Friday 14 January 2022

Restaurant Review - The Fox, Coulsdon Common, Caterham

I’ve been looking through old photos on my phone and remembering the fun things I did with my daughter pre-pandemic, and all the places we went. Many of them are things I was intending to post on this blog and never got around to - like this one!

It was back in 2018 when my daughter was barely two months old and my school friends came up to meet her as it was also my birthday. I knew I wasn’t really going to be in a position to host so we went out for a pub lunch. I needed to find somewhere that was child friendly and also vegan friendly. Even in the few years since 2018 vegan food has become much more common on menus but at the time I had to do a bit of research to find somewhere suitable.

I decided upon the Fox in Coulsdon Common, Caterham, a spacious Vintage Inns pub with a nice country feel. It did a delicious Sunday roast, a decent choice of vegan food and some very nice desserts. I have actually been here before and even reviewed it before - I don't normally review the same place twice but to be honest I had forgotten about the first time until I had already written this one!

There was plenty of room for the buggy and for me to be able to feed my daughter while sitting at the table. We haven’t been back since but that’s more due to the pandemic and the fact that we just don’t eat out very often, which is something that I think needs to change!

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Butlin's Bognor Regis - Ocean Hotel and Restaurant Reviews, DineAround Explained

Butlin’s today is a far cry from the self catering caravan holidays I remember as a child in the 1980s. Today there are smart hotels, apartments, and a range of on-site restaurants including an American diner and Papa John’s. You’re sure to find something to suit everyone - but if you are considering a stay at Butlin’s how do you decide? Which hotel is best or should you self-cater at Butlin’s, what are the dining options and how does DineAround work?

In September I went to Butlin’s Bognor Regis and have tried to answer all these questions and more in a post on my other blog, MiniMoo Life. If you want to find out more, hop on over there!

Friday 7 January 2022

The Trading House, London: Restaurant Review

Anyone for a Christmas dinner on a skewer? In the run-up to Christmas I went for a festive lunch at the Trading House, a bar and restaurant near Bank in central London, and this is how my dinner was served!

I always choose turkey when I go out for a Christmas meal but it was described  as a ‘turkey kebab’; I was very curious to see what it would look like, and definitely wasn’t expecting this!

The metal skewer, dangling from a special stand, had pieces of turkey, pigs in blankets and stuffing balls threaded on it, and sat hanging over a small bowl of roast potatoes and vegetables. It came with a small bowl of cranberry glaze and the waiter explained I should pour the glaze into a little dish at the top of the skewer stand and it would drip down over the turkey. It was certainly a talking point - and the food was very good, particularly the roast potatoes which were aided by a small jug of gravy on the side. 

For my dessert I chose gingerbread cake and after the innovative way my main course was served I was wondering how the cake would come - so it was almost disappointing it was simply a square piece of cake with a piece of pear and ice cream on the side! But nonetheless it was delicious and I do recommend the Trading House for both the food and the service.

The building and decor is also a talking point; it's a listed building with ornate columns and detailed carvings on the walls inside as well as an array of mounted stag heads (which I assume are fake...) and a giant taxidermy bird on the corner of the bar. Everywhere you look there is something to raise the eyebrows or nudge your companion and point out - understated it is not. Inspired by the explorers and merchants of the past, the Trading House conjures up a bygone era and at the same time a modern, innovative cocktail bar and restaurant. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.