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The Carob Tree

It’s a Sunday, Sundays were made for roaming and if you live in North London there’s really no better place to roam than Hampstead Heath. No better place that is, if you didn’t leave the house on a empty stomach with the promise of a large lunch and hair of the dog to kick start you.

However, I did leave the house with but a banana to fuel my slightly dizzying head (England got kicked out of the rugby just yesterday and we’d spent the day drinking ciders in anticipation of what was ultimately a dooming match). No, this wasn’t a welcomed hangover and as soon as I’d stepped out the door and made it to the end of my road I’d realised today was not a day for roaming, in fact that one minute walk had made Frodo’s little jaunt to middle earth seem pathetic, but driven on by the fact my fridge was empty there was only one way to go – the bus stop.

Filled with, well nothing much more than a vat of disappointment – but armed with a strong urge to fill it with a touch too much food, swizzled in wine – the idea of a classic Sunday sat in a little pub on the heath hadn’t released its clutches – no cheeky Nando’s you won’t do – so up, up and into the Heath it is. Having jumped off the bus, we followed a trail that should potentially lead to a little dark rustic pub we could sit in for hours, much like the one the hobbits find Strider in (I imagined this way because this was in fact my own personal journey to middle earth).

Having lost ourselves amidst the woodland that looked the opposite of magical and enchanting in our now starving state, we decided to follow the road most trodden back to civilisation and forgot all about the blackberry picking we’d bagged and tupperwared ourselves up for and marched headstrong to the main road all the time muttering, ‘please God let there be a bloody pub’.

Anyway, we ended up at The Carob Tree. Overly grateful for the table and ungraciously eager to order, “no no, we’ll order drinks and food together.”

Now that we should stumble across a restaurant so well reviewed by my boss is simply delirious luck, but to be greeted by just the right character of host was wonderful. He presented all the energy and enthusiasm we simply couldn’t muster.

We only needed a quick scan of the menu – it was all edible – great start. We had been recommended to choose around five dishes, including a dip or two, a couple of meat dishes and a salad. Naturally we went for a bit more than suggested, because by this stage no food seemed like it could be enough – but we restrained from ordering everything, which I felt was good of us.

The houmous and melin tzanosalata to you and I that’s: roasted aubergine, tomato , garlic olive oil and lemon dip, came with fresh toasted pita – apparently delicious, but I requested something non-glutenous and some refreshing cucumber appeared to fit the bill. Oh and wine – let’s not forget the wine.

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The restaurant itself it simple, but extremely welcoming and was buzzing with chatter and evidently very happy guests.

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The wine was going down a treat, but we were clearly looking starved and assured our food would be coming out as soon as each dish was cooked – that’s how small plates work and we were happy to wait

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but shortly they arrived in their individual glory – coal grilled asparagus with kefalotiri – that’s a delicate cheese and who doesn’t like cheese …on everything?

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Keftedes next, these are a generously sized mixture of minced pork, spices and potato fried in little balls.

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Crisp on the outside, moist and soft on the inside, really rather delicious

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Just look at our spread…

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But it’s not over yet, here goes the charcoal grilled lamb… I know, I know.. 12162456_10153526339535380_1033222677_o

I’m hungry all over again. Fresh lemon squeezed on everything; mouthfuls of smokey meat, perked up with fresh flavours red onion and sweet grilled peppers

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And it wouldn’t be a proper meze if we didn’t have some squid.. again, the charcoal grill just gives it that flavour that I can’t quite get over on every mouthful.

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the tentacles were particularly crispy, which sounds barbaric but really we all know they’re the best bit. 
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Filled to the brim, there’s no intention of looking at the dessert menu (though we all know there’s a second stomach for it)

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But it seems sweet is not an option here – before we could ask for the bill our host has popped these down and almost before we can say thank you..

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we’ve mentioned thrice how sweet it is and by the fourth consideration of its intensity we’ve demolished the lot . Concluding, that it was just sweet enough.

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Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I’d thoroughly recommend a visit here, via the woods or just getting in the car works too.

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Full to the brim the only option was now to walk off the lunch on a simpler route home and why wouldn’t you on a day like this?

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How do you spend your Sundays?

 

C.x

Where can you find this lovely little place?

The Carob Tree
15 Highgate Rd, London NW15 1QX
Phone:020 7267 9880

Links:

The restaurant doesn’t have its own website, but here are two review sites you can trust (aside from me of course).

The Carob Tree on Tripadvisor

The Carob Tree on Yelp

Saturdays at Primrose Hill Market

Saturday isn’t usually the day I’d associate with walking around a market, my memories of being at markets are early morning trips on Sundays and my Nan bartering down the price of bananas – which of course she always manage and then she’d buy ‘an ass load’, as we’d say, along with the broccoli, potatoes – a well known staple in every meal, yes we’re Irish – and a few onions, carrots and bits for the week, whilst my Grandad handed over the money and carried the bags.

There wasn’t much my nan didn’t buy from the market stalls, assured they were better quality and value for money. It’s a trend or a survival manner somewhat lost by a generation overtaken by far too much packaging and branding – it’s a shame to think organic is top shelf fresh produce, priced at a cost less realistic for today’s working families, where the cheaper food is modified for mass production, whilst markets that support local farmers and producers are a higher quality yet a less frequented option; with the fast paced lifestyles and so many convenient food on the move options we no longer shop for the week but for the situation.

