13 December 2017

First Direct VIP - Steps In Concert

I was casually enjoying a birthday drink back in October when I was sent an email with an opportunity of a lifetime on behalf of First Direct Bank - to go and see Steps in concert as a VIP. Being the 90's child I am, I immediately accepted the invitation: I mean WHO WOULDN'T?! 

First Direct Bank have launched a new "Arena" page on the First Direct Banking site and wanted to show First Direct customers just how much they are appreciated when they visit the arena. Some of the perks include an express entrance into the First Direct Arena, Complimentary Food and Ice Cream, discounts off food and drinks in the bar as well as regular competitions and giveaways. You can't say you get all that anywhere else, just for being a customer of First Direct Bank when you visit the arena! The arena itself is great and the seats all look towards the stage which means you can see the stage from wherever your'e sitting without having to turn 90 degrees to watch as with most arenas. 

This evening it's safe to say I had a first hand experience of just how good the First Direct arena is. I was invited as a VIP and boy did i feel like a VIP! On arrival we were greeted and lead to the bar - which by the way was not overpriced like i imagined an arena bar would be, result! We were lead up to our VIP box when it was ready and the view was amazing! Located directly in front of the stage and decked out in 90's gear. I was in heaven. 

We received complimentary drinks, both alcoholic and non alcoholic as well as more food than I could manage. There were two different types of chilli, nachos, wedges and enchiladas and I had a feast. After I had filled my belly we had a quiz on all things Steps, with a prize for the winner. We got glittered up and put on some 90's attire including scrunchies and neck chokers and settled down for the support acts. 

Vengaboys were supporting and oh my days did I enjoy myself. I remembered all the words and had such a good dance along and i sang SO SO LOUD. It brought such a smile to my face and I was completely giddy with excitement by the time they had finished and it had definitely put me in the mood for Steps!

Steps were as amazing as I remember. I had their Wembley tour of 2000 and learnt all the dance moves myself when i was younger. If this night showed me anything, it was that I still know all the dance moves and i'm not even ashamed. They played all their hits such as One for Sorrow, Tragedy and 5,6,7,8 - I sang so loud I could barely speak after the concert ended. They also have not aged one bit and still sound as great as they did back then!

I would say an all round amazing evening thanks to First Direct and i could not love this arena more. If you want to check out the arena page on the First Direct website you can click here to have a nosy! What other bank can say they offer this sort of experience to their customers! 

I had such an amazing time, taking a few STEPS down memory lane ;) 



07 September 2017

Gin Masterclass at The Botanist - Sheffield!

 I have a confession to make:-
 I don't like Gin. 

There i said it, shoot me if you must. I've never been a Gin drinker and i've tried countless times to change that but i can just never get to grips with the taste of gin. 

Cue Billie and her love of gin....

Billie invited me to a Gin Masterclass at The Botanist, Sheffield. This was my chance. My chance to try a load of Gin and mixers and see if they could change my mind.

When we arrived we sat down at a table filled with bottles of Gin and the most garnish i've ever seen in one place. After taking all of the photos (#bloggerlife), we were given the low down on all the Gins one by one and given a single measure to smell and taste. I never knew that Gin was made primarily with the Juniper berry and that Britain is the 4th country that drinks the most Gin, behind Spain, Romania and the Netherlands!

After having a good swig and a smell, we were let loose with the garnishes and could make our own gin cocktail. We were also given different tonics to pair with the Gin. 

The Gins we tried were Tanqueray, Langleys, Thomas Dakin, Ginmare, Brockmans and Hendricks. 

Not being a big fan of Gin, my favourite was Brockmans. It has quite a smooth taste to it and isn't as sharp as the rest but it goes lovely with some additional blueberries.

Honestly, being a Gin novice i didn't know where to start so i just picked a couple of ingredients for each Gin and went garnish crazy. I had orange and mint and some cracked black pepper. There was also blueberries, grapefruit and basil among other things.  I mixed them randomly into my Gin and was pretty pleased with most of the results. A bit of orange goes down well with Hendricks and if you add a little black pepper to Thomas Dakin Gin it gives it such a kick if you want a bit more spice.

At the end of the evening we were given a Gin of our choice and i opted for Brockmans with it being my favourite and most drinkable out of all the ones i tried. I added some mint this time for a bit of a flavour change and it was lovely and refreshing. I can imagine it being a lifesaver in the sunshine. 

In all honesty though, i still don't like Gin and i probably never will but this evening taster really gave me an insight into the drinks that i wouldn't buy for myself. 

If you think you can change my mind about Gin then i accept any challenge. 



19 August 2017

Nourish - Healthy Fast Food in Sheffield

I was lucky enough to be invited down to the new Nourish restaurant on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield a few months ago to try out their menu again. My first visit to Nourish at the city centre store was an eye opener to amazingly healthy fast food and i've been dying to try their meals again. 

On arrival we were greeted by the manager David, who's a big healthy eating advocate and seriously takes pride in the Nourish Brand which i love. It's always good to be passionate about something and food is a good place to start. David talked to us about why Nourish uses the products they do to make their dishes and i learnt that the ingredients they use are more sustainable and keep fresher for longer. They also work to ensure that the places they buy from are paid fairly for their produce which, deserves a round of applause.

We were given a taster of the Mango Spinach Green Smoothie and honestly, it's one of the best smoothies i've ever tried, i've been looking up recipes to make it since! I'm heading down Ecclesall Road myself this weekend so i might have to have a cheeky visit and pick one up!

We also sampled a few dishes while we were there including hot food and salads. My ultimate favourite meal they do is the Moroccan Meatballs served on sweet potato. MAAAAN, this meal is so good. Amazingly healthy hot food that i can also try and replicate at home which i always love.

Among the other dishes we tried were the Jerk Salmon, the Nourish Bowl (a very yummy bowl of salad), a Coconut Lentil Curry and Supergreens & Kimchi (lots of lovely green foods to make you feel great). I did not have a bad word to say about any of the dishes - apart from that there wasn't enough and i wanted more food. 

And then they brought out the big guns....

Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Sweet Potato Brownies. 

I was at bursting point with all the food i'd consumed but i was determined to eat the dessert. And i did. All gone. Who knew putting sweet potato in brownies and avocado in chocolate mousse would taste so good, you couldn't even tell it was in there. 

I also fell in love with the little pieces of decoration they had around the shop and i couldn't resist taking a couple of cheeky photos.

If you're ever around Ecclesall Road or in Sheffield City Centre, drop into Nourish - even if it's only for a quick drink or a nibble, you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

They also do breakfast, you're welcome. 

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