Long Melford Swan and Duck Deli – Long Melford, Suffolk (UK)

A trip to Suffolk is always a delight. It’s close to Cambridge and there is so much to see and do… not to mention eat and drink! Paulo and I visited the charming town of Long Melford to enjoy the food, drink and accommodation at the very lovely Long Melford Swan, a boutique restaurant with rooms. The adjoining Duck Deli was a bonus – a real foodie haven where we had lunch and stocked up on goodies.

The Long Melford Swan and Duck Deli are part of the establishments run by family business Stuart Inns. I wrote about the Old Crown – their latest venture and first in Cambridgeshire – here. I’ve also been to their excellent Lavenham Greyhound restaurant, so I knew a visit to the Long Melford Swan would be a wonderful experience – and I was right!

The Long Melford Swan is an impressive property with so much to offer – luxury boutique bedrooms, a cosy bar, beautiful garden area, the Duck Deli and a 2 AA rosette restaurant in the gorgeous Garden Room. There is also a chef’s table seating 6-8 people in a private room next to the kitchen where guests can indulge in a six-course tasting menu, which is also available in the restaurant.

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Ondine – Edinburgh (UK)

I first visited Ondine shortly after chef-patron Roy Brett launched it six years ago. The food and service were so memorable that I vowed to return. I recently had the opportunity to have my birthday meal at this luxurious seafood restaurant in Edinburgh and it was as wonderful as I remembered… even better, if that’s at all possible.

Collage Ondine

Ondine

Ondine isn’t easy to spot from the street. From the George IV Bridge entrance of an unassuming building, it’s a flight of stairs (lift available) to the first floor so it very much feels like a hidden gem. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with its high ceilings, large windows, mosaic columns, quirky artwork and stunning circular oyster bar.

Ondine Interior

The origin of the word “ondine” comes from the name of a water nymph, so it was only fitting to have a painting titled “Mermaids of Iona” in the lobby. Paulo was particularly delighted with the image… because the colours matched his suit and shirt. No other reason, of course!

Mermaids

We were given a table by the window with a lovely view over Victoria street. We chose an early time for our dinner reservations so it was quiet when we arrived but by the time we left, the place was full, including the oyster bar. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant.

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Nosh & Quaff – Birmingham (UK)

Nosh & Quaff is new on the food scene in Birmingham. I had been reading good things about it on various blogs and the photos certainly looked droolworthy so I decided to check it out for myself. I’m pleased to say that Nosh & Quaff lived up to the hype… the three of us agreed! Definitely worth the trip from Cambridge.

Collage Nosh & Quaff

Golden Sign Nosh & Quaff

Building Nosh & Quaff

Nosh & Quaff is located in the heart of the city at Victoria Square. It’s in a gorgeous Grade II listed building on Colmore Row that I can’t believe was left vacant for so long. What a travesty. It’s obvious it used to be a bank as you can still see the vaults in the basement where the loos are located. The building was given a complete refit but still retained its beautiful marble walls and wooden panelling. I have to say, the new light fixtures are spectacular!

Seating Nosh & Quaff

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