Tag Archives: food

Feeling like Stars at The Alchemist

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Feeling like Stars at The Alchemist

Although I’m not keen on singing in public a lot of my friends just love it, so as soon as I found out that one of my favourite pubs in London, The Alchemist, was hosting a Rockaoke Night, I just had to get them down there.

I rang up Elena, the Sales Manager for the pub to book us a table, and I’m glad I did – it was PACKED! Clearly there are a lot of stars on the rise in Houndsditch.  We sat down at our table and ordered some nibbles to start, along with a few gorgeous Cocktails to kick start the night.

Although it’s not my bag, the Rockaoke was awesome!

It was like karaoke, but instead of singing with a pre-prepared song without the words you sang with a LIVE BAND! There were some brilliant acts, as well as some that, let’s just say, should maybe stick with the day job! My friends had a go at the end of the night when the crowds had thinned a little and they said it was just amazing.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more Rockaoke nights to check out – if they are anything like the one at The Alchemist they are simply not to be missed!

‘Tis the Season, is it?

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‘Tis the Season, is it?

So while I was at Cape Wood St enjoying some tasty cocktails, I was told that Cape in St Katherine’s Docks will be hosting a Christmas Taster Event on the 11th September. Christmas in September? I had to see what this was all about. A couple of my friends were interested in sorting out a Christmas Party so I took them along for the ride.

Well, when we walked into the bar we instantly felt more festive. The bar had been decorated tastefully with Christmas decorations and fairly lights and we were greeted with a glass of mulled wine which definitely got us in the mood for Christmas.

Then in came the food. Boards stacked with Smoked Salmon on Rye Bread and Thyme Baked Brie with Garlic Toast came out to greet us. The Salmon was delicious and the Brie was perfectly cooked and creamy. My favourite was the Christmas on a Stick, which was exactly what it says on the tin, bits of chicken, potato, stuffing and Vegetables popped on a stick and covered in cranberry sauce. Perfect!

In the corner was a giant cardboard Santa, holding the message that if we book our Christmas Party on selected dates we could get 25% off! Now that’s definitely worth a kiss!

All in all I had a great time at Cape and I am already looking forward to the festive season. Well done guys! Loved it!

Nostalgia In Leeds

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Heeeeey!

In a few of my previous entries I have recalled certain venues and places which remind me of my teenage years but there is really only one city which sums up my young princess years – Leeds.

(BTW: When pronouncing Leeds, try and say it in a short, snappy kind of way with a reeeally deep voice with an emphasis on the LE. Leeds, say it again Leeds – Good job!)

So yes Leeds was the first city where I was allowed to go shopping with my Girlfriend’s for the first time. We would get the train, hang around outside the Corn Exchange for a few hours looking super cool (An action that young people still do as it happens – Note to self, they don’t look cool, they look cold and miserable) then we would head to a pub for the remainder of the afternoon.

I have a few friends who went to Uni in Leeds, so we decided to head up to see what the students of 2012 are up to, we hadn’t been for a good 12/13 months and we felt like we were missing out – on what exactly I’m not sure…but oh well. Next stop Leeds!

All the decent pre-club bars in Leeds are about a 10 minute walk away from the train station heading up towards The Light shopping/cinema complex. You have your usual suspects, Wetherspoons, Yates, Woo Woo, and of course what city would be without a Varsity and an Oceana! OOOP and would you look at that, the two just happen to be next to each other. Now that’s what you call convenient!

I tell you what – Varsity has sure changed since the last time we were there. 100% changed for the better, it looked completely different. Loved the different types of lamps over the bar and the leather chairs round a fireplace. Fixed seating had been put on a new terrace and a new dance floor had been put in at the back of the pub.

I liked that there were several different areas, each had a different feel to it and I could get a big group of mates together in one area or have a quiet dinner/drinks with one person in another.

Hands down, my favourite part of the referb is the addition of (what I now call) The Lipstick Bar in the girls toilets. It’s perfect for doing a few touch-ups and the likes.

I ordered a southern fried chicken wrap (minus the chips) which was very yummy, as was the glass of Rose Pinot Grio I washed it down with. Great promotions actually – buy two large glasses and get the rest of the bottle for free. I think that’s a pretty good deal when you spilt the rest of the bottle between two people.  The staff were really attentive and smiley which was a nice change from the grumpy faces from the others on the strip – step it up guys cuz Varsity sure have!

We had a few more drinks before moving on to Oceana, the plan was to move on to another bar but to be honest, we didn’t need to. It was comfy, with good prices and great music too.

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Service with a smile.
Atmosphere and decoration:  Great new décor, really brought it up to date and stood out in comparison to the other bars in that area
Facilities:  Beautifully clean and pretty!
Talent Radar:  Perhaps…….
Fun Factor: Great to re-visit Varsity and catch up with friends
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food,  large parties, small parties too!
In 3 words: Var-Sit-eyyyyy

The Gate, Farringdon.

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Hellooo!

So this will be somewhat of a strange entry. I could give the long version but frankly it would bore you and I had view numbers to think of, so the short version is: Went to a pub, had a good time, took photos, lost photos, got mad, returned and took more photos!

So, yes, I went to The Gate in Farringdon Central/East London for a few pre-clubbing glasses of wine! This place do a great offer on wine – buy two large glasses of wine (red, white or rose) and get the rest of the bottle free! You really can NOT say anything bad about that can you. You also may find it difficult to turn your nose up at 50% off all food on a Monday. I know I do, I’m heading next Monday, already booked my table.

Normally I would link my pictures with funny incidents that occurred during the evening but seeing as my stupid computer lost all my photos I can’t! I CAN however show you photos of the pub itself and hopefully from those you can see what cute, homey and soulful pub it is. So put your hands together as we introduce, The Gate!

Cute fairy lights look lovely against the dark wood

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Friendly and fast service.
Atmosphere and decoration:  Very relaxed and chilled out.
Facilities:  Had a hunt for toilet roll but everything was clean.
Talent Radar:  A few suit cladded cutesies
Fun Factor: This place will be great in the summer with a cider in the sun.
Perfect for: Wine, pre clubbing drinks, friendly meet ups
In 3 words: Great wine deals!

For other reviews, check out View London, Qype, Yelp and All In London. If 50% off food floats your boat or if you want to make use of that fantastic Wine promotion, click these guys, they will set you on the right track – Party in the Pub.

Walking in a Winter Wunder Sunderland (Part 1)

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Another week – Another post!

So moving on from the bright lights of Newcastle, I headed south and towards the seaside to SUNDERLAND!

However it would just happen that I visit Sunderland on a Football Derby Day between Sunderland and Middlesbrough, not a great move on my part.

Sunderland reminded me of my University town of Eastbourne complete with the bracing sea air and high street stores. I was hoping that Sunderland had a nice bit of nightlife as well. We set ourselves a little challenge of visiting as many pubs/clubs as we could in the space of the 24 hours we were there. We decided we would create a mental list whilst having a cheeky little shop, and the locals were brimming with ideas for us, there was certainly NOT a lack of choice of places to go, quite the opposite.

Anyway, soon we had created a nice little list, we were to start at Chesters, up on Chester Road, then to Chaplins on the corner of Stockton Road, saunter over for a game of pool at the Ivy House then trotting over to Sunderland Centre to see what delights awaited us there! It was going to be a late one; Cinderella would be tucked up in her pumpkin by the time we were planning on getting home! Let the Party Princess Royal tour COMMENCE.

ChestersChesters was our first stop and was recommended was a good place to for a spot of dinner followed by several glasses of wine before heading towards the town centre.

My News Years resolution was ruined on January 10th so I sacked off the salad and dived into a Jim Bean Glaze Burger complete with curly fries and shared a pudding taster platter.

Get in ma belllly

(Clockwise) Rhubarb crumble, bread and butter pudding, chocolate fudge cake and cookie cup

The venue was huuuuuge and seemed to cater for everyone and everything. A snooker room at the back had two snooker tables and a few other tables. There were comfier seating areas with big tables on raised platforms, several sports/TV screens and a massive beer garden at the front. I can image the beer garden being choka-block in the summer.

 

There were already lots of groups of larry lads and glammed up girls pre-drinking and planning their nightly strategy. An hour or so later, with our tummies filled and after polishing off a few (THREE!) bottles of wine, we started to wander down to The Ivy House!

#Hick!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  Jim Bean burger was AMAZING!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Buzzing, everyone was very friendly.
Facilities:  So much choice, can’t fault anything,
Talent Radar:  I’ll say! #Fitties!
Fun Factor: Great starter, now on to the main course!
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food, Snooker, large parties, sports.
In 3 words: Big, tasty, whooper!

Part 2 coming up sooooooon!

 

PP XX

Leicester, Take Two…ACTION!

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Huzzah dear readers! x

Given that my last jaunt to Leicester was so fantastically awesome, it would be incredibly rude of me to turn down an invitation to hang with those crazy Leicester students again. This time my invitation was from the second Varsity on London road.

Expecting a heavy night, I packed my berocca, my heels and a toothbrush and whizzed up to Leicester. Talk about timing, it would so happen that my visit coincided with the end of exam celebrations, I couldn’t have asked for a better excuse to round up the students of Leicester and De Montfort, and boy were these guys ready to party!

Even at 12pm, hoards of relived, blurry eyed and smiley student piled through the doors of Varsity looking for food and most importantly…booooze! The J-bombs started to flow and even got a cheeky few passed my way. Yes I know 1pm is a little early to start but, whilst in Rome an’ all! An army of burgers and curly fries made their way out of the kitchen to feed the students.

I got talking to one very lively (to put it lightly) group of chemists. Well, one thing leads to another and I ended up challenging one boy to a Man Vs (Varsity) Food!

Mission (Should you choose to accept it) “Consume a Dirty Dogs Dinner in less than 5 minutes, with your hands tied behind your back!”

Granted, that doesn’t sound too bad, well hang on and let me explain what the Dirty Dogs Dinner actually is. Imagine a mountain of sausages, a big pile of chips smothered in Heinz Baked Beans and smoked bacon pieces, all served in….(wait for it) an actual steel dog bowl! Doesn’t that sound beautifully glamorous! Unsurprisingly it wasn’t! Seeing the poor bloke bobbing his head in and out of the dog bowl, we didn’t think to cut up his sausages beforehand which made watching the whole gut busting experience a little gross. Soon he had the whole bar including the staff cheering him along and he managed the dish in 5.30 minutes, so close, dang and blast!
Surprisingly, I lost my appetite for lunch and dinner!

"Hi Im Jonny Knoxville and Welcome to Man Vs Food!

On to the nightlife! Shots, J-bombs, pints, glasses of wine and bottles all £1! The Varsity Pound Party had begun. The tunes were rolling out and the crowds were rolling in to join in the party. The upstairs section of the bar had been booked out for an international students party and the downstairs was split between the cool kids at the back of the bar on the sofas playing pool and the rest of the nutters throwing out some choice moves on the dance floors.

I couldn’t have a night out in Leicester without visiting my buddies over at The Reynard and Varsity on Friar Road. (Read my previous Leicester blog here) I met my future Party Prince, Jef (DJOneEf), and sat and had a nice drink with the guy at The Reynard who told me about the success of their own student social parties on Wednesday, do I hear another invitation?! I think so!!

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service: Doggie-licious?! I did actually share a dirty dog bowl, and with proper cutlery, it’s pretty darn good!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Big and airy, mixture of sofas and booths along the side.
Facilities: HUGE girl’s bathroom!
Talent Radar:  If you love chemists with a face full of beans, then YES!
Fun Factor: As always, Leicester rocks it.
Perfect for: Filling your tummy and rocking out on the dance floor.
In 3 words: Student hang out.

