Giggling Squid Christmas Menu 2017

It’s that time of year again, time to sample Brighton’s festive food offerings, starting with a favourite restaurant of mine, Giggling Squid. I love the idea of Thai Food for Christmas as it’s just something different – certainly not a whiff of turkey and stuffing here! Their Christmas Menu came out on 13th November so we headed down to the Hove restaurant to give it a whirl. The Christmas Menu is at both lunch and evening times and is a three-course set menu priced at £20.95 at lunchtime or £29.95 in the evening, this also comes with a glass of prosecco.

Last year we tried the Christmas Menu at the Brighton Giggling Squid but as this year we were with Violet, the Hove branch is so much more accessible for pushchairs as it’s all on one level! Plus eating out at lunchtime is so much easier these days too. How times change! The restaurant has natural rustic feel which is authentically Thai, it was actually really busy when we arrived I managed to snap the above photo right at the end of our meal at a rare quiet moment.

When we arrived there seem to be quite a bit of confusion over the menu, the staff did not seem to know much about the Christmas menu as it had only just launched so excuse some of the dishes are not from the ‘official’ Christmas menu, this can be seen online here.

Of course, all good Thai meals should start with a giant bowl of prawn crackers. The best part? V is allergic to shellfish so can’t have any! Win.

For starters, I had the Thai Grilled Aubergine which on the menu says it comes with a fresh, tangy chilli sauce, that should read ‘seriously spicy!’ sauce, even the waiter who was Thai himself said he struggled to eat this one. I so actually love spicy foods though – but it did put me to my limits!

V went for the Corn Fritters with Sweet Chilli Sauce, a firm favourite of ours. Deliciously Thai, something I would usually always order myself.

Our main courses actually arrived at the same time as starters, V going for the classic Pad Thai with tofu – which was delicious (I wanted to steal it all, basically I had food envy most of this meal)

I went for the Cashew Nut Stir Fry with rice – which sadly, I thought was pretty bland and certainly not special enough for Christmas lunch.

Onto the deserts, the Christmas offers sound rather delicious, with options such as Prosecco and Muddled Berry Cheesecake, Honeycomb Semi-Freddo with Thai-spiced Star fruit. However, sadly these options weren’t available on our visit, so we chose the Mango & Passionfruit Cheesecake and the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake.

Sadly, as lovely as the deserts were both of them were still frozen in the centre, plus the ‘Warm’ Chocolate cake was actually served cold, so it was a massive disappointment – especially as they actually look really good and the flavours were perfect. I loved how the Chocolate cake was spiced with a hint of chilli, if it was warm it would have been divine!

We finished up with some coffees, served with a mint chocolate which is always a lovely touch.

All in all, another meal that was a disappointment at Giggling Squid. It’s such a shame as I actually really love the restaurant, but both times we’ve tried the Christmas menu, it’s fallen flat on it’s face. Maybe I’m just expecting a bit more, when you pay for a Christmas set menu, you expect a touch of sparkle, something special, don’t you? This is very standard food I’d expect on a normal lunchtime.

This hasn’t put me off going to the Giggling Squid though, honestly they do great food and I think their ‘normal’ menu and Thai tapas is delicious, so if you visit, I’d stick to what they do best!

Click here to read my review of the Giggling Squid Christmas menu 2016 

Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

A couple of weeks ago, we took Violet out for her first official trip out of the house. We headed into Brighton to register Violet’s birth at the Town Hall and to celebrate afterwards, we headed to The Jetty for Afternoon Tea to toast Violet’s birth over tea, cake and prosecco. Plus, with a baby of less than two weeks old at the time – we were in dire need of the caffeine and sugar hit too!

The Jetty is located within the newly refurbished Harbour Hotel, located in prime position on Brighton’s seafront. With gorgeous sea views, The Jetty is the perfect setting for meals and drinks at any time of day – Brunch, Afternoon Tea, Cocktails or dinner with a bottle of wine, they cater for it all. Inside is bright, airy and spacious, with a clean, modern vibe. For a more intimate feel, there is also a cute ‘snug’ area tucked away with comfy sofas and a bit more privacy too.

