Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

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.

Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

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.

Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

Brighton: Afternoon Tea at The Jetty

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: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

Review: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

Although I love my sweet treats – from towering hot chocolate with cream to endless bags of mini-eggs, when it comes down to it I’m quite conscious of nutrition and eat healthily most of the time. I also think being pregnant gives you another perspective on food – with every mouthful of food I’m feeding to our baby too, which naturally makes me so much more aware of everything I put into my system. So, when I was invited down to The Body Fuel Cafe in Hove, I was eager to give it a go as it seemed right up my street. I find when I’m out and about, it’s so easy to eat junk food, with most cafes are just loaded with tempting pastries, cakes and sugary drinks – it’s refreshing to see a place serving fresh, tasty food at reasonable prices too.

Review: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

Inside the cafe, the seating area is light and airy, with a clean and fresh vibe – although towards the back of the cafe there are more private areas too, which would be perfect for cosy catch-ups, or maybe breastfeeding Mum’s who want a little more privacy.

The cafe is open daily from 8am (9am Saturdays and 11am Sundays) – starting of the day with breakfast options such as wholemeal blueberry pancakes, poached eggs, smoked salmon or smashed avocado. Come lunchtime, their super healthy salad bar is open. Plus, of course could just pop in at any time for a coffee and a (healthy) sweet treat too.

I recently popped in for a spot of lunch with a good friend of mine and healthy food lover, Tash. When we arrived we were instantly drawn to the colourful salad bar and decided to skip brunch and head straight for the lunch menu – so many options and all of the produce looked super fresh too. The menu for the Salad Bar is fully customisable – firstly you choose a protein – they have everything from lemon and dill chicken breast, various steak, fish options such as tuna, grilled salmon and lastly, veggie options of falafel and grilled halloumi. There is quite a selection! I was particularly impressed with this part, being a vegetarian (well, pescatarean technically) I often miss out on the ‘protein’ section or have a limited choice, but this left me spoilt for choice! Next up, is the base of your dish – Rice, Sweet Potato and Quinoa are just a few of the options here. Moving on, we visited the salad bar where you can choose a generous 6 items from the extensive list – you then top your dish with a dressing of your choice. Honestly, there is so much choice you could make about 1000 different combinations with all of the different ingredients and not eat the eat a different dish everyday!

Review: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

Both Tash and I went for the grilled salmon, which was cooked to perfection and so fresh, we accompanied our meals with a couple of smoothies too. I tried the Tropical Delight (Orange, Honeydew Melon, Mango, Passion Fruit and Lime Juice) which packed a zingy punch and certainly woke my senses up! Tash went for the super healthy Go Green (fresh pineapple, spinach, avocado, lime, fresh ginger and coconut water). As you can see from the pictures below, our meals were absolutely full to the brim with goodness, nutrients and the freshest ingredients-  not an additive or preservative in sight, plus it was all cooked within around 5 minutes too.

Review: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

Review: The Body Fuel Cafe HoveReview: The Body Fuel Cafe Hove

As we left I took a couple of sweet treats away to have once I got home – you know, maternity leave means afternoons are mainly spend on the sofa with a coffee and cake, so instead I got a take-away Not Naughty, Definitely Nice Smoothie (almond milk, banana, nut butter, raw cacao powder, vanilla, honey, cinnamon)  and a delicious Date Protein Bar, as I’ve been eating 6 dates a day as it’s meant to help with labour – putting them in a protein bar seemed a perfect excuse to get my daily dose in as I’m getting sick and tired of eating pure dates alone these days!

I would 100% recommend trying the Body Fuel Cafe if you are local to Hove, it is so refreshing to know you are eating pure clean, fresh ingredients, plus it was so delicious it felt like a real treat too. My next meal there will be brunch – I think there are some wholemeal blueberry pancakes with my name on!

The Body Fuel Cafe is located at 123 Church Street, Hove  –  pop for some super tasty, healthy food next time you are passing! 

