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    The Best of Brunch in Canterbury, Kent

    Brunch is Sunday’s saving grace.

    Whether you’re hungover and in need of some tender lovin’ care (of the food variety) or, you simply want to gorge on mouthwatering, fabulous food before your ‘diet starts’ on Monday, Canterbury is bursting with some great places to indulge in everything from scrumptious cakes and pastries to calorific pancakes and waffles.

    For anyone who is planning a visit to this charming city, make sure you check out at least one of these brunch joints:

    The Best of Brunch in Canterbury, Kent - Canteen - My Culture Craving

    Canteen

    Nestled down a cute, cobbled side street alongside the Cathedral, Canteen offers everything from zesty fruit smoothies and velvet-smooth frozen yogurt to melt-in-your-mouth Mediterranean flat breads and bulging burritos.

    Priding itself on each item on the menu being lovingly made to order from fresh, local produce, Canteen is the perfect hangout spot for a wholesome yet, healthy meal, which won’t leave you feeling like a sack of potatoes.

    The Best of Brunch in Canterbury, Kent - Cafe - My Culture Craving

    Mrs Jones’ Kitchen

    Based in the heart of Canterbury, Mrs Jones’ Kitchen provides great quality, honest food in a relaxing, light and airy environment.

    Whether you are craving a luscious, freshly baked slice of cake, a strong cup of aromatic coffee or a plate piled high with their hot dish of the day, this cafe serves up one of the finest (and best value) brunches in the city.

    The Best of Brunch in Canterbury, Kent - Food - My Culture Craving

    Chocolate Cafe

    Chocolate Cafe is a chocoholics haven.

    This Italian inspired cafe offers an extensive menu filled to the brim with naughty chocolate delicacies.

    From heavenly pastries and dainty truffles to chocolate-doused Belgian waffles and uniquely flavoured cakes, there is no question in where you need to go in Canterbury to get your daily chocolate fix.

    The Best of Brunch in Canterbury, Kent - My Culture Craving

    Cafe Chambers

    This American pancake house is my most recent discovery in Canterbury.

    Selling everything from extravagant stacks of thick, fluffy pancakes smeared in gooey maple syrup, berries and cream to unusually flavoured milkshakes such as, peanut butter, banoffee and gingerbread, each item on Cafe Chambers’ menu oozes pure American indulgence.

    With its diverse menu, fabulous view of the Cathedral and rich history, Cafe Chambers is a must visit if you’re in desperate need of satisfying that Sunday morning sweet tooth.

    The Best of Brunch in Canterbury, Kent - Restaurant - My Culture Craving

    La Trappiste 

    One of the most popular restaurants in town, La Trappsite is a Belgian inspired bakery/restaurant, which provides the very best in freshly baked bread, cakes and pastries as well as, gourmet slap up meals.

    Although this restaurant is busy all year round, during the summer months it overflows with customers flocking to the rooftop terrace to soak up the sun whilst sinking a crisp Belgian beer.

    Make your way here for a decent, strong coffee and anything from a croissant to a hugeeee bowl of moules mariniere. Nom nom nom.

    Where’s your favourite place to go in Canterbury for Brunch? Please comment, Facebook or Tweet me to let me know :)!

    Tapas O’Clock at Kazbar, Oxford

    As soon as my friend and I stepped into Kazbar on Cowley Road in Oxford, we felt as though we’d been transported into a rustic Moroccan bar… in Spain.

    The glass conservatory, which holds the bar, created the illusion that we were outside.

    Green ivy, foliage and twigs crept their way up the faded-mustard coloured walls and were draped in beads, flickering candle holders, pieces of fabric and random ornaments, which all contributed to the restaurant’s consciously shabby decor.

    Tapas O'Clock at Kazbar, Oxford - Decor - My Culture Craving

    Once we’d stopped ourselves from drooling over the cocktail menu at the bar, we were led through to the restaurant area, where the Moroccan charm waltzed up a gear.

