Safari: Babies!

Who doesn’t love babies? Especially animal babies! We saw so many babies on safari, I just couldn’t help it.. they needed their own blog post! Again, if you missed my other Safari posts, go back and read about the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

As I’ve said previously, we knew all animals were different, but we were so surprised to learn just how different each one is from the next. Even seemingly similar gazelles had such different eating, breeding, parenting and social habits. One of the most interesting characteristics we enjoyed learning about was the parenting of each animal’s young and the young animal’s growth, development and entrance into adulthood.


Lioness with her cubs cooling off in a riverbed
Cubs lose their spots with maturity
Lions encourage their cubs to practice stalking, pouncing and wrestling them to learn how to defend and feed themselves as adults.

Warthogs are usually skittish, but this momma let us get a good look at her piglets. We saw a lot of piglets but these were definitely the youngest we saw. Their lack of tusks shows their youth, maybe less than a few weeks old!


Ostriches are communal parents. The females all lay their eggs in one nest, taking turns keeping the eggs warm. After hatching, the alpha female takes care of them until they reach maturity.


These black faced monkeys, or vervets, carry their young. This mother hopped down looking for a snack while carrying her baby. These baby monkeys usually hang on the mother’s stomach until they are about one week old. After that, they ride on the mother’s back until strong enough to keep up with the rest of the family.


Elephants have a 22 month gestation period. Once birthed, calves stay right with their mothers to nurse until they can no longer walk underneath the mother. After that, they remain with the female dominated herd. Males move out and roam solo once old enough to be on their own. Females often stay with their family herd, mostly consisting of closely related females (one matriarch, her sisters and/or daughters and their young).


Mother nursing her calf


Herds keep their young in the middle of herds to keep them protected 

Giraffes give birth while standing up and the baby is up and running within 5-15 minutes. This young was less than 14 days old. Young are often shown by the amount of hair on their ossicones, or horns.


Hyena pups playing right outside their den
Zebras looking for water in the dry season
Cape buffalo and calf
Hippo swimming with her young
Grant gazelle


Mugaritz // San Sebastian, Spain


While in San Sebastian, we booked a lunch time slot at Mugaritz. Mugaritz was a gastronomy experience like no other.  Mugaritz is all about incorporating the 5 senses into a dining experience.  We used our hands for almost every dish so we were able to capitalize on all the textures from each course. Every course left us laughing in disbelief that the dishes in front of us were edible. Mugaritz deserves much more than description, so check out the slide show below! Also, if you are planning on coming to San Sebastian to experience Mugaritz, don’t worry… The courses we had are going to be completely different than the dishes you have since the menu changes with what ingredients are available. Enjoy!

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Crab Claw
Half Roasted Garlic | Bread | Basil
Marshmallow Peanut Butter Sandwich

Common Texture:

Sweet dishes turned savory. Tricking the mind with actual and expected temperatures.

It was an amazing experience to have a lunch at Mugaritz. Over the 4 1/2 hours of culinary excellence, Mugaritz exceeded my expectations. Every dish was different and rarely did it resemble actual food. I found this amazing! Besides the actual food, the service and drink pairings were immaculate. I think one dish even came with a dry sake, which I couldn’t get enough of. Definitely going to have to find this one when we are in Japan next month!

Next is going to be a review a small gem we stumbled upon in Tuscany!

reed’s restaurant and food reviews

The Kitchin // Edinburgh // 9.8.16

Where to start with Tom Kitchin and his masterful culinary techniques? First off, Kitchin is the youngest chef to receive a Michelin star… and rightfully so. With Kitchin, it’s all about the ingredients and locally sourcing those ingredients. Here’s a map that we received at the beginning of our experience. This map shows where most, if not all, ingredients are sourced from within the United Kingdom.


All ingredients sourced from the U.K.

After receiving our map, our waitress approached us and explained the menu to us. We had several options. We could choose any item off the menu and enjoy it a la carte, or we could do one of the tasting menus. We chose the “Celebration Surprise” tasting menu. This was the chefs preferred tasting menu where dishes were brought to us according to what the chef chose to prepare. If you don’t know by now, I am a huge advocate of tasting menus. After we decided the direction for our evening, our first dish was presented.

4 Crisps

Essentially a 4 crisp amenity… all with different tastes and textures of sweet, salty, crunchy and oh and the one in the back was made of seaweed. All accompanied with a lovely “mustardy” dipping sauce. When I have dishes like this I tend to try each one in its natural state first, and then add the sauce to it after I have tasted it without. This essentially makes for 2 tastings in 1 dish. My favorite was the one drenched in local honey. It was sticky but fingerlickin good. *Becca was not impressed when I licked my fingers*



I really have enjoyed eating these gazpacho’s. They work excellent as a palate cleanser and they are just down right refreshing! This one had an exceptional texture because every element was in the shape of a sphere so when it was in your mouth, everything just rolled around on your tastebuds. Brilliant if you ask me!  Light, crunchy and tasty… a perfect way to prepare for the next course! Speaking of..

