.: Exploring around – Free from diet :.

Hi all,

My posts have reduced quite significantly, but with baby around I have to admit I have no time (if only she would nap!). This week I had a friend over, so it was the perfect excuse to go out for some lunch. But it was really though to find places where I could eat.

Due to breastfeeding I’m having quite a rigid diet, since my little one suffers from reflux and I suspect milk intolerance. So no coffee (even though I had it during pregnancy), no chocolate (I had a brownie once and it was a nightmare), no tomato or any acidic foods, no milk or soya.

I had no idea on the amount of things that include milk! Also tomato is really hard for me, as I follow Mediterranean diet (cheese and tomato are a big part of the diet).

To help out the matters, I also had a cold. And breastfeeding meant I couldn’t have anything whatsoever, so was relying on tea.

First stop was tea at Princi

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They had delicious bakery and really good looking cannolis, but… I couldn’t have anything. All I had was a tea buhhh

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Here’s my little one getting ready for Christmas!

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During Christmas I love a walk around South bank and explore all the different stalls. But again, quite a pain if you can’t try all the foods!

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I couldn’t resist an afternoon tea (which I’ve been missing a lot!!), so took my friend to Richmond (I was feeling really poorly on this day)

The carrot cake looked really delicious! Again couldn’t eat it, so took it home for my other half. He said it was pretty delicious

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On Saturday went to Portobello road but before we did a stop at The Mall Tavern for some serious meaty business. At least can still eat meat!

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The Mall Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve ended up the week with a Sunday Roast at our local pub

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which was really delicious!

One Over the Ait Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So an interesting request, does anyone know a nice free from dairy bakery place in London? At the moment can only eat home made cakes, if only I had the time to do them

(Note: It took me 2 days to try to complete this post, if only my little one would nap!)

 

.: Kids menu :.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve last managed to post anything in here! Only this last week I’ve started to go out again, so hopefully I’ll manage to go back to posting.

As it was my birthday this week, I had my parents with me, so I definitely wanted to have a lunch out. After some quick baby shopping, we’ve ended up going to Turtle Bay for lunch. I wanted a quiet place where I would be able to breastfeed. Although Turtle Bay tends to be really crowded on the evenings, due to the variety of cocktails and cocktail hour, at lunch it was actually pretty quiet.

Turtle Bay is known by the Caribbean food. Love the Jerk Chicken and the Koko Colada. But as I’m breasfeeding, I’ve ended up ordering from the kids menu (can’t have spice, milk, tomato…. oh joy!), but at least managed to have 2 pots of sweet potato fries! (I had to order 2 kids menus to make an adult portion)

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I was just delighted I had my first meal out since August! It’s just a shame I’m having such a restrict diet, but I’ll get used to it and after all, it’s for a really good cause 🙂

.: Afternoon Week :.

I really love a good afternoon tea, so couldn’t miss having one on the Afternoon Tea Week. If I needed any further reason there was also our 9th Anniversary (of living together). Probably I could have done something a bit more fancy to celebrate the occasion, but sometimes I believe you need to keep it simple 🙂

And no, I didn’t went to any fancy tea either, I’ve decided to go pretty much next door, have a walk in Richmond and enjoy a good delicious relaxing tea.

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Richmond is one of my favourite places in the world. I never get tired of having a walk along the river here, it always makes me feel really calm and relaxed.

For the tea, the choice was Muriel’s Kitchen. I had seen this place lots of times and it was on my wishlist for a long time. (You can see the afternoon menu here)

Loved the space immediately. Really lovely soft decor and friendly staff. As soon as you walk in you are made to feel really welcome.

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I’ve ordered a chamomile tea whereas he went for the classic Earl Grey. Both were really tasty (the teas were from teapigs). The smoothie was also pretty fresh

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The tea is served in a little picnic bench (which I found to be really cute)

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All of the sandwiches were pretty good, ranging from smoked salmon, to chicken and egg. Then moving to the scones.

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As soon as I’ve started to cut it in half I’ve noticed the texture, perfect. Not breaking apart and feeling really soft in my hands.

