The Diary of a Foodie

These food blogs are made up entirely from my own personal views. I do not work for, or get paid by any of the establishments that I mention.
It is a personal account based on a personal experience, and should be treated as such.
Please use the search box to search for your favourite style of food.
If you would like to suggest anywhere for me to try, please feel free to get in touch.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Shoulder Of Mutton / Richmond / Yorkshire

It has been a long time since I posted on this blog, mainly because I use Trip Advisor now.   But after trying to leave what I thought was a polite, yet constructive criticism of an establishment, the owner keep getting it removed because I "didn't eat  the food"!   Well, the reason I did not eat the food was that there was nothing for me to eat.   But I sat in the pub and drank a drink so I feel a review should be allowed.   

As the second attempt was also removed from Trip Advisor I have decided that I am entitled to my view being out there so am adding it into this blog.

The original post is as below.

This is my second attempt at this review as it was reported and removed with the reason being "General discussion that does not detail a substantial experience will not be posted." 

Well, let's be more detailed then. 

I DID visit this establishment on Sunday 13th April 2014 at around 2.00pm, with the intention of eating, we had travelled off our beaten track to get there based on the Trip Advisor reviews. But because of the lack of vegetarian options available we had no choice but to drink up our drink and leave. 

On entering the establishment the first thing that hits you is how dark it is, on different levels too - it felt like we still had sunglasses on and was having to watch our feet as we walked. It was very busy and looked very popular. 

I am vegetarian, not a fussy one, but I have to say I do like a choice, even if it is just out of two items. To have one vegetarian choice on a menu is not a choice at all - it's a take it or leave it option and I chose to leave it. 

Amongst all the lovely sounding offerings of different roast dinners was a spaghetti with courgette, peas and parmasan. For one, parmasan is NOT vegetarian, but I was told when I pointed this out that it could be made with a different cheese. Actually, I didn't hugely want to sit eating pasta while everyone around ate roast dinners. And I certainly didn't want to pay £10 for a bowl of spaghetti when it was the same price for Lamb, Beef or Pork. What is wrong with doing, say a big grilled mushroom, with the roast trimmings (and veggie gravy) or even a Quorn fillet, or even a meatless roast dinner like Toby Carvery does? 

Sadly we had ordered one drink when we realised there was no option for me really, so we didn't order the second drink, still had to pay so we drank up and left. 

The original purpose of this post was to warn vegetarians of the limited options and to ask the chef/owner to perhaps think about offering something different for us. I am actually a little annoyed that 'someone' reported it to be removed as I could not give a detailed report. I hope this is more detailed and I have taken off a mark for the hassle of me having to rewrite it. 

Obviously someone cannot take constructive criticism. 

Just to be clear, I WAS THERE, I PLANNED TO EAT, THERE WAS NOTHING SUITABLE. If there was, I would have stayed and eaten as we were starving.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Bombay Cuisine/Indian/Moffat

Moffat is not somewhere we usually go, but in this case it was a good stop of point during a business trip. We fancied an Indian meal so a quick Google gave us Bombay Cuisine.

It was a pain in the bum to find with the Sat Nav and postcode, it kept taking us round and round a block when in fact the restaurant is on the main part of the street opposite some street parking places.

The restaurant itself is downstairs, not quite a cellar, but a lower floor and on entering it has that faint smell of mustiness.

We were greeted by a very jolly man who we later found out was Kal, the manager.  He was just in a regular shirt and pants, no uniform, and didn't look as though he was at work really, so we had to ask if there were in fact open.  They were, and we were ushered in.

We were given a choice of tables, which is always nice, there was just one other larger group in.  It was buffet night so the buffet was in full force, we asked what was on it and the waiter gave us a guided tour explaining what each dish was.  We ended up deciding to go for the main menu though.

The menus were quite tatty and stained, and felt a bit grubby in the hands.  Could do with getting them re-done.  Kal came over to take our order and he was fabulous, suggesting different foods and options.

I went for Patra - Vine leaves soaked in gramflour & spices. Shallow fried. Served with tamarind sauce and seasoned chick pea's.

This was gorgeous, I have never had anything quite like this and not sure how to describe it really.  Crunchy, tasty, something different.

My partner went for an Onion Bahji, which looked quite different to others he has had, flat and crispy.  served with some lovely sauces  (which I ate  :) )

For a main, and under Kal's guidence, I had the Vegetable Thali's Chefs choice of three home cooked dishes. Served with Riata, Rice, Popodom & Chapati. 

