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!

 

 

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!

 

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!

 

 

 

Edinburgh Fringe Highlights// Week 2

This post is all about the amazing Harriet Kemsley – she is my only highlight of week 2, ha!

Harriet is thee Harriet from Harriet and Bobby Get Married (and Bobby’s wife who I seen last week). I slightly fangirled when I seen her at The Caves on Saturday.

This show started slightly different to all other ones I had been to so far. Harriet welcomed everyone into the room and chatted to them – very nice touch! The room was roasting hot but we had been prewarned so came armed with a refreshing vodka.

The show is called ‘Bad at Doing’ but as Harriet pointed out it read ‘Bad at Doing’ like the sound Big Ben makes… or no longer makes. Anyway she spoke about her struggles dealing with her newly diagnosed dyspraxia and how she is really bad at doing stuff – like coming up with a title for her show and printing out her diagnosis report wrong!

Harriet had me in stitches and I think it was because I could relate to the show. I have disability, I google a lot, read forums and have no idea what I am actually doing most of the time. Harriet appears the same but she handles herself much better than I ever could. She is also quite the line dancer…

Her quirkiness really shines through and you really can’t help but laugh along with her.

Russell had me leaving the show questioning if I was just really clumsy or should be getting tested for dyspraxia while Harriet had me leaving in a comedy bubble!

I would recommend you get your bum down to the Spare Room at the Caves, 9pm every night to see this gem of a show.

 

Party at the Palace 2017

It is still weird that a festival this big, one that Kaiser Chiefs and Amy McDonald headlined, took place in my hometown. This was my 3rd year attending but first being a VIP – all thanks to my wonderful friend Hope. We had Saturday tickets so we got to see Teen Canteen, Noisettes and Ash to name a few.

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Party at the Palace or PATP for short is a family festival so it caters to kids with amusements, climbing walls and sweet stalls. For the adults you have alcohol tents and more alcohol tents (yay!)

The festival is located at the back of Linlithgow Loch overlooking the Palace. As the sun set the view was amazing. The field is split into two areas with 3 stages: The Main Stage, the Sun Break Out and the Acoustic Stage. Altinak were on the Break Out stage at 2pm, they are a local band and gathered great support!

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The Saturday was busy and we got to mingle with a few names in the VIP tent… Susan Boyle and Gok Wan. However, we left them to enjoy their day as I worked through some Glen’s premium vodka and lemonade. I think most alcoholic drinks were priced at £5 which is pretty good considering. We did have to keep asking bar staff to top up our lemonade as they were making them strong!PATP5

There was a wide range of food. Not just your usual burger and chips which was a nice change. Hope and I went for chicken pakora supplied by the local Indian, Dehli Winter. Everyone was after the pakora so there was a wait but it was definitely worth it as you got 6 BIG pieces for £6. Vegan options and smoothies were also on offer.

Now, I know why you are really here… the toilets. As I was in VIP I got to use the ‘posh’ loos. They were indeed posh. Kitted out with White Company hand soap AND moisturiser – Luxury or what?! I didn’t even need to use my emergency wet wipes as there were toilet roll refills throughout the day. The queues for the normal portaloos seemed to go fast and spilt between men and women.

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To get the VIP area, Hope and I had been walking through the artist area – Oops. If only McFly had been performing then I really would have been trying to get in there! I was quickly pointed in the right direction on one of my mad dashes to the loo.

We didn’t spend much time in the VIP area as we preferred the buzz of being near the main stage. Luckily we found Hope’s family who had come prepared with camping chairs (tip for next time – bring chairs!)

PATP4For Kaiser Chiefs taking to the stage at 8.30pm we worked our way into the crowd. Only to stumble upon my mum and step dad. As soon as Kaiser Chiefs took to the stage the field was bouncing to their hits. I loved them back in the day so it was great I remembered so many songs. Ricky gave his all getting the crowd screaming, balancing on the drum kit and demanding attention in his yellow jacket (I need one).

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It is great to have such a great turn out to a local event. The support from local businesses is good to see too, especially Dehli Winter as they have a new customer in me (even if it is just for pakora!)

Thanks organisers of PATP – see you next year for turning 5!

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