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.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Crown & Thistle/Pub Food/Carlisle

It has been ages since I have even heard anyone mention this place, it used to have a great reputation but recently it is like it has fallen off the radar.
A couple of weeks ago though, someone said it had new management, so I though it was time to check it out again.

In Rockcliffe village, just north of Carlisle, you can get to Rockclifffe either by passing Asda supermarket (signposted) or the back road past Kingmoor. It is around 5 miles out of the City.

The pub is just as you enter the village, don't blink or you will miss the entrance to the car park, you actually drive down quite a steep driveway to a car park behind the pub.

Inside looks exactly the same as it did about 6 years ago when I was last there - clean and tidy enough, but not very modern.

We took a seat and was handed a menu. The menu was quite extensive with plenty of options for meat eaters, but sadly very lacking in Vegetarian options. Apart from the snack options of toasties and jacket potatoes, the only offering for Veggies was a vegetarian lasagna and a cheese & tomato pizza !! Not being keen on onions and peppers, the lasagna was out, and who wants a pizza for Sunday lunch?

There was a lot of Roast Dinners being served and they looked great, but no Veggie option on their either.
In the end I went for starter and chips. Mushrooms in a Garlic sauce in a pancake with Garlic bread and a bowl of chips.

The mushroom dish was really quite nice, some good flavours going on. It was ordered as a main course with chips, so a little bit of veg or salad on the side would have been appreciated.

The Garlic Bread was quite cheeky, it was cut so thin that I couldn't even pick it up in one piece from the plate!

This dish could easily be adapted to be a main course, as could other non-meat starters. Not sure why the menu planners don't think of that.
Hubby went for the Roast Dinner, 1 course was £7.95, 2 course £8.95, 3 course £9.95 - choice of either Roast Beef or Cottage Pie with trimmings for the main, along with a couple of starters and a couple of dessert choices.

He really enjoyed it, a great selection of veg and nicely cooked meat. Although they could have cut the ends off the carrots ! It also came served with an extra gravy boat which was a lovely touch.
He decided to have the sticky toffee pudding to follow, so I though it would be rude not to join him.
A nice pud, great sauce, and a nice touch of strawberries, but squirty cream - bleurgh !! Didn't realise places still used squirty cream. When you add nice touches like a wafer and fruit why not offer a proper splash of fresh cream?

The bill, not including a tip, was just under £22. This was for 1 starter, 1 bowl of chips, 1 x 2 course Roast Dinner, 1 dessert & 2 soft drinks.
Would we go back? Possibly, Hubby did enjoy his roast, but I would have to be in the mood to have a pizza or mushrooms & chips. If they put a couple of other Veggie options on then I would definately return.

Cannot find a website, but you can follow them on Facebook.

The Crown & Thistle
Tel: 08721 077 077

Feel free to comment.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Been meaning to revisit this restaurant for a while, having been years ago when it first opened, but because it is tucked away in Denton Holme, Carlisle, it is never a restaurant that springs to mind when deciding where to go.

On the main street in Denton Holme - Denton Street - it is walkable from the City Centre in about 30/40 minutes. Parking is a bit of an issue, both during the day and evenings, it's a case of find a spot between the residents and bingo players (the Bingo hall is a few doors away).

We went on a Monday evening at around 9.00pm, we were the only ones in the restaurant, but they serve up to 10.30pm and are open for take-aways too.

A nice clean, modern, white, contempory eatery, with nicely set tables and comfy chairs. The wine glasses are lovely, I do like a nice wine glass :)

We were greeted with a smile and shown to the table by the window. We were then offered a different table as it was a cold evening and the waiter thought we might like one near a heater, but we were ok. In retrospect we should have perhaps moved as when the Bingo players came out, each and every one of them stared in the window at us eating.

Good wine list by the bottle with just one available by the glass, but it was a good one so all was well :)
We began with poppadoms, served warm with dips. The mango chutney tasted nice but was way too runny, not a lump of mango in sight and really hard to keep on the poppadom, it was more like a mango sauce.

For a starter I chose Garlic Mushrooms - Sliced mushrooms cooked with home-made ghee and cream.

Very naughty, but everso nice. It had the texture of a slightly undercooked cheese omelette, so a bit thicker than other Garlic Mushroom dishes, and although not very "Indian" tasting, it was really really good, would definately have it again. Served with a nice fresh side salad.
Hubby had Chicken Tikka Pakora, a really generous portion in really tasty batter, served with a spicy sauce, which I tested for him - very good.
As well as the usual "mixed veg" options with the regular curry sauces, and the veggie side dishes, they did have a Vegetarian Speciality section on the menu with 4 paneer (Indian Cheese) choices.
I chose Sag Paneer, one of my favourite dishes. It was a little bit bland, could have done with something 'extra' chucked in there, but was certainly very edible.

