UK Lifestyle Blog

23 June 2017

Tortilla Blogger Event | Intu Victoria Centre, Nottingham


I was recently invited along to Nottingham Intu Victoria Centre for a Blogger event at Tortilla in celebration of their Gingerella Burritos! Tortilla is a Cali-Mex restaurant made in Burrito heaven.

 I have never actually eaten at Tortilla before so I was really excited when I saw the email in my inbox inviting me along for try out their food.

  When I arrived at Tortilla I was warmly greeted and shown to a long table, adorned with ice buckets of Gingerella (the star of the show) Nachos with various dips and balloons. I was with some lovely fellow East Midland blogger ladies so the atmosphere was relaxed and chatty and we got stuck into the Gingerella and nachos whilst we waited for every one to arrive.


Once we were all seated, and had munched some of the tasty chips, we had a talk all about Tortilla.
Tortilla began in 2007 with their first store opening in Islington, London. They wanted to create the best Californian Burritos over here in the UK and they now have 33 restaurants, two of which are in Nottingham. A lot of their Californian roots can be seen within the stores today, starting with the décor. There are rustic wooden tables, panelled walls and signature red tiles. Fun fact about those red tiles, is that they are actually symbolic of the San Francisco bridge, which goes to show the level of thought that has been put into every aspect of Tortilla. We were given some information about Tortilla, from what ingredients they use, to some fun facts and their latest mouth watering treat, Gingerella Carnitas. Yup Ginger ale infused burritos for the month of June! The pork is marinated in the Gingerella and then slow cooked until it is melt in the mouth tender. What's really amazing is that 10p from every Gingerella Carnitas purchase is donated to charity, which I think is such a lovely thought. By the reaction of the other bloggers I can see the combination is a big hit!

Being a vegetarian I was made my own Tacos and Burritos to try. The ingredients are so fresh and full of earthy, spicy flavour, it was scrumptious - though I am yet to master eating a burrito gracefully! We had some Gingerella to go with it, which was absolutely delicious and refreshing, it helped wash down all that food nicely.


A meal wouldn't be a meal without a cheeky cocktail, and the Frozen Margarita's we were given were an absolute delight! If it wasn't a Tuesday I could have easily had another. Speaking of drinks, they even had a huge chandelier made from Corona bottles, we were told they were beers for chandeliers! It not only looked incredible, it also mars nicely with Tortilla's sustainability values.



We were kindly given a gift bag to take home with us which had a can of Gingerella, some hot sauce and a gift voucher for a free burrito, which I will look forward to using on my next visit! Have you been to Tortilla? If so will you be trying out their new Gingerella?


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26 May 2017

New Dessert Menu at Griddle & Shake, Nottingham*


I was recently invited to Griddle & Shake in Nottingham, to try out their brand new Dessert Menu, and anyone who knows me, knows I love a good dessert. I've never been to Griddle & Shake before, so thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see what they have to offer.

We made our way over to Fletcher Gate and were warmly greeted when we arrived at Griddle & Shake. We were told to pick where we wanted to sit, which was really nice as you can choose the best table!

I adore the décor, if you follow me on you'll know I have my heart in the countryside. I love everything about it, and the décor in Griddle & shake is a modern take on that.


There are so many different styles of tables, from intimate tables for two to long tables perfect for parties. I loved the little hut tables which would make dining feel more private. Another favourite of mine is the relaxing area with the large chesterfield style sofa and tractor table, it's such a cute design concept! A key thing about the whole layout is how spacious it is, you don't feel like you're packed in and there's room for pushchairs to get in and out with ease.

After marvelling at the décor, we returned to our seats to make our choices, the menu is easy to follow and I couldn't believe how affordable it is, £9.50 for a burger, fries and drink! The menu is inclusive of all tastes, you can literally build your perfect burger. You get to choose the style of bun you like with choices of Pretzel, Brioche, Gluten Free and Seeded, then comes the cheese! You have the choice of American, Halloumi, Stilton and Mature Cheddar. Once you've chosen your bun and cheese, now comes the star of the show, the patty itself. There's a classic Beef, Pulled Pork, Chicken or Tempeh as the Vegetarian option. Fun fact, Griddle & Shake is the first place in the UK to offer a Tempeh Burger! Finally you can choose your toppings, as many as you like. Yup, you heard me!

