Food & Adventures

Monday 16 December 2019

Project Bond: Octopussy

"Mr Bond is indeed of a very rare breed... Soon to be Extinct."

1983 was the battle of the Bonds as there were two James Bond Films to choose from, resulting from a legal dispute between Producer Kevin Mclory and Eon Productions. Sean Connery had returned in Mclory's remake of Thunderball 'Never Say Never again' and Roger Moore was back as James Bond for a sixth time in the Eon produced Octopussy.


Monday 11 November 2019

Thali Tray | Ouseburn | Review

This year we were travelling all day on our wedding anniversary so decided to delay our celebratory meal for a few days and tick a restaurant off Mrs. Cools foodie bucket list. Thali Tray is tucked away in Arch 2 in Ouseburn and serves incredible Indian Street Food.


Monday 21 October 2019

Redhead's Mac 'n' Cheese | Newcastle | Review

Mac 'n' Cheese is right up there with my favourite comfort food and when Mrs. Cool told me there was a new Mac 'n' Cheese street food place opening in Newcastle I was really looking forward to it. Redhead's Mac 'n' Cheese have been going for while now as a pop up and mobile catering but have recently opened their new home in Newcastle's Grainger Market and this weekend I finally got to try it.

Monday 14 October 2019

Project Bond: For Your Eyes Only

"The Chinese have a saying; Before setting off for revenge, first dig two graves".
For me Moonraker was the low point of the James Bond franchise and I went into For Your Eyes Only hoping it would be a return to the glory days. Roger Moore returned for his fifth Bond film in 1981 along with Desmond Llewellyn as Q and Lois Maxwell as Miss. Moneypenny. Joining the regulars were Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock, Topol as Columbo, Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl and Julian Glover as Kristatos.

Monday 7 October 2019

The Dining Room | Seaham Hall | Review

*This meal was provided free of charge as part of Sam's work. I was not obliged to write this review.

Me and Mrs. Cool recently visited Seaham Hall and tried out their spa and have a long overdue massage. We also stayed overnight and that included a meal at The Dining Room. The Dining Room is a restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere but still serves elegant food.


Monday 30 September 2019

Shampan | Whitley Bay | Sunday Banquet Review

We love a good Indian Takeaway but we very rarely go out to an Indian Restaurant. I don't know why though as I don't think I've ever had a bad experience. We recently had a family meal out and decided to try Shampan, an Indian Restaurant in Whitley Bay.


Monday 12 August 2019

The Rib Room | Ramside Hall | Review

Last month it was my birthday and to celebrate Mrs. Cool took me to Ramside Hall Spa. I love a spa day and the Spa here is great it was such a lush relaxing day. We also stayed over and went to The Rib Room Restaurant and our meal was something pretty special.


Monday 5 August 2019

Food and Drink around Loch Lomond

We love travelling to Scotland and visit often, this year we spent a week at a lodge near Loch Lomond. As always food was a big part of our trip. We were staying at Cameron Lodges for a thing Mrs. Cool was doing for North East Family Fun. There are loads of places for some good food and drink near the Loch and these are the ones we visited.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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


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.


Pin me for later
Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns


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.


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.


Monday 11 March 2019

Captain Marvel Review

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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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