TGI Fridays New Menu

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Last week we were invited to our local TGI Fridays to try out their new menu. This is their biggest revamp in 8 years, and we were certain that TGI Fridays would wow us with their amazing flavours they are famous for. We had visited our local restaurant a few months ago with the children, and you can read our review here. But this time it was just me and the husband, and we were both looking forward to a night out.

Even though the restaurant was busy, we were seated within 10 minutes and handed the new menus. Husband had decided he was going to take on the new Warrior Burger. A whopping 2 x 7oz burgers, mozzarella dippers, cheese, bacon and onions, all served with chips and onion rings. I went for the 3 Little Pigs. A hot sandwich filled with Jack Daniels pork belly, BBQ pulled pork and bacon, served with chips and honey mustard mayo.

TGI Fridays new Warrior Burger

TGI Fridays new Warrior Burger

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3 Little Pigs Sandwich on the new TGI Fridays menu

3 Little Pigs Sandwich on the new TGI Fridays menu

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For starters we went for the Jack Daniels bucket of bones to share. A huge pot filled with ribs and chicken wings covered in Jack Daniels glaze. Other new menu choices included

Smoked Tomato Bruschetta

BBQ Smokey Joe Hot Dog

Jack Daniels Pork Belly

Boneless Hot Wings

Crispy Tostada Stack

Double Layered Nachos

Roasted Veg Pasta

Plus a great new range of hot dogs which have been inspired by New York’s best street food.

Bucket of Bones on the new TGI Fridays menu

Bucket of Bones on the new TGI Fridays menu

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I was really pleased that the Jack Daniels range had been extended. Being a lover of Jack Daniels, the flavour and taste when used in food is incredible. I loved the way our Bucket of Bones was presented, allowing us to keep the lid on to prevent the food from getting cold. A little tip is to give the pot a good stir as most of the Jack Daniels glaze had settled at the bottom. But oh my the ribs and chicken were so good, and the perfect size portion to share.

Husband suitably ‘met his match’ with the Warrior Burger. TGI Fridays are inviting customers to share their pictures on social media using #meetyourmatch which is a great idea. If only to see who else can manage to polish off the huge Warrior Burger (how my husband never puts weight on I will never know). My 3 Little Pigs sandwich was delicious. The pork was really tender, and the mixture of flavours with the Jack Daniels glaze worked really well. I too met my match with the 3 Little Pigs. Unfortunately there was no room for dessert, and as usual we left feeling like we didn’t need to eat for a week.

Husband met his match and polished off the new Warrior Burger

Husband met his match and polished off the new Warrior Burger

Yet again we had a lovely evening. TGI Fridays has such a fun and vibrant atmosphere, and its a place where couples, families and groups of friends can enjoy a great evening together. I have to say a special mention to our server Ryan at the Cheshire Oaks restaurant. He usually works behind the bar, but on the night we visited he was serving. He was very knowledgeable, attentive and built a great rapport with the customers. Thank you Ryan for adding to our evening, we will definitely be back, and we can thoroughly recommend the new menu.

We were invited to TGI Fridays to review their new menu. All words and thoughts are my own.

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Having fun at The Brewers Fayre Twirl of Hay in Chester

New Fun Factory at The Twirl of Hay in Chester

New Fun Factory at The Twirl of Hay in Chester

On Sunday I was invited to a local Brewers Fayre restaurant to celebrate the opening of their new Fun Factory. We have dined at Brewers Fayre many times, but had never visited the Twirl of Hay restaurant which is in Chester. As with most Brewers Fayre the restaurant was located next to a Premier Inn. We were welcomed into the restaurant by none other than Dennis the Menace. After the obligatory photos with him, we were shown through to the Fun Factory which is at the back of the restaurant.

The play area has undergone a refurbishment with the new Beano theming throughout.  You will also find the characters across the children’s menus and also in ‘The Den’ where kids parties can be arranged. I was really impressed with the whole area, and the theming really appeals to both boys and girls. There was a large soft play area, and I honestly thought my soft play days were over having a 9 and 12 year old. But my 9 year old and her friend spent the best part of 3 hours in there ! I liked that all ages had been thought of as there is a separate toddler section, toddler play cars (that my 9 year old nearly got stuck in lol) and also baby walkers.

There are plenty of tables and chairs in the soft play, and there were a good range of drinks and snacks for both children and parents. Well a visit to a soft play wouldn’t be complete without a huge coffee and slice of cake. The opening times seemed reasonable with it being open till 8pm (Sunday – Thursday) and 9pm on a Friday and Saturday. As well as playing the children had their face painted and went in The Den for arts and crafts.

I would not hesitate to recommend the brand new Beano Fun Factory. The décor is fresh, appealing and great for children and adults alike.

