Tips for Travelling with a Picky Eater

We all know one; a friend or family member who knows what they like, and won’t diverge from that path. The kind of person who orders ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’ at every Indian restaurant and has a complete aversion to seafood, the kind of person who will only eat cornflakes for breakfast and cheese sandwiches for lunch; the picky eater. Generally living with a fussy eater is something we get used to, but when travelling, it becomes a little trickier.


With the world of TV seemingly obsessed with pandering to ‘the foodie’, it’s easy to make our fussy friends feel ashamed of their habits, but they needn’t be. Indeed, some people simply can’t stomach exotic foods and this only becomes a problem when travelling in countries where there are no familiar fast-food chains or supermarkets to fall back on. Continue reading

Four Apps Food and Drink Lovers Should Never Be Without

Our smartphones and tablets have radically altered the way in which we live our lives by bringing an extra element of convenience to everything we do. Whether we’re looking for a quick and easy answer to settle a petty argument or checking up on the latest breaking news over morning coffee, the perpetual access to information has made modern living that much easier, none more so than when it comes to our dining habits.

There are hundreds of apps available to both iOS and Android users, which offer foodies and wine buffs alike access to information regarding the hottest restaurants and bars, and the best recipes. So we’ve gathered together some of our favourites that we think are worth downloading…

Evernote Food

Free on iOS/Android


Whether you’re looking for your new favourite restaurant or a recipe to wow the guests at your next dinner party, Evernote Food acts as your one-stop shop for everything food related.

The app acts as both a cookbook and rolodex of restaurants. It’s split into four sections; Recipes, Cookbook, Restaurants and ‘My Meals’, each of which represent different aspects of your culinary life.

The recipes section allows users to use keywords to scour some of the web’s best food blogs for recipes, each of which are presented with a picture and a link to the recipe, which can be saved into your own personal cookbook.

Meanwhile, restaurants scans your local area and displays all restaurants, takeaways and fast-food establishments in the immediate area, which can be saved to your ‘favourites’ with a simple swipe. If you wish to look for restaurants outside your area, there is also the option to search by location name.

Finally, the ‘My Meals’ section lets users take pictures of their creations and share them with friends over the network.



Free on iOS/Android

BarChick is an award-winning app that ranks some of the best bars in 60 of the biggest cities in the world. The idea behind the app is to direct users towards the drinking holes that have a little more character, class and charm than your generic JD Wetherspoon hovel.

When you first sign up to BarChick you’re asked to input your nearest major city and drink of choice and the app uses these details to pinpoint bars nearby that suit your requirements. It’s a quick, simple and (best of all) free to use, and even has its own ‘BarChick Bargains’ section, which collates any deals in your area, letting you in on happy hours, 2 for 1 deals and more.



Free on iOS/Android

The beer movement has been steadily building steam over the last few years, with more and more drinkers being turned on to the joys of cask ales and craft beers. Untappd is an app that taps (pun very much intended) into this growing fascination with fine beers by focusing on the best beers available in the local area.

The app scans nearby pubs and bars and tells users which beers are currently on tap, the beers can then be ‘tapped’, rated and shared via social media, where friends and followers can ‘toast’ your beverage of choice. You can even search for nearby breweries, earn ‘badges’ and add beers to your ‘wish list’ that you intend to try next.



Free on iOS/Android

Urbanspoon is a pretty ubiquitous app when it comes to restaurant ratings. Indeed, many restaurants can stand and fall on their Urbanspoon score.

It’s an incredibly simple app that exists primarily to help diners find nearby restaurants, but also functions in a manner akin to Trip Advisor, in that once you’ve dined you can leave a rating and review, which other users can use in order to make an informed decision. The app has over one million restaurants on its servers, from dinky little fast food establishments to Michelin star restaurants. The apps standout feature, however, is the ‘shake’ function, which allows you to literally shake your phone to randomise a selection, perfect for the indecisive eaters amongst you.

