Tag Archives: Prawn Cocktail

Christmas Day Starters


We eat the same starters every Christmas day which never gets boring, we’re quite greedy and always have a choice of three. Well you never know who might pop by! Our all time favourite starter which never gets boring is a retro Prawn Cocktail, another is a delicious beetroot and goats cheese stack and the final one is a vegetable soup.

You can click on the video below to see how the starters were made or read below *Video is currently in editing mode*



prawn cocktail


My version of Prawn Cocktail is so simple and has 5 ingredients which are Prawns, Mayonnaise, Tomato Ketchup, lemon juice and Vodka. I can’t give quantities because it’s a trial and error kind of sauce, some people like their sauce thick others prefer a runny sauce.  You don’t have to use the vodka but I find it gives a nice kick.  You can serve with plain iceberg lettuce or add cucumber and tomato but you must always serve with a slice and lemon and 2 triangles of buttered brown bread.

beetroot stack


Beetroot and Goats cheese stack may look very simple and I suppose it is but it has a great flavour and makes a delicious starter.  I sprinkle my beetroot slices in dried thyme and olive oil and baked until soft, layer with goats cheese and sprinkle with sherry vinegar mixed with a good extra virgin olive oil.  Beetroot and Goats cheese is like a marriage in the mouth and really should be tried.

vegetable soup


I’m never sure if my Vegetable soup is in fact a soup or a broth as it contains pulses so I’ll let you decide what you want to call it.  What’s perfect about this is it takes less than 10 mins preparation time and cooks in the slow cooker so you don’t need to watch for it sticking.  I always use up what’s lurking in the bottom of my fridge so on this occasion I used 3 leeks, 1 swede, 4 carrots, 3 sticks of celery, vegetable stock and 1/2 a pack of broth mix.  I cook it in my slow cooker on high for 3 hours, decant some of the liquid into a jug and blitz with a blender and add back into the soup to thicken.

Porridge Pot – Warwick


The Gourmand family had not been out for Sunday dinner for a long time and after much research and consideration we decided to try out the Porridge Pot in Warwick. At first we were unsure of our choice as it sits very close to a Holiday Inn which made me think it may have been a hotel restaurant – nothing wrong with a hotel restaurant mind you, it just wasn’t what we wanted on this particular Sunday!

Once we walked through the door though we felt immediately at ease, the interior was large and airy and created a very relaxing feel – you know when somewhere is loud with bustle and people moving round and background music, but quiet enough that you can still talk and be heard by the person at the other end of the table? Well that was how it felt. The atmosphere was really enjoyable and the huge windows and open ceiling worked together really well.

We decided that a carvery was a good choice although Mr Gourmand stupidly asked for something else to begin with, something non Sunday dinner like, which he would instantly regret when my food arrived; Thankfully for his sake what he ordered was not available so he stumped for the Sunday dinner carvery as well!

prawn cocktail

I decided that a prawn cocktail (£4.55) was the order of the day for a starter. It’s really dangerous ordering starters when you don’t know how big the main course is going to be, but what the heck we all did anyway. Prawn cocktails very rarely fail to impress and this didn’t disappoint. Good size with a tasty sauce and brown bread on the side. Delicious.

chicken strips

Mr Gourmand and Mini Gourmand opted to share a Sesame Teriyaki chicken skewers with dressed seasonal leaves and a sticky and oriental dipping sauce (£4.75). Three skewers, two eaters, and one very tasty dish could only lead to an argument…..so i stepped in and ate the third! Yum. The teriyaki sauce was sticky and perfect alongside the chicken skewers. I may get this myself next time, but only if the prawn cocktail has sold out.

porridge pot

Carvery dinner time (£8.95). The choice of meat was brilliant. You could have beef, turkey, chicken, pork, meat pie, and gammon; all of which came with little extras suck as pork crackling, mini sausages, and stuffing. The chef was very helpful and offered great portion sizes, perhaps not great for the diet but hey ho, we don’t go out for Sunday dinner that often. The veg was out of this world. You had the choice of different types of potatoes, carrots, broccoli, you name it. They also had nice touches such as leek and different types of gravy. I will definitely be going back here for the Sunday dinner alone!

Ok, before you read on I must apologise my eyes were too big for my belly, but luckily I was not alone. Mini Gourmand and me decided to hit the puddings with a crumble and custard and Eton mess, oh dear. The rest of the day was a blur as we lay at home holding our overfilled tummies!


eton mess

The Northumbrian Piper

I’d never actually heard of The Northumbrian Piper until a chance meeting with them at the Living North spring fair, they claimed to have a tasty sunday lunch with the best homemade gravy, as soon as I got home I told Mr Gourmand about this claim and we decided to pay a visit to try it out for ourselves.

 Both Mr Gourmand and myself decided to try the Retro Prawn Cocktail (£4.50)

The Prawn Cocktail was served in a retro glass dish with mixed lettuce and a twist of lemon, I have to admit I like to have brown buttered bread with a prawn cocktail and there was a hint of a pet lip on my face when it didn’t appear!  An extra pot of cocktail sauce was provided which was a welcome addition.

Mr gourmand went for the Roast Lamb and I picked the Roast Beef, both dishes were served with a huge homemade yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, mashed potato and roast potatoes.  The vegetables all tasted fresh and were cooked perfectly, the mash was fluffy and soft and the roast potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.

The huge jug of gravy was delicious, it tasted just like my grandfather used to make, you could taste the meat juices which is quite rare for gravy unless you cook it at home.

There was no room for dessert I’m afraid but we did manage a couple of glasses of guest ale.

We were very impressed with the Northumbrian Piper Sunday lunch and we will definitely be back to try the week day menu.

The Northumbrian Piper can be found at: 

Fawdon House, 1 Fawdon Close, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 2AH