We got sent sent a huge (expensive) box of chocolates that arrived in an even bigger box.
This was the John Lewis & Partners Chocolate & Truffle Selection.
71 white, milk and dark chocolates and truffles in a unique and innovative collection, carefully selected for the ultimate in chocolate indulgence. Each irresistible flavour combination has been made from a recipe exclusive to John Lewis & Partners.
21 flavours include: praline popping truffle, grapefruit and coriander, raspberry and hibiscus, mascarpone and lime, sloe gin ganache, coconut, rose and violet, butter caramel and passion fruit.
I don’t think I would have bought a box of chocolates like this, but I have been enjoying the chocolates. I’ve had posh chocolates before and not really liked them, these on the other hand are quite tasty. There are some strange flavour combinations in there, but they’re not overpowering.
So there I was in John Lewis and decided to get a coffee from the Espresso Bar in the basement in their Bristol branch. Feeling a little peckish I had a look at what was on offer and went for their “special” scone, a cheese and red onion scone.
I do quite like a savoury scone, when I visit the restaurant at Cadbury Garden Centre I quite like their cheese scones. If it isn’t cheese than I might go with a sweet one with sultanas, which means I must also have butter, jam and clotted cream. When it comes to sweet scones, for me they much have fruit, and be served with butter, strawberry jam and clotted cream. Of course the other key thing is that the scone must be fresh. Nothing worse than eating a scone that was baked days ago… Most places seem to sell not-fresh scones, that more than likely they buy in bulk ready made. Whereas there are a few places that do bake and sell scones that taste fresh. You can easily tell the difference.
This scone from John Lewis was rather nice, not too heavy, fresh and full of flavour. Certainly if it is on sale again I will probably get one again.
One of the issues I have with a lot of department store restaurants (and visitor attraction restaurants) is that they cook the food in advance and then keep it warm for hours on end… Now that is possible with some dishes, but with others it just means dried out food.
One of the dishes that you can get at my local John Lewis is freshly cooked to order crepes. They make them as and when needed, rather than make them at 9am in the morning and keep them warm till 6pm in the evening!
We had crepes the last time we were there, one with chilli beef and one with mushroom stroganoff; both were served with salad.
The beef chilli was well cooked and nice and spicy. A little too hot for my tastes, but not excessively so.
The mushroom stroganoff was really nice and went well with the crepes.
The salad though was disappointing, I have had much better salads before at John Lewis, this was in the main lettuce with a tiny bit of red onion and pepper.
Overall for a department store restaurant they were really nice and probably one of the better items available. The fact you can buy wine and beer to go with the crepes makes the place even more attractive as a place to go out and get a quick bite to eat whilst shopping.
John Lewis, the retail chain, has been at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol for ten years now.
Their restaurant at the top of the store has always been one of the better places to eat at the shopping mall, away from the KFC and Burger Kings.
True their original outside eating area was rather windswept, but at least the majority of the hot food was cooked to order, the salads were fresh, the cakes scrummy and the service was pretty good too (when it wasn’t too busy).
Over the last few months, John Lewis has revamped their eating places, making their top floor restaurant larger and by adding an espresso bar in the basement.
The espresso bar is rather nice and cosy and despite no windows did not feel claustrophobic.
The coffee was good, the tea was good, the scone was good and the service was excellent. It was even reasonably priced as well.