Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Birmingham: Fumo and The Cube

Following our Friday night of food, we decided to spend Saturday, well, eating. So, we headed off to Fumo, an Italian tapas style restaurant, to tuck into some more delicious lunchtime goodies.

We may have gone slightly to town on the ordering- our table was practically heaving under the weight of all the different dishes!

However, the one (slightly odd) dish which stood out for me was the fried courgette sticks- I just couldn't get enough of them! I also loved the beef carpaccio and the garlic-y king scallops, both of which had me scraping the plates clean...

For pudding, we dug into a sharing plate. Here, we were presented with a whole variety of delicate little puddings, all of which were begging to be eaten. Look at them!

I especially loved the passionfruit meringue pie- the base was wonderfully tangy while the sweet meringue peaks simply melted in my mouth.

The sharing aspect of this restaurant has to be what makes it so fun. Personally, I love picking a dish or two off the menu each and then swapping bites, trying to figure out who ordered the best. I have to say, this time each dish was so good it was honestly hard to pick between them!

After we'd eaten every last crumb, we whizzed our way up to the top of The Cube for an after lunch coffee. The coffee was fairly standard, but the views over Birmingham were simply stunning. Luckily it was a really clear day and so we could see for miles!

Eventually, three little piggies waddled their way home, feeling rather content and more than a little full...!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Birmingham: Digbeth Dining Club at Spotlight

Last Saturday, one of my best friends Frannie turned twenty one. Therefore Frannie, our friend Rebecca and I had a weekend full of treats and surprises to celebrate Frannie fully entering adulthood and becoming as old as the rest of us...

We kicked our weekend off at the Digbeth Dining Club which is a brilliant little pop up event which happens every Friday at Spotlight. The concept's simple- Spotlight (a bar with a large open space out the back) simply throws open their back doors and local street food vendors set up stands with delicious gourmet food, which is then cooked right in front of you!

In our typical style, we just had to try everything and so quickly got in line.

Our first dish (which was then demolished while standing in line for our second!) was from Canoodle, a stall selling Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes. We had a pig's cheek coconut curry with (the most delicious) salad on the side. (I really really wish I'd asked what they'd done to the salad it was *that* good!).

By the time we'd reached the front of the next queue, the curry had mysteriously vanished and we were getting ready to order our second dish- pulled pork in brioche buns.

These too evaporated away rather quickly and we jumped back in line again for hotdogs. These were firstly, huge and secondly, dressed in the best home made relish I think I may have ever eaten. In fact, I could have happily polished off a hot dog bun simply filled with the stuff!

After a little sit down and a beer break, armed with our bottomless appetites Rebecca and I headed off in search of crêpes, where we were presented with this masterpiece:

Eventually, after falling into a mini food coma, we decided it was time to head home after a great evening. A little helpful hint though: if you're thinking of heading there, make sure you turn up early otherwise all the food will be eaten without you!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Durham Part Two

After an evening of amazing food, of course the only natural thing to do was follow it up with, well, more food. So, on Sunday afternoon I was introduced to Tango where we tucked into a couple of burgers and I drank the prettiest drink I think I've ever seen!

I was presented with a wine glass with a shrivelled brown ball in the bottom. My glass was filled up with hot water and I watched as before my eyes, the ball opened up and flowered in my glass, infusing the water with a mixture of jasmine, marigold and globe amaranth tea. 

Not long after I'd stopped staring at my tea, our burgers arrived and we dove in. They were deliciously juicy and so I happily tucked away the whole thing. 

Once we'd gobbled up every last crumb, we went for another little wander around town. The light was beautiful so I snapped a couple of pictures to show you just how pretty Durham is! 

I really enjoyed visiting Durham- it's always interesting visiting a new part of the country- for such a small place, England really does vary so much from city to city. Hopefully, with any luck I'll be back soon! 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Durham Part One: Zen

Last Friday, I packed my little suitcase, dug out my thickest pair of tights and hopped on a train to a part of North England I've never been to before, Durham.
Pulling into the station (which is on top of one of the many hills in Durham), I got my first pretty spectacular glimpse of the city spread out below. 

When the train finally stopped, I jumped out of my carriage and excitedly rushed to meet the rather special person who was looking after me for the weekend (more to be said on him later!). We then ambled our way through the city before heading home to get ready for college formal, which is where students who are part of the college dress up in gowns and eat dinner together at their college. After this entertainingly rowdy meal (and rather a lot of wine), I soon found myself tumbling into bed and falling deeply asleep, excited for the next day's adventure. 

The next evening, (the day had consisted of a long lie in, late lunch and lots of catching up,) we headed into the city centre for a wander around some of the sites. The cathedral looked beautiful all lit up and the castle was nearly as impressive! 

However, before long, we found ourselves outside Zen (a gorgeous looking Thai-inspired restaurant), where a table had been booked for our first proper date! We started with cocktails (a chilli mojito for me and a normal one for him) and a bit of people watching (who knew there were so many interesting characters in Durham?!). 

After a few sips, we were seated at our table and started umm-ing and ahh-ing over the menu- the poor waitress had to come back three times! I'm a complete sucker for Thai food and so I found choosing especially difficult! Eventually, we settled on scallops, fishcakes and sushi for starters, followed by pad thai for me and massaman lamb for him, all finished off with chocolate brownies to share. Every course was delicious but I have to say the fishcakes were particularly good- that perfect balance of spicy sweetness.

 All too soon, our food had been devoured and so we rolled ourselves back out into the chilly night air. We walked back through Durham by moonlight, and after one especially magical moment on a bridge overlooking the river, smiling happily to ourselves, we reached home.