It arrived in a COLD metal tray, almost like a school dinner tray, not very pretty to look at, but the food was magnificient!

Not quite sure what it all was, the first one was a curry base, the second had some okra (which is one of my favourites) and the last was paneer saag. I got the rice and the chapati, but not the popodom or the riata.  I didn't actually realise there was bits missing until later, there was plenty of food, but would have been nice to taste the missing bits too.

Partner had his usual Chicken Tikka, Kal tried to talk him into a spicier version, but he wasn't having any of that.

He said it was really good, nicely flavoured.  It was served with rice, curry sauce & a salad garnish (although the salad garnish didn't arrive)

We also ordered a sesame naan, as this was a new thing to us.

That was really nice, the sesame seeds worked really well with the soft bread.

The house wine was nice, rich and full bodied.

All in all, the restaurant is basic, there is a lot of comings and going for take-aways, and the toilets could do with a spruce up.  But look past that as the food is excellent.  We will definitely be back when passing again.

Here are the details for you: 

Lower Craignelder 
High Street, 
DG10 9ED
01683 220900

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Near Boot/Pub Food/Carlisle

The Near Boot is a pub right on the outskirts of Carlisle, at the top of Brampton Road, in a little place called Whiteclosegate.

It has a large parking area behind the pub, and a nice garden so you can have a cold beer in the summer.

Nice and clean inside, with stripped back tables and chair, quiet country style, rustic looking. Well set out with a choice of different sized tables.

We took a large round table and were brought a menu by a server.  The food orders are taken at the table, the drinks you need to go to the bar to collect yourself, which is a bit of a shame as if you want a top up half way through your meal, you have to go and wait to be served.

It is a vast menu, with main meals ranging from about £8.50 through to £15.00, starters are around £5.00.

There was 4 of us and we went for a "Sharing Platter" to start.  Being Veggie I asked if the chicken could be served on a separate plate, this was no problem.

It was very good sized portion, plenty of food for 4 people, and it cost £11.50.

We got Onion Rings, Chilli Cheese Bites, Breaded Mushrooms, Garlic Bread, Chicken Coujons. Potato Wedges, Salsa, Sour Cream and Salad.

Although it was a deep fried platter, the food was good quality and tasty.

For a main I went for a Veggie Lasagna, served with chips, garlic bread and salad. I asked for no onions on the salad, which came as requested, but the coleslaw had strong onions in it.  But the bits of salad I picked out had a nice dressing on.

Lasagna was full of huge chunks of veg, tasted home-made and was pretty good.  Chips are home-made and rather yummy.

Others had  Gammon, served with pinapple and egg, and all the trimmings.  He said it was very good.

Pan fried salmon with chips and veg.  He said the Veg was "a bit tasteless" but the salmon was lovely.

Chicken in a creamy garlic sauce.  She enjoyed it very much.

We didn't go for desert, although I did manage to sneak a look at the blackboard, and the offerings looked quite delicious.

For one sharing starter, four mains, two bottles of wine and a soft drink, they bill came just short of £75.00

Would definitely go back, there are three other Veggie options I need to try  :)

Here are the contact details.

Near Boot Inn

(01228) 540100

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Rafiks is situated on Botchergate in Carlisle, in the restaurant what was recently The Jade Garden Chinese.

This restaurant has a really interesting history, having actually started off in the same building in 1976.  (You can read all about it on their website -

I heard a rumour that a new Indian Restaurant had opened, so thought I should go an check it out.

What a surprise when walking in, it is nothing like the restaurant it once was, very modern, contemporary, beautiful decor and furniture - a total transformation.

We were seated at a low table near the bar, then offered a choice of dining tables.

The menu was very good, with some interesting offerings on it, nice to see something different.

I went for Tokri Chaat - Traditional Indian street food, puffed rice, sev, rice flakes, chickpeas and tomato served in a poppadum basket with dips.

It was unbelievably delicious.  I loved it.  It was one of those tastes that you "fancy" when deciding to go out for a meal.

Hubby had Chicken Pakora - chicken in spicy chickpea batter, fried.

He said it was 'very enjoyable'.

For a main course I couldn't choose, so I went for two side dishes instead - Kurkuri - Crispy spiced coated okra with chilli.... and Palak Paneer - Spinach and Indian cheese.

