Blog Image

Restaurant & Hotel Reviews

The Leicester Arms Hotel, Penshurst, UK

Accommodation Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 05:19PM

Located in the beautiful Kent village of Penshurst and opposite the stunning Penshurst Place, The Leicester Arms is an olde worlde hotel, restaurant and bar full of the sort of charm and gentle, hushed feeling you’d expect from a historic English pub.



They have 12 bedrooms, an airy restaurant serving modern British cuisine, a private dining room that seats 24 people around one table for special event/weddings, plenty of parking, a solid range of beers, wine and cider and a scenic beer garden.

We arrived early, just as the pub was opening, as we wanted to make the most of the day at Penshurst Place.


The staff were welcoming and leaving our bags at reception was no problem. Later, around 5pm, when we returned from a wonderful day out our bags were in our room, which was comfy, large and with a modern-Victorian look to it.



Breakfast was included and excellent; decent coffee and juice, avocado on toast and if you wanted them, poached eggs on top. There was also a meat option, and cereals.


The same quality was applied to the bar food, which we had in the evening. The grilled veg baguettes were warm and fresh, the fries chunky and the salad well dressed. Meaning it wasn’t too dry, or oily, the avocado was perfectly ripe and every taste and texture worked together very nicely.

We enjoyed a couple of pints of Aspall’s with it, you can’t go wrong with that if you enjoy cider.



If you’re strict vegan you could easily ask them to hold the cheese, the staff were friendly and nothing was a hassle. This was solid, simple eating, exactly what we wanted after a long day sightseeing and as a bonus we only had to haul ourselves upstairs afterwards to bed, rather than drive anywhere! Definitely plan on eating here if you’re staying at the hotel, or if you’re just visiting Penshurst Place consider the hotel for a light dinner before heading home.


This is a real local style hotel, friendly, unique, stylish and ready to give you a true garden of England experience.

The Leicester Arms Hotel
https://www.theleicesterarmshotel.com/



Hunter 486 at The Arch, London, UK

Restaurants Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 05:04PM

Hunter 486 Restaurant and Bar, named after the 1950s dialling code for Marylebone, offers a variety of menus, (12 in fact!) including a theatre menu, a kids menu, a halal menu, a royal afternoon tea menu, a dog friendly menu!! and what you’d call a regular menu, infused with a ‘Best of British’ theme although we requested a purely vegetarian menu and that had more of an Italian feel, which was just fine with us.

Perhaps as important to mention as the food was the service; attentive, friendly, knowledgeable and artful, the last attribute fitting well with the decor and feel of the restaurant.

Scribbled odes to Champagne decorated the ceiling, original designer chairs by Tom Dixon featured in the bar area and glass chandeliers lit plush, deep set private booths and more open tables alike.

Our waiter offered us some recommendations which we took up and he, the barman and their team continued to work towards making our meal the memorable experience that it was. From fizzy to cocktails, then onto the beautifully plated, tasty dishes that arrived in good time yet without haste.

Hunter 486 offers fine dining and excellent service in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere; perfect for a special occasion or treat, we highly recommend it!

Hunter 486 at The Arch is now closed but the hotel and restaurant that has opened in it’s place can be discovered here https://www.theprinceakatokilondon.com/



28°-50° (Marylebone), London, UK

Restaurants Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 04:44PM

Named after the latitudes within which most of the world’s vineyards are located, the 28°-50° Wine Workshop and Kitchen takes the traditional wine bar experience to a whole new level. Owned by Chef Patron Aggi Sverrisson of Michelin starred Texture, 28°-50° provides a relaxed and informal dining experience whilst serving up fresh, seasonally focused, modern-European cuisine.

28°-50° was a 15 minute walk from the Amba Hotel and a couple from Oxford St. The welcome was warm yet informal and, having asked our waiter to recommend wine pairings for us, we tucked into what would become one of the most elegant, comforting 3 course meals we were to enjoy in the capital.


Apparently the menu changes daily; we started with chilled tomato gazpacho and a Thai pomelo salad…


…then we both had the veggie lasagne as main…

…before diving into the Icelandic baked Ãsey Skyr (ice cream, granola, strawberries & mint) and a chocolate desert (such a texture range!).



It was a joy, as was the wine. There were more than 30 wines available by the glass, carafe and bottle, a fine selection that the waiter explained artfully.

Give 28°-50° a try, you’ll enjoy outstanding, well priced fare with options for veggie and omni alike, served by knowledgeable staff in a great location.

28°-50° (Marylebone)
http://www.2850.co.uk/marylebone



The Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London, UK

Accommodation Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 04:29PM

Just 5 minutes walk from Marble Arch Tube station and Hyde Park, sitting right on Oxford St and across the road from one of Primark’s flagship stores, the location of this 4 star hotel is hard to beat.


We loved our stay here whilst seeing the sights (Buckingham Palace is a half hour walk away, as is Trafalgar Square, and Hyde Park is great for pre-tourism running), the room was quiet, the service excellent, as was the food, and the plate of deserts and the handwritten welcome card left in our room on our first evening was a lovely touch.


The suite was huge, the bed very comfortable…





…and we had access to the executive lounge, which we’d recommend you take advantage of. It’s where we relaxed after our days out and where we ate breakfast (buffet style with a mix of traditional English and Continental alongside felafel, humus and fresh salad if you’d rather more of a Middle Eastern start to the day). Snacks were available all day, with scones and jam among the offerings from lunch until about 5, then canapes from then until 7, and all the while the soft drinks, hot drinks, wine and beer were all complimentary.




We’d stay again in a heartbeat and we recommend you do to. Check out the website for the best deals.

The Amba Hotel Marble Arch
https://www.amba-hotel.com/en/london/marble-arch.html



Sophie Sucree, Montreal, Canada

Restaurants Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 04:10PM

From their website – “Sophie Sucre makes classic desserts and pastries, entirely vegan. Sophie Sucre creates memorable treats fresh daily with unwavering commitment to whole, often organic, 100% plant-based ingredients. Serving mindfully made baked goods, Sophie Sucre aims to allow one and all to indulge in responsible decadence.”

Sophie Sucree was the first all vegan bakery in Montreal, and the experience shows in their cakes, which are absolutely first class. Some vegan bakeries struggle with the admittedly difficult job of replacing dairy in items such as croissant, and in retaining the individual textures and flavours of varying cakes. Sophie Sucree has clearly studied the very nature of each item – what it is that makes it a success – and reproduced it wonderfully to create cakes with all of the tastes you’re used to, minus the needless cruelty that accompanies regular deserts.

My favourites were the feta and spinach pockets (the vegan feta is made in house)…

…the brownie (heavy in flavour and texture)…

…and the cherry cheesecake (the thickest, creamiest non-cream I’ve ever tasted).

Then there are the cupcakes, all 6 were of a light sponge with a flavourful, lush cream.


So many items to choose from yet so little time, for us at least. Perhaps we need to move to Montreal just to eat here. Not a bad idea, actually! And it’s only a 15 minute walk from the Uni Accommodation, too.

Sophie Sucree – http://www.sophiesucree.com/en/



Copper Branch, Montreal, Canada

Restaurants Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 04:02PM

From their website – “It’s time we serve our community powerful and responsible foods. Enjoy our 100% Plant-Based Power Food menu at a Copper Branch near you. Feel great about the food you eat. Our mission is simple: serve our community quality, whole foods and offer the world real food as fast-food for a change. We’re getting back to basics; serving healthy and wholesome foods and offering real food energy with the focus of promoting health and vitality, great taste, convenience, and responsibility.

These are power food meals you can trust and feel great about eating. Working his entire life in the fast-food industry and suffering with years of gaining weight and health problems, our founder was fed up with serving foods that have no nutritional value. He wanted to create a menu that stood for quality and health. A menu made of ingredients that he would want to eat and share with his family. And from there, Copper Branch grew.”

Our experience of Copper Branch is that it offers tasty, fairly priced health/comfort food in light, spacious locations around Montreal (and spreading now to the rest of Canada, thankfully).


Ours was a really pleasant eating experience, exactly what we wanted from our first night in a new city. The location was easy to find and near our accommodation, it was open late-ish considering it also serves breakfast through lunch, ordering was quick and as I said, the food was well priced (see the receipt for details) and satisfying.


Copper Branch do healthy fast food and they do it well, we 100% recommend.

Copper Branch – https://copperbranch.ca/



Sushi Momo, Montreal, Canada

Restaurants Posted on Sun, February 17, 2019 03:54PM

No glowing review of Sushi Momo (and the internet is overflowing with them) could have prepared us for how sublime an experience eating at this restaurant really is. The vibe is friendly, relaxed and refined and the choice of sushi unusual and extensive (not just your usual avocado rolls!) and the presentation beautiful.

The restaurant originally served both fish and veggie options but, the waiter told us, the veggie dishes far outsold the fish so several years ago they decided to go vegan. We are glad. You can taste, see and feel that the chef has experience of many types of cuisine, and there’s an inventiveness at work here that too many vegan chefs seem to consider unimportant but which we love, especially within the context of Japanese culture, and all the precision and homage to beauty that the art and history of the country conjours up.

It really is difficult to pick a favourite dish – we ate a great deal here and it was all superb – but I’ll highlight the 4 Mushroom tartare (shimeji, enoki, pleurote and portobello with green onion, avocado, fukujin zuke, bubu arare, taro chips and a truffle-miso emulsion)…

…the GYU Fried Tempura (I’ve never had a fried sushi roll before and this was quite magnificent with it’s extra layer of crispy texture, which I loved)…

…La vie en rose (beetroot, avocado, tempura flakes, takana, green onion and sweet and yuzu infused soya sauces)…

…and the Oma (a fried avocado maki presented in a goblet, topped with a sweet tofu tartare, cucumber, mango, avocado, fried leek and shredded sweet chili.


For desert we had a chocolate raspberry cake and a matcha cake with a drizzle of maple syrup. Amazing. And for the quality you’re getting, the prices are very reasonable.

This is not just a restaurant for vegans, any lover of sushi/excellent food is going to have a wonderfully memorable visit. Try to make a reservation, it’s often booked out.

Sushi Momo – https://www.sushimomo.ca/