Caffeine Kicks

Hello! It’s been a while right?

Things have been HECTIC recently, but I’m back now and that’s all that matters. So I’m kicking off with a brand new post all about coffee, because quite frankly I love it and I couldn’t imagine life without it, yes seriously.

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a coffee snob, (there’s just no way of saying it nicely) SO that means I’ve become very good at whittling down my list. It’s nice sometimes to be able to go somewhere where you can go just for coffee and don’t feel the pressure by customers or anyone in general to eat something. I definitely have a solid set for Newcastle, Leeds and York; (Manchester and London I’m working on) so my first instalment is going to be about my home city of YORK!

York has really improved is coffee game over the past few years, once littered with chains, the independent coffee shops are growing by the day and some of the long standing ones are finally getting the recognition they deserve, from more than just the locals.

So let me give you a run down of my favourites aaaaannd because I’m such a great person I’ve organised this in a somewhat ‘coffee trail’ style list, thank me later:

1 – Stanley and Ramona

So to begin our journey we’re starting on Bishopthorpe Road. You know by now I love this place and if not, you can see my early post on Stanley and Ramona here. In short, the coffee is fantastic using a single origin blend and they offer a variety of different styles. Whether you sit inside or out it’s a great place to go on your own or with friends or family. IMG_7530

2 – Dyls

Walking down from Bishopthorpe road and over Skeldergate bridge is where you’ll find Dyls, after been closed for so long due to the nightmare floods in York we often experience, it is now finally back up and running. I have only been here once so far, but it definitely left a lasting impression on me. Apart from the beautiful decorated 3 floor turret style building (forgive me I don’t know the technical word and I really should all considering), and they’re great selection of Gins – which I will be returning for; their Mochas were absolutely delightful. Dyls do it right and chuck away all the powdered chocolate rubbish and bring in the top quality pure thick melted belgian chocolate of which you can choose from milk or dark. This 100% makes the difference and they have definitely placed Mocha’s well and truly back on the coffee options. Oh and the coffee that underpins the mocha also tasted great too, so all in all it’s a good choice to make.

IMG_7531

3 – Gatehouse Coffee

Gatehouse coffee is so great for all the aesthetic reasons, located on the walmgate bar, they have cold brew on tap – what a dream! I love to go to Gatehouse when friends are visiting purely because its something you don’t expect. If you head here I’d recommend wrapping up warm (weather dependant) and heading outside on to one of the two floors they have. The only downside is that the students of York tend to take up the inside seating during the week, which I can’t complain about as being a student myself I was definitely guilty of doing this in Newcastle. All that been said, Gatehouse is beautifully historic and ‘so York’!

IMG_7538

4 – Fossgate Social

This cosy little place on Fossgate is a great chill out space for a coffee stop during your day or evening in York. It does a bit of everything and that’s why I rate it, did anyone say Espresso Martini’s? Amen. Its terrace garden at the back is really cute too, perfect for those slightly warmer days because trust me, this place gets packed on every single floor!

IMG_7536

5 – The Dark Horse Espresso Bar

A new addition to the York coffee scene is The Dark Horse Espresso Bar which is located in the Shambles Market. Serving Allpress Coffee and some great sweet treats too, it’s bang on central for all your coffee needs, again you can choose to take a seat on the benches provided or grab and go which is what I tend to do, and a takeout coffee has never tasted SO good.

IMG_7532

6 – The Perky Peacock

I love Perky Peacock again due to it’s beautiful location on Lendal Bridge, another place visitors revel in because you don’t really get a great coffee in such a historic hidden gem. This one is now their main coffee shop and you can see why, they always have a plethora of options and have the knowledge backed up to support it also!

IMG_7534

 

7 – Rae & Webb

My final destination is on Gillygate and it is the one and only Rae & Webb, some argue it’s a bit of a walk from the ‘centre’ but I’d say different, it’s about 5 minutes, so get moving and head there! The owners are wonderful and you are always greeted with a smile, it’s a great chilled out vibe where you can literally watch the world go by; with great coffee too – obviously.

IMG_7537

 

So there we have it and here ends this post, let me know if you check any of these out next time you’re around and about in York.

Alice  x

*disclaimer* maybe don’t visit all in one day caffeine is dangerous if you have too much.

Stanley & Ramona

Stanley & Ramona

We’re 2 weeks into 2018 and more than likely you’re back into the swing of things, back to normality is good after the Christmas and new year festivities right? Part of my normality is a good coffee, and by good coffee I mean I’m a coffee snob (I hold my hands up) and incredibly particular and get really annoyed if I’ve paid for a bang on average coffee.

