promise of a cocktail near a power socket beats anywhere else to go whilst waiting for a train in Piccadilly for me, hands down.

We dined as guests of TGI Friday’s and weren’t asked to pay for our meal. As always this is an honest review and I’ll be back next time I’m ridiculously early to grab a bite… and charge my phone.

Guest Post: Southern Eleven Preview

Fizz_SouthernEleven_MissPond

Southern Eleven has been in Manchester for a while now, but recently it closed for a refurb and a relaunch. Last Thursday Mr W and I were invited to preview the restaurant, before it opened at the weekend. Upon arrival we were greeted with fizz and a giant bear! Isn’t he cool?! (Just checked Twitter whilst writing this I’ve now found out his name is Hercules!)

Bear_SouthernEleven_MissPond

#HelloHercules

Southern Eleven now definitely plays to it’s theme. The new look restaurant houses rustic hard-wood tables, tube lights, exposed hanging light bulbs and comfy chairs that fit with an American BBQ style, but without being too contrived or gaudy. The lighting and seating arrangement also allows for an intimate meal in an open planned room.

Bar_SouthernEleven_MissPond

Decor_SouthernEleven_MissPond

Beef_SouthernEleven_MissPond

Mr W and I sat on down on the comfy sofa seats to the side of the restaurant and enjoyed plenty of fizz top ups. The place filled very quickly with people cooing over the refurb and getting their pictures taken with Hercules!

Menu_SouthernEleven_MissPond

Whilst we were sat down and being treated to fizz top ups, canapés of the new Southern Eleven menu were brought around too. From brisket, to BBQ bean filled potato skins and pulled pork sliders we tried them out. The brisket definitely won Mr W and I over, not too smokey with a hint of a sweet BBQ flavour, the corn bread was delicious too (much to my surprise as I’m usually not a big fan). We eventually managed to try some mini brownies, but not any other desserts as we just weren’t quick enough! I must apologise for the lack of food photos, it was so dark and flash makes food look awful!

Burger_SouthernEleven_MissPond

Pulled Pork Slider

Reading the full menu there are a lot of staple American BBQ delights on offer. But what we really liked was the customisable Southern Eleven Burger that starts naked so you can can add whatever you want from pulled pork to burnt ends and even fried chicken (plus LOTS more). Mr W really liked this idea and I’m sure we will be back to check it out properly!

BostonIcedTea_SouthernEleven_MissPond

We were also given plenty of the Boston Iced Tea cocktail to try out. This delicious drink is a bourbon, cherry and iced tea mix, we really enjoyed it! The rest of the drinks menu looks pretty good too with cosmopolitans, Dr Pepper cocktails and many more on offer.

I just want to thank Nathan from Southern Eleven and Eleri from Rococo Group MCR for the invite, as well as all the staff which made the evening such a fun event. We will definitely be back soon!

MissPond x

BlogTwitter | Instagram

All food and drink provided was free of charge, however this doesn’t ensure a positive review. In this case what we sampled of Southern Eleven was good, Mr W and I will be back in the future.

Guest Post: Smoothie Wars with Nutri Ninja

SmoothieWars_MissPond

Hi it’s MissPond again! This time I’m here to talk smoothies. The other day I was invited to test out the Ninja Kitchen Nutri Ninja and battle it out for the title Queen of the smoothies in the #SmoothieWars. We were invited to The Post Box Cafe in Chorlton for the battle. The Post Box team were more than welcoming and helped put on a fantastic evening for us :)

FruitAndVeg_MissPond

We were given a large Nutri Ninja glass and a wide range of fruit, veg and oddities to choose from to make our smoothies. There was vodka, chocolate and fruit syrups too, but I didn’t pick any of those. Now I want to admit here, that I’m not a giant smoothie fan, I’ve not joined the trend that everyone seems to have recently. But I joined in the competition with an open mind and ready to try new things!

NutriNinja_MissPond

We had 10 minutes to pick our ingredients before we then blended our smoothies and tried each other’s out. I picked handfuls of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, chopped fresh pineapple, chopped fresh orange, chopped fresh apple, a slice of tomato, 2 small kiwis and some spinach leaves! Personally from me I dislike bananas in smoothies, so I kept well away from them. I also kept away from the kale, beetroot and broccoli!

