Monday, 2 March 2015
Friday, 27 February 2015
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Monday, 16 February 2015
[youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XVNlGBLiyc[/youtube]The Menu: This was a modern twist on a classic afternoon tea, comprising of traditional finger sandwiches cut into triangles with the crusts cut off, freshly baked and warm scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and a wide selection of dainty desserts and slices of traditionally "British" cakes. www.doubletreecambridge.com Please note - This visit was complimentary following an invitation to view this venue and meet up with the team. I am in no means obliged to blog or write about their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. Any questions or to discuss a review or if you would like to be featured, please do email: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also read about Miss Sue Flay's "Around The World In 80 Stays Challenge" here.
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
[youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWCzlfJjH9E[/youtube]This is one of two Chop Houses, amongst various other fantastic venues owned by Cambscuisine, a group of five restaurants and an event dining operation in Cambridge. This particular restaurant has different levels of seating, with the basement cellar offering a clandestine space to enjoy a bite to eat by candlelight or the ground floor seating area with views of the Chapel, the iconic grasshopper "Corpus Clock" and a few yards away from the bustling Cambridge Market. The food served at The Cambridge Chop House has a no nonsense, traditionally British presentation to it and you can expect to find interesting cuts of meats and chops, served by a highly passionate and knowledegable team. Even the decor, if you look closely, nods to the "meat theme" with a butchers block in the window, a deer skeleton on the wall behind the ground floor bar and lamps adorned with antlers - it has recently been re-vamped by the same interior designers who got to work on making "SmokeWorks", one of their other retaurants stand out from the crowd - it works perectly. They also support local breweries and offer a selection of real ales from sources such as the Milton Brewery, The Growler Brewery, Brewsters and Tydd Steam to name but a few. My reason for visiting this week was to check out their brand new Coffee House offerings, where they are now open between 8:15am - 12noon for coffee, tea and pastries - this is one of the best locations in a long time of which I've enjoyed a good quality cuppa, a tasty sweet treat and a place to get some much-needed blogging finished up. Even their WiFi code is "Meat" related! All coffees are fairtrade and can be ordered as a takeaway option with your favourite milk option, even a shot of your favourite flavour, so I would urge you to support this local offering if it's on your route to work or you need somewhere to perch for a while, it's not somewhere I would have considered before I had heard about it. If you are a tea drinker, they have a wide selection of loose leaf Brew House Teas, with the more traditional English Breakfast and Earl Grey blends, as well as the more unusual blends such as the Fruit Punch tea which smells intensely of strawberries and looks beautiful in an individual & elegant glass teapot. If you are looking for somewhere to meet a friend or catch up on your diary whilst in town, this is a quieter, relaxed way to enjoy a cup of tea and a chocolate twist - go on, treat yourself! To view my full photo album of this visit, simply click here. http://www.cambscuisine.com/cambridge-chop-house Please note - This visit was complimentary following an invitation to view this venue and meet the team. I am in no means obliged to blog or write about their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. The service team that work on the day or duration of my visit are not aware of my reasons for visiting, to enable a fair review. Any questions or to discuss a "Secret Stay" or review, please do email:email@example.com
You can also read about Miss Sue Flay's "Around The World In 80 Stays Challenge" here.