THAT IS NOT THE CASE at Stanley & Ramona. Located on Bishopthorpe road they have honed in on that craft and absolute smashed the coffee game out the window! Stanley & Ramona and its new owners have not being open too long but they have very quickly acclaimed the place of probably my favourite place to grab a coffee in York. So if you want to know more, read on…..

Lets start with the faces of Stanley & Ramona, two wonderful women, everything is made by them, from your latte to your cake to your breakfast plate. They are super friendly and knowledgeable about their craft and you are always greeted with a smile. The place has such a welcoming and calming vibe, whether you go with friends or on your own, they’ve created an ambience that fits for every person and every occasion.

As you can see below the interior itself is a combination of blue and yellow tones which just works perfectly so vibrant and fresh. The thing I love the most is what I term as the drinks feature wall. This is where the coffee and tea options are detailed and what I like the most is the fact that any specials such as guest coffees and syrups can be simply added by chalk. It just gives this really cool laid back vibe (if that’s even possible from a bit of writing?). If you’re going for take out, Stanley & Ramona are also good to the environment using all recycle and biodegradable cups and straws.
IMG_6426

Moving onto the sweet treats, every time I visit Stanley & Ramona I don’t think I’ve had the same thing twice, this is because they are so experimental in the kitchen. These days I think this is so important to have various offerings and change them up often, even if you have a favourite, you don’t want it all the time because then you get bored, at least I do. Stanley & Ramona also cater for all, they normally always have gluten free, healthy and vegan choices as well as a good old decadent piece of cake or brownie! Some of my favourites have included their butternut squash loaf cake, which completely changed the game for me in terms of vegetable based cakes, chocolate orange cake, their mince pies which were a household favourite when I brought some home this christmas and their brownies are TO DIE FOR, think big chocolate chunks! They also offer a brunch menu, which holds some classics such as avo toast and homemade maple pecan granola and yoghurt. My most recent visit saw me pick up apple and cinnamon flapjack, banana and nutella muffins and a chocolate brownie. Each and every single choice had so many flavoursome tones running through them and none of them were heavy or over facing, the perfect portion that leaves you satisfied but ready to go back for more next time you’re passing.

Saving the best bean till last (my jokes are terrible I know), lets talk about the coffee! Stanley & Ramona use single origin coffee over using a blend which you find is used to make most chain shop coffees. To strip this down to basics, single origin coffee tends to be more expensive than a blend but they are of much better quality as all the beans come from one country. Their coffee is amazing, perfect drinking temperature and my go-to latte or flat white are created with the perfect texture; the taste? Smooth with subtle aromas and notes coming through to leave you feeling very content with your coffee. If you’ve got an eye for detail you’ll also notice from my pictures that the plates and cups & saucers are matched to the interior, this pleases all my aesthetic needs!

TlyYCvC0QLGuOM1XbsGDTQ

So if you add anything to your ‘to-do’ list this year, or want somewhere to try this weekend, then I highly recommend taking a visit here.

Have a great weekend, full of food and fun!

Alice x

The Ivy Comes To York

The Ivy Comes To York

The Ivy has long been a cult classic when it comes to dining in London, and it has often remained one of my favourite places to go when visiting the capital. So when the Ivy announced they were opening two restaurants up North I was SO excited!

Naturally, I’ve checked out breakfast and dinner because they’re my two favourite meal times, so let me tell you a bit about both.

So for breakfast we had some classic breakfast pastries to serve the table and then I went for their hot buttermilk pancakes which are layered with greek yoghurt and served with strawberries, blackberries, lemon balm with the most gorgeous strawberry sauce to drizzle over. They were divine! Oh my lord

IMG_5787                            Look at the colour of that strawb sauce

Perhaps an unusual breakfast tipple for a morning was the espresso martini (it is coffee though, so that makes it ok right!?), now let me tell you, espresso martini’s at the Ivy are one of my faves, purely because they are served with 3 infusions to choose from which this time were creme brûlée, hot cross bun and amaretto.

Moving onto dinner, obviously I had to have 3 courses (treat yo’self girl) so I had salmon to start which was served with rye soda bread, which was presented beautifully as you can see below! I had the daily special which was tuna with a mango salsa, this was perfection. Paired this with some broccoli, which they top with lemon rind and I love how well the flavours complimented each other so I’m definitely using that next time I’m cooking something up in the kitchen. Then of course for dessert I had the classic chocolate bombe which is just pure indulgence for anyone with a major sweet tooth like myself. What did I hydrate myself with? A couple Ivy Royale’s of course!

wg1I3Q8e94NmohH4yPQ            IMG_6261              WShmFF8NRgWD9bAZkkQ8dg

All in all I had a fabulous time, the service, as expected, was second to none, all staff were incredibly attentive and nothing is ever too much. Both times I have been the atmosphere has been wonderful and that is definitely complimented by the classic interior that Ivy executes so well.

