Sunday 30 November 2014

Book Buddies November: 'The Clean-Eating Kitchen' from Parragon Books *REVIEW*

Each month Parragon send me a cookery book to review. I love to try out new recipes on a regular basis, and cookery books are such a true passion of mine: for me, this is the perfect job! This month I've been sent The Clean-Eating Kitchen and it couldn't have come at a better time. 

I've been fascinated by the idea of eating 'clean' for a while now, and have read a lot about it. I have good friends who are committed to a cleaner way of eating ("Hi!" to Liz and Amy who are totally welcome to borrow this book!) and so I couldn't wait to dive into this book!

A beautiful full colour 128 page book filled with delicious healthy recipes to keep you clean! 

Book Description: 

Clean-eating doesn't just mean washing your lettuce before you make a salad but eating foods that maximize their nutritional benefits by serving them in their most natural, whole state - and this book makes it easy! The helpful introduction will guide you through what processed ingredients to replace in your diet and each meal of the day is covered by a variety of exciting dishes. The recipes are simple, approachable, and made with raw natural ingredients that are easy to find in your favourite supermarket, health food shop, and farmers market and what's more they taste great.

Current Price:

£6.49 on Amazon

What I Thought:

I love this book. As someone who was interested in clean eating but knew very little about it, it was the perfect introduction to this eating concept. The book is broken down into sections, all of which combine to give you a comprehensive overview and insight into the world of clean eating. 

The book covers:
  • Benefits of a Clean Diet (A simple introduction which highlights why eating clean is so good for you, and what health benefits you can expect if you begin eating clean on a regular basis)
  • What You Can Eat (A full breakdown of HOW to 'Eat Clean'. From whole grains, to fish/meat, fats/oils, fruit/vegetables, and unrefined sugars, once you've read this introduction you'll have grasped all the main principles of a clean eating lifestyle)
  • Breakfasts (13 breakfast recipes from Mushroom & Egg Cups to Raw Buckwheat and Almond Porridge)
  • Lunches and Snacks (13 recipes including: Roast Tomato Soup, Root Vegetable Crisps with Herby Yoghurt Dip, Beetroot Falafel and Trail Mix)
  • Mains (12 recipes including: Butter Fried Sole, Parsnip and Tomato Bake, Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables, and Squash, Kale and Farro Stew)
  • Desserts and Baking (12 recipes including: Raw Chocolate Ice Cream, Raspberry Ricotta Cheesecake, Stuffed Nectarines, Honeyed Carrot and Pecan Squares and Crusted Cinnamon Oranges)

Having read this book from cover to cover I have decided that I definitely want to make a commitment to myself to try to eat in a cleaner way as much of the time as possible: not only to help me to maintain my recent 6 stone weight loss, but also to help keep my body and mind at the healthiest it can be. 

I am realistic however, I know myself, my own eating habits, my 'weaknesses' when it comes to food, and I know that I would be unable to commit to a completely clean diet 100% of the time. I can however make small changes to my already balanced diet to clean it up and make it healthier. 

I couldn't wait to try a recipe, and give this book a little road test in my own kitchen. When I saw the recipe for Raw Chocolate Ice Cream in this book, I was instantly intrigued. My husband Liam is a BIG ice cream fan, but obviously because of its high sugar/calorie content we don't often eat it anymore. We love a sweet treat, so I was fascinated to know whether this 'raw' ice cream was any good - could it give hubby's highly calorific double chocolate real ice cream a run for its money? 

The answer: YES. It is DELICIOUS, so easy to make it is almost embarrassing, and it really is a truly scrumptious, unctuous and deeply chocolatey sweet treat. It comes in at 95 calories per portion, and is made up of completely natural ingredients. 

The recipe is a mixture of frozen bananas, good unsweetened cocoa powder and agave nectar or honey - all whizzed up in a food processor until its a smooth Mr Whippy-like consistency. Serve immediately for a soft serve ice cream, or refreeze for an hour for a firmer scoopable ice cream.

