Tag Archives: Dining

Three Blackbirds, Woodditton


Using vouchers in restaurants and pubs can be an embarrassing experience. An ideal venue will subtly acknowledge your voucher, take it to the till and return quietly with any queries.

If you turn up to a chain restaurant without an available discount code then “more fool you!” Why pay more than the table next to you for exactly the same meal and service. This is similar to Groupon vouchers, if other diners are in the same restaurant, enjoying the same menu but paying less then you should be embarrassed for not being “money-smart” not for holding an A4 voucher.

Recently, we dined at the Three Blackbirds, Woodditton. With it being the “eve” of my birthday and having tweeted the pub about my trip on numerous occasions I was really quite excited!

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I want to bypass the meal to tell you about the voucher code horror but credit where it’s due, the food was tasty.

My paté starter was huge and had a gorgeous texture and flavour. I then had the fish and chips. Big portions and tasty but it wasn’t exceptionally better than dishes at other pubs in the area. I do wonder if pubs should reduce prices during the week as you are certainly not paying for the buzzing atmosphere. The fish and chips were a very reasonable price, costing under £11.00. Excluding vegetarian dishes (and the steak options) the average main course works out at £15.03. A price that I think is suitable for a Friday – Sunday meal and evenings entertainment.

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Despite purchasing the three course Groupon voucher we were too full to opt for a dessert so simply had one of their rich and delicious coffee’s instead.

Time for the bill…

It turns out that when on the Groupon mobile app you have to scroll to the very bottom of the page, past the fine print and even under the map (!) to see that it says the voucher will only be valid if you mention it when booking.

There were just three tables occupied on the Tuesday evening that we visited. “Emailer” and I presume bar manager, Joe told us that this was the protocol due to availability on the night. The cynic in me can’t help but wonder if that means you are given a separate menu or smaller portions… but I am sure that’s not the case.

Rather than honouring the voucher as the iPhone app did not make the clause clear AND it was my Birthday (!) Joe continued the rather humiliating charade by going upstairs for 5 minutes to print out the web version which did clearly state this comment! Thankfully the pub was now empty so this was all only witnessed by my partner. Poor Gareth never has been “one” for voucher codes so was practically under the table whilst thrusting his credit card in the air just wanting to pay and leave!

I feel it is unfair to somewhat negatively review a venue without contacting the team after the event. Joe has since said that he will contact Groupon to make sure the mobile app version is clearer and that I can have a glass of “bubbly” on my return. I appreciate that this was partly my fault due to my misreading of the bizarre mobile app layout but I really think that on this occasion, any complaints from the pub could have been directed to Groupon rather than affecting us.

Where does this leave me? Well I do still have a valid Groupon voucher, the food is tasty and the 17th century pub itself is gorgeous. With this in mind, when I have stopped blushing I will return as I would quite like to try more options on the menu.

Don’t worry though, I will remember to tell them about my Groupon voucher before hand!

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Cottos, Cambridge


With a plethora of family-run, chain and bistro style restaurants, it is not hard to find somewhere to dine near Cambridge but if you want an eatery that can proudly boast wonderful ‘ locally sourced food” in a friendly and intimate location then you may have to dig a little deeper.

Haven’t got time to do that? Just read on…

Cotto’s, Cambridge with Master chef Hans Scweitzer.

“Our traditional handcrafted way using natural ingredients.”

A hidden gem situated on East road, Cambridge. I highly recommend Cottos for its locally sourced and perfectly seasonal dishes!

The staff are polite and happy to supply a steady, constant flow of their homemade selection of buttery and delicious bread once you have enjoyed your bubbles and intricate canapes.

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Cottos is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. 3 courses costs £50 with an extra £5 charge on a Saturday evening.cotto

Each member of our party thoroughly enjoyed their dish. The scallops in particular were delicious! Why not stretch your courses even further. Hans expertise in chocolate means that the chocolate desert dish is one not to miss. It’s certainly big enough to share between two and means that you can also order the plentiful and proudly British selection of cheeses! Mmm, Wobbly Bottom!

Images courtesy of the Cottos Website: http://www.cottocambridge.co.uk/

Kings Restaurant, Newmarket


This Valentine’s Day I was surprised to a meal at Kings Restaurant in Newmarket.

When dining out in my home town I want to feel like I am being transported to a destination far away from the betting shops, worn-out pubs and drunks on the Newmarket high street. With the restaurant being so close to Unique bar I am always impressed with the tranquil and luxurious atmosphere Kings succeed to create. 

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The waiting staff are passionate and attentive and this is an attribute that the manager is very proud of. Rightly so too, it wasn’t just on Valentine’s Day that we were treated so well. Just before Christmas we enjoyed an evening meal at Kings and were equally as impressed with the menu, staff and atmosphere. 

The conservatory space is now chic and contemporary with a new viewing gallery into their spotless kitchen. We were so impressed with our meal at Kings Restaurant on Valentine’s Day that we will be returning this Friday with friends. I hope that the service and food is as fantastic for a table of 6 as it is for a table for 2. 

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I must admit that our next trip to Kings is fueled by a voucher from Groupon! Pork Belly, Tofu or Salmon for two for £13.00! I am sure we will be adding starters, desserts and a continuous flow of red wine to our bill but their menu always proves to be great value for money.

With it being Valentine’s Day I resisted from taking snaps of my food. The presentation was great and the taste even better!

The set menu cost £42.50 per head:

Valentines Menu

Amuse Bouche
Pea Veloute with Mint Foam
oOo

Pressed Ham Hock Terrine 

wrapped in Parma ham sleeve, quail egg & grain mustard cream
Red Onion Tart Tatin,
glazed goats cheese, pickled walnuts
oOo
Chef Prepared Citrus Cured Gravalax,
avocado emulsion, pink grapefruit
oOo
Roasted Rump of Lamb
with herb crust dauphinoise potatoes, carrot puree, wilted greens, port wine jus
Roasted Supreme of Chicken,
ballotine of leg stuffed with basil & pancetta, pomme fondant, roasted cherry tomato sauce
oOo
Assiette of Desserts To Share
chocolate delice, pistachio crème brulee, praline parfait honeycomb sauce

 

Photo’s taken from the Kings Newmarket Restaurant website: http://www.kingsnewmarket.co.uk/