New food for October: Beer battered hake

The Victoria has proved to be a source of new food during my period of trying new food (especially when it comes to trying different fish), and the other Saturday was a no exception. With a new chef and a new menu on offer (both a good and a bad thing), it meant there was a new food for me to try: beer battered hake.

Normally I don’t haIMG_1229ve anything bad to say about The Victoria; we love it in there – and previously had never had a bad meal – not that this meal was completely bad I should add. The beer battered hake was lovely, as was the minted pea puree – but the chunky chips were not good; they were under-cooked – I’m never normally one for huge chunky chips I should say too.

Hopefully they are going to change their menu regularly like they always have done, as whereas before I was spoilt for choice with food – this time not so much so. I hate being negative about The Victoria, but previously we’ve loved every meal we’ve had there – and it was such a shame to all walk away from there not completely happy with what we had eaten.

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Have a meal in London

It’s a pricey weekend going to London as it is, let alone when you throw in my requests to see Stomp and go for a fancy meal – well Liam did say I had to have a fancy meal in my list in the first place! IMG_1208I’m not a huge one for very fancy food, so when looking for options of where we could go during our weekend to London (and our chance to celebrate our year anniversary), Liam found 20 Fenchurch Street – otherwise known as the Walkie Talking Building. They have a choice of two restaurants; the Fenchurch restaurant and the Darwin brasserie; we opted for the Darwin brasserie on level 36 as the food sounded a bit more ‘normal’ – yes I’m fussy and can’t do very fancy food.

In 20 Fenchurch Street, you go up in the lift to the 35th floor and come out in the bar area where you are able to see 360 degree views of London, while walking through the sky garden I should add. Up on the next floor is the Darwin brasserie itself, where you sit and eat, enjoying the view of London. Liam was nice enough to leIMG_1209t me sit facing the views while we treated ourselves to a champagne cocktail before our food. The food was absolutely gorgeous! I had red pepper and goats cheese pasta for my main and rice pudding (a childhood favourite) and ice-cream for pudding. I was stuffed! I managed all of the main and tried my best for the pudding, but the portion was huge. This was all accompanied by a bottle of wine – of course and finished with coffee as we soaked in the atmosphere of the restaurant; chatty and people watching; guessing the relationships of the different people that were there. I think I was enjoying my food far too much to remember what Liam had to eat; I think it was something like lamb for the main and then panna cotta for pudding – but don’t quote me on that, I’ve more than likely got it very wrong indeed.

The whole meal was fantastic and after we stood out on the balcony looking at the views of London. All very romantic – it really was lovely. I know I sound very corny saying that, but it was a perfect way to spend our anniversary, and of course we had Stomp after that.


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See Stomp in London

I can remember being impressed with Stomp after seeing it on Blue Peter many, many moons ago. Since then, I’ve always wanted a chance to go and see it and a weekend away in London with LiamIMG_1210 for our year anniversary finally gave me the chance.

Stomp is shown at the Ambassadors Theatre London, where it’s had its home for the last few years now. It’s the not the largest of theatres, but it’s packed full of atmosphere, especially for the 100 minutes that Stomp runs for (without an interval). Stomp itself is exhilarating! It’s gripping and funny in equal measures; it completely sucks you in so that the minutes fly by. You’re buzzing throughout, eager to see what trick the eight performers are going to do next; to see what sound they’re going to create out of a broom or a kitchen sink; to see what part of the stage they’re going to appear on next. All eight performers own the stage; they make sure you remember every second of their performance. Quite frankly, they leave you wanting more and more.

I’m glad I waited to see Stomp for an occasion, and I would certainly recommend going to see it to anyone. Hell, I would go again! I was buzzing for hours after!

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New food for September: gammon

It’s taken me quite a while to get round to writing this post. I was slightly delayed as, feel free to laugh, I had to check with my Mum whether I had actually tried gammon before. Apparently growing up, although my Dad had it a lot, I always refused to try it, or took one mouthful and stubboIMG_1180rnly said I didn’t like it and refused to try anymore. I can’t help being stubborn!

Although I ate the majority of this huge meal (pictured – and very calorie heavy!), I did find this gammon a bit too smokey (I prefer non-smoked bacon too). It was nice getting to try the whole experience of having it with fried egg and pineapple – I did have to laugh that it was actually a slice of pineapple and not a pineapple ring like I’ve always seen.

I wouldn’t refuse to eat it again, as like everyone has always told me, it is very much like bacon – which I do absolutely love!

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Register at a Dentist

Registering at a dentist is something that I’ve put off since moving to Bristol four years ago. Last time I went to the dentistIMG_1172 I was registered at in Trowbridge, the dentist was that mean to me, he made me cry. No joke. That combined with years of painful braces made me more than a little scared to actually head out there and register at a dentist. Adding the registering and going to my 3o before 30 really was the kick up the arse I needed, and within less than a week of registering at East Street Dental Surgery, I found myself sat in the dentist chair with shaky hands while the dentist examined my teeth. Minutes later I discovered after years of putting the trip off, all I needed was a quick clean behind my bottom teeth (I have a wire left over from my braces in an attempt to keep my teeth straight) and I would be sent on my way.

A few painful moments that I winced my way through and £18.80 later, I was sent on my way and told they would see me in 6 months time for another check up. Thank God that was over! My teeth still hurt for days after, but at least I faced my fear and went; Liam even went a few days later and it was even longer since he had been!

