There’s no place like home – Delmonico Steakhouse (The Venetian, Las Vegas)

Is there anywhere more romantic than the grand canals of Venice for an evening meal?   This was a second visit for me to Delmonico but it meant so much more as my fiancé was experiencing the wonderful food that a Emril Lasagsse restaurant offers.  Not dissimilar to James Martin, Emril learnt his craft in pastry but swiftly moved on to become a world class chef, passionate about ingredients.

Delmonico Steakhouse opened in 1999 and whenever I speak to fellow foodies while on holiday in Vegas they always rave about this place.  It comes as no surprise that one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas is located it this stunning hotel.

We booked for 9pm and had a short walk from the Mirage and wandered through the beautiful italian styled casino.  We arrived slightly ahead of our reservation and joined other diners in the bar area while our table was prepared.

We ordered some pre-dinner drinks and within 5 minutes our hostess led us into the warmly lit dining room.  I often wondered why this function is needed as the young lady did not carry our drinks not really very hospitable.wp-1477429326702.jpg

We were seated in the first room in with a wonderful view of the main restaurant (the kitchens are tucked away here, so no viewings of the Chefs’ in full throttle). We were welcomed to our table by our waiter, Drew, who advised us of the house specialities for that evening and that Michael would be our Maitre’d guiding us through the menu until our order.

The wine list was the most extensive I have ever seen with plenty of choices for the high rollers.   We selected a reasonable priced Argentine Malbec Casarena Reserva 2012 for $45.00.  This wine is produced by Casarena in Mendoza, the largest region in Argentina for the Malbec grape and this wine is known for its big sweet black fruit flavours.

We moved onto the menu, which as you would expect was not as extensive, but offered an excellent selection to please any carnivore.  For us it was an easy choice, we’d come to a steakhouse and we were not going to take a different direction other than maybe a lighter starter.  wp-1486642771230.jpg

The Maitre’d, Michael returned to take our order of Vine Ripened Heirloom Tomato Salad ($18) to share followed by a glorious Chateaubriand with asparagus and smashed garlic potatoes.

Anyone with OCD look away now, as the sight of this cucumber being slightly right of centre might drive you nuts.   wp-1486634843901.jpgThe amouse-bouche (or if you prefer hors d’eouvre ,some say the former is for a bite size portion but I thought the latter was supposed to be bite sized too) was a slice of cucumber with a blackeye-pea humous; a welcome palate cleanser between our cocktails and malbec.

The bread served gave us a smile and a slight chuckle as their “Mushroom Bread” (as announced)  was indeed a Yorkshire Pwp-1486634780945.jpgudding, maybe not the norm but then we are in Vegas and this city anyting but normal.  The Mushroom Bread was served with a salted butter so possibly the most calorific bread basket I’ve ever been had.  I love butter, but even I draw the line at buttering Yorkshire Puddings!

The atmosphere of Delmonico is warm and cosy despite the size of the restaurant and the front of house team are well-balanced in their style between formal and friendly.  Diners ranged from large tables of men only (clearly on a stag celebration; or should I say bachelor) but not so that it interfered with the smaller tables or couples.  We were within one of the larger alcoves with two other couples and as the tables have good spacing you could hear soft conversation without feeling overlooked (unlike Gordon Ramsey Steak at Paris).

The Heirloom Tomato salad was served just in time to hold off our hunger for the main event.  Priced at $18 a plate I had high expectations for this salad with slices of burrata cheese, red onions, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and slithers of fresh basil. Burrata, meaning buttered, gives you a wonderfully creamier texture compared to mozzarella; a cheese often served with tomatoes, but don’t confuse the two as they are different.

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The salad was divine a fabulous mix of tart, sweet and creamy and a serving more than enough for us to share. I would not normally choose tomato based salads but Delominco’s changed my view and certainly set the bar very high.

We were cleared and waited for our Chateuabriand, a fillet which was raised naturally by Creekstones Farm in Kansas (the home of my favourite fictional heroine).  The term naturally raised is what we in the UK call organic, some cattle in North America can be fed growth hormones and feed which is genetically modified.

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Drew arrived centre stage and presented the Chateaubriand and as flambeau work commenced our fellow diners were drawn to the watch the gentle basting of those rich meat juices over our fillet.  I wondered if these diners, who had opted for the larger portioned creole steaks, looked on with intrigue or envy?

