Date Night: Loki Wine Merchant & Tasting House

If you follow me on instagram (  then you will have seen that a few weeks ago I went wine tasting (again!).


Dan has been working so hard lately and I just wanted a cute little date night that we could do on a weekday to relax & unwind during another stressful week.

Up stepped the most awarded Wine Merchant in Birmingham. Located in the Great Western Arcade, Loki Wine was the perfect venue for a lovely, relaxed evening of wine tasting.


If you head over to their website here, you will see the current events that they have coming up.


We attended the Rioja masterclass which was on Wednesday 28 October 2015 & started at 6pm.

We headed over to Birmingham & grabbed a coffee & then wandered over to Loki around 6pm.


We were taken upstairs to the tasting room where we were greeted by Rioja goody bags.


On the table was water and spittoons but we were encouraged to taste the wine & swallow if we so wished, which of course we did!


We also had a slice of chorizo & some delightful manchego  cheese to pair with the wines.  Loki also sell meat & cheese platters & all food is sourced from the local, traditional delicatessen which is fantastic for local, independent businesses.

A pen was provided to us if we wished to make notes of the wines that we tasted etc.


The experience was led by Paul who was so educated in wine that me & Dan felt like we could have listed to him all day!


There was around 18 people on the tasting, which was a lovely number; just intimate enough but also a nice number to interact with.

We tasted 6 wines in total (including one white Rioja and one rosé Rioja).  We then tasted a range of Rioja’s varying in price.


Every wine we tried was available to buy in the store on the lower ground.


You can also come in, order some food, buy a tasting card starting at £10.00 & work your way around the wines.


This is a fantastic idea if you’ve been wondering about a certain wine, but you don’t necessarily want to purchase a whole bottle just in case it’s not for you!


Our wine tasting evening finished on Paul opening a bottle of 1970 Rioja which was a real experience!


To drink something that’s nearly twice my age was wonderful & would make a great talking point at a dinner party!


After the tasting had finished I took a look around Loki & was impressed with how relaxed it was.  There was a lovely room where you could bring your wine & have a natter after work or have a glass of wine after a morning of retail therapy.

We were also encouraged to browse the store before it closed around 8pm, which we took full advantage of!


Lunch Date

So, you know the situation.  It’s nearly Christmas, you’ve used the majority of your holiday at work & you’re left with the odd day to take off.

What do you do?

Well you go shopping of course!


Birmingham is absolutely killing it at the moment.  Grand Central has just opened and we’re less than a week away until the new look Mailbox opens fully!  It’s all very exciting stuff! Be sure to check back next weekend to see how the Mailbox looks!

I’d heard about a new Pan-Asian restaurant/bar that had opened just under a month ago.  It’s based in Debenhams in the Bullring and it grabbed my attention straight away.  After being taken with the launch photos, I suggested going for lunch.

After about 4 hours in the John Lewis home department (I’m not even kidding), we took the short walk through to the Bullring (use the connecting walkway – this will be mega handy in Winter!) and we found ourselves in Debenhams.


Chi Kitchen it located on the 3rd floor of Debenhams and is open for breakfast (served until 11am), light bites, lunch and serves mains until 8pm.  The bar area is also a lovely place to come, sit, relax and order a glass of champagne.

Grand Central is lovely.  Just FAR too busy for me to enjoy a nice lunch & a drink.  Yes, I want somewhere with atmosphere, but no, I don’t want to be crammed in next to a million shoppers & their Primark bags.

Chi Kitchen to the rescue! We got there for midday and by the time we left it was really filling up.  Perfect for shoppers and workers, I was sold.


To start, we went for a selection of mixed Sashimi.  This is a great option for a couple to try all of the sashimi together.  You get a platter of 2 tuna, 2 salmon, 2 yellow tail & 2 sweet prawn.

We then ordered the two things on the menu that excited us the most (this took time, believe me, I wanted EVERYTHING!).


We finally decided on the Szechuan Beef and the Salmon Teriyaki.


The Salmon Teriyaki was so good that Dan only gave me a small bite!  But that was OK with me as the Beef was just as good!


We opted for a glass of rosé champagne, because well, it’s Monday, so why not?!

The presentation  of the food was second to none.  You can see the chef preparing the sushi, sashimi etc & when you walk into the restaurant, the fresh fish is all on display.

We got to sit at the back of the restaurant which is really nice as you’re completely away from the shoppers and you have a view overlooking China Town.

The next time I visit cannot come quick enough!  I’m planning on ordering some sushi rolls with maybe some popcorn shrimp & of course, a glass of fizz!

I cannot recommend this place enough.  Friendly staff and fantastic food.  This place offers something completely different to Birmingham & it has fast become one of my favourites!

