Zombie Pub Crawl // Halloween 2017

Over the weekend I took part in a zombie pub crawl through Edinburgh’s Old Town. Covered in fake blood both Russell and I looked like reject zombies, compared to our friends Robyn and Graeme who looked like they had walked straight out of a thriller movie. EEEEK!

We ventured to 7 pubs, had 5 free shots and a few too many vodkas to get us through the night. It was definitely an adult version of trick or treating!

Highlights of the night include the live band at Dropkick Murphy’s, the chocolate shot at Vodka Rev and me forgetting I had fake blood on and nearly having a fit shouting ‘Help, help, I’m bleeding!!!’

…and not forgetting the munch while in the taxi queue. Every night has to end with food of course.

The night was organised perfectly by Edinburgh Pub Crawl and tickets were £10 which covered VIP entry, shots and discounted drinks.

You can see how much fun we had in the photos below, but by the last one all I wanted was chips and cheese!

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

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Meats & Beats Festival

If you love food, music and of course a wee drink or two – this is the festival for you!

Located at the Assembly Roxy, food and drink vendors set up camp for the weekend. On offer were a range of different street foods such as steak, lobster, dirty fries and cakes. A food lovers heaven.

Surprise, surprise, Russell and I were the first 2 through the door of the Sunday afternoon session.

We focused mainly on the alcohol. Russell was manly with his pints of lager from Stewart’s Brewery and Fyne Ales while I drowned in prosecco cocktails and champagne (thanks to JoJo!) One of the cocktails I drank for the Pop Up Cocktail Kitchen had a ham crisp floating in which was weirdly nice!

 

To line our stomachs we munched on black pudding and smoked potato pakora from Bruadair, which was amazing. For £5 it was a generous portion and had the perfect amount of heat for someone who usually avoids anything with a bit of spice. I have actually been craving these since.

Throughout the sessions (4 in total) games such as Blind Date and Catch Phrase were running. Russell and I took part in a pub quiz ran by Goose’s Quizes – we came last. To be fair the questions were tricky. I shall be scrubbing up on my general knowledge before taking part next time. Why couldn’t there have been a Mcfly round? Russell was also entered into a chicken wing contest. Sadly he never won and missed the opportunity of a free pint!

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Classic movies where also being shown and music was played in the main hall which changed decade every hour. When buying your ticket you could request a song or tweet the DJ on the day. I asked for ‘Call Me Al’ by Paul Simons as that usually guarantees a boogie.

 

Tickets started at £5 with food and drinks not included. Fancy dress was encouraged and so was dancing to warm you up.

It was a great day for foodies and I have everything crossed it runs again next year!

 

 

Should you be doing that?

I get asked variations of that question a lot. Can you do that? Are you allowed to do that? What would your doctor say? Will that not make you worse? Is that the best idea? …

… and my least favourite statement EVER “You are burning the candle from both ends” –  I don’t know why but it makes my skin crawl and I will throw a major eye roll in your direction.

As a 24 year old, my favourite things are socialising with coffee, cocktails, gin, food, dancing. Everything in that list I probably shouldn’t do but I do. Quite often in fact (which you will see from my previous posts.)

For someone with a few chronic illnesses I am very much about living in the moment. If I feel up to it I will do it. Some days I don’t, which is fine by me. I spend those days in my jammies, on the loo, crying. As I haven’t been blogging about those dark days recently it doesn’t mean I haven’t been having them.

Russell sees me at my worst nearly every day. From 7:30am onwards I have an endless battle on how I am going to tackle the day. I can either give into my symptoms or give myself a pep talk and leave the flat. Again, you don’t see that. You don’t see me weighing up every thing that could go wrong, will food be served, what would I eat, are toilets on route, are they going to be clean, is my stomach going to start making uncontrollable noises, will I last the whole day, would what this person think if I started crying, can I lie down anywhere…. the list goes on!

^ that is just about my commute to work.

So, when I go out out (like proper out) I like to make the most of it. I will drink an extra cocktail, indulge on extra cheesy macaroni and of course have extra vanilla in my latte because it has taken a lot of energy to get here. I deserve it!

So the point of this post is really to say NO I shouldn’t be doing that – but I’m not going to let me Crohn’s stop me… unless it is completely necessary. Now, where is my Friday cocktail?

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Gin Festival Edinburgh 2017

At the weekend Russell and I ventured to the Corn Exchange to take part in the afternoon session of the Gin Festival, here in Edinburgh for the third year!

