q I Love Belle and Herbs

Crunchy Fridge Cake

October 10th, 2005 by Elly

Elly’s Fridge Cake
Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

I’m a big fan of Fridge Cake. Any Fridge Cake. Bits of Biscuit, Dried Fruit and Glace Cherries, coated in Chocolate and left to set… It’s yummy!

Black Forest Panini

October 10th, 2005 by Elly

Black Forest Panini
Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

When we went into Belle and Herbs today, I didn’t really feel hungry enough to tackle anything the size of their sandwiches, so I decided to try one of their paninis – which I’d not done before.

The Black Forest Panini contains a fantastic mix of Smoked Ham, Melted Cheese and Sliced Green Apple, served with both a green and a pasta salad. Any of these ingredients on their own would have been wonderful. Together they were amazing.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

October 8th, 2005 by Meri



More Lemon Curd Cake!
Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

I don’t tend to be a big fan of cake. It’s often too sickly sweet for me, so I tend to pass. This time, however, since Elly was dead keen on the chocolate cake, I thought I’d try this lemon curd layer cake.

I was very very pleasantly surprised. It was moist and just the right balance of tangy and sweet. Refreshing and delicious!

Chocolate Cake

October 8th, 2005 by Elly

Chocolate Cake
Originally uploaded by ellythompson.

I usually try to resist looking at the cakes on the way into Belle and Herbs, as I know if I do look then I’ll just end up eating cake. I didn’t manage today as there was someone else looking as we walked in the door. Having seen this, rather decadent looking, chocolate cake, I knew I had to leave room for a slice.

And I’m so glad I did coz it’s ‘da bomb’!

(Hot) Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

October 8th, 2005 by Meri

Hot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

Hot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

This is undoubtedly the best sandwich I have EVER had. Beef steak strips, caramelized onions, grated Monterey Jack and wonderful soft white doorstop bread.

The most impressive thing was that the steak was just perfect. I mean I order steak AS A MEAL in a lot of places and they screw it up. Here it was just a sandwich ingredient, but it was lovely and tender, pink in the middle and not at all chewy. I think hidden in Belle & Herbs’ kitchen is one hell of a chef.

The cheese was mild enough not to overpower the other flavours, which was nice. The onions were lovely and sweet and as I’ve already mentioned the bread was fresh and soft.

One of the things that impresses me every time at Belle and Herbs is that they not only have an innovative menu, but also go to a great deal of effort to do every dish magnificently.

Brie Sandwich (with Apple & Walnut Mayo)

October 8th, 2005 by Elly


Brie, Apple and Walnut Mayo Sandwich
Originally uploaded by ellythompson.

I love Waldorf Salad, so when this sandwich leapt off the menu at me, I just had to have it.

And it was absolutely gorgeous. The Brie was creamy and delicately flavourful, the Apple was crisp, still with it’s bright green skin attached, and the Walnuts where roughly chopped with a decent (but not overpowering) coating of really good Mayonnaisse. All between thick slices of soft white bread. Excellent!

Melon and Orange Smoothie

October 8th, 2005 by Meri



Top View of My Smoothie

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

The best thing about having a smoothie at Belle and Herbs is that after you order it you tend to see someone go past with an entire jug of fruit pieces. If you crane your neck a bit you can also see them blitz it into mush and add all the juices and ice and things.

This melon and orange smoothie was lovely. I thought they did particularly well to not overpower the delicate melon flavours with too much orange.

Strawberry & Raspberry Smoothie

October 8th, 2005 by Elly



Originally uploaded by ellythompson.

There’s a whole section of the Belle and Herbs drinks menu dedicated to Smoothies. You can either pick one of their specials, or design-your-own from a list of fruit. The best thing is watching people wandering between front-of-house and the kitchen with jugs full of fruit.

The Strawberry & Raspberry (with fromage frais) Smoothie I had was delicious. Sometimes you get a smoothie where one of the flavours completely overpowers all the others. This is not the case here. It’s fruity and creamy and absolutely heavenly.

Sweet Potato & Bacon Soup, with ABC Sandwich

October 7th, 2005 by Meri



Soup & Sandwich

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Belle and Herbs have a fantastic lunchtime offer where you get a bowl of soup and a sandwich for five quid. I chose this sweet potato & bacon soup, with an ABC (Avocado, Bacon and Chicken) sandwich.

The soup was delicious — an interesting combination of sweet and savoury flavours, with a great texture. The sandwich was really good as well — soft white bread, slices of moist chicken breast, crispy bacon and lovely ripe avocado. Yum!

Poached Egg Salad

October 7th, 2005 by Elly



Poached Egg Salad

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

With its Bacon bits and Poached Eggs with a Balsamic Vinegar Dressing on mixed greenery, this salad is pretty much a traditionaly Salad Lyonnaise, but without the pesky croutons, and with a better dressing. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t eaten a salad as quickly as I ate this one in a long, long time!

Ulster Fry

October 5th, 2005 by Elly



Ulster Fry

Picture uploaded by ellythompson.

