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!

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

sh*ts and gigs

Q.How do you survive a gig with chronic fatigue and inflamed insides?
A. With great difficulty.

Although here I am to tell the tale…

My plan was to laze around before hand and use as little energy as possible. As the gig was in Glasgow, we planned ahead and booked a night in a hotel to take the pressure of relying on the ever so trustworthy Scotrail. Thanks Abode Glasgow for your hospitality – even if your lift was broken, and I had to climb 3 flights of stairs. That took a dent in the energy fund. Luckily, the bed was like lying on a cloud so I was able to dose while Russell enjoyed the rugby before we had to consider making moves to the 02 Academy.

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We were able to have a few drinks in the room before hand while I was getting ready. I enjoyed a few cans of Tesco Woo Woo – classy. Chase and Status tweeted the time they were due on stage so we were in no rush to head out as they weren’t coming on till 21:45. We left around 9pm and as it was freezing outside agreed on a taxi to take us instead of walking. This meant more energy for jumping around too! The reception staff were very accommodating in phoning a taxi and it arrived in minutes. No hanging about.

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I had already had a few drinks with my lunch at TGIs then those wee cans so I was feeling slightly tipsy – I am a lightweight at the best of times. Russell was merry with a good few pints.

We were in a que for a while as the bouncers did a very thorough search of everyone – Thankfully my Solpodol was allowed in. First thing first once I had been reunited with Russell was pee. Yip, I had to brave public toilets and I’d broken the seal so this was going to be a regular occurrence during the night. They were fully stocked with loo roll and reasonably clean… just. It was the start of the night mind you. Toilets give me the fear even though I spend a good amount of time perched on them.

Anyway, after that it was drink time. This night could of went either of two ways. I have one more drink and want my bed, or it sends me the other way and I am able to dance the night away. Alas it was the latter. Yay!

My fragile body probably shouldn’t be attending gigs like Chase and Status but hey, I hate letting it hold me back. Thank goodness for painkillers (which surprisingly I managed without until the next day) I survived an hour and a half of jumping, pushing and shouting –  I loved every minute. We were down the front for most of the gig but soon worked out the bar at the back sold vodka, so lingered around there while topping up our alcohol levels. Probably another thing I shouldn’t be doing… My bad!

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I had the best time… That was until I woke up in the grumpiest of moods the next morning, with a body that felt like it had been hit by a train and a very dodgy tummy thanks to the pineapple juice in my cocktails. Lovely! Poor Russell managed to put up with me on the train home, along with his raging hangover.

So, another example of not holding back on enjoying life!

Now to catch up on my sleeeeep….. zzzzz.

 

 

 

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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Date night(mare)

As I was watching Planet Earth and scrolling through Facebook, I came across this article. While I was reading, I found to be nodding in agreement more than I would of liked to. The article was about having fun while battling with a chronic illness. In my experience, when people see me out and about they often question if I am really sick and they will openly tell me –  “You don’t look sick!” or “If you are ill, you really shouldn’t be doing that!” Well people, I am sick. It took a long time and a few cameras in uncomfortable places to diagnose me. My insides don’t look too pretty! And no, I probably shouldn’t be doing what ever I’m about to but I will of saved my spoons, avoided certain foods and taken my meds to enjoy the moment – which will still be sore. Sigh.

Anyway, enough of the rant… This post while hopefully give you an insight into me venturing out the house for a night. Enjoy!

Last night, the lovely Russell offered to treat me to dinner before heading to a 30th party in Edinburgh. I love eating out (after finding a suitable restaurant – details to follow) and I love a wee dance every now and again so this was a Saturday I was not wasting stuck at home, in my jammies, watching series 7 of Gilmore Girls.

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From about Wednesday, I have been on Google trying to find a place to eat. Things I needed to consider was if it was close to the party venue as walking takes it out me, if they had a wide range of choices even though I am boring and never stray away from anything with more than 3 main ingredients (chicken, cheese, tomato base – Pizza!) and hello anxiety my old friend, how busy the place would be. As I hate making final decisions, Russell had the task of picking from a list of menus I had scrutinised over. Amarone, Bella Italia or throwing a curve ball, El Cartel. (Menu reading is a favourite hobby of mine. I can recite the local Chinese menu of by heart and I am not even ashamed!)

Amarone was the winner.

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So, at around 6pm we jumped on a train to Edinburgh and walked over Princes Street to Amarone. It wasn’t too busy and with a few vodka and cranberries before hand and Russell by my side I was reasonably calm – Unlike my previous meltdown at the Park Bistro a few weeks before. Cringe!

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As I said in a previous post I was going to try and be adventurous so this meant no pizza for me. I was faced either with chicken in a basil sauce with mushrooms and pancetta or spaghetti and meatballs. Chicken won. The waitress did  bring over an accidental pizza before hand – it was like she could sense my fear of what was to come! However, I’m glad I got the chicken as it was a solid 8/10 dish unlike Russell’s carbonara  which was a bit lukewarm and tasteless. Being my dinner date though, means he always gets a meal and a half.