After some deliberation I opted for a Tempeh Burger with American cheese, Griddled Onion and a Pretzel Bun. I took along my husband who chose a Beef Burger with Halloumi cheese, pickle, red onion lettuce and tomato all on a Brioche Bun. We also ordered two portions of fries, one sweet potato and one skin on fries with rosemary and garlic oil.

We went up to the counter and placed our order, and within minutes it was brought over to our table, super quick service.


The burger was delicious, it's the first time I've ever tasted Tempeh and I can definitely say I will be going back for more! The bun was dense and soft, which was lovely against the gooey cheese. Also, the skin on fries with the rosemary and garlic oil were a match made in taste bud heaven. The meal was full of flavour, made with high quality ingredients, and was some really good comfort food. It hit the spot perfectly.

We had the opportunity to talk to the manager all about the concept behind Griddle & Shake and what they stand for which gave us the chance to know more about them and how they work. They're all about being inclusive for everyone, with their gluten free buns and dairy free shakes. The deconstructed style of ordering takes the stress out of dining out for those with allergies, and gives you the most out of your meal. The way you dine is also something that impressed me, they have termed it as being 'quick and casual' and it's just that. It's a very relaxed, yet you still get high quality service and food brought to your table. I can imagine it being the perfect place for a working lunch as the service is quick and also, FREE WIFI, say no more.



Now I take you on to the main event, and the reason I had been invited down to Griddle & Shake, The brand new Dessert Menu! It's set out in exactly the same way as the main menu, you get to choose your main pudding, ice cream flavour and sauce. There was a selection of waffles, chocolate fudge brownie, raspberry and white chocolate blondie and salted caramel and peanut fudge brownie. Being a dessert lover it was a tough choice, but in the end the blondie won over for me, the hubby went for a waffle.

If you thought that decision was tough, the choice of ice cream flavours is astounding! There were so many mouth watering flavours from; lemon meringue to raspberry pavlova, honeycomb delight and more. I took my time and think I went for a winning combination of Raspberry and White chocolate blondie, lemon meringue ice cream and raspberry sauce. Stephen chose the Waffle with raspberry pavlova ice cream and maple syrup which also looked incredible.




The blondie oozed flavour with the mix of rich creamy white chocolate and zingy raspberries. The lemon meringue ice cream had both the lovely tanginess of the lemon with the crunchy sweetness of the meringue pieces. It was moist, rich and delicious.

Although I didn't taste the waffle, I did have a cheeky taste of the raspberry pavlova ice cream and can confirm it is scrumptious.

They also do dairy free milkshakes but we were too full to try these!



If you love good quality food and fast service I would highly recommend paying Griddle & Shake a visit, and if you prefer staying in with your jim jams on they deliver with both Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Burgers and Brownies? Sounds like the perfect night to me!

 
Have you tried Griddle & Shake?
x





*Items in this post have been gifted to me, all opinions are my own
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31 March 2017

Chino Latino Birthday Party


I was invited along by Cartwright Communications, to a night of celebration at Chino Latino. I donned my best Black and Red outfit, including my brand new, red, structured tote bag, that I'm seriously obsessed with, and we headed out! Due to working a long 12 hour shift, by the time we had arrived the night was already in full swing. We entered through the huge glass doors, into the electric main room. Chinese lanterns hung delicately from the ceilings, as the people buzzed underneath them. Everyone was dressed impeccably, and I marvelled at some of the gorgeous black and red outfits people had put together.



We made our way over to the dessert table, because who can resist food at a party! There was an amazing array of macaroons, brownies, fresh fruit with chocolate fondue, and so much more. We were absolutely spoilt for choice! I tried a melt in the mouth macaroon, which was seriously divine, but then I could possibly have inhaled the whole table. I briefly saw some of my wonderful East Midland Blogger friends, who looked like they were having an incredible time too.



