Lovely Local Finds…

Winchester and its surrounding villages have some wonderful places to eat. It’s full of interesting, tucked way little places, some are a little harder to find or a little less well known, hidden down side streets, underground or above shops. This week’s entry is dedicated to these places…here are a  few of my favourites…

The Forte Tea Rooms

Known as ‘Winchester’s best kept secret’…this is one of those places that you notice and always mean to pop into, then when finally you do it turns out to be an amazing little discovery (which plenty of people have already discovered). There’s some steep steps to climb to reach this place but it’s well worth the climb! If you’re a tea lover like me you’ll love this place, they have plenty of lovely loose leaf teas to choose from and a great menu of freshly prepared food, tasty soups and sandwiches, hot food, cooked breakfasts and cakes – what more you could want?!

Bean Below & Twyford Stores

This place gets a huge endorsement from me as a regular customer! Twyford stores is an excellent source of amazing local produce, whether it’s Lyburn Cheeses , the Oven Door Bakery, Judes Ice Cream or Hedge End Butchers.  The appropriately named Bean Below cafe is equally is a fantastic with great sandwiches, smoothies, teas (from local tea company Ahmad Tea) and a seasonally changing evening menu for the weekends. If you haven’t t ventured out to Bean Below – give it a try sometime soon!

Ginger Two

Okay, so this place is fairly well known but it is off the main high street and very easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. It’s a truly fabulous tea-room, cafe and also a sort of homewares boutique. The cakes are absolutely divine and there’s a great selection of hot beverages to choose from (always a win with me!).

Leaf Bean

This cute little cafe in Stockbridge Road used to be my local point of call when I lived in the Fulflood area, it’s a charming cafe that does great food – as well as takeaway hot drinks (very handy in the days when I walked to work!). It’s really family friendly too – for all the yummy mummies out there!

The Bridge Patisserie

This place is right at the bottom of town and always makes me feel like I’ve found a lovely little secret place. Being a patisserie there’s plenty of indulgent sweet treats on offer (including handmade chocolates!), but they’ve also got a nice selection of baguettes and paninis on the savoury side of things, as well as a nice relaxed space to sit down and eat in.

Eighteen71

The cafe in the guildhall can sometimes be easy to miss, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Serving up tasty light bites made from locally sourced ingredients, the bright and spacious layout makes for a laid back atmosphere to sit and enjoy.

These are just a few of my favourites that I highly recommend a visit to. I’m  sure there’s plenty I’ve missed, maybe even some I don’t know about – do let me know your own local recommendations and Hampshire favourites…

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The Rocky Road to Becoming a Chocolate Fan…

I’ve always maintained that I’m a savoury kind of girl…I’m far more likely to be tempted by slab of cheese than a slab of cake, and way more interested that crisps than chocolate – but just recently a little bit of chocolate love has entered my life…

It’s rocky road!

In particular I’ve been enjoying the bite-sized, cake-style pieces made by Cando Cakes that I picked up at my local village stores.  They’re simply delicious and dangerously moreish! In truth they’re a little bigger than bite-sized, guaranteeing that a bit of a mess is created when enjoying them – this only adds to the naughty indulgence I feel. I looked them up and it seems the reason they’re so good is the magical blend of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Mars Bars, Curly Wurly, Maltesers, Marshmallows, Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut and Raisins & Sultanas! What a combination!

All I can say is YUM and look you can buy them here.

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Happy Eating!

 

Lapsang Souchong…Marmite of the tea world

Right now it’s perfect weather for sipping Lapsang S0uchong  tea! I’m enjoying a soothing cupful right now. Okay, so there was only a little attempt a snow here in Winchester and it certainly wasn’t the foot deep snow experience other parts of the country have seen – still it’s felt bitterly cold out!

Anyone tea lovers who haven’t yet braved a cup of Lapsang should try it – it’s a bit of a Marmite in the tea world, people seem to detest it or adore it – but I’m definitely a Lapsang lover. It’s a smoky black tea, I believe the leaves are smoke-dried, which gives the distinct strong flavour. For me it feels like drinking an excellent cup of tea whilst stood by a warming bonfire. It smells amazing too, I find a lot of people won’t drink it but they love the smell of it.

Twinings make a lovely Lapsang Souchong blend – so if I’ve made you at all curious about this smoky tea I’d recommend trying this. I drink  mine like Earl Grey with a little dash of milk.