Top 5 places for sweet treats

Everybody loved our top 5 hot chocolates post, so we decided to carry on the tradition and give you our lowdown on the top 5 places in Boro for sweet treats (in no particular order!). It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it…

1. Esquires Coffee

Sweet treats: Esquires Coffee

Cake! Rainbow sprinkles! Pink! – just three of my favourite things, and coincidentally, this cake includes them all, which makes it a winner in my book! Plus, Esquires have just been refurbished and it looks super cool and modern – very Bedford Street-esque!

2. Dressers Tea Room

Sweet treats: Dressers Tea Room

Having worked at the beautiful Dorman Museum, I can safely say I spent a loooooot of time in Dressers and tried pretty much all of their cakes! I can’t pick a favourite, but this Irish cream one was pretty darn special.

3. Off the Ground (supplied by Songbird Bakery)

Sweet treats: Off the Ground

I think this cookie actually changed my life a little bit, it was that magical! It was like a cross between a cookie and a cake, and I never wanted it to end. It’s totally okay to eat Christmas-themed food all year round, right? Please, I want more…

4. Bedford Street Coffee

Sweet treats: Bedford Street Coffee

If it was possible for me to survive on Bedford Street Coffee’s salted caramel brownie alone, I absolutely 100% would. It’s a thing of beauty. And when it comes served with fruit, you can almost pretend it’s healthy!

5.  The Southfield

Sweet treats: The Southfield

Yes, really. You can get a slab of cake the size of your face for £2.45, and if that (as a cake lover) doesn’t make you happy, nothing will. It’s less than a bus fare into town! Sign. Me. Up.!

Claire

It’s been a tough job, taking part in this research, but we (wo)manned up valiantly to the cause! Anything for cake…and my absolute favourite sweet treat will always be cake. And the only cake for me is from The Olde Young Tea House (how many times can I mention cake in one paragraph?!) Light, fluffy, ALWAYS delicious, brilliant flavour combinations and the perfect proportion of icing to cake: P E R F E C T I O N ! Every time. In fact, can I have some now please? Cake run, anyone…

Emma

How does one choose the best place for a sweet treat – it really depends on if you want cake, doughnuts, cookies, ice cream. Either way, I have to put Espresso 10 outside the Hillstreet Centre at top for me. I mean mini doughnuts and chocolate sauce is always a winner!

Rachel

My honourable mention goes to Patisserie Valerie, because I’m slightly obsessed with their chocolate gateau slice and I’d eat them every day if I could!

Top 5 hot chocolates!

Anyone who spends any time looking at our Instagram will know that we love hot chocolate. I mean, you can’t fail to be happy when you have a (good) hot chocolate in your hand! In fact, you could almost say I’m a hot chocolate connoisseur.

I’m also someone who likes lists a lot, so what better way to present my favourite hot chocolates than in a list (with photos of course, because I can never resist taking a blogger-ish photo of my food or drink).

So here I present to you, my top 5 hot chocolates:

1. Off the Ground (white chocolate)

My overall winner is Off the Ground, with their amazing white hot chocolate! It’s so good I can’t even deal with it; I would literally drink it every day if I could. It tastes like actual white chocolate, not just some chocolate-flavoured powder, but it’s not too sweet either.

Plus, Off the Ground is a social enterprise working to end homelessness in Middlesbrough, so you can feel like you’re doing good while you’re having your delicious hot chocolate too. More of this in 2018 please!

2. Baker Street Kitchen (BSK hot chocolate)

Hot chocolate! Marshmallows! Cream! And a Flake! Be still my beating heart!

As if the hot chocolate couldn’t possibly get any better, you also get a Flake or some other kind of super-melty chocolate bar to go with it, which you can put into your hot chocolate to make it even richer, or just eat it (guilty).

3. Mannequin Cafe

Mannequin Cafe is a two minute hop, skip and jump away from Love Middlesbrough HQ, so we’re forever in there for hot chocolate. Good day? Hot chocolate. Bad day? Hot chocolate. Cold day? Hot chocolate. Etc., etc.

It’s so cheap even for a large one (which obvs I get), and it’s made with milk, none of this boiling water nonsense! Proper job!