You can check out the menu on the Chi Kitchen website here 

And be sure to check out what else is happening in and around Birmingham!  You will not be disappointed!

Vacation: Marbella Day Five

Our last day had arrived!

With 3 hours sleep, we made sure every alarm possible was set so we could enjoy our last few hours in Marbella!


I had planned a boat trip over to Marbella Old Town at 11am, so we made sure we were ready!

A beautiful walk down to the Port saw any hangover drift away!


The boat ride over to the Old Town was a highlight of the holiday. It was a perfect way to spend our last morning in Marbella.


The views were utterly magnificent & I found myself pinching myself several times!


Clear blue skies for miles & a beautiful sea breeze found ourselves feeling very lucky indeed!

After around 35 minutes, we were dropped at the beach. A little walk through shops, cafes & restaurants saw us in the Old Town.


We love it here in the day time!


The orange tress & the cute little shops are a must for us when in Marbella!


We brought lots of lovely things to remember Marbella by & then stopped for some lunch.


There was a singer in the square who was singing lots of beautiful love songs.


It was like being in a film and we felt quite emotional that the holiday was soon coming to an end!


After an amazing few hours, we got the boat back to Puerto Banus where we did some last minute shopping before catching our transfer back to the airport!

We had a late flight back to East Midlands, but with no delays & a good flight, we made it back to England with a lifetimes worth of memories.


The holiday was absolutely perfect & I feel so lucky to have spent such a wonderful 5 days with such beautiful people in an utterly remarkable place!

Now I just need to book my next adventure…

Vacation: Mykonos Day Five

Hello & welcome to our last day!


We have had SUCH a wonderful holiday! I have felt like the luckiest girl in the world the last few days.


We had our last breakfast in the hotel & had our last few rays of sunshine!


The thought of leaving the island make me so sad, so we went back into the Old Town & grabbed some Greek Froyo from a hidden frozen yoghurt place!


It was SO hot today, that my hat became a permanent fixture! I wasn’t going to take one as I’m not quite sure it suits me, but boy was I thankful for it!


We made sure we walked slowly back to the hotel to prolong everything & we then went for some lunch to keep us going before our journey home!


The thought of it being our last lunch made me super sad!


We grabbed a glass of wine to toast the holiday before getting changed & checking out of the best hotel that we have ever stayed in! The staff were absolutely fantastic & we really hope to be seeing them again next year!


I changed into my travel outfit, which consisted of a H&M maxi dress, my Marc Jacobs sunnies, my trusty hat & my flip flops. I also carried a little black cardigan in my travel bag as I would have frozen to death on my return to Gatwick!


I’m really not the best flyer, but the sunset was pretty cool! We arrived back to Gatwick at 10:15pm.  We then had a long journey back home to Birmingham, where we stopped for a Starbucks & had a very loud motorway singsong!


So that’s it! Our 5 day vacation is complete! It’s back to work & I’m counting down until my next getaway!


Vacation: Mykonos Day Four

After our little sleepover last night, we were feeling even more relaxed & refreshed!


I felt like I had definitely had a lot of sun over the last few days & I had planned a lovely little pool day, sitting in some shade finishing my book!


The book that I was reading was a truly heartbreaking true story, which put me through every emotion! I was angry, upset, empathetic & annoyed. Back home, it’s sometimes hard to completely get lost in a book, but this holiday was the perfect opportunity for me to do so!

If you would like to check this book out, you can do so on Amazon here.


We then went for lunch, where AGAIN we were served amazing food.


Greek salads always taste better in Greece!!


Dan ordered coffee & we caught the last few hours of sunshine!


With it being our last evening, we wanted to make the most of it & to stop me from crying the whole day, Dan went & brought some prosecco from our little wine shop.


We sat on our balcony together for the last time (sob!).


I felt like I could have sat there forever!

We then dressed for dinner & had drinks in the Bar, before our last meal in the Restaurant.


We went for a salmon bellini & an Octopus salad to start, which was delicious of course!


I then went for the chicken served with couscous.  The staff then brought over some Greek shots to finish our holiday! It was a lovely gesture & one we welcomed!


With our last few hours looming, I went to bed that night both devastated & thankful for the chance to be in such a wonderful place!

*come back to see what we did on our last few hours in Mykonos!*

Vacation: Mykonos Day Three

After last night’s dinner, I woke up in another wonderful state of happiness & excitement!

We had planned to go to Nammos for lunch.


After hearing lots about it & with all celebrities being fans, it was a must do on our list!


Located on the beautiful Psarou Beach, it was a 10 minute scenic taxi drive away from our hotel.


