The W.B Yeats Collaborates with M.I.A

M.I.A and The W.B Yeats collaborated to celebrate chocolate week and rumour has it they will be collaborating for the rest of the year! What a fabulous idea we hear you think and you wouldn’t be wrong. Any excuse to eat chocolate and we are there, so even better when there is an entire week dedicated to chocolate.

Chocolate week was from the 13th- 21st October 2018 so if you missed it this year and you are a chocolate lover make sure you look out for it next year as so many brands get involved with it.

The W.B Yeats is a pub located just a short walk from Finsbury Park Station. They serve freshly prepared food that is of an amazing quality and everything on the menu sounded delicious. We arrived at The W.B Yeats pub at 7:30PM on Friday 19th October ready to try the menu and most importantly the M.I.A Chocolate desserts that are currently on the menu and will be until the end of the year.

We have tried M.I.A chocolate previously and absolutely loved it! You can read our blog post here all about the chocolate.

We ordered both desserts and shared of course…when do we not!

The Warm Chocolate & Caramel Tart with Coconut Cream was one of the desserts and we absolutely loved it, this dessert was Rachels favourite out of the two and she could have eaten it all over again it was so delicious. We loved the rich chocolatey taste, the warm caramel sauce and the perfectly cooked buttery pastry. The coconut cream was served on the top and it was the perfect addition!

The second dessert on the menu was a Cold Chocolate fondant with Candid Hazelnut which was also incredible, we particularly liked the crispy base (we have always loved anything with a crunchy base). The mousse was perfectly set, and we loved the taste of the chocolate powering through with every bite.

We couldn’t just visit The W.B Yeats for the desserts though, of course we went enjoyed a three course meal, how could we not when the menu sounded so divine.

We ordered a bottle Of Le Campuget Syrah Grenache which was a delicious blush wine, the type of wine we have been loving recently. it was fresh, crisp and easy to drink. Le Campuget Syrah Grenache is such a summer wine and reminds us of those light evenings sipping it in the sunshine if you cannot tell already e are trying to hold onto summer for as long as possible.

We also shared some Salamanca olives and nuts which were perfect to snack whilst we had a catch up and chose what we wanted to order.

To start we shared the Isle of Wight tomatoes & parmesan on toast which was divine and so flavoursome. We would 100% recommend this starter to anyone to visits. They were incredibly generous on the portion sizes there were so many tomatoes. We love parmesan it’s one of our favourite cheeses so of course we loved that part of the dish as well.

For mains we both went for the steak, with green sauce and onions. It was unbelievable, we wanted to eat it all over again! It was served with a side of chips and of course gravy that was poured over the top of the steak. The greens sauce had parsley in it which we absolutely loved!

Angus the manager of the pub was incredible, he looked after us all evening, you can really tell he loves his job. He explained each dish to us in detail before we tucked in which we really appreciated as its nice to know a bit of background on the dish.

It was a busy Friday evening in the pub and the atmosphere was alive, we loved the vibe. We got the feeling that most people were locals enjoying a Friday night drink and a bite to eat.

We have heard that W.B Yeats serve an incredible roast on a Sunday, its huge so make sure if you visit you are hungry! We are going to have to make a return visit to try it!

Creating a Restaurant Quality Table Setting Without Breaking the Bank

When you try a great meal at a restaurant, do you ever get that overwhelming desire to make it at home? Or, if you’re feeling super brave, make it for your friends and family? It’s a great feeling! Like being inspired to do something great. The thing is, whilst restaurants obviously specialise in serving amazing food, a big part of the overall experience is the atmosphere. So even after you’ve found a recipe and invited your friends over to try this great dish you had, how do you create the same atmosphere that the restaurant had?

Fortunately, we’ve looked into it and put together a foolproof plan to help you recreate that restaurant feeling in your own home for a great price.

Centrepiece

The first step in any great table setting is the centrepiece. A centrepiece is key to any formal setting but that doesn’t mean it has to be overly elegant or expensive, the only key rules are:

– Don’t let your centrepiece take up too much space.

– Don’t let your centrepiece be so tall that it stops people from being able to speak to one another.

– Don’t let your centrepiece make it difficult to serve your guests.

It’s as simple as that really. Some great ideas are fresh or imitation flowers, fruit bowls, ornaments or intricate china – but fresh flowers are the cheapest (and often the nicest) option.

If you do opt for fresh flowers, then the next difficult step is making sure they don’t wilt before your guests arrive – especially considering how busy you’re going to be right before the party starts! For flowers that you’ve had for a while, see this guide on how to make cut flowers last longer; the best approach is to cut the flowers on the same day, though.

