It was so good to be in a restaurant again and there was no better way to start than by staying in my hometown of Hornchurch and continue to Support Local businesses by having an Italian sunday lunch at Da Vinci’s. This restaurant really has got its feet but on the ground in the last year which is due to owner Craig and his team. They serve really good Italian food and along with the very friendly service makes this restaurant a great place to visit. Our dining experience this time was equally as good as our previous visits. When we arrived we were given the usual friendly welcome before we were shown to our table. It was also at this time that owner and chef Craig come over to personally thank us for coming back before continuing to have a chat about how things have been during these tough times that we’ve all been going through. We ordered a bottle of Verdicchio while we looked at the menu. We started with some bread and olives before moving on to our first course. These were the Tomato , Basil & Mozzarella Arancini with a chilli tomato sauce and the Polpette which are Italian meatballs.

Arancini

Polpette

We then moved on to our mains where we enjoyed the Pollo Alla Milanese which is chicken covered in breadcrumbs then fried and placed on to of a tomato based spaghetti. We also chose the Calves Liver & Bacon with onion gravy and creamy mash. Both dishes were absolutely delicious.

Pollo Alla Milanese

Calves Liver & Bacon

After a little rest it was time to finish with dessert. For this we chose the Lemon Sorbet and also the Pecan Tart with Chocolate Sauce and where I’m happy to say that both were a delight.

Lemon Sorbet

Pecan Tart

We finished with a coffee and a quick chat with Craig who came out to ask if everything was good to which we were very happy to say that it was. I would highly recommend a visit to this restaurant and look forward to many more visits myself in the future.

I received a nice message during the week from My Paratha who are a relatively new business asking if I would like to sample their food and then give some feedback afterwards. With this I had a quick look at their website to read about who they were and what style of food they did. When I read that they were local Indian ladies who create a different style of Indian cooking from the comfort of their home I was more than happy to do so. So with this it was all arranged for Saturday when they would deliver to us our complimentary lunch. Now about the style of food they do. Well the clue is in the name of the business as they make Paratha’s an Indian style flatbread with an array of fillings and which you can either have flat or in a roll. This is their main thing alongside a selection of sides and a dessert. We received a fabulous selection that started with the Mooli and Mitha Paratha along with Onion Bhaji and Keema Samosas.

Top Left – Mitha Paratha Top Right – Keema Samosas

Bottom Left – Onion Bhaji. Bottom Right – Mooli Paratha

We then enjoyed the amazing Paratha Rolls. The Aloo Tikka , the Shami Kebab and the Chicken Tikka were all delicious and very flavoursome with the perfect balance from the Indian spices in each one. We accompanied these with a delightful homemade yoghurt.

The Paratha Rolls

We then finished with a delightful little surprise as they also sent us a Mango Lassi an Indian styled drink which I really enjoyed along with their one dessert which is called a Phirni. This is a rice and milk dessert which is topped with nuts.

Phirni

This is a great local business serving fabulously tasty and different style of Indian food. I would highly recommend giving them a try and they are available for delivery and collection seven days a week. This food is absolutely ideal for either a quick snack or as it’s very reasonable in price would be perfect for a family or friends get together. For me it’s definitely a fantastic alternative to pizza and I looking forward to ordering from them again soon.

You can place your order online at

myparatha.co.uk

During these times that we’re in at the moment I’ve been enjoying some great beers from the Leigh on Sea brewery which I’ve managed to purchase at the Hop Inn Hornchurch. Below are the five that have been a pleasure to try and that I would certainly recommend.

Desserts of June

I’m going to dedicate this month to a couple of special cakes made for me by my favourite patisserie Le Moulin in Hornchurch. The first was a request by myself as I wanted them to make me one of my favourite desserts an Apple Tarte Tatin. They were more than happy to oblige and I’m delighted to say it was absolutely amazing.

This was another fabulous recommendation from my good friend Alison Taffs at the Hop Inn Hornchurch. Her choice this time was a light sparkling cider from Sweden. This Brannland cider was an absolute delight and is made from 100% swedish apples. Firstly on the nose you get the delightful aromas of apple , citrus and a touch of peach

So as we have received the news that things will be getting closer to normality I think it’s time for me to say a massive thank you to my hometown of Hornchurch for keeping us all going during these tough times.

If your normally a fan of Prosecco and Sparkling Wine either Brut or Rose then let me introduce you to a stunning alternative. What we have hear is an 2017 English Sparkling Rose Cider from the Gospel Green Cyder Company based in Blackmoor , Hampshire. Firstly let me say that I’m generally not a huge fan of cider but nearly every time I talk to my good friend Alison at the Hop Inn she really raves about it. So last saturday when we popped in to see her we said that we’d like to give either the Brit or rose a try. After reading the description on the Gospel Green website and having our discussion with Alison which included the fact that we would be pairing with a seafood platter we opted for the rose.

After driving past this place hundreds of times last sunday we decided to finally pay a visit to Micky’s Seafood. This was due to the fact we were thinking about having a seafood platter for our upcoming anniversary. But when we popped in it was like watching two kids in a sweet shop. We first had a nice chat with Mick before looking at all the amazing produce and an instant decision was made about what we’d be having for lunch that day. The selection of fish and seafood on offer is stunning ranging from Swordfish , Tuna , Mackerel , Lobster , Crab , Prawns , Roll Mops , Mussels , Crayfish etc etc. We chose a fabulous selection then nipped next door to get some bread before heading home. The result I have to say was fabulous as everything was so fresh and tasted amazing.

Ladies and Gentlemen let me introduce you to Dessert in a can as I bring you the Vanilla & Pecan Pie Stout from the Hammerton Brewery which I purchased from the Hop Inn micro pub in Hornchurch. Believe me when I tell you this is absolute heaven. Firstly the aromas of vanilla on the nose are a delight before the sweetness of the pecan pie dances merrily round your palate leaving you in dreamland

When I visited my good friend Alison at Hop Inn Hornchurch last week she introduced me to a beer with a difference. It was a Smoked Beer from Germany and when she was describing it to me it really grabbed my attention. So yesterday afternoon I decided to try it and the end result is that it was amazing. As soon as you open the bottle the chargrilled smoky aromas hit you straight away and they don’t stop there. As with every sip you take and yes I said sip as this is a beer not to be rushed the smoky flavours just dance around your palate. The amazing smokiness is created by using malt , hops & burning beech wood logs and the result is a sensational soft smoky delight.