5 March 2017

Italian Brunch at Rosemarino – Bristol

Nothing beats a brunch-fuelled morning in Bristol. After a busy week I love waking up on Saturdays and spending my morning catching up with friends, indulging in something yummy for breakfast and sipping my coffee a little slower than usual.




Hidden among the idyllic Clifton houses is a little Italian restaurant called Rosemarino. It's unpretentious, homely and contemporary, and it's the perfect place to begin a slow, happy Saturday.


Jess was visiting a couple of weekends ago and we had a lot to catch up on. It was so nice to see her – the last time was when we were in New York! – exchange stories and reflect on the changes in our lives over the past year. Food and friends = perfect Saturday. 


Eggs benedict is a firm favourite of mine, but I often avoid it as most places serve it with ham and I prefer bacon. Rosemarino's take on this classic dish, however, involved speck, which is utterly delicious, so I had to have it.


Jess had the mushrooms on focaccia – would you just look at that sauce? Even if you hate mushrooms, let's just pretend for a minute that you don't because DAMN.

Rosemarino has the answer to all life's problems, I'm sure of it. Or maybe that's just how I feel after eating their food. Either way, I love the place. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed and the food delicious and affordable. It's also pretty photogenic. What more could a girl ask for?


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14 February 2017

A Five-Year-Old's Valentine's Day

Flowers, chocolates, Krispy Kremes and a cheesy card… it’s 100% my thing. Even when I’m single, even when I don’t feel anything for anyone in particular, I love Valentine’s Day. I’ll tell you why.

My story begins on the 14th February 1998. It was a Saturday and I was in my parents’ bedroom when a card was delivered – a card for me! It was from my neighbour and school friend. I was besotted with him and even though he didn’t sign his name I knew it was from him. He had sellotaped a red-foiled chocolate heart to the inside of the card.

“It’s from him. It’s definitely from him,” I said.
“How do you know?” my mum said.
“Because he gave our teacher the same chocolate heart yesterday!”

I had observed that, and even been slightly jealous of our teacher. Now I was beaming.

He had signed it with a big question mark. Guess who?

Then, my sister, Emily, took me to the shop to buy a card and bag of white mice. I hid behind a nearby wall while she posted it through his letterbox, we ran home and it was never spoken of again.


All Valentine’s days since that one in 1998 have been like Christmas. I get an exciting, unexpected, magical feeling of the unknown.

What is the point in Valentine’s Day? Growing up I believed it to be a chance to tell the person you like that you like them without revealing your identity. That was the most exciting part of my first Valentine – the gamble of sending my reply to the right person. Wouldn’t you be thrilled to receive an anonymous love note through your letterbox today?

There are more upfront ways of telling someone you like them, but where’s the fun in that? Even after 36 years of marriage my left-handed dad writes his card to my mum with his right hand, and leaves it by the front door as if delivered by a secret admirer.

There are many other Valentine’s days I could recall, but this was the best, and the precedent for all the rest. I sound like a total dreamer, but it makes me glad I’ll never be someone who doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day. Aren’t there worse things to be cynical about?



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31 January 2017

The Ox - Clifton, Bristol

Listen up guys and gals – I have some serious news to share. Ok, not serious serious, but seriously good. I have legit just had the best steak of my life. So great it was, that instead of lying down on my sofa with my yuyu and fluffy blanket to soothe the food baby that's growing inside of me, I'm writing this, hot off the press. I am having utterly ridiculous, out-of-this-world, best-steak-ever kind of feels right now. I don't think I'll enjoy any other food ever again.


You might have heard of The Ox if you're from my neck of the woods. If not, it's basically a top notch steak restaurant that opened in Clifton late 2015 (correct me if I'm wrong!) They also serve the "best Sunday roast in Clifton" so, naturally, it's been on my list of places to eat since it opened. A severe case of January blues forced me to get my bum into gear and down to the Clifton restaurant, and, I have to say, it cured my sadness. So, I guess you could say I'll never go vegan.


From start to finish I could not fault my visit to The Ox. The staff were exceptionally welcoming, friendly, professionally trained and knowledgeable about the menu. They recommended what wine to have with which steak, and how best each steak is cooked and served. And, as you can see, the decor was divine, so that made my time there even more enjoyable.


Like every time I visit a restaurant for the first time, I spent most of the day eyeing up the menu. In the end I always go back to what catches my eye first, and this time it was the fillet steak.
Our waitress recommended this to be cooked medium-rare, and it was utter perfection. I had it with their green peppercorn sauce which was incredible, but even on its own the steak was unreal.

I got coerced into ordering dessert, too. I chose the PX rum & raisin affogato, expecting it to come with a shot of espresso (as standard, right?) but it was just the sherry. This turned out to be extraordinarily delicious. Dispersed in the ice cream were these huge raisins, and, with each spoonful, came the warming aftertaste of the sherry. YUM.

Before my visit to The Ox I hadn't been much of a steak person, but now I totally get it. Good quality, responsibly-sourced meat served to this standard is something I wholeheartedly believe in. I felt full and happy – and isn't that exactly how you should at the end of a meal? 

A little on the pricier side, The Ox is a special treat kind of restaurant - for me, anyway! Still, I can't wait to go back again and try some of their other dishes (maybe on my birthday?). Have you been to The Ox? What would you recommend?

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