This is where value is lost, if we all managed to take, what is in fact, extremely pleasurable and leisurely time at the weekend to visit a local market and spend an extra few pennies on the organic and locally produced products we would not only support small, local businesses and their families but we could start to feed ourselves more nutritious and wholesome foods for far less; if only we could resist convenience and posh packaging.

So if Sunday is your lazy day and Saturday claims you with a hangover, worry not and pop yourself down to Primrose Hill Market, there’s nothing stressful about wandering around here (or probably any local market you might happen upon). It’s more like a visual feast, sensory hug and a vibrantly gentle bustle of food education from the stalls, whilst amusing conversations exchange mostly inspired by the surroundings – “How do I cook this Kale?”, “Ooh shall we get some sausages for a sarnie tomorrow morning?”, “Oh look – I need that dog!”

Open from 10am – 3pm there’s plenty of time to get yourself down there even after a lay in and it hosts some really lovely stalls, I took plenty of pictures to encourage you out of the sheets and down to the stalls, so take a walk with me and let’s discuss….
Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Arriving around noon the place is bustling with plenty of stalls already looking like their wares had almost sold out for the day – the bread stall is extremely popular – but there’s plenty more on offer here

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Something for the nutters out there, this peanut butter from Australia is.. shall we say, the nuts!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

If you still haven’t woken up yet, it’s time to smell the coffee – Pact is a new coffee supplier making a big caffeine hit in the ethical and ‘bloody delicious’ markets right now and this particular batch sourced in person from Guatemala – it’s a fruity and pungent little number – definitely woke me up!  

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s something about big wheels of cheese – strangely alluring and once again I find myself fascinated by the sheer volume and variation of colour, texture and flavour all from modest milk. It’s a marvel really.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Trying some of a few of their selection just confirms that the supermarket ‘cheddars’, mass produced ‘bries’ and from freezer to oven breaded ‘camemberts’ are really not cutting the mustard.  THIS is what Wallace and Gromit were flying to the moon for and it’s worth the trip, much better than a quick trip to Tescos.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cheeeeeeese Gromit!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

The cured meats and pancetta are vibrant and the scent of them sets the scene for tapas or a smokey chilli con carne dinner date instantly.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

What a bunch of tarts! These are freshly baked and all ingredients are locally sourced…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Usually out of bounds for me with all that pastry… shortcrust pastry…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Filo pastry…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And a vanilla and chocolate sponge.. all forms of gluten intolerant torture, but that of which I’m used to at markets

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

But wait! There’s gluten free! Gluten free tarts..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and gluten free cheeeeesecake… Gromit. Oh yes, and rest assured they had plenty more options but they’re clearly very popular.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

You might not have mush-room for the pate by now but buy a jar and take it home – this stuff’s both diverse and delicious!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Thankfully my pudding stomach’s still empty, because…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Oh. Yes. That is one bad brownie.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Another one for the nutty lovers…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And even something for the gluten free Goddesses out there

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s definitely a buzz about this place…

 

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All naturally flavoured honey…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All completely organic ingredients and the flavours are intense!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

The extra hot chili? Yeah, no messing about here – you just need to try it – this is amazing! I’d happily put this in a marinade, a salad dressing or in my chilli con carne.. it’s packing seriously good heat!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And this is a better alternative for the kids (and me) when it comes to treating your sweet tooth to chocolate

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

This place is a total honey trap!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Fresh produce – the colours, the smells, the textures, it’s hard to think why would you want to hide any of this in packaging? Pick it up, give it a squeeze, give it a sniff become more intuitive with your food – what do you actually fancy?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

If I was hungover this would be the perfect cure.. a cold craft beer or two?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and perhaps some fresh duck buns on the side? I hear they taste quacking!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Honestly, I’m opting for the fresh juice, lured in by the array of  vibrant colours – I feel better just looking at them.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Now it’s a shame they have to emphasise with the word ‘very’ but I can understand – again you see ‘free range’ frequently now, but sadly I’m not even sure I believe the packaging on most products in shops, their feed and quality of freedom is still up for debate if you ask me. These however, farmer’s own fresh and I bet they taste like very  free range eggs.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And a real chicken stock, the perfect base to mix with your fresh veg for a homemade soup or maybe a casserole. Local and free chickens, surely there’s something satisfying in enjoying this produce that overwhelms the need for a quick trip to the supermarket or local takeaway? At least some of the time! I appreciate that life isn’t always so free to make the right choices and it definitely takes some forward planning to stay on track with it.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All the fruit and veg here is organic and my god it looks wonderful just all stacked and piled up everywhere

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All shapes, sizes, colours and variations with a choice for as little or as much as you need

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and some handy advice and tips on hand should you be wondering, “what on earth is that and how do I cook it?!”

