Monday, 10 October 2016

Pitcher & Piano - Derby

Until a few months ago, I'd never been to Derby's Pitcher & Piano before. You may have seen previously that I attended their VIP terrace launch night back in July and had myself wondering why I had never visited. 
Although Pitcher & Piano is a chain, I've found from the few that I've visited that each one is very individual i.e. no two are the same and all have their own little quirks which is lovely to see. 

I met up with my friend Emily for a post work catch up on Friday evening around 6pm. When I arrived the place was already quite full and had a great atmosphere. 
We took a seat in the bar for a drink before heading over the the restaurant for food. 
I ordered one of their mocktails, the Passionfruit Cooler. I had one of these at the Nottingham P&P and fell in love with how refreshingly fruity it was. For a non-drinker this is amazing. 

We'd been reserved the cutest little booth table at the rear of the restaurant. It was so private which I prefer in a restaurant, plus it has comfier seats. The surrounding walls were decorated with little knick-knacks giving it a very vintage vibe. 

After a top up of my Passionfruit Cooler, it was time to get some grub. I was so hungry and ready to go. Pitcher & Piano have just launched a new menu ready for Autumn/ Winter with dishes to suit those looking to indulge or even those who are just after a light bite. 

I decided to be one of those people who want to indulge and chose to have a good old Burger. In particular, the Maple Glazed Bacon Burger. If you read my reviews often, you should know by now how I have a love of the whole sweet/salty food trend, so to me, this was a winner. All of their burgers now come served in these delicious brioche buns and with a side of Rosemary & Sea Salt Fries which I must point out were incredible. I loved the seasoning. All in all, a big thumbs up from me. 

Emily is a big fan of Jerk Chicken so went for this slightly different take on just that. By being covered in breadcrumbs, this dish is pretty similar to a Kiev and although not as spicy as you'd be expecting, it's still packed full of that Jamaican flavour. 

After being so stuffed from the main courses, there was no way I could fit in a dessert. That was until I saw those three magical words 'Sticky Toffee Pudding' which came with a big scoop of Vanilla Ice cream. 
It was a great end to my meal. The sponge was so soft, not dry at all. The whole thing was just perfect. I may even go as far to say that it's possibly the best STP I've ever had. 

So, if you've ever considered a meal at Pitcher and Piano in Derby then I'd say go for it! I had a great time with delicious food and attentive service from all members of staff. 

Take a look at them online here & as always, thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

1,000 Twitter Followers Giveaway!

Hi everyone!
Long time no blog. I know, I know, I'm very sorry! I've recently been on a weeks holiday to Tenerife with the girls and had a few personal things going off too.
But, I'm back now! I've got a few things coming over the next few weeks which I can't wait to write up about and share with you all.

In the meantime, I hit 1000 followers on my Twitter a few days back!
So to celebrate, I've teamed up with Delicious Alchemy (you may have read my last blog post which featured them) to do a giveaway where you can win everything from their newly launched Christmas range which is completely Gluten Free!

If you want to enter, just head over to my Twitter now (@MunchWithMonet), follow myself, Delicious Alchemy (@4GlutenFreeFood) and RT my pinned tweet.
It couldn't be easier!

You must be from the UK to enter & the winner will be announced after the giveaway ends on 24th October.

Good Luck Everyone!


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Delicious Alchemy's Gluten Free Goodies.

Recently, I received this beautiful looking parcel from the guys over at Delicious Alchemy to try out some of their 'gluten free goodies'. Although I don't require a gluten free diet, I was really intrigued to  give these a go to see how they'd compare to ordinary alternatives. 

So, if you haven't come across Delicious Alchemy before, they are a Sheffield based producer of mixtures enabling people to make fuss and gluten free treats.
In my parcel, I received a Fruity Muesli, Chocolate Brownie mix and Oaty Cookie mix which is pictured below. All of these packets are dairy free too.

