Food & Adventures

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Bat and Pizza Nights with Wild Intrigue


Being an avid foodie and being curious about wildlife (especially in Northumberland) the idea of a Bats and Pizza Night is right up my street. We were invited by Wild Intrigue to Wild Northumbrian which is a glamping site in Kielder to try this special night.

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Monday, 3 June 2019

Dining Options Near Duinrell | Wassenaar | The Netherlands

Disclosure - Mrs Cool was working with Eurocamp who provided accommodation for part of our trip. I was not working with Eurocamp and have not been asked to write this post. We paid for all food and drinks ourselves.


We're just back from our trip to The Netherlands where we spent most of out time at Duinrell, a Holiday Park and Theme Park in Wassenaar. We had the best time, the kids loved the rollercoasters and waterpark. We stayed on site we decided Harry and Heidi were old enough to go to the to the park themselves sometimes while me and Mrs. Cool chilled at the lodge with Jack. As with all of our trips food played a big part in our adventures so here are my top places to eat in and around Duinrell.

Duinrell

The Park itself has two restaurants (Both called La Place), a snack bar, a Carosel waffle house as well as numerous food stalls dotted around. We found the best was the Poffertjes (Dutch mini pancakes) from the food stall outside the Waffle house where you can get medium portion for €6.50. They are fried in a little mould and served with icing sugar and a dollop of butter.

Zonnehof Pannenkoeken & Grill

Just outside Dunrell (literally over the road from the entrance) is this little restaurant serving pancakes and other dishes, a kids menu is also available with all the usual options. A few people had recommended we try this place and we weren't disappointed. Heidi loves a pancake with the classic Lemon and Sugar combo. Me and Mrs. Cool prefer a savoury pancake, she had Goats Cheese with Walnuts and honey and I had the Ham, Cheese and Mushroom which was served with a Fried Egg on top.

Luciano

This is a lush Ice Cream parlour with some amazing flavours and unbelievably good value for money, a cone with one scoop of ice-cream was only €1.10 (Bargain!). They also serve some pretty decent coffee, an Espresso was €2.30 and you get a mini ice-cream cone as well.

Leiden Market

Not far from Duinrell is the City of Leiden, it's about 20 minutes by car, and they have a street market every Wednesday and Saturday. There are loads of vendors selling their wares and food is centre stage. Dutch cheese aplenty as well as butchers, fishmongers and bakers. We tried out a few different stalls. Heidi and Mrs. Cool were craving some more Poffertjes and the kids wangled some free Candy Floss. Harry decided to have a Giant Stroopwafel, a wafer waffle filled with caramel. We had been having these a few mornings with our cuppa but this one was more than twice the size of normal. Me and Jack decided to share a portion of LekkerBekken which is battered fish (usually cod) I joked it reminded me of Fish n Chips in the 80's as it still had the skin (why don't you get skin on fish n chips anymore?)

Pop's American Diner

In the town of Wassenaar, just a short walk from Duinrell is Pop's American Diner serving Hot Dogs, Burgers and other dishes from the grill. The kids menu has a few good options so they boys were happy unfortunately there was no vegetarian option for kids (annoying!) so Heidi ended up with fries (but she was happy with this). Mrs. Cool had the Chicken Fajitas and said these were the best she has ever had (high praise indeed). I went all out and had the Mixed Grill, this was a burger patty (no bun), Spareribs, Chicken and Steak. Well, what can I say about this, it was Ah-May-Zing! the burger and Spareribs were great, the Chicken was better but the steak was best. This dish was also served with unlimited fries (not pictured).

We absolutely loved The Netherlands and are already making our plans to return. I never thought of The Netherlands as a foodie destination but we were spoilt for choice.


Proost,

S


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Dining Options Near Duinrell | Wassenaar | The Netherlands

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Monday, 20 May 2019

Box Pizza | Beadnell | Review


For lunch one day last week Mrs. Cool decided we were going to make a little trip to try a Pizza place she had found on Instagram. Box is a converted shipping container (I love anything like that) in a field in Beadnell (I didn't realise how far away Beadnell is from Cramlington) but it is definitely with the trip.

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Monday, 13 May 2019

Handmade Tagliatelle with Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu Recipe


Italian food is probably my favourite and I really love a good pasta dish. For Christmas last year Mrs. Cool got me a pasta maker and I swore I would start making my own. So far I have made ZERO pasta! This weekend I decided to remedy that. I scoured a few recipes online and in my many cook books and came up with what I think is a pretty damn good Lamb Ragu. The pasta was a LOT easier than I was expecting it to be and I think I'll be making my own more often from now on.