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After the first bite, yap, really good! One of the best I had in a long time! Finally the mini bakery, all the cakes were delicious and makes me want to try the big ones. All really fresh

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Might not seem a lot by the pictures, but I was really full. He couldn’t even finish all the cakes. So overall I’ve really enjoy my experience and honestly think this was a good choice! Will be back to try their other cakes and for more scones 🙂

.: Le Boudin Blanc :.

Last week we went out for dinner middle of the week with friends who were enjoying for the first time they are parents, some time just for them. For how much you love your kids I’m sure there will always be moments you also miss the times when you could do anything you wanted, including trying new restaurants on a Thursday evening. As we’re about to join their club, felt like a really good idea to go too.

One of our friends, who loves both Marylebone and Mayfair, selected the restaurant. I can’t say no to a French restaurant and I love those areas as well! The choice was Le Boudin Blanc

Loved the environment immediately! Really cosy without being pretentious with really friendly staff. One of the staff members couldn’t speak english very well, so we had to repeat a few things, but that’s ok.

We didn’t order any starters – at least I didn’t to save some space for dessert, but we had some bread to start with. The wine menu is actually really good, but I can’t say anything about it, as at the moment I can’t drink, so had a sparkling water instead.

For mains, I’ve ordered the cod, which was absolutely delicious and creamy!

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He had the lamb, which was perfectly seasoned and cooked.

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The star for me was the dessert, the Fondant au chocolat. As soon as the plate arrived I could smell it already and the small was absolutely fab! I’ve managed to finish it all and I’m glad I had saved some space for it.

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He’s crazy about lemon tarts, so he ordered the tartellete au citron. Same as my one, the smell was incredible. I had a try on it and it was superb. He was quite happy about it and said it was the best he had in a long time.

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So a really good place to go for a nice relaxing dinner, either as a couple or with a small group of friends.
Le Boudin Blanc Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

.: The Stables Pizza & Cider :.

My other half kept on talking about a new place that was going to open quite close to home, but I had no idea on what it was until he then said it was Pizza & Cider, which then reminded me The Stables (which I know from Bristol), I went to check on their website and just confirmed they had opened a branch next door!

(Photos below are from the official website)

So it was the perfect place for a Friday night after work (as we were both lazy to cook dinner).

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I hadn’t realised that before, but the menu changes based on the location. There were some specials on the menu related to the area (which is always a nice idea). I went for the pizzas again, but next time need to try a pie

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We had the garlic bread, which I totally recommend as it’s a big portion and quite tasty. Then I had a chicken and pepper pizza (even on pizzas I’m still taking into account my daily protein intake ahahahah)

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I like the pizzas because they taste like sourdough bread and are thin and crisp. They are not the best pizzas I had – for instance I still prefer the pizzas on Franco Manca and they are not that far from us either (in Chiswick), but it’s a really nice place if you enjoy trying different ciders. Their choice is really good. So I’m sure we’ll be back more often

If you want to try it you also have a Whitechapel branch.

What is your favourite pizza place in London?

.: A ladies weekend in Bath :.

Now here’s something I hadn’t done in around 10 years, having a weekend away with friends. I went recently to Bordeaux with my sis, but once you live together with your other half, the odds are that all the weekends away will be together. I love our weekends together!!!!

But this time, we’ve decided to go out just 3 of us ladies to Bath for a relaxing weekend. For our stay, and considering we’ve decided the weekend a bit late, I’ve selected a lovely cottage at AirBnB. Honestly this was a massive jackpot! The house was absolutely stunning!!!

Photo from official website

The pool room – from the official website

Photo from the official website

Photo from the official website

Photo from the official website

Photo from the official website

Once we arrived in the house we were welcomed by the owner & host Janet. She was absolutely lovely with us. She served us the most amazing & fresh scones with tea (homemade) as well as some muffins made by the daughter.

