FOOD/ My top #HullFoodie hangouts (Season 2, 2018)

I can’t believe we’re ANOTHER month down on 2018 already! As well as working hard on my 5 Things for 2018 I’ve been busy curating part 2 of my #HullFoodie hangouts (you can remind yourself of part 1 here) some of them are old faves revisited, some are places I’ve only just gotten round to trying. Prepare to be hungry…

Thieving Harrys

(Photos by Emma)

If you want a brunch that’s yummy and suitably basic bitch enough for the ‘gram, TH is the place. It’s just across the way from where I’ve been living for the past few months but I’d never managed to make it in before a girl’s trip one sunny Saturday morning. Since I’ve tried a few different things on the menu – my top pick is these delicious pancakes.

Francesca’s

I’ve previously done two reviews about this place (the most recent one is here) and tried a variety of their menu – pizza, pasta, salad, sides, its all delicious. They’re often running special offers too so you can either save money or (as I do) order more food for the same price.

Millhouse

This place is a long standing favourite – it’s usually where we spend our anniversary or treat ourselves to a ‘proper’ Sunday lunch. The food here is a la carte and priced accordingly, though it’s still fairly reasonably and very tasty indeed. The decor is lovely and the drinks selection is good too, the only slight quibble I have is that the service can occasionally be a bit haphazard.

Craft and dough

(image credit: Instagram tag)

More pizza, you say? Oh yes, and this one is quite special… They’re a whole metre long! In a great location on Newland avenue you can bag a delicious doughy treat (they do half metre sizes too, which are still pretty epic) yummy cocktails and a round of beer pong if you fancy it. These beauties even bested me, which NEVER happens when pizza is involved, but they make a great lunch with a bit of salad the following day.

Tapasya

If you want fine dining with a twist, Tapasya is where you need to be. I visited in March and sampled a variety of their Asian cuisine (You can read about my recent visit here) which was amazing quality. If you think you’re a connoisseur of Indian food, you need to give this place a visit for the whole experience. I can’t wait to go back with the Mr.

thanks for reading,

J xx


FOOD / #HullFoodie … Tapasya*

Think you’re an Indian food connoisseur? Think again. Unless you’ve tried fine dining Asian style, you’ve only tasted the tip of the iceberg!

I was recently invited (along with some of my best girls) to try out the brand new menu at Tapasya Beverley Road, created by their brand new chef.

This is restaurant I used to pass every single day on my way to work since it opened a few years ago – I always thought it looked beautiful (and smelled Devine) and vowed I’d give it a try one date night, but never got round to it. So a girly night out it was!

The restaurant has lots of beautiful and ornate touches – from the floating flowers and tea lights to sultry dark wood finishes and sparkling chandeliers the scene it set for class (and of course, great shots for the ‘gram).

As well as a cloakroom (classy) and car check-in (high-tech and comfortingly secure) there’s a ridiculously well stocked bar – whatever your tipple of choice is you’re likely to be in luck; however I was driving so no alcohol for me this time. I’m not a beer drinker but I opted for a non-alcoholic Cobra…a gal’s gotta get into the spirit!

We kicked things off with a cheeky amuse bouche – vegetable samosa with tamarind dressing encased in the most delicately crunchy and golden pastry I’ve ever eaten (I’m a prolific lover of pie, so I’ve tried a few!)

Starter – Purani Dheli Ki Aloo Tikki

I’m gonna skip to the good bit – it tasted as good as it looks! Cumin and potato cakes wrapped around moorish soft cheese drizzled with tasty chutney. This is an amazing combo of comfort food with fine dining. For me, it doesn’t get much better.

Main course – First class railway lamb curry

I ordered this purely because it has an interesting colonial heritage behind it – this dish is served on first class railways throughout India and used to be pretty spicy; until a British official found it too hot and asked for it to be toned down. That’s pretty much talking my language! I adore food that’s rich in flavour but struggle with food that’s too spicy.

I was really surprised at the presentation of this dish when it arrived, it looks more like a posh Sunday lunch than a curry. The sauce is in the little jug at the back of the plate (which made a great Boomerang for my Insta-story. Of course.) and was the perfect combination of mild and flavoursome without being ridiculously on the creamy side. Absolutely perfect.

On the side – all the things

That’s the only way to describe it – can’t decide? Just order it all to share out family style! As well as the Saag Makai (creamy spinach and corn. If you like Saag Aloo, you’ll enjoy this) and Dal Tadka (yellow lentils; a house speciality) pictured we had a selection of naan breads and basmati rice. Aside from saying it all tasted good (may sound like a cop out but true story) everything complemented my main course, and everyone else’s, perfectly.