The Ulster Fry (part of the FANTASTIC breakfast menu) consists of Bacon, Eggs (usually fried, but you can ask for scrambled (like I did) or poached) sausages, black pudding, white pudding, soda farl and boxdy potato cakes. Yum!

Apple & Cheese Toast

October 5th, 2005 by Meri



Mmmm, Smelty!

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Tangy apple sauteed in butter & cinnamon, spread over two pieces of thick toast and covered in molten mature cheddar might seem a bit of a strange combination, but it really works.

The apple was very evidently fresh, having just been sliced and briefly sauteed. This made it tangy and textured enough that it wasn’t too sweet to mix with the flavour of the cheese. Cinnamon just took the edge off a little and there might have been a little nutmeg in there too.

The real triumph of this dish, however, is the texture — difficult to describe, so you might have to try it for yourself!

Other photos can be found here, here and here

California Benedict … and Toast!

October 1st, 2005 by Meri



California Benedict … and Toast!

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

The California Benedict consists of a toasted English muffin, crispy bacon and poached eggs, covered with guacamole. I assume it must be a Belle & Herbs invention, since I’ve never seen it anywhere before and a quick Google turns up nothing of the sort.

Although the generic Benedict ingredients were up to their usual high standard, the guacamole was a bit over-spiced for this combination. It overpowered the flavours of the eggs & bacon, which was unfortunate.

Not a bad dish at all, I think you just need to enjoy guacamole more than I do to really love it!

Part of the problem as well is that this was the morning of the tragic cat incident so having had all that happen, we weren’t really too hungry.

Blueberry Pancakes

September 24th, 2005 by Elly

Blueberry Pancakes
Originally uploaded by ellythompson.

After seeing a small child eating these one day, I decided I had to get some of my own.

Lovely, soft Buttermilk Pancakes dotted with Blueberries served with butter and Blueberry Jam.

Yummy!

Best Eggs Benedict EVAR

September 24th, 2005 by Meri



Best Eggs Benedict EVAR

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Since I had enjoyed the Eggs Benedict so much when we first discovered Belle & Herbs whilst househunting, I chose to have it again.

For those of you who missed the first installment, the Eggs Benedict consists of a toasted English muffin, 4 rashers of bacon topped with 3 poached eggs and smothered in Hollandaise sauce.

Since it was already perfect the first time, the only real improvement on this occasion was that we had a better camera and got some better shots of it!

Chicken Club Sandwich

September 20th, 2005 by Elly
ChickenClub

ChickenClub,
originally uploaded by ellythompson.

Chicken, Avocado, Bacon and Salad, in a double decker doorstep sandwich.

I love Bacon and Avocado as a combination, and this a great sandwich.. It’s not really something you can eat delicately though.

Ulster Breakfast

September 17th, 2005 by Meri

Plate full of Ulster Breakfast

Ulster Breakfast

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

The Ulster Breakfast comprises 2 sausages, two slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs, 2 fried black pudding, 2 white pudding, boxdy potato cakes and soda farl fried in butter.

This breakfast really is a heart attack on a plate, but the nice thing is that it really doesn’t seem greasy at all when you’re eating it. As is always the case at Belle & Herbs, the eggs were done to perfection, not at all jellified as is so often the case.

The most interesting thing in this breakfast were the boxdy potato cakes. When I read the menu I had no real idea of what these would be like — they turned out to be gorgeous though! Small cubes of potato, with plenty of onion, bound together by egg or possibly some sort of batter. Yum!

The black and white pudding were both really good as well — fried so they were crisp on the outside without being dry. Personally I don’t always like these puddings, just because they’re quite heavily spiced for a breakfast food, but I did enjoy them this time.

Apple Toffee Pancake

May 20th, 2005 by Elly

Apple Toffee Pancake

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

When I ordered this I was expecting something smaller… Little pancakes with apple pieces, perhaps.

I was amazed when I was delivered a platesize apple and sultana pancake, an inch thick, with a little pot of toffee syrup to pour over it. Yummy!

Eggs Benedict

May 20th, 2005 by Meri



Eggs Benedict

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Toasted English muffin with four rashers of bacon, topped with three poached eggs and the best Hollandaise sauce I’ve ever tasted.

I love poached eggs, but every other restaurant/hotel/etc where I’ve ever had them before has messed them up. They’re either overcooked, stringy and no longer whole, or raw in the middle because they’ve been shaped in a poaching pan.

At Belle & Herbs, the eggs are poached properly — in a pan of hot water with vinegar. At least, this is how I assume they get them so perfect — yolks lovely and runny, white solid but not hard.

The overall experience of the dish is as good as the eggs are on their own. The muffin is well-toasted, the bacon crisp and the Hollandaise tangy enough to give a nice edge, but without overwhelming the other flavours.

Overall, the absolute best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had.

Elvis Sandwich

May 19th, 2005 by Elly
Elvis Sandwich


The Elvis Sandwich

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Peanut Butter and Banana between fried bread… ‘Decadent’ doesn’t quite do this sandwich justice. It’s absolutely gorgeous, but leaves you wanting a severe detox.