We are Nine!

On Sunday 25th October 2015, me & Daniel celebrated our 9th Anniversary!

We honestly do not know where the last 9 years have gone!

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We headed out for dinner on the Saturday evening to celebrate!

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We went to our favourite Chinese restaurant in our local town of Harborne; Henry Wong’s.

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We love the food & the atmosphere here & as we’re planning on doing something utterly amazing for our big 10 year Anniversary next year, we thought we would settle on a nice little dinner this year! IMG_0762

It was a lovely evening full of wonderful food & beautiful  champagne!

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I really am a lucky girl!

We woke early on the Sunday morning & headed back into Harborne for an Anniversary breakfast!

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We went to The Plough which has been voted the best breakfast in Birmingham by a few reviews & you can add mine to that list!

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The restaurant was super busy, but we managed to get a table around 9:30am.

After struggling to pick just one thing off the menu (it all looked so yummy!), I settled on the pancakes.

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Oh wow! Hands down the best stack of pancakes I have ever had!  I couldn’t finish it because it was SO HUGE!

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I also ordered an orange juice & a mug of tea, which came with a biscuit; is that not the cutest thing ever!

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After a relaxing morning, we continued our relaxing day & finished the evening at home with more champagne!

 

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Networking: Chocolate & Wine Tasting!

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On 20 October 2015, I was invited to an Event organised by The Gatekeepers Guild which is a Networking Group brought to you by SimkissGuy Recruitment created for PAs, EAs & Office Managers in Birmingham.

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When the email came round with the words ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Wine’ tasting, I didn’t even need to read the rest to know I was in!

So with three other colleagues from my firm, we headed into Birmingham for the event.

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The event kicked off at 5:30pm and it took place at Bank House in Birmingham.

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We took the elevator and was greeted with this wonderful view overlooking Birmingham!

We were given a glass of champagne (or two) & after a little mingling, the Chocolate & Wine tasting begun.

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Providing this amazing experience was Chouchoute Chocolaterie who have a wonderful shop in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham.

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The shop is co-owned by Pierre Soualah who was trained at Fauchon in Paris & Selfridges in London – not bad eh!

Pierre went through the whole chocolate process.  From the cocoa bean all the way through to the tasting, Pierre went through in detail everything you would ever want and need to know.

His passion really came through in the way he spoke about the chocolate and he had me completely sold even before trying the chocolate.

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But next, we got to taste the chocolate – yay!  Each chocolate was different from the region the bean was grown, to the percentage of cocoa in each chocolate.  When going through each chocolate it was a lovely way to interact with people we work with, and getting to know the people we didn’t work with.  Trying to guess and understand the flavours of the chocolate was a real fun experience and with Pierre there to talk us through everything, I think I could well be a chocolate expert!

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After a glass of wine and a bit more of a natter, it was time to catch the train back home.  It was such a well organised, brilliant evening with some really lovely, hardworking ladies! Networking with people in similar jobs is a really positive experience and something companies should definitely encourage!

I really can’t wait to visit Chouchoute and pick up some bits!

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They cater for any occasion; birthdays, anniversary’s christmas, Weddings & they offer a wonderful corporate gift selection.  They also deliver to almost any address; business or personal & you can also add a personal message to your gift if you like.

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You will not find chocolates like these anywhere.  They are all handmade in a timeless fashion & the taste is second to none!

If you would like to check out the shop & you’re in the Birmingham area, their address is:

Chouchoute Chocolaterie Ltd
40 Great Western Arcade
Birmingham
B2 5HU

You can also find them on social media & I highly recommend checking out their website!

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Website 

Girls Night – Part Two

So, Part One of Girls Night saw me get my makeup done by the lovely Sasha at Clarins in Debenhams.

The girls absolutely loved my final look & I was glad to see they had already ordered a bottle of Pinot for my arrival!

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We decided to meet at The Crown at Iverley.  It’s a restaurant/bar located in a nearby village of Stourbridge, West Midlands.

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We always love to catchup over drinks & food & knowing both here are lovely, it was a winner.

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On a Thursday & Friday evening, The Crown do a special cocktail deal: 5 cocktails for £20.00.  Anybody who drinks cocktails on a night out will know what an amazing deal that is!  The list of cocktails they offer is ENDLESS!  I had to stop looking at the menu & just pick one at random!

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We arrived at 7pm & our table was at 9pm.  The bar area was absolutely heaving.  A fantastic atmosphere with really friendly bar staff.  No cocktail was too much trouble.

