Jim’s Cafe on Chatsworth Road is always busy, whatever day of the week. I have been a few times and have had great experiences every single time.
The decor of the place is great. It has elements of a traditional greasy spoon. These features have been spruced up and given a modern edge. The front of the cafe is all wooden booths and diner tables. When you get to the back room it has exposed brick, chipped tiles and a feeling of being really open and bright, a little like being in a conservatory.
This time around, myself and a friend sat in the back room (a table away from Pixie Geldof, I don’t think I could have felt any more East London. We ordered latte’s and caught up.
Then it came to the main event. I have tried a few bits at Jim’s but what I ate was definitely my favourite. I had the scrambled egg with Gruyère and parmesan and mushrooms (which I had on the side)on sourdough toast. I had a side of sausage patty, which I couldn’t finish but it tasted AMAZING. The whole dish put a fancier spin on a traditional breakfast.
My friend had the sausage and tomato Benedict which was huge! We both didn’t quite finish our meals but both really enjoyed it. It is refreshing to see items on a brunch menu that are a little different to the norm. Despite the fact hat it was busy, we didn’t feel rushed so managed to catch up and not feel too guilty.
Jim’s is always the first place I recommend to people when they want brunch in East London. If you like little details, the pictures in the bathroom were from the original cafe itself!
If you follow bloggers on Instagram, you will have probably seen the perfectly iced biscuits form Biscuiteers sent as gifts or attached to press packs. I found them purely by accident online and have been a little obsessed ever since.
I ordered my dad a Batman themed box of iced biscuits for Father’s Day and booked an afternoon tea in the cafe as a joint Mothers Day and birthday present for my mum. We headed to the Portobello road to have a wander before getting to the cafe itself.
The whole place is bright and colourful with pom-poms attached everywhere as well as every kind of biscuit you could imagine. It had a really cosy feel to it as places to sit were on the side of the counter and outside. We sat down at our table with red and white crockery and were given a pot of English Breakfast tea.
We then had a cake stand put down on the table filled with treats. On the sandwich tier there was cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and chutney as well as smoked salmon. It then had the tier with salted caramel brownies, macaroons, white chocolate and passionfruit cakes, fruit tarts, Victoria sponges and iced biscuits. There was so much colour and flavour on the plate! We tucked in and the scones turned up!
Everything was delicious without being overly sweet. There was so much food, I left a fair amount which was put into two “doggy bags” for us to take home. The Victoria sponge and the salted caramel brownie were absolutely incredible (SO good).
Once we finished tea, we went to look at the biscuits so we could take some home. I picked a selection so I got a gingerbread, chocolate and vanilla. I spent ages trying to find the perfect ones. I am definitely going to get gifts for different occasions! It’s nice to see so much effort and time to be put into something – especially when it is going to taste great!
Monty’s Deli has been talked about for years when it was at it’s original spot near Maltby Street Market. I never had a chance to try it so we decided to try out their brand new home on Hoxton Street.
First things first, the decor is AMAZING. I love retro furniture and Monty’s did not disappoint. There was dar wooden chairs, tables and a big old fashioned bar in the middle. The whole place had a feel of what a jewish deli in the 60’s might have been like.
The lunch menu was simple, there were a few brunch items but I went for the main event – the sandwich. I had the Mensch with salt beef on rye bread and my boyfriend Andrew had the Reuben Special with salt beef, pastrami with cheese and sauerkraut. We shared a portion of fries too. The salt beef was so tender and melted in my mouth! The fries were cut thin with some skin still left on which made them crisp and tasty.
There was a takeaway section on the side of the restaurant which meant you could get a sandwich or bagel filled with delicious beef or salmon to take away. They also had plain bagels to buy in the bakery along with other things. One of my favourite sweet treats is Babka, the twisted dough with cinnammon or chocolate. The Good Egg in Stoke Newington does a really good babka, as does Bernstein’s on Chatsworth Road. However, Monty’s Deli does the best babka I have tried in London. If that isn’t reason to go alone, I don’t know what is!
This is not a drill – Cadburys Easter eggs are now in shops! I don’t know about anyone else but I try to hold off buying all the mini eggs I can see for a while otherwise I will be sick of them by the time it’s actually Easter.