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Thursday, 9 May 2019

Project Bond: Moonraker

"Look after Mr. Bond, See that some harm comes to him."
At the end of The Spy Who Loved Me we were told that James Bond would return in For your Eyes Only but a little film in 1977 called Star Wars changed that and the producers decided to shoe horn a sci-fi/space element in and the result was 1979's Moonraker. Roger Moore returned as 007 along with Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Desmond Llewelyn as Q. Michael Lonsdale played the villainous Hugo Drax with Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead and making his second appearance as Jaws was Richard Kiel.

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

Game of Cones at Fat Hippo Underground | Newcastle

*Ad - complimentary meal

The epic final season of Game of Thrones is underway and I'm loving it as much now as I did when I first started watching. I honestly think Game of Thrones is THE best TV there has ever been. The sheer scale of the show is like nothing else, the story and intrigue keep you guessing and the acting from everyone involved is really stellar. Tyrion is my favourite followed by Arya and I also like Bronn (I still find it hard to believe he is Jerome from Robson and Jerome) but the whole cast are amazing.

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns


Easter is just around the Corner and one my favourite treats at Easter is Hot cross buns, but I've never made my own. I like to dabble in baking from time to time but I'm no Mary Berry, I had a search around a few websites and cook books for inspiration and decided to put a twist on mine by adding Chocolate Orange (all baking recipes are improved by adding chocolate orange).

For my recipe you will need:

Buns:

625g Strong White Flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
45g Unsalted Butter (plus extra for greasing)
85g Sugar
The zest of 1 Lemon
1 1/2 tsp Fast Action Yeast
1 Egg (beaten)
275ml Tepid Milk
65g Mixed Dried Fruit
65g Chocolate Orange

Topping:

2 tbsp Plain Flour
Vegetable Oil, for greasing
1 tbsp Golden Syrup (gently heated)

The Method:

Mix the flour, salt and ground mixed spice and pass through a sieve into a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub this into the mix with your fingers. Make a well in the mix and add the sugar, zest and yeast.

Add the egg and milk and mix together to form a soft, pliable dough. Turn it out onto a floured surface and work in the dried fruit and chocolate orange. Knead the dough five minutes or (if you're lazy like me) use a food mixer with a dough hook.

Grease a large bowl and put the dough in and cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours until it's doubled in size.

Turn the dough put onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces and shape them into balls and then flatten into bun shapes. Cover with a tea towel and leave for for 5-10 mins

Grease a baking tray and transfer the buns, cover with greaseproof paper and then put the tray in a polythene bag and leave to rise again for 40 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas 8.

Take the buns out of the bag and remove the greaseproof paper, for the topping mix the flour with tablespoons of cold water. Using a piping bag pipe the flour in the shape of a cross on top of each bun.

Bake the buns for 10-12 minutes until they're the right colour (light golden brown is what you want). As soon as the buns are out of the over brush with the warm golden syrup and leave to cool on rack.

These were really easy to make but it does take a good few hours from start to finish but most of that time is spent waiting for the buns to rise. Not to toot my own horn but the are delicious. What do you think of my recipe? Do you have any traditional Easter recipes you like to make?

Well, that's all for now.

S


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Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns

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Saturday, 30 March 2019

Top Five Castles in Northumberland


I love a castle and try to visit as many as possible when me and the family are travelling around the UK. One of the best things about living in Northumberland is that you're never far away from a Castle. Northumberland is the border county between England and Scotland so there are more castles here than in any other county in England, here are my five favourite castles in Northumberland.

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Monday, 18 March 2019

Rick Stein Fish & Chips | Padstow | Cornwall


February half term this year was a bit of an epic road trip for us. We packed up the car and made the eight hour drive down to Cornwall. Me and Mrs. Cool have always wanted to go but have never had a car reliable enough to make to long trip. Fortunately, we now have a new car and with the kids now being at an age where they can keep themselves entertained on phones and tablets on a long journey it felt like the right time.

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Monday, 11 March 2019

Captain Marvel Review

This is an advertisement feature.


Captain Marvel at Cineworld Screen X Review

Captain Marvel is the latest blockbuster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, released on International Women's Day and what a woman Captain Marvel is. Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Vers/Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Ben Mendlesohn as Talos, Jude Law as Yon-Rogg and Annette Benning as Dr. Wendy Lawson.

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Top 10 Foodie Treats in Cornwall


We recently made the long drive down from Northumberland to spend a week travelling around Cornwall, visiting places like Bodmin, St. Ives, Newquay and Padstow. With so many stops we had loads of choice for our food and I've decided to share with you my top 10 foodies treats we enjoyed in Cornwall. Some of our trip was paid for through Mrs. Cool's work with North East Family Fun, I've put a star next to the meals that were complimentary.

