Great British Food Festival

Almost 2 weeks ago I was invited to the Great British Food Festival at Castle Howard just outside of York. I’ve never been to a food festival before so I was quite excited as Castle Howard is only a stone’s throw from where we live.

On the 29th and 30th of July, Castle Howard played host to the festival and despite the weather not looking overly fantastic, the day stayed clear and dry. I took Bobby as my plus one of course as he’d have been pretty miffed if I hadn’t taken him to anything food related.

We were invited by the lovely people at Tastecard and after arriving, were shown to a tent set up exclusively for a bloggers challenge. As more bloggers arrived with their +1’s and we were all seated and offered a glass of bubbly (don’t worry I didn’t drink), it was time to hear about the challenge.

On the tables in front of us were a plate of cookies and lots of different items for decorating them like sprinkles and icing. We were tasked with decorating our cookies into a form of our favourite foods. I chose to design some small round cookies into doughnuts given its firm fixture as a pregnancy craving of late. Bobby got a lot more creative and turned a gingerbread man into a Mexican with a poncho and created a whole beach scene on his plate complete with a taco shaped cookie in the man’s hand.

Why all the effort you ask?

Well up for grabs was first prize of a £50 Pizza Express voucher, second prize was a Kenwood Spiralizer and third was a lifetime membership to Tastecard.

There were lots of great designs and I am pleased to say Bobby won 1st prize and took away the gift card with a smile on his face. I didn’t know he was so creative.

After this we were available to roam the festival and check out all the great stalls, food and activities they had going on. The smells from some of the stalls were fantastic and it was hard not to want something from all of them. We ended up getting something each from different stalls; Bob got a pulled pork sandwich from a Jack Daniels smoker train and I purchased an amazing chicken Quesadilla. We were both too greedy though and forgot to take photos but it was a big thumbs up from us both.

The festival had so many things to see and do, whilst I could waffle on, here are my snaps so you can see yourself.

As you can see, lots to enjoy and as the day progressed, the festival got busier and busier.

A huge thank you to Tastecard for inviting us along and for the fantastic prize which we will hopefully enjoy before Baby’s arrival.

Laura x

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Carluccios York Grand Opening

A few weeks ago, Bobby and I were lucky enough to be invited to the newest restaurant opening in York: Carluccios.

Having never been to a restaurant grand opening before, neither of us knew how to dress or what to expect but off we went after work on a Friday evening to see what it was all about.

We were greeted by the lovely staff and taken to the first floor area that had been set up for the grand opening whilst downstairs was open for business as usual to paying customers. We were offered a drink of champagne (orange for me) and then had the chance to mingle and take photos before the event began.

The view from Carluccio’s first floor (prime location near Betty’s may I add)

The fantastic bar set up

A gorgeous Italian style set up overlooking Betty’s

The evening then kicked off with a shed load of canapes coming out and they all tasted incredible. One waiter realised Bobby is like a Hoover and eats everything virtually so once clocked, he kept Bobby very food happy. He also had his glass topped up several times which he loved as it’s the first blog event he’s ever been to.

The evening then went on to Mr Carluccio himself who was celebrating his 80th birthday and had some fantastic opera singers for the occasion. They treated us to some incredible singing which was a great surprise and another huge tick for Bobby who loves Classical music as well.

We also got talking to the international operations manager who was a star and made me up an amazing non-alcoholic drink after telling him I was with child.

The evening was an incredible success and we went home with full stomachs from all the canapes we had gorged on. Thank you Carluccios for inviting us to this amazing opening.

Laura x

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Protein on the go

I’ve mentioned several times in other posts this past month about my goal of getting a bit healthier this year and looking after myself. Last year I dabbled with protein and getting a more balanced nutrition; something I have struggled with. I am your typical lazy eater and will grab something quick and easy like crisps or biscuits before looking at the fruit bowl and thinking about the calories.

2017 is time for change and for the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying out protein bars that are perfect for the on the go person like myself. SciMx sent me several of their bars and cookies to taste test and trial to see if it really made a different to my diet.

When the parcel arrived in the post, I couldn’t wait to get started and first up on the test was the chocolate protein milkshake.

Good news is that it tastes like any old chocolate milkshake so it’s not as though all that protein has an adverse effect on the taste. I really liked how full it left me and didn’t make me feel sick which could be down to the no added sugar. Top marks for the milkshake.

Now onto the cookies! I tried the strawberry and white choc chip and the double choc chip. I also tried the chocolate brownie as well and can confirm all 3 were yummy. I wouldn’t say they are sweet other than the chocolate or strawberry taste you get so if you’re expecting sugary sweet like some other cookies out there, these would disappoint. However for the purpose of being protein cookies and brownies, they absolutely filled me up and gave me more energy.

Lastly, the on the go bars featuring cookies and cream oat bake and strawberries and cream oat bake. These are my favourite thing I tested particularly the cookies and cream oat bake which tasted heavenly. I have to say visually they didn’t look fab but taste was enough to overcome their ugliness. I will definitely buy these again as they left me feeling full and were just yummy.

For my overall verdict, I think this range is great. My fiancé had heard of the brand before whereas I was unfamiliar but I have to say as a non gym-goer, I would definitely look to buy these on the go products again in future. Well done SciMx you have converted me to a protein way of thinking and eating.

Laura x

*These products were sent to me in exchange for an open and honest review, all thoughts and photos are my own as usual*

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