Tag Archives: food

Food: Easter Unicorn No Bake Rainbow Cheesecake!

Posted on April 14, 2017

Hi Guys!

I’ve had a lovely couple of weeks off for Easter with my son Freddy, and I know I don’t really do food on the blog, but I REALLY wanted to make a unicorn cheesecake and thought it’d be fun to share it with you guys. Moving forward I really want to include a bigger variety of posts sharing more of the things that I’m interested in, so I decided to give this a go – I think it came out pretty well!

Also – I’m not the best cook, so I love that this is super simple to do. So even if you’re not that great in the kitchen, there’s not much that can go wrong here! This is what you’ll need –

Ingredients:

  • 2x 280g tubs of Philadelphia or other brand soft cheese
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 100g Sugar (I used half granulated and half soft brown sugar)
  • 200g Digestive Biscuits
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Your Choice of Food Colouring

To Decorate:

  • Sprinkes
  • Mini Eggs
  • Anything else you like – e.g. mini marshmallows, sweets etc

First of all you need to make the cheesecake base. The easiest way to do this is to put your biscuits in a sealable plastic bag, and smash them up with a rolling pin. While you’re doing this, put the butter in the microwave to melt it (or do it in a pan on the hob if you prefer) then just mix the butter in a bowl with the biscuit crumbs until they’re well blended together.

I then grabbed my new Traditional Round Master (£24.99 from Delicake) which is basically a clear perspex ‘cake tin’ for making no-bake cakes and desserts. You just need to press the biscuit / butter mix into the base and try to make it as even as possible. You can always use a traditional cake tin for this too. Then just pop it in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the actual cheesecake, get a large bowl and add your soft cheese, sugar, and a couple of drops of Vanilla Essence and blend until it’s thoroughly mixed. Then pour in the cream and mix until it’s quite stiff nd stands up in peaks when you’re stirring.

Then you need to divide your mixture into smaller bows, and stir in your desired amount of food colouring into each bowl. I’d recommend starting with a couple of drops as a little goes a long way. You can always add more if you want a more intense colour.

Grab your base from the fridge and splodge in each colour randomly until you’ve used all the mixture up. Then grab a knife and spread it around, mixing the colours slightly whilst flattening it down against the sides and filling in any gaps.

Then you just need to add your sprinkles and toppings – I went for some cute edible iced flowers and of course mini eggs because Easter! In case you were wondering, I thought I’d include an exact list of the sprinkles and food colourings I used too. I got pretty much everything from eBay as I wanted specific colours that I couldn’t find in my local shops –

Then leave in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours to set, and voila! It was SO much fun making this, Fred had a great time and so did I, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It looked so awesome and also tasted amazing too!

I’d love to hear what you think of this, and if you’d like to see a bigger variety of posts on TSNC moving forward? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

My New York Diary: #30PlusNYC

Posted on September 7, 2016

Hi Guys!

It’s been a good week since I got back from my whirlwind of a New York trip, so I thought I’d put together a little diary of highlights for you and share a few snaps too!

In case you didn’t know, I jetted off to NYC with some lovely bloggers from the 30 Plus Bloggers group on the press trip of a lifetime! We went for the launch of Michael Buble’s new fragrance, By Invitation – and of course made the most of it while we were there by doing a spot of sightseeing and shopping. So let’s start from the top…

Sunday – Ok so I was super nervous about the whole thing. I’d never done anything like this before, let alone spend pretty much a week with people I didn’t really know. I had thoughts of ‘what if they don’t like me’, ‘what if something goes wrong’ racing round and round my head – but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. We met at Heathrow – and by we I mean Hayley, Paula and Briony – and Debs met us at JFK in NYC – and we gone on amazingly well!

The flight really was fantastic too. Now I must admit I’m not a frequent flyer, so just getting on a plane was a pretty exciting experience for me! We flew Virgin Premuim Economy, and if I think I ever go long haul anywhere in the future, I’ll definitely try to fly premium economy again. The seats were spacious, the food was ‘premium’ – plus there were unlimited treats at the ‘Wonder Wall’ at the head of the plane, you could just rock up and help yourself to sweets and drinks – nice!

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After about 7.5 hours of flying we arrived in a very humid NYC. We then took a taxi journey to the Eddison Hotel where we were staying, right in the centre of Times Square.

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And WOW Times square really is amazing. Yes it is just like the films, it’s a complete feast for the senses. Bright lights, noise, colour, hustle and bustle – I loved it!

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Monday was all about exploring the city – I was so excited! We started off by heading to Juniors for breakfast – as recommended by Hayley who’d been there before. I thought I’d go for something all American, so I went for the pancakes – and they were AMAZING!

