Bill’s restaurant

You all know how much I love trying new places, and how my infatuation with London stems from all of the incredible independent cafes, restaurants and coffee shops around, but often finding exciting, independent places to eat just isn’t practical.

I imagine a lot of Londoners take all of the incredible restaurants on their doorstep for granted sometimes; just twenty minutes north of London in St Albans and it’s a completely different story.

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Top golf

Topgolf is a premier golf entertainment venue based in Watford. To be honest I didn’t know anything about it – I hadn’t even heard of it! – but when I was asked if I wanted to go down I thought it sounded like a great idea. I hadn’t a clue what to expect and I’ve never played golf before but I thought if nothing else it sounded like a great activity and it would be cool to try something new. We were invited down to try out their newly launched Eat, Drink, Play deal which includes two games of Topgolf along with a meal and a drink for just ten pounds for children and sixteen pounds for adults. Their food is typical American diner style – the perfect treat food! Think burgers, hot dogs, nachos and chilli cheese fries.. and their dessert menu includes a cookies and cream pie, churros and a ‘colossal ice cream sundae.’ I promise I wasn’t just sold on the food!

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The Aviator Hotel

This place literally pops out of nowhere. When the sat nav said we were two minutes away we were pretty dubious; we were on a busy main road with a combination of run down council housing, abandoned buildings and tiny little corner shops (the type which look like they’re still selling the same rusty old cans of soup as a decade ago). Even when you get there it looks like a random office block from the outside, with nothing but a giant field behind it (duh.. airspace!). The car park looks like a business park and it’s the last place you expect to find a nice hotel. As soon as you step inside though, you’re surrounded by complete and utter luxury.

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Potty Pancakes

Despite people always telling me they’re amazed by my appetite, every once in a while I really do feel smug about my eating capabilities and this was definitely one of those times! When I got invited down to Potty Pancakes and burger bar ahead of pancake day I was so excited to visit – any place serving pancakes is always going to be a winner in my eyes but I’d stalked them on Instagram and some of the stacks I’d seen looked absolutely insane! Although compared to the average person I probably do eat a lot more sugar/junk food, I honestly can’t remember the last time I was served something this amazing looking (this is one of the photos from their Instagram account!).

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Urban Choola

Christmas is the one time of year that we always go back up North and spend time with our families and we get so excited about all of the food. I love how at Christmas the fridge is always stocked full of desserts and snacks, and there are mince pies, stollen and chocolates everywhere; Marcus’ entire house is filled with boxes of chocolate and biscuits and when I go over there the four of us spend the entirety of our time in food comas!

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For as long as I can remember I’ve loved writing. I remember spending ages writing silly stories when I was younger, from illustrated books for my little sister to long stories that I thought were immensely captivating at the time (they were awful). I still enjoy writing now (which is ironic given I studied maths!) and I love sitting down with a big mug of tea and biscuits with my laptop to start a random ramble. But to be asked to write a review about a place in return for free food is like a dream come true!

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