When Polly Met Fergie: Peterborough's First Vegan Restaurant

It was serendipity that just as I exchanged contracts to move to the city, Peterborough’s first vegan restaurant When Polly Met Fergie opened. A week later I completed my house move and we headed straight there to celebrate.

When Polly Met Fergie: Peterborough's First Vegan Restaurant

Located in the Westgate Arcade, the main restaurant is located downstairs and has a relaxed cafe feel. Meanwhile upstairs there is a cocktail and jazz bar with regular live music. The decor certainly sets the mood with dark walls, a centrepiece chandelier and a grand piano in the corner.

I can only describe how good my first meal there was as my camera was still packed away in a box at home. I started with arancini balls served with a punchy tomato sauce, followed up with a rich and stewy red wine bourguignon. The accompanying dill mash was so smooth and pillowy that I cleaned my plate!

Oliver chose a nacho starter topped with a convincingly meaty fragrant ‘mince’. His main of ancho chilli, tortilla and rice was fresh and filling, but we both would have loved some kind of sauce with it to add a little moisture. We were very impressed overall and vowed to return.

No Ordinary Avo

When Polly Met Fergie: Peterborough's First Vegan Restaurant

Fast forward to a few weeks later and I popped in for breakfast. I’d been hoping to try their signature eggless benedict but it wasn’t on the menu that day. I’m glad in retrospect because the avocado on toast that I had instead was exceptional. The creamy avocado was generously piled atop a slice of fresh baked focaccia and given a sumptuous earthy, unami twist with the addition of truffles. For extra oomf, there were also sweet but tart sun dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Definitely not your average avo!

When Polly Met Fergie’s Christmas Menu*

Maybe it’s over the top to visit the same restaurant three times in a month but hey, it’s not often that an entirely plant based restaurant launches a Christmas menu and welcomes you inside to taste it all is it?

I arrived with the other Qbloggers, eager not only to taste the new menu, but also to find out what my non vegan friends thought. The verdict was unanimous: whether you’re vegan, vegitarian, flexitarian or a carnivore, this is food everyone will love!

Peterborough's First Vegan Restaurant When Polly Met Fergie (8)

Starter: Mushroom and Pecan Ravioli on a TO DIE FOR Butternut Squash Puree

Peterborough First Vegan Restaurant When Polly Met Fergie

Nut roast served in filo pastry with potato dauphinoise, cranberry dressing and gravy

In a Christmas menu full of highlights, I’ll give a special mention to the potato dauphinoise. I haven’t tasted anything so creamy and cheddary since I gave up those very things! My friends said that if they’d walked in off the street and eaten this without knowing that they were in a plant based restaurant, they’d be none the wiser.

Peterborough First Vegan Restaurant When Polly Met Fergie Peterborough First Vegan Restaurant When Polly Met Fergie

Also, it’s an absolute pleasure to have a choice of multiple vegan desserts, something rather lacking when visiting other restaurants. Here, the festive option of a berry crumble with vanilla cream ticked all the boxes for me. It was warming, fruity and homely.

Peterborough First Vegan Restaurant When Polly Met Fergie

Berry Crumble

“It’s just honest plates of fresh food that are aromatic and full of flavour. They just all happen to be plant based.”

I can’t express how good it feels to finally have a place in my hometown where I can walk in and have the freedom to order anything I like off the menu. Peterborough’s first vegan restaurant has arrived just in time to make my Christmas!

The thing with When Polly Met Fergie though is that it isn’t ‘gimmicky’. It isn’t trying to convince everyone to go vegan with a menu full of meat substitutes. It doesn’t even make a big deal of it being a vegan restaurant! It’s just honest plates of fresh food that are aromatic and full of flavour. They just all happen to be plant based.

When Polly Met Fergie is situated at Westgate Arcade, Queensgate, Peterborough and can be accessed from inside or outside the shopping centre.

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: I was invited to preview the Christmas menu as part of my duties as a Qblogger for Queensgate Shopping Centre. That meal was complimentary. I made the other visits as a paying customer.

