Do you ever have those weekends that are a bit like being at a bus stop? You have so many great plans at once. That was this weekend just passed: half term ends = crazy weekend. Some great memories and some lessons to take with me too.
It was half term last week which meant it was all a bit bonkers. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of sweet moments. Like the days I went to work and left the kids with the grandparents. Kidding (kind of). We sang loads around the house and I found a true love for my little girls Scottish accent when she sings. I have been experimenting with music this month. It turns out music has been my therapy in a big way. I talk a lot about exercise being the most underused stress buster. I think we need to give music credit too.
I have been making a conscious effort to play it more. Music has been with me during the boring dishes, the long traffic jams and PMT moments of madness.
It has helped to resolve some tantrums. Sometimes I have had to sing over the kids and admit defeat. Sometimes I play the music so loud in the kitchen that the kids quit their constant demands, turn the tv up and close the door. Nice one.
Also, dancing and singing with friends, esp after a few drinks when we care less about how we look or sound, feels so good.
We caught up with loads of friends which was fab. We made a lot of mess around the house (play doh and wasted meals/snacks) and I swore under my breath about 50 times.
So when Daddy pig got home from work on Friday I was out the door quicker than Michael Flatley on a broadway stage. The funny thing is, I was heading out to a wine tasting with my fellow Mummy friend and she made the exactly same noise I did when we left her house for the taxi. It went something like ahhhhhhh mmmmm yeeeeeaaaahhhaaaa big sigh and breath.
Off we trotted to the Matthew Jukes wine tasting event at Summerhall. Holy crap. I had no idea how pumping this event was going to be and….there were 48 wines to taste. I repeat – 48 wines. This included champers, whites, reds and dessert wines. Ring a ding ding.
Chardonnay is a bit of a marmite scenario. I found a love of the stuff when living in New Zealand because it actually tasted nice, unlike the vinegary rubbish I had tasted back home when I was a student. I love a creamy, buttery Chardonnay. I spotted a couple on the bench at £65/£70 a bottle. They were beautiful. My friend gave me a bit stick for raving about the expensive wines. I told her my Mum always said I have a complex palate aka extravagant taste and she took the piss out of me something rotten.
It was a top night tasting some beautiful wine (esp loved the fizz, Chardonnay and dessert wine). There was also a really nice red wine (2015 Teunser, Joshua, Barossa Valley, SA) from 100 + year vines (Yes Ozzy land can make ancient wine). At £26 a bottle it was a steal given the fact it’s a wine that has had the full Rolls Royce treatment. I will be hitting Woodwinters soon, who sponsored the event, to stock up.
We topped the night off perfectly with a lamb curry in Pataka. You can always get a great curry in that joint, although ordering two glasses of house wine was a stupid move after the fab event we had been at. Mental note – next time go for a cold beer.
The 2nd bus of the weekend was a champagne lunch with the hubs. Now I was hoping to review this joint but the food was a total let down. We were very disappointed. Every course was just a bit crap. The house champagne and cocktails were so lovely though. Every cloud.
It just goes to show that it is important to do the research first. A restaurant with a great atmosphere is wasted if the food sucks. Please get involved with my food and fizz page and recommend some great places. If a restaurant serves amazing food I need to know about it because my meals out are precious.
Thankfully the food standards seriously improved into the evening. We kicked off the night with a little disco session with the kids. Our new and much anticipated disco lights, the hubs ordered from Japan for Christmas day, FINALLY arrived.
It was then time for the 3rd bus and for this Mama to do a quick Usain across the road to our lovely neighbours for a gin tasting night.
Wow. Who knew gin could taste so good? Between a small group of us there were so many beautiful gins and a cracking array of mixers, spices, rose petals, fruits, herbs, peppercorns – it was really special. As for the homemade pizzas in the incredible Roccbox stone oven: hands down the best pizza I have ever tasted and they only take two minutes to cook once in the oven. Now to talk my lovely neighbour into telling me his secret dough recipe. It was so good that I had to nip the whole 10 seconds across the road to drop some into my hubs mid party. They even had takeaway boxes. How cool?
Gins we attacked on the night:
Seedlip – this is a non alcholic drink made like a gin and it is totally delicious. It has tastes of clove, pepper, dry wood and bitter citrus. Best served with tonic and a large squeeze of orange or pink grapefruit.
Harris Gin -this one had a nice spicy kick to it. I enjoyed it with cinnamon and star anise with plenty of ice and a little light tonic.
Botanist – I enjoyed this with pink peppercorns, juniper berries and light tonic. It was delicious and the gin packed a punch. I seem to remember free pouring this one which may have had something to do with it.
Ginerosity – This is a sweeter gin. I enjoyed it with light tonic, fresh lime and lime leaves. Super refreshing.
Caorunn – I had this with light tonic, rose petals and hibiscus flowers – yum.
Edinburgh original gin – I enjoyed this lovely smooth gin with tonic and wedges of fresh orange.
Bombay Sapphire – an oldie but a goodie, always best with plenty of ice and fresh lime.
Good old Gordons – clearly a bottle of this would be out as one of our hosts (epic pizza maker) is called Gordon. This needs to be simple – a nice cold tonic, lots of ice and fresh lemon.
The gin tasting night was an absolute belter and it has given me the kick up the butt to get more creative. I was having a field day with all those garnishes. A couple of hours in and we were all dancing and singing like nobody was watching and I loved it. A top night.
So that was a fair bit of drinking! As I say, sometimes you get a weekend like buses when load of fun stuff happens at once. Whilst it can’t always be avoided, I find it is best to stagger out the excitement. I felt a little edgy today not to mention pretty shattered. The great memories helped though.
So, time to get the head down this week and get back on track with the clean eating and exercise. Nothing a good old rpm class with banging beats can’t sort out.