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We got to our table around 8:45pm and embarked on the tough choice of picking what to eat!

We noticed the specials board & instantly chose the Steak.  The Crown also have a Steak Night on a Tuesday evening & I honestly could not recommend it enough!  You really do get a great deal on such a lovely meal.

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It came with big, fat homemade chips, an oversized mushroom & peppercorn sauce.  I never normally order/eat chips but oh wow, I made an exception for these!

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No matter how full we are, we always have to see the dessert menu!  We instantly saw a ‘Popcorn Cheesecake’ & ordered three of them!  I was not disappointed!  Washed down with another bottle of Pinot, the night was concluded.

If you’re in or around the West Midlands/Stourbridge area, be sure to check it out!  There are some lovely countryside walks around so maybe pop in for a drink to warm your hands on the roaring log fire!

You can access their website here. 

Enjoy!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!).

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

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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!

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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 http://www.chikitchen.co.uk 

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

Breakfast of Champions

Good morning!

Happy Wednesday! We’ve successfully reached the mid-week point… we CAN do this people!

Breakfast is, hands down, my favourite meal of the day.

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There’s nothing better than starting off your day right!

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I love getting up ridiculously early (I’m one of those annoying, chirpy morning people and NOT sorry!), & I love laying the table, putting out every breakfast item in my cupboard & then infamously shouting up the stairs to wake Daniel!

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Fresh coffee, a choice of tea, toast, bagels, pancakes, croissants, jams, honey, fresh fruit, eggs, orange juice.

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It all makes its way onto the table with my iPad which will have the latest news on it ready to be read.

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Breakfast is a perfect time to wake up, discuss the news, catch up on emails before work & just relax.  It really does go a long way.

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There’s nothing worse than being rushed in the morning.  It puts me in an awful mood for the rest of the day & believe me, that’s good for nobody!

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So, what are you waiting for? Rise and shine & go scramble some eggs!

Tapas Fridays!

Hola!

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I know, I know.  It’s Monday & we’re all sad & depressed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m already planning & looking forward to the weekend!

One of my favourite things to do on a Friday is get home from work, kick off the shoes, open a bottle of wine/champagne & relax for the evening!

I love, love, LOVE to pick up some tapas bits and bobs during the week & enjoy them all on Friday evening!

Olives, meats, artichokes, humus, prawns.  You name it, I will buy it.

Tapas is perfect in the Summer (albeit, we haven’t seen much of a Summer here in England!).  There’s nothing better than putting everything in the middle so everyone can share.  The Spanish really know how to socialise by including food.

Now, if only we could have a little bit of their sunshine!  …PLEASE!?

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Food Review: Bank Restaurant & Bar Birmingham

Me & my mom like to do lunch. We especially like to do lunch when it’s sunny outside.

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With Birmingham on our doorstep, there’s always a new favourite we become obsessed with. In steps Bank Restaurant & Bar.

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Situated in the cosmopolitan surroundings of the popular Brindley Place, having sampled their cocktails many times before, (the bartenders encourage you to ask for ANYTHING. Don’t just pick off the menu. Fancy a Pina Colada? Then ask for it!), & with an impressive lunch menu tempting our tastebuds, we decided to head over there for an early lunch.

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With its outdoor heating & seating area, we braved the British wind & grabbed a cocktail, sat outside & pretended we were on an episode of the Hills.  I asked for a lychee martini (I’m obsessed with these!), & I was not disappointed! We had pre-booked our table for 1:30pm & was taken to our seats and seen to straight away. We were presented with a special lunch menu (1 course for £10, or 2 courses for £15) & given the specials & the normal extensive menu if we so wished to order from there.

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We picked our wine (priorities!) & settled on the special lunch menu.

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Almost immediately we were brought complimentary breads & olives for the table, which was a lovely touch.

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I went for a fish themed afternoon & started with chilli squid with a noodle salad.

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I then chose a main course of the salmon fishcakes with spinach.

From around 2pm, the restaurant was truly buzzing. There was a great atmosphere with everybody from cute couples, to larger family & friendship groups choosing to dine out here for lunch.

The food itself was outstanding. Service was quick & attentive, with everyone looking like they had just stepped out of a modelling agency.

With restaurants in Birmingham & Westminster, it really is a must when visiting Birmingham.

This special menu runs 7 days a week. 1 course for £10, or 2 courses for £15, it really does make for a fantastic afterwork venue, & an even greater weekend location. The menu runs on the following days:

Monday to Friday: 12pm – 7pm

Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

So, if you’re in the Birmingham area & fancy a lunch with a touch of class & sophistication, Bank Restaurant & Bar is your place!

