Shake Shack – Covent Garden

The hype over the American Shake Shack burger chain arriving to London has been massive. It was therefore only right to go and check it out!

Considering we went mid week there was still a pretty big queue. But the staff keep you busy by giving you menus and little tasters of Lemonade.

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The burger menu is quite expensive as well as some hot dogs. However the frozen custard seemed to take over the bulk of the menu, as well as the menu for dogs in the bottom right hand corner… odd! I chose the shack burger with bacon and cheesy fries. No pudding though, i’ll have to save room for that next time.

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The burger itself was good. The bun was light and fluffy probably because it is made with potato flour which is lighter. The bacon was crisp and lettuce was fresh and crunchy. I wasn’t blown away and do think there are better burger places in London but Shake Shack have impressive branding and a good reputation. However I was not impressed with the cheesy chips, the cheese was really odd tasting and fake! Better to order those minus the cheese.

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It is worth a visit if you’re in Covent Garden but only on a sunny day as most of the seating is outside. They also sell the best baby grows…

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“friends who shack together, stay together”

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Sun in Salcombe

After a good nights sleep (probably helped by the amount of gin I drank and the cosy beds) I suddenly realised that it was my birthday!

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Birthday breakfast complete and it was time to put on some shorts and head to the sea. We were staying in South Sands which is a mile out of the town. The beach is massive and empty first thing in the morning. However during the day the tide comes in and it gets smaller and smaller until there’s hardly any beach left.

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We headed into town on a tractor which drives into the sea and joins onto a ferry which then heads into the harbour and docks up in the middle of town. A little more complicated then the tube but the perfect form of transport in my eyes.

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We threw on some life jackets and headed into the sea in a little boat of our own. Not before stopping at the amazing upper crust bakery for some pasties and flapjacks which are by far the best I have ever tasted.

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It got a little chilly!

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With full bellies and tans worked on we headed back to the shore line to indulge in a bit of shopping. Then back to South Sands for a quick change before heading to the South Sands Hotel for dinner. The Hotel is stunning and has a beautiful view over the bay. Sitting in the sunshine with a cocktail is the perfect way to finish a birthday.

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The food was excellent, fresh fish and steaks from local butchers and pretty spectacular puddings as well.

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A really great birthday weekend in my favourite place in the country.

I’d rather be in… Salcombe

Family holidays become a bit of a tradition when you’re younger so it’s nice to go back and re live them when you’re all grown up. I was therefore extremely excited to learn I was heading to Salcombe for my birthday weekend. Salcombe is hidden away on the coast of South West England in Devon. It’s a hub of sailors, boys in stripy shirts (ideal), families and friends. It’s a great place to escape to from the big city and was the perfect sunny get away.

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The town is lined with every seaside shop you can think of, as well as delis, sweet shops and of course ice cream! It’s like stepping back in time, no Tesco, no TopShop and certainly no chain restaurants.. PERFECT! You can walk through the town and come across all sorts of wonders. From elegant tea rooms to the famous pink and white striped sweet shop lined with treats and fudge.

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A key part of the town and one of the best places for Devon pasties is the Upper Crust bakery. It’s been there as long as I can remember and probably was established long before then. We used to rent the house behind it so lots of memories come flooding back when you smell the freshly baked breads and pasties.

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The only place for ice cream is the little shop on the corner. They do a great selection of flavours with my favourite being Salcombe Mud – as unappealing as it sounds it is actually cookies and cream. The great thing about being in Devon is that no one judges you when you have a stick of fudge in your ice cream instead of a flake!

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After getting all dolled up we headed into town for some dinner. The place of choice was Dick and Wills a family run restaurant in a great location over looking the beaches on the other side of the harbour. The food is great and the atmosphere is buzzing. Of course being by the sea means lots of fishy dishes so I had a delicious fish and chips with a very chunky tar tar sauce!

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More Salcombe adventures coming soon.

Sakura – Japanese in Winchester

The birthday celebrations started with a bang and a trip to Sakura – a fantastic Japanese restaurant in Winchester. They do a fusion of Japanese and Chinese food with some food theatre thrown in. After some Sushi and Tempura to start we were introduced to our chef for the night who provided some great entertainment as well as some delicious food.

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As there were 7 of us we order the whole menu… this comprised of chicken, duck, steak, white fish, salmon and prawns all cooked in front of you in a delicious mix of flavours.

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Great fun and a great way to start the celebrations with the whole family!