    Tapas O'Clock at Kazbar, Oxford - Lamp - My Culture Craving

    Greeted by intricate, glowing lanterns of all shapes and sizes, which were randomly scattered throughout the restaurant, endearing large Spanish posters plastered tastefully across the ochre walls, strings of twinkling fairy lights dangling in the windows and shabby chic stone benches plumped up with inviting deep red, fluffy cushions. All of which, were topped off with cute, mosaic tables and grand, green potted plants, which both added to the al fresco dining feel of the restaurant.

    Tapas O'Clock at Kazbar, Oxford - Table Setting - My Culture Craving

    Tapas O'Clock at Kazbar, Oxford - Table - My Culture Craving

    Team all of this with the sweet smell of incense sticks and the mellow beat of flamenco music, and you’ve got yourself a Mediterranean haven.

    Tapas O'Clock at Kazbar, Oxford - Table Decor - My Culture Craving

    As I was driving, I couldn’t indulge in one of their mouth-watering cocktails or largeeee refreshing beers however, both the Fig and Vanilla Daiquiri and Marrakesh Express sounded particularly delicious (damn you driving!)

    Nevertheless, as there was no alcohol in the mix, this only meant one thing – we had to make up for it in food… and that, my friends, we did…

    Wanting to sample anything and everything on the menu (looking back, our eyes were definitely being farrrr too greedy for our bellies), we ended up choosing eight tapas dishes and a side of bread between the two of us. Ranging from tasty paella and fragrant beef tagine to succulent, paprika infused octopus and flavoursome gambas pil pil, everything was scrumptious and reasonably priced (approx £3-8).

    We left feeling as plump and round as the comfy cushions we reclined onto after we had finished stuffing our faces.

    Tapas O'Clock at Kazbar, Oxford - Tapas - My Culture Craving

    Whether you are looking for a chilled out bar to slurp on a cocktail or two and enjoy your surroundings or a restaurant to have an evening meal, Kazbar oozes relaxation yet, excites every one of your senses at the same time!

    Pop in and let Kazbar bring the Mediterranean to you… Surely that’s an offer no one can refuse?

    Have you ever been to Kazbar on Cowley Road, Oxford? What was your favourite part of the experience? Please comment, Facebook or Tweet me to let me know :)!

    A Taste of Mumbai in London

    When my friend told me that she had arranged for us to go for lunch at Dishoom, a Bombay-cafe inspired restaurant in Covent Garden, London I was over the moon.

    Loving anything and everything, which sparks my fond memories of my time in India, I headed to their website to tantalize my excitement even more. Once I’d browsed their menu, scanned their rave reviews on TripAdvisor and unraveled a lot of heartwarming memories of my time in Mumbai, I couldn’t wait to check it out for myself!

    After finding my way from Leicester Square tube station, I entered the restaurant to the strong, comforting smell of Indian spices and chai.

    The hustle and bustle of the restaurant instantly reminded me of the cafes in Mumbai… albeit, with a luxurious, modern and opulent twist.

    The rustic framed Bollywood photographs and original ads from Bombay newspapers, which line the walls, the low hanging filament lights that weave their way along the ceiling like black intertwined electrical wires, the traditional Indian silver water cups, which are stacked up on the table, just as they would be in a classic Indian cafe and the cabinets of authentic Indian toiletries in the bathroom, all bring the balance of tone, taste and tradition together, perfectly.

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Decoration - My Culture Craving

    And that’s before we’ve even discussed food and drink…

    As we hadn’t booked a table (go here for the restaurant’s terms on reserving tables), we had around a 40 minute wait. However, this just meant we had time to indulge in a tasty tipple at the bar downstairs beforehand.

    The restaurant is made up of two floors. The first floor, where the hectic open kitchen stands proudly, is more light, laid back, and suited for lunch. Whereas the downstairs, which houses the cocktail bar, is more dark, atmospheric and befitting for dinner.

