Coco di Mama – a delicious Italian lunch

There are so many places out there to enjoy on your lunch break, but mostly all do the same food/cuisine, so we were delighted when we discovered Coco di Mama on the Nutrifix app. They serve healthy and hearty fresh Italian food. There are 21 branches around London, and we are sure you will find one near to where you work or want to visit.

We visited separately and went to 2 different branches. If you work in the Victoria area then Coco di Mama is situated on Victoria Street and is certainly very popular here, there was a constant queue and stream of people on the Tuesday lunchtime that I visited.

If you work in the city, then make sure you head to the king William street branch. The staff here despite being rushed off their feet are super helpful and look so happy, which is a delight to see.

You can pick up a cold option from the fridge which include salads, sandwiches and hummus pots. Annie actually opted for the Jackfruit Salad it was actually incredible especially the pink hummus, I (Annie) also added some balsamic vinegar but it would be perfect just the way it comes.

Or you can get hot fresh pasta from the counter. There is a choice of sizes, the large is pretty big they are very generous. There are plenty of sauces to choose from including, carbonara, pesto & meatballs. Coco di Mama cater for all dietary requirements and if you want you can get gluten free pasta. Coco di Mama is also very vegan friendly and Rach opted for the lentil pasta ragu, and went for gluten free pasta. The lentils were a great substitute for a meat sauce and the whole thing tasted delicious.

There are also fruit pots in the fridge which we definitely eyed up, we do love a fruit pot!

At the counter there is a wide selection of cakes and cookies to choose from. We have been loving our vegan lunches at the moment so we opted for the vegan dark chocolate banana bread and oh my gosh it was just insane! Rach has hers a little later on and heated it up, we both could have eaten it all over again.

There is also fridge full of cold beverages, we tried one of the new juices from Daily Dose which was delicious. We also tried Da-Sh water which was also really refreshing, I got the raspberry flavour.

Coco di Mama also serves yummy coffee, and we particulalry love the cup you get given it’s a coral colour and Coco di Mama on it. Annie had a mocha, to enjoy with her banana bread and it really did hit the spot.

We also noticed the pasta straws which we thought was such an amazing idea especially as they serve pasta in store as well!

We have recommended Coco Di Mama to so many people already and we have even been back ourselves!

Panzerotto Blues Tooting Market

Want to sample the only panzerotto in London….. well you might not even know what it is, so let us tell you first and then we are sure you will want to try it too!

Panzerotto is similar to a calzone that is probably the best way to describe what it looks like but let us tell you it is NOT a calzone and Panzerotte Blues make sure you know this too….. look at these signs and you will agree!

It is basically a sourdough pizza base with a filling of your choice that is folded over then deep fried. Now you may think oh wow its fried, its going to be really greasy, well you are wrong, it isn’t greasy at all, in fact its super crispy and light and we are converted!

We were lucky enough to meet the owner and founder who chatted to us and told us the process of it and also told us little stories about the Panzerotto!

Now, we have told you a little about the panzerotto you now want to know where it is! Head to Tooting Market in, you guessed it Tooting and you will find Panzerotto Blues, you order from thier little kiosk and can either sit at the seats they have along the wall or on the main communcal seats in the middle of the market. They also sell them at Greenwich market, so make sure you head down there as well (Monday – Friday only!)

Rachel went for the Margherita panzerotto which was absolutely delicious! The panzerotto was both filling and light! We didn’t feel overly full but we were also 100% satisfied! Annie ordered their best selling panzerotto which was the Panz Jungle- mushrooms, spinach, goats cheese and a sprinkle of chilli flakes giving it that extra kick!

The Margherita was £5.50 and the Panz Jungle was £6.35 which we think is very decent for a market stall lunch, especially when it’s so fresh and cooked in front of you!

Chelsea Creperie

We have FINALLY visited the Chelsea Creperie! It might have taken us two attempts because we were being ditzy and went to the wrong place last time lol! That’s the last time I (Annie) does the directions, think Rach can take on that role from now on she does a far better job.

We visited the Creperie on a Tuesday afternoon at 3pm, making sure we missed the lunch time rush. The creperie is located just a 15 minute walk from both Fulham Broadway and South Kennsington Station.

Upon arrival the waiter asked us if we would like to try one of their rainbow lattes and of course we said we would. When they arrived they were green and orange on top!