Plates and Tableware

There’s no doubt that the type of plate your food is being served upon makes a huge difference in the overall eating experience. Think about those burger places that bring your food out on a chopping board? It gives the whole restaurant and meal a more rustic or authentic field. Those are the little details that make all the difference, so it’s important to think about what you’re serving your meal on.

There are countless options from the classic to the unusual but the best way to think about it is by imagining the origins of the dish you’re cooking. Classic British dishes probably belong on your average plate, whilst Chinese-style stir-fries could go in rustic wooden bowls. How you eat your food can have a big effect on what it tastes like, so make sure to do a little research about where the flavours of your dish have originated and pick up some complementary tableware.

Cutlery and Flatware

Cutlery is a broad topic, with formal table settings often requiring three different types of fork, three different types of knife and varying different types of spoons. The thing is, your family and friends likely aren’t that bothered by their cutlery options. Still, at least a little formality will add that little something special to your dinner party, so here are the details cut down.

– Dessert fork or spoon should be placed horizontally above the plate.

– Main meal forks should be placed on the left-hand side of the plate – one for each course.

– Knives should be placed on the right-hand side of the plate, with the blades facing the plate – one for each course.

Traditionally, knife and fork sizes vary depending on the dish you’re serving but if you’re only serving your friends and family, there’s no need to worry about that. If you happen to require a spoon for one of the dishes, keep it on the right-hand side with your knives.

Glassware

The best value glassware on the market (that’s particularly popular with restaurants and individuals alike) is made by LSA. LSA glassware is hand blown and champed into all sorts of different styles from champagne flutes to wine glasses. In fact, LSA champagne flutes are perfect for more than just your dinner parties, upcoming events like Christmas and New Year always make for great celebratory moments where you can pull out the bubbly.

When table setting, include one full water glass and one empty wine glass for each place.

With that we’re all done. Now you’re fully prepared to put together an affordable dinner party table set that will impress anyone. Be sure to write down the recipe for whatever great meal you end up eating!

Bills Dinner Review St Albans

Last week we were very lucky to visit the newly refurbished Bills in St Albans. St. Albans is one of three specially selected Bill’s restaurants to trial a new restaurant concept alongside Covent Garden and Westfield in London.

Now what is this new concept we hear you ask, well… they have completely changed the interior of the restaurant, the St Albans one had a Morrocan French feel to it and was very chic!

There are super comfy sofas to chill and have a coffee or alcoholic beverage area. There is also an open bar which we absolutely loved. You can sit on bar stools and enjoy a drink whilst you wait for a table. There is also the option the eat at the bar or just pop in for a drink.

We actually commented to the manager that it was very like the Ivy and he then informed us that the Ivy is a sister restaurant to Bills, so that explained that one! It was funny because all through dinner we were commenting on how much like the Ivy it was.

They have also completely changed the menu and vastly improved the quality of the ingredients and overall dishes and we sure did manage to sample a number of them.

We started by ordering a drink, Annie was designated driver so opted for the tropical juice which was so delicious, I would definitely get it again especially at breakfast!

Rachel decided to have a cocktail because the cocktail menu had so much choice, she ended up choosing the English country Garden and absolutely loved it! It would have been the perfect drink to enjoy on a warm summers evening (just like the name suggests).

We didn’t know what to opt for for our starter so asked our extremely friendly and helpful waiter Mario to give us some suggestions. In the end we actually went with all 3 of his suggestions and shared them. We had the crab & avocado toast, beetroot, goats cheese arancini and the warm cheese dip with toasted focaccia.

The crab & avocado toast with chilli and spicy mayo was very light and a good starter for the summer, it was toasted sourdough topped with a large lettuce leaf which was then topped with crab and smashed avo.

The arancini was simply amazing, the starter comes with 4 balls (so we had 2 each) and the balls sat in the most delicious purple basil and pine nut pesto sauce and there was a light sprinkling of Parmesan. The mixture of flavours were perfect. The sauce was so delicious that we even dipped our focaccia in it! However we tried not to do that too much as we needed to save our bread to dip into the cheesiest cheese fondu ever, it was a cheese lovers dream and we were in cheese heaven!

For main it was SO hard to decide what to choose and we both wanted everything on the menu, in the end we picked 2 dishes and shared. We opted for the Bills’s steak and rarebit pie and the ancient grain bowl which we added chicken to. Mario our waiter told us that the ancient grain bowl is his favourite and he always recommends it to his guests. The manager recommended the pie to us and oh my are we glad he did!

The pie was in a shortcrust pastry and was topped with cheese. It came with a gravy jug and was served with root veg mash and greens. We are so glad we shared it because it was MASSIVE, this dish is definitely excellent value for money. The steak was tender and well cooked, the pastry was perfect and the cheese topping finished the dish of nicely, and not to mention the gravy we poured on top too (que a gravy boomerang)!