We were also treated to a 2 course meal which everyone enjoyed. Thank you to Brewers Fayre for inviting myself and my friend and our 4 children. We had a lovely few hours at The Twirl of Hay. 

Our food choices at The Twirl of Hay in Chester

Our food choices at The Twirl of Hay in Chester

Dare to Dine Event at The Trafford Centre

Most people who go to the cinema indulge in some popcorn, a fizzy drink or some pic n mix. But last week my husband and I enjoyed a film, and an amazing 11 course food and drink extravaganza. We were invited to The Trafford Centre’s ‘Dare to Dine’ event.  In the run up to the event we literally had no idea what was in store for us, other than we were to meet in the Ambar at 6.30pm. The Ambar is next to the Odeon Cinema, so we had an idea a film and some sort of meal would be involved. We were welcomed into the bar with a glass of champagne and given the following menu

Dare to Dine menu

Dare to Dine menu

Dare to Dine menu

Dare to Dine menu

The ‘Dare to Dine’ event was an exclusive showing of the film, 20 years after it was released. Food and drink would be served at the exact time the lines were delivered in the film…. plus a few surprises thrown in. And if you hadn’t guessed which film we were seeing…… Pulp Fiction. *whispers* I have never seen this film. Husband has seen it a few times, and we were both really excited for the night ahead.

We were led into the cinema and sat in our allocated seating. The lights were dimmed and the film started. Even though I had not seen the film before, I still recognised most of the music. Not long into the film and the first line was delivered

“You know what they put on French fries in Holland instead of ketchup?” . The fantastic waiting on staff quickly brought out a box of French Fries with mayo courtesy of McDonalds, and a very refreshing Kronenbourg.

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“Mmm, this IS a tasty burger !” and oh MY yes it was. Next up was a Big Kahuna cheeseburger with pineapple courtesy of Five Guys. Hubby is a huge burger fan, and we will definitely return to Five Guys.

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Time for more meat “Douglas steak – bloody as hell”. Sizzling steak skewers from Las Iguanas.

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“I got to know what a $5 shake tastes like” A gorgeous and creamy vanilla shake from Ben and Jerry’s at The Odeon.

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“A shot in the heart” Adrenalin cocktail from the 360 Champagne and Cocktail bar.

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“I’m gonna order a big plate of blueberry pancakes, with maple syrup” Pancakes courtesy of TGI Fridays.

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“Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I wouldn’t know cause I’d never eat the filthy mummyfluffer !” Pumpkin Pie Martini courtesy of TGI Fridays. This was SUCH a nice cocktail

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Not only were we treated to such an amazing experience, the whole team came in during the famous dance scene and danced along in the aisles. Great effort by them all.

After the film we literally had to be rolled out. The whole night had been amazing. The team have to be congratulated on getting the food to us, more or less at the exact time the line was delivered in the film. No mean feat I can imagine. Also a huge thanks to the following who supplied the food and drink on the night, and The Odeon and Ambar.  All of the below are located in the Trafford Centre.

McDonalds

Wetherspoons

Five Guys

Las Iguanas

Ben and Jerrys

360 Champagne and Cocktail bar

TGI Fridays

Nespresso Boutique

Millie’s Cookies

My husband and I are still talking about the evening nearly 1 week on. I have a feeling that on our next visit to the cinema, a bucket of popcorn just won’t be the same. A huge thanks to the Trafford Centre and Carousel PR Manchester for such an unique event as part of the Big Treat event. THANK YOU.

The beautiful Trafford Centre

The beautiful Trafford Centre

Las Iguanas Cheshire Oaks – Late Night Menu

Las Iguanas

Las Iguanas is a chain of restaurants that specialise in South American cuisine. Over the years we have been frequent visitors, even celebrating my 40th birthday at the Cheshire Oaks restaurant. When I heard on social media they were launching a new ‘late night menu’, I thought that would be an ideal night out for me and the husband.

New late night menu at Las Iguanas Cheshire Oaks

New late night menu at Las Iguanas Cheshire Oaks

The new menu is available from Sunday to Thursday from 9pm. You get a starter, main course plus drink, all for just £9.90. I think this is a great deal considering you can choose from a glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink. We were invited to try out the new menu at Cheshire Oaks restaurant. As we are members of a local gym which is just around the corner from Las Iguanas, we decided to head for a swim first before booking into the restaurant at 9pm. This meant our mouths were watering by the time we were seated.

Las Iguanas Cheshire Oaks

Las Iguanas Cheshire Oaks

There is a really good choice on the late night menu. For our starters we decided on the chicken wings with vivo sauce, and the spicy chicken quesadilla. I had the quesadilla which was packed with chicken, and had a spicy kick to it. Husband had the chicken wings with the vivo sauce. I think the vivo sauce is one of the hottest, and by the end hubby had steam coming out of his ears. But he said they were absolutely delicious, and he likes a challenge with hot sauces.

