Category: Reviews

{Review} The Barns Cafe, Abingdon

I noticed on Twitter that there was a new cafe in Abingdon, The Barns Cafe. I finally managed to get there & give it a try last week. One of the great things about it is its location. It’s out of the main town centre so parking is nice & easy. Plus it’s got free wifi, which is pretty decent so it’s perfect if you work from home & need to get of the house. The cafe is split into three sections, one main one on the ground floor & the remaining two sections above the kitchen and the toilets. The refurbishment has been done really well. The wooden beams are on show and the whole place has quite a lovely feel to it.

I went for a late lunch and arrived about 2.25pm, found a table by the door & had a quick look through the menu. I went up to the counter to order and was told they stop serving food at 2.15pm! But, lucky for me, I have a nice face & they said they’d be happy to make me a Tricolor (Basil, tomato & mozzarella) panini. I also ordered a chai latte, which I am still surprised to see on cafe menus, as it’s still quite an unknown drink. When my chai latte arrived, I thought it looked quite a lot like a regular latte, which I don’t like. I have my coffee black. I gave it a quick taste, and yep, I’d been given a dirty chai latte (a chai latte with a shot of coffee)! Checking the menu, the chai latte is listed under the coffee section, but I never expected it to be a dirty chai. I decided not to say anything (mainly because I hate complaining to people) but I would never order one so took this an opportunity to, wait for it, try something different! I didn’t like it. Not because it wasn’t well made, but because I don’t like milk in my coffe. But at least I now know that I don’t like dirty chai!

Dirty Chai latte

My panini arrived shortly after & it was lovely. Slightly overdone on one side, but it was still hot and tasty. They have quite a few veggie lunch offerings & a great array of cakes – I can vouch for the Millionaires Shortbread! They have quite a generous tea menu too, which I’ll be having next time. The staff are really friendly & helpful and it’s a great place to sit, eat and relax for a while, either by yourself or with friends. It’s a great addition to Abingdon’s cafe culture and I’ll definitely be going back.

Tricolour

{Review} Door 74, Oxford

Despite having lived in Oxford for 3 years and close by in Abingdon for another 3, there are still loads of places we haven’t eaten. Door 74 is one of those places. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve walked by but for some reason, never been in. We’ve heard lots of good things about it, and lots of people rate it as a great place to eat. So we decided to give it a try.

We went for brunch after checking to see what the veggie options were. They do a very good veggie breakfast that comes with everything the English breakfast does, but with the addition of a carrot fritter and a salad, instead of the meat. In total is consisted of bubble & squeak, fried egg, toast, tomato, mushroom, beans, carrot fritter & salad.

Door 74

Normally, I’m not a fan of anything other than a vegetarian version of the English breakfast. However, this was excellent. Everything was cooked to perfection, seasoned well and really tasty. Plus, I’m thinking all that veg can only be a good thing & didn’t feel stuffed afterwards. The service was great & it was a lovely warm summer morning so there was plenty of people watching to be done. I can highly recommend Door 74 and can’t wait to go back for lunch & dinner, though next time I go for brunch, I want the French Toast – it looked amazing!

Holly’s Little Bakery Dog Treats

While I was at Blognix, I met a fabulous baker called Nicola. Nicola owns Holly’s Little Bakery. Not only does she make delicious cakes, but she also makes gourmet, handmade dog treats. Nicola was kind enough to send me some for Poppy to taste. Here’s what Poppy thought.

The other day there was a loud knock at the door. Naturally, I made sure whoever was there ran away pretty quickly. Grrrrr! But then I noticed Mum had a lovely smelling box in her hands. It had to be for me because I’m the most important person here at Poppydog Towers so I snuffled around & barked in her face until she opened it & let me see what’s inside. It must be Christmas or something, because these presents were all for me! In the box were four packs of lovely smelling treats & a dog-friendly chocolate bar. I was so excited, I couldn’t stop jumping up & down!

Dog treatsMum & Dad didn’t know which one to let me try first: Peanut Butter & carrot, Lovely liver bites, Smoked Salmon Sensations or the Parmesan & Ham parcels. They decided to keep the carob chocolate & raw hide lolly til later, which was annoying because I wanted that first! Hope they don’t eat it! In the end, I tried all of the treats, one after another.

Delicious TreatsI liked the Peanut Butter & Carrot bones the most because Peanut Butter is my favourite, next to eating any food off Dad’s plate. But they are all really delicious. They are made with 100% natural ingredients, so they’re good for my tummy as well as my tastebuds. I can’t wait to try the carob lollipop on the rawhide stick, as I’m not allowed regular chocolate.

Dog friendly treatsThese are some of the best treats I’ve tasted. Plus, as they’re made with natural ingredients & handmade at Holly’s Little Bakery, I know that they’re full of goodness and there are no hidden nasties in there. At least, that’s what Mum & Dad were saying. All I know is that you can smell the real food in the treats & they taste amazing. Look at my face – would I lie?! I want all the treats… now!

PoppydogJust give me the treats and no one gets hurt!

Huge thanks to Holly’s Little Bakery for sending Poppy these treats. The fact that they smell like the ingredients & you can see the ham etc shows how natural they are. Perfect for the pooch in your life!

{Review} The Seven Stars, Marsh Baldon

A few weeks ago, my OH & I had dinner with some friends at The Seven Stars in Marsh Baldon. We’ve driven by it many times, but had never gone in. It’s recently reopened, having been bought by the community. I’m always happy to support the local independent places & I’ll definitely be going back here. As always, I wanted to check the menu before we went, but as it’s not currently on the website, I emailed them and asked what their veggie offerings were. It wasn’t long before I was emailed with a copy of the menu! Now that’s what I call service! I didn’t make my mind up before we went, but I was happy to eat any of the veggie options available.

Brie Starter

I had the brie to start with, which was very tasty. It was the only vegetarian option on the menu, besides soup, which turned out to be Mushroom soup (Yuch!). I don’t think I’d have it again though. It wasn’t anything special. Plus the portions are so generous, I didn’t really need a starter at all.

Veggie BurgerFor my main course, I opted for the veggie burger, which was a Bubble & Squeak burger. Despite being slightly unsure of this, but desperate for the chips it came with, I went for it. I’m so glad I did because it was delicious! Perfect if you’re really hungry too as it’s really, really filling. It came with a hollandaise sauce & in a soft white bun. I would definitely have it again. The chips were epic, well cooked, well seasoned & very tasty. Excellent!

Chocolate Brownie

Despite having had two generous courses already, I thought it would be rude not to try the puddings! I opted for a chocolate brownie (they have different flavours of brownie. Not sure why!) It came with an immense thick chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Oh. My. Word. Delicious! It was so lovely & so chocolatey, I couldn’t finish it.

I am looking forward to going back to The Seven Stars. I’m quite eager to try their lunch menu & they’re a dog friendly pub with tables outside. Service was okay, but not great. Little things were forgotten, nothing significant though. If you’re in their neck of the woods, it’s definitely worth dropping in for a bite!