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.

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The Somerville Hotel Breakfast Review

It’s no secret that we absolutely love breakfast, it’s our favourite meal of the day and although there are many arguments about whether or not it actually makes you a healthier human for eating it we know it makes us feel fantastic.

Breakfast sets us up for the day so when we found out breakfast was included in our hotel stay at The Somerville in Jersey we were ecstatic. Breakfast on an average day is great but breakfast at a hotel is even better.

The view from The Somerville restaurant is truly breath taking, it overlooks St Aubins bag and on a clear day you can see for miles.

The Somerville breakfast spread certainly didn’t disappoint, it was a self-service buffet and there was a lot of choice. Upon arrival at the restaurant we were shown to a table and the waitress took our tea and coffee orders and asked us if we would like some toast which of course we did.

We asked the waitress if they had any dairy free milk for our coffee and she said yes, we were pleasantly surprised! We love the fact more and more hotels are offering soya milk (it’s so delicious in coffee).

The continental breakfast on offer at The Somerville was pretty impressive and it resulted in us going up time and time again. We don’t like mixing our food you know how some people will go up to the breakfast buffet and pile their plate with some eggs, croissants, fruit, cheese you name it they have it piled high on one plate, we honestly couldn’t think of anything worse instead we just opt for a number of different courses.

There were a selection of fruit juices including; orange, apple, grapefruit & tomato juice which were all incredibly fresh.

There was a large selection of spreads and jams you could have with your toast including Marmite and Nutella (two of our favourites) the Jams came in those cute little jars something that we love when visiting a hotel and there were so many flavours including; marmalade, strawberry, blackcurrant and clear honey.

There was a selection of fresh pastries including croissants, pan au raison, cinnamon swirls and pan au chocolate which looked really delicious but we didn’t actually opt for pastries this time (shock horror).

In the fridge section there was a selection of Muller yoghurts, plain Greek yoghurt and pre made yoghurt berry pots which were delicious. Next to the yoghurt was an assortment of fruit; berries, grapefruit, Pineapple, watermelon which we put on top of our yoghurt.

The smoked salmon was also in the fridge and we nearly missed it the first time, but spotted it last minute and tucked in right away. Smoked salmon is an all time favourite so we always make sure we opt for that especially when in Jersey, the fish is always so fresh and tastes incredible. There were several cold meats and cheeses as well.

The cereal selection included; rice krispies, corn flakes, wearabix, museli, bran flakes and all bran so if you are hoping for coco pops then sadly you will be dissapointed. You can order porridge as well from one of the waitresses or waiters.

The cooked breakfast had everything you would expect including: bacon, sausage, black pudding, hash browns, cooked tomatoes, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, fried eggs and poached eggs could be ordered.

Overall we would definitely rate the breakfast, it was delicious and set us up for the day ahead!

The Somerville Hotel Restaurant Review

My Grandad chose to spend his 90th birthday at The Somerville Hotel which is located in St Aubin’s in Jersey, a quaint fishing village.  The restaurant was booked for forty adults at 13:00PM.

The afternoon begun with a Champagne reception, there were a selection of juices you could add to the champagne which I was happy about as Champagne isn’t my drink of choice I would always opt for Prosecco out of choice (my Mum would kill me if she heard me say that). The juice purees included peach, orange and blackcurrant I went for the peach flavour and it was utterly delicious, the Champagne was flowing and the waiters were brilliant at topping up the glasses which we were more than happy with.

We were seated at 13:30PM and in front of us was a personalised 90th birthday menu which was a nice added touch. A waitress came round and served us fresh warm bread and there was the option to have white or brown. We were given enough time to decide what we wanted to eat from the menu before the waitress came round and took our order. We didn’t have to pick our dessert which we were happy about as this is something we often struggle to choose prior to eating our main course as we are never sure what we are going to feel like; are we going to want sweet or do we want cheese? Oh the struggles.

There were four starter options; Cauliflower soup with bacon lardons, smoked ham hock, citrus cured salmon and marinated tiger prawns. I went for the cauliflower soup which was beautiful and very flavoursome, I would definitely recommend.

Prior to the starter being served the wine was poured which was a delicious crisp white Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand white wine. White wine isn’t usually my drink of choice I am much more a red wine kinda gal. I find White wine gives me really bad heart burn and it can be incredibly tangy, but this wine was utterly delicious and I found myself going back for more, in fact I didn’t go back for more the waiters were going round topping up our glasses which can become dangerous because you lose track of how much alcohol you have consumed!

