Date Night: Loki Wine Merchant & Tasting House

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

loki

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.

IMG_0855

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

IMG_0846

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.

IMG_0876

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

IMG_0842

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!

IMG_0843

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.

IMG_0848

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!

IMG_0844

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.

IMG_0849

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

IMG_0852

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

IMG_0854

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!

IMG_0851

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

IMG_0871

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

IMG_0853

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!

Networking: Chocolate & Wine Tasting!

gate

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.

SimkissGuy-JPEG

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.

bank

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

IMG_0677

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.

choc5

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

great

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.

IMG_0670

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!

IMG_0675

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!

choc4

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.

choc1

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!

Twitter 

Facebook

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!

CROWN

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

crown1

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

IMG_0447

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!

crown2

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.

IMG_0441

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.

IMG_0444

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!

IMG_0446

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!