Unfortunately, due to the fact I couldn't arrive any earlier, I had missed out on the impressive fire and dragon display, which I have to say, looking at the photo's, looked incredible!

  We grabbed a drink, which I really wish I knew the name of, as it was a gorgeous fruity cocktail (I guess I will have to taste test the cocktail menu to find out, wink wink). Drink in hand we decided to have a mingle and walk round. There were numerous food stations, which my husband happily tucked into. The décor was striking, with the bar taking centre stage. I loved how it had luminescent bottles as the backdrop, which really caught your eye. There were also low light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, giving a very romantic hue to the room.

It was the perfect atmosphere to unwind and let my hair down after a long day at work.




Tummies full, we grabbed another drink, champagne for me, and then spent the rest of the evening dancing away. The DJ was amazing, he played such a good mix of music, there was something for everyone! The fabulous drinks and vibrant atmosphere made for a perfect evening.

We were given a wonderful goody bag to take home at the end of the night, which contained some lovely treats including some Miji Sauce, which I'm excited to do some cooking with!



I would like to thank Cartwright Communications for inviting me along to celebrate such a wonderful evening. I am desperate to go back and try some more of Chino Latino's delicious food, and of course cocktails!

Have you been to Chino Latino?
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12 March 2017

A Hidden Gem | The Little Shed, Allestree


This little slice of heaven is tucked away on a pretty street in Allestree, Derby. I discovered it through Instagram, and I couldn't believe I had never been before! If there's two things in life I love (other than of course my Husband, Family & Friends) It's home décor and cake. I'm always dragging My husband to oodles of afternoon tea's, quaint cafes and picturesque towns. So when I found out this little gem was right on our doorstep I knew we had to pay a visit.

It was a dreary Sunday morning, and despite not making a reservation, we set off to The Little Shed, in hope that we would chance upon a table.

As we pulled up outside, I couldn't get over how pretty it was, with a little gated patio area and sage green exterior. We made our way inside, and I was even more smitten with the interior décor. There were cute little trinkets like cotton lights, wooden stars and framed quotes everywhere. I frantically made a mental note of all the things I wanted for my own home!

We were very lucky to get a table for two as it was a busy Sunday morning. I would suggest booking a table in advance, which is what we will definitely be doing next time. Luckily for us we had turned up at exactly the right time!



 We were seated at our little wooden table, which had some exquisite fresh flowers on it, complete with a gorgeously designed striped menu. It didn't take us long to decide that we were definitely going to go all out and have the classic afternoon tea. I mean it was Sunday after all..
 
 
We ordered two coffee's to start with, whilst we waited for them to prepare our platter. Even the cups and plates were adorable, with little stags on my mug and Alice in wonderland themed plates. The attention to detail was spectacular.
 

 
When our afternoon tea was presented to us, my mouth dropped at just how much food there was! We had a selection of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and finally my favourite part of afternoon tea - CAKE!

We munched our way through the sandwiches, savouring the rich flavours of the cheese and red onion chutney, salmon and cream cheese and ham.

 Once our bellies were full of savoury goodness, it was time to move onto the cakes, starting with the scones. Served with lashings of cream and oodles of sweet sticky jam, they were mouth-wateringly good. If that wasn't enough sweetness, we then had an array of gorgeous cakes too! Our bellies could only hand the salted caramel brownies, which I have to say were divine, the rest we took home in a little box to have later.



We were brought more coffee as we chatted and ate, which was fantastic. I couldn't think of a more relaxing and perfect way to start off a Sunday, especially when this particular Sunday was pouring it down with rain. It was the perfect hideaway to wile away an hour or two in such a pretty setting.

One of my favourite ways to spend Sunday's is relaxing and re-charging for the week ahead. I like to catch up with family, my husband and also to pamper myself. The Little Shed is the perfect place to enjoy a moment of relaxation.



