Thursday, 19 April 2018

Vapiano Edinburgh - A New Dining Experience



Hello Everyone,

How are you all doing? I'm sitting at a window with actual sunlight pouring in and I don't want to get my hopes up but it feels like spring may actually be here!

Yesterday however, it was cold and grey in Edinburgh, with a breeze that felt capable of carrying me to Emerald City but that didn't stop us from visiting the relatively new Vapiano Restaurant in Edinburgh which turned out to be a whole new dining experience.


I should mention that being heavily pregnant, food is life to me at the moment and so when I was invited along with a friend (I took Mr Sparkles with me) to sample some of the menu and the relaxed dining atmosphere that Vapiano are famous for, I was very excited because offer this pregnant lady food and I'll be there before you can say "See you at 11"

On arrival we had the concept of the restaurant explained to us, this is when I realised just how different of a dining experience we were about to have, I knew a bit about Vapiano before I arrived but I had avoided reading any reviews online as I wanted to make sure I was really taking it all in first hand in order to get my own unique feel for the establishment.






Vapiano Edinburgh is situated over three floors, the first floor if for ordering your salads and antipasti dishes, the second floor holds the bar for drinks and desert orders and finally, the last floor held the pasta and risotto counter. The basic premise is that you are given a credit card of sorts upon arrival and after choosing a seat somewhere within the restaurant on your desired floor, you proceed to place orders at the various counters (or just one depending on what you've came for) at which point your credit card is swiped and the total of your various starters, mains, deserts and drinks are added up as you go along then when you and your party are finished your meal/meals, you approach the main desk and hand over your cards in order to pay. This is genius for a couple of reasons, gone is the awkward flagging down of a staff member to ask for a bill to arrive and also, if you're part of a group then your meal is already divided up price wise for you and you're not having to side eye Greedy Gertie in your party insisting you split the bill equally who had two starters, a main, a pudding and 6 cocktails while you had a main and a coke that day, bloody genius!




The ambiance within the whole of Vapiano is definitely a laid back and social one, it is a place you could come happily on a date but equally in a group party or with a friend or two for a low key catch up session surrounded by delicious food and tempting smells.
The layout of the bench like tables, the relaxing outdoor element of the trees at various seats and the casual Italian home feel of having fresh herbs sat on pots on your table alongside dressings and oils, lends itself to easy socialisation and takes away from the sometimes intimidating feel of being under the watchful eye of restaurant staff, the added element of visiting your chosen counters to bring your own freshly prepared food also eradicates the sometimes awkwardness of table service.




The food, oh my god the food though!! I have eaten at a lot of restaurants in various countries and cities around the world (I'm all about the food ok!) and the pasta I ordered in particular, has been one of the best pastas I've ever eaten, it was amazing! Pasta is made fresh each day in the 'Pasta Manifattura' (pictured above) and wow, you could definitely tell.
We tried a variety of what Vapiano had to offer and had two starters, two mains and two deserts. We were pleasantly surprised to be asked if we would like meals customised (more garlic? addition of chilli?) and I like how this means you're going to get a meal perfect for your own tastes.

Bruschetta Gamberetti

Bruschetta Mozzarella

Crema Di Funghi

Risotto Gamberetti E Pomodoro

The Risotto and Pasta Main Dishes Again

Tiramisu Della Cassa

Death By Chocolate


I can't wait to come back to Vapiano next time I'm in the city, I know I've raved about the pasta but I've not stopped drooling over it since I left the restaurant!

Have you been to a Vapiano restaurant before? If you have, let me know your thoughts of this unique dining experience.

I am also including a loo selfie of my huge pregnant frame because... why not!



Speak soon everyone,

Rosy xx
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Monday, 9 April 2018

Seas of Snow Revisited



Hi Everyone,

Today I'm back revisiting a book I reviewed back in May last year and I've raved about on social media steadily since, that book would be Seas of Snow by Kerensa Jennings.