We got dropped right on the Beach & was confronted with stunning views!


Lunch was served from 1pm, so we took a stroll along the beach first.  Spotting the yachts in the distance was a sight in itself & Nammos actually offer a yacht service where they will deliver your food right to your yacht. (Maybe one day, huh!).


We managed to get a seat right on the front, where we people watched whilst having a lovely lunch!


We went for pitta bread & homemade humous to start & it was the BEST humous ever. Seriously.


I then went for the chilli shrimp linguini & Dan settled on the chicken salad.


We were super full & when paying our bill, we got given some Greek shots.  Oh wow. I am not good with shots. But you’re on holiday, right?! I think I dealt with it quite ladylike (& when I say that, I mean I didn’t puke!). CHEERS!


It was a lovely gesture by the restaurant & a perfect way to end lunch.

We then got a taxi back to our Hotel & went for a little walk.


We had decided to have a little sleepover in the evening so we went on the hunt for local produce stores, where we could stock up on Greek food for dinner!


I was so excited to do this as I love to visit all the local butchers, fruit stores & markets! In England, we’re used to big, commercialised supermarkets, where convenience comes first.  On holiday, I don’t want this!

We found a wonderful little shop where we brought olives, meats, bread & cheese.


Dan then found a local wine store where he went & brought a bottle of red wine to go with our food.


We spent the whole evening in our robes & slippers just chilling out on the balcony, drinking our wine & eating our home brought Greek food!


It just goes to show that you don’t always have to spend a lot to have the best nights! To be able to do both with someone is very special! It was a perfect evening!

*come back on Friday to see what we did on Day Four!*

Vacation: Mykonos Day Two

Day Two saw the biggest pool/chill day ever! We got up early – (I am a NIGHTMARE on holiday! I am up at the crack of dawn not wanting to miss a single second! Sorry Dan!) – & we headed to the hotel Gym.  The gym was outstanding.


Treadmills, cross trainers, bikes & an awesome weights area, it had everything you needed for a quick morning workout!


After an hour in the gym, we had our first breakfast at the hotel.  Faced with the freshest fruit, Greek yoghurt, homemade cakes, pastries, meats & cheeses, I could have literally stayed there all day.  Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day & the Greeks know how to do it!  In England, breakfast is considered a quick, on the go meal.  I like to sit, have coffee, read the news & take my time.


Straight after breakfast we scooted on over to a bed where we lay out in the morning sunshine where we read, listened to music & talked until the cows came home.


Being on holiday is such a lovely thing to do when you work hard for it.  To have a few days away together in the sunshine is just what the doctor ordered! Dan works so hard & I couldn’t be more proud of him, so to see him so relaxed made my holiday!

Sunbathing really does take it out of you (!), so at lunch time we went for a little lunch at the restaurant.


Today we went for the zucchini rolls (which were fantastic!), & the Greek Flatbread which is actually my favourite thing of all time!  Followed by a glass of white wine in the sunshine, I had died and gone to heaven!


Having sussed out the local shops in the nearby town yesterday, we decided to head back to the cute ice cream store that we spotted! Run by the nicest old Greek men, I went for a scoop of Greek yoghurt & cherry & Dan went for the Snickers flavour.


The ice cream was seriously so yummy & eating them whilst walking around such beautiful surroundings was just perfect!


We then did some more sightseeing around the Old Town!


We headed back to the hotel around 7pm where we chilled out on the balcony & got excited for dinner.


About a week before we got to Mykonos, we had booked a reservation at the Nobu restaurant which was located in our hotel.  I had been waiting for this moment forever & I was NOT disappointed!


Having not been to Nobu before, I wanted to make sure I got the very best out of the experience.  I KNEW I wanted the Black Cod as that is one of the things Nobu is famous for, but I also wanted to try their sushi etc!

The waiters & waitresses were like beautiful supermodels.  All dressed in black and sporting their natural Greek tans, it would have been easy to feel intimidated.  The staff instantly made us feel welcome, bringing us Fiji water & sashimi tacos.


When asking us if we had visited before, our waitress recommended the 7 course taster menu.  With this, you got to try a little of everything that Nobu has to offer.  We were sold.  We ordered a bottle of white wine & sat back & relaxed whilst we got brought course after course!


My favourite did end up being the Black Cod.  I could eat that for the rest of my life! Along with the cod, we got to taste the salmon, caviar, sea bass, beef, sushi, miso, salads & an unexpected chocolate dessert!IMG_6686

All in all, the whole experience lived up to every single expectation that I had! It was the best night & getting to share it with Dan made it all so perfect!

*make sure you come back to see what we got up to on Day Three!*

If you missed Day One – check it out here