There were four main course options; Roast Rump of lamb, char grilled scotch rump steak, pan fried fillet of sea bream or pan fried breast of chicken. I went for the steak which really isn’t like me! I almost always go for the chicken but for some reason steak is what floated my boat that day so that is what I went for.

There were also 4 Desserts; Raspberry soufflé with white chocolate mousse, dark chocolate tart with macerated cherries, Brie de meaux with apples and biscuits oe a selection of ice-creas and sorbets with poached peppered peaches. I went for the raspberry soufflé as I had never tried one before. I certainly was not disappointed it was beautifully served and it was ridiculously light and fluffy. The chocolate tart was also Moorish and I helped myself to several spoonfuls of my boyfriend’s lol. My mum did comment that there was only one type of cheese on the cheese board which was slightly bizarre especially if you are not keen on a brie like cheese.

After we had finished our desserts a surprise birthday cake was bought out by the waiters for my Grandad which was a chocolate ganache cake decorated in macaroons. Of course we couldn’t say no to a slice of cake so what was 3 course meal had now turned into a 4 course meal (not that we were complaining). If you are celebrating a birthday we would definitely recommend ordering a cake, I am not sure whether they made it or whether they ordered it in but it was a lovely touch and tasted just as good as it looked.

Teas and coffee were served with mini plates of petis fleurs.

We enjoyed several gins as well which were served beautifully, we especially liked the tanquray gin with a slice of grapefruit and sparkling tonic water. The waiter knew a lot about his gin and how each of them should be served so it was interesting to learn a little bit about the different gins.

Couldn’t fault anything about lunch at The Somerville Hotel and we would definitely recommend it to anyone, whether you have  a party to arrange or you just want to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner at the weekend whilst visiting jersey

Joe Wick The Fat Loss Plan: Review

We recently bought Joe Wicks cook book and we are LOVING it! So much so that both our mummy’s have the cook book too!! We decided to try out a number of the recipes and share our pictures and reviews with you all. We are sure there will be a part 2 for this post as we make our way through the book.

Grilled harissa and chickpea salad
This was very quick and easy to make but used quite a lot of utensils. You have to boil the broccoli in one pan and then the peppers, chickpeas, spinach etc are fried in the frying pan and then you need a tray to grill the chicken too.
The harissa on the grilled chicken was delicious and was the first time we had cooked with harissa. In addition we don’t normally grill our chicken however after trying out this recipe we will use this method more.
The pomegranate seeds are an optional extra at the end however we would definitely recommend adding them as they add so much flavour and a nice burst in your mouth. We also loved the lemon juice addition is adds a lot of flavour to the chickpeas.
We will definitely be making this dish again.

Prawn linguine
Another super quick recipe to make perfect when you’re in a rush and fancy a simple but delicious meal! This doesn’t use many ingredients but tastes yummy. We made two versions, one that followed the recipe book and one where we added some harissa paste for a bit of spice. Both tasted delicious.

Salmon and prawn Moroccan fishcakes
This recipe was also served with a salad, however we just made the fishcakes. We served it with sweet potato fries and tender stem broccoli (or midget trees as joe likes to call them!). In the summer we would have it with a salad!
We would say it was more like a fish burger than a fish cake. The texture of it felt like meat which was strange but delicious!

Beef, butternut and coconut stew
we made this with sweet potato instead of butternut squash, but both will taste good, or alternatively you could add both to the dish. We were a bit suspicious about this dish as we did not think the sweet potato would cook adding is straight to the pan, however we were pleasantly surprised and it was cooked to perfection. The dish is very quick and easy to make and all goes into one saucepan. It was also yummy and we had lots left over to take to work for lunch which was a bonus.

Chocolate orange popcorn
Oh my these taste AMAZING! Not entirely sure how they are lean but hey ho we made them and they were divine. You are meant to make your own popcorn in a pan but we were lazy and bought some instead. However we couldn’t find plain popcorn so got sweet, but if anyone knows of any brands that sell plain popcorn please let us know in the comments!

Make sure you check back here for more reviews, as we already have lots of recipes planned from his cook book for this week! And be sure to buy his new book too, we got ours from Amazon, its a bargain.