I decided to make the Oaty Cookies straight away as they sounded amazing.
The instructions come printed on the side of the packet and a very easy to follow. They only contain a few steps so anybody will be able to make these!

As you may have noticed, I did use butter which obviously means the cookies are no longer dairy free. The instructions do state that a dairy free alternative to butter can be used and I'm sure they will turn out equally as good.

I was so pleased with how my Oaty Cookies were. The smell was incredible and they tasted even better. They had a lovely crisp when you break or bite into them which then crumbles in your mouth as you eat them. Wow. Definitely a winner in my eyes.

Next up was the Chocolate Brownie Mix. I absolutely love chocolate brownies. Again, I followed the instructions on the side of the packet. All very simple and straight forward.

I didn't really have any trays big enough for the brownie, so used what I had. It was a little deeper than I'd wanted but went with it anyway. I just thought it'd need a bit longer to bake which was fine. 

Once out of the oven, the brownie looked fantastic as you'll see above. But... I was a little impatient and couldn't wait to dive in, so I took it out of the tray before it had cooled. Big mistake.

I could still eat it though, just in oddly shaped pieces! It was so good. Crunchy on the outside and nice and soft/ moist inside. Yum.

If you're looking for some gluten free treats to try, I'd definitely recommend trying Delicious Alchemy. Baking is all part of the fun too. 
As I mentioned earlier, I also got to try some of the Muesli which has been amazing for my breakfast. I usually have Special K but this has been a lovely alternative and fills me up until mid-morning. 

Take a look at what other delights you can buy from Delicious Alchemy here.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 5 September 2016

Chatsworth Country Fair - September 2016.

Believe it or not, Chatsworth Country Show celebrated it's 35th anniversary this weekend and incredibly, I've never attended one despite having visited the Chatsworth estate numerous times and only living 30 minutes away.
Since the early years, the size and popularity of the show has increased drastically with visitor numbers and stall holders pretty much doubling in size. 

I went along with one thing in particular in mind, food. The food stands have always been a staple to visitors and with over 100 food stalls to make my way through, I was ready to go!

After a slightly longer than normal journey (there was quite a queue to get into the grounds), we arrived and headed towards Chatsworth House. The walkway was lined with an array of old service vehicles which were great to look at. 

Throughout the day, there were lots of events planned for the public to enjoy such as a funfair, live cooking demonstrations featuring some well known celebrity and local chefs (as I visited on the Sunday, we were able to watch Martha from GBBO), the Red Arrows did an incredible display, there were parachuters - the list just keeps going on and on. Here are some pictures...

So, the majority of the stalls that I visited were food related. It was inevitable really. 
There was some amazing produce on sale and it was so good to see so many local businesses there too, many of which I've either seen or bought from previously. 

How amazing do these giant Jammy Dodgers look!? I'm so upset that I didn't buy one. I knew I'd regret it!!

The Tea Room was very popular.

It was great to see quite a few stalls selling (relatively) healthy food too. We bought a tub of Strawberries with optional cream but they were also selling fruit smoothies, there were stalls selling frozen yoghurt and even catering vans with healthy options too.
I however, didn't opt for a healthy lunch and chose to visit the Fish & Chip wagon. At £9 including a bottle of water, it's the probably the most expensive one I've ever bought. But I guess that's all part of any festival type event.

If you didn't know already, we have a Beagle called Bob. As the Chatsworth Country Show is dog friendly, we decided to bring him along for the day. I think he enjoyed it. There were plenty of other dogs to sniff and lots of food dropped on the floor to eat.

I had such a lovely day at Chatsworth Country Show. After a rather dull, wet start, the sun soon decided to break through to give us a lovely afternoon to enjoy. 
I think one of the best parts about the show is that there's something for everybody to enjoy - anybody who visits will not be disappointed. At £25 per person, it soon adds up to be a pricey day out but if you're willing to make the most of it, it's more than worth it. 