Here’s #3

Mackerel Tartare

The presentation of this dish was spot on. I love crushed ice with the seaweed on the outside. Dressed in a seaweed and lemon dressing, the mackerel tartare was salty and acidic. It was a perfect dish to follow the fresh taste of the gazpacho that came previously.


& the highlight of my night

Bone Marrow // Mushroom // Egg

This dish was served on the bone with a slice of bread and a spoon. The real treat from this dish was realizing that you’re not just eating the elements laying on top of the bone. Scooping into the bone you find a buttery, salty surprise laying underneath all the other delicious elements. The bone marrow was meant to be hallowed out of the bone and eaten with the bread. I had a difficult time making “one perfect bite” since there were so many unique tastes and textures. I took my freshly baked sourdough bread in one hand, my spoon in the other and created what I thought was the perfect bite. The crunchiness from the bread counteracted the soft, creaminess of the marrow. And the small bites of beef, mushroom and egg brought the salty flavors home.


Half Lobster

This lobster was not your traditional lobster. This was like the twice baked potato of seafood. I am under the assumption that the chef cooked the lobster first with the shell on, then removed the meat from the shell, added some goodies and then put the meat mixture back into the shell and baked again. The reason I say this is because when I dug my fork in, there was no fighting with the shell at all. I really enjoyed this dish because with most other lobster preparations, I struggle to get all the meat off the shell and then I have to drench the meat in butter for it taste good. The preparations at the Kitchin definitely made eating lobster easier and more delicious.


Wagyu // Aberdeen Angus cross beef

There’s a lot to be said about Wagyu beef.. especially at a place like The Kitchin. It’s comforting to know the quality of the ingredients you are eating before it even hits your table. With The Kitchin’s philosophy of from nature to plate, I knew I was receiving the absolute best cut of meat possible. This dish had the beef prepared several different ways with the brisket portion taking up the majority of the plate. Accompanying the beef was a mixture of deliciously roasted carrots, mushrooms and herbs. The only thing that I didn’t eat from this plate was the stem of the carrot, which thinking now, it probably would have been perfectly acceptable to eat.

Some of these dishes may appear to have elements to them that are very strange. I get the question all the time “Reed, how do you eat all this crazy, weird food?” Well the answer is simple. The food really isn’t that weird at all.  As Americans, a normal or traditional meal includes a meat, vegetable and a starch presented on one plate with the occasional side salad. The reason why these dishes may appear to be weird is because we’re not used to food being prepared and presented like this. Most times these are normal ingredients just prepared in a different way. This is why I always like to encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and try new food.

Slideshow of deserts

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These desserts worked really well for me. I tend to prefer “fruity” desserts instead of “cakey”desserts. The reason being is that I normally am not a big dessert eater but I love all fruits (with the exception of the durian fruit… if you haven’t heard of it, go ahead and google that one.) These fruit oriented desserts left me feeling lighter by the end of the dinner. The elements of edible flowers were a nice touch and I really appreciated those carefully placed elements. All that being said, I thought these were great and complemented the dishes nicely.

All in all, The Kitchin was excellent. I really loved the philosophy “From nature to plate.” I appreciate when restaurants have high quality standards for their ingredients and take great pride in locally sourcing those ingredients. If you’re ever heading to Edinburgh, I highly recommend The Kitchin. Given the chance to come back again, I would love to go back to The Kitchin as well as try Kitchin’s sister restaurant, Castle Terrace Restaurant.

Unit Next Time… Stay hungry my friends.


The Kitchin

Castle Terrace Restarant

reed’s restaurant & food reviews

The Clove Club // London 9.7.16

We had the privilege to experience another sensational tasting menu provided by Isaac McHale and the team over at The Clove Club in London. Our reservation was at 19:00 so naturally, we left our hotel at 18:30 and got there about 15 minutes early so that we can enjoy a cocktail before our meal.  Walking into the dining room was a real experience. As you go through the door, you must walk through the kitchen in order to get to the seating area. The Clove Club has a capacity of 36 persons in their dining room so you can imagine, its pretty excellent being that close to the kitchen. After passing the kitchen (which was smack dab in the middle of the dining room), we were immediately greeted by our server. He asked us if we had any dietary requirements that they needed to be aware of, and continued into the plan for the evening. He told us that we had a couple options for how the evening can play out. The first thing he explained to us was that there was a supplemental course that we could add to our meal if we preferred. I’m not going to say what the course is yet, simply because I want to give you the experience as it came for us. After explaining the supplemental course, he asked us if we would like a wine pairing with our meal. Personally, I prefer doing this when doing a tasting menu. The reason being is that chefs have sommeliers for a reason and they’re the experts in their field, not me. Small disclaimer here… Keep in mind that the pairings are not full glasses. The wine pours are simply tastings to complement the dish as they are presented.

The Clove Club was a seven course tasting menu. If you don’t know what a tasting menu is, then let me explain. A tasting menu is a set list of dishes that the chef has hand selected to prepare based on availability of ingredients, what’s in season, the chefs specialty, etc. In addition to the seven courses, our server told us there was going to be some “snacks” at the beginning of our meal to get us started. The first one was brilliant and surprising.

Melon Gazpacho

This was a melon gazpacho that really reminded me more of a shaved ice that tasted like Captain Crunch cereal. It was incredible! Not at all what you would expect to come as the first thing you put in your mouth at a restaurant.

The second “snack” was a crab tart. Soft, salty, and meant for one bite. It didn’t last long, but man was it good.

Crab Tart

The third snack was all about presentation.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken // Haggis Buns

The absolute best interpretation of fried chicken I’ve ever had!

The fourth snack was a baby sweet corn. When this was served to us, Becca and I were like um… how do we eat this? Needless to say we figured it out!

Baby Corn

Our first course came after the baby corn. It was cornish mackerel served “sashimi style,” meaning it’s served raw. I hadn’t had mackerel sashimi but It was excellent. It was soft and salty and the presentation was beautiful.

Cornish Mackerel

The second course was my second favorite of the night. Our waiter explained to us that since truffles aren’t in season right now in the UK, they had to import some from Australia. This was the second raw dish and I fell in love with the combination of the buttery scallop with the truffle. The mushroom added an element of firmness to the dish so that every bite wasn’t “mushy.”

Scallop // Truffle // Mushroom

Our third dish was served in a bowl. Inside this bowl was a hot green soup with many different flavors. Basil, mint and parsley were the main flavors that stuck out to me as we enjoyed this dish. We asked our server what herbs were in this soup and he said he couldn’t say because there were so many. We laughed.

Green Soup

After the soup we were presented with some made from scratch bread. This one wasn’t too exciting but was delicious and I probably ate too much of it!

Bread & Butter

The monkfish was presented next. I’ve never had monkfish before this, and honestly I had to google what it was after I ate it. After looking at the picture I said to myself “Are you kidding me? I ate this?!” Absolutely the craziest looking fish, but works well on my dish, that’s for sure!

Monkfish & What tasted like an empanada

Now to my favorite dish of the evening. When our server brought this dish he called it “Buckwheat pancake with succulent pig.” He recommended that we fold the edges over and eat it like a taco. I did exactly that. Usually it takes a lot for me to enjoy a pork dish, but this one was done to perfection. The top was crispy like the top of cream brûlée. The middle was lean but soft and perfectly cooked. No signs of pink within the protein which is what I look for in a pork dish. The pancake on the bottom was textured like a corn tortilla but didn’t fall apart and have that strong corn tortilla taste. It was grainy and held together perfectly throughout the entire handling of the dish. All together it was perfectly executed and stuck with me the entire evening.

Buckwheat Pancake // Succulent Pig

The next course was fun because it was served solely from a wine glass. The sommelier came to our table with a bottle of wine that had been fermenting for over 100 years and a decanter with a mystery liquid. He poured us a small taste of the wine and said to have a taste but to leave a small drop at the bottom of the glass. After we took our sip he took the decanter and poured it in our wine glass. He explained that this was a duck confit and was meant to be sipped. We did exactly that. A dark salty broth exploding with flavor and balances the sweetness of the 108 year old wine.

108 Year old Wine // Duck Confit

Our first main course was a British meat trio.

British Meat Trio

Three styles of meat. Sirloin, sausage, brisket. All with different flavors and textures. A Carnivores dream.

Our second main course was the supplemental course that I mentioned earlier. Grouse. For those who aren’t aware what Grouse is, its essentially a large chicken with extremely elegant feathers. (You’ll notice from the picture of the dish what I am talking about.) If you haven’t seen one, I recommend looking them up.  This course came in two parts since each part of the bird had a different taste. It was incredible! The leg had a more “game-y” taste than the breast but it was really interesting that each piece had different flavor.

United Kingdom Grouse

Now that our mains were done it was time to move into the desserts. Two desserts followed by petit fours. The champagne jello with fresh berries was an extremely creative way to have fruit in a dish without looking like a stock dessert with chunks of fruit slapped on a plate. It was beautiful and tasted amazing. The other desert was a mango sorbet covered with cream and a crunchy sugary top. I found myself scraping the bottom of the bowl on this one and regret nothing.

The last thing that came was two after dinner candies. The candies came with a little story which you can read for yourself below.  We were instructed to put it on our tongue and let it melt. Once the shell melted the candy exploded with flavors from the mint liquid inside. A fun way to end the experience.


Final Words

Overall, The Clove Club was anything but a disappointment. It was fun, cheeky, casual and a really fun experience. Everything complemented each other. From the different elements on the plates to the wine pairings, everything was planned to perfection. I can’t wait to visit again.


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First stop… Connemara, Ireland! 

We made it across the Pond! 

For our round the world trek, our first stop is Ireland! I will admit, this trip was already planned. My sister, Lane, and her husband had decided to travel to Ireland for her birthday and they invited us to come along, so we decided this was a great starting point for our big trip! 
We are exploring most of the country, so I assumed I would just do one post about our whole week, but we have just completed our first stop and, after that, I realized I probably will not be able to fit all of Ireland in one post! 

Our first stop in Ireland was in the region of Connemara. Set in a gorgeous valley, the Delphi Lodge was originally built in the 1820s as a fishing lodge. Restored in the 1990s, it is now an adorable fishing lodge nestled right near Fin Loch (Lake Fin).  

Delphi Lodge

Upon arrival, we were ushered into tea time. With fantastic weather, we had tea and coffee outside facing the lake. That evening, we went into the small village of Leelane to dine at Blackberry Restaurant. Leelane is a quaint village with just two streets of cafes, pubs and shops. 

The main street in Leenane

The following day, we traveled to Clifden. I should preface, while we have several places we would like to see and experience, we all agreed we’d rather not have an agenda so we could feel free to stop wherever we decided. Driving towards Clifden, we stumbled upon a castle and decided to stop. We found ourselves at Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore was originally built in the 1870s by Mitchell Henry as a private home and gift for his wife. On the property, he later built a private church and mausoleum in her memory after her passing. 

Kylemore Abbey

The church was eventually sold to Belgian nuns who were fleeing World War I. The nuns turned the estate into an Abbey and eventually a boarding school. The property has since been restored and now serves as a monument and museum. We spent the rest of the day driving to and around Clifden exploring shops, cafes, churches and other castles. 

Often called “cathedral in miniature” due to its ornate beauty and attention to detail, despite its petite size

Upon our return, we had a communal dinner at Delphi Lodge’s long dining table with all the other guests. Most of the Lodge’s common areas are designed to facilitate conversation and interaction with other guests. Unfortunately, we didn’t really take any pictures at this dinner. 

On our last morning, Reed and I went fishing on Fin Loch (Fin Lake), which was right off our front lawn. Tom, our fishing guide, taught us the traditional fishing method of “dapping.” Dapping is a combination of fly fishing and top water fishing where a very small bait is designed to look like a fly, floating on the surface of the water and “flying” up every so often. The trout will either snatch the bait from the surface of the water or jump completely out of the water, trying to catch it as it flies. Although we did not catch any fish, we had many fish attempt to get the bait, jumping completely out of the water. We really enjoyed our first “dapping” experience and Reed is hoping to try it again very soon. 

Overall, our time in Connemara was so great and we hope to return soon!  View of front lawn and lake from our room

View from our run around the lake

See you on the flip side… Of the world! 

Hi friends and family!

We are excited to announce we are heading out for a round the world trip! Something we have been dreaming about, but never thought possible, is become a reality!

It all began with a love for traveling together. Since we got married, we have known we just love traveling, especially when together. Traveling together has taken us to places I would never dream of, and not just geographically. We have expanded our palettes, learned so much about ourselves and God’s creation that we live in, and even been challenged and grown in our marriage.

Our “travel bug” has also been inspired by following friends we know and other travelers on social media. The Bucket List FamilyAbbi and Callen Hearne, and Bugs on My Face are just a few who we love to follow and live vicariously through their travels and experiences. Their zest for life and all the adventure that’s out there played a huge role in inspiring us to take such a leap. We have had the blessing to travel previously but we are now ready to take on another adventure!

We sat down with a big map, a calendar, a bunch of sticky notes and a huge bucket list. After making itineraries, adjusting, canceling, rebooking, and planning, we finally nailed down a (loose) itinerary! Starting August 27, we will be heading out for our 4 month tour around the globe. We will be exploring Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia!

When we sat down to begin planning, we asked ourselves what our goal was? What was the purpose? What did we expect from this? After talking about the elements we are the most excited about, we decided our goal for this trip is to experience God’s creation throughout the Earth and creativity He has given people through art, food, music and architecture, celebrating His glory!

“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.

To Him be the glory forever. Amen!” Romans 11:36

We’ve received such an amazing outpouring of love, fellowship, (future) birthday celebrations, support, and prayer over us, but also questions of how friends and family can follow our travels and adventures. That being said, Lamberts on the Loose is launching as a travel and lifestyle blog so others can follow along! I do not claim to be a fabulous writer or professional photographer, but I think this will be a fun way to document and share our travels. We hope you’ll join us along the way!

Much love,

The Lamberts

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