Registering Violet’s Birth

We opted for the Harbour High Tea (priced at £19.95 per person) which comes with a bottomless selection of Teapigs tea, plus we ordered a glass of prosecco on the side too, as you know it would be rude not to raise a glass to our daughter, even if I did risk falling asleep on the spot from my first sip of alcohol in over a year!

The afternoon tea includes a lovely selection of both sweet and savoury treats, beautifully presented with side serving bowls containing jams and clotted cream for the scones. As we are both vegetarian, they also amended the menu to cater for our requirements, offering a selection of sandwiches with cheese based fillings, rather than chicken/ham/salmon options on the menu, plus a couple of cheese scones (which were SO delicious) and a guacamole and sundried tomato canapes too.

Our sweet treats were my favourite part (of course!). I was pleased to see there were two plump buttermilk scones, which came with plenty of clotted cream and jam on the side, it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without a good old British scone. There were also two dark chocolate praline eclairs, which were utterly divine, a refreshing twist on a classic eclair. The White Chocolate and Passionfruit trifle added a burst of zingy flavour and lastly, the cherry bakewell, another classic and baked to perfection.

I really enjoyed our Afternoon Tea experience at The Jetty, although if I’m honest my favourite part was just great to get out of the house and eat something other than takeaway pizza and wear clothes that weren’t pajamas! We found the staff friendly and accommodating, they changed the menu for us and also gave us a secluded spot with room for the pushchair and privacy as this was my first attempt at breastfeeding in public too.

Whilst we were at The Jetty, I was given an exclusive behind the scenes peek at the new spa that has opened at the hotel. Located in the original regency building cellars, the spa is an absolute hidden gem away from the hustle and bustle of the busy hotel. The Spa offers extensive range of luxurious spa treatments along with everyday beauty needs, including facials, manicures, pedicures and massages. I think as soon as Violet is old enough to be babysat for the day, I might treat myself to a spa day there – what do you think?

The Harbour Hotel is located on the Kings Road Brighton (just on the corner of West Street) – to book Afternoon Tea at The Jetty call 01273 916916 or email brighton.jetty@harbourhotels.co.uk

Post written in collaboration with The Jetty

Review: SkyFall Restaurant Hove

As we are ticking down the days until Baby Peaches arrival, cramming in those last date nights together are so important. So, after my last day at work and to celebrate the start of my maternity leave, we headed over to Hove to SkyFall restaurant for maybe our last date night together as just us.

SkyFall is a creative, modern restaurant with a menu that changes regularly to reflect the season and local produce available. Inside the decor is modern and chic with elements like the open brickwork giving it rustic twist – the atmosphere is a real mix between casual and fine-dining, without that uncomfortable, stuffy feeling. We visited on a Friday night and by the time we were seated for our meal, the whole restaurant was completely full, buzzing with people enjoying themselves over good food -they were even turning people away at the door, which is really telling as to how popular it has become. Especially as there is a lot of choice when it comes to eating out in that part of Hove.

We were greeted by the super friendly front of house, who showed us to a lovely table in the window (perfect for a spot of people watching, I may add). We were then offered a glass of Prosecco, but sadly I had to turn mine down, obviously – however, to make me feel better the staff made me an Elderflower fizz with mint, which if I closed my eyes I could pretend was an alcoholic cocktail, it certainly was the next best thing.

We then took some time to look over the menu. A lovely touch was that our waiter came over and discussed options for me as I am pregnant, he highlighted which dishes would/wouldn’t be suitable and had a really good knowledge of things to avoid when pregnant (blue cheese etc) so that was a big help and a personal touch that went a long way.

