The Festival Village

Last week I went to my very first bloggers event. Check me out, I am actually classed as a blogger. Anyway, the meet up was taking place at the Festival Village on top of Waverley Mall which I walk by every day on my way to work. The area always seems to be bustling with people enjoying a drink, food and live music so I was glad to get this opportunity to try out what was on offer.

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We met at Fizz and Pearl which serves seafood and champagne… Yes, I was wining and dining on Moet and Oysters. Well not quite, as fish gives me the fear but the bubbles certainly went down a treat.

The atmosphere at Fizz and Pearl is very laidback. There are heaters dotted about to keep warm, comfy couches and a basket of fleece blankets you can help yourself to – perfect for cosying up. The menus, especially the alcohol one, have a wide range on offer. I went for a peachy gin cocktail and it tasted of summer – at £9 for one though I could only afford a few ha!

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There was talk of halloumi fries in the group so I went on a mission to try and find some. They were being served up by The Pitt Market along with steak and fries. This was probably the toughest decision of the night. Instead of picking, I settled on both. For photography purposes of course… wink wink.

This area of the Festival Village seemed to be more lively with pop up beer tents and live music from Malones. I tried to pose for candid blogger photos with the scenic views but failed miserably!

Now, this wouldn’t be a Crohn’s in the City post if the toilet situation never got a mention. The toilets are Portaloos but clean Portaloos with plenty loo roll and hand towels.

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After a toilet trip and a belly full of halloumi, Megan and I ventured over to Malones. You get hit with the Irish bar charm as soon as you step in. I spied Tatyo crisps on a shelf so will be returning to stock up. We both got a spirit and mixer each and buried our way into the crowds to find a seat. The singer was good belting out classics you could easily sing along to. As I was people watching my gaze landed on Pizza Geeks. I know, I bet you are thinking “how could you be hungry?” but for pizza I couldn’t refuse. I wondered over and ordered a cheese pizza. Again, for photo purposes only I told myself. It was made right in front of me in minutes from stretching the dough to baking in a fire pitt. For £6 the pizza was a decent size but could of done with a wee bit more cheese. I would eat another one, possibly the ‘Braveheart’.

It was getting dark but the atmosphere was still buzzing. The fireworks from the Tattoo started to go off so I took that as a sign to head home. Top tip – you get a really food few from the Butcher Boy stand which sadly I never got to try. At least it gives me a reason to return.

After all that food and drink I nearly had to be rolled home. Thanks Festival Village for letting me come along and to the Edinburgh Bloggers for answering my many questions!

 

 

 

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Welcome to the House of Fun…

On Friday the skies stayed clear (thank goodness) and I jumped about to Madness at Falkirk Stadium.

I was surprised I knew so many of their songs besides One Step Beyond, House of Fun and Baggy Trousers (which I danced to in a dance show many moons ago – wearing baggy joggy bottoms of course). Anyway, the crowd was amazing as Madness sang away. I am sure Suggs is my local UPS driver in disguise, they look too similar.

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Toilet queues were not a problem for Joanne and myself as I used it to my advantage to use the disabled. The toilet paper was a funny yellow colour… hmm. The staff were great and never questioned why I was using them as I just flashed them my card.

We did miss the start of One Step Beyond but ran into the crowd to catch the end. The place was mental during that song. At the end of It Must be Love, a piper took to the stage where we all belted out 2 versus of Flower of Scotland… not so many people knew the third!

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What I loved about this event was alcohol wasn’t limited to beer or wine – You could get spirits, or a whole bottle of Prosecco! However I did end up being ‘classy’ with a tin or two of warm Tennent’s. I decided to take the risk and pay for being daft in the morning.

The queue for a drink was pretty long as they only had one stand at one side of the pitch next to the portaloos so queues were getting mixed up. They were strict with ID too which with my baby face meant getting IDed on many occasions – I suppose it is a good thing though!

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And to top of a perfect evening, I got a toastie on the way home to eat in my jammies with my feet up!

