After my short August-blog-hibernation, I’m back with my first of two food blogs about South Devon and they’re not to be missed.

The Beachhouse is a shabby-chic, cosy and inviting restaurant located in South Milton in Devon. The converted beachhouse may look like nothing more than a shack from afar, but step inside on a chilly evening or sit outside on a sunny Summer afternoon and you’ll be knocked off your wooden bench by the food served here.

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Beautifully battered calamari with a rich garlic aioli

It’s a guaranteed thing that there will always be fresh, delicious seafood on offer here. A classic Beachhouse dish (which has been there the last three years I have visited), is garlic & chilli king prawns – just make sure you ask for a spoon to mop up the delicious and super spicy sauce.

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Garlic & Chili Prawns

Seafood haters don’t fret, the Beachhouse offers an eclectic menu that changes fairly often and there are always plenty of other options available. I had beautiful arancini balls for my main which reminded me slightly of the stuffing balls I have at Christmas, but that’s never a bad thing. Wherever you sit in the Beachhouse for dinner you will be able to see the sun setting over the ocean, which always adds some romanticism to the venue.

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Arancini Balls

The Beachhouse have a slightly unique dining experience, especially for an area usually frequented by families or couples. The wooden tables that fill the dining area seat around six people comfortably and eight at a push, so unless you come here in a group of five or more you will probably end up sharing your table with others and end up talking. This has always been great fun for me as we have met some lovely people in the Beachhouse. For all of you dog owners out there, dogs are warmly welcomed.

So in the unlikely event that you haven’t heard of The Beachhouse and you either live in Devon or you’re going to South Devon next Summer, then this is the place to visit for a memorable dining experience.

If you want to visit: TQ7 3JY

If you want to book: 01548 561144

Looking for a quiet place to work and eat? Bored of Starbucks or cramming yourself into the tiny and trendy hangouts that notoriously offer infamous artisan coffee, yet never have anywhere to sit?

If you live in London and you are within reach of Farringdon, ‘Ask for Janice‘ could be your new little spot for some uninterrupted work and interesting food.

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The decor is definitely trendy and in-keeping with that of many cafes in the East, with exposed pipework an brick work, recycled furniture and edgy artwork. However, the service is far from arrogant.

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Friendly and happy staff were happy to greet me upon arrival and I was eating from the breakfast menu within fifteen minutes of arriving. Albeit the fast service, there wasn’t a “rushed” environment at all, I spent just under two hours with my laptop, free wifi, breakfast and various hot drinks before I decided to go.

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The earl grey tea was loose leaf and really delicious.

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The mushrooms on toast with a poached egg was the perfect little vegetarian brunch for me this morning! The poached egg had a perfectly cooked runny yolk, may I add.

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Just be careful if you sit by the door, on a colder day the “wind tunnel” action that occurs down Long Lane could make it a slightly less pleasant dining experience than you had expected, but on a warmer day like today it was welcomed.

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Customers moved in and out of the restaurant quickly, meaning that it never felt overcrowded. However, due to the restaurant being so close to the city and offering breakfasts from 7.30am, I can imagine it’s much busier before 9am, around lunchtime and after 5pm (for their famous gin list). So, if you have a free day, then go during the quieter periods like I did and you’ll have a spacious and uninterrupted work place.

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The closest tube stations are Barbican and Farringdon, so if you are looking for a new space to do a bit of blogging or work, then try out Ask For Janice.

Chelsea is an area of London which is abundant with independent restaurants, quaint cafes and friendly staff. The night before my graduation I headed to Gastrovino on Kings Road with my parents, an Italian which has been described by many as a “hidden gem”.

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The style of food is Italian tapas, but bigger main dishes are on the menu too. We started off with a sharing board, which always excites me as it takes me back to eating in Florence a year ago where the majority of the evening is dominated by foodie related conversation.

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The waiter was quick to recommend a red wine once we had said we fancied a syrah to go with the meal and he got it spot on. The arched walls and wine bottles littering the restaurant just screamed “wine bar”, which added a lovely feel to the evening.

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Generally, I’ve only eaten steak tartare in pricier restaurants, but Gastrovino offer a tapas plate to share for £7 which was such a bargain and so delicious.

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Aubergine Parmigiana

For three people we ordered one sharing board and six dishes to share, which was more than enough. The aubergine parmigiana was comfort food at its finest, a rich tomato sauce with a generous amount of melted parmesan.

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Sea bass carpaccio on the left and calamari and king prawns on the right

As a family, we are obsessed with seafood! I’ve never had sea bass carpaccio before, but it’s a really light and refreshing dish, especially with the mustard and watercress mayo. The sea bass was sliced very thinly and had a perfect texture. For any sashimi lovers out there, this is a different type of raw fish experience, so it’s worth trying out. I could have stayed here all evening and sampled all of the different but I was well and truly stuffed!