Hawksmoor- The best roast in London

So this may be a very bold status but we think we have found the best roast in London so we had to share it with you!

We are very particular when it comes to roasts as we love home cooked ones from our mummy’s so restaurants have a lot to live up to! There is just something about a home cooked roast that is so much nicer than one from a restaurant, we have come to the conclusion its the gravy and roast potatoes that really have a lot to live up to.  The Hawksmoor chain serve the tastiest roast we have ever tried at a restaurant and we will be returning again soon.

There are 6 Hawksmoor restaurants in London and one in Manchester. The roasts vary a little from restaurant to restaurant, however they all serve beef only with a massive Yorkshire pudding. The beef is cooked exactly how you want, the medium rare in our eyes was perfect. The Yorkshire pudding is huge, its golden and crispy in texture which is exactly what you want from a Yorkshire pudding.

The gravy is delicious and they are generous with their jug. The roast also comes with veg, roasted onion and roasted garlic. You can order extra vegetables and the cauliflower cheese looked delicious, we may have to get it next time.

The roast costs £21, which may seem a little expensive, but we would say its only a little above the average price for a roast. A roast in London would cost you about £17, so its worth paying the extra £4 for the most epic roast from Hawksmoor.

We visited the one in Knightsbridge and it was a lovely setting and the staff were very very friendly. Our friends often visit the Seven Dials restaurant which is in Covent Garden so the perfect refuel after a sport of Sunday shopping or post theatre dinner.

This is a short but sweet blog post, and basically the point we are trying to make is that everyone needs to visit Hawksmoor on a Sunday purely to try their roast dinner.

B&M January Shopping

B&M is one of the UK’s fastest growing variety retailers and we blooming love it, so when we were asked if we wanted to join in with their January campaign we immediately jumped at the opportunity. They believe in selling ‘Big Brands for Sensational Prices’ and think they do this really well.

We always notice more B&M stores in the north of the country but this might have something to do with the fact B&M’s first store opened in Blackpool. They now have over 560 stores across the country so you are bound to find a store near to you.

If you haven’t been to B&M before and you are anything like us then make sure you give yourself some time to browse the isles, we love it and could spend so much time and money in there. We scheduled in a day to go to B&M for the campaign and we basically wanted to purchase everything we came across.

We love fitness (as you well know) so we were especially excited when we saw B&M had an activewear range. We went for the grey and coral full length leggings which were such a bargain only costing us £6.99! They also had twin pack sports bras for £7.99 and double packs of leggings for £11.99. We also spotted they had protein shakers and water bottles on sale which we didn’t opt for this time but we will be back.

We have so many girly sleepovers with hot chocolate and chick flicks (or usually in our case getting blog work ticked off the do list) that we thought what better to accompany it than with new mugs, some marshmallows, popcorn and of course our favourite chocolate.

We actually couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the price of the popcorn- 25p and the marshmallows- 39p what an absolute bargain!

We already have a date in the diary and we are so very excited already. It won’t be long until we are back in B&M we have a wish list that just keeps on growing.

Brunch Review 202 Notting Hill

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Notting Hill and had planned a fun day out at Notting Hill in the sunshine and of course a brunch, which is in our eyes the perfect Saturday. The weather was awful so we basically ended up going to Notting Hill just for brunch. We had a number of places we want to go in Notting Hill for brunch but this time decided to try out 202.

202 is basically a boutique shop and a restaurant, so when you arrive it feels you are entering a shop. However the restaurant takes over the top floor and the basement is the cute boutique shop. It has quite chilled vibes and there are a couple of communal tables.

We were taken to our seats, which were in the corner of the restaurant close to the kitchen. If you ever go, do not accept these seats as they are in the most annoying location ever. You constantly have staff brushing past you with plates of food and we found it hard to fully relax as it was so busy and noisy by our table.

We did happen to notice a cute outside terrace out the back of the restaurant and there was also seating out the front. had it been a warm summers day we would have definitely opted to have sat outside.

We both ordered coffees, which were small and overpriced but we needed our morning coffee fix and we took a cute picture of them too! The coffee was REALLY strong so it definitely woke us up a little bit, Rach opted for a Soya milk latte and Annie had an Americano with Soya Milk.

