From time to time the pigs need a bath. They really don’t like it but twice a year needs must and the boys get a good shampoo and rinse.
The Andalusian is one of my favourite places to eat in Carlisle. I just love tapas and The Andalusian has the widest range I’ve found. There are two tapas choices £6 each/3 for £16 and £7 each/3 for £19 but of course you can mix and match.
What we ate: Deep fried brie coated in bread crumbs and served with sweet chilli sauce. / Salt and pepper squid deep fried in a crispy batter and served with garlic mayonnaise. / Hand cut chips. / Jalapeno peppers filled with cream cheese, served with sweet chilli sauce & garlic mayonnaise.
I also recommend the creamy chicken strips, pil pil prawns and the Andalusian nachos.
What we drank: It was my friends birthday so I asked the barman to make us something special. The birthday cocktail was fresh, fruity and sweet! We may have had a couple of glasses of wine afterwards..
Although The Andalusian is not cheap the quality is excellent and they do offer a great deal on main meals on Sundays where you can get two courses for £12.95 or three for £16.95. The menu has also recently been expanded to include thin crust pizzas which I am sure I will get to sample soon!
Meet our boys: Mark and Jez. They are 2 1/2 year old guinea pigs named after Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show. Jez (top) is white and ginger and very fluffy while Mark (bottom) is black, white and ginger with a smooth coat.
Jez is a bit ditzy while Mark is very calculated. He likes to jump from high heights while Jez prefers to play it safe.
They both love spinach and squeak whenever they think they might get some – whenever we open the fridge or when the timer goes off on the oven.
They really are characters and “popcorn” when they get over excited. They also like to run at full speed around the kitchen and live in a huge three story cage. They don’t like their leads and always manage to wriggle out of them. One day we’ll have a garden that they will be able to run around in!
Recently I was fortunate enough to win a voucher for a meal for two at The Conservatory Restaurant in The Crown Hotel at a charity night hosted by Belle Wedding Boutique. The Conservatory Restaurant isn’t somewhere we would normally choose due to it’s location just outside of Carlisle in the pretty little village of Wetheral. I had to drive! However it was nice to try somewhere we might not have visited otherwise.
On arrival we were seated in the lounge where our drinks order was taken and we were given appetisers which included tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and a selection of nuts.
We were then taken to the main restaurant which looks out onto the beautifully pruned gardens of the hotel. For my starter I chose chicken caesar salad which was fresh, crisp and enjoyable. We were then given a mango sorbet which was thick and very tasty. My main was sole with mussels, prawns and squid. Again I thoroughly enjoyed it and was very pleased with my choice.
Instead of dessert we opted for tea and coffee as our two courses were more than enough for an evening meal. The bill was just over £60 which was very reasonable as it included our drinks (a large glass of wine, two glasses or orange juice and a bottle of still water) and I really couldn’t fault the service.
Overall we had a lovely dinner, enjoyed the food and were impressed by the attentive staff.
Thursday saw the launch of Reef Club upstairs in the newly refurbished Walkabout Carlisle. The company have spent £500,000 on the venue and have also made improvements to the food menu and outdoor space.
The red carpet was rolled out and we were given a glass of fizz on arrival. Carl Hull provided the music for the evening and some of the food, like the new mini burgers, was available to sample.
Downstairs there is more of a laid back cafe feel with a new wooden bar which rolls forwards in waves and a circular VIP area beside the dance floor. Upstairs features fairy lights over individual wooden booths and projections of underwater scenes.
On the whole Walkabout has undergone quite a change. I still don’t see myself heading there on a night out but I would be more likely to pop in for lunch, to watch the football or catch some live music.