Oriental Dining at Chaophraya, Newcastle

Asian cuisine is by far my favourite type of food. I could live on Chinese, Thai and Indian food with absolutely no problems at all. I could even happily have an entire bowl of plain rice with no complaints whatsoever. So when a new Thai restaurant called Chaophraya opened in Eldon Square in Newcastle where I was living, I believe in 2016, I was super excited. However, it’s a tad on the pricier side for a stingy Scotswoman like myself, so we decided to save it for a special occasion. And ended up never going. Typical. We moved out to Morpeth in July this year, and vowed to have a day out in Newcastle and try out the restaurant. The 6th – 12th August was Newcastle Restaurant Week, where lots of restaurants have brilliant deals on, and I only realised this the day before the event ended. As soon as I saw Chaophraya was doing a deal of 2 courses for £10 I was sold. I booked a table there and then and told Rhys later! I had a quick look over the set menu online and it looked amazing, so I couldn’t wait!

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Tea & Scones at The Chantry, Morpeth

If someone told me I had to live on nothing but tea and scones for a month, I would not be disappointed. I’d be jumping for joy. There’s nothing better than a freshly home-baked scone just out the oven, all warm and steaming and soft, slathered in butter and jam, accompanied by a lovely hot brew. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know I was living near Newcastle city centre, and have recently moved to a market town called Morpeth in Northumberland. One thing I always found the city lacked, was good tea rooms. It was all big brands, and there was very few places you could go for a nice cuppa and some proper home-baked cakes and bakes. So moving to a nice little market town was like Christmas for me! It’s got plenty of smaller restaurants and coffee shops, and when I moved here I heard great things about a tiny little tea room called The Chantry Tea Rooms which, conveniently, is about a sixty second walk from my house! I tried it out last week. And then went back again at the weekend! Both times I had tea and scones. Naughty me not trying something new! But was it worth it? 100%. Read More

My Hot Weather Make Up Faves

Is anybody else absolutely fucking dying in this heat? Everyone keeps saying to me how they hope I’m loving this weather and making the most of it. No. I’ve spent more time sat on the sofa in nothing but my knickers with our newly purchased fan pointed straight at me and the curtains closed trying to block out as much of this unbearable heat as physically possible. I feel like I’m almost a fully fledged hermit. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of good weather, but this has just been a tad on the excessive side for me! Roll on the crisp Autumn days! One thing I always hate about these super duper hot days is having to put make up on. Most of the time, I do just go barefaced, but sometimes if I’m going to be out for quite a while on a hot day I prefer a light layer just to help even out my skin tone since it just tends to turn into a red blotchy mess in the sun. Make-up can be a nightmare in these scorching temperatures, so I wanted to share with you the drugstore products that I like to use during a heatwave!

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Book Review 2018: Part One

 

This year seems to have been the year of book sequels for me. I’d been patiently waiting on three sequels of books I have read in the past year or so to come out and, suddenly, the whole bloody lot appear at once. Slightly overwhelmed with my array of books to choose from, I eenie-meenie-miney-mo’d them (grown up people still do that, right??) and selected them in order. I had them all read within less than two months. Oops. Thankfully, my bookworm fiance, who somehow just knows exactly which books I will enjoy, had already picked me out a new one for when I finished those. ‘The Terror’, by Dan Simmons. And oooohh boy, am I loving it! I’m only about a third of the way through, so you might have to wait a while until I’m done to find out whether I continue to enjoy it all the way through! But I thought I would share these other books with you so maybe you can enjoy them too! Since a few of these are sequels, I’ll talk about the first book/books in the series as well so you can start from the beginning!

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Tandoor Mahal: Italian Cuisine in Morpeth, Northumberland

Rhys and I have just moved to Morpeth, a little market town in Northumberland, and there is an abundance of lovely restaurants and cafes and so I am in my absolute element! I love trying out new places, but unfortunately at the moment we aren’t exactly rolling in dosh, so I can’t hastily work my way around every single one in the next month or two. However, we decided it would be nice to have a little celebratory meal out after a couple of weeks of stress and minor disasters after moving town. After scouring the internet for reviews (and price lists!!), we settled on trying a little Indian restaurant right in the town centre, only a couple minutes walk from our house, called Tandoor Mahal. It’s set right on the middle of the high street, but it’s only a small door leading upstairs to the restaurant, so it would be quite easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it. We booked online, via Quandoo (a great little booking site where you can build up points and redeem them at restaurants that they are in partnership with) for 6:30pm.