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

A good reminder, if ever one was needed that all shapes, sizes, lumps, bumps and colours are equally beautiful without the labels and expensive packaging and more so it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Organically grown fruit and veg offer up so much more nutrients it’s quality over quantity and ultimately you’ll need less to attain the benefits.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Starving after having a good wander and some rather in-depth chats with the traders of the stalls it’s time to buy some sustenance of a high standard!  We all know eggs work every time when it comes to brunching..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

but this time I went really indulgent..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Toastits to the rescue – gluten free brown bread with goats cheese, caramelised onion chutney, chili, prosciutto toasted to crispy crunchy delight and spruced up with rocket… Yes, yes and yes.

Well having shared that with Rachel (trying to savour the flavours, but mostly just a two minute period of ooh and ahh and mmm’ing and between us it was gone) naturally it’s only fair to try the other one on the menu too…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Gluten free seeded bread with melted mozzarella, juicy sundried tomatoes, a little kick of chili (totally optional), rather crispy bacon and that ravishing rocket escaping from all angles.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Rockin’!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s so many local market’s around London, but I have to say I really would recommend popping by Primrose Hill to visit this one.. it’s lovely, the food’s beautiful and the people and the atmosphere is wonderful.

Making food shopping an occasion and don’t forget to bring a tote bag to carry home all your incredible goods for the week!

Happy weekend!

C.x

Links:

Primrose Hill Market

Primrose Hill Market Traders List & Details

 

 

Autumn Mud Puddles: A Godiva Challenge

 

Easy Brunch: Spicy Eggs and Avocado

Brunch doesn’t need to be difficult, let’s be honest we don’t like faffing over food, that’s what restaurants are for.

When I’m eating in I want no fuss, no frills but seriously tasty food. So may I present you with an idea which is a very simple combination of some of my favourite things, all onto of a couple of slices of non-nonsense brunch time satisfaction.

If you like eggs and avocados this one’s for you. I like to take to the next level and spice it up a bit, but that’s optional. (Do it!)

If you’ve got bread, avocado, chill and eggs – you’re in for a treat.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Stage 1: Toast (it doesn’t have to have a hole in it or be gluten free like mine, but I’m picky like that) and avocado

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

 – Smash it in there – pinch of salt and pepper (always!)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Stage 2 – Slice fresh medium chillies (red & green if you fancy, oooh) and fry in the pan for a minute. Then crack your eggs in on top of the chillies and put a lid on top to half poach them (keeping in the steam creates a lovely poached effect) keep it on a low to medium heat for 2-3 mins and take them out when they look soft and beautiful… or how ever you like your eggs – no fuss! Slap them on your avocado like so…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Sprinkle a touch more salt and pepper and dip in!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Happy brunching!

C.x

A Saturday in Shoreditch: Art, bubble tea, tapas & Vietnamese

So you’re visiting London for the day, or perhaps you’re venturing out from South London and you fancy going *wild*! Well, baby steps my friend, Clapham Common is a safe place – over here thar be hipsters.(an apparently pirates too).

Let’s start with the hub of East London. Yes, I’m talking about Shoreditch, silly! Still cool but invariably losing its status to the locations only accessible by overground transport (If you’re really feeling like dipping into true, like super real London, check out my Dalston day trip blog.)

Anyway, you can find yourself in Shoreditch via the overground too, but also it’s really only ten minutes from Old Street so don’t panic yourself. Firstly there’s Box Park, a retail unit that started as a temporary pop-up space of containers offering possibly the smallest shop floor space for retailers to promote and sell their wares, amongst the bustling vibe of Shoreditch and potential catch some trendy vibes from nearby Spitalfields and Brick Lane markets – see there’s a day out planned for you already!

So this particular Saturday started at Box Park, with a bubble tea from Milk Tea Pearl. I can’t say the bubble tea craze has ever intrigued me enough to try one but as they offered us a sample I figured, what the hell.
Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

They have a range of flavours for you to suck up through your rather large straw

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

and they tend to sit at the bottom of your cup, just waiting to be slurped up to give you a little mouth surprise. Still not 100% sure if this would appeal on a hangover but it wasn’t a completely bad experience.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Rachel seemed keen anyway..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

I was a touch dubious at first, but after the sample I was all up for buying one to share with our own flavour combo – you have to see these things through… alas, I decided we both had much more to eat and drink that day and didn’t get one. So my verdict on bubble tea remains unsure. But the staff in there were lovely and so you should definitely go and try one, they come in hot or cold – please do tell me what you think.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Moving on we popped into the Howard Griffin Gallery based on Shoreditch High Street and currently hosting the Thierry Noir exhibition.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Who’s that? Noir was the first artist to paint on the Berlin Wall (keep up) also, he liked drink and music- ahh yes, now we’re connecting

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

It was all very bold, bright and.. similar. The effect was to leave you feeling as if you had stepped into one of his paintings

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

The obvious theme here was music, but more specifically jazz music.. (slightly repetitive)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

and the odd flower

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

But the 3D art definitely bought the exhibition to life in a childish manner. Yep it was quite bizarre

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

My piano skills are much to be admired – ‘Chopsticks’ is jazz, right?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea
Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

It’s a fair comment to say his style may not have changed much, but what it represents is still as powerful as ever

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

plus, being a bit of a kid myself it’s always fun to have 3D art bigger than yourself

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Pretty quirky, pretty cool, very colourful .

