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.

Browns Brighton - 8oz Sirloin Steak and thick cut chips

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!

Browns Brighton - Salted Caramel Profiteroles

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? Brussels city centre Brussels city centre Brussels city centre - Waffle workshop

 

 

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.

A few months ago, Kaspa’s opened in Colchester. Kaspa’s describes itself as “a chain of exciting new dessert houses that offer the world’s favourite hot and cold desserts under one roof”. I love a dessert and I also love a food review so I was really excited to hear that Kaspa’s was coming to town and couldn’t wait to try it out.

I went for the first time with a friend a couple of months after launch expecting that the initial rush would have calmed down. We were wrong. When we arrived in the American style parlour we were told a table would be ready in approx. 30 minutes, I would have been happy to come back another time however my friend was eight months pregnant and craving a dessert so we happily waited.

After being shown to our table, the process was explained to us and we went up to the counter to place our order. We were spoilt for choice with so many dessert choices on offer including waffles, sundaes, cakes and cookie doughs.

I decided to go for the brownie waffle which is a freshly cooked waffle with whipped cream, warm brownie pieces and melted milk chocolate. Although we had to wait a long time for the food to arrive, when we did it was amazing. It was beautifully fresh and it’s fair to say I was truly in chocolatey heaven. I couldn’t manage the whole waffle as it did get rather sickly to eat but what I did eat, I thoroughly enjoyed.

When I recently visited again for the second time, I decided to go for the chocolate brownie cookie dough. A warm cookie dough is my favourite dessert ever (I’m looking at you, Pizza Hut!) so I had high hopes for this dessert. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. This may just be my preference but this cookie dough was too gooey and Kaspa’s had not managed the balance of gooeyness vs crispiness that Pizza Hut achieves. Because of this over gooeyness, the dessert wasn’t enjoyable as after a couple of mouthfuls I already had an unpleasant full and sickly feeling.

This dessert hasn’t put me off of Kaspa’s and I know that I’ll be heading back soon to try out a sundae…18302362_10212913448819228_18468260_n.jpg

If you’re from Colchester, I would bet a lot of money that you are familiar with the North Hill Noodle Bar (a.k.a The Noodle Bar). If you’re not, then I’d also bet a lot of money that this will change after reading this food review.

The Noodle Bar is my favourite place to go out for lunch or dinner and even for a cheeky takeaway night too. I’m such a fan that I’ve often been known to say that the Noodle Bar is what I would miss most if I moved out of town. Tucked away on North Hill the Noodle Bar offers a range of freshly cooked, homemade Thai dishes.

Tucked away on North Hill the Noodle Bar offers a range of freshly cooked, homemade Thai dishes. Despite being fresh, the Noodle Bar is super fast and the service is always spot on.

Being a true creature of habit I always go for the same: spicy prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken and BBQ ribs. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never actually tried anything else but this is simply because I love the sweet and sour chicken so much that I fear I will be gutted if I visit the restaurant and don’t love a different dish quite as much.

Over the years, I’ve taken family and friends for their first Noodle Bar experiences and every single one has fallen in love just as much as me and has gone on to visit with friends/family too.

Although this may not seem like an honest review as there are no bad points, it truly is as I am yet to find anything negative about The Noodle Bar (except that it gets booked up quickly on weekends!).

Are you also a regular at the Noodle Bar? What dish do you go for?18297061_10212913309375742_301990848_o18339108_10212913309255739_428864801_o