For the ancient grain bowl we opted for the extra chicken to be added and we asked for the purple basil and coconut yoghurt to be on the side (we had never had coconut yoghurt before and didn’t know what to expect) – we shouldn’t have worried about the yoghurt though as it was delicious. This dish was packed full of flavours and we would most certainly have this again, you can have it on its own or add chicken or halloumi to it, maybe we will have halloumi next time!

Next time we return we will definitely try the vegan Wellington as the manager recommended it to us.

For dessert again we shared, it’s very very good that we both like very similar foods (minus Rachel not being the biggest fan of nuts, but we make it work!) so it makes sharing food easy and means neither gets food envy and we get to try more dishes!

Both the manager and our waiter suggested we had the sticky toffee pudding so of course we just HAD to go for it! It was the most delicious sticky toffee pudding ever, it melted in your mouth and the sauce was perfect. It was served with the creamiest ice cream too. We honestly would return to Bills purely to have the sticky toffee pudding!

We also chose the hot chocolate brownie which is gluten free. We love that Bills has so many options for all dietary requirements and means someone who follows a gluten free diet can still enjoy a very very tasty dessert as the brownie was epic.

Bills actually have an entire allergies menu making sure they are as inclusive as they can be. There is nothing worse than turning up to a restaurant and the only think you can eat on the menu is a salad or steamed veg.

We had to make sure we did a toilet review whilst we were there because is it really a Two Brits review if we don’t? We absolutely loved the way the stair case had been decorated it was really beautiful. Toilets were clean and definitely up to scratch PHEW!

We has the most incredible evening at Bills and we will definitely be returning soon! The food was delicious and the service was impeccable, nothing could have improved our experience we give it a solid 10/10.

The Great Northern Pub Review

We live in Hertfordshire and very close to St Albans. We love St Albans as it’s such a pretty City and also boasts many places to eat not to mention some good bars for a night out too. There are also some lovely walks around St Albans and you can also take a visit to the famous cathedral. St Albans is easy for us to get to by train but also to drive too as well as there is plenty of parking.

We recently visited The Great Northern pub which is located on London road. We walked from St Albans Abbey train station as it was only a 20 minute walk.

The Great Northern pub is an independent restaurant and pub, serving locally sourced food. The menu changes frequently which is inspired by local seasonal produce.

We arrived to a very busy pub full of atmosphere and people enjoying a Friday evening drink.

We were taken to our table which was in the restaurant area. The restaurant area was a small room adjacent to the pub with about 6 tables in it.

We sat down and were given the set menu, 2 courses for £15 and 3 courses for £18. The menu was pretty small, which we liked as we often struggle to decide what to eat. This time however we picked our choices very quickly.

The struggle lay with the wine list instead which was big and had lots to choose from. We both love red wine so red wine was our firm choice but we were torn between a Montepulciano And a Malbec.

We asked our waiter to advise the wine and he was very helpful! We went with the Italian from montepulciano as we had never had it before. The bottle of wine was £27 but they have an entire range of wines all varying in prices. The cheapest bottle of red was £17.20 whilst the most expensive bottle was £30.00.

We were worried that we wouldn’t like the wine we ended up choosing but we honestly couldn’t have made a better decision, it was absolutely incredible and we would definitely recommend it for when you visit.

For starter Rachel ordered the confit pork with apple and fennel which looked and tasted divine. We would definitely recommend this as a starter if you are a meat eater.

Annie chose the vegetarian option for her starter which was a goats cheese salad with radicchio and pickled cabbage. If you aren’t a lover of goats cheese then this wouldn’t be the starter for you but Annie absolutely loved it.

For main Rach had GN homemade cheese burger with secret sauce (which tasted like burger sauce). This was served with a red cabbage slaw that was incredibly moorish and Rach couldn’t stop talking about it. The burger also came with hand cut chips and the portion size was perfect. You could also add bacon for an extra £1.00 so Rachel did.

Annie went for the confit chicken which was served with aubergine, sweet corn and mash potato. If we are completely honest the dish would have been even better if it was severed with some greens, it just felt like something was missing off the plate. The mash potato was smooth and creamy just the way we like it and the sweet corn was like a purée that tasted divine.

For dessert we both enjoyed the treacle tart which was served with ginger ice cream. The ginger ice cream was absolutely heavenly and completely made the dessert, we couldn’t stop talking about it!

The bar area quietened down at about 9:30pm which we were surprised at seeing as it has been so busy just a couple of hours earlier but it still had a atmosphere.

The Great Northern Pub is located next to the Odyssey cinema, making the perfect date night.

We would highly recommend visiting The Great Northern Pub we had the most perfect evening.