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.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Coach & Horses/Pub Food/Carlisle

The Coach and Horses pub at Kingstown have made the lounge part of their establishment into a restaurant named Hussars.

I went with my partner a couple of months ago, but forgot to take the camera, as I went back with a couple of friends for lunch last week I thought I would take the opportunity to grab some more photos.  Therefore this blog is about both visits.

Situated opposite the turning into Kingstown industrial estate, it is a beautiful stand-alone building with some nice features.  Out the front is some tables and chairs for a summertime drink - although certainly not good for Vegetarians due to the number of wagons that  pass full of animals heading for the abbatoir!

Good amount of car-parking around the back.

The first time I went I ordered Brie to start (no onions on the salad please)  The brie was beautiful and crisp, a good size,  but alas the salad came covered with onions so I had to leave that.  As the waitress came to collect the plates I asked her to double check the main course would not come with onions on the salad.

For a main I had Veggie Burger.  It was fine.  You can't really judge a place by a frozen veggie burger, but its a great addition to have on the menu - thumbs up for that!  And there was no onions on the salad this time  :)

The chips deserve a special mention though, they are gorgeous.  Unpeeled potatoes, obviously hand-made, and just delicious.

We were going to have a desert, but when the waitress picked up the plate she didn't ask us.  I suppose we should have gone to the bar and ordered one, but when you go to a 'restaurant' do you not expect to be served?  It's a little point I suppose, but makes all the difference.  They lost out on a good few quid as we were going to have a pud each and an extra drink.

This time we went I was planning to have the Mushroom Stroganoff, but alas it had lots of onions in, so went for the Veggie Burger again, asking for no onions on the salad.  Didn't get a salad this time at all, but plenty of chips.

One of my friends had a Burger with egg and cheese, he said it was really good.

My other friend had the sausage & onion baguette with chips  (she got a salad!)

Will definately be back, even if just for the chips!

Cannot find a website, but here is the address.

The Coach & Horses
234 Kingstown Rd,
01228 525535

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Pheasant Inn/Pub Food/Cumwhitton

I was pointed in the direction of The Pheasant Inn by a follower on our Facebook page.

I had to Google it to find out where Cumwhitton is, it is a little village between Carlisle & Brampton, about 12 miles from Carlisle.

A lovely looking country pub, we went on a miserable rainy night, but on a warm summers evening it would be nice to have a drink in the garden.

Beautifully set out inside, with rustic old large tables, nicely set with placemats, cutlery and a decent wine list. 

We were shown to our table, given the menus and our drink order was taken.

There was one Veggie option on the main menu with a note saying "ask about our other Vegetarian options" as there was also a Veggie option on the specials menu I presumed that would be the other option, but how wrong I was !  When I enquired about the other options I was brought a whole new menu with a vast array of gorgeous offerings, with even a couple of Vegan options.  To say I was impressed was an understatement.

I opted to skip a starter, having seen they offered three different Creme Brulees. 

So going straight to main course I had Brie, Mushroom, Cranberry & Spinach Wellington. When the food is served the waiting staff put on white gloves to handle your plates.

It was delicious, served with the most gorgeous chunky fluffy chips and freshly cooked vegetables.

The portions of the chips and veg look a lot smaller than what you would perhaps get in other places, but to be perfectly honest it was refreshingly nice not to be faced with a massive amount of food.  The amount of chips was just perfect, and when we had started eating one of the staff came to the table to ask if we would like more veg or salad - a lovely touch, and so brilliant to offer more rather than just give then excess gets wasted.  Well done Pheasant.

Hubby had a homemade burger.  He said it was "very very nice, tasty, perfectly seasoned".

For dessert I went for the Ginger Creme Brulee served with a shortbread biscuit.

Absolutely gorgeous !!

Hubby had Sticky Toffee Pudding with ice-cream.

Again, he said it was divine, lots of gorgeous toffee sauce, and a quality ice-cream.

We will definately be back, quite regularly I would think. The staff couldn't do enough for you and the place was beautifully clean & tidy - even the toilets were spotless, nicely decorated and well maintained.

The bill came to £32 for two mains, two puds, one large wine and a large coke.

Here are the details for you.

The Pheasant Inn
CA8 9AX:
01228 560 102

Taybarns/Pub Food/Newcastle

Taybarns was recommended to me as it had "loads of Vegetarian options", so while in Newcastle we decided to track down the closest one which was in Swallwell, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. 

The website boasts an impressive list of different foods, Indian, Chinese, Chip Shop, Carvery along with Soups & Salads for a set price.  The set price changes according to which day and time you go, as we went on a Saturday evening we payed the highest price of around £8.25 each.  The sign outside had a huge white price of £6.20 with a tiny tiny black "from" above the pound sign which you could only make out if standing right beside the sign.

 I wonder why the price changes though as you seem to be offered the same food, there isn't anything extra offered for the extra money which I think is a bit cheeky.

Busy car park, but it is shared with the Premier Inn which is next door.

The restaurant itself is vast, loads of tables.  As you go in you queue at the till to pay, you also order your drink, you are handed an glass with ice if you order a soft drink (they are refillable) and whatever other drink you have ordered, then you trot off to find yourself a table.  Staff are great, really friendly, and they explain how it all works if you have not been before.

So, we got our table and headed off to check out the food. Imagine a motorway service station canteen and you wouldn't be far wrong, only you can have a bit of everything.  A lot of the dishes were empty though, pr just had half a portion left.
I started with a slice of pizza, cauliflower cheese, vegetable korma with rice, chips and corn on the cob.

Although the place boasts a "chip shop" section, they were just frozen (school dinner type) chips, although sadly, the nicest thing on the plate !
The pizza was ok, cheap 'tinny' tomato sauce and barely cooked base, but they had an impressive pizza oven.  The cauliflower cheese was watery and tasteless, I usually love cauli-cheese, but this was awful. The vegetable korma wasn't any better, in fact worse !  The vegetables in it were new potatoes (with skin) peas and cauli, and again, tasteless. Corn on the cob was shrivelled and cold.

I ate the pizza and chips and decided to try again !

This time I went for cheesy pasta bake, potato wedges (just two as that was all that was left) and another slice of pizza with chips as I knew I would eat those.

The pasta bake, like the cauliflower cheese, was watery and tastless - so dissapointing.

In the end I decided that the best food in Taybarns for a Vegetarian was this......

A chip & bean butty  :)

Hubby fared a little better, he went for the Carvery and got some good chunks of turkey, hand carved.  Veg was un-seasoned and luke-warm.  He liked the yorkshire puds though.

His second plate said a lot !  Yorkshire puddings, naan bread and nachos.  :)

A good range of deserts, again help yourself.  There was three jugs of cream, all with crusty tide marks inside the jugs, two were empty.

I couldn't decide between bakewell tart and victoria sponge, so I chose the smallest slices of each and had both  :)

The bakewell tart was delicious, the best thing I had tasted in there. The victoria sponge was not so nice with an incredibly sweet sickly butter cream inside, to sweet to stomach to be honest.  So you will impressed to hear I only ate one pud after all :)

Hubby had chocolate fudge cake with ice cream, which he said was "alright".

We went to a lot of buffet restaurants when we were in the USA and if this place could get it right they could be right up there with the best.  The UK is crying out for a place like this BUT the food needs to be HOT and the quality much better.

Definately a case of quantity over quality.  Would we be back?  Probably not, although £5.00 for a bottle of wine (yes really)

...... and refillable soft drinks, plus £8.25 for as much as you can physically stuff in is a tempting offer.

Here is their website.

Let us know if you go.