Friday, 18 October 2013

Brew Dog - Afternoon Tea For Punks

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Claire and I were very excited to see an invite to Brew Dog's Afternoon Tea for Punks to drop into our mail box and jumped at the chance to attend. Personally, Before this event I had no knowledge of what makes a good beer as I usually grab a vodka and diet coke when I'm out in town. Because of this it's always a bit daunting visiting the bar in Brew Dog as I have no idea what the pick. Thankfully the staff are a friendly bunch are always on hand to give tasters and advice. 

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Amazing wall art
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Another piece of amazing wall art
We started off the evening with a tipple of Fake Lager while we waited for the night to start. I found this easy to drink and wasn't too hoppy. After our drink we were presented with a meat and cheese platter which was paired with 5am Saint and Jackhammer IPA. I'd been eyeing up these platters on previous visits so it was nice to finally try one. Our host Sarah was on hand to give us some information on the beers and which food it paired well with. My favourite of all of these beers was the 5am Saint.

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Meat and Cheese Platter
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Now it was time for dessert! The girls from Pet Lamb Patisserie had baked up a storm and supplied some gorgeous beer baked treats for the event which were to be paired with the beers they were inspired by. All of the desserts contained the beer they had been paired with too. 

First up we had Punk IPA and Passion Fruit Cupcakes which also were paired with Punk IPA. Our host advised us that this was one of their most popular beers. Described as a fresh, full flavoured natural beer this is Brew Dog's tribute to the classic IPA's of yesterday. 
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Punk IPA and Passion Fruit Cupcakes
Secondly, we were given a thick slice of their Dead Pony Club Citrus Loaf which, you guessed it, was paired with Dead Pony Club. Described as a huge hoppy Californian pale ale Sarah told us that this beer was particularly popular with the ladies. Funnily enough this was always the beer I was recommendation when visiting the bar on previous visits too. This cake was Claire's pick of the bunch. 
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Foreground - Dead Pony Club Citrus Loaf
Last but definitely not least was the Cocoa Psycho Brownies. These were incredibly rich and fudgy. We were given this door stop sized brownie with the Cocoa Psycho Stout. The pairing was absolutely perfect. I particularly enjoyed taking a small bite of the brownie and having a sip of the Stout at the same time. It really brought out the rich chocolate taste. Cocoa Psycho is described as a 10% decadent and indulgent imperial Russian Stout and definitely isn't for the faint hearted! Sarah explained this stout is made with real chocolate and coffee and you can definitely pick up these notes. It's incredibly rich. Something I could only drink as a dessert.

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Cocoa Psycho and Cocoa Psycho Brownies (half eaten.. I couldn't contain myself...)
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The event was brilliant and helped me work out what type of beer I liked. As previously mentioned before I had only ever been recommended Dead Pony Club in the past at the bar and took that every time. I now know that I prefer a more malty beer. My favourite of the night was 5am Saint.

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Thanks Brew Dog for an absolutely brilliant night. Big thank you to Sarah for our invitation too. 

It reminded us of when we were 'punk'. Here's a picture of us and our friend Julia in t-shirts featuring bands from our youth:
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How young do we look?!

Bryden x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Southern Eleven - Manchester

Steven and I took took a trip to Manchester recently for my birthday. We opted to try some American inspired fare from Southern Eleven in central Manchester.

The menu was packed with choice but we both decided on the same main course - the southern tasting platter and ordered an extra side of Macaroni Cheese. We chose deep fried gherkins with dips (with extra blue cheese dip) for our starter. 

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Starters - Deep Fried Gherkins and dipping sauces
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Main - Southern Tasting Platter and Macaroni Cheese 
The tasting platter consisted of two massive ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork with a side of parmesan truffle fries. The fries were absolutely amazing! The meat was also good. We couldn't finish the generous portions and had to leave about half each. It's a shame we were so far away from home otherwise I would have asked for a doggy bag! The Macaroni cheese was rich but lacked the cheesy punch I was hoping for. 