For those of you in the know, Kerensa is a literary genius, and yes I know I have fangirled hard over Kerensa in the past year but her novel Seas of Snow really touched me on a level I've not felt before, yes I've spoken about stories that have blown me away in the past and I've certainly read some fantastic books in my time but there's something about Seas of Snow that got deep under my skin and stayed there.

One of the main drawing points of the novel for me is the enthralling battle between good and evil and the obvious knowledge of the inner workings of the human mind that Kerensa Jennings provides us which makes for a fascinating read.

I've said before that this is a novel that is genre defying, I couldn't possibly put it into a category if I tried but I can tell you that this is a novel that can at once uplift you only to drop you deep into the darkest parts of despair moments later, I consider Seas of Snow to be more than a story to be told, I see it as a work of art that evokes a strong emotional response and I for one will never forget the feelings I had whilst devouring each word presented to me within the pages of this novel.

If you're interested in picking up Seas of Snow, the paperback has just been released on amazon this month, be warned though, there's a strong trigger warning for child abuse here but if you're able to handle a gritter read then this might be the one for you.

For an in depth review of the actual story you can read my original review that I posted last year here and if you've read Seas of Snow I'd be interested to hear your take on it.

You can follow Kerensa Jennings on twitter (@Zinca) too.

Speak soon

Rosy
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Monday, 19 March 2018

Peter Rabbit Movie Review at Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird



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Hello Everyone,

Today I'm here with a post about a movie I went to see this weekend, the new Peter Rabbit movie.


I was so excited to see this move when I heard it was coming out and as pure luck would have it, I had been discussing with my daughter (a huge Peter Rabbit fan) which day we might go see it upon release, when an email popped into my inbox inviting me to visit the Odeon Cinema at Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh to see Peter Rabbit, the excitement levels ran high and I very eagerly accepted this kind offer and the anticipation grew.

Peter Rabbit was released in the UK on the 16th March 2018 and we (myself, Mr Sparkles and Mini Sparkles) went along to the Odeon on Saturday the 17th March. I sent Mr Sparkles to get in the queue to buy us some popcorn (sweet of course) and I went to sort out our tickets with the very friendly and helpful manager, then, reunited we skipped merrily (ok, we walked but we were skipping inside) to screen number 3 and settled down ready to watch the movie. I had heard mixed reviews and so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I needn't have worried at all.



It's been 115 years since Beatrix Potter introduced us to the loveable scamp in a blue jacket called Peter Rabbit and a lot has changed in those years so after looking over the cast list, which includes James Corden as Peter Rabbit, I was intrigued to see how Peter would have been adapted to fit with today's audiences, I was way more impressed than I expected.
The story follows Peter and his trio of sisters Flopsy, Mospy and Cotton-Tail (Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki and Daisy Ridley) as they navigate the dangerous world of Mr McGregor's garden in the wake of the loss of their mother.
What follows is a series of events that made me laugh out loud, cry and then laugh again (don't judge, I'm 8 months pregnant, controlling my emotions isn't my strong point right now). Peter Rabbit has been re-born as a more bad-assed version of his original self which is perfectly set off with the voice of James Corden. The jokes can scrape a little close to the bone for those of a more sensitive disposition and I'm talking to adults here as I don't think the children in the audience would pick up on some of the references but in the name of full honesty there was a scene where Peter is sat eating a carrot with another character at a party and the insinuation is that they are high, again I don't think many children would pick up on that reference and I personally laughed at it but if that is something that would offend you, you've been warned!
I'll also address the allergy controversy, yes there is a character in the movie that has an allergy to blackberries, this character is the 'bad guy' and the rabbits do poke fun at him because of this, I personally didn't think much about it and I don't think it was intended in a malicious way, again it comes down to your personal sensitivities and if allergy jokes would upset you or your children, perhaps give this one a miss but for everyone else, I can't recommend this movie enough, I left the cinema in a really great mood having spent a large portion of the movie laughing along at the slapstick comedy, the funny one liners and the general hilarity going on. I can't wait for the DVD to come out to watch it all again.

