Review: House of the Rising Sun

Shropshire is a part of the country I’ve not spent very much time in, so a few weeks ago it was nice to spend a morning having a wander round Shrewsbury. Before heading over the the National Trust property of Attington Park nearby to continue our exploring we fuelled up with a spot of lunch at House of the Rising Sun.


Tucked away on a side street behind a large antique wooden door,  in the heart of the town centre, from the outside House of the Rising Sun is quite unassuming. Inside however the space is quite something. There’s a moody atmosphere with dark woods and low hanging lights. I loved the bright royal blue tiles that covered the back of the bar, quite a stunning area.


Image from HOTRS website

The restaurant, which has just celebrated its second anniversary offers several menus including their new innovative ‘Wave’ menu which consists of ‘wave after wave’ of dishes selected from their menus arriving at each table to taste, created by head chef Sam Butler who recently achieved the accreditation of one of the UK’s Top 10 Sushi chefs at the `UK heat of the Global Sushi Challenge’

The food is billed as East meets West Modern Australian, combining the flavours of the Pacific Rim but  underpinned by European cooking tradition. If this is the case it sounded right up my street! We were eating at lunch time, but in the evenings they also open upstairs with a dining room that ‘takes inspiration from the turn of 18th century French and British colonialism, meeting subtly with Eastern opulence and beauty’


To drink I chose one of the mocktails – a Lemon & Lime Bitters, which I found very refreshing. Lee chose from the wine list and had a glass of  Luis Felipe Edwards Viognier 2012 Chile. There were good and varied choices of wines by the bottle and glass, as well as many soft drinks, infused waters, cocktails and beers.

We chose a few dishes from the Sharing Plates Menu.  A couple each was suggested so this is what we went for (+ desserts of course!) Like tapas, they arrive at the table when they are ready. First to arrive was the Seared Scallops, Pork Popcorn & Winer Cherries (£9.50). I really enjoyed the flavour of the cherry with the traditional pork and scallop combination but did find them a marginally overcooked, and thought 4 queenie scallops was a little stingy for the price of the dish.


Next up was by far and away our favourite of the 4 dishes, Wild Shropshire Venison Kofta with Chilli Chocolate Sauce (£9). I’m always wary of kofta as often find them dry but these were so succulent and packed full of meaty flavour. The chilli and chocolate sauce was a genius addition and complemented them perfectly.


Seared Teriyaki Beef, Spring Onions (£13) was cooked a beautiful medium rare and was very tender. I would have liked the addition of a drizzle of glaze or sauce to tie the beef and onions together.


Last up was a Pulled Pork Steamed Bun, Pickled Apple and Smoked Mayonnaise (£4.50). The pork was meltingly tender and well seasoned and the smoky mayonnaise came through well with the sharp apple cutting through. A delicious few mouthfuls.


Another couple of things that really took my fancy were the Potato & spring onion croquettes, kimchi slaw, avocado puree and the Crispy Soft Shell Crab with Apple Passionfruit and Chilli. These would be high on my list if heading back!

We definitely still had room for dessert, so if you are hungry for lunch or not planning on sweets I would add in an extra  1 or 2 plates for sure.

For dessert Lee tried an unusual Chilled Morello Cherry Chocolate Fondant and Milk Sorbet (£7)  He was a little confused as he’s only ever known a fondant to be hot, but he enjoyed the richness of this mousse like chocolate surrounding a liquid cherry centre and refreshing milk sorbet.

I went for a favourite of mine – Churros (£7) Enough said really. Yummy!



This meal came to £58 in total with drinks. It’s not a cheap lunch, but overall the quality was good, the surroundings and service very amiable and for me it’s the kind of food I love to eat. I would certainly go back for dinner to try the wave menu if in the area.

Disclosure: We paid for our own drinks, the food we sampled was free of charge. All views are our own.

bbc gfs

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2015 Birmingham: Producer Preview

The Winter BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham kicks off this very Thursday (26th) November! One of my favourite parts of the Good Food Show HAS to be the shopping. Discovering producers, tasting before you buy and generally having a good chinwag with the sellers, it’s all great fun.

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As part of the Blogging Community for the Good Food Show I’m usually lucky enough to get some samples through the post before the show, showcasing some of the great products on offer and this year was no exception. There are both some fab old faces and lots of new ones at this year, so let’s take a look at some of the producers to look out for this Winter:


This bakery has developed additive free breads and patisserie, all handmade. I tried the Farmers Country Grain loaf which was packed with grains and nuts. Seeded breads are a favourite of mine and this one, made for home baking is delicious.



These are a local favourite of ours who make some lovely infused rapeseed oils and also a fab range of crisps. Check out our review from a year or so ago to find out more!


I’d heard of this brand previously, but I’ve never tried any of their products. They do various flavours including honey, chilli and even sweet varieties like choccy apricot.  I’m loving sprinkling seeds over salads at the moment and these ones are enriched with omega 3, very healthy! As well as these large pots they also do tiny packets, perfect for snacking on the go.



Farringtons Rapeseed Oil is a firm favourite already with me so I’m glad to see they are back at the show this year. We usually pick up a bottle of their oil and the garlic mayonnaise in their range is SO tasty.



I love these guys and their great quality cured meats – we often have their chorizo in the fridge!




The Garlic Farm do all sorts of lovely chutneys, the Vampire Chutney a firm favourite of ours. We also loved their black garlic which we first tried in the summer of 2014. Currently we are working our way through a bulb of their smoked garlic, and this might be the best yet. Adding it to tomatoey sauces adds a beautiful smokiness which I am loving. Do pop by and see them as their stand is always done out amazingly too!