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Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

Last week I headed to my local shopping centre Queensgate Peterborough to take part in a mystery challenge. The details had been kept top secret  so all I knew beforehand was that upon arrival at Hotel Chocolat I’d receive further instructions. Verrrry intriguing!

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

At Hotel Chocolat I found some of my blogging friends had already arrived and we were eager to find out just what Queensgate had got in store for us. We made our way to the counter where the lovely manager handed each of us a sealed envelope with our name on it and the most decadent hot chocolate that I’ve had the pleasure to drink!

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

It’s their Halloween special edition and let me tell you, if you are a fan of the infamous Pumpkin Spiced Latte then this is going to blow your mind! Made with salted caramel, real chocolate flakes, lashings of cream and a chocolate vampire on top, nothing beats a Hotel Chocolat Hot Chocolate!

…but trust me to start a fashion post talking about food, let me reveal the challenge I’d been given!

The Queensgate Qblogger AW17 Challenge

Inside my envelope I found a £100 Gift Card redeemable at all stores in Queensgate shopping centre and the following instructions:

“Laura, you have a Christmas night out with the girls, involving dinner and cocktails. You haven’t all got together in ages so it is set to be a great night and the plan is to go “out out”. Use your gift card to buy yourself a killer outfit with the perfect amount of sparkle to dazzle when you walk in to the room!”

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

The small print confirmed that I had just 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete my Queensgate AW17 challenge – no mean feat! I decided that for an ‘Out Out’ outfit I should look for luxurious textural fabrics such as velvet and silk with bold, sparkling accessories.

Saying a hasty goodbye and good luck to each of my friends who had all been issued with their own unique challenges I rushed off, deciding that John Lewis would be my first port of call.

John Lewis

John Lewis is one of the places I like to shop at when I’m looking for something a bit special. It’s home to some of my favourite designers including Somerset by Alice Temperley, Whistles, Coast and Ted Baker, all of whom tend to put up collections full of feminine, fabulous dresses.

I’m not very good at shopping at speed though so I was very grateful when Senna, the clothing manager at John Lewis spotted me and asked if she could help. I explained what I was looking for and my £100 budget and she straight away said she had something in mind.

“I think this would be perfect for you!” she said two minutes later brandishing a gorgeous floor length, metallic, pleated dress from Tommy Hilfiger. I am only five foot tall with a bit of a ‘short girl’ complex and thought it seemed like a total long shot, but to my amazement when I tried it on I knew straight away that my search was over – it was absolutely perfect!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

The only issue was that the spaghetti straps were too long but Senna used bobby pins to adjust the dress and show me how it would sit if they were shortened which was incredibly helpful. Even better, the dress was reduced from £205 to £61.50 and so sat perfectly within my budget!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

I’ve always shied away from accepting assistance when looking for clothes but after such a positive experience I’d be much more confident about enlisting the help of an in store personal shopper now. Not only did Senna have a great eye for what would suit me but she was also fully versed on what was in their sale and the sizes they had in stock which really helped to cut down time trying to locate something within my budget. Well done John Lewis I’m impressed!

The Perfect Biker Jacket at New Look

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

With £48.50 left to spend I decided that I’d try and find a jacket, if possible in a biker style to soften the overall look and stop it from being too formal. I made a beeline for New Look as they have a good Petite section which actually fits me! They didn’t have any that stood out this time though and I thought I was going to have to move on to another store… until I spotted this little beauty.

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

A buttery soft faux leather biker style jacket in a beautiful shade of green that I thought would make a nice contrast against the gun metal grey of the dress.

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping ChallengeI have a slight confession. It was in 915; aka the children’s section! Sometimes when you’re petite it’s worth a look as every so often there’s a real gem to be found. Age 12-13 tends to fit me quite well in jackets and at £29.99 I still had a little bit of money left in the kitty too.

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Finishing touches on a budget at Claire’s Accessories!