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After brekkie we headed off to explore and have a look around the shops. We strolled down 5th Avenue, had a look in Saks at all the gorgeous expensive things, popped in Furla where Hayley and Debs treated themselves to a couple of gorgeous bags, and we couldn’t resist stopping by the Kate Spade store too 🙂

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I may have popped in Sephora for an hour or two also – this was my first ever Sephora experience (except popping in a small one in Belgium about 10 years ago, but that doesn’t count!) I was literally in heaven, and spent a bit to much – oops! Look out for my haul post coming up soon!

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We also had a lovely stroll round Central Park, which was beautiful – and unlike the films, I didn’t actually see anyone jogging! 😀

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To top off the day we stopped by the cupcake ATM! Oh my gosh, this literally made my day! You should have seen us, five grown women giggling and screaming at the cupcake appearing in the box in the wall – we actually gathered a crowd! It was so worth it though, only $4.50 for the tastiest cupcake I think I’ve ever had.

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Tuesday was a bit of a mad rush all day really. We got off to a slow start by getting stuck in traffic on our way to our morning fragrance workshop. When we finally arrived we sat down with the fabulous perfumers who developed the fragrance with Michael Buble, to hear all about the process, the fragrance notes, and the work that went into making By Invitation.

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After the workshop, we hopped on the subway and took a 45min journey to Coney Island, which was easily another highlight of the trip. We then ended the day in a bit of a rush by being locked out of our rooms (long story) then dashing off for dinner at a lovely Italian.

I have SO much to tell you about the fragrance workshop and launch, as well as Coney Island – I’m going to put together separate posts for each of these over the next few days – so keep your eyes peeled!

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Wednesday – after a crazy few days where we literally didnt stop except to eat and sleep, I decided to take Wednesday as a chill out day, I wanted to rest, relax, and prepare in good time for the Michael Buble Fragrance Launch in the evening.

A couple of the group decided to check out Brooklyn Bridge, whereas myself and Debs had a mooch around Times Square, where I picked up some classy souvenirs in the form of key rings, and a neon pink I Love NY mug (for myself) oh and not forgetting a hunky fireman magnet for my mum to put on her fridge 😀

We then stopped at the nearest Hard Rock Cafe and met up with Paula for the biggest lunch I’ve ever seen. Hard Rock was loud, cheesy, touristy and I loved it!

Then by mid afternoon we headed back to the hotel to preen and beautify in preparation for the evening event. I went with one of my fabulous HotHair wigs, a pretty blue lace and satin dress from ASOS, and some comfy shoes.

When we were all ready, we then headed next door to the Eddison Ballroom where the event was taking place. The Ballroom was beautiful, and Michael Buble was just dreamy… I was a bit gutted that I didn’t get to meet him but I still had a fantastic time! And we ended the evening at the Buble after party at a lovely rooftop bar. (Again further details and pictures to come!)

Thursday was our last day in NYC. The week had flown by and we thought we’d take this day to visit the beautiful West Village. For those not in the know (I had no idea before we got there) the West Village is where alllll the films and TV shows are filmed – and I could easily tell why, it was so pretty!

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For those of you that know what this is, you’ll know! And for those that don’t, this is Carrie from Sex and the City’s stoop! (Thanks for posing Deb!)

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The buildings and streets in the west village were just so pretty – if I was to live in NYC, this would definitely be my home.

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And breakfast! I quicky came to realise that breakfast was my favourite meal of the day whilst in the US, and this French toast at a sweet little cafe in the West Village was simply awesome. Going back to bran flakes when I got home was incredibly disappointing!!

So the week was basically a fantastic whirlwind of sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking, and of course Buble! It was so much fun though, and I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Hayley and the team for inviting me along for this once in a lifetime opportunity 🙂

Keep an eye out for a few more posts coming up, including one on my Sephora haul, one on Coney Island and of course one on the beautiful Michael Buble By Invitation Fragrance.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

Five Things I Love About Christmas

Posted on December 22, 2015

Hi Guys!

I’m one of those annoying people that start getting excited about christmas really early, like in August – but on the other hand I’m also pretty disorganised when it comes to presents, and often seem to end up buying them in a panic right before the day, which is exactly what’s happened again this year… clever me!

I’ve always been a fan of Christmas, but it seems that as you get older, people say it’s not as special or exciting as it once was – and I completely disagree. Now we have Freddy, Christmas really is just the best thing ever! He’s four and a half now, and he’s SO excited. This is the first year that he really understands what’s going on, and every day for the last couple of weeks he’s been asking ‘Mummy is it Christmas yet?’, ‘Is it Christmas yet’, ‘MUMMY IS IT CHRISTMAS?’ He has been driving me slightly potty, bless him.

