Friday, 7 March 2014

Fine Dining at The George; and Other Great Restaurants in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Living in a quaint yet atomspheric English market town has so many perks, and I just love making the most of Stamford's unbelievable array of quality restaurants... Even if we do have fish fingers queueing up in the freezer to be eaten at home.

The George of Stamford is a well-renowned, traditional and historic hotel with two beautiful restaurants for fine-dining, and a gorgeous cosy bar with a large open fire in the winter.   

The Garden Room Restaurant at The George

The Garden Room's relaxed and informal, yet still elegant environment is a total favourite when Richard and I feel we have something to celebrate. Lushious plants and colourful orchids fill the rooms, with beautiful mirrors and floral artwork all around.

Following our exciting skiing trip to Alsace, my mum gave us a voucher for the Garden Room - to thank us (aww). So we headed off to another excellent experience at this wonderful, quality restaurant (plus I wanted to celebrate getting my new car!)

This time I decided to branch out a little from my usual 'steak and chips' and have the half lobster with spaghetti, chilli and lobster oil. It was delicious! Perfectly cooked and so extremely tasty (Richard tucked into a steak as usual).

The menu at the George is seasonal and incorporates a great range of seafood, meat dishes, and vegetarian options, including pasta dishes also. Price ranges are around £16-£28 for a main meal and portion sizes are very generous. The wine selection is excellent, my favourite being a velvety rich glass of Malbec.

We absolutely love Christmas at the Garden Room also (see pictures below).

The George also has a more formal restaurant called the Oak Panelled Restaurant, which is famed for its haute cuisine. It is a great option for an exclusive and extremely refined experience. 

Stamford's other fabulous restaurants include:

The London Inn - For Pub-grub with quality and a unique twist - the hot dogs are fantastic, huge and extremely tasty! 

Morello - An authentic Italian restaurant in a cute little side street, with low beamed ceilings and a cosy interior

Mama Liz's - A funky Cajun style affair with live music in the Voodoo lounge (a Victorian wine cellar beneath the restaurant)

The Cosy Club - A quirky, modern, yet retro restaurant with a mix of traditional food on the menu as well as different options such as the delicious Tapas

The George Hotel at Christmas

The George Hotel at Christmas - Courtyard

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Chocolate-Box Beauty of Towns & Villages in Alsace & The French Vosges

Colmar Old Town

After a number of holidays skiing in the French Vosges, I still haven't managed to stop myself reaching for my camera at every opportunity...

Conveniently sat in the passenger seat driving through a quaint mountain village, or wandering past the gorgeous colourful little beamed buildings of Strasbourg or Colmar, my camera finds its way into my hands and starts clicking away in every direction. The stunning towns and villages in this part of the world really are reminiscent of perfect model villages, or historic film sets, with the added bonus of sumptuous patisseries, biscuiteries and boulangeries literally on every street corner - and no starbucks!

Traditional Winstub Restaurant - Colmar

Colmar Old Town

Alsace has a complex and interesting history, with parts of it having belonged in Germany and France intermittently throughout the last few centuries. The traditional food and drink of the region reflects this, for example the locally produced Reisling wine, and deliciously sweet and salty Bretzels. French cuisine and patisserie is abundant of course...

Strasbourg Train Station - Historic Architecture Meets Modern

Stasbourg Centre in the Afternoon Sun

The skiing in the French Vosges mountains is a fairly well-kept secret from us Brits and is a great alternative to expensive and busy high-profile resorts in the Alps. There are a range of resorts - the largest and most varied being Gerardmer with its 40km of runs spread over 20 pistes and great amount of choice for beginners and intermediates.

Richard and I nearly always used to stick to green runs - almost never testing our comfort zones - but a couple of days at this lovely spacious and friendly resort had us skiing reds in no time.  

For practical information, and things to see and do in Alsace-Lorraine and the French Vosges mountains, visit the Alsace Page