Restaurant Showcase – Mohujos Mexican

To showcase some of the hidden gems where you can use your Restaurant Choice vouchers, we will be interviewing the owners of our finest independent restaurants to find out a little bit more their delicious dishes.

First up is Mohujos Mexican Restaurant in Stockton on Tees run by the lovely Wendy. Let’s find out more!


Could you tell us a little about the history of your restaurant?

We opened in 2007. Research suggested Mexican Cuisine was going to be a growing trend over the following 5 years so we took a chance on it being a success. We did a lot of doorstep questionnaires to understand the needs and habits of our local market which really helped in the early days given that it was my first venture and I had no experience in the industry.

We wanted to focus on a fresh prepared menu with lots of flavour and local produce where possible, with a personal and friendly service in a relaxed environment. We have succeeded in sticking to our ethos to this day and get excellent reviews and feedback.

 Mohujos Chilli Dish

What initially attracted you to the idea of opening a restaurant?

I was made redundant from my Sales Managers job and wanted a complete change of career. It was a sweeping idea that turned in to my dream job!


Do you have a signature dish?

We sell a chicken Parmesan which is a local tradition in Teesside, we added a Mexican twist and it became our best seller. We have recently won an award for the best Parmo in the world and recently were mystery shopped by the Parmo Hunters on facebook who gave a glowing report and 5/5. Our signature Mexican dish has to be our pulled pork burrito.

 Jalapenos at Mohujos

What’s your favourite dish to prepare?

We do a Jambalaya Mexicana which requires careful preparation to ensure the right consistency and taste.


Do you have a variety of vegetarian options?

We have a fantastic variety of Veg dishes, including enchiladas, Fajitas and burritos – we use fresh vegetables and have the option of quorn. We also cater well for Gluten free.


Mohujos Salad

Is there a children’s menu?

Kids menu is 4.25 for Main, dessert and drink…includes mini versions of all our classic dishes.


What about your drinks menu – what are the favourites there?

We have an excellent range of exclusive Mexican beers such as Chilli beer, Mexicali and Red Pig ale. My favourite drinks are our margaritas and Mojitos.


Mohujos beers

Describe your restaurant in 5 words!

Fun, casual, friendly, tasty, authentic


Tell us a little bit about the décor and the inspiration for this!

It’s bright and colourful with lots of Mexican artifacts, blankets. Inspired by the Mexican culture and the big fuss they make of sharing meal times with family and friends.


Mohujos restaurant interiors

What’s the best piece of customer feedback you’ve ever received?

We have a Mexican lady who said our Sea bass Veracruz was as good as any she had eaten in Mexico and in general she gave us an authenticity stamp of approval on all aspects of our decor and food.


 Have you won any awards? If so could you tell us a little about it?

We won the Worlds best Parmo, were shortlisted for Restaurant of the year North East and Shortlisted for Gordon Ramsey’s F word.

 Delicious desserts at Mohujos

And a couple of fun questions!

Have you ever had any famous customers? If so could you tell us a little bit about that?

Yes, lots! Kevin Richardson, ex England/Everton player who is a coach at Newcastle United is a regular here as is Graham Kavanagh who played for Middlesbrough and is currently the Carlisle United Manager.




If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A fried egg sandwich with ketchup and black pepper.


If you could have a dinner party with 5 celebrity guests dead or alive who would you invite?

Marco Pierre White, Keith lemon, Richard Branson, Theo Paphitis, Bob Mortimer


Thanks for joining us Mohujos! If you’d like to find out more about this charming Mexican restaurant then visit the Mohujos website.




