Tuesday, 17 August 2010

For Bristolites - Flinty Red review

My OH and I have been to Flinty Red, Bristol a few times and I thought I'd share our recent night out with you and hear from any of you that are local (or not!) and have been.

We have actually been 3 times since its opened and have enjoyed ourselves each time. The atmosphere is great, staff are friendly, knowledgable and helpful, the food is fab and the wine is available by the glass and bottle. They have a very large selection of wines both available by the glass or bottle. They have small and large plates for a lot of courses and the food is based on seasonality.

On Saturday, I chose the lemon and artichoke ravioli, the onglet (beef) and then we shared a desert of roast cherries, with chocolate fritters and cream. The pasta course was fantastically fresh and clean, the onglet was rare and had a great beef flavour (this was served with spinach and girolles - which I asked for instead of the courgettes it came with) and the roast cherries and fritters were also lovely!

When we came in we had a glass of reisling and a glass of gerwurtstraminer which were fabulous, the wines we chose for the main were good but not very memorable and then we had a desert wine which was great too!

If I had one complaint it would be that when its full, its difficult to hear what people are saying around you. I put this down to the acoustics (wooden floor, bare walls - no soft furnishings for damping of sound), therefore I probably wouldnt take my father in law as he has some hearing problems.

All in all, its a great restaurant, its got a relaxed, informal atmosphere and great food. Cant wait to go back!

jam and more jam

Well, as you know (briefly) we have an allotment. My OH and I have only managed a couple of days up there so far due to summer hols etc. Weve been digging for england, trying to weed and break up the soil and so far have only managed about and eighth!

The good news however, is that we have our first harvest of plums! The tree's been there a while and will need a good prune next year but in the meantime its produced about 5lbs of Jam! Im quite pleased with the colour but the consistency is a bit runny - however i'd rather have it like that than too sweet.

As the plums spurred me on, ive also now taken the blackcurrants (from our garden) out of the freezer and made blackcurrant jam (my favourite!) there was less of this and its only made about 3lbs of jam but still - other than the jam sugar and time, its free!

So, we are fruited right up and will not need to buy anything for quite a while (or until we are sick of our jam)! Friends and relatives - watch out for jam in your christmas stockings!

It's been a long time!

No excuse! Other than holiday, my sister lovely wedding, being in london, camping, oh and the building work!

Its now getting to the exciting point, decorating! I'm looking at colours and furniture and really looking forward to it.

The house is done in paint and paper library stone I, II and IV. I'm looking for colours that are deeper and more interesting and work with these colours (as thats the main hall colour and im not redecorating that!)

I am thinking of doing our bedroom in a lovely warm grey, the spare room in a dirty blue and then im going to think of the lounge. Did I also mention I have to paint the kitchen and bathroom?!! Lots to do in the next few months!

I also need some nice junk furniture that I can adapt, paint etc. Let me know if you see any!

Ill post some pics soon.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Gosh, where have the last few months gone?! Definitely dont ask me! I wish i could say ive been doing something vitally important, but... I havent!

I do have to admit to going on a nice long holiday to Italy and France eating and drinking too much wine and seeing some amazing sights. Although the best part was just being able to spend time with my OH.

But.... my good news. I now am the proud owner of an .... allotment! I put my name down on the waiting lists a couple of years ago and I honestly think the sites not run by the council are best! I have been in regular (6 monthly) contact with the guy who runs the horfield allotment, reminding him of my interest and finally it has paid off with my own allotment.

Its actually a bit of a daunting time, I have to do a lot of planning and obviously digging. Luckily it doesnt look in too bad shape. The most exciting thing for me is that Im going to put a greenhouse on it. I will be able to raise plants to my hearts content, plant them and watch them grow then in most instances - eat them!

Anyway, ill post some pics when I have them!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Garden inspiration

I’ve been inspired, the sun, the mass of seedlings on my coffee table, the bulbs that have arrived by post, this months edition of Gardens Illustrated and the Landscape Man.

The Wildside nursery gardens on the The Landscape Man (channel 4) were amazing, totally inspirational, even if the owners were bonkers! If I have that much energy at their age I’m sure my family will kill me! The natural style of planting, the drifts of flowers, use of grasses and bulbs was really inspirational. My back garden is really very small, no more than a postage stamp but to see these great swathes of plants working together was fantastic.

For myself, it would be impossible to attempt something like this, but I will look at how I make my planting more naturalistic and go from there.

What I’ve now realised is that the garden is an evolution and is not static. That’s what’s amazing, if I plant a couple of herbaceous perennials or some rhizomous plants they will collanise. If birds drop seeds they will collanise and I will have weeds or different plants and nature will take its course.

I’m going to see where this naturalistic style can take me and take my inspiration from anywhere I happen to be, a park, the side of the motorway, an urban street and see what happens. Wish me luck!

If you want to see some of the pics of the garden visit channel4.com/landscape man

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The big move to Bristol

Writing Workshop #20 set by sleep is for the weak. The subject is moving house.

In 2004 myself and my boyfriend of a year and I decided to move from London to Bristol. The primary reason for the move was that my OH received a job offer that he was interested in and the thought of a long distance relationship at that stage of our lives seemed ridiculous. The decision to move was an opportunity for our relationship to grow in a way that it would have taken a long time to do if we stayed in London. My London life was hectic and full of friends and family, time to ourselves was limited. Moving to Bristol definitely changed that!

The actual move to Bristol took a while, we stayed with my OHs Brother who lives here. It took 5 months to move into the house, a lovely mid-terrace Victorian house in a fantastic location a few minutes walk to a butcher, delicatessen and coffee shop. You can tell where my priorities lie!

I left behind most of my family, most of my friends and a good career. It was petrifying. After the initial excitement the realisation dawned, I understood what I had left. It’s taken about 5 years to build up a few good friends here and we learnt who our true friends are from London and what is important to us. The career I am still working on, watch this space!

Myself and OH combined our resources and ended up getting married nearly 4 years ago. If I hadn’t of made the move .. who knows. All I do know is that I definitely made the right decision. I do think about moving back, but I don’t think I could stand the traffic and commuting and I like my solitude now!

Freecycling family

My parents in law moved into our area a couple of weeks ago and I helped them out that day, doing quite a bit of cleaning, putting away etc. I noticed for the first time that they didn’t have a proper desk chair and as we mainly use our laptops on the dining room table I’ve been meaning to freecycle ours as its gathering dust in the spare room.

I offered it to them, but as they are downsizing my mother in law said that I would have to take one of their chairs home – they are operating a one in one out policy, which I empathise with! I’m trying to clear out clutter myself not collect it but I know my father in law was keen so I agreed.

Now, I am the lucky owner of an old Lloyd Loom chair that needs a bit of TLC and re-vamping. Who knows where it will end up in the house as we don’t have much spare room but… I’m sure I’ll find a use for it, it’s a lot prettier than the Ikea office chair!

ps in the picture is a nice sheepskin throw - that was mine and didnt come with the chair!

pps this is the last housey blog for a short while - i think ive been overdoing it!