Friday, 15 June 2018

FOOD AND DRINK: MILLER & CARTER STEAKHOUSE DONCASTER SHARING EXPERIENCE

Steak is undoubtedly one of my absolute favourite meats. Decent steak that is. Fillet has to be my all time favourite cut, followed closely by rump along with all the trimmings and sauces. For me, meals don't get any better than that. Which is why Miller & Carter is one of my go-to restaurants for any kind of special occasion because as far as steakhouses are concerned, they have it pretty much nailed on perfect. You'd be forgiven for thinking that because it's a chain of restaurants that they will have compromised on quality one way or another but I can absolutely say the one in Doncaster is second to none. 

I have been previously but my most recent visit was with my boyfriend as a little celebration of it being a year since we met so effectively it was a bit of a treat date night. We decided before we got there that we were going to try the chateaubriand which neither of us had ever had before but I'd personally heard really good things about it from friends.

The overall experience from setting food into the restaurant to the end of our meal was so enjoyable and the food was absolutely amazing so let me get on with some food pics. (Note: I didn't take my 'proper' camera because in all honesty I didn't expect to take photos or indeed write about it but after leaving I really wanted to share my experience. The lighting isn't brilliant for photos but it is however very fitting for the feel of the restaurant.)


We started with the Taster Board which was beef & bourbon meatballs, sticky chilli-hoisin glazed chicken & duck wings, beef barbacoa mac & cheese, hand-cut nachos, buttermilk ranch dip and garlic bread. The mac & cheese really was something else. I'd never thought of putting beef with it but it really, really worked. Beef barbacoa is a little bit like pulled beef; really slowly cooked and then shredded and it comes with a number of the starter dishes but I can highly recommend it with mac & cheese. This sharer is perfect for two people, in all honesty I wouldn't particularly want to share it with more but you could probably share it between 4 as there was 4 of everything that could be portioned. 


Then the main event. The Chateaubriand which is a cut from the beef tenderloin which we had medium rare. It was absolutely delicious and came served with 2 portions of fries, 2 onion loaves (Miller & Carter's version of onion rings), 2 lettuce wedges with dressing and 2 steak sauces. To look at the board you may think it doesn't look like there's that much but trust me that piece of beef was thick! It was perfectly cooked and so tender. We would normally go for a fillet each but this didn't disappoint at all and it was really quite a nice experience to share it together. Another thing I must mention because it was so tasty was the beef dripping steak sauce. It is absolutely unreal. I'd never had it until tonight because whenever I thought beef dripping I just thought of a lump of lard and it made me wonder what I'd get if I got that steak sauce but it's actually a really rich, meaty, beefy gravy. I don't know what they do with it to get it to taste like that but it is so good!


I think because we'd saved ourselves all day for what we knew would be a huge meal we were able to fit in a pudding. Again we shared each one but I went for the banoffee pie and Kev chose the fresh berries and strawberry meringue. My personal preference was the banoffee and I think Kev would agree. The portion sizes were perfect and you could taste every little part of the banoffee pie from the biscuit base, to the toffee, to the bananas... so good!! The berry desert was also quite nice but in all honesty I would have preferred another scoop of the strawberry and prosecco sorbet instead of the meringue which was a little bit hard. 

Overall I cannot rave about Miller & Carter enough. They have restaurants all over the UK which you can find on their website and although I obviously can't speak for every restaurant but I can say that the Doncaster (Bessacarr) branch is top notch; the staff, the food; brilliant. One tip I do have though is that if you're going on a Friday or Saturday night make sure you book otherwise you run a very high risk of not being able to get a table!

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:

Thursday, 14 June 2018

HOME SCENTING: THE PERFECT HOUSEWARMING GIFT

I'm no stranger to a candle/reed diffuser or two; I have at least one if not more in every room of my house because I do like it to smell nice. I do think that for anyone who's just moved house either for the first time or to a different house, candles are a perfect go to housewarming present and the new Wax Lyrical Yvonne Ellen collection combines both beautiful scents and gorgeous designs to compliment any decor. 



Yvonne Ellen Votive Giftset £25.99 (Wax Lyrical)

The packaging shows of Yvonne Ellen's quirky illustrations but inside the Votive Giftset there are 3 votive candles each with a timeless, simple design which would suit any decor. In midnight blue, powder pink and grey/white they can either be split up into single candles or displayed as a trio. 

As you would expect, the scents are just as beautiful as the packaging; Wild Jasmine, Exotic Fig and Vintage Palm which are all gorgeous. My personal favourite is the Exotic Fig because the fig is nicely subtle but the tonka bean really comes through which I love... the perfect kind of fragrance for a bedroom. Wild Jasmine is more of a musky kind of scent but not in any way overpowering at all which is the beauty of the Wax Lyrical formulation because although they do fill the room with fragrance, they're not the kind of candles that would induce a headache thankfully. Finally Vintage Palm is a lovely fresh scent which would be perfect for any hallway or kitchen. Even when these candles aren't lit their scent is still noticeable which for me is a tell-tale sign of a good quality candle.

The beauty of these little votives is that whether you buy them as a treat for yourself or for someone else, it's the perfect introduction to Wax Lyrical. Each of the 3 candles is available in a larger version so if you found one in particular that you really enjoyed you could buy the full size version. All Wax Lyrical products are made in the UK with the highest quality ingredients so you can guarantee that you're getting an excellent quality product and you can be safe in the knowledge that you're supporting a British business. Also, all Wax Lyrical products are vegetarian friendly.

You can find the full Yvonne Ellen collection along with their other extensive range of home scenting products on the Wax Lyrical website.