Unique Places to Dine – The Best Themed Restaurants in Japan

Tokyo is a city with a huge and varied population, and the varied demographics in the city are clearly reflected in the sheer number and variety of restaurants that it is home to. There are more than 160,000 restaurants in the city, serving almost every food that you can imagine. The most interesting restaurants, however, are memorable for more than just food. If you thought London had some fantastic themed restaurants then you’ll be astonished by Japan’s offerings.
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The World’s Weirdest Food Festivals

Food festivals are a great way to learn about an area’s culture, sample their favourite foods, and enjoy a party too. Most food festivals focus on locally grown produce and local cheeses, wines or other delicacies. If you’re looking for something with a bit of a twist, why not try a traditional food fight, celebrate your love of Spam, or head to Iceland to sample ram’s testicles and fermented shark? There’s a whole new world out there of exotic foods and food-related fun.
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The Best London Restaurants with a View

It’s hard to beat the experience of dining at a fine restaurant that offers a beautiful view. Gazing out at the sunset while enjoying a luxurious meal and a glass of wine makes for a wonderful evening. Here’s a quick look at some of the best places to go for a meal with a view in the London.


1. Galvin at Windows

Galvin at Windows view

This Michelin Star calibre restaurant is located in the heart of Mayfair. Diners can enjoy delicious British sea food while taking in the sights of London thanks to the breathtaking 360 degree views offered from the dining area. The restaurant is located on the 28th floor of the Hilton on Park Lane, and the views are spectacular on a clear day. Expect to spend about £70 per person.

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The UK’s best food and drink festivals 2014

Summer is fast approaching and with it comes an amazing array of food festivals to experience. Whether you delight in sampling the best seafood offerings or enjoy perusing the dishes of luxury restaurants, there is sure to be a festival for you. Here’s our guide to the best food and drink festivals in the UK.


1. The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival

16th to 27th April & 4th to 14th September 2014.

The largest festival in the south of England, this huge event plays host to over 300 food and drink businesses. It’s not just stalls showcasing incredible food that draws huge crowds but also the events that go alongside these two main festival dates. Restaurant week is one such popular events which allows diners to try special dishes and discounts at some of the best restaurants in the area.

Brighton Food and drink festivalPhoto Credit:


2. The Ludlow Food Festival

12th to 14th September 2014.

Featuring over 160 independent food producers from the local areas, The Ludlow Food Festival is an event not to be missed. There are also fun activities including demonstrations, food trails and others both in and outside of the castle. A great day out for a foodie family!

Ludlow food festival

Photo Credit:


3. Dorset Seafood Festival

12th & 13th July 2014.

This festival offers more than food alone, with competitions, celebrity chefs and demonstrations. Last year saw the exciting Dorset Young Seafood Master Chef of the Year competition alongside over 80 wonderful stalls. Keep an eye on the website for more information about the upcoming festival.

Dorset seafood festival

Photo Credit:


4. Feast London

2014 Dates to be announced.

Feast combines a wonderful mix of street food, music and art. Every year the festival turns a London venue into a beautifully atmospheric location for festival goers to experience. Previous events have been held all over London including Islington Square, Tobacco Dock and Brick Lane Yard.

Feast LondonPhoto Credit:


5. BBC Good Food Show

25th April to 30th November across various venues. See the link for more details.

Appearing throughout the year in 4 different venues, the BBC Good Food Show events offer something for everyone. The Supertheatre will see top chefs performing live onstage as well as sharing their secrets in live interviews. You can also sample and purchase fresh produce and speciality foods from a huge range of vendors.

BBC good food showPhoto Credit:


6. Leeds Food and Drink Festival

23rd May to 8th June 2014.

With last year’s show bringing over 60,000 food fanatics together to enjoy the festival, organisers have decided to make this year even bigger and better. Last year saw attendees sample amazing food from Leeds’ best restaurants and local farmers, as well as taking part in workshops and watching chef demonstrations.

leeds food and drink festiva

Photo Credit:


7. The Big Feastival

29th August to 31st August

Presented by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and musician Alex James, The Big Feastival is quite literally a festival! Set on a Cotswold farm, festival goers can camp out and enjoy a full weekend of food and festivities. Live music accompanies chef Q&A’s, live demonstrations and of course food stands featuring local producers. The festival also raises funds for The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation – even more reason to go!

the big feastival

Photo Credit:


Will you be adding any of these foodie festivals to your calendar?

