Friday, 29 March 2019

Bay's Kitchen Stir In Sauces

Bay's Kitchen make low FODMAP handmade stir in cooking sauces, made from the best ingredients, with no preservatives, or additives.   The sauces are vegan and gluten free and suitable for IBS sufferers and those with digestive problems and sensitivity.

Hayley (Bay) started the company in 2016, after being diagnosed with IBS and was frustrated she was unable to find suitable products, so decided to make her own and hence Bay's Kitchen was born.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, carbohydrates and sugars the small intestine struggles to breakdown and digest.  Hayley goes into detail on her website about the trials and tribulations of following a FODMAP diet, which I think is useful to sufferers, so I have included a link here.

I kicked off with the Jalfrezi curry sauce, using it as an accompaniment to spiced potato, mushroom and cauliflower kebabs, as I wanted to taste the sauce independently.

The sauce, unlike some ready made products, looks like something you would make at home, although I had concerns about flavour, with no garlic or onions.

However I was impressed with the fresh flavours and whereas many curry sauces promise spice but fail miserably, this had a proper good kick of heat from the chilli flakes, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I tried the tomato and basil sauce next, with spaghetti served with cauliflower and cannellini bean balls.

When I opened the jar I got a huge waft of tomato, it smelt really good and like the curry sauce more like a homemade product, so a good sign.

I made a simple dish of spaghetti al pomodoro so there was nowhere to hide, with other flavours to mask the tomato and basil sauce.

The sauce was delicious and better than other ready made pasta sauces I have tried, which can be thick and gloopy, with an artificial flavour.

Last was the sweet and sour sauce, served with roasted cauliflower and toasted cashews.

I have to admit I am not a lover of sweet and sour, yet I was pleasantly surprised, the sauce was very tasty, although a little too sweet for me,

I think the sauces are a brilliant product for people suffering from IBS, those following a FODMAP diet, or have sensitive digestive issues.   I love onions and garlic and would find it difficult to manage without and I can understand how difficult it must be to source suitable products, so Bay's Kitchen sauces must be a godsend for those affected.

Disclaimer:   I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Fellpack Lake Road Keswick 23rd March 2019

Fellpack pride themselves on their food and drink, using locally sourced ingredients, balancing classic flavours with a twist. 

I chose to dine at Fellpack, as they have a decent selection of fabulous sounding vegan dishes on the menu, unlike some places.

I enquired about vegan friendly wines prior to our visit and received a quick response, so I chose a bottle of Panul Chilean Merlot to begin.

To start we had olives and Moroccan spiced houmous to share, though Steven left the bread for me to eat, but I had to leave some to make room for mains.   The houmous was packed with flavour, lots of texture with the hazelnuts and the olives did not wimp out, they had a powerful punch of chilli.

Mains were mushroom roast for Steven and tagine with falafels for me, great choices although to be honest I think all the vegan dishes would be crackers.

The dishes were scrumptious, each element perfectly cooked and marrying well with other ingredients on the plate, this is a chef who knows how to cook and put flavours together and as much thought goes into his vegan dishes as any other.

I was too full for dessert, so had to pass on the pear crumble as I was fit to burst, but I bet it was awesome if the other dishes were anything to go by.

Would I go back to Fellpack, you bet I would, it is highly recommended.

The Square Orange St Johns Street Keswick 22nd March 2019

The Square Orange is a cafe bar in the middle of Keswick, offering everything from coffee and cake during the day, to pizza and tapas in the evening. 

I was happy to see vegan options on the menu, so whilst on a weekend away in Keswick it was the perfect opportunity to visit.   There is no booking system at Square Orange, its a first come first serve basis, so we had a drink at the bar, but the staff had it all under control and we were sat down within about thirty minutes.

I enquired about vegan friendly wines prior to our visit and was impressed how quickly the owner came back with the information, so I chose a very nice bottle of Mezza Corona Pinot Grigio.

We shared patatas bravas and vine leaves to start, with the patatas packing a proper punch of chilli in a top notch tomato sauce and the vine leaves were very tasty too.

