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Craft Beer Tasting at Hof Ten Dormaal Brewery, Leuven

Pouring beer into a glass

Imagine a brewery and what kind of place comes to your mind? Metal containers, huge vats and a sterile environment. Sure there might be a great bar attached to it, but from my experience, breweries are either in an industrial estate, or somebody's garage. Hof Ten Dormaal* is absolutely NOT what I've come to expect. More reminiscent of a beautiful vineyard, the rustic setting makes it pretty clear that what you'll taste from their barrels is undeniably unique.

A Tour of the Meantime Beer Brewery, Greenwich

Two pints of meantime beer

There's very little pressure like getting into a new relationship and having to celebrate your new bloke's birthday a few weeks in. You can plump for a generic meal out to celebrate or take a wild stab in the dark at planning something a bit more interesting. And that's how I ended up booking a tour around Meantime's brewery in Greenwich. Referencing early Bumble conversations about craft beer and a first date that saw us supping pints of, well, everything, I was pretty sure I was on to a winner.

What I've Been Eating #4

london food blog

As much as I love writing full blown food reviews, sometimes it's not always appropriate to whip out a camera at the dinner table, or I may only have my phone with me which just doesn't do the meal justice. Here's some of what I've been eating recently (otherwise known as The Reason I Force Myself to Do Exercise)

Degusta Box: April

degusta box review

Is it just me or is Degustabox* getting better with every month? Once again, this handy little food subscription service has provided me with some of my favourite brands as well as introduced me to some ace new ones. Set your stomachs to 'Rumble'...

What I Ate in Prague

beer taster trayIf you're looking for a culinary taste bud explosion, then Prague maybe isn't the place to go. We certainly didn't eat badly on our trip, but the local cuisines are pretty limited in their offering, consisting predominantly of cuts of pork, sauerkraut and potatoes. We mainly stuck to traditional Czech food where we could and tried most of the expected dishes.

Field Day Festival


I'm wearing:
Coat - Uniqlo
Tshirt - Finders Keepers (bought Amy Valentine on Depop)
Necklace - Vintage
Shorts - Beyond Retro

I always feel like I'm kind of done with festivals, until that June-September period rolls around and I find myself lusting after stellar line-ups and pining for a overpriced, warm pint in the company of thousands of pissed music lovers. Let's face it, I like to have a shower everyday, know that the nearest toilet isn't covered in something heinous, and sleep in an actual bed, which is why the appeal of a weekend no-camping festival sounds fine and dandy to me. 



Field Day isn't huge in size, it's not in the middle of nowhere (unless you're not particularly familiar with Hackney...), and it doesn't have the household name headliners, but it brings in a dedicated crowd of music lovers who are looking for something a bit different to your average festivals. Gone are the chip pan death trap food vans you'd expect, and instead you're treated to gourmet (by festival standards) grub from Street Feast. Choose from Indian wraps, pimped up mac n cheese, or maybe a big old venison burger if you just want gold old fashioned meat in bread. The booze isn't your regular selection either. Yes you have your basic piss poor plonk for the less discerning palate, but I was loving the Meantime Brewery van, keeping me refreshed with quality cold ale instead. I may sound like a snob, but I'm not one to drink to get drunk, I actually like the taste of a good beer, and Meantime always delivers in that respect. 

As for the music, there was a great line up. I only went on the Saturday, which in my opinion hadn't he best bands on offer. I managed to catch Sky Ferreira, Blood Orange (who did an ace version of Mansun's 'I Can Only Disappoint U'), SBTRKT and Simian Mobile Disco amongst others. The best act by far for me though, was SOHN. You'll have seen from two of my recent Monthly Mixtapes that he often features highly on my 'I LOVE THIS' spectrum. Having recently seen him in the intimacy of his gig at the Village Underground, I wasn't sure what to expect from a festival atmosphere, but the crowd knew how to create the right ambiance to appreciate his gorgeous sound. I left even more in love with him than before, and I still cannot recommend his album 'Tremors' enough.  