To go with it I had Olive Rice, I have not seen this offered anywhere else and I love Olives - I was not dissapointed, it was gorgeous and the salt from the Olives really lifted the taste, they weren't shy with the whole Olives either. A really nice change.
The garlic naan was fluffy and cripsy at the same time, really good.
Hubby had Chicken Tikka Roshun which he enjoyed.

Didn't manage to eat it all, but they were happy to pack it up as a take-away for us to take home.
We were asked to fill in a satisfaction check at the end of the meal, great idea !
The bill, not including a tip, was £41, this was for 2 poppadums, 2 starters, 2 mains, 3 sides, 2 large wines and 2 cokes.
They have a basic website and also a restaurant in Cockermouth.
Let us know if you go.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Rahi At The Waterloo/Indian/Carlisle

New Blog Post coming soon, keep checking back.



Rahi at The Waterloo
01228 549200

Please let us know if you go by leaving a comment.

Follow up blog added March 2011

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Foxes Cafe/Cafe/Carlisle

Foxes is a "rustic, messy, curiosity shop" style cafe in one of the back streets in Carlisle.

Situated in Abbey Street, that leads from the back of the Cathedral towards the Castle. Parking during the day is a bit hit and miss, depending if there are any one-hour spaces available, the nearest car park is Devonshire walk, then you would cross the Dual Carraigeway via the Millenium Bridge and walk up Abbey Street.

Inside the tables are rustic old wood, and old church hall style seats and pews. The walls are decorated with 40' & 50'2 style advertisments and postcards, just stuck up in a random manner, and there are all sorts of nick-nacks hanging about, like teapots stuck in an old branch, and a supersized Toblerone box in a tree !!

The cafe is on two levels, on the higher level just a few steps up, is like stepping back in time, with lots of old memorabilia - as far as I can work out not styled in any kind of theme, just a mismatch of all sorts of bits and bobs. The Cafe often has themed parties and events (Vintage Tea Parties & Local Artist Events)

Very student, arty, hippy friendly, everyone is greated with a huge smile by the happy, vocal lads that run/own it.

The menus are rather tatty, to the point that they really need replaced. The menu is "Pro Vegetarian" but they do have the odd meat option available too.

We opted for a Brie, Grape and Redcurrant Panini, served with Hummus and salad.

Unfortunately we got Bacon & Brie, my friend was able to eat hers but mine had to go back and be remade as I am Veggie.

They were beautifully served, with a criss cross of balsamic syrup and a little triangle of orange hummus.

The sandwich was fine, wasn't keen on the hummus though, not sure what was wrong with it, but it just wasn't too my taste. Lovely vanilla latte coffee though.

This is a characturistic little place, not the place if you like your eateries to be pristine and modern, but definately worth a visit if you want a nice Veggie snack with some great options. - Vegan options available too.

They are open the odd evening too, but check out their website for all the details.

Let us know if you go.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Fu Man Lou/Chinese/Carlisle

Sadly I am having to do a quick follow up blog on this restaurant.

We phoned a couple of weeks ago to see if they still offered their fabulous £12.50 meal deal as were we planning to take some friends, but they said they did not do it anymore, that was a little disspointing so we went elsewhere that night.

However last night we decided we fancied a Chinese meal, so off we went, asked for a table for three, and was sat down with some Prawn Crackers.

The waiter came back to take out drink orders and I ordered a large red wine, but only to be told "We have no glasses of Red Wine, we only have bottles" Even though 175mm and 250mm glasses of wine were offered on the drinks menu.

I didn't want to buy a bottle, so I asked could he not open a bottle and pour me a glass? He said "No, the Boss says we are not allowed to open bottles as the rest of the wine gets wasted."

In the end we discussed it, then decided to leave. I would have actually had two large glasses which equated to 2/3rds of a bottle, so I am sure the price would have covered the bottle cost anyway.

Please click on the link below for the original blog.
Feel free to add any comments.

Thursday, 7 October 2010


Adriano is a modern, clean, well set out Italian Restaurant in the centre of Carlisle.
Situated in Rickergate directly opposite the Civic Centre.