We sat in a little booth that was full of Nutella cushions, very cute! And it was the perfect spot for us to get some work done and also have a good old catch up!

We both looked at the menu and there were so many options to choose from! In the end I went for a Nutella crepe (of course) with raspberries and salted caramel ice cream! It was so delicious and the crepe was perfectly cooked.

Rach went for the Amazing Apple it was served on a cute heart plate and was your typical crepe! It was a parcel that was stuffed with delicious cooked apples, salted caramel sauce and a serving of salted caramel icing (Rach swapped this as the menu said it was vanilla) it was sooo delicious and the apples were just incredible!

There were also lots of savoury crepres in the menu which also sounded delicious and had we not already had lunch we probably would have opted for one of them (you know we love the share).

They also had a number of waffles to try and had it not of been a creperie we definitely would have tried a waffle as we LOVE them!

All in all Chelsea Creperie was super cute and the food was delicious! If you are in the area and fancy a crepe then we would definitely recommend!

No1 Lounge Gatwick Airport

Airport lounges are simply the best way to start your holiday! If you have never visited an airport lounge before your holiday for whatever reason then hopefully after reading this post you may just change your mind. For the past couple of years we have been converted! We almost always book the airport lounge unless we have a ridiculously early flight or we are rushing from work and just don’t have the time.

No1 Lounges are open daily from 4am to 10pm costing £32 online and £40 on the door. We think this is a great value and we would definitely spend a similar amount on food and drink (less of it) if we were in the departure lounges.

You can use the lounge three hours prior to your flight time which we made sure we made the most of. We arrived at the airport extra early as we don’t like feeling stressed or rushed. No1 Lounges gives you access to premium security as well which is a nice little bonus, once we have made our way through security at a nice leisurely pace we then make our way to the lounge where we were able to relax for the next few hours.

The No1 lounge has a fully tended bar offering a wide selection of beverages including sparkling wine, bottled beers and spirits. We both enjoyed a glass or two or prosecco before moving onto the red wine which was a delicious Malbec!

There are also plenty of soft drinks, fizzy drinks can be enjoyed from a self serve machine or there are is flavoured water and iced tea too.

No1 Lounges have a fresh seasonal menu, you are able to help yourself to the self-service food selection.

Breakfast is served before 11AM they offer Bacon Rolls, Beans on Toast, Toasts and preserves and baked vegetables which are all made to order. On the self-serve there is porridge, croissants, Greek yoghurt, cereals and fruit salad.

We arrived at the lounge after 11AM so there was a selection of meals to choose from including, macaroni cheese, soup, lentil Shepard’s pie and much more.

On the self-serve counter there were a selection of bar snacks including cakes, nuts, soup and salad- so much choice!

On arrival we both opted for a glass of prosecco and then scooped the bar snacks from the jar into cute little dishes whilst we did some blog admin on our laptops.

Rach went for the macaroni cheese and bean sausage stew with a side of salad! It was really tasty especially the macaroni cheese as it had mustard in the mix! We did say that it would have been nice to have had a Caesar dressing instead of just balsamic! Annie had the macaroni as well but also tried to lentil shepherds pie which was really flavoursome! We both also shared a bowl of new potatoes that were cooked to perfection and sprinkled in sea salt!

We finished our meal with a selection of desserts! The carrot cake was absolutely delicious and so moist we were really impressed! If we hadn’t of eaten so much before hand we definitely would have gone back for me! There was also a selection of fresh fruit as well!

The lounge also has Runway Views, which we loved! We sat watching the plans wondering where each of them were flying to! We love doing this, we have a fascination with planes, does anyone else use the app when they are out and about to look at where are plane is travelling to?

There is also unlimited Wi-Fi, which was great as we both had a bit of work to do! Rach also managed to upload our YouTube video winning! They also have a selection of magazines on offer- Mens Fitness was our magazine of choice as they didn’t have women’s health!

The toilets are lovely and have L’Occitaine soap which smells divine- we love a good smelling soap!

The dress code is smart casual so make sure you don’t turn up in leggings and trainers as they could turn you away, if you want to be comfortable on your flight just change in the toilets before you leave.

So the next time you are going on holiday or for a weekend away make sure you book the lounge and if it’s Gatwick then it has to be No1 lounge!