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After enjoying the sunshine in the garden, we’ve headed for our afternoon tea @ Bailbrook House. Bailbrook is a boutique hotel just outside Bath, but with a perfect view over town

Photo from the official website

Our table was prepared for the restaurant area, but it was such a gorgeous day that we couldn’t resist but ask to go outside instead

Photo from official website

With this amazing view and weather why would we want to be indoors?

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And then our tea arrived. Look at all of this good looking food!

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The sandwiches were quite fresh, but the scones absolutely amazing!!!

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After enjoying the sun for 2 hours, we’ve headed to bath city centre for a walk. As we were talking and giggling I didn’t took many photos. We’ve also decided to stop for some cocktails (well, mockatail for me)

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For dinner, we’ve headed to Nonna’s as we were all craving for pasta. My phone’s battery was dead at this stage so no photos from the food, but it was absolutely delicious!

The bread was delicious and so was my tagliatelle al funghi. We didn’t had any space left for pudding

We’ve headed back home and switched into PJ mode. We were served warm tea and the leftovers of our afternoon scones. The pool room in the meantime had all the candles on. It was way better than the pictures show, gorgeous!

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We’ve ended up talking and giggling until 01h30 in the morning, so our wake up at 08h30 was a bit hard!!! We were presented with a gorgeous breakfast! Fresh fruits, poached / baked eggs with bacon and grilled tomato and mushroom. And then some amazing croissants!!!! We were absolutely stuffed and no way we would be able to have any space for lunch.

We’ve then headed out to a walk in Castle Coombe before heading back to London. It was such a relaxing and good weekend!!! Not sure when I’ll have the chance to do something similar again, but it was super!

 

.: River Station @ Bristol :.

One of the cities I love the most in UK, apart from London has to be Bristol. After 2 years working there I just love it! Amazing restaurants, really friendly people and such a good life style (as compared with London). So I was really looking forward to come back ever since I left before Christmas.

Obviously I had to stay in the Royal Marriott! It felt quite good to be back and still quite familiar as well. Some of the faces I still recognised from 6 months before.

Because we’ve arrived around lunch time, and before our room would be ready, we decided to go for a nice lunch. As it wasn’t raining (even though it was mostly cloudy) I wanted to go back to RiverStation and enjoy that relaxing view to the river. RiverStation was one of the favourites while I was working there for the relaxing atmosphere and overall good quality food.

I’ve never tried the bar at the bottom floor, but I’ve heard that they have really nice brunch menus. We went straight to the upper floor to the restaurant area. We were friendly welcomed and guided through the cosy tables at the corner in front of the river. It was a really good idea as there were families in the main area, hence a bit more noisy in the middle.

One of the things I love about RiverStation is their seasonal menus. They don’t have a big menu, but they change it according to the seasonal products. They also offer set menu deals which I find really good value. Also, you are offered their delicious bread.

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I felt so relaxed with the sound of the boats outside and the smell of the water. It was really cloudy but still really pleasant.

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I went for the set menu with starter, fish of the day and pudding! All of it really tasty and quite filling too.

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The salted caramel in the brownie was sooooo good! It was full of nuts inside as well. Yummy!

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Once I’m back in Bristol will definitely be back, this is a favourite in the city centre! Maybe not as romantic as the Glassboat, but with better price quality offer.

For more restaurants in Bristol please check here.

Have you been in Bristol before? Any favourite which you would recommend? Have a lovely week! (Weekend is closer!!!)

.: Day 1 in Bordeaux :.

It feels it was ages ago now, but I didn’t had the energy to edit the photos from that weekend (oh life lately!). Bordeaux was our sister weekend away and now I wonder why didn’t we do it ages ago? It was brilliant to have some time together.

After checkin in the house and as I had some time left while my sister didn’t arrive from her flight, I went on a mission to get a nice lunch. I bumped into Le Petit Commerce, a favourite by the locals by it’s fresh fish. Considering I’ve arrived quite late, around 14h, it was still quite crowded. I had to wait a little bit for a sit, but it was so worth it.

I’ve decided for the day’s offer, fish soup. Ohh it was so marvellous! Even the bread was absolutely tasty. I had no idea I was craving for fish this badly.

