Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday Round Up!

Friday Round Up

1. Retro styling. 2. Girl power! Edit by Julia Noller Photography. 3. Red, red and more red. 4. Cheeky afternoon cocktails.

Happy Friday! Are we all ready for the weekend?

This week has been a busy one, as per usual, but just for a change with nice bloggy things as well as my usual cosplay silliness and eating too much…
On Sunday, I headed down to Amersham to visit the family. There was an enormous roast lunch, a family classic desert (chocolate mosaic cake, yes please), and a lot of fun with my lovely cousins. Added bonus: liberating some unworn dresses from both my mum’s wardrobe and my cousin Jo’s. Result. Thanks, girls!

I’ve been testing out cocktails and yummy food with Bitters N Twisted again, this time at an event hosted by the lovely Brumderland. I’ll be posting about the event next week, but as a sneaky teaser – expect gin, bagpipes and Danny Dyer. No, really.

This week has also seen cheesecake with a side of Bake Off, afternoon ciders and some planning for something rather exciting. Official news to come soon…

This week’s links:
Tips on becoming a morning person. I need these…
Flight of the Conchords movie is in the works. Business time!
An academic is spending a year as David Bowie. I can’t decide if this is bizarre, awesome or both.
Mum’s response to dress codes is awesome. Give this woman a parenting medal.
8 ways to make Bake Off even more fun to watch.
Star Wars is coming to Disney Parks. I want to live there.

On repeat:

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday round up!

Friday Round Up

1. David and I bumped into Optimus Prime in the city centre. 2. Bombshells hanging out in the kitchen. 3. Philly Cheese Steak at Rose Villa Tavern. 4. Blogger cliche outfit. 5. Clean plates at the new menu tasting at RVT. 5. Awesome chicken wings at RVT

Not only a food theme this week, but a bit of a Rose Villa Tavern theme too. I kicked things off with David still here. We spent Saturday in Birmingham, where we bumped into Optimus Prime hanging out by the Bullring. We also met up with a friend of ours from conventions, whose birthday it was. There may have been birthday beers.

I seem to have all but moved into the Rose Villa Tavern this week, with lunch their on Monday with M, and then heading back on Tuesday night to review the new menu, which you can read about here. It was pretty great. Wednesday. Bake Off day. For Bread week, M made three different kinds of bread, and we ended up hanging out with his flatmate and his girlfriend. A staggering amount of food was eaten. I may still be full. We’re just plotting what to make next time for desert week. Anyone else baking on theme every week?

This week’s links:
Jessica Jones will be a psychological thriller. I’m excited for this show!
Han Solo solo film! They’re keeping him in late teens/early 20s, so start your fancasting!
Why Forever Amber hates blogger contests.
Bad Blood spoof from Cariad Lloyd and Jenny Bede. Hilarious take on the ‘tampon tax’.
Top 5 afternoon teas in London. Who’s coming?
Roller Derby badass stops purse thief. Derby girls are amazing.
Archer creator to debut new female-led series. Danger zone.

On repeat:

New Menu at the Rose Villa Tavern

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad with Blackened Chicken

Yesterday evening, I was invited along by the guys at Bitters ‘n’ Twisted to test out the new menu at one of their venues. The Rose Villa Tavern is right in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, housed in a beautiful building, originally built by Wood & Kendrick for Michells & Butler in 1919. The building is stunning, and a favourite spot of mine, with it’s stained glass windows, tiled floors and dark wood bar. Not the first place you’d expect to find an excellent cocktail list, and a menu straight from an American Diner.

Nachos

Proper Nachos

But that’s exactly what the Rose Villa Tavern offers. I’ve been a fan for a while, and a regular visitor. Naturally, the invite to taste the new menu was very, very gratefully received. A gang of bloggers descended on the pub to munch their way through nachos, burgers and whole lot of brisket.

Grilled Avocado, Chorizo and Warm Cherry Tomato Salad

Grilled Avocado, Chorizo and Warm Cherry Tomato Salad

The manager came down to talk us through the new menu items, which are all American classics, with a focus on good quality, simple ingredients. The salad above, which includes cherry tomatoes, avocado and chorizo, is gently warmed, causing the avocado to begin breaking down, creating it’s own salad dressing. We were all also very impressed by the The Hipster Pasta Option (which I didn’t manage to get a photo of before it was scoffed). The pasta is an entirely vegan carbonara, with a surprisingly creamy sauce made from puréed cauliflower. We expected, as one taster put it, “a bowl of bland,” but it was tasty and flavoursome. Good work, RVT.

Pulled Brisket Cannelloni

Pulled Brisket Cannelloni

The Pulled Brisket Cannelloni was my favourite of the new items. 16 hour slow cooked Texan beef brisket, and smothered in rich tomato sauce and cheese. Melty, gooey, briskety deliciousness. This would be the ultimate comfort food. I’m a sucker for brisket anyway, so I was sure to love this, but oh, it was good. I’ll be back to order this for myself soon.

Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings are a Rose Villa classic, and always popular. These were everything you want from wings – piping hot, with a light, crisp batter and plenty of meat on. They could have done with just a touch more seasoning, but that would be being picky. These were so popular that the manager had to bring down a second portion, after the first lot was devoured almost instantly.

Beef Burger

Juicy Lucy Burger (I think)

What diner menu would be complete with a good range of burgers? Rose Villa Tavern serves a great range, from your classic bacon and cheese and brisket topped burgers, to the more unusual halloumi and a fish burger made from a beer battered cod fillet. I sampled a burger topped with pulled pork (delicious), and the fish, which wasn’t really for me, but seemed to be popular with the fish fans in the room.

Rose Villa Tavern

 

I think the stack of clean plates and empty cocktail glasses shows what a good time we had. Everything we tasted good old classic diner food, well cooked, and very enjoyable. The manager was clearly passionate about the food, talking us through the process, and asking for our feedback – which he genuinely seemed to take on board. The bar staff are great too, friendly, chatty and with great expertise in their cocktail making. I lost M for a good half hour, chatting to the bar staff about cocktail shaking techniques and different kinds of gin…

The whole night was great fun, and I definitely recommend visiting the Rose Villa Tavern for good cocktails and leaving very full and contented. If you can manage it, I also highly recommend Brumderland, Brum Hour and Full To The Brum as dinner companions, for chat including drag kings, the trouble with Batman and hiding the Lego before Skype calls with clients. That might be harder to manage though…

Insider tip! Get yourself an Independent Birmingham card to get 20% off food during the week,  and there are regular offers if you have a Bitters ‘n’ Twisted loyalty card. Bargain…

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday Round Up!

Friday Round Up

1. Lunch at Boo Boo Coffee. 2. The views from the very bottom and the very top of the Library of Birmingham. 3. Lunch at Six Eight Kafe

As usual, there’s a strong theme of food this week. David’s here, and we’ve been having lots of adventures, most of them involving eating. I took David over to my favourite cafe, Boo Boo Coffee in Harborne, where there was an iced latte and an amazing pulled pork burger with my name on it. We’ve been adventuring around Birmingham, spending a lot of time spending a fortune in Forbidden Planet and Nostalgia Comics, playing with the Marvel and Star Wars toys in the Disney Store, and exploring the city.

We made a visit to the Library of Birmingham, where we hung out in the roof gardens, and were amazed by the beautiful Shakespeare Memorial Room. Definitely worth a visit, for the views from the gardens alone. There’s also been pizza, more lattes, a lot of episodes of Chuck on Netflix, and a lot of kids films. There was also an Apple Streusel Cake to go with Great British Bake Off, that was not entirely successful, but should be good with some recipe tweaking.

This week’s links:
Mission Impossible and the politics of high heels. Great take. Shame the advertising was so dreadful.
‘Nice Guy’ behaviours and sexist microagression. Not sure it’s as black and white as these cartoons make out, but interesting nonetheless.
Reddit finally bans racist subreddits. Sexist next, please?
Why Deadpool is a subversive character and how the movie could get him right.
Lego Marvel’s Avengers announces more characters. Kamala Khan! Yay!
Spider-Man may be more than a cameo in Civil War. Excited for this now…

On repeat (inspired by our kids film viewing this week…):

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday Round Up!

Friday Round Up

1. Dressed up for dinner with the girls. 2. Coffee with mum. 3. Yer a latte, Harry. 4. Baking for Bake Off! 5. Brunch. 6. You are here.

Happy Friday, kids! So, where to start? It’s been quite a busy week. Last Friday, the gang from Custard Factory headed out to celebrate payday and our friend’s upcoming wedding. We tried out the new Birmingham branch of Cosy Club (very nice, would go back), drank too many shots and finished up dancing our faces off in the small hours. Successful night all round.

Sunday was spent with my mum, on something of a coffee tour. We went to lots of different coffee shops and walked all over the place. I was buzzy with caffeine for ages afterwards, but it was a lovely day out with Mum! On Wednesday, I was climbing the walls with excitement about the return of Bake Off. Cookies were baked, fun was had and early favourites declared. Currently, I’m a fan of the baking fireman whose name I cannot remember, who made a Gin & Tonic Madeira Cake. Perfect…

Tonight, David is arriving for a week of silliness, X-Men talk and Birmingham based adventures. I am so, so excited. Expect much over-excited Instagramming. Sorry not sorry.

This week’s links:
Comic creator vs cosplayer. Very interesting take from Confessions of a Cosplay Girl.
Five ways Buffy ruined my life. I still wanna be a slayer…
Channing Tatum signs on for Gambit. Make your mind up, Tatum.
Men react to street harassment. The Mary-Sue reacts to that.

On repeat:

Friday Round Up

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday Round Up!

