Archive for the ‘Restaurant Reviews – by area’ Category

Where to Eat and Drink – Sandwich & Deal, Kent

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Updated May 2017

SANDWICH

Sandwich is a historic town on the River Stour, home to nature reserves and two world class golf courses. Deal is a nearby coastal town with quaint streets and houses.

The Map below shows the locations of the recommended Restaurants, Cafes and Bars described below :-

The Beach Hut Cafe – A friendly Cafe. Good for Breakfast.

The Salutation Tea Room – A lovely venue for Coffee and Cakes and more formal Afternoon Tea.

There is also a restaurant in The Salutation, which I have not tried yet. It serves Lunch and Dinner.

No Name French Delicatessen and Bistro – consists of an excellent deli on the ground floor and Le Bistro on the first floor. Le Bistro has a fairly extensive menu covering traditional french dishes like Tartiflette. It also offers a typical french breakfast, is licensed and has excellent house wine. It is open during day time only, it does not serve evening meals. In the warmer weather they provide outside seating on the pavement opposite.

Scrumalicious Cake Company – A welcoming cafe and cake shop that specializes in home baked goods. They also make cakes for special occasions.

Goats That Dance - A cosy and stylish cafe, that’s incredible value for money. Still can’t believe I had Coffee and Cake for £3.  Love the decor. Some outside seating too when the weather is good.

 

BETWEEN SANDWICH AND DEAL

Chequers Kitchen Restaurant – A Foodie Oasis on the Ancient Highway between Sandwich and Deal.

UPDATE Sept 2015 – Focus now on Cooking School and only doing food now for special events. Bar is still open, so it’s a nice place to stop for a drink or some ice cream.

 

DEAL

The Map below shows the locations of the recommended Restaurants, Cafes and Bars described below :-

Poppys Kitchen Cafe – On Deal High Street, took over from The Allotment and  seems to be keeping up the good work. They have also made better use of the outside space.

UPDATE May 2017 : Now under new management.

The Black Douglas – A friendly and relaxing spot on the sea front. This coffee house serves excellent Coffee and interesting Sandwiches, Savory dishes and Cakes.

Pop up Cafe - A pleasant place to stop when visiting Deals High Street, the staff are friendly and helpful. The baked goods are made on the premises. The Pop up Cafe is much larger than it looks from the outside, the largest seating area is upstairs and there is a small seating area outside, although the view of Poundland is not as appetizing as the cakes.

For information on places to Eat and Drink in nearby towns and villages, see:-

For other activities in the area, see:-

 

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Where to Eat and Drink – Margate, Kent

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Margate is a historic seaside town which is slowly re inventing itself as a trendy destination helped very much by the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery located on the Harbour Arm.

The Map below shows the locations of the recommended Restaurants, Cafes and Bars described below :-

The Bus Cafe – This is basically a Kitchen with upstairs seating squeezed into a vintage double decker bus. It’s a local gem for Foodies, we loved their breakfast hashes.

Top quality Street Food. Friendly staff – (see Map for location)

BeBeached –  Easy to find out on the harbour arm (it’s the place with the vibrant pink umbrellas outside). Highly recommend for brunch – the Eggs Benedict is pricey but delicious and the Eggy Bread with Cinnamon (aka Cinnamon French Toast) is a real treat. The lunch menu looks very good too. We especially liked the section that was a homage to My Old Dutch crepes.

The Cupcake Cafe - A lovely Cafe in Margate Old Town, it is very popular and has lots of outside seating. The menu includes several breakfast options as well as Soups and Sandwiches. It also has a nice selection of  Cupcakes and regular sized Cakes.

The Greedy Cow – A casual and attractive venue in the old town, with upstairs seating as well as benches outside for al fresco dining.

The Lifeboat – Great Pies and Cider.

The Ambrette – First class modern Indian Food.

IF IF IF

GB Pizza – The best Pizza in Kent and then some ;)

IF IF IF

Melt (Sands Hotel) – A very civilized stop for some decent Ice Cream. The English Trifle Ice Cream was especially good.

Places under new management that will need a re-visit before inclusion include:-

There are also several other cafes/restaurants I have not been to yet but which I have heard good things about, they are:-

For information on places to Eat and Drink in nearby towns and villages, see:-

For other activities in the area, see:-

 

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Where to Eat and Drink – Broadstairs, Kent

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Broadstairs is a historic seaside town with beautiful sandy beaches. It is often described as the “Jewel in Thanet’s crown”.

The Map below shows the locations of the recommended Restaurants, Cafes and Bars described below :-

STARK – A tiny 12 cover restaurant. The focus is entirely on a well thought out, well structured six course tasting menu with excellent ingredients and matching wines. The menu changes on a regular basis to showcase the talents of Chef Ben Chittenden. It is only open Wednesday to Saturday Evenings. Booking is essential, usually well in advance.