4. Brewhouse (white chocolate)

I’m reliably informed that the proper Teesside way to say this coffee shop’s name is ‘Brew’ouse’, so here’s a white chocolate hot chocolate from Brew’ouse.

There’s not a lot to say really, other than why wouldn’t you want a hot chocolate that’s made with white chocolate? It literally tastes like drinking a Milkybar! Oh, and it comes with a Flake too; you can’t get much better than that!

5. Olde Young Tea House

You can’t write about hot drinks in Middlesbrough and not write about the Olde Young Tea House.

Everything there is served with a side order of adorbs (by that I obviously mean adorableness, not some weird new food called adorbs), which makes it wonderful in my book. Their hot chocolate comes with all the usual trimmings and my only complaint is that the mug could be bigger, but then I always want more hot chocolate!

And there you have it, my top 5 hot chocolates in Boro (and not a chain coffee shop in sight)! So now you’ve got my recommendations, get out there and try them out for yourself this festive season! ☕️❤️☕️

Bonjour Bistrot Pierre!

This may come as a surprise, but the Love Middlesbrough Lasses love going out for dinner! We’ve been excitedly watching Bistrot Pierre’s progress over the last few months as they completely renovated a vacant shop unit which is handily close to Love Middlesbrough HQ – it’s completely unrecognisable now! As soon as we heard they were open for previews, we practically ran to the door to get in line for a meal, and we brought along our lovely friend Laura as an honourary Lass too.

The interior is as gorgeous as the food! Speaking of food, here’s what we all thought…

Claire 🐘

True story, I almost moved to France in 2009…so close to living the French dream…and yet so far… *sigh*  I love it and have enjoyed many, many wonderful holidays there, so it’s fair to say that excitement levels were pretty high for eating all of the French food. If only we hadn’t gone at lunchtime, then I could also have enjoyed all of the French wine 🍷 – next time!

There was so much choice it was hard to pin down exactly what I wanted, but I figured as it was lunchtime I would go for something light, which would then leave all of the room for dessert, but more on that very soon. I opted for the tarte flambée with mushrooms and all the garlic – so. much. yum. It was shaped like a pizza, but seemed to be made with some sort of flaky, light and dreamy pastry that melted in my mouth (I’m actually drooling just thinking about it now) – oh my, it was divine! With a choice of either salad (as if!) or ‘pommes frites’ (also known as fries) I’m pretty sure you can guess which side I opted for.

When it came to pudding there was no messing about. It was only ever going to be creme brulée – my all time favourite. I will 100% admit that I had very high hopes for this being the perfect version, and with total honesty I can reassure you that it really and truly is. First off, the perfect crack. Of course the sugar was caramelised to absolute perfection. The creme brulée itself was so creamy, so light, so so tasty. If I had been on my own and at home, and not in public with polite people, I would totally have licked the bowl clean!

I already know I’ll be back for more. Just have to decide when… 🇫🇷

Emma 🍫

We all know I love food, so it’s no surprise that I quite enjoyed (understatement of the year) lunch at Bistrot Pierre. I am always a little sceptical when trying new places as sometimes they don’t cater to my diet but boy do these guys know how to make Veggie food.

My main was a salad, but not just any salad; this was a halloumi salad. It also wasn’t the boring, lettuce, tomatoes and filling kind of salad that most places seem to do, this was an actual salad – with no tomatoes in sight thank god. I wasn’t particularly fond of the vinaigrette they used but that is personal preference and I’m fussier than Rachel when it comes to salad dressings. I also have a new found love of edamame beans – who knew?

Dessert was obviously the best part, sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. I was the first to finish, of course, and oh my god was it good. Words fail me with describing this and the waitress who recommended this dish was not wrong. Can I have another bowl please?

All in all, I have to say that I will be visiting Bistrot Pierre again and don’t be put off by the French names, the staff with translate for you if you’re not sure.