Sadly, as I’m vegetarian AND pregnant – I had to skip the starter, as both veggie options contained Blue Cheese, so instead I ordered some Marinated Olives, whilst V enjoyed her starter of Textures of Cheese (Brighton Blue Cheese Bon Bons with Sister Sarah mousse, goats curd, Swiss Mornay Sauce, nuts and port jelly) and I watched enviously over the table (Hey, it’s not SkyFalls’ fault I’m so awkward at the moment!). She really enjoyed the flavour and textures of the different cheeses, but her feedback was that she wished she had some bread of some sorts to go with it, as it felt a bit lacking of substance without.

Moving onto the mains where thankfully, even with my annoying dietary requirements at the moment, I had a few different options to choose from the menu. I decided to go for the Lentil and Butternut Squash Burger (with baby gem lettuce, tomato, beetroot and cumin raita) as at this stage of pregnancy I am just hungriest I’ve ever been in my life, so needed something filling! V, however went for the slightly more delicate Ratatouille and Arancini (ratatouille parcel filled with feta, sundried tomato arancini, pine nuts, mushrooms, spiced carrots, beetroot and cumin gel). My main course hit the spot perfectly, making baby kick like mad and a happy Mamma – the triple cooked chips were just to die for, especially with the beetroot and cumin raita! V really enjoyed her dish, saying the pastry was cooked to perfection, the vegetable filling was tasty and flavourful.

Onto my favourite, the pudding! Of course, being a chocoholic, I immediately knew I needed to have the Dark Chocolate Brownie (served with honeycomb ice cream, salted caramel and meringue) and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Rich, velvety and every chocolate lovers dream – the ice cream was also beautiful and I found out from the waiter they make all the ice creams fresh onsite too. V went for Salt-Baked Pear and Almond Tart (served with basil ice cream) – a really interesting flavour combination there, but the flavours complimented each other perfectly, with the sweetness balanced by a refreshing zing of the ice cream.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at SkyFall – I loved the busy vibe, the modern decor and the chance to try fine-dining quality food within a relaxed environment. I feel I couldn’t enjoy the restaurant to my full potential, as being pregnant limited me quite a bit on the menu, so I think I’ll have to give SkyFall another go once the baby is born – plus I think by that point, there will be a Popcorn Martini with my name on, waiting for me!

SkyFall offer different menu’s throughout the day – with Brunch served between 9am-1pm at the weekends, a set lunch menu between 12-3pm Monday – Saturday, as well as Roast Dinners on a Sunday. There are also various events, quiz nights and special occasion evenings, like a Valentines Day menu – so there is always something on too. To book a table call 01273 041007 or you can book online here.

 

We were invited to SkyFall for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review – All words and opinions are my own

Win two pairs of tickets to the Brighton Color Run – Presented by Skittles!

It’s time to dust off your trainers and get your sweatbands ready. Fizzy Peaches has teamed up with Skittles to offer two winners and their friends the chance to take part in the original, happiest and most colourful fun run, The Color Run, on Saturday 17th September in Brighton. If being showered by rainbow colours isn’t enough, the lucky winners will also receive a bright Skittles hoodie.

For your chance to win this awesome prize, here are the options:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there! Skittles is also giving The Color Run fans the chance to take part in the happiest 5K on the planet in one of their coolest locations – Los Angeles!
Thanks to Skittles, you and a friend could win the chance to stay at one of LA’s top hotels for five nights and will even get to see the sights in your own retro convertible car for a day. Buckle up, throw on those shades and let the LA breeze swoosh through your hair! The fabulous prize also includes two tickets to a fun-filled night at The Comedy Store or tickets to the colourful Getty Museum, plus $400 to help with some retail therapy.

To be in with a chance of winning, head over to the Skittles Facebook page and leave a comment on the competition post, telling Skittles who you’d take to the Color Run and why, using #RunTheRainbow.
And don’t forget, if you’re taking part in any of the UK Color Runs, don’t forget to visit Skittles at the Finish Festival to get your hands on a FREE sample and continue adding colour to your life, inside and out!