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

I’ve lived in Brighton on and off since I was 18 so I was shocked and surprised I’d managed to let a visit to Indian Summer slip the net, seeing as I am an absolute fiend for Indian food. So a couple of a months ago I excited opened an email to their 15th Birthday party, I jumped at the chance to finally give this elusive restaurant a go, although as I looked at the invitation – we were in Paris that week, doh! I swear this one just keeps getting away from me! However, a few weeks later, as I missed the big shindig, the team kindly asked me in for a meal to finally get my fill of the Indian food I’d been missing all these years! So V and I headed down for a date night and a meal at Indian Summer.

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

The first thing that I noticed that sets Indian Summers apart, is that the inside the decor is sleek, smart and sophisticated, which is quite different from lots of Indian restaurants I’ve been to before. Low-level lighting sets the mood to an intimate space, perfect for dates and quiet meals with friends, with larger tables at the back adorned with huge chandeliers for bigger groups. Indian Summer has an interesting history – the restaurant was founded in 2001 by Minesh Agnihotri, who gave up a career making medical prosthetics and Byron Swales, whose family was forced to flee Burma in a wooden plane. They both had a mission to bring authentic cooking to Brighton, so they then recruited a team of talented chefs drawn from across various Indian regions to offer truly pan-Indian fine dining and have been going ever since!

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

The menu is varied and as a vegetarian, I found lots of lovely options to chose from. However, to start with over a delicious homemade Mango Lassi, we had to start with my favourite, Papads and Pickles. 

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

As our starters arrived, we were both served a little amuse-bouche, which was like a spicy tomato soup, just the perfect amount of spice to make the lips tingle and cleanse the palette. I decided to opt for the Tandoori Salmon, which arrived served in a smoked cumin and orange raita. I’d never tasted salmon and orange together, the combination was just divine! V went for the Onion Aubergine Pakoda which arrived beautifully presented with a tasty coriander chutney and tamarind sauce.

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

For our mains, I absolutely LOVE a Thali, so I just knew this was the option for me. I think I love it as it’s the opportunity to try so many little ‘mini dishes’ on one plate, the Vegetarian Thali included a mix platter of vaal subzi, sev tomato paneer, aloo subzi and dal, served with pickle, papad, roti and rice. What a mix! There is a little bit of everything on the plate and a whirlwind of flavours, I absolutely loved every mouthful. They also can offer the Thali as a vegan and gluten free option, which is fab too. V had her absolute favourite dish in Indian Cuisine, Shakahari Paneer – a mezze of tandoori paneer, spinach and potato tikki, sev tomato paneer and basmati rice. I was lucky enough to try some of the tandoori paneer and it was so perfectly flavourful and rich – delicious!

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

Review: Indian Summer Brighton turns 15!

We rounded our meal off with a dessert to share as we were SO full from our Indian feast but I am a bad blogger and forgot to photograph it! I think I had a few sips of Gaviscon at this point too! (#pregnancyproblems)

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Indian Summer and I wonder how in 15 years this wonderful place had managed to slip the net. I would certainly consider it in the future for date nights or even special meals out with family and friends. It’s not just your average Indian, it has something special about it so I’d probably save my next visit for a special occasion for a real treat!

Indian Summer is located on East Street, Brighton – You can book a table online or give them a call on 01273 711001.

 

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

The Perfect Christmas Hamper

For me, a festive hamper encapsulates Christmas spirit perfectly – festive food and treats, handmade gifts and a personal touch make a hamper ideal present for your family and friends this year. A homemade hamper is one of the most thoughtful, generous gifts you can give as you can tailor it to your friends tastes and dietary requirements, without it costing too much either!

So, when Ryvita got in touch to ask me to create a special festive hamper for a friend including their delicious Ryvita Thins, I couldn’t wait to get to get started, thinking of all the gorgeous festive treats to put together. Also, following on my on my quest to teach myself to cook this year, this was the perfect opportunity to cook my first ever chutney – something I’d never attempted before and quite honestly, could possibly have been quite a festive disaster! (See below for how I got on…..)

When putting together a hamper, my advice is to think of two things – firstly, luxury treats you wouldn’t eat every day and food that is ideal for sharing. You want the recipient to feel spoiled and surprised by the treats inside and be able to share the contents with family and friends over Christmas time too.