I chose a simple Marinara pizza for mains and a Marinara with artichokes, mushrooms and vegan cheese on for Steven.   Steven although not coeliac would normally choose gluten free, but finds if he keeps gluten to an absolute minimum, he can tolerate pizza once in a while.

The pizzas were fantastic, a lovely crisp base, not too thick or doughy, plenty topping with an excellent tomato sauce full of flavour, we could not fault them.

I emailed the owner to say what a great experience it was and thank her for catering for vegans and I received this amazing response.

I am so happy to hear that you had such a positive experience and the food and wine were up to scratch.   To be hones I think the more we can head towards veggie/vegan the better, as that is realistically what needs to happen to sustain the planet, so more than happy to embrace it.   Watch this space on the vegan red wine.

I highly recommend Square Orange, it is a buzzing informal venue, with great food and ambience and obviously others agree, as the place was packed.

Mrs F's Fine Food Emporium Main Street Keswick 22nd March 2019

Mrs F's Fine Food Emporium is a cosy tea shop, where you can sit and read a book, colour at the craft table, buy collectables or vintage clothing.   I did not get a photo of the exterior, as it was raining stair rods, but on entering you feel like you have stepped into an oasis of calm, I loved it.

I was pleased to find they cater for vegans, with two kinds of cake and a soup of the day, which happened to be parsnip, apple and celery, although I had already eaten, however cake was too hard to resist.

I ordered a peppermint tea and a slice of spiced apple cake and sat upstairs, to dry out and relax.

The cake was scrumptious, light and moist with a hint of spice and chunks of apple, it went perfectly with my peppermint tea, served in a big pot so you got plenty.   I had been suffering from a terrible cough for a few days (and not slept either) and a lady, who I can only presume is Mrs F brought me a glass of water, as she had heard me coughing and spluttering, that's service for you.

I loved Mrs F's Fine Food Emporium and will definitely return when next in Keswick.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Sandburne Vegetarian Guest House Chestnut Hill Keswick 22nd - 24th March 2019

Sandburne was formerly the home of Donald Watson, founding father of The Vegan Society and his wife Dorothy and on a visit to Keswick, there was nowhere else I would rather stop.   Sandburne is now owned by Anthony Hazzard, Donald's son in law, who caters for vegans and vegetarians and those with added requirements like gluten free or allergies.

Sandburne is just outside Keswick town centre, in a peaceful and quiet location, with plenty of parking and a bus stop nearby, if you do not want to drive or walk into town.  There is a lovely garden surrounding the house and gorgeous views overlooking Keswick, with the mountains in the background.

Guests are welcome to use the sitting/breakfast room, to listen to music or simply relax and enjoy the views.

There is also a sitting area, at the top of the stairs, with comfy seating, magazines and books to read and memorabilia about Donald, with photos and his nature diary dating back to 1929.   I found this area of particular interest and I sat and wondered what would Donald think of how veganism has progressed since his death age 95 in 2005, he would be amazed.

We stayed in Revelin, a large twin room, again with fabulous views, a lovely seating area, plenty of room and everything you could want, including a modern bathroom with a powerful shower, a necessity after a long walk on the fells.

There is a well stocked tea tray, with individual pots of soya milk, although Anthony provided oat milk for me, snacks, chocolate, dressing gowns and extra bedding.

You order cooked breakfast the night before,  but you have a wide selection of cold buffet items to choose from too, including fresh squeezed orange juice, various cereals, fresh fruits, seeds and nuts, fruit compotes, yogurts, every kind of sauce, conserve and nut butters.

The breakfasts are substantial, a perfect fuel for a day on the fells, using lovely fresh ingredients and a colourful picture on a plate, so you wanted to dive in and eat, the food was scrumptious.

I loved the glass ornament on the window ledge, the sunflower being the symbol of The Vegan Society.

We loved Sandburne, Anthony is the perfect host, with a wealth of knowledge of the area and it was interesting to hear snippets about Donald and Dorothy too.   I cannot recommend Sandburne highly enough, our stay was faultless and after a long walk, to return to the tranquil peace of Revelin was priceless.   I am already looking on our calendar for a return visit in the summer.