I always intend to write a ‘my favourite things about Winter/Christmas post’ but never seem to get around to it, so that’s exactly what I’ve done today…

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1. Putting the tree and decorations up. Now I’m not one of those people that are particular about what the tree looks like – though I must admit I have a sweet little gold glittery table top tree, which is the ‘fancy’ one. But for our main tree, we have no theme or colour code, and we let Freddy choose the decs this year and decorate the tree himself. He did a fantastic job and our multi-colour tree looks amazing, I love it! (And yes that is my duvet cover drying in the background – we don’t have a tumble dryer ok!)

2. Winter walks. There’s nothing like a nice walk on a chilly winters’ afternoon to blow out the cobwebs – which is often necessary after the mass of food and drink consumption. I was intending to put a nice little photo in here but my camera is playing up (again) so I’ll have to add this at a later date. I often find it difficult to find or allow myself the time to take walks normally, as I’ve been so busy, so I’m really looking forward to getting out and about over the festive season with my family.

3. Catching up with friends and family. It seems the older we get, the harder it is to get together with friends and family. With friends all starting their own families and work shifts and life, there’s always something that gets in the way. It’s hard getting people together and arranging everyone. I love that everyone has even a bit of time off over Christmas though, and I’m really looking forward to catching up with my friends for a drink and a goss.

4. Festive food and drink. Christmas really is about the food and drink to me. I love it! This year we’re actually going out for Christmas dinner, which we’ve never done before so I’m pretty excited! I love the idea of a nice relaxing day, with no prep, no cooking, and most importantly, no washing up! 🙂

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I’ve been stocking up on Christmas treats too, and as I do have a bit of a sweet tooth,this Ho Ho Cookie Gift Tin is just Christmas in a tin for me! This gorgeous selection of hand decorated cookies are just stunning to look at, as well as being tasty (I’ve tried a couple, just to make sure they’re ok, you know?) You can also have one of them personalised and include a special message on the gift tag if you wish. I can’t wait to see Freddy’s face when I show him these!

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And I may have been snacking on these gorgeous Godiva Chocolates already too… this carefully selected white, milk and dark assortment of Belgian chocolates, including signature chocolates and the new winter varieties; fruity dark chocolate and raspberry, and a rich milk chocolate ‘Vanuatu’ ganache, are just SO GOOD. I’ve officially been converted to Godiva!

Christmas Cookbook

And while we’re on the subject of food, I’ve also been reading this Oh Come All Ye Tasteful book (again, apologies for the stock photo, I’ll update this with my own asap!) which comprises of a mixture of hilarious commentary and recipes to help you celebrate the festive period like a King! With recipes like truffled turkey, brussels sprout petit fours and reindeer nibbles this guide to the festive period is perfect for the foodie in your life. I’m going to try to make at least one of the recipes over Christmas.

5. Christmas Eve. Christmas eve is actually my favourite day of the whole holiday. I love the anticipation and the build up, which reaches it’s peak on Christmas eve. On previous years I’d usually be wrapping presents in the day time and spending the evening in the local pub with friends, these days though things are a little different. My friends and I are all a bit older with families of our own, so I’ll be staying at home playing with Fred, watching Christmassy things on TV and eating treats – and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

I’d love to hear what you love most about Christmas?

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

New Personalised Gifting Site: I Just Love It

Posted on October 1, 2015

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Hi Guys!

This post has been a bit of a long time coming – I had one of those #bloggerfail moments when I thought I’d deleted my photos before uploading them to my post, and by then the products had already been used. Luckily I found them lurking in a folder they had no business being in, so finally here’s my post!

I Just Love It is a brand new gifting site that specialises in personalised gifts. They kindly offered to send over some lovely gifts for my husband’s birthday. What a lucky guy!

The other half is basically into some very manly hobbies, such as eating, drinking and metal detecting. (Yes I did just say metal detecting) So I thought I could cover the first two bases very well with some lovely gifts from I Just Love It!

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My lovely husband does enjoy a fancy whisky – he also brews his own beer and makes his own wine. So I thought this Personalised Whisky Tasting Set (£38.99) would be a perfect gift for him.

Exclusive to I Just Love It, this Whisky Gift Set contains single malts from four of Scotland’s most famous whisky regions, with a limited release single malt from Wales’ award winning Penderyn distillery. Whiskies in the set include an Isle of Arran 10 year old, ‘Waves’ from Bruichladdich’s Islay distillery in the Southern Hebrides, Glen Garioch from the Scottish Highlands, Glen Moray from Speyside and Penderyn 41, the Welsh distillery’s international release.