They were quite small portions, but very nice.  The Okra wasn't quite as crispy as I would have liked, but it had a lovely flavour and the paneer was nice and creamy.

Hubby went for his usual Chicken Tikka.  He was a little disappointed to get just 6 small pieces for £7.50 though especially when you have to order your sides extra, but the flavour was nice.

We shared rice, chips and bread for accompaniments.  Bread was nice and fluffy, and the chips were fat and fluffy  :)

I have to say though, the sauces and dips that were served with different courses were lovely, something very different and added to the enjoyment of the meal.

I would definitely go back again and recommend Rafiks to others, but you will need a starter if you are hungry, so it's not a cheap night out.  At the time of writing they only open for dinner and not for lunch.

Here are the details for you, let us know if you go.

141 – 145 Botchergate,
Tel: 01228 599889

Monday, 9 January 2012

Pompeii Steakhouse/Carlisle

It is with a little trepidation that I write this blog, for a Vegetarian visiting a Steak house is probably not the most ideal situation, however....... I was in a group of people who wanted to go so I toddled along.

There are no  photos as it was too dark in the restaurant to take any without industrial flash, and I didn't have the camera with me with the flash on.

So, we had a table booked, and we were seated on a little table behind the main doorway.  As mentioned before it was very dark, so dark in fact that our friend could not manage to read the menu, which was printed on black & red paper.  The waitress was very good, however, and read it out to her.

I chose to have....Portobello mushroom and beef tomato: cooked on the stone served with red onion, rocket and a Dijon mustard and balsamic dressing on toasted ciabatta.

I asked for it without red onion and was told this was fine.  However the side vegetables served with the meal was red onions, mushrooms, peppers and courgettes mixed together, and I couldn't have that without the onions.  As my husband wouldn't eat this either, we asked if it could be swapped for a garlic mushroom side dish.  This was ok.

The others all went for a steak.

The steaks arrived first, carried one at a time, as I imagine the lava stones are quite heavy, and mine arrived last.  I was quite surprised to find a total of three regular sized mushrooms, sliced and cooking on the stone, and six slices of small salad tomato.  The  red onion was very present and had flavoured all the ciabatta on which it lay.   No one came back to do a satisfaction check, there was a large party (perhaps two) in the other room, resulting in us being abandoned somewhat.  Our friends did not get their vegetables either, they had also ordered some garlic mushrooms so presumed they had been swapped as ours was.

The concept of the stone is good for steak, however, trying to eat a boiling hot tomato that doesn't cool down any is not the easiest of things, I had to rest the tomato slices on my bread to cool them down.  The mushrooms just shrivelled up.  But really, I have seen more food as a garnish on a pub food plate.

Finally, at the end of the meal the waitress returned to take our plates, at this point I decided to question the small amount of food.  It went something along the lines of this......

"Food was nice, but I expected a Portobello Mushroom?"

"Oh, yes, sorry meant to say, we ran out"

"And the Beef Tomato?"

"We ran out of those too"

"And I asked for no onions, the salad (as in rocket) was covered in it"

"You didn't ask for salad"

No, the salad that came with the ciabatta and meal, it had onion on it, I asked for no onion"

LOUDER: "You didn't order salad!"

"The salad, comes with the meal, it's on the menu"

SNOTTY "Well, I don't know what comes out of the kitchen"

"Fair enough, well to be honest, I am not happy with paying £9.00 for three small mushrooms and a small tomato"

"I'll speak to the Chef"

With this she left. Ten minutes later she returned and said the Chef said I could have it for £4.50 - which I agreed too.  When the bill arrived the deduction was made, but my friends had been charged for their mushroom dish, by this time we just wanted to leave.

Our friends actually enjoyed their food, but due to the attitude of the waitress it ruined a good night out.

As I said at the start, it seems a bit unfair for a Vegetarian to criticize a Steak House, but you know, there are times, especially if they have to welcome parties, that Vegetarians will have to be catered for, that's why I decided to go ahead and write up my blog.

Feel free to add your own views, would be interested to read them.

Contact details below:

The Pompeii Steakhouse

1-3 Abbey Street
Phone: 01228 402440

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Ship Inn/Pub Food/Carlisle

We trotted along to The Ship Inn on a recommendation that "the chips are excellent".  Well, how could we resist?

Situated in a little Village called Thursby, just a few miles outside of Carlisle towards Wigton.  Not walkable really from Carlisle, there are buses that stop close to the pub, but you would need to check times. There is a large car park behind the pub.