Chicken wings with vivo (hot) sauce

Chicken Wings with vivo (hot) sauce

Spicy Chicken Quesadilla

Spicy Chicken Quesadilla

For the mains I chose Albondigas (lamb Meatballs) and hubby went for the Open Steak Sandwich. The husband declared the steak sandwich the ‘best meal he has eaten this year’ !!! Wow high praise for Las Iguanas. I thought the chicken chargrills and alphabites I knocked up the other night might have been a contender, oh well. Seriously though we eat out nearly every week, so this is testament to the quality of food you get at Las Iguanas. The lamb meatballs were extremely tasty and fresh, and it was nice to see them being served with rice rather than the traditional pasta.

Albondigas (lamb meatballs)

Albondigas (lamb meatballs)

Open Steak Sandwich

Open Steak Sandwich

We have never had a disappointing meal at Las Iguanas, and again they did not disappoint. The quality of the food is simply outstanding, and the £9.90 late night menu is such great value. It is perfect for after a night out at the nearby cinema, or bowling. Or if you are feeling energetic like we were, after a session in the gym or pool. Surely that meant we could then have a guilt free pudding !

Anyone for Churros with the most amazing chocolate sauce

Anyone for Churros with the most amazing chocolate sauce

Thank you to Las Iguanas Cheshire Oaks for inviting us to try the new night time menu. Also thanks to Abby and Jack for the excellent service on the night.

Me and the husband

Me and the husband

TGI Fridays Cheshire Oaks

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As a family we love to eat out which was one of the reasons I started this blog. One restaurant we have never been to as a family is TGI Fridays. So last night we drove to our nearest one at Cheshire Oaks, which is 20 minutes from where we live. The restaurant is located just outside the Cheshire Oaks shopping complex, and has plenty of car park spaces which are shared with KFC.

Having booked online a few days before, we were quickly shown to our table. I am so glad we booked, as the restaurant was really busy for a Tuesday night. The kids were handed the obligatory activity pack, and the 9 year old quickly put the pencil to good use and started colouring in. TGI Fridays has a very American style menu, which totally suited my husband and the tween who are addicted to burgers. They have a special offer menu from Monday to Thursday where you can get 2 courses for £10.99 (the Downtown menu). Or you can choose from the Uptown menu, which is slightly more expensive at £15.99.

TGI Fridays Jack Daniels Sesame Chicken Strips

TGI Fridays Jack Daniels Sesame Chicken Strips

Cheesy Garlic Bread. The other 3 pieces already eaten before I had chance to take the photo !

Cheesy Garlic Bread. The other 3 pieces already eaten before I had chance to take the photo !

I decided to order from the ‘Uptown’ section and chose Jack Daniels Sesame Chicken Strips to start, followed by the Fridays Double Glazed Jack Daniels Burger. Jack Daniels is one of my favourite drinks (closely followed by Gin and Prosecco), and its featured heavily on the menu. I had never ‘eaten’ Jack Daniels, and oh my word the glaze that was on both the chicken and the burger were heaven. I really enjoyed my starter, and thought the portion was really generous. Husband and the kids shared some cheesy garlic bread which they enjoyed too.

The Jack Daniels Double Glazed Burger

The Jack Daniels Double Glazed Burger

Close up of my burger

Close up of my burger

Kids Chicken Wrap.

Kids Chicken Wrap.

The boys had opted for the Monster Burger, which had 2 burgers with all the trimmings. They both enjoyed the burgers, though the tween was defeated towards the end. My burger was really tasty. It was served in a glazed brioche bun, and I have to say it was the nicest burger bun I have had in a restaurant. Daughter opted for the chicken wraps which were on the £4.99 Major League menu. There is also a Little League section priced at £3.49. All kids meals come with ‘Fridays Fingers’ which are apple, cucumber, carrot and pepper. We all had soft drinks, and it was nice to see the Pepsi was refilled for free.

Mine and daughters dessert

Mine and daughters dessert

Oh so yummy !

Oh so yummy !

Daughter had a fab dessert which was Cookies and Milk for only £1.29. I chose the Cookie Dough Cheesecake which was amazing, and I even let hubby and son have a little try.  After that we literally had to be rolled out of the restaurant.

TGI Fridays has a great atmosphere, and its a little more grown up than other restaurants we have visited. With the kids being 9 and 12 though this totally suits us a family. They have music playing, but not loud enough so that you can’t hold a conversation. The 9 year old even enjoyed a little dance in her seat when The Vamps came on. They have a huge cocktail menu, and would be nice to return one evening with just the hubby. The overall atmosphere reminded me of Applebees, which is one of our favourite restaurants when we go to Florida.