Extravagent Easter – 9 of the Best Luxury Easter Eggs

Easter is just around the corner and this year there is no short supply of beautiful and extravagant chocolate gifts. Here’s a look at a selection of the finest luxury eggs, from delicate handcrafted pieces to playful picks for children.

Fortnum and Mason easter eggs

Fortnum & Mason – Hand Decorated Milk Chocolate Egg

Price: £39.95

Available at:

This adorable handcrafted egg is one of the simplest yet most beautiful choices on offer this year. Created with Tercentenary-blend milk chocolate and filled with chocolate shapes, this is a great buy for anyone who likes their Easter eggs simple and traditional with a dash of luxury.


Charbonnel et Walker easter egg

Charbonnel et Walker – English Rose & Violet Cream Dark Chocolate Easter Egg

Price: £35.00

Available at:

This is the perfect Easter treat for those who like to indulge in rich dark chocolate and beautiful floral flavours. Luxuriously presented and packaged, this egg follows the current trend of filling an egg with decadent surprises.


Chocolate Society luxury easter egg

The Chocolate Society – Gravity White Chocolate Egg

Price: £25

Available at:

For the white chocolate lover, The Chocolate Society have created this stunning yet simple Gravity Egg. This work of art is created with fine Valrhona chocolate and is accompanied by white chocolate truffles. The egg also comes in other varieties of chocolate, each equally as beautiful and unusual.


rebuchet giant chocolate rabbit

Trebuchet – Giant Chocolate Rabbit

Price: £39.99

Available at:

This quirky little guy is sure to be a hit with any child this Easter. Made from fine milk chocolate, this egg weighs in at almost 800 grams, making it a perfect present for a family to share.


Hotel Chocolat easter egg

Hotel Chocolat – The Facet Luxury Milk Chocolate Easter Egg

Price: £20.00

Available at:

This is a wonderfully sophisticated egg that would be perfect for any art and style lovers. Made with Hotel Chocolat’s chosen medium: 40% milk chocolate, this delicious egg features jewel-like patterns which add interest to a simpler chocolate base.


Farga Easter Egg

Farga – Dark Chocolate Easter Egg

Price: £39.99

Available at:

This gift from Farga not only contains a rich dark chocolate egg but also a sweetly decorated case that can be cherished for years. It’s a refreshingly traditional and simple piece that is sure to go down well with both children and adults alike.


Artisan du chocolat easter egg

Artisan du Chocolat

Price: £26.99

Available at:

If you’re looking for a quirky and unique egg this Easter, look no further than Artisan du Chocolat’s tropical inspired eggs. Shaped like carved coconut cocktails, these eggs are adorned with edible orchid, candied orange and a bamboo straw. Cheers!


Riverbank easter egg

Bettys Riverbank Egg

Price: £75.00

Available at:

This incredible handcrafted egg depicts a springtime scene complete with otter, mushrooms and moss. This is a truly covetable Easter gift and only 25 have been created, so if you want to indulge in this delightful little work of art you should order early.


Booja Booja champagne easter egg

Booja-Booja Fine de Champagne Large Easter Egg

Price: £22.99

Available at:

Buying dairy free, gluten free or organic doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looks this Easter with this stunning offering from Booja-Booja. These hand painted and varnished eggs contain dark chocolate and Organic Fine de Champagne truffles which add a touch of luxury.


Which of these luxury Easter Eggs tickles your taste-buds?

Dining Etiquette Around the World

Around the world people have adopted unique traditions and etiquette when it comes to dining. It’s important to respect these customs, so what kind of things do you need to be conscious of when you dine in another country?


Not all countries expect you to leave a tip after a meal, in fact in Japan it is seen as rude! China even has restaurants with a no tipping policy. This isn’t always the case though – in Portugal you should leave a tip of around 10%. Other countries like France and Italy tend to include a service charge but you can also choose to tip extra.

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