Baked Phyllo Rolls

Gentle Gourmet, Bastille, Paris

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word: Génial!
Food:  Beautifully presented gourmet-style vegan, veggie and raw dishes, full of flavour and where possible organic ingredients
Service:  Attentive, friendly and great English
Presentation:  The restaurant itself isn’t going to win any style awards, the food on the other hand looks fantastic
Ambience:  The Saturday lunch time vibe was pretty laid back
Location:   A short walk from Bastille metro stop in the centre of Paris
Value for money:  This is beautiful food, well worth the €30 a head for a two course meal without booze
Worth a visit?:  When in Paris and seeking good vegetarian and vegan food, this has to be on your must-eat list

Gentle Gourmet came to my attention whilst searching for vegan restaurants for our weekend break in Paris, Fat Gay VeganVegan Miam and Hey Rita all mention this great little find.

Located just down from Bastille Metro, Gentle Gourmet is somewhere you go for the food and the food alone; the restaurant decor and the views I found rather uninspiring, especially on a grey and cold January day.  And people definitely do go for the food so I’d recommend phoning in advance to book yourself a table at Gentle Gourmet as it gets busy at the weekend, especially for Sunday brunch.

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T.E.D. Restaurant, Kings Cross, London

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word: Delicious
Food:  Really tasty dishes with a focus on seasonal, local and ethically sourced produce. Deservedly in Opentable’s top 100 restaurants in the UK for 2014
Service:  Effective although a little bit stretched at time
Presentation:  Nice simple décor, great colour palette, with pretty things to catch your eye. Simple unfussy food styling
Ambience:  When it’s busy, it’s really buzzy…great for a boozy supper with friends, not so for a romantic meal for two where you struggle to hear each other talk
Location:  A 3 minute walk from Kings Cross station.  The restaurant helping to lift the reputation of Caledonian Road, the southern end at least!
Value for money: Not too bad at just under £40 a head for two courses of really delicious food and a glass of wine. However, I’m still miffed at paying £14 for an entrée-sized Winter Salad, which has left an unpleasant taste in my mind
Worth a visit?:  Yes, for the delicious local and ethically sourced food and booze, just chose wisely!

TED Restaurant at the King’s Cross end of Caledonian Road is a great new-ish offering in the centre of town. Caledonian Road doesn’t have the greatest of reputations food-wise, however, It’s just a stones throw from King’s Cross station and on the better end of the road where cute little café’s have been popping up in recent years; Drink, Shop, Do and Pattern Cafe.

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Amba Estate, Ambadandegama near Ella, Sri Lanka

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Refreshing
Food:  A delicious healthy change
Service:  Fantastic
Presentation:   Simple, elegant, no frills
Ambience:   Colonial calm
Location:  A little tea plantation house on the top of a hill overlooking the vibrant green Sri Lankan hills as far as the eye can see
Value for money:  Absolutely
Worth a visit?:  Yes, please go a visit these guys, buy as much tea and jam as you can carry in support of the Amba Estate, their business model and the initiatives they support.

We visited Amba Estate Tea Plantation near Ella in the Uva Central Provence of Sri Lanka on the back of a recommendation from a couple we’d met during our stay at Polwatte House in Kandy.  The couple talked about the estate’s ethos for sustainability, organics and community initiatives.  I was sold.  Amba Estate sounded right up my street so we booked ourselves in for lunch and a tour of the estate.

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