Monday, 30 January 2012

Twenty-seven isn't so bad...

Another year older. Normally, I'm ridiculously excited about my birthday and spend the weeks leading up to it telling anyone who'll listen that it's almost 'my day'. This year, there was something about the number 27 that had me slightly on edge. Add to that, the day itself was a miserable wet, windy London day and so I decided to take it as a bad sign. But all un-neccessary drama aside, I made the best of a 'bad' - I know, how much more dramatic can I get - situation. What's to complain about when you get two types of birthday cake, lunch with my work girls, margaritas with my big sister, presents (the BEST bit!) dinner at a gastro pub with B and lots of presents from friends and family all over the world. So far, 27 is working out pretty good.

Margaritas = happy birthday
Back in December during out trip back home, B and I met our wedding photographer at the Kooroomba winery and lavendar farm. We had our engagement photoshoot while we were there and despite the threat of rain, Sheila got some amazing shots. She made us laugh and relax and we couldn't have been happier with the pictures she took. Well, I say 'we' but to this day, I'm not sure B has even looked at them. Doesn't matter, as long as the bride's happy, right? For those of you who haven't already been bombarded with emails from me showing off our photos (hey, getting B to pose for a photo like this is like pulling teeth) feel free to take a look at the wonderful Sheila's blog.

LOVE her work!

I love that for the past two years, we've been to so many countries, I've lost count and now that I finally have a blog, none of our travels have been to anywhere exciting. Australia was brilliant of course but to me, that's home and it's not really that exotic. And neither was this place.

Our travels recently took us to the sleepy little town of Burton-upon-Trent. We took this adventure to celebrate B's 27th birthday. The theme was to be something beer-related and so, Bentoberfest was born. It was orignally meant to occur in November 2011 but we just ran out of weekends before our trip back home. Yes, I know this means it should technically have been called 'Ben-vemberfest' but it just didn't quite have the same ring to it.

So to summarise a few things that happened during the first ever celebration of Bentoberfest:

  1. Freedom brewery - a brewery tour where you get a half pint during the tour is always going to be awesome. Fantastic staff, tasty beer (where tastings come in FULL pint sized glasses) - well worth a visit.
  2. The brewery museum was probably one of the most boring museums I've ever visited. And that's saying something cos I've been to a loooot of museums. I thought beer was awesome but somehow, they managed to make it boring.
  3. We picked up a pool table and dropped it (we thought quite gently but apparently not) because the white ball got stuck inside. Bar man was not impressed. He was even less impressed when he had to pretty much take the table apart to find the ball. Hey, we paid £1 for our game and we wanted to finish it.
  4. B had what he claimed to be, "The best ale I've ever tasted." This was on night one so clearly, the right thing to do was to return to The Coopers Arms on day two, just to try it on a more sober palette. The claim still stands.
  5. Shamefully, we ended up in a Wetherspoons. There's no equivalet back in Aus for those of you reading at home but just know they're NOT the classiest of places. You get a good one every so often. This was not one of them.
  6. The night ended ever so abruptly with J├Ągerbombs. Enough said.
Who knows, maybe this could be a yearly celebration? Anyone interested in taking part in Bentoberfest 2013?
Photo fail during Bentoberfest
The simplest of food is often the best. On a chilly Saturday night, J, L, B and I visited Zucca in the latest 'now' district of eating in London, Bermondsey Street. We had to google a few items on the menu (anyone know what a 'widgeon' is?) and with a couple of educated guesses, we ended up with some wonderful food. Buffalo mozzarella with roasted chicory salad, Zucca fritti and freshly baked bread with olive oil that was so lovely, I swear you could drink the stuff. Roasted veal chop that melted in your mouth and lamb ragu with thick, fresh pasta... just having a moment right now, remembering how delicious it was. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top, just simple and so very, very good. Surprisingly good wine too (always wary sampling a cheapie from an otherwise wallet-shattering wine list) and an affagato for dessert topped off my ideal night that was all about food.
Unfortunately, not a photo of the food because while
the food was amazing, my photography skills were
most definitely not
A widgeon is a type of wild duck by the way.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Something to write home about

Since the beginning of the year, I have been inspired by so many people's blogs - from those with incredible photos, great stories, funny one-liners, to those that are... shall we say... not so great!

I love writing, sharing photos and stories but I am also very aware that some people may find my constant (not so much now) emails and photo after photo rather irritating so I have decided to take on a different approach and give people the option to read or not to read without me clogging up their inbox.

So this is my blog - LifeLoveTravelFood. All things me, all things to write home about.


Nice, France - October 2011
Sunshine and champagne on the 'beach' (it's not a beach if
it doesn't have sand in my view) life doesn't get any better

All about the goings-on in my world. Living in London does have a certain glamorous ring to it so I'll try and keep that dream alive and write about my current home town in the most positive of lights. Unless I'm talking about the weather, the tube or the lack of family - J&L excluded - and friends from home over here. Since I've not been so good at keeping everyone up to date with the ins and outs of life, this space might help keep you posted.

Engaged in New York, February 2011

Miss to Mrs. I do. The year of the wedding. 2012 is the year that I try to ensure my entire life doesn't revolve around one day. 'The coolest bride in the world' - as I like to say, but that's for another post. It's also the year I promised myself I wouldn't continuously post on facebook about my upcoming white wedding because a certain someone (who also happens to be a bridesmaid, whose name starts with B and she KNOWS who she is) made me feel ashamed and embarrassed by potentially being one of those 'lame' brides who harps on about stuff no one else really cares about. Like table settings. And invitation fonts. And ties that have to match dresses. Miss B, all wedding posts are hereby dedicated to you. You never said anything about lame wedding blog posts. Might be a bit embarrasing if she never actually read my blog though... 

First spot of sunshine in what felt like forever
Portugal, February 2011
Living in the UK means we can take a day trips to Paris, spend a weekend in Switzerland and fit three countries into one long weekend. The countries we have visited (and re-visited) so far have been incredible and it's one of the most amazing things about living over here. I am ashamed to admit that to this day, I never book a single trip away, that's B's speciality because while he's booking our brilliant holidays, I like to think about...

Brisbane food markets, December 2011

My passion in life. I adore food. I love cooking, I love feeding people, I love everything about it. Cooking keeps me sane, it makes me feel happy and it makes other people happy. I think I spent most of today emailing J back and forth about food. What I made for dinner last night, what we ate on the weekend, what I'm having tonight, what I had for lunch. It got me through what was an otherwise very uneventful work day. I was once told by a friend, "Food is not for pleasure. It is for a purpose."

I could not disagree more.