What's your idea of a perfect Sunday?
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5 November 2016

Healthy Dining at Skinny Kitchen, Canterbury



After a day of exploring the gorgeous city of Canterbury, we were left feeling peckish. We browsed the various restaurants along the way, when we stumbled across this quaint, monochrome kitchen, nestled on the bustling main street.

The modern, striking, exterior really attracted our attention and drew us in to find out more.



The atmosphere and décor inside Skinny Kitchen reciprocated it's healthy concept, with gorgeous clean white walls, contrasted with pale green sofas, and eye-catching copper lights overlooking the entire room. The vibe was very modern, pristine, but most importantly welcoming. There were potted plants scattered all through out the room, which further enhanced the natural ambiance.

We both decided to order a delicious, juicy smoothie to start with. I opted for the Acai Energy, as just lately I've been feeling more tired than usual and thought that I could do with a nice natural energy boost.

 This luscious, raspberry coloured, juice is packed with mouth-watering goodness, in the form of; mixed berries, orange, acai, banana and green tea powder. It went down a treat! Even more tempting, they offer a selection of healthy cocktails, and though I passed on them this time, it was only early afternoon after all! I definitely have them high on my list if we're ever back in Canterbury.


We browsed the menu extensively, as there was just so much to choose from! After an agonising decision, we made our choices. Stephen opted for the Chilli Bean, a fiery chipotle chilli bean, topped with creamy avocado and zingy jalapenos, served with a pot of sweet potato fries. I had a little food envy when it was first brought out, the presentation is immaculate with the mini pan and pot, food for the eyes and the mouth! That was of course until my main was brought out.

I had chose a 'skinny pizza,' all the delicious taste of a regular pizza, but a lot better for you! Who doesn't love a good pizza after all. The base was thin and crispy, topped with delicious, fresh onions, tomatoes, rocket, jalapenos, nuts and the perfect smattering of cheese.

All of the meals listed on the menu have the calories, carbs, protein and fat listed on them too, which is really useful, particularly if you're into fitness or weight training.

There is also a variety of desserts to choose from too, yes you heard me right, healthy desserts! Including pancakes and waffles! Unfortunately we didn't have room to fit them in, but they sounded incredible, with toppings such as; dark chocolate sauce, banana, honey, crushed hazelnuts and cacao nibs.

 Even if you're not weight training or calorie counting, the fresh, well presented, tasty food is something not to be missed at Skinny Kitchen. Their menu aims to cater for all types of diet whether that be vegetarian, high protein or low carb.  If you're ever in Canterbury I would highly recommend a visit, even if it's just for a quick juice stop! Want to find out more? You can have a look at their website
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3 October 2016

Brunch Goals | Kitch



I recently escaped to Canterbury for the weekend to celebrate my wonderful Fiancés Birthday. We stumbled across Kitch, the most Instagram-worthy Brunch café I have ever seen. I was sold before we even went in!
 
Kitch prides itself on serving fresh, homemade food, using healthy natural ingredients.
 




Kitch has perfect white walls, adorned with picture frames, cute shelves of plants, books, mirrors and more. A very modern take on shabby chic. I particularly loved the marble tables, the perfect design for that brunch flat lay, which, as you can see, I definitely took advantage of!
 




We were seated in the huge bay window. The perfect spot to get the sun on your face, and watch the people below us amble along.

After some deliberation over the menu, we made our choices. I opted for the Buckwheat Pancakes, with berry compote, greek yogurt and granola. Stephen chose the Salmon and Poached egg on Sourdough bread.

I was so impressed when it arrived. It was packed full of flavour, with the creamy yogurt and the tangy burst of the berries. Mix that with the crunch of the granola, and the fluffiness of the pancakes, you have heaven on a plate.

Stephen's egg was cooked to perfection, and it satisfyingly oozed over the bread on first cut.

I can honestly say that it was one of the best Brunches I've ever had, and if we go back to Canterbury again, we will definitely be paying Kitch another visit!

 
Where's your favourite brunch spot?
















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