A New Year and a New Foodhall for M&S

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. 

 

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Review: Cappadocia

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!

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Where to eat out in London on a Cold Winters Night

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.

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kitchen bites

Kitchen Bites Christmas Edition!

Hi everyone, for the last Kitchen Bites you might remember that I trialed doing the post as a video over on my you tube channel (check it out and subscribe here if you havent already!) It was really fun to do, but as products have started to pop through the letterbox for the christmas edition and foodie gift guide, I’ve realised it’s not very practical to do another video as a lot of the food is perishable and thus I was having to film the video in tiny sections which was almost impossible! Thus we are back to a good old blog post.

From next year onwards I will be giving the Kitchen Bites Series a rest, but fear not (!) I will still be talking about all my new and favourite foodie products over on instagram instead so pop over and follow me there to keep up with my foodie discoveries.

For the last Kitchen Bites for now its a combination of recent discoveries and things that would make great stocking fillers for your foodie friends.

First up, some sweet treats from a brand called The Treat Kitchen. This company has a few shops, their flagship is in Nottingham I believe, but also can be found on the internet and do a great range of retro and current sweets, and a fabulous line in Christmas specials too. I recently tried a selection, and was impressed with everything from the choice of sweets, to their sleek packaging and great taste.

If you’re looking for something different for Christmas then definitely check them out – we adored the Gin & Tonic Jellies, but also love the sound of the Mulled Wine Bon Bons and Prosecco jellies too!


Next a great present for a cheese lover – a cheese subscription box. from The Welsh Cheese Company you could get 4 lovingly selected cheeses to your door with ‘Clwb Caws’, which means “cheese club” in Welsh. It’ll cost £27 per month including postage and is a great way to discover new cheeses!

We really enjoyed our recent selection – and really loved each of the cheeses. Obviously lee and I disagreed on the best one, he liked the smoked caerffili while I went for the Amber Mist.


If you’re a hot sauce fiend like me then you will love these Cheeky Boy Sauces. They are being launched in an ‘explorer’ size of 150g in time for Christmas. Here’s a little about the 3 sauces!

I must say The German Hot Sauce isn’t quite to my palate, but the other two are fantastic!


Christmas isn’t Christmas without some of Cadbury’s favourite chocolate treats, and this year is no exception with a great range of different Christmassy offerings.

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We always have some of their tree decorations on the tree ( usually gone waaaaay before Christmas day!) and I love the look of these tiny santas!


Another hot sauce, and this time one that is local to me – Pips Hot Sauce. I’ve known her sauces now for several years and they never fail to disappoint. Her trademark La Boca Del Diablo is shown in the picture below but check out her spicy hot ketchup and BBQ sauces as well which ROCK!

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For festive nibbles, you need to have some crisps around, and Burts have recently launched two new flavours – Spit Roast Steak and Hamageddon, so if you like your crisps meaty and that pack a punch – these are two to certainly try out!

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Lastly for this review, a new cookbook about Danish eating – Scandinavian trends are all the rage at the moment aren’t they with Hygge and such like, so why not try the food as well. This book by Caroline Flemming and published by Jacqui Small ( RRP £25) is shot on location in Denmark, celebrates the very best of Danish cuisine. Drawing on age-old family recipes, Caroline shares over 100 delicious and authentic dishes, each of them able to boost your sense of wellbeing, both inside and out. Sounds good to me!

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My favourite recipe so far has to be the one below – Poussin casserole with a cucumber salad, so easy to make and delicious too.

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So that’s it for Kitchen Bites for now. Be sure to follow me over on instagram where I will continue to share my favourite foodie discoveries.

Thanks to all the brands above who have gifted products for this blog post, no further renumeration was received.