Wyatt and Jones – An excellent restaurant with one of the best views in Broadstairs. They make their own bread, smoke their own fish and butcher their own meat.

IF IF IF

The Chapel – A Bar in a Bookshop that serves really good Pies and Cider (same menu as The Lifeboat in Margate).

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The Restaurant at East Kent College – Look out for special events. Now in The Yarrow Hotel.

Bleak House – Eccentric in a good way, does an excellent Afternoon Tea (which ideally you need to book for), beautiful garden. Does a really good Pimms.

Bessies Tea Parlour – A vintage Tea Room, that sells lots of different teas and  home baked cakes. Ideal for Afternoon Tea, which is beautifully presented on vintage china cake stands. Open from 10:00 to 18:00 every day of the week.

For information on places to Eat and Drink in nearby towns and villages, see:-

For other activities in the area, see:-

 

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Where to Eat and Drink – Ramsgate and Minster, Kent

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Updated October 2017 RAMSGATE

Ramsgate is a historic seaside town with beautiful sandy beaches and one of the largest marinas on the English south coast. It has the only Harbour in the United Kingdom that has been awarded the right to call itself a Royal Harbour. It also boasts some quite stunning Architecture.

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The Map below shows the locations of the recommended Restaurants, Cafes and Bars described below :-

Kyoto Sushi and Grill - A seriously good Japanese Restaurant.

Flavours by Kumar – a modern India Restaurant in Effingham Street that produces some beautifully spiced dishes. Good set lunch deals that even include an amuse-bouche. OK wine list and friendly staff. Ignore the decor, this is a great find. Owned by the former head chef of the acclaimed Ambrette in Margate.

Townleys at Albion House - a good option for an upmarket brunch or Afternoon Tea. The Townleys seasonal menu can be served in the snug, the restaurant and the stylish bar.

For more on the the Albion House Boutique Hotel see earlier post titled Weekend at The Albion House Hotel.

The Hive – a little out of the way in George Street but a great find for a quality brunch or lunch. They also serve a nice selection of cakes and brownies.

26 Harbour Street – a cafe bar that does an excellent brunch. The bar area is at the front and there is a cosier seating area at the back.

Vinylhead – A stylish Cafe, Bar and Record Shop. They are licensed and occasionally have live music and Open Mic on weekends. They serve good coffee and really excellent homemade cakes. For more substantial food check out the kitchen menu. They also have a lovely sheltered courtyard.

The Falstaff - a boutique hotel in Addington Street with a restaurant, a casual dining area called the Addington Street Kitchen and a bar. They also have a garden area at the back that is open to non residents.

Queen Charlotte – a quirky pub in Addington Street that is famous for its live music performances.

The Empire Room at the Royal Harbour Hotel - A beautifully decorated restaurant which captures the essence of an archetypal gentlemens club in the glory days of the British Empire. Excellent Set Lunch and Set Dinner menus. They also do Afternoon Teas.

Coco Latino – a great place to people watch with a perfect view of the marina and lots of outside seating. They do a small selection of Tapas dishes and other snacks. They also serve beers, cocktails, wines, spirits and the best hot chocolate in the area. (Winter opening Friday evening and Saturday only)

Archive Homestore & Kitchen – a lovely spot to stop for a light lunch or coffee and cake. There is outside seating and a communal table on the ground floor and more tables and seating upstairs where you have stunning views of the harbour.

The Arch Baran attractive comfortable and popular bar located under the Arches overlooking the Harbour. Has lots of outside seating. Serves Food including substantial seafood platters that are ideal for sharing.

Ship Shape in the Arches is a popular place. It’s very reasonably priced and serves one of the best full English breakfasts in Ramsgate. It’s much bigger than it looks and if you’re lucky you can grab one of the outside tables and get a good view of the harbour.

Miles Cafe Culture – a popular bar with a good view of the Marina open all day/every day.

SorbettoThe Ramsgate Ice Cream Parlour. The ice cream is made in a small artisan factory below the parlour.  You can order the ice cream to take away or you can choose to sit in the air conditioned parlour or outside overlooking the harbour. They serve generous portions of quality Italian gelato as well as hot and cold drinks, toasties and sandwiches.

The Belgian Cafe  bar – a drinking venue in a great location for those who appreciate Belgian Beer.

The Bench Wine and Tapas Bar – An excellent Wine and Tapas bar, uses Self Service Wine Dispensers. Open 7 days a week and till 2:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturday.

Royal Harbour Brasserie – an interesting place with fabulous views of the Harbour, the Marina, the English Channel and France. Generally delivers some pretty decent fish and seafood dishes and does good Sunday roasts. Best Lobster around (if it’s on the Menu). Weak wine list.

