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.

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