Love the back drop to this table

What a great back drop to this table

Love the theming at TGI Fridays

Love the theming at TGI Fridays

More great theming in the restaurant

More great theming in the restaurant

We were provided with vouchers from TGI Fridays for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are my own. Thank you to our server Becky who offered great service. TGI Fridays we WILL return.

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I am linking up with the lovely ladies @Lollinski and @FamilyFever for Tried and Tested Tuesday

Tried and Tested

Smugglers Cove Restaurant in Liverpool

Smugglers Cove in Liverpool

Smugglers Cove in Liverpool

The Smugglers Cove restaurant in Albert Dock, Liverpool was on my bucket list to visit. So when daughter and I were heading to the Echo Arena, it was the perfect choice to visit for a pre concert meal. As the name suggests, the restaurant is decorated in a pirate theme. It certainly has a wow factor when you walk in, and Katie had a look of wonder and excitement on her face.  Even the menus resembled ancient treasure maps.

The menus at Smugglers Cove

The menus at Smugglers Cove

Katie ordered sausage and mash from the kids menu and I had steak and chips. The food at the Smugglers Cove is certainly served in a quirky way. I saw burgers being brought out in barrels and other food being served in treasure chests. I was slightly disappointed that my steak was served on a plate, however Katie’s was served as below which she loved. My steak was quite possibly the largest one I have ever seen.

Kids sausage and mash at Smugglers Cove

Kids sausage and mash at Smugglers Cove

Steak and chips

Steak and chips

Katie’s pudding was definitely the highlight of the meal for us.  We LOVED the presentation of it, and the fact that you could even eat the sand (which I think was crushed biscuits). She spent ages playing around with it, who says you shouldn’t play around with food !

The amazing kids ice cream at Smugglers Cove

The amazing kids ice cream at Smugglers Cove

Playing in the 'sand'

Playing in the ‘sand’

The restaurant is very atmospheric, and at every twist and turn there is something relating to pirates. The atmosphere does however come at a cost. For the 2 of us it was £37.00. We would usually pay this when the 4 of us are dining out. However it was a special occasion, and we did have a great time at The Smugglers Cove. Its definitely suited to kids of all ages, but children do need to be out of the restaurant by 6.30pm. I would love to return with the boys.  They are huge burger fans, and I know they would be in awe with how they are served at Smugglers Cove. Thank you to our server and all the staff for a lovely pre concert meal before we headed off to see The Vamps.

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Cinema Night at Chez Jules in Chester

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Chez Jules is a gorgeous French restaurant in the city of Chester, which opened in 1997. When I read that they had recently started doing ‘cinema nights’ I was intrigued. They have seen a gap in the market as Chester is without a cinema, and created there own unique evening, which happens once a month. The films all have a French connection, and when I saw that Leon would be the film of choice for April, I knew we had to book.

Leon at Chez Jules Cinema Night in Chester

Leon at Chez Jules Cinema Night in Chester

This was our first visit to Chez Jules. Friends of ours had been and said both the food and service were amazing. The restaurant is so beautiful from the outside, and the building used to house Chester’s Fire Station from 1911 to 1971. There was a lively and bustling atmosphere downstairs, and as we were booked in for the cinema evening we headed upstairs. We were seated at our front row table, but to be honest all seats were set out so everyone would have a good view of the screen.

For £20.00 each we got a glass of wine, a main course and a dessert plate or cheese board to share. Plus there was the showing of the film and popcorn was served during the screening. I chose the pan roast chicken breast and hubby the beef bourguignon. We opted for the cheese board for afters, but looking around and seeing the dessert plate we wish we would have gone for that.  Bread was also served when we were seated.

Bread to start

Bread to start

Pan roast chicken breast

Pan roast chicken breast

Beef bourguignon

Beef bourguignon

Cheese board to share

Cheese board to share

It is not our normal choice to eat at a French restaurant, but my word the food was amazing. It was all fresh and you could tell the highest quality ingredients had been used. Chez Jules pride themselves on having no freezers or fryers, just fresh food. We could not fault the service either. Our waitress was extremely attentive and friendly.

When the desserts had been cleared away it was time to start the film. Leon came out in 1994, and I remember watching it at the cinema. Its one of my all time favourite films, and it was great to be watching it again in a gorgeous restaurant after an incredible meal. During the film we were served popcorn, and if you wanted a drink you just had to raise a hand and a waiter would be over.

Popcorn during the film

Popcorn during the film

Cheers

Cheers

Our bill came to just under £50.00. We loved the whole evening and it is something we will definitely do again. The next screening is Amelie on the 14th May, however it is all booked up as the evenings are proving to be very popular.

Thank you to the manager at Chez Jules and all the hard working staff. We will definitely return to your gorgeous restaurant.

We paid for our meal and all thoughts and views are my own. Even though a little part of me wants to keep this place a secret, I feel its only fair to share our wonderful evening.

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