La Prosciutteria Milan Review

We came across La Prosciutteria on Instagram before our trip to Milan and put it at the top of our list of places to visit during our stay. The photos of their boards looked absolutely incredible!

La Prosciutteria has two locations in Milan. We visited La Prosciutteria Milano Navigli which was located in the canal district. We had actually planned on visiting the other location which is located close to the Arco Della Pace.

We visited La Prosciutteria at lunch time, the venue was buzzing and it was full of customers ordering either a board or a sandwich! We love it when you arrive at a bar and the atmosphere is alive, it sure is a good sign!

We looked at the menu and knew straight away that we would be ordering their Gourmet Board which was priced at only 30 Euros. That may seem expensive for a cheese/meat board but trust us it was massive and only 15 euros per person!

The boards had lots of different special meats, cheeses, crostini, bread and much more! We managed to eat everything on the board and trust us when we say we were stuffed!

We are so glad we visited for lunch as our original plan was to visit and have as our starter before dinner- don’t think we would have fitted dinner in!

We also ordered a glass of red wine to enjoy with our board and we couldn’t believe a glass of wine costed just 2.50 euros! What an absolute bargain, we could have sat drinking it all afternoon it was so delicious.

It was raining during our visit but we still opted to sit outside as it was sheltered. It was November but it was actually very mild out so we were not cold in the slightest.

If we could recommend just one place to visit in Milan we would 100% say La Prosciutteria!

Plate Restaurant Review

Plate restaurant is located in the M by Montcalm hotel which is located just a 5 minute walk from Old Street in London. The hotel opened in 2015 and the restaurant opened last May and is absolutely gorgeous.


Plate is located on 2 floors, the ground floor is a bakery during the day and cocktail bar at night. It has comfy seats located by the windows, perfect for watching the world go by. The smell of coffee and fresh pastries hits you as you walk into the restaurant which is divine. The bakery also supplies Black Coffee (a well known coffee chain in London) with their pastries!


The main restaurant is on the mezzanine above the bakery/bar. The restaurant is spacious with floor to ceiling windows and amazing plants making it an Instagram dream. There are also lots of plants which add to the green house botanical vibe! Look at us cuties posing in front of this cute blossom tree!


The staff here are so lovely and we had the nicest waitress who was very attentive and proud to work at Plate. She always made sure we were happy with the food we had ordered which was really nice of her.

The food and beverage manager Frederick also come over to introduce himself. He gave us a bit of background on the company and their vision for the future. He also told us about their ribs night… more on that later!

The brunch menu is large and there is so much choice. In order to have bottomless prosecco for £15 you have to order 2 courses off the brunch menu, no trouble for us!!!

We decided to start with something sweet and a little lighter, these dishes were much more breakfast like. Rachel went for the ‘Pears & Cream’ which was Grilled poached pear, ricotta cheese, granola, grapes and honey this was absolutely delicious! There were so many delicious flavours we would definitely recommend!

Annie went for the berries and yoghurt which was a mixed berry compote, Greek yogurt, granola and honey! This was so delicious and the berry compote was the perfect blend of sweet and sour! We have to mention the bowls they used as well as we absolutely loved them, they reminded us of shells!

For the next course annie opted for the sourdough with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Quite often when we go for brunch they are not very generous with the salmon but here at Plate they are very generous which is fab! The plate was piled high with both scrambled egg and amazing quality smoked salmon, can I eat it all over again please!?

Rach went for the macaroni cheese which was simple but incredibly tasty and very filling! I loved the basil they had added to the mix it added tons of flavour! Would definitely recommend this dish and the portion size was huge, so big in fact it almost defeated me!

For dessert we decided to share the French toast (we were already SO FULL). This was amazing it was light fluffy and tasted kind of like brioche with a croissant texture it was the perfect way to end a delicious meal! It was served with Banana caramel, maple creme Fraiche and candied pecans.

Unlike most bottomless brunches the waitress left the bottle of prosecco by our side in an ice bucket. We loved this as it meant we could top our glasses up when we wanted to, although she was so attentive we often didn’t need to. We were offered another bottle as well which was nice but we literally couldn’t fit anything else in, we were stuffed!

No issues on the toilet front they were clean tidy! They also had elemis hand wash and hand cream which we love the smell of!