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Next! Naturally there’s plenty of cool street art around East London to muse at whilst you wander

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

A quick snap here and there until we reached our next Shoreditch stop

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

No time for a siesta it’s time for a Tapas Revolution

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

A (you guessed it) tapas restaurant on Bethnal Green Road

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

And when I think Spain, I think – Gin Tonic!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

So naturally we refreshed our palates with a couple of those first..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Garnished with olives and manchego cheese.. and a little chorizo on the side, oh stop it!

Such good stuff.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Then came the JAMON!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

And, oh was there ALL the jamon. Jamon serrano, jamon  ibérico, 3 months matured jamon and 36 months matured jamon..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Sliced to perfection! Which, apparently takes a fair amount of training

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Someone’s had some serious practice on this fella’s leg

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

The range of textures, flavours and aromas were completely individual to each, some fed with apples, some matured for  9 months whilst other were matured for so long the fat had almost melted through the layers to give such an incredible, intense flavour. The apple fed jamon was my favourite, mostly because it was so distinct in its fruity nature I was quite awe struck, plus there were a thousand food pairings I could think of! But  they were all uniquely exquisite.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Then there’s these lovely croquetas de jamón, that’s deep-fried ibérico ham and bechamel croquettes to you and me.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

It’s definitely worth stopping in to Tapas Revolution for a light tapas lunch, a big dinner or just drinks, it’s a great little spot and the service was of the high Spanish standard, oh Barcelona!

We did then go for a cocktail class in Be At One, but I was having so much fun I managed to forget about the photos – well, can you blame me? Bar men and cocktails, a girl has to have priorities.

Having had a sufficient amount of fun and significantly less food we dived out of the bar and into one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants located just across the road on Old Street.

If you like Vietnamese and you haven’t heard of Cay Tre, let me have the pleasure of  introducing you . I have taken so many friends here – during the day, at night and recently I ventured to their new branch in Soho – owned by Vietnamese Kitchen they also have couple of other spots around Shoreditch.

On this occasion it was going to be the original venue. Naturally with these places with so much good food you have to order to share, but the portions are so generous it’s a good effort to get through one main, nevermind sharing two!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

We went for the Butter Fish Curry with jasmine rice and the Bun Sa noodle bowl

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

The Butter Fish Curry is made with dried tamarind, coconut milk & red curry and is so intensely comforting and the spices are so harmonious you just feel like a better, happier person for eating it – dramatic but true.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

In contrast, the Bun Sa is a refreshing zingy and clean, noodly mouthful! A huge bowl of vermicelli  rice noodles, cucumber, bean sprouts, mixed Vietnamese herbs, crispy shallots, peanuts, nuoc cham with sautéed lemongrass…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

and rather meaty red sea prawns.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Shoreditch London Hype Tour Weekend Food Art Tea

 

So, when are you heading to Shoreditch?

C.x

Links:

Box Park

Milk Tea Pearl

Howard Griffin Gallery

Tapas Revolution

Be At One

Cay Tre

 

Honest Burgers in Camden: The GF Feast!

There aren’t many words required for this post, so I’ll just say get a napkin and make it snappy… this is one drool-worthy bunch of burger porn. For those of you a bit nervous of the burger type photo because of the extreme gluten content, fear not – this lil’ baby is 100% gluten free. Yeah, you heard me. Beers, burgers, chip and onion rings.. all. gluten free. Enjoy my friends, enjoy. I certainly did.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Let me set the scene.. Myself, Loriley and Katy (two other bad ass food bloggers) were invited to Honest Burgers on the weekend of the Camden Market Gluten Free Festival to try out their coeliac friendly menu.. and I am never one to say no to food my friends! So we met at a respectable lunching hour and without delay our lovely waitress suggested the gluten free beer they stock.. No doubt there was a parched look about us all.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

This Daura gluten free beer is made by Estrella and it was surprisingly lovely, a rather light and refreshing beer, despite being around 5.4% (cheeky!) and honestly it was a great option to go with the burger but with none of the bloating and all of the satisfaction, unsurprisingly mine went down with ease.
Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Beers down, the food’s arrived! We all went for the same option – ‘Special’, why? Cause it sounded too damn good not too. Beef burger with smoked bacon, swiss cheese,  harissa mayo and guacamole. All served with rosemary fries. Hungry yet?Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

All the sauces again, gluten free and bloody delicious, the harissa packed a punch whilst.. that smoked bacon..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Well, need I say more?

We swiftly took a few photos before tucking in, naturally… but the smells wafting right up ones nose makes  it pretty hard to hold off!IMG_3379

Did I mention we also ordered gluten free onion rings? I usually find that gluten free battered things tend to taste a lot like baking soda and don’t hold the crunch much after they’re taken out of the fryer. Thankfully these were crunchy on the outside, not overly greasy with a beautifully sweet and soft onion inside – now that’s the stuff! Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

I also ordered the chipotle mayonnaise, definitely worth a dip or four! Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Then there was the burger. I ordered mine medium rare and that’s exactly what I got, covered in gorgeously creamy Swiss cheese, whilst harissa sets it all off with a touch of heat, the bacon slams any spare tastebuds with a ‘wham’ of smokey, salty intensity. Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

The rosemary chips were insanely crispy with subtly delicious flavouring from the rosemary…  dunkin’ good.  Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