This Kansas reared fillet was as good as any I have ever eaten – no wonder Dorothy uttered those immortal words “there’s no place like home”

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The accompaniments were just perfect; the asparagus was crisp and perky in contrast to the smashed potatoes which oozed a salty butter and warm garlic flavour.  As I write this review a month on I swear I can recall every tender bite and flavour of this simple yet glorious meal.

Despite being tempted with a wonderful sweet menu we had no room for dessert and politely declined.  The team at Delmonico thought better and presented us with a complementary sorbet to cleanse our pallets, a lovely touch to end a fantastic dining experience.   The bill was $198 before a gratuity, about £150 at the time of the exchange rate and worth every penny.

I sit on my couch back in England on this cold autumn day dreaming of our return to this fabulous restaurant or to another Emeril Palace.  Just maybe, if I click my heels, I too can return to savour this fine Kansas beef.

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Happy eating

 

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My Love of My Thai @ The Old Steps (26 York Place, LS1 2EY)

The first time I had the pleasure of dining at My Thai  @ The Old Steps was for our 2016 Christmas party.   Before I even knew about the quality of the food, I was thrilled that we were not going for a dried turkey dinner with overcooked vegetables and salty packet gravy – there is nothing worse and  I am sure you’ve all lived that particular festive nightmare.

Fast forward to February 2017 and we needed a fast and tasty lunch. It was then my foodie Genie conjured up a fond memory.  We headed down the steps and entered into this small and cosy food palace.

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My Thai at The Old Steps, 26 York Place

We were greeted with a huge smile and warm welcome from our waitress and were seated opposite the industrious and open kitchen – possibly the best spot in any restaurant for me;  I love watching the relationship between the kitchen and the front of house ; it fascinates me and speaks volumes about a team.

Within a few minutes we had decided and our orders were placed.  A combination of Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fishcakes) and Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, followed by  Crispy Chicken and Tamarind Duck.

I have never been to Thailand so I  cannot authenticate if these delicious fish bites were true to their street food orgins but they were delicious, full of fishy meatiness with a hint of lime and a warm delicate heat from the curry paste.

Our main courses were served almost immediately and we both looked on with jealousy at each others dish.

The Crispy Chicken was as fabulous as I remembered (confession I could not help but order this dish again following my previous visit, not very adventurous I know)  with a slightly spiced and crispy coating surrounding the juicy and tender chunks of chicken.  The garlic sauce was sticky and sweet with super fresh carrots and spring onions running through the dish. The rice was the perfect clean accompaniment.

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Crispy Chicken and Tamarind Duck by My Thai @ The Old Steps

The crispy duck with a tamarind and palm sugar sauce was equally as tasty and David agreed between the two it was hard to hand out a first prize.

Overall the York Place venue is cosy, the team are friendly and super efficient.  The quality of the food and the flavours are outstanding as is the value for money – a  real Winder Winner.

I cannot wait to try the sister venue –  Thai Shack at Wade Lane  – to see how it differs from the Old Steps, I doubt it will be much other than the decor.  I even know which dish I will sample next, when in the words of My Thai  “I leave my pack lunch at home”.

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Louise x

EatBakeBlogGB

Anzac Biscuits; easier to bake than going to the shops

It was an autumnal Sunday afternoon and after watching Super Sunday, which was a disappointing match (that goal was never offside) I decided we needed cheering up with a cup of tea and a treat.  I could not be bothered to go to the shops for a pack of biscuits on this wet and chilly day so I reached for Mary Berry’s bible to find inspiration.

The first one I turned to was Anzac Biscuits.  It was fate as these are childhood favourites of mine and Mum used to make these moreish biscuits on a regular basis. I probably have not eaten these since I was in primary school. These biscuits are now all about comaraderie and the were originally  baked in Australia and New Zealand to honour the soldiers from the battle of Gallipoli. They were great to bake during rationing as the binding agent is syrup instead of eggs and they are super easy to make without any kitchen wizardry. 

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I fired up the oven and greased my fabulous Bake-Off baking sheet; I love this adonised aluminium baking sheet and really regret not buying another back in 2015.

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 150g (5oz) butter cubed (to speed up dissolving)
  • 1 dessert spoon of Golden Syrup
  • 1 dessert spoon of Maple Syrup
  • 175g (6oz) Sugar (split between Demerara and Golden Caster)
  • 75g (3oz) Self-raising flour
  • 75g (3oz) desiccated coconut
  • 100g (4oz) porridge oats
  • Equipment you will need are 3 baking sheets, small or medium pan, cooling racks and small palette knife or spatula.

