Updated: Apr 14, 2020
As some of you may have seen, this academic has not been 'local' for a couple of weeks, having travelled to France for a short holiday. However, I have the perfect winter recommendations for those who have kept it local this winter break (recommendations, I will also be sure to enjoy throughout July and August). This post is not restricted to food as such... but a lot of it relates to food 😊
Ginger & Chives
When it comes to Winter and local places to enjoy a warm dish, this academic highly recommends Ginger & Chives. Their broth is astounding, and their absolute pride. My favourite dish is the Prawn and Pork Wonton Soup. The pho is also delicious, and both dishes will surely keep you warm this cold Winter. All ingredients are fresh, and of very high quality and the service is very polite. Located right in the heart of Northcote on High Street, Ginger & Chives is perfect for winter, and perfect for all budgets.
Yes, that's right, I said.. homemade... 😱But, homemade soups are the perfect dinner when you want to stay home and rug up on the couch to watch a movie. Not to mention, they are soo much healthier than tinned soups, and really easy to make.
So the recipe I would like to share is for a Broccoli & Potato soup, (an old favourite of mine) of which you will need, a stick blender....
- 1 cube of chicken/vegetable stock;
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil;
- pinch of salt;
- sprinkle of pepper;
- 1 large head of broccoli; and
- 3 potatoes.
Making this soup is quite easy. Firstly in a large pot, fill halfway with water and place the vegetable stock and olive oil and bring it to the boil. Secondly, once water is boiling, place your chopped broccoli and potatoes into the pot and let them soften. This step should take about 15-20minutes. However, if unsure, if you're able to slice a potato easily, the vegetables are ready for Step 3. Thirdly, take the pot off the heat, remove a cup of water from the pot, and start the blending process with the stick blender, if the soup is a little thick, then add some of the water you removed back into the pot. When you have the consistency you prefer, place the pot back onto the heat, let it simmer, and add your salt and pepper as required. Feel free to also add a few more herbs (eg: oregano). Make sure you taste as you go. After simmering if for about 10minutes, serve in a bowl, let cool and enjoy!
Peninsula Hot Springs
The Peninsula Hot Springs, is a little getaway from the city (relatively local) but a good way to treat yourself and relax. This is one of my favourite places to relax, without having to travel too far. I personally love the Spa Dreaming Centre, it's a little quieter than the main Bath House and there are some great pools of varying temperatures. Towels and lockers are also complimentary. I generally head there for most of the day as it's good to take the time to really stop and think about very little. It's also good to go to the Hot Springs in Winter, as it's a little quieter than Summer. If you can head there on a weekday - even better!
The Hot Springs also has a great cafe! The Spa Dreaming Centre Cafe is a great place to rehydrate and refuel. They serve amazing juices and smoothies, as well as numerous healthy dishes, which are all equally delicious. Depending on your preference, you can book to have breakfast, lunch or dinner included in your reservation (most cost effective). You can always request a table and have a bite to eat when you feel like it as well.
Of course I have to end the post with another great place to enjoy a delicious pasta and pizza. Tonda, is a restaurant I cannot rate highly enough, and apparently, nor can the locals! Tonda is generally booked out regularly throughout the week, with Saturdays now, almost impossible to reserve. So they have to be good right? Well, I think so. But what is their secret? Freshly made pasta, and homemade pizza bases. Tonda, really is tastebud heaven if you love Italian cuisine. My personal favourite is the Spaghettini Seafood, and I always love a Margherita Pizza. Their wine list is sublime, as well as their cured meats.
All the staff are really lovely and welcoming, with their service being very polite and warm. The restaurant itself, also has a warm and welcoming atmosphere. In case this recommendation tickles your tastebuds and makes you hungry, Tonda is located on Plenty Road, in Preston (oh, and ensure you make a booking 😊).
Hoping some of these recommendations help ease the dull of Winter.