 Mmmmm, holy guacamole! Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Great service, amazing flavours and serious quality. More so even if you aren’t in need f gluten free they do regular buns and quite honestly it’s all so delicious it’s simply a bonus that it’s coeliac friendly. I’ll definitely be back for more. Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Afterwards we thought we’d have a little wander around the Gluten Free Festival in Camden Market and whilst I was there I thought I’d treat you to dessert! Enjoy!Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

 

All the gluten free brownies of your dreams..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Other crazily indulgent options.. though I’d argue gluten, sugar and dairy free brownie balls could only be virtuously healthy.. Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Whole Foods pitched up to promote some of their most popular and newer gluten free productsCat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Whilst other stands more prominently displayed their gluten free optionsCat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Whist having a meander I couldn’t resist buying a large seeded a loaf from the Artisan Gluten Free Bakery, as suggested to me by Loriely, an avid fan of their bread!Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

I bought myself a cookie to take away – still so stuffed from the burger and returned home to slouch on the sofa with this fella and a cup of tea!

Pretty puuurfect Saturday if you ask me! Cat Foley Survival Survival Honest Burgers Camden Market Gluten Free Festival

Have you been to any exciting food markets recently, or know of any gluten free friendly places I could try?

C.x

Visit the lovely ladies I dined with:

Loriley Sessions – Gluten Free food blogger

Little Miss Katy – Lifestyle blogger

Camden Market

Artisan Gluten Free Bakery

 

 

 

Granger & Co in the new Pancras Square

So shall we get it out of the way, you know, that part where everyone needs to mention that the founder of Granger and Co. (Bill Granger) is an Aussie? I mean, disagree with me if you like but it’s not that big a deal, he’s allowed to be here, enough of us toodle our little butts over to his under side of the world. I commend the guy for bringing us his divine culinary creations, mostly I’d just say – I like the way this man’s mind works, whether he’s from Tooting or Timbuktu matters not, he can tickle my taste buds!

Walking in to Granger & Co you can feel the warmth of the atmosphere, which is quite a feat considering there’s floor to ceiling windows that will 90% of the year serve to expose the grey skies and wind battered commuters passing by, yeah I’d say it’s a brave move. Decor is used to enhance the shape, size and the environment of the restaurant, the mirrors above the bar reflect the skyline outside, the huge windows allow the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross in and the use of heavy brass seems to nod to the era where this area was industrial and hardy, used for trade, importing and transporting goods.

The natural light provided by the glass exterior is enhanced with warmer lighting and candles when it gets a little later, allowing you to be sheltered from the noise and agitating buzz of the outside pace, yet still be amongst the movement of the city. Though the area has plenty of lush trees to keep it slightly romantic it’s still very much a busy place, yet strangely when looking out upon it all from where I sat I felt more grateful for the quiet and calm surrounds. Curious logic… Or it could’ve been the wine.

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

Anyway enough analysing over the decor! Though – never underestimate its importance.  Let’s move on..

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

I’d come to choose the restaurant, not only because it’s new (definitely not ’cause he’s an Aussie!) but I was having dinner with a couple of friends, one of whom was coming in on the train to St. Pancras and as my housemate and I live a stone’s throw away it seemed silly to go elsewhere! We’d ticked off most of the restaurants in Granary Square and so naturally we moved ourselves on to new options at the newly opened Pancras Square, this was first on my list when I saw their menu!

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

For starters you could look at this delicious calamari and presume to know it was nice, well presented and had a good amount of dressing to go…

But honestly, you’d have to try it yourself to really  know what I’m talking about when I say, melt. in. the. mouth. Delicate seasoning. Two more plates please.

This is a perfect example how amazing such simple food can taste when it’s treated just the way it should be. Beautiful.

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

Moving on to our mains, there was a whole lot of ‘umm’ing and ‘ahhh‘ing over what dish might be the chosen one – the options are pretty dribble inducing. Thankfully we had the wine to keep any inappropriate behaviour at bay. Both the girls went for the yellow fish curry with spiced butternut squash, roast peanuts and cucumber relish with brown rice.

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

I made the mistake of trying some.. Damn you food envy! This was so exquisite, layers of toasted spices making their way through the creamy coconut in the sauce, paired with the crisp and refreshing cucumber relish, the delicate yet meaty fish and deep textures of the butternut squash..  (I might take myself back there for this dish, table for one!)

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

Considering that I’d had Thai for dinner the past two nights I decided the gochujang braised beef shin was for me, served with charred shallots, spring onions and brown rice.

Now this was something else completely and it offered up equally as much deep felt satisfaction. A hot brothy bowl of rich, meaty bone juices, which fondly reminded me of my nan giving me hot bovril in a cup with bread when I’d get home from school to warm me in the winter, and trust me when I say that’s a huge compliment. This put a genuine smile on my face, it felt so wholesomely virtuous and deeply nourishing to eat.

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

I scooped up mouthfuls at a time on my spoon, tearing bits of bits of shallot, coriander, spring onion and pulling bits of beef shin which was so soft and delicate it almost melted. It all sat beautifully in what was a rather deep spoon, leaving room for a good scoop of that amazing broth on  top of it all..  one healthy, hearty hug of a meal.