The method is so simple, it’s easier than going to the shops to buy biscuits – just follow these steps:

  1. Turn your oven on to setting 160°c fan or gas mark 6
  2. Lightly grease 3 baking sheets
  3. Melt the butter, sugars and syrups in a pan and melt until melted / dissolved
  4. Add the dry ingredients (SR flour, coconut, porridge oats)
  5. Mix your dry into your wet ingredients and stir until combined well
  6. Spoon a heaped teaspoon onto trays (about 9 per tray) and pressing each one with the back of a spoon to flatten slightly.wp-1477239462139.jpg
  7. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Once baked (edges will be a golden brown) leave for 2 minutes to cool slightly before moving onto your cooling racks.

Store in an air tight container if you can resist eating them all before they have cooled.

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Louise x

 

Sam Smiths Spread Eagle (Nostell/Wragby Wakefield) This is no euphemism 

It was a hot summer bank holiday (yes you read correctly) and a restless couple recovering from a busy family weekend felt indecisive. Then in a moment of clarity and a desire to enjoy this sun we headed to Nostell  Priory on foot to walk in their beautiful grounds.  We set off then after about 15 minutes and despite all good intentions and previous refusals, I was convinced we should try the Spread Eagle for lunch.  My hesitation was maybe unjust but I had they worst glass of red wine in a Sam Smiths pub in Durham; and I have drunk Retsina.  We headed into the pub and out into the beer garden to find a bench with a wonderful views.

We ordered two pints, one being a beer shandy for myself as there was really no other choice as I find the Sam Smiths range of soft drinks dreadful.   We had already agreed we would play it safe with a cold lunch, despite the pull of a venison burger, we ordered two sandwiches – resisting a bag of crisps (my achilles heel, if you thought Brad Pitt played a weak man, well trust me, he ain’t got nothing on me when it comes to those bags of saturated fat).

Our sandwiches, tuna fish and a ham salad, were delivered to our table about 15 minutes later by a smiley and helpful young lady.  Both sandwiches were presented pleasantly, had an unexpected garnish of crisps and salad (bang goes my syn limit for the weekend – put it in front of me and I will eat it).

The granary bread has a great crunchy crust and held its own against my hungry grip, and tasted as good.  Both we filled well and topped with fresh and crisp salad – a real winner and a pleasant surprise.

 We had two pints for under a fiver – a true bargain; the Yorkshireness is taking over in this Cheshire imigrant.

Lovely view.

Summer time pints at the Spread Eagle

 

The proof in the pudding will be when we visit to try their Sunday lunch – to me this is the true test of a good pub as if you cannot offer a good sandwich, pie and roast dinner you should not be offering food.

We enjoyed our visit to the Spread Eagle as the pub is clean, has good staff (whom clearly take pride in their work) and it offers good pub food at a reasonable price and would recommend if you are visiting the local area and are in need of a refreshment you consider this pub.

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The Great British Bake Off is back and I can’t stop baking

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It started last week when my countdown was at 7 days.  First to be baked was Lemon Drizzle which was a first.  Little did I know Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were about to set the same challenge.   Not content with my first attempt at Lemon Drizzle I baked it again, this time making the drizzle a thicker consistency, achieving this by using smaller lemons which of course gave less juice and giving me a great crunchy zesty topping.

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Lemon Drizzle –

Then I spotted the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong run by The Baking Nana and Robert Allen and that just got me inspired further.    The first challenge was a Victoria Sponge – a cake I had not baked since 2009; so I was a little bit rusty.   The timing for this was great, as Linda my colleague had baked a recipe that I had been threatening to copy it for weeks.  I dusted off (well not literally) my cake tins and warmed up the oven.

The cakes went in and I waited impatiently starring into my oven waiting for that moment they looked that beautiful golden colour.

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Victoria sponge in the making

The baking part was easy but the icing was tougher.  It was a white chocolate icing which despite following the recipe to the gram was too runny.

I added more icing sugar and reached a consistency I was happy with and hey presto.  This cake was sold at work slice-by-slice to raise money for MacMillan’s Coffee Morning which I plan to bake for every week until the 30th.

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So what next, well I had white chocolate icing left so on Monday evening I decided to make some Fairy Cakes and top these off with the leftover icing.

My only regret is that I didn’t cut out and insert some strawberry jam.  These little cakes went down well at work and helped top up the funds.

