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Vineatily, Leeds

3 May

A wine dispenser? Why have I never heard of this before?

I was delighted today to be introduced to one of Leeds’ newest eateries, Vineatily. In a quiet corner of town overlooking a pretty part of the canal, this Italian bar and deli, which happens to be very close to my office, is set to become my new local.

Run by some very fabulous Italian gentleman who’s English is delightfully broken, the food is 100% home-made and the wine list is extensive.

The menu ranges from homemade lasagna and paninis, to grills and desserts, whilst in a corner of the shop, the gents sell their authentic Italian sauces and snacks. The deli even boasts a wine dispenser (something which I’ll be investigating to have installed in my own home!) Just credit a special card at the bar and fill up as  many times as you like from a range of Italian wines. Brilliant.

I tried the classico panini for lunch – simple but delicious cured meat and mozzarella. Yum. And with cocktails starting from £5.50, you’ll be able to find me there most Fridays after work.

Visit Vineatily at Granary Wharf in Leeds.

Authentically Italian

My Marbella Menu

22 Apr

La Sala, Puerto Banus (picture courtesy of La Sala)

There aren’t many jobs that come with a surprise trip to Marbella for the end of year party, but luckily for me, I have one! My sleepy colleagues and I arrived at the office at 5.30am, the cat finally let out of the bag after a short bus journey to Leeds Bradford airport where boarding passes were handout out by the world’s best boss.

Arriving in Puerto Banus just in time for lunch, the afternoon was jam-packed with a bit of work but mostly play, before heading back to the hotel to get read for a night on the town. After our only celeb spot of the trip (a bit of cringe worthy but very fun hob nobbing with Strictly dancer James Jordan) we arrived at restaurant, La Sala.

The table booked for a laid-back 10.30pm, we arrived early to enjoy drinks on the terrace where the outdoor heaters took the edge off the evening chill. A couple of bottles of Sauvignon and a few cold beers later, the 14 of us were shown to our table to enjoy a beautiful three-course dinner. The restaurant was bustling, clearly a popular hot spot, with live music being enjoyed by a mixture of locals and tourists in the bar area, although I do think we were the only party dancing at the table…

Spoilt for choice from a mouth-watering set menu, I opted for; deep-fried Camembert, grilled sea bream with lime risotto and asparagus, followed by a selection of home-made ice cream. Knowing the amount of drinking that was on the cards after said meal, I wanted to keep my choices as light as possible. Dinner was really incredible and I clearly played it well given the amount of wine that was consumed during the hours that followed (no nap required) however, I had super food envy at my neighbour’s spinach and ricotta tortellini with pine nuts. When she was full I ceased the opportunity to tuck in, it was so rich and creamy I could have finished the whole bowl but resisted. An option for next time for sure.

Dinner done we finished the evening nightclub Seven. An Arabian-inspired club with great music and generous measures of spirits. Both venues come highly recommended and made for a great whistle-stop tour of this popular destination. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to nurse my headache…

Fab friends

I do like to be beside the seaside

8 Aug

Yesterday I went to the seaside with my two favourite boys. One was sick in the back of the car. I’ll let you figure out which one that was.

Mess cleared up and despite the changeable weather we managed to play on the beach, go on a boat trip and enjoy a crocodile ride at the fun fair. Then it came to lunchtime and there was no question at all what our sunday lunch would comprise of…fish and chips. Of course. It really isn’t a myth that fish and chips taste better at the seaside, I don’t know what they do to it but it’s one of those tasty treats you remember. So I was pretty excited when we chose a lovely little chippie on the seafront decked out in retro nautical decorations and waited for our meal to arrive.

*Rant warning

Now, I know this is a food blog so I will say that as far as the fish and chips went – it was bloomin’ delicious. What really, really shocked me was the way this swimmingly delicious meal was served – each one in a separate plastic box. I’m not too precious, I can eat food from an authentic receptacle if needs be – but we weren’t taking out, we were sitting in the restaurant. I realise this saves on washing up for them – but what a waste. Whilst we were sat there I must have seen at least 40 plastic boxes be scooped up and thrown straight into the bin. I’m no tree hugger but I really don’t agree with that at all.

*Rant over.

A fishy business

16 Jan

The fish industry is a hot topic on TV at the moment and has continued to receive a battering (see what I did there?!) thanks to last night’s Dispatches on Channel 4. It investigated sustainability and tracebility of the fish we buy and some worrying facts about seafood labelling were revealed, with many products sold on “fresh” fish counters having actually been frozen already, sometimes for a number of months. Advice: read the small print before you buy.

But on a more light-hearted note, Friday night saw Heston B create one of his fabulously extravagant and extraordinary meals, this time a fishy feast for hungry celebs including Jonathan Ross and (hilariously) Zoe Salmon! He used sea cucumber tea, wolffish and chips and trout candy floss to raise awareness of dwindling fish stocks and dabble with reinventing our national dish. He’s so clever.

Positive or negative, fish are enjoying the media limelight at the moment and I hope people aren’t put off from purchasing fish despite the negative coverage. Let’s see how Hugh gets on with his fish fight and yes, I have spent all weekend watching TV!