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Kitchen - My Culture Craving

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Seating - My Culture Craving

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Restaurant - My Culture Craving (2)

    Whilst we relaxed at the bar, I ordered a traditional, spiced chai.

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Chai - My Culture Craving

    Looking back, I wish I’d pushed the boat out and tried one of their unique spins on the classic Indian drinks of chai and lassi. The Bailey’s chai and rose and cardamon lassi sounded divine however, I couldn’t help myself but stick with what I knew, loved and missed…

    The traditional chai was scrumptious and burst with the delicious taste and smell of an Indian, spice bazaar.

    Once we had been seated, we quickly reeled off the order we had been drooling over ever since we had set eyes on the menu. We then sat goggling at the other table’s food until ours arrived.

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Menu - My Culture Craving

    We started with the vegetable samosas (£3.10), which were crispy and jam-packed with flavour. We then followed with a selection of dishes to share – the mattar paneer (£7.50), chicken ruby (£8.20), masala prawns (£11.20), chicken berry Britannia biryani (£8.50)… all accompanied with a batch of garlic naan (£2.20) to mop up the heavenly sauces.

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Food - My Culture Craving

    A Taste of Mumbai in London - Curry - My Culture Craving

    Although everything, which touched my palate was exquisite, the chicken ruby was just… WOW. The combination of succulent moist chicken and a deep rich, flavoursome sauce was out of this world. I completely understand why this dish is a recommended favourite at the restaurant!

    We left Dishoom not toooo worse for wear on the money front and very happy that we weren’t overly full… a feeling, which I’m sure we can all vouch for, usually happens after a hefty Indian.

    If you are looking for some great quality Indian food with attentive and bubbly staff and a buzzing atmosphere, then make sure you head to Dishoom!

    They also serve hearty, traditional Indian breakfasts from 8am-11.30am on weekdays and 9am – midday on weekends. Check out their menu, here.

    And, if you don’t happen to be in the Covent Garden area, they also have restaurants in Kings Cross and Shoreditch.

    Enjoy, and let me know how the Bailey’s chai are… I’ll definitely be popping back in for one of those babies!

    Have you ever been to Dishoom in Covent Garden? What were your favourite dishes? Please comment, Facebook or Tweet me to let me know :)!

    A Day at The British Museum, London

    On Sunday my friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a fun day out in London. Being a little strapped for cash, we needed something to do, which wouldn’t stretch our budget… so, we thought, what can we do in London for free? Museums!!

    After much debate about which museum to go to, we gathered our archaeological tools (aka. our coats and coffees) and headed to the grand British Museum.

    Encasing some of the most fascinating historical antiques from human history, The British Museum is an educational, awe-inspiring and compelling place to visit.

    Housed in an architecturally stunning building, which is adorned in magnificent Greek pillars, this museum holds over 8 million artifacts! Ranging from Egyptian mummies, Chinese ceramics and Greek sculptures to Viking relics, Japanese fashion and Asian Buddhas, here, there is plenty to keep you busy and entertained.

    However, with the ample amount of antiquities to see, it is difficult to fit everything in. Therefore, I would advise doing some research into the different sections of the museum before arriving. This way, you can ensure you don’t miss out any of the areas you are most interested in seeing.

    We managed to wander around the Egypt and Asia rooms in around an hour and a half…

    Admiring the mammoth amount of Buddhas (I was in heaven) and educating myself on the enthralling history of mummification, I came away brimming with historical facts and information… and I hadn’t even skimmed the surface of what the museum has to offer!

    The British Museum, is an enlightening experience. It gives you the chance to learn a huge amount about the heritage and lives of our ancestors as well as take a peek into the history and culture of some of the countries that are visited so frequently today, which, when travelling, I think is just as essential as your passport.

    So, if you’re in London, head to The British Museum and get cultured! It is open from 10am – 5.30pm daily and entry is FREE!

    Nearest tube station – Tottenham Court Road.

    Have you been to The British Museum? If so, which was your favourite section? Let me know :). 

