.: The Hare And Hounds, Oysterley :.

I’m over the moon that my little one is finally sleeping a bit better. She can’t really nap yet, so not many posts from my end. Last time it took me 2 / 3 days to make one.

This Sunday, as it was beautifully sunny we went out for a walk @ Oysterley Park (Part of National Trust)

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Since she ended up falling asleep and it was lunch time, it was the perfect opportunity to grab some lunch. We’ve ended up staying in the area and going for “The Hare & Hounds

I’ve not been going out for food much, as the logistics has changed quite a lot. But, now I value a lot more any time we can spend together on the same table, and going out feels like a cherry on top of the cake.

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The steak was pretty good and the fries pretty delicious! I’ve tried a bit of the peppercorn sauce (still doing dairy free) and it was pretty good as well.

Overall was quite happy with our meal and our time together 🙂

The Hare & Hounds Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Any plans for Christmas?

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.: Kalamari @ Chiswick :.

If there is a food that reminds me of home that’s calamari. I love Octopus and Squid. It’s a shame that it’s so hard to get it here in UK and if you do it tends to be fried. Although I love fried calamari (our own version of fish and chips is fried Squid (choco frito)):

I prefer Mediterranean style. My grandma used to do a delicious stuffed calamari with rice and spinach inside. Or the fresh Octopus salad

Or the oven baked Octopus (with lots of garlic, olive oil and coriander). This is a thing from the heavens (the dish is called Polvo a Lagareiro).

Because I haven’t been in Portugal for a while now – last time I was there was in march – I found myself craving for this type of food. So we’ve decided that before baby decides to come out, we had to go to a Greek restaurant I had on my wishlist for ages: Kalamari. Normally, when people go to a greek restaurant they are thinking about the houmous, the grilled halloumi and tapas in general. But, as the name suggests, they actually have a few calamari dishes which I was really craving for.

Kalamari is conveniently located in the Chiswich High Road, in the boarder with Hammersmith. The restaurant has a classic greek decor and it wasn’t that busy at all (midweek dinner I guess). So we felt quite peaceful and relaxed

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I have to admit I’ve really enjoyed the family feeling. It’s not a pretentious place, but one where you would expect to get an honest meal.

We’ve started with the octopus salad – which to me it’s not as good as the portuguese version – but the octopus was really well cooked and the salad nicely seasoned. Ah, oh I was missing this type of food!

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Then we’ve both decided to go for the calamari dishes. He went for the calamari grilled steak and I went for the stuffed calamari (again reminding myself of my grandma’s dish)

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It was really nice! I still prefer my grandma’s version, but I just couldn’t stop smiling by the realisation how much honest good food is important for me. We were both stuffed, but I wanted something sweet, so we’ve decided to share an ice cream

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Which again was really fresh.

I left with a smile on my face for having enjoyed a dinner that remind me of home, and sometimes that’s all you need!

Kalamari Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Which food do you crave the most from your childhood?

 

.: National Burgers Day :.

Although I really enjoy a good burger, I don’t think I had any burgers this year, partially because we haven’t been going out for dinner as much this year and also because I can’t have them medium rare as I like. But the weather was so warm that I couldn’t resist but to have a good burger outdoors and make the most of the weather and the national burger’s day (25th of August for UK)

As I’m not going far these days, we’ve decided to go to one of our favourite pubs: One over the eight 

On Friday’s it’s especially good because there is live music! So perfect to be outdoors, enjoying the weather, the food and the music

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Also, service is really friendly here, sometimes we forget it’s a pub and not a normal restaurant 🙂 The atmosphere couldn’t be any perfect for me as everyone feels really relaxed and chill down.

Because we had my dark chocolate brownies in the afternoon (yap this time I’ve done it my way 90% chocolate and half of the sugar recommended by the recipe), there was no space for dessert, but they have really good ones!

Do you enjoy a good burger? What’s your favourite?

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

.: Nespresso Cafe :.

As he went to stock coffee for us the other day, he arrived home with a voucher for the new Nespresso Cafe. I had no idea it was already opened. I’m quite a fan of the nespresso concept. Even though I’m really craving to have a proper professional coffee machine at home:

Maybe something like this (Bean to cup) – where pretty much everything is automated

(Delonghi Bean to Cup link to amazon)

Or even one like this (as I still enjoy the manual process)

(Available from amazon here)

But indeed if you want convenience, the nespresso capsules are pretty good. The best part is that since the patent for the capsules expired, there are loads of brands out there offering capsules as well (although not as reliable as the nespresso ones).