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

HOME & LIFESTYLE: WHAT TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE RENTING YOUR FIRST PROPERTY

As you may have already seen, I have recently bought my own house after a huge life change last year but I’m very aware that buying isn’t for everyone. For one reason or another, whether it’s that you haven’t quite saved enough for a full deposit, you want to trial living with someone or that you just don’t want to buy a house; ultimately you might choose to rent. But just like with buying a house there are lots of things that you’re going to want to consider when renting your first house.



Shop around and make sure you love it!

Almost all rental properties have a minimum term for renting; they usually start at 6 months so make sure that the property you rent is definitely the one for you because you’ll be paying for it for at least that minimum rental period. Don’t just jump straight into the first one you see, no matter how perfect you think it is because you need a basis for comparison. Try and fit your viewings into a fairly short space of time so you don’t miss out on the one you do like but do have a look at a few.

Check the terms and conditions

Before you sign anything, make sure you know the rules that your landlord would impose and what is included in the rental price. You need to ask whether any furniture or appliances are included, whether you are allowed to paint or wallpaper or indeed make any changes to the house at all and what procedures are if something goes wrong.

Take an inventory

So once you’ve decided on your perfect house, before you get too excited and sign on the dotted line make sure you got through the house with a fine-toothed comb. Ask the landlord or agent to allow you plenty of time to do this so you can identify anything that you would like rectifying before you move in – the carpets might not be in very good condition, the paintwork might need freshening up etc. etc. Make sure you know what you are getting before you sign anything because most properties are ‘let as seen’ which means that they may reserve the right to refuse to touch up paintwork or change things like carpets once you’ve signed the agreement.



Check details and terms of the bond/deposit
Make sure you know how much deposit you will be expected to put down and enquire about the terms of that deposit (ie. In which situations would you lose part or all of your deposit). It is also worth making sure the deposit is protected (by law if you are in an ‘assured shorthold tenancy, which you entered into before 6 April 2007, your deposit must be put into a protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it).

Get insurance!

Although your landlord or agent should have arranged adequate buildings insurance for the property, it is usually your responsibility to arrange contents and liability insurance for the time you’re renting. To cover your personal property and liability as a tenant you will need to take out separate insurance; you can either do this through someone like HomeLet who will provide up to £50,000 of cover for your contents so things like gadgets, clothes and appliances are protected against fire, theft and flood. The liability cover would protect you if you accidentally damage the property, which would result in you normally having to pay for the repairs.

Check the overall costs

So you rent sounds reasonable and you can easily afford it; but have you considered the price of your utilities, council tax and other monthly costs like broadband, mobile phone bill etc. You really need to make sure you've got all the facts before you enter into any contract. Generally with a quick google search you can get approximate figures for bills depending on the size of the house/flat and how many people are living in it but just make sure you don't get caught short!

Have you got any other tips for renting your first house?


Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:

Sunday, 27 May 2018

FOOD & DRINK: PROPER YORKSHIRE GRUB AT THE YORK ROAST CO.

Established in 2004, the York Roast Co isn't actually a new thing to me in itself because I've been visiting York for a long time and their hot roast sandwiches have always been a favourite of mine when I've looked for something to eat either while I'm shopping or even while I'm out having a few. Roast dinners with all the trimmings have always been a favourite meal of mine so when Yorkshire Pudding wraps became a thing I was all over that and you can imagine my reaction when I was asked if I wanted to go and try one at the new Stonegate store where they have opened up a new seating area...




Unsurprisingly, the shop always has somebody in whether it's for a hot sandwich, a filled yorkshire pudding or what I went for - a Yorkshire Pudding wrap. You can of course take it away but if you want to take a minute to rest your feet, especially after a morning of sightseeing or shopping then the new upstairs seating area is perfect. Space is at a premium in York so it's actually quite nice to see that more places are taking advantage of upstairs space to offer customers somewhere to sit. 


As you can see the seating area is quite simple but theres plenty of tables and chairs and there's a bigger table overlooking Stonegate which is perfect for people watching! It isn't waiter/waitress service so you order your food as you normally would downstairs and take it upstairs on a tray. 


I daresay that this is one of the main things that lures people in - you can see all the meaty goodness through the window so effectively you see exactly what is going into your sandwich or Yorkshire pudding which I think is a real winner and I don't think us Brits can turn down any kind of roast especially when we've not slaved away over it!


The choice of meats is pork, turkey, beef and ham plus lots of little extras like roast potatoes with gravy, stuffing balls and crackling. We both went for beef Yorkshire pudding wraps with all the trimmings (veg, gravy and I had horseradish sauce) with a side of roast potatoes covered in gravy... I'll not lie, getting a photo of this kind of food that does it justice is really quite difficult but I can assure you that it was every bit as tasty as you would expect...





Admittedly it doesn't look the prettiest of things but for me that just screams Yorkshire - no heirs and graces just a good old Yorkshire pudding filled with meat, stuffing, vegetables and gravy. It was surprisingly easy to eat despite the fact that it involved gravy which can be notoriously messy and it was sooo nice! The beef was very lean and tender, the vegetables were cooked to perfection and the gravy was nice and thick (if there's one thing that makes me sad, it's thin gravy!). The Yorkshire pudding of course was the shall we say 'vessel' for all of this and it was amazing! Something different to your usual meat sandwich and it was really filling.

I would 100% recommend The York Roast Co. in a heartbeat and in particular their Yorkshire pudding wraps. They do have other stores in Chester, Shrewsbury and Salisbury so you might not be as far away from a Yorky Pud Wrap as you think!

Have you tried one yet?

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:
© Girl Up North. All rights reserved.
MINIMALIST BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig