Jamie Lawson At the Dome

One of the two gig tickets I bought for us for my gift to Jack for year one of marriage (paper) was to see Jamie Lawson at Brighton Dome.

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I really enjoyed our evening. I don’t know that Jack would necessarily choose it as a gig of choice, as we described the audience as a mix of Radio 2 listeners, us included.

I’ll admit it, I’d really only heard his single ‘Wasn’t expecting that’ before I booked the tickets, but I really enjoyed his other material, especially some of the new songs that are potentially coming out on his next album.

Have you been to see anyone recently? Got any recommendations for my ‘to listen to’ list?

29

Last week I turned 29! It’s an odd mix of being aware I’m still super early on in life and also a growing sense of ‘don’t leave things late’.

This year my birthday fell on a Tuesday, so I had day at work with my new team and they were lovely. They club in and gave me an awesome Vitamin E set from The Body Shop, which I have been using daily since. We also went for a team lunch at The Prince George, which was YUM as always!

birthday

Jack’s birthday is the same week, so on Friday night we took ourselves to 64 Degrees for a birthday dinner. It didn’t quite meet my expectations of a restaurant ranked #10 of 815 restaurants in Brighton. I was pretty disappointed not to be sat at the bar, where you watch the chefs work, but was told they set people there who request it on their booking! Had I known that I probably would’ve mentioned it when I booked back in July… Tip for you all there. I also suffered from assuming I would be next to a kitchen and was in fact next to an open door, on one of the first chilly evenings of September.

Food wise, I would go again, but I would probably go on a week night, to avoid birthday parties and hen dos.

On Saturday, we had some drinks with our friends at the Northern lights and then went dancing at Casablanca, where the band was awesome (Black Velvet) and we danced til 2:30am, I think… I wouldn’t have described myself as coherent at that stage.

I’ll probably avoid drinking that much for a little while. 6am on Sunday I thought I was dying.

A little review: The Set

We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and booked a table at The Set, which is based within The Artist Residence. It fell on a Monday night, so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of busy-ness, and I have to say it had great atmosphere.

We were seated away from the kitchen, though some other couples were at the bar-like tables overlooking the chefs at work. Usually I’d be interested in that too, but it was pretty darn hot on Monday evening!

The way the menus work at The Set is, as you might have guessed, a selection of set menus detailing four courses in each. Being veggie I didn’t read my option in detail but simply went with the veg option of Menu 2. You can, I believe switch out the odd course if you are a fish eater.

The eating kicked off with an amuse-bouche, meat option: chicken nugget with homemade ketchup and a deconstructed caesar salad; veggie option was (if I recall) a sweetcorn croquet with homemade ketchup and a green tomato and sweetcorn salad. They gave us a hint of what was to come, and there is no photo because they disappeared almost immediately.

Next was a starter of peas, radishes and some sort of delicious garlic sauce, which we both agreed was an amazing dish and happily demolished.

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Starter: Pea, radish, hummus, apricot

 

Then we were brought what I am going to refer to as our first main courses. Jack had…

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Mackerel, summer squash, pig cheek

For my main I had…

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Carrot, egg yolk, cornichon, mustard

Now, I did enjoy my first main,  but the yolk part I didn’t love. I am solidly a cooked yolk person.

Then for our second mains Jack had…

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Lamb, BBQ, sweetcorn, green tomato

And I had…

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Courgette, Caesar, preserved lemon, parmesan

Now I am not even that much of a courgette fan, but I loved this dish, it tasted amazing and the balance of flavours really worked! Good work guys!

Puddings for our chosen set menus were not my normal chocolate fest and certainly looked unusual, with mine featuring cucumber. But they too were delicious.

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Peach, elderflower, honey, whey

 

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Cereal milk, spelt granola, milk ice cream

And then, as it was our anniversary the kitchen sent out a third dessert for us to try. Wow. I am so glad we got to taste this. It’s my idea of food heaven!

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Raspberry, milk chocolate, sorrel, cocoa nib

 

All in all it was an amazing meal and The Set had a wonderfully relaxed feel about it for a place serving up such scrumptious dishes. I’m sad that we haven’t visited sooner, as it’s only about a 5 minute walk from us and has been open for over a year now. “When can we go again?” is my next question!

Have you been to The Set, or have any recommendations for me?

Furry friends and festive fun with family and friends!

I love a spot of alliteration. Did you enjoy my title too? Probably not as much as me!

The last two weekends have been a lovely collection of activities. They were both wintery weekends packed with things to do but they were all very chilled.

The first Friday evening was spent keeping Fran’s lovely little kitties company whilst she was up in London town at a party. They have grown so so so much and have made quite firm friends with Fran’s christmas tree.

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Saturday afternoon was spent with my mother-in-law making Christmas wreaths. Melanie found some bargain kits from Laura Ashley in the sales after last Christmas and picked up a few.

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Not bad for £4, eh?
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We used leftover wreath pieces and hanging decorations to make tealight holders

Sunday afternoon I went for lunch with some of my favourite ladies at the Earth and Stars in the centre of Brighton. They do such delicious vegetarian roasts. No I did not take a photo of it. I ate it too quickly.

Afterwards we took a trip down to the Etsy Christmas Market that was going on, so many lovely stalls!

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It was so so busy!

I bought such a cute decoration from Brighton Jewel‘s stall. It was like the inverse of the one I’ve linked and I love it.

Then back to work for the week, which included our team christmas party. My secret santa (Aisybee) got me the cutest palace pet, and some chocolate – which is long since eaten.

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On this most recent Saturday morning I got up far too early and headed up to mid sussex to help my mum buy and decorate their tree and I think we picked a goodun’. It smells amazing, I know you can’t tell from the photo, but it does.

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FYI new set of light this year from argos at a steal

On Saturday night we went to Duke’s at Komedia to watch Bridge of Spies, which is Tom Hanks’ new film, about a prisoner exchange during the cold war. I have to say I thought it was brilliant. It wasn’t a short film but I was captivated.

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And then on Sunday Jack and I split up our tasks: he and his dad went over to my sisters to pick up the beautiful dresser about that she had kindly (and patiently) been storing for nearly a year, and I went into town to help his mum with her Christmas shopping. After our jobs were done we went for a gut busting all-you-can-eat at Bombay Aloo.

This week is my last week at work before a two week Christmas break and my plans include, posting the last of my Christmas cards, making mince pies and wrapping the last of my gifts, so keep an eye out for a fairly festive post coming later this week. Woo! Christmas!(What kind of Atheist am I, seriously!)

A Chilled BBQ – Asda’s MEAT up event

On Thursday night I went to my very first blogging event. I’m not going to lie – found it quite strange. I don’t mean that in a bad way but the best I can do is liken it to going on a first date with a lot of people. There was a lot of friendly small talk.

In case you didn’t know 27th of August is National Burger day. In celebration of this Asda hosted a MEAT up in the form of a pretty awesome BBQ. I was sceptical about going  – I don’t eat meat. But there were all varieties of tricky- to-cater-to dietary-requirement options available.

Adsa MEAT up menu
Obviously my focus was on the Halloumi Burger
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Some super hungry ladies – just as well there was food galore.
To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the other options – like I said I don’t eat meat and haven’t for ten years as of this summer – so it would be daft for me to comment other than to say everyone seemed well fed and cheery, and the meaty, fishy and vegan options all got compliments all round.
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My messy, delicious plateful. Did I mention I love Halloumi?

If you wanted to make a veggie burger like mine (I will be recreating it for myself soon) here is the recipe:

Halloumi Burgers

450g halloumi, sliced into 1cm pieces

Olive Oil


Red Pepper Houmous


4 buns


Aubergine, sliced into 1cm pieces – I don’t think my burger had this, and I would swap this out for some slices of Avocado

Lettuce


Tomato

1. Slice the halloumi and coat in olive oil. Place on the hottest part if the barbeque and cook for 1-2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds, until charred lines appear. Take off the BBQ and keep warm.

2. Slice the aubergine and cook on the barbeque until cooked. (Or prep your avocado, if you are me.

3. Split the buns, then toast, cut-side down, on the barbeque or grill. Spread the bottom half of each bun with the red pepper hummus, add the halloumi, aubergine (or avocado…), lettuce and tomato. Finish with the other half of the bun.

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There was more of it but *someone* ate it…

More importantly here is an Eton Mess recipe  – always a winner! Aisling of Aisybee had never had Eton Mess before this summer and that makes me so sad for her…

If you happen to not be veggie like me, firstly you should still try the halloumi option, and secondly the bbq range at Asda can be found here if you fancy an online shop…

Gym Gym Gym

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 12.13.48 pmCan you tell what this post might be about? I’m so subtle with my titles : )

Gym is a place I never imagined I would be so often. I have a bit of a tumultuous relationship with it if I’m being frank, which apparently is my constant state. Sorry all! I love the feeling after a really energetic session, where I have miraculously found motivation from a Spotify playlist at 6:45am. But I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit to sometimes going for 20 mins and leaving again. Those days happen too.

What gets me through is :

  • Having had a good nights sleep the night before.
  • Having my gym kit ready to throw on in the morning.
  • A coffee for my walk to the gym with Rosie (checkout her blog) in my trusty Keep Cup (I had one of these critters sent from Australia for J before they were stocked in the UK: shoulda waited!)
  • An awesome playlist – Rosie shared her personal gym one with me and that is always my fall back at the moment.
  • Having an idea of what I want to do. I have a Pinterest board of working out things, so I try to take a snoop at that to get me motivated before leaving home in the morning.
  • Occasionally treating myself to new gym kit.

What works for you?

 

Brighton Favourites

I thought I would share my favourite places in Brighton, in case any of you happen to be in Brighton and at a loss as to where to head.

Food For Friends

I freaking love this place, so much so I have never bothered to try Terre A Terre. I love their Vegetarian menu, and it’s such a treat having such an amazing, broad choice of food. Being betrothed to a meat eater, we do tend to hit up regular restaurants more.

J is a bit of a fan of their Sticky Toffee Pudding – you can kinda see why!

Sticky Toffee

foodforfriends.com

 

Koba

Koba Menu

Cocktails, cocktails, my lovelies. J and I went to Koba a little while back, in what must be a very Dry January, and we had the place to ourselves! This place is normally pretty buzzing, but we got to sit where we wanted super quick service, delicious happy hour priced cocktails, and then just a short skip home after.

Apple Crumble Cocktail

This here is an Apple Crumble, Super Sweet!

kobauk.com

The Creperie

I snuck in here with the lovely Charlotte and Andy when they came to visit for New Years ( Yes, I’m sorryI spoilt my appetite for dinner that night) and the crepes were all that you need from a crepe, sweet, crips edged, filled with deliciousness. I had a Nutty Ella, and I wish I had photo to share with you, but I scoffed it too quickly!

The Creperie

thecreperiebrighton.com

Blackbird Tea Rooms

This place… this place has the most delicious cakes of anywhere I have had cake in Brighton; I have had a lot of cake from a lot of places. Also, I’ve yet to photograph a single slice… I always eat ’em too quickly!

Their breakfast menu is also excellent, I had  Welsh rarebit with Portobello mushrooms & soft Duck Egg last time I visited (though swapped my duck egg for scrambled egg: fussy!) and it was lush!

blackbirdtearooms.com

 

Trying to Move: first time buyers

So the hot topic at the moment is: We’re trying to buy a flat.

I’ve learnt a lot that I think would have been useful to know before we started and here it is:

1. Don’t trust Estate Agents – Seriously.

They cannot be trusted, even the nice seeming ones. We have been lied to about available parking, there was none, it was advertised with. We have been talked into signing documents we shouldn’t have signed. We have had them send our papers to the wrong solicitors. Assume the worst is my advice.

2. Get a personal recommendation for a good Solicitor.

Because they are hard to come by, but don’t expect that personal recommendation to work out well. It’s all a bit a gamble still.

3. Let everyone know when you NEED to move by

That will inform your completion date, make sure you ignore your estate agents saying “Yes, of course that is fine!” They don’t know. You will need to check with your solicitor, who will speak with the seller’s solicitor.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, we want to be in before Christmas…

Boho Gelato

I cannot recommend this place enough. The variety of flavours is incredible, and it’s made onsite!

I can’t help but always choose a chocolate themed item, the one below was a chocolate hazelnut sorbet, I think.

https://www.facebook.com/bohogelato

Boho Gelato

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