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    Musings, News

    Not Just Another Food Blogger award

    NJAFB award logoBetween a lifetime of sarcasm, an issue with a primary school star chart and a family who show love through making fun of each other, I am entirely incapable of knowing how to react to when people do nice things for me.  So when Hungry House got in contact to say they were choosing me for one of their Not Just Another Food Blogger Award 2015  I was pretty chuffed.

    THe NJAFB awards are awarded to “the UK’s most-passionate bloggers who have brought something special to the food blogging table. Our NJAFB winners really get our juices flowing for gorgeous food, and their passion for great-tasting takeaway is mighty infectious.”

    For someone who started a blog to write about what she had for tea, I feel a bit proud.  Joking aside, I’m so pleased to be included on this list, just as I am when anyone comments on the blog, tweets to ask for advice, chats or makes suggestions of places to go.  I wanted the blog to be a positive voice for how brilliant Birmingham is and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it when people join in with this conversation – whether it’s an award or a tweet.

    I’m going to shut up and write about my dinner now.

    http://hungryhouse.co.uk/blog/not-just-another-food-blogger-awards-2015/

    Afternoon tea, Reviews

    Hotel la Tour festive afternoon tea

    Last weekend I joined some food bloggers at Hotel la Tour for some festive afternoon tea.  Organised by Emily from Recipes and Reviews, it was a great excuse to catch up with some fellow bloggers, Emily from Recipe & Reviews (who organised the event), Roz and Taylah I’d met several times before, but everyone else (Alex Gingey Bites, Emma Fork and GoodHello Terri Lowe, Natasha Unorganised Chaos, Sophie Penne For Your Thoughts, and Hannah Bakes Things) I’d only ever spoken to on twitter, so was lovely to put faces to names.

    IMG_0946.JPGAs we hadn’t told Hotel la Tour we were bloggers trying to find everyone was fun – plus we were an hour early due to time mix ups.But Hotel la Tour weren’t fazed and showed us to our spot before asking us if we wanted our drinks – food wouldn’t be served until 2pm.  I’d been to afternoon tea at Hotel la Tour earlier in the year for a friend’s birthday, so I was prepared for the stands, but nevertheless they’re still an impressive sight – and were very prompt! They contained four types of finger sandwiches, welsh rarebit and soldiers, scones with jam and cream, plus an array of desserts.I was impressed that they’d managed to cater for food intolerances too (I didn’t tell them about my lactose intolerance because if there’s one meal to suffer for, afternoon tea is it).

    Being bloggers we all immediately whipped out our cameras to start taking photos. My friends and family are all well trained, but it was nice to be amongst people who weren’t sighing and going “are you done yet”.

    Starting at the top I had a little nibble at the Welsh rarebit which was nice, but I felt the soldiers were a little too crisp – I like some chewiness to my toast and they were more like croutons. The sandwiches were delightful and nice to have such a range; turkey and cranberry, salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonaise and ham.  Although they were all lovely my favourite was the turkey and cranberry – perhaps because it was seasonal.

    The scones were well baked, neither too dense nor too crumbly, which made them feel fresh.  This also meant that they weren’t too difficult to cut open and lather with jam, something which I was thankful for as I was balancing the plate on my knees.  I declined the cream, but the others seem to enjoy it.

    After a little rest it was on to the desserts.  The clementine & Grand Marnier trifle was very sweet but it didn’t have much of the Grand Marnier kick to me.  The gingerbread man was lovely, crisper than most gingerbread I’ve had which worked really well (and I loved they all have different facial expressions).  The macaron was lovely and I could easily have eaten more.  I found the batternberg to be a little too stodgy for my liking and the walnut whip Christmas tree was a nice touch – although had to be eaten quickly to save making too much of a mess!

    Thoroughly stuffed from all the food and free refills on hot drinks (a good range of tea or coffee), we were all ready to have a nap.  It had been a fantastic afternoon with company that was wonderful; we discussed the pronunciation of scone, jam or cream first, pressure cookers, owning too much crockery and plenty of other non-food blogging related topics.  A massive thank you to Emily for organising it and another thanks for a festive treat – a goodie bag on our way out with items from: kikkomanthorntonsmackaysburtsfruitbrooyipsy macarons
deli santeonkennakdseasoned pioneers, 
propercorn and stur – thanks all!

    http://hotel-latour.co.uk/events-and-offers-detail/afternoon-tea/

    Disclosure: With Emily’s excellent organisation, we booked afternoon tea without telling Hotel la Tour were were bloggers.  Sure they probably guessed when we all started photographing, but by that point we had the food and there wasn’t much they could do about it.  We all paid for our own afternoon tea so there wasn’t even an ounce pressure on writing and certainly none to be nice.

     

     

     

     

    Pop-up and Event reviews

    BBC Good Food Show Winter 2014

    Who doesn’t love the BBC Good Food Show?  The Winter version is my favourite and I’ve been a few times over the years, but this year I was lucky enough to be invited to be one of their Good Food Show bloggers.  On Thursday morning, after meeting up with fellow Midlands food bloggers, we were let loose on the show.  We wandered through some of the stalls, meeting: the ladies behind gluten-free Delicious Alchemy, Q-cumber and Arden’s fine food.  Charlene from Food Glorious Food and I then went in search of some of the BBC Good Food Show bursary award winners, before heading back to meet up with the other bloggers and head backstage to meet The Hairy Bikers!

