The Mango Tree Restaurant London

About a month ago I was forced in to watching Sunday Brunch – I say forced because typically I avoid programs about food, they just make me too hungry! But on this particular episode the chef from a Thai restaurant called the Mango Tree featured and he cooked up a Thai feast.

Now I was informed that the presenters on the show eat a lot of good food and so their astounded reactions to the quality of this Thai food means it must be very good indeed. My mouth watered at the red curry that had been cooked and I spent the rest of the day with food envy – the exact reason I don’t watch programs like that!

However, how pleasantly surprised was I when a few weeks later I received an email – a booking for two at the Mango Tree! I couldn’t wait to visit and see if the food was as good as it had looked.

Located not far from Victoria station, the Mango Tree is beautifully presented and smells absolutely intoxicating. The staff were friendly and polite, showing us to our table and presenting us with the menu.

I am not a fussy eater so when presented with a menu where every single dish sounded absolutely delicious I was both in my element and at a loss as to what I actually wanted to eat! However we finally settled on a main dish each and a selection of starters to share.

Mango Tree Restaurant

Mango Tree Restaurant

Mango Tree Restaurant

To start we had the:

Mango Tree Satay (chicken, beef and mixed seafood)

Goong Hom Pa (thai style spring rolls with prawn)

Tom Yum Goong (hot and sour spicy soup)

Every dish was absolutely amazing, I cannot even tell you. The peanut sauce with the satay was the most delicious I have ever tasted; it was buttery and amazing. I could eat that every single day! The satay meat was all tender and cooked beautifully too.

Following this we had our main course, although if I have to admit we were pretty full from our starters!

Mango Tree Restaurant

Mango Tree Restaurant

For main we had:

Moo Nam Pueng (crispy pork belly)

Gaeng Phed Ped (Thai red curry with duck)

Jasmine Rice

Now the red curry was the dish that I seen on TV and immediately wanted to try – and I was not disappointed. I have tried red curries before that were spicy and slightly offensive in their heat, served with meat that was not tender. But this curry from the Mango Tree was the complete opposite. The sauce was creamy, not too hot and delicious; and the duck that was hidden within the pineapple was tender and cooked to perfection.

The pork belly was something that caught my eye when looking on the menu – and thankfully it was decided we could share that too. The outside was crispy and tasty, but the meat itself melted like butter on your tongue – I have never tasted better pork belly and wish I could eat this all the time.

I honestly have never tasted a better Thai, and this restaurant is definitely now one of my favorites generally too!

I cannot wait to come back and would definitely recommend it if you are in London looking to try a new restaurant.


Why you should be drinking coffee every day

We’ve been drinking it for six centuries, in countries all around the world, but it’s only recently that we’ve found out just how amazing coffee is.

Not only does it taste great and provide the perfect pick-up at the start of the day, it’s also remarkably good for your health.

As scientists explore its secrets, more and more unexpected benefits are emerging. Now it seems that drinking four to six cups a day could help you think more sharply, feel better and even live longer.

Mental benefits

The first thing most people think of when they think of coffee – apart from the flavour – is the sense of energy it can provide; but did you know that it can actually make you smarter? Research has shown that drinking coffee improves overall cognitive function and has particular benefits when it comes to vigilance, reaction times, logical reasoning, memory and mood. Moderate consumption could also reduce your risk of depression by as much as 20% and prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Even just the scent of coffee has been shown to relieve stress.

Physical benefits

Caffeine can be great for your general health, speeding up your metabolism, helping your body burn fat and reducing the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes – perhaps by as much as 67%. Because it breaks down fatty acids which then move into the bloodstream, it can improve athletic performance, as it makes that extra source of fuel available to hungry cells. Alongside these effects, it protects against cirrhosis of the liver and reduces the risk of stroke. It also seems to decrease the likelihood that you will develop liver cancer or colorectal cancer, along with skin cancer if you’re female, and some early research is suggesting that it could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It may also prevent or moderate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in susceptible individuals.

Getting your fix

There are many ways to consume coffee. It can be used in cakes, in biscuits, in liqueurs and tiramisu; it can be prepared black, white, or as a cappuccino, latte, espresso or frappé; it can be flavoured or used in mocha. When you want the perfect cup with minimal fuss, a Tassimo coffee machine can be a real boon. You can rely on it to produce the drink of your choice, brewed at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time. These stylish machines look great in your kitchen and they make life easy at the times when you need it most.

Although it’s still advisable to moderate your coffee consumption – four to six cups a day appears to be the optimum level for good health – it really is something you can benefit from drinking daily. It’s a great way to bring yourself to full wakefulness at breakfast time and its ideal at break times during the day, whenever you’re starting to flag. What’s more, on top of all these amazing improvements it can bring to your health, it is, of course, delicious.

The Palm Tree Leigh-on-Sea Essex

The Palm Tree, Leigh-on-Sea

Last night I went for an impromptu dinner with a friend at The Palm Tree in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. I am currently trying to eat a little better and so wanted to go somewhere that would offer meat that wasn’t covered in a cream sauce or batter.

I am a huge fan of Mediterranean and Greek food, I could eat it everyday, so as soon as I thought of The Palm Tree I was eager to get there and dig in!

We booked a table for 7pm but were the only people in the restaurant for the duration of the visit. This doesn’t bother me particularly as it means you can talk quietly rather than feel like you need to shout. The staff did say that it was a massive contrast to the previous Monday where they were fully booked! It was a hot day however and I suppose people were happy with a salad whilst sat in the garden.

The Palm Tree Leigh-on-Sea Essex
The restaurant itself is tastefully done and not overtly tacky like some Greek restaurants could be. Table accessories were silver and the tables were covered in crisp, white linen. It made for a very enjoyable setting.