I started putting my hamper together by adding my Ryvita Thin’s – these are quite different from the classic ryvita we know and love, with five different flavours they are a fab party snack and the perfect ‘implement‘ for dipping in your homemade festive chutnies. I bought some for myself (well, I had to do a trial run of the chutney!) and they are SO moreish, once I had one I literally couldn’t stop. Before I knew it, I’d watched a Christmas movie and managed to eat nearly a whole box, oops!

Other treats to include were things to share on Christmas Day – Luxury Juices, Spirits or Wine, Festive Hot Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Mix, Truffles and of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional Christmas Pudding. I bought few of my treats from M&S this year – their products are just classic at Christmas time, they never dissapoint! I especially loved their Sparkling Peach and Proscecco Conserve! How amazing would that be as breakfast on Christmas Morning?

I also created some cute handmade crackers, these are packed with cute little surprises, jokes and of course a gold shimmery crown for Christmas Day too.

So, going back to my Chutney… Well, I’m so pleased to say my recipe and first attempts at cooking a chutney went really well! I decided to make a Caramelised Onion Chutney, inspired by the Caramelised Onion Ryvita Thin’s – having a dip of the same flavour was perfect and amplifies such a festive flavour.

SIMPLE CARAMELISED ONION RECIPE

Makes 4-6 jars

8 red onions
1 red chilli
2 bay leaves
25ml olive oil
150ml red wine vinegar
200g brown sugar
150ml balsamic vinegar
150ml red wine vinegar

  1. Cut your onions and chilli into thin slices and put them into a pan with the bay leaves and oil. Cook gently over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
  2. Once the onions are dark and sticky, add the sugar and the vinegars and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the chutney is thick and dark in colour.
  3. Pour the chutney into your glass jar, it’s best to sterilise your jar and pour in whilst the jar is still warm, to ensure your dip will be kept super fresh.
  4. The longer you leave the Chutney, the more the flavour will develop, so try and make it a little way before Christmas, although don’t worry if you are making a last minute gift, I think it tasted fab straight away!

 

So, when it comes to creating a Christmas Hamper, let your imagination run wild, spoil your friends and family this Christmas and give them a perfectly thoughtful homemade gift!

Post written in collaboration with Ryvita – All words, opinions and photographs are my own

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton – Festive Menu

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu  So, my festive food journey around Brighton continues with one of my FAVOURITE restaurants in Brighton. This was the one I’ve had in my diary for over a month and I’ve slowly been counting the days as I just love, love, love Terre à Terre. I think I would go as far as to say it’s my favourite place in Brighton. You may have seen my last review from the summer – the food is just out of this world, so I was excited to see what festive treats would be on offer. For me, the best thing about Terre à Terre is the vast choice on the menu and just being able to relax and eat every dish as it’s all vegetarian. I always feel so spoiled for choice! I’m also always wowed by the creativity of the dishes and always come away feeling like I’ve tried something new and different, this is never your run-of-the mill meal out.

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

On the day of our review, annoyingly both Vee and I were feeling totally under the weather with an awful cold, but after eagerly awaiting our meal at Terre à Terre, we just couldn’t miss out –  so we plodded on out into town, hoping they would look after us and fill us full of comfort food and vitamins to cure our ailments. As soon as we arrived, we were shown to our table and upon seeing our sniffly noses, we were offered hot lemon and honey (I think Vee had a shot of Whiskey in hers!) to help us feel a little better. I thought this was such a lovely touch and with my sore throat soothed by the warm drink, I felt a little better already.

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

If I am honest, there wasn’t anything on the Festive menu I didn’t want to try, I may even have to go back so I can say I’ve tried it all, but eventually we ordered the following…

Starters: As a mince pie lover (I think I started eating them in October this year), I just had to order the Mince Pie and Chantilly Face (Hot Twineham Grange cheese and mustard seed pastry mince pie filled with mushroom marinade mincemeats served with hot porcini custard, quince pepper jelly, sherry and spice pickled walnut and Chantilly salt bean curds). I have to say I’ve never tried a savoury mince pie before but the flavour was just amazing – they had totally encapsulated the festive taste of a mince pie but with a gorgeous mushroom filling in the most delicious buttery pastry. The cream on the side was sweet, giving this a really interesting combination of salty and sweet – a taste sensation!