I don't usually give scores when I post about restaurants but if I had to give this place a score it would be 7/10. There just seemed to be something lacking and we didn't get particularly excited about it at all. I think the Americana fad has faded... Pulled pork isn't doing it for me anymore.

Bryden x

Monday, 14 October 2013

Mobile Montage - August

I had this scheduled to post and blogger just decided not to do it so here's a really late mobile montage for August... 

It's still just Bryden at the moment while Claire is waiting to get her internet installed (late news now as she now has it...).

August has been a great month and we were very excited to be invited to Brew Dog, Newcastle for Afternoon tea for punks (Post coming soon). We had an awesome time tasting all the different types of beers, cake and their meat and cheese platter. Yum!

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1. Henna / 2. Party Face / 3. Robocup
4. Sausage Tray Bake / 5. Ami and I / 6. Tamago Maki
7. New Bike / 8. Ryan Gosling Bed T-shirt / 9. Saving an old friendly heirloom from the bin (BAD JULIA!)
10. Brew Dog Chalkboard / 11. Brew Dog / 12. Brew Dog Empties.

Bryden x

Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil - 30 day test.

It was Claire who originally told me about this oil. I have a very greasy t-zone and it drives me up the wall having to blot every couple of hours. I decided to buy this on pay day and to keep a diary on how it works. The lady on the counter was telling me the best thing to do it use a couple of drops neat for the first 3 weeks every night and then I can start using this mixed in with my moisturiser. She explained that the idea behind the oil is to trick the skin into thinking it had already produced enough oil so less oil would be produced. Skeptical at first but I have heard so many good reviews about this product I caved and decided to take it home with me. 

The oil boasts a hefty price tag at £30 for 50ml but I'm assuming as you only need a few drops of the stuff that it should last a relatively long time. The dropper in the bottle helps to control the amount of oil that you use. 

I wanted to test this for 30 days before writing a review because I wanted to make sure I didn't react to this product and to make damn sure that this was worth the money.

The results:

Day 1 - Still a little skeptical I use this as instructed before bed. I initially used 3 drops for my entire face but I got a bit greedy and used about 4 drops more. I look like a greasy mess and quickly realise I've put too much on. Oh well. 

Day 5 - I can see a difference in the amount of oil my t-zone is producing. Its nothing drastic but I notice I don't need to touch up as much. The oil is very lightweight and doesn't feel heavy or pore clogging.

Day 10 - I'm making sure I use 3-4 drops for my entire face so I don't waste product. I've been out the night before and I notice that my skin doesn't look as dehydrated as it usually does. My t-zone isn't as greasy as day 1. This morning I mixed a drop of the oil into my anti-shine moisturiser despite what the lady from the Clarins counter said. I noticed that it didn't effect how my anti-shine moisturiser worked and my skin is super smooth ready for make up. 

Day 15 - Still going strong! I'm really missing my moisturiser at the moment. 

Day 20 - I missed a few days when I went camping but I can still see the results so all is not lost. I've been mixing 1 - 2 drops into my morning moisturiser as standard now and still using it neat on a night time. I'm going to start mixing 1 - 2 drops into my night cream and start using moisturiser at night again as I am still really missing it. I've noticed that my make up is staying on for a lot longer than it usually does. 

Day 25 - I'm now using my moisturiser and the oil at night. I'm still loving this stuff. I've noticed I'm going through this stuff pretty quickly so I'm making sure to only use a couple of drops as I've only got half a bottle left! Eeek!

Day 30 - The Conclusion - Today is the last day of the test and I'm really happy with the results. My skin is less oily and is more even in tone. It isn't a out of this world miracle product where my skin has completely changed and no longer produces oil, oil is still being produced but just less than usual. My skin has kept hydrated and my make up is staying on a lot longer before I need to touch up with powder. I'm really happy with the results.

Since doing this test I have been using this oil for over a month now and I've found it works wonders on hangover skin. When I get in from a night out I've been taking off my make up with a micellar water and using this neat on my skin before bed. I've been waking up with a bad head still but my skin looks glowy and hydrated!

Have you tried this oil? What did you think?

Bryden x