Good morning all and Happy Valentine’s Day! I know this day is usually met by groans or protests that it’s a day where card companies are marketing their wares and can make singles feel left out, but I’d like to think of it as a day to share your love for friends and family, and if you’re in a relationship with your significant other. It’s not necessarily a day to celebrate romantic love only – it’s a celebration of love and affection, but has over the years been associated with romantic love. No matter who you’re celebrating this day with, a good and full belly of fantastic food is a great way to show those you love in your life how much you appreciate their involvement in your life.
When the OH and I were deciding where to go for an early Valentine’s Day meal, it didn’t take me long to make a decision. I immediately thought of the warm atmosphere, hospitable and friendly staff and great food I enjoy and knew I wanted to go to Jamie’s Italian.
No introductions are required for the now infamous Jamie Oliver, who’s well known for his TV shows which include The Naked Chef (BBC), Jamie’s Kitchen, Jamie’s School Dinners, Jamie’s Great Italian Escape, his restaurants now open all over the UK, his initiatives to support early school leavers by offering apprenticeships at his restaurant, Fifteen as well as trying to encourage the British population to eat healthier and his ever popular simple, yet delicious, recipes.
Situated in the lovely historical site of Edinburgh which was built over 200 years ago, the Assembly Rooms on George Street was originally used for social and business gatherings, it was not not long re-opened to the public for the Fringe Festival before Jamie’s Italian tempted tourists and residents of Edinburgh to visit, for the historical architecture which has been preserved as well as the mouth-watering smells wafting from the open kitchens.
I’ve been to Jamie’s Italian for meals more often than I can remember. The food is so good that I decided I wanted to celebrate there last year with my birthday meal. To be honest, ever since I found out that it was finally opened back in 2012. I’ve been frequenting the restaurant so often that when I was offered the chance to become a Gold Club Member, with all the perks I couldn’t say no!
Each month or so, I get an e-mail exclusive to Gold Club Members were we’re introduced to great recipes, special offers as well as money loaded onto the card for our next meal! Some of the best perks I’ve had include free tasters with each visit, £10 loaded onto my card last month, a free bottle of Jamie’s Prosecco on my birthday and on this visit, free Rossinis – a Prosecco cocktail with berry purée.
Excuse the empty dish, I had just cleaned out the meatball taster, I’ve never had fresher meatballs that truly tasted of beef!
Some of the dishes on the menu are changed every few months or so, but I imagine some of the more popular dishes are kept on the menu as customer favourites. The best part of supporting Jamie’s Italian is knowing that all ingredients (seafood, meats etc) are sourced locally, thus supporting the local economy and food industry. Here’s what we ordered this time around:
Crispy squid with chillies and garlic mayo for our starter
For my main course, I had Vongole Tagliolini
The OH had Truffle Tagliatelle
The best part of any meal is the dessert! We were quite disappointed to learn the chocolate pot was removed from the dessert menu as that was our favourite, but we had the brownie and pavlova which were also good.
Fudge brownie (top) and zesty berry pavlova (bottom)
I can still remember my initial surprise at how reasonable the prices for each course was, given how high profile Jamie is, I was expecting extortionate prices, but I’m definitely pleased to report that there’s no such fanfare at Jamie’s except great customer service and great food to entice you to return.
Earlier this week, I also took the chance to wear my newly finished knit jersey midi skirt while the weather was good for it!
The great thing about the medium weight fabric is that even though it was quite chilly the night I wore it, the weight of the fabric meant that it kept me warm, especially when I also had my boots on. What I like best is the fullness of the skirt, when I sit down the skirt itself just spreads and it reminds me very much of evening gowns, how it flows when you sit to cascade to the floor (or in this case, over the seat and halfway to the floor). I've still got the more summery pink marble version to make, but I’ll leave that till the weather starts warming up a bit more and when snow isn’t falling from the skies!
Have you been to any of Jamie’s restaurants? Are you a fan of his dishes?