 

Gin in Edinburgh

As the sun had (it is now gone) made an appearance over Scotland, what better way to make the most of it than in a beer garden?

Russell came and met me after work and we headed to fill our stomach at the new Miller and Carter on Frederick St (opposite my work – lucky me) Anyway, I am not really meant to eat red meat… but I did and enjoyed every bite. Totally worth the stomach pains. After a meal fit for a king – side of macaroni is a must – and a glass or two of prosecco (free if you sign up to their website!) We headed along to the West End.

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By sheer chance we came across a gin bar, Gin71. Located on the edge of Charlotte Square we popped in and asked if we could sit outside in the shade… as we are both ginger skinned. It seemed like we were the first customers but the place sure filled up fast. This bar was a fab find!

My first cocktail was an award winning ‘ Irn Bro’ it faintly tasted like Irn Bru and was really strong. It was certainly too strong for me to order again so I settled for a Rhubarb Collins – 10/10 for me. Russell kept it manly with pints of Pravha.

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Our table was also supplied with popcorn (oh oh, another food on my DON’T EAT list) and water. The staff were very attentive. I did notice the couple next to us drinking gin cocktails out of a china teapot so I will be getting that next time, even if I have to drink it all myself.

We headed home after that as Russ was working Saturday at 6am. I however, was heading back into Edinburgh with my step dad for a Harry Potter tour.

The tour was so magical we couldn’t even find it so went to Camera Obscura instead… then a few pubs down the Royal Mile where my drink of choice was Rhubarb and Ginger Edinburgh Gin with Lemonade – very refreshing!

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The rain was starting to spit so decided to call it a day and head for the train home. Which we happened to miss by a few minutes. This meant we could go for one last drink. Max picked the Balmoral which is very fancy smancy. At £13.50 a cocktail I was sure it would be good, and it was great! I settled for a vanilla infused vodka one and Max had a berry mojito. I would say these were the best of the weekend!

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What is your favourite cocktail?

 

 

I like rugby but I love toasties!

I am only going for toasties, copious amounts of Crabbie’s ginger beer and Finn Russell – Is what I told ‘my’ Russell before heading to watch the Scotland V Italy game. It was my birthday, so I felt I was entitled to be the drunken bum out of the two of us and binge on lactose. However, we both ended up equally as drunk after the game, in our jammies, eating Bugles and listening to Motown on YouTube, once we arrived home. What a classy life we lead.

On our way to Murrayfield the atmosphere was buzzing. Bagpipers lined the streets and everyone was in good spirits as it was the last day of the Six Nations. We had to make a stop at a bathroom and tile showroom for me to use the toilet. Don’t worry, I used an actual toilet and not a display one! They served drinks too so it would of been rude not to stay for one… which possibly turned into two.

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It was an early kick off so we rushed to take our seats and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers puffed out a few songs before the players took to the pitch. We were sat in row 3 which was unprotected from the rain and wind. It was cold. Typical Scotland.

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I was the runner for alcohol and toasties to let Russ enjoy the game. I was up and down to the toilet anyway so made sense to return with a beer or two. TOP TIP – Ladies, if the queues are too long (which they usually are) run to the Portaloos. They are quiet during the game and much, much, much cleaner than Murrayfield’s actual toilets!

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I can’t remember the ins and outs of this game – as lets be honest – I was too busy gazing at Finn Russell and stuffing my face but we won and that is the main thing. We celebrated by splitting a ham and cheese toastie (£6 for one!!!!) and headed to the pub where I could drink a classier choice of vodka cranberry and work out if I could afford to pay for my trip to Blackpool after splurging on 3 toasties.

My highlight (apart from toasties – gosh I have typed that word a lot today) was meeting 3 Italians who were had pizza boxes on their head. We couldn’t really communicate but I managed a photo and a cheers to us for winning!

 

Sygn Cocktail Class

Sygn Bar and Kitchen, nestled on the corner of Charlotte Lane is my new favourite place to eat (chicken and chorizo pizza is out of this world) and drink. So, when I seen that they were advertising a FREE vodka cocktail class last Friday, I had to sign up!

