The T2 tea box

T2 help me get my tea on. Soya style.

I’ll admit that talking about coffee is not the most normal way to start a post about tea. However, I’ve never been called normal in my life and I’ve got no intention of starting now, so grab a seat and let’s have a chat over a cuppa. You know when you go into a coffee shop and order ‘a latte please, with half-whole milk, split quad shots, a shot of decaf, no foam and a squeeze of caramel’? Then they look at you and say: ‘Sure, no problem.’

I think you know that secretly, deep down, underneath that Middle Class, almond juice infused, lentil pasta covered exterior you know that’s a bit weird. Yeah, I thought so. There isn’t a single other drink that people contaminate on such a regular basis in such odd and complicated ways. I mean you wouldn’t do that to a cup of tea would you? I would never pollute a lovely cup of tea with something so abnormal or strange as soya milk, for example. Why is it even called milk for goodness sake? It’s never seen a cow in it’s unnaturally long shelf life. No, that’s not for me, not a chance. No way.

…Or so I thought.

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inamo, Camden – review

Not too long ago I saw a whole family sitting in a restaurant checking their phones over dinner. That’s both parents, plus all 3 kids, staring at their own little glowing glass screens for over 30 minutes solid. Now, I’m not here to judge them – I have no idea of their personal circumstance, perhaps these moments of quiet reflection spent enjoying the never-ending torrent of self-esteem destroying news feeds and twitters streams are a welcome relief from all the chat chat chat they do at home. But I suspect not. Imagine my amazement then when I came across their perfect restaurant, the one place that contained everything they needed. That’s right, a restaurant with computerised interactive tables complete with ‘fun’ activities and games so nobody has to speak to anyone else ever again! I couldn’t wait to see what I had been missing.  Would this fulfil my every edible and social need rolled into one not-quite-affordable package?

SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t. At all.

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Binn Smokehouse Logo

Binn Smokehouse – Buckingham; review

I’ve been very excited recently about Buckingham’s recent welcome onto my local eating consciousness with Nelson Street leaping to the heady heights of my ‘Places Rob tells people to go for a posh dinner out without spending enough money to make a Russian oil oligarch cry’, and that’s a very popular list let me tell you. But, that’s not where the fun ends, oh no. Because Nelson Street is only one half of Louis and Tom’s most excellent plan to haul Buckingham up by it’s blue rinsed, Daily Mail veined trouser braces. They have also decided that we need a new smoke house. And do you know what? They’re right.

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Milton Keynes dessert Kaspas icecream cones

Kaspa’s Desserts restaurant comes to Milton Keynes; holy crêpe!

From waffles and crépes, to chocolate fudge cake, crème brûlée, icecreams and milkshakes, there’s something really comforting about a good dessert.

The thing is, with the exception of a few places we’ve reviewed on TwoMenAboutTown, a large chunk of the restaurant trade of both chain and independent variety source sweets ready-made from suppliers, charging a silly amount for the fuss of sticking a refrigerated pre-made brownie on a plate with a scoop of icecream. Desserts are an art form that kitchens struggle to cope with or find time for, instead opting to focus on their appetisers and main menus, often far too big for their own good.

My blogger-in-crime RobsRibs has said many times that Milton Keynes is in dire need of a good pudding restaurant – even proclaiming to one day open one himself – something to take on the pre-made and homogenised dessert menu world, or at least that seen in Milton Keynes. With this in mind then, would Kaspa’s hold a torch to the big man’s vision and fill a sweet-void, or would it fall by the wayside? Independently, both Rob and I headed down within the last week under the radar to check out what Kaspa’s Desserts is all about.

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Nelson Street

Nelson Street – Buckingham; a review of Fine Bistro Dining

Some people have been known to say that there is a distinct lack of posh dining in and around North Buckinghamshire. Some people have been known to rant a bit too much after a few too many (small) glasses of social beverage about the lack of choice in fine dining restaurants available within easy driving distance of their house. Some people are likely to get into arguments with people they don’t know on Twitter about their insistence on confusing ‘expensive’ with ‘worth the money’. Well, those people should just go ahead and shut their smart mouth because Nelson Street has decided to invite itself to the Buckingham Fine Dining party.

The truth is that generally speaking, Buckingham hasn’t been exactly world famous for it’s culinary credentials up to now. For those of you who haven’t ventured that far out, Buckingham is about 20 minutes west of MK and while as we all know, Milton Keynes has it’s own chain-related problems, it has been undergoing a quiet and steady improvement process with Camerons, the Antep Kitchen among others hitting up some very respectable plates, and that’s not even mentioning the burgeoning street food and food festival scenes. But, Buckingham? Well, with an average population age of 154* I think it’s safe to say that they don’t exactly embrace change.

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Browns logo

Browns, Milton Keynes – Review

Milton Keynes is blessed (and I use the word only politely) with almost every chain restaurant the UK has to offer and I’ve probably eaten in pretty much all of them. We are the seeming growing go-to destination of choice for companies looking to stretch out of London with Smashburger and a Revolution De Cuba scattered amongst the bazillion Nando’s but then who can also forget the amusing if unfortunate Chimichanga incident of 2016? So some might suggest that it’s not 100% bad news. In fact, despite the over indulgence of Bella Italia and GBK’s I’m going to say it; some chains are ok – cue gasps of horror from all my hardcore foodie friends (I’m looking at you Mike…). In fact, I’m going to go further, some chains are positively nice (oh no, I may have gone too far. Mike is already on the speed dial arranging an intervention). I stand by that though, it’s true, it’s because food is entirely subject to the context of when and how you eat, or drink it. And of course, who you eat and/or drink it with. So it was with no pre-conceived opinions and only a hunger for a good plate of grub, I entered Browns* to see which side of the pitch they were kicking from.

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