    Tequila, Burrito, Por Favor – Club Burrito, Canterbury

    When I visited Canterbury a couple of weekends ago, my friends and I made the most of being back on student turf and did what students do best… we ‘painted the town red’ two nights on the trot (woahhhhowow).

    However, after an alcohol fueled night on the Friday, we awoke on the Saturday morning feeling a little worse for wear and desperate for something stodgy to soak up the remaining cider sloshing around in our stomachs.

    Therefore, keen to make the most of being back in Canterbury, we trudged our way into the city centre, in search of salvation – of the food variety. Having heard a lot about the delicious and affordable burritos, at one of Canterbury’s newest restaurants ‘Club Burrito’, we thought we would check it out. Carbs – check, cheese – check, meat – check… we were always going to be a bunch of easy to please customers.

    Nestled down one of Canterbury’s quaint, cobbled side streets, Club Burrito sticks out like a sore thumb. With its wacky rodeo-esque sign, vibrant colour scheme, quirky graffiti drawings, kaleidoscopic fairy lights and rustic outside seating area, you can’t help but be enticed by this restaurant’s eccentric, Mexican charm.

    The inside of the restaurant has a chilled out hostel vibe. The bar is lined with vibrant bottles of tequila, vivid coloured soft drinks and Mexican inspired beers and spirits, whilst the walls are plastered in rustic panels of wood, interesting pictures and traditional, brightly coloured masks.

    Club Burrito, Canterbury - Inside - My Culture Craving

    After admiring the eclectic decor, it didn’t take us long to find our way to the counter.

    Laid out like a posh Subway, you order at the counter, watch as they create your heavenly Mexican mix of yum and pay there and then – perfect for when you don’t fancy waiting around for your food (or, when you’re hungover and hungry).

    With a choice of burritos or tacos and a filling of beef, chicken, pork, veggie and toppings, you’re bound to be spoilt for choice. Whatever you choose, everything on the menu is £6.50 (50p extra for guacamole) and of a substantial size. They even serve the burritos wrapped in cute personalised paper and cradled in adorable baskets (it’s the little touches).

    Club Burrito, Canterbury - Burrito - My Culture Craving

    Despite being a little bit messy to eat (I looked like a starved warthog as I devoured mine), my chicken burrito was ‘delicioso’ and really hit the spot. My friend even went back for seconds!

    As well as being a hip place to chill out for a spot of lunch, Club Burrito also hosts a diverse range of exciting events. From open mic nights and live bands to club nights and poetry readings, there’s something for everyone at this upbeat saloon.

    So, head over to Club Burrito for a couple of cocktail potions, a tequila slammer and some slurred poetry…

    I’m hoping next time I visit I’ll be feeling a little more up to sampling one tequila, two tequila, three tequila… four?

    Find out more on their website or on their Facebook or Twitter page.

    The UKC Bucket List – Part One

    Having graduated from the University of Kent in July, I have spent the last 2 weeks (Freshers) in a state of depression. No longer does my life consist of drinking snakebite, going out on weeknights, ordering dominoes as a ‘midnight snack’, waking up at noon and struggling to make it to 4 hours of seminars a week. It consists of a 9-5 job, early nights and the occasional glass of wine when I feel I’ve really ‘earned it’.

    Facebook status’ about ‘heading back to Uni’ and ‘Fresherrrssss’, snapchats from friends who have another year left at Uni, photos of Wednesday nights at Venue (Vensday) and the sinking feeling I get when I remember I can no longer get student discount at Topshop or New Look, feel like salt being rubbed into my very deep post Uni wound.

    When it came to my last term of University, I could suddenly hear a time bomb ticking in my ear – I hadn’t done half of the things I had planned to do whilst living in Canterbury.

