I really don’t want to jinx things, but this year just seems to keep getting better! I started writing these posts as monthly round ups rather than weekly because life was a little too dull to write all that much about, but I seem to have been blessed with a jam packed diary full of fun trips and events lately, which is a pretty nice thing to be able to complain about really! Obviously the month got off to a bad start with that whole sicky incident – don’t worry, I’m not going to go into great detail, no-one needs to know about that – but it definitely made up for itself in no time!
After a week of being bed ridden and not eating much I was ready for a feast, so on our now frequent Pub Quiz night we decided to check out a place I’ve been dying to try for ages – The Indian Brewery near Snowhill in Birmingham. A few of my friends having been singing it’s praises for a while now, and ever a fan of Indian food I was suffering extreme FOMO so was very excited when a friend suggested we pop down for our pre-Quiz meal. What started as a small batch Craft Beer company has now expanded to a small diner serving Indian street food as well as their very own Birmingham brewed beers. It’s a very casual set up of simple tables and benches with a small bar (though I loved the bright decor featuring Bollywood film posters on the walls!) and a small yet fantastic selection of freshly cooked dishes that are particularly great for sharing, if like me and the boy, you have chronic indecision when it comes to food! We opted to go for the amusingly named Fat Naans, mine topped with delicious Indian vegetables, chutney and raita and his with chicken tikka. Because the boy feared he would never get to eat if he didn’t help me make a decision, he also generously offered to share the paneer roti I desperately wanted, as well as a portion of their famous Masala Fries, which are basically fries smothered in a tantalising mixture of spices. Obviously it would have been rude not to wash it all down with a pint of homebrewed Birmingham Lager too! Altogether our bill came to a measly £28, which we all agreed was amazing value considering we ordered far too much food for a normal person to consume. I was pretty jealous of my friend’s Indian Fish and Chips though – will definitely have to go back soon to sample that! Important thing to note – the food really did look that bright and beautiful, it isn’t some clever tom foolery I’ve done in photoshop! And on a side note – WE ONLY WON THE QUIZ AGAIN! I’m starting to think maybe I’m actually a genius and just never realised. I might need to start writing about astrophysics rather than dresses and shoes soon. Or maybe not….
I continued the theme of over consumption into the weekend and the following week too! A dear friend of mine had a Birthday and decided to have her celebrations in a pub that was fairly recently taken over by the owner of our local and given a bit of a makeover. It’s now one of those modern affairs where you pull up on the drive of a dingy looking Victorian boozer and fine the inside full of quirky decor and a sprawling garden full of surprises – in this case a bowling green, a secret cocktail bar and a street food kitchen! They were hosting a Cider and Sausage Festival, though I think the sausage part may have been a thinly veiled attempt at making sure people ate something to soak up all that strong vintage cider!! I’m actually not much of a cider drinker, but when I saw there was an elderflower G&T flavoured one I had to give it a go! A couple of days later my Mum also celebrated her Birthday, so I cooked up a Moroccan feast for the family, including lashings of prosecco! It’s safe to say I’ve eaten more than my body weight of food this month!
Next up followed my long awaited week off! As mentioned last week, it kicked off with a trip to Scotland to visit our businesses in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We do it once a year to help show the team the range of businesses we have as well as get to meet our managers in person and put names to faces. We’ve always had a fantastic time and a warm welcome and this year was no exception! They generously plied us with food and drink as thanks for the support we offer them and we had an amazing trip – it’s easy to forget about the good sides of your job when you’re so busy day to day, so it felt great to be reminded why I love my job so much, and why I’m so passionate about the industry I work in. We also took the opportunity to go on a ghost tour in Edinburgh which not only was a lot of fun, was incredibly interesting! I’m a bit of a history fan anyway, and loved hearing about the City’s dark past and spooky stories! The only downside was that we simply didn’t have enough time there and another trip back for a proper visit is now firmly on the agenda!
Pretty much as soon as I got back, the boy picked up me and the pooch and we headed down for a few days R&R in Somerset, at a little cottage we’ve stayed at before. Its a sweet little place in a converted cider barn, and the grounds are just stunning, with it’s own croquet lawn, pool, sauna and hot tub. I absolutely loved that we were able to take Bonnie with us as I always feel so guilty going away without her, and she seemed to have a great time, particularly as we had a secure garden attached that she could romp in to her heart’s content! We really lucked out with the weather and made sure to spend most of our time outdoors, enjoying country strolls and working up our appetites for big pub lunches, followed by lazy evenings drinking fizz in the hot tub! We found out there were actually beaches within a half an hour drive – well, you know all about me and the beach – so we set out one morning in the glorious sunshine ready for a day of fun by the sea. I didn’t actually get to see the sea though, other than a tiny glimpse on the way home, thanks to a strange and thick mist which had descended on the coast! We could barely see more than 20 feet around us, which was a bit odd, but very fun and atmospheric, and it certainly didn’t seem to bother Bonnie, who had a great time burying pork scratchings in the sand (ungrateful beast!). We still had a lovely day exploring the odd little seaside towns and partaking in obligatory beers before heading back to cook a BBQ in our little garden while I read a book in the evening sun. I had such a wonderful time that I was genuinely sad to head home so soon, but we only have a few more months to go till we can take a proper holiday so for now it will have to do!
I hope May was kind to you all and you got to enjoy some of the sunshine!