So check it out yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

Alice x

fullsizeoutput_7357.jpeg

Raw Chocolate Candy Bars

Raw Chocolate Candy Bars

Too much indulgence left you feeling really sluggish and craving goodness? I FEEL YA. If you’re really really disciplined and focused you can maybe switch to eating healthily and “cut the crap” cold turkey. Unfortunately I am not that kinda girl and will get my sweet tooth fix in any way I can. SO, I had to trial and error a tonne of recipes until I created something I found that worked for me and didn’t make me feel so deprived!

Now don’t get me wrong, these bars are full of healthier foods, that are better than a chocolate bar but try not to eat them all in one go (guilty).  I find they’re the perfect treat that’s, sweet and somewhat nutty with a kick of chocolate. You may see a lot of coconut in here but do not be afraid if you’re no coconut lover, neither am I but trust me it works. I find the best place to get all these ingredients tend to be the “big” supermarkets like Sainsburys, their offering is much wider ranging. It’s also super easy and minimum messiness so really you can’t go wrong. So give these a go and let me know what you think!

What You’re Gonna Need:

1 Cup of Cashews

1 Cup of Chopped Dates – I like to use these out of easiness (chopping dates can be a very sticky business)

1/4 Cup of Coconut

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour – You can now get this in sainsbury’s!!! Failing that Holland & Barrett do too!

1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup – maybe add an extra tbsp or so to this if you would like a strong maple taste running through but no more, otherwise it won’t set that well!

1/2 Cup of Almond Butter – This is A LOT of almond butter so I buy Pip and Nut (which is free of palm oil) 1Kg tubs from Amazon as it’s more cost effective. You can find it here

1 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips – Dr Oetker now do Extra Dark Chocolate Chips at 70% – these are are great %, they set better than any other chocolate I’ve used in the past and don’t taste bitter at all, I find these at Sainburys. 

1 Tbsp of Melted Coconut Oil – I swear by this bad boy!  Using this means you don’t have to melt it either!

What You Need to Do:

  1. In a food processor blitz the cashews and dates until they look like this. P1010364
  2. In a bowl add the coconut, coconut flour, maple syrup and almond butter to the cashew and date mix. Stir it well and make sure everything is covered.
  3. Line a a baking tin with parchment and put the mixture into the tin. Pop this in the fridge and ideally leave over night. This allows the mixture to really set.O9p3uZZ3SyKpw9Y9QM8BYw
  4. In the morning, melt the chocolate chips and the oil and then combine together, this helps create a tempering effect and makes sure it sets and doesn’t melt when out the fridge! Get the tin with the mixture out the fridge and lather the chocolate over the top of mixture, then pop it back in for a couple hours until its set!

Choc

This should make around 16 pieces, a little goes a long way so remember that! But if you want to make big slices then I’d probably say about 10 or 12. Keep this refrigerated up to 2-3 weeks and you are good to go!

Not So Guilty Super Easy Sweet Treat, Enjoy!

Alice x

New Year, New Beginnings!

Hello!

Hopefully I’m not writing to absolutely no-one and someone is actually reading this, otherwise this is pretty embarrassing and somewhat awkward. ANYWAY, after needing a name change (long, boring story) I was also given the push to create (a really original) blog that followed my Instagram page in a little bit more detail.

So what will you find? Reviews, maybe sometimes just pictures, and also some recipes because I actually love spending time in the kitchen too! I hope you find this useful  whether that’s for restaurant inspo, ideas or to even read it to fill a time slot, who knows, but whatever it’s use, I hope you come along with me and see where it goes!

I guess I should probably use this post to introduce myself also, I’m Alice, originally from York, I spent four of the best years of my life in Newcastle for University, where I studied Business with Marketing Management for undergrad and Digital Marketing for my postgraduate masters. It was a crazy, fun, wild and not to mention 4 tough years and somehow I landed a first in both degrees (still in shock).

But over with the formalities, this is all about food; so…why food? For as long as I can remember I can hand on heart say I adore food in every which way; I’m pretty sure both family and friends could tell you some very interesting and embarrassing stories that involved me and food (nothing weird though). This “project” originally started as the case study for my PG dissertation and it was only then I realised how much I loved to share food adventures and asked myself why the hell I hadn’t done it sooner?!

So, heres to more food comas, indulgence and sweet tooth cravings.

Lets Eat!

A  x

IMG_5464.JPG

Me on my Masters Graduation Evening Meal at SIX before we were all let out on the streets of NCL as students for one last time xoxo