With just £8.51 remaining I decided to finish off the outfit with some statement earrings and found these in Claire’s Accessories for just £6. I think they work rather well!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

…and with that I’d run out of time and money, but I think I did rather well! I had managed to find a versatile jacket, a stunning designer dress AND some well priced accessories for my £100 and now I can’t wait to have that “out out” evening!

In the meantime, I settled for a relaxed evening with the rest of the bloggers at Turtle Bay… watch out for more on that coming up in a post very soon!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Outfit Details

Tommy Hilfiger Jazz Dress | £61.50 | John Lewis (sale item)

Suedette Biker Jacket (adult size linked!) | £29.99 in 915, £39.99 adult version| New Look

Small Black Chandelier Drop Earrings | £6 | Claire’s Accessories

LovedByLaura

Many thanks go to Queensgate Shopping Centre for setting such a fun challenge for AW17 and allowing me to keep my purchases. I only wish I could have made it down some of the boutique stores in their beautiful Westgate Arcade but time got the better of me. Oh well… I’ll just have to have another shopping trip there soon, won’t I?!

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Fine Dining for Less Than £20 | Prevost PeterboroughI often joke about having champagne taste and a beer budget, so you can imagine how excited I was to discover that Prévost (the restaurant at the top of my ‘must visit’ wishlist) is offering a set 3 course lunch for just £18.50 during August.

Putting Peterborough Fine Dining on the Map

Prévost has put the Peterborough on the map as a place to experience fine dining at it’s best. Led by the incredibly talented head chef Lee Clarke, its culinary creations have already earned the restaurant inclusion in the prestigious Michelin Guide in it’s first six months as well as being recently announced as a new entry in the Good Food Guide’s Top 50 for 2018.

The restaurant is hidden away down a side street in Priestgate. It’s a mere 2 minute walk from the city centre but if you didn’t know to look for it you’d miss it! If you do know what to look for, however, an unassuming archway leads you through to a courtyard and Prevost’s welcoming entrance.

Inside

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 | Prevost Peterborough

Inside Prévost is intimate and yet spacious all at the same time. The decor is modern with copper lighting and bar equipment, comfy sofas, a welcoming fireplace and a light and spacious dining area looking out onto a herb garden.

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 | Prevost Peterborough

The Lunch For Less menu is a set 3 courses which changes every week. We opted to add on a plate of freshly baked sour dough with cultured homemade butter for an extra £2.50 per head. The bread had a wonderful springy texture and a delicious crust which worked perfectly with a good slathering of the salted butter!

The Menu

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 Prevost Peterborough 10

The starter was described simply as Ham Hock with Spiced Apple and Plum, but this was a dish full of complexity and character. Lee brought the dish to each diner’s table personally, explaining that the accompanying salad was fresh from his mother’s garden which I thought was a lovely touch. The presentation was a joy with vibrant colours bursting off the plate, begging you to get stuck in.

This is the sort of dish where you really need to load your fork with a bit of every single element and then savour it in your mouth, allowing each taste to burst through. Acidity, creaminess, sweetness, salt, it was just perfect.

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 Prevost Peterborough

Our main was Confit Salmon and Fennel. Again, a simple description which didn’t give too much away and I loved the element of surprise that this created for us. We had fun picking out all of the different components – small white drops of sauce turned out to be a delicate horseradish, the fennel was presented 3 ways (I think!) showcasing how versatile it can be in skilled hands. The salmon itself had a delightfully crispy skin and lay on a bed of barley which reminded me of a white wine risotto. It left me craving more even though I knew dessert was still to come.

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 Prevost Peterborough 10

In all honesty I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the dessert because I don’t like banana but the Banana Soufflé with Malt Ice Cream was a sensation and my highlight of the whole meal! The soufflé was perfection – puffed to a great height over the rim of the dish with a crisp top and a light as air centre. The banana flavour definitely came through but in such a sweet subtle way that I enjoyed it without being overwhelmed. The accompanying ice cream rounded the dish off beautifully.

In retrospect we didn’t actually need the extra bread course at the beginning because the other courses were so generously proportioned and satisfyingly filling. Never let it be said again that fine dining means minute portions!

