Three places you should eat in Derry

We were last in Derry over three years ago and the food scene has completely evolved in such as short amount of time. It looks to have become such a foodie place with a massive emphasis on using local ingredients. There are so many different places we were dying to try out but sadly we couldn't fit them all in which means we're just going to have to book a trip back next year. These are my three favourite restaurants we managed to try.

Pyke N Pommes seems to be a Derry institution and the food truck is based along the Quay. But they've recently started serving their food in the Blackbird pub so you don't have to eat your burger in the rain! As soon as I glanced at the menu I knew I was going to opt for the Legendary burger with a side of crispy sweet potato fries. The burger was a little too well done for my liking but it was still absolutely delicious. The Wagyu beef patty topped with addictive pickled red onions, american cheese, juicy tomatoes and fresh lettuce. A beast to eat and I had to cut it in half to try and eat it ladylike...We also went back a separate time for a drink so I can recommend the gin selection too. It always makes me happy when I spot a bottle of Sipsmith on my travels to remind me of home!

The Grillroom restaurant at Di Vinci's
We were lucky enough to be invited by the Visit Derry tourist board to enjoy a meal at Di Vinci's hotel. Thank you to you both! Offering a traditional menu, we tried their new Spring dishes. I had a yummy tomato bruschetta to start. Piled high with fresh chopped tomatoes and drizzled with a green pesto sauce, it was the perfect introduction to the menu. I couldn't get enough of the parmesan chips that came with the main course - I could have eaten at least two bowls! A more detailed review is coming within the next few weeks so keep an eye out.

I have been desperate to make it to Harry's Shack in Portstewart for about a year and was all booked in to finally tick it off the list. But on the Thursday before we were due to be in Derry, the brand opened a new restaurant in the city. Five minutes walk from our hotel. It was fate so I quickly canceled the Portstewart one and booked us in the Derry one. It was absolutely incredible. Specialising in seafood, I opted for the Lemon Sole for my main with a side of the creamiest mash I've ever tasted. The deconstructed lemon and blackberry meringue was just the ticket to finish off one of the best meals I've had.  I would go back in a heartbeat and it's top of my list next time I'm back in the city.

Exploring Europe: Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Ireland is place very close to my heart. I've been three times now and each time I fall more and more in love with the country. It helps that my boyfriend has family over there who are the best tour guides and hosts, taking us to all the great places and letting us into secrets. Thanks Brendan if you're reading this! On my trip last week we hired a car and set out to see the stunning Causeway Coast and spot a few Game of Thrones filming locations along the way.

If you're a GoT fan, you'll notice that this is in fact the Iron Islands. The home where Theon Greyjoy received a lukewarm welcome after coming back from Winterfell and the scene of his baptism. But if fantasy TV shows aren't your thing then make sure you come here anyway. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been too. The clear blue sea, the waves crashing against the rocks and the stunning scenery blew me away. I could have clambered over the rocks for hours but alas our bellies were rumbling and dinner was calling us.

On a sunny day, I imagine it's the perfect place to settle down on one of the rocks, enjoy a picnic and admire mother nature.  Next time I'm back in the Emerald Isle it's going to be top of my list of places to visit. Definitely add it to your list if you're ever in that part of the world - pack some trainers as those rocks can get slippery!


Restaurant review: Honey & Co, Fitzrovia, central London

Middle Eastern food is fast overtaking Vietnamese as my favourite cuisine to eat, so I was all over it when it was suggested we pop to Honey & Co to try their breakfast. For a mere £16.50, the table is presented with a selection of meze, breads, olives, pickles, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit and homemade jams. Then everyone gets to choose their own eggs. It's one of the best value breakfasts I've had in London. The amount of food included is INSANE.

Highlights for me included the incredible addictive ashura grain cereal packed with sweet caramelised nuts topped with tart greek yogurt, the creamy hummus drizzled in olive oil and the delicious green Shakshuka with two Cornish eggs boasting a blinding orange yolk. I wish I had room to have it all over again. And again. And again.

A tiny restaurant tucked in what seems like no man's land in central London, Honey & Co is like eating in someone's living room. It's a tad annoying that you can only have the table for 90 minutes as I believe Middle Eastern food should be drawn out to be enjoyed. But alas, that's what you get when you dine in such a popular restaurant - we booked brunch three weeks in advance. The food was absolutely delicious, the staff were attentive and now I'm frantically trying to get my hands on their cookbook to try out their recipes at home.


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