Last week I was invited to attend a bloggers brunch at the Malmaison hotel which is situated in the Mailbox in Birmingham. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never done brunch before and I’m quite a fussy eater so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like the food. However, it turns out that I had a brilliant time and the food was amazing. I enjoyed it so much that I want to go again for my birthday this year (which also happens to be a Sunday) and hopefully before then too as October is a while away.
When we arrived at the hotel, we were given cocktails – most people had Bloody Marys but as I’m not a fan of tomato juice, I asked to try something different. I had a Hemingway Martini which was made with fresh grapefruit juice and was absolutely delicious. We were then taken to the chef’s table which is basically the tastiest buffet ever, with so many different kinds of meats, pancakes, cheese and omelettes that are cooked before your eyes. I didn’t have too much as there’s also a main meal but I had a few bits including the tastiest chilli stuffed with feta and some seranno ham.

The main meals were bought out after we’d all finished eating from the chef’s table. We also had more drinks, I asked for the same as before but I ended up with something else that tasted like cherries. I’m not sure what it was but it was really nice so I’d love to have it again. For my main, I chose the big breakfast brunch which included eggs (cooked however you like, I went for scrambled), sweetcure bacon, sausage, rump steak, mushroom and tomatoes. The eggs were cooked perfectly and I really enjoyed the whole thing. There were lots of different options for mains,  including a roast which I’ve included a photo of above.

After our mains, we were then surprised to learn that we could have a dessert as well. I’m not sure how I managed it but I chose to have an ice cream sundae which was delicious. The chocolate sauce that was in it was so thick and rich which went perfectly with the fresh whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. There was also a couple of strawberries in there too.

It was such a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. I especially liked seeing some of my favourite Birmingham bloggers and having a bit of a natter. Thank you to Malmaison and East Village for the invite!

I love baking, so when I was introduced to the Baking Mad website, I couldn’t wait to have a look around. Baking Mad contains hundreds of tried and tested recipes from cakes to cookies to pies to macarons. There’s something on there for everyone, no matter how good you are at baking. Last weekend my eleven year old cousin came round for the day so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to test out the website – there’s no better way to bond than over cakes. I’d been sent a selection of baking goodies including some dark chocolate chips and Heather decided she wanted to have a go at making chocolate chip fairy cakes – simple but delicious!

200g butter or margarine
200g golden caster sugar
200g self raising flour
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line some cake tins with paper cake cases.
2. Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.
3. Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture.
4. Add the chocolate chips and stir into the mixture ensuring they’re evenly distributed.
5. Spoon the mixture into 12 cake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden.

We decided not to decorate the cakes as they’re delicious just the way they are. They certainly went down well with the rest of the family anyway!

On Monday it was Chloe‘s 19th birthday so we headed down to London for a spontaneous day of shopping and sightseeing.

As soon as we arrived, we went straight to the Natural History Museum as Chloe had never been before, then went on to Harrods and had some macarons in Ladurée before heading to Oxford Street to do some shopping. We spent aaages in Topshop and ended up coming out with the same pair of tartan leggings and then went over the road to Liberty. Neither of us had been before and we weren’t really impressed. Give me Selfridges any day!

After the shopping, we wandered off to Soho in search of somewhere to eat. We ended up stumbling upon Jamie Oliver’s Diner on Shaftsbury Avenue where we had a delicious meal and Chloe fell in love with the waiter. This is just a pop up diner and won’t be around for long but I really recommend you visit, even if it’s just to marvel at the dinosaur themed decor! We then fancied a bubble tea so we headed to a Bubbleology that we’d spotted earlier on, it was delicious but still not as nice as my favourite Moo-Cha.

We then walked to Covent Garden and ended up in Urban Outfitters where we both bought the same rug (?) and I got a couple of mugs and a necklace in the sale. It was then time to hop on our Virgin train back to Birmingham. It was a brilliant day and I can’t wait until London Fashion Week next month!