Vee went for the KFC (Korean fried cauliflower with sweet and sour sesame, onigiri rice, soused shiso dikon pickled mirin ginger jelly and green leaf salt dried chips finished with chestnut purée.). She chose this option as we’d tried it back in the Summer and loved it. The KFC are sweet, succulent fried cauliflower pieces with a light fluffy batter that isn’t at all heavy like some tempura can be, dipped in an oriental mix of flavours and sesame to give it that asian fusion taste.

 

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

Mains:  For the main, I had my eye on the the soufflé, but with Brighton Blue cheese, this is a big no-no in pregnancy so I had to be good and go for my second choice of Ding Dong Dengaku (Slow soft baked ume and ginger sake aubergine with tahini, toasted seed oil, white miso and mixed sesame crust with cranberry hibiscus juice. Served with amchur nori salt dusted puffed rice seaweed cracker, edamame, wasabi and yuzu pesto and wakame vegetable thread salad.). This was a completely unique dish, I wasn’t sure what to expect! The main part of the meal had a strong salty taste, which was almost a little overwhelming for me (or maybe I just have super pregnancy taste buds) however, mixed with a mouthful of the wakame vegetable salad gave the perfect balance with a refreshing, tangy zing. This was perfect comfort food as I was feeling under the weather, the cooling salad soothed my poorly sore throat and the flavours were strong enough for me to taste through my stuffiness!

Vee went for the Chai Fawkes (Chestnut Rosti bomb with salt plum and camembert molten middle, rolled in gunpowder beet tea embers, served with heritage and rainbow chard flames, ragout of hoppy sticky cinder salsify and root logs, juniper soused bulbs and boktops. Finished with silken mushroom mallow, black garlic aioli and amber crimson salts) and I have to admit I had slight food envy as it looked just amazing! She described it as eating a wintery ‘posh’ roast dinner that sizzled and popped in the mouth like popping candy! This is the most festive, creative dish I’ve seen on my festive food journey – I was impressed.

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

Festive Food #4: Terre à Terre Brighton - Festive Menu

Desserts: Lastly, our desserts – my favourite part of the meal! After our dessert last time at Terre à Terre, they had a lot to live up to, but honestly – this time they didn’t disappoint either! We were both delighted with the pudding menu as both of our favourite dishes featured, for me – I couldn’t wait to have my first taste this season of Christmas Pudding, so I went for the Figgy pudding (Figgy pudding sticky with rumtopf fruits aged with spice spirits and barrel brews. Served with tangerine and Frangelico ice and smugglers clove custard and poached cranberries). This was the perfect traditional figgy pudding with a twist of the refreshing tangerine and frangelico ice – a real festive mix of tastes that had Christmas written all over it.

Vee was excited as her favourite, Churros were on the menu with a Terre à Terre twist –  the Churrosimo  (Cinnamon sugar spice dusted doughnut straws served with vodka cherries, salt caramel sticky dunker, warm dark chocolate dipper and finished with wild berry freeze dried crumble and extra brute cocoa powder). They tasted like they were baked, rather than being fried which took away that classic donut greasy taste, but the bit that made this dessert was the dip – Salt Caramel with Dark Chocolate in layers made this a real treat. The vodka cherries and wild berry crumble gave the dish a festive twist too.

Overall, we absolutely loved our festive menu experience at Terre à Terre, I know I’m biased as I’m a huge fan of the restaurant, but it was one of the best festive menu’s we’ve tried this season for both taste and creativity! I also felt super looked after by the wonderful staff who chatted to us lots, created special cold remedies and catered for our every whim.

If you’d like to try the festive menu, head down to Terre à Terre this month – the set 3 course menu is £33 per person and worth every penny. To book a table, visit their website or call 01273 729051. 

 

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