After getting out of the cinema, me and my mini me decided to hit Waterstones, we both love books and spend a lot of our shopping trips browsing for a new potential favourite, Mr Sparkles on the other hand scuttled off elsewhere for the duration.
We were really excited to see the Peter Rabbit displays upon entry at Waterstones - Fort Kinnaird, of course my daughter wanted everything she could see within the Peter Rabbit range.



As usual the Waterstones staff were extremely helpful and offered handy book recommendations to us from their own personal reading experience, this is one reason I love going to Waterstones over shopping online, the personal touch of the staff and their levels of enthusiasm and expertise keep me coming back time after time.
We were lucky enough to have a giftcard to spend in store to treat ourselves to a book or two and I'll talk about the books we picked up in my next book haul video on my YouTube Channel so if you're into books, book reviews, book hauls etc, then make sure you have a look at my channel to see what I've been buying and reading.


I found myself drawn to the gorgeous cooking section, if you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of cooking and expanding my culinary knowledge is a big hobby of mine and so I'm often found buying more cook books to add to my shelf thus Waterstones is a great place for me to see what's new and exciting and have a flick through before choosing a new friend, this is another experience missing from online shopping.

Finally we ended up in Nando's for some tasty food before heading back home, I don't need to explain how amazing Nando's is, I'm sure you all already know! My daughter and I had a gift card and my husband gets discount for his meals at Nando's so he sorted himself out while me and my girly scoured the menu knowing full well we would get our favourite - wings!



Overall we had a fantastic day and there was just time left for a selfie in the loos to look at my massive baby bump and we were off on our return journey!


I can't recommend the Peter Rabbit movie enough to you, the graphics alone are worth going for! I also really recommend the Fort Kinnaird retail park for out of town shopping in Edinburgh, it's one of my favourite places to spend a day shopping and eating and I find myself there way more than my bank balance would like but we always come home in a good mood having had a lovely day.

I'd like to say a big thank you for the cinema tickets and vouchers, they were very greatly appreciated and I'd also like to point out again that all the staff members I encountered on my most recent visit were so friendly and helpful that I can't wait to return... and I will be at the end of the week... sorry bank!

Have you seen the Peter Rabbit movie? If so, what were your thoughts?

Bye for now

Rosy xxx
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Saturday, 20 January 2018

Appetite by Anita Cassidy



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Hello Everyone,

Long time no speak, I’m hoping to get back into posting regularly on here since I’ve been trying to get over some ill health lately which has been difficult but today I’m bringing to you a book review of a novel called Appetite by Anita Cassidy.


Appetite is gripping novel that looks into the various worlds of addiction or ‘appetites’ and the role they play within the lives of three different people.
David is one of the three and has an addiction to food, subsequently he is very overweight and suffers from bullying due to his size. Not one to show his emotions externally, David instead finds himself in a vicious cycle of self abuse by comfort eating in an attempt to block out his sadness which in turn brings about more weight gain and more bullying.
Matthew is another character with an addiction. A science teacher at the school who has just returned from a trip to Brazil that opened up a part of Matthew he can’t forget, an appetite for change and making the world a better place. Matthew meets an activist for change called Polly who further ignites his urges but fuelled by his love for Polly and his newfound passion for action, Matthew has to think about how far he is willing to go on this new venture whilst still hanging onto his core beliefs.
Naomi is a wife and mother and sometimes feels like little else. She works for an energy drinks company and is suffering from the boredom of following the same daily routine seemingly without any fun mixed in, but after some innocent internet messages turn into something more adult, Naomi’s sexual desires come forth and she embarks upon a sex fuelled affair to break the monotony.

Appetite is a very well written book that subtly encourages readers to think about their own appetites and desires in a very honest way. The author appears to have put in a fair bit of research into the ways an addition or compulsion can alter the lives of the people attached to it. Each character is cleverly woven into eachother’s lives which adds an extra dimestion for the reader.

I found this to be a fast paced read and somewhat addictive in itself as it was difficult to put down and after the final page closed I found myself unable to shake the stories and lives of the characters within (in a good way) and to me that is the mark of a good author, a story that sticks long after the closing sentence.

I’d love to know if any of you have read or are going to read Appetite?

Talk soon,

Rosy xx
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