I’m no expert, and I’m not sure what all this means, but apparently these are some pretty decent whiskies! They’re also presented in a beautiful hand-finished gift box with a personalised sleeve. Information & tasting cards in a hand-made envelopes, accompany each 30ml whisky, and a ‘how to taste whisky’ guide along with a tasting mat featuring a Scottish landscape provide the perfect way to enjoy the whiskies and record tasting notes.

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On the theme of alcohol, I thought this craft beer set would make a lovely gift from Freddy for his Daddy – Personalised D-A-D Set Three Pack Craft Beer (19.99)

The set contains three multi-award-winning pale ales. Not only are these crisp pale ales packed with American hops and citrus aromas, the labels can be personalised with a name and a message too if you wish. Mary Jane is an intensely refreshing pale ale created by Ilkley Brewery in Yorkshire. The beautifully balanced beer has good body for such a low abv and is the unique craft brewery’s best-seller by a country mile!

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And of course you can’t have a birthday without chocolate! I thought this Personalised Happy Birthday Chocolate Bar for Him (£5.99) would be fun!

We have one of those relationships where we constantly take the mick and mock each other. I thought ‘Happy Birthday Old Git’ would be a lovely gesture to include on this chocolate bar. You can have any message you like printed in it though.

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And lastly, the Personalised Inferno Hot Sauce (£12.99)

What is it with men and hot and spicy things? My lovely other half likes to drown 90% of his meals with some form of pain inducing chilli sauce, so I thought he’d love this one. The skull in flames on the front sold it for me.

This smoky chilli sauce contains the Naga Bhut Jolokia chilli pepper (commonly known as the ghost pepper) – this is the hottest in the world!

All these awesome gifts as well as many more are available now from I Just Love It. Definitely check them out if friends and family have birhdays coming up!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Check out The Little Beauty Guide for fantastic beauty posts and reviews.

Tasty New Products From SlimFast!

Posted on September 16, 2015

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Hi Guys!

If you’re a regular reader you may remember when I took part in the SlimFast Blogger Challenge a while ago. To be completely honest, it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, and this is completely my own fault as I didn’t sticking to the plan as I should have done. However I did lose three pounds, which I think was a really good start considering!

I actually loved the range of products I was trialling, they were all tasty, filling and definitely suited my lifestyle whilst pleasing my sweet tooth. My only criticism was that SlimFast didn’t offer any savoury main meal options. They had savoury snacks in the form of Cheddar Bites, Sour Cream & Chive Pretzels and Barbecue Tortilla Chips, but nothing savoury for a main meal. I did mention this in my original post and I’m guessing others had thought the same thing as now lo and behold, SlimFast have now come up with some fantastic Noodle Box packs!

Firstly, I love that SlimFast have listened to what their customers want, and secondly I’m just beyond impressed with these new noodle boxes. They come in three flavours – Chicken Tikka Masala, Spaghetti Bolognese and Spicy Thai. You just microwave them for a few minutes and Bob’s your uncle! The packs have less than 100 calories in each, which is amazing, and due to the low calorie content you can choose to have your noodles as a quick hot snack, or with veggies or something else as part of a main meal.

As well as their fab new Noodle Boxes, SlimFast have also kindly sent over one of their new 7 Day Starter Packs to kick off my routine. The pack includes everything you need to follow their 3-2-1 plan for the first week. It’s a great way to try out their range of products if you’re thinking about giving the plan a go. I’ve only been doing it for four days and I’ve already lost four pounds so far, so I’m over the moon!

If you’re interested in hearing more about SlimFast’s new products, meal ideas, tips for staying motivated and more, I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat with SlimFast and a couple of other lovely bloggers tonight at 8pm. The hashtag is #SlimFastWorksForMe and everyone is welcome! SlimFast will be also giving away FIVE starter packs like the one I mentioned above during the chat, so it’ll definitely be worth stopping by!

I hope you enjoyed my post, and please do join me in the chat tonight if you can!

This post contains press samples

Check out Chronic Beauty for fantastic beauty and lifestyle posts.

Restaurant Review: Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen, Covent Garden, London

Posted on July 7, 2015

Hi Guys!

Here’s my second restaurant review of the day – Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen at Covent Garden!

After hitting Bill’s on my first evening in London, I knew Mabel’s was going to have a lot to live up to. So off I headed on Tuesday evening with my trusty Google maps in hand, and found it quite easily.