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Fairy cakes – bargain at 50 pence

Wednesday came and it was GBBO day I thought enough baking I will just enjoy watching but its difficult when you’ve come home to find some less than pert bananas.

Oven on, Kenwood out and banana’s mashed I added some Coconut Flour to my usual recipe.

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Coconut Flour added to my Banana Loaf

I loved this new combination and will definitely be experimenting further with coconut and try and make a gluten free cake at some point.

To really push myself I am going to try and make a drizzle loafs as a tribute to a Bounty Bar if you see the standard on #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong you understand why I need to start pushing myself harder.

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Thanks for reading and please leave any comments below – happy baking.

Louise


 

Barcelona Centre Hotel (Calle Balmes, 103-105 ) – Equal in every way

Every time I stay in a hotel I look for the following 5 key themes in the room:

  1. Great bed as described – double or king as booked, reasonably firm with soft sheets and a good selection of pillows
  2. Bathroom – well maintained and as clean as a pin
  3. Effective and controllable heating and lighting
  4. Accessible plug points by beds
  5. Breakfast – better then I would have at home

Hotel Barcelona Centre  had 4 out of 5.  Of course there were a few blips along the way but we would recommend this hotel for its excellent team and good sized rooms.  We chose the hotel for its location which is close to shopping, Casa Mila / Le Pedera and the fabulous Cerveseria Catalana which is another review.  Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I have just one photographs of this hotel so you will have to rely on my words alone.

Checking in – We arrived and first impression of the hotel was good based on the facade and entering the reception area. The reception team were very friendly and professional and service was efficient and our check-in was very quick.

Bedroom;  was located on the 5th floor at the front of the hotel – which did prove quite noisy late into the small hours which could be corrected with some triple glazing. However the noise pollution was not that intrusive that we felt the need to be moved.   Our room was very spacious, modern and very clean.

Bathroom was the same and if you needed extra comfort supplies there was list of available options. The bed were two twins pushed together which was very disappointing as when we booked a double; however the bed was very comfortable.  Air con was effective and quiet and easily controlled.

We were on the 5th floor at the front of the hotel – which did prove quite noisy late into the small hours, which I am sure could be corrected with some triple glazing. However, the noise pollution was not that intrusive that we felt the need to be moved.

Concierge team were great with a special mention to Luth, who was incredible. I had accident on our first day (watch out on those pedestrian crossings the taxis don’t always stop) and he found me a crutch, helped me across the road to the local bistro, stopping traffic…above and beyond any service I have received before from a hotel or anyone in the service industry.  He is a credit to the hotel.

Restaurant did not entice us in as the menu did not focus on local produce or Catalan cuisine. We did order room service (due to me being immobile) which was quick and good but for a Beef burger and a Jamon toasted sandwich (my bread was over toasted almost burnt) with 2 waters at 48 Euros and the quality this was far too expensive in my opinion.

Breakfast; charged at €18 per person, which is served in the basement (shame they cannot utilise the 7th floor terrace but sadly it is clearly not logistical possible).  The choices were varied and all the offerings looked and tasted good. Its the first time I have had ham and cheese for breakfast and I really enjoyed it.   The only exception were the pastries they were not up to the Catalan standard; the were quite dry and the Churros were the worst I have ever had, really heavy in texture and quite stale – which was a shame as all other dishes were good. The coffee (machine dispensed) was incredibly strong, the most potent I have ever had.

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Considering we were there in the height of summer it was surprising there was no bar service open during the day on the terrace (which was not a bad place to be confined to following the accident).  The hotel was quiet in this area – yet we know it was full from reception .  When we wanted a drink we would have to travel to the ground floor or you could call reception for service.  I would think that Hotel Barcelona Centre  is mainly used by business guests.

I recommend the hotel and would staff her again based on all of the above. When we arrived the walk from Provença metro station took us minutes to this great hotel.

We would stay here again and would recommend you do – this is based on the service we received and the standard of the hotel, we paid €72 per night for 5 nights.

Room Tip: Avoid front if you are a light sleeper

If you want to read more of my adventures you can follow me at EatBakeBlogGB for foodie reviews.

Happy Travels!

Louise x

Louise Winder Food & Travel 

Lemon Drizzle Traybake – #zestybaker

Never baked Lemon Drizzle before yesterday  but a dear colleague is moving on to new challenges and this cake is her favorite.  It’s taken me a while to find the elusive 30 x 23 cms tray that Mary Berry uses  (if you follow me on twitter you may have caught my grumblings).   I was tempted to pimp this but i’m playing safe today.