As we mentioned before Plate also offer a bottomless steak and chips on a Friday from 6-7pm for £15 and a bottomless ribs and wings on a Thursday for just £10 which runs from 6-7:30pm so you have an hour and a half to eat as much as you want.

It would be a great place to work from, which Rach took note of as she works from home! The WIFI was good as well which is a bonus and means you wouldn’t have to hotspot!

The hotel looked so beautiful we would love to stay here, maybe one day hey?

Ciao Gusto’s Brand Delicius

Purchasing all of your favourite authentic Italian food and drink has never been easier with Ciao Gusto Italian Deli at Ocado. We have just returned from a trip to Milan and the food was absolutely incredible. Rach had already told me how much I was going to love the food in Italy and she certainly wasn’t wrong it was delicious. It’s great to know that we can now easily purchase some of these foods online YAY!

Ocado are stocking over 30 of Italy’s most popular brands, so you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for. It is a great place to discover new and exciting ingredients as well! We had a great time browsing and loved reading about the brands. There is information on all of the brands and we realised that many of them are still owned and run by the same families who established them, some as far back as in the 1800’s!

We recognised many of the products including Riso Gallo, Filippo Berio and Giovanni Rana. There were also many products and brands that we had never heard of before and one that particularly caught our eye was a brand called Valsoia who sell dairy fee ice-cream. We have included a list of all the brands you can purchase at the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli on Ocado:

Pasta – Barilla, Rana
Rice – Riso Gallo
Flours – Polenta Valsugana
Tomato and Vegetable Conserves – Cirio
Cheese and Dairy – Auricchio, Parmareggio
Fish – Delicius, Medusa
Herbs and Spices – Cannamela
Tuna – Rio Mare
Cured Meats – Negroni
Soya and Rice products – Valsoia
Olive Oil – Filippo Berio
Vinegar – Ponti
Bakery – Colussi, Misura,
Dried fruits – Noberasco
Jams – Santa Rosa
Coffee – Lavazza
Herbal Teas – Bonomelli
Water and Fruit Juices – San Benedetto, Santal
Wine – Zonin, Santa Margherita
Spirits – Vecchia Romagna
Cherries and Syrups – Fabbri

The product that we decided to create a recipe with was the Mackerel fillets with chilli. They are amazing quality and make the perfect salad, you can find our recipe below!

This chilli mackerel salad is ridiculously easy and is the perfect work day lunch, it doesn’t take long at all and you can even make it the night before!

Ingredients
1 tin of chilli mackerel
1 packet of merchant gourmet Italian lentils
1 Avocado
5 Cherry tomatoes
Lambs Lettuce
1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper to season

Method
Put the mackerel in to a mixing bowl and break any pieces with a fork
Cut the avocado into chunks and add to the mackerel
Add the lentils to the mix and stir
Add the lettuce to the mixture
Chop the tomatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss
Transfer salad to a serving plate or bowl
Squeeze lemon juice on top of salad and season with salt and pepper

Enjoy!

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!

Emilia’s Crafted Pasta

**Warning, this post will leave you hungry and craving Italian food!!!*

At this early dinner or late lunch (we ate at 3.30pm so you decide….!!), we both agreed that Italian food is our favourite cuisine to have at a restaurant which was excellent as we were both about to tuck in to the most incredible Italian meal.

Located in St Katerine Dock overlooking the Marina is this small Italian restaurant, we were fortunate enough to visit on the most gorgeous Autumn Day and it was warm enough to sit outside and enjoy the amazing view whilst also people watching.

Emilia’s seats roughly 35 people, they specialise in making handmade pasta that is made fresh each morning, the recipes are created and cooked right in front of you, which we absolutely loved.

We asked if it would be possible to sit outside seeing as it was such a beautiful day. We had a small wait for a table which was fine as we sat on the bar stalls and watched the chefs hard at work.

Shortly after we were shown to our table which overlooked the docks, it was stunning. We both ordered a drink Rach went for a glass of prosecco and Annie had an Aperol Spritz, which we enjoyed in the sunshine whilst admiring the view.

Now lets cut to the food which is what you all came here for. The menu is simple which is what we like because it makes choosing not as difficult, we always think that is a sign of a good restaurant. The menus were printed on brown paper and doubled up as place mats which is a great idea. Everything on the menu had our mouths watering and we really were spoilt for choice.

