21 September 2016

Friends Fest | Harewood House, Leeds

A little known fact about me, I am a Friends enthusiast. I want to say superfan, but I know there are many more superior out there... It would however be my Mastermind subject if I ever got to sit in the chair.

Reason enough, I think you'd agree, to get oh-my-god excited about Friends Fest coming to Harewood House over this past weekend. Limited time only for a limited number of 'superfans' like me. A small-scale fair celebrating all things Friends. My goodness it was amazing.

A photo posted by Phoebe (@phibster_) on

There were Friends best bits on repeat through the day - admittedly, it might have been better if they mingled these in with a few 'best' episodes instead of just clips - surrounded with Joey & Chandler's apartment, Central Perk, the Moondance Diner, a silent disco, the Vegas chapel and of course, Monica & Rachel's apartment with a pre-entry photo shoot on the opening credit couch.

SO MANY PHOTO OPS. It was a little taste of fan-girl for me and getting that sofa shot is something I can now tick off my bucket list.

They hadn't pimped it out with endless sales opportunities which I liked, although they missed the opportunity to sell oodles of crap. I did get my Central Perk coffee though. I don't think I've been this excited about anything in forever - so ALL THE kudos goes to my boyfriend who woke up at the crack of dawn whilst we were in the US earlier this year to get tickets. Apparently I don't like Friends as much as I like sleep...

It solidified my undying love for Friends - I've obviously seen every episode countless times but it made me want to watch it in order from the beginning... Again. I'm still all about the early seasons, 1-3 are peak Friends and where my trivia points get racked up. I'll still be watching it repeatedly and applying most situations back to some Friends reference. Should any other Friends fan-girl opps pop up again in the future I will 100% be there for you - EY! Sorry, definitely had to.

Given the Insta's I spotted over the weekend, I know I'm not the only one in the Leeds blogger circles who are obsessed with Friends - anyone else making it there at one of the locations around the country?

19 September 2016

Bossa | Leeds

Welcoming your newest Latino restaurant experience, Bossa. Now lining the cobbles by the Corn Exchange, Bossa has stepped in to offer seriously affordable skewered meats.

The concept is simple and one you're probably familiar with. Turn your cow to red or green depending on your hunger - green welcomes the servers circulating the restaurant with various meat skewers and freshly cooked meats. Red, you're on hold - for a breather or calling it quits, the servers will pass by your table.

Sides of fries and slaw are replenished at your request, additional sides at an insanely reasonable £2 each. One of which being Feijoada, Brazil's national dish and one of my favourites. Honestly, you probably won't need any additional sides - the meat was more than enough to overly quench my hunger - but it's one I want to head back to try.

This is a meat lovers paradise. My favourites were the Roupa Velha - slow braised, pulled beef - that was deliciously moreish, super moist and tasted even better with the slaw. Secondly, the Chorizo Criollo - pork sausage but still served from a skewer - tiny but meaty sausages, one that excited my taste buds and one I kept going back for.

The main meat menus are all the classics - pork, beef, lamb, chicken, but there are vegetarian and pescatarian options available. We started with the chicken wings, not something I normally favour as meat off the bone is not the one for me - these had a really nice flavour though, with a delayed hit of warmth running through.

The essentials - it's an all you can eat serve, quality meats and a really cool environment. At £18 for dinner, or £13 for lunch - plus your optional £2 sides - you're getting quality for value. For any of you giving it a taster, review the feijoada for me will you? I've only ever tried (and loved) Cabana's offering, but it tops my favourite dishes list.

12 September 2016

A lazy Sunday look

I'm here to extend your weekend, virtually, taking you back to Sunday and how mine shaped up. Here's some inspiration for your next Sunday morning in Leeds...

First up, the I-just-want-to-get-to-breakfast outfit. Super simple, optimum comfort, but hopefully the right side of casual. Here we have the true incarnation of boyfriend fit - shopping from my boyfriend's wardrobe and utilising his love of plaid.

The rest of the uniform are some of my staples; firstly, black Ridley skinnies from ASOS. I always think these stretch out a little as you wear them in, but they never look baggy so it's a compromise I welcome once  a big meal comes along. Secondly, sandals from Target, there are always a few really nice styles, I try and restock at least once a year.

As an added extra, the most glorious box bag from Reiss - ideal for the Sunday minimal needs.

On the agenda for Sunday morning? A quick walk down the canal to Northern Monk. Sunday means it's never too early for a beer and the Monk's brunch menu is exactly what your Sunday ordered. My fave (and an easy drinker if you're just getting to grips with your beer favourites), the Eternal IPA. Or,  the newly launched Black Forest Strannik is there for a darker drink - and a much stronger one too at 10%.

A photo posted by Phoebe (@phibster_) on

Following being fed and watered, as any blogger will tell you, Sunday calls for a day of blogging. Stay tuned for the rest of the week to see what I typed through the afternoon! Have you tried Northern Monk? It comes with my high recommendation.

P.S. If anyone amongst you is a beer fan, I've just got on Untappd. Come join me (@Phibster) for a toast, I'm in the new and exciting honeymoon period of checking in ALL THE BEERS.

5 September 2016

Jamie's Italian | Leeds

Thinking week night dinner? I've got you covered. For that easy dining feel, without scrimping on the quality and with some ace cocktails thrown in, Jamie's Italian should be on your shortlist.

Currently on offer, the Evening Favourites menu - three courses for under £20, featuring some of the Jamie's favourites.

We went down to the Leeds branch to give it a try, starting with some of their signature cocktails, of course. Jamie's Italian in Leeds is the transformation of a bank from years gone by, you're treated to grand interiors with your eats, a meeting of uncovered original features (or fakings of such), an exposed kitchen to give you a peek at the prep and some decor points in the bathrooms and lighting in the restaurant.

We got to take it all in from the back corner of the restaurant, making for an anticipated entry for each of our three courses through the night, being walked through the rest of the tables to us.

With the Evening Favourites being the handpicked favourites, you're not spoiled for choice, but some of the famed Jamie's dishes are there for you to deliberate between. I highly recommend the Cured Meat Plank -any of the planks from the main menu are also well worth your time - a modest pick of quality Italian meats with complementing garnishes and a seriously tasty slaw.

The other half opted to start with the Truffle Taglietelle, for us, the wrong side of al dente but the sauce was a dream.

We each picked a classic for main, the Jamie's Italian Burger for me and the Famous Prawn Linguine for him. Again, the latter was notably al dente but tasty tasty sea food. The former for me, a well-done classic, although don't expect to eat this neatly and definitely get the fries to go with, Jamie's does fries well!

You might have gathered from my lack of dessert diaries that they're never my favourite course, I'd rather stock-up on the savouries. We finished with a cheesecake and a chocolate pud, so many points for that oozy praline centre of the pud. The cheesecake was a good finisher too, a real subtle white chocolate flavour so not too heavy to finish the night.

A shout-out has to go to our server as well, so knowledgeable about the entire menu with great attention to detail and the best level of engaged with us through the night.

The Evening Faves menu, or the Super Lunch menu are both available now - serious value for money and a definite in for your next can't-decide-where-to-go dine in Leeds.

We were invited down to try Jamie's free of charge, all flavour feels my own.