So what next…

Grease and line your  30 x 23 cms tin with baking parchment/paper (remember, if you use larger tin you wont get the same rise).  Line your tin I and heat your oven to 140°c (fan) or Gas mark 3 then weigh out and prepare your ingredients but hold on for the crunchy topping.

You will need

  • 225g Softened Butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 275g Self-raising flour
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • finely grated rind/zest of 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping you will need

  • 175g granulated sugar (beware not to use a finer grade or you will not get the crunch)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (beware to to use large lemons – read on to see why)
  1. Measure the butter, caster sugar, SR flour, baking powder,eggs, milk and lemon zest/rind into your bowl and beat until well blended.  Remember your butter must be soft to touch before your start this process.
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  2. Turn your mixture into the greased/lined tray and gently level
  3. Place the tray in the oven on a middle shelf for 35-40 minutes – or until the cake has pulled back from the sides of the tin and if you gently press the middle if fingertips you see it spring back
  4. Leave the bake in the tin to cool for five minutes.
  5. When times up, turn it out on a cooling rack and carefully peel the parchment/paper from the base and leave to cool further
  6. Make your crunchy topping by mixing the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to give a runny mixture
  7. Spoon this over the cake while it is still warm
  8. Cut into squares once cold.
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Lemon Drizzle Tray Bake by EatBakeBlogBG

Lessons learnt

My oven was slightly too hot – school girl error – always check your temperature or expect that doming.

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The lemons, despite being fabulously juicy, produced a lot of juice which is never a bad thing.   However  I think the amount of juice they produced took the crunch from the topping – too much juice to sugar.  It could also have been that the bake was too warm and melting the sugar .  What I do know is that baking is a learning curve and next time I will measure juice to try and find that perfect mix and use a more averaged size lemon.  In the meantime a cheats sprinkle of granulated the morning after gave these the crunch they deserved.

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Big juicy lemons – too much juice to sugar for the topping

Every cloud has a silver lining as these lemons gave me an incredibly zest and moist lemon drizzle and I look forward to baking this again but next time with some savory thyme.

Hope you like this and my pictures and if you try this with a twist then please share your thoughts.

If you like my blog why not follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

Louise x

EatBakeBlogGB

 

Raddison Blu (Manchester) – Left me feeling blu

To me what defines a hotel is it’s ability to offer you a home away from home; somewhere you don’t mind being away from your own bed.

It’s not often we stay in 5-Star hotels in a month  so when we do we expect it to be better than we are used to.

I am not unrealistic but what really is the key for a great hotel I think are these five key components :

  1. Great bed as described – double or king as booked, reasonably firm with soft sheets and good pillows
  2. Bathroom – which is well maintained and as clean as a new pin
  3. Controllable heating and lighting
  4. Accessible plug points
  5. Breakfast better than I would have at home

The Raddison Blu had 1 out of 5.

From the beginning there were warning signs – check in was slow; I have boarded a jumbo jet faster, checked into several Vegas hotels faster (possibly one of the busiest cities in the world)  – so why was this so slow?  Probably due to a lack of concierge; as there appeared to be a lot of chat about other stuff by the reception staff.    James, who checked us in, was charming but missed out a key fact – read on to find out about his blunder.

Bedroom: the room was a good size with a good view of the city.  The television did not represent the room size (I can’t find my photo, but trust me it was really small) and yet again we had two singles pushed together!  I do not understand why hotels of this calibre cannot offer couples a bed to share rather than pushing two twins together.  We use the Premier Inns and they can offer double beds as standard.  Again we paid and booked a double room so very disappointed.

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Bathroom : was just ok, yet again evidence of mould/mildew – not cool.The shower was effective and easily controlled. The dresser area was good with the exception of the stool; which was quite old and frayed around the edges. Something you may accept in a low-end B&B but in a 5-Star hotel?

Radisson Blu Dresser
Radisson Blu Dresser

Cocktails : We were dining at James Martin’s so we had some pre-dinner cocktails in the Champagne Bar – that is after the 15  minutes that it took for the waiter to take our order. Why offer a waiting service when it would be quicker to stand at the bar as we witnessed (we were seated by a Maitre’d so no excuses) – the cocktails were good but the choice was not as expansive as compared to other hotels of a similar standard.