Delicious soft serve Raw Chocolate Ice Cream from The Clean-Eating Cookbook

We served ours at the soft serve stage, with fresh berries and a couple of crumbled Amaretti biscuits over the top to add texture. The amaretti biscuits are not a 'clean' food, but they are very low in calories and easy to portion: for me, it is all about learning to eat with balance: the raw chocolate ice cream is SO much healthier than a high sugar dairy dessert, so adding a little crumbled biscuit is no disaster in my eyes. 

Scrumptious chocolate ice cream with fresh berries and amaretti biscuit crumble.

I love that I am learning how to enjoy delicious sweet treats in a much cleaner and healthier way, without forfeiting any of the flavour thanks to this Clean-Eating Cookbook. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in improving their health through diet. This comprehensive collection of simple recipes with easy to source ingredients, is the perfect starting place for a cleaner eating lifestyle. 

The Clean Eating Kitchen is also available as an eBook at:

For more information on books by Parragon head to their social media pages:

Facebook: Parragon Books
Twitter: @parragonbooks
Pinterest: parragonbooks
Instagram: @parragonbooks

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The Clean-Eating Cookbook for the purpose of this review. All words, opinions and images are my own. 

Wednesday 26 November 2014

eFrame - Bespoke Frames Online *REVIEW*

I'm pretty sure we've all had to find a frame for something that is an awkward size before. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a new piece or art and then discovering that it isn't a standard size, and you can't just pop along to your usual shop to get a frame for it. 

That's where eFrame comes in!

eFrame is an online custom framing website where you can build a picture frame to whatever dimensions you need - with a choice of so many different colours, materials and finishes you'll definitely find what you are looking for on their easy to use website. 

eFrame prides itself on being up to 70% cheaper than bespoke framing services on the high street - so you'll get fab frames for a lot less money if you shop with them. 

For our 2nd wedding anniversary this year (cotton) hubby bought me a gorgeous printed tea towel with a fab British biscuit design on it by illustrator Charlotte Farmer - I absolutely loved it and knew straight away that is was too good to dry the dishes with! I decided I would like to frame it, and pop it up in my dining room - but I didn't like any frames I tried - they just didn't fit my tea towel well enough. I was desperate to get the tea towel up on wall in time for hosting friends and family over Christmas, but I was at a loss as to where to find a decent frame to fit at a reasonable price. 

Then eFrame got in touch and offered to make me a bespoke frame to fit it perfectly! 

I found their website really easy to navigate and after having measured my tea towel exactly it only took me a few minutes to pop in the dimensions online, and decide on what style frame I would like. In the end I chose the whitewashed/heavily distressed frame with their special Clarity+ glazing (glass-like acrylic, a much safer option than glass if you have children in the house). 

My frame cost £40.78 in total (including VAT and delivery charge) which I think is really great value for a bespoke frame of this size. 

After just a few days my frame arrived - it was packaged so well and I was extremely pleased with the quality of the frame over all. In my opinion it was well worth the £40 and a few minutes tinkering online to order the frame - it really was just what I was looking for...

T'ah d'ah! My beautiful biscuit print tea towel finally has a perfect frame and a forever-home in my dining room! 

It only took a few minutes to pop my tea towel into the frame, close it, and pop it up on the wall - eFrame frames come with glazing, a backing board and a hanging kit as standard, so whatever you choose you'll be able to unwrap your frame and get it on the wall in no time at all! 

My bespoke frame from eFrame fits my tea towel perfectly!

Looking good - closer shot of my bespoke frame from eFrame. 

The frame up close - a gorgeous whitewashed distressed look frame, perfect for my french style/shabby chic dining room! 

The finished affect now that my tea towel is finally in a well fitting frame is just brilliant - it is a fab addition to my dining room, and it is clear the frame is of high quality and the perfect fit for the dimension of the tea towel. 

I would highly recommend eFrame's bespoke framing service: if you have an awkward sized picture you've been meaning to get round to framing then why not order now and get it in time for Christmas?

Bye for now!

Mrs B


Disclaimer: I was sent this frame for the purpose of this review - all opinions, words and images are my own, excluding the eFrame logo. 