On offer were local gins, Scottish gins and ones from further afield all set up and patiently waiting for the 3600 gin lovers to crash into the building.

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Walking through the door, I was greeted by the lovely Laura who was helping organise the event. We were given a wristband each which you could load with money to buy your drinks. Each drink was £5 and your band was scanned by the friendly bar staff. This worked wonders and kept queues, if any, to a minimum. We also got two goblet glasses given to us to use for the day, which we got to keep – great for recreating my perfect gin cocktails at home!

Most importantly was the ‘Gin Book’ that was in our glass, this would decide how our day was going to pan out.

Flicking through the pages, the gins were split into sections and allocated certain bars from A-D. Bar D took our fancy as it contained more liquior types.

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I spied the newly talked about Zymurgorium Sweet Violet Gin so obviously I had to try this. What a treat it was. It smelt and tasted like Parma Violet sweets.

Next I moved onto Braeckman Vanilla Jenever – this tasted like American cream soda but an adults version. I had added lemonade so it give it a little sweetness, even though it looked a bit curdled I still really enjoyed it.

I couldn’t go to a gin festival and not have my favourite Rhubarb and Ginger from Edinburgh Gin. I had this on the rocks and it went down very smoothly. First time for Russell trying this one and he liked it.

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Russell’s top pick was Zymurgorium Manchester Marmalade at 40% this was the strongest gin of the day for us. Thankfully Fever-Tree were on hand with unlimited tonic, Indian tonic and lemonade. Great for me as most of you know I am a lightweight.

The atmosphere was great and the live singers that took to the stage managed to get crowds up to dance. There was a real party vibe in the main hall. However, Russell and I spent most of our time in the sample hall – can you blame us though? Everyone loves a freebie.

There were plenty of samples on offer – Tinker, Edinburgh Gin and Persie to name a few. The Tinker sample I tried was mixed with tonic, black pepper and chilli – it was certainly nippy.

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Throughout the day Masterclasses ran which proved to be popular. So popular we struggled to get in.

Now the toughest decision of the day for me was which bottle to buy to have pride of place our drinks globe. After umpteen samples I think (for this month) I will be going with Boe Violet Gin – not only did it taste beautiful the bottle is very pretty. You can buy any gins from the festival on there website and get them delivered straight to your door. Perfect in the run up to Christmas (hint hint Mum/Dad/Russell)

If this wasn’t already the perfect way to spend my Saturday, I was able to stuff my face with Mexican food and Russell could stuff his with pulled pork goodness. We left feeling like slightly drunk piggys!

gin8Thanks for inviting me Gin Festival. I can’t wait for you to return next year!

*** I was given two wristbands in return of an honest review. All views are my own ***

 

 

 

5 Cocktails to look out for at #CITCEdin

I was lucky enough to head along to the preview of Cocktails in the City which is taking place at the beautiful Mansfield Traquair on the 12-13 October. Tickets are £12 and include a cocktail on arrival. Worth every penny if you ask me! (read last year’s drunken adventure)

The preview was taking place at The Voodoo Rooms – I was very excited as I  LOVE their chicken satay, and guess what, it was one of the canopies being served – happy days all round. On arrival we were handed glasses of Molvino Prosecco – very fresh, locally produced and bubbly of course. This went down a treat.

The idea of the night was to speed date with a cocktail and cocktail master maker. There were 5 stations set up in the Speakeasy room and you had 7 minutes to taste and learn about the bars specially created cocktail.

My notes got less and less as I consumed more alcohol…Ooops.

Anyway, let me introduce you to 5 cocktails that will be on offer…

The Voodoo Rooms & Drambuie – Honey I Shrunk the Bees

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This cocktail is sweet and tastes of honeycomb, like an adult Crunchie. I like anything sweet so it was a hit with me. Although Honey I Shrunk the Bees certainly has a kick… After one small sip I already felt tipsy!

Bar Soba & Bacardi – The Butterfly Effect

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The Butterfly Effect is influenced by Asia. This is a fruity concoction topped with coconut shavings and dark chocolate. This cocktail was smooth and sophisticated. I certainly felt like a proper grown up drinking this one.

Chez Mal at Malmaison & Leith Gin – Blue Steel

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Blue Steel is sweet, colourful and has attitude – 46% Leith attitude (gin) to be correct. Along with gin there is a secret blue dye added, where the name of the cocktail came from.  Probably one of my favourites from last night… but I am a gin drinker!