Read their menus & book your table here! 

A two course lunch, with a bottle of white wine, two cocktails & service charge (included in your final bill), came to £65.00.

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What I wore:

Dress: ASOS

Shoes: Michael Kors

My Moms dress is from Marks & Spencer

Food Review: Edmunds Fine Dining

So, I’ve had a few days celebrating & letting my hair down as it was Daniel’s birthday on Thursday.

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We went out on his Birthday evening for cocktails & food. Safe to say, we didn’t want the evening to end!

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With the next day booked off work, we sure made the most of it.

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We settled on booking Edmunds, which is a fine dining French restaurant based in Brindley Place, Birmingham.

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What can I say? From start to finish we were blown away.

The service was impeccable. Nothing was too much for our waiter. Bringing out each course (we had 5 in total!), he explained what each ingredient was & how it blended in with each dish.

We decided on the A La Carte menu, which was £44.50 for 2 courses, or £49.50 for 3 courses.

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Freshly baked bread & a pre-starter was brought to us which was stunningly tasty.

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I was not disappointed with my choice of Caramelised Isle of Skye king scallops, celeriac remoulade and purée, apple tatin dressing for starter.

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After much deliberation, I settled on the Loin of Scottish venison, enriched duck liver, butternut squash purée, hazelnut crumble & venison jus for my main course.

Whilst finishing our main & drinking the best red wine, the chef came over to our table to see if everything was ok with our food. Dan was so impressed, I thought he was going to ask the chef to marry him. I wouldn’t have minded if it meant we get that food each night!

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As we hade been eating for around 2 hours, we were too full for a dessert. However, we did have some wine left to drink so we settled on a cheese board to share which was just perfect! Before our cheeseboard was brought to us, we had a special little pre-dessert to cleanse the palette.

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Overall, the whole dining experience was the best one we have had in a restaurant so far. The wine was superb, which made Daniel’s Birthday evening really extra special. The chef coming over really was a nice touch & it really goes a long way!

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With it now being our favourite restaurant & not being the cheapest of restaurants, we’re thinking about robbing a bank each week to fund our new obsession (I kid, of course!). You really do get what you pay for & for a Thursday evening, it was really busy, which is what you want to see for such a lovely restaurant.

For one 3 course menu, one 2 course menu & a bottle of wine, the dining experience came to just under £200.00.  Completely worth it for such wonderful food, wine & service.

If you’re in the Birmingham area, go book your table now! You will not be disappointed!

http://www.edmundsrestaurant.co.uk

Food Review: Sabai Sabai

Saturday evening saw me & the girls venture into Harborne for some food & drinks.

Harborne is a town 3 miles from Birmingham City Centre, & if you ever find yourself in the Birmingham area & want amazing Thai food, then I highly recommend Sabai Sabai!

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Located at the beginning of Harborne Hughstreet, the Thai restaurant gets immensely busy on weekends & it’s not hard to see why.

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The cocktails are phenomenal! I opted for a Lychee Martini, which was quite possibly the best cocktail I’ve ever had in a restaurant.

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To start, me & the girls decided on a sharing platter, which included chicken satay, sweetcorn fritters & prawns.

After looking at the extensive menu & struggling to pick just one thing, for my main course I settled on chicken with cashew nuts with coconut rice. I honestly could eat that main course again and again, and again! It was gorgeous!

For three people: a starter, main course, rice, noodles, 3 cocktails and a bottle of prosecco came to just over £100.00.

An unbelievable cost for an outstanding experience. There was an incredible atmosphere & the service was quick & very friendly.

With a 5 minute taxi journey into Birmingham City Centre’s bars & clubs, Sabai Sabai is a perfect starting point to your evening.

For contact details & menus, check out their website here.

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Movie Night

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For any self confessed boy band fan, you will know HOW excited I was to see this movie!

Since I was 5 years old I have wanted to marry Brian & admittedly, I still have their album in my car.

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This was a documentary movie about the career of the Backstreet Boys; from the very beginning in 1992 to celebrating their 20th Anniversary. It was shown in 480 cinemas at 7pm on Thursday & was followed up with a LIVE performance!

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This band were my childhood. Family holidays to Florida were made when I could pick up their albums, books & posters & making up dances with my mom in the living room are just two reasons why the band make me happy!

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As I work 2 minutes from a cinema, my mom came & met me after work for wine & pizza & then we made our way over to the cinema like a pair of 12 year old One Direction fans!

Did you love the film as much as me?!