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

The service here was absolutely wonderful. At no point did we feel rushed, we were offered advice on wines, in depth descriptions of the dishes and then left to our own devices, during the three hours we sat there chatting our wine and water amazingly seemed topped up at all times with little or no disruption to our conversations.

After we’d finished dinner, we were left to enjoy our drinks, so full we couldn’t have even considered dessert or coffee. We polished off the wine and feeling extremely relaxed, wonderfully full we requested the bill. At £35 a head including service for three of us with wine and a shared starter, all of which we so wonderfully constructed and presented, I’d say it’s money very well spent on both the food and some of the most perfect service I’ve had for a while.

at Foley Survival Survival Granger and Co Restaurant St Pancras Square London

A wonderful place for catch-ups, formal meetings or dinner dates – I think I’ll take my mum here for sure.

What’s your thoughts on service and surroundings when it comes to eating out?

C.x

Visit the Granger & Co website

 

Cornwall: St. Ives, Falmouth & Pirates in Penzance!

Part Three: Salty Sea Hair

Continuing on from the foodie blog on my family trip to Cornwall I thought I’d put up a whole load of photos, because it truly is a beautiful part of the country.

During our week stay we took trips everyday to visit different parts of the coast and a photo does say a thousand words, though they rarely capture the true beauty of  the moment, but you have to go and make your own memories for that! On saying that I did take a lot of photos, so you should hopefully get a good idea!

So here’s a little snippet of my holiday and an insight to the Cornwall coast in its sometimes ‘golden and shining’ and sometimes ‘blustery and bracing’ glory! But either way, it reasserts the beautiful countryside we have to offer on our little isle…

Take a dip in St. Ives

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Shoes off we popped down to dip our toes in the water, but as with all kids wet toes lead to wet knees, which leads to..

…Noah touching ‘the butt’!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

The whole area is safe for kids to paddle in and out of and the area is stunning with restaurants, clothing and little knick-knack shops  all along the harbour walk

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

After that kind of adventure at sea, we decided it was time for a refuel.. and what else could you possibly think of to eat in a place like this?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

It’s a small and pretty little town with a beautiful view 
Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destinationespecially when the sun shines.. Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

This little place took my fancy – rum & crab just sounds so pirate fuelled and exciting! We didn’t go in this time but I’m taken with the idea, perhaps to be adapted for a brunch idea one day.Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

A little forage in Falmouth

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Another day another ship view! It’s hard a life by the sea.

We made our way to Falmouth, another seaside town just a bit further along the coast… IMG_2851

This is the birthplace of Toad, Mole and Rat. Kenneth Grahame’s classic, and one of my favourites, “Wind in the Willows”, began as a series of letters sent to his son. The first two were written at the Greenbank Hotel (the white building below) whilst Grahame was a guest in May 1907.
Carbis Bay Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination St Agnes Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination IMG_3251 Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination A very pretty Padstow Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination IMG_3330 Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination IMG_3324 Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Having popped in to this beautiful hotel I can easily see how he could feel inspired.Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

With such changeable weather (clouds, bit of sun, cloudy , repeat) we found it the perfect day to pop into rather a few of their little shops and have a mooch around  the townCat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

 I mostly fell in love with their need for bunting all year round and all the dainty colours of the buildings.. (I’ll probably have to visit Balamory one day)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

and their hidden courtyards and hanging baskets…
Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

The feel of the olden days as a harbour  – reputed to be the third largest natural harbour in the world – is still very present with many small alleys leading down to the harbour off the main street and the town itself seems to try and keep with the feel of its history (for over 150 years this was the only port where mail came in and out of the country!)Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

I came across some beautiful looking gluten free cakes adorning the tea shop window – there were in fact a lot of healthy options here: vegan shops, raw cafes, gluten free and organic produce. For somewhere with such a traditional feel it’s definitely not slow on picking up the current trends and embracing the variations on chips with fish!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Though some places definitely stick with tradition when it comes to pleasing the tourist industry, ’cause everyone loves a bit of twee tat to take home!Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

We settled on a lovely restaurant for lunch and embraced the view which encapsulated so many different aspects of life in Falmouth, huge container ships and small fishing boats, the sea, the land and the lifestyle of some of the residents.. Just imagine sitting down there with a cup of tea in the morning. That’s pretty life affirming. Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

It’s a really beautiful little town and worth a visit if only to sit and ponder at the ships setting out and sailing in.Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Plundering with the Pirates of Penzance

Q:Why are Pirates, Pirates?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

A: ’cause they ARRRRGGHHHHH!!!!

(To be said in your best pirate voice with a your face all screwed-up on one side!)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

With not much to offer in the town we took to the sea for our entertainment.. Have you got your sea legs on y’all scallywags?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Inappropriately dressed for the weather, I felt somewhat suitably dressed to have been the damsel in distress on a pirate ship, that’s for sure!
Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Whilst Noah was all about walking the plank in the face slappingly fresh sea air!Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Whilst us damsels did our best to look good.. Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

I tried out a cunning disguise for escape, how’s my moustache looking?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

After playing games with the relentless waves and coarse wind

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

we warmed ourselves with a little chocolatey treat..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

OK, a large chocolately treat with all the toppings!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

and then a few felt brave enough to beckon the waves to catch them..
Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

request granted, it caught them with a full force crash into the wall and up over their heads! Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Though not the warmest or sunniest of days it was definitely one to remember.