Final Thoughts

 

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 Prevost Peterborough

Overall I can’t fault the experience. To be able to enjoy cooking at this level of detail and care for less than £20 a head is just wonderful and whilst I’d encourage everyone in the area to snap up the offer whilst it lasts, at the same time I don’t want you to because I want to be able to get booked in again without a queue forming around the block!

Lee’s ambition is for Prévost to become the first Michelin starred restaurant in Peterborough and whilst I’m no food critic, I’d like to think that he’s well on his way achieving it.

Prévost

Fine Dining for Less Than £20 Prevost Peterborough

Address: 20 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JA

Type: Restaurant, Fine Dining

Opening times:

Tuesday 6–9pm
Wednesday 12–2pm, 6–9pm
Thursday 12–2pm, 6–9pm
Friday 12–2pm, 6–9pm
Saturday 12–2pm, 6–9pm

Price: Usually starting at £32.50 for a 3 course meal, current Lunch For Less menu is £18.50 throughout August 2017.

Website: www.prevostpeterborough.co.uk

LovedByLaura

Disclaimer: This restaurant review is not sponsored and we paid for it in full (well… the fella did – thank you very much for the wonderful treat 🙂 ).

I have met Lee briefly at a photoshoot but we booked under my boyfriend’s name and upon observing the other tables I was assured that they received the same outstanding service as ourselves.

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Turtle Bay VIP Opening PeterboroughTurtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough 16

A few weeks ago Turtle Bay Peterborough held a VIP preview dinner ahead of the restaurant’s grand opening to the public that weekend. I was thrilled to be invited along to share in the celebrations and get a sneak peek at the new restaurant. Here’s how it went down!

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

Food and cocktails at a Caribbean restaurant seemed the perfect way to end the hottest June day on record in 40 years. The cheerful beach-shack inspired decor instantly put me into a relaxed holiday mood with it’s wooden ceiling fans gently whirring to provide a welcoming respite from the heat outside.

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

Vibrant murals, twinkling fairly lights and a central island hut bar made of reclaimed wood all added to the laid back tropical effect.

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

We sat down and proceeded to make our way through the extensive cocktail list. The Raspberry Reggae with dark rum, raspberries, fresh lime and lemonade was a refreshing favourite of mine, as was the Caribbean Pimms which put an exotic twist on the British classic. The fella picked the Island Iced Tea; a heady concoction of white rum, silver tequila, vodka, gin, triple sec, fresh lemon & diet cola. After taking a sup I wished I’d ordered one for myself!

Then the food started to arrive. As it was a preview evening we were treated to sharing platters with all sorts of spicy delights to tickle our tastebuds and offset some of those potent cocktails!

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

One of the platters was entirely vegetarian and yet packed full of flavour with delights including sweet corn fritters, crispy okra, and spiced curried chickpeas.

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

Next it was the turn of the Turtle Bay signature dishes, both Caribbean classics.

First, Curried Goat which was so tender that it practically melted in my mouth.

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

Then, Jamaican Jerk Chicken which fell off the bone and was succulent and full of flavour.

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough

I was feeling fit to burst at this point but Kat and Emily insisted that I had to at least take a nibble of the desserts. The chocolate brownie looked pretty run of the mill but turned out to be a melt in the mouth delicacy – it was almost too soft to pick up, a sumptuous chocolatey goo!

At some point I met the rather awesome Mayor of Peterborough whom I have a sneaking suspicion is Santa Clause on Summer vacay. After asking if his chain of office got heavy he was good enough to let me try it on and it went rather splendidly with my dress! I think I could get used to wearing it actually…

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough 16

Meanwhile, the boys had developed a bromance with the bar’s rum expert and together were making their way through the vast selection – there are over 40 Caribbean rums to choose from which they seemed to take as a personal challenge.

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough 16

Turtle Bay VIP Opening Peterborough 16

I ended up joining them for a shot which turned out to be 75% alcohol. “That really burns.” I spluttered, eyes tearing up…

The next 100 photos taken that night are out of focus. Oops.

