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Primary school teacher, making the most of the weekends. Blogging about the best of Birmingham, food, cocktails and dresses!

Friday, 31 October 2014

October in Food

The Sun on the Hill

A pub in Birmingham city centre which has been recently renovated. You would have just walked past it before, now it is much more eye catching! They've changed the menu too and there is a focus on hot dogs and burgers. I had a chicken and bacon burger and Edd had a bacon wrapped hot dog. Both were gorgeous and we had 20% off with my Independent Birmingham card.

 



Kents Kitchen meal kits

Made a delicious Thai Green curry using a kit which comes with all the oils, spices and herbs you need! Love things like this- you just buy the fresh ingredients.



Hello Fresh

Had another Hello Fresh box this month. I don't usually like pasta, but this herbed pork and parmesan dish made me very happy!



The Old Joint Stock

A Birmingham institution. This pub is in an old bank (of course). I've never managed to eat in there before as it's so busy. Edd and I managed to get a table on a Saturday evening. I had fish and chips and he had a burger. Very tasty indeed.



Have you eaten anything yummy recently?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Birmingham Independent Food Fair

Way back in September, Edd and I headed to Birmingham's Millennium Point for the Birmingham Independent Food Fair. This was a celebration of food and drink in Birmingham. So many new businesses have popped up in the past few years, it's a great time to be in the city!

Businesses included:

*Le Truc French Restaurant
*Kneals Chocolates- these are amazing amazing amazing!!
*All Greek Deli
*Peel and Stone Bakery
*6/8 Kafe
*UCB Training restaurant (I'm going there tonight!)
*Langley's Gin
*Bodega

Those are the ones I remember off the top of my head- clearly these are the ones which made an impact!

An early bird ticket was about five pounds. This got you a card which entitled you to samples from each place. You could also buy larger items. Some places were more generous than others of course!

From reading reviews in various places, I know some people were annoyed that members of the general public could get in and buy items. This meant that the stalls ran out of food fairly quickly. I can see why the organisers would think 'the more the merrier' but it wasn't that great for those people who had paid to get in. You also spent a great deal of time queuing. I believe this was the first time they had run the event on this scale so I am sure they will have ironed out the creases by next time.

 Goats cheese and beetroot from Le Truc



 A talk from local Langley's gin.


 Kneals Chocolates- the greatest ever chocolates!






 We had to pick up some of those gorgeous chocolates


Friday, 24 October 2014

An outfit to wear to: non-school uniform day!

It's half term! I'm so relieved. The first few weeks are always exhausting and I managed to pick up a cold a few days ago. Looking forward to a rest this weekend.

Today, the last day of term, was non-school uniform day. I love seeing what the kids turn up wearing. Some of the girls had awesome dresses on!

Naturally the teachers join in too and that's just as interesting. People laugh at me for 'never wearing jeans'...I'm just not very good at doing casual! My version of non-school uniform is a dress with elephants on. It's got a cut out back so I wore a cardigan over it which I regretted all day...warm!

 
Obligatory teacher scarf: H&M, Cardigan: M&S, Dress: Sugarhill Boutique, Shoes: M&S



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Birmingham Oktoberfest

I recently joined Yelp the review site and was really pleased to be invited along to an event by Vicky, the Birmingham Community Manager. It was at the Birmingham Oktoberfest- our own version of the massive Munich beer festival!

 
A giant muddy tent in a car park on a windy Sunday afternoon doesn't sound that promising, and it did look a little bleak when we went in. We were sat on a long bench right at the front by the stage. The tables and benches were a little grubby, I assume from the previous day. This soon stopped being important once I started drinking!
The beer was pretty expensive to say the least. My 1.5 pint was £8.50. It did last a long time and saved 50p on buying half pints...! Only one type of beer was available, it was cold and tasty. I also had a cider which was ok.


The food wasn't great, I had schnitzel and fries. The fries were good but the schnitzel was very dry and tasteless. It filled a gap but was disappointing for £10.



Our server was Derek who seemed to be having a great time and whizzed back and forth from the bar with drinks for us all afternoon.
Onto the best bit...the entertainment! The band weren't an oompah band but sang some German songs and encouraged crowd participation, everyone shouting German phrases after every song! Later, they performed what I'd call party classics- I Will Survive and so on. It ended up with everyone dancing at the front by the stage, exactly the best way to spend your Sunday evening.
Once the band got into the swing of things, I didn't mind the price of the beer so much. As long as you accept that the price of the beer and food is subsidising the super entertainment you will have a great time. I had such a fun time and do hope it returns next year- though I won't be touching the schnitzel...!



 



 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Review: Lindt Hello! Range

Today's Song: Ben Howard- Keep Your Head Up

I'd spotted this range on a few food blogs and had been meaning to try them for ages....especially the Salted Caramel!! So I was excited when I got invited to participate in their BzzAgent campaign. Of course I rushed to accept!

I think I've mentioned it before, but BzzAgent send you goodies to try (shampoo, chocolate, washing powder, you name it) with some money off vouchers to pass on to friends. In return, you review them and spread the love- if you like the product. This is the fourth one I've had and it's a good way to try some new things.

So, my expectations were high from the start. I received Strawberry Cheesecake, Caramel Brownie, Salted Carmel, Cookies & Cream and Crunchy Nougat bars. Mouth watering yet? Mine was!

 
As I am a kind and an excellent girlfriend, I shared some with Edd. We split the small Cookies and Cream and Strawberry Cheesecake bars in half and had half each with an espresso (oooooh). Out of these two, the Strawberry Cheesecake was my favourite, it had a real taste of strawberry and the creamy feeling felt very decadent. The Cookies and Cream was nice but not overwhelming.
 

 
The bigger bars lasted quite a long time, I had a couple of squares each day after dinner. I could have eaten the whole thing of course, but they were so nice I didn't want it to go! In order of deliciousness from nice to AMAZING...
 
*Cookies and Cream- nice, but nothing special.
 
*Crunchy Nougat- I liked the crunchy bits!
 
*Caramel Brownie- this was a real treat. The brownie has a lovely rich taste.
 
*Strawberry Cheesecake- as previously mentioned...
 
*Salted Caramel- the one I was most looking forward to and definitely the most delicious. A good quality runny caramel with just the right amount of salt.
 
 
I highly recommend picking these up as a delicious treat or as a gift for a friend.
 



Sunday, 5 October 2014

September in Food

Today's song: First Aid Kit- Stay Gold

I'm really excited this weekend because I just booked tickets for First Aid Kit at the Symphony Hall! It's in January so it will be like Summer in Winter. A lovely post-Christmas treat.

September was quite a foodie month, or maybe I just managed to take lots of photos! Being back at work meant lots of treats needed, but I am trying to avoid all the cakes that get bought into the staff room...

Zizzi

 
As a little back to work treat, Edd and I visited Zizzi for tea! I had a 50% off code from o2 Moments which made it quite a bargain indeed. Edd had pasta of some kind (pasta bores me) and I had this exciting seafood hanging skewer...thing. I 've had something similar from The Lost and Found before. This was gorgeous, especially those yummy potatoes at the bottom.
We followed up by sharing Zizzi's dessert special- a CHOCOLATE, STRAWBERRY AND MARSHMELLOW PIZZA. It was such a treat!



Birmingham Independent Food Fair


 
I'll be blogging properly about this soon but basically Edd and I attended a very exciting food fair at Millennium Point a few weeks ago. The ticket price (five quid) included samples of food and drink from lots of delightful independent traders.
 
 
Comedy soup


 
Hahahahahhaaaaaa- so easily pleased.
 
 
Digbeth Dining Club

 
I finally made it to the Digbeth Dining Club! This is an exceptionally cool place...every Friday several street food vendors gather under a railway arch in Digbeth, making a link between post-work drinks and a night out. I had a giant hot dog from the pictured Big Daddies Diner and lots of Brothers Toffee Apple Cider.

 
 
KFC

 
 I felt almost obliged to buy this as I had been salivating at the poster of it on my way to work for weeks... It was very very nice, though the pulled chicken may as well have been pulled pork. The coleslaw made it really, it was fresh and crunchy.


The Keg and Grill



The Keg and Grill is a pub which has just opened near me. It was called The Gough Arms but closed a while ago. I was pleased to find it reopened and especially pleased to find that they serve delicious Indian food! Edd and I popped along on a Monday evening for lamb Biryani, Tandor Grill and delicious naan. So happy to have a cosy pub with tasty food on my doorstop!

Hello Fresh

 
I've mentioned Hello Fresh before, they send the exact ingredients you need to make delicious meals. Now I've had three boxes from them (soon to be four) I'm part of the Rewards club so they sent a little gift! I love the bag and I've spotted James Martin using that oil on Saturday Kitchen!
 

 Schweppes Elderflower Tonic water

 
This is a great idea- elderflower, gin and tonic is a delicious combination. Usually I use elderflower cordial, but combining two of the ingredients ready to go is perfect. I could have done with a touch more elderflower in this tonic!

Caramelised Fig and Honey cupcakes

 
Found this recipe on Pinterest (of course). I wanted to make something a bit different and I haven't done cupcakes for ages. When they were finished they were...ok. They needed a bit more of a kick, cinnamon or something to cut through the sweetness.

Recipe from Style Me Pretty.

Harry Bromptons Iced Tea

 
This was in my Flavourly box. I love Iced Tea so an alcoholic version is a great idea. Included was a leaflet with cocktail ideas on it. I tried it with gin, cucumber and lots of ice.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Review: Bulmers, Brothers and Aspalls Cider



On a recent trip to Morrisons to pick up some tea, I spotted these exciting ciders which I've never seen before! I do like a good cider (none of that Strongbow nonsense) and I particularly enjoy new items!

Brothers Cloudy Lemon

I love Brothers Toffee Apple, there's something so cosy about it, without being too sweet. This cider was a good combination of lemon and apple, not too sweet or acidic. I still prefer Toffee Apple!

Bulmers Indian Summer

Edd had this bottle and I tried a little. This is only 2.8% so a nice easy drink. It contains ginger and cardamon which are perfect for this time of year. I don't think I would drink a whole bottle of it but if you like those flavours you will love it!

Bulmers Five Fruit Harvest

Another autumnal offering from Bulmers. This was my second drink and my favourite of the two. It contains apple, pear, plum, quince and grape! It was delicious and a real taste of autumn.

Aspalls Premier Cru Cyder

Aspells is my favourite cider and I'm always happy to see it on tap at a pub. Edd chose this one because we hadn't seen it before and the percentage was quite high. It had a strong cider flavour- dry rather than sweet. This is a great cider, but not for the casual drinker!

Do you like to drink cider? What is your favourite?