Luckily for me there was space for myself and plus one to attend. Hope, loves vodka too so we were the perfect pair to go along and try some newly created cocktails.

On arrival the table was filled with shot glasses (oh no) and bottles of Zubrowka, you know the vodka with the stem of grass in it. The vodka was poured into the glasses and passed around us, keen, vodka lovers. We were told not to shot this but to sip slowly and guess what flavours were in it. Hope said coconut and was correct! To my surprise, the vodka never burnt my throat like other vodkas have in the past so I was sure I could easily (how wrong I was) sip away on another shot without wanting to gag. Shots and me don’t mix too well. img_8309

After a short discussion about Zubrowka, an apple flavoured cocktail was passed around. For this being a free event I was not expecting the full size cocktail I was handed. It had a resemblance to Appletizer but an adult version, served with a slice of apple – 8/10 for me!

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Then another shot…Gag. Moving on…

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Another cocktail arrived to the table that I wasn’t too keen on. I think possibly the egg whites put me off but it was free, so I drank it anyway. I would rate this a 5.5/10

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No more shots thankfully, but platters of food were placed in front of us. If you haven’t ate at Sygn before, I suggest you book a table now. We were treated so mac and cheese bites, chicken wings, chicken goujons, mozzarella sticks and haggis balls. I was able to find space to work my way through the supply of nibbles even if I already had dinner prior to this event.

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Next to arrive was the best cocktail of the night. A fruity vodka cocktail, served over ice with a raspberry. This one went down no problem – 9/10 and I hope to see it on Sygn’s cocktail menu soon!

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After the cocktails, we stayed for another few drinks and got chatting to girls who were at our table. We agreed it was an excellent, free activity for a Friday night (or any night for that matter). Thanks Sygn, I will be back for pizza and a few of the cocktails pictured above.

*** Good news for all you Disaronno fans – a free cocktail night is taking place this Friday. Email events@sygn.co.uk for tickets! ***

The Pitt Market on Pitt Street

As I have no exciting plans for my day till later and Russell is working an extra shift, I thought I’d fire out another post while lazing in front of the tv. (I’ve already finished Gilmore Girls!!)

A few Saturdays ago I ventured down to Leith to attend the weekly Pitt Market. Where you can try a range of street food from different food trucks and sample a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. All while listening to live music and huddled around open pit fires. I had stalked the market for a long time on Instagram so I was very glad when I had a free weekend to finally attend. Check them out here – the photos will definitely make you want to brave the cold and head down!

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On arrival I was greeted with a friendly welcome from a human and a dog – yes dogs are allowed, another reason to go. I paid £1 to get in and I could stay as long as I wanted to ( I managed a few hours, until I lost all feeling in my toes!)  I had researched before hand so I knew what trucks were attending. Thankfully the week I was able to go Rost were there. I have sampled their wonderfully, cheesey macaroni ‘baws’ before so was hyped to be able to have them again. They are worth the risk of clogged arteries – believe me!

However my first stop was with Chick + Pea for some falafel served on a good few dollops of humus. This was my first time trying humus and I have been eating it ever since. I was classing this as a starter but the portion size was very generous and certainly could of been a main.

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I now needed a refreshment to go with the falafel so wandered over to a makeshift cocktail bar. The bar man was very informative about spirits – but you know me, I drink anything really. I ordered ‘Bizon Cooler’ which was on the specials board. It contained vodka, peach, passion fruit and apple. It did it’s magic in warming me up a little bit.

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Also, another thing with being cold is it makes me need to pee instantly. I was pleasantly surprised with the loos though. Not something I thought I would ever say about an outside event. Let me reassure you, that the toilets at the Pitts where a lot cleaner than your average Portaloo. A nice touch of art work hanging on the wall too!