Cadburys kindly sent over some of the Easter themed stuff over for me to try. There’s some things I hadn’t had before as well as some old classics. My boyfriend was very excited at helping to taste things. I like much plainer chocolate whereas Andrew likes more decadent chocolate, with caramel etc.
I absolutely LOVED the Easter Egg Hunt Pack. I have a young brothers and sisters and knew they would love to hunt around the garden for some delicious little eggs!
The mini Oreo eggs I was dubious about. People always look a little shocked when I say I don’t like Oreos. I don’t think they taste of much. I am not really sure why people get so excited about them. However, saying that, I really really enjoyed the Oreo eggs! If you are unsure of what it tastes like then it’s the Cadbury version of the Galaxy cookie crumble chocolate you can get in those massive bars! The texture was really nice, however it would be good to get more in a bag as with two of us really liking them, they didn’t last long!
The Egg’n’Spoon is the thing that intrigued me the most but I was the most disappointed with. After sharing one, we found the outside of the egg was really soft, making the whole thing fall apart. Andrew had a brainwave to put them in the fridge so they set. We tried the next day and instead of falling apart, it was so solid we couldn’t break it with the little spoon that came with it. The inside was a little sweet for me. It tasted like icing, which is probably a lot of people’s bag, but not mine.
Overall, Cadburys is always pretty great isn’t it? Milk chocolate is my absolute favourite so it was nice to try out a few new things!
This is a collaborative post.
We headed to Gingerman when in Brighton last weekend. We did lots of research into where to go and it was the top of our list. We were put on a waiting list initially but were called an hour or so before with a booking. It was all very exciting as it had been a bit of a disappointment before.
The setting was lovely. Really intimate, low lighting and relaxed tables. Usually, we go for slightly more casual and relaxed dinners, so this made a really nice change to treat ourselves. We sat ourselves near the door, there was a little curtain to separate from the door so it felt like it was just us, which was nice (hint; if going on a date, I reckon it’s the best table in the place).
The set dinners on the menu ranged and it was really hard to choose from. There are few things I don’t like so it means I am usually a bit more straightforward with my menu choices. Gingerman however, had lots I wanted to try. Me and my boyfriend have a habit of going for things we can try off each other’s plates too. It’s the one great thing about going for dinner as a couple.
I started with the “Pigs & Squid”, which was confit pork belly, crispy squid, parsley puree and pickled fennel. The mix of pork and squid I was worried might be overpowering but the difference of tastes and textures worked really well, especially with a dip of the purée. I have only really had fennel chopped and cooked into things (meatballs, especially the ones like you can get in Polpo). It’s a definite preference thing but I don’t like the taste of fennel itself. In my head, it tastes like Sambuca on vegetables. Not the best spirit to picture when eating for some (including me!)
My boyfriend Andrew had the pressed terrine, which was full of flavour and tasted delicious. I’m taking this from what he said as well as a bite I tried for myself.
Mains were a tough choice. We both sat there contemplating for ages. I went for the rump of beef. It was accompanied with potato, carrots, tarragon purée and onion crumble. The beef was so perfectly cooked the knife cut through it so easily. It was a great cut of meat. The tarragon gave the dish another element you wouldn’t expect but worked really well.
Andrew had the quail which was served with polenta. There was a crisp on the quail which was almost like it was a quail spring roll. There was a grape coulis which seemed similar to a sweet plum sauce.
The menu offered three courses. We went for the banana soufflé and the chocolate pavé with pistachio ice cream. The soufflé tasted amazing but out of preference I found it a little runny because of the fruits consistency. The chocolate pavé was delicious. It was milk chocolate which I thought stood out as so many desserts in restaurants like this would have more of a bitter taste.
Overall, we had a great experience at Gingerman. The staff were so helpful and friendly, gave us recommendations for drinks afterwards and helped us decide what to order. We have already recommended it to some friends. In fact, I am going to recommend it again. If you fancy something tasty and a little fancy when you are in Brighton then definitely look up Gingerman. It’s likely to be busy at a weekend so see if you can book a table!