Despite having work the following morning I have no regrets as it was the most fun night out that I’ve had in ages. Great food and drink in the company of the best friends a girl could wish for and a big dose of Caribbean spirit!

Turtle Bay Peterborough – Restaurant and Bar

Location: 46 Queensgate Shopping Centre, Westgate, Peterborough, PE1 1NH

Happy Hour Cocktails (2 for 1): 11.30am – 7pm and then again after 10pm

Opening times: Sunday to Thursday 11:30 am until late, 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays

Website: Turtle Bay Peterborough

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: All food and drink was complimentary and it would be remiss of me not to say a massive thanks to Turtle Bay for putting on such an awesome evening filled with warm hospitality. Rest assured however that the views expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions.

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Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

Well blimey, it has been AGES since I last posted! What have I been up to you might ask? Well, mainly working, revamping my entire house and trying to cram in sleep sometimes which hasn’t left me with much free time to do anything else recently!

I did manage to escape to the newly refurbished Showcase Cinema in Peterborough with my friend Tiffany though for a relaxing girl’s night to watch Fifty Shades Darker.

Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

My local Showcase Cinema used to have a reputation for being rather old and past it’s sell by date (think sticky floors and rickety foam seats) but thankfully those days are over! Rebranded as a Cinema De Lux, the Peterborough Showcase Cinema has had a super swanky refurb with lots of gadgetry to satisfy my inner geek and make the whole cinematic experience more fun!

In the lobby we bought drinks and took our cups over to the dispenser to mix and match flavours and create our own perfect fizzy combination.

Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

We ordered popcorn and figured that if we ordered one sweet and one salty bag, then we could mix those together too.

…what we hadn’t counted on was that the ‘large’ popcorn size is actually ginormous! As in, bigger than my head ginormous! Look at the size of it!

Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

In the screen room we were delighted to discover that the cramped, fold up seats of old have been replaced by super spacious electric recliners. I’ve never felt so comfy in a cinema chair before! Usually I’m a complete fidget; constantly crossing and uncrossing my legs and shifting in my seat but with these babies I hardly moved a muscle during the film.

Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

So what about the movie I hear you say! Well, it isn’t going to win any Oscars but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless! It’s a bit raunchier than the first one once it gets going but it’s funnier with it and is really quite a sweet romantic movie overall (umm… that is if you ignore Mr Grey doing a few weird things like command his former flame to ‘stay’ like an obedient dog or that time he takes his new girlfriend to his former dominatrix’s hair salon, because THAT was always going to be a smart move wasn’t it Christian?!).

Speaking of the Oscars, I arrived home one day to find a massive box of goodies waiting for me. Showcase Cinemas had made sure that I could watch the awards show in style by supplying me with champagne, sweeties, popcorn and everything that I’d need to play Oscars Bingo during the ceremony.

Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

I was going to watch it on Sky the next day as they always show the highlights in the evening, but in the end I stayed up to watch the show live and had so much fun chatting and playing the Bingo with other night owls on Twitter that I didn’t go to bed until gone three.

Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo Peterborough Showcase Cinema De Lux Oscars Bingo

I was a bit miffed the next morning though when I realised that I’d fallen asleep just before the whole Best Film debacle. (If you don’t know about it, they announced the wrong winner who then went up and was halfway through their acceptance speech before being told that they hadn’t won after all – cringe!)

After a really fun Oscars week, it was soon back to a life of work and decorating. The good news is that it’s almost all done now , which means that I can reward myself with another trip to the cinema most probably – Logan and Kong both look promising!

Big thanks go to Showcase Cinemas for not only spoiling me rotten, but also treating Peterborough to such a cutting edge cinema that we can be proud of at last!

LovedByLaura
Disclaimer: The lovely people at Showcase Cinemas welcomed me to experience the new Cinema De Lux on a complimentary basis, however all views are honest and my own. (I mean, what’s not to love about squishy reclining seats after all?!)

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