Next up on the blog: Bodyboarding in Carbis Bay, views from St. Agnes and a very pretty day in Padstow.

Because holidays are what you make of them and kids generally seem to find the fun in any situation.. Where would you go for your next staycation?

C.x

C is for: Cornwall, Chips & Cider

Part one: A death drive to the three bear’s lodge.

Cornwall truly has some of the most idyllic landscapes on our little island,  if our climes were warmer or even just a touch dryer I don’t think there would be any reason to go abroad. This is what I have decided after my week away with my family as we visited just a small selection of what it has to offer.

The long car ride of near six hours ended in a life affirming, terror inducing downpour as we drove on dark winding roads where cats’ eyes were bleached out by oncoming traffic lights, which blurred through the rainwater that smothered the windscreen, whilst roadworks forced cars going in opposite directions to almost share lanes. My mum and I stared hard out of the front windscreen with concentration so headache inducing it was as if to will our mind power to help drive the car, whilst Dave (the unfortunate one in the driving seat) probably wondered how long the last hour drive could feel, answer?  Take the A30 and continue on to Perranporth in the dark and torrential rain and find out. OR don’t.

Anyway we arrived in our woodland lodgings, well, we’d almost arrived. The area wasn’t very well lit so the exact location of our hut remained a mystery, the paths were all but hidden under the leaves and the rain had created multiple streams to join in to the rather large puddle of a car park. Sludge, trunch, squish. Off we went in search of our hut, with masses of bags on shoulders and a vast amount more confusion come hysterical amusement, we all eventually trundled into our new home for the next week. Or so we thought.

Damp. That’s the overwhelming first impression, and I don’t mean us (we were drenched) it was a smell, it was like we were entering into the three bears’ home which had been vacated after baby bear went to uni and mummy and daddy sailed off to the tropics. The smell certainly wasn’t that of warm porridge, the beds were all too soft, the springs poking through much too hard and apparently Goldilocks had a sofa bed which she frequented and was much worn.

Wonderful we all thought, except for our daddy bear who was as grumpy as the original by this point and ironically was rather suited to the feel of the place. Ever the optimist my mum lit the three-wick scented candle she’d endeavored to pack for ambience lighting (she doesn’t do well without) and we settled down with some appropriately measured gin (say 75ml) and tonics, but in truth, even a spinning wheel needle would have struggled to get me to sleep on that bed.

Morning broke, the wolf hadn’t blown down our door – though that would have been a perfect excuse to relocate – but we gave up waiting for him to digest granny and got on with it ourselves! Relocate we shall!

Up, up and away from the mystical forest of forever-ago-land we found ourselves in a quaint little house with an upstairs, downstairs and a most welcoming aroma of bleach – clean! we shrilled as we entered our bright little abode. No slippy leaves, no forest ambience, a tarmacked road, a front garden with lawn and a swimming pool. Bellissimo! (Not as adventurous, but that’s quite alright with us.)

Part two: 10% Human 90% Chip

There’ll be no denying the chip consumption on this holiday, it’s just that though the sun was mostly out, the sea air and occasional clouds can give one a good chill and what’s the only real cure when by the shore? Proper chip shop chips! And by all accounts we were by the shore and in the wind most of the time. Though we ventured to various places, a proper chip shop in Perran View, a five minute drive from our new abode, dished them up hot and steamy with the vinegar wafting right up my nose – you know the smell – so good that I found no time to photograph them in any better surrounds than on my lap, before practically inhaling them.. mmmm.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

I did, time from time, restrain myself from having all the fried goods and where restaurants were concerned I took up the fish of choice and some lighter sides, like this lovely sea bass and new potatoes with a chilli and lime butter from a restaurant in St.Ives. I could argue that the potatoes weren’t the softest, but I did take sheer delight I take in eating the sea bass!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

It’s a rather wonderful fish you know, soft and delicate but firm enough to enjoy eating. If you haven’t tried it get to your fishmonger or M&S and thank me later, but steer clean of any hefty flavour pairings or you’ll lose the delicacy of the fish.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Also ordered was one big bloke’s beefy burger…Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

And fish and chips looking like they came straight out of the fryer… Jealous of the vinegar smell Evie gave me a few – she knows me too well… We might have shared the fish too…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Wherever we went there seemed to be a view of the sea! It was wonderful, even in the slight dullness of some  of the days the clouds soon passed by and the sun shone through (not at this exact moment mind you..)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

We popped into a restaurant whilst milling around Falmouth. Burgers were the go to for the kids, surprisingly neither had actually turned into one by now..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Whilst my mum and I both chose the Greek flavours of the quinoa salad; laden with olives, feta and red onion it was topped with grilled chicken and dressed in both gorgeous balsamic and green pesto around the edges… All kinds of satisfying flavours and textures.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

I’ll have to recreate this for Evie who looked longingly at our plates after she’d tried some! Naturally I sipped a good ol’ Cornish Rattler cider to wash it all down.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family DestinationAnother day there was the luxury hot chocolate in Penzance, because a windy day like that called for watching the waves crashing in and a few games in the arcade followed by a (re)treat in the warmth!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Then there was the very sunny day by the sea where I consumed almost an entire smoked salmon in my salad (or so it appeared) with prawns and a lemon mayonnaise dressing, enjoyed on a lovely decked view of ‘The Shack’ over stunning Carbis Bay, again with a cold Cornish cider.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

