It’s a Sunday afternoon and you’re sick of going to the same self-service carvery your parents used to take you too. All those sad shrivelled vegetables and large cardboard ‘yorkies’ filled with lumpy gravy. A quick scan of Google produces a multitude of choice, and purely for location to begin with, I clicked onto ‘The Village’.

The website is smart and instantly gives the impression that they offer much more than your standard meat and two veg dinner usually on the Sunday menu. To make life easier, you can book online straight from the website. There was only one slot left when I booked so this gave me another confidence boost in choosing the right place. Busy = Popular. Popular = Good (hopefully!)

After a quick glance at the electronic menu, I was sold! There are alternative menus specifically for those with intolerances. Top-marks so far!

You walk through the door and instantly feel at ease. The décor has a vintage twist and there’s character popping from every corner. The only things missing were waiting staff in braces and barmen in bowler hats. Maybe there’s an idea…

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A quick glance around the room gave me a good indication of the clientele. The room was full of all types of people. It’s suitable for families, friends, and couples… There are sections for large groups, seating at the bar, café area and intimate tables. Depending on the day and the time, the atmosphere changes and the purpose of the restaurant changes too I imagine. Friday night drinks after work, first stop on a bar crawl, Sunday lunch stop with the family. It seems to cover all ground.

Once seated, a cheerful member of staff handed us clipboard menus and took a drinks order. Hot chocolate in jam-jars and tea in cute patterned cups. Great touch! Even a piece of homemade cake on the saucers to start off the feast.

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Unfortunately, there were a couple of choices we picked off the menu that the kitchen didn’t have; roast beef lunches and the steamed mussels. Apologies were given and we changed the order. To begin, the homemade chunky hummus w/ balsamic glaze and fresh pitta was by far the most delicious starter. Each dish was well presented with generous portions. I ordered the whitebait along with 2 others in my party. They were perfectly cooked and beautifully crispy. The pate was velvety with just enough to satisfy until the main course. We didn’t have to wait too long either as it came promptly considering how busy they were.

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During the wait, I found myself raising my voice to be heard over the music. Saturday night before heading for drinks, or a quiet Sunday lunch with family? Hmm. We all gathered around one side of the table like campers huddling for warmth. It made dinner more intimate but the noise levels weren’t very appropriate for a lazy Sunday afternoon lunch.

A second lot of drinks were ordered and the main attraction arrived. 3 waiting staff served a table of 6, but not once during the meal were we approached asked if everything was ok. The steaks came first piled high with delicious looking huge onion rings. I’d order the steak just for those! Both meals were requested to be cooked ‘medium’ but came out ‘rare’. Not an issue for the people eating them, but they were not cooked how asked.


I chose The Village because of the Sunday Lunch option and sadly I was left disappointed. As were the other 2 people in my group who ordered them. A great selection of vegetables were served in bowls for the middle of the table, which I cannot fault. It was the meat that let the meal down. The chicken was completely dry and overcooked. My partner had to leave over half of it. Even the gravy couldn’t save it. The pork was a slight improvement but still chewy and flavourless. A member of staff who we assumed to be the floor manager was flagged down and my partner gave some feedback on his meal. A quick uninterested sorry was given before she scurried off to carry on what she was doing. This left my rather annoyed at the service after such a good start.

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It seems as though the regular everyday menu is much more practiced and I advise meals to be chosen from that. The goats cheese tart was full of flavour and received high praise.


Overall, I believe top marks could be rewarded if a little more attention was paid to small details.

I will visit again as I think a second chance is deserved and I can see the potential. Next time, I’ll visit on a Friday or Saturday evening for dessert (they looked simply delicious) and drinks as I think this will be when the bar thrives.

Price – Reasonable (Roughly £110 for 6 people – Starters and mains)

Service – 6 out of 10

Atmosphere – 7 out of 10

Food – 7/8 out of 10

TOTAL – 20/21 out of 30


Pepperoni Meatballs w/ Spaghetti

Go out and buy the ingredients for this recipe straight away. Take it from me, these are some of the best meatballs you’ll ever taste. And believe me, I’ve tested a lot. To say I love meatballs would be a slight understatement. There are so many combinations you can do, but these juicy balls of flavour are just divine. Mixing a selection of pepperoni, beef and pork together, is a match made in heaven.

You surely don’t need me to go on and convince you anymore?

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A meal for 6, was meant to have catered for 4 with leftovers. There were no leftovers… Something as delicious as these can’t be put in Tupperware and placed in the fridge!

Rich tomato sauce wrapped around Al Dente spaghetti with huge mouthwatering meatballs *dreams* I think I need to eat this at least once a week.

I served this with garlicky cheese bread and some smoked sea salt.

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There was nothing I felt the need to change 😊 The wine I used was last nights leftover Cote du Rhone. I always add the best quality wine to my food. If I won’t drink it, it doesn’t get added to my food either!