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Monday, 4 March 2019

Liberty Brown at The Palm: The Best Steak in Sunderland


*This is a collaborative post

This week I was asked to try out the Liberty Brown Steakhouse at The Palm in Sunderland. I had a day off work this week so was able to take Mrs. Cool and we made it one of our regular date days. The Palm is a Tropical Oasis away from the city and has a few venues to choose from and all sound pretty good with cafes, bars and restaurants but we were there to try the Steaks and the ones we had here were pretty special.

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Monday, 11 February 2019

Pre-Treatre Dinner | Mexico 70 | Sunderland

Pre-Treatre Dinner | Mexico 70 | Sunderland

Last week me and Mrs. Cool had a night at the theatre (I know, fancy right?) we went to see War Horse at Sunderland Empire Theatre. The performance was amazing, you can read Mrs. Cool's full review here. But it left us with the question where to have dinner before the show, having grown up in Newcastle the thought of eating in Sunderland did not spark joy. Mrs. Cool told me about this Mexican place near the theatre and both being lovers of all things Mexican we decided to head there.

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Top Brunches to try in North East England in 2019


The North East of England has some amazing Restaurants, Cafés and Bistros, we are spoilt for choice as there are oodles of them. I've eaten at a fair few (and I've still only just scratched the surface of the places available). If we have something planned on one of my days off I'll usually skip breakfast and we'll find somewhere to go for brunch instead, I've decided to compile some of my favourite places to have brunch all around the North East of England.
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Monday, 4 February 2019

The Cook House | Ouseburn | Sunday Lunch Review


The Cook House in Ouseburn has had a bit of a buzz around it since it opened. Beginning as a quirky eatery housed in a recycled shipping container it served some incredible food. Now they have upscaled to a bigger premises on Foundry Lane and they have lost none of what made it so special. There is a car park that is free on a Sunday just round the corner and there were plenty spaces when we went. You don't HAVE to book a table but Sundays are pretty popular so it's recommended you do. A few people were turned away when we were there as they were too busy.

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Thursday, 31 January 2019

The Muddler | Newcastle | Lunch Review


Me and Mrs. Cool had one of our date days in Newcastle recently and this involved lunch at The Muddler on Grey Street. It's fairly new, opening at the end of last year and there had been a bit of a buzz about it. We love Asian food and The Muddler serves Pan-Asian so there is loads to choose from and you're not tied down to one type of asian cuisine.
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Monday, 28 January 2019

Haggis Scotch Eggs


Burns' Night is over for another year and as alway I have loads of Haggis left over. Only me and Harry like haggis in our house so even with one haggis we usually only end up using half. I decided this year to make Haggis Scotch Eggs with the left overs. I've tried to make scotch eggs only once before and it was a bit of a disaster, the yolk was hard but the sausage was undercooked. This time I learned from my mistakes and have to say I was pretty impressed with these ones. For these you will need.

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Monday, 21 January 2019

Red's True Barbecue | Eldon Square | Newcastle


A few years ago we went to a play that included a song simply called "MMMEEEAAATTT!!!" and I always think of that song when we go to a Barbecue place. I've been to Red's True Barbecue a few times and I'm always impressed with the food and the service and I'm happy to report this time was spot on again.

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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Project Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me

"James, I need you."
"So does England."

In 1977 Roger Moore returned for his 3rd outing as 007 in what would become the most expensive James Bond film up to that point, The Spy Who Loved Me. Also returning where Bernard Lee as M, Desmond Llewellyn as Q and Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny. The Bond Girl this time is Barbera Bach as sexy Russian agent Anya Amasova with the ludicrous codename Agent XXX. The villains here are Curd Jürgens as Stromberg and the debut of Richard Kiel as Jaws.
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Monday, 14 January 2019

Coffee & Kin | Great British Roasts



Last year I collaborated with a local coffee company, Coffee & Kin, and fell in love with their coffee. So much so that I subscribed to their monthly coffee bean subscription. I've been getting a bag of beans each month for almost a year now and it's a nice little treat to myself just after payday.

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Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Oats and Eggs Pantry | Brunch Review


My New Years Resolution is to cut back on my calorie intake. Not strictly a *whispers* diet, just making healthier choices. In January I'm cutting out bread and pop but with no bread this is making breakfast difficult. Mrs. Cool recommended we try The Oats and Eggs Pantry on Chillingham Road in Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Oats and Eggs Pantry provides fresh healthy, food and locally roasted coffee.
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