Sunday, 4 February 2018

REVIEW: Wagamama, St Albans

Review of Wagamama in St Albans by Essbeevee, food blogger in Hertfordshire. One of the top places to eat in St Albans
Review of Wagamama in St Albans by Essbeevee, food blogger in Hertfordshire. One of the top places to eat in St Albans
Review of Wagamama in St Albans by Essbeevee, food blogger in Hertfordshire. One of the top places to eat in St Albans
Review of Wagamama in St Albans by Essbeevee, food blogger in Hertfordshire. One of the top places to eat in St Albans

When Matt and I started dating, he immediately got a free pass to all the food reviews I did for the blog. He was pretty happy, but my friends and family were a wee bit put out. These days, I try to share them out - I usually do the local ones with Matt, but tie in the London ones with seeing a London-based pal instead. However, when Wagamama asked me if I wanted to pop along and review the St Albans branch, I decided to break my rules and take my Mum along instead.

It was just before Christmas, so it felt like a nice time to do a treaty meal out. Obviously, I've been to Wagamama countless times, but going for my blog felt rather more exciting. Sure, people stared at me as I took photos of our meals with my giant obnoxious camera while my Mum said proudly, 'It's for a blog! Our meal is free!' (Muuuum...) but it also meant an excuse to order something exciting off the menu and go ALL IN on the sides, rather than my usual go-to of Ginger Chicken Udon and edamame beans.

Sidenote: There was a Buzzfeed quiz recently where it asked what your favourite Wagamama order was, and Ginger Chicken Udon WASN'T ON IT. I know there's a lot of Katsu fans out there (sorry, I just don't really like it) and that's cool, but the amount of times I've been to Wagas and we've all ordered Ginger Chicken Udon. It is a classic, and it deserves respect. And if you've never ordered it, YOU SHOULD.

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Monday, 29 January 2018

WISHLIST: Wedding shoes!

So my wedding is less than four months away and suddenly it feels REALLY SOON. But now is kind of the exciting part after months and months of saving money - we get to spend it! Our honeymoon flights are booked, our catering options are chosen (slow cooked beef, get in my face) and my dress fittings are all booked in. So now, for possibly the first time ever, my to-do list contains the item 'Buy shoes and accessories'. I have permission to buy shoes, you guys! It's on a SPREADSHEET.

Anyway, I've already bought a few bits - I'm a terror for buying and returning all the things - but I keep eyeing new options so I thought I'd share some of my fave pairs of shoes. I know from Twitter that a few of you out there are wedding planning too, so maybe you'll spot something you like here.







I'm also debating headwear options - veils, sparkly hair things, flower crowns. So many options! It's fun, but I'm finding it really hard to choose just ONE.

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Monday, 15 January 2018

REVIEW: Banana Tree, Soho

Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee
Review of Banana Tree Indochinese restaurant in Soho by London, Hertfordshire, Tring, St Albans food blogger essbeevee

Isn't it weird that everything that happened more than a couple of weeks ago feels like forever? That little tick over from 2017 to 2018 makes such a difference in my brain, I don't know about you. It works the other way, too - for instance, my wedding in May feels so much closer now that we're in January than when we were in December (like, extremely close - eeep).

Initially I started this post saying that I'd taken these pictures ages and ages ago, but really, it was just a few weeks. The lovely people at Banana Tree invited me along to try out their menu in the Soho branch, and I jumped at the chance. There aren't any of their restaurants very near where I live, so I hadn't been for absolutely years and was interested to see what it was like.

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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Making time.


Towards the end of last year, I wasn't very good at making time for my blog. I find that I have to be in a specific headspace to blog, and I wasn't really. I was, though, really enjoying writing my newsletter every week and was surprised how different it felt. I think because it feels 100% for ME, whereas blogging is more for other people.

I like the other people part. I like the opportunities that brands give me to try something new or eat something amazing or visit a new place. But most of all, I like the feeling that I might know something useful that could help someone else. Whether it's a recipe, wedding tips, house chatter, some clothes I think you might like or something else entirely, that's always been what blogging has ultimately been about for me.

I'm not going to make commitments to blog all the time, because life gets in the way. There might be weeks when you don't hear from me on here. But I don't think I'll ever give this up completely. I think I'll always be here in some way, because I'll always have things to talk about.

I've not set resolutions for 2018, because somewhat accidentally I didn't last year, and had a great year instilling some better habits in myself. So that's the name of the game this year, just trying to be a bit... better.

Anyway, more blog posts are coming this month. I have restaurant visits to share with you, wedding planning to talk about (four and a bit months to go, eeek) and a few house updates, too. I just wanted to check in, and say happy new year to you lovely people. Happy new year. I hope 2018 is fabulous.
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Friday, 15 December 2017

Five nice things



It's mid December, and I'm feeling happy and warm and festive. I've finished all my Christmas shopping and wrapped all my presents (sorry, I'm totally that guy) and I'm now excitedly planning for the rest of the month. There's cake to make and cookies to bake and exciting combinations of booze to be drunk.

I thought I'd put together a quick post of five nice things that you could do in December, either for you, or those you love.
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Sunday, 26 November 2017

House update: nearly one year on

Home buying one year on

I'm typing this sitting on our blue sofa under a grey fluffy blanket, half-watching Rick Stein on Food Network, with a pumpkin candle burning on the mantelpiece. Ahead of me I can see the yellow chevron curtains we chose, next to our bookshelves stuffed with books - yes, colour coordinated, because I'm a bit of a wanker. The coffee table is littered with glasses that I haven't got round to putting in the dishwasher. Our mantelpiece is littered with candles, thank you cards from our friends' weddings, a couple of cacti and the orchid I forgot to water which is just a twig now. To my right I can see our cluttered dining room, clothes drying on the airer by the radiator, the beginnings of our wedding crafting on the table. And beyond that is our kitchen, which I can only just see, but the sight of our shoe cupboard and notice board makes me smile because it shows that people live here. This is a home.

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Friday, 24 November 2017

FASHION: It's the sparkliest time of the year.

Find a whole outfit out of sequins

I'm a little cynical about this whole Black Friday malarkey, because it really isn't a British thing at all. I actually realised recently that a lot of people didn't actually realise that the whole thing is basically the American version of Boxing Day - for them, it's the day after Thanksgiving when all the sales start.

That said, it is quite nice getting a guaranteed day of sales before Christmas, and this week I've snapped up a few Christmas party outfits and presents. Oh wait, the presents I bought weren't actually reduced. But I did buy myself a Kindle!

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