FOOD/ #HullFoodie …Yates

When the idea of #HullFoodie was first born, the intention was to showcase local eateries that were great places to eat/drink/be happy in Hull. I had thought that this would mean standalone cafes, bars and restaurants that could only be visited in my city. Whereas I would say that is still an important aim of the project, I think THE most important thing is to show support for businesses that want to support Hull, which sometimes may include bigger oraganisations. This is one of those times.*this pic is the right way up
I spent a lot of my my formative party years in Yates, but when I came home from working abroad it had closed and I was gutted. No more pub lunches with the girls, no more cheeky after work drinks, no more cheeky cocktails to signal the start of a great night out. Sob.

When I heard on the #hull grapevine it was making a comeback my ears perked up like a meerkat. When I got a message asking if I’d like to go to the opening, I felt like my excited teenage self again…true story! And I’m super pleased that my inner teen wasn’t disappointed.

“Are you hungry, would you like some canapés?” “Yes, that would be lovely thank you”These are my kinda canapés! Southern chicken wraps, burgers, fish and chips, filled Yorkshire pud and juicy sausage, there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t enjoy and wouldn’t consider ordering. I know people who can be quite snobby and critical when it comes to chain pub food, I’ve been amongst them on occasions admittedly, but everything we ate was full of flavour and good quality.

If that wasn’t yummy enough, we decided that we should try some of the gourmet fries…ya know, for research.This is comfort food heaven in a bowl! 

This is the perfect place to eat if you’re having a well deserved catch up with friends, Sunday brunch, maybe a bit sore from the night before! Haha. It’s pretty close to most of the city’s entertainment venues so I’d definitely stop in for a bite to eat before a gig or cinema date with Mr Alice. As yummy as the food is, for me this isn’t stuff  I could eat all the time as I gain weight really easily. You can sneak a peek at the full menu here.​Did I mentioned they also do cocktail making classes? Apparently, being a master cocktail making bartender was something of a childhood ambition of Courtney’s, so I made her dreams come true by shoving her behind the bar informing the barman “she’ll make them with you. er, please.”After that face of concentration we got to enjoy the fruits of her labour – look how fab they are!

One of the best thing about Yates is that they offer great deals on cocktails without compromising on quality. It’s a great way to enjoy your fave tipple without spending a bomb and compromising on a cool atmosphere. Who doesn’t want that?

Thanks for reading, sorry if you’re hungry now!

Stay stylish,

J 😘xx

FOOD/ #HullFoodie …Francesca’s

My blog makes it look like I’m forever going out to eat this massive meals doesn’t it? True, I do eat out a lot, but not (usually) for anything quite so indulgent…think I’ve solved the weight gain mystery right there! Haha.
Anyway. Mr Alice and I have wanted to try Francesca’s for a while so we popped in for an early dinner one Saturday night and combined it with a cinema trip. It turned out to be a great little date night combo.

Knowing what had been on the restaurant site before (a run down hotel with a slightly questionable looking nightclub) I wasn’t expecting it to look quite as rustic and lovely inside, the grey walled exterior doesn’t give much away. It was really chilled and the staff were pretty attentive (as we were there at 6pm there were only a handful of people in).
Starter – Salad caprese and garlic mushrooms I tried to go for the healthier option with a salad – everything tasted very fresh which is exactly what you want for Italian cuisine. Mr Alice’s mushrooms were as delicious as they looked too, obviously I had to test them to are sure it was ok for him to eat!

Mains – Taglatele con carne Again, had to check Mr Alice’s food was ok like a good wifey, and it most definitely was. For me this dish is a fusion of Italian meets Mexican, pasta meets fajita. Really different and yummy.
Chicken cacciatore Even thought this is a classic I’d never tried it, and it’s definitely a new Italian fave! (Not over pizza or anything, I’m not nuts. Haha.). I thought the combo of mash instead of a ‘firm’ potato accompaniment was unusual but it was really yummy and made the dish feel more comforting for the chilly weather.

Dessert – White chocolate semi fredo We didn’t intend to have dessert, but they sounded really good so in the interests of conducting a fully balanced review of the menu I decided that I should. It. Was. So. GOOD! And the respberry/blueberry garnish totally meant I had one of my 5 a day at least. The only critique we had was that the dessert portions were too small for £5.

