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Places to wine and dine

This last month has been rather busy, but with a snow day- or a snowed in weekend in this case, there is no excuse for me not to pop out a post! :-)

So has anyone kept up with Veganuary? I was working away all February in Newmarket, so although I would have liked to, eating out everyday and not having access to the kitchen made things a little more tricky!

Breakfasts and lunches however were 99% vegan, the occasional cheat of cheese, but vegan where possible.

Dinner too was mainly vegan, cheese creeping in once again though.

It was my first time working and well living in Newmarket so I made the most of the restaurants it had to offer.. and well I found some great ones! :-)

I thought I would share with you some places to try if you ever head to Suffolk.. With Bury and Cambridge a stones throw away too and offering some tasty spots, why not explore!

I sampled everything from Mexican, British, Italian, Indian, Thai and Italian.. with so much choice I was spoilt! The Newmarket gin, cocktails and bars were good too.. but that is another story (I recommend you head to "Kings" for Cocktails and happy hour) ;-)

Depending if you are on a budget or if you want to have a more refined evening, there is something for all.

Here are my top Five:

  • "El Guaca", Mexican food- quick, tasty and not bank breaking, I ate here quite a few times as it was less than a minutes walk from the hotel (handy after a few beers and tequilas). The atmosphere is relaxed, well with a party feel.. Reggaeton music and Mexican hats if you'd like - so yes up my street! Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten free options available too. Dishes can come with an extra kick too, if you are crazy like me and like it HOT!

  • "Symposium" Authentic Greek food done well. I love Greek food and the menu for both vegetarians and vegans alike was diverse. I really enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere.. it literally felt like I was on a Greek island sitting in there, and that was not the result of the wine, however that was lovely too!

  • "Wildwood", Pizza, Pasta, Grill and more. I didn't think it would be my thing but there are some great Gluten free and Veggie options! I was trying to be the "non awkward vegetarian" among the group, hence ending up here.. but I am glad I did. I sampled the risotto's and salads...not feeling the pizza or burgers- although some good veggie options. The other seafood and meat dishes friends had looked tasty too! Average prices in a cosy atmosphere, would definitely go again:-)

  • "Thai Street Cafe". There are a few Thai places in Newmarket, unfortunately I did not have time to sample both and compare.. however this one has a diverse menu. You will not be left feeling hungry, they like to feed! I very much enjoyed the cocktails and speciality gin here too ;-) (Well it was a special occasion after all haha). They do a budget lunch menu too- which friends did recommend, although I didn't try it, I can imagine it's good after eating dinner here...

  • Fifth and final, and my favourite.. is a joint one. "The Tack Room and The Pantry" offering a partner menu at the two venues. One conveniently located just below my office.. great for brunch, lunch, cocktails and tapas. (Yes I can comment as I tried it a few times) the other, The Tack Room I went for both lunch and dinner. Definitely a more upmarket setting (something I like) surrounded by the stables, a real Newmarket, Horsey setting. The staff are very attentive and know how to treat the clientele, the atmosphere is relaxed and you suddenly start using your posh voice ;-)

Oh the food! The menu is refined and delicious, I went first in January when I was doing Veganuary and there were a few options, dessert was even especially made to suit my vegan requirements- bonus points there! The menu includes both regular prices and set menu deals to make it more affordable, or if like me, you do not mind paying a little bit more for the experience then those options are available too.

In and around Newmarket I also visited "Pho" in Cambridge and "Zen" in Bury... more tasty food from the globe, but a few I didn't get to visit which are on my to do list are, "Giggling Squid" in Bury, "Pack Horse Inn in Moulton and "The Weeping Willow" in Barrow. Looks like I will have to visit again soon then ;-)

Oh how I wish I was still there.. instead I am back home and back to my kitchen. A nice feeling getting to cook again but this subzero weather has frozen the gas! So cooking without a stove is a little challenging. I am missing spring too, this weather has meant no getting in the garden and prepping for this year. With this freak weather who knows how much produce we will get this year!?! It is not looking hopeful so far :-/

So life at Leewoods so far this year has been rather different, not so much focused around food but instead the weather... with the Leewoods slopes getting a test run today. I have never in my life been skiing but my snow day gave me a chance to practice. Snow drifts have meant over 1ft of snow in some parts of the garden.. not ideal day to day, but to go out and play in - PERFECT.

Have you been out and enjoying the snow? Or sensible staying inside and baking?

I think I should stick to cooking and baking.. what do you think? ;-)

So with all that said and done, I am very much looking forward to Spring now and some sun- How is it March already? and why do we still have winter:-(

Spring means the start of the food calendar for me (and hopefully some food and veg prep in the allotment). Events this month and next to ease me into the exciting year ahead ;-) Roll on March!!

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