I didn’t have enough pepperoni so I made up the quantity with chorizo. This gave the meatballs a smoky edge.

Perfect meal choice for a dinner party because I didn’t have to spend all evening in the kitchen. I prepared everything beforehand and only needed to spend 10 minutes away from everybody whilst cooking the spaghetti and warming the bread. Perfect 😊

My pan wasn’t big enough to mix the spaghetti into the sauce, so everybody had to do that on their own plate. Nothing wrong with a bit of on the plate meal prep!

The excitement to tuck in nearly made me forget to take photos! Hence the rushed look of them. Who can blame me?!


The blog this recipe is featured on has some wonderful recipes; Herbed Gnocchi, Taiwan Pork Ragu, Bacon Cracklin’ Pancakes…

Not a site to visit if you’re searching for healthy, body nourishing cuisine! This is for your indulgent ‘sod it’ days! But lets face it, everybody has these once in a while.


Oh just look at the photograph, how could you scroll past that without the urge to feast?! ULTIMATE COMFORT!

Until next time 😊

Love and Lemons xxx

Chocolate, Cranberry and Port Bundt Cake

There didn’t seem a better way to introduce myself than with this flavoursome show stopper, but then I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome and had to try again… so another recipe introduced my blog! Practice makes perfect though, so get ready for something truly indulgent and delicious.

This might not look like a masterpiece sitting in the middle of the table, but you’ll never look back once you’ve had a mouthful of the rich, chocolatey goodness.

If you read my opening post, you will know that the purpose of this blog is to share with you my addiction to food on Pinterest and how my life revolves around trying new recipes… And well… Just eating. There will be a mixture of savoury and sweet with a focus around ‘healthier’ food choices (as I am currently studying nutrition/diet/fitness). All recipes will be a result of the hours and hours spent rummaging through boards on Pinterest drooling and pinning the possibilities that are presented to me. I never want to wait… I have an instant need to eat it there and then.

I said the majority of my posts will be showcasing healthier recipes, but why not start with a few things truly decadent.  A Chocolate, Cranberry and Port Bundt Cake, fits the bill perfectly. I came across this recipe whilst browsing during a break at work. I love Port, so the idea of putting it in a cake really appeals to me.

Note: Not all the recipes I test come out exactly how they are supposed to! But I post my version and the original recipe, so you can choose what to follow 🙂 My recipes follow UK baking guidelines and UK available ingredients. Some of the recipes I recreate are American, so little details can alter (like this recipe!)

Credit to Bakers Royale. Without this Blog, I would never have discovered this wonderful and indulgent cake. *floats of into another chocolate and port filled dream world* (Photo above as you have probably guessed, is what lured me into making this cake).

The iPhone photo above makes my cake look irresistible right?! Ha! *rolls eyes* I promise the photos will start to improve once I manage my time better! And have patience to wait till the syrup soaks into the sponge….

The taste was delicious and it went down a treat. The recipe did not fail to deliver as the flavour was incredible. I had to refrain from eating more than my fair share. And I was even requested to make another one for an occasion later in the year.

The issue…. Substituting ‘cake flour’ for ‘self-raising’. In the UK, some of you may or may not know that cake flour isn’t readily available because UK food standards have banned it due to the way it is produced (bleached and heat-treated). As a result of swapping the flours, the texture changed and made the cake crumbly. It was in no way dry because the port reduction made it light and moist, but cutting an even slice like the original recipe photo suggests, became a little impossible. After some research on how to solve this, I realised that I should have used plain flour and not self-raising because the extra agents added in the self-raising made the mixture too delicate. It did firm up the day after though, so if you can hold out (which I found incredibly hard!), you’ll get a firmer, less crumbly cake.

Note: If a recipe states a certain size of egg and/or a particular temperature, always listen because even swapping a large egg for a medium sized one will alter the final result.

On my second attempt, I used plain flour and the texture was perfect. The flavour was more intense too, which is never a bad thing! It is delicious!

The original recipe asks for vegetable oil, but I substituted it for 100% cold-pressed rapeseed oil. Both oils are essentially the same thing but vary in quality. I believe cold-pressed is a purer oil and therefore much better for your digestive system. If you are going to use an oil other than vegetable/rapeseed, I recommend you use something that doesn’t have a dominant flavour. So ideally not olive oil as this will leave a distinctive flavour behind in the cake when cooked.

Nutrition: Rapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat and high in mono and poly unsaturated fats, so a great choice over other fats and oils as it can result in lower cholesterol levels.

Apart from the issue with the flour, everything else was perfect. There isn’t any need to buy an expensive bottle of port as it’s the concentrated flavour you rely on once it’s been heated; and you can really taste it in the final product. There might be a few port related posts to follow…

If you would like this recipe converted in to grams and with my alterations, please let me know and I’d be happy to give it to you.


From Lemon with Love ❤ xxx