I have one of this at home

Bundled with my beloved aeroccino

You can buy the coffee machines with the aeroccino included, but they tend to be a lot more expensive than if bought separately. Plus it makes a lot easier to have them separately to organise the kitchen space. I used my aeroccino at least once daily and it still works. Love it!

So yap, once we’ve discovered there was a new Cafe in town we had to try it. For example, our portuguese brand Delta, has this concept for more than 7 years now. The stores are really beautifully decorated (Delta Q)

So it was about time for Nespresso to pick up the boat as well. Similar to the concept in Portugal. Nespresso Cafe is conveniently located near St Pauls, which makes it a perfect escape over lunch in the city (not so great for the weekend), but hopefully this will be just the first if many cafes. The store is really well decorated (it’s Nespresso, so what else?) They also have some sandwiches in case you want something more consistent to go with your coffee.

Photo from official website

We’ve tried the coffee creations. He had the Wake up wonder (Coffee, Muesli and Caramel)

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Really tasty and perfect for the any time of the day to be honest!

I went for the Chocolate Dream (which is ultimately an affogato). I couldn’t resist chocolate. (Ristretto + ice cream and cream on top), I would remove the cream and leave it as a classic affogato, but that’s just me.

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He couldn’t resist to try the sweet temptations as well. He went for the Ricotta blueberry cheesecake. 13932803_10208041957701532_2655497728167855411_n

I went for the brownie. But hold on that this wasn’t a regular brownie, it was actually an avocado one (so a healthier option). There’s a similar recipe here. It was really creamy and I could still feel the avocado flavour, so really enjoyed it.

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It’s not a cheap option, but the prices are not that far from what you would get in a starbucks and you get better flavours. The plus side is that you can even stock up on your coffee, as you have the nespresso cubes where you can buy your favourite capsules (card only, apparently it doesn’t accept cash).

So overall really enjoyed my visit. Would feel bad to pay £1.90 for a ristretto though, knowing it’s £0.27 a capsule at home 🙂

.: 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 🙂

.: 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?

.: Board Games Brunch :.

You know I like to play board games once in a while right? So once our friends told us there was a really cool cafe with board games next to their flat, we thought it was worth the try. Although today is absolutely an amazing sunny day, we’ve started by crossing London by car – which is always an adventure on it’s own with my other half testing all the swear words he knows (yap, people in this city drive really badly, especially considering this is not a city planned for cars).

Anyway, we’ve then reached Draughts – Board Game Café. This is a project that started on kickstarter (there’s some really interesting places in London that also started there, like Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium Cafe)

It’s a really spacious place, and on the weekends gets filled quite quickly. The concept is that you pay £5pp and you can stay 4h and play any games you want with your friends. Because of the weather today, there were still spaces available so we could have stayed longer if we wanted it to.

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The only draw back is that, even though they open at 10h and the food menu is perfect for a brunch, they only serve food after 12h. I hadn’t realised that and went before having breakfast. Fortunately our friends brought some snacks for us.

We’ve started by playing a Japanese game: Tokaido

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The concept of the game is that we need to cross Japan and get points along the way with the stops. As any Japanese games, the game itself is visually quite pretty and so are the cards. It takes a bit to get the rules, but then it’s quite easy to play. You can check more here and available on Amazon here. I’ve enjoyed it because it’s a game about travel (in Japan!) and about exploring.

Then we’ve ordered some food, mostly warm sandwiches to keep us going

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After brunch, we moved to the 2nd game, Pandemic. Unlike most games, Pandemic is a game about cooperation. Everyone playing will be contributing for the team to win (or end up loosing). Each player gets assigned a role, as per the cards, and the idea is to form and discuss a strategy throughout plays and as the game gets tougher. The team wins once they’ve managed to find the cure for all the main 4 diseases in the board, before they take over the world. It’s not a game I would have considered playing, but because it’s about cooperation ended up being really good fun

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Maybe because we spend so much time on social media and glued to our computers / phones, it feels quite relaxing to go back old fashion ways and just take time to play a board game with friends. Really nice experience 🙂

Draughts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato