Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Eating Out: The Old Boathouse.


HEY! HELLO! HI! Does anyone remember when this blog was written by two people?? Probably not, because I’ve been slacking for about a year now, leaving poor Bryden to keep this thing going, but I’m finally back! I’ve tried to write a couple of posts to get me back in to the swing of things, but nothing seemed right. There’s been a couple of attempts at tedious ‘catch up’ posts, which I ended deleting. To be honest, I’d kind of fallen out of love with blogging, I had a lot of ‘real life’ stuff going on, with work, moving house etc. and poor old Trebz & a Mixer fell by the wayside. Anyway, let’s pretend I haven’t been the world’s worst blogger for the past year and get down to the important stuff- food. 

Towards the end of last year, my mam kept telling me about a restaurant that she’d visited with my dad a few times and based on her description, I demanded a visit. The Old Boathouse is located in Amble, Northumberland, just up the coast from my parents’ house, and is situated right on the marina, meaning the seafood they sell is literally fresh from the sea. After my dad forced us to participate in a stroll along the promenade, on a freezing cold, bleak January day, we arrived at the restaurant.  As the name suggests the building was once a boathouse for the local lifeboat. Inside the restaurant is quite small, but doesn’t feel cramped, with various nautical d├ęcor as you would expect from somewhere named The Old Boathouse.



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The food, naturally, focuses on fish and seafood, with a lot of produce brought straight from the local fishing boats to the restaurant (I spied a box of freshly delivered, poor crabs waiting for the chop) with menu staples such as fish and chips, crab and lobster. There are also extensive lists of daily specials on the walls and for the seafood haters amongst you (seriously, what is wrong with you??) there’s non fishy options such as steaks and pizzas, which look equally delicious.


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Naturally, as I’m a fan of devouring crustaceans, I opted for the lobster. This is usually served with salad, chips and garlic mayonnaise, but as I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to curb my calorie intake lately, I asked to swap them to oven roasted new potatoes, which wasn’t a problem. My mam went for crab, which was absolutely huge and delicious, and my dad chose a salmon dish from the specials board. The portion sizes are decent; however there isn’t any scrimping on the quality of the ingredients.


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I’ve been back to The Old Boathouse for another family meal since my first visit and I’ve got a feeling it’s becoming a place that we’ll be going to for a long time to come. It’ll be a lovely place to visit in the summer, as there’s seating outside, where you can sit and watch the boats sail past, whilst getting elbow deep in lobster. 

Does anyone else end up with lobster EVERYWHERE when they eat it, or is it just me? I’m talking- on your forehead, in your hair and even in your eyebrows? Nope? Just me then….

Claire
x

Monday, 28 April 2014

SSSizzling!


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I was excited to see a e-mail drop into our Inbox last week inviting us to take a look at the new Sizzling Pubs menu. I had never been to a Sizzling Pub before so I was interested to check it out.


Our nearest pub was the Powder Monkey in Wallsend. Claire wasn't available to come along so I went along myself and brought a couple of friends with me. Sizzling Pubs are a chain dedicated to cheap eats with maximum flavour. The menu is huge and there is something for everyone on there. The kids menu are looked great offering loads of options for kids to pick from. The menu gives them the opportunity to build their own meal - great to stop those tantrums when an unwanted vegetable appears on the plate!



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We were greeted by Neil who was absolutely wonderful and encouraged us to try and squeeze in a starter, main and dessert so we could try a bit of everything - I thought to myself ''Challenge accepted!''


We decided on a sharing starter and some pulled pork nachos for our starter so we could have a pick at everything. The portions were VERY generous.


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Pulled Pork Nachos

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Sharing Platter

For mains I opted for a 'build your own burger' and ordered a beef burger with pulled pork, monteray jack cheese and onion rings which of course came with chips. My friends ordered the mighty mexican fajitas (a combination of chicken, steak, peppers and onions), surf and turf (steak and scampi) and a 10oz rib-eye steak. My friends mains all came on the chains signature sizzling plates.

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10oz Rib Eye
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Beef Burger with Cheese, Pulled Pork and Onion Rings
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Mighty Mexican Fajitas
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Surf and Turf
Already stuffed to bursting we soldiered on and ordered desserts. I ordered the cherry and rhubarb steamed sponge pudding with custard (amazing!) and my friends ordered a cookies and cream sundae, toffee honeycomb sundae and a profiterole sundae.

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The Ice Cream Sundaes
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Cherry and Rhubarb Sponge Pudding
We spent a good 3 hours in the pub taking our time which is great for me because I take ages to eat. We didn't feel pushed to leave and the pub had a really relaxed atmosphere. Some people were dining and some people had just came in for a quick drink at the bar. The chain also has some great drinks offers on the go as well.


So would I go again? The answer is yes. The food wasn't and isn't meant to be fine dining but there's something about these types of meals that I love. The food is good, cheap and hits the spot. 

Bryden x

Disclaimer - We were contacted by the PR team for Sizzling Pubs to consider a review of their chain and sample some items off their new menu. My friends and I received a complimentary meal. No direct payment was received for this post. All thoughts are my own.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Lane 7

Just before Christmas my friends and I visited Lane7 in Newcastle for some bowling and food. The food was amazing and the bowling was so much fun despite being absolutely terrible at it! I lost!

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Bryden x

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Eggs a la Rachel Khoo

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I absolutely adore Rachel Khoo. I love the simplicity of her recipes and that she uses ingredients that aren't hard to find or expensive. I also admire the fact she was able to cook/film/write/test recipes in her tiny little kitchen in Paris. As someone who was cursed with a tiny kitchen for 18 months I know of the daily struggle of cooking/keeping things tidy/finding a place to store something or even trying to find the space to put plates on the bench! In my shoe box kitchen we didn't even have a cupboard big enough to store dinner plates. 

I came across Rachel's column in the Standard. A brilliant way to test a few recipes before investing in her books. The first recipe I tested was her Cheats Eggs Benedict recipe (I'm convinced it's an eggs florentine though as it has spinach and not ham or bacon but I will let her off). This is a lot quicker and simpler than the traditional recipe of making a hollandaise. It's also a lot healthier and very slimming world friendly! From what I gather Rachel also painted the picture which can be seen on the recipe page - A very clever woman indeed. I have made this every Saturday for a month now and I'm not getting sick of it. I sometimes add a couple of slices of ham or bacon into the mix too.


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CHEAT'S EGGS BENEDICT
Serves 2
160g frozen spinach
1 English muffin (I used some of my dads homemade bread this time. You could also use a slice of wholemeal toast cut in half for your muffins too - This is my favourite way!)
2 medium free-range eggs
Sea salt
Black pepper
½ tsp sumac
½-1 tsp harissa paste (depending
on your desired heat)
80g Greek yoghurt
30g salted butter

Place the frozen spinach in a heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover the spinach entirely. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to defrost.
Cut the muffin in half and toast under the grill or in a toaster.
In the meantime, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a gentle simmer and maintain on a medium heat. Crack one of the eggs into a wine glass
(I find this makes it easier to guide it into the water). Using a wooden spoon, stir the water to create a little whirlpool, then pour the first egg into the centre. Repeat with the second and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen roll or a clean tea towel. (Cut off any stray bits of white to tidy them up.) Season.
Drain the spinach into a colander and squeeze out the excess water. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of sumac. Mix the harissa with the yoghurt. Spread each muffin half with butter and divide the spinach between them followed by the eggs, then dollop on the harissa yoghurt. Serve immediately, preferably with a Bloody Mary.(taken directly from http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/rachel-khoo-cheats-eggs-benedict-
9157508.html)


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Bryden x

 Crossed posted FROM Bryden's personal blog http://the-northern-life.blogspot.co.uk