As I touched on in my post the other day, the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ isn’t something I’m carrying in my mind as we march steadily into 2018. Sure, I want to improve and streamline my life, but I can’t help but feel that entering a new year with a I’m-not-quite-good-enough mentality won’t do me any good. So, I’m not doing it – it’s more important to learn to love myself than it is for me to squeeze my backside into a size 8 pair of jeans again.
Earlier this year, I spent a week in Italy with our friends as one of the couples in our little gang was getting married. Whilst there we indulged ourselves in all things Italian – in fact, over the course of our 5 day stay I ate 4 pizzas. If that isn’t doing Italy right, I don’t know what is.
As well as sight-seeing and carb-loading, we also made sure to drink local beers and wines, and every meal was finished with a palate-cleansing shot of Limoncello. Ice cold and sharp, it’s the perfect way to refresh your taste buds and settle your stomach after over-filling it, as we did every single night.
Back on British soil, Limoncello has continued to be a common theme in our group, and no gathering is complete until we’ve held our glasses high, toasted our friendship and knocked back a shot of it. It’s become a bit of a staple in our cupboards, ready for any get-together.
On our first full day in Amsterdam with ClinkNOORD, we were treated to a full schedule of fun (which I’ll tell you all about tomorrow), and told that they would be providing us with dinner, but that there would be a twist to it.
We spent our day pondering what it could be, throwing ideas around which ranged from it being an entirely raw meal to something a bit more Henry VIII and a banquet with wine and mounted animals heads for décor. As you can tell, we had not a clue what to expect.
It’s only in the last year or so that I’ve discovered a taste for gin, having been educated in its merits by my two good friends, Sian and Dan, who are big fans of the stuff and the proud owners of a Gin Shelf in their house that rivals some of the best bars I’ve been to!
Previous to this alcohol awakening of mine, a G&T would never have passed my lips. On nights out, if a friend ordered one I would take a tentative sip in the hope that it would be the turning point for my taste buds, but it just never happened.
However, having learnt a bit more about the spirit, I’ve dabbled a little in trying some of the various different blends you can get (and boy are there a lot of them!) and I’ve now got to a point where I can definitely say I am a lover of some gins, but not quite all.
When Ben and I first got together, in the heady days of dating when I was still giving the illusion of being an entirely together human being and he was yet to find out how annoying I am, we used to go out for dinner all the time.
I’d look online for the latest swish place for us to venture to and we’d get ourselves booked in and spend a happy few hours filling our faces with delicious food and good wine; but these days, it’s something we do less often as our evenings and weekends tend to be filled with either an endless stream of chores and errands (being an adult is overrated) or seeing friends and family.
So, when we were offered a slap-up meal at The Honey Pot, Harvester’s venue at Festival Leisure Park in Basildon, we jumped at the chance. I mean, Harvester salad bars are the dream aren’t they? I always end up gorging myself on the free potato salad and sweetcorn then struggling to eat my actual meal – anyone else?