Also, I just had to make a point of sharing how incredible the traffic management procedures were for exiting the event. After something like this, I always dread the huge queues and rush to get out once it's all over. The one way system that was put in place worked a treat and made the journey home so much more pleasant than I anticipated. They had clearly thought ahead and it paid off big time. Well done!

I'll be sure to visit again next year, I'm just shocked I haven't been sooner. See you at Christmas Chatsworth! 

Have you ever been to Chatsworth Show? What did you think?


Thursday, 25 August 2016

A Night In With Papa John's.

One of my favourite 'naughty' meals is a Pizza. I don't have them very often but when I do, I always have Dominos as they are the closest to where I live. 
So, when I was asked to give Papa John's a try, I thought it'd make a nice to see what all the fuss is about.

I went online and took a look through their menu. Was great to see so many styles including vegetarian choices and the option to create your own if you're feeling adventurous. 
I decided to go all out and again try something different to my usual. That's why I chose to have the 'Chicken Club' which consists of Chargrilled Chicken, Bacon, Sliced Onions & Tomatoes. 

As I'm going on holiday in just a few weeks, I decided to try out the new low fat cheese option which believe it or not, contains a third less fat than their normal cheese. I know it's still a pizza and full of calories, but I like to think by having a low fat cheese option, I've saved myself some exercise (which is not my friend).

My order arrived bang on time at 18:45 and I was even treated to a couple of extra surprises. 

The pizza was delicious! It arrived still warm so we tucked in straight away which was great. The flavours were nice and simple. I don't like a complicated pizza. As for the low fat cheese, I honestly could not tell a difference.
One thing I did notice though was how less greasy the pizza/ bottom of the box is just from changing the cheese. Crazy.
Inside the box was a little garlic dip which I wasn't too keen on but the pizza itself gets a thumbs up from me.

The miniature corn on the cobs were a little disappointing. They'd kinda gone cold and soggy which isn't too good. I do like corn on the cobs that are charred though, so there was one good point.
If you manage to get a good batch, they'd make a great 'lighter' alternative to a side portion such as something like wedges.

Then... the brownie. Oh my word. 
I popped the brownie in the oven (which had just been turned off before my order was delivered) so that it would keep warm until after the pizza.
It had crispy, chewy edges with a melty soft inside. It was a great way to end the meal. This part wasn't a healthier option but it balances out the calories/ fat I saved from the low fat cheese and healthy side portion, right!?

For my first Papa John's experience, I was pleasantly surprised. If I'm ever in a position to have one again, then I would. It's just a shame there isn't one close by to my house.
Thank you Papa John for gracing me with your pizza.

Try out the low fat cheese for yourself - here.


Friday, 19 August 2016

BBC Radio Derby Interview - August 2016.

I've never been one to speak in public or focus attention on myself but when I had an email from BBC Radio Derby's broadcasting assistant last week saying that they'd love me to go along and be interviewed live on air, I couldn't pass on such an opportunity.

I appeared on air with Richard Spurr who was filling in for Sally Pepper that week. I'd been told he was a keen foodie so knew we'd get on well.

I arrived just before my start time at 12:30pm, had a quick briefing about what was going to happen and then before I knew it, the red light came on and away we went!

The experience was amazing. I was so nervous in the lead up to the interview but Richard was so lovely and made sure everything went smoothly. The felt great afterwards though!

If you'd like to listen, the catch up is available here for 28 days from today (19th Aug) so be quick!
Just make sure you skip to 2 hours 32 minutes or you'll be waiting a while.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Angelo's at The New Inn - Milford, Derbyshire.

Angelo's Restaurant at The New Inn is located along the A6 in Milford, not too far from Belper. 
I've actually been here once before all the way back in 2013, so way before munching with monet ever existed and had a fantastic evening. Me & Ashlea have always said how much we'd love to go back and this week, we finally made it!