These gluten and dairy free sausages are taking the sausage market by storm and they will be at the shoe with their full range including some Christmas specials so make sure you stop by!



I first met these guys at this summer show and really loved their products – if you like liquorice then you will be in heaven!!


I was happy to see that Mr Vine are going to be at the show – I write about them earlier this year and their new wine ordering app which is so easy to use!


Another long term favourite of mine –  a fine food company based in the Cotswolds. Their terrines and pates are really brilliant and they also do various gift boxes such as The Man Box – perfect for food loving man in your life!

That is just a short selection of a few of the great producers you can find at the show – check out the full Exhibitor list here. It’s certainly not too late to get yourself tickets so check out the website for details!

See you at the show!



New Amsterdam Vodka recipe

Spirited Chicken Noodles with BrumYumYum & New Amsterdam Vodka

I was recently contacted about an interesting new campaign, the brainchild of New Amsterdam Vodka, taking place in Birmingham and several other cities called Project It’s Your Town, a content series following millennials in four ‘party cities’ around the UK as they showcase their town, on their terms.

To celebrate the launch of New Amsterdam Vodka in the UK, in Birmingham they have teamed up with Duncan Stanley, founder of Brum Yum Yum to create an ‘Ultimate Munchies’ menu for the project. Perfect to enjoy pre or post night out, the recipes are inspired by the best of Birmingham street food and can be easily recreated at home. 


About the Vodka

New Amsterdam Vodka is new premium spirit imported from the US, expertly crafted for discerning drinkers. Created using the finest quality grains of Missoui and Nebraska, New Amsterdam Vodka is triple filtered for unparalleled smoothness and five times distilled for a clean, crisp taste. Sound good right?

The project has created 3 recipe cards, each from a stalwart of the Birmingham Street Food Scene and all involve the addition somewhere in the recipe of New Amsterdam Vodka

  • Bloody Mary Kebabs from White Heat
  • Spirited Noodles from Buddha Belly
  • Chicken Tikka Pizza from Pizza Traders




So far we’ve tried out the kebabs and the spirited noodles and both were really good! The 3 birds eye chillies in the noodles blew our heads right off, so maybe just add one or two if you’re not that keen on spice!!

Take a look at our efforts




Disclosure: New Amsterdam Vodka sent me a parcel containing a sample of their vodka and a few things to make the dishes above – no other compensation was recieved.

Ireland Day 5: Ardmore to Dublin

The last day of our Ireland Road Trip!

If you missed the other days find them here:

Our last day was spent first exploring the town of Dungarvan – not a very well know place, but special to us as it where Lee’s mum is from, and lived until she was 16. Lee and his family used to visit a lot when he was a child, but he hasn’t been for 20 odd years so it was nice for him to go back and reminisce. Mostly it seems about the ‘red lemonade’ that him and his sister used to drink in the pub! Now contrary to what I thought, this isn’t alcoholic and tastes just like normal lemonade but it’s just blood-red, so his mum wasnt doing anything wrong bribing them with it to get them to sit still in the pub! We had a  brief look around Dungarvans castle ruins before setting off on the drive back to Dublin.

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In Dublin we spent a few hours exploring the city, had a pint or 2 of Guinness in temple bar and walked a good few miles along the river. Lee spotted the Guinness factory but I steered him away!!

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When in Dublin

I couldn’t bear to spend a day in Dublin without visiting one of their gorgeous Michelin starred restaurants, so booked us in for an early dinner on the ‘pre theatre menu’ at Chapter One. Well for us it was more like ‘pre ferry’ than ‘pre theatre’ but the food was delicious, so much so it deserves a post all of its own. And that was that. Dinner finished it was time to catch our 9pm ferry back to the UK.

Until next time Ireland!



Butternut Squash, Goats Cheese & Basil Bruschetta

One of the best things about autumn and winter for me has to be the abundance of different types of squash and pumpkin. Squash chunks roasted with some salt pepper and olive oil is something I love to eat, and can incorporated into so many dishes; salads, pasta, the list is endless. One thing I love to make with it is a more wintery take on the classic bruschetta.

Butternut Squash Goats Cheese and Basil Bruschetta

This version has soft goats cheese, rocket and basil mixed with the butternut squash and drizzled with some fantastic quality olive oil. I’m currently using some fabulous basil oil from Pomora which I used both to roast the squash and to drizzle over the finished dish. It has a really subtle clean basil flavour which I love.



Butternut Squash, Goats Cheese and Basil Bruschetta (Serves 2 for lunch)


  • Half a butternut (or other) squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 small handfuls rocket
  • 4-5 basil leaves, shredded
  • 4 tbsp basil oil
  • 4 slices of ciabatta bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100g soft goats cheese, broken roughly into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Put the squash chunks in a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast at 200ºC for 30-40 mins until soft
  2. In a bowl mix the rocket, basil and goats cheese, then when ready add the squash and mix gently
  3. Take the clove of garlic and rub over one side of each of the ciabatta slices and then drizzle the bread with a tiny amount ( 1/2tsp max) of olive oil
  4. Heat a griddle pan and toast the ciabatta. The time this takes will vary depending on how hot you pan is, but keep an eye on the bread and when slightly charred, turn and do the same on the other side, then remove from the heat
  5. Top the ciabatta with some of the squash mix then drizzle with some of the remaining basil oil.

Happy eating :)