Other than that we found it really good value – both of us had 3 courses and a drink and the final bill came to about £55. We definitely enjoyed ourselves and are planning to go back again soon. Even though we went as a date night I think it would be a great place to go with a group of friends or for a celeberation as there’s plenty of room for a little bit of noise not to massively facet anybody having a quiet evening.

Thanks for reading, sorry if I’ve made you  hungry!

Stay Stylish,

J 😘xx

FOOD/ #HullFoodie…The Board Room & The Hull Pie

So I’ve actually done 2 previous posts that have had #HullFoodie in the title, but this post is the first since we decided that it was going to become an official project. Yay! 

We wanted somewhere a bit quirky for our first proper outing, a bit different to where we’d host a typical blogger event. The Board Room is a one-of-a-kind venue in #Hull with a really simple concept: come in, sit down, play some games. And as you can see, we had plenty to choose from!

Board games are really great mindful activity that still allows you to be sociable, as so many mindfulactivities that are suggested are for people to do alone. Your mind is focussed on the game and just having fun with friends. Definitely something we all need sometimes! And at £3 for a 3 hour slot, there’s plenty of time to have a good giggle as we found out.

Although they served some really cool looking beers (in pretty cans, which is why I took a picture, but the fridge light meant they don’t look quite as eye catching. Sorry!) I stuck to a big ol’ mug of builders tea. 

Now technically (and weirdly, I guess, for a post that has food in the title) The Board Room don’t serve food. However they do accept deliveries from The Hull Pie just across the road, so that’s what we ate. I featured Pie in a previous post (which you can take a peek at here) and it’s something I enjoy having as a treat every so often. The poutine and sweet potato fries are among my fave sides, I don’t have a fave pie as there are too many to choose from!

I maintain that it’s difficult to get a decent shot of a pie inside a little box covered on gravy, but I’m sure someone out there can prove me wrong!)

This is the beer and brisket pie served with skin on fries, glazed carrots and meat gravy (there are veggie pies too). YUM. I followed it with a delicious half dark chocolate and cookie brownie (which are veggie and gluten free) and equally delicious. No pics as it disappeared rather quickly…oops…

This was a lovely evening to officially start the #HullFoodie movement, can’t wait to do the next one!

Stay stylish,

J 😘xx

FOOD/ #HullFoodie … Napoleons 

The second instalment of my #HullFoodie series comes with a rather cheeky twist – or stick, depending on how brave you’re feeling…that’s my attempt at a gambling pun, because I dined out in style with some of my best blogger gals at Napoleons Hull!

I mean this literally as well as figuratively, as the menu package I ate from is called Dine in style – drink on arrival, 3 course meal, £5 gaming chip and a gaming tutorial (or a refresher, if you want it). It’s not my first time at the casino, or taking advantage of this package, so I already knew that the food would be great* though it has been a while since my last visit.

*just as a little aside – last time I ate here, I enjoyed my dessert so much that I commissioned a version to be made for my wedding breakfast. If THAT’S not a recommendation then I don’t know what is!

Starter – smoked haddock, leek and cheese croquette on a tomato and chive salad. Bursting with flavour and leaving plenty of room for the next course.Main – rump of lamb served with pan fried gnocchi, peas, garlic jus and a side of vegetables. I’m such a fan of gnocchi but was initially a bit sceptical about pairing it with lamb, but it actually worked pretty well. A really filling and warming choice that filled me up but didn’t leave me feeling overstuffed and wanting to crash out in a tired heap.Dessert – cheese board with celery, fruit chutney and biscuits. My guilty pleasure of desserts, one I usually only allow myself at Christmas! (I’m also a HUGE fan of sweet things, especially after seeing everybody else’s choices). The chutney was delicious and worked really well with the cheeses; I didn’t eat the Brie as I’m not a fan but there were enough crackers for the cheeses I did eat which were all great choices.if you’d like a peak at what everybody ordered, search #napoleonsbloggersnight on Twitter and Instagram. Be warned, you’ll be drooling…

Now, on to the gambling! I played a few games when I was in Vegas last year but had forgotten virtually everything because I haven’t played them since, so having the refresher tutorial was really useful. We had this before dessert to give us a bit of time to relax between courses which was a nice change of pace to how meals normally flow. 