MySmoothie1_MissPond MySmoothie_MissPond

We had a short break for some delicious canapés from The Post Box Cafe. We had blinis of smoked salmon and cream cheese, steak and cheese and brie and cranberry, all combinations that feature in sandwiches available at the cafe. The food was tasty and I definitely have to go back and try the full versions!

Canepes_MissPond

After food we then got blending our smoothies. The Nutri Ninja takes 49 seconds to blend a smoothie (there is also a slightly longer ultra blend option for trickier ingredients). We were then handed everyone’s smoothies to try and we scored each other :)

Blending_MissPond

MySmoothieBlended_MissPond Smoothies_MissPond

There were some interesting combinations, I’m pretty sure chocolate doesn’t work very well in a smoothie. I personally preferred some of the more tarter flavoured smoothies, I’m not too keen on overly sweet drinks. But I did find some new ingredients that I enjoy in smoothies, even avocado, maybe not so much ginger (ask Sarah about #gingergate!) Well done to Kat from Rainbow Crush for winning the war though, I did really enjoy your smoothie as much as I enjoyed my own :)

Bloggers_MissPond

Thanks to Cass (from Coffee Pot Digital), The Post Box Cafe team for being so hospitable and providing a great venue for the event, also a huge thanks to Ninja Kitchen UK. Thanks for all the goodies and I really cannot wait to try out my own Nutri Ninja smoothie maker, expect lots of recipes on my blog soon!

MissPond x

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

I was invited to this event and provided with all the ingredients to make smoothies, all opinions as ever are my own.

Guest Post: EastZEast Christmas Menu Preview

Hi I’m Miss Pond, I usually blog over at misspond.com, but today I am taking over Keeley’s blog to talk about one of my favourite foods, curry!

Earlier this week saw the preview of the EastZEast Christmas menu at their Manchester Riverside Restaurant. I decided to take Mr W with me, as he is a definite curry fiend! When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted with cocktails at the very opulent bar; I went for the Passion Fruit Collins, whereas Mr W went with the Lynchburg Lemonade. We both agreed that we should’ve chosen the opposite cocktail! The passion fruit was a little too sweet for me, whereas I loved the Bourbon kick to the lemonade. After a bit of time relaxing at the bar and chatting with the other bloggers there, we were then ushered into the most wonderful private dining room for our special dinner.

EastZEast_MissPond

The evening at EastZEast started with an introduction from the manager who offered us a sample menu so we could each try a selection of the available starters and mains on the Christmas Menu. For the starters we had the typical curry house options, the Onion Bhaji and Vegetable Samosas as well as Tandoori Grilled Lamb Chop and Chicken. The Samosa was lightly spiced and very tasty, whereas the Bhaji had a good kick to them! The Chicken Tandoori and Lamb Chop were delicately marinated and very tender, Mr W was impressed. After much deliberation Mr W and I concluded that we both enjoyed the Bhaji most, mainly for the kick. But we recommend trying everything with the garlic pickle too, it was the most wonderful accompaniment!

Starters_EastZEast_MissPond

Out of all 3 of the curries we tried, the Balti Seafood was my favourite and different to what I would normally pick, it was packed with prawns that were cooked to perfection. The sauce with the chicken Murgh Tikka Makhani was amazing, it was just lacking a few vegetables for me. Lastly the Lamb Sookah Bunah was a very typical curry house curry, but very tasty and the lamb was unbelievably tender. Our curries were accompanied with rice and naan bread, which were very tasty too.

Currys_EastZEast_MissPond

Lastly we got to pick a dessert, Mr W and I both went for the Chocolate Cheesecake with Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream, due to our chocaholic tendencies. As expected the dessert was ok, but not the stand out of the three courses, which by far was the other two courses! To be honest we never usually order dessert with a curry, but the Christmas Menu includes 3 courses!

Dessert_EastZEast_MissPond

Whilst the food EastZEast served up was delicious and enjoyable, I wish we’d have been able to sample more of the Christmas themed options from the full Christmas menu. The Turkey Handi and Saffron Turkey Biryani sound delicious and obviously keep in with the seasonal theme.

For those interested in organising their office Christmas party or a get together with friends in the holidays for an alternate Christmas dinner do check out the Full Christmas EastZEast  Menu here. The menu comes in at £21.95 per person and is available from 1st December – 31st December.

MissPond x

All food provided was free of charge, however this doesn’t ensure a positive review. In this case the food and service were both good, Mr W and I will be back in the future.

1 2 3 30

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookCheck Our Feed