Sunday 23 November 2014

Hubby's Birthday Week of Food….and How I Manage to Maintain My Weight!

Hubby turned the big 3-0 on Wednesday this week - and, being as food-obsessed as I am, most of the celebrations we arranged were food-based. 

I thought I'd share with you some photos from our week of delicious treats  - I've been a busy lady in the kitchen, but all was worth it to see hubby enjoy it all, and to get to enjoy most of the food along with him...

Hubby and I visited our favourite chocolate shop - Hotel Chocolat when in London last weekend, and picked up a few delicious treats - mulled wine truffles and super milk puddles. We had a few with a cup of tea on Sunday night. 

Monday night: Hubby's pre-birthday fry up! He always has to have a fry up on or around his birthday - it's a tradition. We had it for our dinner instead of breakfast as we have a bigger calorie allowance for dinner. 

I baked Welsh rarebit muffins (Nigella recipe) and homemade sausage rolls for Liam's friends in his office. I also sent them in a couple of family sized bags of yummy crisps too! Savoury treats make a nice change from all that sugar I usually send in. 

Lunch on Wednesday: I took Bert on a Mummy & Baby Lunch Date to a lovely new cafe that has opened in Bedford Park (The Pavilion At The Park). I chose a yummy BLT sandwich, it was truly immense! 

Weds night: On hubby's actual birthday we went to a Thai restaurant called 'Rice' in Bedford for dinner - it was totally delicious. This was our starter platter to share!  

Our main courses: Beef Massaman curry, Chicken Thai Green curry, Prawn Pad Thai and Saffron Sticky Rice. 

Hubby's pudding at our thai meal: banana fritters and ice cream. 

My pudding at our thai meal: fresh mango and vanilla ice cream. 
We got a lovely surprise at our meal - the waiter came over to tell us that a wonderful lady called Vicky (my cousin) had called ahead of our arrival and paid £40 of our bill!! Amazing! What a truly lovely birthday gift for Liam, and such beautiful sentiment. 

Wednesday night after dinner cocktails to toast hubby's 30th - Amaretto sours (basically tastes like cake in a glass - heaven!)

Thursday: My first time of making marshmallow all ready for Liam's requested birthday cake (Banoffee Marshmallow Cake)

Homemade marshmallow squares! Using this recipe from Cooking Stoned (inspired by my lovely friend Anwyn over at It's A Rowberry Life

Friday night: Homemade chicken kievs (Liam's favourite meal ever, he has to have it on/around his birthday each year) with homemade Acti-Fry chips, and baked beans.

Homemade chicken kiev with garlic, bacon and basil butter. 

Pudding on Friday night: Homemade banana tarte tatin and ice cream. (I didn't really use a recipe for this, I just made it up as I went along: made a caramel, added sliced banana, topped with a circle of puff pastry and baked in the oven for 20 mins). 

My lunch on Saturday at Riverside Grill in Bedford with Liam's family - the Arji Bhaji burger (3 onion bhaji in a granary bap with mango chutney, and mint mayo) with double cooked chips and salad. Utter bliss! 

And finally… after lunch on Saturday (instead of having dessert) everyone headed back to our house for tea and birthday cake! Liam's requested birthday cake this year was Banoffee Marshmallow Cake (with homemade marshmallow) - I've never made this cake before but it was super easy and sooooo delicious! 

Banana/cinnamon sponge, sandwiched together with caramel and lightly whipped double cream mixed with chopped bananas and chopped marshmallow. Topped with more caramel and whole marshmallow squares! Banoffee heaven. 

How Do I Maintain My Weight and Still Eat All of This Food???

For those of you who read my blog regularly you'll know that in the last 15 months I have lost 6 stone 1 lb and counting. Lots of people ask me regularly how I manage to maintain losing weight despite eating lots of treats? So today I thought I'd share a few ways I'm managing it - I hope they will help you to understand my commitment to weight loss and my new lifestyle of moderation. It may not look like I've been moderate this week, but when you combine all of the below you'll see that I have managed to balance everything to ensure that I maintained my current weight this week and didn't put on any at all. 

