February round-up
February 29, 2016

End of the month again and in less than a week it’s HOLIDAY time. I’m not quite sure where February’s gone. There may not have been loads of posts, but there’s definitely been some good ones (well I think so anyway).

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll have noticed a few changes in Feb – more recipes, a new section on places we’ve stayed, and a new little friendship I’ve got going with the guys over at The Gastro Card. All are exciting and with it coming up to around a year since I properly started Eat with Ellen, it feels like things are getting better and better.

Eating Out in February

My first review with The Gastro Card was a trip to Marco’s New York Italian at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport where, I have to say, we were rather impressed. The food was well executed, the service impressive, and they’ve done a great job of helping you forget you’re in an airport hotel next to a dual carriageway.

Salmon steak at Marco's New York Italian

Next up was an overdue trip to the recently-refurbished Star & Garter in Leamington Spa where we tried out their grill night on a Thursday. Steak, steak and more steak, although I have a promise from Mr M that he’s going to start branching out in his choices,  so watch this space.

Steak & chips at the Star & Garter, Leamington Spa

And finally, probably my February fave – The Karczma in Birmingham. I’ve heard so many good things about this place and trust me, they’re all true. It really is a gem in the heart of Birmingham. I’ll be back, there’s a stew with my name on it.

Meat pierogi at the Karczma, Birmingham

February Eating In

I said I’d be including more homecooked food on the blog, and I certainly have done this month. Not all cooked by me, of course, but homecooked all the same.

It may have been a while after Christmas but I wanted to feature my mum’s mincemeat slices. They’re a delicious way of using up mincemeat from Christmas, but also a great pudding you can make all year round.

Mincemeat slice

Next up was some cooking I actually did myself. I know, right? I whipped up a lemon posset for a Sunday dessert and served it up with some Joe Delucci’s gelato we were sent to try.

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And my final February post, in case you missed it, was a little collection of pasta recipes Mr M and I made using some pasta from the guys at Garofalo. I’m not the world’s biggest pasta fan but I have to say, this revived my enthusiasm for it. Here’s the creation we made using salmon, creme fraiche and oyster mushrooms.

Pasta with oyster mushrooms and salmon

Other Stuff in February

As I mentioned, this month was the first time I included a place we’ve stayed at, telling you all about our little New Year retreat to a Shepherd’s Hut near Welshpool. I decided to start including some of these places because for us, and probably for you, our foodie adventures often tie in with our travels around the UK so it seemed to make sense to share them with you.

Shepherds Hut

Needless to say, we had a wonderful time hiding away in our little Welsh hut and will definitely be going back. Plus, it means we’ll probably be able to make a return trip to the Smoke Stop, one of my fave January reviews, which we stopped at on the way.

What’s coming up

Tomorrow, I’m lucky enough to be off to a wine lunch at The Cross in Kenilworth where I’ll be eating some of chef Adam Bennett’s fabulous food and trying wines from French wine producer Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné. Excited much!

As in case I get the post-lunch blues, I can look forward to jetting off on our holidays this week. A week skiing in Italy which no doubt will include plenty of eating as well. We had some fabulous food last year in Sauze d’Oulx including the wonderful L’Ortiche. This year we’re off to a different place but I’ve got no doubt the Italians will live up to our expectations.

And of course there will be plenty of other places to try, from places in Warwickshire near me, to a few of Birmingham’s faves. Lots to read, so plenty of reason for you to check back.

Have a wonderful March peeps. Would love to hear your thoughts on the blog so feel free to comment or get in touch. Oh, and if you’re thinking of getting The Gastro Card you can get £5 off with the coupon code EatWithEllen. Go on, you know you want to 😉

Some of the meals and products featured in this blog have been sent to me to free to review. You’ll see full disclosure at the bottom of each blog post.