    Everyone has a bucket list of things you ‘must do’ whilst at Uni – Frosty Jack’s challenge, join a society, kiss a stranger, prank your housemates (scattering a whole yellow pages across their bedroom floor, abducting their beloved toy, duck taping their bedroom door, filling their bed with flying saucers and labeling every item in their room with sticky notes… to name a few), steal a road sign, dress up in outrageous fancy dress costumes, buy a pet, the list goes on and on (check out this link for more bucket list ideas).

    Anyways… these are all things, which students want to do because, lets face it, Uni is the only place where you can do it without being labeled an alcoholic, lose a friend or get arrested.

    However, in my last 6 weeks of Uni, my biggest concern was that I hadn’t experienced everything Canterbury had to offer. Therefore, I wrote a bucket list of everything I needed to have seen and done before I had to reluctantly leave. And for all of you lucky UKC freshers out there, here it is! Some of these may be obvious and others not so much (number 2) – I have split this post into two parts as it is rather long… I hope it comes in handy!!

    Canterbury, UK - My Culture Craving

    Walk around the Cathedral

    I know this is a given however, you’d be surprised by the number of people I met in my third year who had never been into the Cathedral! Its architecture is breathtaking, its grounds are calming and peaceful and its crypt is endearing/a little creepy.

    My male housemate and I (guys, it doesn’t make you any less ‘cool’ if you go into the Cathedral voluntarily) used to wander into town (usually to put off writing our essays) and  meander around the Cathedral, learning about its incredible history and envisioning the idyllic wedding we could have if we got a first in our degree (okay, that was just me, and I didn’t get a first, but just imagine it…).

    Entry is free for students who are studying in Canterbury, so you have no excuse!

    Try and get tickets to the Christmas Carols in December as well, they’re free and in high demand but it’s just magical.

    University of Kent Bucket List - Lazer Rush - My Culture Craving

    Laser Rush in Whitstable

    Don’t get too excited.. but YES there is a Laser Tag just a 20 minutes drive from Canterbury!!! When I was told this valuable piece of information, my inner child jumped for joy. I LOVE LASER TAG.

    At just £4 for one game, £7 for two games and £9.50 for three games, it won’t stretch your vodka fund and is something a bit different to do before a night out or for a birthday etc.

    University of Kent Bucket List - High Street - My Culture Craving

    Do a pub crawl

    This one is pretty self-explanatory – go to as many pubs in Canterbury as you can before you graduate! Some of my favourite pubs are: The Cherry Tree, The Parrot, The Kings Head, The Dolphin, The Three Tuns, The Old Buttermarket and Spoons (obvs).

    Apparently there are around 30/40 pubs in the city. How many can you tick off your list?

    University of Kent Bucket List - Siesta - My Culture Craving

    Go to Siesta (a shop opposite La Trappiste)

    This shop sells everything I love.

    Incense sticks (Ganesh is my scent of choice), Buddhas, Aladdin pants, precious stone rings, meditation CD’s, worry dolls, singing bowls… I could go on forever. My point is, if you’re weird like me and adore everything cultural and spiritual then you have to go to this shop! I used to go here every time I was in town and will, without a doubt, be visiting this weekend as I am back Canterbury. Eeekk I’m so excited!

    University of Kent Bucket List - Co Co and the Butterfields - My Culture Craving

    See Coco and the Butterfields live

    Coco and the Butterfields are an up and coming local ‘fip fok’ band (a mix between folk, hip hop, pop and rap) who can be spotted busking on Canterbury’s high street, playing gigs in local pubs and bars and this year, playing at Glastonbury festival (congrats guys!!) Consisting of a violin, banjo, beat boxer, guitar, chello and singer, they are a one of a kind band.

    I’ve been lucky enough to see them live three times now. They are energetic, out-there, engaging and so so SO fun! Make sure you see them while you can… as I have no doubt they will be huge in no time!

    They have performed during Worldfest on the University of Kent campus for the past few years and have also played at The Ballroom in town. Check out their website here to find out more.

    SO, get exploring and stay tuned for part two!

