Brighton: An autumnal feast at Food for Friends

 

Food For Friends

Last Wednesday was generally wet and miserable, I had to drive 45 minutes to hospital from work in the middle of the day for a 15 minute appointment, and had various dull things to deal with at work both before and after that too. Finally the evening rolled around and with it a dinner date with my friend Karina at Food for Friends (who were very good about me pushing back our reservation by half an hour at relatively short notice!) which made the day ten times better!

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Now Karina is a vegetarian, and has been since long before I’ve known her. She’s also lived in Brighton for as long as (if not longer!) than me and once we’d got in, sat down and been offered drinks she told me she’d never eaten there before! I was shocked, as I eat there at least two or three times a year and am not even a vegetarian (though my mum, and dad and his wife all are hence the frequent trips when they’re in town!) We decided to try out a selection of the mezze menu for starters, and after a bit of deliberation went for the Mirin marinated crispy tofu with sweet-chilli sauce, the Fresh fig, basil & ricotta salad with a honey mustard dressing, and the Goat’s cheese, sweet potato, and basil arancini served with relish. 20141015_191252

The arrancini were so delicious, with a crispy outer gorgeously creamy inside. From memory I think a version of these used to be on the main menu, so ordering two of the starter portions would make an idea main course. Each mezze choice is £4.50 each, or 3 for £12, so if you’re feeling particularly indecisive or just popping in for a light lunch with friends or colleagues then grabbing a selection to pick at would be ideal as it’s served from midday! The Salad was amazing too, although I can never remember if you’re meant to eat the skin of a fig or not (I did!) but the ricotta and pine nuts were delicious additions. The crispy tofu was nice, but could have done with a little more flavour I think.

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For our main courses I chose the Haloumi Burger, with portobello mushroom and grilled pepper in a brioche bun with triple cooked chips. I handed my mushroom over to Karina pronto (I don’t think I will ever like mushrooms!) but everything else was perfect. I am a huge gherkin fan (and not just because i’m pregnant!) so I love it when they come with a burger, but the the roasted red pepper added a tang of sweetness to the burger. I must also add the the slice of haloumi was much thicker than I expected it to be and I didn’t manage to finish the whole burger (I know, i’m ashamed of myself but also I really wanted a dessert!)

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Karina had the Roast potato Gnocchi with wild mushrooms and spinach in a tarragon and cream sauce. I tried half a gnocchi and it was awesome, perfectly cooked. The sauce was smooth and the tarragon didn’t overpower the other flavours either which I’ve experienced elsewhere.

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The piece de resistance was the assiette of Chocolate, which is a sharing dish with Chocolate meringue and chilli chocolate crisps, chocolate brownie, mousse white chocolate ice cream and molten chocolate pudding. It was DIVINE I tell you, I had to stop myself from licking the slate clean once we’d scooped up all we could with our spoons. I think the molten middle pudding was my favourite, but the brownie was also pretty special. It certainly went down a treat on instagram when I shared it!

 

As Karina was driving and I’m pregnant we stuck to soft drinks sadly, but my hot ginger beer had a little kick to it so that it almost tasted alcoholic! Karina had a strawberry, apple and elderflower juice which was so nice that I ordered one when I finished my first drink. When I was dining there for a friends hen do a couple of years ago I remember hitting up the cocktail menu with a bit of force, they have some really awesome concoctions, but do non alcoholic ones too!

As always the service was spot on, even with every table taken which is impressive in itself for a wet and windy Wednesday evening!

I’ve written about Food for friends before,  for afternoon tea and also here.

I was also really pleased to hear that Food for Friends is also launching a digital version of their sell-out cookbook soon, you can find more info about that here, and there are some recipes on their website to try out at home too. For a restaurant that has been around since before I was born (established in 1981!) it certainly knows how to keep up with the times!

Where to find Food for Friends:
17-18 Prince Albert Street
The Lanes, Brighton BN1 1HF

Tel: 01273 202310

My meal was subsidised but my opinions remains honest and unbiased.

Pumpkins Tepee’s & picnics

 

 

Like a lot of people it seems, autumn is my favourite season of the year.  The colours, the cooler weather, the darker evenings and the smells. Much as I like to enjoy autumn from inside the house with a nice smelling candle and a mug of cocoa, I like to be out exploring too. With a growing family this is even more exciting now that I get to trample through woods and kick leaves with a little person (and with 2 little people this time next year!)

After choosing our little pumpkin (we did contemplate buying a ginormous one and putting Athena in it for chuckles!) we headed into the woods via the local village shop for some sausages rolls, pork pies and nibbles.

 

We’ve been sent a lovely picnic basket with some Vita Coco goodies inside so we took the opportunity to find the most secluded spot we could find for a picnic after choosing our pumpkin for this year from the amazing array in Slindon, West Sussex.  When I was small we’d often go to Slindon for our pumpkin so it was lovely for me to be able to introduce my husband (who’s not local) and Athena to the joys of a locally grown pumpkin rather than picking one up from a display in a supermarket!

After a 15 minute walk (with Athena strapped to my back) we stopped to build a tepee! Okay, that’s not quite true… we actually stumbled across this one already assembled by some hard working wood dwellers (probably) so thought we’d borrow it to have our picnic next to. We ate our lunch in complete peace, completely hidden from the rest of the world in our little secluded spot. All we could hear were leave rustling in the wind and birds flitting about, it was perfect!

After we’d eaten and drunken our fill we let Athena lead the way and off she went charging through the woodland, stomping on leaves, picking up pine cones and throwing bits of flint stone around. She had a whale of a time, and if we didn’t look interested in everything she found she’d bring whatever it was right up to our faces for a proper investigation! It was the perfect autumnal Saturday.

Where is your favourite picnic spot?

You can find out more about VitaCoCo here, and thank you to them for the lovely hamper!

Dream bathroom inspiration

 

 

I have two bathrooms in my house, neither is particularly inspiring although if i’m honest as we’re in a rented property it’s not something that I’m too fussed about now. As bathrooms go they’re not too bad, with tiled floors and plenty of storage space. One has bath with a shower for hair rinsing, and the other has a double shower cubicle which I rarely use as I much prefer baths, in effect we have ‘his n hers’ bathrooms! However this doesn’t stop me from dreaming about what sort of bathroom I’d like in my dream home, when I eventually buy it, or even design it but sadly I don’t think I will ever be in a position to end up on Grand Designs! CP Hart are famed for their bespoke bathrooms, and I’d definitely be using them to design my bathroom if by some miraculous turn of events did end up on Grand Designs!

My ideal bathroom is a light in colour, preferably with a window overlooking a nice private garden to let in lots of sunshine in the day and moonlight in the evenings. Tiny mosaic tiles to surround the sink and as a border for the room would be perfect, an although I love the idea of a picture wall made from tiles I know I’d never be able to decide on exactly what to have!

 

A TV hidden in the wall would be great, so no more balancing my tablet on the laundry basket to watch shows in the bath. In fact a nice looking laundry basket would be lovely too! At the moment all my bits and bobs are lined up on a handy deep shelf fitted into our bathroom, but it looks so cluttered and I’d love to have everything hidden away but still easily accessible. If I had either of the storage solutions above then I would have a lot less dusting to do and bath times would be a lot more relaxed as I wouldn’t be overlooked by all the clutter!

So, tell me about your dream bathroom… and check out my bathroom inspiration pinterest board for some more of my favourite bath-related images!

This post is a partnered post, all words and opinions my own.