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Sort my CV

My CV is all updated and ready to go. I got help from my auntie and her friend to edit it to ‘sell’ myself better. It turns out my CV was all wrong so it helps to set a target of sitting down and sorting it properly. You never know when you will need an updated CV – especially as my job is via an agency.

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A Little Update

I did a little update the other week and I said my aim was to pamper myself more. I’ve got myself slightly into a routine of using different moisturisers each night; I’ve been leaving them on the side to make sure I remember – it’s kind of working.

I managed to keepIMG_0794 my food and weight diary going for just over a week and could still not figure out what is the cause of me putting weight on. If I ate pasta and drank cider, it didn’t seem to play any part in the couple of extra pounds gained. I’m still making sure I’m eating plenty of vegetables and salad while it’s just me here. I am finding I’m missing having the vegetable boxes delivered (pictured) so I’ve been making sure I’ve been going out and buying more – you just can’t beat the taste of fresh tomatoes from a fruit and veg shop, they have so much flavour compared to tomatoes bought in a supermarket!

On the exercise front, I am still failing badly. I truly only have myself to blame on this one as I’m too tired at the moment, but know that if you do more exercise you do have more energy. My friend Paula has told me about a zumba class her and her sister are going to on a Tuesday night that is pretty much on my doorstep and said I ought to go. This will really be challenging myself as I have no rhythm what so ever when it comes to things like this. I think I’m more worried about embarrassing myself than anything.

So that leaves me with the writing. I’ve actually edited 12 chapters now and they have been sent to two friends to have a look at. One friend just likes reading and is happy to point out any obvious mistakes, the other friend I did Creative Writing with at Bath Spa, so I’ve asked her to pick apart and comment on anything she wants. It’s not her normal style of writing with it being chick lit, so I hope she’s not hating me too much for this!

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New food for August: different beans

It sounds very odd to to title this post ‘different beans’, but that’s exactly what it was as I don’t have a clue what I ate. I was out with my familIMG_0956y for a meal in Bradford-on-Avon on Saturday night and we went to the Barge Inn down on the canal. There, I had tuna steak with a chorizo, pepper and bean salad of their specials board; I’ve tried tuna steak only once so I thought I’d be brave and try it again – it was cooked differently this time, not as flaky as when I had it previously. Anyway, I’m skipping over my point, the bean salad had various beans in it I hadn’t tried – I’m just not entirely sure what these different beans were; there’s a possibility one was cannellini beans.

Apologies for the picture of the half-eaten food, it was only when I was part way through my food that I realised I was actually eating a new food, so took a quick snap then. If anyone recognises any of the beans in the picture, please enlighten me to what I actually ate on Saturday night!

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Aims for the week

Saying one of my goals is to Blog more, I’m doing a totally shoddy job. So in an attempt to make an effort, here’s what I plan to do this week……

One thing I said I would do is pamper myself more, so this week is about me – seems a little selfish I know. I started today by getting rid of my roots  (finally) and redying my hair red and just having a totally chilled out day – much needed I should add. Another thing I started was a food diary; I’ve put on more weight than I’m happy with lately and as I’ve actually been eating better, I want to try and work out what is causing me to pile on the pounds. I think the plan is also going to be thinking about the fact that other than walking, I am completely failing on the exercise front – I need routine. Wish me luck!

I’m also hoping to get a bit more writing done this week, but on that front I really don’t want to make empty promises – not good I know!

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Go for a walk up Ashton Court and play frisbee golf

I’m cheating and combining two activities into one here….

It may not have been the longest of walks, but on Saturday Liam and myself headed up to Ashton Court for a couple of hours to have an explore, play some frisbee golf, hunt out the two Shaun’s up t253here and dodge the building work for the Balloon Fiesta.

I’ve done loads of walking for work in the last few weeks so I thought I may as well carry the theme on with a walk around Ashton Court and get some fresh air and exercise while it was a dry day. This also meant I could try my hand at frisbee golf.

Liam had told me about playing frisbee golf at Ashton Court and I thought it sounded fun so wanted to have a go. Providing you don’t take it too seriously and don’t want to keep score (sorry Liam), it is really fun! I’m sure you can have loads of fun keeping score, but as I knew I would be no match for Liam who has played loads, I wasn’t interested in playing to keep count. I have a crap aim when it comes to anything, so there was no way on earth I was going to get a frisbee straight into a basket – or even manage it in one shot – six or seven shots maybe….255

We couldn’t play properly because of the set up for the Balloon Fiesta, but as we walked round, Liam got me to try a couple of the baskets and I enjoyed trying my hand at something new. It would be great to be able to go up there again and play all the holes – or baskets – and see if my aim and sense of direct does improve! It’s the sort of activity you can play on your own, or in pairs and groups. Maybe it’s an idea to sneak up on your own and get some practice in?

So other than frisbee golf, I got to see the deer and discover the rose garden at Ashton Court. I must remember when roses are actually out and go again as they’re one of my favourite flowers (and my middle name) and I would love to see the garden in full bloom. I got to walk up plenty o246f hills and eat strawberry ice cream (always a bonus). And I got to discover there was a golf course up there – in the hunt for the second Shaun of course!

For the cheap price of £1.20 parking, you can spend hours up at Ashton Court walking round (and almost tripping over loads in my case) and relaxing. It’s so peaceful up there that you forget that you’re actually in Bristol. I’ll have to take myself back up there for a walk – it’s another way of getting in shape walking loads.

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