The Belle Vue Tavern – a popular pub with a large and very attractive beer garden in Pegwell Bay. The sea views from the garden are stunning. It is also known as “The balcony of Kent”.

The Ravensgate Arms – a cool pub that focuses on craft beers and ciders, haven’t eaten here yet, but I have heard good things about it.

The Garden Cafe – a friendly outdoor cafe located in a beautiful garden with stunning views of the harbour on the West Cliff.  Good for soft drinks, ice cream and basic food (mainly salads). You can also bring your own bottle to drink with your food. Last time I was there they did not even charge corkage. It’s a little gem. Very good service. Open only in the Summer months.

Ramsgate also has the largest Wetherspoon pub in the UK. It is called the Royal Victoria Pavilion. The food and drinks range is pretty much what you would expect to find in a Wetherspoon. The building and the view are what that makes this place special.

MINSTER

Minster is a small village just west of Ramsgate.  The Corner House is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

For information on places to Eat and Drink in nearby towns and villages, see:-

For other activities in the area, see:-

and for more about Ramsgate go to the Visit Ramsgate web site.

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Where to eat – Westminster and Pimlico

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Westminster/Pimlico is not really the part of London you think of visiting for good restaurants.

WESTMINSTER

There a few that are actually worth a visit.

Roux at Parliament Square – Michel Roux Jnr’s first class restaurant, Steve Groves (Master Chef Winner 2009) is head chef.

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City Cafe – at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel - Modern European food and a rather nice outside seating area

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Osteria Dell’Angolo – upmarket Italian.

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Quirinale -  upmarket Italian.

Rex Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britian – great wine cellar.

The Cinnamon Club, Great Smith Street - famous Indian restaurant.

The Rocks - something of a gem on Vauxhall Bridge Road.

and for information a couple of decent breakfast venues, see post

PIMLICO

A Wong – Highly acclaimed modern Chinese restaurant

Art of Tapas – a new Tapas bar that’s a bit of find.

Gastronomica – an interesting cafe/deli in the heart of Pimlico.

Goya – A popular and reliable Tapas bar.

 

 

LOCATION INFORMATION Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

 

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No Expert Guide to East Kent/Isle of Thanet

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Updated December 2015

If you fancy a trip to the Seaside or have recently moved to this beautiful part of the UK, here is some guidance to help you find some of the better places to eat, drink and shop in East Kent/Isle of Thanet. The information provided is based on local knowledge and should help you avoid tourist traps.

The Guide focuses on the seaside towns of RamsgateBroadstairsMargate and Deal.

The Guide also covers the nearby town of Sandwich and the village of Minster.

FOOD AND DRINK

SHOPPING

Some of the more interesting independent shops are highlighted in the following sections of the guide, other useful information covers local supermarkets, and where relevant Retro and Gallery shops :-

 

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Where to eat and drink – Lausanne and Ouchy

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

LAUSANNE AND OUCHY

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If you fancy a trip to Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a great place to use as a base. Here is a list of some useful restaurants and bars in Lausanne and nearby Ouchy.

Beau Rivage Palace Hotel -  in Ouchy, do not bother with any of the hotels restaurants*, instead have a relaxing drink or two and some bar snacks on the terrace overlooking the lake.

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*Update: Anne-Sophie Pic is now running the Gastromic Restaurant here, so maybe it is worth trying the distinct food of France’s only female 3 star Michelin chef. Especially now the Restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin Stars.

Alternatively you could have lunch on the Beau Rivage’s paddle streamer while it makes its way across the lake to Evian, dessert is served on the return trip.

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Charlies Place - comfortable bar and restaurant in the centre of Lausanne, good cocktail list and free wi-fi. CLOSED

Click here for more information

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Diva – pleasant bar near Lausanne station that does superior bar food.

Click here for more information

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Pur – trendy restaurant, bar and club in the Flon.

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LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Lausanne, Switzerland

Where to eat, drink and stay – New York

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

NEW YORK

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The restaurant scene in New York is very fluid, so I would do your research before you go, and book the top end restaurants at least a month in advance.   Here are some of my favorites (they have been around for years, which is a good sign):-

Gotham Bar and Grill -  a class act, and one of New Yorks Michelin Star restaurants.

Marks out of 10

Food 6.9

Service 7.5

Ambience 7

Blue Water Grill – Great for Brunch

Marks out of 10

Food 6

Service 6

Ambience 6

Eleven Madison Park – stylish, great deserts.

Marks out of 10

Food 6.9

Service 7

Ambience 7

Red Cat – Very cool, very New York

Marks out of 10

Food 6

Service 6

Ambience 6.5

The Plaza – Just one of these places you have to visit once.

 

Marks out of 10

Food 5

Service 6

Ambience 7

Other recommendations

Cafe Sabarsky - Tucked away within the Neue Gallerie in Upper East Side, great for Viennese pastries.

