Oh I do like to be beside the seaside . . .

. . . or as near to the seaside as one can be in central London!

Tom and I have a habit of sending each other restaurant, pub and cafe reviews and recommendations nearly every day but we struggle to make the time to go to them; they usually just get added to the ever-increasing wish list. Last week Tom sent me a link to the Bonnie Gull, a seafood shack/restaurant/oyster bar not far from work. We decided we’d go with the excuse that it had just been my birthday so we would treat ourselves!

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The idea behind the Bonnie Gull is that everything they serve has been caught that day; there’s a map on the wall where they pinpoint the source of your fish. Originally a pop-up, the guys behind the Bonnie decided to set up shop permanently, bringing a little bit of the seaside to central London.

With its striped blue and white awnings and white wooden chairs and tables you can easily imagine the Bonnie Gull sitting comfortably looking out over Croyde Bay or Saunton Sands (reference to holidays past, spent down on the Devon coastline with my family).

We started with oysters. I always have to psych myself up when it comes to eating an oyster; I know it will be delicious when it comes to it but I still have to get over the fear of eating it! These didn’t disappoint, they were so fresh and tasty and well worth my initial mild panic!

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Tom then had queenies which were something new – they’re like small scallops and were served raw – they melted in the mouth and were full of flavour! I started with one of my all time favourites, mussels with a light cider, bacon and cream broth and some amazing bread – perfect for mopping up the cider!

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For my main I plumped for the much-loved classic, fish and chips. These weren’t just any chips however, they were beef dripping chips and they were deliciously crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The haddock was nicely battered and the mushy peas and spicy Shack Ketchup were equally tasty. Tom decided to try John Dory and it looked and tasted so good, it was quite a meaty fish and the sauce it was served with was really nice.

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I could probably have managed one of the delicious sounding desserts but not to appear too piggy we decided to just share the cheeseboard instead! Needless to say this was also really tasty and rounded off a great dinner!

I am going again in a few weeks and am excited to see what fish and shellfish will be on the menu that day – I can’t wait!

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This 5 ring gas cooker will not defeat me

I have some exciting news for my readers and fellow bloggers . . . Tom and I are now homeowners! My break from blogging is down to the craziness that comes when you buy your own house and then move into said house, combined with a busy period at work and a much needed holiday to Barcelona with one of my dearest pals (see upcoming blog post on the delight that is tapas), so please forgive me for being away so long.

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We are nicely settled in our new home now, all the boxes are emptied and we’ve met all of our lovely new neighbours. However, until this evening I had yet to get to grips with our insanely large gas cooker. This is a beast of an oven and I have to admit I’m a little intimidated by it; this is also not helped by the fact that all the temperatures and icons have rubbed off the dials so we have no idea which one does what. Meet our new cooker:

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I mean this thing is huge! So far all I had cooked was soup once I’d worked out how to keep the gas burning on the hob and that took me quite a while! Not to be deterred however I decided that I would cook Tom dinner to thank him for all the meals he’s cooked me recently while I’ve been working late.

Tom said he fancied moussaka so I used this recipe by Rick Stein
It was really easy to follow and everything turned out as it should once I’d actually got the oven to heat up. I’d forgotten how much I like moussaka and have to say, I’m really pleased we’ve got leftovers for dinner tomorrow!

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