For starters we decided to share the Karisik Meze Dips (£6.50) which was a selection of homemade Humus, Tzatziki and Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) served with Pitta Bread. This was absolutely delicious and I think these were one of the best Dolmades I have ever tried! They were so tasty and refreshing after spending the evening in the sun.

I would say that the portion was adequate but there wasn’t a huge amount, especially between two people. The plate included 4 quarters of pitta bread, 2 Dolmades and probably about 2 tablespoons of each of the dips.

The Palm Tree Leigh-on-Sea Essex
For main we decided to share two of my favourite Greek dishes ever – the Moroccan Lamb Tagine (£14.95) and the Cypriot Kleftico (£14.95). If you do decide to order these dishes please note that you will literally just receive the meat itself and need to order any vegetables or potatoes separately. We decided to avoid carbs and just eat the meat alone.

Both dishes were incredible, they were so tasty and the meat melted in your mouth. The flavours of the various herbs and spices used meant that you wanted to eat it all quickly but at the same time didn’t want it to end!

The size of the Kleftico was more than adequate for one person, however I think it would have been nice for the Tagine to come with some form of rice accompaniment – especially for the price.

We complimented the meal with a bottle of bubbly and it set it off perfectly.

Overall I was impressed with The Palm Tree and would visit again. It was slightly pricey and not somewhere I would necessarily go frequently, but it is definitely a great place to head to if you are looking for a special treat. Saying that, they do offer a smaller and more limited set menu during the week which is a little more reasonable.

360 Champagne Bar Lakeside

Harrods, Cocktails & Wagamama

Occasionally my blog becomes quite personal, detailing great events in my life or just big changes, but generally I tend to stay away from giving too much information away about just what is happening in my life.

However, I really enjoy reading other peoples posts about what they have been up to and so I think I might start sharing a little bit more about my life and focusing less on just reviews.

It’s Monday morning again, they always seem to role around too quickly, and after such a great weekend I am on a definite come down!

This weekend was spent mostly catching up with friends and enjoying the sunshine – in between rain and thunderstorms!

On Saturday I paid a visit to Harrods in London for a Champagne afternoon tea. After spending the day walking between Knightsbridge and Oxford Street a nice cold glass of Champagne was exactly what I needed!

The selection for afternoon tea was good, there was a range of sandwiches including cucumber, salmon and cream cheese (oddly, served in pink bread), coronation chicken, egg and salt beef with Stilton cheese. This was then followed by two scones with clotted cream and jam, then topped off with a great selection of cakes and macaroons.

I was really looking forward to sampling the macaroons but unfortunately I didn’t enjoy them. They seemed to be filled with strawberry jam and it was all a bit too much, especially after the preceding sandwiches and scones.

Overall though we have a nice time and the Terrace restaurant at Harrods is a really lovely, grand place to enjoy some food and drink.

Harrods Afternoon Tea
Harrods Afternoon Tea

We also popped to Liberty of London on the hunt for a gift. This is my favourite store in the whole of London, not least because of the beauty of the building it is housed in. You feel a little bit like you have stepped back in time!

Liberty London
On Sunday, I went to Lakeside in the afternoon after plans for a picnic in the park were curtailed by bad weather. We had not long arrived before we decided to stop for a drink at 360 Champagne bar. Drawn in by the thought of a cold glass of Champagne or a cocktail, we soon settled on a drink each: a Mojito for him and a Candy Floss Martini for me.

Served separately, the martini was delicious and sweet enough without the need to add the candy floss addition. However I really liked having the small shot glass of candy floss with the drink as it was really tasty and reminded me of childhood days spent eating too much of it by the sea!

360 Champagne Bar Lakeside
We then moved on to Wagamama, my first time at the restaurant! I was excited because after my trip to Japan a few months ago I have totally fallen in love with their food and have missed it ever since.

Wagamama Chilli Squid

We started with Chilli Squid and Chicken Gyoza which were absolutely delicious! I then had the Chicken Katsu Curry – a real favourite of mine – and was not disappointed. In fact there was far too much and I sadly couldn’t finish it, but I cannot wait to go back again!

I hope you had a good weekend too, what did you get up to?

Lokum Istanbul Turkish Delight

Lokum Turkish Delight

If you’re looking for a unique gift or treat for yourself then this is certainly is! Usually it’s what you would receive from people who have been on holiday to turkey, but why just limit it to then?

Turkish delight is delicious and comes in a range of flavours, but what makes this turkish delight so special? Not only do Lokum Istanbul package is beautifully but these are the most wonderful tasting sweet treats I have ever had!

Retailing from just £10, for a selection in a super cute “fez” box, Lokum turkish delight would make the perfect gift for a friend or perhaps Mother’s Day. The box I sampled had a selection of different flavours in, each as lovely as the last. I also love that there is a little fork instrument included in the package – a really unique way to devour the sweets!

Lokum Istanbul Turkish Delight

Lokum Istanbul Turkish Delight

Lokum Istanbul Turkish Delight

Lokum Istanbul Turkish Delight

Lokum Istanbul Turkish Delight

“Throughout the centuries, Turkish Delight has been an essential part of traditional cuisine. It became popular in Europe during the 18th Century when it was brought back to the UK and given the name by which we all know it now, Turkish Delight!

Lokum Istanbul has not only revisited the time honored traditional methods of producing Turkish Delight by mixing honey or fruit syrups with flour, but has brought Turkish Delight to a whole new international audience with exclusive flavors such as Lemon, Rose, Mandarin, Fig and Walnut, and Pistachio.”

You can purchase this gift box and others here.

Do you love turkish delight like me?