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Now, with always sticking to the same restaurants you know things, like where the toilets are. As I had never been to Amarone before, I underestimated the trek it would be to use the loo. As I went through one door, down a set of never ending spiral stairs, along a corridor and through another two doors, I arrived at the ladies. I was at the point of doing the jiggly dance and thinking Russell better still love me if we get asked to leave because I have no bladder control and wee’d on the floor! Luckily, a cubicle was available and I darted in with my tights nearly already at my ankles. I have no shame! Disaster of wet knickers and getting renamed Miss Pee Pants was just avoided. Phew. Our night could continue along to the Voodoo Rooms.

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As we had just ate, this is usually when my stomach decides to make whale noises while it’s doing it’s magic digesting. As before, I am not embarrassed by this. Before I would constantly apologise at every grumble it made, now I laugh. So I was walking into a room with my whale sounding, bloated stomach.. Great first impressions!

Russell got us both a drink and I started to relax, while eyeing up the buffet food. I love a party, and I love it even more when there is a buffet. There was pizza and chicken satays so I was rather pleased for all of 5 minutes before sitting down when the pain in my side returned which was not a welcomed addition to the party atmosphere. I am a crier, I cry easily so it took all my might to hold back the tears and snot. The pain has been measured the same pain as labour so I am pretty much having labour pains.. every… friggin… day! I held it together, thanks to Russell. I owe him big time. The pain eased, probably thanks to the few vodkas I had and I was able to carry my night on to the best nightclub in Scotland, Code (joking!)

Today, I was very tired and Russell was slightly fragile so it was the perfect excuse to lie on the couch, eat beige food (I am sure I keep Birdseye in business) and start on the Christmas movies.

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I have posted pictures on Facebook which looks like I am having the time of my life. When actually I am dealing with labour pains (ha!) I would say about 60% of my night I was sore. However, I don’t want to be defined by Crohn’s so when I can, I will still continue to live my life the best way I can.

PS. Everyone who has Crohn’s suffers differently. I am fine to drink alcohol in moderation. Salad on the other hand is a no no!

x

 

Cocktails in the City

Can you see where I pinched my blog name from? Ooopsies.

I love entering competitions, and lucky me I won tickets to Cocktails in the City last Thursday, at the beautiful Mansfield Traquair. Thanks Chaoprhaya!

I wandered down for the event opening at 6pm. I was meant to be going with my step mum, but after falling ill she was unable to attend. Me, and my love of alcohol didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to try some cocktails still decided to go and I am so glad I did. Well, that was until I was drunk and stranded at Waverley station as my train home was cancelled – but that’s a very funny/awkward story for another day. *Hides face in embarrassment* Shout out to my dad for saving the day.

Anyway, lets get back to the event. On arrival, I was buzzing that I never got ID’ed. This is a big deal for me as I have such a baby face I usually am questioned more than once when ever I enter a pub. I was handed a little book that contained information on the bars and the cocktails they had on offer. I was directed over to a table where you paid money to get tokens (1 cocktail was £6.50, very reasonable as plenty free samples floating around too!) I started of with 5 tokens as I wasn’t planning on staying too long. However, after flicking through the book too many cocktails took my fancy. I ran back over to the table and paid for another 5 cocktails. Tokens and book in hand I set off on my adventure round the pop up bars. IMG_7159.JPG

My first visit was to Hoot the Redeemer, who are based on Hanover Street. I have popped in a few times as I love the quirkiness of the place. Did you know, the wall paper in their ladies loo are pages from 50 Shades of Grey? They had partnered up with Disaronno to create a cocktail which was not something I would normally try but was a solid 7/10 for me. It also came it a retro Slush Puppy cup.

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I then headed of to Chaophraya – first to thank them for the free tickets and second to taste their cocktail of the night. Usually, when I dine with them I go for their Mango Passion as it contains vanilla vodka but tonight it was a very pink cocktail with Lanique Rose Spirit… I’d never heard of it but it was good. Strong, but good. I got chatting with the marketing manager and total fangirled over their new menu.

Following my map, behind me was Badger and Co. By this point I was tipsy so my chat was shocking. The barmen were in good spirits and I think didn’t me spraffing away. I loved their tweed jackets and their coffee cocktail that was served in a coffee cup. Nice touch. IMG_7224.JPGIMG_7225.JPG

Next, I think (alcohol was kicking in) I headed to The Voyage of Buck (going by my camera roll) All I really remember is something about a yellow piano but other than that, mind blank. I did manage a photo though!

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The rest of the night, from this moment onwards is very limited. Which is pretty bad, when you were trying to get content for your blog (my bad). I do have fussy memories of a toasted marshmallow cocktail and a photo to prove it, men getting their hair cut with the Whistle Stop Barber Shop, very handsome bar tenders at the Treacle stand and chatting nonsense with the staff at Panda & Sons…

I do know though, that I had a fab time and will be back next year with a group in tow and I will make sure I eat before hand. For now, I am ever so slightly embarrassed with how drunk I got so for the next few weeks I will be in hiding.

This lightweight is signing off… Ciao!

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