With the sun shining until the end of Metronomy's headline set, we were chilled out, happy and a hell of a lot less smelly than your average festival goer. Dare I finish by saying we did in fact have a 'field day'? Yeah, why not.


Comedy: Chris Addison

It turns out there's a little known theatre in Chiswick, based above a pub next to Turham Green tube station. The Tabard Theatre may only hold around 50 people, but it seems to attract some well known faces as well as the expected local productions. On Monday and Tuesday night Chris Addison, the stand-up comic as well as star of Mock the Week and The Thick of It, performed brand new, never heard by human ears material for the measly price of five English pounds. I couldn't believe my luck! He's someone I've wanted to go and see perform for quite a while, but what with me being stingy AND lazy it never really happened. But here he was, practically on my doorstep!


Titled 'Chris Addison And The Disorganised Sheafs of Paper', Addison admitted at the beginning that we were essentially his guinea pigs. The shows were to figure out what was actually funny and what should just stay on paper in preparation for his next major tour. It was fascinating to see him come out and actually refer to paper notes and switch on his dictaphone for reference; but that didn't deter from the performance, it still came across as perfectly natural. Just because it was a 'trial run' didn't mean that he didn't throw himself into it, his energy was high and his frantic hair grabbing when he was grasping for words was hilarious in itself. 

I won't give too much away in terms of what he actually talked about as I don't want to ruin it for anyone who goes to see the finished article (even though inevitably some bits will be taken out), but what I love about his comedy is his observations on everyday life. His comments on his Twitter addiction and the hype over Kate Middleton's wardrobe were so perfectly articulated, and they received such a positive reaction because he'd tapped into the thoughts of the whole audience. Even when talking about 'suffering from a mild form of fame' he didn't alienate the audience as we could all picture the exact type of person who'd shout 'OI! MOCK THE WEEK!' at him - it wasn't condescending, it was self-deprecating, and that's always guaranteed to tickle me!

See the listing for The Tabard here. Or at least drop in for a pint of Bitter & Twisted beer!

Explore: London Blogger Meetup

As you can see from scrolling down, I haven't been blogging for all that long. It's still a bit of a strange new world for me, so yesterday's London Blogger Meetup at The Long Acre seemed the perfect opportunity to speak to some pros and meet others from the 'blogosphere' (a blogging term I'm not all too comfortable with using yet!). 


Held in central London almost slap bang in the middle of Leicester Square and Covent Garden tube stations at a corner placed pub called The Long Acre, the event was a chance to put faces to domains and included a presentation by travel blogger Heather Cowper (check out her blog, Heather on Her Travels). I have to say it was all a bit overwhelming as a new kid on the blog ('scuse the pun) but it really is fascinating that people can actually make a living out blogging, or be endorsed by a brand. 


Of course this blog is about my spending, and I wouldn't be writing this post if I hadn't spent some money. I attended the event with two fabulous colleagues of mine, Pink Julep and Pauper Princess and as we went straight from work we grabbed food at Bella Italia (as Pizza Express had a long wait and Angus Steakhouse didn't have enough veggie options for PP). I am such a sucker for calzone whenever I go to an Italian as it's something I never have at home. It was chicken and spinach which was pretty good, but not a touch on the chicken and chili one from Zizzi's - that bad boy will sizzle off your taste buds and leave you with no choice but to order more wine! 


At the event we had a few beers, and I have to say that I'm still struggling with London prices, especially as my local in York was a Sam Smith's pub that didn't charge more than £1.80 a pint. A rare thing I know, and there are Sam Smith's pubs in London - my favourite being the Dover Castle in Marylebone so I'll have to reminisce there soon! 




Did anybody else attend the meetup? It'd be nice to meet more bloggers in the future so keep me posted!


Meal at Bella Italia: £11
3 Peronis: £13.50 
Total: £24.50
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review