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A Day Out in York

Who doesn’t love a day out in York? My fiance and I absolutely love this city. We’ve been a few times before, and on Saturday we went for a day trip to visit Rhys’s uncle, aunt and cousin, and I thought it would be nice to share with you some of my favourite things to do on a day in York! There’s so many cool attractions, especially all the medieval ones like the Jorvik Viking Centre, the Minster and the Railway Museum, but I usually save these for if I’m visiting York for a long weekend rather than a day trip, because I like being able to spend lots of time in each and there’s too much to go round in the one day as well as the town! So I usually keep my day trips to the city centre and the shops and streets, so that’s what we’ll focus on today! 

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Cookies ‘n’ Creme Slice

Gotta tell you guys, I’m surprised this traybake worked! I made this to take back up to Scotland for my sisters birthday. I always bake something for peoples birthdays! I wanted to make something with Oreos and I thought about a Rocky Road. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a Rocky Road, but I find them quite firm if you know what I mean?! Like, there’s so soft squidginess to them, they’re almost a little crumbly. So I decided to go for something a little more along the lines of my Fudgy Easter Slice, by adding golden syrup and butter to the mixture. Hence why I wasn’t sure whether this would work!! White chocolate can be temperamental, especially when mixed with golden syrup and butter! It can split easier than milk or dark chocolate and I find it can burn quicker! But I was brave and it worked! I think the trick is to go slow and steady and take it off the heat for a little while if you feel it is thickening too quickly or feels like it’s going to burn. But if you’re a little apprehensive about this, then feel free to change the chocolate to milk or dark. Or take the butter and golden syrup out…though you may need to adjust the amount of other ingredients slightly!

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Cadbury Caramel Cookie Bars

Damn, these cookie bars are fiiiiine!! Literally the text I sent to Rhys when I tasted these bars! This was my second recipe attempt at cookie bars so I was pretty chuffed that it didn’t take me too many attempts to get a recipe that worked well! My first batch were lovely, but they had risen too much and didn’t have as much caramel chocolate chunks in them, therefore they were a little too dry. These ones are perfect however! Nice and gooey with plenty of soft squidgy caramely chocolatey gooiness! Can you tell I love these?! These are actually pretty simple to make and only require one bowl (you know how much I hate washing up!).

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Dark Chocolate & Orange Cookie Sandwiches

What’s better than one cookie? Two cookies. With frosting. Goodbye, waistline!! I’ve never actually had a cookie sandwich before, but since I’ve been testing out cookie recipes, I thought I’d give them a shot! I thought it might be a bit of a faff but, honestly, it’s just like baking a cake then icing it. And it takes even less work because you only see the edge of the icing so it doesn’t have to look perfect! These cookies were super soft chocolate cookies, with a subtle orange flavoured buttercream icing. Although they were so filling, me and Rhys actually had to share one sandwich whenever we wanted one because we couldn’t eat the whole sandwich (well, we could, we just felt horribly guilty afterwards!).

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White Chocolate Biscoff Truffles

Hands up, who can’t get enough of Biscoff? I remember back in the day when it was just a simple biscuit the grannies used to love nibbling on with their steaming cappuccinos at the little coffee shop down the road. Now, it’s even a spread! I’m ashamed to say I had never actually tried the spread until this week and OH MY GOD. I could eat the whole tub, not gonna lie. I had some cream cheese sitting in the fridge that I still hadn’t used and decided I might try some white chocolate and Biscoff truffles! I did think about doing some Oreo ones because they are one of the best things in the world. But I decided to try something I hadn’t done before! And, horrifyingly, I had not yet baked with Biscoff. So a trip to Asda later and I was stocked up with biscuits, spread and chocolate!

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