Needing a bit of girl time I booked a table with the lovely Katie for a leisurely lunch and catchup. It doesn't matter how long I have with Katie, it's never enough. We can talk on and on and on! Luckily the Bottle Shop is the perfect place to catch up with a friend.
If you missed my last post (shame on you!) then here's a little bit of background on the fantastic Bottle Shop Bar & Kitchen. Opened late last year on Waterloo Square in the centre of Toon, the craft beer hotspot serves a hand-picked and constantly changing selection of craft beers from around the world as well as a mouthwatering menu. We all know that I eat out quite a lot, and believe me when I say that you have to try the food at the Bottle Shop!
Every visit to the Bottle Shop Bar & Kitchen has to start with a trip to the bar to see what beers are on offer. Now, confession time, neither Katie or I are big beer drinkers, but the barmen at the Bottle Shop are experts in pointing you in the right direction if you're unsure on what to order. By asking us what we like to drink they managed to find us some beer options to suit our tastes and I was pleasantly surprised at the little sample of fruity beer that they poured me.
The lovely looking cocktail menu sitting in the corner had caught our eyes though so we decided that we'd order ourselves something fun and fruity and save the beer for another time. Katie opted for the Lavender Ice Tea - Blueberry vodka, Raspberry Liquor, Fresh Lavender Syrup and Lemonade (£5.90) and I chose the Summer Gin Garden - Tanquery Gin, Sloe Gin, Fresh Cucumber, Mint, Elderflower and Pressed Apple Juice (£5.90).
So refreshing and perfect for the Summer.
Both being huge fans of sharing (and sampling as much of a menu as possible) we decided to create ourselves some tapas to start off our meal. The Bottle Shop is ideal for this with a Savoury Small Plate Menu and a Bar Snacks Menu to choose from.
We went mix and match and chose the Bacon and Smoked Cheese Doughnuts with Pea Puree and Shoots (£5) from the Small Plate Menu along with the Scotch Egg (£2.50) and Sausage Roll with HP Brown Sauce (£2) from the Bar Snacks Menu.
Top marks to us for our food choices, we were thrilled when our dishes turned up and eagerly tucked in.
The Bacon and Smoked Cheese Doughnuts were like nothing I'd ever had before. The slightly sweet dough really shouldn't work with the cheese and bacon but it really was an amazing flavour combination. I was in my element dipping each doughnut into the beautiful Pea Puree - absolutely gorgeous!
We were getting pretty full by this point but had both ordered pretty epic main courses so taking a deep breath we carried on!
I ordered Sam's Fish Finger Sandwich, served on white sliced bread with tartare sauce, mushy peas, watercress and chips (£8)
Katie went for the Classic Burger, 7oz steak and ale burger, baby gem, tomato, honey and thyme melted onions, bacon smoked blue cheese, stottie and chips (£9).
We both admitted that we had a pretty serious amount of food envy going on. The great thing about dining with a close friend is that when this happens you can share. So shortly after these photos were taken we attacked our dishes and cut everything into half to share. We messed up our plates but really didn't care.
Although my fish finger sandwich was delicious, it was Katie's burger that won - the ingredients were so fresh and the slightly pink burger really hit the spot.
We couldn't stop ourselves taking a little peak at what was on offer though and then it was game over. The small dessert menu was just too good to resist and we quickly decided that we could perhaps maybe just about fit one in.
Katie went for the Eton Mess (£5) which was an absolute beauty of Summer colours. I was too busy concentrating on my own food to pinch any but she seemed to be loving it!
I ordered the Lemon Mille Feuille with Blueberry Compote (£5). I'm a complete sucker for a dessert that's a little bit different and this one really had my intrigued.
It's not often that a dessert leaves me lost for words, but I really am struggling with explaining to you exactly how good this dish was. Wow! It was one of the best desserts I have ever had (and we all know how much I love dessert). Light and flaky pastry, sweet berries and plenty of cream. It was one of those desserts that made me so happy I was desperately trying to eat it at a snail's pace to appreciate every mouthful.
I was gutted when it was over!
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you let me know what you think and what you ordered.
Thank you to the Bottle Shop Bar & Kitchen for our inviting us for lunch. Our meals were complementary but all opinions are my own.