Gastrovino is one of those places that you know you’ll be coming back to very soon the moment you finish your meal. A meal for two with wine is around £80 and if my blog hasn’t fully convinced you yet, then the dazzling five-star reviews on Trip Advisor should put this on your London restaurant bucket list.

Take a peak at the website http://gastrovino.co.uk

Bali has always been a hot vacation spot in South-East Asia, but in recent years, websites such as “The Bali Bible” have highlighted some of the most alluring and charismatic places to visit.

With over half a milli0n followers on their Instagram account, they’ve gained themselves quite a reputation, so it’s no wonder that the iconic Ku De Ta made it to “best rated” for bars & restaurants in Bali.

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Kicking off our one-year anniversary celebrations, George and I headed to Ku De Ta for dinner just after sunset, George’s treat!

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We were overly-excited to discover that Ku De Ta served one of our favourite brand of wine back in the UK (Kaiken).

One of the most popular reasons for visiting Ku De Ta for many is to unwind with a cocktail as you admire the unrivalled ‘Bali sunset’, so try and incorporate sunset to make the evening as magical as possible.

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The mood lighting is set to low at Ku De Ta, so my flash will definitely take away some of the loveliness of the food, but it will have to do! This was just one Iberian cured meats pre-starter dish, we chose the chorizo and expected it to be on the modest side, but on the contrary, the portions were very generous (and delicious).

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The prawn & snapper ‘chao shou’ dumplings were the highlight of the evening for me. Dim-sum with spicy chilli sauce has always been my favourite style of the dish, so this had me satisfied from the first mouthful. When we visited, the accompaniment to the dumplings was baked ricotta (which didn’t work so well in my opinion), but just a week later they seemed to have changed this to tofu instead!

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George opted for the suckling pig ‘urutan’ (sounds slightly odd but urutan is a type of dry fermented Balinese sausage), once again the description for this item on the Ku De Ta menu has changed, but the most important thing to know is that the meat was incredibly delicious and I would thoroughly recommend if you’re a pulled pork lover.

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My main was the parmesan & sumac crusted pork roasted apple with potato puree and red cabbage. The pork was less tender and more about the flavour, and when it’s parmesan crusted you aren’t really going to complain. However, this dish didn’t wow me, but by this point I was slightly full and still reminiscing about the dim-sum (oops).

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George opted for a steak based main, my flash is not doing the dish any favours here but it was beautiful. I’m a big fan of establishments that actually serve steak “medium rare” or even “rare”, the way it should be (in my opinion), so Ku De Ta wins there! The service was friendly from start to finish and the restaurant is big enough that we weren’t cramped next to any other tables.

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No meal is ever complete without one last indulgent pudding that you’ve somehow made extra stomach space for. After our meal, we went for a wonder by the front of the restaurant which overlooks the beach – stopping here for an after-dinner cocktail is a great idea for anyone who has the stomach room 🙂

 

Thank-you, Ku De Ta, you lived up to your many accolades.

When I think “West End”, the hustle & bustle of soho and the theatre immediately come to mind. However, even though I’m partial to a show and a meal, I’ve never succumbed to the traditional “pre-theatre dinner”… until now. Like many people (I can imagine), I normally don’t like being offered a limited menu or eating at awkward times – but MASH completely changed this!

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After watching the first half of The Cursed Child, we made our way to MASH on Brewer Street. If you’re a fan of double puns, you will love the fact that MASH stands for “Modern American Steak House”, on top of their infamous “mash potato with onion and bacon” on offer.

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a sneak peak at the normal menu

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We started with the salad and charcuterie to share (unlimited bread was also given to us). The salad was dressed deliciously and the nuts were honey glazed, a lovely surprise.

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I chose the Uruguay Rib-eye and George had the American Steak. Even though MASH serve the finest cuts of steak such as Wagyu on their norman menu, we weren’t expecting anything special from the £22 two-course menu (when the average price for a London steak will cost in excess of £30). However, the American steak won me over! It was packed full of flavour and very tender, my Rib-eye was slightly fatty in some parts but generally an incredibly tender piece of meat. We sat there in silence, beaming from ear to ear, trying to make it last as long as possible.

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The absolute highlight of the meal for both of us was the creamy spinach. I have never had anything like it. In many of the steak-houses I have eaten at, creamy spinach is normally a delicious wilted spinach, garlic and cream concoction. MASH, however, added cheese into the mix and it was almost impossible not completely inhale it. The portion sizing of the sides was suitable due to the richness of both the spinach and the mac and cheese, but this is one of the reasons I will definitely be heading back here soon! Two two-course pre-theatre dinners (at a reasonable time) in the heart of Soho and a bottle of wine (including service) came to £75, it doesn’t get much more of a steal than that.

Next time you’re thinking pre-theatre and you’re in the mood for steak, you know where to go!