Read other reviews for Varsity London Road here at View Leicester, Inapub.co.uk, BBC.co.uk and Qype

See you on Friday for my Newcastle/Sunderland Tour Part 1 through 3 

Party Princess and the Psychic! The Maskery – Congleton

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Hey!

As you have probably read from my previous blogs, I normally end up in so called “party” towns such as Cardiff, Plymouth and London, and rightly or wrongly I have snubbed the smaller pubs and clubs in the more remote places of the Country. Well I’m going to change this! Make it a late new year’s resolution perhaps. I will try and say “Yes!” more often.

This change begins in Congleton. First off I would like to express my love for the name “Congleton” what a mouthful! Anyway…I received an interesting invitation for a “Psychic Night” at The Maskery.  Having never been to a psychic night, Congleton or Cheshire for that matter, I thought it high time I do so.

I forget living in London how cold it gets up north and I even forget what ice and frost looks like! WOWZERS it cold! Uggs would have been a better choice than little ballet pumps. Oh well, you live and learn.

So, what can I say about The Maskery, well for starters it has possibly the cuuuetest pub sign I’ve seen. Nice bit of late or premature festivity depends which way you look at it I suppose. Inside, it was your standard pub, nicely decorated with oriental style wallpaper which was a nice change to old yellowy wallpaper, with a nice collection of oldies propping up the bar and creating a little cheeky banter buzz going. Great comment from one of the men when his wife arrive

Cutey Patootie

Man: “Hello love, you want a drink?”
Wife: “Yeah just a cup of tea please”
Man: “You what? Tea? This bloody pub, you’ll a have pint of lager and we’ll say no more about it!
Man walks to bar and speaks to bar man – “She will have a massive pint of Cider please!”

So 7pm rolled around and then it was my turn to see my psychic, will I learn my future, will I find out the winning lottery numbers or learn the love of my life, who knows! I am actually a bit of a sceptic when it comes to these things, I’m more a “what will be, will be” kindda gal, but when in Rome an’ all! I opted for a tarot and palm reading with “Emily Clairvoyant”. There was a mixture of palm reading, crystal ball, tarot card, fairy cards or mediums which you could choose when you booked your turn with the event organiser. A reading is normally £20, however when I mentioned I was writing a blog I got a reading for £15.

So, I placed my £15 on the crystal ball and the reading begins with a palm reading. Apparently, I have a long life line, and I’ll be live and kicking till my 80’s which a nice thing to hear isn’t it! I’m also outgoing, headstrong and very independent (most people who know me will agree with that), and I will have 3 children in the future. Well, I was still feeling a little sceptic, because that was all a little vague really, we moved on to the Tarot cards. I pulled 15 cards from the pile and placed them in front of me. The wheel of fortune card came out which shows that apparently my luck is changing and great things are coming my way and I am already with the man I will marry, ooooooo! (However considering I’m wearing an engagement ring, you’d sorta hope so!!)


So maybe I wasn’t given the winning lottery numbers, I wasn’t really given any particular insight, but hey! The football was showing which attracted a nice little crowd and normally the football and sports are shown on a big projector screen at the back of the pub. A group of 5/6 girls came in with hot chocolate cravings and they did look really yummy topped with cream and chocolate powder, perfect on these wintery nights.

 

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  I had a jacket potatoes and beans must…stay..away..from..the…burgersss
Atmosphere and decoration:  Great northern hospitality, very sweet bar staff  and welcoming manager – Sarah.
Facilities:  Big sofas to squish into.
Talent Radar:  As I said, a tad old, if only I was 50 years older!
Fun Factor: very interesting hearing what my future will bring to me.
Perfect for: Watching the game, cheapy drinks, heart warming dinners.
In 3 words: “Look into my eyes”