All images © 2014 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Monday, 19 January 2015
[youtube height="HEIGHT" width="WIDTH"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHTZpJnO1c0[/youtube]What To Do: So. Whilst in this region, I managed to enjoy a little tour of the area and enjoyed some simply stunning scenery from the castle ruins in the old village of Grimaud, the peaceful sunset on the rocks of Sainte Maxime harbour and the extremely steep drive up, around and down into Plan De La Tour, a quaint and hidden French town for the perfect destination off the tourist trail. Without a hire care, there simply wouldn't be as much exploring, you would be very limited on where you could go, so it's a must. Visiting St. Tropez out of season is actually a great time to take a trip (literally one day left on the boat taxi from Port Grimaud - they stop running on 4th October) and I enjoyed a sun-drenched walk around this stunning place. I had expected to eat out along the port, but for up to €25 for a plate of mozzarella & basil, I decided an ice cream to be much more in my budget! There are two ice cream parlours very close together, one being "Barbarac" with queues out the back door as well as through the front... or there's the parlour a few doors down with nobody waiting or queuing. Usually I wouldn't bother to line up, but I felt there was a reason people were going mad for this place and I really wasn't wrong!! I opted for a scoop of Oreo and a scoop of coffee ice cream and the flavours were intense, it was like tasting a cup of coffee in cold form, just beautiful! The waffle cone was also crisp and the generous serving kept me going all afternoon - I'm a cheap date (two double-scoop ice creams came to €9) even in the South of France it seems. St Tropez from Port Grimaud with Navette-Bateau.com cost just €12 per adult for a return trip. I could have driven there, but a boat trip in the Mediterranean sun is pure heaven, don't miss out on this breezy journey amongst the luxury yachts and impressive liners. I managed to make use of the local supermarkets (Casino, Carrefour, etc) and enjoy some home cooked meals, even a BBQ with some tasty Toulouse sausages and roasted vegetables. But, it's not a French coastal holiday without beers & frites on Port Grimaud beach under the palm trees to watch the sunset - just stunning and still so warm from 8pm onwards. Whilst say there one evening, a huge black cloud rolled in behind me and lit the sky with epic sheet lightening and 2 or 3 bolts at a time (no thunder!) so the drive up the windy hills back to the villa was a little scary for a girl who's petrified of thunderstorms! After the 29th September, parking in Port Grimaud is free, so I ended up parking here a fair bit for my beach fix. The beach here is beautiful, the port itself is stunning and for just €1 per person you can climb to the top of the church within the harbour and enjoy the best views for miles. From here I spotted a castle in the hills (La Garde Freinet) and later that same day we drove, following our noses to find it for exploration - it boasted an amazing view of the sea and ports, making it well worth the random road trip to hunt it down. The Spa: Whilst visiting the Côte d'Azur, I managed to hunt down a tranquil outdoor spa, surrounded by palm trees, complete with panoramic sea views - Spa Sarome is well worth a visit for some much needed relaxation. €17 gains you access to this beachside paradise for an hour, allowing you to indulge in their secluded hot tub, sauna, Hamam and heated plunge pool. It's the perfect getaway from a busy beach in the height of summer. I will never tire of the beautiful & scenic coastal drive between Le Muy and Grimaud, the beaches of Sainte Maxime twinkling as the sun hits the water, it's stunning and inviting me to stay... so very tempting! The Food: Brioche, Millefeuille (oh my goodness!!!), Bon Mamon puddings & tart selections or Gu desserts that you can't get here in the UK, Lauderee in St Tropez harbour are all treats you can expect to find here. I also found a supermarket one day with amazing Pain du Chocolat freshly baked and stacked on the shelves - I couldn't wait to eat them for breakfast the next day as planned and had to nibble on one in the car as the smell was très irresistible. I got to day 5 and craved a Croque Monsieur - how could I forget to sample a French version of one of my most favourite sandwiches?! I enjoyed this on the beach with a beer watching the sunset - heavenly. Traditional baguettes and cheese for a beach picnic did the job during the daytime - delicious and warm bread fresh from the roadside Boulangerie en route. If you get a chance, you must also try a Melieneux (a meringue ball with chocolate ganache) and a coffee Religiuex - delicious patisserie, the ones I enjoyed the most whilst here. Final Thoughts: The road signs are hilarious - as you leave a town, there's just the name and a giant Red Cross through it to show that you've left - amused me at the "abruptness" of the signage, I ended up shouting the names of the towns as we drove out of them as a fun game. Aqualand is close to Le Muy, towards Sainte Maxime, but it was closed at this time of year - earlier in the year and this could be a fun place to spend a few hours on the slides and wave machines. Supermarkets and shops seem to be closed on Sundays - noted for next time, be a little more organised when needing food for meals! Also note, if driving from the airport, have cash/coins at ready for the toll road (Turkish Lira doesn't work, naturally!) You can also read about Miss Sue Flay's "Around The World In 80 Stays Challenge"and other Secret Stays & Reviews here. Please Note - I paid my own way on this occasion and I am in no means obliged to blog or write about my experience, but I simply choose to share their offerings with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. Any questions or to discuss an independent review or"Secret Stay", please do email: firstname.lastname@example.org All images © 2014 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.