Bill’s is another of those chain restaurants that are popping up all over the place at the moment, and like a lot of these places we haven’t really had much experience of them. The last time I went to a Bills was a few years ago in my husbands home town of Berkhamsted. I think I had a lamb burger but don’t remember much more than that. So when we were invited recently to try the Bill’s in the Crowngate Shopping Centre in Worcester, it was a good excuse to see what they were all about and have a lovely day out in Worcester too.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to think about what you’re doing on the big night. If you’re anything like me I like to stay in on the day itself and hopefully settle down to a nice romantic dinner.
I love Italian food, and it doesn’t get much more romantic than Italy, which has some lovely romantic cities like Pisa, Venice and Naples and Rome to name but a few. Jet 2 are now offering city breaks to all of these places and lots more too.
Bruschetta originated in Italy is one of my favourite things to eat in Italy and at Italian restaurants. A base usually consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt that can have such a wide variety of toppings like vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese although the most common is tomato.
This bruschetta recipe is one that’s a little more hearty and would be a perfect first course for a Valetines Dinner.
Sweet Potato 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.
This version has soft goats cheese, rocket and basil mixed with the sweet potato and drizzled with some fantastic quality olive oil.
Goats Cheese, Sweet Potato and Basil Bruschetta (Serves 2)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled 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
- Put the sweet potato 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 20-30 mins until soft and slightly charred
- In a bowl mix the rocket, basil and goats cheese, then when ready add the potato and mix gently
- 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
- 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
- Top the ciabatta with some of the topping mix then drizzle with some of the remaining oil.
Happy eating 🙂
It’s January, so that means we are all on a healthy eating kick right? We are certainly trying here, but its not always easy with busy lives always cooking great healthy tasty food from scratch. A few days ago I went along to the newly opened Marks & Spencer Foodhall in Wednesbury to have a look around at the brand spanking new store ( helpfully only a 5 minute drive from my current pace of work!) and to hear a bit about their healthy eating ranges and new products. This store has only been open 6 weeks and is a really large store complete with spacious cafe too.
It was nice to see a large area dedicated to their healthy eating ranges, Balanced For You and Count on Us, as well as a big Made Without area too.
There were some very tasty sounding new meals including Chipotle chilli chicken with quinoa & corn, roasted squash and lime pickled onions and Tandoori chicken with spiced pilau rice and sweet date & tamarind onions
The Balanced For You range are high in protein with balanced carbohydrates and are, most importantly, deliciously healthy. You can expect to find all sorts of nutritious carbs in each meal, from beans and pulses to grains. All Balanced For You dishes also carry the healthy Eat Well logo and many provide at least one of your five-a-day.
Also from the Eat Well range are a few new smaller dishes like the ones below – in fact I’ve just had this Mixed Bean Chipotle Chilli with Wild Rice for my lunch and can confirm its tastiness!
I like that the labels are easy to spot too – Vegetarian, 2 or your 5 a day, Gluten Free etc.
The Eating Well doesn’t end at savoury food either with these yummy sounding pots that could work as a dessert or just a snack
We are big fans of M&S’s ‘TASTE’ range too – particularly the Far East Flavours and I often pick us up a few bits for a treat at the weekend.
Obviously M&S has its fair share of non virtuous foods too, including these New Milk Chocolate Honeycomb pieces. You’ve got to treat yourself sometimes haven’t you!
If you’re in the Wednesbury or Black Country area it’s definitely worth a look around the spacious and sparkly new store and checking out all the new products!
Thanks to M&S and Greyling for showing me round the store. Some of the products above were samples of new products, no other compensation was received.
You’ll have to forgive me for having not heard of Cappadocia in Bimirnghams jewellery quarter until a couple of months ago, I’m a little out of touch. The first time I came across it was on meeting a friend nearby for lunch and walking past, it looked interesting, I made a metal note to visit. Fast forward to this weekend and we popped in for lunch.
The food at Cappadocia is billed as authentic Turkish cuisine, so it was something I was really looking forward to. I’ve only been once to Turkey itself. It was a girls holiday back in 2007, so suffice to say I don’t remember THAT much about the food, so I’m not sure I can vouch for authenticity, but I can certainly vouch for the flavours!
Winter is here and the evenings in London have grown long, dark and cold. While you might not feel much like leaving the house at all in the wintry conditions, we’re confident that these warming eateries around London will change your mind.* From comfort food to curries, here are our top restaurant recommendations for escaping the chill.
St Moritz – it’s cheese time!
If you’ve been out in the cold, what better way is there to warm up than enjoying some hot, gooey cheese? At the St. Moritz in Soho, you can choose from eight different authentic fondues to share between two or more people. Established in 1974, St. Moritz is London’s oldest Swiss restaurant and chef Armin Loetscher really knows his stuff. You can choose cheeses from gruyere, emmental and vacherin, served with bread, new potatoes or seasonal veg to dip. There’s even the ‘Fondue Bourgignonne’, which includes cubes of prime beef to cook to your liking at the table. What’s for dessert? Chocolate fondue, of course!
Delhi Grill – ‘Upbeat Punjabo Grill’ – Timeout
Indian street food is as warming as it is delicious, but unfortunately, the street is cold. Delhi Grill on Chapel Market has effectively solved this problem, with its owners taking their popular roti stall seven years ago and expanding it to open their own restaurant. Brothers Aman and Preet Grewal based the space on the idea of an Indian dhaba – an informal canteen where people from all walks of life sit together and enjoy spicy, delicious street food. At Delhi Grill you can enjoy the snacks of Delhi and Punjab surrounded by great company and walls papered with Bollywood posters. The Rogan Josh here is to die for, slow-cooked for over 2 hours to create a spicy, delicious, melt-in-the-mouth lamb curry.
M Restaurants ‘The best steak of my life!’
For classic warming winter food, you have to try one of London’s three M Restaurants. CEO and founder Martin Williams has set up high quality eateries on Threadneedle Street, in Twickenham and now, too, on Victoria Street. The Victoria restaurants are made up of M Grill and M Raw, catering to meat lovers and health-conscious foodies alike.
M Victoria boasts a sushi bar and a full gluten-free dining experience, but when looking for a comforting and hearty meal it’s their steaks that really impress. Steaks are a speciality here, with cuts sourced from six different countries. The restaurant itself is beautifully decorated with a low-lit, intimate atmosphere. Its closeness to the Apollo Victoria and Victoria Palace theatres makes it the perfect place to get out of the cold and enjoy the best pre-theatre dinner in London.
To see the fantastic menu or book to enjoy a delicious meal visit M Restaurant Victoria
Wong ‘Dim sum heaven’
Restaurants near Victoria Station London once offered little in terms of culinary experience and were few and far between, but the area has more recently become home to some game-changers. If M’s offerings don’t take your fancy on this occasion, you might be more in the mood for modern Chinese cooking reimagined by Andrew Wong. This upmarket Chinese eatery offers dim sum and as well as a 10-course “Taste of China” menu showcasing regional cuisine. At lunchtime, the dim sum menu is excellent and is ordered by the individual piece, but you can also find warming food for the evening on the menu. If 10 courses seem a bit too much, try the Gong Bao chicken with roasted peanuts for a deliciously spicy dish that’ll soon stop you shivering. We also recommend the Moo shu pork to share.
Our top winter warmer restaurants in London
These restaurants are our top picks for chasing away the winter chill this season. Victoria restaurants in particular are proving that this area is one to watch within London’s impressive food scene, providing top quality cuisine in a central location.