Tag Archives: restaurant

Poplar Nurseries, Marks Tey

I was looking online for places to go for lunch and Poplar Nurseries came up on google, I checked out the menu and was really happy to see a great selection of vegan meals.

There is so much on the menu that I would like, I decided to book a table as I’d never been here before I didn’t know how busy it would get or how big the restaurant is. I just dropped them an email and they responded very quickly and booked me straight in. I arrived early and took a look round the shop which is definitely worth doing as there was some lovely things for the kitchen, cards and books as well as the normal plants you’d find in a garden centre. When I walked into the restaurant I was immediately pleased I’d reserved a table, it was very busy but I went straight to the counter and was told where my table was.

We sat down, took a look at the menu and then went back to the counter to order food and give the table number. Whilst there I got a good look at all the cakes available 😳there was a lot to choose from and this included 2 different vegan cakes, a lemon drizzle and a chocolate and almond cheesecake. I was already considering getting both to take away after eating lunch πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ there was a sign at the till saying there was currently a 25min wait for food, I could understand why as the restaurant was huge and rammed full. It wasn’t a problem for me as not having to get back to work I use lunches out as a social event and it gave me a good chance to have a chat and catch up.

It didn’t actually feel as long as 25 minutes when my lunch was bought over, I’d gone for the butternut squash and red pepper curry with coconut rice. It was a big portion which was great as I was really hungry, it looked and smelt great! I couldn’t wait to tuck in, the butternut squash was nice and soft with big chunks of red pepper which was cooked well and the flavours from the curry were the strongest and tastiest I’ve had from a vegan meal so far πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ I wish I could have eaten it all but I was so full up I had to leave a small mount of rice, I’d decided I couldn’t take away two cakes after that feast and had to choose between the two 😳

So, I went for the chocolate and almond cheesecake which was presented in a box to take away. I ate it a few hours after getting home and it was so tasty, the flavours and texture of the cake were great – I’d love to have the recipe to try and make this myself!

Whilst I was here I’d asked if they could cater for a vegan afternoon tea which they could no problem so I’m very excited to try this out at some point! I loved it here, really accommodating for vegans and I did notice that there was also plenty of gluten free options. I’m really keen to comeback for both an afternoon tea and to try some more of the meals in the vegan section. This is a 9.5/10 without a doubt.

πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›0️⃣.5️⃣

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Toby Carvery…. as a vegan πŸ˜³

This was going to be interesting, I didn’t want to miss out on a trip to Toby Carvery but at the same time I wasn’t really sure how this was going to work. I’m sure I’ve seen vegan and vegetarian options on the menu before and I thought, if it came to it, I would be quite happy with a plate of potatoes and vegetables. Let’s be honest, the best part of any roast dinner is the roasties and I was confident I’d seen vegetarian gravy when I’ve been in there in the past.

As I hadn’t booked I was very lucky to have still got seated straight away at 12 midday on a Sunday, busy in an understatement I’d never seen a queue so big for the food! I was so pleased to see the vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and I actually wasn’t sure what to go for, in the end I chose the Grilled Aubergine Stack (but I was very tempted with the Roast Mushroom and Ale Pie!). I still had to join the queue for my vegetables and the waitress kindly kept my main warm behind the scenes until I made it back to my table.

Most vegetables were actually cooked without butter so I had a big portion of veg with far too many potatoes 😳 I just couldn’t help myself!! The Grilled Aubergine Stack is grilled aubergine and mediterranean style vegetables combined in a tomato and oregano sauce, topped with a vegan white sauce and crumb topping. I would love to have been able to show you what this looked like but I completely forgot to take a photo and just dug straight in πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ. Oh my god it was so good, really tasty and at a great price I would be happy to come back for this again.

I’m hoping these dishes aren’t only available for veganuary but a permanent item on the menu. I find Toby really hard to rate because of the way the food is served, it’s a bit school canteen but u can’t fault the taste and quality of the food – it must just be an impossible task to keep the food area clean and tidy of spillages as well as continually topped up. I was also a little disappointed that there wasn’t any broccoli but the grilled aubergine stack more than made up for this on taste and the menu selection was a great surprise. I think it’s only fair to go in at an 8/10.

πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

Coal grill and bar, again πŸ˜¬

Ok, so I had to comeback in here, not only for another couple of cocktails (I was not successful at dry January 😬) but there was more on the menu I wanted to try. So I had a look over the menu whilst sucking away at my love on the beach 🍹 and chose my starter of Chickpea Falafel served warm with a minted yoghurt dipping sauce.