To finish – Kala Jamun

These ‘mini oodles’ of reduced milk soaked in sugar syrup were the perfect way to round off a beautiful meal – dusted with a coconut and served with creamy vanilla pod ice cream, the portion is big enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without being sickly.

I’ve not had the best experience with Asian-inspired desserts in the past, so I’m pleased that I’ve been introduced to some different (and wickedly delish) options on Tapasya’s menu.

As you may have gathered, my overall verdict is that I really rate this menu! There’s plenty of choice for carnivores and veggies to enjoy, the menu is pretty inclusive so I think even those who would say they don’t like curry would find something they’d really enjoy. It’s just great food! The price point makes it somewhere you may not be able to head every weekend – but if you’re looking for a fine dining experience in East Yorkshire, this is somewhere you should plant firmly on your radar.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


FOOD/ #HullFoodie … Francesca’s (2018)

Happy March to you all – wow; we’re on chapter 3 of 2018 already…I don’t know about you, but I’m ready! Kicking of the month with one of my most favourite things in the world: FOOD.

Myself and the Mr visited Francesca’s on a sunny Saturday afternoon (for what turned out to be a ore-celebratory meal – more on that another time) as part of a Groupon deal given to us by my younger brother for Christmas. We hadn’t visited for a little while (you can read my previous review post here) but we really enjoyed it last time so we already knew the food was nice.

The deal we had was a starter and main course for two for £19.95, which is amazing value even for Hull. The rest of the City clearly agree with me, because the restaurant was pretty full during our lunchtime visit! What I was most impressed by is that the restaurant had taken time to produce a dedicated menu for those using the Groupon voucher – it made the whole process a bit less awkward as we didn’t have to try and work out what was included or ask loads of questions of thenstaff that made us sound really cheap. The sides options and prices were also included, as well as the wine list. So far, so,good.

To accompany my glass of vino (upgraded from a small to medium as it was only 50p more, I’m such a sucker for an upgrade) I started with garlic mushrooms on sourdough toast – super flavoursome, tasty and not too filling before the main event. The Mr had wonderfully fresh and delicious bruschetta.

I wondered if the mains may be smaller or come without any usual accompaniments (the offer allowed dishes up to the value of £13.95) but as you can see this wasn’t the case! I ordered my absolutely favourite, pizza, topped with goats cheese, veggies and a generous helping of rocket consider myself quite the pizza connoisseur , and I really enjoyed this one. The based was very soft and doughy but on the thinner side which was an unusual combo, but one I’d definitely have again very soon. The Mr went with spinach and ricotta cannelloni which was a good size, packed with filling and im told hit the spot rather nicely. We. Ordered a couple of sides too – a salad and chunky chips, which for £2.95 each were fantastic portion sizes. The chips were lovely and golden on the outside with a fluffy centre, as they should be (the lady sitting behind felt the need to lean over and proclaim they were the best she’d ever had) and the salad was well presented and had lots of ingredients. I stole the olives and popped on my pizza; they made the perfect addition.

Not gonna lie though; all the food got the best of me. I ended up with no dessert and taking most of the pizza home in a doggy bag! But that meant I got to enjoy it again for dinner, so every cloud.

The food was definitely as good as the last we visited as full paying customers, the quality and size was not compromised on which was very impressive. The extra items we ordered (2 sides and wine) came to just short of £10, so they weren’t inflated to compensate for the cheaper cost of the vouchers. I’d highly recommend and am looking forward to going back already.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


FOOD/ My top #HullFoodie hangouts (Season 1, 2018)


Food will ALWAYS remain one of my life’s passions – for me it’s a great way to be sociable and gain enjoyment from life.

For those of you that live in the Hull area or fancy coming up for a visit, I’m sharing some of my favourite places to go throughout 2018 – there’ll be a post every quarter featuring different places, so by the end of it you should have a directory of great recommendations!

Hitchcock’s

An “oldy but goody” this is a cult institution of our fair city! Based inside a converted house just off High Street with shabby-style decor, this is a vegetarian restaurant that packs a punch. Don’t let the lack of meat put you off – I promise you will not miss it!

Each evening is a different themed cuisine, which is chosen by the first table to make a booking for that date. A sharing starter will be served to the table, followed by a buffet main course and dessert (desserts are usually the same on any evening). This comes in at around £20 per person and includes after dinner tea/coffee. They also allow you to bring your own alcohol for a small corkage fee.

My best advice: pace yourself. They serve food kind of late (starters coming out towards 9pm) so make sure you have a late afternoon snack. Oh, and don’t make plans to go out drinking afterwards; you won’t make it that far.

El Toro

A few tapas joints have popped up in the city over the past couple of years, however I think this one is the best in terms of quality and value for money. The location down Newland Avenue also makes it great to enjoy some really cool bars before if afterwards.

There’s a very decent selection of dishes on the menu that are really nicely presented, as well as being pretty big in size. This place is ideal to enjoy either enjoy a light meal during the day or as part of a night out, or something more heavy is this is the main event.

Nibble

This place is small but mighty – if you’re in the marina/ Humber Street area and want a good place to go for brekkie or lunch, come here.

They can make pretty much make any kind of sandwhich in most breaded forms; they’re definitely not the cheapest but they are yummy. During colder months they also offer delicious home made soups which are a nice alternative. If you’re eating in there’s some great weekly specials to choose from and they regularly take requests from customers, including me! The picture above is a special burger they created at my suggestion, which became one of their most highly requested specials of 2017.

The Brain Jar

If you like food that’s hearty and comforting (particularly pizza) and cocktails, this is the place for you. It’s a hipster joint located very close to many of the city centre’s main bars that offers delicious food at decent value alongside pretty much any kind of alcohol you’d want. It makes for a really nice low key lunch/dinner spot and somewhere that’s definitely become a firm favourite of mine over the past few months.

I hope you’ve found one or two places to try out from this post, I look forward to sharing more great places over the coming months.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


LIFESTYLE/ Happy New Year! 5 things for 2018

A very happy New Year to you all! I sincerely hope that 2018 continues to bring you joy and happiness, as well as presents you with some surprises and challenges to bring you even more. To kick off the new year I thought I would share my top five goals for the year ahead – they vary between the general and specific, the superficial and the real, nevertheless they’re all pretty important to me: 

Find a new home 🏡

We sold our house back in September and just haven’t one that’s felt like “home” to us yet, as well as ticked all our boxes (and there aren’t that many to tick, which it makes it more frustrating). However, we are going into the year hopeful that the right house is out there waiting for us.

Smash my new job 💻

I will be starting a new job imminently by the time you read this, eek! I don’t mention work very often on my blog as I’m very keen to keep the two separate, but I’m very excited about this new opportunity. It gives me a chance to progress along my new career path, develop new skills and take on some new challenges, which I’m so down for.

Get back to my happy weight ⚖️

Personal and professional factors have contributed to a rather large weight gain over the past couple of years, which is disappointing given that I slogged my guts out for four years trying to shift it in the first place (and another three years keeping it off). The good thing here is that I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again and feel like my life is turning a much more positive corner to allow change to happen.

Have eyebrows on fleek 💉

I’ve been self conscious about my brows for years now – this is down to my teenage self over plucking as it was the 90s (nobody told you how to do these things right) and they never really recovered. So I’ve taken the leap and decided to get them tattooed; this is a pretty big deal considering that I’m petrified of needles (I usually feel physically sick at the thought of them) but I’m trying to be brave and focus on how much better I will feel when they’re done.

See more of the UK 🇬🇧

I’ve been thinking a lot about my next travel destinations over the past few weeks, and have realised that I’m very poorly travelled around my home country. I’ve decided to change me travel goals and make exploring some UK cities a top priority; this may work well considering that I’ll be making a couple of big purchases this year (a house and a car) so somewhere far flung isn’t that achievable. I still plan to go abroad too but probably somewhere closer to home, still somewhere that I haven’t been before.

So those are my main priorities for the year – I’m sure as things happen towards achieving each goal I will put up som related posts – hopefully this means there’ll be more travel and lifestyle content in 2018, as well as getting back to my number one passion (and the reason I started blogging int he first place) fashion. Hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 6: Cheese! Ideas for your festive cheeseboard

My name is Jenny and I’m a cheese-o-holic.

I, much the same as many other people, enjoy a cheeky cheeeboard at #christmas time. I use it as an opportunity to try new flavours and have something different to the everyday, and here I’m sharing my top three recommendations of cheeses to try for 2017…

Caramelised onion & Rioja cheddar, The Cheshire Cheese Company

Cheese and wine are always paired together, I’m known for being partial to the odd glass of red soooo…this was another purchase from my visit to the Great British Food Festival earlier this year, and its one I’ll likely be repeating. This is a mature cheddar and the wine notes give it a little bit of extra body and depth. A little bit goes a long way so it’ll last through a good portion of December (or shared at a dinner party)
ASDA Wensleydale with chocolate & orange and Christmas tree-shaped Applewood.

