Archive for the 'Bistros' Category

Sprinkles Gelato – Finchley Road

Reviewed on September 20th, 2015 by Dina

Even though it was fairly early on in the day, when friends got together, ice cream was on the agenda. Sprinkles Gelato looks like an American diner with its red cushioned booths.

What struck us the most was the lovely aroma of waffles that was filling the whole of the cafe. On the menu, there were some breakfast items but who wants them when freshly made waffles and crepes can be had!

It took us a while to decide exactly which waffles to have; chocolate, Nutella, strawberries, Oreos, made the decision even harder. What we didn’t anticipate was the size of the waffles at Sprinkles Gelato. Each waffle was freshly cooked and hence it took a little longer for us to be served. But it was well worth the wait.

Soft, warm waffles with the signature SG Sprinkles Gelato stamp was presented to us. The Strawberry Creation waffle had toppings of chopped strawberries and chocolate sauce. The other waffle of Nutella and Cookie was topped with crushed Oreo cookies, sliced banana and Nutella spread. All the waffles came with the most delicious soft vanilla ice cream. The waffles, toppings and ice cream were dessert heaven.

For drinks, Sprinkles Gelato do coffees, teas and milkshakes. The Ahmad Mango Magic tea was wonderful with its delicate mango flavour. It was great that it could be served with hot soya milk on the side.

The staff gave friendly service. The place was kept clean and tidy. When asked about the fruit, it was good to know that the fruit had been washed when prepared for the waffle toppings.

Sprinkles Gelato has a big range of gelatos in their counter. While we were there, many people were coming in for their takeaway gelatos. It seems like it would also be a busy place in the evenings when sweet treats are wanted!

Sprinkles Gelato, 4-6 Northways Parade, Finchley Road, London, NW3 5EN

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Bliss Lane Tea Room – Flore

Reviewed on July 25th, 2015 by Dina

Motorway journeys can be good at times but it can depend on a varying number of factors. Even though the motorway service stations have improved over the recent years, they are not the most exciting of places.

A friend had a great idea for a recent journey. To make sure a proper break was had, my friend suggested why not make a day of the journey and stop over at a nice place or sight along the way. Hence the idea of doing lunch with a friend that I had not seen for a few months came into play.

Less than five minutes from the motorway is Bliss Lane Nursery in Flore. Down a small cul de sac lane leads to Bliss Lane Farm. Chickens roam in their area, lambs can be seen on the farm and it’s all so close to the car parking area. The little lane takes you up to the Farm Shop and to the Tea Room.

Bliss Lane Tea Room was welcoming and homely. It had a traditional feel to it. There were cakes on display in the counter fridge and the menu had sandwiches, breakfast, scones, pasties, soups and salads.

The decaffeinated coffee was served in a mug with hot milk on the side. It was nothing fancy but exactly what I wanted. As it was lunchtime, the Tea Room started to fill up.

The plain omelette was absolutely perfect. Soft on the inside and just slightly crispy on the outer. The quality of the eggs made this simple dish absolutely wonderful. It was served with some tasty coleslaw, root vegetable crisps and salad. It beat any service station sandwich!

The staff were really friendly and gave such nice service. All the food was cooked fresh to order. Even when we inquired about gluten free options, the staff did go out of their way to check the ingredients. They also had gluten free cakes as one of their chefs was coeliac so had been trying out gluten free recipes.

Lunch was made complete with a sweet treat of a currant slice. Packed full of currants on a buttery pastry made it a tasty dessert.

Bliss Lane Tea Room is a hidden gem and one that will definitely be returned to if I am passing by. It is highly recommended with its fresh food, friendly faces and a relaxed atmosphere. It makes me think that there must be many more places along motorways that should be sought out.

Bliss Lane Tea Room, Bliss Lane Nursery, 34 Bliss Lane, Flore, Northants, NN7 4LJ

Rating: ★★★★★

Sawmill Cafe – Stratford

Reviewed on July 12th, 2015 by Dina

When one member of Rate My Bistro gave a surprise visit to the other, the only thing for it was to go out for cake and coffee! At last, we got to go to Sawmill Cafe together especially after one of us had been saying what a wonderful cafe it is and that it would easily become a favourite.

So many cakes and sweet treats in sight are all displayed beautifully in the window. Savoury food such as wraps, pizza, quiches, pastas, soup and stews are all behind glass fronts. It is refreshing and greatly appreciated when cafes have their food covered or behind counters. To this day, we still don’t understand why eateries choose to have self service food rather than it being served. As you can probably tell, we prefer the latter as it is more hygienic.

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There is a real cuteness about Sawmill from the garlands of little lights hanging, the shelves of plants, stack of logs, the exposed brick walls to the wooden stools and benches. The staff are really friendly and give service with a smile. They don’t rush the customers even when it comes close to closing time.

Choices, choices, choices for the range of cakes and for the drinks. The honey cake was chosen and once you take one bite of this cake, you just want more. Alternating soft thin layers of the sweet honey cake and fresh cream make this irresistible.

The coffee comes in either one shot or two. The decaffeinated Americano with hot soya milk was creamy and smooth. There are lots of teas, juices and smoothies also on the menu.

All of the food is made fresh at Sawmill and they use seasonal produce. The cakes are baked in store and the quality of all the products is high.

Quality time between the Rate My Bistro team was spent at Sawmill and it sure is a firm favourite. The only hard part is to decide when to visit again. Hopefully in the weeks to come as it will be hard to leave going to Sawmill for a longer time than that.

Sawmill Cafe, 51 West Ham Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4PH

Rating: ★★★★★

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