My mum opted for a tandoori chicken burger and even the roll looked incredible! Though apparently the chicken wasn’t marinated but merely smeared in the sauce, which  made her slightly less enthusiastic.  Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

Carbis Bay really was idyllic and the whole scene was made all the more authentic when I looked round to see the two kids blue mouthed and shivering after getting out of the sea, Evie sipping her hot chocolate as fast as she could whilst Noah was having a tantrum because the hot chocolate was in fact  too hot and he was too cold to drink it, even after it became more like chilled chocolate – and there’s no explaining anything to a four year old who knows it al. Oh, the struggles of youth.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Cornal Holiday Travel Food Family Destination

We had all the drama, fun and exhaustion of a good English family holiday! We visited a whole host of beautiful places on the Cornish coast and I’ll be sharing a photo blog on some of my favourite locations in my next post!

How about you, do you find the food as important as I do on holiday? I think to embrace a holiday is to  embrace the culture and for me that largely includes local food and local delicacies! What do you think, is it about everything or do you like me, find excitement in something specific, e.g. food?!

C.x

 

Cultural Feasting at Camden’s Night Market

We all know Camden is a bustling centre for all kinds of London culture, fashion, music, craft beers! But what it also hosts is a selection of culinary cultures in the market. I should know, I have been a resident of the place, by which I mean Camden Town not the market, for the past three years and despite it always being too full with meandering and snap happy tourists – I can’t help but love it!

There’s nothing better than popping down on a Sunday to try an array of treats from the food stalls, ranging from all American burgers and ribs, to the British hog roast or something completely new like Ethiopian cuisine. One of my favourites is at the Polish stand, which has a stew called bigos served with dumplings- it is to die for and does wonders to warm up the autumn chill that seems to be whipping in so swiftly!

But whilst we’re just about clinging on to summer I will mention a few reasons you should pop down tonight to visit the Night Market. Aside from the atmosphere being electric there’s a bar and live music and no need to debate what you and your friends are going to eat; jump straight to dessert if you want – sweet crepes, cookies and cupcakes galore! Also, no need to worry if you have an intolerance or dietary requirements.. there’s plenty on offer. 
Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

A bunch of fabulous foodies and myself met up at Camden Night Market for an official #fdbloogersmeet to divide and conquer the food stalls! But not before trying out some of Camden’s finest gin!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Half Hitch Gin is distilled with the tea left in to give it a golden colouring. This is one gin you could justify sipping with your cucumber sarnies and cream cakes!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Trust me, it’s one worth trying – I tried it, obviously.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Plus, it’s made in Camden, the original home of gin – why wouldn’t you?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Sufficiently refreshed we headed out to the market to forage for food.. Well, there was hardly a foraging requirement, the struggle was more so what to choose! We passed by a LOT of tempting options..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Tortilla sandwiches from Circus Bros, one big mouth full of España! Photographed are the display ones, the fresh tortillas came out smelling and looking fantastic and I imagine they make a very satisfying meal.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

There’s two Polish food stands and this one does some big sausages! (But seriously, check out the bigos!)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Indian naan wraps at Roti House…


Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

or you can find a range Indian dishes served with steaming hot rice

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Whilst these jerks were causing quite a commotion

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Superfood stalls are becoming popular and easily hold their own amongst the most indulgent options, yes it may be a food frenzy in the market screaming at you to ‘eat everything’ but there’s plenty of healthy options which are amazingly tasty too…

Chia – those little powerhouse seeds full of protein and omegas

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

A quinoa (say it with me, keen-wah!)  stall with an array of vegetable and salad options to make up your box

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers MeetVegan, no worries –  Laura from The Whole Ingredient –  wonderful vegan food blogger and recipe curator – found a freshly baked pizza from these guys..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Made in front of her and cooked within minutes… I’m assured it was delicious

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Whilst others went in for the kill with a good old pulled pork bun with *insane* crackling and apple sauce… Just follow your nose to this one

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Whilst I opted for fresh and seriously tasty Vietnamese from Love Fresh Vietnamese…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Either seasoned chicken, sweet soy pork belly or tofu (vegan friendly) on a bed of salad and rice or rice noodles (gluten free) topped with optional homemade fish sauce and chilli dressing (which I piled on, naturally)
Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Sitting down to eat we managed to grab a table (not always possible!) and embrace the smells and bustling ambience of the evening, which felt a little like you could be anywhere but in the middle of London!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Then came the time to reunite the whole #fdbloggers gang and refresh ourselves once more with a few drinks from the bar, listening to the band playing as we queued rather briefly…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Then we settled down to share, yet more food, whilst chatting about the night and let’s be honest – the food! Because, who can resist a few nibbles of paella with prosecco?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

A great night spent in great company in a very cool place – night or day! Catch the last Camden Night Market for the summer, tonight or every week day until 6pm and all day at the weekends.

Have you got a favourite food spot in London?

C.x

Links:

The Camden Market

The Whole Ingredient – Vegan Blog

#FdBloggers on Twitter

Half Hitch Gin

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