  • I will usually only have one slice/portion of whatever I bake albeit a cake, biscuits, a tart, or a savoury bake (i.e - one sausage roll, one slice of cake, one biscuit, one portion of treacle tart etc) the remaining portions will be shared with friends/family, taken to Liam's office, or Liam will eat it if/when he has the calories available.
  • I try to only bake big items such as cakes, tarts etc for occasions when I know there will be plenty of people to eat what I make such as birthdays etc - this removes the temptation for me to eat any leftovers.
  • On weeks where I know there are going to be many treats that I want to enjoy I will step up my exercise to help burn excess calories. This week for instance I've walked 50 miles burning around 4300 calories in total in order to balance out the equation. I have burnt off the majority of the calories I've consumed, which meant I was able to maintain my current weight and not put any on.
  • On weeks/periods of time when I know we are going to be really busy and have lots of special occasions where I'm going to eat treat foods I don't put the pressure on myself to lose weight. Instead, I try to ensure I just maintain my current weight. Now that I've lost the majority of my weight I am happy to save any further losses to times when I will find it easy to lose, and won't feel as if I'm missing out (i.e. weeks when we have little planned and aren't eating out, baking or celebrating). I have maintained my current weight (11 stone 1 pound) for the last 5 weeks because of many events/celebrations (my birthday, a hen weekend, family parties, meals out, hubby's birthday etc) I am really happy that I have succeeded in joining in with all of these social engagements, have been able to eat and drink lots of nice things, and still maintain my weight - as long as I don't see a gain then I'm pleased. This week (from Friday 21st-Thur 27th) is a quiet one for us, so I'm aiming for at least a one pound loss. 
  • I don't waste calories on things I won't enjoy enough to warrant the calories. I've gotten really good at making better choices, choosing to eat treat calories on things I'm truly going to enjoy so much that I won't feel any guilt. I don't on the whole eat shop bought cakes/biscuits, I don't eat sweets as they don't do anything for me, I don't waste calories on sugary soft drinks or milky coffees, and I don't order starters or puddings from a menu when eating out unless I really really like the sound of something. 
  • If I'm going to eat a BIG treat (such as a slice of cake at around 600 calories) I now eat it in replacement of my meal (usually lunch) rather than as well as. It was only greed that used to make me eat those treats ON TOP of my usual food intake. It also means that I will have to REALLY want that treat, as I don't like to skip eating a savoury meal that often. 
  • When eating 'in front of the telly' treats (chocolate, biscuits, crisps, ice cream) I am very careful to weight out/portion out what I'm going to have first. I always put the calories into My Fitness Pal BEFORE I've eaten it - this makes me totally accountable for what I'm putting into my mouth. By doing this I am making a conscious decision to eat that amount of calories, rather than eating it and THEN realising how bad it was for me calorie-wise. 
  • When enjoying 'treat' foods I still calorie count absolutely everything, and my food scales are still used constantly to weigh out what I'm eating. I always work out the calories for all of my bakes using the My Fitness Pal app, and I try hard not to estimate anything if I can help it. This ensures I truly know just how 'bad' I've been, and how many calories I need to make up (burn) in order to make my average calories for that week at a maintain level for my current weight. 
  • When using My Fitness Pal I now look at my weekly calories and average daily calories rather than trying to stick to exactly my 1290 calories a day limit. This means that I can go over on how many calories I eat on some days, but just need to be willing to consume under my calorie goal on others to balance it out. I now make my week on MFP start on a Friday:I weigh in on a friday morning, and then usually go over my daily limit Friday, Saturday and Sunday (when we are usually out and about at social occasions) then I can see exactly how bad I've been at the weekend in time for making those calories up Monday-Thursday when there is usually far less temptation, and I'm more likely to exercise. This seems to be working really well for me. 
That was just a few tips, but I hope they help if you too are trying to lose weight like me. 

Happy slimming! 

Mrs B 


Thursday 20 November 2014

Harris Tweed Appliqué for Beginners *GIVEAWAY*

Today on the blog I have a fab giveaway for all my fellow crafters!

