Category: Reviews

{Review} The Brewery Tap, Abingdon-on-Thames

A few weekends ago we headed to the Brewery Tap in Abingdon for Sunday lunch with friends. We went there because we know it does good food, but more importantly for me, it does a veggie roast.

We didn’t have any starters, which was a good idea, as the main portions are incredibly generous. So much so, we nearly didn’t have room for pudding! But we persevered! The other members of the party all opted for the roast beef, though there’s plenty of choice if that’s not for you. I had a a vegetable pie and the same veg that the others had. To say the food was delicious is an understatement. It was amazing. We all agreed that it was the best Sunday roast we’d eaten in a pub. For me, the veg pie was delicious. The pastry was perfect – no soggy bottom! Plus the veg it was filled with was different to the veg in the rest of the meal so I didn’t feel like an afterthought at all. The food was so good, I didn’t hesitate to dive in, hence the fact that there’s no photo. I didn’t even stop to think about it!

Brewery Tap pudding

The pudding options are equally amazing. There’s quite a range to choose from, and I chose the profiteroles. There were more than I was expecting! They were delicious and light and were the perfect end to a lovely meal. The service was excellent and I really couldn’t fault any part of the meal. For some reason, we’ve only eaten at the Brewery Tap once before, but it’s really close to where we live! We will definitely be going back more & more after this!

If you fancy a delicious roast at the Brewery Tap, you’d best book a table, as they do sell out. You won’t be disappointed, trust me!

{Review} The Gardeners Arms, Oxford

After an epic walk around Port Meadow, my OH & I were starving & Poppy needed to put her paws up for a bit. We decided to head for The Gardeners Arms in Jericho, Oxford. When we used to live in Jericho, we used ate at the Gardeners Arms a few times, mainly because they’re the only place in Oxford (that I know of) that only serves vegetarian food. Not only that, the food is simple & delicious.

Gardeners Arms OxfordI opted for the quarter pounder veggie burger with all the toppings and a burger relish. It was delicious! Just what a veggie burger should be – tasty, filling and perfect for a Saturday lunch. I love that you can get all the toppings without paying extra and the fries come with it. All for £8.50. Bargain. They also do a vegan option and have plenty of vegan alternatives on the menu. It’s nice going to a place where you can eat everything on the menu and that any carnivores in the party won’t feel cheated because there’s no meat to eat.

Not only that, but it’s a dog friendly pub. We asked if Poppy could come in with us and they were more than happy for her to be in the pub, though she chose this moment to go a little crazy so we chose to eat outside. Knowing there are dog friendly pubs in Oxford is always great as Poppy does not like being left in the car at all so leaving her there is never an option. The Gardeners Arms is a real hidden gem in Jericho, Oxford. Yes there are lots of fancy places to eat along Walton Street, but sometimes only a burger will do and for that there’s the Gardeners Arms!

 

{Review} Itsu, Oxford

Last week, I was invited to a complimentary* lunch at the newly opened Itsu in Oxford. I’d never eaten at Itsu before so wasn’t sure what to expect. I really like Japanese food, but as a vegetarian, it can be quite difficult to find places that do veggie food well or affordable. I’m pleased to say that Itsu does. After my cream tea splurge in Cornwall, I was looking forward to eating some healthy food, that wouldn’t cost the earth!

itsu meal

I wanted to try as much as I could so grabbed the veggie club maki rolls (£3.19 – 175 cals), the veggie dumplings and noodles potsu (£4.99 – 526 cals), some edamame beans (£1.99 – 124 cals) and a Cranberry & Elderflower vitsu (£1.65 – 60 cals). I loved, loved, loved the maki rolls! They were delicious and you get a generous portion. Perfect for a healthy lunch on the go. I would definitely get these again with a side of edamame beans!

rolls

You get plenty of options of sauces to add and the Itsu website is full of nutritional information about them & all their foods, should you be watching your calories, your salt or your fat intake. I love knowing about that kind of stuff so I can feel virtuous when I get everything in balance!

dumplings

The veggie dumpling potsu is epic! It is full of delicious thick noodles, not too much veg and quite a handful of tasty dumplings. This is the ideal meal on a cold autumn day. The soup is really warming and filling, but it is a messy dish! I dived right in & covered myself in it! The ginger in it is quite strong. I’m not a massive fan of ginger, but I managed to get over myself & eat it! I would order it again as it was very tasty & filling & I felt like I was eating food that was very, very good for me!

I like that everything is packaged well enough for you to take it with you, should you want to take it to the office or the park. If you want to eat in, there are plenty of tables to sit at, free water to enjoy and plenty of people to watch! I honestly felt like I’d done my body a huge favour by eating at Itsu. There were lots of greens and other healthy extras that I wouldn’t normally consider.

I can definitely recommend Itsu and will be eating there again, whether I’m in the mood for the delicious rolls, the warming dumplings or trying some of the other delicious bits and pieces, like the seaweed thins! I was disappointed to see the other veggie potsu, the Superbowl 7 veg can’t be made veggie, due to using fish in the sauce, but it’s not uncommon in Japanese or Thai food. For me, there’s enough there to eat that I like to keep me going, including the Zero Fat fro-yo with warm caramel (£2.99 – 175 cals), which was the perfect end to a great meal!

*Even though my meal was complimentary, my review is my honest opinion. Many thanks to Emily at Bottle PR for organising my meal.

{Review} Saddleback Farm Shop, Brightwalton

Recently, my OH introduced me to Saddleback Farm Shop. It’s a lovely farm shop that also has a deli and a tea shop. We went for lunch and they have lots of options, from sandwiches and jacket potatoes to soup and salads. They even had a burger on the special board! I chose a jacket potato with beans and cheese and it came with a delicious side salad.

JP lunchIt’s not often the side salad gets a mention in my reviews, but this one deserves it. More often than not, side salads are a little dull, sometimes without a dressing, and just limp salad with maybe a tomato & onion. This was awesome! Homegrown salad leaves, pepper, tomato, salad dressing, spring onion & a sprinkling of seeds, which really made it stand out. The jacket potato was cooked to perfection with a crispy skin and soft fluffy potato inside. The cheese:beans ratio was good and all in all it was a perfect lunch. So much so I can’t wait to go back for it again! I know that Saddleback is going to become a staple throughout the winter months when I feel too lazy to cook hot food at lunch – I’m just going to go there!