Bryant Park Grill – the outdoor bar for drinks

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Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square - it has a revolving Restaurant and Bar. Just go for the Bar (The View), its a great way to see New York, and yes I do believe it is the hotel where Arnie took the horse into the lift in True Lies.

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Dylan Hotel – it’s a boutique Hotel in a excellent location, just next to Grand Central station so perfect for public transport, which along with walking is the only way to do Manhattan.

Roof Garden Cafe at the Metropolitan Museum – open from May through to November (weather permitting – except for Mondays), fabulous views over Central Park. The elevator to the roof is hard to find, so you may need to ask a guard.

Lifts

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – New York, USA

Where to eat and drink – London Bridge, Bermondsey, Bankside (Southwark)

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

There are lots of restaurants to choose from in the Southwark area.  I have listed a few of my favorites.

Albion - Located in NEO Bankside, it’s a Shop, Bakery and Cafe, it’s great for Cake and Coffee and has outside seating. Part of the Conran Group.

Del’Aziz - Mediterranean Delicatessen and Brasserie, good venue for Cakes and Brunch.

Delfina - well cooked, quality food. Open for breakfast and lunch, occasional evening openings.

JoséJosé Pizarro’s tiny Tapas bar in Bermondsey Street.

Tas (Borough High Street) and Tas Pide (Bankside)

Tapas Brindisa – Close to Borough Market

The Table - Tucked away a couple of streets behind the Tate Modern, it’s ideal for late Breakfasts and Brunch.

The Hide Bar - excellent selection of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails, it also does regular wine tastings.

Village East (171-173 Bermondsey Street) – Good venue for carnivores, a popular place that does excellent steaks.

Vinopolis – There are several restaurants in the “City of Wine”. The Cantina Vinopolis is the best one in my view.

Zucca – Bermondsey’s answer to the River Cafe.

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Where to eat – Barcelona

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

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Barcelona has so many fabulous restaurants, but like many cities it also has lots that should be avoided. On our first visit many years ago now, we did no research and basically just went to places that were convenient and  looked OK. We have long since learned how dangerous that approach is. So if you are visiting Barcelona, here are a few recommendations to get you started.

Inexpensive

  • El Jardi – A refuge from the hustle and bustle.

Mid Range

High End

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map :- NoExpert Food Blog – Barcelona, Spain

 

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Where to eat and drink in Londons West End – Tourist Central!

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

The West End technically covers:-

Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Fitzrovia, Holborn, Marylebone, Mayfair, Seven Dials, Soho, St James and Westminster.

That is a pretty large area, so I am going to focus on the centre of the West End or Tourist Central, i.e., places around Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. This is mainly because finding a decent restaurant or bar in this area is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

So here are my top 10 recommendations, in no particular order.

1. The Albannach , Trafalgar Square – A very stylish “Scottish” Bar and Restaurant.  Open for Breakfast too. I would recommend reserving a table here rather than doing a walk in, you can make a reservation on line using their website.

2.Rockwell, Trafalgar Hotel – Two Top class bars (Upper and Lower Rockwell – Upper Rockwell is the roof top bar with stunning views), service can be a bit hit and miss.

3.Thai Square, Trafalgar Square – it’s not the best Thai restaurant in London by any means, but it is part of a reliable chain. (It has recently won an award to say it is the best – so judge for yourself).  It is also a good location for larger groups.

4.The Portrait Restaurant, in the National Portrait Gallery – reliable food, good for an inexpensive “Afternoon Tea”, great views over Trafalgar Square. Can get very busy at peak times, so I would also recommend reserving a table here via their website.

5.Asia de Cuba,  St Martins Lane Hotel – Very stylish and expensive venue, food is specifically designed for sharing, so ideal for groups of 4 or more.

6.The Mint Leaf, Piccadilly – a stylish, Modern Indian Restaurant and Bar. Good Pre Theatre venue.

7. Brasserie Roux, Piccadilly – a good choice for a pre theatre meal, the restaurant is in the Sofitel Hotel. The Hotel has a comfortable cocktail bar, which is a  refuge from the crowds. There is also the Rose Room, which is good for a more upmarket  “Afternoon Tea”.

8. 5th View Bar & Food, Waterstones, Piccadilly - For a book store cafe, this place is great, it does good reasonably priced cocktails and the food is way better that you would expect (limited choice though). Nice selection of cakes – the carrot cake is particularly good.

9.The Wolseley, Piccadilly – European Style Brasserie, very popular, stunning room – great for people watching if you can get a table.

10.Atheneaum Hotel, Piccadilly – The restaurant serves classic British food. The hotel also does a really good “Afternoon Tea” and has a bar that is both cosy and stylish (and expensive!). It also has The Pudding Parlour which I have not tried, but it does sound and look wonderful – Pudding Parlour post

 

 

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK