Dougal, Dinner for One and Dolph Lundgren

I haven’t been on the blog much at all over the last week or so, mainly due to this:

This is Dougal, my sister’s dog, who I have been looking after while she went on holiday. My sis lives quite a distance from me, so I moved into her flat where (for the first time in about nine years), I was living on my own for an extended period of time. Continue reading

Rosies: The Super-Club Preview Event in Birmingham

Rosies – a brand new super club – opens its doors this weekend on Broad Street, Birmingham and I was invited along to the preview night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go, so I sent a couple of more-than-willing participants to learn about what to expect from this exciting new venue in the city!

 

This is the VIP launch weekend and as we walked up the red carpet leading toward the door, we were greeted with the offer of a mystery cocktail or a glass of champagne. The staff were all very friendly and hospitable, particularly the bar staff who were incredibly down-to-earth and accommodating, even offering to make tailored cocktails based on our preferred tastes. Continue reading

Lunch at Bodega, Birmingham

It’s been quite a while since I visited Bodega, but I am always hearing positive things about the restaurant, so a friend and I decided to visit for lunch last week.

Situated on Bennets Hill in Birmingham, Bodega is a contemporary cantina specialising in authentic, fresh and homemade South American food. As a member of the Bitters ‘n’ Twisted family of bars, they also offer a wide range of fabulous cocktails, so we felt that it was only right that we should try some of them!

I like the atmosphere in the restaurant – bright, simple and colourful with friendly staff and South American music in the background, with a wide and varied menu that caters for all dietary requirements.

My friend and I decided to share a small plate of nachos to start, with all the typical vegetarian toppings – salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole etc. We have chosen this many times in our previous experiences at numerous restaurants and pubs, and when it arrived we were grateful that we only ordered the small portion as it was more than enough for two! Every component was delicious and we commented that it was the nicest plate of nachos we’d ever had. Continue reading

Rescued Animals at Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary

Those who know The Bloke in his personal life will be aware of his passion for photography, in particular of his love of landscapes and British wildlife.

I’ve been wanting to do something as a surprise for him for a while, so when I discovered Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary I was delighted!

There’s quite an inspirational story behind the sanctuary and it’s owner, Geoff. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Recipe Hunter!

Meet Esmé! She’s the creator of The Recipe Hunter: Cook and Enjoy, a blog dedicated to beautiful recipes of lots of different types of foods.

She loves to share her passion with cooking and experimenting with different dishes and her blog is wealth of knowledge of all things food! I love the fact that The Recipe Hunter follows a ‘tried and tested’ premise, which not only tests different recipes from a personal perspective, but gives honest reviews as to the success level of the instructions, as well as giving credit and promotion to others within the food blogging world. I always like it when I see the blog love being shared around! I also like the fact that she includes photographs of her results – as someone who enjoys cooking it helps me to feel more confident about trying new recipes and I can see what the dish is actually meant to look like! Continue reading

Adele at Wembley Stadium: The Finale

**Warning – spoilers**

Last night I went to see Adele perform at Wembley Stadium. It was the final leg of her 124 date tour (we were at performance 120) that has seen her go through Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand, and with an audience of 98,000 people she had broken the record for a concert of that size at the venue. My sister (who had bought the tickets as a wedding present) had also booked us into a hotel on the Wembley Complex for two nights, so it became a three day mini break and I was ridiculously excited. Continue reading

The Annual Bloggers Bash 2017: The Highlights!

Last weekend I attended the third Annual Bloggers Bash in London. The Bash means an awful lot to me – I have been to every single one and have previously been the lucky recipient of the Services to Blogging, Inspirational Blogger and Best Overall awards, and I credit this event with giving me the confidence to take blogging seriously as a viable career path. This year, I was asked to give a presentation and be on a panel, which was an enormous honour.

This year the event was truly international, with people attending from the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada and there had been over 6,500 votes cast for its coveted awards. It was held at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Westminster’s Vincent Square. The Bloke and I got an early train in the morning and we were very graciously checked into our hotel room almost immediately at the Euston Premier Inn which gave us the opportunity to finish getting ready (although, I managed to get the majority of my hair and make-up done on the train to the apparent amusement of a man sitting a few seats away). We arrived at the Bash venue early (after having an accidental detour due to my awful map reading skills) and went straight up to visit my long-term bloggy friend Elena Peters, who had stayed there the night before. Continue reading

A Wedding at Sherborne Abbey

 

I always love a good wedding, but when the bride is an old friend it makes it particularly special. For the last year our conversation and activities have been wedding oriented. We’ve looked through Pinterest and magazines, discussed endless ideas over cocktails and I went on her hen do last month.

She got engaged a few months before I did last year and at the time it felt like an age before the Big Day would arrive. However, after what seemed like five minutes since she first showed me her engagement ring, The Bloke and I found ourselves stood in our wedding finery in Sherborne Abbey (a 1300 year-old church which was built in 705AD). It was a blisteringly hot day and and we had navigated our way through the tiny streets of the town, arrived at the Abbey early and took the opportunity to take lots of photographs before everyone else got there. The groom and the groomsmen arrived shortly after us, all looking handsome in their blue suits. The groom took it all in his stride – he’s naturally quite a calm and collected person – it was only a few minutes before the bride arrived that he showed flashes of nerves.  Continue reading

Interview: Deborah Fletcher Photography

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I love photography and take as many pictures as I can wherever I go. So, when I discovered that one of my favourite photographers – Deborah Fletcher – was showcasing some of her photographs in a new exhibition at Thoresby Gallery, I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her inspiration, her process and her influences!

Tell us a little bit about yourself – how did you become interested in photography?

I don’t have an artistic background, in fact I was discouraged from an early age to pursue something else due to my lack of skill! My career was mainly in the travel industry which did give me the opportunity to photograph many an exotic beach and well known landmark. I bought my first serious camera around 12 years ago after following a friend around the North Yorkshire Moors watching him produce such beautiful images, I was really hooked after that. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: A Girl and Her Passport

I love travel blogs – they give me an insight into parts of the world that I have always wanted to visit from a first hand perspective, and if I am planning a trip I will spend lots of time reading travel posts from some of my favourite bloggers to gain ideas of things to see, do and eat that are not part of the usual tourist hotspots.

Tiffany is one of those bloggers. An American ex-pat currently living in Qatar, she is the creator of A Girl and Her Passport, a travel blog that documents her travels and experiences of countries from all over the world. What I like about Tiffany’s blog is the fact that she varies her posts to incorporate all areas of travel, from reviews of hotels that she has stayed in, individual activities in cities that she has visited (I particularly loved this one about a Thames boat trip in London), what to pack for specific activities, and, my favourite of all of them, humane and ethical encounters with wildlife in places that I would consider to be exotic – her Elephants in the Wild post in Sri Lanka made me incredibly envious. I love her photographs from her travels: Continue reading