Friday, 7 June 2013

#Challenge2013 - May

I have gained a number of new readers recently, so I feel it is a good opportunity to recap on what Challenge 2013 is.  It was my 'New Years Resolution' to force me to expand my pallet a bit; to never order the same meal out (dish) twice in a restaurant, pub or cafe in 2013.

In an attempt to counter some of the excesses of April, I spent a disproportionate amount of May at home, cooking, running and generally trying to stay in a bit more.

This did not however stop me from venturing across London to and find these Gems at Southbank Realfood Market:

These juices not only make a great display but are simply divine and stuffed full of natural, goodness.  I opted for Orange and Cranberry juice and it really was like nothing I have ever tasted before - a true taste sensation.

There is a plenitude of other drink vendors, from Bean About Town, a french coffee producer to Meantime Brewery, an independent Greenwich-based Brewery at South Bank Market but this one has to be my favourite (yep, it even beats the coffee).





In terms of food, one of the great things about South Bank is there is something to suit all tastes and budgets; from about £5 you can have a tasty, unusual, healthy or slightly indulgent lunch.  Last time I went I opted for a middle-eastern style falafel flatbread with minted yoghurt dressing.  It was delicious, low calorie and kept me going all afternoon!

In addition to the price and range of food available at South Bank market, it's location truly provides an enticing reason to visit.  A stonesthrow away from London Waterloo station, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, South Bank market is at a prime location for a touristy afternoon, a trip to the theatre or to go and book tickets for something wonderfully independent at the BFI.

The Press Room, Surbiton
This is a lovely, independently owned coffee shop located near Surbiton train station.  It is without question slightly more expensive than its chain rivals in the town, but my goodness is the coffee worth the extra!  Everything about this cafe is lovely; from the furniture to the drinks to the ethos.  They run a fantastic scheme where you can buy an additional coffee and put it 'in' so local big issue sellers or someone who is homeless can redeem this and get a hot drink. I truly would be interested to know how they get the word out about this - do they take coffee to the streets?  I really would welcome answers.

The Press Room is also where I discovered Lumberjack Cake.  Of course being a cake it is not calorie free, but this is lower than many.  Lumberjack cake is apple and date cake with a coconut topping.  It therefore has no buttery icing and the moisture from the apples and dates compensates for some fats usually found in cakes.  I calculated that a piece of Lumberjack Cake will have up to 200kCal less than a piece of Victoria Sponge, Carrot Cake or other favourites.  No it is not a 'healthy' discovery per se, but a good food swap if you need a cake fix and would like to save a few calories!

Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Somewhere I usually avoid as it is the sort of place where 'no' ceases to become an easy word, and this visit was no exception.  It was a friday, it had been a long week at work, and my goodness did I feel guilty for having both a burger AND a milkshake.

The burger of choice was a Wild Boar Burger in a Brioche Bun.  Wow.  Just Wow.

However, I had cycled over 20 miles the day before so this alone did not fill me up so out came the bit which really got me out running the next morning... a truly unhealthy Eton Mess Milkshake.  This is a "special" in the Kingston branch of GBK and special it was.

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