Queen of Bradgate, Leicester

Last night was my first visit to the Queen of Bradgate pub / restaurant in Leicester. My friend and I were looking for somewhere to eat that had cocktails available which this place has – added bonus. As soon as you walk in you are mesmerised by the decor and want to buy everything that’s hanging up on the wall…well I did anyway.

Everybody loves a happy hour don’t they? I tucked into two cocktails (2-4-1) but I can’t remember what they were called but they tasted incredible, it had Collins in the name so look out for that! For my main course I had the Chicken Fillet Burger with the most delicious fries but I was torn between the Wild Mushroom Risotto and the Marinated Chicken so the only way to decide was to eenie meanie, miney mo it. The Chicken Burger won of course and I live life with no regrets because it was exceptionally tasty.

Chicken Fillet Burger and Fries

I had another round of 2-4-1 cocktails before 8pm (cheap date alert) but this time I decided to try something completely different. The French Martini sounded really nice and I loved the art on top of the drink. I think they used a raspberry sauce to draw the pattern and I’d happily have it again. Happy tipsy customer.

Then came dessert! I wasn’t overly mad with the choices on the menu but I went with my favourite Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was a really nice pudding and I know you’ll probably think well it looks a little dry with no custard or ice cream – where is it? I’m not a huge ice cream fan to be honest so I would have preferred to have custard as an option. This wasn’t available so I opted for no ice cream, it was still really enjoyable and very very sticky.
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I would happily visit the Queen of Bradgate again because their menu offers something for everyone and it’s not badly priced either. The atmosphere was great and like I said above the decor is to die for. It’s very well put together and doesn’t look like they’ve purchased everything from a car boot. P.S. I want the stag head light that was on the wall near our table, it was stunning!

The Alphabet Gift Shop

The amount of times I’ve driven past the Alphabet Gift Shop and thought I need to go here and haven’t is uncountable. Yesterday I met with two friends for breakfast at the Lowercase Cafe (inside the Alphabet Gift Shop) and I was amazed as soon as I walked in. You are instantly taken aback by the unique decor and how modern it looks – it didn’t look like what I expected, it was so much better!

I love the rustic style of the cafe and it looks like a little cafe you’d see in an American film where everyone goes to study. It’s hard to believe you step outside in Burton-on-Trent because a lot of things are outdated in the town but this is the opposite. It is definitely something the town needs and will continue to benefit from.

It helps when the staff are friendly which they certainly were and there’s also a great selection on the breakfast menu for bargain prices and so much cake! You can’t really grumble at what this place has to offer. I was pleased to see green tea on the menu because I struggle to get it in many eateries or I end up paying silly prices for tea that costs a similar amount to normal tea. It isn’t a fancy tea so I’m not sure why it is bigged up to be one.

Despite the delicious temptations I decided to order the salmon, dill and poached eggs on muffins for my breakfast. I was not disappointed! The poached egg was cooked perfectly (better than mine any day), it was runny inside and not watery. I would definitely eat this again plus I had spinach as well so that was a nice bonus.

It would be nice to experience what else the cafe has to offer as I only took a peek at part of the menu. The cakes looked incredible but I decided to behave and the overall atmosphere was so positive with people of all ages smiling and having a nice time. This place might end up being a birthday treat for myself in February!

If you’re around in Burton during the Christmas period please do take some time to pop in for a drink and a nosy around the gift shop.

IMGE, a Turkish restaurant in Coalville

On Saturday I took a trip to Imge in Coalville for a meal before our show to see comedian Tom Allen. We have previously visited this restaurant but it was some time ago and I couldn’t remember the quality of the food.

When you first walk in you are greeted by various members of staff so it’s a nice welcoming. As soon as you sit down you’re asked for drinks – for me that’s too quick, I’d like to settle in a little first and take a look at the drinks menu. There’s a great selection of drinks both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Unfortunately I had to go with a lemonade as I was designated driver.

My starter was called ‘Martar’ and it was a plate full of mushrooms. You might think why on earth have you just had mushrooms – wait for it! It was a plate coated in a dreamy sauce (I can’t remember what it was called) and it made the mushrooms so soft and I could have eaten another one for my main course. I didn’t take a picture of this dish but when I visit again I certainly will.

For the main course I had ‘Imge Chicken’ which consists of a charcoal chicken breast in a white cheese sauce and vegetables with a small portion of rice. This was to die for. There were so many flavours within the dish, the chicken was extremely tender despite it being chargrilled. No crunchy veg which is always an absolute bonus. The sauce did however give me a little bit of stomach ache but I do have IBS so I put it down to me not being able to handle it.

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The atmosphere in the restaurant was great also due to the many families eating in and enjoying themselves. I would like to return again and maybe try something a little different but lamb will always be out of the question. My only critique would be about the staff, some of their body language came across like they were bored.

Please do take a visit! It’s definitely a must and it’s something different to try.

Doughnotts – Derby

I was asked if I would like to attend Doughnotts launch night on Wednesday 30th August, Sadler Gate, Derby! I had no idea what to expect – a part from doughnuts of course but I hadn’t heard of the company myself as I never venture to Nottingham. Thanks again for having me!

The front of Doughnotts in Sadler Gate, Derby

At first I felt a little awkward just walking into someone’s shop when they have no idea who I am and I have no idea who they are. This is where I let shyness take over and make me think I’ll be ignored – well I wasn’t. Megan introduced herself to me and made me feel extremely welcome, she explained what the night was about and gave me two freebie vouchers.

I wandered to the doughnut counter and immediately fell in love! Omnomnom. I had no idea which one to choose as my freebie. In the end after dribbling everywhere I decided to try the hazelnut one with chocolate in the middle – it was referred to as the Snickers doughnut. What an absolute treat that was (I want another one now). The chocolate was divine but to be honest the whole thing was incredible.

Amazingly heavenly chocolately doughnut – MUST HAVE!

I also love the inside and how simple the interior is. Personally I think it is really effective because Megan and Wade haven’t over done it, they’ve made something someone would like to sit in without feeling uncomfortable. Plus the fairy lights are really cute!

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Wade came over to speak to us to thank us for popping in but the pleasure was all mine. He spoke to a group of us about the business, the staff and the doughnuts and it was good to feel a part of that as well if that makes sense? You could really see the smiles and how proud Wade is of how far they’ve come and for me that’s what a successful business is about. Don’t put yourself first, put everyone else first and you succeed and then you go back to yourself with rewards.

I’d like to thank Doughnotts for allowing me to take a few extra doughnuts home for the family. They were opened instantly because they smell so good and are very well made. The dough is really soft and the fillings are not too overpowering. Also, a winner for vegans, some of the doughnuts in store are vegan friendly. I bet you’re taking a walk down there right now. Another reason why Doughnotts stand out because they’re catering for all.

The doughnuts below are Red Velvet, Death by Chocolate (story of my life) and a simple Lemon and Jam doughnut. I had the jam doughnut and if I’m being honest it did taste really nice but I wasn’t a huge fan of the jam. However, I would eat it again and probably again and maybe many more times.

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Thank you to Wade and Megan for such a lovely evening! I got to experience something new and I’m glad I know about this little store. On my next visit to Derby I will be sure to pop in and scoff my face. Good luck with the store and congratulations on selling out on your first day of opening.