We had a reservation at 6:45pm but arrived around half an hour early to enjoy a drink in the garden which is just opposite the main entrance. You have to make the most of the sun and take in the gorgeous views from here. 
It was lovely to see that since our previous visit, the exterior has been upgraded with classy new signs and decorations. Previously it was quite run down and needed a spruce up to be honest.
Whilst at the bar, we let the waitress know we had a reservation and she told us to take a seat outside and she would come out to take a drink order from us. 

Once drinks were ordered, she left us some menus to browse and perched a specials board to the side of us.

The menu is predominantly Italian themed with other European dishes mixed in too. It was amazing to see so many daily specials alongside an already extensive main menu. Plenty of choice that's for sure.

10 minutes later, our waitress popped back out to take our order and said she'd come back to fetch us just before our meals were ready.
This was great as we could enjoy every last bit of the sunshine and didn't have to worry about a thing. 
I could already tell we were going to be very looked after this evening. 

We'd ordered some bread and oil to share for a light starter as neither of us were feeling up to one each (saving ourselves for dessert). This went down a treat and our bread was topped up and and when the basket became empty. It came to a point though where we had to say 'no' to more bread which was a shame. The oil and balsamic vinegar were delicious.

After clearing our plates and a refill of drinks, it was time for our main courses. I was absolutely starving so could not wait!

I chose to have the Lasagne which is available to order in both a full and half portion. I've not come across anywhere that actually offers this before, but it seems like a good idea to me.
When I visited Angelo's last time, I ordered this too and shouted from the rooftops about how it was the best Lasagne I've ever had. The second visit certainly lived up to this.
What I love about this Lasagne is the thick layers of pasta sheets, the amount of cheese that's melted on top, you get so much meat (I've had some Lasagnes in my time that are so stingy with meat) and the tomato sauce is just indescribable. 

Ashley ordered the Cerbiatto Al Porto which is Venison Steak with a mixed red berry and port jus. 
Upon ordered, he was asked how he'd like his Venison cooked and came served accordingly which is great as we didn't have to go through the whole 'sending it back' fiasco. 
He told me the the Venison was delicious however on piece was quite gristly which you wouldn't normally expect to find in a steak cut. 
He informed the waitress despite the fact that we are fully aware the chefs can't control this and they thanked us for the feedback. 
This dish comes served with vegetables and parmentier style potatoes which I couldn't help but steal a few of. 
But overall, a very tasty dish. 

Yes, more carbs!

Now for dessert. Before arriving, I was really hoping there would be a Sticky Toffee Pudding on the menu. A long shot I know, but I really fancied one.
When we were told that the special was a Syrup Sponge Pudding, this was a perfect compromise. 
I ordered one of these and Ashlea went for the Lemon Cheesecake.
All desserts have a choice of cream or ice-cream to accompany. 

My sponge was super sweet and stodgy, just as I was wanting and Ashlea's Cheesecake was zingy and full of flavour. 

After dessert and Ashlea drinking his Espresso, we headed back over into the bar to settle the bill and stretch our legs. Our table was in the back corner of the restaurant and as the room filled up over the evening, we became a little trapped by other diners chairs. 
From when we arrived it was amazing to see how every single table in both dining rooms was taken. It was a Tuesday night! It felt very much like a Saturday with how busy it was. 

Once in the bar, one of the waiters treated us to a Limoncello each. If you know me, you'll know I don't drink but couldn't really refuse it after he'd been so kind to pour us a glass each. It was such a lovely gesture. Ashlea had no problem in trying his though.

After this we headed back to the car and took a ride home. Angelo's does have a car park which is along the main road, just after the restaurant. You may miss it as you can't see it too well at first glance. As I knew where it was we had no issue but you may have to turn around and drive back past. 

So, to conclude, my second visit to Angelo's was just as good as the first, if not a little better. It definitely lived up to my expectations which is a big thumbs up.
The service from both the front of house staff and the kitchen was of an incredibly high standard, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was lovely and also, the prices are great value for money. 

If you haven't been to Angelo's before, it's certainly a must! I don't think anybody will be left disappointed. 

Take a look at their website here.

As always, thanks for reading,

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