Breakfast : we turned up for breakfast around 830am only to be asked by the Maitre’d if we had booked for breakfast (something James had omitted to tell us was advised for this hotel upon our arrival).  It was clear the compact area they serve breakfast in could only seat a small percentage of the hotel capacity. We complained, explaining to the hostess that this was never mentioned at check-in. Under some duress she found us a table but only after telling us several times “we are really busy this weekend”. I would imagine most city hotels around the world are very busy most weekends!

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Breakfast queue

We were served our tea, which after some considerable time would not brew a deeper shade of warm milk.  I am sure Newby of London is an excellent brand but it was just not to my taste or maybe it requires two teabags per pot!   I made my way to the breakfast buffet and really wished we had not bothered.  We were greeted by greasy potatoes, overcooked sausages, cremated bacon and  dried up scrambled eggs and luke warm baked beans.

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Enough was enough.  We abandoned breakfast and sought out the duty manager as I had to share my feelings and disappointment. I was genuinely offended that the Radisson Blu think this standard of breakfast for (£15 / person) is acceptable from such a prestigious brand.   We had a conversation about all of the above and the outcome was we were refunded for our breakfast as a token gesture.

I cannot not recommend the Radisson Blu Manchester. The staff were underwhelming in the face of any adversity they claimed.  The overall offering we experienced was substandard compared to other 5-star  hotels within the City.  Especially, those that offer better prices with better breakfasts that do not have the mantra “we are very busy this weekend”.

 

Banana loaf with Lindt Chocolate

Banana Loaf #badboy

I’m on a roll at the moment or should I say loaf. I’m slowly working my way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and adding and changing recipes until I feel I have mastered them or added a twist that leaves me happy.   The latest conquest was Banana Loaf.

Luckily for me, my colleagues are not keen on banana’s once they are showing signs of ripening which also gave  my the perfect opportunity to try out my new tin liners.  I love baking and I think I’m doing okay, but lining tins is not my area of strength so theses are a welcome addition.

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This bad boy is perfect (it’s no secret any great banana loaf needs really ripe bananas).  My first loaf was plain banana. My next bake had chocolate (a handful of chopped up dark chocolate) then I added Clark’s Maple Syrup and finally maple syrup and pecans which became the office favorite. The balance of Maple syrup was a learning curve and after 3 attempts and feedback from the office I think I have the right balance.

Lindt Dark Chocolate
Clarks Maple Syrup and a handful of  Lindt Dark Chocolate

So what next….

Line your tin. Now you’d think this is straight forward but be careful choosing your tin. For this recipe you needs a 2lb /900g loaf tin; if you’re not sure measure out and this size tin should hold one litre of water.

Ingredients

  • 100g (4oz) softened butter * (very important don’t cheat this)
  • 175g (60z) Caster sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Ripe Banana’s mashed
  • 225g  (8oz) self raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

The Extras

  • 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup (I use Clarks)
  • 2 tablespoons of pecan nuts, cut in halves.
    or 1 handful of chopped dark chocolate (both is too much so I recommend you pick one or the other)
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  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160c (fan assisted)/gas mark 4 and lightly grease and line your 2lb loaf tin (bottom and sides).
  2. Measure out your ingredients into a mixing bowl and the mashed banana and if desired the maple syrup mix well for 2 minutes or until well blended.
  3. Next stir in your chocolate and or pecans
  4. Pour / spoon the mixture into your lined tin and level the surface
  5. Bake on your middle shelf for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin on your cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turnout and peel off the parchment until cooled.

Or if like me, why not have slice while still warm with a cup of tea!

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Banana loaf with Lindt Chocolate
Banana Loaf with Lindt Chocolate

Duck n Roll @TrinityLeeds

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Duck n Roll sought us out as the sweet aromas of their duck reaches outside to Albion Street. We followed our noses and ordered lunch at the latest addition to Trinity Kitchen.

We ordered and got food within 8 minutes! Now that’s fast.

The Classic was a duck pate burger served in a plump brioche bun with spring onion and lashings of sweet chilli sauce topped with cheese.

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Then for my L’Asiatique. It did not disappoint; it was crammed with duck, spring onions; cucumber and Bean spouts with  a rich hoisin sauce. This juicy parcel was a tasty and filling lunch time snack.

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Cost £10.90 for two lunches.

Duck n Roll is a great addition to Trinity Kitchen. Really recommend their tasty bites in fact  you’d be quackers not to.

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