I've been sent a hard copy (on disc) of this brilliant brand new eBook 'Harris Tweed Appliqué for Beginners', by Chris Hammacott to giveaway. The eBook is worth £17 and produced by Vive Books.

If you love sewing then this book is definitely for you - its full of fun, quirky and stylish craft ideas of how to use beautiful Harris Tweed for gorgeous items around your home. 

Kissing Sheep Tea Cosy

About the Book:

Create hand or machine appliqué with ‘Harris Tweed’ – in easy steps!

Chris Hammacott leads you through plump cushions, quirky tea cosies, a table runner and a wall-hanging, all given the rugged but cosy personality of ‘Harris Tweed’. Designs are inspired by Chris’s croft life on the Isle of Lewis; and her sheep, chickens, cats and pugs.The Kindle cover has reverse appliqué sheep.A scarecrow with tweed hat decorates a denim jacket; three-dimensional flowers enhance a sweater.
Follow the guidelines and techniques, and watch the author demonstrating on the video clips.Whether you are a complete beginner or a more advanced student, Chris will convince you of the wonderful qualities of ‘Harris Tweed’ for appliqué.

The cutest Kindle cover you ever did see?

Chris Hammacott has been writing about, teaching, and designing textiles for over 30 years. Trained as a weaver, she has taught City & Guilds from her own distance learning centre. Chris was expelled from her first needlecraft lesson at school and since that experience has vowed to make textiles fun! Her motto is:‘if you like it, do it some more.’ Chris’s designs have appeared in quilting magazines in Australia, Europe, the USA and UK. She writes two regular magazine columns. In 2012, with her husband Andrew, she moved to a small croft in the Outer Hebrides. In her workshop there, Chris teaches all aspects of ‘Harris Tweed’, from spinning and natural dyeing to designing items made from the wonder cloth. Andrew weaves ‘Harris Tweed’ in the old weaving shed. 

I love this beautiful bird design tea cosy: the perfect adornment for any tea pot! 

How about this fun chicken table runner? The ideal accessory for any country style dining table. 

If you fancy getting your hands on this gorgeous eBook disc then look no further - there's plenty of ways to enter, just use the Gleam App below.

One hard copy (disc) of Harris Tweed Appliqué for Beginners by Chris Hammacott. 

Format: enhanced ebook, approx 80 pages in PDF format on CD, with video
Packaging: CD/DVD case 190 x 135 x 7mm
Publication: 30 September 2014  


Mrs B 


Harris Tweed Appliqué for Beginners eBook (disc copy) GIVEAWAY

UK entrants only
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Hubby Turns 30 : Simpson's in the Strand - BEST Sunday Roast EVER!

Today my gorgeous and totally silly husband Liam turns 30. 

Hubby and I at the weekend: beginning the celebrations in style! 

Is it too twee that we had colour coordinating outfits? 

On Sunday, we began our week of celebrations: I took hubby for the ultimate Sunday roast at Simpson's in the Strand, London (part of The Savoy Hotel). 

What is Simpson's in the Strand?

For a true taste of all that’s best in British cuisine, there’s no finer dining establishment than Simpson's-In-The Strand.

Only the finest seasonal ingredients are used by Master Cook Gerry Rae, in a Bill of Fare that offers a wide range of classical dishes, including classics such as potted shrimps, roast saddle of lamb and steak and kidney pie. The restaurant’s speciality aged Scottish beef and other roasts are carved at guests’ tables – from antique silver-domed trolley, by Simpson's Master Carvers in a perfect example of restaurant theatre. Simpson's also serves the Great British Breakfast on weekdays, with the 'Ten Deadly Sins' for hearty appetites.

Guests can also enjoy classic cocktails in Knight’s Bar, an art deco cocktail lounge located on the first floor. It is the perfect place to enjoy either a pre-dinner cocktail or after-dinner aperitif. 