    See you tomorrow Canterbury 😀 😀 😀

    4 of my Favorite Restaurants in Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire

    Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the surrounding area are home to some of the most highly esteemed restaurants in the country. From Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck in Berkshire to Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin star restaurant, Le Manoir in Oxfordshire, there is adventurous and exquisite food in arms reach of my front door… food, which unfortunately, I can’t bloomin’ well afford (wait until I’ve got into full swing of this employment malarkey, I will treat myself to a meal at one of these restaurant… for blogging purposes only, of course).

    However, in the mean time, my family and I have become experienced in the art of hunting down restaurants in the area, which deliver quality food at an affordable price. Here are our picks of the best restaurants close to our home village, Brill:

    The Angel Restaurant, Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire

    This may be a slightly biased choice as I have worked at The Angel Restaurant for over 6 years now however, I have no doubt that the restaurant’s regular diners would agree that eating at The Angel is a culinary delight.

    Known for its outstanding selection of fresh fish, charming character, beautiful conservatory (especially when their Christmas decorations are up) and friendly and attentive staff (if I don’t say so myself), dining here is a must if you’re in the area!

    Whether you are looking to enjoy a refreshing pimm’s on the terrace during the summer or snuggle up next to a roaring log fire during the winter, The Angel is a memorable experience all year round.

    With meals ranging from £12 – £28 (for the fillet steak) and a great value set menu on offer during the week (two courses for £10.95, three courses for £15) there is no excuse not to check this gem out.

    Dishes you must try: The Thai spiced lobster risotto, twice baked blue cheese souffle, smoked haddock (main course) and chocolate fallen angel.

    The Mole and Chicken, Easington, Buckinghamshire

    Set in the tiny hamlet of Easington, The Mole and Chicken is blessed with scenic views, a homely atmosphere and top notch food!

    I have never been disappointed by the food at this charismatic restaurant and my family and I continue to go back here as often as possible (or, as often as one of us will agree to be designated drive… soooo not as often as we’d hope).

    We went for a meal here last week for my Sister’s birthday (I pulled the short straw… no wine for Lydia) and the food was just as scrumptious as ever!

    Although the food may seem a little pricey, it is well worth the set back and is a small percent of what you would pay at one of the Michelin restaurants close by.

    Dishes you must try: The confit duck salad, steak (the sauces are, stick your finger in the jug and lick the plate, yummy) and shoulder of lamb.

    The Sir Charles Napier, Chinnor, Oxfordshire

    If you’re a fan of Made in Chelsea, you may recognize this restaurant from the scene when Richard takes Kimberley on a first, ridiculously extravagant, date.

    However, this restaurant has A LOT more to offer than it’s Made in Chelsea claim to fame and helipad, one of these things being its well deserved Michelin star!

    Nestled among the secluded Chiltern Hills, The Sir Charles Napier provides mouth-watering, quality food in an idyllic setting, at an affordable price.

    Although their a la carte menu may appear pricey (as would be expected from a Michelin star restaurant) they offer a set lunch and dinner menu from Tuesday – Friday at the unbelievable price of £19.50…. I KNOW!

    Whether enjoyed among the unique sculptures (by Michael Cooper) that are dotted around the restaurant or on the blooming veranda, which fools you into thinking you’re in the South of France, the food is so exquisite it doesn’t really matter where it’s eaten!

    Dishes you must try: The haddock and cheese souffle, John Dory and chocolate and orange pave with salted caramel ice cream and popcorn… put your tongue back into your mouth and stop drooling…

    The Pheasant, Brill, Buckinghamshire

    Overlooking the fabulous windmill, The Pheasant is the perfect place to relax with a crisp glass of wine and watch the sun set over the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire.

    Although The Pheasant is a lot more ‘pub-like’ than the other restaurants and the service is more laid back, the food is delicious, wholesome and not pretentious (basically… people like my greedy Dad don’t go hungry) and can be enjoyed looking over one of the best views in Bucks!

    Dishes you must try: The fish sharing board, pork belly and pie of the day (great value and big enough to feed a small army).