Being from Essex it only seemed right that when we visited Marbella last summer, we visited Elliot Wright’s restaurant, Olivia’s. Across social media and from others that have visited Marbella I’d heard brilliant things about Olivia’s and the food and with the restaurant being only a stone throw away from where we stayed, we decided to visit three times during our stay.
During our first visit, we ordered a bottle of Moet to start (because if you can’t treat yourself when in Marbella, then when can you?). After enjoying some champagne, we went on to cocktails. The cocktail selection was brilliant and between the four of us, we made our way through the whole menu to try each one…and loved them all!
I’m very fussy when it comes to starters but as everybody else was ordering something I decided to give the crispy duck salad a try. I love duck but I’m also very particular about my duck and the amount of sauce it comes with. I find that there’s never the perfect amount of sauce so the duck is either too dry or soggy. However, Olivia’s is the first place that I’ve visited that has got this spot on. As a starter, it was beautiful. So much so, that I would order a larger version as a main.
For mains, I, of course, went for steak. The steak was an expensive one so I had high hopes that it would be of a high quality and taste amazing. Unfortunately, I was disappointed as I had a very fatty bit of steak and despite asking for it medium/well, it was very well done. However, I think that I was just unlucky with my steak as the others said that there’s was perfect so I probably should have complained at the time as I’m sure they’d have cooked another bit for me. My steak came with chunky chips and these definitely made up for the steak. The portion of chips was huge (much bigger than it looks in the picture) and beautifully crispy.
After dinner, we washed our meal down with even more cocktails until we couldn’t possibly eat another bite or drink another sip.
Have you been to Marbella? Where is your favourite place to eat?
Brighton is one of my favourite places to visit for a weekend away. With the wide array of shops including the Laines, the selection of bars and the restaurants, there really is something for everybody in the town.
We’ll regularly go for a weekend away in Brighton and when there, I have two favourite places to eat; Donatello and Browns. Not only does Browns offer delicious food but it has an amazing cocktail menu too and a lovely interior design.
When we first visited Browns, we started in the bar next to it first to enjoy some pre-dinner cocktails and get us ready for the meal and night ahead. After making our way through the cocktail menu, I found my favourite, the British Royal. British Royal is made up of Black Cow vodka, Prosecco, rhubarb & rosehip cordial, apple and with vodka and Prosecco being my favourite drinks, I had a feeling this would be my favourite before I’d even tried it. I loved this cocktail so much that for months after we first visited, we spent ages trying to hunt down a rhubarb & rosehip cordial so that we could recreate this cocktail at home.
Now, on to the food…I love steak and will often order it when we’re out for dinner at a nice restaurant. So of course, I decided to go for the 8oz Sirloin steak with garlic butter and thick cut chips. I ordered the steak medium/well and it was truly cooked to perfection and the steak itself was amazing quality too. I love crispy chips which can often be hard to achieve with a chunky chip so I was seriously impressed that Browns had achieved the perfect balance of a crispy, fluffy chip.
For dessert, I would usually go for something chocolatey like a brownie. However, I decided to go for the salted caramel profiteroles with vanilla ice cream as I fancied something different. Coated in a chocolately salted caramel and filled with delicious cream inside, every part of this dessert was heaven. Oh my goodness…they were amazing!
Last June, I spent the weekend in Brussels with my colleagues and our partners. There was 12 of us in total and I was put in charge or organising the accomodation, travel and itinerary. After plenty of research, one thing became clear…when in Brussels, waffles and beer were essentials.
After lots of research, I found a beautiful house on Airbnb which we had for the weekend. It had plenty of bedrooms, a fantastic communal area for drinks in the evening and some outside space too. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Brussels in a big group, I’d recommend taking a look at the house here.
So we all travelled to Brussels via Eurostar on the Saturday morning and arrived at the house. After having a quick look around we headed out to enjoy some lunch before exploring. I was amazed with how beautiful Brussels is, especially the amazing buildings.
The itinerary was left pretty clear so that everybody could visit wherever they liked and explore the city as they fancied however I did book one thing; a waffle workshop. Tucked away in a small building in the centre of Brussels, we took part in a waffle workshop and got to create our own traditional Belgium waffles and add toppings etc. I was really impressed with how easy the waffles were to make as I definitely expected them to be a lot more complicated and tricky to get it right but I was pleasantly surprised.
As well as the waffle workshop, we enjoyed plenty of other delicious food throughout the weekend. One thing that really surprised me was the breakfast menu in Brussels. It seems that just about anything goes and a real mixture of food is thrown together which strangely worked really well.
And last but not least, the beer. I’m not a fan of beer but when in Brussels, it only seemed right that I at least tried it. We visited a beer cave which had loads of beer on tap with a selection of beers including fruity beers, which I decided to go for. The atmosphere in the beer cave was really cool as it was just tucked away on a normal street and is underground and even had a photobooth inside so of course, I was all over that.
Overall, Brussels was an amazing city which I would definitely recommend everybody visiting. Especially as it’s so close to the UK and so easy to get to via the Eurostar. There’s plenty to do and see and the food and drink is amazing.
Have you been to Brussels before?
May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome awareness month. With this being a disability that I unfortunately suffer from, I thought that it was important for me to share this on the blog.
If you’re unfamiliar with what Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is then you can find out more on the NHS page here http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx.
I suffer from type 3 EDS. This means that I have chronic pain, my joints dislocate and I suffer from chronic fatigue. For those that have met me, this can often come as a surprise as I do a very good job at hiding my condition. This is probably why I get some very disapproving tuts and mutters when I use my blue badge whilst shopping or running errands.
Awareness around EDS is unfortunately very low. This is what inspired me to write this post and with May being EDS awareness month, now is a better time than any. I was born with EDS however it wasn’t until I was 17 that I got my official diagnosis after many broken bones, days in A&E and doctor appointments. Because of similar more common conditions such as Hypermobility, diagnosing EDS can be difficult and it is due to this that my diagnosis took so long. Because there is little knowledge around the condition, most doctors also don’t understand the condition either. There have been many times that I’ve been in A&E with different dislocations and the doctor/nurse on call has sent me home as they do not understand the condition or know what they can do to help.
This month, I’m encouraging everybody to find out more about EDS and the symptoms surrounding the condition. You may know somebody who also suffers or you may not but the more that we can educate ourselves on these conditions that can sometimes seem invisible, the more open and understanding we can be towards others.