If you park in the car park you can enter the building via the back door, you have to walk through a waft of cigarette smoke though if you are unlucky enough to arrive at a fag break time :)

From here you can turn to the right to go into the bar, or left & down a few stairs to the restaurant area.

Nicely set up, in Pub food style rather than restaurant, but having a separate dining area deserves a big "well-done", it makes all the difference to a nice eating experience.  We sat close to the bar, unfortunately right next to a speaker which was screaming out loud pop music.  We did ask for it to be turned down as we could hardly hear ourselves speak, and it was, but a good 10 minutes later.

The menu had plenty of choice and a good few veggie options  (although these are not featured on the online menu at all)

I went for Vegetable Kiev, served with a lovely side salad and a generous portion of home-made chips.  The recommendation pointing us towards the chips was spot on, they were delicious.  The kiev was just a 'drop in the frier' type, but that' ok, the effort was there to put something different on the menu for a Veggie, and that's always appreciated.

Hubby went for his usual Gammon, served with egg, coleslaw, salad & veg, the chips were served separately and it was a rather generous meal.

The waitress was lovely, I tend to think she is perhaps the owner, very friendly and full of chatter.

A nice meal, and the chips are definitely worth going to try.

They have a website.....

The Ship Inn
The Green, 
Telephone: 01228 710600

Let us know if you go....

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Wheatsheaf/Pub Food/Carlisle

We had been told to visit The Wheatsheaf Inn in Wetheral by some friends, who said the food was excellent.

Wetheral is a little village just a few miles out of Carlisle.  Not walk-able and I am unsure of decent bus routes, you would probably need to drive.

There is a good sized car park around the back of the pub.

We first went a few months ago with some friends, we booked a table and on the way there we tried to check out the menu for Vegetarian options.  We were looking on an iPhone and not having much success at all...which leads me onto the website. it's not any better when viewed on a PC either.  Sack the web designer, it's blooming awful!  And NEVER open it at work unless you have your mute button on as it has loud background music.

Walking into the pub you get a feeling of not belonging.  It really is a very "Villagey" pub and is full of locals - which is great in this economic climate.  But if you are wanting a quiet, romantic meal, this is not the place for you.  We booked a table, and actually felt a bit guilty at lots of people standing around staring longingly at this vacant place.

Anyway, despite the lack of Veggie options on the online menu, they actually have a good range of Veggie choices and some interesting dishes, like 'Deep Fried Avocado on a Chick-Pea Pattie'.

I went for a 'Tree Hugger' burger..... obviously all Vegetarians are tree-hugging hippies  :)  slightly condescending.  However, aside from the name it was quite fantastic.

A chick pea burger, topped with a breaded brie, salad and other bits and bobs.  I seem to remember it comes with onion rings and salsa, which I chose not to have.

It is huge, and the home-made chips are out of this world.  Fantastically plump and fluffy and perfectly cooked.  (You can also choose to swap for Sweet Potato Fries, which I did on the previous visit - delicious)

The burger menu is superb, loads of thought has gone into this with burgers such as..... (forgive me if the names are not correct, trying to do it all from memory)....Indian Burger, onion Bhaji and stuff... Scottish Burger which comes with haggis and potato waffle, and loads more.

Hubby went for the home-made chicken kiev, superb flavour with a wonderful breadcrumb which he thinks had a little bit of star anise in it.  One of our guest also went for this and said it was fabulous.

It was served with a lovely salad, with a chunk of watermelon, and chips.

Our other guest chose pork medallions in a blue cheese and mustard sauce.

Presented beautifully and  cooked to perfection, he said.  Served with a bowl of mixed vegetables, but not your usual carrot, peas and broccoli, this was peas, cabbage, courgette, baby onions....  What a lovely change.

The main meals are around £10.00 a head, some might think a little pricey for a pub, but the food is fantastic, worth every penny.  The only thing that would stop me going every week is the establishment itself.  What it needs is a dining room, a conservatory just for dinners, a proper eating experience.  The food would certainly keep people coming back, the loud music, endless loud chatter from the drinkers, and overall 'busyness' of the place would make me always think twice.

And the toilets, although clean enough, could do with a good slap of paint and a tidy up.

Oh... and as a final word, they advertise Sky Sports, and they have some decent sized TV's on the wall.  If you go on a football night, it's going to be manic!

Here is the website and contact details:  Do let us know if you go....

The Wheatsheaf Inn

01228 560 686