Next, was time for a main course and where else to head than Rost. I never ordered macaroni ‘baws’ though. I went for the steak and chips after smelling it cooking on the bbq. It was £7 for a paper container stacked with chips and a good helping of perfectly cooked steak. It also came with a generous blob of garlic mayo (something I shouldn’t eat but enjoyed far too much) and a pile of healthy greens which I slyly hid in my napkin. That meal was worth every penny. I would certainly consider hiring them if I ever need catering. Obviously while eating steak another drink was needed. I settled on a pint, but it was a tough call between a cold beer or a glass of rose.

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I was starting to feel a little bit full at this point and beer makes me bloated so I had to pick my next meal very carefully. Do I go for a hot dog the size of my forearm or go for a pudding?

Pudding won.

Parked near the entrance was a crème brûlée truck. It was a must. They had 4 options on offer: salted caramel brownie, cookie smores, hazelnut and white choc or original. This was the toughest decision of the day so far. Very kindly, I was able to mix to flavours to create a salted caramel, cookie smore crème brûlée. The more sugar the better!

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I ate my brûlée by an open pit fire but by this point I was starting to get very cold so sadly had to call it a day! It was now dark by this point and the market was twinkling away with lots of fairy lights and there was a relaxed atmosphere which definitely made it hard to leave (next time I was be wearing more layers)

Next year I will be back… More than once!

 

 

Thanks for the tab Foundry 39!

I am one of those annoying friends you have on Facebook that shares any competition going. New carpets, free hair cut, win a glamping holiday etc. I enter them ALL!

Anyway, a few weeks ago I won a bar tab at the newly opened Foundry 39 at the West End in Edinburgh. Situated right beside Indigo Yard and Pizza Express – Ideal. Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to a Crohn’s flare. Boo! However the lovely staff at The List, who were running the comp were kind enough to move it to a date when I was feeling better. Yay, thank you!

I had £25 to enjoy on their food and as many cocktails I could squeeze in. However, if you know Russell and I we love a drink, so food was out the window and on came the pints and very quirky cocktails. (we ate at Sygn Bar before hand which was really, really good!)

On arrival, we were quickly shown to our table, nestled in a corner with the best view of the pizza oven, which looked amazing (you can get a Nutella pizza – I was sold) We could also see a clear view of the band who were setting up, tweaking away at their instruments. The lovely Julia introduced herself and brought us our first round of drinks. A pint for Russell (shock) and I got a purple rain cocktail which had a strong fragrance of lavender. It kind of reminded me of my gran. It was drinkable enough once my tongue got over the initial soapy taste. The cocktail was served in a bronzed cup, which I did contemplate stealing – if it wasn’t for the fact it was filled with crushed ice I probably would of. Shh.

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I loved the atmosphere of the place. It was filled with a mix of people out enjoying their Friday night. Be it a quick drink after work, a wee date night, or a catch up over some delicious looking food. The burgers are presented wrapped in paper like fast food but much better quality with crispy fries. Ah, making me hungry at the thought as I have just had my mums slimming world lasagne for tea…

My next choice of cocktail was a gin based one. Forgive me that I can’t remember the name – I did take a photo though. It had a pretty flower floating in it. Very fancy. Russell was still on the pints.

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The price of the cocktails range from £7.50-£9 which I would say is fairy reasonable as they certainly don’t skimp on the alcohol content.  Heavily advertised is their Bloody Mary breakfasts. So, I will need to make the effort to book a table for brunch. Any excuse to drink and eat breakfast food.

At around 7:30pm the live band started singing a range of songs. Stevie Wonder was on the set list – good choice! They were worth the wait and made us stay for another drink. Also good music in the toilets – can sing along while you pee, happy days. As you know by now, I love a clean toilet and these were. I loved the bronzed features and posh hand soap!

My last cocktail was a Bellini, which turned out to be my favourite of the night. Russell went all out with a double vodka – living it up in the West End.

So thanks again to The List for the tab. We fair enjoyed ourselves and will definitely be back to Foundry 39 for some brunch soon.

If any other bar/pub/restaurant serves alcohol – Myself and Russell would happily sample your drinks! Haha!

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