Festive feasts, Indian Street food and lots of cake


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Working our way through Christmas meant working our way through most of the restaurants in the shire (as if roast dinners weren't enough). 

One of our catch ups took place at The Tavern, which I've wanted to revisit since they brought back their old school menu. I started with clams & samphire in cider followed by Chicken, lemon, aioli and mash potato with marrow butter (sounds pretentious but definitely worth changing your potato side to this mashy goodness). The man had a burger which he wasn't that fussed with - I think Cheltenham has become the hub of good burgers and so they had a lot to compete with (more on this later...). We finished with a 'Sticky Toffee sandwich' because I'd seen it on Instagram far too much to resist (laters wedding diet).

New Years Eve was spent bar/house hopping - with an 'Indian Street Food' dinner wedged in between. Delhi Heights is fast becoming our favourite takeaway - with amazing Bhaji scotch eggs and build 'em up Naan breads with meat/sauce/toppings.

Feeling fat yet? If you can handle another mouthful then I definitely recommend a visit to Holee Cow for the aforementioned burger. V.juicy but the sides stole the show. Mac & Cheese bites, sticky chicken wings and chunky choc milkshakes. This was just what I needed to recover from a gin-filled festive catchup, and a much better prospect than the queue/cost/lack of tables at Five Guys.

Top this off with cake in every flavour you can think of and you've got yourself one Santa belly. We took a trip to Stow to pick up our wedding rings and had a cake break at The Hive - where we had Rose & pistachio cake and Chocolate & avocado (wtf). 

Now January is here I shall be shutting my gob/wallet and shaping up for the big day...

Creative cakes and street art in Bristol


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Yes public transport is good, let's all use it etc. etc. This isn't one of those kind of posts, I will however, travel via train for good cake (and art).

Me and my fellow train buddy headed to Bristol with the aim of satisfying our craving for shopping, good food and gin (in that order). On arriving we decided to head straight for the cake, and not any ol' cake but at the bakery that shall be tasked with creating my wedding cake. Therefore, a tasting was 'needed'. Ahh Toots not only creates quirky looking cakes but also quirky flavours like lemon and courgette (actually delicious). On our way there we got a little lost and ended up stumbling around St Nicholas Market which was a great find, full of vinyl shops and street food stalls. Only wish we'd gone full force on our lunch here - but we were saving ourselves for something special later...

After a Zara stop in cabot (not quite so photogenic) we headed towards 'dinner'. A restaurant I'd seen on Instagram called 'Le Poivrot' which provides copious amounts of wine, cheese and posh food. En-route, just past the Christmas Steps, we found shops with beautiful prints and a candle that smelled like a hot man (Oakwood & Tobacco) at Dig Haushizzle.

Dinner was pretty on the mark - the menu is pretty small but what they do, they do good. I went for wood pigeon, and Nic went for Steak Tartare. All topped up with a big cheese board and bottle of red. On our way back we stopped at The Glass Restaurant for a (probably not needed) gin.

At risk of becoming a regular, me and the man visited Bristol only a few weekends before to see Upfest in Bedminster. A graffiti festival which covers every street corner, park and stadium (!). Lots of inspirational stuff...

Post-wedding planning Cheltenham treats & eats


I'm aware I should be sharing my wedding-planning breakdown here, but I have to say it's going swimmingly (queue disastrous event/supplier dropout). Early on I discovered the Bridebook app, which helps keep tabs on your guestlist/spending/suppliers - very useful. The geek in me hasn't been able to avoid creating a 'spending spreadsheet' though. Weddings require a hella lot of planning, starting with the invites...thankfully I happen to know a very good wedding stationery designer which helps (read: shameless plug).

Safe in the knowledge that wedding plans are under control, I've been sampling more Cheltenham delights. We started on a trip to the food festival, with it's pricey entrance fee, and massive queues - we made the smart decision to eat elsewhere - venturing to Grid Iron which is always good and probably a little bit underrated. The future bride in me went for the 'healthier' chicken burger (but couldn't say no to onion rings), whilst Wes had a massive American burger. Another gluttonous trip was to an oldy-but-a-goody - The Boston Tea Party for baked cheesecake (no self control when it comes to cake), before some more gluttonous behaviour in the form of purchasing Peonies (my favourites). 

A more successful event for us was 'Montpellier Day', in, you've guessed it...Montpellier. Full of classic cars, food/craft stalls and even a fortune teller (!). With it's beautiful parks and Cotswold bunting decorating the streets, good ol' Cirencester is also worth a visit when the sun is out....