(The Savoy Hotel, website)

I first heard about Simpson's about 10 months ago when I was watching 'The Hairy Bikers: Best of British' on TV with my sister: the episode was all about beef (our favourite meat). In this particular episode Si & Dave visit Simpson's and eat roast beef carved in front of them at the table in silver domed trolleys. I thought to myself 'Liam would LOVE this' and then it occurred to me, I should take him for his birthday! So I made the reservation.
Simpson's History
Simpson's-in-the-Strand is one of London's most historic landmark restaurants and has been offering classic British dishes to its delighted patrons for over 170 years.
Originally opened in 1828 as a chess club and coffee house - The Grand Cigar Divan - Simpson's soon became known as the "home of chess", attracting such chess luminaries as Howard Staunton the first English world chess champion through its doors. It was to avoid disturbing the chess games in progress that the idea of placing large joints of meat on silver-domed trolleys and wheeling them to guests' tables first came into being, a practice Simpson's still continues today. One of the earliest Master Cooks insisted that everything in the restaurant be British and the Simpson's of today remains a proud exponent of the best of British food. Famous guests include Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone.
(Simpson's in the Strand website)
I can't tell you how excited we were to be eating in the same restaurant as Charles Dickens and Vincent Van Gogh: knowing that Arthur Conan Doyle had written about Sherlock Holmes dining in Simpson's made this place extra cool for us as we are both big Sherlock fans!

Then, to our surprise, a few weeks ago while watching my favourite programme Downton Abbey, we saw Lady Mary Crawley visit Simpson's for lunch! How excited I was! We paused the TV and saw the waiters carving the meat at the table in the silver domed trolleys, just as they do today - amazing. 

Ten months of waiting flew past and suddenly our reservation was upon us - we were so excited! We love a foodie experience and was really interested to see just how good a roast dinner could be. We've eaten a lot of roast dinners in our 28 and 30 years…could it really get any better? 

The answer….YES…it can get SO MUCH BETTER. 

The super stunning entrance at Simpson's in the Strand

The Grand Divan dining room: simply stunning! 

Seated at our table listening to the pianist in the corner playing gentle Christmas carols - heaven!

The decor at Simpson's in simply stunning - I imagine it hasn't altered in years, the place just reeks of history, class and sophistication. Mustard ceilings with the most stunning detail: this place was truly made for me! 

We both decided to go straight in for the main course (their speciality) of roast rib of beef with all the trimmings - we also added two sides to share of Honeyed Parsnips and Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon. 

The rib of beef being carved and served at our tables. There was one chef for carving the meat, and another popping the Yorkshire pudding on our plates, serving the gravy and adding fresh horseradish sauce (if requested). 

Roast Rib of beef served with Yorkshire pudding and gravy 

I genuinely can't put into words how INCREDIBLE this roast beef was. I've had some pretty good beef in my time, but this was truly the nicest roast beef I have ever eaten. Aside from the fact alone that I was given a WHOLE PLATES WORTH of the delicious stuff (greedy me just LOVED this), it was cooked to absolute perfection (you can choose how well done you'd like your meat if the rare beef puts you off, but seriously, if you've never tried it rare here is the place to be brave, you will never ever go back to well done meat if you try this). The beef was like butter, it barely needed cutting and it melted in your mouth, juicy, succulent and FULL of flavour. The gravy was beautiful, as was the light as air giant Yorkie: absolute perfection. 

The roast beef comes with Yorkshire pudding, gravy, savoy cabbage and roast potatoes. 

I just loved the mini copper pans that the savoy cabbage was served in, and the crispy roast potatoes were to die for. The perfect roast potato for me must have a super crispy outer and a soft and tender middle - Simpson's definitely know how to roast their spuds! 

Side dishes of honeyed parsnips and cauliflower cheese with bacon - pimping up our roast to another level! 

Because we are greedy, and because we were celebrating - we ordered two extra side dishes to share (we didn't have starters so that's not too naughty, is it?) A bowl of hot sticky honeyed parsnips which were so delicate and delicious: slightly sweet, and cooked until soft and tender, these parsnips were truly a delight. Usually, parsnips served in restaurants and carverys are so overcooked and so caramelised that they can be borderline bitter - but these were sweet and perfect. The cauliflower cheese was creamy but not overpowering, the cauliflower still had a little bite, and the crunchy bacon pieces elevated this little dish of delight to simply another level. The perfect accompaniments to the best beef on earth. 

T'ah d'ah - have you ever seen a roast so beautiful?

Of course, we gobbled up every last bit, and washed it all down with a delicious glass of their house Merlot each. 

We followed the delicious main course with one of their stick-to-your-ribs classic British puddings each: I opted for Spotted Dick with Vanilla Custard, and hubby opted for Treacle Sponge with Vanilla Custard. PARADISE IN A BOWL. 

Spotted Dick with the creamiest Vanilla Custard

Hubby's pud: Treacle sponge with Vanilla Custard

Both puddings were the perfect end to the perfect meal. My spotted dick was remarkably light despite the gorgeous suet dough, and was spiced to perfection. The vanilla custard was thick, creamy, oozy and rich with vanilla beans. A bowl of custard alone would have been pretty awesome, but add in the pud and it was a true delight. Hubby's treacle sponge was rich and cloying (in a good way) - spoonfuls of treacle mixed with creamy custard - is there actually anything better?

Portion sizes were great - generous without being silly, and left us nicely full and content. 

Just as hubby took his last mouthful of pudding he said to me 'oooh I could totally eat that again, it was amazing!' … then I prompted him to look over his shoulder where our lovely waitress was bringing him over his delicious pudding: round two! We always joke that we could eat a second portion of pudding when it is particularly good: as it was hubby's birthday treat I thought he deserved second helpings! 

Hubby's second helping of pudding! 

One happy birthday boy!

We genuinely could not fault our meal at Simpson's: it was the best roast dinner we've ever eaten by a mile. The surroundings were simply stunning, the heritage and history of the place seeps out of the walls. We were totally spoilt by the waiting staff, and all in all in totally blew our minds. 

In terms of pricing, we think this restaurant is very reasonable considering how incredible it is. It is of course a treat venue, we wouldn't be able to afford to eat here every Sunday (I SO wish we could!)

Our meal came to £120 (including service charge) this included: two roast rib of beef dinners, two side dishes, two glasses of merlot, a large bottle of still mineral water and two puddings (and a free third pudding!) At £60 a head, I think this meal was really very good value. I would eat there again in a flash, in fact, we are desperate to go back for breakfast and try their '10 Deadly Sins' fried breakfast for just £14.50 per person (served Monday to Friday). We will definitely book that up soon! 

We finished our lovely celebration day together by having a lovely walk around London, taking in the sights and burning off some of our hearty lunch. 

St James' Park in all its glory - such a beautiful part of London. 

We couldn't go to London and not say hello to Queenie: Liam and I outside Buck House. 

What a truly perfect way to celebrate something so special with my gorgeous man! 

We have lots of other treats planned in this week of celebrations: we have already delighted in hubby's customary birthday fry up

Hubby's Birthday Fry Up: a tradition! 

Tonight, we are heading out to try a Thai restaurant in Bedford called 'Rice' which has had some incredible reviews, so we're really excited about that. Then we plan to hit our favourite cocktail bar in town called The Auction Room for some Amaretto sour cocktails (basically tastes like cake in a glass, yum!)

On Friday night I'm cooking Liam his favourite ever dinner: homemade chicken kievs, chips and beans, followed by banana tarte tatin. And then on Saturday we are heading out to lunch with Liam's mum, stepdad, sister and sister in law to celebrate with them. They are all heading back to our house after lunch to indulge in a piece of Liam's pre-requested birthday cake: Banoffee Marshmallow cake! I will be posting how I get on with the cake over the weekend, so watch this space! 

By the way, can you tell we are food mad? Ha! All of hubby's celebrations are based around food…good man! :-)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIAM, I love you so much! 

Mrs B 


Disclaimer: This review has not been sponsored or paid for in any sense. I have written about Simpson's because we had a truly amazing time and I want you all to visit. Simpson's had no idea I would be writing about them, and the treatment we received at the restaurant was clearly an example of their impeccable service for everyone.