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!

zombie 9

Zombie 3

zombie 6

zombie1

zombie 8

Zombie 2

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

Advertisements

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!

mb4

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!

 

 

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.

gin6

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.

gin4

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.

gin10

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.

gin5

gin2

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

citc voodoo

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

citc bar soba

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

citc malmasion

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

citc juniper

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

citc g&V

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!

 

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.

FV2

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!

FV6

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.

FV1

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!

 

 

 

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.

Madness 2

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!

Madness 5

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!

Madness 4

 

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.

Gin 71

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.

Irn BroRussell

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!

Camera 2

Camera 1

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!

Balmoral 2

What is your favourite cocktail?