Alabama's All American Eatery, Ashbourne, Breakfast, brunch and lunch ideas, Climpson and sons coffee, Dog and Gun in Keswick, eating out, Eating out in Ambleside, Eating out in Keswick, Eating out in Manchester, Federal Cafe Bar, Jach Rabbits, Keswick, Manchester, Merienda, Northern Quarter, RAWR Juice and Superfood Bar, Shrewsbury, the best places to go for coffee, The Bird's Nest
Everyone who knows me knows my love of food surpasses everything else, even make up and I’m constantly looking for new places to visit. We recently discovered the Northern Quarter in Manchester and this has happily filled a number of hours as we tick off another new coffee shop, café or restaurant. I can’t tell you the joy I find, much to my Husband’s amusement, when I discover a new venue as it means I can spent an inordinate amount of time studying the menu so I can decide what to order when we visit.
That being so I thought it would be fun to pass on my recommendations and if you’re ever visiting one of the places listed you can always pop in and see if you love it as much as me.
Best for Breakfast:
Federal Cafe Bar in Manchester is always our first choice when it comes to breakfast as not only is the food great value, but the dishes are much more interesting than most other places we’ve come across. With Federal you need to get there early otherwise you won’t get a table as this place gets absolutely rammed by mid-morning. The ‘Shrooms and halloumi is my all-time favourite breakfast, but the French toast is a worthy second option if you prefer something sweet.
My favourite place for breakfast and coffee in the Lakes is Merienda, which is located in the centre of Keswick. We visited last November and having spent all week wanting to go for breakfast we finally managed to pop in on the last day of our holiday and then just before we left the Lakes the next day. The interior of this coffee shop is really cool and the Monmouth beans they use make the best Mocha I’ve ever tasted. Out of the two breakfasts I tried the Burt’s breakfast sandwich was my favourite and I will definitely be having it again the next time we visit, as well lots of coffee and cake!
Best for Brunch, Lunch and dinner:
Alabama’s All American Eatery in Manchester is a recent discovery and it seems to be incredibly popular judging by how busy it was when we went mid-morning on a Monday no less. Be sure to go on an empty stomach as the portions are epic here. Having already exceeded my diet limit the day before I decided to go for the healthy option and ordered a salad of chargrilled pear, blue cheese, walnuts, quinoa and chicken and even this was too much for me. The Husband went for the more interesting option of savoury French toast (ham and cheese) with blueberry compote…I know it shouldn’t work, but like blueberry pancakes and streaky bacon it most definitely does.
A special shout out also has to go to the staff and the service here as they were very efficient and although they forgot my chargrilled pear they gave us some free fries to make up for the mistake. So with big portions and very reasonable prices on offer we’ll definitely be back as I want to try their blueberry pancakes next time as well as study their menu some more as it’s a really good one!
One of my favourite places to visit in Shrewsbury is a little café located in the market hall called the Bird’s Nest. It’s been a while since we last visited, but judging by how much it has expanded business must be going really well for them, which is what you always hope for. We decided to stop off for a bit of lunch and I’m so glad we did as we normally go for breakfast and the best marmalade sausage sandwich, but we’ve definitely been missing out when it comes to the lunch menu. We both went for the focaccia sandwich with manchego cheese, salami, rocket, pickles and slaw, and at £4.50 it was cracking value and incredibly tasty.
A recent trip to Ashbourne resulted in us finding a brand new place to try called Jack Rabbits. This light and airy cafe serves the most amazing omelettes, but in the end we opted for one of the specials; a ciabatta with cheese, pastrami, mustard and pickles along with a side salad and some vegetable crisps. A bit more expensive than then the Bird’s Nest at £7.50, but they have great coffee and I love the plates and cups so I didn’t mind paying a bit more.
If pub meals are more your thing then the best pub meal in my opinion can be found in the Dog and Gun in Keswick. When I think of the Dog and Gun I think of cosy fires and the rain, but whatever time you’re in the Lakes you have to visit just to try the Beef Goulash or my favourite the beef lasagne, and both come with the best garlic bread I’ve eaten. This pub is dog friendly so if you like dog watching, you’ll love it here. To read more about Keswick click here.
Out of all the restaurants I’ve visited the Old Stamp House in Ambleside still remains my all-time favorite restaurant. In terms of service, price and food this restaurant can’t be faulted. The tasting menu we had last year still remains one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten and at £35 per person it is worth every penny. I can’t wait to return. See my full review of the Old Stamp House here.
Best for coffee and healthy food:
One of my favourite places to visit for coffee is a little café called RAWR Juice and Superfood Bar, which serves the most amazing coffee, juices, smoothies and raw food. As well as serving healthy food their honesty, knowledge and integrity shines through and you know you can trust that you’re getting the real deal.
My personal favourites include:
- Bulletproof coffee (with coconut oil and butter!)
- Mint hot chocolate
- Pear of Gingers fresh juice
- Low GI toast
- Feta sandwich
- Raw chocolate orange cheesecake
Raw also stocks a lot of the ingredients I use on a daily basis like coconut flour, coconut oil, maca powder, cacao nibs and powder as well as the Climpson and Sons coffee so it’s really handy that I can get everything I need while I’m grabbing a coffee. You wouldn’t think a coffee shop could be a dangerous place, but RAWR is definitely a dangerous place for me and my wallet!
Which menus do you like to read and which are your favourite restaurants?