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Then, in the table next to me, they’ve ordered cafe gourmand, which is pretty much coffee served with petits fours. Delicious!

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I left the restaurant feeling loads better than I was after my nap in the house. Ready to explore the city.

I loved the colours immediately, it felt like Paris meets Bath.

My sister eventually arrived and we’ve continued exploring the city

I wish I could buy all of these!

Don’t you just love the colours? Then we went to explore the famous canneles. Well I have to say this was a disappointment. They were not as good as I would expect them to be. It felt like biting a piece of rubber to be fair.

We went for a quick shower at the house before heading over for dinner. For dinner we’ve decided L’Entrecote. I knew about l’entrecote from the branch in London, so I knew I was going to love it. My sister was in love with the sauce as well. Being L’Entrecote, it means waiting a while. I think we’ve waited around 45m and we were one of the first in the queue.

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So good! I managed to finish it all, which was an improvement considering my previous month. Really worth a visit 🙂

Next stop: St-Emilion!

Btw, Feliz dia do Pai (Father’s day in Portugal)

.: Japanese sweets in London :.

Apologies, I haven’t been blogging for a while but I have to admit I haven’t been feeling great this year. I haven’t really been out much not exploring around, but last weekend, with the festival of lights in town I had to go.

I’m familiar with the concept because we have it in Portugal as well, in the gorgeous town of Cascais called Lumina

So I was expecting really big things on the London version. I have to admit my expectations were too high. The light garden in Leicester Square was really nice, but I was expecting more. But the good thing was, in our mission to find one of the light spots, we’ve found a Japanese temptation in the heart of London: Minamoto Kitchoan

If you used to watch anime as a kid, you might recognise Doraemon Dorayaki’s

A Dorayaki is a sweet red bean pancake.

And this is the store’s speciality. I had to try the chocolate Moki

Minamoto Kitchoan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
So delicious! I’m sure I’ll be back more often, to prepare for my trip to Japan in April.

To keep in the mood just had Ramen for lunch and the other night I did a lovely salmon with udon noodles for dinner. It’s such a comfortable food!

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

 

.: Flat Iron :.

I had Flat Iron on my wishlist for a while now ever since I’ve read the reviews (they were consistently positive).

Flat iron is a cut from the chunk, so not from the premium places like rib or sirloin, but I can tell you is for sure full of flavour. I’m glad it’s quite overlooked so it becomes a tasty and affordable piece of meat.

I had Flat iron for the first time in the hotel, as it was one of the deals of the day and was quite surprised by the flavour, so after reading the reviews on Flat Iron I had to try it.

Running away from all the Christmas shoppers we’ve decided now it was the perfect time to go. It’s really easy to find and I’m glad it’s far enough from Convent Garden so it becomes quiet.

As soon as we arrive, we were immediately guided to a spacious table, even though we were still missing our friend (some places want to ensure everyone has arrived before they allow you to sit). The menu is really straightforward, you just need to select the drinks, how you want your flat iron cooked and which sides you want. Also note that there is always a special beer as well as potentially 2 other main dishes. In today’s visit we had the burger as well and another cut, but I really wanted flat iron.12360275_10206281589053416_7647525359604417687_n

The flat iron is served with a side salad, which is actually quite tasty. We’ve also ordered the cream spinach, the fries and the aubergine. All really tasty

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But the star was really the meat. Look at it

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So yummy and juicy! Could it all again just by looking at it. I’ve ordered medium rare and it was served exactly medium rare (which most of you will agree doesn’t always happen).

Absolutely delicious! So we’ve ended up having a relaxed lunch, really good quality and affordable prices (and in London!). So yes indeed I’ll be back

Flat Iron Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve ended up not having a dessert, although it was quite tempting, because we all had a special place we had to go back. If anywhere near of Denmark Street I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go back to I Love Nata. I love those pasteis de nata and the coffee is good as well.

This time I’ve ordered 2 of them, no regrets!

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Don’t forget to add the cinnamon on top!

I Love Nata Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So overall a great lunch! Any recent discovery you would like to share?