Rach went for the French toast with bacon and maple syrup which was £10.50 and Annie went for the 202 healthy cooked breakfast which came with avocado, poached eggs, tomato, spinach on brown toast and that cost £12.95. Annie was originally going to go for the smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese and watercress, but it was £17.50, they charge an absolute fortune for smoked salmon (we would like to hope it’s the crème de la crème of salmon at that price!!)

One thing we would like to mention is the toilets becasue as you probably already know this is something we comment on in all of our brunch reviews. the toilet were situated in the shop in the basement definitely are not something we would rave about. We always judge a place by their toilets and the toilets were not up to standard considering the feel the restaurant is going for and how much they charge for brunch. We thought it might be because of where the toilets are located, it does mean that members of the public are free to the use the toilet.

We both really enjoyed our food, it was tasty and portion sizes were generous. We are glad we have visited and ticked 202 off our list of brunch places. Would we return, probably not, but we still had a lovely time.

Brunch review: Bills

Bills is a well-known restaurant located around the UK,  in the last few years more and more Bills seem to be popping up which we absolutely love and it means wherever you visit you are usually close to one.  We love visiting Bills we have never been served a bad meal and the staff are always incredibly friendly.

We visit regularly for lunch and dinner but we had never been for brunch before, We are just as surprised as you are we are not sure how this has happened?

One of our friends recently invited us to her engagement brunch and her restaurant of choice was Bills which we were SO chuffed about. We did of course take a look at the menu beforehand (who doesn’t) and we already wanted to taste EVERYTHING on the menu. Why it is that brunch food is always SO good, it makes it so hard to choose what to have.

The breakfast/brunch menu includes; full English fry ups (meat and veggie of course), coconut porridge, bacon or sausage bap, a selection of buttermilk pancakes and lots of egg dishes.

Rach went for the buttermilk pancakes served with streaky bacon and maple syrup, they were SO delicious. The three pancakes were like a dream they were light and fluffy and cooked until golden brown they were incredibly filling and the portion size was perfect. The Bacon was extra crispy (our favourite) and the generous maple syrup completed the dish perfectly.

Annie opted for the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on wholemeal toast with which again was amazing. It would have been even better if they had served it with a wedge of lemon on the side, but saying that the waitress was more than happy to go and get some. The dish was filling and really delicious but then again you cannot really go wrong with this dish.

Other members of our party went for the full fry up and we have to say when it was served to them we did have a bit of food envy going on. It looked SO delicious and we especially noticed the quality of the sausages they looked so succulent YUM!

Bills is such good value for money the total of our brunch came to £12 each and that was for our food, drink and a tip on top! We couldn’t believe it we thought it was going to be a lot more than that so it was a pleasant surprise.

The atmosphere in Bills is one of the main reasons why we love it so much, it has chilled vibes and the staff are always really friendly.

Meeting Other Bloggers/Influencers

This time last year the concept of meeting people online and actually meeting up with them would have scared us.  We were worried we wouldn’t know what to say or what to talk about, would it be awkward? How wrong were we!

We used to shy away at events and keep ourselves to ourselves why? We don’t actually know, we have each other so we suppose that is our kind of safety net but we needed to start meeting likeminded people who got this crazy online world.

We have a lot of friends who we love so much and we wouldn’t change them for the world, but none of them run a blog or Instagram, so when we talk to them about certain things like the Instagram algorithm for example it just isn’t the same they look at you like you are mad!

At the end of 2017 we took the plunge and decided to meet up with some of the girls we had been speaking to on social media over the past year. We can honestly say we are so glad we have it was never awkward conversation kept flowing and there was so much we wanted to talk about. Oh and the best part of it? They didn’t find us weird or laugh at us for wanting to take a picture of our food or when we got our camera out to vlog instead they joined in and it was FAB!

Our friends and family who aren’t bloggers seem fascinated by the concept of ‘blogger friends’ but we truly believe that real genuine friendships can be formed online.  It is the norm to meet your partner online these days so what’s wrong with meeting new friends online.

We completely understand that it can be dangerous meeting up with people you do not know so stay safe and make sure you have told family and friends exactly where you are going.

In 2018 we hope to continue the current friendships we formed in 2017 and maybe even meet a few more of you lovelies! Push yourself out of your comfort zone and go and meet some of your friends from the blogging community, stay safe always and have fun!