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The entrance to the restaurant had a small seating area and bar, and it also had an awesome ‘Love Made Me Do It‘ bright pink neon sign on the wall. The decor was fantastic and right up my street!

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After a while I was then seated in The Library, a small cosy area of six tables, made to look like a home library. I was being looked after by a lovely waiter I ordered a Tarte Tatin cocktail while waiting for my dinner date to arrive. The Tarte Tatin included Sipsmith small batch vodka mixed together with Calvados from Normandy, pressed apple juice and caramel syrup – sorry I don’t have a photo of this, I was pretty thirsty and it was gone before I knew it! 🙂

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When Lex arrived, we ordered a couple of cocktails and our starters. We were both feeling particularly healthy and went for Crudites with Mabel’s remesco and teatziki dips to start, and I ordered a Lavender Love cocktail. The Lavender Love is described as – An elegant and floral cocktail shaking Absolut citron vodka with white peach purée, a touch of lavender syrup and pomegranate juice – it was SO good but pretty strong!

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For our main meal, Lex went for the Rib Eye Steak, which included a chargrilled 8oz rib eye, vine cherry tomatoes, watercress and chips, and sticking with the healthy theme, I had Honey & Soy Marinated Salmon, Asparagus, Confit Potato, Beans, Peas and Seeds. Salmon is definitely my favourite fish to eat, and this was just lovely.

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For dessert Lex was very good and decided to just watch me eat mine 🙂 I had Jude’s Hampshire Ice Cream – regarding the flavours available, the menu said ‘we’ll let you know today’s delights…‘ and when I asked the waitress what the ice cream was she replied with – ‘erm, vanilla?’ which I must admit was slightly odd.

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I really enjoyed our evening at Mabel’s Bar & Kitchen – both the food and company was fantastic! I have to be honest though as there were a couple of negative points. The waitress did seem slightly off with me, I asked Lex if she agreed and she did, and we also had a wobbly table! When Lex sawed into her steak, my cocktail went everywhere! The waiter we had at the time was very apologetic though and put something under the table leg to fix the wobble. There were also no staff around when we were ready to leave, as I wanted to thank them for my meal which was a shame. The food really was lovely and reasonably priced though, and they have a fantastic selection of cocktails on offer too.

I hope you enjoyed my post! xxx

I was offered complimentary dinner in return for this review

Restaurant Review: Bill’s, Wellington Street, London

Posted on

Hi Guys!

Following on from my Life Update post last night, I have a couple of restaurant reviews coming up today. On my first evening in London I arranged to meet up with Rachel from Beauty Queen UK, and after a quick and rather excitable tour of Covent Garden, we headed off to Bill’s Restaurant (also at Covent Garden) unfortunately there was a slight mix up and we ended up at a nearby Bill’s about 10 minutes away at Waterloo Road.

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This was no problem though, and as you can see the restaurant was quite beautiful. On first glance, Bill’s appeared to be a tiny little quaint restaurant with a couple of booths and a bar, but we were then led around the back to the main restaurant which was massive! I loved the decor which had an industrial yet homely feel.

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For starters I went for a Warm Roast Red Onion and Gruyere Tart, with a salad of watercress, red onion, basil, parsley and pomegranate and a balsamic dressing. Rachel went for Chicken in a Jar, which was chicken liver parfait, with edible flowers (it looked like a purple pansy on top but I wasn’t sure!) Bill’s orange marmalade and campagne toast. I love cheese tarts, anything like gruyere or goat’s cheese and I’m there!

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I hadn’t eaten much that day and was super hungry, so I couldn’t resist a burger for my main meal. I went for a hamburger with montery jack cheese and skin on fries, and Rachel had the Beer-Battered fish and Chips. I devoured this in record time, and the burger was cooked to perfection.

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For dessert, we were very good and decided to share some Warm Mini Cinnamon Doughnuts with fresh strawberries and warm chocolate dipping sauce. After the burger I was pretty stuffed, and I love cinnamon so the mini doughnuts seemed like the perfect choice!

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Overall we had a fantastic experience at Bill’s. We were made to feel extra special, and I received probably the best service I’ve ever have had at a restaurant. The guy that was looking after us (sorry I forgot to make a note of his name) was super sweet and made us feel so welcome. I did say to Rachel that I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home, ha ha!

I should also mention that the prices were incredibly reasonable – bearing in mind we were in central London, the starters were from £4.95 and mains were from £8.95 which really is fantastic, also considering the food was of such high quality. If you’re ever in the Covent Garden area in need of a refuel, I’d highly recommend you check out Bill’s Restaurant!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

I was offered complimentary dinner in return for this review