The staff talked us through Black Jack, Three Card Poker and Roulette and were really patient in answering our questions and going through parts again. Ash, our instructor, made the process really fun and got our competitive spirit going, so much so that we almost skipped dessert to get our game ‘oooon…I know, right!

We had hopes of winning big, particularly as one of our friends had visited the day before us and won big. Even more so as we had our lucky charm Ashton with us, who has won no less that FIVE holidays this year! Sadly her luck didn’t rub off on us at the tables and we lost it all on the Roulette wheel. We made it back on Black Jack…and then lost again. But we had a total giggle being part of the action! We all agreed that we are DEFINITELY coming back again soon, and for £22.95 for the dine in style package (£27.95 Friday & Saturday) it’s fantastic value for a night out.

Now I’ve got the casino bug back, I’m hoping a trip back with Mr Alice may help me to persuade him that going to Vegas again next year is a fabulous idea…

Stay stylish,

J 😘xx

FOOD/ #HullFoodie …The Mad Italian

You can never have too many good places to eat in a city, FACT. Some of my favourite pastimes include eating and chatting, so meals out with friends or Mr Alice feature frequently in my social calendar.

As we’re now firmly in countdown mode for Hull 2017 the #HullBloggers have decided to create a series called #HullFoodie to show off some of best places in town to eat, drink and be merry.

HannahHeather and I kicked this off in style when we were invited to sneak a peak at The Mad Italian menu before its official launch. Based on Newland avenue (one of my fave places) it fits in perfectly with a developing trend of restaurants in the same area that really commit to their food genre through the decor. When you walk in there’s a unmistakeable rustic, quirky Italian feel – lots of wood, colour washing, bare bulbs and a beautiful mural of the town where the owner grew up in old Italy.Moving on to the most important but now…the food. Yay! At the back of the restaurant is a deli-style antipasti station so you can pick exactly what you want to nibble on with a glass of vino. If you’re having a full meal, my advice would be to have this OR a starter so that you don’t feel overstuffed. As you can see in this next shot I’m speaking from experience, we had both and were very full. But, when it’s tasty AND pretty healthy that’s ok! Although we had this delicious haul as a starter it would also be a great lunch or something to pick at over a bottle of wine with the girls on a sunny bank holiday afternoon.This food is soooo insta-worthy!My main course, lobster ravioli, didn’t disappoint. Beautifully presented and garnished with yummy olives and tomatoes. There’s a lot of lobster meat in the ravioli as well as shelled bit on top so amazing value for money, and the creamy sauce was perfect with it. This dish behind is Hannah’s Pollo a la crema which was a beautiful rich sauce that I know Mr Alice would adore.Dessert. Oooooohhhhhh myyyyyy. Being the undececsive person that I am, it was super helpful that the owner put together some suggestions of dishes with (home made) ice cream accompaniments he thought we’d like. We did an ‘eat a bit and pass it left’ thing so we got to try errrrrthang…

Almond/marzipan biscuit with Madagascan vanilla ice cream (NB: the owner used to make 200 of these a day for Harrod’s back in the day). Gooey, cookie-like texture of the biscuit and really rich flavours from both.lemon sponge and chocolate mousse flan with chocolate, orange and chilli ice cream. The milk chocolate offset the darker chocolate in the ice cream, and the chilli came in as an unexpected warmness at the end.meringue, cream and profiterole tower (I can’t remember it’s actual name!) with fresh strawberry ice cream. The meringue was chewy and exactly as I like it, pairing it with something fruity (there were strawberry pieces in it too) gave it a kind of Eton mess feel which is one of all time faves.We didn’t have room for after dinner coffee or tipples this time; frankly I’m completely stuffed again just looking at the pictures! We were happy girlies when we rolled ourselves home for sure.

The final thing I’ll mention is cost. Based on the menus we saw everything is really reasonable and appropriate for the area, and portions sizes are good (great for people like me with a big appetite). Plus, there’s a set menu in the works that promises to offer the students and bargain hunters an amazing deal! You can keep up to date with menu options and opening deets on Twitter and Instagram.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find me a snack…hehe.

Stay stylish (not hungry)

J😘 xx