I'm JessL . I've been Qyping since 09-09-2008
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83 Avenue 10310, T6E 5C3 Edmonton
On a short visit to Edmonton we just happened upon this excellent farmers’ market. Our first thoughts were that Alberta is much too cold (it was -19 at the time!) to grow anything locally…but we were very pleasantly corrected when we learned that most of the goods on sale were local. We were treated to homemade ragus and pestos and then Pierogi. The market itself is indoors (a relief from the winter cold) and is very large. There were loads of options for discerning and family shoppers alike. We spotted at least ten different varieties of onions, apples and potatoes. Besides food (including free-range meats, fish, organic fruits, veg, sauces, jams etc…) there were textiles, furniture (mostly wood), paintings and more. A real old fashioned delight in this burgeoning city.
Grand Union Canal (lock 28 ), Grove, Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire LU7 0QU
With my mum visiting from Canada we were on the hunt for nice ambiance, water views and tasty food. We decided to try The Grove Lock - new to all three of us. A pleasant surprise all round. Lovely views of the Grand Union and when the weather is balmy (or at least not raining) there is ample space (tables, chairs) outside right on the canal-side. We even had the chance to spot three canal boats docked up right by the pub so this makes a great spot to bring kids too. Inside, the pub had lovely beams and felt quite airy. We were there in the evening and each table had a candle, giving the pub quite a cozy feel. Though there were lots of families and it was busy, we were able to secure a comfy window table. The service was very helpful and the food tasty. We enjoyed lamb shank (beautifully cooked but could have come with more than the sliver of potatoes Dauphinoise) and a fish pie (which was loaded with fish). We barely had room for dessert but admirably made space for a fresh bread and butter pudding, a gorgeous and ever so chocolaty brownie with ice cream and a toffee pudding. All lovely. We could even wash it all down with a double espresso. Highly recommended for families and groups as there’s lots of space but we did see some couples there too. Overall, a very pleasant experience with lovely views.
5-9 Upper Brown Street, Leicester, Leicestershire LE1 5TE
As a Canadian I’m always on the lookout for a real diner experience…a bit nostalgia I suppose. Tinseltown is a new-comer to Leicester. There are some other chains in London and even one in Hollywood. The Leicester branch serves only Halal ingredients and no alcohol. This actually is quite nice as the clientele seem to always include cheery students and bustling families. The burgers are great and there is a large selection and they come with fries (unlike other chains in Leicester and elsewhere that call fries “sides”). The best thing about Tinseltown are the great milkshakes! They are lovely, ice-creamly goodness. I can personally recommend the Oreo Cookie shake and the Reeces Butter Cups…excellent. The staff here are helpful and good-natured. The diner itself has lots of seating and towards the back of the venue are huge booths big enough to comfortably fit a group of 7 adults. Perfect spot for a break from shopping at the new Highcross Centre.
Cromer Hyde, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 7XD
Thanks to the loss of electricity in our village a little while ago we spent quite a few meals out. One of the places we decided to check out was this one. We keep passing it on the way home from work but have never stopped. I’ve always been attracted to, wait for it…, the crooked chimney! I thought this lent a bit of charm to the place. The pub inside is quite nice. Modern with lots of comfy sofas scattered about. We headed straight to the back room and settled on a nice big table, one side with chairs the other with booth-type seating. The view out the window was great, the pub backs onto fields so very nice. We decided to go for burgers and chips. It wasn’t the best gourmet burger but perfectly fine for a gathering where conversation is more important than special seeded-buns and organic free-range mayo…The table, cutlery etc…was all clean and tidy and the waiter who brought us our food (though you must order it at the bar) and the waitress who brought out all the dips and sauces were both very nice. Recommended for a chilled-out gathering or family lunch.
4 High Street, St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 8AA
This is a fab. little bakery. We actually happened upon it accidently! The power had been cut to our village and that meant no coffee! Horror of horrors. So we ventured out on the hunt for the closest non-supermarket/gas station-icky pretend-coffee and found Ushers bakery. What a pleasant surprise. Walking in and inhaling the fresh bread and hot pies and aroma of coffee made us wish the power had been cut earlier - so that we would have found Ushers sooner! After spending ages drooling over all the amazing and fresh (did I say how fresh everything is here?!) breads, pies, croissants, danishes, baguettes and more we finally settled on amazingly moist death-by-chocolate muffins (nice and big too!), fresh seeded loaf and two big cups of latte. Everything was hot and tasty and the coffee had that proper coffee taste. Plus, although we took ages deciding what to get and a queue was forming, the man behind the counter (not sure who though!) was super nice and patient. I highly recommend this place for an early morning treat. Don’t get there late though…things sell out quickly!
the galleria, comet way, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 0BU
Like Charlotte we loved Fine Burger Company and our visits were pretty much just like Charlotte’s; friendly staff, good deals and tasty food. We really looked forward to our big food shop at Tesco so that we could treat ourselves to a fun lunch at Fine Burger. However, our most recent and now probably last visit was not up to par. The service was certainly not as perky as that to which we had become accustomed but that’s not something that would result in a change from 5 star to 2 star. The service didn’t get our orders right, mixing them up between us and giving us burgers that we requested to be well done but were in fact still quite lively. But, sadly, it was actually the food. It just wasn’t great. The burgers did not have that freshly made taste and the cheese gracing the burgers was more like a plastic wrapper. The chips too, waaaay smaller portions (is it possible it was a different chef?) and more crisp than chip. The worst thing for us concerns the “sauces.” Up until this last visit, we would be asked by servers whether there were any sauces we’d like. We’d usually opt for mayo (yum!) for our chips and soon individual little pots of mayo for each of us would appear. This time we were told sauces were on the table. And, to the edge of the table was a collection of sticky plastic squeezable bottles of ketchup and mayo. Interestingly, written on the back of the mayo bottle along with the ingredients were directions to keep the contents refrigerated….not sat on a table…
At the end of the night, feeling quite disappointed, we asked for the bill. The bill added on a service charge which, I later found out after paying, doesn’t actually go to the staff who did the work. Had we known, we would have left our tip on the table, ready for the server. Sadly, the “restaurant” that performed so poorly got an extra treat on us.
If anyone has gone to this Fine Burger in the last 3-4 weeks, hopefully their visit was better. Perhaps this was a one-off as all our previous visits had been brilliant.
15 Holywell Hill, St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1EZ
We accidentally happened upon this little Creperie as we were ambling up Hollywell Hill. We had spotted this place before but it was often closed; the “new” (key word) owner told us that there are now different opening times (including Sundays). The three of us were after some dessert but after reading the tempting menu (savoury and sweet stuff) one of us ended up having the french bread and brie which was fabulous. The other two in our group had sweet crepes. The best bit was the friendly waitress who lit our crepes suzette with aplomb. She also was patient with us while choosing a wine. She ended up bringing us a South African red which was amazing (it actually went very well with the bread and cheese!). The furnishings set the French scene, all bisto-like and wooden. There was also some great jazz music playing while we munched. Service great. Food tasty. All in all a chilled out spot to snack.
10 Christopher Place, St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 5DQ
This place, as trunkguy says, is great for inexpensive but good food. There is something for everyone with veggie and kid-friendly options. If the service is slow (luckily) we haven’t had this problem, it’s a great idea to enjoy the edamame starter (lovely soya beans) with some of the free green tea. The staff have always been polite and attentive, we’ve never had to wait ages for the bill or to order.