.: 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?

.: 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

.: 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?

.: 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

.: In search for the best coffee in London :.

First of all it’s Friday and it’s finally summer in UK!!!!

For those of you that follow me for a while you’ll know I love coffee. There are photos of me, as a 3 year old, holding a small cup of coffee in my hands (it was mostly a small cup of milk with some drops of coffee). But I really love coffee since I can remember. The smell of roasted coffee in the morning, the taste of it and anything coffee related. Maybe one day I’ll be crazy enough to become a Barista and open my own space (or maybe not). I don’t drink coffee for the sake that it wakes me up, I drink purely because I love it. And I wish it would wake me up, but it doesn’t work!

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This is how I like my coffee, short, strong, no sugar!

For those of you that live in London, I’m sure you’ve noticed the growing trend over the years around the coffee culture. Whereas before it was all about the Starbucks of this world (horrible expensive coffee btw!), now we have competitions for professional Baristas and lots of independent chains. Here’s something I have to praise the hipsters, thanks guys!

The only downside of coffee culture being so linked with the hipster culture is that most of the really cool chains are located in East London. Being a South Westerner by heart, this means I normally need to wait for a small shop to start opening other branches so I can give it a go (I can’t be asked to cross the whole city because of coffee, even if I love it that much).

This week the latest discovery was the Workshop Coffee (Holborn branch)

This is a really spacious place and I was surprised to find it really quiet! Perfect to enjoy a nice coffee and sit on the coach.

I went for a flat white rather than my usual espresso, so delicious!

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Also had a small brownie which was very tasty too! Will come back more often, since it’s just a 5m walk from the office.

Workshop Coffee Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other good places I’ve already tried:

I have loads more on my wishlist!

You can also visit the list from the Cosy Coffee Shops for more inspiration.

What is your favourite coffee place in London and how do you normally drink your coffee?