Plenty of parking available close by on an evening, but trickier during the day as drivers are often jostling for a parking spot.
The interior is beautiful, with tiled floors, heavy iron furniture and quality place settings.

We went on a Wednesday evening with two friends, it was very empty, so we were seated and served right away.

We chose to have 'light' starters, I had Green Olives and the rest all had Garlic Pizza with Cheese.

The Olives were not very nice sadly, they were way too under-ripe and hard to bite from the stone. I only had two.

The Garlic Bread was lovely, with lots of Garlic and a good scattering of Mozzerella.

When the starter plates were removed, the un-eaten Olives were ignored, but perhaps they thought we were keeping them to nibble on during the rest of the meal.

For mains I had a Spinach & Egg pizza, it was fine, sadly nothing memorable, but tasty enough.

Hubby had a chicken pizza, and our friends had pasta dishes, Al Forno and Carbonara - all of which looked very good.

The wine, although Italian, and I don't usually care for European, was actually quite nice, and a good large 375ml glass.
The Olives were still not removed or mentioned when clearing away the dinner plates.

While we were sitting chatting at the end of our meal (we were the only people left in at this point) one waiter was cashing up the till and counting the notes, while the other brought the menu board in from outside. It was only around half nine, so not too late, but this made us feel like we were outstaying our welcome a bit so we got the bill and left.
The total bill, not including a tip, was £76, this was for 4 light starters, four main meals, two large wines and two cokes.
Would we go again? Very probably, there is nothing wrong with the place, but nothing hugely memorable either sadly, it's just regular Italian food. Certainly nothing to complain about, but on the other hand not much to get excited about either.
Here is the website, which has menus etc on, but strangely no opening days or times, or address. Give them a call to check they are open :)
Let us know if you have been.

Monday, 4 October 2010

The Crown/Pub Food/Carlisle

The Crown is situated out of Carlisle, along the Durdar Road and heading towards Southwaite. You drive along the country road, passing The Black Lion and what was once the White Quey, keep driving and all off a sudden there is it, blink and you will pass it :)

Have not been for years and years, the interior has been totally refurbished with modern furniture and nice fresh deco. It is very restaurant like, rather than pubby. Very clean, neat and welcoming.

We were greeted and seated with a smile and a drinks order was taken straight away.

The house wine seemed very expensive at £3.75 for a 125ml glass, which equates to £22.50 a bottle, the same wine was £13.75 for a bottle, so went with that option.

The background music was modern, a touch too loud, and a little too fast paced, smoother, softer music would have been much nicer.

We were served beautifully hot (home-made?) bread rolls and real butter, which were gorgeous, while we waited for our starters.

I chose a dish from the Specials list, which was Grilled Goats Cheese on top of a Potato Rosti, I checked their was no onions in the Rosti and after popping into the kitchen to check, the lady taking our order assured me there wasn't.

There was a little wait for our starters to be delivered, but as it was all cooked fresh we didn't mind, and when it did arrive it looked amazing.

Unfortunately, although there was no onions in the Rosti, a generous spinkling of them had been added as a layer between the cheese and the tomato, I was so dissapointed.

When the server came back a few minutes later I explained I couldn't eat it. She took it away and offered me another, but as we had waited a while, and as Hubby was nearly finished his starter I just decided to go straight onto the main. On reflection I do wish I had accepted the offer of a new one as it looked amazing.

The apologies for the mix-up came thick and fast, apparently the Chef was "gutted" that he had got it wrong. I was offered a free desert to make up for it. How nice to have such fabulous service, it guarantees a return visit.

Hubby had Garlic Pizza Bread - hand-rolled dough and cooked in an authentic oven, made it very Italian, and having stole a small piece I can say it was delicious.

For mains I went for a Pesto & Mushroom Pizza, it was as good as anything I have ever had in an Italian Restaurant, beautiful crust and quality toppings.

Hubby had his usual Gammon, which was served with two fried eggs, cooked in butter, home-made chips and a fabulous veg selection, which was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

At this point I was quite full, and had left a little pizza, so really a pudding was not necessary, but I felt it was rude to decline their kind offer so went for a Creme Brulee.

It was really good, made with raspberries and lavender sugar, it was a perfect consistancy and finished the meal off well.
Hubby had one scoop of Caramel Ice-Cream. It looked a little lost in the sundae glass, but it is all he could manage.
We will definately be back, plenty of options for Vegetarians with a Veggie section plus the pizzas and pastas.
Have a look at the website, the menus are on there as well as some photos from the refurb, directions and contact details.
Let us know if you go.