The LA competition opened on 09.03.2016 and closes at midnight on 30.09.2016. It is open to UK residents (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) aged 18 and over. Terms and conditions apply – visit www.wrigley.com/uk for full details.
Terms and Conditions:
• The prize is for two tickets per winner to The Color Run presented by Skittles on Saturday 17 September in Brighton
• You must be resident in the UK to enter and over 18 years of age
• There will be two winners and the prize is as specified
• Winners must register online via an e-ticket sent to them by Friday 26 August
• There is no cash alternative
• Transfers/travel costs are not provided
• If the event is cancelled outside of Skittles control, there is no substitute prize

 

Collaborative Post

Brighton’s Big Screen Launch Party – Plus a VIP Golden Ticket Giveaway!

Last week I was invited to a very exciting launch party to celebrate return of Brighton’s Big Screen this summer. For those not familiar, Brighton’s Big Screen is a huge cinema screen that is set up on Brighton beach right by the pier, which has become an iconic part of summer in Brighton. I always make sure to pop down and catch a couple of movies every year as there is nothing better than sitting back on a hot summers evening with a glass on wine in hand and a good movie on the screen as the sun sets over the ocean. Last year they had some great food at the venue too, with some of my favourite eateries creating beachfront pop-up restaurants. Over the years I’ve tucked into some tasty meals on the beach from Chilli Pickle to Burritos and I can’t wait to see what food will be coming in 2016. There are some amazing films coming up too, from the new Star Wars movie to classics such as Dirty Dancing and Labrinyth, there is something for everyone and all the family.

So back to the launch party! Hosted by the Ibis Hotel in Brighton, we were ushered into lifts and sent to the basement level, which all seemed rather strange at first. Myself and my good friend Kirstie wondered where we might be off to, but we soon found ourselves in this wonderful underground space, which turned out to be the hotels car park that had been totally transformed into the perfect area for a party. With an industrial feel mixed with the glamour of red lighting, black velvet curtains and glasses of bubbles all round, this turned out to be a rather fabulous secret party location.

So I bet you are wondering why are lounging on a bed, at a party, in a carpark? Well – one of the newest additions to the Big Screen experience this year will be the addition of the VIP Ibis Sweetbed Experience, which sounds just too good to be true, and we had the chance to try it last week! Believe it or not but you’ll actually be able to lay in a perfect Ibis Double Sweetbed, surrounded by fairy lights, on the beach, whilst watching a movie. How amazing does that sound? The VIP experience also includes a welcome drink, a fabulous meal, tea and coffee and a cone of popcorn. I cannot WAIT to give that a go (and if you continue reading this post, you could be going VIP too!)

The evening was so much fun, with entertainment from local Brighton singer and compare Dolly Rocket (who I unintentionally seem to be stalking via blog events [here and here] as we go to a lot of the same events!) an appearance from Brian Capron (who played evil Richard Hillman in Coronation Street) and music from a real legend, Ray Lewis from the 50’s/60’s band, The Drifters. We danced and sung the night away, singing along to tunes like ‘Saturday Night at the Movies‘ and ‘The Time of my Life‘ as Dirty Dancing played on the big screens around the room. It was such good fun all round.

Do check out the website, as you can now pre-book tickets for sporting events and movies this summer!

Also – would you like to win a VIP Ibis Sweetbed experience at Brighton’s Big Screen this year? I have one lucky Golden Ticket to give away that allows one lucky winner (and  guest) to enter the Ibis VIP tent for a showing at Brighton’s Big Screen in June – July 2016. You could be putting your feet up on one of the ibis hotel’s Sweet Beds for a movie or sports match of your choice! Bliss!

Just enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&Cs: Sweetbed experience subject to availability. Ticket is limited to one person and guest on a date and time of the winners choosing. Valid for one showing. Does not include food or beverages. 

A big THANK YOU to Brighton’s Big Screen for inviting us to your wonderful launch party – see you in the summer!