It’s cheese shaped as a frickin’ Christmas tree!! Even if it wouldn’t have been Applewood, which is one of my faves, I probably still would’ve bought it for that reason alone. If you like smoky flavours then this could be the cheddar for you.

 I’d heard ASDA were launching a chocolate orange cheese so I actively sought this one during the weekly food shop. I really like Wensleydale anyway (usually with cranberries, which is also pretty christmassey) but I found this one extra creamy. I suspected I’d like this one as I enjoy a nice sweet/savoury combo.

ASDA usually do slay the game with their festive cheese selection but this year they seem to have upped the ante with varieties and value for money, these two were both £1 each.

My top cheeseboard tip is to serve oatcakes instead of crackers. They’re pretty light and buttery in texture so offsets the cheese really nicely. My preferred brand is Nairns.

To all the cheese lovers reading this – enjoy, and you’re welcome!

J xx


BLOGMAS day 4: Sweet treats perfect for the holiday season

Candles – Candy cane forest and Christmas cookie by Yankee Candle

Being festive is about eating all the food…or is that just me? Either way, I’ve got some great recommendations of treats you can pick up to help get into the festive mood…

White chocolate and raspberry Christmas trees, Marks & Spencer

Be warned, these little treats are big on taste and are very rich indeed! The white chocolate layer underneath the ‘baubles’ is melt in the mouth creamy and pairs perfectly with the tart raspberry.

These are great for pairing with after dinner coffee/tea or as part of a buffet

Red velvet mini Santa hat cupcakes, Marks & Spencer

Cake lovers will adore these, and not just because they look super cute! The cake itself is lovely and moist, and the cream cheese topping gives it that signature cupcake feel and taste. Nom. These would also be great with after dinner tea/coffee, and they would also be a great alternative for kids to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Rich traditional brownies by Northern Brownies*

These are pretty big in size but they’re also very chocolatey so I’d recommend sharing, don’t try to be a hero! For me this is the ideal brownie consistency – smooth crunchy outer with gooey middle. Yassss.

Sticky toffee pudding and Chocolate orange sponge, White Lace Cakery

These puddings are perfect for Christmas Day dessert! I actually tried them both earlier this year at the Great British Food Festival and was very impressed – sticky toffee is one of the Mr’s all-time fave desserts and he said this is one of the best he’s had for a long time.

The sponge is wonderfully moist, the ‘sauce to sponge ratio’ is perfect and they are a great size (not to big, not too smal) to round off a delicious meal.

Hope this helps you find some great ideas for those festive food occasions!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS day 3:Old House Hull (2017)

I thought since I’m posting this #blogmas entry on a Sunday, a #sundaylunch post was quite appropriate!

I last posted about Old House in April 2016 (read the post here) when I went for an impromptu date night with the Mr, so we already knew the food was yummy.


This is lovely little gastro pub based in an old converted shop and looks very traditional yet modern like somewhere you’d have to drive out of town to enjoy, so it’s a real gem to have in such a central location. Pictures on the wall show that the street it’s on hasn’t changed a bit and still has lots of Hull-oh charm.

There is a traditional set Sunday lunch menu to choose from which is great value for money for 2 or 3 courses (and looked epic) however we ordered from the regular menu.

We were given a complimentary ‘pre-starter’ of warm bread and infused butter (which during our visit was smoked garlic) lovely way to start the dining experience before the main event.

Starters

The Mr chose the soup of the day which was Leek and Potato (full on winter warmer food). Unusually it had a slightly fragrant taste to it but was lovely.

I wanted a starter but didn’t fancy anything from this section so chose mac and cheese from the side dishes. It was yummy and very warming, so many places in the UK can’t do this dish well so I’m delighted that I can get this right on my doorstep.

Mains

I chose the game of the day, which was rabbit encase in a pasty served with carrots,  champ mash and gravy. So good! The herby-ness of the mash and carrots work well with dark meat. The pastry was lovely and light and, most important, not burnt.

The Mr went for the Wagyu beef pie served with garden peas and creamy mash. Looking back at my previous post he had a version of this on our last visit so it must be good! The pastry was thick and rich, working nicely with the dark meat and smooth mash.

On the side

We shared a portion of truffle and Parmesan fries – on a recent trip to The Ivy we had these and loved them so wanted to treat ourselves. They were just as delicious, and I liked that the cheese was freshly grated over the top rather than baked in, but they just wouldn’t fit into our very full tummies so we had them wrapped up to go. Heated in the oven that evening and they were still delish.

