A BLOG ABOUT THINGS I LEARN. BASICALLY.
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Friday 4th March, a typically unassuming day. I nearly fell asleep on the train into town after work. THEN I arrived at Buffalo & Rye and I stepped into some sort of 16-year-old-me -time-warp. I tried many [very many] of their Happy Hour cocktails then realised that I liked their decor quite a bit:
Great lights, great rugs.
Great use of neon.
We then braved the snow [snow in March?] to try and find our way to the Flapper and Firkin. I haven't been in about eight years and can't say I remember getting to or leaving the place so...
The cat gets it.
First on where Birmingham's own LCKD. I would strongly advise you go and see them at your earliest opportunity. For a band that have only been together two months, they don't half know what they're doing. Think Dinosaur Jr being drip fed Kurt Cobain's blood and you're on the right track.
Unfortunately I was too busy shooting dinosaurs to catch the next band. This was definitely an unexpected highlight of the night:
Thanks to the guys on my left for giving me tips, encouragement
and general support for the entire game.
I did however manage to prize myself away from this brilliant machine to catch the headliners LIFE .
With support recently from the likes of BBC6 Music, this band will surely be in everyone's heads/ears/ipods by the Summer. They've just finished this mini-tour but definitely catch them live asap if you want to be genuinely entertained. Take a look at my very impromptu interview with them!
I expected them to be good, I mean I absolutely knew they'd be good and have wanted to see them for almost six years now, but they exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be difficult for them to maintain the crowd's concentration for an entire set since their songs are generally a slow-paced almost etherial expression of pure Los Angeles cool, but there again was I wrong.
They churned out hit after hit in the most effortless fashion with so much conviction you'd think they were born with their instruments fused to their fingers. There was a lot of on-stage hair twizzling, several 'in jokes' and a general consensus that the 'Birmingham haters' need to eff off because we have 'great canals', all of which put us at ease and kind of made us feel like we were sitting in on band practice. The vocals were so light and note-perfect, the new songs were clear dancefloor fillers and everyone left wanting to call up their girlfriends and form a band. If that's not a sign of a good night, I don't know what is.
The Laurent-Perrier Champagne Bar located on the 25th Floor of The Cube, Birmingham boasts what I would argue to be the best view in Birmingham.
I treated my well-deserving mom to Afternoon Tea here as a Christmas present, joining the other thirty parties, waving our Groupon papers in harmony [thanks Groupon], and will gladly say that the almost-360 degree-views alone were worth the money. This is especially true if you time your visit to include the beginning of sunset, which yesterday seemed to start at around 4pm [NB you are not on holiday but you are allowed to trick your brain once in a while].
Whilst the food offered was nothing spectacular [the cheese and pickle sandwiches were a surprise] and the presentation wasn't particularly inspiring, unlike most of the Alice-in-Wonderland-esque offerings at the minute, the general ambience and surroundings of this bar definitely make it deserving of a place on your checklist.
I'VE been compelled to return by my plants. "Wow. This girl's crazy. She's living on the edge!' you say. Perhaps not, but for those of you who followed the progress of my chilli plants when I lived in London, you'll love this:
CHILI PLANT #2: Whilst not the original, my second chilli plant seems to be swallowing steroids and dipping itself in green paint whilst I'm at work...
Look how tall you are, O plant of chilliness
Probably the greenest plant I'll ever grow
There may not be any actual chilis growing at the moment, but by the looks of things they'll be
sumo sized and will probably blow my head off. If this works i'll be making my own spicy Jam by next year. Probably. Maybe.
TOMATO PLANT #1: Now this i've never tried before, but since i've had an urge to grow my own veggies without actually having a garden, I opted for tomatoes. If you're planning on doing the same,
there's something you should probably know:
Cheeky orange blob in the background
They are incredibly lanky. They grow at the speed of light but don't have the strength to hold their weight, so they start flopping over themselves and growing facing down. That is of course unless you find some twigs in the street or happen to live near a shop
specialising in bamboo sticks. I took the first option and watched as my partner tied each
floppy branch to some twigs we found in the street [because I was doing something more
important which probably involved pizza and/or wedges]. So far I have eight tomatoes
growing, ONE of which is on the way to becoming the correct colour. Watch this space...
THIS post should have been written a few weeks ago when I had my first culinary experience at the brand spanking new Turtle Bay located on John Bright St. in Birmingham. Due to a string of successes, they now also have restaurants in Bristol, Leamington Spa, Leicester, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and Southampton, which tells me that they're doing something right.
As soon as you walk in you notice a real warmth to the atmosphere, the music is definitely someone's Summer playlist and the staff are all smiling and very welcoming; that's all before you've even tried the food.
There is another word next to 'Laid'..I just can't remember what it was.
Something to note: It's almost always Happy Hour there! There's pretty much every (Rum) cocktail you could ever think of and that, added to the Caribbean beach hut feel of the place, really sends you away with the beach fairies.
YES you bar of rumtastic delights.
The minute our food came, I was won over. If you can smell your food before it's even placed in front of you [and it's not a smell of the bad kind] it's always a good sign:
I went for the Curry, Shrimp and Mango which came with 'rice 'n peas' and a whole load of incredible spices. By far on of the tastiest curries I have ever had the pleasure of devouring. One thing I will say is that the there wasn't much of the curry at all [something you can't really tell from this photo] and I could have eaten another two portions [at least], but I may have just caught someone on a bad pot-filling day as other photos I have seen tell a different story.
I've never seen a burger look so happy.
My garcon went for the Pulled Chicken Bun which came with rocket, Caribbean slaw and fries, all of which were devoured in about five minutes:
F E A S T.
We also went for some Jerk Pit Prawns which were cooked perfectly [and not somethered in sauce so you could taste the real flavour of the pit, which may or may not sound nice to you], some sweet potato chips with CHEESE and spices and some crunchy chick peas. These are something I have never had before but they're pretty moreish and crunchy. Very crunchy.
For some reason the decor really reminded me of Disneyworld's
Blizzard Beach. WEIRD.
I will most definitely be returning to this restaurant, a brilliant addition to the new wave of eateries gracing us in Birmingham, to try the rest [the entirety] of the menu. It is very reasonably priced, produces good quality, fresh food and makes me feel like I am on holiday. Did I mention it's almost always Happy Hour?
This was an experience in itself! Two gentleman greet you at the train station dressed in
traditional Indian clothing. Once on the train you're offered drinks and asked for your order; starters and main dishes only as you are given a selection and unlimited supply of side dishes and rice to accompany your chosen plates. After a very scenic journey through beautiful fields and lots of greenery you arrive at the station and, at the same time, at the restaurant which is located on the platform [how convenient?!]. Once at the restaurant and after a few drinks, you're taken to your table [already having ordered on the train]. What follows is some beautifully cooked, completely fresh food and possibly the largest Tandoori King Prawns I have ever seen. We were a party of eight and all had nothing but good things to say about the food, as well as the service. I thoroughly recommend this experience if visiting Newcastle!
This weekend will see me venturing no further than Birmingham city centre so I can perform for Elicit at Talk Bar where i'll be playing through an acoustic set at around 8:30pm. You'll get five live acts, three DJs and a partridge in a pair tree for your money which is pretty good going.