Juniper & Fair Gin – Fair Play

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Oh lucky me. Another gin cocktail. Fair Play is named after the gin being Fairtrade, so you feel like you are doing good drinking this one. It is served along side a handful of goats cheese popcorn which surprisingly works really well. The cocktail itself is also pink which is an added bonus!

*Tip* – on the night they are also serving a gluten free cocktail.

G&V & Marker’s Mark – Red Wax Tribute

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Red Wax Tribute is a bourbon cocktail served over ice. I am not so much of a bourbon drinker myself but I can say it smelt amazing. You certainly get hints of Christmas peaking through from the infused spices and a right hit of alcohol on the first sip. This is not a beginner’s drink!

And there you have it, 5 cocktails to consider at Cocktails in the City.

PS. You will be glad to know I ended up at home with a pizza to soak up all the alcohol. Roll on the 12 October!

 

Diary of a UTI (drama) Queen – Part 1

5:04am: Eyes ping open… oh no no no no! Run to the bathroom, trying not to wake snoring beauty (Russell) in the other half of the bed.

5:06am: HOLY SWEAR WORD. IT IS LIKE PEEING SHARDS OF GLASS… THAT ARE ON FIRE.

5:07am: Wipe, stand up, wash hands, oh I need to pee AGAIN. Repeat cycle until I feel brave enough to get up and go grab my phone.

5:25am: Back on the loo, scrolling Facebook. The extractor fan is pretty noisy. Hope it wakes Russ up so he can suffer with me and get me a few glasses of water.

5:30am: Googled symptoms. I am apparently dying.

5:40am: Right, One last go at getting up.

5:45am: In the kitchen drinking pints of water – Flush them kidneys out.

5:59am: Toilet then bed. Repeat previous cycle for 15 minutes. Surely this counts as squats? I will look good in a bikini after all…. ha!

6:15am: Jump into bed with an aloud enough sigh to stir Russell. Tell him I am dying and I need attention.

6:16am: Russell pats my head and rolls over.

6:30am: I need to pee AGAIN.

6:31am: Think about what I would do if I won the lottery to take my mind of the radiating pain from my pee hole.

6:45am: Drift off to sleep.

7:00am: Alarm goes off – Why, its a Saturday?! NEED TO PEE. No time for snooze button.

7:02am: Is that it? A little dribble? OH COME ON.

7:05am: Well… I guess this is how I will be spending my day!

 

Highland Games// Pitlochry

One of the funniest times I pretended to be a tourist was on a granny bus tour to Loch Ness, we somehow ended up back in my home town for the first stop of the day. Anyway, it was a fun day out even if I was slightly hungover and wearing a woolly jumper in the height of the Scottish summer.

So, every now and again Russell and I pretend to be 80, pack the car full of snacks, charge the camera and head off somewhere. This adventure took us to Pitlochry for the Highland games.

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The sun was shining and people (both local and proper tourists) were out in force in Pitlochry. There was a LOT of tartan and kilts!

Parking was a bit of a challenge but eventually stumbled across a space in close proximity to the field in which the games where taking place.

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It was £8 for an adult and £4 for a child to enter which was a bit more pricy than the last Highland games we attended in Loch Lomond – yes, we have gone to more than 1 this year! The difference with this adventure was it never poured down.

We wondered round a few of the stalls. I had a go at whack the haggis, which was easier said than done. Russell wasn’t successful either. We both had a go at the tombola too as I spied a few bottles of my favourite alcohol – you’ve got to be in it to win it right? –  Anyway, instead we came away with hand soap and a can of cola. Go us!

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There was plenty to watch: Tug of war, highland dancing, caber toss, weight over the bar and that very Scottish sport of… running.

Drink wise there was lots  – bins were overflowing with empty cider cans which really made me want one (they are on my no no list). For food you had the choice of burgers or chips really. They did smell good but we resisted. Also, if you wanted to be healthy you could get fresh strawberries and cream.

It was a good day out and perfect for families. Russell watched the games and I watched more of the dogs wondering about as I was at a slight height disadvantage. If you love dogs, the Highland Games is for you.

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I think next year we will be going again but certainly be incorporating the drinking side of things more… Who knows, Russell might even wear his kilt and take part in a few games.

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Oh, my other highlights were I bought a cactus and persuaded Russell to drive through Bridge of Allan so we could go to the Jam Jar for tea. Successful day – I think so!