Friday Round Up

1. Robert Parker shoot results. 2. Kicking back, Rogue style. 3. Selfie time. 4. Sandy Smith shoot.

This week, I have been mostly recovering from two convention weekends in a row. I definitely spent a few days lying on the sofa feeling pretty shattered before feeling vaguely normal again. Amazing how much conventions take it out of you. Other than that, there’s been a lot of Netflix (I finally got round to watching Mr Selfridge, and so my obsession with old-fashioned glamour with hats continues), a giant burrito, and planning the next round of conventions. I can’t help myself.

This week’s links:
What happens when men watch their girlfriends get catcalled. Interesting experiment, but is it the best way to make the point?
Over 150 cosplay images from LFCC. Spot any familiar faces? Yep, me, David and Annette are in this!
Channing Tatum exits Gambit. Whaaaat?
Don’t cosplay with me: Richard Littlejohn and the Daily Mail. Ugh.

On repeat:

Gambit and Rogue Cosplay: Shoot With Rob Parker

While we were at LFCC, David and I had a shoot with Robert John Parker – Photographer, in our Gambit and Rogue cosplay team-up. We had so much fun working with Rob, recreating some classic poses, clambering all over rocks and play equipment (who knew a park was such a good spot for a photoshoot), and here are the results!

X-Men Cosplay

Gambit Cosplay

Rogue and Gambit Cosplay

Rogue Cosplay

Gambit and Rogue Cosplay

Gambit

X-Men Cosplay

Rogue

Rogue and Gambit Cosplay

Gambit

Gambit and Rogue Cosplay

Rogue Cosplay David and I always love the chance to work together, particularly with great photographers like Rob. We’ve got a pretty packed con schedule for the rest of the year, and will be attending a few different shoots too, so keep your eyes peeled for a load more photos!

 

 

Lara Croft: Shoot with Sandy Smith

Two weekends of cosplay madness, and I still have so much to share with you! Next time, we’re keeping things Tomb Raider. The wonderful Sandy Smith Photography captured these fantastic shots of my Lara Croft back at the hotel after LFCC.

Lara Croft cosplay

Lara Croft cosplay

Lara Croft cosplay

Lara Croft cosplay

Tomb Raider Cosplay

Tomb Raider Cosplay

Tomb Raider Cosplay

Tomb Raider Cosplay

I had a lot of fun shooting with Sandy, and I’m chuffed to bits with these photos. There’ll be more Lara pics to come soon from MCM Manchester soon, and a couple of shoots of Safe Harbour Cosplay to come very soon too!

 

 

Friday Round Up – Double Edition

Links, loves and Instagrams from the last (two) weeks. It’s the Friday Round Up!

Friday Round Up

1. A Gotham gathering at MCM. 2. Pretty awesome lunch. 3. Cosplay deliveries. 4. Lara Croft hair and make-up test. 5. Testing cat toys with Selina. 5. Look who we met at Comic Con! 6. Lara Croft kitted up. 7. Game Lara meets movie Lara. 8. Costume evolution.

I missed the round-up last week due to Comic Con, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me. So, last weekend, as you know, we were all off to London Film and Comic Con. We spent the three days dying in the heat, playing in the SyFy Cam, and meeting other awesome cosplayers. We also met someone rather unexpected. My best friend and I were enormous a1 fans as kids, so imagine our delight when we met Mark Read of a1 fame wandering the con hall. He was super lovely, and chatted away to us for a few minutes, took some pictures and generally entirely made our whole weekends.

This week has a been a rush of getting the cosplays turned round and ready to go out again for this weekend. Ever washed a Zentai suit? It’s a pain…

This weekend we’ll be at MCM in Manchester. It’s the first time I’ve been to a convention in Manchester. I’m so excited. See you on the other side!

This week’s links:
SyFy Cam Gotham style.
Captain Marvel writer talks strong female characters.
An interview with cosplayer Briana Lawrence.
Joss Whedon says he’ll never be done with superheroes.
Even teenage boys think women are oversexualised in games.
Comics are selling like the 90s.
Why Matilda is still the best.

On repeat:

 

Safe Harbour Cosplay – Shoot with Gonzography

One of the things that makes me happiest at conventions is seeing random mash-ups of characters hanging out. Talk about multiverse. On those lines, David and I had a few photos taken with the super lovely Gonzography, while in our Lara Croft and Deadshot cosplays.

Deadshot and Lara Croft Cosplay

On Saturday night, David and I went live with a brand new joint page – Safe Harbour Cosplay.Within 48 hours, we hit 100 likes, and this afternoon, we reached 150! We’re both so overwhelmed by the love and support from you guys, in such a short space of time.

Cosplay Shoot

David and I cosplayed separately on the Sunday of LFCC, but we always enjoy working together, especially with the Gonz, so there was no way we were going to say no to getting some photos. Lara Croft and Deadshot can totally hang out. Even if Deadshot had just dropped and broken his headset…

Tomb Raider and Deadshot Cosplay

Gonzography shoots with a compact camera, but he’s proper awesome, and always serious fun to work with. What better photos to kick off Safe Harbour?

Cosplay Multiverse