Fantastic Forman’s Feast

Have you heard of food writer and stylist Ren Behan before? If not you’re missing a treat and should follow her delicious posts. I thoroughly recommend you join up now, immediately make her Chocolate Rolo Cake and then share it with me!! Seriously, her posts are engaging, entertaining and always a really good read. I’ve followed her for a while and, at the end of last year, was lucky enough to win a meal for two at Forman’s Restaurant in London from her site.

We don’t get treats like this very often at all and, after quite a bit of tussling on our part to find a date we could both do given our current circumstances, my husband and I had an amazing meal there at the end of March.

Tucked away neatly in Stour Road, Fish Island, London, the restaurant is first floor, overlooking the Olympic Park and very classy and stylish. Here is where I admit that none of the photos we took that evening, unfortunately, came out that well – sorry! The website does show you wonderful images of the interior of this lovely location and I’ll add some of ours just to give you the general idea.

Forman's Restaurant, London

Forman’s Restaurant, London

Forman’s are world-famous for smoked salmon and seasonal British foods so, of course, the menu was a real treat. My husband and I both chose a salmon starter. He opted for London Cure Smoked Salmon with Buckwheat Blinis and I went for Smoked Scottish Salmon and Cornish Crab Salad with Fennel and Apple. Both were absolutely stunning, equally to look at and to eat. My husband isn’t usually a fish eater so I was surprised at his choice and a little nervous that he wouldn’t be keen, but he was bowled over by it. They do have a photo of it in their tasty, glossy catalogue so I’ve cheated and include a photo of that….

London Cure Smoked Salmon, Buckwheat Blinis & Accompaniments

London Cure Smoked Salmon, Buckwheat Blinis & Accompaniments

We both opted for Pepper Encrusted Rump of Rhug Organic Salt Marsh Lamb with Bubble & Squeak and a Port Reduction for our main and it was absolutely delicious. My husband’s a devil for adding salt and pepper to absolutely every meal he has, never mind if it’s already seasoned, but these were not touched during on our table during this meal – which I take to be a pretty big compliment and certainly not one I’ve ever had from him!! I just wish we had a photo of the meal to show you as it was gorgeous! We were also treated to a delicious bottle of House Red which accompanied the meal absolutely perfectly.

We opted to share a selection of British Cheeses, Melba Toast and Spiced Chutney to finish and, again, brilliant tastes and textures and a wonderful end to the best meal we’ve had in a very long time. Accompanied with a warming glass of port, we left very happy, comfortably full and wishing we lived closer so that we could call back on a regular basis.

Some of our friends thought we were mad travelling all the way from Devon to London “just” for a meal; having to pay for travel, parking and a night in a hotel, but this meal was more than worth it. It was a lovely and very rare weekend on our own and one we’d love to repeat.

If you’re lucky enough to live local to the restaurant please do pay it a visit. Spying on the table next to us, we wish we’d had room to order the Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding with Crushed Praline Ice-cream and indeed hope we’ll get back to try it some time. If you do go and give it a try we want a mouth by mouth review because it looks absolutely breathtaking! The jaws of the diners on the table alongside ours did physically drop as it was brought to the table!

If you’re not lucky enough to live locally, Forman’s do also have a delivery service – we’d love to try one of the hampers from their catalogue, which you can find online here.

View from our hotel room - Olympic Park with Forman's, designed to resemble a darne of salmon, to the right.

View from our hotel room – Olympic Park with Forman’s, designed to resemble a darne of salmon, to the right.

We’d like to thank Ren Behan for the brilliant competition, Forman’s for being so generous as to offer such a wonderful prize and all of the lovely staff at the restaurant who are quick, efficient, friendly and very helpful. Thank you everyone!

Tidy Trio Triumph! Thumbs up for Marco!!

Starting with an explanation..always good to do! A very nice Welsh borrower came into the library where I work this week and called me and my colleagues “tidy girls”. Now, we decided to take this as a compliment. We weren’t sure whether he meant we were very nice or was in fact saying we kept a tidy well shelved library (he’s a bit of an aficionado, visiting libraries all over the country!) but we liked the term either way and decided that we would become the Tidy Trio, who would go on intrepid adventures and report back – either a Triumph or a Travesty.

Today we had our first adventure out! We visited the New York Italian Restaurant, Marco’s located next to the new Hampton by Hilton near Exeter Airport.  Here’s a sneaky peek….

Marco's Exeter

Lots of mean and moody pics of Marco Pierre White, dancing glitterballs and elegantly decorated tables. Take a look at their website for more photos and a menu.  http://www.marcosexeter.co.uk/

We were very pleased, on the whole, with the menu although there wasn’t a great deal of choice for vegetarians. Tidy Frances is a veggie and decided on Mushroom Risotto (nice but could have done with some greenery on top!), Tidy Linda is most definitely not a veggie and had Yellow Fin Tuna steak, which looked amazing and had an accompaniment of wonderful smelling new potatoes! I tried the Asparagus, Mint & Lemon Risotto, which was lovely and very filling.

Lemon Risotto

We did have room for dessert though, of course! We wouldn’t be doing our job properly if we didn’t, would we?!  I went for balsamic strawberries and icecream (delicious!), Tidy Frances had Double Chocolate Truffle Cake and Tidy Linda had Marco’s Tiramisu (lucky that he’s happy to share!)….didn’t realise until it arrived that it would match her outfit!

Tidy Linda!

A very good time was had by all Tidys and we voted it a good Triumph! The service was good and unhurried, leaving lots of time for chatting and daft photo taking (we kept the flash off, we weren’t TOTALLY embarrassing!). Would definitely recommend it and would love to go again (hint, hint!).

Just as an afterthought…..our only problem was finding the restaurant in the first place! No signposting whatsoever from what we could see, and we nearly ended up having lunch at a Kebap (yes, correct spelling!) van on a nearby estate in desperation! As we entered we said to the people behind us that we’d had trouble getting there and they said they’d had to stop and phone in for directions! So, handy hint, don’t let it put you off going, but google how to get there before you set off!