I apologise for the fact I’d eaten most of this before taking the photo but I’d once again tucked straight in as soon as it arrived πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

This was a real treat for my taste buds, I love falafel although I don’t tend to have it too often and am yet to have come across a vegan minted yoghurt sauce which compliments this really well. The portion size was just right for me and after polishing off my drink I was ready for my main meal. I opted for the Veggie Supreme Burger although I’d enjoyed my jambalaya so much previously that I was close to having this again.

The Veggie Supreme Burger πŸ” is a chargrilled flat mushroom, sweet peppers, beetroot, tomato and lettuce with violife cheese in a ciabatta and was served with fries. Mmmmm it was my first vegan burger and I wasn’t disappointed, the flavours and texture of the vegetables with the sprinkling of cheese on top of the ciabatta was a perfect combination. It’s also something I could very easily make myself at home so I need to remember this for a good lunch time treat.

I wasn’t hungry for a dessert, I’d eaten plenty but yes I had a look at the dessert menu and yes there was a vegan option and yes it was chocolate 🀭

This happened 😬 and once again I almost didn’t get the photo πŸ˜‚ but it was delicious! So glad I managed to find room for this and have a taste. I was once again really chuffed with this place and with the dessert this time too, I’m going to give this a 9.5/10.

πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ” 0️⃣.5️⃣

The Bull – vegan lunch

I’d booked a table at The Bull in Great a Totham for lunch, it wasn’t particularly busy but I always feel it’s best to get booked in at a place like this and it’s so easy to do online. I was shown straight to my table in the back at The Willow room as this is where all customers were seated for the day. The willow room is to the back of the pub and much more of a restaurant, it’s decorated really well and I thought the chandelier lights were perfect for the room.

We were handed the menu and although there was a couple of vegetarian meals showing these were not highlighted as vegan, so when we ordered our drinks I asked the waitress who went to find out for me. Someone came over and explained there was a root vegetable dish available for vegans although this wasn’t on the menu which I thought was a bit strange but it sounded nice so was happy to give it a go. I was really pleased when it came out, it looked great and tasted so nice πŸ˜‹ it wasn’t something I would normally go for but I’m really glad I did and it gave me confidence in being able to continue with a vegan diet even when eating out without too much trouble.

I’m not 100% sure what all the vegetables were in this dish, I know there was sweet potato and butternut squash plus I did pick out the olives (I tried one, still don’t like them 😬), but it was actually very filling and I was pleasantly surprised on the taste. Although I was full, I could tell from the conversations that we would be going down the route of ordering a dessert! I did think that it was unlikely that I would find a vegan dessert but, the very helpful waitress pointed out that there was sorbet which would be suitable and I had the choice of 3 flavours – lemon, raspberry and summer berries so I went for one of each πŸ™Š.

You can’t go wrong with sorbet, refreshing and great flavours it really finished my meal off well and I was chuffed not to have to watch the others eating a delicious dessert and have nothing myself! This is a great pub with a lovely menu and I would recommend a visit however, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more on the menu for a vegan diet. I was really pleased with my meal but it would have been good to have had more of a choice and it does mean that if and when I come back here I know that I’ll be limited to possibly the same meal. For this reason I’m giving it an 8/10.

🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲

Coal grill and bar

I happened to come across this place by accident and it was a godsend, not only were there some great cocktails on the menu (all day every day 2 for Β£8 πŸ˜ƒ) I can especially recommend the love on the rocks πŸ˜‹ but I took a look at the food menu whilst stopping for a drink and there was some great looking vegan options which I knew I had to come back and try.

To start I went for the vegetable sticks (crunchy carrot and celery) with hummus. It tasted great, was a good light starter and something I would certainly pick again. There were other options for vegans including chickpea falafel which sounds good plus marinated olives – not for me thank you 😬.

The menu was good for all vegan, vegetarians and gluten free eaters. After giving it quite some thought whilst enjoying a cocktail 🍹 I decided to go for the Jambalaya, the normal version of this includes prawns, chicken and chorizo which I’m sure meat eaters would enjoy however there is also a vegan (and gluten) free option.

Although I am yet to have much to compare this to on the vegan front, I was extremely pleased with my choice! There were peppers, onion, chickpeas, beans (possibly celery πŸ€”) all marinated in a tomato sauce with rice – there is not one thing here that I didn’t like. It was a big portion so was pleased to have chosen a light starter, I couldn’t bring myself to leave any so I polished it off and enjoyed every mouthful.

