Dinner at The Trading House

If you know me, you will know that I'm a huge foodie and that visiting new restaurants is one of my favourite hobbies, particularly with my sister. Living in London has made me love eating out, as much as it's made me love cooking at home. So when an email arrived in my inbox inviting me to try out a new restaurant, I grabbed my food-partner-in-crime and went along the following evening. So we headed to The Trading House in the City, a little off the beaten track but worth heading there. The Trading House offers an extensive selection of cocktails, a customisable G&T list, deli rotisserie inspired food and live music every evening. 

First thing's first, the cocktails needed to be ordered. If I ever have to choose between wine or a cocktail, I will always choose the fruitiest cocktail on the menu. I went straight for the Blueberry Gin Crush, which was a little on the strong side, but I would have happily sipped that all night long. Containing creme de peche, Brockmans gin, lemon juice, sugar, clove syrup and lemonade, it was delicious and garnished with a lemon wedge and a few blueberries. My sister went for a G&T with the Hendrick's gin and a Fentiman's tonic with a garnish of cucumber. After a small sip, it was decided that I'm definitely not a fan of gin & tonics, as much as I try to enjoy them.

After a round of cocktails, starters arrived and we were reading to dig in. We ordered the Baked Camembert with Fruit and Flatbread and a Chicken Liver and Rum pate with Plum and Apple Chutney. The Camembert was delicious, small enough where we didn't feel full afterwards, but the garlic and rosemary added the taste which I could have eaten a whole lot more of. The Chicken Liver and Rum Pate, which unfortunately was not the most photographic food, was very rich. With a great depth to it due to the rum, I found that it was a little overwhelming and not something I coud have ate all by myself. 

Coming from a family where every meal out is spent sharing each other's food, it was natural that my sister and I were going to order together and then swap halfway through. The 9oz Ribeye Steak with garlic butter and fries, Rotisserie Half Chicken with a salad and a side of corn and peppercorn sauce were all ordered so we could have a try of everything. The steak, oh my, it was absolutely perfectly cooked and delicious. We asked for it to be medium-rare and it was pink enough without it being too chewy. The chicken was succulent and juicy, a perfectly cooked rotisserie chicken. 

We finished with dessert and two more cocktails. As for the desserts, we ordered a Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake and Sticky Toffee Pudding, however, the desserts aren't anything to go shouting about. I mean, they ok but compared to the rest of the food, they were mediocre and I would suggest that they start to offer homemade desserts to match the menu. 
For the final two cocktails, Kayleigh went for a Cinnamon & Ginger Martini which was a little spicy, very strong but delicious. Definitely not a Tuesday night cocktail! I went for a Raspberry Amaretto Sour, which is my all time favourite cocktail and this did not disappoint.

Would I return here? For the steak alone, hell yes! The cocktail and drinks list is extensive and it's obvious that there has been a lot of thought put into the bar. When talking to the manager, he mentioned that the group which opened the restaurant also owns The Botanist in Newcastle, which is well known for their cocktails. Being northerners ourselves, we picked up on his northern accent so of course asked about other places which the group owns. 

Location wise, it's situated a short walk from many tube stations including Bank, St Pauls, Moorgate and Liverpool St Station as it's in the middle of them all. So if you work in the City, or are meeting around that area for after work drinks, it's open Monday-Saturday. Plus on a Thursday, it's open till 1am and on a Friday, open till 2am. So it's even more perfect for those extended after work drinks and nibbles.

On top of the fact that if you sign up for their newsletter when paying for the bill, they will give you a free bottle of wine on your next visit and a bottle of bubbles on your birthday! But also, if you decide to head there and book online, follow this link and it will apply 20% off your orders!

Luce x

Acai Bowl Recipe

DSC_1021.jpg
DSC_1030.jpg

I discovered acai bowls last summer and by discovered I mean, I stalked numerous people on Instagram to find out what these delicious look things are. If you know what a smoothie bowl is, then you'll know an acai bowl too. Acai berry is a berry which is found in Brazil and it's mostly popular as it's such a high anti-oxidant, which is always great for your diet, which equally makes it a known superfood. Acai is low in sugar, but super high in iron, vitamin A, calcium and fibre. All of this combined with the most delicious taste as it's a deep berry flavour with an after-taste of dark chocolate, who wouldn't want to eat this? 
As acai is only found in Central and South America, the berry has to be blended down to a pulp before it's frozen and flown over to different countries to be bought in a frozen 'smoothie' pack. This isn't the most common way to purchase it, however I get my acai frozen packs from Amacai in London who delivered it frozen to my door and I was so impressed with their service! You can also purchase it in a powder which is commonly found in Whole Foods/Planet Organic/Holland & Barrett etc. But let me show you my favourite acai bowl recipe -

Blend together...
2 x Frozen Bananas (use three bananas if using acai powder)
1 x Acai Frozen Pack
1 x Cup of Frozen Berries (I choose blueberries & raspberries)
1 tbsp of Hemp Protein Powder
1/2 cup of Water

Top with...
Granola of choice
Goji Berries
Cacao Nibs

I use a Nutribullet to blend it altogether which does an amazing job, the best blender I've used before, just make sure you put enough water in the container to get the contents moving. The protein powder is an extra for me as I've been adding that into my diet recently but can easily be removed. 

Luce x

Three Super Easy Smoothies

At the beginning of the year I bought a Nutribullet and I am so happy I purchased it. I have never used a blender like it, I have made everything from an everyday smoothie to soup to flour in it, it has never-ending possibilities as it's so powerful. After experimenting with lots of smoothies, some of them turned out delicious and some just didn't (and resembled baby food at times). But here are three smoothies you should try out - be warned that they all contain frozen bananas, I don't actually like the taste of banana so they all mask the taste well but make it extra creamy.

Fruity Mango Smoothie
Blend together...
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1 Handful of Mango Chunks
- 5 tbsp of Water

Creamy Green Smoothie
Blend together...
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1/2 an Avocado
- 1 tbsp of Flaxseed Powder
- 1 Handful of Spinach Leaves
- 5 tbsp of Water
Top with a sprinkle of bee pollen

Dairy Free Chocolate Smoothie
Blend together...
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1 Handful of Spinach Leaves
- 1 tbsp of Oats
- 1 tsp of Maca Powder
- 1 tsp of Cacao Powder
- 5 tbsp of Water
Top with cacao nibs for a sweet treat

No Bake Energy Balls

_DSC0942.jpg

Snacking is one of my favourite hobbies, I would snack all day if I could but finding tasty healthy snacks can be hard. After looking at recipes for various different energy balls, I thought I would try my own out by testing the ingredients I already owned. These are to my personal taste, as I like sweet things, but you can always try them to your own taste.

Ingredients - 

  • 1/2 cup of milled flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup of hemp protein powder
  • Handful of dark chocolate chips
  • Handful of chopped goji berries
  • Handful of dried cranberries
  • 4 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of cashew butter

I simply put them all into a mixing bowl, dry ingredients first before adding the honey until the consistency is sticky enough to roll into a ball. I placed them into fridge for a few hours so that they would harden up a little, which made them easy to eat straight away or pop into a tupperware box to snack on at work. 
Fill them with the good stuff and you won't feel guilty eating them in between meals. I find that they're perfect for that time between breakfast and lunch, especially if you have breakfast super early. But also great for post-workout as they add the extra protein you may need if you add the protein powder in, as well as the anti-oxidants from the goji berries and dark chocolate. 

What are your favourite healthy snacks?

Luce x