Burrata is Rach’s all time favourite thing so of course she opted for the Burrata for starter, which was served with toasted ciabatta and was INCREDIBLE. It was creamy and delicious and had such a great flavour, it was utterly delicious.

Annie ordered finely sliced bresaola (cured beef) with rocket and parmesan salad there was also the option to have it with   toasted ciabatta instead of the salad. Bresaola for anyone that doesn’t know is air-dried, salted beef that is usually aged for two or three months until it becomes hard and turns dark red in colour. Parmesan is my favourite cheese so I had to order the salad of course and I was delighted when it was served with a very generous portion.

There are six different types of pasta on the menu; Potato Gnocchi (occasionally available), Bucatini, Ravioli, Rigatoni, Pappardelle and Casarecce. There are seven pasta dishes to choose from each of which is created using of the pasta options above.

We both ordered 4 hour slow cooked béchamel bolognese with grated parmesan which was a Pappardelle dish. pappadelle pasta is a thick pasta and the flavours of it were incredible. The portion size was huge and pasta is so filling! Thankfully they have doggy bags so you can take what you cannot manage home with you.

Toilets are located outside of the restaurant, they are public toilets that most the little restaurants shared. They are clean and we had no issue with this at all- means there is more space to seat guests!

The staff at Emilia’s were really attentive and so friendly! We couldn’t have asked for a better waiter/waitress they were both so happy and polite.

We had the most incredible time and we will definitely be returning again! It was just the most perfect afternoon and we couldn’t have asked for better food!

Harissa Lamb Waffles with Krombacher Beer

We jumped at the chance of taking part in the Krombacher Beer and food pairfection campaign, we love trying new beers and we especially love developing recipes. Brunch is our favourite meal to eat and it’s even better with an alcoholic beverage! We love the fact you can eat brunch at any time of the day so we wanted to create a recipe that would be perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The dish we have created is Harissa Lamb Waffles and they taste absolutely delicious if we do say so ourselves, especially when matched with a cold Krombacher Pils- for us it’s #pairfection. We have made sweet waffles and protein waffles several times before but this was our first time trying to make savory waffles. We wanted the batter to have flavour and we didn’t just want them to be a standard waffle recipe so we threw a few spices in the mixture.

Krombacher Pils also knows as ‘A Pearl of Nature’ is one of Europe’s leading beers and we can totally see why. The taste of Krombacher Pils is very distinctive and the water it is brewed with plays a massive part in the flavour giving it a full flavoured apple Manhattan is some what bitter.

We got a thumbs up from our boyfriends as well as our dads they all absolutely loved it! It was great to have a little tasting session going on with them all and they all said it was very refreshing and light.

Recipe for Harissa Lamb Waffles- You will need a waffle maker

Waffle Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ Tbsp Caster Sugar
1tsp Mustard Powder
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
215ml Semi Skimmed Milk
2 Eggs

Harissa Lamb Ingredients
1 tbsp Olive Oil
250g Lamb Mince
2 tbsp Harissa Paste
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ Aubergine chopped into small pieces
½ red onion finely chopped
250ml chicken stock
150g feta
Handful Parsley finely chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 5-6 minutes until brown. Add the onion and aubergine and allow the mixture to cook for 3 minutes before adding the harissa paste, tomato purée and black pepper, stir the ingredients until well combined and coin for a further 1-2 minutes.

Add the stock to the mixture (it will look slightly runny), place the lid on the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced- we left it cooking for around 15 minutes. In the mean time we go started on the waffles.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined

Put the butter in a saucepan on a low heat and remove from the heat once melted

Whisk the butter, eggs and milk in a separate mixing bowl

Make a well in the dry picture and poor the wet mixture into it, whisk the mixture until fully blended together and there are no lumps

Leave the batter to rest for until you need it

Turn your waffle maker on and allow it to heat up, once heated (the green light should show) pour in the mixture, close the lid and cook

Once the waffles have cooked and the lamb it is time to assemble the dish, place your waffles onto a plate and pour the mixture on top. Sprinkle with feta and parsley, open up your Krombacher Pils and voila you are ready to tuck in!

Krombacher Pils is available in Booths, Majestic, Morrisons, Ocado and Tesco.