Unfortunately I didn’t leave any room for any dessert – fail! So I didn’t get a chance to take a look and see if there was anything suitable but I am sure I’ll comeback here again sometime – great cocktails at a great price and a menu I’d like to explore further. I am really glad to have stumbled across this place, the waiters were friendly and helpful, there was plenty of cocktails and food I’d like to try out and what I did have to eat was delicious.

It has to be a 9/10 and just to note you can come in here for drinks without having to order food πŸ‘πŸΌ

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Toby Carvery – Boxing Day meal

Boxing day for us as a family was at Toby Carvery, we were given a menu in advance to choose and preorder our selections. I was really pleased to see some vegan options on the menu which makes things a lot easier for me, I chose the vegan soup of the day which was a little risky as I’m quite choosey when it comes to soup. I fancied the Carvery but did make a point of stating that I’d need the veg to be dairy free as having been here quite recently I was aware that they normally use butter to cook the veg in. I had to go for the only vegan dessert option which was Christmas pudding with custard, not a favourite of mine but at least there was something available and I thought I’d give it a try.

When we arrived we were shown to our table straight away and ordered drinks whilst waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. I was disappointed to be told one of the meals on the starters list was not available – although this didn’t effect me as it wasn’t what I had ordered I did expect them to have secured our choices. As it turns out, none of us had chosen that but our selected meals were not secured or saved even though we had pre ordered which I thought was strange. The vegan soup was butternut squash and although I wasn’t too sure I’d like it I have to admit it really was delicious and definitely something I would choose again!

I stuck to the carvery choice for my main meal and had a huge plate full of veg cooked for me without butter, I do not have any complaints here – there was a good selection and plenty of it. I would say the service let the meal down a little as it was slow and not even particularly busy at the time we were booked in. When it came to dessert, my choice of the vegan Christmas pudding with custard wasn’t available, but another vegan option was provided which was chocolatey and bloody lovely so no complaints from me although some may have been upset by missing out on the Christmas pudding.

On the whole I enjoyed the meal, just a few things let them down today which was the service both at the table and up at the carvery as I know some had to wait for some things to be re-filled. I believe if you are asked to pre order your meal the restaurant should ensure these are available for you (although i was happy with my alternative dessert, others may not have been). I was quite preoccupied by enjoying some family time and completely let the side down on the photo front, however the soup was a pleasant surprise so I am happy to be able to provide you with a photo of this.

It’s a 6.5/10

🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲πŸ₯•

TGI Fridays

In the hunt to find places I can eat at, my next visit was to TGI Fridays, this came to mind as I’ve always loved the food here and me and my husband often go to the one near our local cinema when we go to watch a film. I looked online at their website to see what the menu was like and it was great to see they have a specific allergy / intolerance section. This makes things a lot easier when it comes to the lactose intolerance, however as the citric acid problem isn’t very common it is not yet out there as an intolerance on menus. I have now got an understanding of what this is likely to be in so that makes things a bit easier for me.

I’d spotted they do a dairy free bun for their burgers so a decision was made pretty easily for me, I’ve always loved their burgers!! I’ve now been in two different restaurants and although the service was extremely poor in Westfield, I have to say the Braintree restaurant was great – on both occasions the manager has had to take my order. This is so they can double check the intolerances menu which I understand they need to do to be sure I’m being given the right food. I had the plain burger with dairy free bun and sweet potato fries on both occasions and it was delicious!

I’ve since had a closer look at the menu and there’s plenty more I could try as a main meal. Unfortunately there are only two starters available on the lactose free menu, one being tortilla chips with humus which sounds great but it concerns me that many humus have lemon juice in so this is not something I’m ready to risk yet. The other is chargrilled pork belly which I obviously can’t have, so for me starters are off. Along with the burgers there are also chargrilled chicken breast, sautΓ©ed sea bass (if you like fish), a couple of pork rib options (if you can eat pork πŸ™„), beef short ribs (definitely one I want to try), roasted veg pasta (which sounds great but something I would often do at home), steaks and some burger options. With only one option available on the dessert menu this is very limited and as it is a fresh fruit sundae with citric fruits it’s not something I can have, although it does sound nice. I definitely think it’s worth me trying out some of the other items on this menu 😁.

Picture from Westfields TGI restaurant.