 

Rachel 🐱

I’m the certified fussy eater of the group, so I was feeling all the fear that there was going to be nothing I wanted to eat, but I needn’t have feared – my eyes found the word ‘pizza’ (well, tarte flambée) on the menu, and all was right with the world! 😍

And what a pizza it was! It was like a cross between a pizza and a quiche, and even though it had four different types of cheese on it, the dough (or pastry or whatever it was) didn’t feel heavy and I still had room for dessert. And so much cheese! I’m all about the melted cheese, in case it wasn’t obvious by now 🍕❤️

Dessert was literally the most amazing chocolate mousse, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I found out it was actually chocolate orange flavoured! Please just let me sit at that table and eat that for all of eternity! 😍

 

Laura 🐨

I couldn’t let the Love Middlesbrough lasses try the latest restaurant without me joining, so I became an honorary member for the day.

I also had the halloumi salad and loved every bit of it – just healthy enough to feel proud of yourself, but equally delicious and really filling thanks to the quinoa and the option to have fries on the side. A real strength of Bistrot Pierre is that you could go for ultimate French with dishes like boeuf bourguignon and steak-frites, or choose something lighter like the halloumi salad – even the fussiest eaters will be happy, though vegans might struggle (do they even have vegans in France?).

My dessert was what I call a posh eton mess, but it’s actual name is Méli mélo de fraises et meringue: strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberries, meringue, marshmallows, crushed pistachios, strawberry coulis and Chantilly cream. Boom. I’m usually a starter-main rather than main-dessert kinda gal, but I would make an exception for this dessert every time. The crunch of the pistachios and meringue contrasted perfectly with the smooth cream and ice cream, with slight chewiness from the marshmallows and oh so much strawberry-ness.

If the meal I had is an indicator of the rest of the menu, I’ll be visiting Bistrot Pierre again and again.

Adventures in dessert with Creams!

It’s not every day you get an email about a restaurant which only serves desserts, but that’s exactly what happened to the Love Middlesbrough Lasses a few weeks ago.

Creams Cafe (on Southfield Road) does frankly amazing things with gelato, crepes, waffles, cakes, milkshakes and any other dessert you can think of! Probably due to our incessant instagramming of food, we were very kindly invited along to try out the new summer menu 😍 (Can’t lie, we fangirled like absolute crazy and felt a little bit like real bloggers!)

The restaurant is super snazzy (does anyone use the word ‘snazzy’ any more? 😅); it has a disco ball and even glittery paint on the wall! It’s a good job that most of the food we ordered was meant to be cold, because we spent way too long taking photos of it before we ate it!

Rachel – Oreo bubble pop waffle

I’m feeling all the embarrassment that mine is by far and away the biggest of the three desserts (okay, who am I kidding, I’m not feeling any embarrassment at all! 😎)

I wasn’t sure what to expect – although I do love a good waffle, and Oreos, and gelato – but since it was new, I had to try it! I definitely wasn’t disappointed 😍 The waffle was much thinner than a normal waffle, which was good because if it hadn’t been, after eating all of that I’d have needed to lie down for about a century! The ice cream and waffle worked together really well, although I’d definitely recommend having the full range of cutlery to try and eat it! 😂

Claire – Disco cheesecake

If there’s cheesecake on the menu, Claire = happy, but when it’s disco cheesecake?! It simply had to be! As the photo quite clearly demonstrates it really was a disco too: buttery crumbly base, smooth creamy filling, topped off with rich chocolate, caramel, fudge bites and red and blue sauce with sprinkles…I mean, wow doesn’t even cover it. It was DELICIOUS! The ice-cream on the side was a nice touch too and just the right side of Mr Whippy consistency. I’m not going to lie, if I’d been eating at home I would totally have licked the plate – that’s the charm of me! 😂  As the coffee drinker of the group the whole thing was perfectly accompanied by a chocolate-y, frothy cappuccino – all the yum! When are we going again?!

You know what goes really well with a disco cheesecake? A disco ball! Ooooh, pretty liiiiiiiights!

disco ball

Emma

You should know by now that if it looks like it’s covered in chocolate, I will probably love it. Honestly, cookie dough is my favourite thing, as is ice-cream, so this was the best dessert ever, and the best way to finish the meagre salad I had at lunch. As much as I love food, reviewing food that rendered me speechless is really difficult so I think that just shows how good it was. I’m already craving more – pay day is soon if the other girls are up for it.

Thank you heaps to Creams Cafe for inviting us! All opinions are ours, because we wouldn’t lie about something as important as dessert! ☺️

Orange Pip Market Summer Special

Well, Saturday 24th June was host to Orange Pip Market Summer Special in Centre Square. The build-up was incredible, and the day lived up to the hype. The day itself was the usual sunshine with only a little bit of wind; typical Orange Pip Market weather.

You can only imagine that I ate a lot, and I mean a lot. Usually I’m restricted due to being vegetarian, but not at Orange Pip, I was spoilt for choice for meals and it took me a good five minutes to decide on my first purchase of the day – I’d already seen the first band with Love Middlesbrough Lass Claire.

I went for a Burger from The Green Guerrilla first, with their entire stall being veggie or vegan I knew I was safe. I topped it with cheese, vegan bacon, coleslaw and a tomato relish and it was sooooo good. I hadn’t had bacon in ages and I have to say, this was better than actual bacon- top marks for The Green Guerrilla.

Now you can’t have lunch without dessert and what better than a Nutella crepe. La Petite Crêperie was amazing, authentic (at least from my experience) and delicious. The vendor was a good conversation partner whilst I waited for my food to be prepared and boy was that good food – I have to say it again, it was so good. Can we have them back next month please?

Taking a break from the food, I went to have my hair done by Twisted Sister for the first time (I’ve been to every market since the original blog post) and we went live with it. As beautiful as it was, I had glitter everywhere. It’s not too much of a pain to clean but because it’s all over my bedroom, I’m still picking it off various areas of my body. Still, totally worth it for this beauty. Photo credit to Claire.

Claire and I then made our way back to the stage to watch the next band, a group of amazing women (and their male drummer) with AMAZING harmonies. The Cornshed Sisters are empowering women with a female bassist (female musicians know that seeing a female bassist is life itself) and  – once again – awesome harmonies.

Whilst listening to The Cornshed Sisters, Claire and I ate cheesecake from Simply Cheesecake – something we’d both been looking forward to for quite some time. I had strawberry shortcake – summery, refreshing and delicious – and Claire had Ferrer Roche,  “creamy, delicious, fluffy” – Claire. My only wish is that I’d bought some more to take home.

I took a break from the band to grab us some strawberry lemonade and discovered I could not be a waitress in a bar – I spilt half of my own drink. Honestly, strawberry flavoured food on a hot day is the best thing and I think I may be becoming obsessed. My obsession with strawberry aside, I have found my new favourite drink, Tap Garden’s strawberry lemonade.

We have to mention of Bobzilla but Baker Street’s artist (of birds) was spray painting another bird onto cling film wrapped around two trees. The end result was amazing.

I had a delicious salt lake caramel cookie from Moka Coffee (with a diet coke but that’s nothing special) and I want them all. I really should have thought ahead and bought more food to be able to eat whilst writing this post. I did steal a corner of Claire’s peanut butter brownie from Moody Baker whilst we were snacking and Oh Lord was it good! You couldn’t turn in this edition of the market without being greeted with mouth-wateringly good food, and the desserts were the best. Moody Baker and Moka Coffee, do you do home delivery?

I finished off with a simple, stone baked Margherita pizza, which really hit that empty spot. Earth and Fire is one of the best pizza places ever, not greasy (I don’t like greasy food) not too heavy on the dough and always baked for just the right amount of time too. I think my phone enjoyed it also – clumsy moment of the day was when I dropped my phone into the pizza just after taking a photo. Here’s the photo that lead to the disaster —>>>

My phone is fine by the way, no damage, just smells like pizza sauce… aka awesome.

I have to give a massive mention to all the bands, the musical talent was superb and Northern Monkey Brass Band really upped the energy to end the market; we were even up and dancing and no, you can’t see the video.

Big shout out to Skins and Needles and their very brave models for tattoos – I’m a wimp and probably wouldn’t be able to have a tattoo. The art you produced was amazing from what I saw. Also shout out to the police officer who joined in the salsa class and to the wonderful people at the Men Tell Health and Middlesbrough Volunteer Centre (with their outdoor living room) apologies I didn’t manage to talk to you, but you’re doing a great thing. I didn’t personally experience the outdoor games but from the looks of it, they were very fun and the kids taking part seemed to be enjoying themselves.

This summer edition of Orange Pip Market was amazing, family-friendly and quite festival-like which was great for summer. Can’t wait for July; don’t forget to follow Orange Pip Market on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.