    Fresh from the super-theatre stage, Si and Dave, aka The Hairy Bikers, stopped to chat to us and told the group about new TV shows, Dave’s rehearsal for his upcoming panto performance, and then stopped for a few photos with us all.  I’m not usually one for meeting celebs but they were warm and engaging – very much like when they are on stage and on TV!  A couple of hours later, I was lucky enough to join Jo from Jo’s Kitchen to watch the Hairy Bikers cook up a three-course meal on stage at the super-theatre.  After that I wandered around some other stalls, enjoyed pizza from Curry Dave and then headed over to check out the Wine Tube Map and try the red wine line.

    After spending the day wandering around the BBC Good Food Show I was well and truly exhausted!  On my way out I was lucky enough to be given a bag of goodies to take home, which I’ll no doubt blog about soon.  I took loads of photos and tried lots of different delicious foods and drinks, so rather than bore everyone with an album of photos, here’s a college with some of the highlights!

    collage

    http://www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/

    Disclosure: I was invited to be a BBC Good Food Show Blogger which meant I got a complimentary press pass plus tickets to the Wine Tube Map, as well as to the Hairy Bikers’ super-theatre show and to meet them beforehand.  I wasn’t required to say anything nice, but it was a fantastic day and I was glad to do so – although I was also very glad to get home and put my feet up after!

    Musings

    A Liebster Award!

    LiebsterAwardI’m very honoured to be awarded with a Liebster award from Roz over at The Foodie Couple Blog.  ‘Liebster’ is a German word meaning ‘dearest’ and the award, given by bloggers to bloggers, is an international way of recognising and promoting blogs.  In order to claim the award I’m required to fulfil the following tasks:

    • List eleven random facts about myself
    • Answer the eleven questions given to me by Roz at The Foodie Couple Blog
    • Set eleven new questions for my own Liebster Award nominees

    So here are the eleven facts about me

    1. My name is Laura, named after my paternal grandparent who’s name was Nora but my mum refused outright to name me that because it was too old-fashioned.
    2. I work in events for a not-for-profit at the moment, but my previous jobs have included events and marketing for a group of bars, receptionist at a place that trains missionaries, and information worker at a sexual health clinic.
    3. I have a teddy bear that once held up a plane (it’s a long story).
    4. I once followed a band to all four of their UK dates with a group of friends – we saw five shows (during their break we went to see the support guy do a solo show).  In five days we visited Manchester twice, Glasgow, Birmingham and London.
    5. I went through a phase of baking cakes that involved alcohol in the recipe – my favourite was a red velvet cake involving bourbon.
    6. I’m left-handed and always get a bit over enthusiastic when I meet a fellow lefty.
    7. I haven’t lived in a house with a functioning TV/aerial for nearly 1.5 years.  In that time I’ve made my way through House, The Tudors and currently watching Sons of Anarchy.  The only thing I miss is Question Time and watching Twitter alongside it.
    8. I love stories – my favourite type of novel is a coming of age story and I went to the cinema 74 times last year.
    9. I live with my landlady’s two cats, Finn and Maps.
    10. I’ve been blogging in various guises for over 10 years, but most of them were more personal ramblings – I’m not sure they’ve changed all that much!
    11. I have a lactose intolerance (no it’s not just a bit of bloating) which I frequently ignore to my own discomfort.

    And here are my answers to the questions from Roz…

    What would your last meal be, if you were on death row?
    I’d request a sort of tapas style of the following; venison, grilled halloumi, mini BBQ ribs, baby carrots, roasted veg with sea salt & cheese and a hunk of fresh bread, still warm from the oven.  A Clover Club or Old Fashioned to drink.  Ask me tomorrow and I’ll probably pick something else.

    Would you rather live in the city or country side and why?
    City, without a doubt.  I love that there’s so much going on in a city; so many interesting things to see and do and eat and drink.  I really enjoy visiting family who live in the countryside, but I can’t imagine living there all the time.

    Describe yourself in 3 words
    Excitable, thoughtful and curious

    What would be your ideal job?
    I really enjoy learning, writing and organising things so events and marketing is pretty spot on for me.  I’d love to have the discipline to be an author, but I don’t think I’d want to do that full time.

    Which 3 famous people would you invite for dinner, living or dead
    The philosopher Michel Foucault, Mary Berry and Jennifer Lawrence.

    What kind of music do you like?
    Pretty varied really, but somewhere along the alternative lines.  I’m a pop-punk/emo girl at heart – New Found Glory, Brand New, Jimmy Eat World are all favourites.

    Cats or Dogs?
    Both – I live with my landlady’s two cats, I had cats growing up (and hamsters, fish and rabbits), but I’m a fan of both.  That said if you check social media there are more cat photos.

    What is your guilty pleasure?
    KFC Hot Wings.

    If you were a Disney character, which would you be and why?
    A mixture of Mulan and Belle from Beauty and the Beast but for her bookishness!

    What inspired you to start blogging?
    I’ve been blogging on and off for over 10 years.  Back then it was very much about personal journals and so mine was the usual teenager ramblings.  I started Full to the Brum after working in marketing and events for a group of bars and restaurants and was frustrated that I knew of all these great events and places but there weren’t enough people shouting about them.  It also saves me having to tell people the same story – and gives me an excuse for photographing my dinner.  I still have a blog for more miscellaneous ramblings.

    So that’s enough about me.  I’m nominating the following bloggers for a Liebster Award…

    and the questions for them are…

    1. What is your guilty pleasure?
    2. What was the last thing you cooked?
    3. What made you start blogging?
    4. What do you blog about? What do you NOT blog about?
    5. What’s the one thing you don’t leave the house without (key, phone and purse/wallet excluded)?
    6. What’s your favourite quote?
    7. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
    8. What was your last earworm (song stuck in your head)?
    9. What’s your favourite season and why?
    10. What is your greatest achievement so far and why?
    11. What is your favourite drink (alcoholic or not)?

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s 11 random facts and responses to the questions – let me know when they’re up!

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