Old House is in a great location in Hull city centre – on a side street in the Old Town, it’s really close to pubs/bars as part of an afternoon/evening out, its very close to local tourist attractions and museums, and it’s not too far from shops to pop in for a spot of lunch/dinner when getting you Christmas shop on.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow,

J xx


2017 Week 2- developing a plan to take over the world, one post at a time…and an OOTD fail (kinda)


I decided to try and tackle my lack of confidence and blogging mojo this week, for which I turned to Courtney. As you may have read in some of posts in 2016, Courtney and I founded the Hull Foodie project as an offshoot of the Hull Bloggers collective that we’re both actively involved in. We’ve really enjoyed what we’ve done with us so far, but have decided that we want to up the ante in 2017 – try more places, promote more local businesses and encourage people to jump on board with us. 

Naturally food was involved in our meeting , to talk about it and not chow down may have been a bit torturous! We headed to Furley & co where we had had Philly cheese steak sandwiches and Haloumi fries with sweet chilli dip, yummy. 

We’re still talking about the finer details so there’s no gossip we can spill yet, but I promise we will when we can! It was great to get some creative juices flowing and actually talk through ideas I’d had in my head with someone who could either tell me they were great or they sucked (thankfully Courtney and I are on the same page so it was more of the former) which started to take care of the blogging mojo issue. Jumper Missy Empire/ Jeans Top Shop (Jamie)/ OTK boots EGO

Th second issue of self confidence proved it was going to be a little tougher to crack. 

I’d decided that I wanted to try and shoot some OOTD pics on our outing, which for various reasons didn’t really turn out as I hoped (hence me looking downcast) which definitely dented my confidence a teeny bit more. I know that most people have days where they don’t feel that great about themselves, it’s just frustrating having more bad days than good at the moment. But I’ll keep trying to dress up and show up, and hopefully I’ll get there soon.

Stay Sylish, 

J 😘xx


FESTIVE, FOOD & FUN/ Cake, coffee and Christmas crafts 

It’s important to take time our from the pressures of life to enjoy some time with friends or do activities that help you relax and have fun. Well, add that to a gingerbread latte and selection of sweet treats, and that’s exactly how I spent an evening last week!

Myself and some of my blogger baes were invited to join craft club at Lydia’s, a cute and quirky cafe in the Newland Avenue area of Hull that I’ve been itching to visit for quite a while.

For a little place, they offer their customers a LOT! Pretty much every kind of hot drink you could want, including those you didn’t know you wanted. London Fog, anyone? 

There’s a really awesome blend of contemporary meets traditional throughout everything. The tables are decorated with old hand written letters and posters, and tea is served in flowery china cups (but in a dope-ass glass tea pot). Classics like shortbread have been mixed up with white chocolate and lime topping (you need to try before you judge, it tastes amazing) and cupcakes filled with lemon meringue…mind (and tastebuds) blown. They post some of their fabulous creations on their Instagram which is definitely worth a follow if you’re a foodie like me.

Never mind the big chains; their pumpkin and gingerbread lattes are delicious, but come with the satisfaction of supporting a local business that has fast become a hub for the local community.

And so we move to crafts. Craft club is just one of the many, many things that lovely Lydia’s offer to help engage customers. They also run film afternoons, language clubs, knitting clubs and baby and me group amongst others. Check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds for future events and times. To attend it cost £5* which covers the cost of a drink and cake, crafts are kindly provided by one of the group.

Cards on the table: I have never seen myself being good at crafty things. My creativity stays very much in my head on on a page sadly, but I was assured by the crafty regulars that it would be easy and look good when finished. We had lots of fun chatting, laughing and generally taking our minds off life’s little stresses, and managed to make some cute Christmas decorations in between.

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty pleased with the end result! It’s currently hung up proudly in my porch.

Lydia also asked us to take part in an extra special project – which was to design a decoration to hang from one of the trees near the cafe (this is replacing a really lovely poppy display that has been on every single tree down the road for the last couple of months). As you can see, we even managed to get in a cheeky nod to #HullFoodie and #HullBloggers!

I enjoyed myself so. I have that I actually brought some bits and pieces home to create some snowman baubles, but they haven’t quite turned out as well so nompictures for now!

The moral of the of post is definitely this – get out, find something fun to enjoy with your friend, and enjoy cake. Cake is ALWAYS a good idea.

Stay Stylish (and try getting yo’ craft on),

J😘xx