Friday, 5 April 2013

​Vegging Out: Easter Weekend in Brighton and the South East

​Me and my husbo hit the road this weekend to visit friends and family for the holiday in sunny Sussex and Surrey. Easter dinner and a bit of Bank Holiday exploring led to couple of unexpected culinary surprises. Here's a round up of some of the delectable discoveries that I found in my holiday wanderings.

​My mother in law has been feeding her vegetarian sons for years so is well practiced in all things nut loaf and lentil stew. For holiday meals she normally creates something totally new. This Easter I was treated to a Butternut Squash, Pistachio, Asparagus and Goats Cheese Tart with homemade pastry. I ate the whole thing. There was also veg and roast potatoes....which I happily ate as well. It was not a small pie. I was quite full.
Easter Pie including very free range eggs from family chickens....'s one now!

​ ​A quick visit to antique hunters haven Petworth, Surrey yielded a remarkable treat in the real food, real bread, real fab Hungry Guest Shop and Cafe. Seriously though, the first time you feast your eyes on that bread counter, I dare you not to dribble just a little bit! Those luscious loaves had us hypnotised for ages trying to pick which one munch on. The staff are really friendly and will help you collect your senses and happily show you around their shelves of produce, wholefoods, own brand food, wine, chocolate and a humidor full of cheese the likes of which I hadn't seen since my last visit to Daylesford Organics Farm Shop in the Cotswolds. It's almost impossible to leave without an armful of goodies - homemade baba ganoush, blue cheese, goats cheese, sunflower loaf, chutney, and jam in our case - but if you must leave at all the, next place to go is The Hungry Guest Cafe just around the corner off the square. I had the Roast Aubergine with Goats Cheese and Tomato Salsa and my niece had the soup du jour, the Vegetable Medley. Both gorgeous were gorgeous and apparently they do veggie pizza as well! Next time: there will be wine.

Roasted Aubergine with Goats Cheese & Tomato Salsa
at Hungry Guest Cafe in Petworth
Soup of the day at The Hungry Guest Cafe in Petworth
​Up in Guildford, we did a spot of shopping and grabbed a pint at Fullers brewery pub, the White House. As luck would have it they were running a seven strong Easter Real Ale Fest. St Austell's gorgeous Tribute was on hand but after tasting my husbands light but hoppy Ranmore Ale I went for the refreshingly malty Shere Drop from Surrey Hills Brewery and was very impressed by their flagship pint.
Pint of Surrey Hill Brewery Shere Drop 
​Out in Brighton we popped into Las Iguanas for Happy Hour and scran. Brighton has so many eateries but this one happened to satisfy my need for Mexican food and as well as having space for our party of 6! Miguel, our waiter was lovely and perfectly happy to omit the dairy from my Big Burrito with Guajillo chili mushroom and truffle which had a perfect blend of spices, ample salsa/guacamole toppings and also supplied a very strong cocktail to wash it down. My husband and I had both been before when we'd ordered their delicious fajitas only to become envious of the friend who'd gone for the chimichanga. This time we each tried something new and were both very pleased with our meals but still found our eyes wandering to the plates around us...another visit is clearly necessary.

Las Iguanas
Big Burrito at Las Iguanas

Our little tour ended at Brighton Pier as the sun set.

Brighton Pier Helter Skelter

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